Emergency tents for South Sudan

Following the outbreak of violent attacks on humanitarian aid agencies in South Sudan two weeks ago, Jesuit Missions is providing high quality emergency tents for the displaced JRS staff in Maban ensuring the well-being of all staff after the attacks.

On Monday 23rd July, eight aid agencies operating in Maban were forced to suspend their activities and evacuate their staff following violent attacks from local youth.

Although the main JRS compound was spared, the Arrupe learning centre was badly affected by the attackers. This is where JRS hold their English classes and computer and teacher training, causing a pause in lessons for some time.

Fr Pau Vidal SJ, JRS South Sudan Country Director, said: “The level of destruction and looting which occurred during the attack of 23rd July in Maban is completely unwarranted and appalling. The brutal attack has brought most of our activities to a complete stop. JRS South Sudan remains committed to the people in Maban and is willing to resume its activities that benefit refugees, IDPs and host community members.

"At the same time, JRS needs assurance that humanitarians will not be targeted again and that the rule of law prevails so that our team members can live and serve in a safe and conducive environment.”

On the day of the attacks, Fr Pau reported that no life had been lost but the viciousness of the violence and destruction of property had been appalling. "It was very well planned and clearly targeting only humanitarian assets and compounds. Some reports indicate more than eight different agencies compounds have been heavily affected, more than 27 vehicles damaged" he said.

More than 300 relocatable staff have be evacuated by UNHAS (United nations humanitarian air service) from Maban to the capital Juba some 600km away on the day following the attacks. A group of team leaders and critical staff - among whom there was also Fr Tony O’Riordan, an Irish Jesuit who has this year taken on the role of Project Director of the JRS team within Maban refugee camp - remained to assess the the situation.

Maban is located in the Upper Nile state of South Sudan and supports more than 140, 000 refugees from Sudan and a large number of Internally displaced people (IDP). Jesuit Refugee Service South Sudan support both refugees and the host communities through the provision of English classes and computer and teacher training, as well as psychosocial support services.

Fr Tony O’Riordan publishes news and updates from the area on his blog Spes Mundi.

Please, consider donating to Jesuit Missions South Sudan Summer Appeal