Southern Sudan will maintain ties with north, says leader's advisor

Asmaa El-Husseini , Friday 21 Jan 2011

As counting of votes in cession referendum nears its end, advisor to south Sudan's leader says south hopes to build good ties with north but that some issues must be resolved

Telar Deng, legal advisor to south Sudan leader Silva Kiir Mayardit, told Al-Ahram newspaper that ties between north and south Sudan will remain the same, even if the south secedes.

If the south opts for secession, it will not become an independent state before 9 July, said Deng, and that the six months between the secession referendum and statehood are designed to clear lingering issues and stabilize the situation between the two sides.

Deng added that disputes over borders and the Abyei region will not reach the point of war, citing that the 2005 peace agreement has held up for six years without military confrontation.

Deng also said that if these and other issues are not resolves by July, Southern Sudan will become an independent state and then they will be discussed between two countries instead of within the one state apparatus.

If the two countries still are unable to reach a solution, he continued, then the international community and the United Nations will intervene, and even an international court may be sought.

War is not easy for the south or the north, Deng said, and will benefit neither.  

Deng conveyed the south's desire to build good and special ties with the north in the likely event of secession.

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