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Monday, September 27, 2010

North Sudan Threatens not to HonorSouth Sudan Referendum

A Sudanese government minister says Khartoum may reject the results of the upcoming referendum on independence for the south.

Youth and sports minister Haj Majid Suwar, a member of President Omar al-Bashir’s National Congress Party, accused the south’s army of venturing out of areas assigned to them by the 2005 peace agreement.

Suwar told reporters the south must withdraw their forces from all disputed areas and allow supporters of a unified Sudan to campaign freely. Otherwise, he said, the north may choose not to recognize the results of the vote and may take its complaints to the United Nations, the United States and the African Union.

A spokesman for the southern army told the Reuters news agency that the accusations were “baseless.” He said all troops were within south Sudan’s borders and were not harassing any campaigners.

Tensions between the north and the south have been rising ahead of the south’s referendum on independence, scheduled for January 9.

Preparations for the voting, including the delineation of a prospective north-south border, are far behind schedule.

Most analysts predict the south will choose independence.

Much of Sudan’s oil wealth is believed to lie along the disputed north-south border. The oil-rich Abyei region is due to hold a separate vote the same day on whether to be part of the north or the south.

The referendum grew out of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 that ended two decades of civil war between northern and southern Sudan.

At the United Nations Friday, leaders of north and south Sudan vowed to work for peace as U.S
Some information in this story was provided by Bloomberg and Reuters.. President Barack Obama called for an on-time referendum in Sudan.

The Rest @ VOA

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