AFRECS E-Blast: October 26, 2016

Fruits of the Conference

Message from Executive Director, Richard Parkins: 


Dear Friends,


AFRECS was blessed last week by a convening of Sudanese friends and those who are their steadfast friends. There was a rare sharing of concerns about the future of South Sudan and Sudan.  Those who came together from various parts of the country, from different ethnic communities and from different parts of our church as well as friends from other denominations and other traditions heard something about the pain that continues to afflict South Sudan with a strong reminder that thousands more in Sudan are still in desperate straits. 


We heard sounds of alarm about a possible decline into genocide and accounts of imminent starvation for thousands. However, these were matched by accounts of projects that bring hope.  Those forging ahead with hopeful projects are lifting our friends from despair. Were it not for the resilience of the Sudanese people and the encouragement that comes when friends from outside embrace them, that despair might otherwise overtake them.  A concluding sermon at the Sunday eucharist underscored the need to persist towards peacemaking, knowing of the reliability of God's promises.


Upon reflection, a significant byproduct of having such a cross section of friends together is the knowledge of what we share as members of God's family.  If fully embraced, we recognize that it can create momentum towards peace and reconciliation.  The hope is that this recognition will be translated into action steps that will allow a powerful new narrative to emerge.  Ultimately, our hope is that what we all pray for will become real.  We pray that the exchange that happened in Des Moines last week might be replicated in South Sudan and Sudan, allowing differences to become the grist of civil discourse.  May leaders recognize how intolerable the conflicts are that plague these countries, compelling them to seek peace and reconciliation.  May our time together create more energetic and determined peacemakers who incarnate the Gospel message of forgiveness and reconciliation.





AFRECS Website: 

"Church Leaders as Peacebuilders in South Sudan" by Dane F. Smith. 

Remarks to the annual AFRECS conference on Friday, October 21, 2016. Dr. Dane F. Smith is the former Senior Advisor in the Office of the U. S. Special Envoy for Darfur, Deputy Chief of Mission in Sudan, and Ambassador to Guinea and Senegal. Author of U. S. Peacefare, Organizing American Peacebuilding Operations. 


Other address given at the conference will be included when they become available.

See the following links for more conference material: Final Schedule; Biographies; & Reading List.

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Recent News from South Sudan and Sudan


UN News Centre: 

South Sudan: UN human rights chief warns of 'alarming rise' in ethnic hate speech.

Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC): Plenary Speech final report from the October 19th meeting, H. E. Festus Mogae, Chairperson.

Nyamilepedia: Speech by U. S. Ambassador in Juba at JMEC Plenary.

The Future of South Sudan and the Peace Agreement: 

Remarks made by Aly Verjee at Chatham House, October 26th.

The New York Times: 

South Sudan Rebel Leader Says He Could Return Next Month.

National Public Radio: 

As South Sudan Fights, Refugees Flow Into Uganda.


Thank you to our readers for your interest, your prayers, and your support. 
Our coverage of recent news in South Sudan and Sudan will continue in the future.
We invite you to visit our Website:
Ellen J. Hanckel
If you'd like to be doing more to help address the crisis in South Sudan, please consider the following:
*Pray for peace and deep healing of the conflicts and rivalries in South Sudan.
*Join AFRECS or renew your annual membership on line at

* If you have contacts in South Sudan and are able to get news of various parts of the country and the church from them, keep AFRECS in the loop by replying to this email or using our main contact email address:
* Be prepared to advocate for peacemaking with the US (or other) government, especially if attention to conflict resolution wanes.
*Donate to support the Episcopal Church in South Sudan and Sudan’s efforts to provide solace and encourage reconciliation. 
*Urge others to support AFRECS as well.