International affairs, peace
and human security
Regional concerns - Sudan - Important documents
OVERCOMING DISUNITY VITAL TO SUSTAINING PEACE IN SUDAN
The leaders of the Church in Sudan have called for urgent efforts to overcome the disunity and alienation created by war in Sudan in order that peace may be sustained. As the country prepares to enter the Interim Period provided by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the leaders of all the main Sudanese churches have committed themselves to overcoming divisions and building up the unity of the churches. Meeting under the theme Building Peace in Sudan through United Church Leadership, the leaders have also agreed to the merger of the two existing ecumenical bodies to create a single strong church council for Sudan.
Calling for the healing of divisions within society, the leaders encouraged initiative in extending the hand of peace:
“Now is the time for us to reach out to our brothers and sisters in a spirit of generosity.”
The leaders have also stressed the importance of building unity across religious differences in order to create harmony in society, encouraging respect of every person’s religious faith and proposing inter-faith workshops bringing together both Christians and Muslims.
Church leaders have also urged warring parties to end hostilities in Darfur and other areas of the country and resolve these conflicts by peaceful means. They have identified important issues to be addressed for genuine peace in the country as a whole, emphasising the need to examine the root causes of the war:
“ We need to learn from the lessons of the past and define together the kind of future we want for our nation.”
Their recommendations address issues of good governance, the fair distribution of resources and ethical corporate practice as well as the safeguarding of positive traditional cultural values and community structures.
The leaders have also called for serious efforts towards reconciliation and healing in Sudan and for an appropriate mechanism to be established:
“Genuine reconciliation involves people who have been alienated from each other by conflict and war coming together to rebuild community again. We warn against superficial processes which fail to address past wrongs and leave the way open for these wounds to deepen and for new conflict to break out. The past needs to be addressed but in such a way that the truth may set us free and not lead to greater division and resentment.”
The leaders urge that in each town and village, religious and community leaders should meet together to study the best ways to bring peace and reconciliation in their communities.
“We see the present time as a unique opportunity to mobilise the Sudanese people to overcome disunity and alienation and work together to build a real peace on the ground worthy of the title of a new Sudan.”