South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has failed to sign a peace deal in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, aimed at ending the civil war in his country.
The government has initialled a draft agreement, but requested a further 15 days before signing in full.
International sanctions had been threatened by mediators if both sides failed to reach an agreement on Monday 17 August.
Category : –North Sudan
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has failed to sign a peace deal in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, aimed at ending the civil war in his country.
Christians in Sudan frequently face arrests, impromptu questioning and expulsion. But this month, conditions worsened after the government announced a ban on the construction of new churches.
Shalil Abdullah, the Sudanese minister for guidance and religious endowments, made the announcement on July 12, sparking criticism from top Christian clerics who warned of shrinking worship space in the mainly Muslim and Arab north.
After South Sudan’s independence in 2011, many Christians moved to the newly formed country, which has a large Christian population. But a sizable number remained.
“I am a Christian, and I Will Remain a Christian”
The international community has celebrated Meriam’s release and rightly so, but there are also important lessons to be learned from her case. First, it should not be missed that Meriam’s lawyers were primarily Muslims, and that more and more Muslims today are speaking out against the traditional doctrine of apostasy. Second, the problem of apostasy will not go away with Meriam’s liberation. Christians of a Muslim background””whether in Sudan or in other Islamic countries””will continue to have their lives threatened either by the state or by vigilantes. Three, the Church has a responsibility to speak out with greater audacity on their behalf (including those who are not as famous as Meriam Ibrahim), no matter what Islamic law says about them. The Church has a responsibility to protect all of her children.
We all can learn from the example of Meriam Ibrahim. After her conviction in May, Meriam was given three days to embrace Islam and save her life. This would have been an easy choice to make, but Meriam refused, declaring: “I am a Christian and I will remain a Christian.” Those who wonder whether heroic””and saintly””courage still exists can look to her.
Gabriel Said Reynolds is a professor of Islamic studies and theology at the University of Notre Dame
Read it all h/t Peter Carrell
On a recent visit to the CMS offices. Stephen Lubari, education programme manager of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan (ECSSS), had a simple message from the world’s newest nation:
“Pray for peace, reconciliation and healing in South Sudan. Pray for those in the internally displaced people (IDP) camps and for those involved in the peace process ”“ including the church which is working with the government and outside agencies to achieve this.”
The most pressing need for the IDPs, according to Stephen, is making sure that enough emergency relief reaches them in the shape of food, water and shelter ”“ especially as April and May is when the rains start. The United Nations humanitarian coordination agency, UNOCHA, said in a situation report on 25 April that as many as 4.9 million people need humanitarian assistance.
For the past month, South Sudan has been engulfed in an expanding civil war. Unlike Sudan, where the Satellite Sentinel Project pioneered its work (and with a few exceptions) South Sudan’s government has been allowing both journalists and humanitarians to operate around the country, even as violence spreads.
As a result, harrowing videos, interviews, and photographs documenting the crisis have been emerging for weeks.
The United Nations estimates that over 395,000 people have been displaced by violence, 352,000 internally, of which 60,000 have sought shelter at UN compounds around the country. Another 43,000 are refugees in neighboring countries including Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, with an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people from South Sudan arriving daily in Uganda alone.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged the Anglican Communion to pray and advocate for an end to the intense fighting which has overtaken large regions of South Sudan in recent days.
Over 500 people are feared dead in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, where fighting first broke out. The violence has since spread, particularly affecting Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile States.
Archbishop Justin wrote to Anglican primates and moderators… [yesterday] at the request of Archbishop Daniel Deng Yak, Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan.
A coalition of leading human rights activists and scholars has asked that Congress press the Obama administration to end the growing humanitarian crisis in the largely Christian areas of southern Sudan, saying that the administration’s response to the crisis has been non-existent.
U.S. policy toward the continuing human tragedy in Sudan is “in the worst place it’s ever been,” said Mark C. Hackett, CEO and executive director of Memphis-based Operation Broken Silence. “It’s extremely disappointing.”
