Following my post and the appeal we launched in Bradford for the Christians of Northern Sudan, at last the matter has hit the public radar.
Many in Bradford were bewildered why the UK media made no mention of the horrors in Northern Sudan, and some even doubted the veracity of the story on the grounds that ‘if it were true, it would be in the papers’. US media covered the story from the beginning.
The FCO issued a statement in response to a parliamentary question on 11 June. The Archbishop of Canterbury has made a statement and President Obama has gone big on it. The matter is now on the agenda. It wasn’t easy getting it there.
Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement on South Kordofan, Sudan
From Lambeth Palace
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has released the following statement regarding recent violence in South Kordofan, Sudan:
“Along with the Christian leaders represented in the Sudan Ecumenical Forum and Council of Churches and many more throughout the world, we deplore the mounting level of aggression and bloodshed in South Kordofan State and the indiscriminate violence on the part of government troops against civilians. Numerous villages have been bombed. More than 53,000 people have been driven from their homes. The new Anglican cathedral in Kadugli has been burned down. UN personnel in the capital, Kadugli, are confined to their compound and are unable to protect civilians; the city has been overrun by the army, and heavy force is being used by government troops to subdue militias in the area, with dire results for local people. Many brutal killings are being reported.
This violence is a major threat to the stability of Sudan just as the new state of South Sudan is coming into being. The humanitarian challenge is already great, and the risk of another Darfur situation, with civilian populations at the mercy of government-supported terror, is a real one.
International awareness of this situation is essential. The UN Security Council, the EU, the Arab League and the African Union need to co-operate in guaranteeing humanitarian access and safety for citizens, and we hope that our own government, which has declared its commitment to a peaceful future for Sudan, will play an important part in this.”