North and south Sudan have assured the international community that war would not be an option, should the forthcoming January referenda sustain or divide the country. The international community awaits the outcome of the referenda on independence of southern Sudan and whether the oil-rich region of Abyei would be under the control of the north or the south.
While these issues have created tension between the two Sudanese regions, and sparked rumors of a possible war, the country’s Defense Minister, Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein, and the southern minister in charge of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in the southern region, Nhial Deng Nhial have assured the world of a peaceful co-existence.
“We agree war is not an option for us, and we are prepared to build trust between us to achieve a secure and stable situation, regardless of the outcome of the referendum,” Sudanese Defense Minister Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein told reporters in news conference in Khartoum.
“During our dialogue, yesterday and today, we committed ourselves to ensuring that the SPLA (former southern rebel army) and SAF (Sudan Armed Forces of the north) don’t go to war again,” Deng Nhial told the same news conference.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and southern leader Salva Kiir in a joint statement issued last month, stated that north and south Sudan would have “good relations” regardless of the outcome of the independence referendum.
The international community fear the possibility of renewed conflict as the referendum commission struggles to organize the ballots which are part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between north and south Sudan that ended the decade-long civil war between the two regions.