Posts Tagged ‘Sudan’

Chat Transcript: South Sudan Independence

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

This is the transcript of a live chat CRS hosted on July 11 about the future of South Sudan just days after they celebrated the first anniversary of their nation’s independence.

Participants included Alfred Okech and Chris Wake live from South Sudan. We were also be joined in our Baltimore headquarters by Dan Griffin, CRS Sudan Advisor, Kathleen Kahlau, CRS Legislative Advisor, and Dr. Stephen Colecchi, Director of the Office of International Justice and Peace, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Bringing Peace and Development to South Sudan

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Sean Callahan, CRS executive vice president for overseas operations, recently traveled to South Sudan to witness first-hand the state of the new nation and Catholic Relief Services’ work there. Here are some of his reflections on peace and the role of the Church:

When South Sudan gained independence from its northern neighbor last year, it was a moment of tremendous victory for the new nation. But nine months after secession, the country—counted among the most impoverished in the world—continues to face significant challenges.
Tensions and violence on the border with Sudan remain, especially in the areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and the border itself has not yet been demarcated. In recent weeks, there have been concerns over oil revenue, with the South accusing the North of stealing its oil—subsequently shutting down all production. Since this is the major source of income for the government of South Sudan, it has put into place austerity measures, which could hamper development efforts.
(more…)

‘Playing for Peace’: Villanova, CRS Team Up for Sudan

Friday, January 27th, 2012

When the Villanova Wildcats beat the Seton Hall Pirates 84-76 in men’s basketball Jan. 18, it wasn’t just a hard-fought victory in the tough Big East conference.

The game also was a win for the people of the Republic of South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, thanks to a partnership between Villanova University and Catholic Relief Services.

Billed as “Playing for Peace,” the game gave student ambassadors an opportunity to showcase the struggles the people of South Sudan are experiencing as they work to build a nation from the rubble of a decades-long civil war.

Jennifer Joyce Kissko, an assistant professor in the university’s Center for Peace and Justice Education, said the event offered the chance to present an important concern to a wider audience that extended beyond the Villanova community.

Read the entire article.

South Sudan Town Cut Off, Crops Theatened by Rain

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
Sudan flood

People travel by boat to the flood-affected community of Agok in South Sudan. Photo by CRS staff

George Okoth,

The mid-September rains completely washed out road access to the town of Agok, South Sudan. This is the same area that only a few months ago received a wave of mass displacement after conflict sent thousands fleeing from the contested area of Abyei. Just as things began to settle, the rains once again forced people from their makeshift homes.

We arrived by car, by boat and by foot. The muddy roads only allowed our 4x4s to venture so far before we had to rely on the boats that would take us from one side of a vastly swollen river to another. The end of our trek consisted of a 3-mile walk to the town of Agok. Our walk was slow, hindered by the mud that stuck to our gumboots and made each step a heavy one.
(more…)

Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Archbishop Mazzolari, Rest in Peace

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

With great sadness Catholic Relief Services staff and leadership this weekend learned of the death of Archbishop Caesar Mazzolari of the Diocese of Rumbek in South Sudan. Archbishop Mazzolari passed away on Saturday morning in a hospital in Rumbek after being taken ill during morning Mass.

A long-standing friend and partner of CRS, Archbishop Mazzolari first started work in Sudan in 1981. As a Comboni Missionary, Mazzolari lived among the rural people of southern Sudan and suffering with them through war, famine and poverty. He was ordained a bishop in 1999 by Pope John Paul II

“Archbishop Mazzolari was a tireless voice for the people of South Sudan, raising their plight with the international community,” said CRS President Ken Hackett. “I recall visiting him in Rumbek in 1998, just as hostilities had ceased for a while in his diocese. His cathedral was totally destroyed, as was his rectory. His people had built a large underground, earthen bomb shelter so that they could be protected if aerial bombing came while they were at Mass.
(more…)

Bishop John Ricard on South Sudan Independence

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Emeritus CRS board member Bishop John Ricard was in South Sudan for the independence celebrations on July 9, 2011. He shares with us his impressions of the world’s newest nation and what Catholics around the world can do to continue to support South Sudan.

When I first came to Juba, now the capital of South Sudan, more than a decade ago, it was a small village. There was little if any infrastructure: roads, buildings, water and sanitation, but almost 12 years later I see before me a bustling metropolis. There is anticipation and excitement in the air. There is hope and there is much promise. There is sense of the potential that South Sudan has that speaks to the wonderful things to come.

My visit to South Sudan represents the hope, solidarity and support of the Church to the people of this new country. They will face many challenges as they forge their national identity after giving birth to a nation.
(more…)

South Sudan: Sights and Sounds of Independence

Monday, July 11th, 2011

This video was produced by CRS staffers in Juba for the July 9 celebration of independence.

Mass For a New Nation in South Sudan

Monday, July 11th, 2011

CRS communications officer Kim Pozniak is in Juba, South Sudan, reporting for Caritas Internationalis. She filed this report for the Caritas blog:

A day after the people of South Sudan came together to declare their independence, they converged on St. Teresa Cathedral of Juba, South Sudan’s capital, on July 10th to celebrate a special Mass dedicated to their new nationhood.

Standing in the shade of large trees on the church compound, they waited patiently for the Mass to begin. Hundreds of people then filed into the church, taking their seats in old wooden pews, while those who arrived too late for a seat crowded the doors to get a glimpse of the Mass.

Inside, the Church was packed with people still in a celebratory mood from the weekend’s historic events. Hundreds were seated in the pews, and dozens more lined the walls of the church while the bright light of another hot day flooded the building through the open doors and stained glass windows.

Read more …

CRS President: Catholics Support South Sudan

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

CRS President Ken Hackett is in South Sudan for the new country’s first days of independence. He wrote this column for the Catholic News Agency:

JUBA, South Sudan — Less than a week after the United States celebrated its Independence Day for the 235th time, another nation was born, beginning its journey into history. That would be the Republic of South Sudan which raised its flag for the first time as a sovereign state in ceremonies in its capital Juba on Saturday.

It was my privilege to be here as part of the official U.S. delegation which was led by United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice. My inclusion in that delegation is in part recognition of the work that my group, Catholic Relief Services, has done in South Sudan in the years of struggle and hope that led to this moment. But mainly it is a recognition of the efforts of so many American humanitarian organizations, of volunteers, of dedicated professionals, of clergy and lay people, of all sorts of caring groups and individuals whose efforts helped make this day possible.

Certainly this is a time of celebration. The gestation of South Sudan included decades of war that left millions dead and displaced. It included peace building work – often led by churches – at every level, from resolving small community disputes to involving the largest international actors.

Read more….

South Sudan Capital City Prepares for Independence

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Women bent over handmade brooms sweep the streets of southern Sudan’s capital of Juba free of dust each morning. On the few miles of paved city roads, concrete road dividers are brightened with freshly planted flowers and saplings. The entry gates of buildings and homes boast fresh green paint. The rows of robust trees along the road that houses the majority of southern Sudan’s Ministry offices are adorned with bright white banners that read “Happy Independent Day.”

Everywhere there are signs of Juba preparing to be ushered in as the world’s newest nation. Even the electoral countdown clock that once ticked away the hours left for southern Sudanese to cast their ballot for self-determination has been reconfigured to flash stats of the Republic of South Sudan’s pending nationhood: “East Africa’s newest nation #6, the United Nation’s Country #193 , Africa’s Youngest Nation.”
(more…)