Southern Sudan is likely to vote to secede from Sudan in a referendum next month, said Nafie Ali Nafie, an aide to President Umar al-Bashir.
Efforts to maintain the unity of Sudan have failed, Nafie said yesterday, according to state news agency SUNA. The government of the north will have to accept a vote in favor of separation, the Khartoum-based agency cited him as saying in a speech.
The referendum, scheduled for Jan. 9, is the centerpiece of a 2005 peace agreement that ended a 21-year civil war between the Muslim north and the oil-producing south, where Christianity and traditional beliefs dominate. About 2 million people died in the conflict and 4 million fled their homes.