Home | News    Wednesday 13 April 2016

Sudan summons U.S. diplomat over Darfur referendum

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April 12, 2016 KHARTOUM) - Sudanese foreign ministry on Tuesday summoned the U.S. acting Chargé d’affaires in Khartoum after the State Department said publicly Saturday it doesn’t consider credible the administrative referendum in Darfur.

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Women queue at a polling station at the Abu Shouq camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in El-Fasher, in North Darfur on April 11, 2016 (Photo AFP/ASHRAF Shazly)

The vote over Darfur permanent administrative status started on 11 April and will terminate on Wednesday 13 April. The government reported that over 900,000 voters casted their ballots during the first day.

In a statement released on Tuesday the foreign ministry said the American diplomat, Benjamin Moeling, was received by the Undersecretary Abdel Gani al-Naeim who pointed to "the contradiction in the statements that the State Department issued Saturday with the ongoing peace process and with Washington’s position that welcomed the signing by the Sudanese government of the Roadmap Agreement".

"The referendum is one of the requirements that the government must meet in accordance of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur which is signed a long time ago. It was not a secret the United States did not show any observations over the plebiscite," the statement further said.

Last Monday, the Sudanese foreign ministry issued a two page statement rejecting the "negative statement" of the State Department on the referendum and called on Washington to support the ongoing efforts to bring armed group to join the negotiating table.

In its statement, the State Department said the organization of the referendum under the current conditions cannot be considered a credible expression of the will of the people of Darfur.

It further pointed to insecurity in the region and "inadequate registration" of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as over 100.000 people have recently fled the fighting in Jebel Marra area. Also, the statement underscored the exclusion of Darfur residing outside the region from the process.

Recently the Troika countries including Norway, U.K. and U.S. called on the armed groups to join a roadmap for peace and national dialogue brokered by an African Union mediation team and signed by the government.

CLAIMS OF FRAUD IN EASTER, DARFUR

The National Liberation and Justice Party (NLJP) of Tijani al-Sissi Tuesday accused the ruling National Congress Party and its peace partner of committing fraud in East Darfur state. It further said that two of its officials were severely beaten.

In a statement released on Tuesday evening the NLJP spokesperson Ahmed Fadl said the head of the party’s section in East Darfur Osman Massabel and its women affairs secretary Rabia Mohamed Musa were assaulted by the police and NCP members at Um -Almomeinin pooling center in Ed Daein, the state capital.

He further said their two delegates were expulsed from the center when they discovered a case of non-conformity between the name of a female voter and register of electors.

The NLJP is the only political force that calls to vote for the establishment of a regional entity in Darfur. The NCP and other former rebel groups support the current administrative regime.

(ST)

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