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NEW SUDAN COUNCIL OF CHURCHES PROJECT PROPOSAL

PROJECT TITLE: NILOTICS EAST BANK PEACE &

RECONCILIATION CONFERENCE

PROJECT HOLDER: The New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC)

PO Box 66168, Nairobi

Tel: 254 2 446966, 448141/2

Fax: 254 2 447015

E-mail: peacedesk@swiftkenya.com

NSCC-NBO@maf.org

CONTACT PERSONS: 1. Rev. Dr. Haruun L. Ruun, NSCC Executive Secretary

    1. Telar Deng, People to People Peace Facilitator
    2. Elizabeth Philippo, Peace & Advocacy

PROJECT LOCATION: East Bank, Upper Nile, Southern Sudan.

DURATION: 6 Months - Jan 2000 – June 2000

FUNDS REQUESTED:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

The New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) is facilitating People-To-People Peace Conferences at grassroots community levels in southern Sudan, outlined in the Grassroots Peace Proposal document of June 1999.

This peace initiative began in June 1997 when NSCC met with the SPLM/SPLA to be given confirmation of its role as peace maker for Southern Sudan.

In June 1998 NSCC facilitated a conference of Chiefs and Church leaders from the Dinka and Nuer communities of Southern Sudan in Lokichokio, Northern Kenya.

As one of the resolutions of that conference, a major conference was called in March 1999 to be held in Dinka area on the West Bank at Wunlit, Tonj County, to build confidence amongst the Dinka and Nuer communities.

In August the Lou Nuer held a reconciliation meeting in Akobo, Upper Nile as part of the peace processes for the East Bank.

In September the elected West Bank Peace Council met in Yirol to follow up the Wunlit meeting.

In October/November a Peace & Governance Conference was held in Waat on the East Bank for the Lou Nuer. The Lou conferences resulted in the signing of Peace Agreements with resolutions of commitment to reconciliation and peace, cessation of hostilities and establishment of using traditional authorities and methods for peacekeeping in their areas, extending to their neighbours.

This proposal supports a People-To-People Peace & Reconciliation Conference among Nilotic peoples in the East Bank region – Anuak, Shilluk, Murle, and the different groupings of the Nuer and Dinka. It will be held on the East Bank in March 2000.

The conference has the full support and active involvement of traditional leaders, women, civil, church and military authorities. The conference will use traditional participatory, dialogue and agreement methods that have proven so successful in previous conferences hosted through this NSCC initiative.

NSCC is the key agency for facilitating this major grass- roots peace building. An involvement of the grass roots and middle level leaders it is rooted in the traditional chiefs, womens groups and church leaders, with an aim of building trust amongst the communities of Dinka, Nuer and the other Nilotic peoples with an ultimate purpose of bringing a lasting people to people peace.

Through participatory dialogue at each stage of the process more people are drawn into the conference proceedings. In this way, traditional leaders, civil authorities, religious leaders, womens’ representatives, the Movements and political groupings are re-connected to reach agreements regarding reconciliation and peacekeeping at community levels.

Monitoring of the local peace process is carried out by the Peace Councils elected by the peoples made up of three members of each county, one of which is a woman. The model for this is the West Bank Peace Council elected at the Wunlit conference. There is thus a formal and informal linking of communities and authorities to build effective structures with practical steps towards peace. In the longer term, this peace work is intended to establish foundations for the processes of developments which are taking place for civil governance, related to the traditional systems and developed within the international context of law and human rights.

NSCC partners and donors have made commitments to this People to People peace initiative, which requires significant levels of funding and personnel for the conferences and for the follow-up reconciliation, peacemaking and community development activities. This specific project proposal seeks to raise funds primarily for the Nilotic East Bank conference.

Additional proposals are available through NSCC which describe the needs for all aspects of support for the reconciliation and peace initiative facilitated by NSCC for communities affected by hostilities and conflicts throughout southern Sudan, particularly for Eastern Equatoria.

