News / Africa

Sudan Diaspora Prepare for Referendum on Southern Independence

Increasing voter turn-out among the Diaspora was a key theme of the 10th Conference of the Equatorian Sudanese Community in the United States.

As citizens of South Sudan, thousands of Sudanese living in North America are eligible to vote in next year’s referendum on independence for the south – a key part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, C.P.A., signed between the north and south five years ago.

Conference participants pressed for voter registration and education to begin as soon as possible.

Agnes Oswaha is an official with the mission of the Government of South Sudan, or GOSS, in Washington, DC.  She says the mission is involved in this effort, as it was in last April’s vote for the presidential and legislative elections for the government in Khartoum and the government of the semi-autonomous southern region.

"The GOSS has been doing the ground work to get the Southern Sudanese ready and also well informed about the South Sudan referendum and Abeyei.," she said. "We have been doing some massive mapping work since November 2009, in an effort to be prepared and also be proactive.  [We also want to learn] how the Sudan national elections went especially in the Diaspora and learning from the irregularities as well to get ready to have a referendum done in an efficient manner."

Oswaha says the GOSS mission has been holding regular meetings with various stakeholders in the Diaspora, including leaders of civil society organizations.

Oliver Tunda, the chair of the Equatorian Sudanese Community Association in the USA, says he hopes the conference will help to alert potential Diaspora voters to the upcoming poll.

As part of that effort, the conference, which included many intellectuals and politicians, held a live hook-up with referendum workers in Juba. They gave an update on voter education efforts there.

"It was very amazing that we were able to see them right from Juba," he said.  "They discussed issues of how the referendum should be, people should be registered and then vote."

Also at the meeting, Henry Lejukole, a Sudanese community activist from the U.S. state of Iowa, gave a presentation on the history of the conflict leading up to the CPA.

He says his lessons were geared mainly to the hundreds of Sudanese youth in the Diaspora who left Sudan as children and are now of voting age.

"My own feeling is that people don’t have a very clear understanding on the actual causes of the problems in the Sudan," he said. "After the presentation we had made, people understood the issues."

The referendum is the final step of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.  Tunda said the poll will determine the future of South Sudan, and the goal of the conference is to be sure, as he puts it, “that we do it right.”

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
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 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 Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
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.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
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