Peace comes first - Mo Ibrahim says north should give south a chance to lead Sudan
"The message to the Sudanese people is that peace comes first, permanent dialogue is an instrument to build peace and development in the country" - Joachim Chissano, former Mozambican President and African Union envoy for Madagascar, during a sideline event at the Pan African Media Conference in Kenya, Narobi, reportedly on 20 March 2010.ALMOST 16 million Sudanese have registered for the April 11 election that will take place over three days. The elections were promised in the 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of north-south civil war.
There are 12 candidates running for the presidential position. There are two main contenders in the south: Salva Kiir, from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Lam Akol, from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – Democratic Change.
Former African Union envoy for Darfur and former Organisation of African Union head, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, says the north has to make unity attractive to South Sudan and admits that this has not been done. "My preference is to keep one country, a united Sudan," Salim said.
Mo Ibrahim says north should give south a chance to lead Sudan
This view was shared by Sudanese born British mobile tycoon Mo Ibrahim: "I hope Sudan stays one country, so that one day we can fix it. Because once it is broken, we can never put it back together again."
Ibrahim said that the north should give the south a chance to lead the entire country. Ibrahim suggested that North Sudan vote for a president from the south. This, he says, will convince the south to vote for unity in the 2011 referendum, when voters will decide whether to secede from the north.
"I always say one way to the miracle of solving the country’s problems, is why don’t we have a president from southern Sudan? Why don’t all the candidates say ok, let us have a president from the south? It does not matter whether he or she as long as it is someone from the south who is fit to run the country."Source: IPS News report by Amelia Lawrence, Saturday, 20 March 2010, African Leaders Call for Peaceful Elections