Statement by Ambassador Rice on Sudan–South Sudan Agreements

New York, N.Y.

We welcome the important agreements signed today between Sudan and South Sudan. The understandings reached on security, oil, financial, nationality and trade issues testify to courageous leadership on both sides and skilled diplomacy by President Thabo Mbeki and the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel. Just a few months ago, Sudan and South Sudan were on the brink of war. Today’s agreements demonstrate the impact that strong, united action by the UN Security Council can have on some of the world’s most challenging situations. The Security Council’s adoption of resolution 2046, endorsing the AU Roadmap and setting forth clear obligations on both sides, helped to chart a path out of conflict.

If implemented swiftly and effectively, these agreements will bring enormous benefits to people in both Sudan and South Sudan, lay a foundation for resolution of the remaining issues, and promote lasting peace. The grave humanitarian crises in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile are unacceptable, and it is imperative that Sudan grant immediate and unhindered humanitarian access to help those in desperate need. We have seen before that the situation in the Two Areas and along the border can unravel efforts to chart a brighter future for both sides. All concerned must build on today’s historic step to fulfill the promise of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and resolve the final status of the disputed border area of Abyei.

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