Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-02-Speech-3-207-000"

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"Mr President, after four decades of civil war, with a toll of more than 2 million dead and 4 million refugees, Southern Sudan’s secession is a response to ethnic and religious intolerance, in the wake of the 2005 report and the referendum which took place a month ago. The sides involved have agreed on this separation, and I firmly believe that this will speed up and facilitate Southern Sudan’s acceptance into the international community. However, there is a risk of a domino effect on a continent traumatised by wars caused by artificial borders inherited from colonial times. This is why the six-month period of transition towards the clean break is crucial in terms of defining the new state’s future path. On the one hand, it is faced with military and strategic challenges, the resurgence of violence among former military leaders of the secessionist movement, interference from some militia, privatisation of internal security, border incidents with Muslim Sudan and the issue of dividing the oil revenues with the latter. On the other hand, there is a great humanitarian problem, and I think that the European Union must get involved in this on a major scale. Otherwise, we will be faced with a disaster which will fuel the instability in the region. In Sudan one in ten children die during the first year of life and one in seven die before they reach the age of five. There is limited access to drinking water and healthcare services, while four fifths of the population are illiterate. Half the population in the south is under 18 years of age and, if they escape the clutches of child mortality, they are at risk, due to poverty and the lack of prospects, of ending up as cannon fodder in the conflicts which may undermine the new state’s independence. I hope that the European Union will take into account how complex this issue is."@en1

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