Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Sudan: Turning Point

"Church's role is critical in run-up to Sudan independence vote"
By Benjamin Mann, Staff Writer

Baltimore, Md., Jan 4, 2011 / 05:53 am (CNA).- Sudan's Catholic bishops say their country “will never be the same again,” once a January 2011 referendum that could split Africa's largest country in two takes place. Leading up to the vote, the Sudanese Catholic Church is playing a central role in preparing the country for the vote and its possible consequences.

The article talks about how the Church is taking the lead in preparing the people for the vote on independence on January 9 due to the lack of strong civil institutions and due to the trust in the Church thanks to its ability to cross tribal lines. Of course, it's what the Church has done for a thousand years and more since the fall of Rome.

This is sobering:

At worst, the referendum's results could prompt a third Sudanese civil war– “far more lethal” than the first two, in Griffin's estimation, and “just as targeted against civilians.” Such a war, he predicted, would involve not only Sudan's north and south, but the nine neighboring countries, in what “could be the largest conventional war on the African continent.”

That result, in turn, could de-stabilize large portions of East Africa, immersing other countries in “proxy wars that are ignited and played out across Sudan.” This “worst-case scenario,” according to Griffin, “would make Somalia and Yemen look manageable by comparison.”

Let's pray it doesn't end up like that.

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