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Working towards a reconciled Sudan

Girl in Sudanese schoolWhile people around the world celebrated International Day of Peace on 21 September, Sudan nears the end of a six-year peace process which ended two decades of devastating civil war.

But as southern Sudan sees a surge in violence, which in the last 18 months has displaced more than 360,000 people and left 2,500 dead, people are yet to see real peace in the region.

With just months to go before a historic referendum is held - when southern Sudan will vote on whether to remain united with the north - commitment is needed on all sides to secure this.

International support

In the coming weeks the Most Reverend Dr Daniel Deng, Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan (ECS), a Christian Aid partner, will travel to the United Kingdom to make the case for continued support for the peace process.

He will speak at the Conservative Party Conference before holding a press conference with Archbishop Rowan Williams.

This builds on a successful visit in January, one year before the referendum, when Archbishop Deng met the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary.

Strengthening communities

At the heart of many communities in southern Sudan, ECS's message is rooted in its experiences during the conflict.

Today it is playing a key role in rebuilding after the war, ensuring that children can access education through its schools across southern Sudan.

Having worked to bring communities together to resolve issues that were prolonging the conflict, ECS is now helping people to reconcile through talking about their experiences and concerns.

Bishop Hilary Deng of the ECS's Malakal diocese believes that art has a role to in helping communities heal and reflect. In late 2007, Christian Aid supported ECS in Malakal to hold an exhibition bringing together people from across the country.

‘It is not easy to talk about reconciliation at a national level' says Bishop Hilary. 'There is still anger, but we can start here with our neighbours.'

Christian Aid believes continued support is needed to secure peace in Sudan. You can add you voice to those supporting peace in Sudan here.

Read more about Christian Aid's work in Sudan.  

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