Canada Urges Sudan to Focus on Preparations for Referenda

(No. 336 - October 15, 2010 - 5:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement urging all parties to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Sudan to focus their efforts on referendum preparations and post-referendum arrangements and to engage in constructive dialogue:

“It is imperative that the parties to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement avoid rhetoric on the upcoming referenda that undermines their credibility and the preparations for and negotiations on post-referendum arrangements.

“Intimidating or alarmist statements, such as those recently made by both the National Congress Party and the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement, are not acceptable. We call on all parties to exercise restraint and abstain from making inflammatory comments. Such statements are not in keeping with the parties’ commitment under the CPA to carry out credible, free and fair referendum processes, and they risk discrediting the results before the vote has taken place. This carries with it the risk of a return to violence.

“Canada is committed to promoting a sustainable peace in Sudan and timely implementation of the CPA, including credible referenda.”

Sudan is one of Canada’s foreign-policy priorities. Canada has contributed over $800 million for peace, humanitarian assistance, development aid, security and peacebuilding in Sudan since 2006.

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

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Melissa Lantsman
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada