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UN Says 51,000 Southern Sudanese Leave North Since Oct. 30

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- About 51,000 Southern Sudanese have left northern Sudan since Oct. 30, the United Nations Deputy Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Southern Sudan said.

The UN has requested $32 million in emergency funding for the returnees, who are mostly arriving in Unity state along the border between northern and southern Sudan, told reporters today in Juba, the region’s capital.

Southern Sudan is scheduled to hold a referendum on Jan. 9 to decide whether the semi-autonomous region will become an independent nation. The vote is the climax of a 2005 peace accord that ended a two-decade civil war between the nation’s Muslim north and the oil-producing south, where Christianity and traditional beliefs dominate.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matt Richmond in Juba via Johannesburg at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net.

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