Sudan’s referendum may be postponed, says Arab League

Arab League envoy to Sudan, Salah Halima said that the referendum on secession in that country, originally scheduled for January, may be postponed.

Halima told reporters that a postponement though highly unlikely is still possible for logistical reasons related to administrative, financial and technical issues.

"However, we are focusing on carrying out the referendum at the scheduled time, that is on 9 January,” he added

He also said that there is an international consensus that the referendum should be carried out at the planned time and that it should be seen to be free and transparent, and that there is a need for international supervision of the process.  

He also added that there are some issues which need to be resolved before the referendum takes place, although the timing of the referendum is not necessarily dependent on their resolution.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit had previously hinted at the possibility of postponing the referendum but only with the full agreement of officials from both the south and north of Sudan.

Egypt fears that a secession of the south may threaten its quota of the Nile water–55.5 billion cubic meters of water a year– which was ratified in Khartoum in 1959.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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