Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Youth are to BE Exemplary

S. Sudan church leader appeals to youth to be exemplary
Monday 23 February 2009 03:30.
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By Isaac Vuni
February 22, 2009 (JUBA) — The Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba, Fr. Lawrence Kose, today appealed to youth of Southern Sudan to be exemplary to each other and to avoid politicians’ exploitations and embracing so-called “nigger” behaviors brought from foreign countries.
The term “nigger” is currently used to describe a section of Sudanese youth, which has adopted certain foreign modes of dress and behaviour, and is anecdotally associated with criminal activities.
Fr. Kose urges youth of South Sudan to totally discredit “nigger” behaviour now derailing the rule-of-law system particularly in major towns.
The middle-aged spiritual leader stated that those involved in deadly activities are mostly children of senior government officials who previously were studying either in Egypt or America and who now are terrorizing major cities of Southern Sudan particularly metropolitan Juba and Eastern Equatoria. He added that when the youths are apprehended by police on patrol duty, their elders rush to order their release.
Celebrating the 23rd anniversary of Youth in the Archdiocese, the vicar general advised youth to reject being politically manipulated especially during the coming national election scheduled for July this year. He went on to say youth are the leaders of today rather than just tomorrow; therefore they have the full right to elect capable people among themselves.
Otherwise, when it is time for war the politicians rush to the youth to fight despite that they are marginalized from positions when war is over, Kose noted. The positions are occupied by the politicians claiming that youth are still young to rule, he cautioned.
The elected chairman of the youth is Emmanuel Nason, the secretary general is William Kalisto, the secretary for information is Elizabeth Musa and the financial secretary is Simon Alesio.
In the current government of Southern Sudan, only one youth holds a ministerial level position, in Commerce and Industry.

Religion , Nationalism, and Peace in Sudan

Religion, Ethics, and Human Rights Activities Index

Religion, Nationalism, and Peace in Sudan

Religion, Nationalism, and Peace in SudanA U.S. Institute of Peace Conference
September 16-17, 1997
David Little, Chester Crocker, Francis Deng and others welcome participants on the opening day.
The Institute of Peace hosted a two-day meeting on September 16-17, 1997 in Washington D.C. to examine the role of religion and ideology within the continuing civil war in Sudan. The first day of the September conference reviewed the larger issues of religious identity and intolerance in Sudan's civil war, with a particular emphasis on the policies of the National Islamic Front (NIF), while the second day focused more specifically on the requirements for resolving the civil war and the implications for U.S. policy. [Read the concept paper written for the conference.]
An overview of the conference agenda is provided below, including links to transcripts from each panel session. Several of the papers presented at the conference are also available below.

