Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SUDAN – Northern troops 'bomb refugees fleeing persecution'

The Sudanese military are accused of bombing a refugee camp in South Sudan where thousands have fled to escape violence and persecution in the north.


The Yida refugee camp in Unity state is home to some 20,000 people from the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan where northern troops are said to be targeting groups considered 'disloyal' to the northern regime, including Christians. At least 12 people were killed and 20 injured in Thursday's aerial bombardment, according to the BBC.

The Nuba people are mainly Christian – and northern President Omar al-Bashir vowed to enforce strict Sharia or Islamic law across Sudan when South Sudan became an independent nation in July.

Christians in the Yida camp told the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) that Christians in South Kordofan are being targeted by northern troops. Pastors reported that their churches in South Kordofan had been burnt and looted, and some said they had seen soldiers killing Christians for being 'enemies of Islam'.

Five bombs were dropped on the Yida camp on Thursday but one, which landed in a schoolyard, failed to explode. Some 300 children were in class at the time. The northern Government denies involvement in the attack just 10 miles from the north-south border.

For more news and a country profile about Sudan, click here

NEWS UPDATE:
Pakistan Christian Ruqqiya Bibi has had her bail application adjourned yet again until the third week of December, according to Release partner Centre for
Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS). Ruqqiya, from Punjab, appeared in the High Court in Lahore on Friday. Ruqqiya, who is applying for bail pending an appeal, was sentenced to 25 years for 'blasphemy' in March 2010 (Prayer Alert, October 25, 2011). Her husband, Munir, who was given the same sentence, was released on bail last December. CLAAS says it is hopeful that Ruqqiya's conviction will be overturned at the hearing next month.

(Sources: BBC, Bloomberg, CLAAS, USCIRF)

• Pray for an end to violence and persecution being inflicted on civilians in South Kordofan. Pray that politicians in both Sudan and South Sudan will stay committed to building the peace and to upholding all citizens' religious rights.
• Continue to pray for Ruqqiya Bibi and her husband, Munir. Pray that both will have their convictions overturned and that they and the CLAAS staff
supporting them will be shielded from extremist violence.

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