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Libyan Warning over South Sudan Secession Criticized

  • Peter Clottey

Southern Sudanese men hold a pro-independence poster as they wait for the arrival of envoys from the UN Security Council at the southern Sudanese capital Juba, 6 Oct 2010

Southern Sudanese men hold a pro-independence poster as they wait for the arrival of envoys from the UN Security Council at the southern Sudanese capital Juba, 6 Oct 2010

A former south Sudanese envoy has rejected Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi suggestions over the weekend that south Sudan’s secession will be a disease that will spread throughout Africa.

Ambassador John Andruga Duku told VOA this is yet another attempt by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) to derail south Sudan’s the scheduled 9th January referendum.

“I say that absolutely has no basis because the situation in south Sudan and in Sudan was different from any other situation in Africa. The agreement which was signed on the 9th January 2005 was a voluntary negotiated agreement between the two parties, the SPLM (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement) and the NCP (National Congress Party). The international community guaranteed the agreement.”

Mr. Gaddafi said at the African and Arab leader’s summit held in the Libyan city of Sirte over the weekend that the semi-autonomous south Sudan’s secession could set a dangerous precedent that will hamper Africa’s much-needed foreign investment.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi

But, Ambassador Duku said that, since Sudan’s independence, southern Sudanese have always been suppressed by northerners, which he said led to the country’s long running civil war.

“To come around now at the 11th hour when we are left with only 91 days for our people to go to referendum, they are saying now, if the people vote for independence, it will open the Pandora(‘s) box (of problems). Why didn’t they say this six years ago? He asked.

Duku said Mr. Gaddafi’s statement is aimed at supporting President Omar Hassan al-Bashir as the south Sudan’s referendum “draws near.”

“This is yet another tactic of the National Congress Party obliging their friends to talk on their behalf. (Mr.) Gaddafi made (this statement) during the Arab League meeting when Mr. Bashir was there.”

Meanwhile, President Bashir has also accused the SPLM of failing to abide by the provisions of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement warning that another round of war could ensue if sharp differences between the two partners are not resolved before the January referendum.

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