By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
September 26, 2010 (ADDIS ABABA) — Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) urged the Ethiopian government to continue playing a major role in maintaining peace and stability in Sudan and in the Horn of Africa’s region as a whole.
National secretary for information, culture and communication as well as the official spokesperson of the SPLM, Yiemen Mathew speaking to the pro-government Walta information center said that Ethiopia has contributed a lot to prevail peace and tranquility situations in Sudan which our people never forget.
"Ethiopia is key actor enough influential to prevail peace in the region, that is why we request to strengthen its positive assistance to alleviate conflicts and human right violations in Sudan," he said.
Asked about the party to party relations, he said "We have very strong relations centered on exchanging experience since EPRDF has long time and well experiences this is the reason we are invited to participate in EPRDF 8th organizational congress".
Ethiopia expects itself to be classified in lower middle income level by 2015 under the recently launched development and transformation plan (GTP) – a new strategy aimed to create an ambitious 15% growth in the Ethiopian economy over the next five years. Commenting on the ambitious plan, Mathew said he is certain Ethiopia will join the middle income countries category.
"With no doubt Ethiopia will join to a middle income countries and I am sure that it will realize ambitious growth and transformation plan successfully given the accumulative experiences of the nation in the past seven years," he added.
In January 2011 a referenda will be held on the possible independence for the southern region of Africa’s largest country.
The SPLM official said that he doesn’t see why southern Sudanese won’t win the upcoming referendum. He went on to saying - southerners were regarded as a "second class citizens" calling on Ethiopia to offer South Sudan recognition.
SPLM has taken part at the 8th organizational congress of the ruling EPRDF party held last week which the SPLM official said testifies the strength and depth of the relations between the two parties.
The two parties also have cooperation on a number of areas. "We also have areas of cooperation in educational and health sectors, electricity and peace strategies," he added.