(No. 139 - May 23, 2011 - 1:15 a.m. ET) John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, issued the following statement on the deteriorating situation in the Sudanese region of Abyei:
"I condemn the recent upsurge in violence in Abyei. These attacks are contrary to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and subsidiary agreements.
"The Government of Canada has communicated our concerns to Northern and Southern Sudanese representatives. Canada calls upon both sides to withdraw their forces without delay, to respect the human rights of civilians in the region and to avoid acts which could lead to further escalation.
"We hope Northern and Southern Sudan will embrace the opportunity afforded by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel to resolve the status of Abyei and other outstanding issues arising from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and Southern Sudan’s approaching independence."
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