About the Author: Major General (Ret) Scott Gration serves as the President's Special Envoy to Sudan.
This Saturday marks the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The CPA has provided the foundation for peace, and it was only possible because of the leadership and political will of the parties in Sudan, combined with the robust support of the international community. There have been real signs of progress, but not enough to secure a lasting peace. The parties in Sudan now have a choice: to intensify efforts to work together to achieve peace, or to face the prospect of increased violence and renewed war.
2010 will be a critical year for Sudan. The historic national elections are coming up in April, and the referenda on self-determination for Southern Sudan and Abyei are just around the corner in January 2011. Time is truly of the essence.
This morning Secretary Clinton spoke about the CPA anniversary and the importance of this vital year for Sudan. Transcript and video of the Secretary's remarks and the Q&A that followed is available here. A written joint statement was also issued today to mark the CPA anniversary by Secretary Clinton, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, and United Kingdom Foreign Secretary David Miliband. That statement is available here. And the White House released a statement which can be found here.
We will continue to work with the parties in Sudan and the international community to secure the peace and stability the Sudanese people deserve. Thank you for your continued interest, Scott.