from Africa in Transition

Moving Forward in Sudan

January 10, 2011

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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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The people of south Sudan began voting January 9 on a referendum to separate from the north. Polls will remain open until January 15, with the final results announced February 6 at the earliest. The electoral law’s requirement that 60 percent of registered voters participate will likely be easily met. Though there are already reports of violence involving Khartoum’s soldiers and southern civilians, and there will probably be irregularities, the margin of votes favoring independence will be so huge there will be little doubt as to the intention of the southern Sudanese. In the week before the referendum, Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, an indicted war criminal, stated publicly that he would abide by the results. But as the Cote d’Ivoire standoff between Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara reminds, a credible vote does not always resolve the underlying issues.

Read the rest of my first take for CFR.org here.

More on:

Sub-Saharan Africa

Politics and Government

Elections and Voting

Sudan

Wars and Conflict

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