Southern Sudan 2011: Reflections on the Referendum and Post-Referendum Transitional Period
The African Conflict Prevention Programme of Institute for Security Studies (ISS) Nairobi office in conjunction with the Hanns Siedel Foundation and the East African School of Human Rights held a seminar on 1 February 2011 to deliberate on the Southern Sudan referendum and post referendum transitional period. Starting January 9, the people of Southern Sudan conducted a peaceful referendum to decide on possible cessation according to requirements of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005. This brought to an end one of the longest running civil wars in Africa, which devastated the Sudan, especially the South. Though official results are yet to be announced, preliminary results indicate that over 98% of voters have opted for cessation. In the absence of an appeal, official results declaring independence from the North, will be announced on 7 February 2011. Some of the outstanding challenges include issues related to governance, institutional reforms, infrastructure and capacity building, relations with the North, citizenship, security, natural resource management, debt sharing and other liabilities, international treaties, border demarcation, status of Abyei, Blue Nile and South Kordofan, resettlement, national cohesion and the mandate of United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS). In all this, the role of regional and international communities in consolidating peace and supporting the development of the South as a new State is imperative.