White House urged to work for Sudan peace


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Fourteen faith community leaders attended a White House meeting in which they asked the Obama administration to "work toward achieving a lasting peace in Sudan."

American Jewish World Service President Ruth Messinger was among the leaders of the members of the Interfaith Sudan Working Group who on Friday presented a letter signed by 1,410 Christian, Muslim and Jewish clergy to Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

The letter asks the administration to work with multilateral coalitions "to help bring a sustainable peace agreement that will restore security and allow the Darfuri people to freely return to their homes and rebuild their lives" and urges the White House to ensure that "all aspects" of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement "are fully implemented to help achieve a just and lasting peace." It also urges the administration to play a role in making sure that the 2006 agreement in Eastern Sudan is upheld.

Messinger said in a conference call after the meeting that the group emphasized the importance of the White House engaging with "continuing force" in Sudan, and DuBois said that faith groups play an important role in bringing attention to the continuing crisis there.

Messinger said the group focused on the "overall goal of comprehensive peace for Sudan" and did not discuss specific strategies. The White House is expected, in the coming days, to release further details on its policies in the region.

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