Written By:Agencies, Posted: Thu, Jul 07, 2011
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has pledged his support to South Sudan, which gains its independence from the north on Saturday.
“We will bless our brothers in the south over their country and we wish them success,” he said, state TV quoted him as saying.
The president said he wanted the new country to be “secure and stable”.
But he warned “brotherly relations” depended on secure borders and non-interference in each others’ affairs.
Southerners voted to split from Sudan in a referendum last January, following the 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war – in which an estimated 1.5 million died.
“We reiterate our readiness to stand with them and support them because they want their country,” said Mr Bashir, who is due in the southern capital, Juba, on Saturday for the independence celebrations.
“We will not interfere in your internal affairs. Likewise, we will not allow you to interfere in our internal affairs,” he warned.
Meanwhile, Susan Rice, the US envoy to the United Nations, will lead the US delegation to the ceremony marking South Sudan’s independence, the White House announced Wednesday.
Rice will be joined by Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Donald Payne, US Representative from New Jersey and Ranking Member of House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights.
Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, and Princeton Lyman, the US Special Envoy to Sudan, also will join the delegation, the White House said.
Brooke Anderson, Deputy National Security Advisor, Chief of Staff and Counselor for the National Security Staff; Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator, USAID; and General Carter Ham, Commander, US Africa Command, were to take part as were R. Barrie Walkley, US Consul General in Juba and Ken Hackett, President of Catholic Relief Services.
But some key issues remain unresolved, among them the countries’ final boundaries, division of oil revenues and the status of citizens in the south who remain living in the north.
Earlier, Washington said it still was concerned by fighting in South Kordofan, at the border of Sudan and what will become the independent nation of South Sudan, the US State Department said.
“We continue… to call on the parties to agree to and implement an immediate cessation of hostilities, to allow unfettered access for aid workers, and to provide the humanitarian assistance into southern Kordofan,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. “This is an urgent requirement.”