Update on Southern Sudan Referendum

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
January 10, 2011

Polling for the Southern Sudan Referendum started on January 9, 2011. This represents a historic step towards completion of Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Speaking to reporters, Barrie Walkley, the U.S. Consul General in Juba, said, "As you may know the referendum...last[s] seven days. We probably expect that it will take another fourteen days to get all the results back in and to have them certified."

Walkley explains, "It is an area the size of France. It is larger then Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi combined and yet there are only fifty kilometres of paved road in the entire area, and all of those are inside of towns. There are no paved roads outside of towns, so getting the polling materials out to the sites is remarkably difficult. It will be achieved by helicopter, by motorcycle, people carrying things to remote areas."

Secretary Clinton, in her statement on the referendum, said, "Significant progress has been made in recent months towards preparing for the referendum, including the successful completion of voter registration and other technical arrangements. Going forward, the work of the many domestic and international observation and monitoring groups will be crucial and we look forward to their assessment."

In an Op-Ed for The New York Times, President Obama said, "Over the next week, millions of southern Sudanese will vote on whether to remain part of Sudan or to form their own independent nation. This process -- and the actions of Sudanese leaders -- will help determine whether people who have known so much suffering will move toward peace and prosperity, or slide backward into bloodshed. It will have consequences not only for Sudan, but also for sub-Saharan Africa and the world."

U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration discussed the expectations for, as well as implications of, the referendum in this video. You can also find information about the referendum on the Office of the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan's Facebook page.



New York, USA
January 11, 2011

Ole in New York writes:

Dear Madame Secretary and Mister President! While it's great to see people of Southern Sudan exercise their right to freely vote and run their own land, the people of Russia, whom we're trying to be friends with, are denied such rights. Just today an innocent flash-mob of the Russian young patriots was broken up in center of Moscow, in direct vicinity of Cremlin. Leaders of several Russian political organizations of patriotic and conservative persuasions, have been illegally detained by authorities. Please take this situation under closer supervision, as we've done with the Khodorkovsky, Nemtsov and Limonov cases. We need to build bridges with youth of Russia, and with patriotic movement there, perhaps even more so than with Russian elites or liberal-leaning forces

ssebayiga j.
January 18, 2011

Joel S. in Uganda writes:

Always the voice of the majority decide wat the future of their young ones will be,hence it is the right choice for the people of sudan for the long suffering time sudanese ve had becoz the poor corrupt ,self centered and premitive leaders who dont mind about common pple


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