the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the Press Secretary on recent violence in the Abyei region of Sudan

The United States deplores the recent violence in the Abyei region of Sudan and calls on Northern and Southern Sudanese leaders to take immediate steps to prevent future attacks and restore calm.  This dangerous standoff is unacceptable for the Sudanese people, and we condemn the deployment forces by both sides.  Their presence in Abyei stands in violation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement and runs counter to efforts to reach agreement on the region’s final status

This past September, President Obama spoke of the two paths before the Government of Sudan: a path of peace, a path of fulfilled commitments, and greater engagement; and a path of continued conflict, continued obstruction, and greater, more painful isolation. The successful referendum was but one step toward fulfilling the Government of Sudan's obligations under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The Government of South Sudan too must recommit itself to resolving the remaining contentious issues in dispute.

The United States welcomes the commitment made by the National Congress Party and Sudan People's Liberation Movement to establish a committee based in Abyei to review security arrangements relating to the annual migration.  We urge this committee to immediately establish a presence in Abyei and to complete its security assessment and recommendations as quickly as possible.  Both North and South must also provide the UN Mission in Sudan the full and unfettered access required to fulfill its mandate, which includes assessing the security and humanitarian situation where fighting has taken place and protecting civilians.

We call on Presidents Bashir and Kiir to meet as soon as possible and demonstrate that they are serious about making urgent progress in talks to resolve Abyei’s final status in a manner that addresses the needs of all communities and upholds the Abyei Protocol and the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.