February 14, 2000
volume 11, no. 31
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

Fourteen Children Killed Outright, Many More in Serious Condition

    KAUDA, SUDAN, FEB 13 (ZENIT).- On Tuesday, government bombs fell on Holy Cross School in Kauda, Sudan, in the Nuba Mountains. Fourteen children and one teacher were killed outright, and seventeen other students were wounded, some critically.

    Local eyewitnesses stated that the government plane dropped eight more bombs on two villages close to the school and the whole attack lasted no more than 15 minutes. A three-foot wide crater marks the spot where one bomb fell near the classrooms. Most of the victims were part of a first-grade class studying English outside under the shade of a tree.

    According to a Feb. 11 Reuters report, Sudanese government officials defended the attack, saying that schools are a legitimate target in the country's long-running civil war. "The bombs landed where they were supposed to land," Dirdiery Ahmed, an official in the Sudanese embassy in Nairobi, told Reuters. Government officials claimed that the school was part of a military camp.

    Bishop Macram Max Gassis of El Obeid, whose jurisdiction includes the Nuba Mountains, and who founded Holy Cross School, is presently in the United States raising funds to help the people of his diocese. He made a statement on the attack on February 11.

    Bishop Gassis stated that Holy Cross is the only well-established school in the area, with more than 300 students. "Truly, this is a 'slaughter of the innocents,' an unbridled attempt to destroy the Nuba's hope, and, indeed, their future by destroying their children," stated the Bishop, recent recipient of the William Wilberforce Award for his work with his people.

    According to the Bishop, the Khartoum regime will not rest until the Christian and animist population of Southern Sudan is wiped out. "I have time and time again told the world that the National Islamic Front regime in Khartoum has been, and is conducting a campaign of genocide aimed at exterminating the Christian, African, and non-Arab populations of Sudan in order to establish a uniform Arab-Islamic fundamentalist state in the heart of Africa. This terrible, heart-breaking incident is yet another piece of evidence, if more were still needed, that the war in Sudan is a religious and ethnic war launched by Khartoum and aimed at the destruction of my people."

    The Bishop closed his statement with an appeal for help from the world. The Peter's Voice web site has set up a home page for Bishop Gassis to provide more information about Sudan: . ZE00021320


February 14, 2000
volume 11, no. 31

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