South Sudan vote passes threshold
Celebrations erupt as turnout of registered voters exceeds necessary 60 per cent in South Sudan referendum
Date: 13th January 2011
Source: Al Jazeera English
Organisers of a landmark South Sudan independence vote have confirmed that the turnout threshold needed for it to be valid has been reached, as Jimmy Carter, former US president, said the region looks set for nationhood.
Drivers honked their horns in the regional capital Juba on Thursday as southerners hailed the turnout achievement in just four days of the week-long polls, saying it showed the importance of freedom to them after five decades of conflict with the north.
“We are already above the threshold yesterday [Wednesday] – some 2.3 million plus – and more today,” Chan Reec, referendum commission deputy chairman, said.
“At the end of the fourth day of polling, with 86 per cent of referendum centres reporting, 2,360,922 people are confirmed to have voted in southern Sudan. This exceeds the 60 per cent threshold figure of 2,359,553.”
Carter, who has been heading an observer mission, said he expected the vote to meet all of the criteria to be valid.
“There is no doubt about the legitimacy of the election as far as the number of voters is concerned,” Carter told reporters.
“I think it will meet international standards both on the conduct of the vote and the freedom of voters,” he said, adding he expected the same to be true of the count.
“The likelihood is that the referendum result will be for independence although we won’t know until probably the first week of February.”
Cars draped with the southern flag and banners calling for separation sounded their horns as they criss-crossed Juba’s potholed dirt tracks.
There was excitement at the tomb of John Garang, the veteran rebel leader, who shortly before his death signed the 2005 peace deal that ended 22 years of devastating civil war and paved the way for the independence vote.
“This is very exciting news – that the vote is recognised, that enough have already voted makes me feel warm and happy, and to laugh a lot that our referendum is being a success,” Anthony Lamaya, who voted on Sunday, said.
“It is proof of how important the referendum is to us that so many came to vote so quickly,” Mary Kwaje said. “We want to get our freedom.”
Carter said the challenge now was to address the outstanding issues between the two sides swiftly ahead of the July date for international recognition for the south set by the 2005 accord.
“I believe that will happen quite quickly after the results are known,” he said.
Carter said he did not believe the northern or southern leaderships were behind clashes in the flashpoint border district of Abyei, which killed up to 38 people over the past week.
“The reports I have so far are that the national forces of both north and south have been very careful not to get involved in the violent confrontation in Abyei,” he said.
“It would be very damaging for [Sudanese President Omar] al-Bashir’s government if he were accused of precipitating violence.”
Nomadic Misseriya Arab tribesmen, who migrate to Abyei each dry season to find water and pasture for their livestock, have been fighting settled pro-southern Dinka for control of the territory.
The district had been due to hold a plebiscite of its own on whether to go with the south or the north, but that has been indefinitely postponed because of disagreement over who should be eligible to take part.
The feuding ethnic groups broke the ice in UN-facilitated peace talks in the northern town of Kadugli on Thursday.
“This is a step forward. We agreed to work for peace,” Kuol Deng Kuol, the paramount chief of the Ngok Dinka, told AFP.
Hamid al-Ansari, a tribal chief of the Misseriya Arabs, said: “This meeting has broken the tensions between the Dinka and the Misseriya. Now we are sitting together and eating together and we are no longer afraid of each other.”
Kuol said the Dinka had agreed to allow the Misseriya to water their cattle once they had received compensation for people and livestock killed by the Arab nomads during 2010.
“We agreed to let them go to the river within two weeks, if they pay some compensation.”
The heavily armed Misseriya were key allies of the northern army during the civil war, and the southern leadership has accused Khartoum of backing them in efforts to derail the promised plebiscite on Abyei’s future.
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LPAC Interview: British Empire’s Secessionist Referendum in Sudan
Portia Tarumbwa-Strid, Vice President of the Schiller Institute interviews EIR’s Hussein Askary on this weekend’s referendum on the secession of Southern Sudan.
* NOTE: This is a 3-part video interview which I personally took the time to type up, or try to type up. I didn’t type up everything purely because it would take me a long time and that I should be investing my time on revision – exams start next week [panic]
This is actually the only decent, non propaganda-infected interview that I have come across which not only fills the gaps of what is not being reported on mainstream media but is feeding you the truth in the most straightforward manner; the heart of the matter isn’t what and where clashes took place but why – why is all of this happening?
“Referendum was implanted in the peace agreement between the North and South in which Omar Al Bashir was under immense pressure from America’s formers President, George W. Bush, to actually sign only for it to be a future destabilization for the future of Sudan.”
