Appeal from Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan

[Episcopal Church of the Sudan] “I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints; but let them not turn again to folly” Psalms 85:8

“Male and female created he them; and blessed them …” Genesis 5:2

“Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9

The people of the Republics of Sudan and South Sudan are in their respective countries by the divine will of God. God created and gave them that land and blessed them to enjoy and live in harmony. But the developments of the last few months have created a worrying trend.

Whereas the people of both countries:
1.
Want peace
2.
Have no grudges against each other
3.
Are the losers when war breaks out

I am deeply concerned that:
1.
The conflict between the leadership of the two countries has escalated close to leading their respective armed forces to a full blown war
2.
The African Union High Level Panel failed to note the escalation and call of the international community in time to arrest the situation. The escalation saw the Government of Sudan close the border, stopping the flow of goods and services between
the two countries and the subsequent shutdown of oil production by the Government of South Sudan.
3.
The signatories to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the International Community have lost the momentum follow through with their commitments regarding:
a)
South Kordofan
b)
Blue Nile
c)
Abyei
d)
Border demarcation and
e)
Other outstanding issues in the CPA

4.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and friends of IGAD were not called in to arrest the escalating situation between the two neighbours in time

5.
The two neighbours were left to exchange a war of words which escalated into a serious conflict along their border.

I recognize:
1.
The presence of the President of the Republic of Sudan at the declaration of the independence of South Sudan and his offer to work with and promote brotherly neighbourliness with his counterpart in the Republic of South Sudan.
2.
The action of the President of the Republic of South Sudan in embracing his counterpart and offering to pursue peace.

The two aforementioned points, in my view, were a sign of forgiveness for the last 55 years and a commitment to write a new chapter of peaceful coexistence between the people of the two republics. The two presidents should not lose the great amount of goodwill from their people and that of the international community but should use it to build a strong bond between their people.

My appeal
1.
To the Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan: continue with the pursuit for peace in spite of the challenges you and your respective governments face
2.
To the international community: follow through with your commitment and momentum which led to the signing of the CPA which granted the Independence of the Republic of South Sudan, to ensure that all outstanding issues are amicably resolved. Chief
among these are:
a) Border demarcation
b) Abyei
c) Southern Kordofan
d) Blue Nile
e) Others which were part of the CPA

To the people of both countries: refuse to be incited to return to war by your respective leaderships

In Conclusion
It is incumbent on all people of goodwill to build trust between the people of the two countries for their peaceful coexistence. 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.

“Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace”
Psalms 37:37

The Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul Yak
Archbishop, Primate & Metropolitan of the
Province of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan and
Bishop of the Diocese of Juba

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