With six months until a referendum on Southern independence, Sudan is alarmingly unprepared, according to a new report published today by a global coalition of 26 humanitarian and human rights organizations. In the joint report, titled Renewing the Pledge: Re-Engaging the Guarantors to the Sudanese Comprehensive Peace Agreement the global coalition warns: “The clock is ticking fast towards what might be the most important date in modern Sudanese history – two referenda in Sudan that are likely to result in the breakup of Africa’s largest state.” In addition to the referendum on Southern independence, another vote will be held simultaneously in the area of Abyei, to determine whether or not it will join Southern Sudan. The report calls for urgent action from African heads of state who will meet at a major summit of the African Union in Uganda from July 19-27.
The report includes key recommendations for Guarantors—states and multilateral organizations that have pledged to help Sudan implement the CPA— to ensure a free and fair referendum is held on schedule. The report warns that the Guarantors have only six months to fulfill that promise. It also calls for Sudan to ensure that all Sudanese citizens, whether in the North or the South, are protected before and after the referenda.