President Salva Kiir—President of South Sudan and Vice-President of all Sudan—is working diligently to extend the peace that reigned during the Referendum in January. Disputes and violence have broken out, mostly between factions in the South and along the border, but the potential for larger conflicts are threatening.

Pres. Kiir, center; V-P Machar, left; Igga, Speaker of So Sudan Assembly

At a meeting at his residence with committees of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement on March 18, Kiir pledged to work for improved relations between the south and the north. He emphasized that the establishment of two states on July 9 would not be unduly affected by the change.

Kiir told of his recent meeting with President Al-Bashir in the presence of Thabo Mbeki (former president of South Africa), which was focused on the solution to the crisis, resulting from the attack on Malakal in the border region. Riek Mamer, State Minister, who was also present at this Presidents meeting, said that a fact-finding entity was formed to investigate activities undermining the stability in south Sudan and agreed to moving to solve the pending and post Referendum issues.

In an exclusive interview with Richan Ochi in In Politics, President Kiir gave his ideas and priorities for the new state. As to the most important issues, he put much emphasis on all Southern political parties working together, and among the many crucial issues to be tackled is the constitutional review.

Outstanding issues with the Northern national government are still being discussed. “We have not yet come to resolve issues of citizenship, external debts, the sanctions on Sudan, the [U. S. Government’s] designation of Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism and the complex issue of oil [revenue sharing],” he said.

Asked about the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, Libya and Bahrain, Kiir commented, “As for us, we already had a war. Southerners, after independence will have to watch how the government is working to improve their lives. If we work for more stability and the people go out to protest, it will neither be realistic nor honest, but rather it will aim to obstruct work and cause instability.”

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