BACKGROUND:

The Sudan has been in a devastating civil war for the last forty-three years since independence, with ten-year period of relative peace between 1972 to 1983. Since the on going civil war started in 1983 it has caused immense suffering and displacement of the southern Sudan.

The U.S Committee on Refugees currently estimates that over 1.9 million people of the southern Sudan have died directly or indirectly of the war related factors. As many as 4.5 million southern Sudanese are believed to have been displaced internally. They live either in the northern part of the country or in Southern Sudan in a refugee-like situations. Another significant group of Southern Sudanese is in the diaspora, living in the neighboring countries and scattered around the world.

The main dynamics of the Sudan’s war are inter and intra-ethnic conflicts, which have emerged clearly in the past few years. During 1993-94 Nuer clans, the Lou, Gawaar, and Jikany, had one of the worst conflicts in their history claiming 1,300 lives and terrible loss of cattle and properties. Similarly, in 1996 to early 1998, Cdr Kerubino Kuanyin Bol allied with the GoS in fighting the SPLA, to devastate his own region or northern Bahr el Gazal which helped to generate famine conditions.

The inter-ethnic conflict between the Dinka and Nuer from Eastern and Western banks of the Nile has been described as one of the worst and bloodiest fight in the history of Southern Sudan, generated by power politics. Since 1991 a series of devastating attacks and counter raids have occurred between the two communities. These include the raids of Akot and Ganyliel in 1994/5, the raids on Ayod, Waat, Yuai, the Duks and Kongor in 1992 and the Kongor and Bor area massacre in 1993.

Dinka and Nuer have always been neighbors and consider themselves from common family. They are Nilotics and pastoralists. Historically, the two communities have fought each other over the grazing areas and water. Cattle raiding have been common but women and children were not targets as is the case now. Their dispute used to be solved by traditional leaders through traditional mechanism, and impacts of such fights were limited. However, since the split of SPLA in 1991, the conflict took the pattern of inter-tribal and inter-factional disputes. Amidst this confusion the church in the Sudan through its council the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) organized several meetings in an attempt to broker peace.

The churches of Sudan have mandated the NSCC and the Movements to support this mandate for peace building by NSCC. The mandate is contained in several documents, such as "Here We Stand United in Action for Peace’ 1996; ‘Come let us Reason Together’ NSCC/SPLM, Yei 1997; NSCC/NCCK/AACC Regional Church Councils’ meeting, April 1998; with the latest 1999 statement of the NSCC and SCC ‘Together We Remain United In Action for Peace’.

PROBLEM STATEMENT:

In the macro Sudan conflict a key tactic has been to divide neighboring ethnic peoples and keep them fighting each other. Traditional conflicts, competition for resources in the midst of extreme conditions, and leadership struggles are components that have exacerbated the conflict. In Southern Sudan the dividing line for much of the inter- factional fighting has been along the ethnic borders of Sudan’s two largest tribes of Dinka and Nuer. Since August 1991 when the SPLA split, the factional fighting has found its greatest intensity where Dinkaland and Nuerland meet on both east and west sides of the River Nile.

This has been further complicated by the 1996 political charter and more recent treaties and agreements of the Government, as well as Government support through weapons and supplies to its collaborators in the South. Even if IGAD were to develop a mediated solution between the conflicting parties, there would remain the work of the reconciliation that must be done at the local levels. As long as the Dinka and Nuer remain in conflict and provide the core support for opposing factions, it is improbable to envision a solution to the macro Sudan conflict. The corollary is also dramatic: if Dinka and Nuer would reconcile as neighbors and provide a base from the people to support a rapprochement between their opposing factions, the dynamics of the macro conflict would be altered. This is the basis of the thinking of the Dinka -Nuer peace conference.

PROJECT GOAL:

"The goal of this conference is to reach agreements and sign an accord to stop the fighting, end the destruction, and bring about peace and stability among the Nilotic peoples of the eastern bank of the Nile in the southern Sudan."

