Home | News    Saturday 17 April 2010

Chad president speaks against South Sudan secession

April 16, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The Chadian president today joined a handful of his peers in warning against South Sudan becoming the newest state in the continent saying it will be "a disaster for Africa."

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Chadian President Idriss Deby (Reuters)

In January 2011 South Sudan is scheduled to hold its self determination referendum and decide whether they want to become an independent country or remain part of united Sudan. This right has been afforded per the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

However, over two decades of bitter civil war with the North have made the choice of secession the likely outcome of the referendum for the overwhelming majority of Southerners.

"We all have a north and south, part Muslim and part Christian. If we accept the disintegration of the Sudan, how to confront attempts to break the other?" Chad’s President Idriss Deby said in a magazine interview published Monday younger Africa.

"I say it loud, I’m against this referendum (separation) and against the possibility of division" he added. "Do you really think that the Khartoum government would agree easily on the loss of the south with its oil and minerals?"

Abound in Chad, like Sudan, ethnic and religious groups, which fought with each other bloody conflicts.

Many regional countries fear that Sudan’s division would encourage secessionist sentiments in their own homeland.

Last month leaders of the six-nation Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) east African body that met in Nairobi to assess the implementation of the CPA issued a statement to temper South Sudan’s rush to referendum saying that uncertainty in the oil rich nation posed a threat to their own economies and peace.

But Sudanese First Vice President and the president of South Sudan Salva Kiir responded by saying that he will not accept any compromise on the holding of the 2011 referendum.

“I ardently appeal to you all that the CPA is fully implemented and as per its timetable. I urge you all to recognize and respect the choice of the people of southern Sudan during the 2011 referendum," he said.

A surge of ethnic violence in South Sudan has resulted in the deaths of more than 2,500 people and forced 350,000 to flee their homes in 2009, according to a report issued by ten aid groups ahead of the referendum.

The clashes raised fears over the stability of a post-secession South left lingering resentments in a region already riven by traditional disputes over territory and cattle.

The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) have reiterated that the north will respect whatever choices made by Southerners but that they are hopeful for unity.