Switzerland recognises Southern Sudan

Berne, Press release, 09.07.2011

Following consultation with the Foreign Affairs Committees of both chambers of the Federal Assembly, the Federal Council has decided to recognise Southern Sudan as an independent state. Switzerland will now undertake the formal steps necessary to establish diplomatic and consular relations. Switzerland has sent an official representative to attend the independence celebrations on 9 July 2011 in the Southern Sudanese capital of Juba.

The Federal Council has decided that Switzerland will act in tandem with the international community in recognising Southern Sudan as an independent state. In the run-up to the referendum the Foreign Affairs Committees of the National Council and the Council of States spoke out unanimously in favour of the recognition of Southern Sudan. Now that the African Union (AU) has stated its readiness to accept Southern Sudan as a member of the AU,  Switzerland will now undertake the formal steps necessary to establish diplomatic and consular relations. Upon successful recognition Southern Sudan will be covered by the Swiss embassy in Addis Ababa as a cross accreditation.

In the referendum on January 2011, a huge majority of the people of Southern Sudan, 98.8%, voted in favour of independence. This result was accepted both by the North as well as by the international community, including the UN and the AU. Southern Sudan's process of independence is based on consensus and negotiation and is in accordance with international law. 

Switzerland is strongly committed to both the North and the South of Sudan. During the civil war in Sudan, Switzerland helped facilitate the ceasefire agreement for the Nuba mountains, which was signed in 2002 in Bürgenstock and paved the way for the subsequent Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the North and South.

At the request of both sides, since October 2010 Switzerland has provided technical expertise and support to help deal with post-referendum issues in the areas of the division of state assets and debts, questions concerning debt relief, as well as the banking system and currency matters. In addition, Switzerland is providing Southern Sudan with specific support in drafting a new central bank law and creating a new currency. Moreover, where requested Swiss experts are also helping both the North and South to draw up new constitutions.  

In 2010 the funding for all of Sudan amounted to a total of around CHF 75 million, of which CHF 53 million was an obligatory contribution to the UN missions UNMIS and UNAMID. Switzerland has always adopted a balanced approach and used its commitment to support both the North and the South. 


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