Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) released a statement on Friday to commemorate the five year anniversary of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement, or CPA, saying that the United States should be proud of its role in this “historic achievement.” However, Feingold also contends that the progress since the CPA’s signing has been “seriously insufficient.” Feingold notes that the need for tangible movement forward is more urgent than ever as the country looks ahead to important milestones this year – namely national elections in April 2010 and the South’s vote next January – and grapples with very high stakes:
“As we approach these historic votes, I remain deeply concerned about an escalation in violence and even a return to war. The ongoing buildup of arms by both parties and the increased armed militia activity in southern Sudan throughout 2009 are warning signs that the international community cannot ignore.”
Feingold praised the Obama administration for its focus on CPA implementation but emphasizes that the approach demonstrated so far is not enough:
“…in order to be both effective and credible, our diplomatic engagement must be coupled with meaningful leverage. The Administration and our international partners must demonstrate a readiness to hold the parties, especially Khartoum, accountable for any foot-dragging that occurs on core commitments.”
As the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee, Feingold promised to make this issue a priority over the coming year.
To learn more about the significance of the CPA anniversary click here and watch a video featuring Enough‘s South Sudan field researcher Maggie Fick, reporting from the town of Yambio.
Photo: Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI)