US to help south Sudan set up independent state

The United States will help south Sudan set up as an independent country if voters opt to secede in Sunday's referendum, U.S. officials said.

US to help south Sudan set up independent state

The United States will help south Sudan set up as an independent country if voters opt to secede in Sunday's referendum, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson, the Obama administration's top diplomat for Africa, said Washington was encouraged the referendum starting on Jan. 9 would take place without a hitch, starting a process most analysts expect to result in south Sudan formally declaring independence in July.

Carson said the United States stood ready to help south Sudan to achieve full independence, a tantalizing prospect for an impoverished and landlocked region that is one of Africa's budding oil producers.

"The United States has invested a great deal of diplomacy to ensure that the outcome of this referendum is successful and peaceful," Carson said.

"We will also as a country help that new nation to succeed, get on its feet and to move forward successfully, economically and politically."

Carson said Washington was "extraordinarily pleased" by Bashir's statements on a trip to the south Sudan capital of Juba on Tuesday that Khartoum said will respect south's decision.

"We hope that the north ... will live up to those very promising statements," Carson said.


Agencies

Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2011, 12:06
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