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Marist Calendar - April

Solidarity with South Sudan

 

Malakal community

Cmi

11/01/2014: General House

The changes in the government in South Sudan, the youngest country in the world, brought social unrest in many cities, especially in Malakal which had been under attack during the current period of unrest. Solidarity with South Sudan has a teacher training college in Malakal but thankfully all the students had completed their programmes and returned home. 

Brother Christian Mbam, a member of the Malakal community, had also started his annual leave in Nigeria before the crisis unfolded. He returned to South Sudan on 8th January.

All the members of Solidarity are very grateful for the support of your prayers. They felt tangibly supported – through internet, telephone, Skype and so on – by worldwide religious communities during the four days of bombardment. All are safe and the school and community buildings were undamaged. Things are presently calm in the town of Malakal as new Government reinforcements have arrived. They feel that this presence will hopefully protect the town from renewed attacks. However there is an acute shortage of food as the whole market was burnt down.  As you can imagine there is little movement of people of goods throughout South Sudan at this time.

It will only be possible to assess the number of people killed and wounded and the scale of the damage in Malakal and throughout the country in the days ahead. The people of South Sudan have already suffered so much during the many years of civil war that it is difficult to imagine the effect that the renewal of tribal hostilities has had on them. Until reaching independence, they were united against their common Arabic speaking, Muslim enemy of the North. May they be protected from further suffering.

The areas under threat in South Sudan are especially the states of Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile. The remaining members of the Malakal community, located in the state of Upper Nile will be moving shortly to other parts of South Sudan to support other education and training programmes. 

Latest News: On 2nd January the remaining members of Br Christian’s community left Malakal on United Nations planes. 

The Sisters and Brothers have decided to move out of Malakal, not because of security risks to them personally, but because there is no prospect of carrying on with our work of Teacher Training in the short term, and because the centre of the town has been ruined, and there is almost no way of getting any food, power or water.

____________

Letter from  Brother Christian Mbam – 9 January

I returned to South Sudan yesterday after my five weeks holiday. When I left, the country was quiet but a week or so after, news of fighting and killing came on the media. There was very serious fighting in Malakal, where  my community is located, I learnt. Because people are scattered and afraid, the training  college will not open and so the members have been moved to other locations. By the end of today I will learn where I should go, either temporarily or permanently.

Meanwhile, fighting is going on in the north of the country, with government trying to retake the cities and grounds run over by the rebel group. I also learnt that the city of Malakal, though retaken by the government, is spotted with the rebel group around it. That means that fighting may resume there sooner or later.

You may have read the content of the attached article to tis mail. All the same I send it, in case you may not have see  it.

I have encouraged the Province to consider a mission in South Sudan. I hope the Chapter considered that, as I left earlier than the close of the Chapter.

Thanks for your support.

 Brother Christian Mbam - 9 January 2014.

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