“Despite their old age, their frailty, their illness, the terrifying situation, they were strong enough to be evacuated to a safe place,” he said.
Jones added that the sisters were praying the whole time.
“The sisters continually prayed for us, for the members of our team, because there are many more people to be rescued. As soon as they were evacuated, their first concern was that we wouldn’t quit,” he recounted.
The VPP leader explained that his job as a Catholic organization for the defense of human rights “is to support the most vulnerable people in the world” and “to be there at the moment of the cross.”
“When the world turns dark, then the mystical body of Christ has to be there and make it a priority. We are radically committed to caring for Catholics in Sudan, without forgetting what is happening to Catholics in Nigeria,” he said.
The conflict in Sudan
On April 11, 2019, since the Sudanese army ousted President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir following popular protests against him — and after a 30-year rule — military leaders and their civilian counterparts have been at odds.
In a July 2019 power-sharing arrangement between Sudan’s military and civilians, the post-Al-Bashir transitional authorities were tasked with confronting a legacy of abuse and repression alongside a challenging economic crisis.
However, on Oct. 25, 2022, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who was in charge of the Sovereign Council of Sudan, the entity that shared power in the country, staged a coup announcing the dissolution of the council and the civil government, the arrest of political leaders, and the declaration of a state of emergency.
Since then, tensions have increased over the reform of the security forces and within the framework of the negotiations to form a new transitional government.
The de facto military government has been condemned by the international community, including governments and human rights groups.
(Story continues below)
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On April 15, at least 56 civilians were killed and nearly 600 wounded after a clash broke out in Khartoum between the national army led by Al-Burhan and the paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces.
Jones charged that the media “are not paying attention to what is happening in Sudan.”
“My team has sent me videos that rival anything seen in the Rwandan genocide, of bodies strewn in the streets, of soldiers crushing the heads of hundreds of people as they lie helpless on the ground,” he concluded.
At least 550 civilians have been killed and nearly 5,000 injured since the April 15 conflict, according to recent data from Sudan’s Ministry of Health.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.