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Sudan Break-Up Could Prompt Other Civil Wars, says Mubarak - 2002-08-27

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak says he is opposed to allowing southern Sudan the right to secede from the north because it could result in civil wars throughout Africa. The remarks come as negotiators from both sides of the Sudanese conflict are still working out details of a peace settlement.

Mr. Mubarak said he is against dividing Sudan because it could encourage the break-up of other countries in Africa. He said Egypt is not trying to impose anything on the Sudanese and that his government will support any agreement that does not include partitioning the country.

In July the Sudanese government and the main opposition rebel group reached an agreement to end Sudan's 19-year civil war. The deal, which is still being ironed out in negotiations in Kenya, includes allowing the mainly animist and Christian south the right to secede from the Muslim north.

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said Monday that peace in the civil war could be reached by next month but that differences over a ceasefire and separation of the two sides' armed forces still has to be overcome.