Sudan’s Darfur votes to retain multi-state system

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Sudan’s western region of Darfur will remain in its current multi-state administrative status after the residents voted against uniting it into different states.

More than 97% of the voters in the referendum chose to remain as five states rather than form a single region, the electoral commission said.

The vote was boycotted by major rebel and opposition groups which say a united region would have more autonomy.

The referendum was part of a peace process to end the 13 years conflict that has killed over 300,000 people.

The country’s President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on war crimes charges related to the Darfur conflict, said ahead of the vote that it would be a free and fair poll.

The US state department however warned that the poll could not be considered credible “under current rules and conditions”.

The vote was held amid ongoing insecurity and many of Sudan’s 2.5 million displaced people were not registered to vote.

The electoral commission said 3.08 million people out of 3.21 million eligible voters turned out for the referendum earlier this month.

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