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Letter to WCC member churches on South Sudan referendum

Letter by the the WCC general secretary to WCC member churches on South Sudan referendum

17 December 2010

Geneva, 17 December 2010

Re: Referenda in South Sudan and in Diaspora

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As you may be aware, the people of the semi-autonomous South Sudan are currently going through an historic referendum concerning the future status of Southern Sudan and Abyei, scheduled to take place on 9 January 2011. During this process, apprehension is growing among Sudanese citizens both in the North and South in the run-up to the referendum that could lead to unprecedented risks unless carefully handled.

The World Council of Churches has been accompanying its ecumenical partner, the Sudan Council of churches (SCC) for the past several years. It was in this role that the WCC mediated the two parties (the ruling party and the SPLA) in the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement. Currently WCC continues to accompany the SCC along with the Sudan Ecumenical Forum (SEF) in its important role of promoting a peaceful settlement of the ongoing referendum process. It is our hope and prayer that the referendum process takes place peacefully on 9 January 2011 as agreed in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005 which was signed by both parties.

In view of this reality, I would like to ask the WCC member churches around the world and particularly those member churches where the Southern Sudanese living in Diaspora are entitled to vote, to cooperate in observing, monitoring and praying for all the Sudanese during this challenging time in the history of the country.

The countries where the Southern Sudanese living in Diaspora are entitled to vote include: Australia, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. I would be grateful for the cooperation of all our member churches in these respective countries.

In addition, I would like to inform you that the WCC, jointly with the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), is sending delegations to observe and monitor the voting process in South Sudan and in some of the neighbouring countries where Diaspora voting is taking place.

Your assistance and prayers are most deeply appreciated. I wish you a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit

WCC General Secretary