Farmer Mary Ngok, 31, receives sorghum, oil and lentils in exchange for road construction work completed as part of the Catholic Relief Services-led Jonglei Food Security Program, in Jonglei, South Sudan. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS
Ongoing violence in South Sudan’s Jongeli State has forced an estimated 100,000 people from their homes into the bush. The recent clashes include inter-communal violence between Lou Nuer and Murle people.
Those who have fled the fighting and are living in the wilderness have no food, clean water or healthcare. Aid agencies are struggling to reach them due to the fighting and heavy rains that make the roads inaccessible.
Caritas is working with the UN’s WFP to distribute food to those displaced and effected by the violence in the Pibor area in Jonglei. Caritas South Sudan has been mobilising diocesan staff and parish volunteers to support the humanitarian response in Jongeli State.
Caritas member Catholic Relief Services is also supporting the intervention.
Caritas South Sudan said, “A big thank you to the parish volunteers from Archdiocese of Juba and the Dioceses of Tombura-Yambio and Wau. In an act of true solidarity, they are travelling to Jongeli to help their fellow South Sudanese.”
Time is running out to reach those in need as the rainy season is fast approaching, making roads impassable for aid convoys.
Caritas volunteers in Juba preparing sheleter for the return of South Sudanese stranded in north Sudan. Credit: Caritas Sudan
Caritas staff and volunteers have been working flat out all over South Sudan to prepare for the return of refugees from north Sudan.
In Juba, between 12-15,0000 returnees stranded in Kosti in the White Nile State in north Sudan are expected to arrive over the next few weeks by plane. The governor of White Nile State, citing insecurity concerns, said that the presence of over 12,000 South Sudanese in Kosti is no longer tolerated and they have to move before 5 May. The South Sudanese from Kosti are travelling to Khartoum and then flying down to Juba.
Caritas Juba with the support of the Caritas Coordination Unit is helping get a site outside Juba ready for the returnees. Today, 700 returnees have arrived at the site according to the Sudan Catholic Radio Network.
Caritas Juba Emergency Coordinator Agnes Serafino said that 16 volunteers were offloading building equipments provided by IOM (the International Migration Organization) and putting up shelters for 1,000 returnees. She said the volunteers were happy because they were standing in solidarity with their people returning home.
Volunteer Gismallah Gift said he was working hard to make sure when the returnees arrive they will find a place to stay. He said the volunteers were glad and singing while working because they were proud to welcome their fellow citizens back home.
Source: Caritas Coordination Unit and Sudan Catholic Radio Network