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Sudanese MPs divided over Darfur referendum

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October 26, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese lawmakers in the country’s national assembly argued incessantly on the planned Darfur referendum as affirmed in the speech of President Omer Hassan al-Bashir during the Parliamentary session convened last week.

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The audience listens to Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir speaking during the opening of a new session of parliament on 28 October 2013 in Khartoum (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Under the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) signed in 2011 between the government several rebel movements, a referendum must be held on whether to maintain the status quo for Darfur region or consolidate all states in the region into one.

“Arrangements are proceeding well to hold the referendum in all Darfur state in April 2016 in order to lay the foundation for the future that is characterized by rational political practice in the region,” Bashir said last week.

But MP Abdel Mawla al-Tahir called for postponing the referendum and warned that the exercise will create fresh turmoil in Darfur and also noted the huge financial cost of the referendum.

His colleague MP Ibrahim Madibo agreed cautioning that this referendum will cause "sedition" between the Darfur tribes, which he described as highly polarized.

Madibo said that they intend to appeal to the presidency to postpone the referendum.

Sudan Tribune has learned that arrangements are underway for the referendum including the establishment of a special Commission to oversee it.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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