Sudan Church Leader Condemns Recent Violence

The recently elected head of the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) condemned the recent outbreak of violence in the country's southern region that left over 100 dead.

"The violence is getting serious," the Rev. Ramadan Chan Liol told Ecumenical News International. "The worse thing is that there are killings of children, women and elderly people."

The incident happened earlier last week when fighters from the northern Lou Nuer tribe attacked rival Dinka settlements in the southern village of Duk Padiet, burning buildings and attacking church goers.

While members of the Lou Nuer told Reuters that the attacks were just "revenge" for past cattle raiding, southern Sudanese leaders believe the raids to be an attempt to destabilise the southern region in wake of scheduled 2010 elections and a 2011 referendum on southern secession.

"The central government is not in favour of secession or something like it," Liol, who told ENI. "The longer they keep [the south] the better."

Liol's statements come less than a month after United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Sudan both issued their appeals against the escalating violence in the country, which the UN reports has left over 1,200 dead since the beginning of this year.

Addressing the South Sudanese government after attacks in August, which claimed more than 40 lives, Moon called the body to, "re-double its efforts to ensure the protection of civilians" and to work with UN bodies toward "resolving the root causes of the tensions and addressing the humanitarian situation," according to a UN spokesperson.

Echoing Moon's statements was Episcopal Archbishop Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul Yak, saying in early September that, "Continuing violence such as this is not only a crime against the innocent people killed and injured, it is a crime against the peace of the Sudan and if left unchecked will do great damage to the smooth implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement."

On September 1st, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee issued its statement on Sudanese violence, calling the crisis, "a moral challenge for the international community." The WCC concluded their statement with a call for Christians everywhere to pray for, "a lasting peace in Sudan."

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