AU boss warns over South Sudan independence
Posted Wednesday, May 26 2010 at 19:52, Daily Nation
African Union (AU) chief Jean Ping voiced concern yesterday about south Sudan voting for independence in a referendum due in January, saying it would be a “major problem” for other African nations.
“From the outset we’ve argued in favour one of the options, making (Sudan’s) unity attractive,” Mr Ping told journalists during events marking Africa Day.
A peace deal signed in 2005 between the southern rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the government of Khartoum to end Africa’s longest running war, provided for the competitive polls and for the southern referendum on independence.
But Mr Ping said at the moment it appeared voters in south Sudan will support independence.
“That’s a major problem for all African countries which could be confronted by similar situations, that’s what concerns us,” said the AU Commission chief.
“Such a decision could lead us again to a number of major difficulties, including war.” However, Mr Ping said that if the referendum does go forward “we have no
other choice than to respect the decision of the Sudanese.”
Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court will ask the UN Security Council to intervene given Sudan’s “lack of cooperation” in pursuing two senior government allies for alleged war crimes.
“After taking all possible measures to ensure cooperation”, the court said, it has concluded that “the Republic of Sudan is failing to comply with its cooperation obligations ... in relation to the enforcement of warrants of arrest” issued in April 2007 for former government minister Ahmed Haroun and militia leader Ali Kosheib. Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir is also wanted by the ICC. (AFP)