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On International Human Rights Day, Looking Forward to Sudan’s Future 

Citizens for Global Solutions
Melissa Kaplan 
10 December 2010

With only a month left until Sudan's momentous January 9th referendum-in which southerners will cast their votes on whether or not to secede from the north to form their own independent state-questions are swirling about whether the referendum will happen on time, or at all, and what the aftermath might entail for the country that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently described as a "ticking time bomb." Just yesterday, it was announced by Sudanese officials that the separate referendum in the oil-producing Abyei region will not take place on January 9th after all, despite being agreed to in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ended decades of war in Sudan.

Today, on International Human Rights Day--which marks the 62nd anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly adoption of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights--the possibility of human rights violations and even a potential return to warfare between north and south Sudan following the referendum remains of great concern to Citizens for Global Solutions (…)

(…) Atul Khare, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping at the United Nations, talked about U.N. efforts in Sudan and stressed that protection of civilians in the country is a task in which everyone must be engaged at all levels. For now, the security situation in southern Sudan remains calm, he said, but tensions will rise during and after the referendum. In a worst-case scenario, Khare said that 2.8 million Sudanese might be displaced and an additional 3.2 million otherwise affected by the vote's outcome (…)

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