The following post is the latest weekly release from the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan offering an update on the continuing unrest in Sudan and South Sudan.
In the church:
A Message from AFRECS Executive Director Richard Parkins
If there were any doubt that the euphoria of July 9th has ended, the news from Sudan makes that conclusion inescapable.
In recent days we have learned of massive troop deployments by the Sudanese army which suggests another and potentially more devastating assault on the people of the Nuba Mountains. Compounding this tragedy is the closing of possible escape routes for those fleeing this likely scenario of starvation and death. Providing humanitarian relief to those on the brink of starvation continues to be a vexing issue for the international community. If wholesale war erupts, the hoped for consultations that the CPA offered as a means of giving Sudanese in the disputed territories a chance at determining their political future become moot.
Today’s Washington Post provided a vivid account of the ongoing tribal violence in Jonglei state, which has escalated to the point that warring tribes, the Nuer and Murle, are massacring each other. Little is being done by either the South Sudanese government or the UN to end the brutal rampages that have left hundreds dead and have added to the pessimism that many express about South Sudan’s future.
At the occasion of the Centennial celebration of All Saints Cathedral in Khartoum, Khartoum’s Episcopal bishop, while lifting up the steadfast faith and endurance of his people, noted the pall that hangs over a diminishing number of Christians in his diocese s because of assertions from Sudan’s government that Sudan will move toward becoming a monolithic Islamic state where the Christian minority will be deemed outsiders.
Even as both Sudans struggle with catastrophes, a recent UNHCR report requests that several thousands of Eritreans who have fled to Eastern Sudan be regarded as permanently resettled in Sudan. Thus, even as crises abound in both parts of Sudan, extending hospitality to refugees from a neighboring country becomes an additional challenge to be met.
Last week the executive council of The Episcopal Church passed a resolution reaffirming the longstanding commitment of the church to peace and justice for the Sudanese people, noting recent developments in both parts of Sudan which seriously challenge this peace and stability. In calling for Episcopalians to engage in advocacy and to pray for peace, the Church is acknowledging prayer and advocacy as our essential response to the ongoing crisis in Sudan. Hopefully, this resolution will be widely shared throughout the entire Episcopal community and generate the responsiveness that these crises call out for.
Resolved, That the Executive Council, meeting in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, from January 27 – 29, 2012, rejoices in the establishment of the independent state of the Republic of South Sudan, while at the same time deplores the great human tragedy still occurring in the Three Protocol Areas of Abyei, Blue Nile State, and Southern Kordofan State, that were established under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed on January 9, 2005, from the continued wholesale war waged upon her people by the Government of Sudan; and be it further
Resolved, That the Executive Council calls upon the United States Government to renew and continue its economic sanctions and diplomatic efforts urgently to secure peace and an end to the egregious human rights violations and ongoing military brutality against the people in all areas of the Sudan, pursuant to Council Resolution AN 032 (Human Rights and Peace in Sudan, June 16, 2011, cited in Background, below); and be it further
Resolved, That the Executive Council reaffirms its solidarity with the Episcopal Church of Sudan and its pastors and priests and in the church’s call for peace in the Three Protocol Areas, the Republic of South Sudan, and all of Sudan; its leadership and care for all the people of Sudan; and its suffering as it has been targeted for violence and abuse; and be it further
Resolved, That the Executive Council reminds and urges all Episcopalians to continue in prayer and advocacy for all the people of Sudan, especially those in the war torn regions.
A Call for Action from the Episcopal Public Policy Network
The EPPN sent out an email, with contents also published by Episcopal News Service (ENS), to its membership last week calling for advocacy with the American government to enforce peace in Sudan and South Sudan and to address the growing humanitarian crisis in both countries. Please consider joining the network’s advocacy for the Sudans.
Bishop Andudu of Kadugli Diocese in the Nuba Mountains has been granted asylum in the US.
Prayer for the Republic of South Sudan
Father of all Mercies,
We thank you for the grace
of our new nation, South Sudan.
May the gift of independence
bring us closer to you
and to one another in the spirit of service,
unity and peace.
Grant us a new vision
and a new spirit.
Instill concern for people
in the governance of our leaders.
Renew us the will for
honest and hard work and give us courage and wisdom
to render justice and
equality to everyone.
We ask this in Jesus’ name.
The United Arab Emirates National website has a story on Murle and Lou Nuer casualties being treated in separate wings of a Juba hospital. And the Enough Project has a new report on the intercommunal fighting in Jonglei State. (Our readers might also like the Enough Project’s report “The Two Sudans: A Tour of the Neighborhood,” on the countries’ situation in East Africa.)
This weekly Sudan update is from the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan. You are receiving it because you are currently on an AFRECS listserv. Feel free to forward this newsflash to others who may find it helpful. To join the list if you received this email as a forward, please send an email to AFRECS_E-Blasts@afrecs.org with “SUBSCRIBE” in the subject line. If you wish to unsubscribe, please send an email to AFRECS_E-Blasts@afrecs.org with “UNSUBSCRIBE” in the subject line. For more information about AFRECS, visit our website www.afrecs.org or our Facebook page.