As the United States evacuated its diplomatic personnel from Sudan early Sunday morning, and other nations followed suit, Pope Francis made another appeal, to prayer, and to dialogue.
For the second week in a row, Pope Francis has called to mind the situation in Sudan after praying the midday Regina Caeli with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
This April 23, he said:
Unfortunately, the situation in Sudan remains serious, so I renew my appeal that the violence cease as soon as possible and that the path of dialogue be resumed. I invite everyone to pray for our Sudanese brothers and sisters.
The crisis escalated sharply on the morning of April 13 and by two days later, there was full out fighting between supporters of Sudan’s de-facto leader, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and a warlord known as Hemedti, Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo
On April 16, just a day after the country was plunged into fighting, Pope Francis said:
I am following with concern the events unfolding in Sudan. I am close to the Sudanese people, already so tried, and I invite you to pray so that they might lay down their arms, and pick up the path of peace and harmony.
Already within the first four days, some 300 people, mostly civilians, lost their lives. The New York Times describes the situation as “rival generals transform[ing] a city of five million people into an arena for their personal war.” An analysis from The Economist notes that the fighting between rival Sudanese generals could trigger ethnic conflict and surrounding countries could be swept up in the mess.