Sudanese president issues Republican decree on referendum on Darfur status

13:59, March 30, 2011      

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Sudanese President Omar al- Bashir on Tuesday issued a Republican Decree on conducting a referendum to decide the permanent administrative status of Sudan' s Darfur region, reported official SUNA news agency.

The decree stated that "the permanent status for Darfur will be decided via a referendum to be conducted simultaneously in three Darfur states. The referendum will be on two options whether the region should remain on its current status or should it be united as one Darfur region," the report said.

The decree mandated the National Elections Commission to conduct and supervise the referendum and set its regulating procedures.

The decree, however, did not mention the date of the referendum.

The administrative status of the Darfur region constitutes a major issue as some Darfur rebel groups demand that Darfur must be one region instead of three states.

The government recently announced that it was about to establish two more states in Darfur, but the decree indicated backtracking from the decision.

Though the Darfur insurgents demand one region, they rejected the referendum under the pretext that the government would forge it.

The Qatari-hosted negotiations between the Sudanese government and the Darfur rebel movements are facing difficulties as the mediation has not achieved a breakthrough on the disputes between the two sides including the armed movements' demand for the post of vice-president.

Source: Xinhua
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