Hackett and other activists ”” at a Jan. 11 forum organized by the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. ”” said that they had spent Jan. 10-11 on Capitol Hill calling for the United States to intervene to stop the systematic attacks of villagers in the Nuba Mountains of southern Sudan by the forces of President Omar al-Bashir.
Barnabas Fund has transported over 2,300 Christians from Sudan since the start of its rescue mission four months ago.
The Christians are being evacuated because of increasing hostility in the majority-Muslim country.
After South Sudan gained independence in 2011, the largely Christian Southerners living in Sudan lost their citizenship rights and were ordered to leave.
Watch the whole video (just under 7 1/2 minutes).
To find Mundri on a map of South Sudan, go here. Then find Uganda and the part of South Sudan that borders Uganda. About in the middle and slight up to the left from the border you will see the major city of Juba. Now head northwest (follow yellowish line) to the next city on the map which is Mundri (Town)
Iranian warships have arrived in Port Sudan in an apparent show of support for the government in Khartoum, one week after it accused Israel of bombing an arms factory in the Sudanese capital.
Iran’s state news agency confirmed yesterday that two vessels, a destroyer and a helicopter carrier have docked in Sudan’s main port on the Red Sea and their commanders will be meeting Sudanese officials.
Yida, the largest refugee camp in South Sudan, stretches for miles. It is home to more than 64,000 of the 206,000 refugees from the Republic of Sudan who have fled the bombing and violent attacks against civilians by the Khartoum government since June 2011. Yida camp itself was bombed Nov. 10, 2011, killing 12 refugees.
Only 20 kilometers from the volatile border between Sudan and South Sudan, Yida camp sees a constant stream of nearly 200 new refugees a day, coming from the Nuba Mountains region (South Kordofan State) in Sudan. Rebel groups in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states have united against the Khartoum government’s army, Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), which indiscriminately attacks rebels and civilians in those areas.
“They kill everybody, Christians and Muslims. They burn houses, churches, and schools. They kill people. They drop bombs. Just two days ago soldiers came to my area [in the Nuba Mountains] and killed one person and burned houses,” said the Rev. Ameka Yousif, a pastor who has lived in Yida camp since February. “[In the Nuba Mountains] when people see the planes, they run and hide. Bombing is happening almost every day.”
Read it all and do not miss the picture.
Speaking after a meeting with the Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail, Bishop of Kadugli in the Nuba Mountains, the Archbishop urged attention to be given to the plight of the affected population of these areas, both Muslim and Christian alike.
“Food and basic essentials are urgently needed by the displaced population. The international community needs to wake up to the gravity of the situation. All parties need to work together to find practical ways to get help to those most in need.”
Yet again the grim title of “world’s greatest humanitarian crisis” goes to Sudan ”“ this time for developments in the border regions between Sudan and the newly independent country of South Sudan. The crisis is exploding as the rainy season descends fully upon this area, and humanitarian resources are overwhelmed.
Khartoum’s denial of all humanitarian access to rebel-controlled areas within its border, along with a relentless campaign of aerial bombardment, is generating a continuous flow of tens of thousands of refugees ”“ up to 4,000 per day according to Doctors Without Borders/MÃ©decins Sans FrontiÃ¨res (MSF). But even that June figure is being quickly overtaken, according to reports.
And no wonder. The regime faces no significant international condemnation or consequences for its role in creating this crisis. That must change.
South Sudan said Saturday it was cancelling planned face-to-face peace talks with Sudan after accusing Khartoum of launching a new air raid on its territory.
“We were left with no choice but to suspend our direct bilateral talks with Sudan,” the spokesman for Juba’s delegation at the talks in Addis Ababa, Atif Kiir, said. “You cannot sit with them to negotiate when they are bombing our territory,” he added. “The only negotiations that will happen now will happen through the panel,” he said, referring to an African Union mediation panel conducting the talks in the Ethiopian capital.
