UN steps up call for peaceful Sudan referendum

December 17, 2010 00:25

UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council is stepping up pressure on Sudan's north and south to ensure a peaceful referendum next month to determine whether Africa's largest nation will split into two separate countries.

The council on Thursday strongly urged the North and South to calm rising tensions and urgently reach agreement on a separate referendum to resolve the fate of the dispute oil-rich Abyei region claimed by both sides.A council statement also urged the North and South to resolve critical post-referendum issues including borders, citizenship, debts, assets, currency and natural resources.

The January vote is the final phase of a 2005 peace agreement that ended two decades of war between the Arab-dominated north and Christian and animist south.

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