Catholic Bishops Warn Peace Pact is Losing Drive
Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi)
18 November 2008
Posted to the web 18 November 2008
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005 to end the civil war in Sudan is losing momentum because of slow implementation, the Sudanese bishops have said.
The bishops' warning is contained in a pastoral letter written at the end of their plenary assembly on Friday in Yambio. The letter, which analyses the political situation in the Sudan, calls for genuine elections, and emphasizes the need for a change of attitude in order to enact the principles of democracy and good governance, will be officially released on Sunday.
The President of the Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference, Bishop Rudolph Deng Majak, told Bakhita Radio in Yambio that the bishops are worried that the signatories to the CPA are not focused on the obligations of the peace agreement signed in Kenya on January 9, 2005.
"We are afraid the spirit and the letter of the CPA are losing momentum in both leaders - the principal signatories of the CPA, the National Congress and the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement - plus their supporters and their friends who helped them to achieve such a historic document."
Bishop Deng asked Christians and Muslims to refocus on the CPA and urged leaders to mobilize the faithful to walk together, reconciled and united to implement the peace agreement.
The Catholic bishops of Sudan met at Bakhita Centre in Yambio from November 5 to 14 for their annual meeting. The theme of their plenary meeting was "The Word of God, Source of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace".
Bishop Deng said that the Sudanese bishops answered the call of Pope Benedict XVI who had asked Catholics to reflect on the role of the Word of God.
The 10-day assembly focused on the internal structure of the bishops' conference and looked at issues affecting the society at various levels.
Family was among the issues the conference dealt with. The bishops said the war had damaged the fabric of people's lives and that family values have been eroded.
The bishops underlined that it is only by praying and strengthening the relationship with God that people are empowered to reconstruct the country and lead it to lasting peace.
The meeting was attended by nine of the 13 bishops, secretaries of the SCBC as well as heads of Catholic institutions and partners.