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Sudan Rejects Foreign ‘Intervention’ Ahead of Referendum

  • Peter Clottey

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki, Chairperson of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel on Sudan, and Haile Menkerios, the United Nations Special Representative for the Secretary Ge

A prominent member of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said both his party as well as the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) does not need Washington’s incentives to ensure the 9th January referendum is peaceful and credible.

Rabie Abdelati Obeid said the NCP and the SPLM have demonstrated their commitment towards implementing the rest of the provisions of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that also includes the January vote.

“Both parties are actually committed…that the referendum should be conducted in the prescribed time. And also that the referendum should be transparent and fair without any influence or any pressure on the political parties whether on the NCP or the SPLM,” he said.

Rabie Abdelati Obeid also said that the January vote is an obligation stipulated in the CPA adding that there is no need for Washington’s to incentives.

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 U. S State department reportedly offered incentives that include among others restoring full diplomatic relations as well as allowing some non-oil trade and investment if the referendum proceeds as originally scheduled.

But, NCP official Obeid said Sudan does not need any foreign intervention during and after the referendum.

“Nobody is having an intention to disturb the procedure of the referendum so as to get incentives to abandon creating disturbances (ahead) of the referendum… We don’t think there is any link between the referendum, transparency and this incentive, which is provided by the United States of America,” Obeid said.

He further said that Washington can help the entire Sudanese population by supporting both the NCP and the SPLM in the run up to the January vote instead of sending negative messages of “intervention” over Sudan’s unity or if the south secedes from the north.

The CPA provides that residents in the south should be allowed to decide in a referendum whether to remain part of Sudan or secede and become and independent country.

NCP official Obeid said the peace accord also stipulates that both partners should work together to make “unity attractive” to residents in the semi-autonomous south Sudan.

“Whenever there is any influence from any of the internal or external factors to the procedure of the referendum, the referendum will also be false and the result will not be recognized.”

But, recent polls show that a majority of southerners will choose to secede rather than be part of Sudan.