Letter to Secretary of State Clinton on Sudan Bishops' Pastoral Statement and Comprehensive Peace Agreement, February 5, 2010

Year Published
  • 2013
  • English

February 5, 2010

The Honorable Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. State Department
2201 C. Street
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Clinton:

I am writing to share with you the deep concerns of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference regarding the tragic situation in Darfur and the danger posed by failures to implement many aspects of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). A copy of the recent Pastoral Letter from the Catholic bishops of Sudan is attached.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) shares longstanding bonds of solidarity with the Church in Sudan. The USCCB remains grateful for the efforts Special Envoy Scott Gration is making to foster peace in this troubled land, but we urge the United States to do more to protect the life and dignity of the people of Sudan. More specifically, in this the last year of CPA implementation, it will be crucial for the U.S. Administration to intensify its engagement with the Government of National Unity, the Government of Southern Sudan, and the leaders in Darfur to end the violence in Sudan and successfully complete the CPA.

The Bishops of Sudan recognize that the CPA is a valid and relevant road map to a just and lasting peace in Sudan, but believe the situation in their country has reached a crucial and decisive moment due to the failure to implement many of the key commitments within the CPA. The Pastoral Letter of the bishops highlights their concerns regarding the upcoming election, border demarcation, preparations for the popular consultations in the border areas and the referendum, and the rising tide of violence in Southern Sudan.

It is also noteworthy that the Church in Sudan offers balanced appeals and criticism to all the parties to the CPA. The bishops call on the Government of Southern Sudan to address corruption, protect Southern Sudanese from violence, and work for the common good of all.

The USCCB supports the Church in Sudan and its calls for peace. In the coming year our Conference will work closely with the Bishops of Sudan to help them engage the international community in advocating for peace and development. Through Catholic Relief Services (CRS) the Church continues its effort to relieve suffering and promote integral human development in Sudan. With a sense of urgency, CRS is expanding its efforts to promote peacebuilding and non-violent conflict transformation within Sudan, and to encourage the international community to help the people of Sudan prevent a return a war. 

The United States can be proud of its leadership role in negotiating the CPA. As a signatory to the agreement, it is now crucial that our nation work to ensure its full implementation through continuing and intensified engagement with the Government of National Unity and the Government of Southern Sudan. It will also be important to build the capacity of the Government of Southern Sudan to protect the human rights of their people, provide for their security, and ensure their wellbeing through effective education, health and development initiatives. The people of Sudan look to the United States for continued leadership.

The USCCB reiterates its support for past U.S. efforts on behalf of the people of Sudan and remains committed to working with our government throughout this crucial final year of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to protect and promote the life and dignity of the people of Sudan in a situation that remains fragile and dangerous.

Sincerely yours,

Most Reverend Howard J. Hubbard
Bishop of Albany
Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace

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