Egypt Strongly Opposed to Separation of South Sudan

Published June 21st, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The Egyptian ambassador to Khartoum said Tuesday his country is strongly opposed to the idea of separating the south from northern Sudan and is determined to prevent such a separation by all means. 

Speaking at a symposium organized by Azhari University in Omdurman, Ambassador Mohamed Asim Ibrahim said Egypt's "regional and international pressures have been the sole obstacle in the way of separating southern Sudan." 

"This separation was not barred by the civil war which has been going on for 15 years between the Sudan People's Liberation Army and the Sudanese government," he added. 

Ibrahim has declared that Egypt "possesses pressure cards it has not yet used for preventing the separation of south Sudan." 

Declining to reveal those pressure cards, the ambassador said that they did not include joining the war on the side of the Khartoum government because "this provides another excuse for separation." 

He said his country was unhappy with the Sudanese government for signing a peace deal with a number of southern Sudanese factions providing for self-determination in south Sudan in 1997 when relations between Egypt and Sudan were strained. 

The Egyptian ambassador said that his country plays the role of broker "acceptable to all parties" for achieving peace, unity and reconciliation in Sudan. 

He added that the Egyptian diplomacy backs the Sudanese position, pointing out his country's support to a request by the Sudanese government to the UN Security Council for lifting sanctions imposed on Sudan since 1996. 

Also speaking at the symposium, south Sudanese politician Mussa al-Mek Kor criticized Egypt's handling of the Sudanese issues, describing it as "intelligence work". 

Kor, a Muslim who was deputy secretary general of the National Congress before being removed along with Secretary General Hassan Turabi, has ambiguously said Sudan "has alternatives other than Egypt" and wondered whether Egypt "has alternatives other than Sudan". 

Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood leader Sadek Abdallah Abdel Majid blamed Egyptian officials for what he termed "a posture of superiority" in dealing with Sudan and the Egyptian ordinary citizen for "ignorance of the Sudanese issues" – KHARTOUM (AFP) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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