Switzerland expressed its satisfaction with the relatively smooth, peaceful and orderly progress of the secession referendum in Sudan. In the words of Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey, this was “a milestone in the implementation of the peace agreement of 2005. The referendum represents significant political progress on the road to lasting peace.” At the same time, however, she expressed her regret that in the wake of the referendum there have been several outbreaks of violence resulting in deaths and injuries.
As a neutral peacebuilding partner, Switzerland has been supporting both sides since the end of the civil war in their efforts to find solutions for securing lasting peace in Sudan. For example, at the request of both parties it has for several months been mediating expertise in the areas of separation of assets and liabilities, banking activities and currency issues in order to support the post-referendum negotiations. Following the clear outcome of the secession referendum, Switzerland intends to continue vigorously pursuing its commitment in Sudan.
The transitional period of the 2005 peace agreement between North and South Sudan, which came into being thanks to the efforts of a variety of countries including Switzerland, expires on 9 July 2011. This agreement halted the second Sudanese civil war which had raged for 22 years. South Sudan is now expected to declare its independence from the north and thus become the world’s 193rd country. At the secession referendum in January 2011, an overwhelming majority of the electorate of South Sudan voted in favour of separation from the north of the country. Within the scope of the EU referendum monitoring mission, Switzerland deployed one long-term and two short-term observers in Sudan. The result of the secession referendum is to be officially announced in Khartoum today.
Address for enquiries:
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47