Although the referendum in South Sudan appears to be occurring without major incident, the main challenges lie ahead on the way to an independent South Sudan, the universally expected outcome of the voting and subsequent six-month transition period.
The referendum was a key component of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended decades of conflict between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) based in the South, and the Sudanese government in Khartoum, led by Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who seized power in a coup in 1989. Unfortunately, the CPA and subsequent rounds of talks have failed to resolve several important questions that could still derail a successful transition to Southern independence. These include borders and citizenship, economics and energy, public administration and local security, and finally the international relations of the two new countries. ...
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