2 February 2013

Mali: OIC Head Blames Mali's Unrest On South Sudan's Secession

Khartoum — The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said that the recent unrest in the West African nation of Mali was caused by the secession of South Sudan in July 2011.

In an interview with Turkey's Anadolu Agency (AA) Ihsanoglu said that the separation of Sudan into north and south created a "chain reaction" in the region.

Mali's army, boosted by the recent French military intervention, is battling Islamist insurgents, who seized swathes of Mali's desert north following a coup last year.

"Allowing this separation was a breach of a major principle for the underlying stability in Africa which is to maintain unity and the old borders of each state" the OIC chief said.

"We as an organization told our friends in the West that the secession of South Sudan from Khartoum's rule would not be a unique case of Sudan but it is assumed that this case would be replicated in the region in a way of chain reaction," he added.

"This will increase violence and discrimination movements in Africa" Ihsanoglu warmed.

South Sudanese citizens voted almost unanimously to secede from the predominantly Arab-Muslim north in January 2011. Six months letter South Sudan became an independent state.

About 2 million people died in Sudan's north-south civil war over ethnicity, religion, oil and ideology.

Many African countries privately and publicly expressed worries that Sudan's partition would set a precedent that would ignite secessionist tendencies in the continent.

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