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Vol 57 No 7

Published 1st April 2016


Darfur votes under fire

A referendum is supposed to decide the form of government for the region but few doubt Khartoum will decide the outcome

For Khartoum, the Darfur referendum due on 11-13 April will officially conclude the Doha peace process and 'prove' that the war in the far west is over. In fact, Khartoum has barred United Nations' officials, aid workers and journalists – and any others who might help civilians or question its claims – from entry to Darfur. The referendum, sponsored like the whole process by Khartoum's ally Qatar, is supposed to decide whether Darfur remains administered in five states or forms a single 'semi-autonomous' region. Either way, Khartoum-approved politicians will rule, as they do now. Darfur oppositionists complain that what is claimed as federalism is really divide-to-rule.

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