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FACTBOX: South Kordofan elections


By Muhammad Osman

April 10, 2011 (NAIROBI) – Voters in Sudan’s volatile state of South Kordofan are due to go to the polls on May 2 to elect a state governor and members of the state assembly, in a long-delayed exercise which analysts fear could destabilize the oil-producing region if it falls short of prudent legitimacy standards.

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SPLM’s candidate and deputy governor of Southern Kordofan, Abdul Aziz Adam al-Hilu, (L) and NCP’s incumbent candidate and ICC’s indictee, Ahmad Harun, (R) will vie to win the governorship of South Kordofan

Gubernatorial and state assembly elections in Sudan’s central state of South Kordofan lagged behind as the country held nationwide elections in April 2010, thanks to disputes arising from the 2008 census and delimitation of geographic constituencies.

The country’s fifth largest state by area witnessed fierce battles during decades of Sudan’s north-south civil wars, which ended in 2005 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) under which the south voted to split, in a referendum earlier this year.

South Kordofan lies on the fault line between north and south Sudan, incorporating: the Nuba population, which largely sided with the south during the war, as well as the Hawazma and Messirya nomadic Arab tribes who were then believed to be used as proxy militias by the north to fight the south.

The state abuts the explosive region of Abyei, another bone of contention between the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM/A) in South Sudan and the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in the north.

Under the CPA, South Kordofan is meant to hold popular consultations, in order to determine whether the agreement has met the aspirations of its citizens and resolve any outstanding issues related to its implementation.

The popular consultation, which is delayed pending the conduct of the state’s elections, does not accommodate a right to self-determination for South Kordofan which will remain a part of northern Sudan regardless of the consultation’s outcome, but may retain some autonomy

New Census

A new census was conducted in South Kordofan in June 2010. The results have significantly increased the 1,406,404 count recorded by the disputed census to 2,508,268 persons.

Accordingly, the Khartoum-based National Elections Commission (NEC), which administers the elections, redrew geographic constituencies in November and December 2010, dividing the state into 32 geographic constituencies.

Voter Registration

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A South Sudanese woman casts her vote at a polling station during the referendum in Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan, in the border between South and North Sudan January 9, 2011 (Reuters Pictures)

The registration of voters was conducted from January 24 to February 24 by 110 mobile teams at 1,463 registration centres. According to the NEC, some 642,555 have registered to vote.

Being the only international observation mission in the state, the US-based Carter Center noted in a press release issued on March 29 that the voter registration process was undermined by “several shortcomings.”

According to Carter Center, which deployed six observers who visited 67 voter registration centres in 19 of the state’s constituencies, these shortcomings include the NEC’s failure to devote sufficient registration teams and a lack of voter education.

The final voter registry, which was published by the NEC on March 4, includes 642,558 voters out of an eligible 1,172,406 voters. The Carter Center noted that the number of registrants is “approximately 100,000 fewer” than during the April 2010 elections.

Contesters – showdown of Al-Hilu and Harun

The final list of candidates was published by NEC on 27 March, showing that nearly 200 candidates, including independents, will vie in the elections of state assembly.

With electoral campaigns already underway since 4 April, much attention is expected to be focused on the competition for the state governor office between the two frontrunners; the NCP’s incumbent candidate Ahmad Harun, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes allegedly committed in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, and the SPLM’s candidate Abdul Aziz Adam al-Hilu.

The withdrawal of Mekki Ali Balail of the Justice Party and Al Tahir Khalil Hammouda of the National Umma Party from the gubernatorial race has increased the possibility of an alliance being forged against the NCP’s candidate.

Another candidate running independently is Telefon Kuku, a veteran Nuba army general who remains a prisoner of the SPLM in South Sudan.

Warnings of “localized violence”

An unpublished paper by the political analyst Aly Verjee notes that South Kordofan “remains one of Sudan’s most heavily militarized regions,” citing “credible reports” of recent military build up in the state.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune, Aly Verjee warned that failure of the elections in South Kordofan may yield “localized violence.”

"As with the census and the 2010 elections, there remains a risk of localized violence. It’s unlikely that this broadens into a state wide security challenge, but incidents of coercion and intimidation are often difficult to see,” he said. “Popular mistrust in the process may lead to conflict."


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 11 April 2011 05:19, by Hero

    Go for it guys, I wish you the best.

    repondre message

  • 11 April 2011 05:50, by Bol Deng

    Dear South Kordofan citizens,

    You are free to vote for the SPLM’s candidate Abdul Aziz Adam al-Hilu for the governorship.

