Ministry Update: Yida Refugee Camp

By Brad Phillips

On August 4th, 2011, I sat before a Congress on Capitol Hill and warned of an impending humanitarian crisis in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan if the international community did not quickly act to end the indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets by the Sudan Air Force.

Omar al-Bashir’s “undesirables”

My testimony was based on my own visit to the Nuba Mountains one month before and the many interviews I conducted with leaders in the community. They all warned of an impending crisis as their people were not planting the fields for fear of being bombed. I was not the only voice sounding the alarm to Congress. Bishop Andudu of Kadugli testified with me and also warned the U.S. government. Sudan experts like Eric Reeves wrote several times about this subject.

But no substantial action was taken by the international community.

A pregnant woman carries a double-burden.

 

Blanket Distribution in Yida

Now, nearly a year later, the warnings are sadly being borne out. Thousands of refugees are pouring out of the Nuba Mountains into South Sudan. The bombings are less frequent, but that is mainly due to the campaign accomplishing its objective: to create a humanitarian crisis and drive people out of the region.

The terrorist-led NCP government in Khartoum has long desired to empty Sudan of its “undesirables” — namely non-Arab blacks, political opponents, and Christians. The Nuba Mountains have always been a thorn in the side of Khartoum. Now, thanks to the inaction by the international community, the terrorists are getting their way. They are clearing out the land.

A Sudanese pastor tortured for his faith.

 

 

Tent city in Yida

 

 

Many of the refugees are heading to a camp in Yida, located in Unity State, South Sudan. The camp is only a few miles south of the border and has been bombed several times by the SAF. Yet, people are still pouring in. They bring only what they can carry with them. Most are sick. All are hungry. Some are severely malnourished — especially the children.

The road to Nuba is choked with refugees headed south.

Recently, a PPF team delivered a 40-foot container of relief supplies to the refugees in Yida. Blankets and action packs donated by our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs were greatly received. But the refugees kept coming. Our team drove north towards the border and reported a steady stream of refugees headed south towards Yida.

The bad news is that as long as the present war continues, we will continue to see more refugees headed south towards safety. But the good news is that many organizations are engaged to help. Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse has been very active, along with their close partner AIM Air. I have had many discussions with the leadership at SP, and we have planned many joint outreaches together.

As long as this crisis continues, PPF will do what we can to help. As always, we rely on the prayers and faithful giving of thousands of ministry partners in America. I am reminded on a daily basis of how blessed I am to have so many dedicated friends who fill our hands so we can be a blessing to the persecuted.

Thank you for being a blessing to me and to others.

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