Security Council, in Presidential Statement, Calls on International Community to Lend Full Support for Sudanese People’s Peaceful, Prosperous Future
Security Council, in Presidential Statement, Calls on International Community to Lend Full Support for Sudanese People’s Peaceful, Prosperous Future
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6478th Meeting (AM & PM)
Security Council, in Presidential Statement, Calls on International Community
to Lend Full Support for Sudanese People’s Peaceful, Prosperous Future
Members Welcome Acceptance of Referendum
Results, while Expressing Concern over Continuing Violence in Darfur
Welcoming the 7 February official announcement of the Southern Sudan referendum’s final results, which showed 98.83 per cent of voters choosing independence, the Security Council called today on the international community to lend its full support to all Sudanese people as they built a peaceful and prosperous future.
In a statement read out by Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti (Brazil), its President for February, the Council also warmly welcomed statements by President Omer al-Bashir and First Vice-President Salva Kiir Mayardit accepting the final results of the vote. It looked forward to welcoming an independent South Sudan as a new member of the international community after 9 July.
The Council underlined that full and timely implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was essential to peace and stability in Sudan and the wider region, and to future cooperation between Northern and Southern Sudan and the international community. It acknowledged that the process mandated by the peace accord represented an exceptional case and did not by itself set a precedent.
Council members urged the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement quickly to reach agreement on the disputed region of Abyei as well as other critical issues, including border demarcation, security arrangements, citizenship, debt, assets, currency, wealth-sharing and natural-resource management.
Reiterating its deep concern over increasing violence and insecurity in Darfur, including ceasefire violations, attacks by rebel groups and aerial bombardment by the Sudanese Armed Forces, the Council recalled the importance it attached to ending impunity and to justice for crimes committed in Darfur. It urged all parties to ensure full and unhindered access for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) throughout the mission’s area of operation, and to allow humanitarian workers to provide assistance to all populations in need.
While welcoming the presence of the Justice and Equality Movement and the Liberation and Justice Movement at the ongoing Darfur peace process in Doha, Qatar, jointly led by the African Union and the United Nations, the Council strongly urged all other rebel movements to join the negotiations without further delay or preconditions. It also reiterated the importance of greater participation by women in Sudanese peace processes.
At the outset of today’s meeting, Haile Menkerios, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS), said: “Sudan has just given us an example of how the spirit of peace can overcome decades of war. This is a new, historic moment for Sudan, a new dawn that, if built upon, can lead to sustainable peace and progress in Sudan and contribute to the same in the immediate region and throughout the continent.”
He said both North and South must now strive to consolidate peace and to deliver on their promises to their people, including: to ensure effective and accountable democratic governance; to drive economic development and provide social services; to nurture social and cultural diversity; to protect democratic rights and freedoms; and to cooperate closely as neighbours.
Encouraging both Northern and Southern Sudanese leaders to maintain the spirit generated by the successful conclusion of the referendum in tackling the tasks ahead, he said agreement had been reached on citizenship arrangements, residence, property ownership, employment and protection against forced deportation or relocation. The parties were working towards arrangements on the sharing of oil revenues, he added.
Also briefing the Council were Benjamin Mkapa, Chair of the Secretary-General’s Panel on the Referenda in the Sudan and a former President of the United Republic of Tanzania; and Mahmoud Kane, Head of the African Union Liaison Office in Sudan, who delivered remarks on behalf of Thabo Mbeki, Chairperson of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel and former President of South Africa.
Magid Elhag (Sudan), speaking on behalf of his country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, said the Council and the international community should reward the Government for keeping its promise to respect the referendum’s outcome by considering a new vision vis-à-vis President Bashir, “the hero of peace”. The South’s secession did not mean that a geographic wall would severe the links between North and South, but only that there was a new beginning of close cooperation that would take common interests into account as well as each party’s need of the other. He strongly urged the lifting of economic sanctions imposed on his country, stressing that economic stability in the North meant stability for the South as well. Conversely, any threat to the North was also a threat to the South, he added.
On the question of Darfur, he said the Government’s policy had always been to solve the conflict through negotiations, not manage it. Reiterating Sudan’s support for all efforts made within the Doha mediation process, he stressed, however, that in order to guarantee participation by the majority of Darfur citizens, the Government had adopted the “Strategy of the Darfur Peace”, which focused on promoting the peace process from the inside, as a complement to the Doha negotiations, through completion of the Darfur Dialogue Process.
Deng Alor Kuol, the Government of Southern Sudan’s Minister for Regional Cooperation, declared: “The people have spoken.” The challenge now was to finalize the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, adding that clarity on all outstanding issues was essential. “We have no interest in returning to the hostilities and divisions of the past,” he said, emphasizing his Government’s readiness to start working immediately with the ruling National Congress Party to resolve the status of Abyei.
