February 5, 2011 (CAIRO) – The newly appointed Egyptian Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafiq, dismissed as "dishonest" allegations that Cairo's negligence has led to Sudan's breakup. Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq (AP) Preliminary results from last month's vote on southern Sudan's independence, due to be confirmed on Monday, showed nearly 99% of the mostly African, Christian south backing separation from the predominantly Arab, Muslim north.
Egypt has been a staunch proponent of Sudan's unity, primarily over fears of its share of the Nile waters which barely meets its needs as it stands now. Other Nile basin countries are seeking to reallocate the shares of countries on the river Nile.
At an interview with the privately-owned Al-Hayat TV in Egypt, Shafiq said that the responsibility of the South's move towards independence lies with the Sudanese themselves. "[He] is dishonest who holds us [Egypt] responsible. This issue's responsibility is borne by its owners but it is not us who split Sudan into two halves," Shafiq said. "Their owners who are excused because of pressures and burdens from the outside that was more than what they could handle," he added. Egyptian officials in recent months have blasted the Sudanese government led by president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir for the country's split. Last December, Mustafa El-Fiqy, who chairs the foreign relations committee at the Egyptian parliament, was quoted by the English Language Al-Ahram newspaper described Bashir's government worst” in the country's history".