BAGHDAD: Mercer’s 2010 annual quality of life survey of 221 cites ranked the Iraqi capital as the worst place in the world to live, and the ongoing war and sectarian violence likely weighed heavily in this rating. A lack of security and political stability continue to undermine Baghdad’s quality of living, Mercer found. Iraqi people, seen here through a shrapnel hole, walk past the site of a car bomb in Baghdad on May 13 after an explosion ripped through a popular cafe the night before.
Polls suggest that most southerners will vote for secession in the 2011 referendum, thereby reducing Khartoum's oil revenues. The division of Sudan's oil resources could cause a return to war.
If oil revenue is concentrated on infrastructure projects in far-flung regions, such as South Sudan and Darfur, it could prevent those areas from falling back into war.
In 2003, rebels in Darfur took up arms to force President Omar al-Bashir's Arab-dominated government to deliver greater autonomy and better governance to the neglected region.
Sudan's size and ethnic diversity have made the country hard to govern. Lack of government attention to far-flung regions has been at the root of wars in Darfur and South Sudan.
As voting ended today in Sudan's election, voters in the south complained about being unable to find their names on the voter rolls. Jimmy Carter says the election is a major stepping stone in the peace process.
A child picks up flags left behind after candidate Salva Kiir hosted an election rally in Juba, Sudan, on April 9. The people of Southern Sudan cast ballots in a national election for the first time in more than two decades on April 11. Sudan's elections commission on April 12 announced a two-day extension to the voting after many voters experienced delays.
As people vote in the Sudan election, a recent report says that $700 million – perhaps much more – may have been underpaid to South Sudan since a 2005 peace agreement mandated the sharing of oil revenues with Khartoum in the North.
Day 1 of the complicated three-day election in Sudan ended without violence. Despite a widespread boycott by opposition parties and allegations of fraud, many voters seemed happy just to cast their ballots.
In the Sudan elections that should have offered a choice between unity or southern secession, political Islam or secular governance, only President Omar Al-Bashir's party is running. Twelve parties are boycotting the vote.