Ten Ministers in the Southern Region Governing Council took their oath of office in Khartoum on Thursday (20 December).
Ten Ministers in the Southern Region Governing Council took their oath of office in Khartoum on Thursday (20 December). The Council is the Keystone of the self government granted to the predominantly Christian southern part of Sudan.
Self-government was granted last year by President Jaafar El-Nimeiry after sixteen years of civil strife had ended in the racially-divided country. President Nimeiry was present at Thursday's ceremony at the People's Palace. Five days before, he had formally accepted the election of Mr. Abil Alier as the President of the Southern Region Governing Council.
After the ceremony, the new ministers returned to the regional capital, Juba, to begin their official duties.
SYNOPSIS: The People's Palace in Khartoum was the setting for the inauguration of ten ministers of the newly-formed Southern Region Governing Council.
Thursday's ceremony was a landmark in the troubled history of the southern region. For sixteen years, Sudan had been affected by civil strife between the Moslem north and the minority negro Christians in the south. After the trouble ended last year, President Jaafar El-Nimeiry granted the south self-government.
Earlier in the week, President Nimeiry had formally accepted the election of Mr. Abil Alier as the President of the Regional Council. The ministers taking the oath of office on Thursday included Mr. Hilary Logali and Mr. Enok de Garang, leaders in the movement for self-government in the south.
There are fears that if President Nimeiry falls from power, there could be a renewed breach in relations between the north and the south -- with the southern leaders in Juba unwilling to accept a change of government in the north.