Message of solidarity, peace and hope to the people of South Sudan

(Juba, South Sudan) May 23, 2014 — The Religious Superior’s Association of South Sudan released a statement earlier this month expressing a message of “solidarity, peace and hope” to those affected by the violence in South Sudan over the past five months.

The full statement from the RSA of South Sudan:

A MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY, PEACE AND HOPE TO THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH SUDAN

“It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts of the Apostles 4:20)

We, the 75 representatives of 29 Catholic Religious Congregations belonging to the Religious Superiors’ Association of South Sudan (RSASS) that carry on evangelization offering various services in Church schools, dispensaries, hospitals and pastoral activities in dozens of parishes and missions across the seven Dioceses of South Sudan, gathered in Juba for our Annual Assembly to reflect on the Small Christian Communities, as a new way of being Church for the People of God, from 13th-15th May 2014, wish to send a message of solidarity, peace and hope to the people of South Sudan in this time of crisis and violence.

As your brothers and sisters, we are all mindful of each child, each woman, each man, each elderly person who has been affected by violence in South Sudan over the past five months. The blood of thousands of innocent people cries for justice. We cannot remain indifferent to the cry of the poor and the innocent who have lost their lives or are going through deep suffering and pain. “Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the soil” (Genesis 4:10).

We wish, first of all, to offer our prayers for those who have fallen victims of this senseless violence and lost their lives in the various regions of the country where there are conflicts. Our hearts and our thoughts are with the bereaved families in these difficult moments of pain and loss. “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:25) Read the rest of this entry »

Visit our new website

(Washington, D.C.) Oct. 1, 2010 – After nearly 12 months of planning and work, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is happy to announce the launch of our new website. In November 2009, JRS communications leaders from the International office, the U.S. office and the Eastern Africa office began collaborating with Omaha-based Adventure Studios to design and build the website.

This new website is designed to present information in a clear way with easy navigation, while highlighting the accompaniment, service and advocacy JRS undertakes worldwide with and on behalf of refugees and forcibly displaced people.

World Social Forum seeks translators

(Quito, Ecuador) April 22, 2010 – The World Social Forum on Migration is an event that takes part as component of the World Social Forum, and constitutes a space of democratic debate of ideas, reflection, proposal formulation, experience exchange and social movement articulation. The Forum becomes the meeting point for NGOs, networks and other civil society organizations that oppose the neoliberal scheme and back the recognition of civil, political, economical, social and cultural rights of migrants, IDPs, refugees and stateless people.

WSFM

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Take Action: Support Colombian Internally Displaced Persons

Colombia has one of the highest internally displaced populations in the world.  In 2009 alone, 280,000 civilians were newly displaced in addition to over 4 million already displaced.  Victims of forced displacement leave their homes and families to escape violence, intimidation, and rape from both legal and illegal armed groups.  Vulnerable groups such as Afro-Colombians, indigenous communities and women face the greatest consequences of the armed conflict.

In 2004, the Colombian Constitutional Court declared a State of Unconstitutional Affairs and ordered the Colombian government to address the needs and rights of the displaced population.  Despite the Constitutional Court’s demands, Colombia’s displacement crisis continues and the Colombian government has yet to implement these orders.  The resolution led by Representative Hank Johnson (GA) and 22 other co-sponsors calls on the Government of Colombia to fully implement the Constitutional Court’s orders.

Ms. Sascha Thompson, Rep. Johnson’s aide, stated at a recent WOLA event that “many internally displaced Colombian leaders, who have been brave enough to organize their communities to speak out about their rights and to demand the Colombian authorities to meet its obligations to protect them and restore their lands, have become constant targets of threats against their lives, harassment, additional human rights violations, and extra violence.” These leaders and their families need your help.

Many indigenous groups in Colombia are on the verge of extinction. Afro-Colombians’ livelihoods are threatened by the armed conflict and invasive government policies.  The precarious condition of women is exacerbated by gender based violence.  Vulnerable populations in Colombia are disproportionately affected by the consequences of the armed conflict and their human rights must be protected.
Send a message to your representative asking him/her to co-sponsor House Resolution 1224

Hurricane season approaching, Haitians need shelter

Shelter remains the biggest and most urgent priority in Haiti, two months after it was struck by a catastrophic earthquake, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday as he visited the country for the second time since the disaster and stressed that the world has not forgotten its people’s plight.

Mr. Ban met with President René Préval and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and toured a camp that is home to tens of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) on a one-day visit to the Caribbean country ahead of the international donors’ conference for Haiti that will be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 31 March.

The Secretary-General told journalists in Port-au-Prince, the capital, that the situation in Haiti, where the transition from emergency relief to early recovery and reconstruction has begun, remains extremely difficult.

Estimates vary but as many as 230,000 Haitians may have been killed in the quake that struck on 12 January and much of Port-au-Prince and nearby towns was levelled. Around 1.3 million people remain homeless. Read the rest of this entry »

1.2 million still homeless two months after Haiti earthquake

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will make a one-day visit to Haiti on Sunday, his second to the Caribbean country since the January 12 earthquake, his spokesperson announced today.

While in the capital, Port-au-Prince, Mr. Ban will meet with President René Préval and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, as well as with the leadership of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti and UN agencies working on the ground, Martin Nesirky told reporters.

The Secretary-General will also visit a camp housing some of the estimated 1.2 million people displaced by the 7.0-magnitude quake.

Meanwhile, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has announced that the $1.44 billion revised humanitarian appeal for Haiti is only 49 per cent funded.

Two months after the earthquake, the humanitarian work is picking up speed, OCHA noted, with more than 4.3 million people having received food assistance, 1.2 million people receiving daily water distributions, and more than 300,000 children and adults vaccinated against a range of infectious diseases, including measles, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.

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UN: lack of progress on key issues in Sri Lanka

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday expressed concerns about the lack of progress on political reconciliation, the treatment of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the setting up of an accountability process in Sri Lanka since the United Nations signed a joint statement with the Government last year in the wake of the end of its civil war with separatist Tamil rebels.

Mr. Ban said that he had “a frank and honest exchange of views” last Thursday about these subjects during a telephone conversation with President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka, where the runner-up candidate in January’s presidential elections, General Sarath Fonseka, was subsequently arrested for alleged “military offences” and the parliament was dissolved. Read the rest of this entry »