Tuesday, 3 January 2017
An official statement written by SIM International Director, Dr Joshua Bogunjoko about the evacuation of the SIM team in South Sudan.
Dear Mission Family,
You have perhaps heard about the situation in South Sudan over the past few days. Together we praise God for a safe evacuation on 27 December of our entire South Sudan team out of Doro with the assistance of AIM AIR and our SIM Crisis Management Team.
Following several days of unrest between the refugee communities and the host community, our 18 adults and five children safely arrived in Kenya from South Sudan, thanks to the courageous and coordinated response of AIM AIR pilots and flight crew.
“…Member care services have been activated and we had people meeting the Doro team at the airport in Nairobi. We have made arrangements for trauma counseling to ensure the mental health of our team. Thank you all for your prayers, we thank God for his protection over our people. We also thank the pilots of AIM Air for their willingness to fly in and get our people. Please keep in your prayers the South Sudanese who remain in the turmoil in Doro." –Statement from the Crisis Management Team in charge of the evacuation
“Please pray for these dear ones, because some will be affected by the nearness of danger. Some will think themselves unaffected but it may come out in small ways, and when least expected. We all have different ways of perceiving and dealing with risk. Grace is needed. Time and listening are needed to process what has happened.” – Chris Crowder, SIM East Africa Zonal Coordinator
Continue to pray with us for the protection of all the South Sudanese people who remain in the conflict area and for peace in the Doro region.
External link for further reading about the unrest:
South Sudan official communications
On the morning of 25 December in Doro, South Sudan, small arms fighting broke out in the northwest corner of the Doro Refugee Camp. The South Sudan team was advised not to leave their homes as a precaution and while the Crisis Management Team monitored the situation closely.
On 26 December the fighting had continued sporadically in Doro and the decision was made to evacuate the South Sudan team to Nairobi. AIM AIR planes were positioned strategically for a quick extraction. As a safety precaution, the CMT had discussed with the United Nations installment in Doro about the possibility of our team spending the remaining time on the UN compound until the planes could bring our team out.
On 27 December, thanks to the coordinated efforts of those on the CMT in conjunction with AIM AIR, they received clearance to land in Doro and our whole team arrived safely back in Nairobi by 7:30 pm East Africa time.