A democratic era has been inaugurated in Sudan with the conclusion of the historic elections, marking yet another significant milestone in the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The multiparty elections held from April 11th through the 15th, covered all levels of government, including the Executive (presidential, gubernatorial) and legislative (National Parliament, South Sudan and State legislatures). The result is a national government, led by President Omer al-Bashir and vice President Salva Kiir, that reflects the aspirations and enjoys the full support of the Sudanese populous. The vice President was also elected to lead the government of Southern Sudan.
The latest statements made by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) member of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee attacking the integrity of the imminent elections in Sudan are misguided and worrisome. The United States was among the guarantors of the agreement responsible for ushering in this era of peace in Sudan, and hence should retain intimate knowledge of the peace process. The groundless concerns expressed by the congresswoman and those who share her sentiments appear only to be a pretext used by the anti-democratic-transformation forces to perpetuate their campaign of obscuring peace for Sudan.
Under the auspices of Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa of Qatar, and in the presence of Presidents Al-Bashir, Idriss Deby of Chad and Isais Aforki of Eritrea, witnessed by the representatives of regional countries, actors and members of the international community, a monumental stride towards the realization of peace has been made in Doha, with the official signing of the preliminary framework agreement that inaugurates further bilateral negotiations between the Government of Sudan and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), effectively paving the way for final talks towards a comprehensive agreement with the remaining stakeholders.
The warning issued by President Obama on Monday, that it would increase pressure on Sudan if the latter fails to respond to efforts geared towards securing peace in Darfur, is unwarranted and misplaced. The remarks dismiss the basic realities on the ground and ignore fundamental facts on this key question: How to bring about a lasting peace in Darfur.
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.
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