    General Aziz Adam has spent his life protecting Nuba people during the war.

    He deserves this position because of his great work that he does on behalf of his people while his contender called haron has been working against the people of Nuba mountain for years.

    And Haron has been in the hunt of ICC against humanity against the Darfur and Nubian.
    Thanks, Yusuf Kuwa and Aziz oyeee, Nubain oyeee.

    repondre message

    • 11 April 2011 11:14, by Gatran


      I could see all tribalistic minded are commenting right on this article of north Sudan. Is it because it has never mentioned the shrine and the father of Self-determination of Southern Sudan (Dr. Riek Machar)? Please be continued like that by being non-tribalistic and show sense of maturity and by being a national man/woman. Let’s think big and not to bring more curses than blessings in the new nation Southern Sudan. Don’t abuses our leaders whom we duly elected, let challenge them to deliver what is expected of them. Let all tribal provocative shut-up or else their days are numbered. You always cause war between tribes in Southern Sudan and when it intensifies you runs to East African countries.

      repondre message

  • 11 April 2011 05:56, by Ahmed

    Why are you south Sudanese commenting in North Sudanese issue? why not mind your business

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    • 11 April 2011 05:58, by Bol Deng


      Why Nubian fought against the khartoum during war?

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    • 11 April 2011 06:16, by Waucity

      Ahamed, were is your head,so I can destroy it once and for good. Who does not know that us in Southern Sudan and our dear brothers and sisters in Nuba mountains carry the same flag, the one that our people have blessed with their blood. Our religion is Splm and our prophet is SPLA. Ahmed, we are proud to have died for our land just like we did thousands of years ago...Ahmed, the word north now means, arabs..We call our brothers in the blue nile, people of blue nile and our Nubians brothers and sisters, people of the Nuba mountains..our brothers in Darfur, children of Darfur...Get it!!!!!.

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      • 11 April 2011 06:38, by tiger

        South Kordofan lies between North-South and therefore it will come under South even if it reach us 100 years to claim our brothers and sisters who have suffered along with us during the devastated civil wars.
        should SPLA candidate win the election, you will not be surprise by displacement of vagrants who have settled in Nubian land. May Almighty redeem the blood of Nubian matyres and give them freedom from Arab colonies

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    • 11 April 2011 06:20, by Hero


      Your government has done nothing good to them,and let me tell you they deserved to be free just like us in here the South Sudan. And that’s our big concerns right now, we want to see them free from all those sorts of mistreatments that they have gone through and of which they are now still subjected.We don’t have anything than to wish them well and tell them not to give in, even if it may take centuries for them to get their right then it is something worth fighting for.That and all is what we want see and it will surely happened.Also you need to be assured that there will be no peace in North Sudan if these innocent people of Kordofan,Nuba mountain and Darfur are not free.

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    • 11 April 2011 08:47, by Malou Luiny Joseph

      Ahmed, you are the one who is discriminating the southerners and the Nubians. Even if they decide to go the North, we still be brothers.

      So stop your nonsense.

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  • 11 April 2011 07:37, by Madina Kebir


    I think you fail to understand that, Sudan nation has five regions namely North Sudan, Southern Sudan, Central Sudan, Western Sudan and Eastern Sudan region. These are the first original known in the Sudan. As you might know the reason why these Southern Sudanese chooes separation it is because the Khartoum domination have made a big mess in Sudan and I would really want to encourage all Nubian people and the people of Blue Nile must understand fully that, we have lost trust on those dominated us for many years and I belief this is the good time for all Sudanese were being suffering under Khartoum government to turns the page.

    I have appreciated Southern Sudanese people who votes for independence, because there is no need of voting unity Sudan when the people in charge of Sudan’s government NCP are spending million of dollars just to get ride with their own civizens as Darfur is the good example, and the NCP left what the government were supposed to do for the people and for the nation. Kenya nation just got independence in 1963, while Sudan nation already gained its independence in 1956. Today if you see the Kenya development then, you will tell that, Sudan government have failed indeed to make a good development in the Sudan country and I don’t think there is any chance at all for success under Khartoum government unless people like Nubian, Blue Nile and Darfurian have to joins hands together with Southern Sudanese people that is the only possibility right now.

