Following calls from mosque leaders in east Khartoum, Sudan to rid their “Muslim area” of South Sudanese Christians, several Christians were attacked there and in neighboring Omdurman this month, sources said.
At the end of evening prayers at a mosque in the Al-Jerif East area, on the eastern bank of the Blue Nile River in Khartoum’s East Nile Locality, imams on June 6 called for residents to rid Christian South Sudanese from the “Muslim area,” a source who requested anonymity told Morning Star News. Attacks on Christians in the area followed that evening and the next day.
After the June 6 call by imams in Khartoum’s Al-Jerif East to rid the area of South Sudanese Christians, three young Muslim men with rods, sticks and rifles subsequently beat two Christians as they left an area market, said another source. Seriously injured was Ariere Sathor, 18, he said.
“The attack left one of the two Christians [Sathor] in critical condition after sustaining injuries on his head,” the source said. “The Muslims who consider the area Muslim territory were shouting, ‘They [South Sudanese] must leave this place by force.’”
The mosque leaders told those at the evening prayer that the South Sudanese were infidels, criminals and brewers of alcohol, which is forbidden in Islam, he said.
The next day, June 7, mobs of young Muslim men sent South Sudanese refugees fleeing for their lives as they set fire to 16 make-shift shelters of plastic sheeting where the refugees were living in the Al-Jerif East area, according to the source.
“The youths said they didn’t want to see them in a Muslim area,” the source told Morning Star News.
In the attack, 10 South Sudanese Roman Catholics in the area were injured, including a woman, Achoul Deng, he said. Among others injured were Deng Akuiek, 25; Deng Amoul, 18; Malieng Dengdid; Gwot Amoul; and Garang Arou Yien.
The injured Catholic woman, Achoul Deng, said Muslim men have long harassed Christian women in Al-Jerif East.
“This issue is disturbing us,” she said, “and it is not acceptable – but what can we do, oh God?”