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Peace accord between north and south Sudan still on track, says UN envoy

19 February 2008 – The top United Nations envoy to Sudan told the Security Council today that the implementation of the January 2005 comprehensive peace agreement ending the long-running north-south civil war remains on track, despite being behind schedule.

Ashraf Qazi, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Sudan, said the overall security in the ceasefire zone remains relatively stable, but tensions between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) actually increased along the current boundary between northern and southern Sudan.

Mr. Qazi warned that while the working relationship between the two parties – which fought the 21-year civil war until 2005 – was relatively cordial, it suffered from a significant lack of trust and confidence.

But the envoy pointed to several important upcoming milestones for the accord (CPA) ending the war, including the conduct of a national census and then the holding of national elections next year.

The most recent UN report on the implementation of the CPA found that major challenges lie ahead, but praised the leaders of both sides for demonstrating a willingness to resolve their differences through dialogue.

As many as two million people were killed and 4.5 million others displaced during Sudan’s north-south civil war, which is separate from the conflict in the country’s western region of Darfur.

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