Home | News    Tuesday 2 November 2010

Spokesperson for South Sudan referendum quits, urges delay of independence vote


November 1, 2010 (WASHINGTON) – The spokesperson for South Sudan referendum commission (SSRC) Jamal Mohamed Ibrahim announced that he has submitted his resignation and spoke of deep disagreements he had with the head of the commission and its secretary general.

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A Sudanese worker handles referendum materials procured by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), acting under a contract for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which were handed over to Southern Sudanese authorities Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 in Khartoum, Sudan (AP)

SSRC is tasked with organizing the self-determination vote by which the people of South Sudan will decide on whether they want to create their own state or remain united with the north. It is a key plank of the 2005 peace deal that ended a decades-long civil war between north and south Sudan.

It is widely expected that people in South Sudan will choose independence driven by bitterness and mistrust of the Arab-Muslim dominated North.

The commission was belatedly established last July and its formation was completed two months later following a deadlock over the post of the Secretary General. Omer Al-Sheik, the original nominee for SG post, has declined it after the Sudan people Liberation Movement (SPLM) accused him of incompetence despite the SSRC chief Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil insisting on his choice.

Today, the SSRC spokesperson told the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that he is stepping down for reasons that he would not disclose publicly but spoke of "disturbing disagreements" with some of his peers at the commission.

"I do not wish to convey negative talk on the commission.....there are things that are just not right," he told the newspaper in an interview.

Ibrahim said that while he respects the commission chief, he said that dealing with him was"difficult" adding that he also had differences that he failed to resolve with the SSRC’s SG Mohamed Osman Al-Nijoumi.

"I used not to sleep at night when I look at the country on verge of breaking apart but we accepted to work in the commission voluntarily to make referendum a fair and transparent process," he said.

He also expressed skepticism that the vote can be held as scheduled on January 9th saying that there is little time between registering the voters and carrying out the vote.

"The referendum date must be adjusted from January 9 to April or May 9th so that environment is conducive to carry out the referendum and the two sides are able to resolve the Abyei issue," Ibrahim added.

This week the referendum commission chief said that it would be a "miracle" to hold the plebiscite as scheduled on January 9, 2011.

Preparations for the key votes in South Sudan and Abyei have proceeded haltingly amid political and logistical obstacles, and the southerners have accused the northerners of stalling, warning of violence if the referendum is delayed.

Furthermore, it is all but certain that the Abyei referendum will be delayed as the commission to oversee it has not been established yet. Northern officials have publicly asserted that the disputed border area will not have its vote held as scheduled as issues of border demarcation and eligibility of voters have yet to be resolved.

The timetable issued by the commission this month, voters will now be registered between November 14 and December 1 and the final list of voters will be published on January 4, five days before the start of voting. However later it was announced that the registration will start one day later on November 15.

The U.S. based Carter Center issued a report last month highlighting difficulties that will face the referendum process including providing the funding for training the polling staff and determining the voters’ eligibility.

Today, the United Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said that it has more than half the $63 million pledged by the donors to support the referendum.


Separately, the US President Barack Obama today extended the economic sanctions on Sudan for at least one year according to the White House.

In a letter sent to members of Congress, Obama informed US lawmakers that the sanctions on Khartoum, which were to have expired on Wednesday, would be extended, saying that the circumstances which led to their imposition some 13 years ago have "not been resolved."

Sudan’s actions and policies, Obama wrote, "are hostile to US interests and pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States."

"Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to Sudan and maintain in force sanctions against Sudan to respond to this threat," Obama wrote in his letter to Congress.

The United States has banned virtually all trade with Sudan since 1997.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said the United States hoped Sudan’s leaders "will make the urgent and difficult choices necessary to secure peace for the Sudanese people."

"As we work to support these choices, the United States will review the Sudanese government’s progress on resolving outstanding (peace agreement) implementation issues as well as other relevant circumstances, to include improving security and humanitarian access in Darfur," he said.

"If the government of Sudan acts to improve the situation on the ground and advance peace, we stand ready to work with Sudan to ensure its rightful place in the international community.

Obama last week stressed the need to go ahead with the vote as scheduled when he spoke to former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who has tried to overcome obstacles in the north-south peace process as head of an African Union panel.


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  • 2 November 2010 07:10, by Young Nation

    "The referendum date must be adjusted from January 9 to April or May 9th so that environment is conducive to carry out the referendum and the two sides are able to resolve the Abyei issue," Ibrahim added.

