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A camp for Internally Displaced Persons in Renk, South Sudan.(CNA/Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development)

A South Sudanese bishop has described the desperate situation of his people, saying they are on the “brink of destitution” and are “slowly perishing” amid challenges caused by violent conflicts and COVID-19. Source: CNA.

In a letter addressed to “the head of Caritas network, people of goodwill, and the international community,” Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala said his people are in urgent need of external support.

“Our people continue to suffer the effects of complex emergencies, which are still being experienced in many parts of the country, including those parts that had previously been peaceful,” Bishop Hiiboro Kussala said.

The number of internally displaced persons “has increased tremendously across the country,” he said, adding that these are South Sudanese “living in deplorable conditions and are starving”.

The bishop, who leads South Sudan’s Tombura-Yambia Diocese and is the president of the Integral Human Development Commission of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference, highlighted the fact that “women, children, the aged, and people living with disabilities” are bearing the brunt of the conditions in the East-Central African nation.

Bishop Hiiboro Kussala also painted a grim picture of the situation of women, girls, and children in the world’s newest country, which gained independence from Sudan in July 2011. 

“Consider the South Sudanese mother who watches her child die because of malnutrition caused by severe hunger; the young man who dies in the hospital because there is no medicine to treat him; the nine-year-old girl who, for a piece of ‘bambe’ [potato], is forced to sell her body; and the emaciated old woman who is lying inside her ramshackle hut awaiting death to take away her suffering,” he said.

Bishop Hiiboro Kussala said these challenges are compounded by the earlier negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions which he said “saw our already fragile economy come to a near collapse”.


South Sudan bishop: Our people ‘on brink of destitution, slowly perishing’ (CNA)