FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thank you Mr. President.
We are very pleased that the Council has unanimously adopted renewal of the UNMIS mandate. The Council's vote reflects its unwavering support for the work the United Nations in southern Sudan. It also reflects the Council's continued belief that full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is vital to bringing lasting peace to the people of Sudan. After years of conflict and economic deprivation, the citizens of Sudan deserve a future of peace and promise.
The Sudanese people are faced with many challenges. We are concerned about the deterioration of relations between Chad and Sudan. The relationship between these two countries affects peace throughout Sudan. And for this reason we welcome the Qatar and Libyan sponsored bilateral talks in Doha between Chad and Sudan as a positive step forward.
We remain, however, deeply concerned about the negative impact on the Three Areas caused by the Government of Sudan's March 4 and 5 expulsions of 13 international aid organizations, to say nothing of the humanitarian needs in Darfur and the suffering that its people will face as a result of the expulsions. The United States believes that there is no justification for the Government of Sudan's actions. The sudden expulsions of the NGOs put too many innocent civilians at grave risk. The Government of Sudan bears primary responsibility for its people, and therefore we urge Sudan to take immediate steps to restore effective assistance to Sudan's most vulnerable civilians.
We fully support UNMIS as it continues its work by helping to implement the CPA, to protect vulnerable citizens, and assist the people of Sudan to achieve a lasting peace.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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