Sudan: February 26, 2004


The continuing SPLA and Sudanese government peace negotiations have reportedly hit a snag. The Sudanese government wants to exclude the province of Abibi from the referendum area. The referendum area is the region in south Sudan that will ultimately get to conduct a plebiscite to determine if it will remain part of Sudan (and if so, under what conditions) at the end of the six-year long transitional phase. The SPLA insists that Abibi be part of the zone. The issue isnt simply population demographics. Abibi has significant oil deposits and produces some 100,000 barrels of oil a day (a third of Sudan's output). Oil production will be increased to 500,000 barrels a day next year. The government depends on the oil revenue to stay in power. 


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