2 February 2011 – The Inter-Governmental Agency for Development (IGAD) had invited the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) to participate in its recent meeting in Addis Ababa to recognize the latter as a new member, a top southern official said today in Juba.
Speaking at a press conference after returning from the Addis meeting, Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) Secretary General Pagan Amum said that GoSS President Salva Kiir Mayardit had also been asked to attend an IGAD high-level meeting on Somalia.
The SPLM chief added that the African Union (AU) had called on member states and the international community to accept the referendum results in recognizing the new state. Moreover, the AU had contacted the GoSS to begin the process of formalizing its joining the African organization as a new member.
European Union member states were also meeting to issue a common resolution accepting the referendum results and recognizing South Sudan as an independent nation, Mr. Amum said.
Also attending the IGAD meeting was Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, who welcomed and recognized the referendum results, Mr. Amum said. President Bashir had also expressed his commitment and readiness to work together with South Sudan as a separate and independent neighbouring state.
Mr. Amum referred to Mr. Bashir as "the first to recognize the new state".
The SPLM Secretary General noted that settling unresolved issues like Abyei and border demarcation would be key tasks of the CPA partners during the rest of the interim period.
"The remaining period will be (one) in which the parties in the CPA are going to engage earnestly to resolve the outstanding issues," said Mr. Amum.
He added that the CPA parties would work to demarcate the north – south border in the next two months. Both parties had agreed to seek assistance from the United Kingdom and AU in obtaining all necessary records and maps to help define and demarcate the border.
Mr. Amum observed several key milestones on the roadmap for South Sudan. These included organizing an all-party conference to deliberate on the future of South Sudan; ensuring a process that included all political parties and civil society organizations in developing and drafting the new state's constitution; and ensuring that the GoSS president formed a broad-based government in which all political parties (including those who opposed the SPLM and GoSS) participated.
The south was moving towards establishing a democracy, Mr. Amum concluded.
"Our vision is to see South Sudan not only as an emerging new state, but as an emerging new democracy in the Horn of Africa, in Africa and in the world."