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Norway welcomes peace agreement for Sudan

“This is a historic agreement. A 21 year-long civil war has ended, in the largest country in Africa where around two million people have been killed and four million have been displaced. It marks the completion of two and a half years of difficult negotiations. The agreement will have a stabilising effect on the whole region and may contribute to peace in Darfur. The people of Sudan can now look ahead, refugees can return, and reconstruction in the war torn areas can begin,” said International Development Minister Hilde F. Johnson.

On 31 December, the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in southern Sudan arrived at a comprehensive peace agreement. Sudan’s president Omar H. A. Al-Bashier and South-Africa’s president Thabo Mbeki were present at the signing of the final two annexes. Norwegian Minister of International Development Hilde F. Johnson has been in contact with the parties to the agreement throughout the final week of negotiations.

The final, comprehensive agreement, which was signed at a ceremony in Nairobi on 9 January, consists of six main protocols concerning the distribution of power and resources and two additional protocols concerning the cease-fire, together with provisions concerning the implementation of the agreement. The agreement will form a sound foundation for achieving peace in the whole of Sudan.

“The first task will be to form a coalition government in Khartoum which will be able to deal with the problems in Darfur and other places of unrest, and lead the reconstruction of Sudan. The international community must now continue and increase its strong support to the country, and this should now be focused on reconstruction and the  implementation of the agreement,” said the Minister.

Ms. Johnson attended the signing ceremony for the peace agreement in Nairobi together with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, a number of African leaders and other representatives of the international community, including US Secretary of State Colin Powell and UK Secretary of State for International Development Hilary Benn.

Norway will host a donor conference for Sudan based on the final peace agreement between the government and the SPLM providing a sound basis for peace and further progress has been achieved for the country as a whole. The date of the conference will be determined in consultation with the parties in Sudan, other donors - including the EU - and the UN.


  
 

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On Sunday 9 January,International Development Minister Johnson signed the agreement as a witness on behalf of the Norwegian Government and delivered a welcome speech as chair of the Sudan Committee of the IGAD Partners’ Forum (IPF).


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