7th Front panel takes on challenges facing southern Sudan referendum

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The 7th Front panel featured (left to right) Dr. Amir Idris, an associate professor of African and African American studies at Fordharm University, Dr. Laura Beny, a professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School, and Parek Maduot, a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park and a regulator contributor to the New Sudan Vision

(NSV) - The Seventh Front panel agreed on Saturday in its 7th edition that the road to the referendum of southern Sudan in January is laced with various obstacles, and both the SPLM and the people of the south have to be vigilant to protect their democratic exercise for self-determination.

The panel analyzed the post-elections political environment in Sudan, both in the south and in the north, and the challenges that stand on the way to a successful conduct of the referenda on Abyei and southern Sudan, and the holding of Popular Consultations in Blue Nile and Kordofan.

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The panel, which is moderated by NSV editor Mading Ngor, featured Dr. Amir Idris, an associate professor of African Studies and Associate Chair of the Department of African and African American Studies at Fordham University in New York, Dr. Laura Nyantung Ahang Beny; a Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School and Parek Maduot; a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park and a commentator on Sudan with published articles in South Sudan online and print media and an active member of the SPLM in the diaspora.

“Seventh Front” is a term coined by the late First Vice President of Sudan and President of the semi-autonomous Government of Southern, John Garang de Mabior to refer to Sudanese in the Diaspora. Garang declared the Diaspora as the ‘Seventh Front’ to acknowledge their growing roles and contributions in the struggle to bring about peace and democracy in Southern Sudan after the region endured decades of brutal repression from military regimes in Khartoum.

The Seventh Front assembles passionate and knowledgeable guests to assess the impact of current events as they unfold in Southern Sudan. The panel aims to arm citizens with credible information to keep their government accountable and effect positive change on the ground as Sudan approaches its first true multi-party elections in 2010 and a referendum on Southern Sudan in 2011.

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