US, Norway, UK call for peaceful, credible polls in Sudan

Dar es Salaam- Tanzania (PANA) -- All parties in Sudan should work urgently to ensure that the upcoming elections in the country can proceed peacefully and credibly, foreign ministers of the United States, Norway and United Kingdom have said in a joint statement made available to PANA here Friday.
“National elections in Sudan in April will represent a major milestone in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended Sudan’s 22-year civil war, and are an important opportunity for the people of Sudan to participate in the political process,” said the statement, issued by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Stّre and United Kingdom Foreign Secretary David Miliband.
The ministers said they were deeply concerned by reports of continued administrative and logistical challenges, as well as restrictions on political freedoms ahead of the Sudanese polls.
“We call on the Government of Sudan, the National Elections Commission, and all political parties to engage in further dialogue to resolve practical obstacles, procedural impediments, and address allegations of intimidation, harassment, and safety concerns, and other legitimate concerns raised by various political parties.
“We continue to urge the parties to improve conditions on the ground in Darfur and create a secure environment conducive to Darfuri participation,” they said.
Irrespective of the outcome of elections, according to the three ministers, “it is essential that work continues and is accelerated to meet remaining CPA deadlines.
'' They underlined the urgent need to complete border demarcation, to establish the commissions that will supervise the referendum for the South and Abyei, to conduct popular consultations in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan, and to negotiate sustainable post-CPA arrangements in areas such as wealth-sharing, citizenship and assets, and liabilities.
“We reiterate our commitment to ensure that the referendum must happen on schedule and that their outcomes need to be respected.
It is time to redouble efforts to achieve these ends,” said the statement, urging all parties in Sudan and all regional and international partners to work together to achieve the peaceful future that the people of Sudan deserve.

02 april 2010 07:50:00

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