A group of Sudanese ecumenical leaders met with the Council on Foreign Relations to discuss the upcoming vote for the independence of Southern Sudan.
Episcopal Life Online reports:
Raising awareness of the volatile situation in Sudan and encouraging high-level advocacy and support ahead of the Jan. 9 referendum on independence were the focus of a panel discussion hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations at its New York mid-town headquarters.
Moderated by Linda Watt, chief operating officer of the Episcopal Church and a CFR member, the Oct. 14 panel was comprised of ecumenical religious leaders from Sudan, including Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul of the Episcopal Church of Sudan.
The leaders are visiting the U.S. intent on raising alarm bells about the future of Africa’s largest nation, which many fear may plunge back into civil war if action does not continue from the international community as southerners in Sudan prepare to vote on whether to secede from the north or remain a unified country.
“We are worried. We want to inform the world. We want to inform our partners. We need your help. These people should not be allowed to go back to war,” Deng told the media and other representatives at the CFR, an independent, nonpartisan membership organization that aims to promote understanding of foreign policy.
Besides Deng, the ecumenical delegation includes Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Adwok of Khartoum; Roman Catholic Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban of Torit; the Rev. Ramadan Chan, general secretary of the Sudan Council of Churches; the Rev. Sam Kobia, Sudan envoy for the All Africa Conference of Churches (formerly general secretary of the World Council of Churches); and John Ashworth, Sudan adviser for Catholic Relief Services and Sudan Ecumenical Forum