KHARTOUM, -- The majority of voters in the West Sudan's Darfur favored the present situation of having five states, in a referendum to decide the status of the region, head of Darfur Referendum Commission Omer Ali Jamaa said on Saturday.

Jamaa told a press conference in Khartoum to announce the results of the referendum held on 11-13 April, that 97.72 percent of voters chose to keep the multi-state administrative system and that 3.08 million people of a total 3.21 million eligible voters cast their vote.

Thus, voters rejected a choice of combining the five states of Darfur into a single administrative region.

According to Jamaa, 17 parties and 78 national bodies observed the vote, together with monitors from Russia, China, Turkey, Kenya and Mozambique as well as high-profile organizations like the Arab League, the African Union (AU), Council of African Political Parties, African and Arab Youth Council, Pan-African Youth Union.

Up to 102 foreign monitors and 1,552 ones, moved freely and fulfilled their mission with no interference, Jamaa said.

The referendum was organized in line with the Darfur Peace Agreement (Doha Agreement) that was signed in 2011 between the government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement.

Rebel groups in Darfur, such as the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), which did not join the Doha Agreement, boycotted the vote.

Source: Name News Network

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