Archbishops Reflect on Upcoming Referendum in Southern Sudan

Posted by Sarah Caughey on Wed, 20 Oct 2010 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

CMS Ireland has had a link with Sudan since the mid seventies and we have a deep concern for this country. As we move closer to a significant and crucial moment in the history of Sudan, we want to keep you updated with information and to share with you important points for prayer.

Here, we share the recent reflections of Archbishop of Armagh and the Archbishop of Canterbury on the impending Referendum in Southern Sudan.

In April 2010, Sudan held its first multi-party elections in 24 years as part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005. The elections were held over 5 days and some 16 million people went to the polls to choose candidates and parties at all levels of Government in a complex voting process. (Click here to read our article about the April Elections.)

The elections were landmark events for Sudan, but the Referendum is critical. The future of this country depends on the unfolding of the process and the ultimate outcome. The Referendum is scheduled for 9th January 2011 – less than 90 days away.

Recently the Archbishop of Armagh, The Most Revd Alan Harper expressed his concern over the upcoming referendum after receiving a personal message from Archbishop Deng. Speaking about the situation, Archbishop Harper reflects,

The Sudanese peace process is [therefore] at a critical point…[Therefore] having most particularly in mind the safety, livelihoods and rights of the poorest and most vulnerable people, I join Archbishop Deng in calling upon the international guarantor governments, signatory to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, to ensure full implementation of the agreement including a free and fair referendum. I also call upon people everywhere, and especially in the Church of Ireland, to pray for our brothers and sisters in Sudan. Pray especially that Sudan may not fall back into a war which will destroy more lives and communities bringing further misery to a land that has seen so much horror in the recent past.

(Click here to read the full statement from the Church of Ireland Press Office.)

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams in a recent interview with Mike Thompson on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has also called the nations into on this important moment in the history of Sudan.

Click here
to listen to an audio file of the report or visit the BBC Today Programme site by clicking here. (All credit to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.)

During the interview, the Archbishop declares that he is “very concerned indeed” about the impending referendum. He reflects that so little has been done to implement the CPA, with important issues such as oil supplies and border demarcation left unresolved. Rev Dr Williams also highlights the vulnerable position of the great numbers of displaced peoples, with many refugee camps being situated in the north. The Archbishop emphasises the delicacy of the situation, and that there is much that other countries can do to support a fair and effective referendum.

Concluding the interview, the Archbishop says:

I couldn’t honestly say that I’m optimistic at the moment because I don’t yet see the forces lined up that will actually step in to try and prevent it. We’ve got a few months, so, I’d rather say I’m feeling urgent about it rather than optimistic.

Please join with us in praying for the Church in the Sudan at this critical time in the comings weeks and days as the referendum approaches. Remembering in particular our Global Partners in the dioceses of Maridi, Ibba, Yei, Lainya, Kajo-Keji,Rokon and Kadugli in Southern Sudan.


lokingapatrick said Fri, 10 Dec 2010 03:20PM
Dear BBC, we are ready to vote for referendum but on to my own supprise, our brothers in Abyei are sufering of being attack by the unknown millitiars and what is the international communit doing not to react on thatattact? The southern sudanese leaders should be carefuly on what is coming rather than seeing it.

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