A CENTURY OLD POLICY BY THE BRITISH IMPERALISM
The Civil War between the North and the South “was supported and manipulated by the British Empire, with the support of elements from the United States for many years and certain countries in the European Union have supported this.”
“Ever since the British set their foot to Africa, and to Sudan, that’s where all the problems really started which we are living the consequences of today.
When the British took over Sudan in the 1880s and later consolidated the power in the 1900s what they did is that they actually separated Southern Sudan from the North and they have these descriptions that Southern Sudanese are Christian and the North are Muslims. The real fact was that the British separated Northern Sudan and Khartoum specifically and the area of South Khartoum because it was rich agricultural land and use it for cotton production and take crops to be shipped to other parts of the British Empire.
Southern Sudan was of no interest to the British because it was difficult to have agriculture there and the infrastructure would require enormous infrastructure investment which the British are of course not interested in. and in addition to that, they needed to raise the living standards and the power of the labour above the people of Southern Sudan which the British didn’t give a damn about to do so they left Southern Sudan extremely poor, extremely privative conditions while in Northern Sudan they had a relatively better situation because they needed people to grow the crops and manage the system there for the British account. So, the reality is it was the British who separated Southern Sudan from Northern Sudan.
It’s a fact that the whole country is called Sudan historically but even when the British wanted to withdraw, just a few months before the British left Sudan in 1956, the Civil War was already ignited and you had a war between the South and North. The British left the place for its own fate while manipulating the conflict from outside this time; and that is really the story behind this whole situation. You even have the Darfur situation and you have other problems in East of Sudan which all goes around the British policy – in all of Africa, but especially in Sudan, the largest country in Africa.
Any trouble in Sudan will affect all the neighbours Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Chad, Egypt and so on and so forth because Sudan is a very, very important country both for its large area, its multiplicity of ethnic and tribal groups but that is all united under one flag; it’s very, very special actually. Then you have the water of the Nile which is crucial to the survival of many nations in Africa.
So by splitting Southern Sudan you’ll have the old classical British policy of Divide and Conquer and this will be a total disaster because if you split Sudan on ethnic and tribal basis then you can not only divide every other country, or Sudan itself actually, to smaller tribes because in Southern Sudan itself also has different tribes – you have the Denka, the Nou’eb, and all kinds of problems that they have been emerging also in the rest of Sudan. So you can imagine what could happen in the rest of Africa where you have all kinds of tribal and ethnic groups living together right now under nation states; but if you have that in Sudan then you will have the whole place throwing a hand grenade in Africa – this is the classical British’ Divide and Conquer policy.
They believe they could manipulate the small and smaller groups from the outside in order to prevent the idea of national sovereignty they can hold in Africa and also the question of that you can achieve peace in economic development and massive investment in infrastructure, agriculture and so on. A civil war, a renewed civil war, ethnic divisions and so on in Africa will prevent all of that.”
WHAT REAL PEACE NEEDS
+ GEO-POLITICS OF AFRICA OVER THE MANY DECADES
Mr. Askary begins with dismissing the “personal problems” between African countries and states that the geo-politics that have been in play for decades is the heart of all the problems in Africa. He continues by pointing that the US, UK and other EU nations fund rebels and speaks of how the foreign policy, in particular the US because the US is more powerful than UK, needs to be changed; the main game is run by the British and their allies.
“You have to go back to the policies of Franklin Roosevelt who was in Africa in World War 2 where he saw the devastation and real slavery which was created and run by the British and other colonial allies in Africa. He said that after the war there will be no colonial systems anymore and that they will be sovereign and free but what we will do in Africa instead of looting these countries for their raw materials which is a very poor trade actually – we are going to develop up these nations. We’re going to put in infrastructure and water projects and agriculture industry and so on; so we can raise the living standards of the people in Africa and that way you can achieve a fair type of trade and achieve peace with that.”
AFRICA = CORRUPTED GOVERNMENTS [ ? ]
“If good Governance means like what is going on in the United States and Europe that you pour money, you print money, to save bankrupt speculators and bankers on the expense of the population and pose crazy fascist austerity on people, sick people, poor people, unemployed in order to save some money to bail out the bankers – if that’s called “good governance” then [tries to conceal a smile]… the world is obviously not in a good situation.
No, that is not really the issue; it’s not the question of good governance.
The problem is that Africa has been trying to recover from the effects of the colonial policies imposed on them for centuries.
