The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by the President on Sudan

The United States congratulates the Sudanese people, the government of Sudan, and the government of Southern Sudan on the end of their historic, week-long referendum on the future of southern Sudan.  The sight of so many Sudanese casting their votes in a peaceful and orderly fashion was an inspiration to the world and a tribute to the determination of the people and leaders of south Sudan to forge a better future.  We wish to commend the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, the Southern Sudan Referendum Board, the domestic and international observers, the United Nations Mission in Sudan, and most of all, the voters who turned out in high numbers and high spirits to take their turn at the ballot box. The past week has given the world renewed faith in the prospect of a peaceful, prosperous future for all of the Sudanese people -- a future that the American people long to see in Sudan.
 
The referendum now moves into another phase, and while official results will not be available for some time, independent observers have been extremely encouraged by the credibility of the process to date.   We urge all parties to continue to urge calm and show restraint as the parties work to complete implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The United States will continue to assist the parties amid the tough challenges and historic opportunities that lie ahead.

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