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Archbishop's statement on South Kordofan, Sudan

Tuesday 14th June 2011

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."


The Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, has made the following appeal:


The Diocese of Bradford is linked to the Diocese of Kadugli in Northern Sudan where this week government soldiers began a brutal military campaign to disarm military groups who had fought against the northern government during the civil war five years ago.

The Cathedral and the diocesan offices have been burned down, and government soldiers have terrorised the town and are seeking Christian leaders who have gone into hiding.

Kadugli is the capital of South Kordofan state which will stay in the new northern Sudan when the country divides on 9 July - it's vital to the government as it contains large oil fields.

The United Nations secure complex has been over-run by the military and anyone thought to support the southerners is being executed. Civilians are also being killed indiscriminately. The city of Kadugli is deserted and controlled by the military who are now extending their campaign.

Bradford Diocese has been given graphic accounts from Bishop Andudu and others in Kadugli and the Bishop from the next door Diocese of El Obeid has asked for support as displaced people are fleeing there - he has 20 people in his house and he estimates that 700 people need feeding.

I am asking every church in the Diocese to pray on Sunday for this tragedy in Sudan. Today we are launching the Kadugli Appeal to raise funds to help the church in Sudan care for those who are displaced now and help with reconstruction in the future. Please give generously. (Cheques should be made out to Bradford Diocesan Board of Finance, marked Kadugli Appeal and sent to Kadugli House, Elmsley St, Steeton, Keighley BD20 6SE).

We are asking the Foreign Office to bring their influence to bear and we are working with Lambeth Palace and the Diocese of Salisbury to raise the profile of this disaster.

May God help us all to see peace restored.



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