Request directed to Poles to help South Sudan
Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussali from South Sudan visited Poland on 22 June-3 July 2011 at the invitation of Aid to Church in Need. The 47-year-old hierarch has shepherded the Diocese of Tombura-Yambio since June 2008. In Poland he lectured on the persecuted Church in his homeland. He participated in the session of the Parliamentary Team for the Prevention of Discrimination and Persecutions of Christians in the World. The title of his appeal to the Catholic Church in Poland and to Poles was ‘Appeal for peace and protection of civil population in Sudan.’
Republic of South Sudan
In his appeal to the Catholic Church in Poland and all Poles Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussali mentions that on 9 July 2011 a new state will be born – the Republic of South Sudan. Its independence will be declared in Juba, the new capital of the country. ‘It was a painful, long and difficult birth. Millions gave their lives in this march for freedom. Millions were forced to leave their homes and many, like me, were expelled from the country,’ we read in the appeal. Now peace is also threatened. ‘Despite early agreements, including the binding international arbitrage, the old problem of the status of Abyei has not been solved and no wide consultations have been conducted in the territory of South Kordofan. Currently, we are dealing with violence, expulsions and sufferings of ordinary people. No political difficulty affecting innocent people can be justified. I appeal to the international community to make efforts aiming at armistice and enabling free flows of supplies of humanitarian aid for the needy and helping to guarantee safe returns of the displaced.’
Help for Sudan
On 29 June a press conference with Bishop Hiiboro Kussali was held in the Parliament. Before the conference the Sudanese bishop and representatives of Aid to the Church in Need met the MPs at the session of the Parliamentary Team for the Prevention of Discrimination and Persecutions of Christians in the World. During the session the situation of Christian in the newly created African state had been presented. Bishop Kussali presented eight requests to the Polish authorities and the European Union concerning help for South Sudan. During his stay in Poland the Sudanese bishop visited Warsaw, Lichen, Walbrzych, Wroclaw and Klodzko.
Aid to Church in Need and the Father Werenfried Foundation have conducted a project ‘Help for Sudan’ since January 2011 (www.pomocdlasudanu.pl). The situation in Sudan is tragic. Horrifying news from South Sudan come every day. Sister Teresa, a Salesian missionary working in a refugees camp in Khartoum, describes preparations to return to the south, ‘At he moment the situation of our Christians is horrifying. There are thousands; one cannot even count them, placed in many camps in the desert. My heart is painful as we are helpless facing their sufferings. When I go to them, sitting on their small bundles or on the ground day and night – their faces, hair, clothes covered with sand (they must buy water themselves) my heart breaks […] when I greet them with my clean hand and they look at me with such love and gratitude I often shed tears… Currently, they lack everything: water, medicaments, food, blankets. Days are hot but nights and mornings are very cold, with a strong cold wind from the desert. So many young and older children, sick and hungry. Actually, apart from us, the Catholic Church, nobody visits them.’ Sister Elzbieta describes the situation in South Sudan, ‘Those who were lucky to reach the South stayed at first in special camps for refugees from the North, waiting for places to settle. Some have already been shown such places and others are still waiting. How are they living? Counting on other people’s goodness, living in suffering and poverty, hoping for better times.’
Sudan is waiting for Your help; do not be indifferent! – appeals Aid to Church in Need. You can help and give hope to the Sudanese by sending SMS containing ‘RATUJE’ to the following number: 72405.