We 33 Christians and Muslims from broad traditions of faith based organisations under the auspices of the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) and New Sudan Islamic Council (NSIC) came together in Jinja Nile Resort, Uganda from August 29 ،V September 3, 2005 for an interfaith consultation on Justice, Peace and Reconciliation in Post war New Sudan.
This gathering was initiated by the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) and the Life and Peace Institute, Horn of Africa Program (L&PI/HAP) in collaboration with the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) and the New Sudan Islamic Council (NSIC).
The objective of the consultation was to bring Christians and Muslims together to reflect and listen to each other and develop a common understanding of the coexistence of religious communities and deliberate on the issues of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation. Simultaneously, it would enable the communities to look on religions as tools for peace and contribute, in a united way, to the sustenance of the achieved peace in the Sudan.
The consultation was honoured by the presence of Sheikh Muhammed Ali Waiswa, representing His Eminence the Grand Mufti of Uganda - Sheikh Shaaban Mubajje, the Executive Secretary of Uganda Joint Christian Council and Chairperson of Fellowship of Christian Councils in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA) -Rev. Canon Grace Kaiso, Canon Trevor Williams, Board Member ،V Life & Peace Institute from Ireland and Ms. Anna-Lisa Raunio, FinChurch Aid from Finland. They all came with a common purpose describing peace as a cradle of reconciliation, stability and progress in any society of human beings whatever their description and this is the ultimate agenda of all universal religions. They pledged to work together in utilising inter-religious dialogue in mobilising people to collectively undertake responsibilities that relate to the recognition, fulfilment and realisation of the rights of all and establish peace and stability.
We discussed issues on the following:
ƒو Justice, Peace and Reconciliation: An Islamic perspective presented by Mr. Abubakar Francis, World Conference of Religions and Peace (WCRP)
ƒو Justice, Peace and Reconciliation: A Christian perspective presented by Rev. Acee Temple Anono, All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC)
ƒو Human Rights and Religion in the Sudan presented by Mr. Yoanes Ajawin, Justice Africa
ƒو Social Peace in Islam and the Post-war Sudan presented by Eng. Mahmoud E. Yousif, New Sudan Islamic Council (NSIC)
To deepen our understanding on issues resource persons Imam Dr. Muhammed Ashafa and Pastor Dr. James Wuye from Nigeria and Bishop Thomas Barnett and Dr. Abdul Karim from Sierra Leone were invited to stimulate our thinking through the sharing of their experiences in interfaith living and working for peace and dialogue.
The following recommendations were made:
1) To encourage the Muslims and Christians working together in the New Sudan to reach out to our brothers & sisters in Sudan.
2) All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) and Life and Peace Institute, Horn of Africa Program (L&PI/HAP) to call another meeting as soon as possible inviting religious leaders in the Sudan.
3) The need for intra and interfaith meeting to be held in Sudan for larger participation
4) Involvement of all denominational religious leaders or their official representatives in the consultation.
5) Need for interfaith groups to promote peace and reconciliation between ethnic communities.
6) Solutions should be found for children in order to have equal religious education opportunities.
7) The need to create a committee to follow-up on the recommendations outlined from this consultation.
8) To increase participation of women and youth in forthcoming interfaith process.
We Christians and Muslims of New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) and New Sudan Islamic Council (NSIC) agree to accompany each other and other partners in the process of justice, peace and reconciliation in the post war new Sudan. To God be the Glory!
September 2, 2005
Jinja Nile Resort, Uganda