11 January 2011

Sudan's historic referendum

"The referendum on self-determination is one of the key steps in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, or CPA, which ended a 22-year civil war that caused more than 2 million deaths and displaced 4 million. For decades before and during the war, the people of Southern Sudan demanded the right to determine their political future in an open democratic process. Although the official referendum results might not be known until early February, a vote for secession is widely assumed.

"The CPA was intended to commit the governments in the North and South to make the prospect of continued unity an attractive option, and to democratize their societies. Unfortunately, there has been little progress in these areas. Relations between the North and South were mostly strained, and the elections held last April were seriously marred by manipulation and coercion in both regions of the country.

"In the event of a vote for secession, Sudanese leaders will need to resolve a series of critical issues to manage a peaceful separation into two states and to create a strong foundation for friendly and prosperous bilateral relations."

[above quotes taken from an article written by former US president, Jimmy Carter]

Mawien Ring and Deng at my house the day before voting started

The referendum will take place over the course of seven days (January 9-15th). I joined approximately 1,000+ voters at Nairobi's Railway Club on Sunday, the 9th, to see history taking place with my own eyes! I was thrilled to see my friends in the queue and encourage them!

(from the left) Lino Maju, Joseph Maluk, and Kerubino wait in the queue

Wek and Marial eagerly wait to cast their votes!

Mawien Mawien (on the right) is finally INSIDE the polling station!

Deng (waving) is just about to enter the polling station!

Mawien and a Sudanese lady proudly show their inked fingers after voting

Others patiently wait their turn to cast their votes for South Sudan's long-awaited independence!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My dear Deb, I enjoyed ALL of your stories and pictures. You are one adventurous lady with lots of friends and never a dull moment.
Jacob Borgelt sent me info on the Sudanese referendum and so did the Heuertz'. I put it on the prayer chain. I'm sending your blog to Jacob, as I don't know if he is on your mailing list. God bless you mightily and keep you well and safe. Love, Peggy