All eyes on post-referendum Sudan

Feb. 9, 2011 at 1:19 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The United States and members of the international community congratulated Sudan on a peaceful referendum but said there was more work to be done.

Voters in Sudan overwhelmingly backed a referendum for an independent South Sudan. The January measure was part of a 2005 peace agreement that ended a bloody civil war in the country.

The United States joined international partners in commending Sudanese authorities for their leadership during the referendum process. Parties to the peace agreement, however, were called on to "redouble" efforts to tackle post-referendum issues.

Washington in a joint statement said the status of the border region of Abyei must be resolved and issues over border demarcation and natural resources must be settled so there are "two stable, secure, and economically prosperous states living in peace with one another and their neighbors."

Violence resurfaced in the post-referendum period, however. A mutiny within joint north and south Sudanese forces on the regional border claimed up to 50 lives Monday. Meanwhile, a minister for rural development in South Sudan was killed by his driver Wednesday, the BBC reports.

Washington added that it would remove Sudan from its terrorist list "with the obvious qualification that Sudan has to meet the criteria under law before that action could be taken."

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