China hopes for peaceful, transparent referendum in south Sudan

08:14, November 17, 2010      

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China's UN Ambassador Li Baodong attends the UN Security Council meeting on Sudan at the UN headquarters in New York, the United States, Nov. 16, 2010. The UN Security Council on Tuesday adopted a presidential statement to reiterate the world body's call for "peaceful, credible, timely and free referenda" for Sudan, and urge the region "to take urgent action to implement their commitment." (Xinhua/Shen Hong)

China's UN Ambassador Li Baodong on Tuesday expressed hope for a "peaceful, free, transparent and fair" referendum to be held in south Sudan early next year.

"The south Sudan referendum is a key step in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), but it is not an end in itself," Li told a high-level meeting of the UN Security Council here.

"We hope that the referendum will be held in a peaceful, free, transparent and fair manner in accordance with the CPA and reflect the will of the Sudanese people, and that the outcome of the referendum will be respected by all parties."

The ambassador urged the northern and southern Sudan to "try their utmost to expedite the preparations for the referendum," and called on the international community to create favorable conditions for the referendum, "but not to prejudge its outcome."

"Neither party must take unilateral actions," he stressed. " Whatever the outcome of the referendum, it is necessary to ensure the overall peace and stability of Sudan and the whole region."

The Chinese envoy also expressed concern about "the serious lacking behind of the political process" in Darfur, which poses the "most prominent challenge" for the settlement of the question of Darfur.

He urged those Darfur parties that have yet to join the political process to do so immediately and without conditions.

Li announced that the Chinese government has decided to make an additional donation of 500,000 U.S. dollars to the UN Trust Fund for the political process in Darfur.

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