PROJECT OBJECTIVES:

  1. To provide atmosphere of healing where shared faith, beliefs, experiences, pains and joys can be expressed, mutual relationships can be nurtured, and shared leadership can be expressed.
  2. To weave together relationship that connect village leaders, church leaders, womens’ groups, citizens, resource persons from abroad in a way that lay the foundation for trust building and peace making.
  3. To reach agreements on cessation of fighting and destruction amongst the East Bank communities by the end of the conference.
  4. To build, rebuild and strengthen relationship between leaders from strategic Nilotic communities, who have experienced recent inter tribal conflicts.
  5. To apply traditional wisdom and conflict analysis tools to current cases among the Nilotics.
  6. To convenant together for commitment to the path of peace between the Nilotic groups of the East Bank.

 

PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION:

Profile of NSCC.

The conference is to be held onthe East Bank in March 2000 under the umbrella of NSCC, which is the organization of the Churches in the southern Sudan, registered as an NGO under the laws of Kenya and Uganda. NSCC with a constitution, draws its membership from the churches in the southern Sudan which include, the Roman Catholic Church, Episcopal church of the Sudan, Presbyterian Church of the Sudan, African Inland church, Sudan Interior Church as full members and Pentecostal Church of the Sudan as an associate member.

NSCC has a vision of ‘ A New transformed Sudan at peace where the spirit of Christ inspires the full development of all peoples embracing their diversity.’ The NSCC has a Secretariat based in Nairobi charged with the purpose of representing the southern Sudanese churches in the greater ecumenical cooperation, international advocacy and peace making.

The NSCC was formed since 1989 after the Churches in the liberated area could not be reached by Sudan Council of Churches from Khartoum. It had a Secretariat in Torit until 1992 when it had to be evacuated to Nairobi. The Secretariat has departments of Administration and Finance, Peace & Advocacy/People to People Peace, Resources Mobilization and Ecumenical Programs that include Education, Capacity Building, Church Life and Witness and Health.. NSCC Secretariat draws its support from international and local partners. It has an annual budget of over three million U.S. dollars. Delloitte and Touché International are the NSCC auditors. Financial management regulations are in place and are respected. All expenses of this project shall be carried out as shall be agreed upon by the partner. The staffs of NSCC as part of UNICEF/ OLS consortium, travel into Sudan through the airbridge provided for consortium members by OLS, where persons must pay as they travel.

Conference Organizing Team:

In order to undertake this special and important task, NSCC and its partners have agreed to support a team that is charged with organizing and facilitating the conference. In Upper Nile NSCC has a team of three peace mobilizers, one of whom is a woman, and six temporary moblizers to coordinate the remote communities to attend. A partner has seconded a facilitator to NSCC who facilitated the Loki, Wunlit and Waat meetings and will facilitate this conference with Sudanese colleagues. Staff are seconded from the churches (particularly the Presbyterian Church of Sudan) to manage and mobilize the participants. The team involves the NSCC staff of Finance and Administration, Peace Desk, and Resources Mobilization under the directives of the NSCC Executive Secretary.

Additional assistance will be provided at the conference by interpreters, rapporteurs, and two facilitators from the diaspora. These two appointed facilitators will then travel for one month throughout Europe and North America to brief Sudanese peoples in those countries of the resolutions and impact of the conference. This proved to be a successful move after the Wunlit meeting when the two facilitators took the messages to their colleagues in the rest of the world.

The conference organizing team will be treated as NSCC staff and will follow the laid down regulations that guide travel, per diem, accommodation etc. Movement by the mobilizers is initiated when funding for such project is available and within agreed terms.

A film and verbatim report will be made of the meeting.

Because of the vast distances to be oovered by participants of the East Bank. Official delegates will walk to approved air strip pick-up points to the flown to the site. All visitors and observers will be flown in as will all supplies. There is no means to rach the area by truck. All flights are by hired charter.

