An extension to Sudan’s ceasefire with rebel fighters in the Kordofan region has given an opportunity for communities there to plant for this year’s harvest and avoid severe food shortages.
Sudan’s president has extended the unilateral ceasefire until the end of March, reports Reuters.
The latest break in Sudan’s long-running conflict began in December and was described by the United States as “the last chance for the implementation of the peace process”. The progress made by Sudan to resolve internal conflict was recognised in October when the US lifted 20-year-old sanctions.
Fighting between government troops and rebels, which broke out in 2011 after South Sudan declared independence, has resulted in hundreds of thousands of displaced people and destroyed infrastructure in the Kordofan region, where many of Sudan’s Christians live. In November a church leader from the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan told World Watch Monitor he was “very concerned our people will not be able to sustain themselves for much longer” because of the combination of conflict and last year’s severe drought.
Sudan is fifth on the Open Doors World Watch List of 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian. Open Doors’ 2018 list is published on 10 January.