Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8)
More than 60 Sudanese Church leaders from 14 churches throughout Sudan gathered in Juba with their international partners from 23-26 March 2010 to review the current situation in Sudan and to prepare for the future. Church leaders from Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Rwanda and South Africa and partners from the international community were present in solidarity with the Church and people of Sudan. Representatives of the Muslim community attended part of the meeting.
This is a historic period in the history of Sudan. After the referendum in 2011 Sudan will never be the same again, whether it remains united or becomes two countries. Time is short and urgent reflection and action are needed to ensure a peaceful future. This is Sudan’s Kairos Moment. There is no time to waste.
The Sudanese Church is concerned at increasing violence within the south and Darfur, at delays in implementing the CPA, and at the lack of an international political consensus on the next steps. The Church cares about the freedom, dignity and human rights of all the people of Sudan, whether in the north or the south, and encourages a spirit of good neighbourliness and cooperation.
The Sudanese Church:
- Is concerned that popular consultation does not meet the aspirations of the people of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. The issue must be put at the top of all stakeholders’ agendas as a matter of priority. Their special situation requires special status and a new way of looking at them. The Church fears that failure to address the aspirations of the people of these two states could derail any peaceful post-2011 transition.
- Calls upon all stakeholders to ensure that the forthcoming elections in April 2010 are peaceful, free and fair. This is an opportunity for the Sudanese to exercise their democratic rights within the framework of the CPA. Following the elections, all parties must accept the results. If there are grievances and disputes, these must be solved by legal means, not by violence.
- Calls for an end to violence between ethnic groups and political factions within southern Sudan, and other conflicts within Sudan. In particular the Church calls on political leaders to play a constructive role in healing and reconciliation.
- Calls for the full and peaceful implementation of the CPA, particularly the timely, free and fair referendums for the south and Abyei and popular consultations for Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan.
- Calls for immediate and ongoing discussions about the post-referendum transition, especially if secession is chosen by the south and Abyei. Good relations between north and south are essential. The position of the Church in northern Sudan is of particular concern. The Church calls for engagement with the concerns of local communities and civil society about both northerners in the south and southerners in the north.
- Calls on the international community to continue its commitment to rehabilitation and reconstruction.
- Has begun a new process of re-engagement with the burning issues of the day, building on its experience and credibility gained during the previous war. The Church Leaders' Forum is the first step in this ongoing process.
- In response to a request from the Sudanese Church, the All Africa Conference of Churches and the World Council of Churches have jointly appointed an Ecumenical Special Envoy to Sudan to accompany the process.
- Invites all Church-related bodies, such as evangelical alliances, to participate in and support this process.
- To roll out a new People to People Process of dialogue to counter internal conflicts in the south, the marginalised areas and other parts of Sudan.
- To set up a task force to analyse the situation in Sudan and advise the Church how to respond quickly to events.
- To engage with national, regional and international bodies, including the Governments of National Unity and Southern Sudan, neighbouring governments and churches, AU, IGAD, Arab League, EU, UN, and key governments such as USA, UK and Norway, for lobby and advocacy to explain the feelings of southerners and people from the marginalised areas and their likely reaction to events, and provide guidance on what to do.
- To inform and work with these international and regional partners on the position of the Church in northern Sudan, and to empower the Church in the north to sustain itself during the post-referendum transition period.
- To engage with all stakeholders within Sudan, including traditional authorities, parties, civil society, and other faiths.
- To increase its role in civic education, awareness raising and monitoring on elections, referendums and popular consultations.
The Sudanese Church commits itself to speak the truth fearlessly, and to continue its Gospel-led mission to give a voice to the voiceless, the poor and the marginalised, and addressing issues of national concern.
Signed by the Church Leaders from Sudan Council of Churches member Churches and non-member Churches.
26 March 2010
Roman Catholic Church
Episcopal Church of Sudan
Presbyterian Church of Sudan
Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church Sudan
Sudan Interior Church
Africa Inland Church
Greek Orthodox Church
Sudan Pentecostal Church
Lutheran Church of Sudan
Sudan Brethren Church
Baptist Church of Sudan
Rt Rev Bishop Ezekiel Kondo
Rev Ramadan Chan
Secretary General, SCC