Conference Concept Paper
Religion, Nationalism, and Peace in Sudan: A U.S. Institute of Peace Conference
In October 1991, the Religion, Ethics and Human Rights program of the U.S. Institute of Peace held a meeting to examine the role of religion, nationalism and intolerance as sources of conflict in Sudan's continuing civil war. That conference was part of a larger series investigating how and why certain religious and fundamental beliefs create or contribute to hostility and war. The series has sought to better understand the role of religion within conflict and to identify means for easing the tensions created by religious nationalism.
The Institute's 1991 conference highlighted the historical role of religious identity and intolerance in Sudan's civil war. While the war is not simply a matter of religious differences, it was argued that the various factors contributing to the conflict have found expression in religious terms. The struggle for political authority and economic resources has been closely tied to communal tensions between North and South. Since religion has been so significant in defining communal identity, issues such as racial discrimination and the disparity in wealth and power between North and South have been seen by many as inseparable from religion.
The potency of religion within this context is derived from both its influence on ethnic identity and the close link between nationalism and religious beliefs. These two issues come together in what Francis Deng has called the "war of visions" for the country. The predominantly Muslim North has historically perceived Sudan as a single country composed of one people divided by colonial powers. Northern policies have subsequently sought to "re-unite" the country through a process of Arabization and Islamization. Such policies, however, have generated antagonism among the southern population whose indigenous cultural values combined with Christianity to create a common identity, one defined largely in opposition to Northern attitudes and policies. Because government policy since independence has by and large disregarded Sudan's multi-religious character and the South's contrasting identity, conflict and civil war has remained endemic.
Southern opposition groups have consistently opposed the North's efforts of forced unity, and have argued for either complete separation from the North or a secular political structure coupled with a restructuring of Sudanese national identity. Significantly, freedom of religion and greater regional autonomy have been the foundations of several negotiated agreements reached between northern and southern parties (which were either abrogated or left unimplemented), most notably the Addis Ababa accords of 1972.
Before producing a report on this topic, we need to revisit the situation in Sudan and update our assessment. In the interim, the civil war has continued unabated, and numerous efforts at mediation have proven unsuccessful. Significant realignments, however, have blurred the traditional North-South character of the conflict. The dominant Northern opposition parties have joined together and allied themselves with John Garang and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), while Riak Machar's Southern Sudan Independence Army (SSIA) has joined forces with the Khartoum government. Involvement of other countries in Sudan's civil war has further complicated this latest stage of the conflict.
While these changes have undoubtedly affected the dynamics of the war, many of the underlying issues remain. First, it is unlikely that either side can resolve the long-standing conflict through force, and a negotiated settlement remains the best hope for ending the fighting. Second, the content of such an accord would still need to address the basic institutional requirements for a stable multi-ethnic society in a post-conflict period, including provision for freedom of religion and belief, and non-discrimination in regard to religion, race and language. Whether such an agreement is possible today-one that would include some form of power-sharing arrangement and a more inclusive legal framework with particular reference to religion and identity-remains in question. This is particularly relevant since the requirements for such an arrangement appear to be so at odds with the particular interpretation of shari'a and Islam advocated by the National Islamic Front. Finally, self-determination for the South remains a heated question, despite the political re-alignments.
The Institute's September conference will re-examine these issues in light of current changes, and focus particularly on the extent to which religion and ideology remain a part of the conflict today. Has the alignment of the SPLM with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) fundamentally altered the dynamic and requirements for resolution of the conflict, or do long-standing tensions over a secular state remain? Does the political will exist for adopting a pluralist framework among the northern Sudanese, either within the NIF or the NDA? What are the implications for U.S. foreign policy?
The conference will begin with introductory remarks from the Institute of Peace representatives and Francis Deng of the Brookings Institution. The first panel will then proceed with a review of the NIF's Islamic objectives in Sudan. This panel will explore competing interpretations of Islam in Sudan, and how Islam should and does relate to politics in that country. Particular attention will be paid to the Islamization program undertaken by the current regime since 1989, and what kind of impact this has had on the continuing civil war. The second panel will then review the issue of religion and identity in the South, and, again, how this relates to the civil war and the previous discussion of Northern identity and religious affiliation. This section will provide a southern perspective on the issues identified in the previous panel.
The first day will conclude with a panel exploring the "second-tier" conflicts, looking in turn at the conflict between the southern factions and the similar tensions between the northern opposition parties and the ruling regime. Should a resolution of the civil war be attained, what are the implications of the current split in the southern forces for a future Southern Sudan? Are Nuer-Dinka tensions likely to increase or decrease under such a scenario? In regard to the North, the Northern political parties have never differentiated themselves to any great extent in regard to the issue of shari'a. If the current military regime were to step down, would the Northern parties be willing to embrace an interpretation of Islam and Islamic law consistent with international human rights standards and with southern demands for a restructured national character or self-determination leading to a new state?
The first panel of the second day will provide differing perspectives from Western analysts and academics on these same issues. The panelists will be asked for their analysis of the NIF's policies, the significance of religion in the civil war today, and, finally, the implications for resolving the conflict in Sudan. While these first four panels will provide differing perspectives on the general issue of religion and politics in Sudan, the remainder of the conference will focus specifically on issues of reconciliation and public policy. To this end, the panelists will be asked how relevant the principles of the previous peace agreements are to the current situation-particularly in regard to freedom of religion and greater regional autonomy. Assuming some relevance, three further questions will be posed: (1) to what extent can religious pluralism -- a separation of religion from the state apparatus -- be accepted in Sudan? (2) Is reconciliation between North and South viable? Finally, (3) what are the legal and institutional requirements for religious tolerance and pluralism in a post-conflict situation, either in a unified state or as two separate states.
Finally, the meeting will conclude with a review of U.S. foreign policy towards Sudan, and, particularly, the implications of the NIF's Islamization program for Western policy makers. If issues of religious identity and pluralism are significant in the ongoing civil war, what can U.S. policy do to address these issues? Specifically, what options are available to U.S. policymakers to (a) mitigate religious persecution in the country and (b) promote inter-communal reconciliation? Finally, to what extent is the current regime's support for militant groups tied to the NIF's interpretation of Islam, and how can U.S. policy address this?

