Message of solidarity, peace and hope to the people of South Sudan

(Juba, South Sudan) May 23, 2014 — The Religious Superior’s Association of South Sudan released a statement earlier this month expressing a message of “solidarity, peace and hope” to those affected by the violence in South Sudan over the past five months.

The full statement from the RSA of South Sudan:

A MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY, PEACE AND HOPE TO THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH SUDAN

“It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts of the Apostles 4:20)

We, the 75 representatives of 29 Catholic Religious Congregations belonging to the Religious Superiors’ Association of South Sudan (RSASS) that carry on evangelization offering various services in Church schools, dispensaries, hospitals and pastoral activities in dozens of parishes and missions across the seven Dioceses of South Sudan, gathered in Juba for our Annual Assembly to reflect on the Small Christian Communities, as a new way of being Church for the People of God, from 13th-15th May 2014, wish to send a message of solidarity, peace and hope to the people of South Sudan in this time of crisis and violence.

As your brothers and sisters, we are all mindful of each child, each woman, each man, each elderly person who has been affected by violence in South Sudan over the past five months. The blood of thousands of innocent people cries for justice. We cannot remain indifferent to the cry of the poor and the innocent who have lost their lives or are going through deep suffering and pain. “Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the soil” (Genesis 4:10).

We wish, first of all, to offer our prayers for those who have fallen victims of this senseless violence and lost their lives in the various regions of the country where there are conflicts. Our hearts and our thoughts are with the bereaved families in these difficult moments of pain and loss. “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:25) Read the rest of this entry »

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Refugee Voices

Student refugees from Darfur attending a Jesuit Refugee Service school at Djabal Refugee Camp in eastern Chad talk about their hopes for the future.

Jesuit Refugee Service built the secondary school in eastern Chad with a grant from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

Djabal is home to thousands of refugees from Darfur, in neighboring Sudan.

Jesuit Refugee Service in South Sudan

Images from various Jesuit Refugee Service projects in Southern Sudan.

Photographs by
Angela Hellmuth for Jesuit Refugee Service
and
Christian Fuchs of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA

Music by Fr. Arnel Aquino, S.J.

UN urges calm in wake of Southern Sudan election

(UNITED NATIONS)  January 31, 2011 — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged both parties to the peace agreement that ended Sudan’s North-South war to remain calm as the results of the referendum on the future of the south are finalized, commending the two sides for the peaceful conduct of the plebiscite.

The  referendum earlier this month on the self-determination of Southern Sudan was the culmination of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 to end two decades of civil war between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).

Preliminary results indicate that the people of Southern Sudan voted overwhelming in favour of secession.

“Sudan has reached a historic point. All reports indicate a generally peaceful referendum process with a large turnout,” Mr. Ban said in an address to a high-level meeting on Sudan convened by the United Nations and the African Union (AU) in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on the sidelines of the AU’s annual summit.

“As the Sudanese people adjust to the new realities on the ground, the CPA parties must shift their attention to the key post-referendum arrangements that will sustain the North-South relationship in the long term,” Mr. Ban said.

Read the rest of this entry »

Security Council underscores need for timely, credible Sudanese referenda

(October 14, 2010) UNITED NATIONS – The two referenda on self-determination slated for January in Sudan must be held on time, in a credible manner and in line with the 2005 peace pact that ended the long-running north-south civil war, members of the Security Council, who are just back from a visit to the country, said today.

On 9 January the inhabitants of southern Sudan will vote on whether to secede from the rest of the country, while the residents of the central area of Abyei will vote on whether to be part of the north or the south.

The referenda will be the final phase in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which was signed in 2005 to end two decades of conflict between the northern-based Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in the south.

“The purpose of our visit was to underscore that the UN Security Council is united in its desire to see Sudan’s referenda on self-determination carried out in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement,” Ambassador Susan Rice of the United States, who led the southern Sudan leg of last week’s mission, told a meeting of the Council.

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UN urges peaceful election in Sudan

(UNITED NATIONS) October 8, 2010 – The Security Council delegation visiting Sudan yesterday stressed that the two referenda scheduled for January must be held on time, in a peaceful environment and according to the provisions of the peace agreement that ended the war between the north and the south.

“We are here to reinforce that message and the determination of the Council to support you and all parties to the CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement] in that process,” said Ambassador Susan Rice of the United States, who is heading the delegation.

On 9 January the inhabitants of southern Sudan will vote on whether to secede from the rest of the country, while the residents of the central area of Abyei will vote on whether to be part of the north or the south.

The referenda will be the final phase in the implementation of the CPA, which was signed in 2005 to end two decades of warfare between the northern-based Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in the south.

Read the rest of this entry »

Peace through Education in Southern Sudan

In January, Southern Sudan will hold a referendum to choose independence from or unity with the north. The conduct, result, and aftermath of the vote will determine the direction of Southern Sudan’s future and the prospects for sustained peace in the region. During this uncertain period, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) continues to accompany the people of Southern Sudan with programs that make schools the heart of new and restored communities, as focal points for hope for a better future and centers for peace building activities.

After a generation of civil war, the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement on January 9, 2005, ended armed hostilities between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the Government of Sudan. Read the rest of this entry »