Sudanese bishop warns war could return as secession vote nears
Bishop Macram Gassis
Bishop Macram Gassis

.- A Sudanese bishop has warned that the country could return to war, with tensions apparently increasing. “Something is in the air,” he said, noting reports that military groups are arming themselves in the run-up to the referendum on secession between the north and south.

“It needs just one single shot to explode and we will go back to the bush,” Bishop Macram Gassis of El Obeid, Sudan told Aid to the Church in Need.

He noted reports that both the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army and the military in Khartoum are arming themselves.

“To see arms being amassed, to see military preparations being made – is this an indication of a peaceful mind? It indicates that something is in the air,” he commented.

Parts of the Nuba Mountains, which were previously evacuated by the Khartoum government, are currently occupied by the state military.

The bishop voiced concerns that the census to register the number of voters and to apportion power between the regions has not been conducted properly. He told ACN he has not seen the census being conducted.

Describing the popular local feeling for secession he said: “In Nuba people say: ‘we don’t want anything to do with the north,’ but it’s going to be hard because the oil is going to play an important role.”

Bishop Gassis told ACN that people in the south claim that the Khartoum-based Government of National Unity is not giving them their fair share of the oil.

He predicted it “isn’t going to be easy” if the south wants secession. “I don’t know how our people will face another armed struggle -- it is always the elderly, women and children who suffer,” he added.

The prelate recounted how he had lived through three aerial raids during the civil war:

“It is terrible to be at the mercy of the planes flying above you – the only thing to do is lie down as flat as a pancake and hope that the bomb does not hit you – you’re completely helpless.

“We thank God for the fact that aerial bombing has stopped – but at the back of our minds is the question will 2011 bring a peaceful solution for the people of Sudan?”

“We are in the hands of God. We ask God to save us from breaking down and going back to the gun – the gun will not solve the problem.”

Bishop Gassis described ACN as among the Church in Sudan’s “biggest partners” and thanked the charity for its help. ACN has provided transportation for priests to visit remote villages, faith education in schools, and building convents and presbyteries.

He expressed Sudanese Catholics’ “heartfelt gratitude” to ACN donors, adding, “We are walking together hand in hand to bring a message of peace, justice, and love.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors

Liturgical Calendar

July 22, 2014

Saint Mary Magdalene

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:24-43


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Mic 7: 14-15, 18-20

Saint of the Day

St. Mary Magdalene »


Homily of the Day

Mt 12:38-42


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: