Minute on Sudan
WCC Central Committee, Geneva, 30 August-6 September, 2006
The World Council of Churches continues to be concerned and saddened by the
ongoing atrocities taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan. The WCC's executive
committee issued a statement on Sudan in May 2006 in which it articulated
this concern, stated its hope for the peace agreement signed in May 2006, and
acknowledged its support for the UN Security Council resolution under Chapter
7 to "establish a peace-keeping force in the region".
The WCC laments that atrocities have continued since the signing of that peace
agreement, including a number of events which seem to indicate that certain signatories
to the May 2006 peace agreement have not fulfilled important dimensions
of the agreement.
On August 31, 2006, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution
1706, in a vote of 12-0. This resolution authorizes the deployment of 17,500 UN
peacekeepers and over 3000 UN civilian police to Darfur. In addition, Resolution
1706 seeks to encourage the safe transport and implementation of all needed
humanitarian aid to the suffering people of Darfur.
The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1706 invites the government
of Sudan to consent to this deployment of UN forces to aid in the peaceful resolution
of this longstanding tragedy. The initial response to this resolution, from
the government of the Sudan, has been resistance. Nonetheless, the WCC urges
the government of Sudan to give their consent to this resolution, to fulfill their
obligations as set out in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and to bring an
end to this terrible suffering.
Therefore, the WCC at its meeting of the central committee on August 30-
September 6, 2006,
requests the WCC to call on the government of Sudan to comply with the United
Nations resolution as well as the comprehensive peace agreement, as a way of fulfilling
its responsibility to protect the people of Sudan;
requests the general secretariat of the WCC, in consultation with the churches
in Sudan, to consider the viability of arranging a high level delegation of church
representatives and members of the Islamic community to visit and meet with
government officials in Sudan, as well as representatives of the Darfur region, to
emphasize the importance of this compliance and to offer any help that might be
needed in the peaceful resolution of this conflict;
requests the staff to study if the use of the term "genocide" with regard to the
crisis in Darfur is appropriate in light of the internationally agreed conventions
on this issue, and to offer counsel to the churches.