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Sudanese Church Leaders' statement on the current situation in Sudan

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  • Rev. Fr. John-Brian Paprock
    Sudanese Church Leaders statement on the current situation in Sudan [Anglican Communion News Service] We, the Sudanese church leaders of the Sudan Council of
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 7, 2004
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      Sudanese Church Leaders' statement on the current situation in Sudan

      [Anglican Communion News Service] We, the Sudanese church leaders of
      the
      Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) met at the SCC Headquarters in
      Khartoum on
      August 30, 2004 to reflect on the current political situation in the
      country, in particular the issue of war and peace. We met at the time
      by
      which a full peace accord was due to have been signed by the
      Government of
      Sudan (GoS) and the SPLM/A, and when the UN Representative was to
      report to
      the UN Security Council on the situation in Darfur. We shared and
      discussed
      information that seems to indicate that the road to a just and
      comprehensive peace in the Sudan is still long.

      We are deeply concerned that the progress in the Sudan IGAD Peace
      Process
      is slowing down. The parties to the IGAD peace process have been out
      of
      session since the last adjournment in July and despite the shuttle
      diplomacy being carried out by the IGAD Secretariat, the parties are
      no
      longer experiencing the sustained pressure from the international
      community, in particular the IGAD Partners, due to the new and
      equally
      devastating conflict that emerged in Western Sudan, the Darfur region
      early
      last year.

      While the Sudanese people have been and are still earnestly waiting
      for the
      completion of the IGAD peace process, the situation on the ground is
      discouraging. The Government of Sudan seems to be preparing for war
      as
      indicated in the Upper Nile region. Early this year, the government
      militias in Upper Nile, assisted by the Sudanese regular forces
      attacked
      and burned down over 22 Shilluk villages. This resulted in killings,
      loss
      of property and the displacement of about 26,000 civilians to Malakal
      town.

      Last month, in Western Upper Nile, the same militias attacked the
      SPLA, and
      during the combat the area was also devastated. Further, other
      activities
      such as the digging of trenches in towns like Juba and the
      instigation of
      the southern militias by the GoS to claim inclusion in the ongoing
      IGAD
      peace process as an independent force, show clearly that there is
      lack of
      commitment by the GoS to the IGAD peace process which has already
      dealt
      with the most contentious issues between the Sudanese warring parties.

      In Darfur the GoS is involved in a brutal war that knows no ethics
      and
      international regulations of war. Although humanitarian access to the
      needy
      in the region has improved, the situation on the ground leaves a lot
      to be
      desired. The government intransigence has led to the continued
      insecurity.
      Government backed militias known as Janjaweed are still operational.
      The
      influx of civilians to the displaced camps continues. The number of
      the
      displaced has recently risen to over one million and is expected to
      rise in
      the period ahead unless the Janjaweed, who are still posing a
      security
      threat to the civilian population, are contained and the hostilities
      by
      both sides brought to end.

      The Sudanese Church leaders therefore call upon the international
      community
      to exert sustained pressure on the Sudanese warring parties, and in
      particular the GoS to commit itself to the ongoing peace initiatives
      in
      Naivasha (Kenya) and Abuja (Nigeria) that aim at ending the armed
      conflicts
      in the Sudan peacefully as soon as possible so that the Sudanese
      people
      live a dignified life. The Naivasha Protocols have raised the hope of
      the
      Sudanese people and provided a unique opportunity for the achievement
      of
      peace. We call upon the Sudanese people and the international
      community to
      ensure that this opportunity is not lost. We further call for
      intensified
      efforts to restore security and bring humanitarian assistance to the
      people
      in urgent need in both Darfur and Upper Nile region.

      Signed:

      The Rt. Rev. Daniel Deng Bul
      Bishop of Renk
      The Episcopal Church of Sudan

      The Rev. James Par Tap
      Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church

      The Rev. Fermo Ogilla Utong
      Sudan Pentecostal Church

      The Rev. Mahgoub Kago Artloke
      Sudanese Church of Christ

      The Rev. Daniel Oballa Okony
      Presbyterian Church of Sudan

      Fr. Antonious Fakious
      Coptic Orthodox Church Omdurman

      The Rev. Samuel G El Sadik
      Ethiopian Orthodox Church

      The Rev. James Lagos Alexander
      Africa Inland Church

      The Rev. John El Sir
      Sudan Interior Church

      The Rev. John Tong Puk
      SCC Chairman

      The Rev. Paul Chol Deng
      SCC General Secretary


      http://www.wfn.org/2004/09/msg00073.html
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