News / Africa

'Commitment' of Both Parties Seen as Key to CPA Disagreements

Southern Sudanese sit in a registration center of Al-jref Garb in the capital Khartoum, 25 Nov 2010
Southern Sudanese sit in a registration center of Al-jref Garb in the capital Khartoum, 25 Nov 2010
Peter Clottey

A leading member of Sudan’s governing National Congress Party (NCP) told VOA “commitment” from his party, as well as the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), is the key to resolving all outstanding issues involving the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Rabie Abdelati Obeid said leaders from neighboring countries will be unable to help resolve the CPA’s outstanding issues without the shared commitment from both “partners” to ensure its full implementation.

“The referendum should be conducted on a concrete base so that, when the result of the referendum comes, it will have (an) effect on the ground,” said Obeid.

“If the result of this referendum comes as the south secedes from the north and a lot of problems and points are not settled, like the demarcation of borders, the distribution of petrol revenues, and citizenship, then what will be the meaning of the referendum (and) what will be the meaning of secession?”

Dr. Rabie Abdelati Obeid is a prominent member of Sudan's dominant National Congress Party (NCP)
Dr. Rabie Abdelati Obeid is a prominent member of Sudan's dominant National Congress Party (NCP)

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Sudanese leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir, as well as southern Sudanese leader Salva Kiir, are expected to meet Tuesday in Khartoum to resolve “tensions and controversies” surrounding the full implementation of the CPA.

The meeting comes ahead of the 9th January referendum on independence for southern Sudan that could potentially split the nation in two.

Both Egypt and Libya, which border Sudan, would want to prevent any mass migration if war breaks out as a result of independence.  The U.N. Refugee Agency estimates that more than a million people could be displaced.

On Sunday, U.S. President Barack Obama sent letters to regional leaders in Africa urging them to support a peaceful independence referendum.

Obeid said the credibility of the outcome of next month’s referendum could be in doubt if the outstanding issues are not addressed ahead of the vote.

“(If) the two partners fail to solve all these issues, or the pending points, and the referendum is conducted and the results declared, (and) secession is the result of the referendum, then I think that it will be a point of starting a new conflict,” said Obeid.

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