Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil
By Manyang Mayom
February 9, 2011 (RUMBEK) – The Governor of Lakes State, Chol Tong Mayay, has said the state of South Sudan needs strategic thinking to build a new nation at the level of the other nations of the world. He acknowledged the technological and infrastructural difficulties faced the fledgling state.
Chol Tong Mayay speaking to thousands of his supporters in Rumbek freeedom square, 7 February 2011 (by Manyang Mayom)
The Governor was speaking from his office on Tuesday, following the announcement of the South Sudan referendum results, which were announced on Tuesday night in Khartoum by the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission chairman, Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil.
Mayay spoke of his priorities, among them: good governance; security measures; rule of law; education; health care; and water and energy to be provided to citizen of Lakes state.
The Governor suggested that the new country embarks on agricultural and microfinance projects, explaining that the development of the private sector will accelerate the growth of the economy of the new nation.
Governor Mayay congratulated all South Sudanese for what he described as the “fighting spirit” during the 50 years of war and underdevelopment.
His concluded by thanking specific groups for making the referendum a success, beginning with women, youth, chiefs, politicians, government officials, members of the armed forces, civil servants and religious groups.
He also thanked the international community for their role of observing the referendum.
South Sudan will be declared the newest nation of the world in July this year.
February 7, 2011 (WASHINGTON) – The United States on Monday congratulated Sudan over its official endorsement of the South’s referendum vote which came overwhelmingly in favor of creating the world’s newest state.
The head of the referendum office Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil, right, hands the final results of the referendum on Southern Sudan’s independence to President of the semi-autonomous Government of Southern Sudan, and Vice President of Sudan Salva Kiir at the palace in Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, Feb.7, 2011 (AP)
The Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir signed a decree today spelling out the North’s acceptance of the outcome ending months of speculation by observers and the international community on the possibility that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) might drag its feet on certifying the vote.
Bashir’s party has warned last year that it has set its own threshold of transparency and credibility under which it will decide to accept the results. It accused the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) of orchestrating the voter registration process to ensure that separation is the outcome.
Khartoum now is eyeing the valuable prize of being taken off Washington’s list of states that sponsor terrorism which also includes Syria, Iran and Cuba.
Countries on the list of state sponsors of terrorism cannot receive US aid or buy US weapons and a raft of restrictions on financial and other dealings.
Last year senior U.S. officials pledged to Sudan that it will immediately begin the de-listing process as soon as referendum results are endorsed. Today the U.S. administration said it will keep its promise.
“As I pledged in September when addressing Sudanese leaders, the United States will continue to support the aspirations of all Sudanese—north and south, east and west. We will work with the governments of Sudan and Southern Sudan to ensure a smooth and peaceful transition to independence,” said a statement by U.S. president Barack Obama.
“For those who meet all of their obligations, there is a path to greater prosperity and normal relations with the United States, including examining Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. And while the road ahead will be difficult, those who seek a future of dignity and peace can be assured that they will have a steady partner and friend in the United States”.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officered more details in her remarks today saying that Washington is initiating the process of withdrawing Sudan’s state sponsor of terrorism designation, the first step of which is initiating a review of that designation.
However, Clinton appeared to be attaching more conditions to this than a simple recognition of referendum by the NCP.
“Removal of the State Sponsor of Terrorism designation will take place if and when Sudan meets all criteria spelled out in U.S. law, including not supporting international terrorism for the preceding six months and providing assurance it will not support such acts in the future, and fully implements the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, including reaching a political solution on Abyei and key post-referendum arrangements,” Clinton said.
The North and South are nowhere near settling post-referendum arrangements such as citizenship, oil sharing, border demarcation, water, national debt and international agreement.
There is also the long-standing dispute over the border region of Abyei which has missed its own referendum scheduled for last January to decide on whether it should join the North or South. Both sides are in disagreement over who should be eligible to vote to determine the fate of the oil-rich district.
The head of the Foreign relations committee in the U.S. senate John Kerry today urged the immediate review of Sudan’s terrorism designation.
“Now that Sudan has taken these important steps, we should begin this review,” said the Democratic lawmaker, a former presidential candidate who heads the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is close to the White House.
“Its results will be dictated by Sudanese actions and the requirements of US law, but I am extremely hopeful that just as North and South Sudan have embarked on a new relationship, Khartoum is attempting to redefine its relationship with the United States and the rest of the international community,” said Kerry.
February 2, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC), which organized last month’s vote on the region’s independence, today officially announced the full preliminary results of the exercise whose outcome is certainly in favor of independence.
Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) chairperson Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil speaks during a news conference following the end of referendum votes on southern secession as he prepares to announce the results in Khartoum January 25, 2011 (Reuters Pictures)
Polls for south Sudan referendum opened on 9 January and closed on 15 January at 3000 polling stations domestically and eight Out-of-Country Voting (OCV) locations, including Uganda, Kenya, Australia, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda, the UK and the US.
The vote exceeded the 60% turnout required to validate the results and southerners voted massively for secession.
In a press conference held on Wednesday at the SSRC’s headquarters, the commission’s chairperson Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil said that 3.851.994 out of 3.947.676 people who registered to vote had cast their ballots, putting the turnout at 97.85%.
Khalil went on break down the figures saying that the total number of registered voters in the south was 3.770.600 voters out of which 3.724.194, i.e. 98.77%, turned up to vote.
According to Khalil, 16.129 of southerners in the south, 0.43%, voted for unity while a vast majority of 3.697.467 voted for secession, 99.57%.
In north Sudan, however, a relatively weak turnout has been reported. SSRC chairperson said that 69.597 voters out of 116.857 registered voters had cast their ballots, only 59.56%. He further noted that 27.918 people had voted for unity, 42.35%, while 38.003 voted for secession, 57.65%.
In OCV stations, 58.203 out of 60.219 registered voters participated, 98.55% voted for secession, 57.048 voters, and 1.45% for secession, 841 voters, according to Khalil.
SSRC chief confirmed that the final result would be announced on 7 February – if no legal challenges against the results are submitted – or on 14 February if legal appeals are lodged.
He said that the Supreme Courts in Khartoum and Juba would open the door for receiving appeals as of tomorrow, Thursday.
However he added that he did not expect any appeals to be submitted in the next few days.
South Sudan referendum on independence is the culmination of the 2005’s peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war between north and south Sudan.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/Sudan-announces-referendum,37861