Sudan

U.S. hails Sudan's interim constitution, National Unity Government

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State's Zoellick stresses new government must address "tragedy" in Darfur

The United States congratulates Sudan on its inauguration of a new Government of National Unity (GONU) and its implementation of an interim constitution, according to a July 10 statement released by the Department of State.

According to the statement, Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick - who represented the United States at the inauguration - described the event as "an important step towards peace and reconciliation" but made clear that "it is equally important for the new GONU to address the tragedy in Darfur."

The statement praises the efforts of President Umar Hassan Ahmad a-Bashir for his role in the peace process; congratulates the two new vice presidents, John Garang and Ali Osman; and asserts the U.S. commitment to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended 21 years of civil war between North and South Sudan.

"The Sudanese people and their leaders now have an opportunity to create a future of peace, reconciliation, democracy and development. We will remain engaged to help them realize the potential for lasting peace throughout Sudan and a better life for all the Sudanese people," the statement says.

Following is the text of the statement:

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
July 10, 2005

STATEMENT BY SEAN MCCORMACK, SPOKESMAN

United States Recognizes Sudan's Government of National Unity and Interim Constitution as Important Step

The United States congratulates the leaders and people of the Republic of Sudan on the inauguration of the new Presidency of the Government of National Unity (GONU) on July 9 and the entering into force of the new interim constitution. Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick represented the United States at the inauguration, describing it as an important step toward peace and reconciliation in a unified, democratic Sudan. At the same time, Deputy Secretary Zoellick emphasized that it is equally important for the new GONU to address the tragedy in Darfur and the challenges of peace and development throughout all of Sudan.

The United States congratulates Dr. John Garang on his becoming Sudan's First Vice President and Ali Osman Taha as Vice President. Their leadership and commitment resulted in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended 21 years of civil war between North and South Sudan. We recognize the support of President Bashir for the peace process.

The GONU and interim constitution are the culmination of complex negotiations mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and supported by the United States, led by Ambassador and former Senator Jack Danforth, and America's Troika partners, the United Kingdom and Norway, as well as the United Nations and others around the world.

As the Deputy Secretary stated in Oslo earlier this year, the United States is strongly committed to implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. During his third visit to Sudan on July 8-9, the Deputy Secretary again visited Darfur, where he met with non-governmental organizations providing relief, African Union peacekeeping troops, and SLM rebel commanders. In Khartoum, he also met with Vice Presidents Garang and Taha, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the Secretary General's Special Representative for Sudan Jan Pronk, and Presidents Museveni and Kibaki of Uganda and Kenya, respectively. The Deputy Secretary urged the parties to seize the opportunity of the creation of the GONU to maintain momentum toward peace throughout the country. He emphasized the importance of an inclusive process, including addressing the situation in the east. The Deputy Secretary urged immediate steps to end violence, support humanitarian and AU operations, and achieve a political settlement in Darfur.

The Sudanese people and their leaders now have an opportunity to create a future of peace, reconciliation, democracy and development. We will remain engaged to help them realize the potential for lasting peace throughout Sudan and a better life for all the Sudanese people.

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