    The people of South Sudan have repeated and reiterated over and again to both international observers and concerned Sudanese that, the politics behind the conduct of South Sudan referendum is not time limit. The Northern Sudanese, represented by NCP officials lack political. This is why the people of South Sudan, represented by SPLM stresses that Southerners must practice their plebicite on 9th January 2011 whether issues concerning referndum are implimented or not. This fact might sound as a joke to others but it is a glaring reality to the people of South Sudan.

    Young Nation is BA student at UQ, Brisbane, Queensland

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    • 2 November 2010 14:38, by John M. Atem

      Folks, The criminal National Congress Party will do every thing they can to delay the Referendum. We have to be really careful otherwise this internationally anticipated January, 9, 2011 referendum conduct will not go a head.
      Folks, it looks like the National Congress Party donot respect this current SPLM Leadership. They look at them with great disdain. That is the reason why every proposal the SPLM tabled is not being considered. Two days ago our soliders were ambushed by this criminal party’s solidiers one of them was seriously injuried.
      looking at all these political developments the National Congress Party is not going to let us go so easily. We have to extert more pressures on the National Congress Party.
      Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that our heavy-drinking and party-loving leaders in Juba care less of what is going on our Southern borders.
      If we are really serious of conducting the Upcoming Self-determination Referendum we need to address all security threats posed by this criminal party’s soliders on our Southern Border. Folks,we need to remind ourselves that for last 22 years we fought resourceful, adaptable and thinking enemy and we do not want to fall a sleep at this critical time . The Referendum that will determine the future fate of our great country is very near.
      Folks, we can never be at our best doing it Jallaba Arabs way.
      Indeed, Victor Hugo once said," there is nothing more powerful in all this world than an idea whose time has come".
      Therefore, in this regard, the time has come for us to extricate ourselves for demonic bondages of Jallaba Arabs cruelly dehumanizing slavery, enforced political oppression, and mismanagement for which we have been held hostages for so many years.

      repondre message

    • 2 November 2010 19:05, by Akim A. Gatluak

      To Gatwich (Gatdoor)
      Where are you Gatshit? Don’t this article concern Riak and you?
      What is your job Gatshit? Are you Riak Machar’s propagandist?
      - How can some wise individual (Riak) come up with stupid idea of coup in the Rebel Movement? SPLA was not a government and it was not running any country at the time fools; it was a Tool for wish to bring about Democracy. Tools are never Democrats, SPLA was the Tool. Riak Machar is A Criminal and will die as such.
      - Riak mean Disaster and Machar mean Darkness/Black; Put togather, Riak is a Black Devil so are you.
      - One thing you fools need to know is that you and Your Uncle Riak the Devil have brought the unimaginable Shame to Greater Naath Community. It doesn’t matter how much you will try to spin Riak’s Wrong path into Glorious and Colourful ideas, the wise individual knows deep-down that he(Riak) is a Devil and
      Devil he shall Remain.

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    • 2 November 2010 19:53, by Akim A. Gatluak

      To GatSHIT (Gatwich).
      You (Gatwich) don’t seem to response when there is a good article about the development but you are always all over the the web when something regarding Riak the Devil is on the Web.
      You are nothing but an idiot, foolish brainless magot.
      If one don’t admit the wrong doing, they are deemed ignorant and stupid. Riak Machar has Admitted his fault and he was forgiven by the Movement and was welcome back to the Ranks you too (Gatwich)need to acknowledge those wrong doings and let the by-gone be by-gone and Come back clean. How can a failure be translated into victory Gatwich? A Piece of legislation don’t mean a thing if you can not defend it.
      Every plan needs a back-up.
      1- How was Riak the Devil going to Defend the Idea of Self Determination while he was eating with Bashir in one Plate and has the Army of Cattle Rustlers (Jiesh MAboor)?
      2-What towns and Cities did Riak Librate from The NIF Regime? Riak and his Civilian Army (the Jiesh Maboor)where nothing but cattle Rustlers and Criminal so were you.

