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Just blogged this over at His Voice for Sudan, but it's important enough to get the word out....

With eleven days remaining until the kick-off of Sudan's first Presidential elections in 24 years, the primary opposition candidate from the South, Yasir Arman, has withdrawn from the elections. This could mean one of two things:

1. His withdraw will create enough motivation and courage among other political parties to jointly step up and boycott the elections nationwide (this is evidently his intent).

2. His withdraw will not have this anticipated effect and consequently al-Bashir will win the elections hands down (Arman is Bashir's only significant competition for the national presidency.)

The Sudan Tribune also suggested that Arman's withdraw is not truly an attempt to boycott the elections, but rather it is a cover-up for a "secret deal" between the SPLM (Sudan People's Liberation Movement, i.e. the South) and the NCP (National Congress Party, i.e. the North). This unconfirmed "secret deal" is evidently an attempt to keep the peace with the North (read: give them what they want) as a bribe to prevent the North from interfering with the 2011 referendum on Southern secession. Oof.

So, this is all brand new information as of this morning, so I don't yet have an opinion on it or any predictions to make. But it is a crucial event that has occurred and I thought you all should know. Please pray for peace and justice in Sudan.