Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on CPA Anniversary

"Whatever result may ensue after January 2011, Khartoum and Juba stand to benefit far more by working with one another – economically and politically - if they maintain open and frank lines of communication."

09 January 2010

BUILDING BLOCKS FOR SECRETARY CLINTON’S REMARKS ON THE CPA ANNIVERSARY
January 8, 2010

•Five years ago this week, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed, ending the longest running war in Africa. The agreement was an historic achievement shepherded by a united international community, but made possible by the leadership and political will of the parties in Sudan.

•Since 2005, the war has ended and the ceasefire largely maintained.  Northern troops have pulled out of the South, and a new Government of National Unity was formed in Khartoum.  A regional Government of Southern Sudan was created in Juba.  Significant amounts of Sudan’s oil wealth have been shared with the South.  The parties have agreed on the borders of the disputed Abyei area and passed legislation to prepare for national elections, popular consultations, and two referenda on self-determination in Abyei and Southern Sudan.

•At the same time, the peace remains incomplete.  Reform of key institutions has been sporadic, and we’ve seen limited progress toward true democratic transformation envisioned in the CPA.  Also, violence in the South is on the rise, and tensions in key border areas remain high.

•Over the past five years, the agreement has weathered serious crises and overcome major hurdles, and the parties should be commended for their commitment to dialogue and peaceful engagement.  But the biggest challenges lie ahead, and strong leadership is imperative.  Sudan will face its first national elections in 24 years this April.  The process has already seen many setbacks, and we remain particularly concerned about ongoing restrictions on freedoms of speech, assembly, and press.
At the same time, we believe these elections are an important milestone in CPA implementation, toward democratic transformation, and a stepping stone on the road to the referenda in January 2011.
 
•Just one year from now, the people of Southern Sudan and Abyei will choose whether to remain part of Sudan or separate and form an independent country — which would be Africa’s first in nearly 20 years.  These referenda are sacrosanct and should take place on time, with their outcomes respected.
At the same time, the parties and the international community have barely begun to grapple with the potential outcomes of this historic upcoming vote.  We must all work diligently together over the next year to prepare Sudan and the region for all potential scenarios.  This includes the impact of the decision on Darfur, where peace and security remain elusive.

•Moreover, Southern Sudan, irrespective of how it votes in the referendum, must work to increase its institutional capacity and prepare to govern responsibly, whether as a semi-autonomous region within Sudan or as a newly independent state.

•Furthermore, I also urge the Government of National Unity to be proactive and launch wealth and resources sharing discussions as soon as possible.  Whatever result may ensue after January 2011, Khartoum and Juba stand to benefit far more by working with one another – economically and politically - if they maintain open and frank lines of communication.

•The Government of National Unity and all Sudanese political parties can no longer afford to defer and delay, nor can we afford backtracking on agreements already reached.  The risks are too serious: renewed conflict between North and South would devastate human life and engulf the entire region in conflict.
 
•We urge both the National Congress Party and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to make the compromises and commitments required to build mutual confidence and ultimately achieve lasting peace and stability, and we will hold all parties accountable for impeding progress.  Specifically this includes:

.Suspending elements of the criminal and public order laws that are incompatible with free and fair elections, such as those that restrict freedom of speech and assembly.

.Lifting prohibitions on peaceful protests

.Appointing members of the two referenda commissions and urging quick decisions on voter eligibility criteria, and
.Immediately beginning negotiations on the parties’ relationships after the CPA’s expiration in July 2011.

•The United States is committed to peace, and we will continue to provide leadership and mobilize international coordination in support of peace in Sudan.

•I strongly urge the Government of National Unity, all political parties in Sudan, and the international community to rally support for successful completion of the CPA.  Sudan’s national elections and the two referenda are critical components of the CPA and they must be held- successfully.

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