As South Sudan approaches its referendum, key developments covered in this issue include: technical details for the southern referendum, Abyei negotiations broaden to include all outstanding CPA issues and post-referendum arrangements, and continuing concerns over conditions in Darfur.
- The devil is in the technical details for the southern referendum: Registration materials have arrived in both Khartoum and Juba, with just over two weeks left before voter registration is supposed to begin. But, many other procedural issues remain unresolved and cannot begin without proper funding and political will.
- Abyei negotiations broaden to include all outstanding CPA issues and post-referendum arrangements: The resumption of Addis talks was postponed, but A.U. and U.S. officials continue to talk to Sudanese representatives to push the two parties toward a grand bargain that will involve trade-offs between the status of Abyei, oil-sharing arrangements, and border disputes, among other issues.
- Concerns over conditions in Darfur continue: Human rights violations and low-level violence continue to plague the people of the region while negotiations between the Liberty and Justice Movement and the government of Sudan continue in Doha. The U.N. Security Council turned its attention to Darfur recently, first with a high-level visit, then with diplomatic engagement in response to ongoing concerns about the evolving human rights and humanitarian situation in the region.