Tuesday, 15 March 2011

South Sudan accuses North Sudan of plot

South Sudan has accused North Sudan of planning to overthrow the south's government, and has subsequently ceased bilateral talks. A senior official with the south's ruling party, Pagan Amum, said that Khartoum is arming rebel groups in preparation to destabilize South Sudan and annihilate the region's leaders before secession in July.

Amum also said that the north's ruling party is arming Arab tribes so that they can carry out genocide as they did in Darfur. The National Congress Party (NCP) officials have dismissed Amum's accusations as baseless and “ridiculous”.

The Guardian quoted Amum as saying: "They have stepped up their destabilization of southern Sudan by creating, training and arming and financing various militia groups in southern Sudan.”

Some 99 per cent of southern Sudanese voted for independence from the north of Sudan in a referendum held in January. The referendum for the oil-rich south was part of a deal to end decades of north-south conflict.

South Sudan is due to split from the North on 9th July, however, the two sides are yet to settle a number of key issues, including the future of the oil rich Abeyi region located on the north-south border. It is estimated that at least 40 people have been killed during the most recent fighting in the area. Voters in the region did not take part in the January referendum, and are expected to vote at an unspecified date to decide what side Abeyi will join.

Sources: UPI, Voice of America, Reuters, The Guardian

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

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