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UN is preparing for worst-case scenarios in Sudan

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Pete Muller/AP

(Read caption) A southern Sudanese laborer loads sacks of flour onto a UN World Food Program truck in the southern town of Malakal. Concerned about the possibility of renewed conflict between north and south Sudan, WFP is pre-positioning 75,000 metric tons of food throughout southern Sudan ahead of the referendum scheduled for January.

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The UN’s humanitarian wing in the Southern Sudanese capital has been hard at work for the past several months on contingency plans for various scenarios related to the south’s January 9 independence referendum and its aftermath. This is an event that – let’s face it – could either go relatively smoothly with few humanitarian consequences or, alternately, could cause significant violence which would be accompanied by mass population movements, food shortages, and destruction of the already weak infrastructure in Southern Sudan.

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