Sudan: Different Expectations from the US and the NCP

It looks like there is a disparity between the expectations of the US government and those of Sudan’s ruling party regarding the 2011 referendum on Southern Sudanese independence.

A leading member of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said his party expects the United States to encourage the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to work toward the country’s unity instead of secession.

Rabie Abdelati Obeid says several officials of the SPLM have recently voiced their support for south Sudan’s secession which he said violates the stipulations of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

“The expectation of the NCP is [that] the American administration should push forward the implementation of the CPA, especially, and particularly, that item which was agreed upon between the two partners, the National Congress Party and SPLM to achieve unity and not to secession according to what was stated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United States of America [State Department],” said Obeid.

Obeid’s comments came after U.S Secretary of State Hilary Clinton warned a successful January 9 referendum in south Sudan will be difficult adding the situation is “a ticking time-bomb of enormous consequence.”  Clinton also said that south Sudan’s secession is “inevitable.”

That’s a remarkable gap between what the NCP says and what Sec. Clinton says. Hopefully the major players in this drama understand each other’s lines.

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