Canada Welcomes Peaceful Conclusion of Voting in Southern Sudan Referendum

(No. 27 – January 17, 2011 – 6:10 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement concerning the peaceful conclusion of voting in Southern Sudan's self-determination referendum:

"Canada commends the people of Sudan, the numerous international observer missions and the South Sudan Referendum Commission, all of whom made possible a peaceful and credible referendum. We urge all stakeholders to show patience and restraint as the ballots are counted, and to respect the democratic will of the people of Southern Sudan.

"I was deeply concerned by reports of violence last week in the disputed region of Abyei, where a scheduled parallel referendum did not take place. Canada notes a reduction in violence between key parties in the past few days, as well as the resumption of negotiations.

"The Southern Sudan referendum is a crucial step in the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which brought an end to two decades of civil war between the north and the south. To ensure peace and stability, all parties must continue to work together to overcome the remaining challenges to full implementation of the agreement; this includes resolving the conflict in Abyei, conducting public consultations in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, and dealing with post-referendum issues."

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:

Lynn Meahan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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