Lines were long on the peaceful second day of voting in South Sudan's independence referendum. But concerns rose over clashes in the Abyei region, along the north-south border.
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.
An unidentified employee of the Stefanik Observatory in Prague uses a projection shield to show the partial solar eclipse visible in the Czech capital. The partial sun eclipse started over the Czech Republic at about 08:00 CET and it will last until 10:50. In the culminating phase, up to 80 percent of the solar disc was obscured by the silhouette of the moon passing between it and Earth.
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.