VP Taha cut short his visit to Sudan’s Blue Nile state
February 22, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese 2nd Vice President Ali Osman Taha cut short his visit to the Blue Nile state where he inaugurated the project for heightening the Roseires Dam.
Sudan’s Vice President Ali Osman Taha (Reuters)
Taha was scheduled to address a rally at Damazin stadium but was reportedly given security advices to cancel his appearance there over what was described as hostile crowd holding signs critical of Khartoum and calling for self-rule in the state.
Because of that, it was feared that confrontation would occur there between supporters of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and those from the Sudan people Liberation Movement (SPLM) who dominate the state which lies on the North-South borders.
The head of the organizing committee for the event took the stage in the stadium and told the crowd that Taha apologizes for not showing up citing an urgent national issue in Khartoum.
The Blue Nile state governor Malik Agar told reporters that Taha was supposed to conclude his visit at 3 p.m. but he left mid-day for “pressing reasons” without elaborating.
He denied speculations that it was the hostile audience in the stadium that prompted the cancellation saying that Taha was not even aware of it since he didn’t come.
The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ended nearly two-decades of civil war between north and south Sudan, includes a protocol on the resolution of the conflict in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, both of which lies on the undemarcated and volatile north-south border.
The protocol provides for the conduct of “popular consultations” in the two states in order to assess the CPA and subsequently address any shortfalls in its implementation as a final settlement to the conflict in the areas which were previously war zones, with many from the areas siding with the south, during the years of the conflict.
However, the process does not entail any right to self-determination to the two areas which will remain inside north Sudan, unlike south Sudan which is set to gain full independence as a result of a referendum vote that took place last month.
It was reported that the popular consultation process in the Blue Nile state had seen strong calls for autonomous rule within the North.
Aggar told reporters today that his state will work to solidify relations between the North and South as well as neighboring Ethiopia. He added that Sudan is heading towards a new stage with the creation of a new state.
The SPLM figure stressed that both states are ethnically diverse and need to manage this diversity and learn from the past’s mistakes to create a strong state in the North that recognizes the existence of various ethnic, racial and religious groups.
He also called for building good relations between the center and the states within the framework of self-rule.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/VP-Taha-cut-short-his-visit-to,38084