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VP Taha says South Sudan independence will cause conflicts, disintegration

August 1, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan’s 2nd Vice President Ali Osman Taha warned today that the possible independence of the South will create havoc and chaos that was witnessed in countries with similar experiences.

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Sudan’s 2nd Vice President Ali Osman Taha (Reuters)

"All the experiences of secession in the African continent was doomed to fail; in Ethiopia, Eritrea and the Congo" Taha told a youth gathering for the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in the Sudanese capital.

"All the countries in the continent except two support North-South unity even the major powers hostile to Sudan" he added. "This means that there is no one is working for separation" Taha said describing pro-secession forces as "losers".

"Even if the South separates it is threatened with further split if it witnesses differences" the Sudanese VP added.
Sudan’s referendum, a key provision of the 2005 peace deal which ended a devastating 22-year civil war between the north and south, is due next January, allowing southerners to choose independence or remain with a united Sudan.

Taha called for a national dialogue to focus on things that promote unity rather than encourage secession.

"The components of the unit are many, but were not sufficiently highlighted...the ethnic and racial diversity should not scare us because it represents one of the requirements for Sudan to remain one and united" he said.

"Separation means regression for each party to take a piece of land and leave the rest. Separation is a closed way of thinking that does not believe in regressive diversity and this is the first defeat for the separatist ideology" Taha said.

In the same meeting, the Sudanese industry minister and NCP figure said that North-South separation "cannot be allowed under any circumstances.

"The peace agreement gave the South 50% of the oil revenue for development, salaries and progress and what the government of national unity (GoNU) done in the South in development in areas of roads, bridges, dams, electricity to help Southerners in development to support the attractive unity" Awad Al-Jaz said.

The NCP is leading a campaign to encourage Southerners to vote for unity and observers say that the ruling party does not want to go down in history as the party which allowed the country to split.