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Pamela Burdine
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Voting in Southern Sudan began January 9, 2011

On Sunday, January 9, 2011, the people of southern Sudan began voting on a referendum to determine if Sudan will continue to be one country, or if the south will form a new independent nation in Africa. Under the regulations, the vote needs a 60 percent turnout to be valid. More than 50 percent of voters need to choose independence for the south to secede. The voting continues through January 15, 2011.

The referendum is a result of Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that was signed in January 2005. The CPA ended 20 years of civil war between the north and south that claimed an estimated 2 million lives. Approximately 3.9 million southern Sudanese registered to vote. The final results of the vote are expected to be announced in early to mid-February.

A Sudanese woman

The referendum in Southern Sudan will determine if the south will form a new independent country. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, ACT Alliance.

The current peace agreement will run until July 2011. During this period there are several issues which need to be settled, including sharing of wealth (especially oil reserves and revenues), border demarcation, citizenship, currency, national assets and external debt. If the outcome of the referendum is separation, negotiations could become tense, sensitive and complicated.

Thus far, the voting has been relatively peaceful. There has been some violence in the contested north-south border region of Abyei. United Nations peacekeepers have intensified their patrols, and the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), set up in 2005 to support the CPA, is on standby to reinforce its peacekeeping presence if needed and is engaging all concerned with efforts to defuse tensions and prevent a further escalation.

Please pray for the people of Sudan during this challenging and uncertain time.

 

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Upcoming Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Events

PHP Advisory Committee

March 30 - April 1, 2014

Presbyterian Hunger Program Advisory Committee meets March 30 - April 1, 2014, in New Orleans, LA, in conjunction with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Advisory Committee and Self-Development of People Steering Committee.

PDA Advisory Committee

March 30 - April 1, 2014

In a One Great Hour of Sharing Joint Meeting, The PDA Advisory Committee will meet in conjunction with PHP Advisory Committee and the SDOP Steering Committee March 30 – April 1 at the Omni Royal Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. Discussions will include the work and vision of each department, long term Presbyterian involvement, issues and generative thinking.  A mission site tour will be made, followed individual committee meetings, and PHP will visit grant partner, Latino Farmer’s Cooperative of Louisiana.

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