News / Africa

Ruling Party in Southern Sudan Opts for Separation

Southern Sudanese citizens clog the streets of the southern capital Juba, as they march in support of the independence referendum, 09 Dec 2010
Southern Sudanese citizens clog the streets of the southern capital Juba, as they march in support of the independence referendum, 09 Dec 2010
Matt Richmond

Less than a month remains before the start of a referendum on independence in Southern Sudan. The southern ruling party officially announced Saturday that it supports separation from the north. 

It is no secret that the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, whose armed wing fought a 21-year civil war against the north, supports an independent Southern Sudan. Saturday in Juba, the party' deputy secretary-general, Anne Itto, made the southern wing of the party's
position official.

"Since unity has not been made attractive, we are promoting what our people choose because we are following the people," she said.

Itto made the announcement while flanked by pictures of the symbol for separation, a raised, open palm, and bags of t-shirts promoting separation from the north.

Itto added that she is only speaking for the SPLM's southern branch, not the northern branch which has officials in the Government of National Unity in Sudan's capital, Khartoum.

Ruling Party in Southern Sudan Opts for Separation
Ruling Party in Southern Sudan Opts for Separation
Just 29 days remain until the January 9 vote on southern independence.  Next month's vote is the centerpiece of a 2005 peace deal between the mostly Muslim north and majority Christian and animist south.

The 2005 agreement ended a 21-year civil war that claimed about two million lives and displaced four million people. Fears of a return to violence have increased recently.

Three alleged attacks in southern territory by the northern army were reported this week. The chairman of the commission overseeing the referendum also requested a delay in voting because of the tight schedule.  The SPLM has warned of a return to violence if there is any delay in the vote.

Itto said there was no need for a delay, thanks to the hiring last week of a British company to print the ballot papers.

"This company would have the ballot papers ready within 15 days from the time the contract was awarded.  To me, that means there is a guarantee that the referendum, or voting, will start on the ninth," she said.

The voter registration period was extended by seven days and ended on December 8.  In the coming days, an initial list of voters will be published then the objections period will start.  The final list of voters is expected on January 8, one day before voting starts.

Itto left open the possibility that the voting period will be extended. "For me the most important thing is it starts on the 9 of January. Let's get to ninth January, let's start voting, and if many people have not voted, it will be the decision of the commission to either extend by a few days or not. That will be technical," she said.

Voting is scheduled to end on January 15 but the referendum commission has the authority to extend it if they need to.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid