Saturday, January 09, 2010

Sudan: Sudan hails dawn of new decade with high hopes and great expectations

SOURCE: Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan

Sudan hails the dawn of the new decade with high hopes and great expectations for what will undoubtedly begin with an eventful year. And it is perhaps as proper at this fifth anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) to glance back and draw hope and encouragement from the progress and achievements we've made since embarking on the lofty mission to build peace and harmony in Sudan, as it is also prudent and humbling to remember that difficult moments lie ahead as we gear up to implement the last few remaining commitments.

Indeed much ground has been covered and many challenges had to be surmounted to bring the country to this point of relative peace and security. The menacing instability in Darfur that occupied a monumental spot and engaged the attention of the international community has by all accounts subsided today, allowing us to invest the energy into resolving the country's outstanding priorities. Amongst those are the impending plebiscites. The historic march and democratic transformation of Sudan will thus culminate in the holding of the imminent April elections, where every eligible Sudanese is called on to express his/her will at the ballot box and shape the political, social and economic dispensation of the country. This exercise is promptly to be followed by other veritable democratic instances. The holding of the referendum for Southern Sudan and Abyei, and the People's Consultation in Kordofan and Blue Nile, are occasions that highlight our commitment to democracy and to the observance of the sacred and inalienable right of citizens to determine their future and the course of history through their free choice. The laws governing these crucial events were finalized just recently by the National Parliament, paving the way for the establishment of commissions that will then facilitate and oversee their timely conduct.

In the backdrop of all these monumental accomplishments (notably peace in Darfur and progress on CPA), and as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Agreement, voices forecasting apocalyptic scenarios of the future abound. The peace loving people must denounce malicious antics that could potentially jeopardize the remarkable gains that we've painstakingly been able to make. To this end, we must acknowledge the tremendous cooperation among the parties responsible for this progress. Their commitment has compelled them to reassure the world that there will be no return to war as some detractors would have us believe otherwise, who even go as far as to contemptibly suggest that the conflict in Darfur came to a pause only so that the government can execute a war in the South; this, after all the energy spent on stemming the immense suffering.

Nevertheless, Sudan remains ever-grateful for the sincere and meaningful support it has thus far received from the friends in the international community whose sustained efforts will have to endure as we approach the critical and indeed decisive moments in our journey. Continued assistance of the tireless efforts of the Sudanese will be pivotal in ensuring a safe sail through the treacherous crosscurrents that we will have to navigate through while remaining steadfast and vigilant in confronting elements that seek to reverse the very real progress we've made towards lasting peace.

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