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Villanova Helping Sudanese Cast Votes In Secession Referendum

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(Southern Sudanese rally on the streets of the southern capital Juba on December 9th, marking the one-month countdown until the independence referendum is due, which could see Sudan's autonomous and mostly Christian south break away from the predominantly Arab and Muslim north. Photo by Peter Martell/AFP/Getty Images)

(Southern Sudanese rally on the streets of the southern capital Juba on December 9th, marking the one-month countdown until the independence referendum is due, which could see Sudan’s autonomous and mostly Christian south break away from the predominantly Arab and Muslim north. Photo by Peter Martell/AFP/Getty Images)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The future of the African nation of Sudan depends largely on an election being held there next month, when voters will decide whether to split the country in two.

And Villanova University is helping to make sure refugees from Sudan now in this country have a say.

On referendum day, January 9th, Villanova is sponsoring buses to Washington, DC, which is one of only three cities in in United States in which ballots are being accepted from South Sudanese nationals.  They’re voting either to secede or to stay a part of a united land.

horner tim Villanova Helping Sudanese Cast Votes In Secession Referendum

(Dr. Tim Horner, Villanova University. File photo provided)

“We know change is coming to Sudan,” Villanova professor Tim Horner (right) told KYW Newsradio.   “It’s a matter really of monitoring whether that change happens peacefully and with equity and fairness.”

Horner says the oil industry could prove the flashpoint for violence, as much of Sudan’s revenues come from the oil-rich south.

“If Sudan descends into chaos and violence, this is a breeding ground for terrorists,” says Horner.

That’s why he says Americans — and the rest of the world — have a vested interest in what happens in Sudan, and whether this latest component of a young peace deal between the north and south can prevent a return to decades of strife.

Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio 1060.

 

 

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