The non-binding referendum in Abyei – where people voted overwhelmingly to join South Sudan – and the ensuing celebration, has brought little immediate resolution to the long-festering Abyei problem.
When Chris Bak returned two weeks ago to the disputed border town of Abyei, which voted this week on whether to join Sudan or South Sudan, he barely recognised it as the place where he grew up. “Everything is dirty,” he told IPS. “We were just going around and around, but we didn’t [recognise] this place.”
Heightened political tension between the major rivals in Zimbabwe’s coalition government and increased clampdowns on civil society have left questions about the country’s readiness for a true democracy just days after people voted to adopt a new constitution.
“Ten reasons why women must vote ‘Yes’ for the draft constitution…” says the Constitution Select Committee’s campaign radio jingle that plays over the airwaves in a grocer’s store at Mukumbura border post business centre on Zimbabwe’s northeastern border with Mozambique.