Home | News    Monday 16 August 2010

Sudan’s referendum body chief threatens to resign


August 15, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The head of the South Sudan referendum commission today threatened to quit his position citing deadlock over the appointment of the body’s secretary general which could further delay the preparations for the key vote.

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The referendum, a key plank of the 2005 peace deal that ended a decades-long civil war between north and south Sudan, is due to take place on January 9, 2011 and promises southerners the chance to choose independence.

However, up till this date the referendum commission is far from being up and running as it does not have permanent headquarters and have yet to create its own rules governing its work.

Furthermore, there has been no agreement on the commission’s secretary general which Southerners insist that it should be one of their own and not from the North.

The head of the commission Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil told Reuters in an interview today that the five southerners were voting as a block to prevent any northerner taking the key post of secretary-general, a principle he said he could not accept.

The secretary-general controls the funds and budget of the commission and south Sudan’s ruling party has warned the deadlock could derail the vote.

"If things continue like this I will just excuse myself that’s all," Khalil added.

"This [commission] can only work if we can get people to be cooperative, to have mutual trust ... and to approach things objectively from a national point, not from the point of view of north and south," Khalil said.

"With things as they are, all resolutions would be a foregone conclusion," he said. "The five [southern] members are determined to vote as a block — to me this is just not acceptable, it makes a nonsense of the whole process."

Khalil said of the 63 positions outlined in the Referendum Law, 59 had already been filled by southerners. He said he had left the problem for the presidency to decide.

"I am not prepared to head a commission that works this way. With things are they are, all resolutions would be a foregone conclusion," he said.

But SPLM official Pagan Amum said Khalil showed "tendencies of dictatorship" for ignoring the majority opinion in the body.

"If these problems are not resolved quickly the referendum commission will definitely fail to deliver on organising the referendum," he added.

On Friday, the commission chief lashed out at Amum questioning in an interview with the pro-government Al-Rayaam why the SPLM has failed to have the referendum law sooner. Khalil called on the Amum to find out for himself the obstacles facing the commission to resolve them.

This week, Sudanese media reported that the commission submitted a request to the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) demanding a postponement to the referendum date saying that it would be not be possible to complete all the deliverables by the due date which includes registering the voters.

The SPLM has rejected any delay to the referendum suggesting that it will take other measures if that occurs and some observers believe that would include a unilateral; declaration of independence by South Sudan legislative assembly. But the Northern ruling party said this would amount to an act of war.


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  • 16 August 2010 05:53, by Dinka Boy

    To Mohamed Khalil ,

    We South Sudanese does not agree with the pushing of referendum because the years or the months that all of you wish will still be the same like the one that we spent under the CPA negotiations. I don.t think as an acceptable idea to pospone the referendum because it will remain the same. We want the referendum to take place at the right time as it was scheduled.

    SPLM/A will not afford another accord like those past one that we know. NCP is dancing bitterily to spoil this CPA using some accuses,but their frequent accusses will not resist the interest of South Sudanese per CPA. We know you have hard time because of NCP,but not SPLM. Thanks

    repondre message

    • 16 August 2010 06:43, by Gatwech

      Dear readers,

      I thank the brilliant SPLM team led by the deputy chairman, Dr. Riek Machar and the rest for making sure that the southerners had a majority blocking membership in the nine members of the commission. This has now born the fruit of holding the north’s hand off the process as they so desire.

      Now, if that bias chairman of the commission thinks his southern members are giving him a headache, let him resign.

      Referendum will take place as scheduled either by the people of South Sudan or by the parliament of South Sudan (UDI).

      Well, that threat of war is not new. Is better to have war over our declared independence than to have war over unsettled arguments in one Sudan.

      We will declare UDI and deploy troops along our borders. That kicking of asses until Darfur takes over Khartoum or Turabi and Al-Mahdi overthrow Bashir.

      Don’t play dirty games that will backfire ya NCP thugs.

      repondre message

      • 16 August 2010 07:28, by Ahmed Chol

        Northerners never realized that it will be difficult for them and us to live in the same country so as long as they are the advocates of division. They never realize that we are sudanese first but not christians or muslims first. That means Sudan belongs to all of us where we have equal rights to leadership in any position. Not realizing will tear Sudan apart in a brought day light.

        Watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEE3-wag-B4&feature=related

        Ahmed Chol, the future commander of Anya-nya III

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    • 16 August 2010 11:00, by Jamus

      Mohamed Khalil,

      Be careful!!,We know you were planted there as an NCP agent to thwart all efforts that will ensure smooth implementation of CPA.You are already a headache,we don’t need another NCP agent to be the secretary general.If you want to quit,you can quit because you will sooner than later, head Darfur Referandum Commission,Nuba Referandum Commission,Beja Refarandum Commission and finally,Funj Referandum Commission.You will be a commisioner till your retirement.Your ’FOULMASR’ clogged brain will not do good.Leave us alone,and we will be better off without you heading this important commission.Gatwech,don’t let credit goes to where it doesnot belong.The CPA implementation team,especially Pagan deserved full credit,he does not fear like your uncle.Even in Lion’s den,Pagan can make very sharp political statements,even in front of NSIS building.


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    • 16 August 2010 19:06, by Thyinka

      The problem started when they allowed an Arab to run a Southern Referendum. None of them can run this process smoothly and in good faith because their malice toward Southerners wouldn’t allow them. It is commendable that at least 5 members of the commission are Southerners. No resolution would be passed in the commission without the approval of the majority of commission members.

      However, they have seen that their only way to control the work of the commission is to take the key posts such as the chairman, secretary etc. And make decisions which are contrary to the will of the people and then claim that Southerners in the commission are making it hard for the Northerners to carry out their duties. The post of the secretary of the commission can’t go to NCP unless they give the post of the chairman to the SPLM. Northerners don’t have to hold all the executive posts in a Southern Referendum Commission.

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  • 16 August 2010 05:54, by DOOR

    It is so sad that the northerners are playing with fire!
    There is even no need for the northerners to head this referendum which is meant for the south and only the southerners should head it.
    well whether you like it or not we are seceding through unilateral declaration of independent.

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  • 16 August 2010 06:10, by Grader

    Sudan operated on South-North basis since time immemorial

    It is a good that some quarters in Khartoum are realising the fruit of hatred they sown!!!

    But it is too late-lets operate that way for the next few months

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  • 16 August 2010 06:37, by Young Nation

    The SPLM should be warned not to relingush the position of Secretary-General to any Norther Sudanese Sudan let alone a member of Islamic Front. The truth is that if head of referendum comission is headed by a Northerner, then is there is no objective reason as to why the position of Secretary-Generation should not go the SPLM. The NCP should appreciate SPLM for allowing the post of the presidency of referendum Commssion to be chaired by a Norther.

    Warning! If Northerner Sudan think denying them the position of Secretary-Generation could drag the two regions of Sudan to war so be it. War is not a new phenomenon to us in the South. We have seen and endured wars since 1950s. Northerners should be warned that should the war resume the possibilities of it raging northward are imminent unlike previous wars being fought in the Southern region. No Jallaba troops in Juba, Wau, Malakal, Rumbek or any major towns of Southern Sudan.

    SPLM Oyee
    SPLA Oyee
    Junub Oyee
    Referendum Oyee

    Young Nation is a Student of International Relations/Political Science at The University of Queensland, Australia.

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    • 16 August 2010 07:36, by Aduol Liet


      To reminding you all that, these Northern Sudanese are always looking for big position in order to fool people and the time for fooling Southerners Sudanese has gone they don’t know this is the time for them to tell the truth with honest. The head of commissioner or whatever, the name they call it he or she must be from Southern Sudan and if they do not want to follow that then, Southern Sudanese people will conducting their own affairs since Northern Sudan are part of the cause problems then, GOSS must elected people to do the conducting process on referendum because we need independence of Southern Sudan to happen if they like it or not Southern Sudanese people are in entitle to have it by all mean.

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  • 16 August 2010 08:05, by telfajbago

    If the intentions of the head of the Commission Mohammed Ibrahim Khalil were to carry the referendum peacefully to either separation or unity why the head of Commission deny the Southerners to take the post of General Secretary who control the funds? Is it not fare as the North is heading the Commission for the people of South Sudan to take the post? Why the head of Commission who suppose to be partial criticizing the Southerners in the Commission for acting as one block, is it not their right? I believe that there is some thing fishy. The people of South Sudan in the commission will commit historical unpardonable mistake if they decline to die for taking the job in the commission which control the resources. The fact is that, the NCP wants to play with the referendum the way they did with last election or to continue postponing the referendum until they fully prepare themselves for the war after they neutralize any threat in Darfur, and the best way to do it is to take over the post which control every thing .Guys wake up you are heading with the regime to disputed referendum result, if any, or no referendum at all and in either cases war is enviable. The time for bloody confrontation with the regime is ticking out Are you prepared?

