Washington hopes referendum reflects southern Sudanese will

21:20, December 13, 2010      

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U.S Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration on Monday said Washington is looking forward to a referendum that would display the will of southern Sudanese and be accepted by Sudan and international community.

"I expressed our congratulation for a very successful registration period, one that was done with transparency, one that was done without any violence and one that was able to register significant numbers of eligible voters," Gration told reporters after meeting with Chairman of South Sudan Referendum Commission ( SSRC), Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil.

"We are looking forward to similar results in the actual polling period and we believe that it can happen in time. We are looking forward to results that display the will of the people, results that can be accepted by Sudan and the international community," he added.

He further expressed confidence that the SSRC would manage to run the referendum process, saying that "we are very pleased with the progress of the southern Sudan referendum commission and of the southern Sudan referendum Bureau and we appreciate its leadership and staff."

The SSRC conducted the voter registration process from Nov. 15 to Dec. 8 which resulted in registration of around three million southern Sudanese voters in south Sudan, about 115,000 in north Sudan and almost 56,000 in eight overseas countries.

A referendum on self-determination for southern Sudan is scheduled to be conducted on Jan. 9, 2011, as it was stipulated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) inked between north and south Sudan in 2005, which ended a two-decade civil war between the two sides.

Source: Xinhua
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