Mkapa to monitor Sudan referendum

By Our Staff Writer

27th Sept 2010

Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa has been chosen to lead a team of eminent people to monitor the upcoming referenda on the self-determination of Southern Sudan and the Abyei Area.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that he had appointed three members to a United Nations panel tasked with monitoring
the referendum and they would be led by former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa.

The others are former Portuguese Foreign Minister Antonio Monteiro and former Nepalese Election Commission Chairman Bhojraj Pokharel.  In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said the panel will make periodic visits to Sudan through the holding of the two referenda which are both slated to take place on 9 January next year.

Inhabitants of the south will vote on whether to secede from Sudan or remain united with the rest of the country.  Residents of Abyei, located in the centre of the country, will vote separately on whether to retain Abyei’s special administrative status in the north or become part of the south.

Mr. Ban also said the panellists will engage “with all relevant actors” including the referendum commissions, civil society, observers and the two parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement [CPA] that ended the long-running north-south civil war between the National Congress Party [NCP] and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement [SPLM].  The panel has been formed as a result of a direct request from the parties to the CPA.

The panel will follow key referenda processes, as well as the political and security situation.  In addition to reporting to the Secretary-General on the conduct of the referenda, the panel will work directly to enhance confidence in the process by encouraging the parties [to the CPA] and the relevant authorities to take corrective measures to resolve any significant problems or disputes that may arise.  END.  If it’s Monday, it’s Uganda Correspondent.  Never miss out again!

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