September 13, 2010

Chairman Kerry On Sudanese Referendum

Washington, DC–Ahead of next week’s high-level meeting on Sudan at the United Nations, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) issued the following statement about the January 9, 2011 referendum on the independence of southern Sudan:

“In less than four months, Southern Sudan is scheduled to vote in a referendum on independence under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005.  It is urgent that North and South reach crucial agreements on how they will manage this referendum and settle critical issues such as oil revenues.  We must work with the parties to convince them to settle their differences.  I am glad that President Obama will be attending the high-level meeting on Sudan at the United Nations, and I applaud the steps he has taken to bolster our diplomatic presence in Sudan, as many of us have urged.  At the same time, while the urgency of the timetable of the CPA demands our engagement, we must not lose sight of Darfur and must continue to work for peace throughout Sudan and the surrounding region.  I am developing legislation to strengthen these efforts and to lay out the policy, humanitarian, and legal groundwork to address potential events in 2011 and beyond.”

Senator Kerry travelled to Darfur in April of 2009 and as Chairman has held two full Committee hearings and one roundtable hearing on Sudan and the CPA.



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