January 21, 2011
"I join with members of the international community in congratulating Sudan on its recent historic referendum vote. Preliminary results released from local polling stations, as well as those released yesterday by the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, indicate that Southerners have overwhelmingly chosen to create their own new country. Many, including myself, had expressed strong reservations in the lead up to the vote. However, it is now becoming clear that the referendum was largely successful and will be viewed by international monitors as credible. While I am pleased and reassured that the referendum saw impressive voter turnout and relatively little violence in most states, peace is not yet assured. I call on the people of Sudan in both the North and South to make good use of the remaining months of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and settle key outstanding issues, such as border demarcation, citizenship, oil and wealth sharing, and division of assets and debts. The months ahead will undoubtedly prove challenging as the boundaries, resources, and governance of a new nation are established, through diplomacy and mutual restraint. The work does not end here; rather, this marks a new beginning for all those involved and calls for a renewal of commitment to peaceful political change. For my part, I stand ready to ensure that through the House Sudan Caucus and Congressional action, the United States upholds its responsibility to the people of Sudan and assists where possible as the people of Southern Sudan chart their new course".
Contact: Alison M. Mills 617-621-6208