Sudan Commission Requests Vote Delay, Al-Ray Al-Aam Reports

The commission organizing Southern Sudan’s Jan. 9 independence referendum officially requested a delay to the vote, Al-Ray Al-Aam newspaper reported today, citing Soad Ibrahim, the commission’s spokeswoman.

The commission asked the presidency for the delay due to time constraints ahead of the vote and difficulties organizing it, the Khartoum-based newspaper said, citing Ibrahim. The paper said Ibrahim did not specify what sort of delay had been requested.

The referendum, in which the south will decide whether to split and form an independent country, is a key component of a 2005 peace accord that ended a two-decade civil war between Sudan’s Muslim north and the south, where Christianity and traditional beliefs dominate. About 2 million people died in the conflict and more than 4 million were displaced.

Ibrahim declined to comment on the report when contacted by Bloomberg News today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maram Mazen in Khartoum via the Cairo newsroom at mmazen@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net.

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