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Pope appeals for end to Sudan abuses

Sending a special representative Darfur yesterday to express his solidarity with the stricken population, pope John Paul II called on the Sudanese government to put an end to violence and rights violations.

The Guardian reports that for more than a year, Arab militiamen have launched repeated attacks on Darfur's black Africans, burning villages and leaving at least 30,000 dead. More than one million have fled their homes, and 2.2 million are in desperate need of food and medicine, aid groups say.

"The serious humanitarian situation in Darfur, which has recently stirred up a public outcry, is a cause of great concern" for the pope, said the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

"The Holy Father hopes that the voice of the people of Darfur will be heard and recognized, and that their fundamental human rights are respected," he said.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned on Wednesday that the international community may step in if Sudan's government doesn't act quickly to disarm the militias, known as the Janjaweed. The United Nations, rights groups and refugees have accused the government of backing the Arab fighters, which Sudanese officials deny.

Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, head of papal charities, will first meet with Catholic Church representatives in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum and then travel with UN assistance to the Darfur region and visit refugee camps, the Vatican said.

Pope Appeals for End to Sudanese Abuses (The Guardian/Associated Press 22/7/04)

Pope's urgent plea for Darfur (Catholic Weekly 22/7/04)
Papal Envoy Heading to Sudan's Troubled West (Zenit 21/7/04)
Christian aid agencies unite for Sudan (Ekklesia 21/7/04)
Sudan and its wars: less conventional arms (hunger) less conventional soldiers (children) (Fides 16/7/04)
Peace talks for Darfur start in Ethiopia S. Egidio community observers among those present (Fides 16/7/04)
Rape used as a weapon in Darfur, rights group charges (Catholic World News 20/7/04)
Humanitarian crisis strikes Sudan (Catholic Leader 18/7/04)
Sudan accused of using rape as 'weapon of war' (London Daily Telegraph 20/7/04)
Sudan is getting away with murder (London Daily Telegraph 20/7/04)
Rape 'a weapon' in Sudan war (BBC 19/7/04)
Head of US church body arrested in protest over Sudan (Ecumenical News International 16/7/04)
Halt to Genocide in Darfur Region of Sudan Is Urged (Zenit 16/7/04)
Australian aid for Sudan (Insights 16/7/04)
Darfur Emergency Response (Act International/Caritas Internatlis)
Background to Sudan's conflicts (Christian Aid)
Darfur: A genocide waiting to be prevented (National Catholic Reporter 16/7/04)
US Catholic relief official says Sudan faces 'catastrophic loss of life' without aid (CathNews 8/7/04)
Aid begins to reaches Sudanese (CathNews 5/7/04)
CAFOD aid reaches Sudan (Reuters AlertNet 2/7/04)
Darfur Crisis: UN High Commission for Refugees continues to assist 100,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad (Fides 2/7/04)
Refugee crisis in Sudan (Caritas Aotearoa NZ)
Darfur bloodshed tests African Union's peace plans (ABC 4/7/04)
No blinking on Darfur (Christian Science Monitor 2/7/04)
Sudan pledges to disarm militias (BBC 3/7/04)
Aid begins to reaches Sudanese (Independent Catholic News 2/7/04)
Interview opportunity with aid worker in Sudan (Caritas Australia 1/7/04)
Chronology: Major events in Sudan's Darfur crisis (China View 2/7/04)
UK 'must do more to help Sudan' (BBC 2/7/04)
Darfur's inescapable horror (KRT/ 2/7/04)
US and U.N. have dwindling time to act in Sudan (Houston Chronicle 1/7/04)
Churches help Sudan emergency appeal - NCCA media release (Anglican Media 30/6/04)
Sudan Emergency Appeal (CAFOD)
Putting Pressure on Sudan (National Catholic Reporter 29/6/04)
US Holocaust museum shuts down to call attention to Sudan genocide (National Catholic Reporter 29/6/04)
Christian World Service
Emergency Aid Sought for Sudan (Zenit 29/6/04)

Religious Vows a Witness to Christ in Materialist World, Says Pope (Zenit 21/7/04)
Will of God Is Strength and Peace of Believer, Says Pope (Zenit 21/7/04)
Condolences Sent for Ukraine Mine Victims (Zenit 21/7/04)
Weekly Audiences a Chance to Give Joy, Says Preacher (Zenit 21/7/04)

23 Jul 2004