All African Conference of Churches (AACC) Office on the referendum for the self-determination of Southern Sudan
NAIROBI, August 18, 2010 (CISA)
Here is a statement from All African Conference of Churches (AACC) office of the Ecumenical Special Envoy to Sudan.
The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) declared 2010 a special year for Sudan. Alongside with the World Council of Churches and the Sudan Ecumenical Forum, the AACC has made Sudan a top priority in her programmes. In response to a request from the Sudan Council of Churches the AACC in consultation with the WCC and SEF appointed the Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia as Ecumenical Special Envoy to Sudan to spear head the ecumenical work on Sudan. The office of the Special envoy was set up at the AACC headquarters in Nairobi in March 2010.
The main focus for the work of this office is the process of implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which was signed in Naivasha, Kenya in February 2005. The main pre-occupation in the coming months is the referendum to be held on January 9, 2011 as provided for in the CPA. At the referendum the people of Southern Sudan will exercise their right to self-determination to decide their future. They will choose whether to remain as part of a united Sudan or separate to become in anew nation state.
The Sudanese Churches through the Sudan Council of Churches have been deeply involved in the search for peace, justice and freedom for the Sudanese churches over decades. The international ecumenical community has accompanied the Sudanese church in these initiatives, intensifying their solidarity and support in the CPA implementation and the run up to the historic referendum. Since March 2010 we have been involved in high level diplomacy and advocacy and re-engaged the CPA process in a number of ways.
1. Meeting with leadership of the guarantors of the CPA which include.
- President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya
- Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa in his capacity as the Chairman of African Union Panel on Sudan.
- President Salva Kiir of South Sudan
- Vice President Riek Machar of South Sudan
- General Scot Gration, the US special Envoy to Sudan
- Amro Musa, the Secretary General of the Arab League
- Ho. Moses Wetangula, the minister of foreign affairs, Kenya
- The Director General ministry of foreign affairs of Norway, and the Norwegian ambassador in Geneva, Switzerland
- Consuls general of Norway, UK and Germany in Juba
2. At all the meetings held the message shared is from the Sudanese churches arising from their meeting in Juba in March 2010 as contained in the document choose life: a vision for a peaceful Sudan.
The emphases of the message are:
a) The integrity of the CPA must be respected by all.
b) The self determination referendum must take place on January 9, 2011 as provided for in the CPA
c) The outcome of the historic referendum must be respected and accepted by all
d) The international community especially the guarantors of the CPA, has the responsibility to ensure that the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People s Liberation Movement (SPLM), the two principals involved in the CPA must implement all the CPA provisions to allow for a peaceful, fair and free referendum. And that the International Community provides the necessary technical and material resources to enable full implementation of the CPA and the historic referendum.
e) That the Sudan council of churches, under the support of the AACC and international ecumenical community will work tirelessly for a peaceful atmosphere to prevail in the ruin-up to and during post referendum.
f) That the Sudan Council of Churches will participate fully in the civic and voter education to prepare the people for the referendum.
g) We are deeply concerned that the CPA implementation process is behind schedule. Specifically we note with concern that the work of the referendum commission has not started in earnest. But this must not be used to suggest postponement of the referendum because this is to be totally inacceptable.
3. We call upon the IGAD contries , the African Union, the UN, Churches and ecumenical organisations in Africa to express their support for the full implementation of CPA, including the date set for the historic referendum for the people of Sudan.
Re. Ramadan Chan SCC GS
Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia ESES