As Special Envoy Gration wrote in August, as the countdown accelerates to the January 2011 referenda on self-determination for Southern Sudan and Abyei, the United States is redoubling its efforts to engage our Sudanese and international partners.
U.S. strategic priorities in Sudan remain: full and timely implementation of the North-South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that results in a peaceful post-2011 Sudan, or an orderly path toward two separate and viable states at peace with each other; a definitive end to conflict, gross human rights abuses, and genocide in Darfur; and that Sudan does not again become a safe haven for international terrorists.
During this critical period, the Obama Administration is intensifying its work to implement its Sudan strategy by: elevating diplomatic efforts; working with other nations, the UN, and other regional and international organizations to help prepare for the referenda; making significant investments on the ground to help prepare for what happens after the referenda, and presenting the parties concrete steps that the United States will take contingent on concrete achievements on the ground. These actions support the Sudan strategy launched by the Obama Administration in October 2009.
While it is up to the political leaders in Sudan to decide whether they are choosing the path of compromise or confrontation, peace or war, the Obama Administration is pressing the parties to facilitate the peaceful and on-time conduct of the referenda, to respect their results, to resolve key remaining post-referenda issues, and for the Government of Sudan to end the conflict in Darfur.
This weekend, Special Envoy Gration undertook his 20th trip to the region. In meetings in Khartoum, he made clear to the Sudanese government that normalization of relations with the United States depends on the full implementation of the CPA and peace and accountability in Darfur. In meetings in Juba, Special Envoy Gration likewise set forth our clear expectations of the Government of Southern Sudan as well as the potential incentives that exist should they complete their obligations under the CPA. He also made clear that there are a range of consequences that will be deployed, if the situation in Sudan deteriorates or fails to make progress, including additional sanctions.
You can read more in this factsheet about the specific actions that are being taken to prepare for the referenda.