Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the announcement that national elections will be held in Sudan in February 2010, noting the polls will be an important step in consolidating the hard-won peace achieved by the country following its long-running north-south civil war.
“The holding of nationwide elections is an important benchmark in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA),” Mr. Ban's spokesperson said in a statement, referring to the 2005 accord signed by the Government of National Unity and the Government of Southern Sudan.
Mr. Ban urged the Sudanese authorities to proceed with the necessary preparations in accordance with the timeframe proposed by the National Election Commission (NEC), and expressed hope that the National Assembly will pass all relevant legislation as a matter of urgency.
“He further encourages all political parties to participate in this historic vote, which will further contribute to the consolidation of the ideals set out in the Interim National Constitution,” the statement added.
“The United Nations stands ready to assist the parties in the conduct of free and fair elections.”
The 21-year conflict between the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) left more than two million people dead and uprooted some four million across the vast African nation.
In addition to the holding of elections, the CPA also contains elements relating to border demarcation the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants the formation of joint integrated units involving the two sides and a national census.
The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) is tasked with assisting the parties and the people of Sudan in fulfilling their commitments under the accord.