Sudanese Bishop denounces atrocities by Ugandan guerrillas
The definitive results on the referendum held 9-15 January on Southern Sudan’s independence were published on 7 February. 98,83% voted for independence. The announcement was received with joy in Juba, the capital of the new State, which will be officially created in July.
However, the hard part has yet to come, according to Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala of Tombura-Yambio who told the FIDES News Agency that among the problems yet to be tackled is the violence perpetrated in southern Sudan by members of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) from neighbouring Uganda. In a statement, the bishop calls for an end to violence that has killed over 2,700, abducted over 3,500 others, displaced at least 500,000 people. This matter can only be addressed by an increased protection of the people; arrest of Joseph Kony and LRA senior commanders; promote the defection of LRA fighters; and increase humanitarian access and provide continued relief to affected communities together with a negotiated peace settlement.
On 10 February it was announced that the Minister for Rural Development & Cooperatives was killed in his office in Juba though his murder does not seem to be linked to the Independence vote but to “personal reasons.”
There are several other matters which will also need to be addressed in the coming weeks before the proclamation of independence in July:
The contested border region of Abyei;
How to share the oil pumped in the south with the government in the north;
The massive debt of Sudan – who pays?
Citizenship and borders.
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