South Sudan Referendum is a reality by law. Orchestration of its destruction by anyone or party is unlawful and must be pushed.
While watching the Heads or representatives of world States’ 4 hours video (High Level Meeting on Sudan) on www.UNmultimedia.org - on the night of September 24th, 2010. On that same night – I was convinced that the world is united behind Southern Sudan’s painful voices of concern for Referendum make possible through fair and free preparations and votes; in regards to people’s will. Besides, the Abyei, Blue Nile, Nuba Mountains, and Darfur’s crisis concerns inside Sudan. All world leaders who met in Manhattan New York, were fully informed and understood decades of suffering endured by the Sudanese people and most importantly by Southern Sudanese – the representatives came to believe that, the Referendum with its issues; must be conducted as agreed and signed by the two governments of North and South – Sudan.
Even in this High Level Meeting: There were good and bad news for the world to take along their rocky path on Sudan problems. The bad news came with two Sudanese neighbors: Idris Debby of Chad asked question, do you think is Sudan going to be more peaceful when divided into South and South? His question was disregarding the call for Referendum timely schedule to be respected and proper credibility of its being run peacefully with accuracy on people’s will. The second man was the Ethiopian Meles Zenawi, who said, let me assure you (delegates) that Referendum will not happen on time nor conducted because of issues interconnected with separation (vote of independence); counting the oil and border demarcation items among many others attached. His point of concern was no enough time to deal with the claims dogging South Sudan Referendum votes on January 9th, 2011. Why no time now? What was the government doing during the last – almost 6 years of interim period? Conspiracy is not a passport to unity here. Let Zenawi be assured.
No one knows what Khartoum have said or paid to these two men, but Heaven knows!!
You wonder what happened to Debby and Zenawi – if the call of help is heard as far as Brazil in South America, North America, the European Countries, other African Countries and Asian Continent’s representatives who talked respectfully, in support of the Sudanese people and governments for Referenda, and popular consultations be done as scheduled almost 6 years ago now.
The other bad news was the Sudanese 2nd vice president; Taha’s 2 delegates (North) were thrown into jail for inappropriate behaviors - caught by New York police violating code of conducts, around Manhattan’s Hilton Hotel during an entry or exiting the place – the 2 delegates were later on released after the prove of their legibility to attend the meeting was found. Luckily, the 1st Sudanese vice president, Salva Kiir Mayardit’s delegates (South) whose his people are rumored to be incapable of ruling themselves, were found free of such violent argument or inappropriate acts accusation. Victory in another way around!
Is Ali Ahmed Karti a Time Bell?
Karti is running against red light with his own NCP wishes and proposals. In his interview, with Ali Salih of Asharq Alawsat – 09-23-2010 (Arabic Newspaper). “You signed the CPA, the CPA prefers Unity”, Karti said to the interviewer meaning the USA and SPLM on peace agreement. I can’t tell if Sudanese foreign minister, Karti got it right about the CPA articles he refers to. The article in its real contact mean that the people of South Sudan would opt - depending on their combined experiences of 22 years of second civil war plus 6 years of interim period if the North is accommodative in its administrative rules and laws in relation to South Sudan’s people, and norms, which is not. The CPA has two options in it: Unity and Separation depending on the attractiveness of one. Making Unity attractive is when all articles or almost all of them were implemented or applied to work. And making unity unattractive is when what have been signed in Naivasha is disrespected or ignored – which put the South on the fastest lane to Secession if North is seen using unacceptable behavior/s as Obama stated. Is the NCP going to blame the South or SPLM for taking side between Unity and Separation when Referendum comes on 01-09-2011? No! Because you are the leader and decide to undermine the law, no one is going to abide by what you have broken – So you don’t call CPA a law anymore.
“There are some unacceptable behaviors in the 21st century, like genocide”, said – by his Excellency US President; Barack Obama – 09-24-2010; in the “High Level Meeting on Sudan” in New York. Thanks God who ever initiated the meeting got a great idea of moving the world forward. This is true; the National Congress Party is shifting from calling South Sudanese abid –meaning slaves to niggers - according to recent comment, by the same Karti of NCP on the press in the capital, Khartoum. It’s a childish way of insulting a Nation and must stop.
