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Four senior Kenyan government officials and a businessman have been permanently banned from traveling to the United States over allegations of trafficking narcotics, the U.S. ambassador to Kenya said last month.

Ambassador Michael Ranneberger, who did not name them, said the United States would help East Africa’s biggest economy in its fight against drugs.

SUDAN

Party to form opposition group

KHARTOUM | South Sudan’s main party said it would form a separate opposition group in the north if the country split in two after a referendum next month, and would seek support from marginalized people, even Darfur rebels.

People from Sudan’s oil-producing south are widely expected to vote to split away to form Africa’s newest nation in a referendum scheduled to take place on Jan. 9.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), a former southern rebel group, is the ruling party in south Sudan and is overall the country’s second largest party.

The SPLM also has supporters in the north, particularly in the border regions of Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains area of Southern Kordofan.

Senior SPLM member Yasir Arman told reporters on Wednesday the party’s northern sector would become an independent organization in the north as soon as the south became a separate country.

“It is going to be a political force to be reckoned with. … The north is a very diverse place. It is a place that needs democratic transformation. It is a place that needs different policies from Khartoum to the different regions of Sudan,” Mr. Arman said.