    I would be shock if the Nubian people and people of Blue Nile don’t do what Southern Sudanese people did in 2010, because it doesn’t matter whether you are in the geographical of North Sudan or you are located in the Western Sudan region still you will be part of Sudan even if you go with Southern Sudan. I want Nubian people, Darfurian people and the people of Blue Nile to looks at the Ethiopia Map and try to acknowledge exactly what do I mean by that. There are some clans living in the Western of Ethiopia and they joins with Southern Ethiopia. Also the Eastern Ethiopia said, they want to go with Southern Ethiopia at that time and they are doing okay now as long as the government does not kills innocents people that is fine unlikely to Khartoum government who have murdering 2.5 million lives during the civil war plus 300,000 of Darfurian innocents. The people of one nation are supposed to be treated right for sharing government and equally rights for justice and development in the country unfortunately, the Khartoum government have failed in many ways to achieved these mentions and many more others because the domination know only how to divided nation in to many groups and try to bribe every single politician so that, they can stayed in the power in years however, the power of leading Sudan nation is another different story now and many regions in Sudan could simple follow the Southern Sudan independence one way or another and they will leave Khartoum alone to decide that, their mistreatment for years has come to isolated them and that is the only the Nubian people have to understant.

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  • 11 April 2011 07:38, by amon

    With you South Kordofan! vote wisely like we Southerners did so that you can determine your futures. Don’t vote for criminals who are wanted by the ICC, they are just trying to stay in power not serve you but to avoid arrest.

    We haven’t forgotten you at all, vote wisely so that we can continue have good relationship, we will still support you with oil money so that you can develop your state.

    repondre message

  • 11 April 2011 08:51, by Jalaby

    We warn you guys .. may be it is your last chance!!

    Jonobean in general and SPLM in particular are required now and before tomorrow to pull out their nose from our north issue, do not interfere in our interior issue!

    We are two states now and each state has its own sovereignty.

    Jonobean, would you accept if we interfere in Bahr Al Gazal state and provide public support to one of the candidate for the head state by money and every possible support? would you accept it? I believe your answer would be no, then please pull out your nose and go and concentrate on solving your issue because south will become officially "Failed State" if you ignore the serious problems that keep getting bigger and bigger!

    We know the fact that SPLM/A had used Nuba people during the fighting with north as "Fuel war" and put them in front line of the war, they used them as slaves, cleaning Dinka officers shit and giving them a ride on their backs when no vehicle is available to carry Mr. Dinka officer!

    We know Nuba fighters were the first fighters who entered Torit city when SPLA captured it from SAF first time and when the war overed they became unwanted people in the south and asked them to leave because they are not southerners and their mission is overed and no use for them!! do you know why? southerners do not want Nuba people because they are muslims people and their cultures, traditions, believes are north and for that reason SPLM/A used them to fulfill their goals and then rejected them!

    Where Mr. Telephone Koko? why SPLM/A detained him? we know how SPLM/A cheated him and asked him to come to Juba for negotiaition and then captured him and put him in jail and no one knows anything about him! this guy is Nuba leader hence he is north and north government will soon officially ask south government to release him because he is not southerner!

    Be aware .. it is your last chance!

    Jalaby (Abo Jalabia)

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    • 11 April 2011 09:04, by Hero


      Wrong Mudukuri! Stop warning us; Thinks of what the last was like and then embark on that course if you adore it.Otherwise give them their fair shares and we will be done!

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    • 11 April 2011 10:21, by Cibaipiath Junub Sudan

      You are totally wrong. Consider that in any elections, or sports activities you find supporters of one from many countries. Candidates contesting in American USA elections are supported any where in the Globe. The same applied to World Cups match. South Sudan will support Abdel A Ziz 100% with their fellow African Countries and they will not support Ahmed Harun-most wanted criminal. We need to support people of South Kordofan because they are our fellow brothers. We do not mind about religion because Nubian are Muslims like you but they suffered like South Sudanese and we do not know why and our assumption are that it is because of racism. If it was not that why do arabs marginalised them? Why do arabs used them in fatal fronts like the case of Harun? What took Ahmed Harun in Darfur crisis? "Aktul abit be Abit" is what you are proud of?

      People of South Kordofan should vote wisely. And if they make a mistake then they will be considered as criminal because the supposed Governor Ahmad Harun is a criminal. He is needed by the ICC. Let him go and clear himself from the charges labelled against him before looking for the political seats.

