G8 Foreign Ministers Statement on Sudan

Deauville, May 26-27, 2011 (published May 27, 2011)
[PDF] [Version Française]

Earlier this year, we welcomed the peaceful referendum in South Sudan, and commended the Government of Sudan and Government of South Sudan for their demonstrable commitment to implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Today, we watch with deep concern the crisis in Abyei, a crisis that threatens to undermine the relationship between CPA parties and their ongoing negotiations. We urge both parties to focus on the benefits to their peoples from a peaceful secession and constructive political relations in the future.

We condemn the military actions taken by both parties that violate the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Kadugli Agreements of January 13 and 17. We urge both parties to exercise restraint and refrain from any further actions that could escalate this crisis. It is critical that President Bashir and President Kiir work together to take steps to restore the level of cooperation essential for completing the CPA in a productive and peaceful manner. We strongly support the efforts of Thabo Mbeki and the AU High-Level Implementation Panel in this regard.

We call on the Government of Sudan to halt any military operations and to withdraw its forces immediately from Abyei and urge both parties to quickly agree on new security arrangements in Abyei that can restore calm, protect civilians, and uphold the CPA. We emphasize to both parties the importance of their reaching agreement, by July 9 on the future status of Abyei, consistent with the Abyei Protocol and Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling.

We strongly support efforts to bolster the capacity of UNMIS forces in Abyei to assist the parties in implementing new security arrangements. We condemn acts of violence against civilians in both North and South and call on both Governments to protect civilians and allow full humanitarian and UN access. We also recall the need to put an end to the persistent violence and insecurity in Darfur and call on all parties to engage with a view to reaching a speedy solution in the context of the Doha process mediated by the Joint Chief Mediator and the Government of Qatar.

But even as we offer our continued support for the CPA, our help in reaching a peaceful, political resolution, our assistance to the Sudanese citizens whose lives have once again been upended, our commitment to UNMIS, and to the economic viability of the two future states, we cannot resolve this crisis. The responsibility for achieving peace in Sudan rests with the signatories to the CPA, who have the power to decide whether they will resolve their differences peacefully and set the stage for a better future for their citizens, or will instead resort to the violence that has imposed enormous costs on the potential of North and South Sudan and on the international community. As the G8, we have committed ourselves to support Africaís development. No single act will contribute more to Sudanís development than will peace; and no single act will do more to undermine Sudanís development than a return to violence.

Source: French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs