Home | News    Sunday 10 April 2016

Arrangements for holding Darfur referendum completed: DRC

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April 9, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Darfur Referendum Commission (DRC) announced completion of all technical and administrative arrangements to commence the voting in Darfur’s five states on Monday.

An elderly Sudanese refugee man waits his turn to vote at a polling statio, unseen, at the refugee camp of Zamzam during the general election held in April 2010 (AP)

Darfur residents will vote during three days (from 11-to 13 April) to determine whether they want to keep the current separate five states or to created an intermediate level of government for the province.

Chairman of the DRC Omer Ali Gamaa said that the shortcomings of the registration process have been avoided, pointing that several teams were dispatched to Darfur’s five states and the voting centers and committees have been increased.

DRC earlier said that 3,5 out of 4 million people have registered for the referendum.
He said that 700 monitors representing 93 groups would observe the voting process besides monitors from the Arab League and the African Union.

Gamaa said that the referendum results would be announced ten days after the end of the vote due to the expected delay in receiving voting results of remote areas and localities which lack telecommunication networks.

The DRC earlier said that 3,5 out of 4 million people have registered for the referendum.

The referendum would be held in all 65 localities of Darfur including the Jebel Marra area unlike the 2015 general elections which were not held in some parts of the area that were controlled by the rebel groups.

CHINESE MONITORS

Meanwhile, Sudan’s foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour Saturday has received the Chinese monitors participating in the Darfur administrative referendum.

He thanked the Chinese foreign ministry for accepting his ministry’s invitation to send observers to participate in the referendum.

For his part, the head if the Chinese team praised efforts of the Sudanese government to implement the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), improve the humanitarian situation and achieve development in the region.

REFERENDUM ISN’T A PRIORITY

However, the leading figure at the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) led by Minni Minnawi Abdallah Mursal said the referendum is not a priority for the Darfur people, stressing that the government is ignoring other important issues.

The spokesperson for the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Gibril Adam Bilal told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that “priority should have been given to returning the IDP’s to their original villages instead of spending money in a worthless referendum”.

The referendum has the support of former rebel groups signatory of the Doha framework agreement.

However, opposition and rebel groups insist on the timing and the legitimacy of the procedure. They say that referendum wouldn’t express the will of Darfurians, pointing to the IDPs and refugees in Chad who won’t participate in the vote.

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.


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