Last July, when South Sudan was established as the world’s newest nation, the world was full of hope for the future of the Sudanese people. But now, less than a year later, the long-term peace and stability of Sudan and South Sudan are at a critical juncture.
As Pope Benedict XVI said earlier this year, “Sadly, tensions and clashes have ensued in recent months, and I express my hope that all may unite their efforts to enable the people of Sudan and South Sudan to experience at last a period of peace, freedom and development.”
In the Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states of Sudan, aerial bombardment, reported attacks on civilians, and a refusal by the Sudanese government to allow international humanitarian aid may lead to large-scale displacement of people and famine. Relations between Sudan and South Sudan are tenuous because negotiations over oil revenue have failed and oil production has ceased in South Sudan, threatening both countries’ economies. The status and security of “people of southern origin” residing in Sudan is in flux, as is the border between Sudan and South Sudan and the town of Abyei that straddles it. Inter-communal violence in South Sudan—primarily in the Jonglei and Unity states—has taken thousands of lives, causing widespread hunger and displacement. While some transitional aid has been possible, the suffering and insecurity of the people in Darfur largely continues unabated.
Stand with the Sudanese people. Pledge your support for peace. Sign this letter to Secretary Hillary Clinton.
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