U.S. Officials Brief on U.S. Support of the Southern Sudan Referendum

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
November 23, 2010
A Woman Receives Her Voter Registration Card

Today, via teleconference, the U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Khartoum, Bob Whitehead, Juba Consul General Barrie Walkley, and USAID Sudan Mission Director William Hammink gave a press briefing on the status of preparations for the January 9th referendum on Southern Sudan. They also spoke about the support and the technical assistance that the United States has provided to support the parties as they work towards a full and timely implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Mr. Hammink said, "As you may know, the referendum is a key provision of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the CPA, which ended the long and deadly North-South civil war. Since the government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement signed that agreement, the U.S. government has provided assistance to the two parties to help implement the various provisions of the CPA as part of our broad goal to maintain peace between the North and the South. This has included assistance in conducting a national census, multiparty national elections -- which took place last April -- popular consultation processes in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states, which are in the preparation phase, and now this referendum, which will allow the people of Southern Sudan to choose to remain part of the unified Sudan or to secede and form an independent nation.

"One thing that is very important to stress is that the referendum is a Sudanese-led process. The Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, the SSRC, is the official Sudanese body in charge of implementing the referendum. SSRC Chairman Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil is ably leading the SSRC under challenging conditions of a very short timeline for the steps that have taken place so far and the steps that remain to hold the referendum on time beginning January 9. The timeline is short because we are nearing the end of the CPA interim period. The CPA is set to expire July 9, 2011, and the CPA calls for the referendum to take place six months prior to that end date.

"USAID is supporting the SSRC in Khartoum and its bureau in Juba, the Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau -- or SSRB -- in three ways: One, providing technical and material assistance to the SSRC and SSRB to enable them to prepare for, administer, and oversee the referendum process, including providing office space and equipment, voter registration, books and cards, training manuals, and polling kits.

"Two, support for civic participation, including voter education, assistance to local media, reporting on the referendum, and assistance to domestic organizations that are observing the process.

"And three, funding international independent observers. Crucial to USAID's success in moving referendum preparations forward has been its ability to develop close working partnerships, both directly and through its implementation partners with the Sudanese referendum authorities, civil society organizations, and the broader constituency of stakeholders in this historic process, including, of course, the United Nations and other donors.

"...The SSRC and the International Organization for Migration, the IOM, which are working together to organize out-of-country voting in accordance with the Southern Sudan Referendum Act of 2009, have been in discussions about ensuring that Southern Sudanese in the United States have access to registration sites. Out-of-country voting was delayed in Egypt, but we understand that registration in Egypt may begin soon. Registration is scheduled to end December 1, after which the SSRC will publish a preliminary register of voters and then hear objections to the register. The final register of voters will be published on January 4. Then voting is scheduled to take place January 9 to 15.

"We will continue to provide assistance throughout this process, supporting the SSRC and SSRB, to implement a peaceful, on-time referendum that reflects the will of the Southern Sudanese people. We are continuing to educate communities and voters about the process, to assist local media reporting on the process, to support Sudanese organizations observing the process, and to support independent, international observation."

A full transcript of Mr. Hammink's statement is available here.

Comments

Comments

AJMAL
|
Pakistan
November 24, 2010

Ajmal in Pakistan writes:

HI GOD BLESS U

Mazi P.
|
Nigeria
December 19, 2010

Mazi P. in Nigeria writes:

The UN/World should quickly provide South Sudan with Protective Buffer Zone as to avert Genocide before South Sudan Referendum, as delays, ignorance and lackluster attitude are being designed by the Northern Sudanese Government Stooges as being organized by the Quasi Arab Political Power Hegemony who needed entire Sudan for their ethnic minority Agenda.

The expertise observation that the UN and the World Peaceful Organizations should be mindful of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir Cronies and Agents parading themselves as representing South Sudan interest/agenda, but they are merely Northern Sudanese Power Hegemony stooges doing secretly Northern Sudanese Agenda as to retain its interest of Power control and holding Sudanese vast Mineral Resources for its limited quasi Arab ethnic Agenda.

The death of late Colonel John Garang who was sound minded, well educated and possessed vast political intrigues/knowledge base to be able to handle such Northern Sudanese complex Arabic politics, while his successors are merely careful recruited Cronies fronting Southern Sudanese but behind the scene, executing Northern Sudanese Governmental Agenda. Some of notable signs of being Stooges, are spiritual-Arabic trade mark of shaved eye brawn with oversize pot bellies and signs of greeting to signify their secret Arabic Stooges belonging, and quick introduction to Practices of Persian Gay Occultism before crony acting acceptance.

The political behaviors, sincere organizationally abilities coupled with their ways and manners of not requesting seriously the Buffer Zone provision from UN as to safe guard Southern Sudan before their voting during the Southern Sudanese Referendum, so called South Sudan Leaders not strategically petitioning and strongly requesting a UN protection/ Buffer Zone provision, simply portrays them out as Northern Sudanese Agents.

The late Colonel John Garang sterling abilities of leadership made South Sudan to reach this advantageous position, which is care is taken with better political institutional management, will lead South Sudan to a peaceful State Separation, despite State violence and war propaganda being propagated by the Northern Sudan. Also, their Southern Sudanese agents are capable of sabotaging World efforts being put in place as to assist the South Sudan into a peaceful State Separation. But South Sudan have witnessed civil wars and ethnic violence with hunger, starvation and material deprivation for decades in the hands of Northern Sudanese control Regime and will be able to manage their case for South Sudan peaceful State Separation if all hands are working together with no iota of saboteur.

As the Older South Sudanese leaders are aging, bankrupt and there should be proper institutional mechanism and world interest to replace these older Southern Sudanese leaders with moderate, serious, technocrats and southern Sudanese with no Northern Sudan link as to enable South Sudan achieve desired State development that is bereft of political confusion and theft of South Sudan Resources for self aggrandizement and unnecessary Third World Richness without enterprise or proof of livelihood.

UN should urgently organize Regional peace for South Sudan Buffer Zone with Kenya, Uganda, Congo D.R. and Ethiopia and AU as to provide some kind of frame works for security provision, while UN should cater for the Buffer Zone Logistics with UN Mandate. France should avoid their kind of politics/manners which they usually play in Africa that led to wicked examples of Rwanda, Congo D.R. etc. that are characterize by various crisis, war and hunger, as their continuation of this wickedness must stop as to avoid dire consequences from God and man.

Khalid A.
|
United Kingdom
January 2, 2011

Khalid A.M. in the United Kingdom writes:

I am surprised by the foul-mouthed comment from my Nigerian brother.The generous US help is an expression of cooperation between Sudan and the US.It is quite positive because both countries are interested in a peaceful referendum.The Sudanese president had the political maturity and wisdom to sign the 05 CPA deal which included the right of self determination and the referendum.The CPA was brokered by the US(and allies +regional IGAD).Despite the expected ups and downs ;the government in Khartoum has been an honest partner in the process which has now reached its conclusion with final preparations for the referendum.
No country will rejoice at the prospect of secession.Nigeria didnt ,the US didnt in the 19th century.Sudan should be praised for saying that unity is its national preference;but that the wish of the South will be respected,if shown in a credible and transparent referendum.
If the referendum leads to chaos ; the North will suffer;that is why US support is appreciated .Sudan has been devastated by successive wars .Peace is very important,even if it entails the prospect of secession. President Bashir has vowed:No return to war. The first Vice President and President of the Southern Sudan Government Salva Kiir has also vowed:No return to war.This augurs well fo 2011. Sudan needs support not foul mouthed abuse and unproven accusations.

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