Over the past week, we have seen reports flooding our inboxes with accounts of attacks in Abyei, a contested region in Sudan. Here are just a few statements we have seen in the past days:
- “According to United Nations officials inside Abyei, there were at least a dozen northern tanks now prowling the town. But the United Nations monitoring team in Abyei was hampered from making more detailed observations because several mortar shells landed near the United Nations compound, and United Nations personnel were reluctant to venture into Abyei’s streets.”
- “U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a prepared statement Saturday called the attack ‘not only a serious breach of agreements between the parties, but also a criminal act against the United Nations.’”
- “The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sudan (UNMIS) today [May 21, 2011] expressed deep concern over troop build-up and reported fighting, including the use of heavy artillery and bombing, in the disputed Abyei area and appealed to both parties in the conflict to protect civilians.”
This fighting occurs as the UN Security Council is visiting Sudan. As we prayed before the Security Council left, we pray today:
God who makes us for each other,
who calls us into community,
who binds us together in love,
we pray for the members of the
United Nations Security Council
as they travel to Sudan.
Extend to them traveling mercies.
Open their hearts, minds, and spirits
to learn from the people they meet
to understand what they witness.
Grant them compassion for the peoples of Sudan,
discernment to envision possibilities for peace, and
wisdom to design plans to protect and preserve the peace.
Move the nations of the world to respond quickly with what is needed to implement effectively those plans.
Fill those who serve in Sudan with grace and courage.
May peace prevail and justice be done.
We pray in the name of Jesus.