Karti’s bigotry-accusation to SPLM – saying that SPLM is using a terrorism tactics to avoid Unity campaign is a lie. If there are people terrorized, arrested or killed by Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM), why not mention their names and the locality of their residency or presence; if this is not unhappiness of those Khartoum have paid and sent to the South to destabilize the region and return to Khartoum without succeeding in their mission because SPLM did not give them any ground of incubation.
This same Ali Karti have called the International Community’s support-call, for South Sudan Referendum dateline and people’s will to vote on January next year, an “ill-intention to divide Sudan”. So is sending militias and government forces to kill Southerners and Darfurians a prosperous intention? Again the 3 billion dollars plan to develop the South/been developing the South is not a true statement – that was talked about this year (2010) just to turn the referendum scheme around for an empty unity of the Country – which has never been seen during the last five years of unity government.
Darfur is still burning to ashes – Sudan government is doing it!!
Referendum and Popular consultations are Refuge to the South and Abyei, Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains Regions. So they must be honored to be conducted according to the law, in which they were brought into book. The violations done and violations on the schedule to be done against Referendum success, are a bloody face all authorities of concern, must face without turning to the side.
My Identity is my Own and it is not Up for Debate, by Nam Kiwanuka.
"It is far better to be free to govern, or misgovern yourself than to be governed by anybody else" ~Kwame Nkrumah.
The exit is now, and the exit is here
Cut Sudan map into two – South and North.
You will see two ugly maps, than the old one we know
But an ugly map, is better than an ugly government
We will take it; we will get use to it
To the closest exit – comes 2011
On the Referendum day – cut South and North.
Southern Sudan must go as a nation.
The reasons of our separation are many
And so urgent to be ignored, Northern Sudan
Have thrown Southern Sudan to wolves
Several times before, and as now, our grievances on ice
The North wants the South to stay, but where in the World
Would you refuse someone – go lodging,
When you cannot afford
To provide beddings.
We have paid enough to be considered part of the entire Sudan
But that did not pay back for decades; it’s time for us to pay ourselves
Pay the nation, pay yourself, for committed millions of lives- lost
Vote for independent South – Sudan, referendum for secession.
When twenty eleven – zero one – zero nine, comes.
Independent South – Independent State
This is not a runaway trick – from our patriotic comrades
In the Nuba mountains, the Blue Nile, the Fur and all those
The poetry rules did not allow me, to mention. Soon, we will return for all
Who’s the map of Southern Sudan could not accommodate
To reunite the Nation, But now we have emergency to run.
To fly our yellow-star flag
Proudly - up high on the Buma Hills
Flying gently on the River Nile shores
With foundation deep down in Juba
Flying freely in space, in Bor-Town,
While waving, independently
In the Greater Bhar-El Ghazel Regions.
Claiming the Nuba Mountains, the Blue Nile ……
Our exiles, for the last two civil wars have not returned
We need to bring them Home.
We do one now, two later
United - Independent South 1st
Think Referendum, on the South Wing.
To the closest exit
Comes, twenty eleven.
On the North-South relations he said, the SPLM/A would not allow itself to be dragged into war, but should it be forced to - he added; that this time, God would know that we are fighting a justified war and we would defeat anybody that would fight us, said, South Sudan President and Sudanese 1st vice president (Unity Government) – May 16th, 2010 – Martyrs’ Memorial Day.
~ Salva Kiir Mayar-dit
Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.
~Leon J. Suenes.
By Chaplain Nemaya
Juba, Sudan (Borglobe).... Reaction to the insecurity threats in Jonglei Sate, Western Equatoria and Bhar el Gazal States, yesterday provoked Lawrence Korbandy, an advocate from South Sudan Associated, to point out that National Congress Party and Khartoum Government in particular, is deeply engaged in fighting South Sudan by proxy wars, to endanger the up coming referendum.
He cited the chopper impounded last Month by the SPLM, as one clear example through which NCP backs up George Athor and the Uganda Lords Resistant Army in Western Equatoria and Bhar El Gazal.
