Northern and Southern Sudan have signed a deal allowing both sides to agree on how to take the country through to next year's election. The two opponents have been at war for twenty-two years and have recently clashed following a series of deadly conflict. The deal however, promises the beginning of better relations between both sides. The agreement was witnessed by US special envoy Scott Gration who told reporters in the southern capital of Juba: "It will result in better cooperation and stronger relations, that will result in, I believe, a brighter future for Sudan."
According to BBC's Peter Martell, who is currently in Juba, the people of Sudan are in an optimistic mood and are hopeful that the two leaders will follow through with their agreement. However, the issue of the 2011 referendum, which will decide if the South can rule independently from the North, still needs to be assessed. The South have claimed the referendum, as it stands right now, is unfair as the North have supposedly asked for a 75% majority before independence will be granted. Whilst the North has yet to comment on the issue, South Sudan have already threatened unilateral independence.