Statement of the Sudanese Heads of Churches

Sudan church statement on CPA August 2008

Statement of the Sudanese Heads of Churches
At the Juba Peoples' Forum, August 1-5, 2008

Amos 5:24 "Instead let justice flow like a stream, and righteousness like a river that never goes dry."


We, Heads of Churches of the Sudan, their Representatives, General Secretaries and Women Leaders of our Churches, assembled in the Juba Peoples' Forum meeting in Juba, Southern Sudan, on 1st to 5th August 2008 under the theme "The Road towards Self Determination and Popular Consultation-Understanding the Achievements and Challenges of the CPA". Aware of our spiritual responsibility, affirming our lead to bring about justice, peace and reconciliation, we have spent four days of very valuable discussions, listening and in dialogue with one another, to assess the current situation in our country and plan how the Church can respond in co-operation with our communities and government.

Being grateful to the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC), the Sudan Ecumenical Forum (SEF) and all our partners who helped organise this Forum; commending the Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference, Sudan Focal Point-Europe and RECONCILE staff persons who diligently and skilfully facilitated the Forum, we hereby state the following:

Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)

Having heard from the presentations by the facilitators and guest speakers, we comment the achievements so far, and all reaffirm our commitment to work to safeguard the CPA, which provides the basis for a just and sustainable peace in Sudan.   We nevertheless recognize the existing problems like the boarder demarcation, and that many people within our communities remain poorly informed about the content of the CPA, and see an urgent need for its widespread dissemination and interpretation.  We commit ourselves as Churches to:
<!-- D(["mb","\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nUse preaching opportunities, public occasions and the mass media to\u003cbr /\u003e\ndisseminate information on the CPA;\u003cbr /\u003e\nOrganize workshops, seminars and Forums;\u003cbr /\u003e\nCo-operate with UNMIS in organizing CPA awareness programmes;\u003cbr /\u003e\nNet-work with NGOs, including use of their materials to promote the\u003cbr /\u003e\nCPA, and translation of CPA into local languages\u003cbr /\u003e\nElections in 2009:\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nAware that the elections are one process in the right direction on the\u003cbr /\u003e\nroad to Democracy, \u0026nbsp;Good governance, \u0026nbsp;Self-Determination and Popular\u003cbr /\u003e\nConsultation, \u0026nbsp;we congratulate the Government for passing the\u003cbr /\u003e\nElectoral Law which we need to familiarise ourselves with very soon.\u003cbr /\u003e\nWe therefore commit ourselves to start voters' education and call upon\u003cbr /\u003e\nour partners to support this endeavour.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nThe Referendum on Self Determination\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nWe recognize the Referendum to be held in 2011 as being of key\u003cbr /\u003e\nsignificance in the implementation of the CPA. \u0026nbsp;We are aware of the\u003cbr /\u003e\nvarious aspirations of our communities; we consider it important for\u003cbr /\u003e\nChurch leaders to speak with a united voice on this issue. We affirm\u003cbr /\u003e\nour commitment as spelt out in our document of 2002 \u0026quot;Let my people\u003cbr /\u003e\nchoose\u0026quot; .We also affirm the right of every human being to decide his\u003cbr /\u003e\nor her destiny, and accordingly we support the right of self\u003cbr /\u003e\ndetermination for the people of Southern Sudan to decide their future.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;We commit ourselves to raise awareness on the Referendum to ensure\u003cbr /\u003e\nthat the process is carried out with transparency, and propose that\u003cbr /\u003e\nthe Church and community leaders be involved in ensuring such\u003cbr /\u003e\ntransparency.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nThe Popular consultation\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nWe are aware that the people of Southern Kordofan and Southern Blue\u003cbr /\u003e\nNile will not participate in a Referendum to be held in 2011, but\u003cbr /\u003e\nthrough a process of Popular Consultation. We urge all Church leaders\u003cbr /\u003e\nin the respective areas to speak with one united voice on this issue\u003cbr /\u003e",1] ); //-->
Use preaching opportunities, public occasions and the mass media to disseminate information on the CPA; Organize workshops, seminars and Forums; Co-operate with UNMIS in organizing CPA awareness programmes; Net-work with NGOs, including use of their materials to promote the CPA, and translation of CPA into local languages Elections in 2009:

Aware that the elections are one process in the right direction on the road to Democracy,  Good governance,  Self-Determination and Popular Consultation,  we congratulate the Government for passing the Electoral Law which we need to familiarise ourselves with very soon. We therefore commit ourselves to start voters' education and call upon our partners to support this endeavour.

