Home | News    Sunday 14 November 2010

South Sudan puts out referendum symbols

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November 13, 2010 (JUBA) — In presence of hundreds of people who thronged the Juba-based Nyakuron Cultural Center to witness the historical event, the regional referendum body unveiled Saturday the long awaited symbols that will be used to determine the future of Southern Sudan on January 9, 2011.

Two symbols representing separation and unity to be used during the southern Sudan referendum next January.(ST)
Explaining the two symbols, Justice Chan Reec Madut, deputy chairperson of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission and Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau chaiperson, said the two-hand symbol held together represents the option for unity, while separation is portrayed using a waving hand.

Justice Chan Reec also appealed to the southern Sudanese to fully understand the two symbols, saying the duo will determine the destiny of the country during the referendum on self-determination.

But already, a vocal member of Parliament from Abyei region has urged the Bureau to find alternatives to the two approved referendum symbols, describing it as "totally confusing" to the would be voters, although his remarks could generate more debate on referendum.

According to Arop, the two referendum symbols are likely to confuse voters, given that nearly 90% of the southern population are illiterate, having been affected by the over two-decade civil war that took place in the country.

"I think it would have been better if the referendum bureau put something that will not confuse our people. The symbols suggested for the voting process will only benefit the educated ones at the expense of illiterate people," the Abyei lawmaker told Sudan Tribune Saturday.

Arop further said the problem would have been made easier if different animals were chosen or if the referendum bureau had stuck to the symbols of a tree or star for unity and separation respectively.

On the contrary, Acuil Malith Banngol, an official from the ruling Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) southern sector secretariat, praised the referendum bureau, saying the two symbols are simple and straight to understand.

"The two hands mean togetherness, while the single one stands for bye. What is so difficult to understand there? Its straight to the point," he said.

Nhial Bol, the Managing Editor of the Citizen newspaper said the unity and separation symbols, which were resolved after a series of debates, are simple enough for anyone to understand and reflect the historical events that have been happening between the north and south of the country.

Daniel Deng, the Executive Director of Deng Foundation, a non-profit making organization also welcomed the new referendum symbols, but urged all stakeholders to focus more on civic and voters’ education, describing it as the basic foundation a successful referendum.

South Sudan is due to hold its referendum on self-determination in January 2011. The event is widely seen as a key part of Sudan’s 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ended over two-decades of a bloody civil war fought between north and south.

An estimated over 2.5 million people, according to the UN, are believed to have died, while over 4 million reportedly displaced.

(ST)

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  • 14 November 2010 03:32, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    The symbols for the two options are as clear as the sun in summer. All that is wanted is thorough civic education to the voters. The separation symbol clearly indicates a stop to evil and the other is acceptance to all the bitter past to continue. The Abyei should not confuse people at this time. I am surprised that upto now some people in Abyei are as confused as their grand parents on choice about their future. Now is time to enlightned information to our people to make a right choice why should his example reflect a tree for separation and an animal for unity. Please most of us do not to hear about unity because it means to think about our lost loved ones and the rest of the bitter past. The English man would have not done so if he was allowed to rule our land instead of Jallaba. Our independence would have been like the one of the other Black African countries.

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    • 14 November 2010 05:06, by Ahmed Chol

      These symbols are great. They have to be coloured for the illiterate to see the difference. The single hand(separation) has to be coloured black. And the same thing should be done to the unity symbol, one hand should be coloured black(south) and the other hand should be coloured brown(north)

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      • 14 November 2010 06:22, by Deng Ateny Lueth

        i would also like add my sincere doubt as JUSTICE AROP MADUT pointed out earlier, you know guys our people are always known to be unity loving citizens and by decorating the hands like that would confuse our people to choose wrong symbol, specially those two hands held together unless our youths doubled their tireless efforts to play role of not only educating our people. but to embrake in the role of facilitation the differences between the two symbols uneducated and what they actually means in the future to southern sudanese in case one is chosen.

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        • 14 November 2010 07:20, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

          I do not comprehend the statement that claims that our people are unity loving people. Unity amongst us as the downtrodden people can be viewed as realistic. But the unity of Sudan as a nation has never been seen except from 1972 - 1983 as a test period for Sudanese unity that failed miserably. Throughout the lifetime of the nation state Sudan blood letting has been the order of the day. where has unity been good? Perhaps that bloody unity has been good to some people but I highly doubt that. Unity has been good for those who worked for Jallabas as maids, mercenaries who were sent to kill their own, and probably Jallaba prostitute but not to true freedom seeking, patriotic Southern Sudanese.

