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Humanitarian organizations prepare for referendum in Sudan

Humanitarian organizations are stocking up on emergency relief supplies in Sudan in anticipation of the January 9, 2011 referendum on southern independence and any possible conflict that could occur leading up to the event, reports Voice of America News.

According to the news source, residents of southern Sudan are set to vote at the referendum on whether to secede or remain with the north as a single country, a vote which was won as part of the 2005 peace deal ending 21 years of civil war in the country. The overall expectation among aid groups preparing for the event is that the south will vote for its own independence, an outcome which may still not sit peacefully with the north.

"Every day, you can receive more than 20, 24 trucks," World Food Program warehouse supervisor Victor Achawa told the news source as food came into Juba and other parts of the south.

"We are convinced that the referendum process is going to play out in a fully successful way, but as humanitarian agencies, we are obliged to prepare for a worst-case," U.N. deputy resident Lise Grande told the news source.

According to, the civil war in Sudan has displaced at least 4 million southerners.
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