The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on 9 January 2005 marked the formal conclusion of the civil war between the Sudanese Government (based in Khartoum) and the southern-based Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). According to the CPA, in 2011, after a six-year Interim Period following the peace agreement, “there shall be an internationally monitored referendum … for the people of South Sudan to confirm the unity of the Sudan by voting to adopt the system of government established under the Peace Agreement; or to vote for secession” (Ch. I, Para 2.5).
Midterm elections are to be held in 2008 or 2009. As the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir (2007), recently remarked, “The midterm elections will be a determinant factor for many things regarding the CPA.” Timely and effective elections will be a key step in the peaceful transformation of post-conflict Sudan, as anticipation builds towards the 2011 referendum.