Solutions to Violent Conflict

Archive for the ‘Sudan’ Category

What Next for Catholic Peacebuilding in South Sudan?

In Catholic, Peace, Sudan on April 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm

John Katunga

Religious institutions, especially the Anglican and Catholic churches, have played a leading role in peacebuilding in Sudan for decades. Their role in the process leading to South Sudan’s independence is the most recent example.

Through a process of dialogue called Kejiko I and II, the churches helped address divisions among political and military factions in the South. As the only significant functioning civil society institution in much of the country, the Church played a powerful role in facilitating the remarkably orderly and peaceful election and referendum processes. The churches also helped garner international engagement at key times in the process.

Just one indicator of the churches’ role: Besides its crucial humanitarian and development programs, Catholic Relief Services, one of the largest development agencies in Sudan, dedicated $4 million to peacebuilding in the 18 months leading up to the referendum, by far the largest peacebuilding program the organization has ever undertaken.

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The U.S. Role in Building Peace in Sudan

In Peace, Sudan on April 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm

First day of voting in the South Sudan referendum. Photo: United Nations (Flickr)

Peter Quaranto

The United States has been actively engaged in seeking to prevent a return of North-South war in Sudan. The U.S. worked with international partners to assure that the Southern Sudan referendum in January was on time and peaceful and that the results were respected by all parties.

President Obama was personally involved, participating in an event at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2010 that mobilized world leaders to focus on the referendum. The President’s entire national security team joined the effort, making phone calls, traveling to the region, and engaging with Sudanese leaders.
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Notre Dame Stands with Sudan

In Catholic, Peace, Sudan on April 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Kevin Dugan and Patrick McCormick

Last fall a delegation representing the Sudan Conference of Catholic Bishops visited the University of Notre Dame to reach out to the Catholic community in the United States. They came to seek help in assuring a peaceful outcome for the scheduled January referendum on the independence of South Sudan. They also brought their appeal to high-level U.S. officials in Washington.

Following the bishops’ visit to campus, the Notre Dame student senate unanimously agreed to sponsor a community-wide Stand with Sudan Rally that included a “Playing for Peace” basketball tournament hosted by the men’s lacrosse and basketball teams. Notre Dame’s president emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., gave the keynote address at the rally, calling for international engagement to avoid further violence and armed conflict. Here’s a video of highlights from the event and a story that appeared on the front page of the Notre Dame student newspaper, The Observer.

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