“NCP if fighting the South by proxy war, the recent helicopter incident is a clear identification that they are against the Southern Government.” He stated
Northern Government does not want South Sudan to gain independence and be a democratic state. Because the North, is based on Islamic religion which in comparison is totally different from the South, Korbandy expalined.
He noted that, the Southern Government instead of speaking out the truth that the North is against freedom of Southerners, remains quite and admitant to whatever delays the NCP imposes on them especially with issues related to referendum.
By Chaplain Nemaya
Juba, Sudan (Borglobe)... Considering the late formation of the referendum commission and bureau, with international referendum observers and registration of voters not yet in place, given only three months ahead of the conduct of referendum; an advocate Lawrence Korbandy yesterday said, two institutions (NCP) and Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) are historically responsible for the delay and the aftermath of the referendum. Korbandy made these remarks at his office.
According to Korbandy, the said two institutions and the presidency that include, the President of international observers as stipulated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)., Bashir, his Vice Osman Taha and the President of South Sudan Kiir, violated the national interim constitution of Sudan by delaying to form referendum commission and invite
“Delay by the two institutions and the presidencies to timely implement referendum activities is a violation of the National Interim Constitution of Sudan and the referendum act, South Sudan referendum is a process determined by the constitution and the law that guides it. It should have been enacted by the beginning of the third year of the interim period” Korbandy explained.
He affirmed that, “timely conduct of South Sudan referendum is well stated in article 220, of the National Interim Constitution of Sudan. And that sub section one authorizes the National Assembly to enact this law by the beginning of the third year of the interim period.”
Korbandy said he agrees with South Sudan political parties’ statements that, incase of any delay to conduct South Sudan referendum, they as political parties shall ask South Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) to declare independence for the South.
Maintaining that, these statements are not reckless as the international bodies call, and NCP should neither call them political remarks, because the National Interim Constitution of Sudan recommended the conduct of referendum by 2011.
He also noted that, it is the same constitution of Sudan that approved the Interim Constitution of South Sudan. Hence, SSLA has the mandate to declare independence for the South, considering these legal arrangements.
By Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, MD
September 13, 2010 (SSNA) -- Of a special interest is the fact that President Barack Obama will join United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon and representatives of the African Union, World Bank and other organizations for a September the 24th summit meeting on the Southern Sudan referendum in New York, as declared by Susan Rice, the U.S. envoy to the UN.
Obama “sees this as a very important vehicle for focusing international attention” on preparations for the referendum and implementation of its results, including decisions on border demarcation, Rice said.
However with only four months to go for the south Sudan referendum everything about the future of the country continues remains bleak. This pessimism is nowhere much expressed than in the US state secretary’s speech when she put it in a nutshell that despite all that the US and the international community are doing for the Sudan to have a timely referendum, there still exists a real threat of renewal to the south north war unless the north is won-over to peacefully accept the inevitable secession of the South.
Many may still have their say, but the reality on the ground attests to a fact that the anticipated referendum has been hijacked by party politics, while it should have been left for the south Sudanese grass roots to decide which way to go. The great danger today lies in the NCP’s intentional misinterpretation of the referendum bill, thus making it the regimes tool to maintain a unity which otherwise has become unpopular to the southern electorates who are overwhelmingly expected to vote for secession.
The politicians have several times failed the Sudanese people as witnessed by the five decades of warfare and the loss of more than two million lives. The people at all levels remain concerned that too short a time is left for the management of this potentially explosive plebiscite. On the other hand it is clear that the northern NCP is busy looking for ways to manipulate or right away derail the entire process.
The dominant NIF/NCP of president al Bashir is intentionally making everything appear difficult if not impossible, but of course in line with their declared policies. The members of a commission to organize the referendum were only announced in late June 2010, and its secretary-general appointed last week, after months of wrangling between northern and southern leaders. All these are bad omens, not to mention that the situation in the contested Oil-rich area of Abyei has altogether reverted to the pre-CPA era, with Khartoum resettling new Baggara Arab nomads in the territory ahead of the referendum.
Secretary Clinton who appears to play the role of a gap Bridger, declared in her address to the US Council on Foreign Relations think tank that it was "inevitable" southerners would vote for secession and that Washington, together with international partners, needed to work out ways to persuade the north to accept that result peacefully.
