Annan urges international support for Sudan

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) - Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has urged the international community to stand ready to support Sudan as it rebuilds its post-referendum future.

In a statement issued Thursday ahead of his visit to Sudan this weekend, Annan said: "We have a clear shared goal: to promote development for Sudan and progress for its people.”

The Kofi Annan Foundation said Annan would act as co-chair of the Carter Centre's observation delegation at the 9 January
referendum on self-determination in Southern Sudan.

He will join former US President Jimmy Carter, former Tanzanian Prime Minister Joseph Warioba, and Dr. John Hardman, Carter
Centre president and CEO, in leading the referendum observation mission.

According to his foundation, Annan will visit a number of different polling sites and conduct meetings with officials of the governments
of Sudan and Southern Sudan, as well as other key diplomatic figures and representatives of non-governmental organisations.

“This referendum is, of course, vital to delivering the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and to determining the future of South Sudan.
But it is more than that. This is a pivotal moment for the future of Sudan and for Africa as a whole,” Annan said.

Appealing to all Sudanese to maintain an atmosphere of calm and restraint both during and after the referendum. Annan said the "Sudanese people must be able to voice their aspirations in a peaceful environment. I call on the governments of Sudan and Southern Sudan to provide and maintain a secure environment for the Sudanese people during the voting period, and to abide by the democratic outcome of the referendum – whatever it may be.”

He went on: “There are many parties involved in the Sudan referendum – governments, regional organizations and non-governmental bodies from Africa and further afield. This wide involvement shows the importance all parties attach to this historic moment. The AU and the UN have a particularly vital role to play. It is essential that the international community continue to work in unity and provide coherent support for the reconstruction and renewal of Sudan after the referendum is over.

“What matters ultimately in this referendum is the voice of the people. Their voice must be heard.”
-0- PANA AR/SEG 6Jan2011

06 january 2011 17:28:59

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