Southern Sudan President Rules Out Unilateral Declaration of Independence

Southern Sudan President Rules Out Unilateral Declaration of Independence

JUBA, Sudan -- In an exclusive interview, Southern Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit told World Politics Review that he doesn't think "there is any point where southerners will declare a unilateral independence."

The semi-autonomous region of Southern Sudan will hold a referendum in January 2011 on whether to secede from the North. The vote is one of the final steps of a comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 that ended the country's two-decade long civil war.

At a Congressional hearing (.pdf) last year, former U.S. envoy to Sudan Roger Winter said the South's ruling party, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), may "be forced into unilaterally declaring its independence because its CPA-mandated referendum is frustrated by Khartoum's actions and/or the hollow commitments of the international community."

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