Home | News    Thursday 19 August 2010

Archbishop of ECS appeals for support to facilitate church’s role during referendum


By James Gatdet Dak

August 18, 2010 (JUBA) – The Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan (ECS), Rt. Rev. Daniel Deng Bul, has appealed to the leadership of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) to support the church in order to successfully play its expected role of peace building and civic education among the people in preparation for the upcoming referendum in the South.

The Most Rev. Daniel Deng Bul (photo ECS)The most senior priest of the ECS in the whole country said the church has the initiative to preach the gospel of peace and unity among the people as well as educate them at the grass root level on the conduct of the referendum.

The appeal came during a meeting between his Lordship and the Vice President, Riek Machar Teny, in his office on Wednesday. The Archbishop told the Vice President that he also came to congratulate him on his relentless efforts for the nation and encouraged the leadership to continue to stay focused and cross the people of Southern Sudan to the Promised Land.

Bishop Deng in particular appealed to the leadership to facilitate the activities of the church to play the role of messenger in promoting peace and healing the hearts of the people across the region. The Archbishop, who is also a citizen of Jonglei state, briefed the Vice President on his recent peace mission initiatives in his home state, which said, covered a number of the state counties.

The top priest said he has decentralized the church into six zones in the whole country, with five Bishops in charge of each zone. He also informed the Vice President about the church’s plan to soon hold a conference in the Ugandan’s capital, Kampala that will see participation of up to 400 Bishops from all over Africa. The conference, he said, would also discuss the upcoming referendum on Southern Sudan’s independence and how to help resolve the expected challenges.

On his part, Machar appreciated the church’s initiative, which he said was always strong in diplomacy as was seen during the peace process which helped brought about the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, describing the priests as ambassadors for peace. Priests from other major Christian denominations such as Catholic Church and Presbytery Church had also played role in peace building in the country.

He also briefed the Archbishop on the status of the formation of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission and the contentious issue of nomination of its Secretary General, which he said was being resolved. He also briefed him on the work of the Southern Sudan 2011 Taskforce established by President Salva Kiir Mayardit, under the chairmanship of the Vice President, to prepare the region for the conduct of the plebiscite.

The Taskforce, he said, would support church and civil society organizations that are actively playing the role of contributing to the process, particularly in the area of civic education or mobilization of the eligible voters. These will include, he further explained, civil society organizations in the Diaspora, especially those that operate in the eight selected foreign countries where the referendum vote will also take place.

The Vice President told the religious leader that the current insecurity situation was compounded by the armed civilians who take laws into their own hands, resulting to inter-ethnic clashes. Another challenge, he added, is the recent rebellion by officers against the government.

He however revealed that the recent Juba meeting of the Political Bureau of the ruling party; the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has decided to approach all the individuals who have rebelled with the aim to reconcile with them. Machar also revealed that the SPLM has conceded that the post of the Secretary General of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission will be a nominee from the National Congress Party (NCP) – a position that has caused delays in the referendum process. He also said that the SPLM will nominate the Deputy Secretary General that will be based in Juba with the Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau – the branch of the Khartoum-based Commission.

He also urged the church leader to play an active role in persuading the populations to hand over their guns to the authorities and have confidence in the security system set up by the government in the form of the organized forces to protect them and their properties.

On North-South borders and post-referendum arrangements, he explained to the spiritual leader that it is in the interest of his government to reach an agreement on the issues before the conduct of the referendum. He however said the referendum should be conducted even before any agreement is reached; saying there is no direct link between them and the referendum and should not hold the referendum hostage.

On citizenship, Machar however said there was need to agree on the question of citizenship before the referendum so that the two parties agree on the future of southerners and northerners residing in the two regions in the event of the South voting for separation.

On the issue of currency - which is now the Sudanese pounds for both North and South - he also explained that it is important to reach an agreement soon on the future of the currency in case the South votes for separation. He explained that some people with bad intention in the North may want to change the Northern currency overnight from the Sudanese pounds to another currency and dump all the Sudanese pounds to the South with the aim to make the Southern economy collapse.


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  • 19 August 2010 03:59, by thieleling

    Thanks James Gatdet Dak for your superb professional and objective reportings.
    This solid reporting is what the Diaspora & uninformed populace at home are exactly benefiting from. Your great personal diplomacy and professional judgement are really appreciated by Sudantribune audience and the sudanese people.

    Let the Rt. Rev. Daniel Deng Bul go back to Jonglei and be the peace ambassador to spread ONLY peace and nothing else. Again, thanks for the latest updates.

    repondre message

    • 19 August 2010 04:48, by Jamus


      Your tribal lenses blinded you to see that your master,Riek has betrayed us again.He conceded the post of Referandum Commission to NCP.This is another stab in the back and slap in the face to Southerners.You were giving credit to Gadet when they actually achieved nothing with your man.We know that for you guys to be in the realm of power will be a disaster to us.The leadership will be plague by betrayal after another.We need president to decree the striping of VP of the position and given to a patriot like Taban or Hoth Mai,we had enough.


      repondre message

      • 19 August 2010 09:52, by Gatwech

        Dear readers,

        Yes, the Secretary General of the Commission should have gone to the South.

        However, since the debate has gone on for so long and the NCP has used it as a tactic to indefinitely delay the referendum process, it is good that they are given the benefit of the doubt to take it.

        What I like very much is the fact that the Secretary General has a deputy who will be based there in Juba. That is a strategic way of making alternatives.

