president-omar-hassan-al-bashir.jpgSudanese President Omar Al-Bashir has pledged to help build a secure, stable and brotherly state in the south if it votes for independence in a referendum less than two weeks away.

 

Speaking to thousands of supporters in Gezira state, Sudan’s bread basket southeast of Khartoum, Bashir said he would be the first to recognise the south if it chooses secession in a free and fair vote on the 9th of next month.

 

More than 3,5 million Southerners are registered to participate in the referendum, which will give them the chance to vote on whether to remain united with the north or secede.

The vote, a key plank of the 2005 north-south peace deal that ended the devastating 22-year civil war in which some 2 million people were killed, is expected to endorse southern independence.