Letter to General Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan

Geneva, July 7, 2011

Your Excellency,

At the threshold of the historic moment when South Sudan will officially become independent on 9th July 2011, on behalf of the World Council of Churches (WCC), I take this opportunity to convey our congratulations and profound good wishes to the people of South Sudan who have been struggling for independence over the past several decades. Indeed, it is a matter of great joy that at last the great day has come, the day of independence for which the people of South Sudan have yearned. 

As you know, the WCC, our ecumenical partner the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) and  both councils’ member churches have  been accompanying the people of Sudan for much of your long struggle. Forty years ago, the WCC together with the All Africa Conference  of Churches ( AACC) mediated between the two parties (the ruling party and the SPLA) and reached  the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement. At this moment of your independence, the WCC is thankful for all those who have negotiated peace and is proud to stand with all those who have supported peace negotiations.

As your country is entering into the first years of independence, we are aware that the new nation will be confronted with the daunting problems of reconciliation between enemies in conflicts, healing of people traumatized by war, reconstructing a battered infrastructure, restoring its economy, ensuring respect for human rights and the rule of law and improving the people’s standard of living, especially in the areas of health, education and welfare of the people. While the new Republic of South Sudan will have to face enormous challenges as it seeks to find its place as an independent nation, it is also imperative that the people of South Sudan who struggled for independence should not be denied the historic opportunity to start a new chapter in their nation’s history, marked by peace with justice. It is our hope and prayer that the leaders and people of both the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan will make every effort to ensure peace and reconciliation in the new era.

Your Excellency, having been active in accompanying and facilitating the Sudan peace process over the past decades, the World Council of Churches is aware of the fact that the continuing role of the ecumenical movement is to accompany the people of an independent South Sudan in solidarity as they take up the many challenges and  tasks of nation-building. It is also our sincere hope that the leaders of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan, with the support of the international community, will take immediate steps to resolve the outstanding issues between them and to lay the foundation for two viable states at peace with one another.

Please accept our prayers and very best wishes for the bright and peaceful future of your country and people.


Yours sincerely,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit

General Secretary