MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) - Democratic elections, as well as nationwide referendums, are the key issues for resolving a long-standing conflict in Sudan, the UN Secretary General said.
"The holding of elections and referendums are among the key milestones of the peace agreement ending the long-running north-south civil war in Sudan that have yet to be reached," the UN official website quoted Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as saying.
The UN Mission in Sudan was established in 2005 to monitor the peace agreement between the government in Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement in southern Sudan, which ended the longest-running civil war in Africa.
"Next year's elections, the first multi-party polls in decades, must be seen as part of a larger process of democratic transformation, requiring a long-term commitment by all parties," he said.
The civil war that broke out in the western region of Darfur in early 2003 has claimed the lives of more than 300,000, according to United Nations estimates, and forced 2.7 million people from their homes. The Sudanese side puts the number of dead at 10,000.
The International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, where the fighting has involved numerous armed groups, Sudanese troops and government-linked militias.