He went on to state that the Government of Southern Sudan was preparing for the responsibility of statehood by continuing to work on good governance, institution-building and the creation of a multiparty democracy. Following independence, it would establish a broad-based Government of National Unity, promulgate a new constitution and schedule national elections. “ South Sudan will not just be the world’s newest State, but its newest democracy,” he said.
The representative of the United States said the millions of voters deciding their own future after decades of conflict had been an inspiration to Africa and the whole world. Now all parties had the responsibility of ensuring that it became “a moment of lasting progress”. It was important to resolve outstanding issues, including Abyei, she said, adding that the United Nations should continue to play a very active role. Leaving post-referendum issues such as citizenship and wealth-sharing unresolved was an “invitation to trouble”, she warned.
Expressing concern about the deteriorating security situation in Darfur, she said that in order for the Sudanese Government’s relationship with the United States to reach its full potential, the former must bring peace to the country’s troubled western region, cooperate with UNAMID, ensure freedom of movement for humanitarian assistance and comply with all Security Council resolutions.
While welcoming the free and fair referendum and the acceptance of its results by President Bashir and First Vice-President Kiir, Council members stressed that the vote was just a milestone on the road to full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. They urged agreement on the question of Abyei and other outstanding issues before the end of the interim period in July. Drawing attention to the deteriorating situation in Darfur, speakers expressed support for the ongoing Doha negotiations and urged all groups that had not yet done so to join them in negotiations immediately and without preconditions. Some speakers urged targeted sanctions against those that refused.
Nigeria’s representative, emphasizing that Southern Sudan could not overcome challenges on its own, said that, now more than ever, the Council and the wider international community must stand in solidarity with the emerging nation. The upcoming debate on the linkages between security and development would clarify the Council’s role in that regard, she said.
South Africa’s representative welcomed the 29 January joint communiqué by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), saying it was vital that those pledges translate into the signing of a peace accord and an end to violence. Recalling the African Union’s Solemn Declaration on Sudan, expressing the continent’s solidarity with the Sudanese people, he called on the global community to ensure that expectations were met in both North and South Sudan.
Also speaking today were representatives of the United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Lebanon, Colombia, Portugal, India, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gabon, France, China, Germany and Brazil.
The meeting began at 10:20 a.m. and suspended at 12:45 p.m. Resuming at 2 p.m., it ended at 2:10 p.m.
The full text of Presidential Statement S/PRST/2011/3 reads as follows:
“The Security Council welcomes the February 7 announcement by the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission of the final results of the referendum on self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan, which showed that 98.83 percent of voters chose independence. The Council calls on the international community to lend its full support to all Sudanese people as they build a peaceful and prosperous future.
“The Council congratulates the parties of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the people of Sudan for a peaceful and successful referendum, and commends UNMIS for its contribution to the process.
“The Security Council warmly welcomes the statements of President Omar al Bashir and Vice President Salva Kiir on February 7, in which they accept the final results of the referendum. The Council calls on all member states to respect the outcome of the referendum and looks forward to welcoming an independent South Sudan as a new member of the international community after July 9.
“The Security Council welcomes the work of the Secretary General’s Panel led by former President Benjamin Mkapa. The Council praises the CPA parties for their commitment to the CPA, as illustrated by their support for a timely and credible referendum process. The Council underlines that full and timely implementation of the CPA is essential to peace and stability in Sudan and the region and to future co-operation between northern and southern Sudan and the international community.
“The Security Council further acknowledges that the process mandated by the CPA represents an exceptional case and does not by itself set a precedent.
“The Security Council reaffirms its support for the work of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel and its chair President Thabo Mbeki, and notes the commitments made by the CPA parties in the January 27 Presidency meeting and encourages them to continue to strive for a timely agreement on the implementation of outstanding CPA issues. The Council urges the parties to reach quickly an agreement on Abyei and other critical issues, including border demarcation, security arrangements, citizenship, debts, assets, currency, wealth sharing, and natural resource management. The Council welcomes the start of the popular consultation process in the Blue Nile State and stresses the importance of inclusive, timely, and credible popular consultations processes in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States, in accordance with the CPA.
“The Security Council deeply regrets the loss of life in violence in Upper Nile state on February 3 to 5.
“The Security Council underlines the need for the CPA parties to prevent further clashes and promote calm, including by providing immediate and ongoing reassurance to people of all nationalities in Sudan, including Southerners in the North and Northerners in the South, that their rights, safety and property will continue to be respected. The Council urges the CPA parties to respect their obligations.
“The Security Council reiterates its deep concern over the increase in violence and insecurity in Darfur, including ceasefire violations, attacks by rebel groups, and aerial bombardment by the Sudanese Armed Forces, which recently displaced approximately 43,000 civilians, and the kidnapping on January 13 of three members of the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service. The Security Council recalls the importance it attaches to an end to impunity, and to justice for crimes committed in Darfur. The Security Council reaffirms its support for UNAMID and urges all parties to ensure full and unhindered access for UNAMID throughout the mission area, and to allow humanitarian workers to provide assistance to all populations in need.
