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Ceasefire Now In Sudan

A huge explosion is seen near a United Nations compound in South Kordofan state, June 14, 2011.

President Obama expressed his deep concern over the security and humanitarian situation in Abyei and Southern Kordofan.

President Obama spoke directly to Sudanese leaders in an audio address this week, expressing his deep concern over the security and humanitarian situation in Abyei and Southern Kordofan, calling for an end to conflict, and urging Sudan’s leaders to choose peace.

The President reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to work with its partners and allies in Africa and around the world to end the violence and protect innocent civilians, making clear that there can be no military solution on the future status of Abyei and Southern Kordofan.

The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan must live up to their responsibilities, and the Government of Sudan must prevent a further escalation of this crisis by ceasing its military actions immediately, including aerial bombardments, forced displacements and campaigns of intimidation.

Speaking directly to Sudan’s leaders, President Obama said that if they fulfill their obligations and choose peace, the United States will take the steps we have pledged toward normal relations. However, those who flout their international obligations will face more pressure and isolation, and they will be held accountable for their actions

Negotiations are now underway that offer a path to peace. Both sides must agree to end the violence; to allow free movement of aid workers and relief supplies to help those in need; to fulfill their commitments under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and to resolve their differences peacefully.

In three weeks, after decades of civil wars that have killed millions and turned millions more into refugees, South Sudan will gain its independence and become the world’s newest nation, and the people of both north and south will have the opportunity to move toward the promise of greater peace and prosperity.

The Sudanese people have come too far, and sacrificed too much, to see their dreams of a better future slip from their grasp. Now is the time for Sudanese leaders to show the courage and vision that true leadership demands. Now is the time for Sudanese leaders, north and south, to choose peace.