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US donate $40 million for Sudan Election

by Opoka Christopher Amanjur,
extract from page 9 of The Juba Post, 18-23 September 2008, Juba, South Sudan

The American government has donated 40 million dollars to meet the requirements for conducting a successful election next year. Dr Anne It to explained that the money is to be channeled through credible organizations and other United Nations agencies.

‘The Bush administration will hand over Southern Sudan to the next government as they found it, and we appreciate the relationship America has had with the government of South Sudan’, said Dr Anne.

The SPLM Deputy Secretary General for the Southern Sector said that the money is not for a singular party but will be offered to agencies that will conduct voter education, community sensitization, election observation, producing voting materials and other items required to effect free and fair elections.

She observed that there is an urgent need to speed up the process of forming an Election Commission to which such funds will be directed. She mentioned that the Election Commission will be able to determine the materials in kind as well as the professional services needed to conduct a credible election for Southern Sudan.

Dr Anne said ‘ our position regarding separation or unity in the upcoming referendum is very clear’, dismissing claims that the SPLM is confusing the local communities by not making its decision on either separation or unity. She said that it will be the decision of each and every southern Sudan citizen together with the people of Abyei to decide whether to unite with the north or to secede as an independent secular and democratic state.

‘The right to self determination in the power sharing protocol was the longest to negotiate and this careful approach was intended to attain all the interests of the marginalized people of southern Sudan’, she explained.

Dr Anne was from the US on state visit by the Bush administration to observe and learn from the American democratic process. She attended the democratic and republican debates. ‘ We have a lot to learn from the American system. Their system allows the people to decide, every American vote is crucial and the 200 plus year old democracy has cultivated educated voters who know their rights and are active players in the election process’, she explained.

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