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Minute on Sudan

20 February 2004

Executive Committee meeting
17-20 February 2004
Documents

In January/February 2001, the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches adopted a major statement on the situation of the conflict in Sudan in which it inter-alia appealed to member churches of the Council to intensify their efforts to encourage and support the joint peace initiative of Sudan Council of Churches and the New Sudan Council of Churches. It also reiterated its conviction that lasting peace in Sudan must be negotiated with support of partner states in the region through the IGAD Peace Process and the Declaration of Principles enunciated thereunder.

The Executive Committee meeting in Geneva February 2004 welcomed the progress made by the Peace Process in Sudan and appreciated the work done by the Sudan Ecumenical Forum in support thereof. It however, noted with concern that some intricate issues like sharing of political power, integration of armed forces of government of Sudan and Sudan People's Liberation Movement, and application of Sharia law, given the provisions of the Machakos Protocol, still need to be addressed. Also, the status of the so-called "marginalised areas" - the Nuba Mountains, Southern Blue Nile, and Abyei need to be resolved soon to prevent the situation from becoming an obstacle in search of just and lasting peace. The recent reports of international agencies not being able to deliver much needed aid and assistance to people of Darfur are greatly disturbing. The situation in this area is troubling and explosive. There is a risk that if the fighting continue between the Government of Sudan and the two rebel groups, the whole peace process may be jeopardised.

The Executive Committee acknowledges the excellent contribution of IGAD, under the leadership of the Kenyan mediator, Lt. Gen. Lazaro K. Sumbeiywo, and the ‘troika' countries of the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway in their efforts to bring an end to Sudan's twenty years civil war. The Committee is encouraged by the success of the IGAD Peace Process as a regional initiative of ground-breaking magnitude. It is a sign of hope for Africa that given the political will and determination, the people of the region can resolve their disputes and conflicts.

The Executive Committee

reiterates the WCC's expression of solidarity and continuing prayers for the people and churches in Sudan as they intensify efforts towards a comprehensive and just peace for all the people of Sudan.

encourages the churches in Sudan to continue to pursue their efforts for ‘south-south' and ‘south-north' dialogue to enhance the process of healing and reconciliation in the country as a whole.

urges the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement to bring the Peace Process as soon as possible to a final conclusion, in order for the reconstruction of the country to begin.

calls upon the WCC to continue to monitor developments through the Sudan Ecumenical Forum particularly, in respect of the on-going conflict in the western region of Darfur that has resulted in an alarming deterioration in the humanitarian and human rights situation and threatens to unravel the gains made in the peace process; and in respect of disarmament, demobilisation and the threat of small arms and light weapons that pose a major challenge to a sustainable peace in Sudan.

calls to the attention of member churches and related agencies of the need to prepare for large scale reconstruction and rehabilitation tasks and the humanitarian needs in the post-conflict period and urges them to respond generously through the Action of Churches Together

Executive Committee meeting
17-20 February 2004
Documents

In January/February 2001, the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches adopted a major statement on the situation of the conflict in Sudan in which it inter-alia appealed to member churches of the Council to intensify their efforts to encourage and support the joint peace initiative of Sudan Council of Churches and the New Sudan Council of Churches. It also reiterated its conviction that lasting peace in Sudan must be negotiated with support of partner states in the region through the IGAD Peace Process and the Declaration of Principles enunciated thereunder.

The Executive Committee meeting in Geneva February 2004 welcomed the progress made by the Peace Process in Sudan and appreciated the work done by the Sudan Ecumenical Forum in support thereof. It however, noted with concern that some intricate issues like sharing of political power, integration of armed forces of government of Sudan and Sudan People's Liberation Movement, and application of Sharia law, given the provisions of the Machakos Protocol, still need to be addressed. Also, the status of the so-called "marginalised areas" - the Nuba Mountains, Southern Blue Nile, and Abyei need to be resolved soon to prevent the situation from becoming an obstacle in search of just and lasting peace. The recent reports of international agencies not being able to deliver much needed aid and assistance to people of Darfur are greatly disturbing. The situation in this area is troubling and explosive. There is a risk that if the fighting continue between the Government of Sudan and the two rebel groups, the whole peace process may be jeopardised.

The Executive Committee acknowledges the excellent contribution of IGAD, under the leadership of the Kenyan mediator, Lt. Gen. Lazaro K. Sumbeiywo, and the ‘troika' countries of the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway in their efforts to bring an end to Sudan's twenty years civil war. The Committee is encouraged by the success of the IGAD Peace Process as a regional initiative of ground-breaking magnitude. It is a sign of hope for Africa that given the political will and determination, the people of the region can resolve their disputes and conflicts.

The Executive Committee

reiterates the WCC's expression of solidarity and continuing prayers for the people and churches in Sudan as they intensify efforts towards a comprehensive and just peace for all the people of Sudan.

encourages the churches in Sudan to continue to pursue their efforts for ‘south-south' and ‘south-north' dialogue to enhance the process of healing and reconciliation in the country as a whole.

urges the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement to bring the Peace Process as soon as possible to a final conclusion, in order for the reconstruction of the country to begin.

calls upon the WCC to continue to monitor developments through the Sudan Ecumenical Forum particularly, in respect of the on-going conflict in the western region of Darfur that has resulted in an alarming deterioration in the humanitarian and human rights situation and threatens to unravel the gains made in the peace process; and in respect of disarmament, demobilisation and the threat of small arms and light weapons that pose a major challenge to a sustainable peace in Sudan.

calls to the attention of member churches and related agencies of the need to prepare for large scale reconstruction and rehabilitation tasks and the humanitarian needs in the post-conflict period and urges them to respond generously through the Action of Churches Together