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Resolution on Sudan

Approved October 17, 2001, by the Church World Service Board of Directors
Approved February 25, 2002, by the National Council of Churches Executive Board

Whereas the Sudanese civil war, waged since 1983, claiming an estimated 2 million lives and displacing as many as 4 million people, and

Whereas, the Government of Sudan (GOS) has been cited for egregious human rights abuses including the aerial bombardment of civilians, the use of divide and conquer tactics by the arming of southern factions that exacerbate southern ethnic tensions,

slave raiding, the manipulation of humanitarian aid, arbitrary flight bans, scorched earth tactics, mass displacement of civilians by government forces and its militias, the imposition of relief embargoes on populations in ‘liberated’ or non-government controlled areas, recruitment of child soldiers, the diversion of food, summary executions, prolonged arbitrary detentions, torture and forced disappearances, and the imposition of undue restrictions on the religious freedom of non-Muslims, and the use of landmines,

Whereas, the main southern rebel force, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), has been cited for egregious human rights abuses including the diversion of food, the recruitment of child soldiers, the raping of women, summary executions, prolonged arbitrary detentions, and the use of landmines, and the threat of assassination for anyone in opposition to the SPLM/A, and

Whereas, impunity has been the rule on both sides of the Sudanese civil war.

Whereas, ethnic origin, class, culture, language, religion, race, clashes of political systems, and the allocation of resources in a desperately poor country, are all contributing causes of the war, and

Whereas, the link between wealth and military power is demonstrated through oil revenues being channeled into increased military spending by the GOS, and

Whereas, the Government of Sudan ratified the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights in 1982, affirming basic human rights including equal protection of the law, freedom from exploitation and slavery, the free practice of religion, free association and assembly, self-determination, and the right to economic, social, and cultural development among others,

Whereas, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army and the Government of Sudan have accepted the 1994 Declaration of Principles (DOP) recognizing the right to self-determination and the separation of state and religion, and

Whereas, the churches of Sudan affirm the fundamental principles of the DOP, and

Whereas, the New Sudan Council of Churches’ People to People Peace Process, holds the greatest promise for obtaining peace in the south among different ethnic groups, and

Whereas, the New Sudan Council of Churches expressed its concern with SPLA efforts to prevent civilian participation in the Strategic Linkages II conference in Kisumu, Kenya (June 2001),

Whereas, many of the member communions of the NCCC and CWSW have active programs and support partners in Sudan,

Therefore be it resolved that Church World Service and Witness and the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. call on the U.S. government to support the development and implementation of a multilateral Sudan policy through the U.N. system and regional initiatives that can facilitate an end to the conflict and the creation of a just peace for the Sudanese people whose objectives include:

An end to the military actions by all sides of the conflict.

An end to the forced displacement of thousands of southern Sudanese by the Government of Sudan.

The complete cessation of aerial bombardment by the Government of Sudan of civilian populations in southern Sudan, the Nuba Mountains, and Southern Blue Nile.

An end to forced abductions, the immediate disarmament of the northern Baggara militias, and an end to their use in any military operations.

The disarmament of all southern militias previously or currently supplied weapons by the GOS.

An end to the use of food as a weapon and for an end to flight bans in southern Sudan.

An end to the recruitment of child soldiers and adherence to the international ban on landmines.

Respect for and the observance of human rights standards by all parties and the provision for human rights monitors to be present throughout all contested areas and for NGOs to work in any part of the South without undue restrictions whatsoever, and

Recognition of the rights of self-determination and the freedom of religion and belief as stated in international human rights law.

The establishment of a registry by a credible and independent investigative team to responsibly document the individual persons who have been abducted and may be held as slaves so that their release might be acquired through traditional methods of negotiation rather than promoting slave ‘buy-backs’.

The provision of U.S. humanitarian assistance to all vulnerable groups in southern and northern Sudan.

Increased U.S. funding for capacity building, democracy promotion, civil administration, and the judiciary in all areas without regard to the presence of rebel forces, for intra-South and international peace processes in Sudan, especially the People to People peace process and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Any such assistance should be predicated on the respect and protection of the freedom of movement, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom of speech by civil, political, and military authorities of the area.

The promotion of Northern/Southern dialogue between political and military leaders from all sides

The expansion of IGAD to include representatives from all southern opposition groups representing southern Sudanese society.

Continued prohibition on all U.S. companies from engaging in economic activities with the Government of Sudan until such activities can be shown, through independent verification, to no longer contribute to the war effort and the human rights violations that accompany it, and

A complete halt to the exploration, extraction, production and sale of Sudanese oil by establishing increased disclosure regulations for U.S. capital markets and the denial of access to U.S. capital markets by foreign oil companies that are involved in the exploration, extraction, production and sale of Sudanese oil. This denial of capital market access should continue until oil exploration and extraction activities can be shown, through independent verification, to no longer contribute to the war effort and the human rights violations that accompany it.

U.S. action to identify and curtail oil imports originating in Sudan.

U.S. support for Operation Lifeline Sudan to help avert the famine that is currently threatening areas of Southern Sudan, the Nuba Mountains and other regions and provide more support to refugee camps for Sudanese.

U.S. initiative within the U.N. Security Council to support effective peace initiatives in the Sudan, including support for the U.N. Commission on Human Rights and the office of the UN Special Rapporteur on Sudan. Such an initiative should support a large representation of human rights monitors throughout the country, particularly in contested areas.

U.S. dialogue with the SPLA to encourage their full support for the People to People Peace and Reconciliation Process.

Therefore be it resolved that Church World Service and Witness and the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. call on its member communions to:

Assist and work with the Sudan Council of Churches and the New Sudan Council of Churches in their efforts to build a comprehensive and lasting grassroots-led peace and promotion of religious tolerance among Christians, Muslims, and those practicing African Traditional Religions (ATR).

Educate their own congregations about the war in Sudan and about solidarity work with the churches of Sudan to facilitate an end to the war and the creation of a just peace.

Call on the local churches of the member communions of CWSW and NCCC to welcome and fully accept Sudanese refugees into their churches and communities.

Bring pressure to bear on privately held international oil companies to cease oil exploration and exploitation until there is a comprehensive and just peace agreement.

Advocate before the U.S. government to ensure that its policy fully incorporates the human rights of all Sudanese and the rights of southern Sudanese to self-determination, free from the terror of constant civil war.

Support efforts for greater interfaith dialogue and understanding at the local and global level.

Attach as annex documents, the following:

Annex 1: 1994 IGAD Declaration of Principles

Annex 2: NSCC People to People Peace Process Covenants and Follow-up documents, June 1998-June 2001

Annex 3: Slavery in Sudan (compiled by NSCC and SCC)

Annex 4: Statement of the Sudanese Churches on the Oil Factor in the Conflict in the Sudan

POLICY BASE:

Policy Statement: Human Rights, 1963

Policy Statement: Human Rights: Fulfillment of Life in the Social Order, 1995

Resolution: Reprisals Against Persons of Arab and Muslim Background, 1986


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