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Situation Report: Sudan Conflict

Situation:A map of Africa with Sudan highlighted in red and Chad and South Sudan highlighted in blue.

On April 15, violence broke out between opposing military groups in Sudan. Most of the fighting has been in the capital city of Khartoum, but some has now spread outside the city. Because of the conflict, many civilians cannot leave their homes, while others are managing to flee to other areas of the country, or into neighboring countries like Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan. Nearly 1 million people have been displaced since the beginning of the violence.



A Sudanese family under a shelter made of wood and fabric.

Sudanese refugees in South Sudan. Photo: ACT Alliance


In Chad, Lutheran Disaster Response is supporting the Lutheran World Federation-World Service. It is addressing shelter, food, and hygiene needs in refugee camps and informal settlements. Lutheran Disaster Response is also supporting the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, Upper Nile Internal Province, as it provides food and other essential supplies to refugees in South Sudan.






Be part of the response:

Please pray for all people impacted by the violence in Sudan. May God’s healing presence give them peace and hope in their time of need.

Thanks to generous donations, Lutheran Disaster Response is able to respond quickly and effectively to disasters around the globe. Your gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response will be used to assist Sudanese refugees and other crises in the U.S. and around the world.

To learn more about the situation and the ELCA’s response:

  • Sign up to receive Lutheran Disaster Response alerts.
  • Check the Lutheran Disaster Response blog.
  • Like Lutheran Disaster Response on Facebook, follow @ELCALDR on Twitter, and follow @ELCA_LDR on Instagram.

The Power of Peacebuilding


See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. —1 Thessalonians 5:15


Forgiveness is rarely easy. It takes empathy, letting go of resentment and seeing the humanity in others. Even more difficult is seeking forgiveness and reconciliation after years of conflict that led to the deaths of over 380,000 people and the displacement of 4 million.

After achieving independence in 2011, South Sudan descended into civil war in 2013 when fighting broke out between the South Sudanese government and opposition forces. There were additional ethnic undertones to the conflict because the leaders of each faction were from different ethnic groups. A national peace process began in 2018, and the security situation has improved greatly, though some areas are still plagued by ethnic tension and communal violence.

Since the beginning of the civil war, South Sudan has been gripped by a cycle of violent retribution. The Episcopal Church of South Sudan–Upper Nile Internal Province (ECSS-UNIP) is striving to break that cycle.

Participants at an ECSS-UNIP workshop.

Community Peacebuilding

Through its Peace and Reconciliation project, which is funded by Lutheran Disaster Response, ECSS-UNIP is fostering peace and understanding in the Upper Nile Internal Province. Much of the current discontent is at the local level; therefore, it must be addressed at the local level. The initiative unites local faith groups, tribal communities and political parties to provide stability in the region.

The Peace and Reconciliation project is achieving its goals through multiple avenues. Community peace committees distribute peace and reconciliation messages through social media, brochures and radio broadcasts, translating the messages into four languages to accommodate the area’s different ethnic groups. ECSS-UNIP also provides spiritual care and educational opportunities for youth — many of whom have experienced conflict and are now active in the peace committees.


“Real, full healing”

A group praying together at an ECSS-UNIP peacebuilding workshop.

In October 2020, ECSS-UNIP held a weeklong peace and reconciliation workshop for local leaders. The training focused on peace-building, confliction resolution and trauma healing. At the end of the week, Juliano Ambrose, a well-known peace advocate and coordinator for the South Sudan Council of Churches, closed the workshop with prayer.

Afterward, on his way home, Ambrose was fatally shot.

In the past, such a killing would have sparked more violence. But this time was different. Upon hearing of Ambrose’s death, leaders came together, encouraging dialogue and reconciliation. Workshop participants mourned together.

“What has happened is wrong,” Stephen Nyodho, bishop of the Catholic Church of Malakal, told local media about Ambrose’s death. “It should have not taken place when people are preaching peace, reconciliation and love.”

Ambrose believed in the power of prayer, peacebuilding and healing — as do many others. The reaction to his death shows that uniting communities around the goal of reconciliation can lead to real societal change. The Peace and Reconciliation initiative emphasizes that peace is not just the absence of violence; it takes real, full healing. Conflict is transformed, managed and resolved. Amid South Sudan’s continuing political strife, ECSS-UNIP is building relationships and resilient communities and showing that Christ’s love can break through all barriers.


Vocation in a Time of Famine


Mikka McCracken

On February 20, 2017, the United Nations formally declared a famine in South Sudan. According to the UN, 4.9 million people, more than 40 percent of the country’s population, are in need of urgent food, agriculture and nutrition assistance. By July, at the height of the lean season, this number could grow to 5.5 million people or about 47 percent of the national population. One million children are already acutely malnourished.

The declaration of famine means people have already started to die from hunger.

In addition to South Sudan, the UN is warning of looming famine in three other countries, as well: Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia.


CNN/IPC Global Partners

This famine brings up memories of famine seasons past and is interconnected with other challenges in the region. Just last week, the UN warned of the greatest refugee crisis in Africa, the 1.5 million people fleeing the increasing conflict in South Sudan bound for Uganda, which will triple Uganda’s refugee population in just six months.

This weekend, I’m headed to the Sierra Pacific Synod’s high school youth event under the theme verse Psalm 27:14 –  “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”

As people of faith, we can take comfort and refuge in this familiar psalm, and yet, we see the ever-present reality of bodily and spiritual hunger. So what are people of faith to do in the “in-between times?”

One of Martin Luther’s many Reformation contributions was to redefine “vocation” as more than just a 9-to-5 occupation. For Luther, according to Swedish theologian Gustaf Wingren, “vocation belongs to our situation between baptism and the final resurrection.” American theologian Frederick Buechner further defines vocation as “where your greatest gifts meet the world’s deepest needs.”

Friends of ELCA World Hunger, what is our vocational call in the face of despair and famine? How might our greatest gifts come to bear to meet the world’s deepest needs? Let us gather, pray, break bread and go out to serve in the many ways God has gifted us — for such a task as this and time as ending hunger.

Mikka McCracken is Director of Planning and Engagement for ELCA World Hunger. This post originally appeared in ELCA World Hunger’s “Go and Do News,” a monthly publication for ELCA World Hunger Leaders.