African Churches Hopeful for Sudan Peace

The Church in Africa is hopeful about the recent signing of a peace agreement between the Sudan government and the Sudan Liberation Army that ended over 30 years of civli war.

African Churches Hopeful for Sudan PeaceFormer rebel leader John Garang, right, greets Cardinal Zubair Wako head of the Sudanese Catholic Church, in Khartoum, Friday, July 8, 2005. Garang set foot in the capital for the first time in 22 years Friday, ahead of his swearing in to the position of

The war claimed over two million lives in southern Sudan and generated four million refugees.

The President of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), the Rev. Dr. Mvume Dandala, was glad that the SPLA leader, Dr. John Garang, had become the first Vice President of the Sudan.

He thanked both the new vice president and Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for their statesmanship and effort at peace.

"Peace is what God desires for all his children on earth," Dandala stated.

Dr. Dandala urged African governments, the churches in Africa, and the international community to stand in full solidarity with the people of Sudan.

He called on the world to raise its conscience and monitor the implementation of the peace agreement in Sudan. He added that it was the Church in Africa's responsibility to "use our prophetic voice in embracing the millions of returnees and help them settle in a peaceful Sudan."

He urged all parties for help in matters such as rehabilitation, relief programs, reconstruction and resettlement, among others. He added that the world had the capacity and resources to take care of those matters but lacked the political will to make change.

The other major conflict taking place in Sudan is in Darfur. It is unrelated to the North and South civil war and its resolution through the peace agreement.