Minister for Foreign Affairs Welcomes Memorandum of Understanding on Sudan Agreed in Nairobi
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern, T.D., has warmly welcomed the signing today in Nairobi of a memorandum of understanding between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement pledging to conclude a comprehensive peace agreement for Sudan by 31 December 2004.
“This is an important commitment by both sides in Sudan to conclude a peace deal for Sudan by the end of this year, thereby bringing a much needed and final to an end twenty-one years of conflict between north and south in that troubled country.”
The Minister also said: “I hope that this agreement concluded today in Nairobi between the Sudanese government and the SPLM will provide a renewed impetus to efforts already underway to achieve a parallel political settlement in the Darfur region”.
The signing of the memorandum of understanding took place as the UN Security Council holds a special meeting in Nairobi today to discuss the situation in Sudan. A resolution welcoming the parties’ commitment to conclude a final peace deal and urging greater efforts to conclude a parallel peace agreement in Darfur is expected to be adopted by the Security Council later today.
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, and up to 2 million may have died. Peace negotiations between north and south have been underway in Nairobi since June 2002 during which 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.
19 November 2004