A prominent member of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) violated the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) by “openly” declaring support for secession by south Sudan ahead of next month’s referendum.
Rabie Abdelati Obeid told VOA the violation could lead to a total cancelation of the CPA, which ended over two decades of civil war between the north and the south.
“There is a clear item and a clear provision in the CPA saying that both (the) SPLM and the NCP should work together to achieve unity. And, by violating this clause in the CPA, I think that the SPLM has canceled the CPA and are working against the CPA,” said Obeid.
“I don’t think the NCP now will respect these practices and these announcements (supporting secession) by SPLM. And, this will lead ultimately to undermining even (the) peace and even the result of the referendum, as now the CPA will have no effect on the political situation in our country.”
The Sudan Tribune quoted Anne Itto, deputy secretary general of the SPLM, as saying her party will support the semi-autonomous south Sudan secession in the upcoming referendum adding that the NCP has failed to make “unity” attractive.
“Since unity has not been made attractive during the six-year (the) interim period, we will not stop (supporting) what our people want. We will promote what they want. If they need separation, we will promote that because we are following the people.”
But, Obeid said Itto’s pronouncement could plunge the country into instability and undermine the credibility of the upcoming referendum.
“Now the SPLM is working outside the framework of the CPA and this will distort the actual objective of the CPA. On top of this, (the) CPA is to achieve peace between north and south and will also distort the procedure of the referendum. This will create instability and non-peaceful co-existence between north and south,” said Obeid.
Meanwhile, Sudan’s referendum commission has said the scheduled 9th January referendum will proceed as originally planned, despite a requested delay to allow the commission to address possible concerns over the recently-ended voter registration.
Ibrahim Khalil, chairman of the commission, has petitioned President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, as well as First Vice President Salva Kiir, for a delay saying it will help the entire referendum process.