In 2005, after 21 years of brutal war between northern and southern Sudan, the leaders and people of Sudan embraced peace. They agreed that the people of the south must decide their own future. So on 9 January 2011, southern Sudanese will vote whether or not to become a separate nation.
The UK government has promised to support the peace process. We can hold them to that promise and urge them to support the outcome of a free and fair referendum. Whatever the result, Sudan will need support to build peace for the long-term.
The Sudanese Bishops Conference launches the ‘101 days for peace’ campaign on the United Nations’ International Day for Peace on 21 September, calling for peace before, during and after the referendum. They urge other countries to join them in praying and speaking out for peace.
An estimated four million people were displaced during the civil war in the south. CAFOD’s church partners provide seeds, tools and other essentials for people returning home to south Sudan following the signing of the peace deal.
Government and southern rebels sign a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, ending 21 years of war between north and south. It includes a permanent ceasefire and agreements on wealth and power-sharing. It also provides for a referendum to be held in 2011 for the people of south Sudan to decide whether or not to become an independent nation. The American, Norwegian and British governments form a Troika, in order to ensure the peace deal is implemented fairly. The UK government is part of the troika.
Civil war breaks out again in the south, involving government forces and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). North and south are divided against each other, on religious and political grounds. Natural resources, such as oil and gold are mainly located in the south.