New York- US (PANA) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon held talks Saturday with a top Sudanese official as part of his efforts to ensure that two key referenda o n self-determination in the African country are staged peacefully and on schedul e next January.
A UN statement made available to PANA in New York said Ban had a "cordial and ca ndid exchange" with Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha during their m eeting at UN headquarters in New York.
It stated that the two officials focused their discussions on the key challenges facing Sudan as it implement the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that e nded the long-running civil war between north and south.
It also disclosed that Ban and Taha agreed on the need for a fair and credible p oll, to be held on the due date and free from intimidation and violence.
Also at the talks, the UN chief and Sudan VP discussed the ongoing conflict in t he western Sudanese region of Darfur and the prospect of the Doha talks yielding a lasting peace agreement.
On 9 January, the inhabitants of southern Sudan will vote on whether to secede f rom the rest of the country.
Also on the same day, the residents of the central area of Abyei will vote on wh ether to be part of the north or the south.
PANA recalled that on Friday, Ban and Taha were among numerous high-level figure s who took part in an international meeting at UN headquarters on the situation i n Sudan.
Participants issued a communique after the meeting in which they expressed commi tment to support Sudan to achieve â?sustainable peace in the post-referendum per iod.
" They also renewed the commitments of the CPA signatories to quickly resolving ke y post-referenda arrangements, such as border management, security, citizenship, migration issues and debt.
Darfur has been beset by conflict and humanitarian suffering since 2003, when re bels began fighting government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen.
An estimated 300,000 people have been killed since then and another 2.
7 million people displaced from their homes.