South Sudan gov't president says not to return to war with north

07:39, May 27, 2011      

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President of the south Sudanese government and Chairman of Sudan People's Liberation Movement ( SPLM) Salva Kiir Mayardit on Thursday said that south Sudan would never return to war with the north again no matter what the reasons were.

"We will not return to the war again even if the Sudanese army crossed Abyei border and occupied south Sudan entirely. This is our policy and we will not waive it," said Kiir at a press conference in Juba Thursday.

He further reiterated commitment of south Sudan to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), saying that "we are committed to sustainable peace and stability and keen on positive relations with north Sudan."

In the meantime, Kiir refuted that the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) has attacked the Sudanese army in Abyei on May 20, the incident which led to deterioration of conditions at the country's disputed oil-rich area of Abyei.

He demanded the north Sudanese government to pull out its forces from Abyei, adding that the forces should be withdrawn first before the parties begin searching for a peaceful and lasting settlement regarding the dispute over affiliation of Abyei.

He stressed that the solution for the Abyei issue was represented in the implementation of the CPA and the decision of the International Court of Arbitration in the Hague, saying that " we do not need to look for other solutions if we implement the CPA and the decision of the international arbitration."

In the meantime, Kiir criticized the decision by the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to dissolve Abyei Administration and relieving its chairman and his deputy, saying that "this move is a clear violation of the CPA. The president has not consulted me before taking this unilateral decision."

The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) has recently taken control of Abyei in response to an attack by the SPLA against a SAF convoy which resulted in the deaths of 22 of its soldiers.

A referendum on Abyei was supposed to be held on Jan. 9, 2011, coincident with the south Sudan referendum, but it was postponed in the wake of a difference between the NCP and the SPLM over who have the right to vote in the referendum.

Source: Xinhua
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