Canterbury says peace is ‘only option’ for Sudan, South Sudan

Posted Jul 6, 2012

[Anglican Communion News Service] “Peace is the only option which can allow the flourishing of South Sudan and its neighbour Sudan,” Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has warned.

Speaking on the first anniversary of the independence of South Sudan, the archbishop has called for urgent efforts to resolve outstanding differences between South Sudan and its neighbour Sudan.

A joint message for the first anniversary of the independence of South Sudan on July 9 has been issued by Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, archbishop and primate of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, and Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro, Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop of Juba. A PDF is here.

A statement also was issued by the World Council of Churches and the All Africa Conference of Churches on June 22 on “Renewed Destruction of Church Property in Khartoum, Republic of Sudan.”

The full text of Williams’ message follows.

Statement from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan D. Williams

The first anniversary of the new nation of South Sudan gives an opportunity for renewed effort towards achieving peaceful relations between Sudan and South Sudan. The new nation was created with the support of both South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan, and the well-being of both countries depends on their mutual co-operation. I strongly endorse the joint appeal which the Anglican and Roman Catholic archbishops of Juba have made on this significant anniversary. As the two archbishops have warned, the current impasse is damaging to both nations. I welcome the vision which the Sudanese Church has set before us of “two nations at peace with each other, co-operating to make best use of their God-given resources, promoting free interaction between their citizens, living side by side in solidarity and mutual respect.” I share too their hope for a just and free society in both countries in which people of all religions, ethnicities, cultures and languages enjoy the same human rights based on citizenship according to the human dignity given by God. To that end I appeal for urgent humanitarian assistance to be allowed to reach all those affected by conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states as well as in Darfur. I also urge respect for freedom of worship and religion for all the Sudanese people and am particularly concerned at the demolition without warning of St. John’s Church in Hai Baraka, Khartoum, Sudan, by government authorities on 18th June. With the World Council of Churches and All Africa Conference of Churches, I call on the Government of the Republic of Sudan to investigate this and other recent incidents and to ensure religious freedom and due protection for all its people.