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Sudan and South Sudan agree to peace tal...

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Sudan and South Sudan agree to peace talks – but attacks continue

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Sudan and South Sudan agree to peace talks – but attacks continue

Country/Region: Sudan, Middle East and North Africa, South Sudan

Sudan and South Sudan last week signed up to a roadmap intended to avert an all-out war between them, but the agreement looks increasingly fragile as attacks continue.

Hopes of a ceasefire, after weeks of border clashes, were raised when the two countries endorsed the African Union’s (AU) seven-point plan on 3 May.

Living_Rough_Khartoum_4X3.jpg
Many Southern Christians are stranded and homeless in Sudan
Image source: Friends of Sudan

This called for the resumption of stalled negotiations and gave Sudan and South Sudan three months to reach an agreement. They need to resolve outstanding disputes over the border region, citizenship matters and oil revenue.

The agreement followed a UN Security Council resolution on 2 May that gave the two nations 48 hours to stop fighting, threatening sanctions if they continued hostilities.

Sudan welcomed the resolution but warned that it retained the right to defend itself against “aggression” from the South. Both sides continue to accuse the other of being the aggressor; Sudan has called for South Sudan to withdraw its troops from disputed border areas, while the latter says that the former persists in bombing its territories.

South Sudan said on Wednesday (9 May) that Sudan had targeted several areas within its territory in air raids over the last 48 hours, violating the UN resolution.

Juba’s information minister said:

Khartoum is bombing civilian targets, killing women and children and destroying the property of very simple people in these areas.
 

After several weeks of fighting, there have been growing fears of a return to the civil war that devastated the mainly Christian South and left more than two million people, mostly Southern Christians, dead. 

While the AU roadmap and UN resolution represent some progress, this remains a tense and dangerous time for Christians, both those in Sudan, where they are treated with great suspicion and hostility, and those in South Sudan whose memories of the brutal, decades-long civil war are still raw.     

Southerners stranded

An estimated 350,000 people from South Sudan are stranded in Sudan; they were stripped of their citizenship of Sudan after the South voted to secede and had been given a deadline of 8 April to regularise their status or leave. Many lack the resources to return to the South, and exit routes have been blocked off because of the hostilities between the two nations.

But there is now hope for at least 12,000 refugees who have been stuck for months in a camp in the town of Kosti in White Nile State. The International Organisation for Migration said last week that it will transport them to Khartoum by bus and then fly them to South Sudan’s capital, Juba.

The governor of White Nile state had set a deadline of 5 May, later extended to 20 May, for the South Sudanese refugees to leave; he declared them a security risk following the brief occupation by South Sudanese troops of the disputed Sudanese border town and oil field of Heglig last month.

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Daily prayer

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  • Pray for Barnabas Fund partners in South Sudan who have been supporting Christians forced from their homes by violence. Conflict between supporters of President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar in December and January displaced around 860,000 people. Churches were burned down and a number of pastors killed, while many people lost their belongings and were left destitute. Give thanks that churches in and around the capital, Juba, were able to provide food and other essentials to many families with help from Barnabas. Pray that they may continue to be salt and light in their country at this unstable time (Matthew 5:13-16), and that it will soon be safe for displaced Christians to return home. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 23 hours ago

  • Pray for the residents of a mainly Christian village in Borno state, Northern Nigeria, in the aftermath of a horrific attack by Boko Haram militants on 15 February. Ask for God’s comfort for the relatives and friends of the 106 people in Izghe who were gunned down and slaughtered in their houses or in the open as they tried to flee. Pray for strength for the numerous residents who were wounded or whose properties were looted and torched. Pray too for the many Christians who fled into the neighbouring state after the attack, and ask that the Christian community in the North of Nigeria will be preserved in the face of Islamist violence. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Violent attacks by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram continue unabated in Northern Nigeria. On one horrendous day of violence on 26 January, at least 138 people were killed. A church in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state was targeted; the attackers locked the congregation inside and then detonated bombs, shooting and cutting the throats of people who tried to escape. They then went on a four-hour rampage in the village. Later the same day, Kawuri village in neighbouring Borno state was burned to the ground. Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state, and Christians are among its main targets. Pray that the Nigerian authorities will succeed in containing its insurgency. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Give thanks for the Christ-like responses of Christian leaders in CAR to the crisis that threatens them and their churches. They have distanced themselves from the anti-balaka militias, saying that these should not be labelled as Christian and that they hold no mandate from the churches. The leaders have also condemned the violence in the country, whatever its origin, and have called on Christians to pursue forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Churches are hiding, defending and caring for thousands of Muslims endangered by the anti-balaka, and one of CAR’s most senior church leaders has invited the president of the country’s Islamic community to move into his church compound. Pray that this powerful witness to the grace and love of Christ will help to bring peace to the shattered country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Apr 2014 00:00

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