Mahdi Calls on Egypt, Libya to Support Self-Determination for Southern Sudanese
Former Sudanese prime minister and main opposition group leader Sadeq Al Mahdi on Monday urged the Egyptian and Libyan co-sponsors of a peace initiative for war-torn Sudan to support self-determination for the country's southerners, reported AFP.
Mahdi, secretary general Umma Party who was ousted as premier by President Omar Al Beshir in a 1989 bloodless coup, said that refusing to allow south Sudan to decide its future would only harden opposition to unity with the north.
He warned that denying southern Sudanese the right to self-determination would spark demands for immediate separation which would probably gain support on the international and regional levels.
The government is obliged to abide by a provision in the constitution on the self-determination right, said the agency.
The joint peace bid, which includes calls for a transitional government in Khartoum and a pluralist democracy, seeks to end an 18-year war between rebels in the mainly animist and Christian south against successive Arab and Muslim northern governments.
However, a spokesman for the main rebel group in the south, the Popular Army for the Liberation of Sudan, assailed Mahdi for remarks in which he said that religion is inseparable from statehood.
The spokesman, Yasser Arman, told Al Ayyam daily that such remarks were “a gift from the Ummah Party to the regime in Khartoum.”
Adding to Sudan's woes are recent floods, which devasted the capital's surrounding areas – Albawaba.com
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