Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Sudan on 9 January 2005

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Brussels, 11 January 2010
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On the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Sudan the European Union wants to highlight the importance of the full implementation of the CPA for a peaceful relationship between the North and the South, and for peace and stability in Sudan as a whole and in the region.

The European Union commends the recent progress made in negotiations between the two parties to the CPA, the National Congress Party and the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement, and urges them to live up to their joint responsibility by resolving remaining issues, including the demarcation of the North/South border.

2010 is a particularly decisive year for Sudan. The first elections in more than twenty years will take place in April and should mark the beginning of a new era of democratic transformation in the Sudan. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that the elections can take place in a conducive, peaceful atmosphere which provides for a credible outcome. The European Union has supported the National Electoral Commission and is considering the deployment of an Electoral Observation Mission.

2010 is also the year leading up to the referendum on self-determination in the South of Sudan, to take place in January 2011 according to the CPA. The European Union regards it as essential that the two parties to the CPA without delay embark upon a dialogue on issues of importance to secure peaceful future co-habitation irrespective of the outcome of the referendum, taking into account the implications for the whole of Sudan.

The European Union stands ready to support such efforts, including through the Assessment and Evaluation Commission (AEC) which may play a pivotal role in this regard.

The European Union has seen with concern upon the increasing insecurity in South Sudan, causing a disturbing number of casualties, and calls on all parties to exercise restraint and cooperate with the United Nations' Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) to promote a secure environment.

The report of the African Union High Level Panel on Darfur - led by former President Mbeki - is a welcome contribution to the understanding of the conflict in Darfur. The European Union looks forward to the role of the Panel in addressing the issues of justice and in support of the efforts to achieve a political solution to the conflict in Darfur as well as in promotion of the implementation of the CPA.

The conflict in Darfur must be brought to an end. A lasting peace requires an inclusive political solution. The European Union fully supports the efforts of the AU/UN Joint Chief Mediator and calls upon all the armed movements to come to the negotiation table in Doha without further delay.

The need for increased security, including a ceasefire, in Darfur remains. Humanitarian access, humanitarian law and human rights have to be respected. AU/UN Peacekeeping Mission, UNAMID, has an essential role. Attacks on peacekeepers and abduction of aid workers must be strongly condemned.

The European Union is strongly committed to support the development of a democratic, peaceful and prosperous Sudan. Only through an all Sudan approach can these objectives be met. Taking into account the interlocked and complex nature of the conflicts in Sudan, be it North/South, Darfur or the East, the European Union will remain engaged.