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      • 11 April 2011 11:54, by Jalaby


        You know the fact that it is totally prohibited in America that any candidate receives any money from outside US, yes any one in Africa, Asia, etc can support Obama by his heart and wish him all the success and best but that is not the case in our situation in south Kordoufan, SPLM and Jonobean should stop financing Abdel Aziz campaign and direct this money to those desperate people in the south who at the edge of starvation this time, just pull out your nose from north and you have all the right to wish all the best for Mr Abdel Aziz and support him by your heart!

        Yes Dr Garang was a unionist guy and he convinced some people from Nuba mountain, Blue Nile and East region to join his rebel in creating new unified Sudan from Halfa to Numli, yes Garang was unionist but he was "singing outside the flock" because that new one Sudan was never southerners main stream goal or vital agenda but separating the south and become an independent state was the main goal and ultimate strategy to southerners for that reason when Granag passed away SPLM/A soon returned to its main strategic goal and separated the south and released Nuba people "against the wind" after they achieved their goal!!

        Southerners are only unified against north and expelling north out of the south but they are deeply difference among themselves and will turn their guns against their heads as soon as north leave the south and that exactly what is happening now!

        You said Mr Haroun wanted by ICC for the crime that he commited, well, you know ICC and UN security council have double standards, they are not fair at all, we will be happy to recognize ICC judgement against Haroun and Al Bashir but let them issue the same warrant arrest to former presdient G. W. Bush for invading Iraq and devastating that country and killing innocent Iraqi people by lying to the whole world that Iraq own weapons of mass destruction and he is going to dismember it and that turn out to be ugly lie!! let UN security force Israel to withdraw from Palestinians land that they occupied since 1967 and implement UN decisions and stop displacing Palestinians people from their homes!!!!

        Jalaby (Abo Jalabia)

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        • 11 April 2011 13:51, by Cibaipiath Junub Sudan

          My friend,
          There are genuine and logical grounds for politics. You are crying for Garang- you called yourselves muslims and the founder of Islams is not alive. Mohamed is already dead and that does not mean you abandon your belief. After the death of Mohamed, islams continue to spread from the middle east to the whole world. That example alone will give you definite answer to why Garang was fighting for a unified Sudan through the SPLM. The CPA was reached and implementation modalities which is also part of the CPA was not achived until Southerners voted for Sucession. In the first place if Arabs where interested in unifying people why did Bashir Contested in April election. He would have allow Salva Kiir to contest with any Arab oppostion leaders. That was a test for the CPA and a test for Unity. Do you think if Garang was alive he would prefer being the Vice President? Now do you think that Nubian will be granted the post of the 1st Vice President in the North?

          I tell you brother, you will still remember your prophet Garang because he had shown you your way both People of South Kordofan, South Blue Nile and Darfur. It is you to carry on with the mission of the SPLM.

          Yes, if there is a financial support given to the SPLM in SK and especially to Abdel Aziz then that is not a crime. CPA has not elapsed. Why did Bashir came to Juba on Thursday 7th April 2011?

          Now let me tell you and maybe correct you better. Nose is used for sensing or smelling and not for talking. I do not know whether you speak by your nose or your mother tongue refer to that.

          The issue of USA involvment in Iraq it is something genuine and logical. Why do people of Iraq sentenced Sadam to death?

          Don’t talk things out of your knowledge. Be practical and examplary.

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          • 11 April 2011 15:23, by Jalaby


            You totally misunderstand me!

            First: I’m not crying for Garang, actually I’m against Granag new Sudan theory because no room for Arab identity/culture in his theory. However, I do respect his theory but I oppose it because I don’t find a room for me in his new Sudan!

            Second: I believe in separation between north-south rather than unity, because unity should be between two homogenized entities and not imposed over people wishes and destiny which was the case in Sudan.

            Third: Americans are angry with Bush because he lied to them about WMD (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq and led them to war that caused them as tax payers a very high price and negatively impacted their economy until this moment and that’s why they elected Obama who promised them to pull out the army from Iraq within 60 days during his candidacy if he wins!
            Lying is big mistake, shamefull and insult human dignity in America and western countries in general but for a person like you who came from third world is something normal and that explains why you justify the war against Iraq because you support "The end justifies the means" and lying to others is something normal if not usual!!!

            Fourth: Nose, tongue, eyes, etc can do more than one job at a time, they are not only "sense indicators"!

            Jalaby (Abo Jalabia)

            repondre message

  • 11 April 2011 15:40, by Ahmed


    oh geezz, you want to destroy my head?? You people are animals, violence is your only way of life. You southerner Sudanese act like animals you will always be ruled.. Even if north Sudan is not ruling you animals i am sure another country will

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