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Sudan’s National Congress Party Denies Undermining CPA

Sudan's National Congress Party (NCP) has sharply denied it is undermining the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the war between the country's North and South.

The NCP affirmed its commitment towards the full implementation of the CPA. But an official of the Southern Sudanese government dismissed Khartoum's assurances as a farce.

Deng Jack, the minister for cooperation in South Sudan's government accused the National Congress Party of undermining the terms of the CPA.

Under the CPA, a referendum is slated for January 2011 for Southern Sudanese to decide whether to be an independent country or remain a part of the North.

Ambassador Dirdiery Mohamed Ahmed, head of the National Congress Party's delegation to the Permanent Court of Arbitration said that the South's accusation is without merit.

"This is completely not true. We had a meeting just a few days back on the 19th of this month in Juba when the tripartite committee, which comprises the United States of America and the two parties of the CPA. That is to say the NCP and the SPLM (Sudan People's Liberation Movement)," Ahmed said.

He said the NCP promised at a recent meeting to ensure the full implementation of the peace agreement.

"In that meeting we had signed both parties a commitment to resolving all of the outstanding issues, including the issue of self-determination referendum bill. We had in fact made good progress in that bill in spite of the fact that some issues are still pending. There was a commitment which was made on the 19th which says that the two parties will do their best to solve all of the outstanding issues before the 15th of September," he said.

Ahmed said Sudan's legislature is backing the implementation of the CPA.

"Today, there was an announcement by the speaker of the parliament saying that the referendum bill will be their first business item when they reconvene in October. So, I don't think there is any reason for anybody to say that the NCP is reneging on its commitment regarding the self determination referendum for southern Sudan," Ahmed said.

He described as unfortunate the accusations leveled against the NCP.

"They sound as if it is the figment of somebody's imagination. We have agreed to with the SPLM on all of the outstanding issues we have signed together…which is called the implementation schedule for the CPA. The United States of America witnessed it," he said.

Ahmed reiterated Khartoum's determination to fully implement the CPA.

"Absolutely, that commitment was made very clearly in the CPA itself. We have made every possible effort to arrive at an agreement within the National Constitutional Review Commission on the referendum bill. And we are still engaged with other political parties, including the SPLM in trying to arrive at a consensus bill… this commitment has been evidently clear and was in fact reiterated by the NCP so many times," Ahmed said.

Meanwhile, the SPLM has dismissed a recent census result, crucial for determining regional power in elections now scheduled for April 2010, saying that the population figures drastically undercount southern Sudanese.