“The [north-south] situation is a ticking time bomb of enormous consequence," Clinton said.
"The south is not quite capable of summoning the resources to do [the referendum], and the north has been preoccupied and is not inclined to do it, because it's pretty clear what the outcome will be."
“If you’re in the North, and all of a sudden you think a line’s going to be drawn and you’re going to lose 80 percent of the oil revenues, you’re not a very enthusiastic participant” in the division of the country” Clinton told her audience.
“What are the deals that can possibly be made that will limit the potential of violence?” she asked. “The South needs “to recognize that unless they want more years of warfare and no chance to build their own new state, they’ve got to make some accommodations with the north as well,” Clinton said.
Secretary Clinton is entitled to her opinion when she suggested that the South continues to split its Oil with the North as a panacea to avoid a possible return to war, or rather still win a peaceful recognition from the colonialists of the hostile North, however having that said I insist that all the responses that came from Khartoum should be taken into account and seriously. The NIF/NCP regime has now gone public to disapprove of the US policies on the Sudan in its totality. Two senior party officials have already slammed the US State Secretary over her comments.
In a tone typically of the Islamist fanatic institutions world-wide, the NIF/NCP have come out to tell the US administration that they really don’t care about what Secretary Clinton refers to a "ticking time-bomb” in the Sudan. After all what is a “ticking time-bomb” to a terrorist or a professional suicide bombers indoctrinator, which the NIF/NCP are.
"We do not need any incentives or temptations from the US, Europe or France ... There is no need to accept any interference," said Abdelati the top NIF/NCP official.
"We are working to achieve unity up to the last moment. We don't think secession is inevitable," a senior NCP official, Rabie Abdelati said. "Everything is going very smoothly. We don't see any sign that there will be a problem between the north and the south, that there will be war." He added.
In his own delusional state of mind, Abdelati even never hesitated to tell the Reuters and I quote: “most southerners are in fact in favour of unity with the North, but their voices are being drowned out by a few separatist leaders from the south's former rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)”. To confirm that Abdelati is not alone in his criticism of secretary Clinton, he was immediately joined by Sudan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, the hard-line Islamist, Ali Karti who was cited by Sudan official news agency (SUNA) as saying that Clinton’s remarks were intended to give the impression that there are major problems in the Sudan. He further commented by saying that the U.S. top diplomat is exaggerating and attempting to portray the situation incorrectly.
"The U.S. Secretary of State if she visited Sudan and listened to the various parties she would have not said what she said and her forecast of events is not true," he said.
One head of the few Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) Missions in the western hemisphere was on the other hand quoted by the media when he said: “We would really like to send a signal to the world that we are willing to negotiate with the North and open to any discussion on sharing of Oil revenues,” the GoSS diplomatic said per the media. And he went on to add and I quote again: “It is not in our interest to see the north failing,” he said. “It should also be in the interests of the North to see us be viable.”
Going by the above statements which in fact can be traced back to several other senior SPLM, one is tempted to consider it as an official party line.
But truly I must confess here that I not only fail to understand the point that the SPLM senior officials are trying to make in portraying to the world stage that south Sudan is indeed keen to see a strong north at the expense of its citizens who continue to languish in destitution in their millions and I don’t even agree that the content is in any way sensible. This North which some of us think deserves the South’s sacrifice in order to continue to thrive while the South itself only barely survives, these people must be made to re-count and accept that the north had witnessed huge development even before the much talked about South’s Oil revenues. They have the Gezira Agricultural Scheme the largest of its kind in Africa together with the gigantic Kenana Sugar Factory and many others, so how does brother in the SPLM expect us to protect the North economically when we don’t even have clean water within our towns let alone our people who over 99% live at subhuman levels in the jungles and swamps of the improvised south Sudan.
Or can any one of these modern days philosophers attest to us why Sudan’s foreign debts now stand at the astronomical figure of 37.8 billion US dollars while there virtually exist nothing in the whole South to justify its share in this debt.
