South Sudan referendum law back to parliament

AP News
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Posted: Dec 24, 2009 4:04 PM

A southern Sudanese official says parliament will review a disputed law on holding a referendum over his region's independence after it was altered in a way that violates a fragile peace deal.

The 2005 north-south peace deal brought the former rivals into a temporary unity government, promising a crucial 2011 referendum on southern independence.

Pagan Amum of the Sudan People Liberation Movement said last minute changes by the north would have allowed people not originally from the south to vote and could have delayed the referendum. The U.S. criticized the changes, passed after southerners walked out of parliament.

Amun said Thursday the northern party agreed to allow the original bill to go back before parliament next week.