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          • 14 November 2010 08:18, by doot

            Very bad idea.

            If people are main to vote on those two symbols just for the sake of voting , i would prefer to go for two hands rather than one hand ball simply because two hand often do better than one loner hand. The message sent by two hands in this case is very clear .Supposedly, to change the way how this business was designed and come up with undisputable symbols before it is done.

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        • 14 November 2010 07:54, by Thonkiir

          Dear readers,

          I totally disagreed with simply symbols why? Totally very wrong how come for Kiir, to choose these such narrow minded people to be heads of the South Sudan Referendum mission those who easily fail to understand the concepts or perception of our civil population who are residing in Southern Sudan.

          This symbol will definitely led us into a unity side or option whereas the one hand sign have meaningless to put there if I am not wrong. However, the symbol with holding hands together was first introduced or shown by the former leader who died in helicopter crash 30 July 2005, Dr.Garang de Mabior.

          With other four leaders remain when there were rumors spreading within SPLM leadership or John Garang, try to replaced Salva Kiir Mayardit, current first vice president of Sudan and the president of government of South Sudan with Nhial Deng, the minister of defense. Therefore, Salva Kiir, plus rest of his ministers in the GOSS are now themselves adopting this symbol to reconcile many communities across ten states.

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          • 14 November 2010 08:32, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

            Civic education is the solution to all. But have we found out that Southern Sudanese are going to be deceived on this exercise? According to http://www.khaleejtimes.com dated on 14/11/2010 out of 2800 registration centres for South Sudan Referendum voters, only 165 are located in South Sudan. Here the question arises as to who are those voters in this exercise that are going to be registered? Is this not availing Jallaba an opportune chance of rigging? I believe some people in SPLM has a hand on this if they continue to keep quiet on this? Our people have died in millions not to be deceived again!!
            GoSS should be clear and hand over South to Jallaba other deceiving the voiceless and the orphans of South Sudan. In Darfur alone there over ten registration centres for Fur!! Which South Sudan tribes live in Darfur. Talk of Khartoum, Medeni, Port Sudan and Kosti I can believe that you can find Southerners but in Kutum, El Fashir and El Lait I highly doubt if there are sizeable number of Southerners there. This might be a joke but it might be the a fertile ground for trouble tomorrow.

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    • 14 November 2010 08:18, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

      Hello SSRC!

      I am very excited for your quick action pertaining to second step towards referendum. They are very clear symbols both to those who don’t read and those who can.

      It’s extremely an indication of successful conduction of referendum though some obstacles are waiting to delay it as planned by the Sudan’s President Omar al Bashir.

      The next step is to be completed by the will of God. I urge those who’re complainiig about the symbols to stop disturbing the ongoing process.
      Thanks once more to SSRC.

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    • 14 November 2010 08:25, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

      Hello SSRC!

      I am very excited for your quick action pertaining to second step towards referendum. They are very clear symbols both to those who don’t read and those who can.

      It’s extremely an indication of successful conduction of referendum though some obstacles are waiting to delay it as planned by the Sudan’s President Omar al Bashir.

      The next step is to be completed by the will of God. I urge those who’re complainiig about the symbols to stop disturbing the ongoing process.
      Thanks once more to SSRC.

      repondre message

  • 14 November 2010 10:00, by tayeb M. Alhassan

    SIMPLY !

    Think of what you are going to lose if you don’t choose the other !!

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    • 14 November 2010 13:30, by makuei

      Mr. Alhassan,
      "SIMPLY ! Think of what you are going to lose if you don’t choose the other !!"
      Well, Southerners have nothing to lose if they don’t chose Unity. It’s you in the North who will run short of resources and your Northern economy will collapse given the fact that Southern Sudan oil will no longer cross at your sight. You’ve drained and sucked from our land for long. Keep you nonsense to your self.

      Raphael

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    • 14 November 2010 17:43, by Jay

      Alhassan, why do you worry when you think your enemy is going to lose? Isn’t that a good think for you?

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    • 14 November 2010 17:44, by Jay

      Alhassan, why do you worry when you think your enemy is going to lose? Isn’t that a good thing for you?