To push all the political incompatibilities that soared up between the SPLM and its peace partner, the NCP, as mere differences on Wealth Sharing, is in fact to inappropriately over simplify the current political stalemate in the Sudan. The North is more developed than the South and this is a fact that none can deny. However the NIF/NCP is driven by the so-called “Arabisation and Islamisation” agenda towards South Sudan and Africa beyond. To do this they will not only want to control the South’s recourses, but in fact to use it, land and people as consumables in attaining their holy dreams.
Given the fact that the North is adamant to buy the Southern public opinion into voting for unity, I am forced to a much extend to disagree with secretary Clinton because I believe that no amount of Oil bribery – call it Oil sharing – will ever win the NCP to the side of peaceful co-existence with the South. They are obsessively greedy, and while Secretary Clinton is suggesting oil spilt to bring them on board, they on their part expect the US administration to play a different role. NIF/NCP wants its “genocide regime” out of USA list of countries sponsoring terrorism so that they can continue their genocide campaigns with total impunity the countrywide.
Nonetheless Clinton’s suggestion that the South continues to pay ransoms to the north has already provoke resistance from the community of U.S. activists who work on behalf of the Christian South, as highlighted by Stephen Morrison, former director of the Africa program at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “Southern Sudan has hurdles to overcome, Morrison said”.
“The south has done very little to get itself internally organized. It seems to think that the West and the U.S. in particular is going to rescue them as the situation deteriorates as opposed to making accommodations to the north as of now.” he added.
I hope President Baraka Obama will understand per Abdelati’s statement that the Omer al Bashir regime isn’t asking for incentives, but they are out there to challenge his leadership in the international level. Although the US administration might want to persuade the northern Arabs into a peaceful recognition of South Sudan’s independence, the fact remains that these Arab fanatics only understand the language of force – obviously not threats or incentives.
It is the wish of the author of this article that the international community acknowledges its short comings in observing the implementation of the agreement in conformity with the wordings and the spirit, before undertaking new obligations towards the holding of the referendum. The people of the Sudan were disappointed by the Obama administration which failed to live up to pre-election rhetoric on the Sudan. The CPA came and will go without ever brining the much expected democratic transformation to a people who badly yearn for it.
However given the sensitivity of the stage we are right in now, we all look forwards to the New York meeting. The US administration and its counterparts in the international community must realise that it might be their last opportunity to consolidate peace in the region. Should the SPLM and NCP delegates as represented by their top leaderships fail again as they did previously in Washington, then the world must be prepared for a new human misery of an untold magnitude.
Unless South Sudan is to meet the North’s fire by fire, which means building the South’s defensive military capabilities, the destabilization threats from the greedy North will continue to be of concern even if we were to surrender to them our last drop of the Oil. The forth coming meeting should take this into consideration that the North will never ever act or negotiate in good faith unless it is made to understand that its military planes would be brought down not by the US only, but even by the South Sudan military might, should it (North), ever attempt to disturb the South’s air space any time from now. I am afraid that this Oil sharing which Secretary Clinton suggests, if not coupled by a strong and deterring military build up of the southern army, the whole project may turn out to become another blackmailing which will go on and on even to involve other practices.
I seriously dissent any further consensuses before putting an end to the North’s bulling attitudes lest it continue to misinterpret the south’s generosity for weakness. Did the North treat the South any different when it had the 100% control over the South’s Oil before the 2005 peace agreement? The truth be said, when they (the Islamist) had 100% over the Oil, they actually mistreat the South more. The situation only slightly improved following the 50% -50% Oil spilt that was brought about by the CPA; and it can only get better when the south uses all its wealth to develop itself as rightly should be. A bully only grows stronger and stubborn when the victim gets softer.
I would prefer that the New York meeting stresses on the timely holding of the referendum, then the issues of the borders to determine where the Oil Fields strictly lie. The Oil relationship between the South and the North should be strictly business and limited to how the Independent South will continue to use the pipelines that pass through the northern territory to the northern port of Port Sudan, all entirely on rental basis, until such a time that the East African pipelines are ready to alternatively transport south Sudan’s Oil through Kenya to the world market.
But still my question is why does Secretary Clinton want South Sudan to buy its recognition from the colonial North? Is this not akin to the days when slaves were made to pay their masters in return for freedom?
The Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly passed on Monday a report by a specialized committee of legal affairs on the establishment of an ad hoc committee for the Southern Sudan referendum. The Committee is tasked with coordinating and facilitating referendum activities and ensuring that the referendum is organized on January 9, 2011 as scheduled.
UNMIS and Norwegian police have started training the second batch of Southern Sudan police in Juba on Monday.The purpose of the training is to prepare Southern Sudan police for the coming referendum exercise.
By Mabior Philip www.borglobe.com
(Borglobe).... - JubaMembers of the semi-independent Legislative Assembly yesterday noted with utmost concern that the pay-scale of soldiers was grossly not equivalent to the duty with which they are charged, that referendum funding should elevate the payment of the army.
Construction of security roads was cited as one of the leading aids for the army and Southern Sudan organized forces, to efficiently provide security during the vote.
“It is disturbing that whatever the SPLA receives does not equate to any grades of the Public Service”, Twich East representative Deng Dau Deng said.
The members noted that if the National Congress Party delays or denies the referendum for the people of Southern Sudan in January 2011, the House will have to decide the fate of the southerners with the defense of the army.
“But how do we ensure that this particular army will help during the referendum”, said Deng, former Chairperson of the War and Veterans’ commission. “The assembly should establish a committee to set up a structure if we are to have an army that will protect the referendum”.
The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning David Deng Athorbei, asked the assembly to approve about 319,546,000 Pounds for the SPLA and in the Supplementary budget 2010, but MPs insisted on knowing soldiers get the little they deserve in time.
“If we don’t know that the salary of the SPLA is on regular basis, how do we ensure this army will ensure security of the people”, Abiemnhom representative said. “If there is an abrupt outbreak of war, then it would be very difficult”.
The army officially said most of their services were lacking, but they had hoped a new budget would elevate the pay structure. “It is true we don’t have allowances but we hope with the new budget we will have allowances”, Kuol Deim Kuol, the military spokesperson, told a press briefing last month.
The Undersecretary in the Ministry of Veterans and SPLA Affairs, where the army policies are made, had told a press briefing that the army was less paid because of limited resources. “We always try to balance between what we have and our forces”, he said. “The Ministry isn’t denying anything to the SPLA; we are always asking the and the Commander-in-Chief”.
MPs pointed at why the army pay was not compartible with public service grades. “If you see a watchman in civil authority and you compare, there is a big difference and this watchman would run away if it is a serious thing and the soldiers sacrifice their blood”, Martha Akuany noted.
However, some soldiers after the deliberation confided to Borglobe that some of them were not getting the already assigned monthly salaries. “The problem is that there continues to be no payment of this small amount”, a soldier whose name is with-held on request said.
“They told us since September to wait for deployment and the accountants have powers not to pay until the deployment”.
Southern Sudan is four months away from a sensitive vote that will possibly separate from the dominantly Islamic north.
The SPLM threatens that should her peace party renege on conducting the referendum, the southern Sudan Legislatively assembly may be forced to declare independence unilaterally.
By Rebecca Hamilton, Washington Post
KHARTOUM, Sudan - A referendum on whether oil-rich southern Sudan breaks away to become Africa's newest nation is scheduled to take place in less than four months. But with negotiations between north and south stalled over border demarcation, and preparations for the vote lagging perilously behind, the likelihood of the referendum proceeding as planned appears slim.
Analysts fear that any delay could trigger a return to the decades-long civil war that resulted in the deaths of an estimated 2 million people, primarily southerners.
Sudan's Islamist government, headed by President Omar al-Bashir, appears reluctant to let go of oil fields that have helped it survive U.S. economic sanctions first imposed in the 1990s after Sudan was designated a state sponsor of terrorism. The loss of territory in resource-rich southern Sudan would have grave economic consequences for the north, analysts say.
According to Fouad Hikmat, the International Crisis Group's special adviser on Sudan, the government says the referendum cannot take place until agreements are reached on issues related to its economic future.
"If these negotiations fail for whatever reasons, the referendum will be in jeopardy," Hikmat said.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration boosted its efforts to mitigate the looming crisis, dispatching veteran diplomat Princeton Lyman to join U.S. special envoy Scott Gration in Sudan.
The U.S. government has long been committed to the right of self-determination for the predominantly animist and Christian population of southern Sudan.
