Sudan is at a crossroads. The volatile situation in the country – not just in the Darfur region, but also the tenuous peace between northern and southern Sudan brought about by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) – is becoming more serious. The country is bracing for a referendum early next year when southern Sudan will decide if it will secede from the north. The potential for increased violence, death, and displacement as a result of renewed war is real. Significant steps must be taken to avert such a disaster.
Representatives Capuano (MA), McCaul (TX), Payne (NJ), Smith(NJ) and Wolf (VA) have introduced House Resolution 1588, similar to Senate Resolution 404 passed earlier this year, that signals the United States’ strong commitment to prevent increased violence and promote peace and stability in all of Sudan. The resolution specifically calls on President Obama to strengthen engagement on this issue and on the international community to coordinate their efforts closely. It urges the responsible actors in Sudan to comply with the provisions of the CPA, resolve outstanding issues, and avoid actions that escalate tensions.
The Catholic bishops of Sudan have raised serious concerns about the situation in their country. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are taking action in light of the potential for increased violence to avert conflict by assisting people in need, promoting reconciliation, and advocating for strong U.S. leadership for peace. CRS and USCCB support H. Res. 1588 and urge all members of the House of Representatives to co-sponsor this important resolution.
Our Catholic faith calls on us to uphold the dignity of all human life and to be in solidarity with our brothers and sisters throughout the world. Conflict in Sudan has already cost millions of lives, displaced millions more, and deepened widespread poverty. As Catholics, we must take action to prevent violence and save lives as well as assist our neighbors in need. Contact your Representative now and urge him/her to co-sponsor the bipartisan House Resolution 1588 that supports full implementation of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement and efforts to promote peace and stability in Sudan.
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