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Southern Sudan to Inaugurate President Salva Kiir

Southern Sudan leader Salva Kiir [R-front] and Sudan's 2nd Vice President Ali Osman Taha [L-front] attend the 14th Extra Ordinary Summit of the Inter-Governmental Authority Heads of State and Government at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in N

The leader of the Sudan’s People Liberation Movement (SPLM), Salva Kiir, is scheduled to be sworn in Friday as the first democratically-elected President of the semi-autonomous southern Sudanese capital, Juba.

General Oyay Deng Ajak, southern Sudan’s minster for regional cooperation, said several local and international dignitaries will participate in Mr. Kiir’s inauguration.

“Today, Friday, this will be first time in history of the people of south Sudan to have a democratically-elected president of the government of southern Sudan to be sworn in, in front of parliament and, of course, you have all the people attending the ceremony. There are lots of international and external dignitaries that have already arrived in Juba,” he said.

Sudan’s National Electoral Commission declared Salva Kiir, leader of the SPLM, winner of the presidential election in southern Sudan with over 90 percent of the total vote cast.

General Ajak said the recent election was the first for most southern Sudanese after years of civil war.

“For most people in south Sudan, the last election was the first time for them in their life to elect anybody of their choice, and they decided to elect the SPLM candidate in the name of President Salva Kiir Mayardit. So, they are celebrating and people are very excited and they will really want to see that the event takes place very smoothly,” Ajak said.

The election was Sudan’s first vote in 24 years after years of civil war between the north and the south. It also forms part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the north and south. The accord effectively ended the civil war.

Analysts say Mr. Kiir will become the first vice president of the entire Sudan forming a north-south national coalition government to be led by President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir.

The unity government is expected to work closely to fully implement the remaining provisions of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

General Ajak said Mr. Kiir wants the CPA implemented fully.

“President Salva Kiir is first committed to the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and, second, to see not only the implementation of the CPA, but the timely implementation of the CPA. That the referendum, which is the final conclusion of the CPA, must take place on time just in six months from now,” Ajak said.

The upcoming referendum in southern Sudan, scheduled for January 2011, will allow residents of the south to decide whether or not to remain a part of Sudan or to secede and become an independent country.