Terror bombings of civilian centres in Southern Sudan have intensified. Numerous churches have been bombed – including on Christmas Day.
Worst hit in this bombing campaign was Moruland. Lui, Kotobi, Mundri, Jambo, Tali and Lanyi have all been repeatedly subjected to aerial bombardments by the Sudan Air Force. Churches, schools, the only hospital in Moruland and the few medical clinics appear to be the primary targets.
On 29 December, the Fraser Cathedral in Lui was hit and severely damaged by bombs dropped by the Sudan Air Force. Lui had been attacked on 26 December with 7 bombs. Then on 29 December another 10 bombs were dropped on Lui. Five of those bombs landed close to the Episcopal Church of Sudan cathedral. A huge hole was blown into the West wall of the church building, flinging parts of the corrugated iron roof up into the sky.
Most of the West wall is pockmarked with holes from hundreds of pieces of schrapnel. All the windows on all sides of the church were blown out. Most of the doors were splintered. Almost every wooden beam in the roof of the church has cracked. Much of the structure is now unstable and would need to be torn down before rebuilding of the cathedral could begin. This was the third time that this church in Lui has needed to be rebuilt because of assaults by the Government of Sudan forces.
Bishop Bullen Dolli condemned this "senseless violence and reign of terror against civilian populations" and declared that those committing such atrocities "must be treated with the contempt they deserve and the perpetrators condemned in the strongest possible terms." Bishop Bullen emphasised that Lui "has always been and still is, a civilian population centre best known for its religious and educational life." He expressed outrage at the "callous disregard" for life and "senseless terrorism" of the government of Sudan.
Pastor Jeffrey of the Diocese of Lui appealed to the new President of the United States, George W Bush, to intervene by declaring Southern Sudan a no-fly zone for military aircraft. Using the air exclusion zones in Iraq (designed to protect the Kurds and Shite Muslims), as an example, Pastor Jeffrey requested urgent action to protect the Black Christians of Sudan from the terror bombing campaign of the National Islamic Front government of Sudan.
We gathered details from eyewitnesses of 55 bombings. In just over 2 months, over 458 bombs had been dropped on churches, schools, medical clinics and homes – mostly in Equatoria. As best as we could confirm, casualties have included at least 41 dead and over 100 injured.
The community which includes the Frontline Fellowship mission station and Christian Liberty High School has now been bombed 9 times in the last year, by MiGs and Antonovs of the Sudan Air Force. Over 100 bombs had been dropped on our community during the previous 12 months!
Despite the disruptions, sicknesses and lost luggage, we were able to distribute over 12 000 Bibles and I presented over 240 sermons, lectures or Bible studies and 10 seminars for Sudanese pastors, teachers and chaplains – often across rivers and through burning fields. It was a privilege to conduct services in many of the communities that had recently been bombed – including in the shattered remains of the Fraser Cathedral in Lui.