In 2001, pushed by an advocacy coalition led by U.S. evangelical and African-American churches, former President George W. Bush made bringing peace to the region a foreign policy priority. His administration helped secure a 2005 peace agreement, which established a power-sharing government that was supposed to lead Sudan from dictatorship to democracy. After a six-year interim period of semi-autonomous-rule, the south was to vote in 2011 on whether to remain part of Sudan or secede.
But with international attention on a separate crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan, and relations between north and south marked by mistrust, the benchmarks set out in the agreement fell behind schedule. In April, a national election that had been delayed twice, and that most opposition parties boycotted, handed Bashir -- who had been indicted by the International Criminal Court - an electoral victory.
The ruling National Congress Party now says the referendum cannot take place until the border has been demarcated. But members of an 18-person Technical Border Committee representing both sides have been unable to reach a final agreement on the boundary.
Battle over resources
Stretching from the Central African Republic in the west to Ethiopia in the east, the 1,200-mile border region between north and south is among the most resource-rich and ethnically diverse areas of Sudan. Predominantly Arab pastoralists from north of the border who journey southward each year to graze their livestock fear that demarcation will prevent their seasonal movement.
The border committee has agreed on about 80 percent of the border, the Sudanese minister of cabinet affairs, Luka Biong, said in an interview in Khartoum. But the parties have reached an impasse regarding five areas where the majority of Sudan's oil wealth lies, he said.
One of the contested areas encompasses the Heglig oil fields outside the border town of Abyei, where tensions between resident southern Ngok Dinka farmers and northern Misserya pastoralists are particularly high.
"Heglig belongs to the south. It is in Unity State," said Edward Lino, a Ngok Dinka and former administrator of the Abyei area.
Gen. Babo Nimer, brother of the paramount chief of the Misserya people, was equally adamant: "Heglig belongs to Kordofan, to the north. Full stop."
Oil exploration in Sudan began in the 1970s. According to a 2010 survey by BP, Sudan is the third-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, currently producing 490,000 barrels per day. The Sudanese minister of petroleum, Lual Deng, said that more than 80 percent of Sudan's current oil reserves lie in the south.
Under the peace accord, the parties agreed to split the proceeds from the oil fields until the 2011 referendum. According to figures published by the Sudanese government, oil revenue accounted for about $2.8 billion of its budget last year and an estimated 60 percent of this year's budget.
Deng, one of the few southerners with a ministerial position in the post-election government, said he fears that an immediate budget cut for the north would ignite a war. "In order to avoid conflict, we could look to a phase-out arrangement whereby you provide the north some [oil] until they get an alternative," he said.
The pipeline to export southern oil currently cuts through the north, and the south has not begun construction on a pipeline that would avoid that route. But an interim agreement could help both north and south, Deng said.
"We can have a win-win," he said.
Delay in vote preparations
On the logistical front, officials say that planning for the referendum is far behind schedule.
"We have not started," the referendum commission's head, Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil, 85, said in his dilapidated law office in downtown Khartoum.
Khalil was appointed only in July because the north and south had been unable to agree on the composition of the commission. The secretary general of the commission, responsible for its budget, was appointed this month.
In the short time left before the referendum, the commission must organize voter registration across southern Sudan, a vast area desperately lacking in basic infrastructure. Khalil said that in addition to overseeing voter registration in south Sudan, his commission must ensure that voting centers are established in all areas where more than 20,000 southern Sudanese reside.
During the war years, those who could flee the fighting did. Many headed to the relative safety of northern Sudan. Others relocated to countries around the world, including more than 150,000 in the United States. The commission must ensure all of these people get the chance to vote.
Khalil said preparation for the vote does not fit in the remaining time frame. But rather than push for a delay, he said that for now at least, his role is to make it work.
Hamilton is a special correspondent in Sudan on a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Karti, has said that talks between China, Sudan and Kenya will start Monday in the Chinese capital, Beijing. Kenya's Vice President and Manager of China's National Petroleum Company (CNPC), one of the biggest oil firms operating in Sudan, will participate in talks to discuss guarantees of continuity for CNPC's investment in Sudan after southern Sudan referendum.