Referendum Threatened by Sudan Ruling Party

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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's party is urging the U.S. administration to be impartial when it comes to the south Sudan referendum vote. North Sudan's National Congress Party claims the United States is openly supporting South Sudan secession.

North Sudan's dominant National Congress Party, or NCP has threatened on Monday to reject the results of a looming southern independence referendum, unless the south withdraws its troops from disputed areas and allows campaigning.

In just over 100 days southerners will vote on whether to stay part of Sudan or declare independence. The plebiscite was promised in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended decades of north-south civil war. NCP secretary general Haj Majid Suwar hit out at the U.S., saying it openly supported south Sudan secession, contrary to the agreement signed between the two parties.

[Haj Majid Suwar, Secretary General, National Congress Party ]: (Arabic, male)
"The USA was a witness and a sponsor of the CPA signature. It offered commitments and pledges, but we recognized in recent days that the U.S. administration stance was frankly supporting south Sudan secession. This contradicts the comprehensive peace agreement and is considered as an intervention in Sudan. We reject this intervention from the U.S.A. or any other party."

Suwar accuses the southern army of moving into areas close to the northern states of White Nile and Southern Kordofan. He says the troop movements and the crackdown on unity supporters threatened the validity of the vote because they broke the terms of the peace agreement and Sudan's southern referendum act.

The NCP has previously accused the south's dominant Sudan People's Liberation Party of campaigning for separation in the vote. Analysts say most southerners want a decisive break from decades of war and will favor independence. Both parties strengthened their hold on their respective halves of the country in April elections.

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