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Morning Brief: 23 reported killed in border clashes as Southern Sudan votes on independence
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Jan 10, 2011 - 8:12:45 AM

Top news: South Sudanese leaders say at least 23 people have been killed in clashes between tribespeople and Arab nomads on the North-South border as the region heads to the polls for a second day of voting on a week-long independence referendum.

A Ugandan and a Northern Army soldier were also arrested in the South Sudanese capital of Juba in possession of 700 rounds of AK-47 ammunition. The South has accused the North of arming Arab militias in the contested border region of Abyei in the run-up to the vote.

Elsewhere in Sudan, the atmosphere was reportedly peaceful and festive with long lines of South Sudanese coming out to vote. A 60 percent vote is needed for secession, which seems likely given the level of support for independence in Southern Sudan.

In a possibly major conciliatory gesture, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has offered to take on Sudan's full international debt if South Sudan secedes. Bashir has promised to respect the results of the referendum.  

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