In January 2011 there is planned to be held a referendum for independence for Southern Sudan, but the UN and various NGOs are already stocking up emergency equipment and food, preparing for conflicts. The chances are big that the referendum will either be delayed, or that the results of it will cause the peace agreements to be jeapordized. It's very likely that the Christian south will vote for independence and many are thought to vote in protest of the Muslim-ruled Khartoum government. I even think that it's likely that there will be pre-election conflicts; the shed of blood because of peoples' insecurities before the results. The Muslim north are afraid of loosing control over the oil rich south, and the Christian south are afraid of the north to not let them go no matter of the government's promises of respecting the outcome of the election.
It's a tense situation already and it's not likely that it will get less so. I'm still hoping of being able to go there to write my final thesis in pedagogy, but if things go as experts have predicted, it doesn't seem like a very good idea. Maybe things would be less violent in Khartoum, if a conflict would rise, but it's still an uncertain situation. Protests and demonstrations will probably not be very peaceful and there are bound to be deaths in even the safest places in the country.
It breakes my heart. A country that has already seen so much suffering and death are now balancing on the border of yet another civil war. I hope with everything I have, that the weight will tip the mass to the right side of the border of peace and war, and that no more lives will be lost because of something that should be the beginning of a new, peaceful chapter. Sudan could be the good example for neghbouring countries to follow. This could end so well, yet history seems to repeat itself. UN are stocking up with food supplies in critical areas and Ban Ki-moon says that the potential for "unintended conflict" is high.
My dear, beloved Sudanese friends: Show the world the goodness of people. Be patient and consequent, love your country and everyone in it, Christian or Muslim, oil-rich or not. A new border is not something that should cause death and suffering to your neighbours, or yourself. If the south votes for independence, then be happy that a just, democratic election was seen through and that the masses got to have their say. Share the oil supplies fairly and continue to love one another. But don't take anything out in advance. The outcome of the election is yet to be shown.
Practice what you preach; your religion is one of peace.
Muhammed said: Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.
Jesus said: Love thy neighbour.