“Peace is the only option which can allow the flourishing of South Sudan and its neighbour Sudan,” the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned. Speaking on the first anniversary of the independence of South Sudan, the Archbishop has called for urgent humanitarian assistance in conflict areas and renewed efforts to resolve outstanding differences between the two countries….
Security agents in Sudan’s South Darfur state have closed the offices of the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) and relief group Sudan Aid in the state’s capital, Nyala.
Agents from the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) arrived at the organizations’ compound in Nyala, a city of some 550,000 people, at 8 a.m. on April 22. They ordered SCC staff members to hand over keys to the offices and vehicles and, without explanation, ordered them to leave immediately, an SCC staff worker told Compass Direct News by phone.
Bishops in South Sudan have said that they are ready to do “all in their power” to put an end to the conflict with Sudan.
Episcopal and Roman Catholic bishops held a meeting from 9 to 11 May, attended by the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu. They called on the international community to implement a UN resolution that demands an immediate cessation of hostilities, and the resumption of negotiations, under threat of international sanctions.
Episcopal and Catholic bishops from South Sudan have said that together they “stand committed to do all in [their] power” to realise an end to war between Sudan and South Sudan.
Following a three-day meeting in Yei, South Sudan, lead by Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro and Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, the 14 bishops issued a ”˜Message of Peace’ which laid out their hopes and plans for an end to conflict.
Referencing the famous Martin Luther King speech, the bishop’s said: “We dream of two nations which are democratic and free, where people of all religions, all ethnic groups, all cultures and all languages enjoy equal human rights based on citizenship. We dream of two nations at peace with each other, co-operating to make the best use of their God-given resources, promoting free interaction between their citizens, living side by side in solidarity and mutual respect, celebrating their shared history and forgiving any wrongs they may have done to each other….”
We are keenly aware of the great suffering caused by the non-implementation of several key parts of the CPA. The cry of pain continues to be heard from South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei, as well as from those affected by the escalation of conflict in the border region between Sudan and South Sudan. I pray that the UN Security Council Resolution and the AU Roadmap will result in real progress in settling the outstanding issues.
The church’s dedicated efforts in peace-building and advocacy continue to represent a powerful witness to the gospel. We are inspired by the untiring efforts to bring peace in Jonglei. We also stand in special solidarity with the church’s situation in the Republic of Sudan and will continue to press for freedom of religion and worship and the safety of the Christian community.
South Sudan’s years of conflict were meant to be over when it won its independence from Sudan last July after generations of fighting with the people of the north. But the jubilation quickly faded, and now, not even a year later, after weeks of pointed barbs and border skirmishes, this vast and vastly underdeveloped country is once again mobilizing for war ”” and asking some of the poorest people on earth to pay for it, with whatever they have at hand….
Sudan and South Sudan have yet to resolve a number of prickly and vital issues, not least of which is how to demarcate a border of more than 1,000 miles and share billions of dollars of oil revenue. Border clashes escalated in late March, killing hundreds, and strategic oil fields have switched hands.
The Anglican archbishop who was instrumental in delivering peace to Sudan has raised the spectre of full-blown war and appealed for restraint from the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan.
Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul Yak, leader of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, urged the two presidents to pursue peace in spite of the difficulties following the major clashes threatening the fragile peace that churches helped to broker in 2005.
Sudan and newly-independent South Sudan accused each other of launching fresh attacks on their territories on Sunday as neither side showed any sign of bowing to global pressure to return to the negotiating table.
South Sudan said Sudanese troops attacked settlements about 10km (6 miles) on its side of the border and carried out air raids in a range of areas including its oil-producing Unity state.
As war looms between Sudan and South Sudan, Christians of southern origin living in Sudan fear retribution from its Islamic government.