The Referendum on Self Determination

We recognize the Referendum to be held in 2011 as being of key significance in the implementation of the CPA.  We are aware of the various aspirations of our communities; we consider it important for Church leaders to speak with a united voice on this issue. We affirm our commitment as spelt out in our document of 2002 "Let my people choose" .We also affirm the right of every human being to decide his or her destiny, and accordingly we support the right of self determination for the people of Southern Sudan to decide their future. We commit ourselves to raise awareness on the Referendum to ensure that the process is carried out with transparency, and propose that the Church and community leaders be involved in ensuring such transparency.

The Popular consultation

We are aware that the people of Southern Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile will not participate in a Referendum to be held in 2011, but through a process of Popular Consultation. We urge all Church leaders in the respective areas to speak with one united voice on this issue <!-- D(["mb","\nas they enlighten their people as we affirm the right of every human\u003cbr /\u003e\nbeing to decide his or her destiny. \u0026nbsp;We therefore commit ourselves to\u003cbr /\u003e\nthe enlightenment of our people to create understanding through\u003cbr /\u003e\norganising forums for people in Southern Blue Nile and Southern\u003cbr /\u003e\nKordofan, advocate for structures for popular consultations to be put\u003cbr /\u003e\nin place as soon as possible and to lobby the International Community\u003cbr /\u003e\nto put pressure on the 2 parties\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nCPA and Darfur\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nWe are concerned that the ICC indictment of President Omer Hassan El\u003cbr /\u003e\nBashir on Genocide, War crimes and Crimes against Humanity may affect\u003cbr /\u003e\nthe implementation of the CPA and the peace process. \u0026nbsp;We call upon all\u003cbr /\u003e\nconcerned to take into consideration the CPA implementation, the\u003cbr /\u003e\nplight of the people of Darfur, and to ensure that Justice and Peace\u003cbr /\u003e\nare upheld.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nSafety and Human Security\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nWe are saddened on hearing that there are people who are still holding\u003cbr /\u003e\narms in the communities and using these arms for creating insecurity\u003cbr /\u003e\nincluding cattle raiding and robbery. \u0026nbsp;We commit ourselves to identify\u003cbr /\u003e\nthese groups and engage them in dialogue with the purpose of reaching\u003cbr /\u003e\nunderstanding of disarmament.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nReligion\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nWe note that Religion has been a source of conflict in the Sudan, and\u003cbr /\u003e\nunderstanding the different religions in the Sudan is required. \u0026nbsp;There\u003cbr /\u003e\nshould be more opportunities provided through Forums for addressing\u003cbr /\u003e\nReligious issues and concerns at all levels, including the Government\u003cbr /\u003e\nof National Unity, Government of Southern Sudan and States.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nEnvironment/ Ecology\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nWe call upon GoNU and GOSS to strictly control the disposals of the\u003cbr /\u003e\nwaste from the oil refineries leading to environmental disaster in the\u003cbr /\u003e\noil producing states. We are concerned about the pollution in the\u003cbr /\u003e\ncities, along the roads, of the rivers, and many other places. We\u003cbr /\u003e",1] ); //--> as they enlighten their people as we affirm the right of every human being to decide his or her destiny.  We therefore commit ourselves to the enlightenment of our people to create understanding through organising forums for people in Southern Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan, advocate for structures for popular consultations to be put in place as soon as possible and to lobby the International Community to put pressure on the 2 parties

CPA and Darfur

We are concerned that the ICC indictment of President Omer Hassan El Bashir on Genocide, War crimes and Crimes against Humanity may affect the implementation of the CPA and the peace process.  We call upon all concerned to take into consideration the CPA implementation, the plight of the people of Darfur, and to ensure that Justice and Peace are upheld.

