US urges S. Sudan to become multiparty state

The deputy U.S. secretary of state says has urged Southern Sudan's president to see that the soon-to-be-independent nation becomes a multiparty democracy.

James Steinberg says President Salva Kiir said Wednesday the ruling party would not seek to create a one-party state.

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement is the political wing of the former guerrilla army that fought against Sudan's north for more than 20 years in a brutal civil war that killed more than 2 million.

SPLM dominates politics in Southern Sudan. Opposition parties have expressed concern that the party is not committed to instituting reforms that would enable democracy to develop in the south.

Preliminary reports from last month's independence vote showed a landslide victory for secession.