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Sudan - Call for respect for the Machakos Protocol and revival of the peace process

07 October 2002

Letter to H.E. President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, 7 October 2002.

Your Excellency,

The World Council of Churches has closely monitored the situation in Sudan since the early 1970s when together with the All Africa Conference of Churches it brokered the Addis Abba Peace Accord. In 1994 the WCC was instrumental in the creation of the Sudan Ecumenical Forum in which it has actively participated together with other ecumenical partners to support the Churches of Sudan in their advocacy for peace and reconciliation.

The WCC Central Committee that met in Potsdam, Germany, February 2001 adopted an extensive Statement on Sudan that called for urgent efforts by the Churches to resolve the conflict by engaging in a series of advocacy action to promote peace and reconciliation. In late June 2002 the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, on an invitation of the Churches, visited the North and South Sudan. In Khartoum he met the officials of the government of Sudan. Around that time the government of Sudan and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army / Movement signed a major Peace Agreement known as the "Machakos Protocol".

The Central Committee of the World Council of Churches that met in Geneva from 26 August to 2 September 2002 took note of this significant and encouraging development and adopted a minute on Sudan, copy attached. It called on the member Churches to remember the Churches and the People of Sudan in their prayers and to support and encourage them in their continued witness and work for justice, peace and reconciliation.

We were disappointed to learn of the breakdown of the ceasefire agreement that has put in jeopardy the "Machakos Protocol". We hope and pray that the peace process will be revived and the negotiations for a just and lasting peace will continue.

Respectfully yours,

Peter Weiderud
Commission of Churches on International Affairs