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Annan urges donors, parties to support peace agreement in Sudan

Annan urges donors, parties to support peace agreement in Sudan

With a peace agreement ending the decades-long civil war in southern Sudan and the arrival of United Nations peacekeepers, Secretary-General Kofi Annan is calling on international donors and the Sudanese parties to meet high expectations for significant improvement in the situation on the ground.

"As the parties take the first steps in implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, it is worth noting that progress made on political issues and ceasefire monitoring will matter little if the lives of ordinary Sudanese do not improve," Mr. Annan says in a report to the Security Council on progress since the 9 January agreement between the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).

He says the donor community now has to prove its resolve by providing the resources and expertise required to address the challenges of the peace process, as well as recovery, reconstruction and development throughout the Sudan.

At the same time, he urges countries that have pledged peacekeeping troops to the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) to deploy their forces in a timely manner.

UNMIS will eventually deploy some 10,000 UN Security Council-mandated troops and 700 civilian police to monitor the peace agreement, maintain stability in southern Sudan and ensure the safe return home of millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Conflict, he says, has also destroyed the economy, infrastructure and services across Sudan, and six months after the peace agreement, the much hoped-for support pledged at the Oslo conference, which took place at that time, has yet to materialize in any significant form.

While such international support is critically important, he says, the two parties in the Sudanese conflict are fully responsible for the implementation of the peace agreement, and they must prove they can work together in establishing a just and inclusive system of governance, with full respect for human rights.

He also urges parties to the conflict in the Darfur region in the west to make every effort to successfully conclude the current round of talks in Abuja. It is important that those responsible for atrocities in Darfur be held accountable for their actions, he stresses.

"Subjecting these individuals to the rule of law and due process will send a clear and powerful message that the Sudan is beginning to fulfil the promise of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which envisages a just, prosperous and democratic country where all Sudanese live in safety and in dignity, with full faith in the future," he says.