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Government Recognises the Independence of South Sudan

International Law, Press Releases, Africa, 2011

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., announced today that the Government has recognised  the independence of the Republic of South Sudan. 

Recognition by Ireland follows the declaration, earlier today in Juba, of independence by the Government of Republic of South Sudan.

All EU Member States have agreed to recognise the Republic of South Sudan in accordance with their own domestic procedures.

The Tanaiste said:  “I very much welcome the coming into existence of the Republic of South Sudan as the concrete expression of the will of the southern Sudanese people, following their overwhelming vote in favour of independence in January of this year. The EU has been an active participant with others in the international community in working towards this day.  I wish to also acknowledge the important role played by the United Nations and its mission to Sudan, UNMIS, as well as the African Union and IGAD.”

“The holding of the referendum and the subsequent establishment of the State were foreseen under the terms of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005. Also foreseen in that Agreement was the resolution of a wide range of issues  including border demarcation and oil revenues, which remain outstanding. The international community must remain engaged to find ways in which these issues can be resolved. The establishment of normal relations between the Government of the Republic of Sudan and the Government of the Republic of South Sudan is important not only for their own peoples, but also for the region as a whole.”

The Tánaiste also said “Continuing violence in Southern Kordufan and the resulting humanitarian crisis remains a major concern. I welcome the recent agreement between the parties on political and security arrangements in Blue Nile and Southern Kordufan but call on them to conclude a cessation of hostilities agreement as a matter of urgency and to allow full humanitarian access. I also call on the Government of the Republic of Sudan and the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to respect the agreement on Abyei and to cooperate fully with the Ethiopian peacekeeping mission and the UN as it seeks to improve the humanitarian situation on the ground.”

Ireland has a long history of providing humanitarian assistance in both parts of Sudan and the Government is committed to supporting the fledgling country as the new Government in Juba takes responsibility for the future of its people. Ireland will play its part internationally to help resolve outstanding issues between Sudan and South Sudan, and will also seek to provide what assistance we can to the very vulnerable population of the new State. A team from Irish Aid recently visited South Sudan to assess needs and we will continue to provide humanitarian assistance in the first instance.”

Note for Editors:
In a referendum held from 9-15 January 2011, the people of South Sudan voted 99% in favour of secession from Sudan. The referendum was held under the terms of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, to which the EU was a witness signatory. Ireland is represented at the independence ceremonies today in Juba by our Ambassador to Ethiopia.

Irish Aid supports both the UN and Humanitarian NGOs working in Sudan and to date in 2011 has disbursed nearly €7 million for urgent humanitarian needs. €5m of this was provided to the United Nations Common Humanitarian Fund in Sudan, for allocation by the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator to agencies operating locally. The remainder was provided to NGOs such as Concern, World Vision, Medecins sans Frontieres and Goal.