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Sudan Government Unaware of U.N. Delegation Visit on Referendum

  • Peter Clottey

United Nation's military observers greet the Director of Police, Brig. Gen. William Chulo, in Renk, southern Sudan, 15 Sep 2010

United Nation's military observers greet the Director of Police, Brig. Gen. William Chulo, in Renk, southern Sudan, 15 Sep 2010

A leading member of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said the government has not been officially informed that officials of the U.N. Security Council will reportedly arrive next week in Khartoum to urge an acceleration of preparations for the 9thJanuary referendum.

Rabie Abdelati Obeid told VOA the U.N. officials have not contacted President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir’s office to enable the government provide adequate security protection ahead of their arrival.

“We got to know of this information from the media that the United Nations Security Council will come to Sudan. But, up to now, I don’t think our government has received any information to coordinate, or to do the arrangement required for the U.N Security Council,” said Obeid.

“This, I think, should be coordinated with the president’s office. It is the only organ for such visits to be organized. But, up to now, I don’t think this arrangement has been made by the U.N. Security Council and I doubt that this U.N. Security Council (team) will be coming without informing our government.”

Both the NCP and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) pledged at last week’s special meeting on Sudan in New York to work for peace after the international community, including President Barack Obama, pressured both sides to peacefully hold the referendum as originally scheduled.

Local media reported that the Security Council officials have no plans to meet with Sudan’s President Bashir during their visit. This prompted a strong reaction from an official in the Sudan Foreign Affairs Ministry, who is quoted as saying, “Our position is clear. If they don’t meet with the president (Bashir), we will not allow them to visit.”

Obeid said it was unlikely that the officials of the Security Council will arrive in Khartoum next week.

“According to protocol, the president should be aware and should know because he is responsible for each and everything in the country. That is why I think such (a) visit will not happen unless this is (first coordinated with the president’s office) or through the proper channels.”

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