AU Commission Chairperson discusses Darfur Referendum with Sudanese delegation

By African Union Commission (AUC)

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, met with a Sudanese delegation led by the Chairman of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), Dr. Tijani Sisi, on Wednesday, 10 March 2016, at the AU Commission. The DRA Chairman was accompanied by the Chairman of the Follow-Up Committee for Darfur, Dr. Amin Hassan Omer.

The DRA Chairman briefed the AUC Chairperson on the prevailing political and security situation in Darfur and further informed Her Excellency of plans to hold a referendum in Darfur on 11 April 2016. The delegation noted that the referendum is part of the implementation of the Doha Document on Peace in Darfur (DDPD). They stated that the necessary administrative preparations, such as the creation of the Darfur Referendum Commission (DRC), have been carried out.

The Sudanese delegation invited the Chairperson of the AU Commission to dispatch a Mission to observe the referendum process, and also to personally visit Sudan. The African Union is part of the guarantors of the DDPD.

The AUC Chairperson expressed the Commission's readiness to observe such events, in order to build confidence amongst the interested Sudanese parties, as well as to promote peace and stability in the Darfur region, provided the necessary conditions exist for such an undertaking.

The Sudanese officials urged the AU Commission to undertake an assessment of the situation in Darfur in order to make an informed decision on the way forward.

Subsequent to very productive discussions, the Chairperson informed the Sudanese delegation that the AU Commission shall hold internal consultations on the request and would revert to the Sudanese authorities in due course.