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  • Written by Panos

Sudan: Ruling party raises border fears ahead of vote

Map of Sudan

Source: Panos

A senior official in Sudan's ruling party declared on Thursday that a referendum on the south's independence can only be held after the internal border is demarcated.

Ibrahim Ghandour, from President Omar al-Bashir's National Congress Party (NCP), said failure to agree on a border before the vote could spark conflict. A representative of the former rebel group Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement (SPLM), Luka Biong Denk, told news agency AFP that it is desirable, but not required, to have the border issue resolved ahead of the referendum.

Areas of dispute about the border include lucrative oil fields. The vote set for January is part of a peace deal signed in 2005 that ended a 22-year-long civil war between north and south Sudan.

  • Written by IRIN ab/am/cb

Sudan: Clashes and demos in Abyei

A past redeployment of SPLA soldiers from the Abyei area: On 5 July, Abyei town residents took to the streets to call for border demarcation and protest the non-formation of the Abyei Referendum Commission. Photo ID 183440. UN Photo/Tim McKulka.[JUBA] Tension over the future of Abyei, a flashpoint region roughly the size Lebanon on Sudan’s north-south border, erupted into armed violence and street demonstrations this week.

On 5 July, gunmen mounted an attack near the village of Tajalei, about 30km northeast of Abyei town, killing five people, a police officer and four civilians.

Abyei Chief Administrator Deng Arop Kuol, from the Ngok Dinka community whose traditional chiefdoms make up the region, blamed Misseriya leaders and accused them of enjoying the support of Khartoum.

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