Area: 2,503,890 sq km
Africa’s largest country. Desert in the north, merging into grasslands and mountains in the centre and tropical bush in the south. Straddling the Nile Rivers. Nuba Mountains in the centre.
Population: 43,192,438 Annual Growth: 2.22%
Official language: Arabic and English Languages: 134 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
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The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in 2005, has held since then and allowed the war-torn south to attempt rebuilding some semblance of infrastructure and stability. A heavy presence of northern military and militias remains in the south, as do widely held questions of how long the peace will last. But peace, however tenuous, and the opportunity to plan and build for the future continue for now.
Darfur is a 21st Century byword for tragedy. Low-level conflict began in the 1970s, but in 2003 fighting escalated between rebel groups and the government-sponsored Janjawid militia. The people of Darfur are Black African Muslims, the Janjawid are Arabized Sudanese. Many consider the atrocities of Darfur to be racially motivated genocide. Massacres, rapes, mutilations and destruction of villages, food and water supplies are signatures of this systematic, government-sponsored campaign. The conflict and refugees spilled over into Chad as well, even leading to Chads declaration of war against Sudan (ended in 2007). Pray for:
a) A complete end to the violence and upheaval in Darfur that has cost over 300,000 lives and displaced over 2.5 million people. Even a peace agreement in 2006 did not stop further predation by militias.
b) The execution of justice upon all those guilty of atrocities, from militias and rebels to top government and military figures. Pray for courage and determination from international bodies to bring the perpetrators to justice, and for foreign nations to act with moral uprightness rather than out of greed for cheap oil.
c) The restoration of peace and a normal functioning of life. Most NGOs trying to aid those caught in the conflict were forced out of the region. Pray that they might be able to return to help with aid and development. Pray that international assistance does not dry up simply because the violence ends.
For an additional 11 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Sudan.