Southern Sudan Moving Closer to Succession

“Come writers and critics, Who prophesize with your pen,
And keep your eyes wide, The chance won’t come again,
And don’t speak too soon, For the wheel’s still in spin,
And there’s no tellin’ who, That it’s namin’.
For the loser now, Will be later to win,
For the times they are a-changin’.” – Bob Dylan, Times They Are A Changin’

A significant majority of Sudanese have voted to split north and south into two countries (story here). The South, comprised of mainly African Christians, voted 99% in favor of succession. This is a massively one-sided vote, but hardly surprising. These people live in fear of genocide from the North.

What is interesting is that the North, comprised of mainly Arab Muslims, voted 58% in favor of succession. It seems as though both sides have agreed to go their separate ways.

So it’s a done deal, right? Well, not just yet. They haven’t exactly agreed on how to divide the assets.

As the UN’s Ban Ki-Moon notes, “We are still very much concerned about post-referendum issues — border security, citizenship, wealth sharing, demarcation, popular consultations in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, and most importantly the status of Abyei”

Yep, that would sum it up. Border security – we’d like to stave off more genocide if possible. Citizenship – who belongs to whom; those who have held sway for a long time are unlikely to just give away the game (or all the people). Wealth sharing – this is interesting, who gets what piece of the other’s assets? Perhaps the last statement reveals the meaning: the status of Abyei. Abyei, of course, sitting on top of a major oil deposit.

So, the vote is in, but the final throw hasn’t happened just yet. There are more disputes, claims, and perhaps even some threats to come. For now though, things are moving along.

Times, they are a changin’.

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