Home | News    Monday 15 November 2010

Head of Sudan referendum commission accuse donors of withholding cash

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November 14, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The head of the South Sudan referendum commission (SSRC) Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil voiced frustration on Sunday with foreign donors saying they are unwilling to disburse cash directly to his group.

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Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) Chairperson Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil shows a sample voting card during a news conference at the SSRC headquarters in Khartoum, November 14, 2010 (Reuters)

"They give us finished goods, materials just as you cater for a minor. You don’t give a minor cash in case they should misuse it but give them finished goods and services which, incidentally, we resent," Khalil was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"The party which has not availed us of any usable money so far is the international donors," he added.

The statements by Khalil come one day ahead of the kickoff of voter registration for those eligible to decide the fate of Southern Sudan on whether it would remain united with the North or establish its own state.

The self-determination right was afforded by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudan people Liberation Movement (SPLM).

This month, the United Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said that it has more than half the $63 million pledged by the donors to support the referendum. However it is not clear if how much of that amount has been received in cash versus logistical material needed for the vote.

A number of donors including the European Union (EU), Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Netherlands and France have yet to fulfill their pledges in full for the referendum process, according to figures provided to Innercitypress website by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The U.S. development agency (USAID) said it had budgeted up to $50 million (31 million pounds) to help with the referendum but confirmed it would not pay any money directly to the commission.

British International Development Minister Andrew Mitchell said no one but the Sudanese government should pay cash directly to the commission.

Khalil also blasted hiring foreign contractors and experts which in one situation complicated the process rather than facilitate it without seeing if there were competent Sudanese to do the same job. He said they had appointed a U.S. law firm which made incomprehensible regulations based on the referendum law. The commission finally had to find a Sudanese firm to do the job.

"This is an utter waste of money," he said, adding the commission had been delayed by six weeks in moving into its offices because of the delay in funds from the donors.

The national government had paid the commission 9 million Sudanese pounds ($3.8 million) and the semi-autonomous southern government 10 million pounds. But he said international partners were not even consulting the body on much of their work.

Khalil also underscored the very tight timetable for the referendum process which starts with the registration process which will end in 17 days and the voter lists will only be completed just before voting begins on January 9. He revealed that the commission had asked the presidency to make a decision on whether to stick to the tight timetable.

"We said to them that the schedule is very, very tight, pushed to the maximum and it does not have any margin for error, like trucks (carrying voting materials) crashing," Khalil said. "We are working night and day."

Khalil said last month that it would be a "miracle" to hold the plebiscite as scheduled on January 9, 2011.

The commission chief also announced that registration would be delayed a few days in Egypt because of a communication breakdown with the government. It would also be delayed in the United States and Australia because southerners there had asked for more registration centers.

(ST)

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  • 15 November 2010 07:06, by Abuoi Jook

    Dear Junubeen,
    I personaly don’t support referendum registration and voting here in Australia leave alone delaying it or opening more centres. voters’ eligibility criteria are not well defined in a formal way that may have included ethnically, State, County, Payam and Boma levels that steadfastly easier identification. let our people back home do the job as IOM is full of Egyptian employees who strongly favour unity of Sudan because of their Northern brothers.
    Please, remember that i am neither being bias here nor negligent about the participation of the Southerners in determining their fate collectively. However, i just view our participation definitely lean towards our own disadvantage and it’s better for those in Australia to abstain from participating.

    As for the referendum chief, please blame both Khartoum Government and the International Community and not international community alone as you have shamelessly alleged. Khartoum has so far failed to give SSRC its share why yelling at donors who even contributed half of their total pledge and keep quiet at Khartoum that did not produce a cent to your committee.
    Hope you get me clear here and thanks.

    repondre message

    • 15 November 2010 08:40, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

      It is illogical to finance an activity that is purely a lie. How can there be only 165 registration centres out of over 2000 registration centre all over the world ? It is incredible for the donors to donate a taxpayers money to such an exercise that seems to indicate a foul play. I believe where there are genuine voters for this exercise they are there to support. Logistic support is not bad. It is money converted into material. This game is not self enrichment exercise. It supposed to indicate the true aspiration of the majority of the true South Sudanese.

      repondre message

    • 15 November 2010 09:56, by Michel Fleury

      What are you doing now in Australia? Is not your place in South Sudan ?

      repondre message

    • 15 November 2010 10:02, by Kuer Dau Apai

      Thank Abuoi Jook and let other southerners look here-------

      The Sudanese Registration for Referendum Election in Australia best Option is Cancellation

      Let take a breath to thank the South Sudan electoral commission teams for the Referendum who have foreseen the hidden agenda plotted within the upcoming referendum event and taken on a high speed wanted/scheduled to take place today in Australia cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

      It was not unanimously organised/agreed to meet the entire Sudanese Communities in Australia in such ways but by few individuals who might have closely collaborated with the NCP and hiding within the IOM’s managing team for untold reasons of rushing.

