United States, China and the European Union announced they would recognize south Sudan as the world’s newest nation. President Barack Obama went further and rewarded north Sudan for its cooperation by taking it off a terrorism blacklist.
Just hours after results from a referendum showed that 98.83% of southern Sudan favored secession, President Obama said the United States would recognize it as a “sovereign, independent state” in July.
“On behalf of the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of southern Sudan for a successful and inspiring referendum in which an overwhelmingly majority of voters chose independence,” Mr Obama said.
“After decades of conflict, the images of millions of southern Sudanese voters deciding their own future was an inspiration to the world and another step forward in Africa’s long journey toward justice and democracy,” Mr Obama said in a statement.
In Beijing the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said that China respects the results of south Sudan referendum.
China respects the choice of Sudan people and appreciates the unremitting efforts of both the north and the south to promote the peace process between the two sides Hong Lei said.
China hopes the two sides will continue to resolve controversial issues through dialogue and consultation in line with the principle of mutual understanding and mutual accommodation, Hong said.
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also hailed the historic moment for Sudan and praised the January referendum as timely and credible which resoundingly expressed the determination of the people of Southern Sudan to establish an independent state.
The EU fully respects the outcome of the referendum as a true reflection of the democratically expressed wishes of the people of Southern Sudan, Ashton said.
The EU looks forward to developing a close and long-term partnership with Southern Sudan, which is set to become a new state by July according to a peace agreement, Ashton added.
However in spite of the celebrations there are quite a fee challenges and barriers to overcome before the separation in consolidated, particularly differences referred to the country’s oil-rich Abyei area.
Other formidable issues between the two sides include security arrangements, the borders, oil revenues and their distribution within the framework of natural resources, nationality, external debts, status of the southerners living in the north and northerners in the south, water and status of the joint integrated units.
Sudanese analyst Izz-Eddin Mussa, for his part, stressed the importance of paying attention to the consequences of separation and not to neglect the security aspects and whatever may trigger tensions, affirming the importance of preventing the area against interventions that could harm the interests of north and south Sudan.
However North Sudan's recognition and acceptance of the new state will be an indicator of a good diplomatic relationship between the two states. Normal ties can be established on bases of good neighbourliness said Mussa.