Kenya says Sudan's north-south peace deal to bolster Darfur conflict

14:59, October 30, 2009      

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By Daniel Ooko

Kenya said on Thursday that the full implementation of Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) will greatly boost efforts aimed at the Darfur peace process.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki told a special African Union Peace and Security Council Summit in Abuja, Nigeria that success of the landmark peace accord would send a positive and reassuring message of peace and stability in Sudan.

In a statement sent here, President Kibaki told the summit being attended by several African heads of state that without the actualization of the north-south peace deal, the Darfur peace process would be compromised.

"It is clear that comprehensive peace in the larger Sudan cannot be achieved without a resolution of the conflict in Darfur. It is also clearer that without the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Southern Sudan, the Darfur Peace Process would be compromised," he said.

Saying that the full implementation of the CPA and the Darfur peace process should, therefore, be pursued with equal vigor and on the basis of a comprehensive peace strategy for Sudan, Kibaki observed that the success of the agreement will serve as an added incentive to resolve the Darfur conflict.

The Abuja summit is discussing and considering a report by the AU High Level Panel on Darfur.

While commending the parties to the CPA for the progress made so far in its implementation, the president underscored the need to deal with the challenges that lie ahead.

These challenges, noted the president, include "the question of how Darfur can and should participate in National Elections and the threat to boycott next year's general elections in Sudan by the opposition.

"Other issues include the referendum law which focuses on the determination of who should vote, the percentage of votes required for unity or separation, the National Security Act which is still contentious and the 2008 census results."

President Kibaki said there is an urgent need to re-engage the parties to the agreement so as to reach an agreeable compromise on these issues, adding that this will enable the people of Sudan to enjoy lasting peace and stability.

He noted that while there are differences over a number of issues, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement provides for mechanisms of resolving any conflicts that may arise between the parties.

The president urged the two parties to use the mechanisms in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to resolve any outstanding issues.

The president called upon the two parties to strive in good faith to fully implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement urging that "no party should walk away from the Agreement."

"Both sides have worked through periods of strain given the history of tragic wars. We congratulate the parties for their achievements so far. We encourage them to continue in serious consultations on the remaining phases of the peace process," he said.

The president commended the AU High Level Panel on Darfur, which is chaired by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, for the report noting that "it provides a good framework for resolving the issues of peace, justice, accountability and reconciliation in Darfur."

"The report candidly acknowledges that historical injustices did occur and, underscores the need to deal with inequalities and regional marginalization as well as implement reforms in the criminal justice system so as to resolve conflicts in Sudan," he said.

Reaffirming Kenya's enduring commitment to supporting regional and international peace endeavors, Kibaki urged other African leaders to encourage leaders in Sudan to manifest the political will needed to fully translate the findings and recommendations of the panel into comprehensive and sustained resolution of the Darfur crisis.

The president also underlined the need to involve IGAD in the Darfur peace process.

"IGAD as the broker of the CPA should be invited to participate in the Darfur peace process, to make it more inclusive," said President Kibaki, who chaired meetings held in Kenya that led to the signing of the peace accord.

Source: Xinhua
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