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Reconciliation in the Sudans


Stein Erik Horjen

In 2005, the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the longest civil war in African history. Stein Erik Horjen argues that although this second civil war was not a religious one, religion still played an important role in the conflict. Ensuring freedom of religion was a high priority for the SPLM and for the Sudanese churches, which were instrumental in preparing the ground for the 2005 agreement in the same way they had been in facilitating the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement in 1972.
Focusing on the pivotal role of the Sudanese churches through a grassroots peace process called People to People, Horjen examines the churches’ work in ensuring the success of the peace talks between the SPLM and the government sealed by the 2005 Peace Agreement. Taking up the role as the voice of the voiceless, the Sudanese churches challenged and criticized the military and political leaders in regards to abuses of power.
In Reconciliation in the Sudans, Horjen details the tremendous suffering of the people during recurrent conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan. Understanding the history will allow the reader contextual insight into the latest conflict that erupted in South Sudan in 2013. The failure of including mechanisms for reconciliation in the CPA can be considered a main reason for this latest war.
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Translator’s Note


Biblical passages are taken from the Revised Standard Version (the Common Bible), © 1973 by Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

Briefly About the Terminology in This Book

I have chosen the term “Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Sudan People’s Liberation Army,” or “SPLM/A,” for the whole movement during the civil war. I never managed to draw any significant distinction between the political movement and the military wing before 2005. From then on, SPLA became the name of the South Sudanese army. For the time after 2005, I use SPLA (the army) and SPLM (the party) independently. Consequently, I use “Southern Sudan” for the south before 2011, and “South Sudan” for the country after independence.

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