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Statement By the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Signing of the Historic Darfur Peace Agreement

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to congratulate the entire Sudanese people for the historic achievement of the Darfur Peace Agreement signed in Abuja, Nigeria, on Friday, 5th May 2006.

The Agreement, a product of serious and painstaking dialogue, reaffirmed in no uncertain terms the ability of the Sudanese to solve their own problems and the realization of common and shared denominators assuring a just, political and economic participation to all, reinforcing the country's national unity and safeguarding Sudan's unity and territorial integrity. Guided by the above considerations and convictions, the Government has expressed its acceptance of the document since the 27th of April 2006, to be followed by the signature of the Leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), Meni Arkoy and Dr. Abdulrahman Musa, Chief Negotiator of the SLM faction of Abdulwahid Mohammad Nour, respectively, on Friday, 5th May 2006. The Agreement has satisfied the demands and concerns of the negotiating parties and it is the sincere hope that remaining armed groups would speedily join the Agreement in order that its implementation proceeds smoothly on the ground. While Fully commending the patience and innovative efforts by the Government negotiators and those of the SLM, the Ministry would further like to extend its sincere thanks and appreciation to the sisterly Republic of Nigeria and its Honourable President Olusegun Obasanjo for kindly hosting all negotiating sessions throughout the past two years. Commendation is also extended to the African Union Commission and the Chairperson Professor Alpha Oumar Konare; Chief Mediator Dr. Salim Ahmad Salim along with the Mediation Team, all who have made this great achievement a reality. Expression of profound appreciation is also due to the international partners and representatives of the United States, Britain, Canada, the United Nations, and League of Arab States along with Libya, Egypt and the State of Eritrea. Their determined efforts have greatly contributed to the realization of the Accord.

The Signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement under the auspices of the African Union and the direct sponsorship of its former President Olusegun Obasanjo as well as the current African Union President Honourable Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo reaffirms the ability of the Africans in rising up to any conflict situations, however complex they mighty be, making it incumbent on the international community to lend them support in those endeavours. The Darfur Peace Agreement will enter the annals of history as the African Union's biggest mediation and peace-making achievement similar to the south Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which was the historic achievement of another African body, the IGAD.

The Ministry of Foreign Affiars wishes to urge and appeal to the remaining groups in Darfur to summon the necessary will and wisdom and join the peace process in order that the pillars of stability in Darfur are made stronger and consolidated.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs renews its commitment to closely work with all brothers and sisters along with concerned international partners to ensure success of the Peace Agreement in Darfur as well as the construction and rehabilitation efforts. While the Signing of this Agreement is an occasion to celebrate it is also an added incentive for the restoration of Sudan's regional and international role and elimination of the previously portrayed distortion and bias.

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