Friday, December 3, 2021

Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

SPLM urges southern Sudanese in Uganda not to boycott voter registration

November 16, 2010 JUBA – Southern Sudanese living in neighboring Uganda have begun registering to vote in the region’s independence referendum in January after conflicting messages over whether the exercise would be boycotted.

On Sunday it appeared that the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, who governed the south since a 2005 peace deal, were encouraging southerners to boycott registration amid fears that they would not be able to vote on polling day.

Emails seen by Sudan Tribune indicated that officials were travelling to Uganda to tell southern Sudanese not to register.

The initial decision by the South Sudanese communities in Kampala and other parts of Uganda was to boycott registration, but the decision was however reversed on Sunday, Sudan Tribune has learnt.

Chuol Wan Luot, Coordinator for Diaspora and International Stakeholders in the Southern Sudan 2011 Referendum Task force Technical Secretariat, who just returned from a 2-day trip Uganda said on his return to Juba that planning for registration had been halted by a “bad rumor”.

Following the reports of the planned registration boycott, Luot was among a delegation sent by the office of the President of South Sudan to meet Sudanese in Kampala and in the West Nile district of Arua.

The delegation was invited by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) who are conducting voter registration for southern Sudanese residing outside Sudan.

According to Luot, southern Sudanese living in Uganda wanted to either boycott the registration process completely or simply return and register from South Sudan.

He said that the delegation from the taskforce went not only for a fact finding mission, but also to convince Sudanese living in Uganda to remain there and register normally.

The Government of Southern Sudan remains committed towards helping its citizens living in Uganda and those in the Diaspora take part in the referendum, Luot said.

On Sunday the delegation headed by Joseph Madak Both, the Director of Monitoring and Policies Office of the President and Vice President Government of Southern Sudan addressed South Sudanese Communities at Kabira Country Club in Kampala.

Community leaders, Churches leaders, civil organization and political parties who attended the four hour briefing yesterday were told that to urge their communities to register in Uganda if they were unable to return to south Sudan.

The Lakes state representative in Uganda, Abraham Majok said, that a lack of credible information from the Government of Southern Sudan had led to some potential voters rejecting registering through the IOM.

But he said that that now the southern government had visited the country and told them their position they were happy to register in Uganda.

Eight countries will be registering Diaspora voters for the referendum; Uganda ,Kenya, Ethiopia ,United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Australia.

The south is widely expected to vote for independence in January’s poll, which was agreed as part of a 2005 peace deal that ended over two decades of north-south conflict.