Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Sudan and South Sudan

Delivered in Plenary - 7th June 2011

Madam President

On 9 July South Sudan will declare independence as an English-speaking new African state. The EU has rightly supported the CPAPís process and referendum in South Sudan. However, the next few months will remain critical. South Sudan must be enabled to establish itself as a viable sovereign state. Even without a hostile neighbour to the north, South Sudan faces enormous developmental challenges. Infrastructure is largely non-existent. There is widespread intercommunal hostility. Healthcare indicators are amongst the worst in the world and the economy is almost completely dependent on oil exports.

It is therefore essential to increase EU developmental and humanitarian aid to South Sudan. However, South Sudan also needs the EUís unequivocal support politically. The recent seizure of the disputed border region of Abyei by the Khartoum Government suggests that President Bashir is still not fully reconciled to his countryís partition. Lastly, I am also hopeful that South Sudan will live up to its promise and be the first African Union country to re-recognise the stable and democratic Republic of Somaliland as an independent country also.