For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 8, 2008
Statement by the President on Progress Toward and Challenges to Lasting Peace in Sudan
Tomorrow marks the third anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan, which ended 21 years of civil war in that country. I am proud of the role the United States played in achieving that historic result. I remain committed to assisting both sides with the rigorous and complete implementation of all aspects of the agreement. While much progress has been made in forming a Government of National Unity, sharing wealth, and respecting a cessation of hostilities, many challenges remain to the agreement's full implementation. Every effort should be made to ensure that a nationwide census is immediately conducted to allow national elections to be held on time next year. The work of Sudan's border commission also must be reinvigorated, along with efforts to redeploy troops away from disputed border areas, to reduce the chances of a return to violence. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement laid the groundwork for lasting peace and unity for all of Sudan, and its vigorous application will continue to underpin U.S. involvement across Sudan.
I have asked my new Special Envoy for Sudan, Ambassador Richard Williamson, to continue the United States' strong involvement on North-South issues to help find solutions to these challenges. Ambassador Williamson is also charged with advancing efforts to end the violence in Darfur. I am deeply troubled that innocent civilians continue to fall victim to the scourge of government- and rebel-led attacks in Darfur. I remain firmly committed to the rapid deployment of an effective peacekeeping force coupled with serious political dialogue between the parties to help end the crisis and the suffering of the innocent people of Darfur.
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