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Message to member churches in Sudan, the New Sudan Council of Churches

18 October 2005

18 October, 2005

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The World Council of Churches has followed with keen interest the signing of the
Peace Agreement between the government of Sudan and the Sudan Peoples Liberation
Army/Movement. Despite the setback suffered due to the untimely death of the
SPLA/M leader John Garang, by and large the peace process has remained on track.

The recent announcement of the government of Sudan, appointing Dr Haruun
Ruun as Special Advisor to the President of Sudan, augurs well for the nascent
peace process. Dr Haruun Ruun, a Presbyterian minister who was appointed as
Executive Secretary of the New Sudan Council of Churches in 1995, is no stranger
to the ecumenical family. A tireless and committed worker for peace and reconciliation
in his homeland, he has relentlessly pursued his mission to bring an end
to the long-going conflict in Sudan. He has led the New Sudan Council of Churches
through tiring and difficult times and as the executive head of the organization
has been instrumental in leading the people-to-people peace-making process,
bringing the churches in the South and the SPLA/M leadership together to address
sensitive issues like safe passage for humanitarian aid, de-mining of agricultural
areas and prevention of recruitment of children for war.

As an active member of the Sudan Ecumenical Forum, Rev. Ruun through the
New Sudan Council of Churches has contributed not only to its ecumenical advo-
cacy action for reconciliation, justice and peace, but also has been one of the major
actors in bringing the New Sudan Council of Churches in the South and the Sudan
Council of Churches in the North together. It was, amongst others, due to his
efforts that the two Councils were able to jointly develop the theological paper -
"United We Stand Together in Action for Peace".

Dr Ruun is a nationalist totally committed to bringing peace to his war-torn
country. During his acceptance speech on receiving the Raul Wallenberg Award
in 2003, Dr Ruun said: "The peace agreement will give six years to build a sound
foundation for all Sudanese and prepare for a referendum on self-determination."
On behalf of the World Council of Churches and myself, we are proud at the
appointment of this great son of Sudan as Special Advisor to the President of the
government of Sudan. We are certain he will bring the voice of the churches to
the corridors of power and will zealously continue to work for a just and lasting
peace and for reconstruction, redevelopment and rehabilitation of all the People
of Sudan.

We wish him well as he embarks to face the new challenges of his assignment.
May our Lord's eternal blessings be with him and may he be guided by His spirit.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary