Peace talks resume in Sudan

By February 11, 2009

Sudan (MNN) — Sudan's government and the rebel movement are
to begin talks this week in Qatar. The
summit is a bid to revive the peace process in Darfur.

Although representatives of the Justice and
Equality Movement (JEM) will attend, none of Darfur's numerous other rebel
groups will be represented, including factions of the Sudan Liberation
Movement.

The Christian Reformed World Relief
Committee
has been working closely
with the Darfur ministry, says Ken Little. He's also
seen attempts to negotiate ceasefires and peace deals end sporadically and piecemeal.

When asked if he thought these talks would be successful, he
said, "[The] frank response is, 'I
really hope it works, but I'm not very hopeful.' If the peace talks are being revived, that might
be an indication that international pressure is helping." 

The scheduled meetings come closely on the
heels of renewed fighting in Darfur between JEM and government troops. Just last week, government forces retook the
town of Muhajeriya in South Darfur, following several days of bombing. The government has also continued bombing
raids in other parts of Darfur, something expected to be addressed in Qatar.

With camps for displaced persons in
Sudan's war-torn Darfur region bursting at the seams, it is more vital than
ever to reach a settlement to a conflict that has already killed over 200,000
people and uprooted 2.5 million more.

The CRWRC is among six relief groups in Darfur called the
'Global Relief Alliance.'  Those
organizations include World Relief, World Concern, Food for the Hungry, MAP
International, and North West Medical Teams International. Support is focused
on the most vulnerable families in three districts of Western Darfur, namely Um
Tagouk, Azirni and Sanidadi.

Little says in light of the instability of the region, "We're
very fortunate in the last couple of months that the insecurity hasn't impacted
our programming.   We're able to continue
our work with supplemental feeding centers, clinics and food security
initiatives in that region."

Because of the security issues, ministry is low key. Keep
praying that the Gospel seeds sown take root.
"We're assisting those displaced by the violence, but also the
community that's hosting them," explains Little. Caring for everyone who's been affected is an
open door for the hope of Christ. Little says, "Because we're doing both, there's a very good reception to
our intervention. The folks do know we're Christian, and I would guess that
100% of the folks we're serving are Muslim."

Click here if you can help them, too.

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