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Al Bashir plans referendum in Darfur

October 20 - 2015 KHARTOUM
President Omar Al Bashir (file photo)
President Omar Al Bashir (file photo)

President Omar Al Bashir of Sudan is to call out the Darfur referendum in April. At the same time he stressed his full commitment to the outcome of the National Dialogue, which he hopes may lead to sustainable development of the country.

On Monday, Al Bashir addressed the opening session of the second meeting of the national legislature. “We are committed to the Dialogue as an approach to national and community agreement,” he said. He will allow “all components of the community to contribute to shaping the future of Sudan”.

He also expressed hopes to overcome obstacles to stability and prosperity in Sudan. The President claimed that Sudanese army and regular forces have managed to curb the hostile actions of the rebel movements.

On Sunday, the rebel umbrella Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) declared a six-month cessation of hostilities and expressed readiness to negotiate the details of this truce with the government, ahead of possible peace talks between both sides.

Extension of Doha peace document

As for one of Sudan’s conflict regions, Al Bashir said that the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) has been extended for another year. It was first signed in 2011 by the Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement, formed in 2010 by 19 breakaway factions of the Darfur rebel movements,

“Arrangements are proceeding well to hold a referendum in all Darfur states in April 2016, in order to lay the foundation for the future that is characterised by rational political practice in the region,” he pointed out.

The DDPD stipulates that the permanent administrative status of Darfur will be determined by a referendum, to be held within one year after the signing of the peace accord. 

The first National Dialogue conference was launched on 10 October, and was boycotted by the majority of the opposition parties and the holdout rebel forces in Darfur and the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile).

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