The Sudanese government (Khartoum) said that its South Sudan Coordination Council (SSCC a oversight committee appointed in 1998 to monitor south Sudan) had decided to postpone a much-discussed regional referendum on independence. The referendum will not be held until March, 2004 at the earliest. The referendum was originally scheduled for this year. The SPLA does not participate in the SSCC, for several reasons. The SPLA did not sign the interim accord that established the SSCC. The SPLA also regards the organization as Khartoum controlled.