Last updated: 14 october, 2010 - 15:34 GMT

Abyei referendum behind schedule

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There is a growing crisis in Sudan over the upcoming referendum in the key border area of Abyei.

In January, southern Sudanese are due to vote on possible independence from the north, as part of the 2005 peace deal that ended a long civil war.

At the same time Abyei is scheduled to vote on whether to join the north or the south.

But there is no agreement over who can vote in the referendum.

Crisis talks in Addis Ababa failed to resolve the issue, and came to an end last week.

Now northern officials say it will not be possible to hold Abyei's referendum on time.

BBC Network Africa's James Copnall reports from Khartoum.

First broadcast 14 October 2010

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