, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – Kenya has expressed solidarity with the world\’s upcoming newest state of South Sudan as the young nation seeks to solidify its position with other nations.
This follows Monday\’s official announcement of the final results by the South Sudan Referendum Commission which revealed that 99 percent of the voters in January\’s referendum were in favour of splitting Africa\’s largest country.
A statement from the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Tuesday said that despite the imminent separation by South Sudan, there were still a few but weighty issues of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that remain outstanding and which must be addressed fully by both parties within the interim period.
"The Government of Kenya hails the courage and steadfastness of the Government of National Unity and the Government of Southern Sudan under the leadership of President Omar al Bashir and the First Vice-President Salva Kiir Maryadit respectively," the statement reads.
In its congratulatory message, Kenya urged the two parties to continue to work together with mutual respect in the remaining months.
"In view of the above, the people of Southern Sudan have clearly resolved to establish their own sovereign State. On its part, Kenya appreciates the choice made by the Southern Sudanese and looks forward to working closely with the new State when established in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement."
It said that Kenya would continue to advocate the full implementation of all the remaining provisions of the CPA and to work closely with both the North and South Sudan.
President Mwai Kibaki also sent a message of goodwill and best wishes to the people of Southern Sudan following the official announcement that they had overwhelmingly voted to form their own State in the recent referendum.
In his message, President Kibaki also congratulated both the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People\’s Liberation Army (SPLA) for conducting a peaceful referendum and for adhering to the CPA.
He said that Kenya was proud to have been an honest broker of the CPA and would wish to see a cordial relationship between North and South Sudan in the years to come.
"As a country, we wish to encourage both parties to maintain peace during the transitional period, ahead of the proclamation of a new state in July," the President said.
At the same time, President Kibaki called on both parties to amicably resolve any outstanding issues including the matter on Abyei, saying he looked forward to working closely with both the North and South Sudan to ensure stability and development of the region in the years ahead.
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