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Peace is in the offing, says Sudan Bishop
by Justus Waimiri and Osman Njuguna
CAPA 040402-5
April 2, 2004

[CAPA - Sudan] Peace is knocking in the Sudan and the Church will intensify its role in creating a conducive post-war Sudan, Rt Rev Daniel Deng has said.

Rt Rev Deng who is the Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Renk in Sudan said Sudanese people had been traumatised by the war that has lasted more than two decades and therefore needed to be counselled adequately by the Church.

He said peace would not simply come by signing accords in boardrooms, but would require consistent effort to build conciliation among the people who have been at war for many years.

“We as religious leaders must now think seriously how we shall help resettle the people physically and spiritually once peace comes to the Sudan,” he said in an interview.

Bishop Deng who is also President of the Sudanese Anglican Bishops Conference, lauded the round table negotiations going on to arbitrate between the warring North and South Sudan. The talks are spearheaded by the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) chaired by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.

Issues that are yet to be ironed out in the negotiations are the Presidency and Sharia law, which the north insists should govern the country.

The Bishop expressed concern that though the war between the North and South could soon be over, violence could easily erupt in the more cohesive Southern region if enough peace building programmes are not undertaken.

He said the Anglican Church, which has over two million members in Sudan, was already on the ground facilitating dialogue and encouraging peaceful co-existence.