From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ACNS3294 Statement of the new Sudan Council of Churches on the

From "Anglican Communion News Service" <>
Date Thu, 6 Feb 2003 22:11:42 -0000

ACNS 3294     |     SUDAN     |     7 FEBRUARY 2003

Statement of the new Sudan Council of Churches on the future of the peace

The Sudanese church leaders have been monitoring events following the
resumption of the peace talks between the Government of the Sudan (GoS) and
the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in the Kenyan capital,
Nairobi, with much anxiety and concern. The gross violation of the
Memorandum of Understanding regarding cessation of hostilities by the GoS,
resulting in the attack of SPLM/A positions in Upper Nile and the subsequent
capture of Leer town on January 26, is an apparent indication of a flagrant
attempt to jeopardise the peace talks.

It was indeed unfortunate that the two parties to the ongoing conflict could
engage in trading hostilities as the talks were underway. That the GoS
violated the MOU on the cessation of hostilities was a clear indication of a
lack of seriousness on its part. The renewal of hostilities between the two
parties should be stifled to avoid the dashing of hopes rekindled by the
Machakos Protocol, which is a blueprint for the realisation of peace in the

In order to sustain the peoples' hope, we appeal to the warring parties to
cease hostilities and give peace a chance. The Sudan peace talks have
reached a crucial stage with renewed enthusiasm, as the international
community is watching with great expectations. We therefore urge the
negotiators to maintain the momentum of the peace talks by negotiating in
good faith.

The Sudanese people have been consumed by the debilitating culture of war.
They badly want peace. They want peace in order to rebuild and rehabilitate
their broken lives. They want peace that guarantees stability and
development. They want peace with justice.

We also appeal to the international community, especially the facilitators
of the Sudanese peace talks, to commit the negotiators to serious discussion
that will culminate in a just and durable peaceful settlement to the
twenty-year-old conflict.

It is our belief and hope that the GoS and the SPLM/A will heed to the cries
of the Sudanese people by fully committing themselves to end the war; and to
alleviate the untold suffering of the Sudanese people who deserve a break
from the perpetual cycle of violence and its attendant by products.

The Sudanese church leaders would like to challenge the moral obligation of
the two parties to respect and commit themselves to the 15 October
Memorandum of Understanding, signed between the GoS and the SPLM/A on the
cessation of hostilities. The MOU was renewed on November 8, effecting the
cessation of hostilities as from 1 January -31March, "the period which the
parties shall continue to negotiate outstanding issues."

The Sudanese people have paid dearly with their blood in this war. It is
therefore high time that they should reap the benefits of peace and
tranquillity in their lifetime. May the grace of God almighty be upon the
peace negotiators so that as they discuss peace they should put humanity
first before anything else.

The Revd Dr Haruun L Ruun
Executive Secretary
New Sudan Council of Churches

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