Monday, November 22, 2010

Issues/Prayer Surrounding Upcoming Referendum Vote for SUDAN




Long before voter registration officially opened last week Monday, al-junabiin (Southern Sudanese) have been quite vocal about their intentions to secede from their northern counterpart, based in the much more developed Khartoum. Yet, the issue is not so much now whether they will truly split or not but what will happen after the referendum set for January 9th. What are all the issues that must be considered for true development to take place in the south, even if it does become the newest nation-state on earth? Chief among these issues is the ongoing, unresolved debate of the three major disputed territories of Abyei, Nuba mountains, and Blue Nile province and where their citizens will live.

Wolfram Lacher, a researcher on Sudan and the Horn of Africa, discusses contentious issues related to the referendum and possible solutions (the full article can be found at http://blogs.ssrc.org/sudan/2010/10/06/negotiating-southern-independence/):

The negotiations are structured into four areas, each of which is covered by a working group comprising representatives of both parties: Citizenship; Security; Economic, Financial and Natural Resources; as well as International Treaties and Legal Issues. Key negotiating points include an arrangement to divide up oil export revenues; the rights and duties of citizens across the common border (including rights of residence, work, trade and land use); the currency and national debt; water; and security arrangements. In addition, two issues that are not part of the negotiations in this context are nevertheless of major importance for future north-south relations: the delineation of the common border, and the status of Abyei.

He argues that the Abyei referendum might lead to violence. Abyei is an area in Sudan with “special administrative status,”

The preparations for the Abyei referendum have experienced even more delays than the independence referendum, and the criteria for voter eligibility are fiercely contested. As a result, doubts are growing whether the vote will be held on time, and the Abyei dispute is increasingly becoming a negotiating point. In September, the NCP suggested that the Abyei referendum should be cancelled and the area should be turned into a demilitarised zone whose residents would have dual nationality. The SPLM has rejected the proposal, not least because it would represent a departure from one of the key components of the CPA, and therefore could ultimately raise questions about the independence referendum itself. Nevertheless, a negotiated solution would offer an opportunity to defuse the Abyei dispute. The Abyei referendum would be very likely to lead to violence in the region. The conflict not only has a national dimension (related to the oilfields located in Abyei) but is particularly explosive at the local level, where the rights to residency and land use of two groups are at stake – the Ngok Dinka (a key constituency for the SPLM) and the Misseriya (a Baggara tribe).

Another contentious area, though wholly within the southern border, is that of Unity State and the town of Bentiu (where Thandi and I believe God is leading us to) where a large amount of the nations oil is being drilled and exported north via the only pipeline. With that said and to think about, a lot of words have been coming out of the three intercession times I led for Sudan and the upcoming referendum at different bases here in South Africa. The first one that came through was the need for the believers to truly WORSHIP the living God in the midst of this, and find their true purpose and peace of heart in Him, no matter what ends up happening around them (though they still must be involved in making history). The most recent prayer session here at Muizenberg saw God's heart for reconciliation shining through, though also with the word 'split' with it, leading to remembrance of the divided kingdom of Israel into Judea and Samaria.
Other words we have been receiving for Sudan and God's people there are...

-Daniel 2:31-45Pray in God’s Kingdom; His kingdom stands firm forever. Just as the image had a different materials, there was one stronger than all the others (in Neb’s dream). God’s Kingdom stands and is everlasting; pray in God’s glory over Sudan (speak it out)
-Dan. 2:20-22; 4:34,35God wants to restore people’s Identity and speak Destiny into them; He wants to raise up Daniels (Dan 1:8 “He resolved not to defile himself”)
-2 Cor. 7:14 “If my people who are called by my Name confess their sins, I will heal their land”
-Picture of Jesus walking on the streets of Sudan; a jar of water is poured out on the dry ground and spreads across it, and the water=God’s people
- Jeremiah 33v3 – “Call to me” God says
- Bringing back restoration.
- Jeremiah 29v10-14
- Isaiah 44v2 “I am your creator you where in my care even before you were born”
- Colossians 3:12-15
- No unity without forgiveness
- Feeling of hopelessness for change (Broken clock); people may try to force the change against God’s will
-God’s heart is for reconciliation among the peoples and is already moving through various ministries
[Reconciliation involves a changed relationship because our trespasses are not counted against us, by God’s grace—must first be reconciled to God before we can be reconciled to others (2 Cor5:18-19)]
-Prayed against spirit of fear, violence and retaliation
-Peace of Christ in hearts, not just around society—brings true freedom
-Only God can solve the dispute
-Isa. 2:4-5harvesting tools for reaping unreached in north (turned from weapons of war to farming tools)
-God will raise up peacemakers from both north and south
-Sense of trying to see something, but still veiled/hazy
-Just speak what God has already done—His faithfulness
-Received the word ‘Split’- maybe by man’s choice but not reflecting God’s will—shows God’s love to let them choose (Picture of divided kingdom of Judea (south) and Samaria (north))
-Faith, hope and love—-cannot love God if you don’t love your brother; may God bring this revelation to a number of Muslim brethren truly seeking after God’s heart, who will be reconcilers with southerners

I hope we are encouraged of all that God is already doing in this divided, yet great, nation, and the great destiny upon its diversity of peoples! Let's keep lifting them all before the Lord's throne of grace...


A picture I took of a Shilluk man showing his support for SPLM on CPA Celebration day Jan. 9th 2008 in Malakal, Upper Nile state, South Sudan

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