KHARTOUM, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Sudanese President Omar al- Bashir on
Tuesday issued a Republican Decree on conducting a referendum to decide
the permanent administrative status of Sudan' s Darfur region, reported
official SUNA news agency.
The decree stated that "the permanent status for Darfur will be
decided via a referendum to be conducted simultaneously in three Darfur
states. The referendum will be on two options whether the region should
remain on its current status or should it be united as one Darfur
region," the report said.
The decree mandated the National Elections Commission to conduct and supervise the referendum and set its regulating procedures.
The decree, however, did not mention the date of the referendum.
The administrative status of the Darfur region constitutes a major
issue as some Darfur rebel groups demand that Darfur must be one region
instead of three states.
The government recently announced that it was about to establish two
more states in Darfur, but the decree indicated backtracking from the
Though the Darfur insurgents demand one region, they rejected the
referendum under the pretext that the government would forge it.
The Qatari-hosted negotiations between the Sudanese government and
the Darfur rebel movements are facing difficulties as the mediation has
not achieved a breakthrough on the disputes between the two sides
including the armed movements' demand for the post of vice-president.