Saturday, October 30, 2010

Former South African President Mbeki Agrees to Work With U.S. Over South Sudan Referendum

Mbeki agree to work closely with US over South Sudan referendum – White House

Saturday 30 October 2010
Sudan Tribune

October 29, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — Former South Africa’s President and head of African Union panel on Sudan has agreed to coordinate efforts with US administration to settle divergences over Abyei referendum and post referendum outstanding issues.

U.S. President Barack Obama ( President Barack Obama in a telephone call with Thabo Mbeki on Friday stressed on the need to expedite the ongoing efforts to settle differences between the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

The two parties failed this month during talks in Addis Ababa brokered by the US envoy to Sudan Scott Gration to agree on who has the right to participate in the referendum on the future of Abyei area.

Mbeki, who this week announced the adjournment sine die of the discussions over Abyei and other issues, is supposed to co-chair the next round of talks with the special US president special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration.

The White House, in a press statement released today, said that Obama discussed with Mbeki "the importance of moving ahead aggressively to support the negotiations and resisting any entreaties to delay".

"President Mbeki described his most recent efforts, and they agreed to continue closely coordinating AU and U.S. efforts to ensure on time referenda."

In accordance to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed on 9 January 2005, the southern Sudanese have to determine if they want to establish an independent state in their region or not. Abyei population should vote to say if they want to be part of the south or the north.

During a recent meeting, the Sudanese presidency agreed to develop a common vision on the social and economic relations between northern and southern Sudan regardless of the referendum outcome.

They also consented that the commissions working on the outstanding issues, including Abyei and border demarcation have to take in account this common vision which should be adopted first.

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