Salva Kiir South Sudanese president asked the contested border district of Abyei groups not to explode the time bomb set by Omar Bashir the genocidal slave master of the South.
Over 40 died in Abyie earlier this month, trying to defuse the time bomb and to decide whether it stays with their master north or joins the free south.
Kiiris is deploying his best trying to calm Abyie in one said and satisfy his once enemy Bashir. Let us hear it from his words: “But I would ask the people of Abyie not to take any unilateral decision to join the south and to give me a chance to find a peaceful settlement with my brother President Omar al-Bashir».
It has been highly explosive between the rival southern-backed Danka Ngok people and northern-supported Misseriya Arab cattle and slave herders. This is where the time bomb is not yet diffused between north and south.
The independence vote of the south was the 2005 centerpiece of peace deal between the Arabic Muslim North and southern Christian Animist /African rebels that ended a 22 year civil war.
Southern Sudan Referendum Commission website showed on Monday 25 January more than 98.8 percent voted to break away in the January 9-15 referendum and become the world’s newest nation.
Kiir is trying to keep peaceful tone by praising Bashir’s “noble stand to respect the outcome of the referendum and to support the emerging new state in the case of secession.”
Preparations must now focus on the period ahead, Kiir said, speaking at the opening session of the south’s parliament, at which he urged lawmakers to “pass and adopt the transitional constitution which will become the foundation of the new order.”
“While we are waiting for the final outcome of the polls, the referendum task force is now left with two key tasks,” Kiir said.
“We have to work out a transition constitution, and preparing the government of southern Sudan for the period after the end of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, at past midnight, July 8, 2011.”
The challenges ahead will be tough, Kiir said. “There is no easy walk to freedom,” Kiir added, citing former South African president Nelson Mandela as an “inspiration for liberation.”
As well as Abyie, Kiir said negotiations were continuing on the future sharing of Sudan’s oil wealth — which lies mainly in the south but with pipelines only running north — as well as issues such as debt, and citizenship, and the demarcation of the north-south border.
“The newest nation in the world is being born — for every newly born baby, there are always challenges associated with birth,” said the southern parliament’s speaker, James Wani Igga.
“We must have the right constitution to address the challenges, which is a long list.”
Excitement is rising in the south at the prospect of independence. “We assure all of you, the promised land is only some meters away, no longer kilometers,” said Igga.
But Kiir urged patience with the referendum’s final results not expected until mid-February.
“In your excitement, you should not cause misery to yourselves and others,” he added, saying the rights of northerners in the south must be respected.
He called for “no celebratory gunfire” on the day of announcement. “The last bullet of the long struggle has been released in the casting of the ballot, and we now have to wait patiently to see whether the bullet has hit the target or not,” Kiir said.
Thus 99 percent of Southern Sudanese voted in favor of secession according to the first officially published by the vote’s organizing commission
These results were the latest indication of a landslide vote for southern independence from slavery in last week’s referendum, promised in a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of north-south civil war. The final official figures are expected in February if the fire of Abyie did not burn the rest.
The website for the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission showed a 98.6 percent vote for secession, with more than 80 percent of the votes from the south counted, and 100 percent counted in other areas.
© 2011 – 2013, Prof. Muse Tegegne. All rights reserved.