Compass Direct News (CDN) is reporting that security agents in Sudan’s South Darfur state have closed down the Nyala offices of the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) and relief group Sudan Aid, sources said.
CDN says that agents from the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) arrived at the organizations’ compound in Nyala at 8 a.m. on April 22, ordered SCC staff members to hand over keys of offices and vehicles and, without explanation, ordered them to leave immediately, an SCC staff worker said.
“Three staff members from Sudan Aid were arrested in the course of the closure and were taken to an undisclosed location, the source said,” the CDN story went on to say. “NISS agents also closed down a church clinic that was serving the needy in the area.
“The actions came as Christianity is increasingly regarded as a foreign faith to be excised from Sudan, which has begun transporting ethnic South Sudanese to South Sudan following the latter’s secession last year.”
An estimated 350,000 ethnic South Sudanese, many of them Christian, remain in the Islamic north, with many having never lived anywhere else. Sources told Compass the incident left churches in South Darfur, one of five states that makes up the Darfur region, deeply disturbed and frightened.
Sudanese aerial forces bombed a Sudanese Church of Christ building on March 28 in the al-Buram area of South Kordofan state, eyewitnesses from the area told Compass by phone. The sources added that life is becoming more difficult for Christians in South Kordofan as the Sudan government mobilizes Arab tribes, arming them with guns to kill the ethnic Nuba people.