Sudan may witness new war if parties disagree over referendum results – minister
June 15, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — A Sudanese minister has warned today that any probable disagreement on the results of southern Sudan referendum could lead to a new war in the country.
At different times since the general elections last April Sudanese officials from the ruling National Congress Party said they would be more vigilant about the organization and security issues related to the southern Sudan referendum stressing they would not accept any rigging or fraud.
“If we don’t agree on the results of the referendum, this could cause a new war between northern and southern Sudan,” said the newly appointed foreign minister, Ali Karti on Tuesday. He further added such conflict would be more disastrous than the past.
“It will be a difficult and tough war, different from the previous one because both sides are better equipped,” militarily, Karti warned.
The Sudanese parliament on Monday postponed the endorsement of the nine members of the Referendum Commission appointed by President Omer Al-Bashir. The SPLM objected the nomination of a member belonging to the Democratic Unionist Party.
On this regard, Haile Menkerios Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Sudan told the UN Security Council on Monday that the two peace partners informed separately the UNMIS of “their desire for United Nations engagement at a “much greater level” than during the elections”.
Menkerios however stressed that the current mandate of the Mission does not allow such involvement advising the two parties to commonly define this “greater level” and to present their request to the United Nations to extend the UNMIS mandate.
The demarcation of North-South border is one of the pending issues that the CPA partners are grappling with. Observers fear a future war between the two signatories of 2005 agreement if they disagree on the boundary delimitation.
President Omer Al-Bashir warned last week the delimitation of some parts of northern-southern Sudan boundary could be explosive, adding that the unity remains the best option for the interests of the two parties.
Minister Ali Karti today reaffirmed that the borders between north and south Sudan should be demarcated before the organization of the referendum.
“We cannot hold a referendum before the border is demarcated. The demarcation will help establish where people live and where (natural) resources are located,” he said.
The representatives of the five permanent members at the UN Security Council reaffirmed their support for the conduct of the referendum and encouraged the CPA parties to begin discussion on the post referendum issues.
Also the UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant stressed that the “referendum must take place on time and its result must be credible. Either outcome could lead to friendly relations between the North and South”.