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UN chief calls for "free, fair and secure" referendum in South Sudan

by Byo24
08 Jan 2011 at 06:10hrs | Views
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Friday urged all parties concerned "to do everything necessary to ensure free, fair and secure polling" in South Sudan - - the week-long referendum which will kick off on Jan. 9.

The secretary-general made the appeals in a statement issued here by his spokesman just about two days ahead of the referendum that could split Africa's largest country into two.

"The secretary-general urges the parties to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement to continue to do everything necessary to ensure free, fair, and secure polling," the statement said.

Stipulated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, inked between north and south Sudan in January 2005, the southern Sudanese are expected to head for the voting booths on Sunday to decide whether the region should remain united with north Sudan or secede to establish an independent state.

Ban, in the statement, also commended the government of the National Unity of Sudan and the government of southern Sudan for their "leadership, wisdom, and concerted efforts in ensuring that the referendum is held, as scheduled, on Jan. 9, in an atmosphere of peace and cooperation."

The secretary-general acknowledged the work of the South Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) in Khartoum and its bureau in Juba, expressing his gratitude to all international partners, including those that have deployed observer missions, for their support to this process.

"The United Nations will continue for its part to provide full support to the referendum process and to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement," said the statement.

The secretary-general called on all the people of Sudan to " observe this occasion in the spirit of brotherhood and peace."

Source - Byo24

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