Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Referendum on the future status of Southern Sudan

Delivered in Plenary - 2nd February 2011

Mr President,

I have never doubted that Sudanís partition is the only way to guarantee peace, justice and development for South Sudan. I am therefore delighted that southerners voted with such overwhelming determination in favour of a sovereign, independent future.

The fact that more than 99% of voters favoured secession is a damning indictment on Khartoum and President Bashirís decades of efforts to conquer and subjugate the Christian and Animist South to hard-line Islamism and Sharia law.

South Sudan should now be the EUís number one humanitarian development priority. The referendum is not the end of the process but the start of it. South Sudan needs to be sure of the EUís total and unswerving commitment, and one of the things I call upon the High Representative to ensure is that all EDF money should now be transferred to the new state immediately, even before they ratify Cotonou.

I also call on all 27 EU Member States to immediately recognise this new African nation on 9 July as decreed in the CPA. Without it, all the progress that South Sudan has made in recent years will be in vain. Another war would have unimaginable consequences for Africa as a whole.

Finally, I hope that steps are being taken to ensure that the personnel and financial resources allocated to the EU delegation in Juba are adequate.

I also trust that the High Representative will be able to visit South Sudan shortly. I am also excited, particularly as a British citizen, that the new government in Juba is committed to recognising the independence of the Republic of Somaliland Ė the former British Protectorate of Somaliland Ė and I am convinced also that many other African and European states will shortly follow thereafter.

I would also like to recognise in the gallery Dr Francis G. Nazario, who is head of the South Sudanese Mission to the EU and shortly will become its ambassador. Perhaps you could stand up, Dr Nazario and the South Sudanese delegation, who are also sitting up there.