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  • 14 November 2010 10:17, by moses chol

    Southern Sudan referendum symbol is good; it is telling Khartoum that good bye. It is simple to understand. Now we have to explain to our people to know these symbols of separation and unity under this status quote. Unity of Sudan is too late at this time. We will talk about unity of Sudan after 50 years of South Sudan independent

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  • 14 November 2010 14:48, by James Okuk Solomon

    The symbols are ok but there is still something incorrect in the wording above one of the symbols; "Separation." In the Southern Sudan Referendum Act (2009) and the CPA, it is called "Secession" not separation nor independence. It is wise to follow the law and the agreement in order to avoid any legal objection later.

    Dr James Okuk

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    • 14 November 2010 15:12, by makuei

      Mr. Okuk,
      The institution that initiated the symbols, the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, is a legal organ appointed by the Presidency. It has the powers, without questioning from anybody, to introduce symbols with appropriate labels that will help people of Southern Sudan make the right choice. Whether or not the label "SEPARATION" is contained in the Referendum Act or the CPA, the fact remains that the word "SECESSION" means SEPARATION. Wording matters less or not at all.

      Raphael Makuei

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      • 14 November 2010 17:09, by James Okuk Solomon

        Makuei,

        Correct wording matters much in law and agreements. The SSRC should follow the law and the CPA even if its members are lawyers and judges appointed by the Sudan Presidency (Al-Bashir + Kiir +Taha).

        "Separation" and "Secession" though synanomous, have differernt connotations when it comes to legal interpretations. Arabic language does not have this wording problem (confusion) as both "Separaion" and "Secession" mean "infisal", but the CPA and SSR Act (2009) says clearly that in case of differernces in interpretation, the English versions shall be the detetminant reference.

        Let’s be legal if we want to be safe.

        Dr James Okuk

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        • 14 November 2010 18:14, by Paul Ongee

          Ya Okuk,

          What do you mean by "Let’s be legal if we want to be safe."? Has Khartoum been legal enough to separate safely from the Anglo-Egyptian Administration? Don’t even worry about the wording be it "secession, separation or independence." Do you think Khartoum is better than Juba at interpreting law? Think of getting your freedom first not outdated unity backed by Islamic law/Sharia designed to defeat you, infidels.

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          • 14 November 2010 21:08, by Nguetbuny de Luelpiny

            "SPLA is a resues Mission in Norh-East Africa"

            it is a Synbol of our African freedom fighters
            might soul of the Land rest in their heart forever.
            and let our mighty Riverland pure their breathing well.
            Ne Rine Ke Wa daandit Arangdit kek ee wen deen Deng ku Maa daan Abukdit, mankooc Cool ya reer kek wok! Aloyuum Nyankiir da, weer da woo deng wooo!

            Hi poke I like that Unity Hands than that single Hand

            Sudan have No Law

            If you are strong figurehead, you do it your own way.
            No foreign can make another Law perfectly, like what Arab doing in Sudan. African Sudanese are under the bottom,SPLA is been shooting at the top evile to resues everyone in sudan.

            Vote is just political exercise from both. It has expire date in jan,9-30/2011. Waiting it will follow after that. Time zero or Negative of political exercise and Positive for AK-47 rifles.
            sings song bloody sounds.

            At the end of these day all Crazy Ideaology will be release for heavy duty Action. By name of almighty River of Africa. Kiirda Kiir de Kuar kuo. kiir da Ajang. Aaaa Huboo! waa ka kiir eee!! Aaa hubooo! waa ka kiir wiir eeee!!. wei ke kiirda kiir da Ajang.

            Kenne ee rol de Beny de kiir koou.

            Tone of liberators

            Nguetbuny

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            • 14 November 2010 21:47, by Duol Ruach

              To me that main problem remains to be Abyei that is yet not resolved , the two sysmbols that are now out is victory of the peace loving Marginalized sudaneses who rights and dignity had been robbed for years by Arab governments in Khartoum, now that the symbols for Referendum in south are out , then where is the fate of undecided Abyei?

              Our focused must equaly meet toward Abyei issue, we need both Referenda to be done th 9th Jan, 2011.

              Guok

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              • 15 November 2010 00:27, by Ito

                The two symbols unveiled by the referendum commission are clear and to the point; I don’t think it would be difficult for anyone to understand as those symbols have been use in the past and even deep in the grassroots communities.

                Those who say that the symbols are misleading are incorrect

                thanks

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