For years, Sudan has suffered the devastating effects of war and genocide. However, on October 3, Sudanese officials will come together with rebel leaders from the Sudan Revolutionary Front in Juba, South Sudan to sign a long-awaited and historic peace agreement.
A Rocky Road to Peace
In April 2019, protestors angry with the 30-year tumultuous reign of Omar al-Bashir filled the streets of Khartoum. In response, military generals installed a junta, forcing al-Bashir out of office as they took control.
Mid-August, in an effort to demonstrate a dedication to peace and under international pressure, the new leaders agreed to share power with civilians in a cooperative council.
As they began the long road toward peace, the new government signed a deal with an alliance of rebel groups on August 31, 2019. This first step outlined a three-year transition to a new constitution and democratic elections.
The upcoming October 3rd meeting, after a year of negotiations, puts forth a deal that outlines preliminary steps toward power-sharing, the integration of rebel forces into the army, the return and compensation of displaced people, and the first steps of transitional justice.
Will the Agreement Truly Bring Peace?
The deal is historic. Retired Bishop Enoch Tombe, a respected leader of the South Sudanese Church and a representative of Faith-Based Organizations during the South Sudanese peace agreement, remains cautiously optimistic. He explains that while this is important and a momentous agreement, negotiations take time.
“We have not signed the one from Darfur and one from Southern Kordofan, which are really key armies. They have not signed the agreement. But at least one of them, al-Hilu, has signed a separate [agreement]. There is going to be another negotiation here in Juba. So we will hope that if he also signs, then the last one, al-Nur, he might also sign if he’s encouraged to do so. So it’s a process, you know, peace is a process. It takes time.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Anna Deckert
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray that God would bring lasting peace to Sudan.
- Pray that the Church in Sudan would grow despite opposition.
- Look for ways to help support the Church in Sudan as it is rebuilt after years of war.