“I would have voted for the secession of the South,” says Dr. Francis Deng

Category: Diaspora
Published on Thursday, 20 January 2011 23:13
Written by The New Sudan Vision (NSV), newsudanvision.com
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Dr. Francis Mading Deng is Under-Secretary-General of the UN and Secretary-General's Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide
(Diaspora NSV) - Renowned Sudanese scholar Dr. Francis Mading Deng has responded to circulating rumors that he had voted for Sudan’s unity in the just concluded referendum.

In statements seen by NSV, Francis Deng, a native of Abyei, which was supposed to vote simultaneously with southern Sudan two weeks ago, said the news was unfounded.  

“I have learned that it has been rumored and even broadcast on television that I voted for unity,” Dr. Deng said. “That did not happen” because the people of Abyei were not permitted to register and vote in the southern Sudan referendum, he said.

“But had I voted,” added Dr. Deng, “There can be no doubt that I would have voted for the secession of the South.”

Dr. Deng, staunch supporter of the SPLM’s vision of New Sudan, which calls for unity on full equality of all citizens, said “It is difficult to see how a Southerner could vote for unity under the present system in which Southerners would continue to be treated as second-class citizens.”

In Sudan at the Brink:  Self-Determination and National Unity, Deng’s latest book, he says the north should allow the imminent independence of southern Sudan. He urges the two neighbours to leave open the possibility of reunification.

In a related news, Dr. Deng also commended the people of southern Sudan for the peaceful conduct of the referendum in a statement sent to President Salva Kiir.

“I would like, in my personal capacity as a Sudanese, to congratulate you and the people of Southern Sudan on the successful conclusion of the self-determination referendum,” Dr. Deng, who serves as UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, said.  

“It is now widely acknowledged that the process has been conducted positively and credibly, and the result is expected to overwhelmingly favor independence,” he said.

“Through you, I would also like to congratulate the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the Government of Southern Sudan for successfully leading our people to the objective for which they have struggled and sacrificed since the independence of Sudan,” he told Salva Kiir.