June 12, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The soon-to-be independent state of South Sudan is perfectly entitled to join the League of Arab States (LAS), according to the organization’s envoy in Juba.
South Sudan, whose population is ethnically African and predominantly Christian, will secede from north Sudan in July this year after its citizens voted almost unanimously in a referendum in January for the creation of their own state.
The plebiscite was carried out in accordance with the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended more than two decades of the south’s civil wars with the Muslim-Arab controlled north.
According to the head of LAS office in South Sudan capital Juba, Mohamed Munsif Amin, South Sudan has “every right” to join the LAS alongside the already-existing member state of Sudan.
The Arab league envoy on Sunday explained that the Charter of the Arab League endorses the membership of south Sudan, citing an article stating that any Arab country that splits in two gives its splinters the right to become members of the Arab League.
Amin went on to say that top officials of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) welcomed the idea of South Sudan joining the LAS, adding that South Sudan president Salva Kiir welcomed LAS to maintain its presence in the region after independence.
The Arab League official said that Arab countries intend to implement development projects in South Sudan, in line with the outcome of LAS’s conference on South Sudan development which was held in Juba in February 2004.