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09 January 2005

Bush, Powell Praise Sudan Peace Accord, Urge Swift Implementation

President calls agreement "model" for ending atrocities in Darfur

President Bush has congratulated the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for signing a peace agreement January 9 that moves closer to ending a decades-long civil war in that country.

In a statement released by the White House the same day, Bush said that now the “difficult work of implementation must begin.  “Only the implementation of this agreement in good faith can result in long-term peace and development, he said.

Bush called for the new agreement to “serve as an inspiration and model for both sides in their work toward negotiating a peaceful resolution of a more recent conflict in the Darfur region of the country. There, Bush called upon all sides “to live up to their ceasefire commitments, to end atrocities, and to allow the free movement of humanitarian workers and supplies.

In his remarks during the signing ceremony for the peace accord at Nairobi, Kenya, Secretary of State Colin Powell called it a promising day for the people of Sudan, but only if today’s promises are kept."  Powell urged all sides “to seize this historic opportunity to transform Sudan from a country torn by war into a nation united in peace, from a place of tragedy into a land of hope.

Powell called on the world to “stay closely engaged with Sudan in the hard work of reconstruction.  He added that the “new ‘partners for peace’ must work together immediately to end the violence and atrocities in Darfur -- not next month or in the interim period, but right away, starting today … we expect to see rapid negotiation of the crisis in Darfur.

 

Following are the texts of Bush's and Powell's statements:

(begin text)

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

January 9, 2005

 

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

I congratulate the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement on the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement.  I thank all the officials of the United States Government who have worked hard to help achieve this agreement, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Special Envoy for Sudan, Ambassador John Danforth, and the Special Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios.  I also thank the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, which sponsored the talks, and the government of Kenya, which hosted them, and the governments of Norway and the United Kingdom, and the African Union, which played constructive roles for peace.

Both sides should be proud of this accomplishment.  The difficult work of implementation must now begin.  Only the implementation of this agreement in good faith can result in long-term peace and development.

As we celebrate this positive movement toward peace in the longstanding North-South conflict, we remember the conflict in Darfur and the suffering it causes.  This comprehensive peace agreement should serve as an inspiration and model for both sides in their work toward negotiating a peaceful resolution of the Darfur conflict.  I call on the Government of Sudan and on all Darfur rebel groups to live up to their ceasefire commitments, to end atrocities, and to allow the free movement of humanitarian workers and supplies.  The United States will continue to assist the people of Darfur in reaching a just and lasting peace.

(end Bush text)

(begin Powell text)

REMARKS BY SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN L. POWELL AT THE SIGNING CEREMONY OF THE SUDAN COMPREHENSIVE PEACE AGREEMENT

Nyayo National Stadium

Nairobi, Kenya

January 9, 2005

SECRETARY POWELL: Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, friends, I am honored to be here today representing President Bush and the American people to witness the signing of the historic comprehensive peace accord. 

At the outset of his administration, President Bush set as his top priority in Africa ending the tragic civil war in Sudan. Today, we declare an end to that war, and the beginning of a peace. This accord ends more than two decades of conflict.  It can close a dark chapter in the history of Sudan and open the door to a promising future for all Sudanese. Sudan can now become an example of reconciliation. It can demonstrate to the world that even the most intractable conflicts can be resolved.

These were difficult negotiations and many have made enormous contributions -- in particular, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and the Government of Kenya.  All of us owe General Sumbeiywo a great debt of gratitude for his extraordinary efforts. I am pleased that the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway were able to support this African-led process.

In September 2001, President Bush appointed Ambassador John Danforth as Special Envoy for Sudan.  The president's instructions were to spare no effort. The president stayed personally involved to ensure our efforts in Sudan had the administration's highest level attention. I want to express my appreciation for the vital contributions of Ambassador Danforth, and for those of our Special Humanitarian Coordinator Andrew Natsios and my entire Africa team.

Above all, I salute President Bashir, Vice President Taha, and Chairman Garang for their persistence, dedication and statesmanship.  They now share an enormous responsibility.  The people of Sudan expect a lasting peace - a peace that brings democracy and prosperity to a unified country.  The United States pledges our full support as you go about this historic task. And there is much to do.

The world must stay closely engaged with Sudan in the hard work of reconstruction.  The National Congress Party and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement must act quickly to build on the goodwill and momentum of this bright day. These new "partners for peace" must work together immediately to end the violence and atrocities in Darfur -- not next month or in the interim period, but right away, starting today.   The United States and the world community expect the new partners to use all necessary means to stop the violence. And we expect to see rapid negotiation of the crisis in Darfur.

I also want to recognize the impressive efforts of the African Union -- and in particular President Obasanjo. We urge the parties to cooperate fully with the African Union.

For our part, the United States looks forward to a positive relationship with this new Sudan.  However, achieving this positive relationship will only be possible in the context of peace throughout the entire country.

This is a promising day for the people of Sudan, but only if today's promises are kept. I urge you to seize this historic opportunity to transform Sudan from a country torn by war into a nation united in peace, from a place of tragedy into a land of hope. 

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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