Africa's longest conflict - the 16-year dispute between the northern and southern areas of Sudan - is in sight of settlement.
Africa's longest conflict - the 16-year dispute between the northern and southern areas of Sudan - is in sight of settlement. The two sides agreed on a formula for granting the south self-government late last month (February 27) after talks in Addis Ababa.
Now, President Jaffa Mohammed el Nimeiry has begun a 10-day tour of the south to explain the agreement at a series of mass rallies.
Giving the first details at a rally in Omdurman City, outside Khartoum, the President told Africans that the agreement provided for a federal union with self-government for the three southern provinces.
The central government, he went on, would supervise legislation, national defence, foreign policy, trade and currency, communications, transport and economic and social planning.
But a regional People's Council in the south would legislate on all regional activities. And an executive assembly would implement regional policy as drawn up by the People's Council. The President added that Arabic would remain the state official language - but for realistic reasons, English and local languages would be used in the south.
President Nimeiry also said an amnesty would be granted to all secessionists.
Since the agreement was reached, the Southern Sudanese commander Major General Langu has ordered a ceasefire - although the official date for this is March 22.