The United States looks forward to a peaceful separation of Sudan and Southern Sudan in July, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday evening.
In a State Department appearance to introduce Princeton Lyman, the new U.S. special envoy for Sudan, Clinton said it was a critical moment in that country’s history.
“Two months ago, in a peaceful display of democratic values, the people of Southern Sudan expressed their clear, unequivocal choice,” Clinton said. “They want to live in a free, independent country, and now we look forward to a peaceful separation of these two states in July.” The government of Sudan played an important role by creating the conditions that allowed voters to express their will without fear, intimidation or coercion, she said, “and since the vote, the government has continued to move this process forward with the same spirit of cooperation.” But many challenges lie ahead, Clinton said.
“One of the most important tasks is to end the conflict in Darfur and to alleviate, and hopefully end, the suffering of its people,” she said. “I continue to call on all parties to come together immediately to reach a peaceful solution. To do this, all parties should join the peace process in Doha. The Liberation and Justice Movement, the Justice and Equality Movement, and the government of Sudan must engage in direct face-to-face negotiations and reach a settlement that includes a cease-fire.” The United States is also concerned about the dangerous standoff in the Abyei region of Sudan, Clinton said.
“We call on both sides to take immediate steps to prevent future attacks and restore calm,” she said.
“Violence is simply unacceptable.” The deployment of forces by both sides violates the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and undermines the goodwill from January’s referendum, which was an important foundation for the peaceful future of Sudan, Clinton said.
Before July’s deadline, as outlined by the CPA, both sides must reach an agreement on Abyei “that meets the needs of all communities in the region and is consistent with the CPA’s Abyei protocol,” she said. Agencies