Home | News    Wednesday 12 January 2011

W. Equatoria governor hails commitment of voters and role of security services


January 11, 2011 (YAMBIO) - The governor of Western Equatoria state Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro has said he is over whelmed with the high turnout of voters on the first and second days of referendum voting in the state.

Western Equatoria governor casts his vote at a Yambio town center, W. Equatoria state. Jan 9, 2011 (ST)

Addressing a delegation from the Government of Southern Sudan’s, ministry of interior on Tuesday, at the state secretariat, Bakosoro said, “over 70% 0f the registered voters have casted their votes in the first two days” despite fears over insecurity.

The leader of the joint team on referendum security assessment from the regional ministry of interior headed by Major General Agang Riech said, “we are in Yambio to assess the referendum security in the state.”

Agang that a team of three was assessing the security situation in the three states of greater Equatoria with two teams in Bahr El Ghazal, and Upper Nile regions.

The governor assured the delegation that “the voting is going peacefully as there are no signs of insecurity, though fears are there, but the state has strategized for any clandestine threat.”

He disclosed that, despite lack of some logistical problems, the state was persevering that and is committed for the success of the referendum in the state.

Voters for the south’s independence referendum form a long queue as they wait, in hot weather, to vote at Yambio town polling center, W. Equatoria. Jan 9, 2011 (ST)

Bakosoro said, the state’s major concern is the referendum, but as people enter the third day without any threat, he is optimistic that “it will also end successfully.” He stated that he appreciated the efforts exerted by the organized forces in the state, especially the commissioner of police.

Fears of insecurity have mounted among most citizens of Western Equatoria state before the conduct of the referendum because of the presence of the Ugandan rebel movement the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) who have been active in the area over the last 5 years.

The commissioner of police in Western Equatoria, Major General Mayom Deng Biar, said “the security for the referendum in the state is in place as the state have graduated more 290 Police on the 8th of Jan 2011, and deployed over many more all over the state.”

However Biar said, “security is unpredictable,” but assured the delegations that “the voting will end peacefully.”

He assured the delegation that they are vigilant and on alert to control the situation after the announcement of the results “whether positive or negative”. Sentiment in southern Sudan indicates that a vote for separation is almost inevitable.

Biar also added that the state has formed a joint operation committee to analyze and collect security reports from its many intelligence staff.

However, he said, “the committee lacks basic materials,” and they are only operating in three counties of the state hence there is a need to spread the initiative to the rest of the counties.

“We need capacity building, training, transport “, he added

As voting entered the third day on Tuesday, most centers in Western Equatoria were almost empty as most of voters voted on the first two days.

To encourage voters to turn up and cast their ballot, the southern minister of roads and transport Anthony Lino Makana, together with Charles Kisanaga, have arrived in Yambio.

Makana is the MP in the South Sudan Assembly for Yambio. Kisanga rejoined the south’s governing party - the SPLM – in July last year having left to become a senior member part of splinter movement the SPLM-DC.

In a brief meeting with the governor, Makana said, “it is a pleasure to hear that most citizens have cast their votes - however the remaining 30% needs to be encouraged to vote in order to achieve 100% of the registered voters.”

A quorum of over 60% of registered voters is needed for the vote to be valid under the referendum law passed by Sudan’s parliament.


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  • 13 January 2011 12:02, by Peter Elia Kuzee

    Governor,good news from you,our people have done it.
    All security forces, no more LRA, GOOD WORK GUYS KEEP ON ALWAYS.

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