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US expresses 'serious concern' over Darfur referendum

People gather to attend a speech by the Sudanese President during his visit to Eastern Darfur on April 5, 2016, ahead of a referendum on the future of DarfurThe US State Department on Saturday expressed “serious concern” over next week’s referendum in Sudan on the future of Darfur, stating that the vote will not be credible under current rules and conditions. The April 11-13 referendum will determine whether to unify the five states in the Darfur region, a long-standing demand of rebels seeking greater autonomy. The vote is expected to maintain the five-state system, which Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s ruling party says is more efficient but which observers say gives Khartoum greater control over Darfur.

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