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Oxfam welcomes historic peace deal in Sudan

10 January 2005'

Oxfam welcomes historic peace deal in Sudan

Oxfam welcomes the historic peace deal to end the civil war in Sudan,
but warns of deepening humanitarian crisis in neighbouring Uganda

On the eve of the historic signing of the Sudan peace agreement, international agency Oxfam warns that 1.6 million people in neighbouring northern Uganda will continue to face a terrible humanitarian crisis following the collapse of the ceasefire between the Government of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army on 1 January 2005.

Welcoming the signing of the peace agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand said: "The end of the 21 year civil war in Sudan is a momentous time for the people of Sudan. However, just across the border in northern Uganda, the ceasefire talks have collapsed and hopes for an end to the 18 year war have been dashed."

African leaders, the African Union and the wider international community, who were instrumental in bringing about the peace agreement between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM, must now concentrate their attention on the conflict in Northern Uganda as well as addressing the crisis in the Darfur region of western Sudan.

"The ceasefire in northern Uganda must be given another chance to work. African leaders and the international community must keep pressure on all parties to resume talks as soon as possible." said Coates. "It is difficult to imagine how continued conflict in northern Uganda will not threaten the peace in Sudan. The fates of the people of Sudan and Uganda are intertwined."

As the world's attention is drawn to the tragic Asian tsunami disaster, Oxfam calls on the international community to support the historic peace agreement in Sudan and to continue to push for peace in Darfur and neighbouring Uganda. Oxfam also emphasises the need to ensure that tsunami-related aid is in addition to existing aid and that other crises in the world are not neglected.

Coates said: “Let’s use the extraordinary momentum of the international response to the tsunami disaster to make 2005 the year when the world finally makes a real commitment to put an end to poverty.”

ENDS

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