“The Security Council reaffirms its support for the AU-UN led peace process for Darfur, hosted by the State of Qatar, the work of Joint Chief Mediator Djibril Bassole and the principles guiding the negotiations. The Council welcomes the presence of the Justice and Equality Movement and Liberation and Justice Movement in Doha, and strongly urges all other rebel movements to join the peace process without further delay or preconditions, and all parties to engage with a view to concluding urgently a comprehensive agreement.
“The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council by the end of February on issues related to the Darfur-based Political Process (DPP), including an assessment of the enabling environment.
“The Security Council reiterates the importance of increased participation of women in the Sudanese peace processes.
“The Security Council will continue to follow developments in Sudan, including in Darfur, closely.”
The Security Council met this morning to consider the situation in the Sudan.
HAILE MENKERIOS, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS), said that yesterday, 7 February, the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission had finally announced the official final results of the Southern Sudan Self-Determination Referendum. Out of almost 4 million registered voters, 97.58 per cent had participated in a vote unanimously described as free, fair and credible, with an overwhelming majority (98.83 per cent) voting for secession.
The same day, he said, President Omer al-Bashir had signed a decree confirming his Government’s acceptance of the result, thus confirming the readiness of the Government of Sudan to recognize an independent South Sudan at the end of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement period on 9 July. Against the odds, the Sudanese Government had not only contributed to the successful holding of the referendum, but President Bashir and the ruling National Congress Party had now formally recognized the validity and legitimacy of its outcome, Mr. Menkerios said, emphasizing the historical significance of those events. “In doing so, they have most likely ended, once and for all, one of Africa’s most protracted and deadliest conflicts.”
He said the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement had made significant progress, in negotiations facilitated by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel chaired by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, on a wide range of post-referendum arrangements between North and South. A number of principles had been agreed with respect to open borders, good neighbourly relations, non-interference in the affairs of the other and recognition of economic interdependence. A broad framework for non-aggression and military cooperation had been defined and a joint mechanism to manage security relations decided upon. Agreement had also been reached on citizenship arrangements, residence, property ownership, employment and protection against forced deportation or relocation. In the economic and oil sphere, the parties were working towards arrangements on sharing oil revenues, he said.
Commending the parties’ efforts to prevent and contain violence in Abyei, Mr. Menkerios said that while incidents in that area, as well as in Unity State and Western Equatoria, could not be downplayed, the security environment in the UNMIS area of operation had been generally good during the referendum period. Amnesty had been granted those who had rebelled against the Government of Southern Sudan following the April 2010 elections, he said. However, the fighting of 3-5 February in Malakal, between members of the joint integrated units of the Sudanese armed forces, was a reminder of how fragile the South’s security situation remained.
Welcoming the conclusion of the popular consultation hearings in Blue Nile State, he said issues such as the sharing of power and wealth, land allocation and cultural identity had been raised and should be on the agenda of discussions with the Khartoum Government. Popular consultations in Southern Kordofan State were now expected to commence after the elections scheduled for May. However, the popular consultation process would be limited unless matched by an accommodating national dispensation, he cautioned, noting that the National Congress Party had promised to widen the base of the national Government and to start broad consultations over the future constitution of Northern Sudan.
The process for considering the future United Nations presence and possible role in both Northern and Southern Sudan, and between the North and South, had now started, the Special Representative said. The Government of Southern Sudan had indicated that it would welcome United Nations engagement in support of peace consolidation and capacity-building. As for the North, discussions were under way with the authorities in areas where they sought future cooperation. Possible United Nations or other third-party engagement in the implementation of post-referendum arrangements, such as Abyei and the border, were on the agenda for discussion, he noted.
“ Sudan has just given us an example of how the spirit of peace can overcome decades of war,” he said. Both North and South must now strive to consolidate peace, to deliver on their promises to their people, including: to ensure effective and accountable democratic governance; to drive economic development and provide social services; to nurture social and cultural diversity; to protect democratic rights and freedoms; and to cooperate closely as neighbours. He encouraged both Northern and Southern Sudanese leaders to maintain the spirit generated by the successful conclusion of the referendum in tackling the tasks ahead, saying: “This is a new, historic moment for Sudan, a new dawn that, if built upon, can lead to sustainable peace and progress in Sudan and contribute to the same in the immediate region and throughout the continent.”
BENJAMIN MKAPA, Chair of the Secretary-General’s Panel on the Referenda in the Sudan, said the vote had been a major milestone on the road to lasting peace. The Panel had undertaken five visits to Sudan and had established a support office with field offices across the country. “The Panel concludes that the referendum’s outcome reflects the will of the people of Southern Sudan and the referendum process was free, fair and credible,” he added.
