By Julius N. Uma
December 2, 2010 (JUBA) — The two parties that were signatory to Sudan’s 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) should expedite the processes leading to the free, fair and transparent conduct of both the South Sudan and Abyei referenda, Pact Sudan; a capacity-building organization said in its latest policy briefing.
Sudan is due to hold its referendum on self-determination, scheduled for January 09, 2011 and another referendum in the oil-producing region of Abyei.
The strongly-worded policy document, addressed to the southerner government and their federal counterparts as well as to the international community, comes within just six weeks to the long-awaited referendum, which is already behind schedule.
The first December briefing, an extract from a more comprehensive paper, entitled, “It’s not too late for peace,” further urges both the south-ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the National Congress Party (NCP) to strive towards removal of all obstacles that are likely to delays the full implementation of the CPA.
Specifically, the organization urged the parties to the peace agreement to ensure that the referendum is free, fair and above all peaceful, regardless of the outcome of unity or secession.
It also appealed to the civil society, citizens, the government, observers and the international community to jointly work together to ensure that adequate security measures are put in place to cater for voters, during both the pre and post-referendum periods.
“While these threats are significant, the potential for peace should not be underestimated. Therefore, the governments of north and south, civil society leaders and the international community should strive to ensure non-violent, free and fair referenda in Southern Sudan and Abyei,” the December 01 policy briefing partly reads.
However, albeit the document cites what it described as the hurdles in the referendum preparations such as delay the delays in the already ongoing voters’ registration exercise, the Abyei border issues and logistical requirements, it still appealed to both parties signatory to the CPA to put their differences aside and ensure that the popular consultation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states go ahead as planned.
A reputable capacity-building organization with programmatic focus on peace building, natural resources management and safe water provision, Pact Sudan currently operates in the 10 states of Southern Sudan, as well as the three areas of Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.