For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 27, 2004
Statement by the Press Secretary
Sudan Peace Agreement
The United States welcomes the announcement that the Government of Sudan and the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) have completed an agreement for peace in Sudan. The signing of the final three protocols begins the closure of the longest running civil war in sub-Saharan Africa. The United States has worked closely with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and others, during this long peace process. President Bush, and his Special Envoy Senator Danforth, continue to be keenly interested in its success to end the suffering of the people of the South. At the same time, this peace also presents a unique opportunity for a united Sudan to cast aside the baggage of its troubled past and embark on a new course of stability, prosperity, and reconciliation.
We applaud the perseverance of the two sides in the months of long and difficult negotiations. With this agreement in hand, we fully expect negotiators to work now with greater flexibility, speed, and dedication to complete the terms of implementation. We call upon the leadership of both sides to prepare their people in earnest for the commitments agreed in all of the protocols which are the keys to lasting peace and preserving the unity of Sudan.
Few countries have suffered as Sudan. We urge the Government of Sudan to use the positive momentum created by the peace agreement to reverse the tragic human rights and humanitarian crisis unfolding in Darfur. Further action is required in order for the benefits of peace to reach all Sudanese and for Sudan to enjoy full cooperation with the international community. The displaced population in Darfur must be able to safely return to their homes so that they can contribute to the rebuilding of their country.
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