The Panel had assessed the referendum process on the basis of criteria stipulated in the Southern Sudan Referendum Act, and was of the view that the process had been conducted in a highly transparent manner, he continued. Civil society organizations had participated extensively, and public statements by senior Government officials in both the North and South had been increasingly encouraging. However, there had been some problems, including a lack of progress on post-referendum arrangements and a number of security incidents. There had also been a few instances of intimidation, but they were isolated incidents, none of which, in the Panel’s view, had materially affected the credibility of the process.
Hailing President Bashir and First Vice-President Salva Kiir Mayardit for having demonstrated courage and political commitment to ensuring that a key milestone in the peace process had been reached, he cautioned, however, that the work of the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was not yet over, and called on them to use the momentum created by the successful completion of the referendum to reach lasting agreement on post-referendum arrangements. The Panel also stressed the continuing importance of protecting all Sudanese civilians, whether Northerners or Southerners.
He went on to reiterate the Agreement’s stipulation that the Abyei referendum should be held simultaneously with the Southern Sudan referendum, and expressed regret that it had not taken place. The Abyei Area Referendum Commission had yet to be established and no agreement had been reached on who was eligible to vote. Deadly clashes had taken place in the area, he noted, urging the parties to seek a speedy and lasting solution on Abyei and calling on the people of the area to display patience and tolerance until an equitable solution was found. While the referendum was not an end in itself, if implemented, it would herald a new political dispensation, he said, urging the international community to maintain its political engagement, redouble its efforts to assist Sudan in the coming months and help the new entities that had emerged in the post-referendum period.
MAHMOUD KANE, Head of the African Union Liaison Office in Sudan, delivered remarks on behalf of Thabo Mbeki, Chairperson of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel, noting the historic significance of the referendum. According to the Panel’s observations, which had coincided with those of the Panel on the Referenda, the Southern Sudan referendum had met all criteria of legitimacy, “leaving no room for challenge regarding its outcome”. Furthermore, the Government of Sudan had accepted the result. “With this referendum, the people of Northern and Southern Sudan have decisively put behind them their history of animosity and conflict,” he declared, expressing confidence that they would never return to war.
Congratulating the people of Sudan, their political parties and leaders, for their courage, he recalled that 10 days ago, the African Union Summit had unanimously adopted a solemn declaration on Sudan stating that the achievement of peace, democracy and development in North and South promised to “help lift the entire continent”, and expressing Africa’s solidarity with the entire Sudanese people. As part of Africa’s commitment to them, the Panel would continue to facilitate negotiations to finalize outstanding issues in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, he said, including on Abyei, demarcation of the North-South border, resolution of disputed areas along that border and completion of popular consultations in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States. It also continued to facilitate talks on post-referendum arrangements, including on economic cooperation, among other issues.
Turning to Darfur, he said that among the most important recommendations of the African Union Panel on Darfur was that only inclusive negotiations would produce lasting agreement. Darfurians continued to demand an inclusive political process that would allow them to determine their own future. In implementation of a decision taken by the African Union 15 months ago, together with the people of Darfur, the Panel would work with the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in beginning a political process to engage the Government of Sudan, he said, pointing out that the Panel and UNAMID where already working with the Government to establish an environment conducive to the success of the Darfur political process. Alongside Ibrahim Gambari, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, the Panel would do its best to ensure that a global political agreement for Darfur was concluded before the end of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement interim period on 9 July.
Throughout the Comprehensive Peace Agreement period, President Bashir and First Vice President Kiir had shown their personal and political courage, statesmanship and good faith, he said. “We have every confidence that they and their respective Governments, and the Sudanese people as a whole, will continue to do everything necessary to address the various challenges which confront Sudan.” Reassuring the Council that the two leaders were “fully conscious of and sensitive to” the challenges they faced, he said the task ahead was to help them, adding that he trusted the Council would extend its assistance to the Sudanese people as they took their country through the momentous months ahead. He said he was pleased that Africa stood ready to assist the State that would emerge after 9 July in confronting the challenges of nation-building, and that the Council would use its influence to encourage the global community to support the peoples of both Northern and Southern Sudan.
MAGID ELHAG (Sudan), speaking on behalf of his country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, congratulated his “brothers” in Southern Sudan, adding that the Sudanese leadership and people had set a wonderful example by accepting the referendum outcome. The Council and all members of the international community should reward the fulfilment of that promise by considering a new vision vis-à-vis President Bashir, “the hero of peace”. The Referendum outcome reflected clear support for secession, and the President had welcomed it while reiterating that the Sudan was anxious to develop brotherly relations with the South, based on cooperation. He had stated that the North would extend assistance to the nascent country.
For the past five years, Sudan had reiterated that it would continue to fulfil all commitments under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, including the referendum, he recalled, noting that the promise had been completely fulfilled, in the belief that unity could not be imposed and that peace should take precedence. In the same spirit, he added, the South’s secession did not mean that a geographic wall would severe the links between North and South, but only that a there was a new beginning of close cooperation, taking into account the linkage of common interests and each party’s need for the other.
