Referendum, Post-Referendum and Preparing the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) for July 2011

All Southern Sudanese Political Parties LEADERSHIP FORUM Wednesday 16th February 2011

A Report on the work of the Southern Sudan 2011 Taskforce: By HE Dr Riek Machar Teny, Vice President of the GoSS & Chair of the Southern Sudan 2011 Taskforce (SS2011TF)

Summary
1. The Southern Sudan 2011 Taskforce (SS2011TF), or “2011 Referendum Taskforce” as it has also become known, was established by GoSS Presidential Order Number 2/2010 on 10th February 2010, to oversee preparations at the level of the Government of Southern Sudan in terms of
(i) Preparing for the January 2011 Referendum,
(ii) Post-Referendum Arrangements, and
(iii) Preparing the GoSS for the outcome/transition to July 2011.

2. The 2011 Taskforce, Chaired by the Vice President, has at its apex an Oversight Committee comprising of 24 ministers (see Annex Two). The Presidential Order establishing the Taskforce states that, “The Taskforce will be an avenue through which the Government of Southern Sudan can bring together the relevant actors in discussing and formulating strategies and concrete plans that the GoSS needs to undertake in preparing for the referendum and post-referendum period so that it is capable of providing a strong governing institutions for either outcome of the referendum”.

3. The Oversight Committee has been meeting most Saturdays, particularly in the run up to the Referendum. The three strands of work on the Referendum, Post-referendum arrangements and Preparing the GoSS for the outcome of the referendum have been taken forward through a combination of approaches involving both discussions at the level of the Oversight Committee and handling by the designated sub-committees.

4. This report summarises the work of the 2011 Taskforce to date in tackling the three related strands of oversight and policy co-ordination in delivering the right to self-determination by the people of Southern Sudan in line with the CPA, as of 15th February 2011. The work of Sub-Committee One spearheaded by HE John Luk Jok, Minister for Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development (MoLACD), is now virtually complete and, on the basis of the exemplary conduct and successful outcome of the Referendum, can only be judged to have been a resounding success. The Sub-Committee Two agenda on Post-Referendum arrangements under the leadership of HE Pa’gan Amum Okiech, Minister for Peace and CPA Implementation, has been the focus of much in-depth work by the lead Negotiation Panel and various teams involved, is progressing well and is still very much work-in-progress. The work of Sub-Committee Three headed by HE Kosti Manibe Ngai, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, is now taking off apace to ensure that the GoSS is well prepared for the long-awaited transition to independent statehood on 9th July 2011.

5. Further to the All Southern Political Parties’ Conference held in Juba from October 13th-17th 2010 and in keeping with the Resolution A24, participation in the Southern Sudan 2011 Taskforce has been broadened to include representation of Political Parties, Civil Society Organisations and Faith Based Groups in the Taskforce Structures, as follows:

 All political parties were invited to participate in a very important extended meeting of the Taskforce with State Governors organized in preparation for the Referendum held on Saturday 18th December 2010 at New Sudan Palace Hotel, Juba.

 A letter from the Chair of the Taskforce was subsequently sent to Political Parties, Faith-based groups and key Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on 26th January inviting them to each nominate one representative to take part in Taskforce meetings and processes. Responses have so far been received from a number of the Political Parties and CSOs.

 This extended participation will be both at the level of the Taskforce Oversight Committee, and also in a number of the Technical Working Groups of the Sub-Committee Three on “Preparing the GoSS” (see Section 3 of this report).

6. The establishment of the 2011 Taskforce has proved to be an important step taken by the leadership of the Government of Southern Sudan to ensure a successful Referendum outcome. It is evident that the Taskforce, in maintaining a strong level of ministerial participation as well as inviting the participation of other key stakeholders, has played an important role to date in focusing attention on the key actions required by the GoSS, in enabling priority referendum and post-referendum related issues to be discussed and decisions made, and in ensuring that GoSS funding has been channeled towards the most pressing needs.

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