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NCP Official: Sudan Will Not Undermine Referendum

If the January referendum does take place, it will have little impact on the conflict in Darfur, in western Sudan, which has been in a lull.

A top official of Sudan’s dominant National Congress Party (NCP) has denied reports that the government will use the military to destabilize the semi-autonomous south Sudan ahead of the January referendum.

Rabie Abdelati Obeid said the NCP is committed to ensuring the full implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which paves the way for next year’s referendum.

He described the report as propaganda orchestrated by opponents of the NCP to cause anxiety among residents in the south ahead of the vote.

“The NCP is insisting that the referendum should be carried out according to a transparent procedure and without any influence (by) any of the political parties, (that is) both SPLM (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement) and NCP. Both partners now are working together and it is to their own benefit that this referendum will be carried out according to a transparent and just procedure,” he said.

Obeid said the acceptance of the January referendum results by Sudanese, as well as the international community, will largely depend on the credibility of the vote.

Dr. Rabie Abdullati Obeid, a prominent member of Sudan's dominant National Congress Party (NCP)
Dr. Rabie Abdullati Obeid, a prominent member of Sudan's dominant National Congress Party (NCP)

The CPA stipulates that residents in the south should be allowed to decide in the 9th January referendum whether to remain part of Sudan or secede and become an independent country.

NCP official Obeid said his party would respect the results of the January vote.

“There is nothing that is proving that the referendum will not be carried out because now there is seriousness by the NCP and the SPLM for the period of the arrangement of the referendum and the post-referendum. Now the whole Sudanese (population) is ready for this referendum and I don’t think that there would be any obstacle to hinder the convening of this referendum in the beginning of the year 2011,” Obeid said.

He further said that a lot of people expressed doubt and concerns about Sudan’s recent elections saying it could not be organized.

Obeid, however, pointed out that, despite the criticisms and the doubts, Sudan was able to organize a credible vote monitored by both local and international observers.

“I can say 100 percent, as I am an NCP leader, that the referendum will be carried out. It will be transparent. It will be fair. The people of the south will also not be affected by any views or opinions of any political parties and they will have their own will to say either ‘Yes’ for unity or ‘Yes’ for secession.”