Minister Ahern welcomes signing of comprehensive peace agreement on Sudan agreed in Nairobi
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern, T.D., has warmly welcomed the signing on Sunday, 9 January 2005 in Nairobi of a comprehensive peace agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement.
Minister Ahern stated that:
“This is an important and welcome commitment by the Sudan Government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement [SPLM] to finally end twenty-one years of conflict between north and south in that troubled country, which has killed thousands of people and displaced many others. This agreement paves the way towards establishing peace and promoting development in all parts of Sudan. I recognise the key role played by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development [IGAD], the Kenyan Government and the international observers – including the EU- in achieving this historic agreement. Ireland is ready to play its part in supporting the reconstruction of Sudan following the restoration of peace.
I hope that this agreement signed today in Nairobi between the Sudanese government and the SPLM will encourage all parties to continue working towards a parallel political settlement in the Darfur region. The signing of a comprehensive political agreement in Sudan should provide the necessary framework for a political resolution to the conflict in Darfur.”
The signing of the comprehensive peace agreement follows the extraordinary session of the UN Security Council on 18-19 November in Nairobi where the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A pledged to reach a comprehensive peace agreement by 31 December 2004.
Note for Editors:
A comprehensive peace deal in Sudan will bring an end to 21 years of civil war between the Muslim North of Sudan and the rebel controlled Christian/Animist South. As a result of the conflict an estimated five million people have been displaced (including the recent IDPs in Darfur), and up to 2 million may have died. Peace negotiations between north and south have been underway in Nairobi since June 2002, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development [IGAD], the regional organisation for the Horn of Africa. During this time both sides have observed a ceasefire. A number of agreements between the Sudanese Government and the SPLM have already been concluded on power-sharing, security and transition arrangements and these include provision for a possible referendum on self-determination for the southern part of Sudan, to be held after an interim period of six years following the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement.