Update on the Referendum, January 13 – Sudan and Kenya
GeneralJanuary 14, 2011
As the team continues with Observation of the process, we note several things;
The number of votes has SIGNIFICANTLY come down - there were much higher numbers on the first day but these have now given way to mere trickles. However the SSRC agents are very optimistic that the number of registered voters will all turn up.
In Sudan and away from Juba there are very few observers i.e. in three centers visited there were only two domestic observers and absolutely no media or journalists present. The WEA/AEA team was well received in these out of town centers.
Literacy levels in the rural locations are also very low and the SSRC staff would go through the process explaining to virtually all the voters. At a station called Mogiri on the Juba-Bor road, a woman was shouted at possibly directing her on how to vote.
Civic awareness is also very low away from the urban centers. It is probably therefore very timely that SSRC chose to use symbols and the thumbprint to mitigate on this two factors of low civic awareness and high illiteracy levels.
The sheer joy of the Southern Sudanes in very evident as they turn up to decide on the future of their country. In Nairobi one woman raised her hand to heaven after she cast her vote and thereafter broke down on tears of joy. She had to sit down briefly to compose herself. When her colleagues were asked why the moment was so emotional for her,they said that she was so grateful to God letting her see the day she would participate in a decision making process for her motherland having lost ALL her family members in the war that ravaged her country for decades.
As observers to the process, we share these moments with the South Sudanese, commend them to God that His will be done in that great nation of Africa!
At the Secretariat, we thank those that are sharing information on this and other platforms on the referendum and urge others to follow suit. Let us build one another up as we support the Church and communities of Sudan through the referendum. We have all the more reason to thank God together as we receive these reports.
We also take cognizance of the huge humanitarian needs In Sudan.We know of the thousands upon thousands of returnees in temporary reception centers across the country. As the Church, how can we collectively respond to this needs? Please share your views and or how your organization is involved in responding.
May God richly bless the work that you are doing among His people in Sudan and in many other countries in Africa and beyond.