Safety and Human Security

We are saddened on hearing that there are people who are still holding arms in the communities and using these arms for creating insecurity including cattle raiding and robbery.  We commit ourselves to identify these groups and engage them in dialogue with the purpose of reaching understanding of disarmament.

Religion

We note that Religion has been a source of conflict in the Sudan, and understanding the different religions in the Sudan is required.  There should be more opportunities provided through Forums for addressing Religious issues and concerns at all levels, including the Government of National Unity, Government of Southern Sudan and States.

Environment/ Ecology

We call upon GoNU and GOSS to strictly control the disposals of the waste from the oil refineries leading to environmental disaster in the oil producing states. We are concerned about the pollution in the cities, along the roads, of the rivers, and many other places. We <!-- D(["mb","\ncommit ourselves to advocate and lobby for the compensation for those\u003cbr /\u003e\ndisplaced by the oil and other commercial interests, for proper\u003cbr /\u003e\nregulations on the activities of commercial and private interests,\u003cbr /\u003e\nincluding strict environmental controls, the protection of wildlife\u003cbr /\u003e\nand education on ecological issues.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nThe position of the Churches in Northern Sudan\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nWhile there may be uncertainty regarding the future political\u003cbr /\u003e\narrangements, we affirm that the Church has no boundaries. \u0026nbsp;We commit\u003cbr /\u003e\nourselves to the unity of the Church of Sudan whether across one or\u003cbr /\u003e\ntwo countries.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nIn addition, we commit ourselves to:\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nConstructive engagement with governments/authorities, at all levels to\u003cbr /\u003e\nseek solutions to the challenges of the CPA implementation.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nHave independent church observers in parliaments, to keep the churches\u003cbr /\u003e\ninformed and to convey their input.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nOrganise regular Prayer breakfasts with parliaments/governments/\u003cbr /\u003e\njudiciary on all levels\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nReorganise and strengthen the chaplaincy in the organised forces\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nEstablish Church committees to liaise and engage in research about\u003cbr /\u003e\nwhat is happening on the ground and to move to conflict places\u003cbr /\u003e\nwhenever needed\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nProvide orientation/training within the church on justice, peace and\u003cbr /\u003e\nreconciliation\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nEstablish an evaluation format to follow up forums which are\u003cbr /\u003e\nconducted, and extend these forums to different parts of country\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nEngage in Civic education, familiarise with the major points of the\u003cbr /\u003e\nCPA, and the laws resulting out of it, most relevant to the various\u003cbr /\u003e\nconstituencies on the ground, and to provide workshops.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nTo strengthen communication, get better involved in documentation and\u003cbr /\u003e\nresearch, and to make best use of various media, especially in local\u003cbr /\u003e\nlanguages.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nStrengthen efforts to advocate with international bodies and national\u003cbr /\u003e",1] ); //--> commit ourselves to advocate and lobby for the compensation for those displaced by the oil and other commercial interests, for proper regulations on the activities of commercial and private interests, including strict environmental controls, the protection of wildlife and education on ecological issues.


The position of the Churches in Northern Sudan

While there may be uncertainty regarding the future political arrangements, we affirm that the Church has no boundaries.  We commit ourselves to the unity of the Church of Sudan whether across one or two countries.

In addition, we commit ourselves to:

Constructive engagement with governments/authorities, at all levels to seek solutions to the challenges of the CPA implementation.

Have independent church observers in parliaments, to keep the churches informed and to convey their input.

Organise regular Prayer breakfasts with parliaments/governments/judiciary on all levels

Reorganise and strengthen the chaplaincy in the organised forces

Establish Church committees to liaise and engage in research about what is happening on the ground and to move to conflict places whenever needed

Provide orientation/training within the church on justice, peace and reconciliation

Establish an evaluation format to follow up forums which are conducted, and extend these forums to different parts of country

Engage in Civic education, familiarise with the major points of the CPA, and the laws resulting out of it, most relevant to the various constituencies on the ground, and to provide workshops.

