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Peaceful Sudan vote seen as a miracle, but worries remain [updated]

Catholic World News - February 07, 2011

Southern Sudan’s recent referendum on independence was, against all odds, peaceful-- a miracle attributable in large part to the prayers of Catholics worldwide, according to Catholic Relief Services.

Still, the danger of renewed warfare lingers in the region, in large part due to the active presence of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a brutal group that has moved into southern Sudan after compiling a bloody record of human-rights abuses in northern Uganda. The LRA-- which has also launched raids into other neighboring countries-- threatens the hard-won peace and stability of southern Sudan in the wake of the successful referendum.

“Every single indication—a violent past, entrenched illiteracy, food and health crises, and scores of incendiary tribal conflicts—every single indication convinced every single long- and short-term observer that in the very best case, southern Sudan’s historic referendum would be tainted by violence,” the ageny noted in a recent statement. “It could not, logically, be otherwise. Except it was.”

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