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Warring politicians strike deal over Sudanese referendu...

Defend Truth

Warring politicians strike deal over Sudanese referendum, much more tension to come

The Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement and the ruling National Congress Party have agreed on the basics for a 2011 referendum for the south of the country to secede. The referendum is part of a 2005 peace deal that ended more than 20 years of civil war between the Arab north and black African south. The SPLM is currently the junior partner in a national government with the NCP, but the sides have been politicking fiercely over whether the referendum should allow the oil-producing region of Abyei to become a sovereign part of the south. One of the most divisive issues for the SPLM has been what percentage of the vote in 2010 elections would be needed to give the green light to a subsequent referendum on southern independence and what voter turnout would be required. The parties settled on 50% plus one vote after much tension, but the minimum turnout of between 55% and 60% is yet to be agreed. The north is keen to keep control of the country’s oil wealth, much of which is in the south of the country. Read more: Reuters, BBC

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