According to the United Nations estimate, over six million people have been displaced and 9,000 lives have been lost in the civil war between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which started on April 15.
Over seven months after the conflict broke out, Sudan´s brutal war continues to inflict immeasurable suffering: endangering lives, displacing millions from their homes, and causing deaths even in areas far from the frontlines. The capital Khartoum is bearing the brunt of the bombings, and amongst those who have suffered an attack on their home, are the missionary Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
The bomb blast that struck on Friday, 3 November 2023, damaged the building that hosted five religious sisters – all over 65 years old –, 20 women, 45 children, one priest, one teacher, and a group of men, some of whom were old and sick. Even though the inhabitants were miraculously saved, it caused serious damage to their home.
You are our only hope!
The local people who said they find solace in the presence of the sisters in their community requested the Sisters to continue to stay with them as they are their only hope.
Many people from the community reportedly visit and socialize with the Sisters who extend a warm welcome to all, reportedly to the extent of not knowing how many people are in their house.
“As long as you are here, we have hope, do not abandon us!” was the heart-breaking request of those who are dependent on the Sisters for livelihood and accompaniment.
According to the Superior General, the Sisters have responded saying "They are happy to be able to stay where they are."
Assurance of prayers for protection and peace
Sister Chiara Cazzuola, the Superior General, although worried about the distance and the difficulty in communication, trusts in the intercession of Mary Help of Christians, who always protects them.
She urged all the members of the institute and formation communities to keep calling upon Her mighty intercession for peace in Sudan and every conflicting country on Earth.
Sr. Cazzuola thanked the Community of St. Egidio who has reached out to the International Red Cross to get in touch with the FMA Community, and she expressed her gratitude to the people in the area for their kindness towards the sisters.
She said, “the local people are also good and generous, so much so that they killed a sheep to donate five kg of meat, divided into small pieces so that there was enough for everyone.”
Pope's appeals for peace in Sudan
Pope Francis has repeatedly appealed for a negotiated solution to the all-but-forgotten war in Sudan.
Just last Sunday he issued a call to the country's leaders to facilitate access to humanitarian aid for the suffering people and to work toward a peaceful resolution to the civil war with the help of the international community.