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Crossroads Sudan
Sudan's political challenges
What lies ahead for the current leadership in Khartoum as it faces the prospect of losing traditions and territory?
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2011 12:46 GMT

Sudan stands at a crossroads with the people of the south voting on whether to become an independent state. This referendum is part of a 2005 peace deal which brought to an end a devastating 22-year civil war which left two million people dead and the same number homeless. Now, with the South likely to secede, Sudan's borders and history may have to be rewritten.

Voting is underway in South Sudan, with more than 2,500 polling centres dotted around the south, ready to accommodate almost four million voters. More than 110,000 voters have registered in the north and another 60,000 are voting from abroad.
 
If people vote for the secession of the south, it will be six months before the changes are fully implemented while, according to the 2005 peace agreement, some of the unresolved issues will be negotiated.

One of the flashpoints is Darfur. Two years of negotiations between rebels and the government broke down last month.

Also hanging in the balance is the future of the oil-producing Abyei region and its tribes. The Dinka want to join South Sudan, the Misseriya want to stay with the north - and the planned referendum in Abyei has been put on hold for.

Meanwhile two fragile border areas are staging a so-called popular consultation on their future. People from the Nuba mountains and Blue Nile regions will make their views on Khartoum known.

Plus, South Sudan itself is very fragmented and home to about 270 different tribes. Most of the leaders in the ruling SPLM party are from the majority Dinka community, which worries some minority tribes.

In today's Crossroads Sudan we are focusing on the political challenges ahead for both the south and the northern part of the country, and we try to find out what lies ahead for the current leadership in Khartoum as it faces the prospect of losing traditions and heritage as well as territory.   
 
Opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi joins us to share his views about the state of the nation.

Crossroads Sudan can be seen from Monday, January 11, at 1730GMT, with repeats airing at 0030GMT, 0530GMT, and 1130GMT the next day. 

Source:
Al Jazeera
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