Sudan’s NCP says it is prepared for ’Plan B’ against the South

November 26, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The leading member of north Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP), Salah Gosh, who is also the presidential adviser for security affairs, warned the semi-autonomous South of repercussions if it violates the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

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North Sudan security adviser Salah Gosh

Gosh fulminated against the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in south Sudan, accusing it of being an organization which receives its orders from Washington.

The CPA is the 2005’s peace deal which ended decades of civil war between north and south Sudan. A key plank of the agreement is a referendum vote slated for January 2011 on whether south Sudan should remain united with the North or secede to form an independent state.

Registration for the vote began on November 15 amid reports of high turnout in the south and low in the north.

The NCP, which is campaigning for unity, blamed the south for the low turnout in the north while the south accused the north of intimidating voters to vote in favor of unity.

According to a report published on Thursday by the pro-government daily Akhir-Lahza, Gosh was addressing a public rally at Karima town in the Northern state when he accused the SPLM of refusing to sign agreements relating to post-referendum arrangements under the influence of the U.S.

The presidential adviser also claimed that the U.S. had asked the SPLM not to cede the central contested area of Abyei, saying that the Washington has “hijacked” the ex-Southern rebel group.

Another plebiscite should take place at the same time in January 2011 to determine whether the contested oil-producing area should remain in north Sudan or join the south if it decided to secede.

However, it is highly unlikely that the Abyei vote will take place as the North and South are in long-standing disagreement over who should be allowed to take part in the referendum.

Gosh warned that Abyei would remain part of the north whether through a bilateral agreement, the referendum or through war and peace.

The status of Abyei has been a contentious issue after the NCP rejected the report by the Abyei Boundaries Commission (ABC) established in accordance with the CPA.

Both sides eventually agreed to refer the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) based in The Hague to determine whether ABC exceeded its mandate which was to delimit the area of the Nine Ngok Chiefdoms transferred to the administration of Kordofan province in 1905.

The PCA ceded key oilfields to North Sudan but gave the South most of the land including Abyei town which has huge areas of fertile land and one significant oilfield.

The NCP figure said that the SPLM was now executing “plan B” which aimed at establishing a state in the north and then besieging it with the crises of Darfur, Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan. He said that “plan A”, which failed, was to topple the NCP through the April elections.

Gosh said that the NCP was ready for its own “plan B” should the SPLM violate the CPA cautioning that the “battle smoke would cover the south and not the north.”

Salah Gosh even made an apathetic statement about south Sudan secession, saying that separation would not be evil and if it did happen, “we would turn to building the south and in that case, God will have removed the burden of developing and creating infrastructure in the south.”

(ST)

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