September 29, 2010
Congressman Mike Capuano's bipartisan resolution (H.Res. 1588) seeking full implementation of Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and calling attention to the importance of the upcoming referenda has passed by voice vote in the House this week.
"There has been unimaginable violence, suffering and destruction in Sudan. A fragile peace exists but so much could derail the incremental progress that has been made. The CPA is a vital component of stabilizing Sudan and we must be fully engaged in seeking its full implementation," stated Congressman Capuano who is co-founder and co-chair of the Sudan Caucus.
The CPA ended more than 20 years of civil war in Sudan between the North and South, fueled by Northern persecution of populations in the South. It resulted in the deaths of more than two million people and the displacement of over four million more in Southern Sudan. The agreement, which was signed in 2005, mandates that a number of events take place in the coming months including a referendum in Southern Sudan on whether to remain united with the North or declare independence, and a referendum in the key border region of Abyei on whether to join with the South. Significant international assistance will be needed to ensure that these events are conducted on time and in a manner free and fair to the people of Sudan.
Sudan faces a number of challenges while it struggles to emerge as a democracy after decades of civil war. The conflict and violence in Darfur still rage even as the international community hopes to bolster peace talks. Lack of border demarcation between the North and South leads many to fear renewed conflict in the wake of the referenda. 2010's elections illustrated numerous problems with voter registration and polling processes which must be corrected before the next vote scheduled for January 9, 2011.
"The United States has served as a guarantor of the CPA, helping negotiate the agreement and facilitate its implementation. We have invested considerable time and resources in helping the people of Sudan, and we must ensure that this level of commitment is maintained as the CPA comes to a close and Sudan moves forward as either one unified state or two neighbors. Now is the time to refocus attention on Sudan", stated Congressman Capuano.
View video of Mike presenting his statement on on the House floor
Contact: Alison M. Mills (Rep. Capuano) 617-621-6208