Almost 1,200 displaced people are now seeking refuge in Yei, South Sudan, where Connor’s partner diocese is using funds sent out by CMS Ireland to meet their basic needs.
Bishop Hilary of Yei has had difficulties sending photos, but CMSI have shared these images taken in the Diocese of Maridi, south west of Yei, which is linked to the Diocese of Down and Dromore. The photos show displaced people collecting supplies and children being prayed for under a mango tree. The little girl’s (bottom of page) mother was shot dead in the first opposition attack on Malakal. She was found after three days with her sister and brother. They arrived in Maridi on January 21.
A team led by the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, was due to visit Yei from January 16–26. The trip was postponed due to the civil unrest which broke out in December and quickly spiralled into tribal warfare.
Communication from Bishop Hilary on January 18 said that there were now 1,171 internally displaced people seeking shelter in the town. This includes 600 people who have recently arrived from Bor. Bishop Hilary said all the displaced people are ethnic Nuers. (The ongoing tribal warfare involves the Dinka and Nuer tribes, the two largest in South Sudan).
CMSI understands the situation in Yei is tense, with sporadic gunfire at nights and people not wanting to flee, but also worried about the future. Supplies of fuel and food have been disrupted by intermittent road closures to Juba and to Uganda.
Bishop Hilary said that the church had been the first to respond to the needs of the internally displaced people with CMSI responding very quickly, thanks to the generosity of the local parishes and the diocese of Connor.
Funding sent by CMSI raised through its Emergency Appeal is needed for medicines for treating malarial attacks, infectious diseases and waterborne diseases, and for basic foodstuffs including rice, beans, salt, sugar, water
Jenny Smyth, CMSI partnership co–ordinator, said “Since we launched the appeal the numbers of internally displaced people have increased and CMSI will continue to send funds as they come in and as the need demands.
“There are stories of incredible suffering emerging, with unaccompanied children turning up, and families being split up on the way, or the men being killed during the journey.”
To donate to CMSI’s Emergency Appeal for South Sudan visit http://www.cmsireland.org/news/2014/01/14/south-sudan-appeal