Systematic interference by security in Church work in Renk, Sudan
On 10 March, local security forces again disrupted the work of the Diocese of Renk. The security arrived at the site, which was officially allocated to the Church, and forced a halt to the building of the Church's school there and arrested the Diocesan Building supervisor, Timothy Manyuan Atem, and placed him in custody.
This is the second incident in recent weeks. Similar attempts to stop the building work were made by security on 21 February. This was taken up with the local Commissioner and the security forces were restrained. However, this second incident demonstrates systematic interference in the Church's work.
The new school is being built to replace the existing school, which is to be demolished by the government for a new highway, even though the existing school had been built recently with full government permission and had been designated as a school examinations centre. The new site has been allocated instead but no compensation has been granted as yet for loss of the buildings, which were built using church resources.
All these factors suggest a deliberate political attempt to impede progress in the work of the Church. The Diocese has been working in education on behalf of the government but it seems that the security forces are not happy about the benefits of education to be brought to the displaced and poorest children in the area.
We would be very grateful for your support and for bringing this to the attention of all concerned.
The Rt Revd Daniel Deng
Bishop of Renk
Episcopal Church of the Sudan