Kofi Annan will travel to Sudan over the coming weekend to act as co-chair of the Carter Center's referendum observation delegation at the 9 January referendum on the self-determination of Southern Sudan. Mr. Annan will join former US President Jimmy Carter, former Tanzanian Prime Minister Joseph Warioba, and Dr. John Hardman, Carter Center president and CEO, in leading the referendum observation mission.
Mr. Annan will visit a number of different polling sites and conduct meetings with officials of the Governments of Sudan and Southern Sudan, as well as other key diplomatic figures and representatives of non-government organisations.
This referendum is, of course, vital to delivering the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and to determining the future of South Sudan,” Mr Annan said ahead of his visit. “But it is more than that. This is a pivotal moment for the future of Sudan and for Africa as a whole.”
“All sides must seek to maintain an atmosphere of calm and restraint both during and after the referendum. The Sudanese people must be able to voice their aspirations in a peaceful environment. I call on the Governments of Sudan and Southern Sudan to provide and maintain a secure environment for the Sudanese people during the voting period, and to abide by the democratic outcome of the referendum – whatever it may be.”
“The international community stand ready to support Sudan as its rebuilds for its post-referendum future. We have a clear shared goal: to promote development for Sudan and progress for its people.”
“There are many parties involved in the Sudan referendum – governments, regional organizations and non-governmental bodies from Africa and further afield. This wide involvement shows the importance all parties attach to this historic moment. The AU and the UN have a particularly vital role to play. It is essential that the international community continue to work in unity and provide coherent support for the reconstruction and renewal of Sudan after the referendum is over.”
“What matters ultimately in this referendum is the voice of the people. Their voice must be heard.”
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