        This is like the same way the chairman of the commission if NCP while his deputy is SPLM based in Juba. Now the deputy Secretary General will join him in Juba. Great!

        Guys, do you know what I think? This branch of the Commission based in Juba will end up the one conducting the referendum without the head office in Khartoum. With the strategic thinking of South Sudan government that formed the Task Force, I believe that it will be the Task Force, the Commission Branch office in Juba through the blessing of the parliament that will conduct the referendum.

        What a great strategic thinking!!!

        Hey, ya Jamus or Mok, are you talking of betrayals about the referendum commission? Have you forgotten that it was John Garang first who said the headquarater of the commission should be in Khartoum, not Juba and he signed it in Naivasha’s CPA.

        Don’t write ignorantly like that. Dr. Machar and his team are trying make things right.

        Why did John Garang allow the headquarter of the South Sudan Referendum Commission to be in Khartoum in the first place?

        Shut up and leave the issue to strategists!!!

        repondre message

        • 19 August 2010 12:26, by Jamus

          To Dhol Chole Gatwech,

          Gatwech,Garang negotiated CPA and he ensured that there were adequate safeguards to prevent the agreement from faltering.Compare CPA to Khartoum Peace Agreement and you find that the KPA was riddled with loop holes which eventually led to its demise.The Strategic Planing that your master had based his thesis on need not to be applied here.His Strategic thinking was tested in the split of 1991,and it proved unthinkable.It is him who is the head of CPA implementation team and he easily capitulate to weak terms as he did with his KPA.He himself conceded the crucial post of Secreatary General to NCP and this was absurd.Garang never betrayed us,he stand firm to liberate us,unlike your master who keep shifting political goal posts.Don’t try to think that it was a strategic thing,it was a strategic error,as you know your master is prone to errors of huge proportion.


          repondre message

          • 19 August 2010 20:18, by Gatwech


            Your small head did not understand the strategy behind the Khartoum Peace Agreement. It was to introduce self-determination to all political forces in the Sudan including Garang and to achieve it on the peaceful basis.

            This worked in the process. Both Bashir and Garang came to self-determination and through peace agreement.

            Think about that.

            repondre message

    • 19 August 2010 04:52, by DOOR


      Why is it that Dinka are the tops and the best leaders in politics and religions in Sudan?

      I beg pardon if iam offensive but as always the truth hurt.
      I couldn’t help laughing when you thank the poor James Gatdet instead of Rt Rev. Daniel Deng Bul.
      The Sudan and South in particular must make a research on Dinka DNA to ascertain the puzzle behind Dinka Dominant.

      repondre message

      • 19 August 2010 09:49, by Lual Garang De Lual

        I beg your pardon Mr. Thieleling, let us be realistic and not blindfolded by tribal hatred. Do you really know the history in details or you are guessing. Ironically, Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul is the first Dinka to ascend to that post of the ECS since the arrival of the word of God to Sudan in one centenary (100) years ago. First was Bishop Gwine, Daniel Deng Atong, Ngalaamu, Benjamin Yugusu, Joseph Marona and now Daniel Deng Bul. From the above mentioned are the people who had been in the reign of power in ECS ever since, 75% of the above mentioned names were not Dinka, that entails you to be a lier if you know the History. if you don’t know the history better keep quite. On the political side, it was William Deng Nhial, Joseph Lagu, Abel Alier, James Tambura, Clement Mboro, John Garang and now Salva Kiir. Here, it is 4 to 3 which means 62.5% versa 37.5%. Also in (GoSS) government formation, it is Salva Kiir, Dr. Riek Machar, Wani Igga and in Ministries formation, Dinka has 11 ministries out of 32 ministries, which is 30% of all GoSS ministries. Where here can you see Dinka domination as you put it. Thieleling if you tend to lie, people will always be suspicious of your words. That was the correction a want to put across and God bless

        repondre message

        • 19 August 2010 10:01, by Gatwech


          You and your likes are ignorant about the churches in Sudan. Episcopal Church of Sudan is number four in the ladder after Catholic and Presbytery churches for example. And Daniel Deng Bul is only for Espiscopal Church of Sudan.

          When it comes to the Presbytery Church of Sudan which is number two, the top leader there in the whole country is a Nuer called Moderator General Rt. Rev. Makuach Nyak based in Malakal. And even his deputy is a Nuer in the whole country (North and South).

          Now when it comes to the Catholic Church of Sudan, the Equatorians dominate it. So do you now understand the difference.

          Politically the top and the best. Well there is a big difference between the top and the best. You could be on the top by chance but not necessarily that you are the best.


          repondre message

          • 19 August 2010 10:05, by Gatwech


            Where is Dinka Boy who denied yesterday that the Bor Dinka priests did not go to the Vice President.

            Now the top church leader from Bor Dinka has gone to see him.

            Guys I know that if we all go back to Sudan, we will see a big difference than what we are trying to perceive here in the Diaspora. The Bor Dinka at home dearly love Dr. Riek Machar Teny, because they know he is also working for their good future.

            repondre message

    • 19 August 2010 04:53, by Magos

      Thanks you lordship Dr Deng Bul the Archbishop of ECS,thank you for your interfering in this problem of referendom delayment.I really appreciated your commitment to this nation of South Sudan.We need our spiritual leaders to be supportive and creative like what North Arabi spiritual leaders did and in that case we will win this war in more directions.

      repondre message

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