He congratulated the National Commission for the Referendum, which had exemplarily fulfilled its duty, despite all the difficulties it had faced. The Government of Sudan would show the same resolve and transparency in seeking a settlement of all outstanding matters, including the situation in the Abyei region, which was not merely a matter of border demarcation or division of wealth. It was about establishing the future of two ethnic groups in the region, which had always been a bridge linking the North and the South. Continuing negotiations between the two parties represented the only guarantee for peace and stability in the region, he emphasized.
As for Darfur, he said the Government of Sudan had always stated that its policy was to solve the conflict through negotiations, not manage it. Reiterating Sudan’s support for all efforts made in the Doha mediation process, he stressed, however, that in order to guarantee participation by the majority of Darfur citizens, the Government had adopted the “Strategy of the Darfur Peace”, which was being implemented in close coordination with UNAMID. It focused on promoting the peace process from the inside, complementary to the Doha negotiations, through completion of the Darfur Dialogue Process.
Appealing to the Council and donor countries to extend economic assistance to both parts of the Sudan so the North could assist the South in building its nascent State, he strongly urged the lifting of economic sanctions, saying that economic stability in the North meant stability for the South as well. Any threat to the North was a threat to the South, he said, emphasizing that there was no greater threat than the difficult economic circumstances of the two parts of Sudan. Reaffirming that peace was indivisible, he said the Government of Sudan looked forward to seeing a stable and safe “sisterly country” in the South.
DENG ALOR KUOL, Minister for Regional Cooperation, Government of Southern Sudan, described the timely and peaceful conduct of the referendum as a “major and historic achievement”, saying it was a testament to the capability of the United Nations as well as to the maturity of all citizens and their commitment to exercise their right to self-determination. The Government of Southern Sudan was satisfied that the outcome reflected the true democratic will of the people of Southern Sudan. “The people have spoken,” he declared.
Calling on the Council to accept the results, support the emergence of an independent South Sudan on 9 July, and recognize the independent State immediately thereafter, he welcomed President Bashir’s formal acceptance of the final results and the Government of Sudan. The challenge now was to finalize the full implementation of the remaining provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, he said, adding that he remained completely committed to the accord.
The Government of Southern Sudan was ready to re-engage with the National Congress Party on critical issues of oil revenues, citizenship, protection and border security, he said, stressing that clarity on all outstanding issues was essential. Both parties had a joint duty to all Sudanese to guarantee a peaceful and prosperous future, which would be achieved by establishing mutual respect between Northern and Southern Sudan. “We have no interest in returning to the hostilities and divisions of the past,” he emphasized.
Turning to Abyei, he expressed the deep disappointment of the Government of Southern Sudan, on behalf of the region’s people, that the referendum on the area had not taken place. Indeed, both North and South had committed to reach early agreement on Abyei, he recalled, saying he remained ready to start work immediately, with the National Congress Party, to resolve the impasse. There were two possible outcomes: the holding of a referendum, or the transfer of Abyei to the South by presidential decree. Separately, the South was fully committed to respecting and protecting the grazing rights of the Misseriya and other livestock keepers in Southern Sudan. He welcomed the start of popular consultations in Blue Nile, and called for a similar process to begin in Southern Kordofan while expressing his commitment to help partners in the National Congress Party reach a fair political settlement on Darfur.
For its part, the Government of Southern Sudan was preparing for the responsibility of statehood by continuing its work on good governance, institution-building and creating a multiparty democracy, he said. It had established a technical committee to review the interim constitution, a process to be followed by a constitutional conference. Following independence, a broad-based Government of National Unity would be established, a new constitution promulgated and national elections scheduled. The Government also would apply for membership of regional and international organizations, and review international treaties and conventions, with a view to accession. The Government would also continue to fight vigorously against corruption and institute measures to stamp it out. “ South Sudan will not just be the world’s newest State, but its newest democracy,” he declared.
Expressing his Government’s desire for a continued United Nations presence in South Sudan after July, he said he looked forward to participating in all discussions on its mandate, believing that peacekeepers should focus on maintaining peace and security in the border regions. While South Sudan should have primary responsibility for protecting civilians, the United Nations and the international community could play a supporting role, relating particularly to the protection of returnees. With a primary focus on achieving peace through the economic development, the Government of South Sudan would work to build the necessary human and physical infrastructure, he added.
While conceding that there would be challenges ahead, he underscored that the future was in the hands of the Southern Sudanese. “…[T]riumphs shall be theirs and the success they have achieved thus far will continue to move us forward,” he asserted. Indeed, it was a decisive moment for Sudan, with the referendum marking not an end but the basis for a new beginning. He expressed hope that as Northern and Southern Sudan embarked on “a new journey”, they would convey important lessons to the rest of the continent about establishing genuine peace after a period of war.
