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Sudan MPs pass key referendum law

Published:Wednesday | December 30, 2009 | 1:21 PM

Sudan\'s parliament has passed a key law paving the way for a referendum on independence for the oil rich country.

The move ends months of heated discussions between the north and south about how the referendum should be conducted.

The referendum, scheduled for January 2011, is a crucial part of the peace deal signed nearly five years ago, which ended two decades of civil war.

The 2005 peace agreement saw President Omar al-Bashir\'s northern National Congress Party, going into government with former rebels of the Sudan People\'s Liberation Movement from the south.