Thursday, January 29, 2009

Advocacy Action to Help the People of Lui and Mundri

Hello everyone,

in recent weeks you might have seen terrible reports coming out of Southern Sudan about incursions from the Lord's Resistance Army (a terrible rebel force from Uganda that, among other things, is not only brutal but uses child soldiers as agents of their brutality) into Mundri (a neighboring diocese to Lui). In addition to the injury and death this has caused, it has also caused an influx of refugees into Lui. You can find out more about this here:

The Rev. Dan Handschy, rector of Church of the Advent in Crestwood and part of the mission team that recently returned from Lui, has been in touch with the Episcopal Office of Government Relations in Washington and will continue to relay their counsel as to how we can best use our political power to pressure our government to enforce the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and stop these incursions (there is widespread belief that the Khartoum government funds the LRA in exchange for them continuing to destabilize and terrorize the south).

Below is a letter Dan wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He has also included contact information to send a similar letter to Sens. Claire McCaskill and Kit Bond as well as UN Ambassador Susan Rice. The letter can easily adapted for use by you and your congregation.

Please circulate this widely and please take this opportunity to raise your voice. Terrible things are happening far away, but they are happening to our sisters and brothers and we live in a nation that has the power and influence to stop them -- or at least give it a really good try. But we have to do our part.

Names and Addresses for letters concerning Sudan

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton
United States Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington DC 20520

Dear Madam Secretary:

Ambassador Susan Rice
U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations
U. S. Mission to the U. N.
140 E 45th Street
New York, NY 10017

Dear Madam Ambassador:

Senator Claire McCaskill

Dear Senator McCaskill:

Senator Christopher Bond

Dear Senator Bond:

Sample Letter

The Honorable Hilary Clinton
Secretary of State
U. S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington DC 20520

Dear Secretary Clinton:

I am a member of Church of the Advent, an Episcopal Church in St. Louis, in the Diocese of Missouri. Our parish has a sister parish relationship with the parish church of Lozoh, in the Diocese of Lui, of the Episcopal Church of Sudan. Over Christmas, our pastor and one of our members accompanied six other missioners from Missouri on a trip to the Diocese of Lui, ECS.

Since their return, we have learned that the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel army from northern Uganda has been active in the Diocese of Mundri, the Diocese just west of Lui. Many people from Mundri have been displaced, leaving their crops in the field to be stolen or burned by the LRA. Some of those displaced persons have come to the village of Lozoh, our sister parish.

I am writing to urge you to make peace in Sudan a top priority of the new adminstration. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement has been in place only a few short years, after 21 years of civil war. Anything might destabilize that peace and return southern Sudan to war. This would be disastrous for our friends there. Whatever the United States and the United Nations can do to help keep the peace in Southern Sudan will make an important difference.

Know that this letter comes with our best regards.


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