SUSAN RICE ( United States) said the millions of voters deciding their own future after decades of conflict had been an inspiration to Africa and the whole world. Now all parties had the responsibility of ensuring that it became “a moment of lasting progress”. The United States welcomed the Government of Sudan’s acceptance of the outcome and would itself formally recognize Southern Sudan as a sovereign State in July, she said.
It was now important to resolve outstanding issues, including Abyei, she said, adding that the United Nations should continue to play a very active role since the Abyei situation could trigger further instability in Sudan. Hopefully the parties would quickly resolve post-referendum issues such as citizenship and wealth-sharing in order to ensure a peaceful transition, she said, warning that leaving them unresolved was an “invitation to trouble”.
Expressing concern about the deteriorating security situation in Darfur, she condemned aerial bombardments by the Government of Sudan, emphasizing that ending them while ensuring freedom of movement for UNAMID and humanitarian workers were essential steps in demonstrating the Government’s commitment to end violence in Darfur. The Council had a responsibility to the civilians of Darfur to press UNAMID to implement fully its responsibility under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, she emphasized, adding that, for the Sudanese Government’s relationship with the United States to reach its full potential, the former must bring peace to Darfur, cooperate with UNAMID, ensure freedom of movement for humanitarian assistance and comply with all Council resolutions.
MARK LYALL GRANT (United Kingdom) said that the referendum results reflected the freely expressed will of the people of Southern Sudan. Welcoming statements today that echoed the positive reactions of President Bashir and First Vice-President Kiir, he said they were a testament to the leaders in both North and South Sudan. Courageous political leadership had enabled the people of Southern Sudan to make their voices heard and determine their future and their choice would be respected. However, much remained to be done, he cautioned.
The violence in Upper Nile State underlined the urgency of reaching agreement on all outstanding issues, including Abyei, he emphasized, urging the parties to make the necessary compromises. The peace and prosperity of all Sudanese depended on sustained cooperation between North and South, and the international community must work with both. The United Kingdom stood ready to play its part and was working with others on handling Sudan’s national debt, among other things, he said. Noting also that the situation in Darfur remained of deep concern, he called on all parties to cease hostilities and ensure full access for UNAMID and humanitarian workers. All rebel groups outside the peace process should join the negotiations without conditions or delay, he stressed, warning that those that refused could face sanctions by the Council.
VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said the expression of the people’s will testified to the success of the leadership in both North and South Sudan in implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. On the main controversial issues, including Abyei, border demarcation, oil revenue and external debt, both sides must express their readiness to build relations in the same spirit of cooperation, he said, stressing that it was the only choice that would ensure long-term peace in the country and region. Indeed, the Russian Federation hoped the leaders would live up to their responsibilities in the present new stage of Sudanese history.
Emphasizing the need for international assistance to establish statehood in South Sudan, he said UNMIS would be an important factor in supporting stability in the transition period. A key task for that period would be settling the Darfur conflict, which could only be done by reaching comprehensive political agreements. The Russian Federation supported the Doha mediation mechanism as the main platform for reaching agreement and welcomed the Sudanese Government’s participation in the Darfur settlement process. It was essential to ensure that all key rebel groups also joined it without preconditions, he emphasized, adding that his country would support lasting peace, stability and development in Sudan, alongside the African Union and other interested partners.
BASO SANGQU ( South Africa) hailed President Bashir and First Vice-President Kiir on delivering a peaceful and credible referendum, saying the results testified to the collective Southern Sudanese desire to exercise the inalienable right to self-determination. President Bashir’s acceptance of the results showed the leadership’s strong political will for peace. He also congratulated the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission and the Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau, saying that national ownership, accompanied by international support, had been critical to ensuring full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The referendum’s success had recorded a critical contribution to the accord’s full implementation and South Africa was encouraged by the parties’ commitment quickly to address all outstanding issues.
On Darfur, he expressed concern about the deteriorating security situation and its devastating humanitarian impact on the region, reiterating the call for armed movements immediately to cease hostilities. He welcomed the 29 January joint communiqué of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), saying it was vital that those pledges translate into the signing of a peace accord and an end to violence. He called on those outside the process, especially the Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdel Wahid al-Nur faction (SLM-AWN), to join the peace talks in Doha, which hopefully would conclude soon. Recalling the African Union’s Solemn Declaration on Sudan, expressing the continent’s solidarity with the Sudanese people, he called on the global community to ensure that expectations were met in both North and South Sudan.
NAWAF SALAM ( Lebanon) said that despite the past, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement had helped the people of Sudan overcome an atrocious war. The accord had been implemented and a peaceful and honest referendum had been held in the South. The parties to the Agreement had honoured their commitments and respected the will of the people of Southern Sudan, he said, pointing out, however, that independence did not mean an end to cooperation between the North and the South. Post-referendum issues such as the Abyei region, borders, citizenship, revenue-sharing and debt must be followed closely, he stressed, expressing hope that the referendum’s success would have a positive impact on Sudan in general. The Doha process necessitated participation by all parties. The Council should ensure the participation of those remaining outside the peace process, including through targeted sanctions, and the Sudanese Government should create an environment conducive to negotiations, he said, adding that other initiatives should be complementary to the Doha process.
