Article published on the 2009-12-29 Latest update 2009-12-30 12:57 TU
The North and South of Sudan overcame differences on Tuesday as Sudan's parliament came together and adopted a law that sets up a referendum on whether the South should break away from the north. But the vote on the conduct ofthe referendum in Abyei was put off until Wednesday.
Southern politicians successfully demanded a provision that requires diaspora southerners born before 1956 to cast their ballots in the south. Those born after independence will be able to vote in their place of residence.
The dispute started when a previous version adopted last week had allowed for absentee votes, prompting Southern members of parliament to walk out.
The MPs were afraid that if southerners vote in the north there could be fraud and pressure by the Khartoum government.
The United States had also expressed concern about the earlier text.
But a vote on how the vote will be run in the disupted oil-rich region of Abyei was put off until Wednesday.
Disagreements persisted over the status of two groups - the Ngok Dinka, considered to be partisans of the South, and the Messiria, nomads considered loyal to the North.
By going forward with the referendum, the parties are honouring a 2005 peace deal which put an end to two decades of civil war.
2009-09-03 13:55 TU