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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2005 > January

Remarks at the Signing Ceremony of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Nyayo National Stadium
Nairobi, Kenya
January 9, 2005

Secretary Powell signs the Sudan Peace agreement as a witness, as Vice President of Sudan Ali Osman Taha, left, and President of Kenya Mwai Kibaki, right, wait, at Nyayo Stadium Nairobi, Kenya, Sunday, January 9.SECRETARY POWELL: Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, friends, I am honored to be here today representing President Bush and the American people to witness the signing of the historic comprehensive peace accord.

At the outset of his administration, President Bush set as his top priority in Africa ending the tragic civil war in Sudan. Today, we declare an end to that war, and the beginning of a peace. This accord ends more than two decades of conflict. It can close a dark chapter in the history of Sudan and open the door to a promising future for all Sudanese. Sudan can now become an example of reconciliation. It can demonstrate to the world that even the most intractable conflicts can be resolved.

These were difficult negotiations and many have made enormous contributions--in particular, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and the Government of Kenya. All of us owe General Sumbeiywo a great debt of gratitude for his extraordinary efforts. I am pleased that the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway were able to support this African-led process.

In September 2001, President Bush appointed Ambassador John Danforth as Special Envoy for Sudan. The president’s instructions were to spare no effort. The president stayed personally involved to ensure our efforts in Sudan had the administration’s highest level attention. I want to express my appreciation for the vital contributions of Ambassador Danforth, and for those of our Special Humanitarian Coordinator Andrew Natsios and my entire Africa team.

Above all, I salute President Bashir, Vice President Taha, and Chairman Garang for their persistence, dedication and statesmanship. They now share an enormous responsibility. The people of Sudan expect a lasting peace – a peace that brings democracy and prosperity to a unified country. The United States pledges our full support as you go about this historic task. And there is much to do.

The world must stay closely engaged with Sudan in the hard work of reconstruction. The National Congress Party and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement must act quickly to build on the goodwill and momentum of this bright day. These new "partners for peace" must work together immediately to end the violence and atrocities in Darfur--not next month or in the interim period, but right away, starting today. The United States and the world community expect the new partners to use all necessary means to stop the violence. And we expect to see rapid negotiation of the crisis in Darfur.

I also want to recognize the impressive efforts of the African Union--and in particular President Obasanjo. We urge the parties to cooperate fully with the African Union.

For our part, the United States looks forward to a positive relationship with this new Sudan. However, achieving this positive relationship will only be possible in the context of peace throughout the entire country.

This is a promising day for the people of Sudan, but only if today’s promises are kept. I urge you to seize this historic opportunity to transform Sudan from a country torn by war into a nation united in peace, from a place of tragedy into a land of hope.

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