Bashir approves South Sudan Referendum Commission

Khartoum- Sudan (PANA) -- Sudanese President Omer al Bashir has agreed to form a national referendum commission to organize a landmark vote that could see the semi-independent Southern Sudan vote to secede, state media reported on Sunday.
The Sudan News Agency (SUNA) said President Bashir met his two deputies, Salva Kiir, also Southern Sudanâ?s President, and Ali Osman Taha, on the plans of the soon-to-be formed government there and agreed on the formation of the Commission.
The three officials, who constitute the Presidency, also agreed on the allocation of 40 more parliamentary seats for Southern Sudan, two more seats for Southern Kordofan state and two for the oil-rich Abyei region in the national parliament.
President Bashir said an agreement on the formation of the National Referendum Commission would be forwarded to parliament for approval.
Sudanâ?s main political parties in the North and the South have been implementing a landmark agreement signed in Nairobi in January 2005, which ended 21 years of war.
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) offered South Sudan an option for independence after a six-year interim period.
It also offered guidelines on how the oil-rich Abyei regionâ?s borders should be demarcated.
The Abyei border demarcation has been an issue of contention.
President Bashir and his deputy Kirr, formed a joint committee of his National Congress Party (NCP) and the Southern Sudan Peopleâ?s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to discuss political disagreements.
President Bashir said the Joint Committee had been tasked with overseeing the formation of a Commission responsible for the Abyei referendum and the formation of a national Human Rights Commission.
The Presidency said the formation of the Abyei referendum commission would be approved when it next meets.
The joint council of parties would work out the details of such a commission.
President Bashir and his two deputies also discussed the progress in the demarcation of the North-South border.
The border demarcation is crucial for the sharing of oil wealth between the North and the South.
Southern Sudanese voters are widely expected to vote strongly for the autonomy of their oil-rich but impoverished region during the January 2011 referendum.

30 may 2010 10:30:00

xhtml CSS