Home | News    Saturday 19 March 2011

Ethiopia pledges support for peaceful settlement of Sudan’s post-referendum issues

March 18, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopian Prime minister Meles Zenawi said on Friday that his country will remain firm in its support for the peaceful conclusion of South Sudan’s post-referendum process.

According to a senior government official, the Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi has met with a high-level Sudanese delegation led by Sudan’s foreign affairs minister, Ali Kerti. The two sides conferred on the current situation in Sudan and other bilateral issues.

Meles said Ethiopia, along with other partners, will carry on playing major role in the Sudanese peace process.

He stressed that the Ethiopian government will commit to closely work with the government and people of Sudan in ensuring lasting peace. He said peace in Sudan means not only to Sudanese but also to the region as a whole.

The two neighbors expressed commitment to work together through their joint commission for the successful completion of Sudan’s peace process.

The Sudanese foreign minister told PM Zenawi during the discussions that the South Sudan post-referendum process is well underway as per the agreement.

Though the case of Abyei region is not moving smoothly, the two sides are relentlessly exerting their efforts for a peaceful resolution, he noted. Abyei was supposed to hold a referendum to decide whether it will become part of the South but it did not go ahead due to disagreement between Sudan’s ruling parties over who should be allowed to vote.

The South Sudan independence referendum went ahead on schedule in January. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of secession.

The referendum was a core component of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended decades of conflict between the Southern Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the Khartoum government.

Despite a peaceful completion on the referendum many issues remain unresolved. As well as the status of Abyei the two parties are negotiating; citizenship rights; the future of the Sudanese Pound, national assets and debts; international agreements; and natural resources (oil and water).

(ST)