The human rights group Barnabas Aid is announcing plans to fly about 2,000 South Sudanese from Khartoum in Sudan to Juba, the capital of the recently formed South Sudan.
The plan is billed as a humanitarian effort to rescue the South Sudanese who are trapped in the predominantly Muslim country.
Barnabas Aid Director of International Relations Julian Dobbs says the project is going ahead even amid the military conflict on the border region.
“There continues to be considerable unrest along the border. That’s why this project has become necessary. We’re very aware obviously of the challenges that have come from the north,” Dobbs said.
“Christians have been impoverished and are extremely vulnerable. President Omar al-Bashir has made it clear that Christians are not welcome in Sudan. Frankly he’s repeatedly declared his intention to make the constitution of Sudan 100 percent Islamic,” Dobbs said.
“It makes Christians who are living in these regions in the north very vulnerable. Thus we’re having engagement with our partners in the Africa Inland Church,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs says the organization has enough resources to assist the people once they arrive in South Sudan.
“We do have some resources at our victims of violence fund which we can make available for this emergency project,” Dobbs said. “But we are calling on Christians in the West to support us and to support this initiative in this project.”
“Anyone who’s followed the tragedy of Christians in Sudan can see this as a way to help stand alongside their brothers and sisters in Christ,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs says that despite the policy of the Khartoum regime, the government hasn’t put any barriers in the way of the project.
“We haven’t had any difficulty at this time. We’re working with our partners – the African Inland Church,” Dobbs said.
“They’re developing this project for us. They’re the ones that have assisted and really put together the evacuation process for these 2,000 Christians, mostly women and children,” Dobbs said.
The website to help the airlift project is Barnabasaid.org/US/Home.
Conflict has been raging between the Muslims in Sudan and the mostly Christians and some tribal populations in South Sudan for years. The split into Sudan and South Sudan was supposed to address some of the concerns.
But Muslims in the north still repeatedly have attacked and expelled Christians living there.
The rescue project is in aid of those who have not yet been able to flee the Islamic north.