As the Frontline Fellowship missionary teams prepared for their thirty-fourth mission trip to Sudan, reports came in of a massive build-up of forces and a continuous bombardment by artillery and air attacks – in the very areas they needed to travel to and minister in. There were increasing reports of the use of chemical weapons by the National Islamic Front government of Sudan. Many Arab soldiers captured by the resistance forces had been found to be equipped with gas masks.
An offensive was considered imminent. In fact, the United Nations (UN) declared a “Level 4” (the highest security alert) and evacuated all NGO (non governmental organisation) relief workers out of the areas in Southern Sudan that we work in.
Tension was high in the aftermath of the East African terror bombings of the US embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, and the US retaliatory missile strikes against Khartoum – the capital of Sudan. The Americans on our mission teams were warned not to travel to Sudan at such a volatile time.