Sudan - exclusive interview

South Sudan will not break away unilaterally, says regional president

Reuters

The regional president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, denies he is considering unilaterally splitting away from Sudan and says southerners will work within the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) signed in 2005. In an exclusive interview in Juba, Kiir told RFI a breakaway is not on the cards.

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“I don’t think there will be a point where southerners will declare a unilateral independence,” he says. “It’s not on our agenda and we don’t think there will be a condition that will force us to declare an independent southern Sudan without the process that we have agreed upon.”

Exclusive interview - South Sudan President Salva Kiir

The CPA is less than six months away from completion, with an independence referendum scheduled for January 2011.

But humanitarian groups are warning that South Sudan is alarmingly unprepared for the  referendum. Kiir says he hopes the referendum will be conducted according to the agreement he signed.

The leader of the former rebel group, the Sudan People’s Liberation movement (SPLM), also offered to mediate between the Sudanese government and the holdout rebels in Darfur, an SPLM official Yasser Arman told reporters in Khartoum on Wednesday. 

However, Kiir also accused Sudanese president Omar el-Beshir of supporting the rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army which has been active in several neighbouring countries including Sudan.

“These are terrorists, and they are doing all these things to terrorise the civilian population. And there are people who are sending them,” he says. Al-Beshir "was the one supporting here when they were in Juba, and who is still supporting them”.

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