17 January 2016

Sudan: Darfur Community Leaders Reject Referendum

Photo: Dabanga
Members of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (file photo).

Khartoum — Darfuri leaders have renewed their rejection of the Darfur referendum on the region's administrative status, scheduled to take place 11-13 April.

Civil society activist Zahra Abdelnaeem told Radio Dabanga in an interview to be broadcast on Monday that the referendum will be held at the wrong time. "Darfur is still very insecure," she said. "The people need water, food, housing, and first of all security, before they can turn their minds on a referendum.

"One wonders why there is such a hurry to conduct the referendum. Various parts of the 2011 Doha Document fro Peace in Darfur have not been implemented yet. Moreover, the peace accord itself is subject of the ongoing National Dialogue that seeks to resolve all the Sudanese crises."

Abdelnaeem further called on the Darfur authorities "to be honest to themselves, their families and their Lord, and tell the truth, even once in a while".

In an interview with Radio Dabanga to be broadcast on Monday, Member of Parliament Siham Hassan also stated that Darfur needs security on the ground first.

"The Khartoum regime is dealing with the referendum as if it is a political obligation to the people of Darfur, while it ignores the daily attacks on innocent civilians in the region," she said. "Instead of talking about a referendum, the regime should strive to make the National Dialogue a success."

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