AU’s top diplomat warns against southern Sudan secession


Jean Ping is Chairman of the African Union Commission.

(NSV) – Jean Ping, the outspoken head of the Commission of the African Union reiterated on Tuesday during Africa Day the African Union favours ‘making unity attractive,’ and warned against possible southern Sudan independence in 2011.

Ping said southern secession would set a dangerous precedent for Africa.

“That’s a major problem for all African countries which could be confronted by similar situations, that’s what concerns us,” Ping told reporters in OUAGADOUGOU.

“Such a decision could lead us again to a number of major difficulties, including war,” he said.

However, Jean said the African Union would respect the voters’ decision, if they vote for separation.

Ping is a Gabonese diplomat and politician, and former foreign minister of the country, from 1999 to 2008. He also served as President of the United General Assembly from 2004 to 2005.

He’s the son of Chinese trader Cheng Zhiping, and Gabonese mother.

In an interview with French broadcaster RFI in January, Ping said he was “very concerned” about Sudan, saying it sat on a powder keg.

“Is the war between north and south at risk of resuming despite what has been said?” he asked.  

“Will the independence of Southern Sudan not lead other players in Darfur and in other places, which are currently not asking for independence, to seek independence as Southern Sudan will have done?”

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