In a briefing in Khartoum on Jan. 14, Gration pointed out that the U.S.
offer was relayed to Sudan in late 2010 in an effort to encourage the
cooperation of the regime of President Omar Bashir. The U.S. envoy said the
key condition was that the referendum and its implementation proceed
smoothly and without violence.
Nearly 50 people were killed during the week-long referndum vote in fighting between forces of
northern and southern Sudan. The United Nations, which monitored the
referendum, determined that forces loyal to the Bashir regime were attacking
"We are not going to shortcut the statutory obligations of removing
somebody," Gration said. "If everything goes smoothly it could be done by
the end of the interim period."
The week-long referendum, with an 83 percent turnout, ended on Jan. 15
and officials results were expected in February. Former U.S. President Jimmy
Carter, leading an observer mission, said a majority appeared to have voted
"It's highly likely that the referendum result will be in favor of
separation," Carter said.
On Jan. 11, U.S. Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson, who visited Sudan,
said election violence was restricted to the oil-rich area of Abyei. Carson
said U.S. diplomats were monitoring the referendum in five of 10 southern
"The referendum on southern Sudan's independence is going extremely
well, and we are pleased with the cooperation that we have seen from the
leaders on both sides," Carson said.
The Sudanese interim period for the referndum and implementation was
scheduled to be completed on July 9. Officials said Washington would
continue to closely monitor southern Sudan over the next six months, in
which the Bashir regime must demonstrate that it no longer supports groups
"Even though we have clearly indicated a willingness to remove Sudan
from the state sponsor of terrorism list if the CPA [Comprehensive Peace
Agreement] is fully implemented, Sudan must also comply with the criteria
under the law for the removal of this state sponsor designation," Carson
said. "But it does, in fact, have sufficient time to do that to align it
very closely with any possible independence for the south.