By Henry Mukasa
The new state of South Sudan has applied to join the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) and pleaded to the world body to mount pressure on Khartoum so as to avert a looming war over border disagreements.
South Sudan Legislative Assembly Speaker, James Wani Igga told delegates at the 126th IPU Assembly meeting at Serena Hotel in Kampala on Sunday that his country was willing to abide by all the conditions governing the IPU membership.
"My delegation has come with full mandate and determination to join this renowned world body," Igga stated. "We are tabling our application to the IPU secretariat at once and without delay," he added.
South Sudan, which fought a civil war with the then North for 38 years gained its independence in July last year after voting to secede in January 2011. It thus became the United Nation's 193rd member.
However, Igga observed that like a new born baby, South Sudan was faced with challenges that emanate from failure to implement protocols of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in Naivasha, Kenya in 2004.
He listed the failure to draw the border between the North and South, the dispute over the territory of oil-rich Abyei and security concerns along the border line. There were skirmishes along the border in the past weeks.
"The IPU alongside people of goodwill worldwide have to bring pressure to bear on the former warring parties," Igga appealed, counting on God's blessing and the "unshakable will and efforts of the international community that helped sign the peace accord."
He said the Republic of South Sudan is committed to maintain peace "at any cost." He said the 38 years of war of the 56 years of independence halted economic growth and completely devastated the little infrastructure l that existed during the British rule.
"The IPU should mount pressure on their respective governments to ensure that peace prevails in the two parts of old Sudan," Igga pointed out.
The SSLA boss noted that his country shall abide by the conventions of the U.N., African Union and regional bodies it chooses to become member of. He said his country is committed to multiparty democracy, affirmative action and decentralization and modes of governance.