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South Sudan grows louder over secession

Sudan's foreign minister Deng Alor, who comes from the poorer south of the country, says the oil-producing south overwhelmingly wants to declare independence from the ruling north. His comments echo southern leader Salva Kiir at a time when the Arab north and Christian and animist south are jockeying over the interpretation of a 2005 peace accord that ended a decades-long civil war. The deal paved the way for a possible vote on southern secession in 2011. But first, a 2010 national election has to validate this, with the more populated north seeking to impose a 75% vote threshold for this to happen. Now Alor has drawn a furious response from the north, after telling a UN-sponsored conference the ruling political party was arming southern militias believed to be behind a recent wave of tribal violence. Read more: Reuters

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