Obama ‘presses’ regional leaders on Southern Sudan referendum

Washington (NSV)– With less than three weeks until Southern Sudanese march to the polls, President Barack Obama has written a letter to leaders in the region, urging them to increase support for peaceful and timely referendum on independence of Southern Sudan.story_obama_speech_un_afp_gi

This latest push by Mr. Obama is said to be part of an “ongoing aggressive diplomatic effort with the parties in Sudan and with its neighbors reflecting our intense interest in having a successful referendum.”

On January 9, 2011, Southern Sudanese will vote in an internationally-observed referendum, which is the key part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that granted them the right of self-determination.

The White House said the letter has been addressed to  leaders of Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and the African Union.

“We believe that an on-time referendum is the best means of preventing the resumption of a full-scale war between northern and southern Sudan,” White House National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said.

“Over the past four months, the administration has redoubled our efforts to support referendum preparations and peace negotiations between the two parties.”

Analysts say the South will vote overwhemingly for independence, something the bigwigs in the NCP have started to acknowledge recently.

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