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Religion & Philosophy Discuss Millions start voting on South Sudan independence at the General Discussion; This is a subject that could easily fit the parameters for a political forum, religious forum, or the international forum, ...

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Old 01-09-2011, 11:42 PM
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Default Millions start voting on South Sudan independence

This is a subject that could easily fit the parameters for a political forum, religious forum, or the international forum, but I put it here because it looks to me like religion is the most significant factor in the struggle that has been going on in Sudan. I haven't really been keeping up with what's been happening there, because although I have alot of African friends, none of them are from Sudan. It appears to me that the religious differences between the Northern and Southern regions are what define the struggle best- maybe I'm wrong. Just thought some of you who haven't been watching the situation might be interested.

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JUBA, Sudan Millions of south Sudanese started voting on Sunday in a long-awaited independence referendum that is expected see their war-ravaged region emerge as a new nation.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir cast the first vote in the region just after 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) in the southern capital of Juba, a Reuters witness said.

Voters slept outside overnight and huge queues built up outside polling stations before dawn in Juba where banners described the ballot as a "Last March to Freedom" after decades of civil war and perceived repression by north Sudan.

"Yes, of course, I will vote for separation. We need our independence. We need to be free from the Arabs," said Justin Victor, reverend at All Saints Episcopal Cathedral, as his congregation sang inside.

The referendum was promised in a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war, fueled by oil and ethnicity, between the mostly Muslim north and the south, where most people follow Christianity and traditional beliefs.

While many say both sides reaching referendum day without a relapse into war was an achievement in itself, some burning issues have yet to be resolved, such as where the new border will run and how Sudan's oil revenues will be shared.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday said a peaceful, orderly referendum could help put Sudan back on a path toward normal relations with the United States after years of sanctions but warned a chaotic vote will mean more isolation.

In the north, the prospect of losing a quarter of the country's land mass and the source of most of its oil has been greeted with resignation and some resentment.
"It is a feeling of sadness and anger at the same time ... It is also a feeling of disappointment in the political leadership of the south who have guided the southerners toward secession," said Ibrahim Ghandour, a senior member of the north's ruling National Congress Party (NCP)
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Millions start voting on South Sudan independence - World news - Africa - msnbc.com
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:50 PM
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Unhappy Re: Millions start voting on South Sudan independence

South Sudan gets its independence only to face starvation...

'Storm of hunger' threatens lives of 2.5 million South Sudanese - UN official
Friday 16th December, 2011 - Damaged crops combined with conflict and insecurity are threatening to leave some 2.5 million people in South Sudan the world's newest country in critical conditions unless food assistance is provided immediately, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned today.
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"A gathering storm of hunger is approaching South Sudan, caused by crop failure and market disruption," said WFP Director in South Sudan Chris Nikoi. "Food prices have already doubled or tripled in some areas, leaving hundreds of thousands of children vulnerable to malnutrition at a key developmental stage of their young lives."

Recent erratic rains have damaged crops, and border closures between Sudan and South Sudan are disrupting food trade, leading to frequent shortages and high food prices. Conflict and insecurity aggravate the situation. South Sudan has been beset by outbreaks of ethnic violence since it became independent in July from Sudan, and the presence of many armed groups and militias across the country, as well as an increase in refugees add further complications.

In a news release issued by the agency, WFP said it would scale up its operation to support 2.7 million hungry and conflict-affected people in 2012. Assistance will include providing highly fortified supplementary foods to more than 500,000 children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. In addition to emergency assistance, WFP will help communities and families become more self-sufficient and productive through food-for-assets activities, while laying the groundwork for other projects to build longer-term resilience.

WFP stressed that one of the main upcoming challenges will be making supplies accessible as poor infrastructure combined with conflict and growing insecurity particularly the use of landmines hinder distribution capabilities. WFP also stressed that timing will be critical since up to 60 per cent of the country will be cut off once the rainy season starts in March and April next year. The agency estimates it will need emergency funds of about $92 million to address hunger needs in South Sudan in the first four months of next year.

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