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The goal for 2012 should be peace in Sudan

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In spite of a comprehensive peace treaty existing between Sudan and South Sudan and an agreement having been reached on the recent secession of the latter, armed conflict is still prevalent in regions that border the two countries.

The situation is growing worse, threatening the prospects for peaceful co-existence.

Intense fighting in Sudan's Blue Nile State has led to an estimated 50,000 people fleeing to Maban county in South Sudan.

GOAL is currently delivering emergency health relief at refugee camps in Maban. We are also providing clean water, sanitation facilities, and essential non-food items - such as blankets, sleeping mats, emergency shelter, cooking sets and hygiene kits - to families who have fled the conflict zone without any of their personal possessions.

The number of refugees is expected to swell to at least 100,000 over the coming weeks, so GOAL will be active in the region for the foreseeable future.

After so many previous decades of conflict and the death and misery it caused, let us hope that in 2012 a real and sustainable peace will take root in Sudan.

It is the very least the people there deserve.

JOHN O'SHEA

Chief executive, GOAL

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