Christian News from Scotland

News stories from Scotland and beyond

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Cardinal Visits Darfur

The leader of Scotland's Roman Catholics has set off on a 10-day visit to Sudan.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien will travel to Darfur, an area of Sudan described by the UN as suffering "the greatest humanitarian disaster in the world".

Cardinal O'Brien will see how money raised by the church is being spent in a country where tens of thousands of people have been killed since 2003 and will meet displaced people in their camp as well as visiting schools, medical centres and crop farms which benefited from money sent from Scotland.

About two million people have been displaced from their homes since early 2003, when violence escalated in the region already badly affected by civil war. Arab militias backed by the Sudanese Government were accused of attacking villages in an effort to crush Darfur rebels.

Last year a fragile peace agreement was struck and exiled residents are currently returning to towns and villages but the fighting has left many homeless, with too little food to go around, and no ready access to water.

Last year the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) embarked on an aid mission to help people in the region. More than £650,000 was collected from supporters of the church, schools and parishes.

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