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Saperstein: Although the North-South peace agreement brought a welcome end to the worst brutalities that characterized the lengthy civil war, the nation remains a powder keg.
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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 8, 2010 - In observance of the fifth anniversary of the Sudanese Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the ruling National Congress Party and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM), Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
As we observe the fifth anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement and the Government of Sudan, we are pained by the ongoing violence and instability in Sudan. Although the North-South peace agreement brought a welcome end to the worst brutalities that characterized its lengthy civil war - over 2 million killed, and nearly 5 million displaced - the nation remains a powder keg.
Sudan is preparing for its first multi-party elections in over 20 years this April, yet attempts at peaceful protest have resulted in the use of tear gas and water cannons, and arrests by government forces. Journalists covering the protests have been detained and beaten. Peacekeeping forces remain susceptible to attacks. To ensure that the elections are free and fair, such violence and intimidation of citizens and journalists must end.
The Reform Jewish community has long been a leading voice for the victimized people of Sudan. On this anniversary, we reaffirm our resolve to help achieve peace and security for the nation."