Many southern residents rose before dawn to get in line for their chance to vote in Sunday's historic referendum on whether semiautonomous South Sudan will secede from Sudan.
Clashes struck Sudan's north-south border Saturday, including in the nation's disputed flashpoint area of Abyei, sobering up an otherwise jubilant atmosphere in South Sudan on the eve of the region's historic vote for independence.
A vote for secession is all but certain in the independence referendum that begins Sunday. South Sudan is anticipating independence and a chance to build its own country.
While the referendum portends huge changes for South Sudan, which is likely to become independent, it will also bring political changes to the north, including a possible return to sharia law.
Key events on the path to Sunday's historic Sudan referendum, in which the semiautonomous region of South Sudan votes whether to become an independent nation.
South Sudan votes Sunday in a historic referendum for its own independence. After decades of war with the North, the region looks set to secede.
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir said Tuesday that he would 'celebrate' South Sudan's decision on whether to secede after its Jan. 9 referendum on the issue.
While problems remain in some spots along the border, it seems increasingly likely that the Sudan referendum on southern Sudan's independence could go smoothly.
The year 2011 will include some big developments in Africa to look out for – Sudan's referendum and the continuing strife in Ivory Coast, among others.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir recently said that if mostly-Christian South Sudan votes to secede in a Jan. 9 referendum, the predominantly Muslim north will begin adhering more strictly to sharia law.
Local journalists found greatly polarized opinions among Abyei's Ngok Dinka and Misseriya communities, a window into the tension surrounding next month's Abyei vote and a larger referendum on Sudanese unity.
The Enough Project provides a summary of recent developments related to the Jan. 9 Sudan referendum.
Ethnic tensions rise as large numbers of displaced Ngok Dinka return to Abyei ahead of the historic Jan. 9 Sudan referendum.
Sudanese refugees who fled to Kenya are making preparations to vote in the upcoming Sudan referendum, even though they've moved outside the country's borders.
One of the most critical places for the Sudan referendum is Abyei, a border region that has to decide whether to join the north or south. Expecting a confrontation, both sides are arming the area.
The US offered this week to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terror as early as the middle of next year if Sudan agrees to let South Sudan secede in a referendum in January.
In an effort to keep readers clicking, editors and journalists may be making the climate of the Sudan referendum appear more dire than it actually is.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to work through political differences so the negotiations ahead of the south Sudan referendum could begin.
Read any of the media coverage of Abyei and you’ll be hard-pressed not to find the phrase 'oil-rich' placed somewhere in front of the town’s name. But these days the accuracy of the journalistic short-hand is questionable.
Weeks before semiautonomous South Sudan votes on whether to secede from Sudan, people in the flashpoint border town of Abyei are concerned that a residency dispute could reignite a decades-long civil war.
A meeting between African heads of state was moved from Kenya to Ethiopia and has now been postponed. The warrant for Sudan President Bashir's arrest could be a factor.