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Sudan's Bashir starts Darfur tour ahead of states referendum

Sudan's president Omar al-Bashir (C), chairman of the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), Al-Tijani Al-Sissi (L), and the governor of North Darfur state Abdel-Wahid Youssef wave wave to the crowd in El-Fasher, North Darfur on April 1, 2016Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir started a tour of Darfur on Friday ahead of a referendum on whether to keep the conflict-torn western area as five states or to create one united region. Bashir — who is wanted over war crimes allegations in Darfur — said he is holding the vote under a 2011 agreement between Khartoum and some of the rebel groups that have been battling his forces for more than a decade. The ruling National Congress Party back the five-state system but some opposition parties and Darfur insurgents have said the time is not suitable for a referendum.

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