In response to the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, the Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network Africa (JENA) echoes the words of Pope Francis in his encyclical Fratelli Tutti, "Every human being has the right to life, and this right is not negotiable."
As the fighting in Sudan enters its third week, we are witnessing the collapse of the nation’s health system, with hospitals being shelled and medical services becoming scarce. More than a dozen healthcare workers have lost their lives, and two-thirds of hospitals in Khartoum have closed down.
This is a humanitarian crisis that demands immediate action. JENA calls upon the international community to take urgent steps to restore peace and security in Sudan. We urge all parties involved to put an end to the violence and to prioritise the well-being of civilians caught in the crossfire.
We welcome the U.N. secretary general’s decision to send Martin Griffiths to Sudan to provide humanitarian aid and coordinate relief efforts. We call on all governments and organisations to support the U.N. in its efforts to bring stability and aid to Sudan. As a community that values peace and justice, we cannot remain silent while our fellow human beings suffer. We further urge the international community to come together to support Sudan and its people during this difficult time. We must provide resources and support to strengthen Sudan's health system and ensure that basic medical services are available to all those in need.
Furthermore, as Pope Benedict XVI stated in his message for the World Day of Peace in 2006, "There can be no true peace unless it is built on the foundation of a human ecology." Therefore, JENA emphasises the need for a long-term solution to prevent such crises from happening in the future. Let us not forget the lessons of history and the importance of addressing the root causes of conflict. As we work towards a peaceful resolution to this crisis, we must also address the underlying political and economic issues that have contributed to the violence.
Finally, JENA urges all men and women of good-will to join us in prayer and action for peace in Sudan. As Pope Francis reminds us, “Prayer is all-powerful. Prayer is an expression of our cry to God for help, to come to our aid. Let us use it to bring peace to the hearts of all people" (Pope Francis' general audience on February 10, 2021). Let us work together to support our brothers and sisters in Sudan and build a world where all people can live in dignity and security.
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