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  • 2 November 2010 07:19, by mayom maboung marek

    Does this person need to boycott the referendum of South Sudan, ok, in normal circumstances, let him quit, confused and mixed messages were and are coming from these people, what do they need realy? South Sudanese does not need any agreement of delaying referendum even with 2h hours.

    let him got it alone, he will not make it hard to delay this Rerendum.

    mayom mabuong marek

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  • 2 November 2010 07:44, by telfajbago

    I believe that, the referendum commission was stuffed from the beginning with Khartoum’s hard- liners Islamic Jihadists that will be held accountable by their bosses in Khartoum if they allowed smooth and fair referendum to take place. Accordingly, such elements within the referendum commission would prefer death than to see the referendum happen and therefore, will do every thing in their power and capacity to sabotage it. So dear fellow Country men and women of South Sudan, do not be astonish if you hear that, the entire representatives of the NCP are resigning or withdrawing from the commission in the next coming days. It’s Khartoum dragging foot and buying -time tactics while they are preparing themselves for a decisive confrontation with the South.

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    • 2 November 2010 08:25, by Malith Barnaba Dhiath

      SSRC is staffed with Islamic hardliners who do not want to see South Sudan seceding from the North. Even if you all resign from the Commission, Southern Sudan is already heading for Independence despite any circumstances and this is the hard fact that you Northerners must accept whether you want it or not

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  • 2 November 2010 08:48, by Biliu

    Ok..let us extend the referendum conduct for 3 or 4 months, but that would mean renegotiating the CPA, will that affect the determination of our people to gain their freedom..? I don’t think even a one year postponement would change that, NCP are crying over unsettled issues such as border demarcation, International debts and Citizenship, what those issues lack of is political motivation not a mean, specially on those hotspots along the borderlines…..now the Northerner within the (SSRC) are working secretly to undermine it’s process by collapsing the Commission body..What a tactic, well, go Mr Spokesperson, but you and those behind you like it or not…South Sudan is leaving weather the referendum is conducted on time or postponed to 3 or 4 month, that’s the fact and you ought to embrace it.!

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    • 2 November 2010 09:12, by Mr Point

      Ever since signing the CPA the NCP have been working hard to avoid completing it.

      They have been keeping issues open so they can argue to postpone the referendum.

      If there are still unsettled issues after six years what is the point of a further six months? Would the issues be settled if they had a further six years? Of course not. Not even if they had sixty years would they want to settle the issue and see the oil go south.

      repondre message

  • 2 November 2010 10:03, by Padiet Deng Alony

    I hope the international bodies who let CPA happen between SPLM and ncp watching from second to minute what ncp do . no chance again stupid jallaba who want to commit sucide.
    we are going with you upto last second of CPA and will be the end of your era.

    We in Southern Sudan we have alot of options to separate with the north what we are doing now is for the Honor of our Hero Dr. John Garang for what He signed to be put as it is then Open another chapter with ncp.

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  • 2 November 2010 11:54, by okucu pa lotinokwan

    No way for National Ciminal Party,let us wait and see the next steps,southerners for the Arabs they do not believe that we can not reach up to the six years,but it is now coming as susprise for them tomorrow we will hear different story.

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  • 2 November 2010 13:21, by mayombo

    Those are nose the answer is one either conduct this referendum on time of UID we are nolonger in that state of Anyanya one this is new generation with method of handle things waether the SSRC deal the move for referendum or not we shall go to the fall

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  • 2 November 2010 18:56, by MJriaksdca

    As long as the commission’s main leaders are composed of northern Arabs, the conduct of the referendum on time suffers a great deal. It was stupid that it was designed this way in the first place. Now, the option of the Arabs is nothing else but to cause anything that will postpone or drag people back to war. Let’s be ready.

    repondre message

  • 2 November 2010 19:14, by Akim A. Gatluak

    To Gatfool/Gatshit/Gatdoor (Gatwich)

    This son of a fool the Gatwich the Gay partner of Riak The Devil is not on the web today, isn’t that a miracle? no. It is not a suprise because there is nothing on the web today concerning riak the Devil; Gatwich’s Gay boyfriend, that is why his not barking all over the web. here are few questions.
    Do you know Math Gatwich? IF 98% of the Southern Sudanese were gone with Riak to Khartoum, We would have been on the verge of the Third Rebellion. (Anyanya Three) right now Because nothing of his plan had worked. He (Riak the Devil) walked back to the SPLA/SPLM Not with SSIM but SHAME and EMPTYNESS.
    Some people like quick fixes and most of the time those fixes don’t last. ( Riak Machar’s fixes of 1991 were such)
    - What has Riak The Devil Machar Brought with him to the People of Southern Sudan when he came back from PROSTITUTION? NOTHING. -He come Back with nothing but a shame and Regrets that is what he brought back with him.
    If you (Gatwich) want the by-gone be by-gone, You need to stop lecturing Tribal Division or all about Riak The Devil shall be Reveal.

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