This is day 3 of the 7 days of voting for south Sudan’s Referendum on independence. The South Sudan Referendum Commission announced that 46% of the polling stations have reported a voter turn out of nearly one million voters already. This is a good omen for meeting the required 60% voter turn out. A total of 3.75 million people registered to vote.
Bishop Alapayo in Rumbek, reported that many voters were turned away the first day because they just couldn’t process them all, but that they came back the second day, lining up at polling stations from midnight, so that they could cast their votes.
Bishop Alapayo said, “The first day of voting for South Sudan’s Referendum was marked with extreme excitement and jubilation all over South Sudan.” He described the day as the second happiest day of his life. Second only to the day he was baptized.
In Juba, lines continue to be long at registration centers, though shorter than the first two days. They have extended the period of voting by one hour, to try to help with the lines.
Across the south, the vote continues peacefully. Though there have been reports of tribal clashes between Misseriya Arabs and Ngok Dinka in the Abeyi area (which was set to have its own referendum that has now been indefinitely postponed). There were also reports of an attack near the north-south border on a busload of southern returnees.
We continue to pray for peace in the border regions, and peace throughout Sudan.
Photo: Anonymous- Voters line up in Juba