Progress in Implementing North-South Peace Pact
Sudan: UN Official Praises Progress in Implementing North-South Peace Pact
The former warring parties in Sudan’s long-running civil conflict that ended three years ago have made “significant progress” in implementing their peace accord and resolving outstanding differences over a disputed area in the centre of the country, the top United Nations envoy to Sudan said today.
Ashraf Qazi, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Sudan, told journalists in Juba, where he was holding talks with senior members of the Government of Southern Sudan, that the two sides deserved commendation for their recent progress.
The Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) in January 2005 to end their 21-year north-south civil war, but the full implementation of the accord has since fallen behind schedule.
In May, Government military forces and SPLM forces clashed in deadly fighting in Abyei, a town at the centre of an oil-rich area close to the boundary between north and south Sudan. Tens of thousands of civilians had to flee and much of the town’s infrastructure was destroyed before a peace deal was signed the following month.
Speaking today, Mr. Qazi welcomed the recent move to appoint a joint interim administration in Abyei. He said it was important to note that significant progress has made despite “the numerous challenges” facing the two sides.
Mr. Qazi added that the deployment of joint integrated military and police units need to be accelerated so that civilians can safely return to Abyei. He also stressed the importance of progress in disarming, demobilizing and reintegrating former fighters from the north-south war.
During his visit to Juba today, the envoy met with Salva Kiir Mayardit, the President of the Government of Southern Sudan and the First Vice-President of Sudan.