Open letter to President Salva Kiir Mayardit, VP Dr Riek Machar and SG Pagan Amum

By Yohannes Kong Tut, Juba

Dear President Salva Kiir, VP Dr. Riek Machar, SG Pagan Amum and all Southerners of good standings,

I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your commitment to the services that have been entrusted to you by the people of South Sudan at this critical moment of history. I would also urge you kindly to go on with your normal duties putting much focus on the referendum, less focus on panels and countries that are pushing the wheels behind for confederation and turning a deaf ear to forces and characters that are willfully engaged in concealing the voice of Southerners for a call to independence.

As of today, opinions and stances have become varied among our people about how the referendum would be conducted in a clear and fair manner. It is obvious that the NCP, other opposition parties in Northern Sudan and individual characters will try their best to rig the votes during the referendum.

During the signing of the CPA in Machakos, Kenya, it was documented that the referendum conduct would be internationally monitored and supervised fairly. That is why I'm promptly writing to you to ask you to think about how fair it will be to conduct the upcoming referendum under the National Elections Commission (NEC) which is directly influenced by NCP and based on all these predicted uncertainties, it would be better if we take other measures that would be considered fair rather than the current shape in which the referendum is seen to be conducted.

In this view, it would be suggested that;

  1. An independent organ which is comprised of people from USA, Canada, Norway, UK, and AU among others is required to monitor and count the votes during the referendum
  2. Full media coverage of the events to be allowed during the referendum
  3. Total ban of NEC from participating should be implemented, and
  4. Involvement of security forces of Sudan to be considered a direct rigging of the votes.

Representation of the people during the conduct of the referendum

To conduct the referendum fairly and justly, it would be better that representation is made instead of individual votes. For instance, if the population in villages is represented by chiefs, payam administrators, MPs or county representatives, it would be up to these figures to represent "YES" or "NO" for the populations they represent. And since much of the population of the South is inside Sudan and its figures are known, it would be easier that chiefs, county representatives and MPs present their "YES" or "NO" for the population they represent. If all chiefs, county representatives or MPs in South Sudan vote "YES" for separation, all media houses will announce that southerners have voted for separation. However, it is GoSS' duty to start teaching village chiefs and county representatives before January 9, 2011. Representation will save much money that can be spent in transporting individuals to polling stations as the colder season starts in November through January and February in South Sudan.

Polling stations

What I mean by polling stations is any designated place where chiefs and county representatives are taken to vote finally on the behalf of the populations they represent. A polling station is where votes are monitored and supervised through representation and finally reported to the media for final announcement. It would be therefore suggested that only chiefs and representatives are the only figures to be transported there rather than elders, women and children. States' capitals would be more suitable if chosen for polling stations.

Border demarcation

Borders are fixed as of January 1, 1956 and whether they are demarcated or not is not a problem as long as the referendum will take place as originally planned.


Registration should be done by villages and as villages are under payams and payams under counties, there are more chances that voting by representation will yield better fruits than for individuals to be forced to vote as scarcity of resources and travels in harsh weather conditions will create more havoc and time precision will not measure accurately. In this regard even if you are in Khartoum you can still be registered under your respective county in the South as it will be your MP or chief that will represent your voice for "YES" or "NO". Let registration go ahead as it already commenced in some states so that possible representation is determined. Mass voting will accurately work very well by representation as opposed to individuals flocking to voting stations which may results in possible rigging and altering of the votes.

Diaspora community

Southerners in the Diaspora are also eligible to vote through representation made by their local established SPLM chapters. Thank you very much.

Yohannes Kong Tut is based in Juba, South Sudan and can be reached at:


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