Home | News    Thursday 4 November 2010

South Sudan’s final moment of destiny is unstoppable, Machar tells envoy

November 3, 2010 (JUBA) - The people of Southern Sudan will determine their political destiny on 9 January in a referendum and nothing is going to stop it, said the Vice President of the Government of Southern Sudan, Riek Machar Teny on Wednesday.

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Riek Machar (ST)

In 66 days time Southern Sudanese are due to conduct a referendum on independence of the already semi-autonomous region, in accordance with a 2005 peace deal. An overwhelming vote for independence is expected by most observers.

The northern ruling party and the south’s partner in the peace deal, the National Congress Party (NCP), is however sending mixed signals, suggesting that the referendum would not take place if the more than 2,000 kms North-South border is not demarcated.

The South argues that there is no direct connection between referendum and border demarcation saying that the latter can be completed even after the referendum. The peace agreement does not say that the border must be demarcated before the referendum.

In a meeting on Wednesday with Frances Consul General to Juba, Christian Bader, Machar told the French envoy that the plebiscite will be conducted with or without the North-South border being demarcated in the next two months.

He said the eventuality of the country splitting into two independent states is a
reality that the two regions of the country should positively prepare for. The Vice President stressed that it was important for both Southern and Northern Sudan to wake up to the reality of the situation and begin to work on creating future good relations and cooperation as secession is the most likely scenario.

The two regions, he said, should begin to create economic zones and promote trade and movement of people between North and South and allow for peaceful referendum and its outcome. They would prosper together as peaceful neighbors and join the other regional and international economic blocs, he further explained.

Some analysts predict that the referendum could trigger renewed North-South conflict.

The Vice President and the French envoy also discussed bilateral relations between
Paris and Juba, stressing the importance of reciprocally establishing a Southern Sudan Mission in Paris for promotion of diplomatic and economic relations.

He said Southern Sudan has raw resources and therefore wants to open up to all its neighboring countries and beyond in order to market its economic potentials.

(ST)