NÉSTOR OSORIO ( Colombia) said that while the referendum results were of the utmost relevance, full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was essential. Issues of citizenship, wealth distribution, security, natural resources and boundaries, among others, could roll back the successes achieved if not resolved, and the parties must be encouraged to advance negotiations and support the efforts of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel, he emphasized. Expressing concern about the situation in Abyei, he said firm political will was required to overcome “stagnation” in the negotiations, and attention must also focus on the role of the United Nations and the Security Council, once the interim period ended. As for Darfur, he welcomed the announced intention of the LJM and JEM to participate in the Doha negotiations and urged all rebel groups remaining outside the peace process to join it immediately and without preconditions. Indeed, the Darfur Political Process should be based on results achieved in the Doha process, he added, noting that an agreement leading to a ceasefire must be a primary short-term objective. Renunciation of the use of weapons would be a genuine sign of commitment to peace, he said, adding that, for its part, the international community must continue to support efforts to address the problems afflicting Sudan in a comprehensive manner.
JOSÉ FILIPE MORAES CABRAL ( Portugal) said the determination to establish an independent State had been clearly expressed by the people of Southern Sudan, but despite the remarkable operational and political achievements of the referendum, the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement required further negotiations in a continuing spirit of compromise. Portugal was encouraged by the willingness of President Bashir and First Vice-President Kiir in that regard. Urging the parties to ensure inclusive, timely and credible consultations in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan, he said agreement on the status of Abyei was of paramount importance. It was also essential that the parties protect the rights of all Sudanese, whether Northerners or Southerners. On Darfur, he acknowledged the value of the local political process as a complement to the Doha negotiations, adding that a peaceful solution to the conflict could only be found through real commitment on the part of all parties, which would lay the basis for an inclusive peace agreement. Urging all groups outside the peace process to join it without delay or preconditions, he also called on the parties to ensure full and unhindered access for UNAMID throughout the mission’s area of operations.
MANJEEV SINGH PURI (India) said the conclusion of the referendum process was only a milestone on the road to full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and enormous challenges lay ahead. Issues relating to Abyei, border demarcation, security arrangements and citizenship remained to be resolved, he said, recalling that incidents last week as well as today’s killing of a Minister in the Government of Southern Sudan pointed to security challenges in the region. Unless pending issues were resolved and institution-building was accelerated, conflicts remained a real danger, he warned.
Pointing to his country’s contributions in troops, helicopters, investments and other assistance, he said India would further enhance its assistance to North and South Sudan and urged the international community to address the question of debt relief. The situation in Darfur had not improved, he said, pointing out that although two rebel groups had recently announced that they would join the Doha negotiations, no breakthrough had been seen. All armed groups should join a cessation of hostilities and join the peace process, he said, welcoming the Sudanese Government’s initiative to start a Darfur-based political process that would build on the outcome of the Doha negotiations.
IVAN BARBALIĆ ( Bosnia and Herzegovina) urged the parties to find solutions to outstanding issues before the end of the interim-period. Encouraged by activities of the international community and the United Nations that indicated their commitment to the future of Southern Sudan, he said special attention should be paid to capacity-building and cooperation between North and South. He said he was concerned that no agreement had yet been reached on the question of Abyei and commended the efforts of UNMIS in that regard, while calling on the Sudanese authorities to ensure unhindered access for the Mission.
A just and comprehensive solution must also be found to the Darfur conflict, he continued, expressing support in that regard for the efforts of UNAMID and the Doha peace process. He urged those remaining outside the process to join it without delay or conditions, and called on all parties to cease hostilities and ensure access for UNAMID and humanitarian workers. Condemning all attacks on United Nations and aid personnel, he called for the prosecution of the perpetrators of such attacks, emphasizing that ending impunity was a critical component of peace in Darfur.
ALFRED ALEXIS MOUNGARA MOUSSOTS (Gabon), commending President Bashir’s recognition of the results and commitment to respect the South’s independence, said the Council should encourage a spirit of openness in order to conclude other issues, especially the status of Abyei. Parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement must define the framework for the future of Northerners in the South and Southerners in the North while providing them with guarantees. Indeed, the future of peaceful coexistence between North and South required full implementation of the Agreement and a swift conclusion to negotiations under way. Turning to Darfur, he urged keeping pressure on the parties, especially armed groups that had not yet joined the peace process, until they joined it without conditions. Welcoming the JEM-AWN faction and the LJM to the Doha talks, he stressed that building a new State would require international support, especially in the economic sphere.
