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Sudan, a country that has suffered decades of unrest, is just a month away from a landmark referendum, possibly changing its identity forever.

December 2010



Children and families stand in line for food items in the South Sudan community of Kuajok.
Children and families in the South Sudan community of Kuajok stand in line to receive food items from World Vision.
Photo ©2010 Eunha Kim/World Vision
Bringing peace to Southern Sudan has been a long time coming. The cycle of violence and the ensuing difficulties for aid agencies is difficult to break.

The main source of contention within Sudan is a north-south divide, characterized by differing ethnicities and religions, and demand for valuable natural resources. The divide has fueled 21 years of civil war, leaving 2 million people dead and many more displaced.

Indecisive leadership

In 2005, a peace deal between the two regions promised a referendum in the south to determine whether it should become an independent nation.

Registration to take part in the vote was due to begin this past July. However, the schedule has gone awry.

Leaders are currently in talks to resolve sensitive issues over border regions and natural resources. The danger of the delaying the referendum after the set date of January 9, 2011, will cause further instability to a region already in turmoil. The government’s ban on the national press discussing the referendum does not bode well, either.

Rallying for independence

Hundreds of supporters have been rallying in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, on the ninth day of every month as a reminder that the 2005 promise must be fulfilled. Whether they vote ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ the South Sudanese people desire to determine their own future.

The political decisions being made are only one side of the coin. A lasting peace also requires the delivery of services such as education, health, and access to water, which were promised in the peace agreement.

Even more dangerous is the pending decision over how to share revenues from oil drilling.

Hope for the future

World Vision has been working in Sudan for more than 20 years in communities across the country — both during the conflict and after. Some examples of key U.S.-funded projects in Sudan include improving the quality of basic education and providing healthcare training programs that focus on maternal health and nutrition.

“World Vision is working to ensure that children and their families in our programs are healthy,” said Jesse Eaves, World Vision’s child protection policy advisor. “Of particular focus are refugee families who are often the most vulnerable population.”

So much more is needed to sustain any type of infrastructure, which is why the South Sudanese are insisting on their right to decide how this will transpire. Please take some time over the upcoming holiday season to remember the communities and leaders in Sudan in your prayers.

Learn more


>> Learn more about the history of ongoing struggles in Sudan.

Two ways you can help

>> Pray for the people of Sudan. Pray that peace will prevail as they approach this pivotal moment in their country’s future.
>> Give monthly to help assist children terrorized by war and conflict. Your support will help meet urgent needs such as trauma counseling and rehabilitation; access to clean water, nutritious food, and healthcare; peacebuilding activities to help foster conflict resolution; and much more.

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Learn more

Learn more about the history of ongoing struggles in Sudan.

Two ways you can help

Pray for the people of Sudan. Pray that peace will prevail as they approach this pivotal moment in their country’s future.
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Give monthly to help assist children terrorized by war and conflict. Your support will help meet urgent needs such as trauma counseling and rehabilitation; access to clean water, nutritious food, and healthcare; peacebuilding activities to help foster conflict resolution; and much more.

 





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