Southern Sudan referendum starts as scheduled (5)

08:41, January 10, 2011      

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However, the leading member of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in southern Sudan affirmed that the emerging southern Sudan state, in case of separation, would not be hostile to north Sudan and it would never seek war.

"The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was basically meant to achieve peace, so separation of south Sudan will never lead to war, " he noted.

"If a south Sudan state is established, it will not be hostile to the north. We are preparing to launch talks to ensure good neighborliness and resolve all outstanding issues through negotiation, dialogue and joint cooperation," he added.

While observers believe the voters would overwhelmingly choose secession, some northern Sudanese people still bear a ray of hope for unity.

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