Friday, May 9, 2008

A Chance To Help

You won't find this on the news...I don't know why. Maybe the Sudanese government is suppressing the information. Maybe with all of the devestation in Myanmar, the total destruction of one village doesn't rate a story. I don't know. What I do know is this:

My church partners with ALARM ministry (an African-based operation, run by Celestin Musekura, that seeks to bring stability, education, and support to Africa by raising up leaders and giving supplies and education to local Africans so they can be a positive influence for change in their own communities) and we have a specific partnership with a church in Lietnohm, a town in southern Sudan.

Within the last forty-eight hours, Dinka tribe members (one of the warring tribes within Sudan) showed up in Lietnohm with automatic weapons, something they've never done, and leveled the entire village to the ground.

The latest information, (which came from Celestin yesterday following a conference call with ALARM staff in Kenya/Sudan).

*Every home and building that could be set on fire was burned to the ground. Every dwelling is gone.

*All contents in those dwellings are gone (food, clothes, supplies). At least 30,000are without food, clothes, supplies, shelter.

*The UN is looking into the situation, but has not yet sent in an assessment team.

*They will not respond until the assessment is done. The soonest they would likely be able to respond with food and supply drops is several weeks out.

*The area appears “secure” as the aggressors have returned home. Evidently SPLA soldiers have been dispatched to provide an added measure of security, but with the total devastation of the community, it’s unlikely there is any incentive to return.

*The nature and scope of the attack was unusual and suspicious. Though retaliatory attacks between tribes are somewhat normal (cattle for cattle, an eye for an eye), scorched earth attacks (total devastation of a community’s resources) are the tactics commonly used by the radical Muslim dominated government of Sudan, and not the way of the Dinka. Additionally, the attacking Dinka tribe had heavy weapons, also not typical, indicating an alliance with someone outside the tribal network. Though not established yet as fact, it’s quite possible that the hostility between the tribes was leveraged by an outside party to destabilize the region.

I can't understand why the U.N would hang back after the region is stable and refuse to send in assessment teams to provide aid to the hundres of women and children who are now homeless and starving but I do know we cannot wait for them to decide to act.

If you want to help, you can donate to either ALARM (who is currently gathering funds and bringing in food, supplies, and shelter) or you can donate to Fellowship Bible and mark it for Lietnohm as we are taking up a collection this Sunday to send for immediate relief.

I hope if the plight of Africa moves you, and if you cannot stand to see such injustice and such apathy on the part of the international community, that you will step into the gap with me and help rebuild the shattered community of Lietnohm.

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