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Show Commitment to the CPA, Says Southern Sudan official

An official of Sudan's former rebels is calling on Sudan President Omar al-Bashir's National Congress (NCP) Party to show commitment towards implementing the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

This follows the signing of an agreement Wednesday between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the NCP.

The agreement, supervised by U.S. special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration, paves the way for the implementation of the CPA.

Signed in 2005, the CPA effectively ended over two decades of civil war between Sudan's north and south.

Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, who heads the government of Southern Sudan's mission to the United States told VOA that President Barack Obama's administration is serious about ending the Darfur crisis and bringing about the implementation of the CPA.

"Of course the agreement that was signed today is basically the implementation of the CPA or on implemented issues. If you can recall the initiative that was initiated by special envoy of Obama, General Gration, we had the CPA conference here this year. Trilateral discussions (went on) here in Washington and the second one was in Khartoum and this is the third round in Juba," Gatkuoth said.

He said the signing of the agreement shows commitment from both sides.

"We have agreed that we need to recommit ourselves into the implementation of the CPA. Basically the agreement is saying that we need to implement the issue of north-south border. We need to implement the Abyei roadmap or the Abyei protocol for that matter," he said.

Gatkuoth said the Obama administration has been instrumental in calming tensions and suspicions.

"The only difference at this time is that the U.S administration with the special envoy leading this process is to implement the CPA or to recommit ourselves to implementing the CPA with the moderation or the supervision of General Scott Gration," Gatkuoth said.

He said President Bashir's National Congress Party has undermined the CPA's implementation.

"So far, we have been trying our best to implement this CPA, but the National Congress Party has been very reluctant to move an inch," he said.

Meanwhile, a senior NCP official, Ghazi Salaheddin, said both the SPLM and NCP have agree on 10 out of 12 trouble areas, including power sharing between the north and south.

But Gatkuoth said the NCP has thwarted efforts to fully implement the CPA.

"This is exactly what we need to ask the National Congress Party. How committed are they to implement the CPA or the unimplemented provisions at this time? And I hope they are seriously meaning it because they have been known for signing agreements and not implementing them," Gatkuoth said.

He said President Obama's administration has demonstrated in many ways its commitment towards resolving the Darfur crisis as well as the full implementation of the CPA.