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UN urges Sudanese to speed peace deal implementation

8/7/2005 5:46am

JUBA, Sudan, Aug 7 (AFP) — The United Nations on Sunday called on Khartoum and southern Sudan’s ex-rebels to speed up the implementation of a landmark January peace deal as a tribute to late guerrilla chief John Garang.

In particular, he said a political commission to oversee the truce between Khartoum’s troops and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) fighters and a panel to monitor progress of civilian aspects of the accord had yet to be set up.

"Some institutions have not been created by the government and SPLM," Pronk told reporters here ahead of meetings with Garang’s successor Salva Kiir and other senior ex-rebel officials.

"Both parties have not established both committees," he said. "They are fairly important. There you will have a forum that is meeting regularly to discuss political problems.

"When these institutions are not yet there you cannot easily go forward because SPLM will work separately, the government will work separately. We have to do that together. We have to establish these committees."

The creation of the two panels was a critical element to the January 9 peace deal signed by Garang and Khartoum that ended Sudan’s 21-year north-south civil war, paving the way for massive reconstruction efforts in the impoverished and underdeveloped south.

Although some provisions of the pact have been completed, including the installation of Garang as Sudan’s first vice president just three weeks before his death in a July 30 helicopter crash, many others remain unfinished.

Pronk said the unprecedented calls for unity and reconciliation between the Muslim north and mainly Christian and animist south that marked Garang’s Saturday funeral gave him hope the two sides were committed to the deal.

"People have to sit together and talk and just implement the peace agreement," he said. "I think on both sides, the leaders understand that.

"I have the impression that everything which has happened in the last seven or eight days has brought to leaders closer together than even during the negotiations."

"Perhaps out of this tragic accident, something good will flourish (maybe) even a greater commitment to unity than before," Pronk said.

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