Thursday, 10 February 2011

President Al Bashir wants a “reward” for accepting Southern Sudan's independence

Reports have emerged that Sudan wants the arrest warrant for President Omar Al Bashir withdrawn as a “reward” for him accepting Southern Sudan's independence. Al Bashir vowed to recognise Southern Sudan as an independent State after 99 per cent of voters backed secession.

The January vote was a clause in the 2005 peace treaty, which ended several decades of civil war between North and South Sudan. Initially, al Bashir was opposed to the split and sought to delay the referendum but eventually acquiesced amid conflicts, street protests and rebels uprising in western Darfur, and along the eastern border with Ethiopia.

The International Criminal Court has indicted the Sudanese leader for allegedly ordering genocide in the western region of Darfur, but there's speculation that the West may defer the arrest warrant as a “reward” if al Bashir co-operates with the South's breakaway process. Additionally, the US hinted that it may take Sudan off their list of states which sponsor terrorism, if al Bashir does not interfere with the transition process.

It is yet to be seen whether or not the West will void the warrant, however, Souther Sudan's independence will clearly diminish al Bashir's power over roughly a third of Africa's largest nation. Our sources in Sudan, say that despite several pending border disputes, the North and the South will have to find middle ground if it is to bring in oil revenues as much of the country's oil is in the South and refining technology in the North.

Sources: BBC News, AFP, AOL

For more news and expert analysis about the Sahara region, please see Sahara Focus.

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