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Sudan referendum: the catholic bishops appeal for peace 1

Ahead of January’s referendum in Sudan, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Sudan has appealed to all concerned to allow peace to reign.

In a statement after their plenary assembly held last week in Rumbek, southern Sudan, the prelates said they recognise the “uncertainty, fear and even despair that burden the people of Sudan.”

The build-up of troops on both sides of the north-south border is not conducive to peace” the bishops write in their document. “However these tensions need not and should not lead to war. Regardless of the choices made and the lines drawn, peace is possible“.

In another appeal, to the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) and the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), the bishops write that “When the CPA was signed in Nairobi, Kenya amid great hopes in 2005, a key element was that the unity of Sudan should be given a chance and made attractive to the people of Southern Sudan by addressing the root causes of conflict” .

“All indications are that national unity has not been made attractive to the people of Southern Sudan” the bishops continue. “At the same time, the root-causes of the conflicts have not been addressed.”

The prelates speak about two “root causes of conflict”.

The first: “The failure to achieve a national identity and the unity of Sudan that guarantees and protects the fundamental rights of the multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society of the Sudan.”

The second: “The highly centralized system of government controlled by small ethnic group which has imposed its system of administration on the whole country through islamization of the laws, institutions and political systems.”

“After five years of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and in accordance with the Interim National Constitution, the Southern Sudan Referendum Act 2009, the people of southern Sudan have reached the time to exercise the right to self-determination through an internationally monitored referendum scheduled to take place on 9th January 2011” the document reports.

The bishops of Sudan ask SECAM and AMECEA to lobby their respective Conferences and Governments so that the referendum may take place on schedule and be free, fair and transparent. They also ask them to join in their “daily prayers for the peaceful process.”

Download the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ message

Download the Appeal to SECAM and AMECEA

By Staff – Afronline

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  1. Jido Nelly says:

    Ahead of January’s referendum in Sudan iam asking all African counties to help South Sudan if the enter into war with North Sudan but i hope it will end up in peaceful i love Sudan

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