Horn of Africa Peace Engagement
Referendum on Self-Determination of Southern Sudan
January 7, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HOPE campaigners, citizens for peace from five countries in the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan) and friends of the Horn:
· Are aware of the fact that Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed by the government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement on 9 January 2005, ending the country’s second civil war which began in 1983;
· Acknowledge that South Sudan will hold its scheduled referendum on Sunday, 9 Jan 2011, to decide whether to become an independent nation;
· Hope CPA-sponsoring countries and international organisations such as the United Nations and the African Union will deliver their support as promised;
· Are concerned, like many international observers, that a mishandled referendum could destabilise the region;
· Believe that the referendum, if implemented in a free, fair, transparent and peaceful manner, will have the potential to produce a win-win situation for all parties;
· Hope that whatever the outcome of the referendum might turn out to be the authorities will focus on the dividends of reconciliation by turning their attention on healing the prevalent wounds of the civil wars;
· Know that the peoples of Sudan have close and continuing relations, and hope that if the South votes for independence a 'soft border' will be established, allowing the ongoing movement of people and their goods and cattle - vital for vast numbers of migrant peoples and other communities.
· Hope the authorities will urgently tackle the persistent Sudanese problems of hunger, existing and potential displacement, the plight of refugees and the HIV endemic.
HOPE is a grassroots peace movement made up of citizens and friends of the Horn whose principal aim is to work towards peaceful co-existence in the region.
Please contact HOPE at: firstname.lastname@example.org