Situation in Sudan one of the "most urgent challenges" facing UN Security Council

08:15, November 17, 2010      

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The UN Security Council on Tuesday emphasized in a presidential statement that "the situation in Sudan represents one of the most urgent challenges" facing the 15-member body.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague delivered a presidential statement of the Security Council in an open debate of the Council on Sudan. Britain holds the rotating Council presidency for the month of November.

The Security Council welcomed the start of registration for the South Sudan referendum on Nov. 15, encouraging further efforts to ensure that the referenda are held on time, the statement said.

The referenda are set to be held on Jan. 9, and inhabitants of southern Sudan will vote on whether to secede from the rest of the country. As the final phase of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the referenda conclude 20 years of war between the northern-based government and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in the south.

Underlining the importance of the international community in assisting the Sudanese peace processes, the Council recognized " the parties' commitment to CPA implementation, remains actively seized of the matter and expresses its readiness to act as necessary in support of full implementation of CPA by the parties. "

Rising political tensions ahead of the upcoming referenda have drawn the attention of the Council. As questions loom over a potential fall out, the 15-member body called for an immediate end to statements threatening the security of vulnerable populations in Sudan.

"The Security Council underlines the need for the CPA parties to promote calm, including by providing immediate and ongoing reassurance to people of all nationalities in Sudan, including southerners in the north and northerners in the south, that their rights, safety and property will be respected whatever the outcome of the referenda," said Hague.

Meanwhile, the Council expressed its deep concern over increasing incidents of violence and insecurity in the embattled region of Darfur.

"The Security Council calls on all parties to protect civilians and maintain full, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian workers to the population in need of assistance," said Hague.

Source: Xinhua


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