Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2011: Southern Sudan referendum

Southern Sudan referendum

  • A referendum on independence for Southern Sudan was held in January 2011, with 98.83% of the electorate opting for secession.

  • The President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, accepted the results and issued a Republican Decree confirming the outcome of the referendum. Southern Sudan is expected to become an independent country on 9 July 2011.

Southern Sudan

  • Southern Sudan is a landlocked autonomous region in the southern part of the Sudan.

  • Juba is its capital city.

  • It is bordered by Ethiopia to the east; Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the south; and the Central African Republic to the west.

  • Two decades of war between the predominantly Muslim north and rebels in the Christian-animist south killed at least 2 million people before a 2005 peace agreement (NAIVASHA AGREEMENT) was reached.

  • President-Salva Kiir Mayardit (since 2005)

Darfur Conflict

  • The Darfur Conflict is an ongoing guerrilla conflict or civil war centered on the Darfur region of Sudan.

  • It began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) groups in Darfur took up arms, accusing the Sudanese government of oppressing non-Arab Sudanese in favor of Sudanese Arabs.

  • One side of the conflict is composed mainly of the official Sudanese military and police, and the Janjaweed, a Sudanese militia group recruited mostly from the Arab Abbala tribes of the northern Rizeigat region in Sudan; these tribes are mainly camel-herding nomads.

  • The other combatants are made up of rebel groups, notably the SLM/A and the JEM, recruited primarily from the non-Arab Muslim Fur, Zaghawa, and Masalit ethnic groups.

  • Sudanese government publicly denies that it supports the Janjaweed.

  • In July, 2010, Sudan's president Omar al-Bashir was finally charged by ICC (International Criminal Court), Hague for orchestrating Darfur genocide.

  • The Sudanese government and the JEM signed a ceasefire agreement in February, 2010, with a tentative agreement to pursue further peace.

Courtesy: The Hindu and Times of India