Peace in Sudan Hinges on Human Rights, Says Observer

Notes That Church Is Focusing Efforts on Education

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ROME, MARCH 19, 2004 ( Peace in Sudan depends not only on sharing the revenues from the country’s oil reserves, but also on «respect for human rights and human dignity,» says an observer.

Christine du Coudray, head of the Africa section of the charity Aid to the Church in Need, made that observation when she recently returned from a three-week trip to Sudan.

«There cannot be any perspective of a just and lasting peace in Sudan if the Khartoum government continues to deny the country’s population of African origin the right to exist,» said du Coudray. «Also, their culture, their languages and religion must be respected.»

Asked about the role of the Catholic Church in Sudan, she underlined the «crucial task» the Church must fulfill in the realm of education and formation.

«Catholics focus their efforts on education, and the results of Catholic educated students at state examinations are admirable,» du Coudray said. «There is also an exceptional energy among women to advance their own education and formation.»

According to du Coudray, this coincides with the priorities of Sudan’s bishops, who attach great importance to the spiritual formation of catechists and future teachers as well.

«ACN also supports Catholic nuns in Sudan and the formation of their novices,» she said. «Once peace will be achieved, our charity hopes that religious books, including ACN’s Bible for children, can be brought freely to the faithful throughout the country.»

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