News / Africa

Southern Sudan Focuses on January Referendum

Southern Sudanese citizens clog the streets of the southern capital Juba, as they march in support of the independence referendum, to be held one month from today, 09 Dec. 2010
Southern Sudanese citizens clog the streets of the southern capital Juba, as they march in support of the independence referendum, to be held one month from today, 09 Dec. 2010
Matt Richmond

Voter registration for the referendum on independence in southern Sudan was widely praised, despite a few concerns. Now the south prepares for its January 9th, 2011 vote.

Election observers from the Carter Center announced on Wednesday that the voter registration process in Sudan was credible despite a few weaknesses. The Sudanese Network for Democratic Elections, a group of domestic observers, also called the registration a success.   Registration was a key hurdle for the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission and commission officials have made repeated assurances that the January 9 vote will start on schedule.

In the south's capital, Juba, Southern Sudanese are counting down the days until their independence vote. It is the centerpiece of a 2005 peace deal between north and south and southern leaders have warned that any delay in the vote could lead to renewed conflict.

But problems remain before the vote can start. As many as six cases have been filed in Sudan's constitutional court challenging the referendum commission and the legality of the vote.

The court has agreed to hear one of the cases so far, brought by a group of civil society organizations. They claim southerners in the north have been prevented from registering by the southern ruling party.

Chan Reec, the referendum commission's deputy chairman and a justice on the southern supreme court, said the case should have been brought to the commission first. "We will wait and see how the court will decide on that thing but it is a frivolous claim," Chan states.

One of the court cases has the potential to stop the referendum.

The commission is also trying to overcome the huge logistical challenges that slowed the registration process. A little more than one month after the start of registration, more than 100 registration centers are still not in contact with the commission.

Chan said the commission expects to collect registration materials from those centers by Saturday. "We are concerned about these delays and we will find ways to avoid the same problem," he said.

Funding has also continues to be a problem. According to Chan, international donors and the southern government have paid for everything so far and the northern government withheld its share of the funding.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid