AJWS President Cheers Obama’s Leadership on Sudan

Ruth Messinger: White House’s Investment in Sudan Diplomacy is a Crucial Step towards Lasting Peace

New York, NY; September 29, 2010— American Jewish World Service president Ruth W. Messinger today issued the following statement commending President Obama for his recent leadership in addressing the serious and complicated situation in Sudan:

“President Obama has demonstrated true statesmanship in attending the recent ministerial-level meeting at the United Nations where he articulated the international community’s expectations for the Sudanese government. The next several months will be critical in shaping a future for the region that is free of violence and where fundamental human rights are respected. It is clear that President Obama shares our belief that if the government of Sudan wants a path towards normalized relations with the nations of the world it must allow for a peaceful referendum on possible secession for Southern Sudan; it must honor the outcome of this referendum; it must allow for and help advance humanitarian work and peacekeeping efforts in Darfur; and it must hold the perpetrators of mass violence accountable in order to bring a sustainable peace to the region.”

According to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005, which officially brought to a close a 21-year civil war between North and South Sudan, a referendum on Southern independence is to be held. Many activists believe that lasting peace between North and South Sudan can help create the stability necessary to end violence in Darfur. They fear that the referendum, scheduled for January 9, 2011, will ignite a resumption of conflict if the vote lacks integrity or if the outcome is not honored. At the U.N. meeting, representatives of the Sudanese government signed an agreement with the international community that the government will allow for a peaceful North-South referendum, respect its outcome, allow for humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts to continue in Darfur and hold accountable all perpetrators of mass violence.  

Messinger’s statement continued:

“We are pleased with the agreement signed last week at the United Nations which included support from the Sudanese representatives, but, as President Obama said, the work is just beginning. It will be crucial to monitor the situation on the ground to ensure that the agreement is carried out in good faith and that the international community is prepared to meet non-compliance with strong consequences.

“The White House’s recent surge of international diplomacy could help avert another tragic chapter for the people of Sudan. We are fortunate that this administration truly understands the gravity of the situation, and we as advocates will hold them accountable for their commitment to giving it the priority level it deserves. We appreciate the President’s personal investment and commitment to implementing the CPA and ending the violence in Sudan.”

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