Khartoum endorses results of south Sudan referendum

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - The Sudanese government has officially endorsed the results of the Southern Sudan Referendum in which southerners have overwhelmingly voted for separation.

A cabinet meeting, headed by President Omar El-Bashir, on Monday said the government had endorsed the results of the referendum, the last clause within the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005, that ended the conflict in the Sudan and gave the southerners the right to chose between unity and separation.

In the extraordinary meeting of the Sudanese cabinet, President Al-Bashir announced the official endorsement and said this would not be the end of relations between people from the north and south.

"Let us hope that this will be a separation between war and peace era, not a separation between two people socially linked," Al-Bashir said in a speech broadcast live on the state-run television, in Omdurman.

He expressed the hope that this would be a start of a new era of relations between two neighboring states, stressing that he would provide every possible assistance to the emerging state.

"We will go further than endorsing the results but we would say we are the first to congratulate the southerners for the new state and we would extend assistance to in every field they would like," Al-Bashir said in his address to the Sudanese people, which would be the last time he would address the Sudan as a one million square mile area.

He expressed the hope that what happened in the Sudan would not be a precedent for other Africans to follow but rather "a model of how we would resolve our problems and … coexist after war and conflict."

The First Vice President of the Republic and the president of southern Sudan, Salva Kiir, attended the meeting which was held in Khartoum.

"The borders will only be on the paper, but on the ground I don't think the movement of people and goods could be restricted," Kiir told the meeting, saying he believed that "this separation might lead to even stronger unity in future if the people chose to come back to each other."

Kiir, who was speaking in a mixture of Arabic and English, said he would be working with the government in the north not only to sell the new idea of the new Sudan but also to help lift sanctions imposed on the country, remove Sudan from the list of countries considered sponsors of terrorism and help find a solution for the Darfur question, which he said, would automatically mean dropping the ICC accusations.

The ICC (the International Criminal Court) is accusing government officials, including President Al-Bashir, of genocide in Darfur.

He said there was also the need for the two sides to work together to see to it that Sudan's whooping debts were written off by the west and lenders.

"This ICC repercussion will fall by itself once we resolve the question of Darfur," Kiir said.

Al-Bashir had met during the past two weeks with all senior military and intelligence and political party leadership to prepare the ground for this announcement.

He caped it with a meeting with the powerful security agencies, telling officers and privates of the powerful Sudanese National Security and Intelligence that "we will accept the outcome of this referendum on southern Sudan as it is to be announced by the commission, on Monday."

Al-Bashir dressed in the full military operation fatigue of the Sudanese security, said southerners in the north would never be affected by the secession with regards to their properties or wealth and estates.

The Southern Sudan Referendum Commission is scheduled announce the official results of the referendum Monday evening which the president said was 100% secession.
-0- PANA MO/VAO 7Feb2011

07 فبراير 2011 14:34:32

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