BBC Learning English Words in the News 15th November 2010 Sudan prepares for referendum

Work has begun in Sudan to start voter registration before a referendum on independence for the south of the country. However, there are many other issues to be sorted out following the north south peace agreement in 2005 as Mark Doyle reports: The long war in Sudan has left the south economically backward. But after successfully using military force to get the north to the negotiating table, southern politicians are now looking forward to the vote on southern independence. The trouble is that virtually every issue beyond the agreement to have a referendum remains unresolved. The two sides haven't agreed on the exact position of the border between north and south. This would be important in any negotiation between territories. But in Sudan, it's critical because the border area is the very place where disputed oilfields lie. The two sides haven't agreed how to share out the oil revenues. This side to the dispute is so serious that the south is thinking of building its own pipeline to export oil to the coast. Significantly, the plan is for the new pipeline to go through Kenya, an ally of the southern Sudanese, bypassing the current pipeline in the north. Another area of disagreement is how to share out the debt of the country in the event of independence for the south. Southerners will resist taking on any of this debt because virtually none of it was spent on developing their areas, and quite a lot of it was used to buy weapons to attack them. Mark Doyle, BBC News

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Vocabulary and definitions

economically backward military force negotiating table looking forward to the trouble is virtually territories

old-fashioned or ineffective in financial matters the power and strength of an army place where people meet to try and resolve disagreements anticipating the main problem or challenge is nearly or almost land or regions owned by a particular government, which are sometimes disputed one aspect of or one part of a disagreement avoiding or missing out if a possible future situation happens

this side to the dispute bypassing in the event of

More on this story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11756800 Read and listen to the story and the vocabulary online:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/language/wordsinthenews/2010/11/101115_witn_sudan_referendum_page.shtml

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