Vice President Taha
By Ngor Arol Garang
February 1, 2011 (JUBA) – A leading official from the semi-autonomous regional government of South Sudan on Tuesday welcomed acceptance of the Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) to recognize the overwhelming vote in favor of independence, in January’s referendum. Final results are due to be announcement in the course of the next two weeks.
Southern Sudanese celebrate the announcement of preliminary referendum results in the southern capital of Juba on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011. (AP)
Sudan conducted a weeklong referendum exercise on the right to self determination for the people of south Sudan to decide whether to remain part of the united Sudan or opt to be become Africa’s 54th nation. The plebiscite ended on 15 January.
The South Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) on Sunday announced results which showed that 98.83 percent of southern Sudanese voted overwhelmingly in favor of the region’s separation and only 1.17 percent voted for unity.
The final results of the referendum are expected to be announced on February 7 in case that there are no appeals. If there are appeals against the process the final results will be made in Khartoum on February 14.
There will be a transitional period until July 9 to pave the way for the separation of south Sudan.
Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha on Monday announced that the Sudanese government accepted the referendum results.
“We declare our acceptance of the referendum’s preliminary results which were announced yesterday by the referendum commission and we will directly embark on the arrangements which will follow this phase,” said Taha at a press conference broadcasted live on Sudanese Television on Monday.
“We hope this positive spirit, which characterized all stages of the referendum process, would lead to containing tensions that could surround some of the outstanding issues,” he added.
Taha further reiterated continuation of cooperation and coordination between north and south Sudan, saying that “the separation, even if it has its constitutional and political consequences, the relation and common interests will remain standing and will not cease.”
The Sudanese vice-president stressed that north and south Sudan were willing to find a political settlement for the border region of Abyei issue and prevent any unilateral solutions.
Abyei was due to hold a simultaneous referendum to south to decide whether the oil-producing will remain in the north or join the south. The vote did not take place due to disagreement over who could take part.
Vice President Taha said: “We have agreed that the current administrative, political and security arrangements at Abyei would continue.”
“It has also been agreed that joint forces would be dispatched in Abyei, besides removing the south Sudan police forces which recently entered the area and that the Abyei administration would remain until a political agreement is reached.”
Taha, also said that the north and the south have agreed to exclude the option of double nationality the people of Abyei, saying that “each state will have the right to issue a law organizing the nationality and how it could be obtained and to avoid having persons with no legal identification documents.”
“We have agreed that there would be flexibility regarding presence of northerners in the south and vice versa and to protect them and their properties until their status is adjusted. There are many arrangements needed to be made to adjust the conditions of the employees at the public service and the regular forces,” he said.
Speaking to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, minister of information and broadcasting in the government of south Sudan said he welcomed the statement made by Vice President Taha describing it as only means through which peace can be achieved in Sudan.
“On behalf of the government of south Sudan, I welcome the statement made by Vice president Ali Osman Mohammed Taha. Respecting the will of people of south Sudan by recognizing their choice is the only way through which the peace can be achieved in Sudan”, said minister Marial.
The minister also praised President Omar Hassan al-Bashir with his first Vice president Salva Kiir Mayardit for their courage and determination in allowing the referendum to go ahead.
“It takes courage to do the right thing. President Bashir and President Kiir are great leaders. They have shown the whole world that they can overcome challenges. Their courage to allow conduct of the referendum was not just a bold thought but a heroic decision to bring peace. They are champions and we must stand by them to resolve the other remaining issues,” said Marial.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/South-Sudan-welcomes-NCP-s,37845