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.
Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan is in a tight race for the ruling People's Democratic Party presidential nomination because of the party's desire to give both the northern and southern regions a turn in office.
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.
The US is increasingly concerned about North Africa's Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). WikiLeaks cables indicate it is strengthening ties with Algeria to better combat AQIM's rise.
Ethnic tensions rise as large numbers of displaced Ngok Dinka return to Abyei ahead of the historic Jan. 9 Sudan referendum.
A rebel movement's temporary occupation of a town in the Central African Republic raises doubts about removing UN peacekeepers or holding elections in January.
The Obama administration has urged Kenya, a supposed island of democratic stability in East Africa, to meet its obligations on political reform. Any progress made could be undone by Wikileaks cables that reveal US disdain for Kenyan officials.