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Vol 52 No 1

Published 7th January 2011


Freedom – North and South

As Southerners vote to secede from the North, some Northern politicians see a chance to undermine the NCP regime in Khartoum

As Southern Sudanese prepare to celebrate independence after the 9-15 January referendum, Northern oppositionists talk of overthrowing the ruling National Congress Party. They have not spoken out so strongly since the opposition, armed and unarmed, collapsed in the late 1990s. The NCP, as the National Islamic Front (NIF) rebranded itself in the same period, is now angrily threatening an ‘Islamic state’ and to ‘deal with’ the opposition in Darfur. Despite President Omer Hassan Ahmed el Beshir’s public shows of conciliation towards the South – some internationals are impressed, we hear – the Khartoum regime has been cracking down on its many opponents in the North. Meanwhile, Egyptian Islamist Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi issued a fatwa that Southern Muslims should not divide ‘an Arab country’ by voting for secession.

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