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  • 16 August 2010 09:41, by Sudan virus

    Khartoum is engulfed by marginalized people.

    This time the war will not take 22 years but 22 hours to capture Khartoum and hand to the Darfurian and the Nubian.While south Sudan will unilateral seceded as independent state.

    repondre message

    • 16 August 2010 11:44, by Lokorai

      Professor Ibrahim isn’t alone; he wanted to create more problems than make any solution in the Commission.

      He had already started to talk nonesense even condemning Southern politicians from mentioning the word separation.

      He must be die in the South!


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    • 16 August 2010 11:52, by Ngolele

      Please resign now mohammed kalil; dont talk too much on the media; each time bringing in new complaints.

      If you are not stupid why do you want a northerner to take the key position of the secretary general to handle issue which is purely a southerner’s business(the referendum).

      for mind you " with bullets or ballots or UDI we will go" enough is enough!

      repondre message

      • 16 August 2010 12:26, by Gatwech


        This is very funny though!

        A friend of mine who is there in Juba just gave me a call after reading my comments on Col. Malaak Ayuen’s indiscipline which prompted him to individually go to SSTV and talked about the work which is not his responsibility to present it to public.

        This friend of mine told me something funny. He said those who are rushing to TV will not be able to confuse the public since TV coverage in South Sudan is very poor.

        He said only 5% of the people of South Sudan have access to TV while 95% are in the dark. He told me that no good number of people have seen Malaak’s presentation.

        This funny guy joked by telling me that up to 90% of the population in the South do not even know how Salva Kiir looks like because they have not seen him in person and they have no TV sets to see his picture on TV.

        They have not heard him talk on TV!

        Only 3% might have known how late John Garang looked like while the rest will just guess in their heads.

        That is funny indeed and those trying to rush to TV to steal history will be known only by 5% in urban areas who will also dismiss their presentations as lies.

        We have along road to go folks.


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        • 16 August 2010 14:18, by child soldier

          HI Gawect

          Your ambiguous comments does not provide sufficient understand to us, do you try to say that there isn’t sufficent electrcities stations available in Juba or what. If you have personal hatred beween Colonel Malaak Ayuen and you, why you didn’t talk to himself.

          Dear brother, human being can change whenever we are in peacetime, forgiveness, apologies, these are the way we can seek positive reconciliation to cover our previous wound. we cannot multiple hatred by hatred, tribalism by tribalism, strife by strife and discorded by discorded, we can multiple hatred by love. Let us wait big challenges head of us in 2011

          repondre message

  • 16 August 2010 15:04, by Majak-da

    This statement is contradictory: "However, up till this date the referendum commission is far from being up and running as it does not have permanent headquarters and have yet to create its own rules governing its work.

    With: "Khalil (or whatsoever) saying there are 63 postions and 59 are taken by southerners."

    How can a commission, far from being up have some positions also taken? This is another Arabs strategy to delay southerners’ right. Be informed that no way this time round!

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  • 16 August 2010 17:07, by H5N1

    Just go a head and resign!!!! who cares what you had to offer? Referendum will go a head on your nose no matter who resigns or who isn’t
    fckin’ Arabs, injera faces! tired of seeing you with us anyway.

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  • 16 August 2010 19:21, by Kur

    The voice of the majority must prevail. If the SG of the commission is appointed through an electoral procedure, why would anybody want to dispute that? We are not dividing positions between the north and south in the commission. It is something that affects our future and we must ensure that it is run people by we trust.

    NCP must know that we cannot be blackmailed by threats of war. We will declare our independence if this commission fails to do its work.


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  • 24 August 2010 13:47, by Malou Luiny Joseph

    This is not time to cheat the southerners again. We have woken up and this time we need to head and not be headed.

    The argument of Mr.Chief of referendum commission of the Jallaba community is right in deed because he has the right to do according to how he has been brieved by his boss Al-Bashir. For if he does not obey what his boss says, then he losses his position and he also faces threats and blames from the Arab community who have different agenda for southern Sudanese succession.

    The hidden agenda dear southerners, must not be given time to get into the store otherwise our store has been put into fire and at the disposal of rodents.

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