As of April 8, at least half a million ethnic southerners (the majority of whom are Christian) living in Sudan are now considered foreigners if they have not registered for citizenship. Officials in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, gave southerners another 30 days to register or leave the country.
Sudan’s Khartoum government says the country is officially in a state of war with South Sudan.
The top United Nations human rights official confirmed that statement by condemning Sudan’s indiscriminate bombing raids that resulted in civilian casualties in South Sudan.
Khartoum began the week with a wave of air raids on Southern border areas, killing several civilians and hitting a UN peacekeeper base. South Sudan struck back with a vow to hold their positions in a contested oil field seized from Khartoum’s army.
The cold war between Africa’s newest neighbours is heating up. South Sudanese troops advanced deep into Sudan on April 10th, capturing its most valuable oilfield, Heglig, in the biggest clash since the south seceded from the north last July. Southern troops claimed to be responding to air and ground attacks from their former master, but the scale of the offensive is unprecedented. A fragile peace process that has survived several bumps in the past few months may now falter. Sudan has suspended its participation in the divorce negotiations in neighbouring Ethiopia. Parliaments in both countries are calling for military mobilisation. The drums of war beat ever louder.
The last straw could be South Sudan claiming Heglig as its own. A ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2009 appears to put the field in the Sudanese state of Southern Kordofan. But the south now disputes this. “Heglig is deep inside our borders,” says Colonel Philip Aguer, a spokesman for South Sudan’s army, adding that its troops have moved farther north. Sudan will not accept this, and for once it seems to be getting some international support. The African Union is calling on the south to withdraw its soldiers immediately and unconditionally. Sudan has complained to the UN Security Council.
Crimes against humanity in Sudan and South Sudan must be stopped ”” or the British Government will be guilty of allowing the horrors of Rwandan-style genocide to be repeated, Baroness Cox has warned.
In the wake of reports of ethnic cleansing in the Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile regions of Sudan, Lady Cox told the House of Lords on MonÂday of last week that the GovÂernÂment must take a more robust approach.
“After Rwanda, the British GovÂernment famously said that they will never condone another genocide, but this is precisely what they are now perceived to be doing.” The “powerful intervention” by Britain into Libya raised questions about whether its foreign policy was influÂenced by racism, she said.
A second day of fighting between Sudan and South Sudan in their disputed border regions has prompted international concern that the conflict might develop into outright war.
The African Union says it is deeply alarmed by the clashes over oilfields, and called on both sides to exercise the utmost restraint.
Sudan has pulled out of negotiations with South Sudan.
Hanging from the wall of Bishop Ezekiel Kondo’s living room ”” a few blocks from a silver-coated dome marking the tomb of Sudan’s 19th-century Muslim leader, the Mahdi ”” are a cross, pictures of fellow clergy members and a photo of him with the former archbishop of Canterbury above a small plastic Christmas tree.
Much has changed for Bishop Kondo, and for the nation, since the holidays last year. Though he presides over one of Sudan’s largest churches, he is more in the minority than ever. South Sudan, with its large Christian population, became an independent nation over the summer, making for a Christmas of mixed emotions.
“This Christmas, since Southern Sudanese have gone, we don’t know what the attendance will be, but I would say people will celebrate with mixed feeling of joy and fear,” said Bishop Kondo, who is the bishop of the Episcopal Church of Sudan and the former chairman of the Sudanese Council of Churches.
Despite this year’s vote by South Sudan for independence, churches in Sudan and South Sudan have decided to remain united, mainly to help denominations in Muslim-majority Sudan.
Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church on 28 October approved maintaining one conference covering the two states, alluding to shared history and existing “very real practical human links.” In July, the Episcopal (Anglican) Church decided to remain one body for the next two years and the Sudan Council of Churches has also said it will not split.
“It’s more about solidarity,” observed John Ashworth, an advisor with the Sudan Ecumenical Forum, which enhances churches’ work for peace in Sudan, on 3 November.