Tuesday, September 16, 1997
9:30 AM - Welcoming Remarks and Introduction
- Chester A. Crocker, U.S. Institute of Peace- David Little, U.S. Institute of Peace- Francis Deng, Brookings Institution
View the panel transcript
10:30 AM - Panel One:"Islam and Islamization in Sudan"
- Mohammed Mahmoud, Tufts University- Abdelwahab El-Affendi, University of Westminster- Respondent: Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, Rhode Island College
View the panel transcript
12:30 PM - Lunch
2:00 PM - Panel Two: "Religion and Identity in the South"
- Francis Deng, Brookings Institution- Marc Nikkel, Episcopal Church- Respondent: Bona Malwal, Sudan Democratic Gazette
View the panel transcript
3:45 PM - Break
4:00 PM - Panel Three: "Intra-Regional Conflicts and the Implications for North-South Reconciliation"
- Wal Duany, Indiana University- Steven Wondu, Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement- Taisier Mohamed Ahmed Ali, Univ. of Toronto- Ann Mosely Lesch, Villanova University- Respondent: David Smock, U.S. Institute of Peace
View the panel transcript
Wednesday, September 17, 1997
9:00 AM - Panel One: "Western Perspectives on Religion and Politics in Sudan"
- Kate Almquist, World Vision- John Voll, Georgetown University- Respondent: Jemera Rone, Human Rights Watch
View the panel transcript
10:45 AM - Break
11:00 AM - Panel Two: "Religious Pluralism, Constitutional Issues and Reconciliation in Sudan"
- Peter Nyot Kok, Max Planck Institute- Adam Abdelmoula, Georgetown University- Respondent: Ann Mayer, University of Pennsylvania
View the panel transcript
1:00 PM - Lunch
2:30 PM - Panel Three: Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy
- John Prendergast, National Security Council- Roger Winter, U.S. Committee for Refugees- Ted Dagne, Congressional Research Service- Respondent: William Lowrey, Presbyterian Church (USA)
View the panel transcript
4:30 PM Concluding discussion and remarks from Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki
View the panel transcript

Conference Papers
"Islam and Islamization in Sudan: The Islamic National Front"(A Paper by Mohamed Mahmoud)
"The Limits and Dilemmas of 'Secular' Re-Islamisation Programmes: The Case of the Sudan"(A Paper by Abdelwahab El-Affendi)
"Sudan: The Authentic Portrait"(An Address by Ambassador Mahdi Ibraahim Mohamed, Embassy of Sudan)
"Religion and Politics in Sudan: A Humanitarian Agency's Perspective"(A Paper by Kate Almquist)
"An Ideology of Domination and the Domination of Ideology: Islamism, Politics and the Constitution in the Sudan"(A Paper by Adam M. Abdelmoula)
"The Challenges of Peace"(A Paper by Steven Wondu)