To strengthen communication, get better involved in documentation and research, and to make best use of various media, especially in local languages.

Strengthen efforts to advocate with international bodies and national <!-- D(["mb","\ngovernment institutions, especially on issues dealing with human\u003cbr /\u003e\ndignity\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nAs we close we hold the concerns of all our people in our hearts,\u003cbr /\u003e\nespecially those in Darfur and Abyei, and commit ourselves before God\u003cbr /\u003e\nto prayer and act on their behalf.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nSigned on behalf of the Juba Peoples' Forum participants:\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nBishop Daniel Adwok \u0026nbsp; Sudan Catholic Church\u003cbr /\u003e\nBishop Andrew Wawa \u0026nbsp;Africa Inland Church\u003cbr /\u003e\nFr. Bishey Al Anthony \u0026nbsp; Coptic Church\u003cbr /\u003e\nRev. Abraham Nul Yor \u0026nbsp;Sudan Interior Church\u003cbr /\u003e\nRev. Paul Bol \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp;Presbytarian Church of Sudan\u003cbr /\u003e\nRev.Tillian Komi \u0026nbsp; Sudanese Church of Christ\u003cbr /\u003e\nRev.Lino Minadi Nyambar \u0026nbsp;Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church\u003cbr /\u003e\nEv. Daniel Bayima \u0026nbsp; Greek Catholic Church\u003cbr /\u003e\nRev. Enock Tombe \u0026nbsp; Episcopal Church of Sudan\u003cbr /\u003e\nRev. Peter Tibi \u0026nbsp; General Secretary, SCC\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nJuba, 5th August 2008 \u0026nbsp;(signed copy with SCC)\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n--\u003cbr /\u003e\nJohn Ashworth\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003ca onclick\u003d\"return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\" href\u003d\"mailto:ashworth.john@gmail.com\"\u003eashworth.john@gmail.com\u003c/a\u003e\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n+27 82 853 3556 (cellphone - international roaming)\u003cbr /\u003e\nPO Box 60413, Karenpark 0118, South Africa\u003cbr /\u003e\n086 616 3523 (fax - domestic South Africa only)\u003cbr /\u003e\n+254 725 926 297 (when I'm in Kenya/Uganda only)\u003cbr /\u003e\n+88 216 4333 3401 (satphone - when I'm in the more remote parts of Sudan)\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nDenis Hurley Peace Institute\u003cbr /\u003e\nPO Box 4000, Pretoria 0001, South Africa\u003cbr /\u003e\n+27 12 321 2600 (office phone - but I'm rarely there!)\u003cbr /\u003e\n+27 12 326 6218 (fax - international)\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n--~--~---------~--~----~------\u003cwbr /\u003e------~-------~--~----~\u003cbr /\u003e\nThe content of this message does not necessarily reflect John Ashworth's views.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nYou received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups \u0026quot;sudan-john-ashworth\u0026quot; group.\u003cbr /\u003e\nTo post to this group, send email to \u003ca onclick\u003d\"return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\" href\u003d\"mailto:sudan-john-ashworth@googlegroups.com\"\u003e",1] ); //--> government institutions, especially on issues dealing with human dignity

As we close we hold the concerns of all our people in our hearts, especially those in Darfur and Abyei, and commit ourselves before God to prayer and act on their behalf.

Signed on behalf of the Juba Peoples' Forum participants:

Bishop Daniel Adwok   Sudan Catholic Church
Bishop Andrew Wawa  Africa Inland Church
Fr. Bishey Al Anthony   Coptic Church
Rev. Abraham Nul Yor  Sudan Interior Church
Rev. Paul Bol    Presbytarian Church of Sudan
Rev.Tillian Komi   Sudanese Church of Christ
Rev.Lino Minadi Nyambar  Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church
Ev. Daniel Bayima   Greek Catholic Church
Rev. Enock Tombe   Episcopal Church of Sudan
Rev. Peter Tibi   General Secretary, SCC

Juba, 5th August 2008  (signed copy with SCC)