In a statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm, the Egyptian consul in Juba, Moayyed al-Dali, denied media reports that Egypt proposed postponing the referendum scheduled to be held by Southern Sudan on whether or not it should remain a part of Sudan on 9 January 2011.
Al-Dali added that reports were nothing more than assumptions made by some following a recent visit by the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the head of Egyptian intelligence to the South of Sudan.
According to al-Dali, Egypt’s role in the South of Sudan aims at enhancing cooperation between the north and south, regardless of the outcome of the referendum, and the role aims to benefit Sudanese citizens in general, which is appreciated by the South Sudan leaders, he said.
The consul added that Egypt has a number of ongoing projects with South Sudan, and just recently a grant of pharmaceuticals was given to the South Sudan government, as well as a shipment of tents for the victims of the Bahr al-Ghazal floods. Two power stations are also ready for operation as soon as the Southern government builds its transmission line, he said.
When asked whether cooperation and exchange between the north and south is likely in the near future, al-Dali said the coming Addis Ababa meeting will decide the matter. The meeting will be headed by Former South African President Thabo Mbeki in hopes of reaching an agreement on outstanding issues in the referendum and discussing the disputed oil-rich Abyei region. The meeting, which had been slated for today, is postponed until further notice.
In the meantime, Sudanese Minister of Interior Ibrahim Mahmood Hamid said it was unlikely that any violence would erupt in conjunction with the Southern Referendum and that the government and higher authorities are committed to holding the referendum in a peaceful and safe setting.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.