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Split of Sudan now unavoidable - Egypt

05 December 2010, 23:18

Cairo - Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit of Egypt, an advocate of Sudanese unity, said on Sunday Sudan's partition was "unavoidable" with barely a month to go before a southern referendum on independence.

"The situation between the north and south (Sudan) will lead to the secession of the south," he said in an interview with state television that was also carried on Egypt's official MENA news agency.

"Egypt has held discussions with the two sides to attract them to the choice of unity, but all the indications are that separation is now unavoidable," said Abul Gheit.

The January 9 independence referendum in southern Sudan is a key element of a 2005 peace deal which ended a two-decade civil war between the north and south that cost around two million lives.

"There have (since) been no real or serious efforts by the two sides to stay together," said Abul Gheit of Sudan, Egypt's neighbour and the African continent's largest country.

According to a cable from the US embassy in Cairo dating back to last year and disclosed by WikiLeaks, Egypt voiced the fear that the creation of a south Sudan could threaten its access to the lifeline River Nile.



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