FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today marks an unprecedented turning point in the history of Sudan, closing a long chapter of conflict, oppression, and despair. The results of the Southern Sudan referendum have been announced and accepted. The will of the people of the south has been expressed and respected. A six-year-old promise that the south should be able to determine its own destiny – peacefully, credibly, with cooperation by the Government of Sudan – has finally been fulfilled.
I join President Obama in congratulating the leaders and people of both southern and northern Sudan for ensuring a timely and orderly vote. The United States commends the Government of Sudan for accepting its outcome and looks forward to working with the Republic of Southern Sudan when it joins the community of nations in July 2011.
We are also grateful to the leaders and peacekeepers of the UN Mission in Sudan for their invaluable assistance with the referendum. Now we urge the leaders of the north and south to spare no effort in addressing the great challenges that remain, including resolving the status of Abyei and key post-referendum arrangements - all of which are necessary to ensure a lasting peace.
Finally, as we applaud today’s giant step towards peace between north and south, we remain committed to pressing for justice and lasting peace in Darfur to improve the lives of all Darfuris.
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