Quaker Network for the Prevention of Violent Conflict
Le Réseau de quaker pour l'Empêchment de Conflit Violent


<>QPN REPORT ON SOUTHERN SUDAN REFERENDUM
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NOTES FROM REPORTS SUBMITTED BY QPN OBSERVERS  

Introduction

One of the cornerstones of the peace agreement between government of Sudan and the Sudan’s people liberation Movement was the right of Southern Sudanese to hold a vote for self determination.  The final results of the referendum would determine whether Sudan remained unified or separated into two independent countries.

QPN operating under the auspices of Change Agent Peace International (CAPI) organized teams to observe the conduct of the referendum.   The referendum lasted for one week (January 9 – 15, 2011).   The team comprised of two observers from Kenya, 1 from Burundi and another one from Rwanda. These international observers worked jointly with 45 other local observers operating under Yar Arrol Foundation (YAF) a local organization based in Warrap State. YAF partners with CAPI in women empowerment initiatives.

The southern Sudan of referendum commission (SSRC) is the body that was charged with the management and coordination of the referendum and was established to formulate necessary rules, regulations and policies that would provide for a free and fair referendum.

Regarding the polling, SSRC provided for a period of one week for the voting to take place. This began on 9th to 15th January 2011 in the whole of Northern Sudan and Southern Sudan. Provisions were also made for Sudanese in Diaspora to participate in the referendum. To this end, eight (8) out-of country voting locations were identified, which included Kenya, Uganda, UK, Australia, USA, Egypt, Ethiopia and Netherlands.

Quaker Peace Network (QPN) was invited by YAF to observe the referendum.  This followed a successful training conducted   YAF members on the principles of election observation and the code of conduct for observers. This training was held in December 2010.

The four QPN observers were able to visit 20 polling centers located in Gogrial East and Twic for four days. The team delayed to be in Kwa Jok on the first day of the voting (9th) due to logistical challenges. However, they had an opportunity to see the people vote as they traveled by road from Juba to Kwa Jok.  They met with some leaders from YAF and local observers to compare notes before compiling the final report.

The team agreed on the following observations:

Areas needing improvement:

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