Polls must be held on time in Sudan - UN Security Council
The UN Security Council began a day-long debate Tuesday on the situation in Sudan, calling on the Khartoum government and Southern Sudan to follow through for the sake of regional stability with the scheduled January 9 referenda.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the two votes on the future of Southern Sudan should be held in an "orderly fashion." But he voiced concern over delays in preparations and a lack of funding, DPA reported.
"All obstacles" should be removed so the referenda can proceed without delay, Ban said.
British Foreign Minister William Hague, who presided over the 15- country Security Council, called it "a defining moment for Sudan and its people, as they enter the final stages of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)."
Hague said the council cannot ignore the situation, because Sudan is faced with a "period of great risk."
The CPA ended two decades of civil war between Northern Sudan and Southern Sudan in 2005 with a power-sharing government in Khartoum. The agreement called for a self-determination referendum for Southern Sudan and a second referendum allowing people in the Abyei region to choose whether to remain with Khartoum or the south.
Oil-rich Abyei straddles the border between north and south Sudan.