On wednesday, Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese President pledged that there will be no return to civil war with the south as an independence vote for the region looms.
Only a week after saying that the only result he would accept from the landmark referendum scheduled in January was a vote for unity, Omar al-Bashir asserted his government was working for peace.
The official SUNA news agency quoted Bashir as saying: “There will be no return to war,” and “The government is working to keep the peace.
“The referendum result will not be the end of the world,” he added.
The January referendum on independence for the south is the centerpiece of a 2005 peace deal which caused Africa’s longest-running civil war in which approximately two million people died to end.
In Khartoum, on October 12, Omar al-Bashir had told MPs: “Despite our commitment to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, we will not accept an alternative to unity”.
Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein, the Defence Minister hinted tuesday that the referendum could be delayed in the face of never-ceasing haggling between southern and northern leaders about the demarcation line between the two regions.
Southern leaders have warned that if there is any major delay by the Khartoum government in organizing the referendum, they will plough ahead and hold a vote of their own.