In Sudan U.S. expresses concern on Govt's plan to hold referendum in Dafur

It added that the referendum would undermine the peace process now under way.

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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir play

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir

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The U.S. has expressed ``serious concern'' against the Sudan's plan to conduct a referendum on the political future of Darfur.

This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Mark Toner, Deputy Spokesperson of the Department of State on Saturday.

It said any referendum if conducted under current rules and conditions in the region could not be considered as ``a credible expression of the will of the people of Darfur''.

It added that the referendum would undermine the peace process now under way.

``Insecurity in Darfur and inadequate registration of Darfuris residing in internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps prohibit sufficient participation.

``Furthermore, the Darfur Referendum Commission’s recent announcement that Darfuris residing outside of Darfur will be ineligible to vote disenfranchises millions of Darfuris, refugees, and IDPs,'' the statement said.

It said lasting peace in Sudan could only be attained through a political process that addresses the underlying causes of the Darfur conflict, secures a lasting cessation of hostilities, and creates the space for meaningful participation of Darfuri groups and all Sudanese in an inclusive and genuine national dialogue.

The announced Darfur Referendum, it said, would contradict these key objectives and the broader goal of peace and stability in Darfur.

The U.S. reiterated her support the people of Sudan who wish to advance peaceful governance and inclusive participatory politics for long-term stability in Sudan.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Sudanese government plans to hold referendum in the Dafur region from April 11 to April 13 to enable the peole of the region to determine whether they will like to be part of Sudan or not.

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