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UN must be more active in S Sudan

9 May 2010 17:40

South Sudan should be monitored more effectively by UN peacekeepers as the region prepares to hold an independence referendum, the region’s main political party says.

Yasir Arman, a senior official with Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), said he has evidence that the president of the north region of Sudan, Umar Hassan al-Bashir, is using his militias to weaken the south.

“The United Nations, in particular the Security Council, should keep an eye on Sudan and make sure that the security arrangements do not collapse,” Arman said.

The remarks come as the UN peacekeeping mission says it is committed to its responsibility in the region.

UN representative Ashraf Eissa said, “We are discharging our duties according to our mandate,” Reuters reported.

South Sudan was granted autonomy in a peace deal in 2005, which ended a 22-year civil war that claimed two million lives.

The referendum, due in January 2011, will clarify whether the region will become a fully independent nation.

Analysts believe the south is likely to break away in the vote and become an independent nation.

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