US ups pressure on region over Sudan referendum

US President Barack Obama has written to regional leaders to lobby for referendum that is likely to lead separation of the country Sunday.

US ups pressure on region over Sudan referendum

US President Barack Obama has written to regional leaders to lobby for referendum that is likely to lead separation of the country Sunday.

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."

He said Obama wrote to a number of African leaders as 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."

The letter was sent to leaders in Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and the African Union, a US official said.

Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Libya's Moamer Kadhafi are due to visit Khartoum on Tuesday for talks with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, the official SUNA news agency reported on Sunday.

Southerners are set to vote in a referendum on January 9 on whether to remain united with the north or break away.

In 2005, the mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south signed Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) to put an end to more than two decades of civil war.

"We have, and will continue to, put an enormous amount of effort towards ensuring that the referendum goes off on time, peacefully, and that the results are respected," said White House National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer.

Agencies

Last Mod: 20 Aralık 2010, 11:20
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