Africa has never been able, or nation in Africa, to stand on its own feet and start building its own structures. Of course, you need Governments, stable Governments and so on but first you need to remove the problem. The problem when you talk about corrupt leaders in Africa, the reality of this situation is that since the 1970s – I mentioned the overturning of the Roosevelt policy – going back to the British policy but you also have an even worst policy imposed in Africa like Henry Kissinger drafted the National Security Memorandum to Hanwid who said economical development in Africa and other developing nations is great danger to us and our allies because people in these countries will use the raw materials which exists in Africa for their own development that will deprive us from this strategic raw materials, and therefore the suggestion that the destabilization and depopulation is the official policy of the United States and Europe.
That is what has been going on, you go in with raw material companies, with mercenary groups, and you destabilize nations. Your kill one leader, you bring another leader, you support rebel groups, and you finance the rebel groups and the rebel groups will have to buy weapons from the British and the mercenary groups, so that they will find the raw materials diamonds, and gold and so on and sell it to the British, the Butch and others to buy the weapons. You can get one leader after the other and the Leaders who stood up to the sovereignty of the Nations and the development of the Nations, and independence were actually killed. They have many examples.
The policy has been to keep Africa underdeveloped and also destabilized.
Therefore you have this phenomenon of rebel groups coming to power, military coos because the game has been played. But the ones that are running the game are running the game from the outside – not the Africans themselves, but they have been treated inhumanely and then they are told that in order to have a Government you have to have the power and in order to come to power you have to have weapons, and have rebel groups, and we will help you. We will need some of your raw materials as a kick back but that is how business is done. Therefore, you have Africa living in this enormous maelstrom of military coos and so on. So when you have a Government in Africa which stands up and says we are not going to play that game anymore.
Look at Sudan for example, you had a Civil War between rebel groups, the SPLM (Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement) and the Government in Northern Sudan for many, many years but as soon as the Southern rebels, and the Government of Sudan, President Al Bashir came to sign a peace agreement in 2005 then all hell broke loose. Suddenly the Government of Sudan, which is trying to seek peace with the rebels to stop a 30-year bloody civil war, are suddenly becoming villains. They are being accused of mass murder and New France opening up in Darfur for example, and you have a huge international media campaign and propaganda campaign run by people like George Soros and other British assets to paint the Sudanese Government, and the Sudanese Leader as a mass murderer, as a corrupt person. But the reality was, the President of Sudan and the Government of Sudan were trying to achieve peace to stop this bloody civil war; and try to build and use some of the raw materials which were discovered in Sudan like Oil for example, for the benefit of their own nation. That’s where the United States are working against the Government of Sudan and accusing them of this corruption – You have the irony there.”
CHINESE INVOLVEMENT IN AFRICA AND SECURING RAW MATERIALS
“Before the Peace Agreement you had American and European companies trying to explore for oil in Sudan but as soon as the Peace Agreement was signed, sanctions were imposed and these oil companies were forced to leave Sudan.”
So the Sudanese Government had no choice but to turn to other Nations to help them obtain their own resources – which is the Fair Trade policy of Roosevelt. China’s reputation in Sudan certainly overshadows the other nations and even though this Give and Take tactic is still at play, the Chinese give more and produce more than the Europeans and Americans. The Chinese have really earned their place in society.
The infrastructure of Sudan, especially in the Capital Khartoum, in just a short space of 5 years, is outstanding and speaks volumes in terms of progression and you get a really strong sense of the desire for making more progression. Like Mr. Askary, I too have witnessed the amazing advancements. I also took the time to learn of the ethnic and tribal adversity in Sudan and can say that the Western media have really undermined the Sudanese people to the lowest of standards.
Darfur in particular – you couldn’t make a bigger image distortion and charity appeal of it had you tried – in real life is not like what you see on TV; on TV you will see endless sand desert of scorching heat and a poor skeleton-liked desperate-eyed coloured person who is malaria-prone and surrounded by flies – they will make an appeal and ask you to help them but what they will not tell you is that malaria was once a worldwide epidemic and it was cured in every nation except Africa. They won’t tell you that they really can cure malaria because the truth is, and if they were true to themselves, they don’t actually want to cure Africa. Darfur, the real Darfur – the Darfur that if you pointed your finger on the map, closed your eyes for a second and once you opened them you’ll find yourself teleported to… a rich endless greenery. Farms after farm run by the talented self-sufficient people and you don’t have to look far to see the mountain – the untouched jackpot mountain full of Uranium.
In fact, a few miles away you will find a place where it has earned itself the name “City of Gold”… do you honestly think that the world gives a damn of Sudan? After almost 30 years in which the world turned a blind eye on Sudan, why is now so important to them? Why all of a sudden? It’s already been answered.