      The people of South Sudan everywhere around the world should have critical and political analysis measures and with kin to approach this referendum political event by examining all the processes on the momentum.

      There are unrecognised Southerners and Northerners groups in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra who did not bother to include all the people of South Sudan in their respective designed areas as Bomas, Payams and States in the processes such as Sudanese in Western Australia (WA), Queensland (QLD), and South Australia (SA). The unrecognised individuals were hardly to be convinced to hang-up the processes of registration and take a while to acquire some important information from the Sudanese in South Sudan, Eastern Africa (Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia), America, Canada, Europe, within Australia and other part of the Continent. This unidentified team is being generated and driven by their short-term employment in that they are promised to get huge payment of dollars within their two weeks of registration exercise that said to be $500 Australian dollars a day per individual (none taxable income) in 14-days and/or up to January 9, 2011. This brought some impossibilities for them to listen to their co-Sudanese brothers/sisters in the community but rushing to get started. For instance I personally had called one of the team managers who I don’t want to mention his name and we had talked on phone over 2o minutes on this issue but he couldn’t agree.

      Firstly, some of them have never have jobs in Australia since their arrival but surviving on Australia Centre-link benefits who rushed to grubbed this opportunism.

      Secondly, some of them are heading some Sudanese Not-for-Organisations in which they deceive fund providers to get such organisations funded purportedly for Sudanese activities which instead use for their own families benefits.

      Thirdly, some of them have even gone deep to take the ownership care of halved-orphaned children from their single mothers whom they get double payment from DOC (Department of Children) as they claim and to lay some falsifying blames or accusations on single mothers that they are not taking good care of their own born children (very wonderful).

      This reveals that this team is hunting for money that is not the will to save the long-suffered people of South Sudan and other marginalised areas.

      The registration which was meant to start today was not a true exercise because of the following observed reasons:

      1. Sudanese in Australia are not in regardless of somewhat distinguished from the Sudanese in Eastern Africans Countries, America, Canada and Europe who are committed and bowed to boycott such politicised activity of registration for referendum when the south Sudanese in Sudan are optimistic to achieve 60% for independence as a nation in exclusive of Diaspora populations

      2. Was it a fair registration then why Sudanese in WA (Western Australia), SA (South Australia), QLD (Queensland) and other States of Australia were left out who are all of not less important than these Sudan population in New South Wales, Victoria and ACT?

      3. Girrish-ka reech Baai! Girrish-ka reech Baai!! Girrish-ka reech Baai!!! Blan na blan na jech chaap muthala blan na benne rum commodore, Katip col Kamach jai in pi Bongo lony piny kamach ku Sahdiq abi jam ku lo dii kamach ku palle baai kamach! That was a song sung by Red-army who were in Pinyido-army training field. This is translated in English that Money turns the nation down. We couldn’t believe that NCP monies reach to the far western country like Australia through we the southerners.

      4. The NCP recent air bombardment in Bhar-Gazal should be investigated and that can affect the exercise.

      Thank all

      repondre message

  • 15 November 2010 09:50, by emadven

    it’s obious the the Ibrahim is just favoring the government and he does not want the south to separate. People alone in South Sudan is enough to declare South Suda’s independent. all these delays and his voice tone is discouraging people of SOuth Sudan and international community. it’s just his way of delay tactics.. that’s why it should have been appointed a Southerner in first place... how hard is it to make people register in 17.. it’s their future i know Southern Sudanese won’t play with it. As long as it’s done democratically and peacefully it’ll go out well. But the government is just talking down the referendum and not being helful at all..

    repondre message

  • 15 November 2010 10:12, by makuei

    Mr. Khalil,

    Do you know why the donors are hesitant? Quite simple, they don’t wanna waste their cash on an exercise with flaws that so many people have already menioned. They learnt a lesson from the recent election which was done without proper prior preparation, civic education, and the fact that rigging took place at the time. With the Referendum now, the above shortcomings are evident, too.
    Blame them not.

    Raphael Makuei

    repondre message

    • 15 November 2010 15:50, by marie

      The stand for the Diaspora not to participate in the exercise has been echoed over and over, but our problem as Southerners we do not have that critical thinking. We have a centre in Calgary, western Canada. The initial stand of the community was to bycott the process, but another contacted IOM and claimed they represented the South Sudanese community.

      This group submitted the names of its members to the IOM for employment. When the rest of the group who intitially vowed to bycott the exercise realized that IOM is employing people with good pay, everyone started to panic. The community became divided and people started blaming each other.

      Money is a big issue within the Southern community. No wonder, the Northerners are able to subject us to all these misery. People do not have long strategy plan in place, instead we tend to focus more on a short term benefits. When I see our people scrambling over the 2 weeks employment by IOM, some even abonding their 3 years employers, I start to wonder what sort of decision a person of integrity would do. What happens after the employment with IOM is over,especially at this time when a lot of companies are trying to lay off their employees? We as South Sudanese, wherever we are, we have a big problem that needs to be identified, otherwise, we are just doomed people.

      repondre message

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