From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Anglicans worldwide express anger at bombing of cathedral in Sudan

Date 01 Feb 2001 09:06:26for <,>; Thu, 1 Feb 2001 09:17:25 -0800 (PST)


Anglicans worldwide express anger at bombing of cathedral in Sudan

by James Solheim

     (ENS) Archbishop of Canterbury George L. Carey expressed the outrage of Anglicans 
around the world on January 17 over Sudanese government bombing of the cathedral in Lui 
and the surrounding population area.

     Carey said that he learned "with a sense of distress that the Episcopal Church 
Cathedral in Lui, Equatoria Province, was destroyed by an aerial bombing attack on 
December 29." He said that Lui and the nearby, densely populated centre of Kotibe "have 
been repeatedly bombed during recent years, causing damage and loss of life, and 
certainly causing terror amongst the civilian population."

     Lui is "a renowned centre in the history of the Episcopal Church in the Sudan," 
Carey pointed out. "It has always been a centre of religious life, of education and 
health care."

     The destruction of the Fraser Memorial Cathedral "is a cause for concern by all 
those who love the troubled land of Sudan. But what distresses me most," Carey added, 
"is that this highlights the continued targeting of undoubted civilian centres by the 
government of Sudan. When such a centre is consistently targeted, it is hard to avoid 
the conclusion that the intention is to harm and terrorize the civilian population."

     In an effort to promote dialogue and negotiation, Carey said he was "willing to 
talk to leaders from all parts of the Sudanese political and religious spectrum." In 
the meantime he protested "the continuing, and illegal, attacks" and said that the 

government had "a special responsibility" to take the lead in the search for peace. 
"The strict limitation of military action to military targets would be a significant 
step in building trust and preparing the way for a cease-fire and substantive talks on 
the future of the Sudanese state and the Sudanese people," he said.

Another genocide?

     Bishop Bullen A. Dolli of Lui stated categorically that the area is "a civil 
population centre best known for its religious and education life. It also hosts a 
church hospital of repute." He questioned the motives of the government, suggesting 
that it is "the manifestation of callous disregard for the life of people whom the 
government does not regard as 'quite human.' Or is this simply an act of senseless 
terrorism?" he asked.

     "These acts of senseless violence and reign of terror against civilian populations 
must be treated with the contempt they deserve and their perpetrators condemned in the 
strongest possible terms," the bishop said in a January 17 statement. In an appeal to 
the international community, he said that it would be a shame on humanity for the UN 
and the Organization of African Unity "to watch, hands folded, while genocide is 
committed before their eyes. With the recent events in Rwanda, Indonesia and central 
Europe still fresh in mind, the international community cannot afford to stand by and 
allow a repetition of genocide."

--James Solheim is director of the Office of News and Information for the Episcopal 

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