GÉRARD ARAUD ( France) said the immediate recognition of the referendum results showed the considerable path travelled since 2005, but there was more to be done before the end of the interim period, notably the search for a lasting solution on the status of Abyei and modalities for coexistence among the region’s peoples. Other post-referendum issues must also be addressed, he said, noting that the future of relations between North and South depended on security matters, citizenship, revenue-sharing and border demarcation, among other issues.
He said a new United Nations mission must be established with a mandate that would take into account the role such an entity would play in Juba. It would also be necessary to maintain the United Nations presence in the North to continue with post-referendum issues, while following up on and dealing with consultations in Blue Nile and South Kordofan. On the deteriorating situation in Darfur, he said the number of displaced people had grown, raising the question of whether some might have opted for the military path. The Sudanese armed forces and rebel groups must conclude a ceasefire, he emphasized, adding that the Doha negotiations had seen encouraging results thus far, and expressing support for the African Union’s Solemn Declaration. France also supported UNAMID’s important role in protecting civilians, he said, adding that there could be no peace without justice in Darfur.
U. JOY OGWU ( Nigeria) welcomed the final results of the referendum, saying they represented the true and valid wish of the people, expressed in a free and fair process. She commended President Bashir and First Vice-President Kiir for leading the process and accepting the outcome, adding that the people of Sudan and UNMIS also deserved to be commended. The announcement of acceptance of the referendum’s results had paved the way for the peaceful emergence of a new State, she said, expressing hope that the parties would seize the moment to reach agreement on all outstanding issues. They should work tirelessly until July for the complete implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and reach compromise on all outstanding issues, including Abyei, she stressed.
Southern Sudan would face formidable challenges, she continued, emphasizing that the leaders must remain committed to a transparent process in that regard. They could not overcome challenges on their own, and now more than ever, the Council and the international community must stand in solidarity with the emerging country. The upcoming debate on the linkages between security and development would clarify the Council’s role in that regard, she said. Welcoming progress in the Doha negotiations on Darfur, she urged the rebel groups remaining outside the process to engage without preconditions, and welcomed the prospect of an open Darfur-based process to strengthen the Doha talks.
LI BAODONG ( China) said that thanks to the joint efforts of leaders in both North and South Sudan, the referendum had been carried out smoothly, a crucial step in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The Council should now devote its attention to the new challenges that had emerged after the referendum, he said, expressing hope that both North and South would continue, in a spirit of compromise, to seek solutions to outstanding issues. Pointing out that UNMIS’ mandate would expire in April, he said the Council would have to make a decision on the Mission’s future, while taking into full account the views of the parties. To achieve lasting peace in Sudan, it was imperative that a comprehensive peace accord be reached on Darfur, he stressed, expressing support for the Doha peace process and urging parties that had not yet done so to join the negotiations immediately and without conditions.
PETER WITTIG (Germany), encouraged by the “responsible behaviour of the Government in Khartoum” in recent weeks, said all parties in Sudan as well as the international community must now focus on the future, which required the consolidation of peace, good relations between North and South, and capacity-building for a new State. The forthcoming creation of an independent State in South Sudan would redraw Africa’s political and economic landscape, and with that came an opportunity to develop peaceful relations. Among the challenges was finding a durable solution to the question of Abyei, he said, calling on the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement also to complete popular consultations in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
He went on to say that other post-referendum issues — citizenship, the rights of Northerners in the South and of Southerners in the North, wealth-sharing, border demarcation and security arrangements — must be addressed without delay. The Council, for its part, must continue to extend its support for institution-building in South Sudan, to which Germany would contribute. As for Darfur, he said he was very concerned about continuing violence and the displacement of thousands of people. He urged the Sudanese Government and all rebel groups to ensure safety and security for civilians, and ensure unhindered access for UNAMID and humanitarian aid. Encouraged that peace talks in Doha were gaining new momentum, he called on all parties to conclude a comprehensive ceasefire and agree on all outstanding issues.
Council President MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI ( Brazil), speaking in her national capacity, said the referendum was but another step towards peace, stability and development in Sudan, and encouraged the parties to address outstanding issues and post-referendum arrangements in the same atmosphere of cooperation. She called for the completion of popular consultations in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan and for a solution on the status of Abyei. The United Nations must continue to provide assistance in order to ensure a smooth transition in the post-referendum period, with options for a future United Nations presence, taking into account the interdependence between security and development, she said.
Institution-building and strong support for development would be required in Southern Sudan, an effort in which the Peacebuilding Commission could play an important role, she said. The time had also come for peace in Darfur. The Doha peace process must soon conclude with the creation of conditions suitable to launching the Darfur Political Process. Brazil deplored the recent upsurge in hostilities as well as continuing attacks on both UNAMID and humanitarian agencies, she said, adding that bilaterally, her country sought to strengthen its ties with both North and South Sudan, especially since its bilateral trade had grown in recent years, with new partnerships being forged in agriculture and biofuels. With peace and stability in Sudan, those efforts would thrive, she added.
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