Southern Sudanese in Uganda gear up for the independence poll

Category: Diaspora
Published on Friday, 07 January 2011 22:27
Written by Paul Harera, The New Sudan Vision (NSV),
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Sarah Victor Bol, Acting Principal Liaison Officer for Government of South Sudan at her office in Kampala, Uganda. Photo by Paul Harera/NSV

(Kampala NSV) - The referendum elections for South Sudan are in high gear as hundreds of Southerners are heading to Sudan to vote at their different registration points.

“Over 60 buses have been hired by the business community and well wishers to transport voters to areas of Nimule, Kaya and Kajo Keji," Chris Onyango, the spokesperson for the Southern Sudan Mission in Uganda, said.

He added the buses will take off on Saturday and will be accompanied by officials from the Government of South Sudan (GoSS), ahead of the referendum voting exercise, scheduled for this Sunday. 

Some over 10,000 southerners are expected to cast their vote at Kololo airstrip in Uganda.

Sarah Victor Bol, the Acting Head of Mission at the Liaison Office in Kampala expects a huge and overwhelming participation in the voting exercise.  

In an interview with New Sudan Vision, Bol said “we are more than ready to ensure the referendum takes place and in time as per the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).”

She added that as a Mission they have been heavily engaged in mobilization and dissemination of information to ensure the success of the referendum.

“I have no doubt that this will yield positive results to end instability [in] our yet to be new nation when voted to be independent,” she said.

Earlier, Bol dismissed as untrue press reports that the business communities mainly of Ugandan origin were leaving their main operational town of Juba because they are scared of potential insecurity.

“People should not be worried since it [the referendum exercise] will be democratic and peaceful. Most of the news is blown out of proportion and meant to distract people’s attention yet this should not be the case.”  

She added that the authorities in southern Sudan will be able to enforce the rule of law and guarantee everybody’s safety. She also urged all registered voters to turn up during the one week voting period from January 9-15.

*Paul Harera is a special correspondent for the New Sudan Vision.