A leading member of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said his party expects the United States to encourage the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to work toward the country’s unity instead of secession.
Rabie Abdelati Obeid says several officials of the SPLM have recently voiced their support for south Sudan’s secession which he said violates the stipulations of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
“The expectation of the NCP is [that] the American administration should push forward the implementation of the CPA, especially, and particularly, that item which was agreed upon between the two partners, the National Congress Party and SPLM to achieve unity and not to secession according to what was stated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United States of America [State Department],” said Obeid.
Obeid’s comments came after U.S Secretary of State Hilary Clinton warned a successful January 9 referendum in south Sudan will be difficult adding the situation is “a ticking time-bomb of enormous consequence.” Clinton also said that south Sudan’s secession is “inevitable.”
As part of the CPA, residents of the semi-autonomous south Sudan will vote in a referendum that will determine whether they want to be part of Sudan or secede.
Some officials of the SPLM have criticized the NCP for undermining the efforts of the referendum commission preparing for the January vote.
But, Obeid said the SPLM has failed to demonstrate its commitment toward the country’s unity.
“Some months back, some of the SPLM leaders [have] not been speaking for unity, but they are calling for secession, which is against the CPA and against that agreement signed by the two partners and witnessed by the international and regional community,” said Obeid.
Both the SPLM and the NCP are scheduled to hold discussions to resolve all outstanding issues related to the referendum at a special U.N high-level summit on Sudan Friday.
Obeid also said it was important for the United States not to send “a wrong signal” at the summit, which he said will undermine Khartoum’s “effort of unifying Sudan.”