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Vol 51 No 3

Published 5th February 2010


Southern leaders compete for a new state

There are fears that the thrice-delayed national elections, now due on 8 April, could trigger an escalation of fighting in Darfur and the South, given the probability that few will accept the results as free and fair. The Khartoum regime has failed to implement most of the key democratic reforms agreed under the 2005 peace deal. The 2008 census and the constituency boundaries lacked credibility and the Islamist government has done nothing to promote an independent judiciary or independent electoral administration.

referendumA new wave of violence and fraudulent elections could block any chance of progress on Darfur and undermine the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) led by Salva Kiir Mayardit, who is also President of the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) and national First Vice-President. There is growing international concern at this prospect: Sudan’s crisis has been on the agenda of both the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council in recent weeks. Yet events suit the National Congress Party (NCP, aka National Islamic Front) regime, which has been trying to make the organisation of next year’s referendum on independence for Southern Sudan as difficult as possible and to weaken the potential Southern state.

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