, ADDIS ABABA, Nov 23 – President Mwai Kibaki has urged the leadership of the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on Sudan to continue to dialogue as the surest way of amicably resolving all outstanding issues ahead of the January 2011 Referendum.
The president was addressing a special Summit of Inter Government Agency for Development (IGAD) Heads of State and Government on Sudan in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
President Kibaki reassured the people of Sudan that both the IGAD Member States and other partners in the international community are willing and ready to continue lending their support to efforts in seeking lasting peace.
Emphasising that the special summit was organised for the IGAD community to take stock of the achievements of the Agreement, the President encouraged the parties to ensure full implementation of the remaining few but weighty issues.
“This Summit is one of the many endeavors by the IGAD community to support our Sudanese brothers and sisters in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement,” said the President.
President Kibaki, who is the chair of the IGAD sub-committee on Sudan, commended the parties to the Sudan CPA for remaining honorable and committed to the peace accord despite the many implementation and post referenda challenges posed.
On that note, the President challenged parties to the CPA to take advantage of the goodwill of all stakeholders to the peace process and show the world their determination to achieve long term stability in the Sudan.
The President, particularly, impressed on the parties to the CPA to strive to achieve consensus on the Abyei Protocol prior to the referenda in order to foster an environment of peace and harmony for the local communities.
Saying that Kenya and other IGAD member states remained committed to the search for a lasting peace in the Sudan, the President acknowledged the support of the UN Security Council in ensuring peaceful, credible, timely and free referenda.
“I wish to reiterate that the people of Kenya will continue offering their support to their brothers and sisters of the Sudan. We have walked with you this far. Our town of Naivasha is today known as the peace retreat, since the signing of the CPA. We will continue to be with you in the years ahead,” assured the President.
President Kibaki expressed gratitude to Ethiopian Prime Minister and the people of Ethiopia for hosting the Special Summit, which he said, comes at a defining moment in the history of the Sudan.
President Kibaki observed that the attendance of IGAD leaders was clear testimony of the importance they attached to matters of peace, security and stability in the region.
“Our continued support is critical to ensure that the entire people of Sudan achieve their stated vision of peace, stability and prosperity,” noted the President.
The Summit follows recently concluded talks chaired by the Chairman of the AU High Level Panel on the Sudan Tabo Mbeki in which the two parties signed a negotiated Framework Document.
The Head of State urged parties to the agreement to respect the framework document they signed by addressing and resolving pending issues related to the CPA implementation.
President Kibaki welcomed the framework document as a catalyst to the conclusion of the post-referenda arrangements.
The Summit which provided a condusive environment for the leaders to engage in positively, is one of the many endeavors by the IGAD community to support the Sudanese brothers and sisters in the implementation of CPA, the President said.
During the plenary session chaired by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, President Omar El Bashir and SPLA chairman Salva Kirr briefed the Heads of State and Government attending the IGAD summit on the progress made in the implementation of the pending protocols.
In attendance was President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Sharrif Ahmed of the Transitional Government of Somalia and Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti.
Earlier, President Kibaki met and held discussions with the host Prime Minister Meles Zenawi who paid him a courtesy call at his Addis Ababa hotel residence.
During the talks the two Heads of State discussed regional issues of mutual interest including implementation of the Sudan CPA and the security situation in Somalia.