Sudan: World Council of Churches' Call for Peace
World Council of Churches
1 September 2009
(…) 4. Churches should once again assume their pioneering role and raise their prophetic voice with regard to the Darfur crisis. The crimes committed in Darfur against innocent civilians amount to the crime of genocide as prescribed in the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
5. States have a primary responsibility to protect their populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity. However, when states manifestly fail to protect their populations, the international community shares a collective responsibility to respond. The international community no longer has the right to remain a bystander and allow the perpetration of large scale atrocities, like the ones occurring in Darfur, to continue unpunished.
6. Unfortunately the government of Sudan has failed to protect its population. (…)
(…) The central committee of the WCC, meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, 26 August - 2 September 2009:
A. Condemns the mass atrocities committed against innocent civilians in Darfur.
B. Affirms its commitment and support to all national and international efforts aiming at pursuing justice and accountability with a view to building a long lasting peace through a truly reconciliatory process which will allow people to resettle and reintegrate in their communities from which they were forcefully displaced.
C. Urges the government of Sudan to assume full responsibility for the protection of its citizens irrespective of their ethnic, religious or political affiliation, and further calls on all parties in the Darfur conflict to restrain from all forms of violence and to uphold respect for the dignity and human rights of all people in Sudan.
D. Calls upon the government of Sudan to allow uninterrupted humanitarian assistance to reach all suffering people in Darfur and calls upon the international community to provide the necessary resources.
E. Appeals to the government of Sudan to actively show its commitment to justice and peace by honouring the statements and agreements it has signed, especially the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
F. Urges African nations and the international community, both individually as well as through organizations such as the African Union, the Arab League and the United Nations, to continue to support the peace process through constructive dialogue with all parties involved in the conflict.
G. Appreciates the assistance provided by the peace keeping force UNAMID (African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur), and calls for further financial and logistical support by the international community in order to allow UNAMID to protect the civilian population most effectively.
H. Acknowledges the significant role of the churches in Sudan in promoting interreligious dialogue and advocating for peace, justice, reconciliation and respect for the dignity and well being of all the people of Sudan.
I. Encourages all Christians to pray for an end to the hostilities in Darfur and for a lasting peace in Sudan.