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Bishops plea for peace in the Sudan: The Church of England Newspaper, May 20, 2012 p 6. May 28, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Roman Catholic Church.
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The Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops of South Sudan, joined by the Archbishop of York, have issued a statement saying they “stand committed” to stop the outbreak of fighting between Sudan and South Sudan.

On 2 May 2012 the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution demanding that the two countries cease hostilities within 48 hours and return to the negotiations put forward by the African Union.  The National Islamic Front government in Khartoum and SPLM government in Juba agreed to return to the negotiating table in Addis Abba, but on 3 May the Sudanese air force bombed troop positions in South Sudan and fighting continues across the disputed border regions.

The situation along the border is grim, the Bishop of Aweil reported in a letter posted on the website of the Diocese of Salisbury.

‘The war is back to us,” the bishop wrote and “many people are killed, wounded, displaced and their properties are looted or destroyed by the soldiers from Sudan government leaving them in horrible situation. As I write this letter many of displaced people go to bed everyday without food even one meal in a day is not there, leave alone shelters to protect them from the rains and no clothing to cover their skinny bodies. The displaced persons have experienced great trauma and great suffering now more than ever because no one was affecting war again soon,” Bishop Abraham Nhial wrote.

Meeting form 9 to 11 May in Yei in South Sudan, the country’s Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops pleaded for peace. “We dream of two nations which are democratic and free, where people of all religions, all ethnic groups, all cultures and all languages enjoy equal human rights based on citizenship.”

“Enough is enough. There should be no more war between Sudan and South Sudan,” the bishops said in their communiqué.

The bishops said they stood “committed to do all in our power to make our dream a reality. We believe that the people and government of South Sudan desperately want peace. We believe the same is true of the people and their liberation movements in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile.”

However “a lasting peace will come unless all parties act in good faith. Trust must be built, and this involves honesty, however painful that may be. We invite the International Community to walk with us on the painful journey of exploring the truth in competing claims and counter-claims, allegations and counter-allegations. We invite them to understand the peaceful aspirations of the ordinary people, and to reflect that in their statements and actions.”

In a statement released on 24 April 2012, Archbishop Daniel Deng said that war was not the answer.  “We should learn from the 55 years of war not to return to it so hastily. The blood of those who fought for peace should not have been poured in vain. We call on all sides to exercise restraint and pursue peace at all costs. God is on the side of those who seek peace.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

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