Concerns persist despite orderly referendum in Sudan
The U.N. Security Council has welcomed the mostly peaceful and orderly referendum that's expected to split Sudan into two countries, but is voicing worries about violence in conflictive Darfur and the disputed oil-rich Abyei region. A similar self-determination vote has been delayed in Abyei, while recent clashes between unidentified rebels and government troops in Darfur last weekend left three officers dead.
Concerns are also rising over the manner in which returnees to Southern Sudan are being received.
“So many of our people have left Khartoum in order to come back and rejoin their families in the south,” says Bishop Caesar Mazzolari from the Diocese of Rumbek.
Bishop Mazzolari says that the local school has become a waiting station for returnees, while church personnel assist them in identifying their families.
“I do appeal to our government – first of all – and then to all the people of good will: who are the NGOs, the agencies that are among us, to see that we place people back in their natural setting, which is their families, as soon as we can,” says Bishop Mazzolari.