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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Northern traders in south seek protection during and after referendum

By Bonifacio Taban Kuich

October 12, 2010 (BENTIU) – The advisor for the economic affairs in Unity state Michael Mayar Madieng has a bill in the state’s parliament to protect northern traders, suppliers and businessmen during and after south Sudan’s referendum on independence expected to happen in January.

In Juba's Konyo Konyo market, Southern Sudan, a Darfuri trader displays his wares, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010 (AP)
In Juba’s Konyo Konyo market, Southern Sudan, a Darfuri trader displays his wares, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010 (AP)
Madieng told Sudan Tribune that it was important to provide protection for traders who come from the north to carry out their business despite the possibility that the south may chose to secede.

During a meeting the Unity state council of Ministers held on Monday Madieng urged the local traders to cooperate with the state
authorities in order to facilitate the peaceful process of the referendum.

Unity state governor Lieutenant General Taban Deng Gai welcomed the bill discussed during the meeting, which grants tight security to all the businessmen many of whom are Arab traders who own businesses in the state.

Gai called upon the security advisor Chieng Jiek Geay to cooperate with the security services in order to allow local businessmen to carry out their works without hindrance.

The request for the security guarantees was submitted by 17 merchants across Unity states nine counties. Most business owners in the state are Darfuri.

In 2005 after southern leader John Garand died in a helicopter crash, northern traders in southern towns were targeted by rioters.

Gai added that even though south Sudan may form a new independent state after the referendum the south will still have close bilateral relations with the north, especially economically.

The governor urged the merchants to continue running businesses in the state.

(ST)