Canada Concerned over Escalating Tensions in Sudan

(No. 395 - December 24, 2009 - 2:30 p.m. EST) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement concerning escalating tensions in Sudan, which arose when the National Congress Party amended agreed-upon language to the National Assembly’s referendum bill on Southern Sudan separation without consulting with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement:

“Canada is deeply concerned by reports that the National Assembly in Khartoum has passed the Southern Sudan referendum bill without the support of both parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. According to the spirit of the Agreement between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the National Congress Party, legislation of such significant importance to the implementation of the Agreement should have been agreed to by both parties prior to its adoption. This breach of confidence between the parties endangers the implementation of the Agreement and peace in Sudan.

“Canada strongly supports the implementation of the Agreement in such a manner that confidence is built between the parties and that the country enjoys stability and peace regardless of the outcome of the 2011 referendum on southern separation.

“Canada calls on all parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to reaffirm their commitment and to work in the spirit of transparency and cooperation to ensure a peaceful and prosperous future for Sudan.”

For more information on Canada’s engagement in Sudan, please visit Canada: Active in Sudan.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874