This week marks the five-year anniversary of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended Africa’s longest running war. It speaks to the will and endurance of the Sudanese people that the ceasefire between northern and southern Sudan has now lasted longer than in any other period in Sudan’s history since independence. Our challenge is to ensure that this record holds, and that the agreement is implemented transparently, fairly and in a timely fashion. President Obama has made promoting peace and stability in Sudan a priority and his Administration is committed to supporting the CPA and its implementation.
The CPA maps out a series of confidence-building measures that are critical in the aftermath of what was a decades-long brutal war. Sudan’s progress —the withdrawal of northern military forces from southern Sudan, the sharing of significant portions of Sudan’s oil wealth between north and south, and an agreement on the contested Abyei region — is significant.
But time is limited, the stakes are high, and there is much work yet to be done to secure a lasting peace and prevent the resurgence of a deadly war. Recent setbacks, including violent clashes in the South, the Khartoum government’s passage of a repressive National Security Act, the government’s violent suppression of peaceful protests, and the failure of the two sides to come to agreement on critical issues such as border demarcation, do not bode well for the region or for the people of Sudan. Consistent with our strategy, the United States will continue to call to account those responsible for delays and deviations from the path to lasting peace.
Just one year remains in the CPA’s transition period before the south will vote in a referendum on secession. Given the brevity of the remaining period, the United States is intensifying our efforts to mobilize international coordination and support for the CPA, to encourage the parties to honor their commitments under the agreement, and to work with partners in the region and throughout the international community to prepare for the future.