A referendum is taking place in Southern Sudan from 9 January until 15 January 2011, on whether or not the region should remain a part of Sudan or be independent. The referendum is one of the consequences of the 2005 Naivasha Agreement between the Khartoum central government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M).
Walaa Idris, a leader in the Conservative Party in London writes about the latest political rumblings in her native country. Idris grew up in Sudan but has lived in London since 1991. In her latest blog entry, she explains the political context for the recent referendum.
By Walaa Idris
This is a historic week for Africa and in particular the Sudan; it’s the week when the people of Southern Sudan hold their long awaited promised referendum on whether to split the country into two nations. The Sudan one of the largest, most resourceful countries in the continent of Africa – once dubbed the Food Basket of the World – measures almost 1,000,000 square miles but was plagued for years with drought, famine and half a century of on – off civil wars that tore it apart and stifled its growth and development.
To the surprise of the West the central government of Khartoum is holding – as part of the peace agreement signed in 2005 – a referendum on the future of creating two neighbouring nations. By the end of which, if 60% voted to separate, then the country will be split into North and South thus creating the 54th state of Africa.