Added by Annika L. Krugel on January 2, 2011
The referendum on independence of south Sudan is slated for January 9.
The process has been ongoing ever since the 2005 deal that ended the civil war between North and South Sudan was signed. The United States has expressed its desire to cooperate with Khartoum and South Sudan as the latter is expected to vote in favor of independence and declare the same by July.
Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson who is Obama’s top diplomat for Africa encouraged the referendum and hoped that the diplomatic efforts by the country to facilitate a peaceful referendum would succeed.
There were fears that the North would scuttle the referendum and may precipitate another civil war like crisis. However, the visit of the President to the Southern capital raised hopes that the process will go through a peaceful manner.
South Sudan accounts for more than seventy percent of the oil manufactured in the country. While United States has dismissed suggestions that it is eagerly involved in the deal primarily for the oil, it has expressed desire to work closely with south Sudan and has even offered to draw up a development plan for the same.
The 6-month period post the referendum where technical details will be finalized is a sensitive period for the nation.