PROJECT TARGET (Beneficiaries)

The project expects 1000 to 1200 participants drawn from Chiefs, Church leaders, Elders, Women from the different communities of the East Bank, Upper Nile. Observers will be called in from Western Upper Nile and Equatoria, as well as representatives of NSCC, Partners, Donors and the Media.

Key participants in the conference involve five major sets or groups. They make up the 200 to 250 official delegates called from the Anuak, Dinka, Murle, Nuer, Shilluk groups of the East Bank.

Chiefs and Elders are the primary delegates of the conference and who shall perform the central and critical roles for achieving and monitoring the peacemaking aims of the conference.

Local Authorities are the representatives of civil authorities and governance who have various functions such as providing security for the communities and for the conference, witnessing the agreements and accords, and taking these into civil governance.

Traditional Spiritual Leaders play supporting roles to chiefs and leaders for consultation, witness, ratification and blessing.

Church Leaders play important roles in facilitating the conference and agreements, encouraging leaders to reach an accord, witnessing and blessing the accord, and monitoring its implementation. They also advocate to the world.

Women are vital to the overall peace. They are the peace makers and peace keepers in the villages. They negotiate and advocate at grass roots and at international levels. Their role is increasing in importance in the re-building of society for a future peace.

The observers shall be from partners and donors of NSCC who provide support for NSCC peace initiatives, plus approved journalists who can provoide advocacy for the peace initiative.

A conference of this nature will attract hundreds and possibly several thousands of citizens of Dinka and Nuer communities. The community people attend out of their concern for peace and support the official delegates in the process of peace making. The number of total attendees and associated persons may reach 2500 people.

 

 

PROJECT JUSTIFICATION

Peacemaking is the central and most fundamental need in southern Sudan. Until there are agreements for reconciliation and lasting peace, all humanitarian and development assistance is wasted because of ongoing hostilities, conflicts and war. Thus, NSCC, in collaboration with traditional leaders and the Movements, has placed reconciliation and peacemaking at the centre of its mission and given it highest program priority.

The People-To-People Peacemaking Conferences are already proving to be very effective at grassroots, community levels as well as for the larger national context of

Southern Sudan. Beginning with Loki Consultation in June 1998, the Chiefs and Church leaders are making positive commitments to reconciliation and peacemaking and are carrying out their commitments in practical ways, as can be witnessed by the succes of the Wunlit agreement onthe West Bank.

The conferences require a significant level of effort and funding including facilities for food, accommodation, logistics, stationery, equipment, air transport, and personnel and support staff expenses. The NSCC partners and other supporting donors are making commitments to ongoing reconciliation and peacemaking activities in Southern Sudan.

BUDGET SUMMARY

TOTALS

US$

Personnel

salaries & per diem

51801

accommodation

4285

transport

7142

Diaspora briefing

19842

Incentives

32821

Miscellaneous

13196

Food Items

45113

Non Food Items

8367

Stationery

1567

Cooking Utensils

4543

Tools

515

Transport (truck)

316

Flights

149,520

SUB - TOTAL

339,028

CONTINGENCY 10%

33,903

TOTAL

372,931

 

(note: all costs include 10% administration fee for NSCC, exempting flights and diaspora briefing)

A detailed budget breakdown is available on request from Elizabeth Phillippo

NB – with donations please provide an additional 10 per cent to cover contingencies related to that item. Thank you.

 

Banking Information

ABN-AMRO Bank N.V.

Nyerere Road

P O Box 30262

Nairobi, KENYA

SWIFT CODE: ABN KENX

ACCOUNT NO: 1.67.97.019 (Foreign Currency Account)

ACCOUNT NAME: The New Sudan Council of Churches

When transferring funds, please also use e-mail to notify the NSCC Finance Office that the funds are being sent. It is not advisable to send funds by cheque through the post.