ABUJA, Oct 29 – The full implementation of the South Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) will greatly boost efforts aimed at resolving the Darfur peace process, President Mwai Kibaki on Thursday told a special AU Peace and Security Council Summit, in Abuja, Nigeria.
He told the summit being attended by several African heads of state that, success of the CPA would send a positive and re-assuring message of peace and stability in the Sudan.
“It is clear that comprehensive peace in the larger Sudan cannot be achieved without a resolution of the conflict in Darfur. It is also clearer that without the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Southern Sudan, the Darfur Peace Process would be compromised” said President Kibaki.
The summit is discussing and considering a report by the African Union High Level Panel on Darfur.
Saying that the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Darfur Peace process should, therefore, be pursued with equal vigour and on the basis of a comprehensive Peace Strategy for Sudan, President Kibaki observed that the success of the Agreement will serve as an added incentive to resolve the Darfur conflict.
While commending the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for the progress made so far in its implementation, the President underscored the need to deal with the challenges that lie ahead.
These challenges, noted the President, include how Darfur can and should participate in National Elections and the threat to boycott next year’s general elections in Sudan by the opposition.
Other issues include the referendum law which focuses on the determination of who should vote, the percentage of votes required for unity or separation, the National Security Act which is still contentious and the 2008 census results.
Speaking on the need to address these challenges, President Kibaki said there is an urgent need to re-engage the parties to the Agreement so as to reach an agreeable compromise on these issues adding that this will enable the people of Sudan to enjoy lasting peace and stability.
He further noted that while there are differences over a number of issues, the CPA provides for mechanisms of resolving any conflicts that may arise between the parties.
The President urged the two parties to use the mechanisms in the CPA to resolve any outstanding issues.
“Both sides have worked through periods of strain given the history of tragic wars. We congratulate the parties for their achievements so far. We encourage them to continue in serious consultations on the remaining phases of the peace process,” said the President.
The President commended the AU High Level Panel on Darfur, which is chaired by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, for the report noting that: “it provides a good framework for resolving the issues of peace, justice, accountability and reconciliation in Darfur.”
Said the President: “The report candidly acknowledges that historical injustices did occur and, underscores the need to deal with inequalities and regional marginalization as well as implement reforms in the criminal justice system so as to resolve conflicts in Sudan.”
Re-affirming Kenya’s enduring commitment to supporting regional and international peace endeavours, the President urged other African leaders to encourage leaders in the Sudan to manifest the political will needed to fully translate the findings and recommendations of the Panel into comprehensive and sustained resolution of the Darfur crisis.
The President also underlined the need to involve IGAD in the Darfur peace process.
“IGAD as the broker of the CPA should be invited to participate in the Darfur peace process, to make it more inclusive’’, said President Kibaki who chaired meetings in held in Kenya that led to the signing of the CPA.
Earlier in the day President Kibaki held talks with the AU commission Chairman Dr. Jean Ping.
During the talks President Kibaki assured the Chairman of Kenya’s commitment to the African Union.
The President assured Dr. Ping of the country’s commitment to helping the AU especially in fulfilling its mandate to peace and stability on the African continent.
President Kibaki is accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Moses Wetangula, Assistant Minister Orwa Ojode and a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations Jeremiah Kioni among others.