Sudanese faith groups in united call for action on famine

By staff writers
27 Nov 2012

Christian Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail and Muslim MP Amar Amoun Deldoum will form part of a delegation of Sudanese faith leaders and activists to Ethiopia this week.

They will urge the African Union (AU) to do more to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
 
The visit follows increases in aerial bombing and ground clashes in the 'Two Areas'. According to sources on the ground, both parties have been shelling civilian areas and, with the end of the rainy season, aerial bombing by the Sudan Armed Forces has increased.

Bombs have reportedly been dropped on busy market places and fields ready for harvesting: 125 bombs fell in the first two weeks of November alone.
 
Bishop Andudu and Amar Amoun will be joined by Benjamin Barnaba Arne, a Christian representative of the Sudan Council of Churches, and Shara Josep Lago, a Muslim human rights activist from Blue Nile.

They will meet with ambassadors to the African Union to highlight their concerns about the plight of civilians and the potential for the conflict to undermine peace between Sudan and South Sudan.  
 
“We have only a very small window of opportunity to save tens of thousands of lives," said Amar Amoun. "After months of fighting and a poor harvest there is a real risk of famine. African leaders and other countries with influence over Khartoum must insist that humanitarian aid be allowed in immediately.”
 
"The civilian population of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile has been subject to unconscionable violence and unimaginable human-rights violations," argued Bishop Andudu. "Mosques and churches have been attacked and many lives have been lost."

He added, "Rather than dividing the people, these attacks have served to further unify the many faiths that have always peacefully coexisted in these areas. The African Union has a moral duty to do all it can to restore peace.”

Benjamin Barnaba Arne said that the humanitarian crisis in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile is getting worse. He said, "The civilian population– Muslim and Christian alike - are hungry and frightened. They have been driven from their homes by violence and are now staring down the barrel of a famine."

He acknowledged that African leaders have done much already to try to bring peace to Sudan and its neighbours, but implored them to do more.
 
“This conflict could undo the fragile peace between Sudan and South Sudan and fuel regional instability," explained Shara Josep Lago. "The AU must make ending the conflict in the ‘Two Areas’ a priority: it is as important for lasting peace within and between Sudan and South Sudan as oil.”

[Ekk/1]

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