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Sudan awaits results of historic referendum

January 20, 2011

After decades of war and more than two million lives lost, the people of southern Sudan have voted in an historic referendum on independence, which international observers have called credible and peaceful. Celebrations were held throughout the region as millions of Southerners turned out to cast their ballots.

Though official results are not expected until early February, all signs point to the people voting overwhelmingly for secession. The independence referendum is the capstone of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the civil war. Sudan President Omar al-Bashir has indicated that he will honor the outcome of the vote. Pax Christi International encourages its global network to continue in solidarity with the people of Sudan through prayers, education and actions.

Message from Bishop Paride Taban of Holy Trinity Peace Village in southern Sudan:

Paride Taban, Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Torit and founder of Holy Trinity Peace Village in Kuron, a Pax Christi International member organization, has travelled extensively in recent months in support of the independence referendum. He has a long history of struggle for the rights and dignity of the southern Sudanese people.

On January 18, Bishop Taban wrote, “We thank God, the universal church and all people of good will who joined in earnest prayers of 101 days for the success of the referendum which ended very peacefully” (See Ref. 2010-0522-en-af-AC).

“Now I can rest in peace. I have seen what my ancestors wanted to see and did not see… for the people of southern Sudan to choose their destiny and their freedom. Now God has given it to them. I am waiting for that day of announcement in which I will say like Simeon: Lord, thank you. Now you let your servant go in peace, for you have allowed me to see the freedom and salvation of the people of southern Sudan.’

God bless you,

Paride Taban


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