Prayers Needed for Sudan

by Michael Ford last modified 09 Apr, 2019 05:38 PM

Communities and churches throughout the Diocese are being asked to hold the people of Sudan in their prayers after Sudanese riot police fired tear gas at protesters in Khartoum this weekend.

Canon Ian Woodward, acting chair of the Diocese's Sudan links Committee and its lead on Advocacy, asked for the prayers and said the Committee was watching the situation very carefully:

"One of our committee Robert Hayward is currently in Port Sudan visiting the Bishop there. Robert, who also works for Christian Aid, is a very experienced operator having been Christian Aid’s Country Manager before the independence of the South.

"We are in touch with him and with Archbishop Ezekiel, the Primate of the Episcopal Church of Sudan in Khartoum, and have assured him of our prayers. Robert was due home by the end of the week.

"Whilst the situation there is uncertain, the danger is that the military forces who have up until now been relatively quiescent may be required to support President Bashir if he so orders them to do so. The president is subject to an indictment by the international criminal court for his alleged policies in Darfur.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and we are in touch with the Sudans Unit in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

"We would ask that our Diocese holds all the people of Sudan in their prayers."

Rising prices triggered anti-government protests which began in December, and security forces have responded by firing tear gas and live ammunition at the demonstrators.

Amnesty International has reported that 37 people have been killed since the riots started, while in the recent protests, teachers and students at the University of Khartoum were arrested to prevent them partaking in other demonstrations.

Demonstrators have called for President Omar al-Bashir to step down from his role, a position he has held since 1989. A constitutional amendment suggested this month would see the leader retain his position past the end of his term in 2020.

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