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Ban Ki-moon: Obstacles Remain in Sudanese Pact

New York, Oct 27 2009 4:10PM

The holding of elections and referendums are among the key milestones of the peace agreement ending the long-running north-south civil war in Sudan that have yet to be reached, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a new report(http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=s/2009/545), , calling on the parties to enhance their partnership in tackling the final obstacles.

The outstanding issues are “highly sensitive and will have the greatest impact on Sudanese political life,” Mr. Ban wrote in the publication made public today.

The key to implementing the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is the relationship between its signatories, the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), he said.

“The Agreement must be implemented in spirit as well as the letter if the immense work undertaken is to be sustainable,” he stressed, calling on the sides to boost their cooperation.

Next year’s elections, the first multi-party polls in decades, must be seen as part of a larger process of democratic transformation, requiring a long-term commitment by all parties, the Secretary-General underscored, adding that it is vital that the polls are credible in the eyes of the Sudanese people.

“Coming to an agreement on how to proceed with elections will also allow the parties to give the requisite attention to preparations for the referendums in 2011,” the report said.

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But Mr. Ban voiced concern over the delays for the referendums in southern Sudan and the oil-rich area of Abyei, which threaten their quality and credibility. Further, post-referendum arrangements must be decided upon to ensure a lasting peace.

Another matter of concern is the apparent targeting of unarmed civilians during tribal attacks and counter-attacks, as well as reports of widespread arms proliferation in southern Sudan, the report said, urging the Government of Southern Sudan to bolster efforts to end recurring justice and bring to justice those behind the attacks.

“A humanitarian crisis, as a result of growing insecurity, risks undermining the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and reversing gains achieved in the south,” the publication, Mr. Ban’s latest report on the UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan, or <"http://unmis.unmissions.org/">UNMIS, stressed.

“The coming 18 months will pose enormous challenges for the people of the Sudan, and how those challenges are met will largely determine the future of the country,” the Secretary-General highlighted.

He appealed to the Security Council, which will discuss this report tomorrow, along with the international community and others to step up efforts to ensure the implementation of the CPA to allow the Sudanese people “can take a critical step toward the realization of political equality, economic development and human rights.”


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