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Sudan Nears Vote After Rocky Effort

Friday, 07 Jan 2011 06:55 AM

On a steamy day in September, President Obama summoned senior officials to the Situation Room. A U.S.-mediated peace accord in Sudan was in danger of collapsing and the president was worried, The Washington Post reports.

This wasn't just another African country in turmoil. Months earlier, Obama's director of national intelligence had warned that south Sudan was the world's most likely site for new genocide. The president forcefully reminded his aides that 2 million people had died in Sudan's north-south war, which ended in 2005.

"The president gave very clear guidance, which is that we don't have a lot of time. We've seen this movie before," said one official in attendance who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid.

Four months later, a key part of the peace accord is about to become reality - a referendum that will in all likelihood see south Sudan secede. It is a remarkable turnaround; Sunday's vote had been imperiled by delays and the Sudanese government's reluctance to lose the oil-rich south.

Since Obama's Sept. 2 meeting, he has pressed Sudanese and world leaders for a timely referendum, and senior officials have pushed to speed up preparations. To the administration's relief, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said this week that he he would accept the outcome.

Read the entire story at washingtonpost.com

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On a steamy day in September, President Obama summoned senior officials to the Situation Room. A U.S.-mediated peace accord in Sudan was in danger of collapsing and the president was worried, The Washington Post reports.
sudan obama
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