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.
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.
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.
The main opposition party did not back off from its announced boycott of the upcoming Sudan election, the country's first vote in 24 years. President Omar al-Bashir says that the vote must proceed.
Sudan sees 'positive points' in new US strategy that offers 'incentives' for Omar al-Bashir's regime to cooperate fully with international peace efforts.
Human rights groups say Obama's Sudan policy is soft, but African leaders warn that US policy is too tough and may prompt a regional backlash.
President Obama's special envoy to Sudan told senators Thursday that the designation is no longer applicable. But others in the administration disagree.