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Sudan: Peace Negotiations

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the prospects for success of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Sudan. (130298)

President Bashir and First Vice President Kiir re-affirmed their commitment to implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) during its second anniversary celebrations in January. But these statements need to be underpinned by serious action. Although there have been advances, not least the formation of the Government of National Unity and the remitting of oil revenues to the south, major issues under the CPA remain outstanding. Of these, resolving the Abyei dispute, north/south border demarcation and initiating election preparations are among the most important. These pose a credible threat to the CPA’s future and ordinary Sudanese people’s belief that making peace brings about positive change. The UK continues to press for more rapid progress through its membership of the CPA implementation monitoring body—the Assessment and Evaluation Commission. The UK stressed the importance of CPA implementation at the 20-21 March second Sudan Consortium.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what role her Department is playing in the negotiations between the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement and the Government in Sudan on boundary disputes to be settled as part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. (130299)

The absence of an agreed north/south border has major implications for meeting key security and wealth sharing milestones. The Border Committee’s work needs urgent acceleration to ensure this matter is resolved as quickly as possible. International partners, including the UK, stand ready to help. Through the UK's seat on the Assessment and Evaluation Commission—the international body established to monitor the effective implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)—we will continue to press for the Border Committee to complete its work as soon as possible.

Deadlock on the Abyei Boundary Commission’s recommendations must be broken. As an interim step, the UK, with partners, has been pressing the National Congress Party and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to agree to establish a civil administration in Abyei to ensure the delivery of basic services to local residents.