Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Vatican
 Origins
 Africa
 Headlines
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 Facebook
 Twitter
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Vatican
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
.
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 cns@
 catholicnews.com
 or
 (202) 541-3250

.
 Copyright

 This material
 may not
 be published,
 broadcast,
 rewritten or
 otherwise
 distributed,
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

.
 CNS Story:

SUDAN-CALM Jan-12-2011 (420 words) With photos. xxxi

Sudanese bishop: People of South marching toward goal of independence

By Dennis Sadowski
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A bishop in northern Sudan said he believed the people of Southern Sudan were "marching toward the goal of what they expected, to be free in dignity and respect of rights," as a referendum on independence passed the halfway mark.

Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Adwok Kur of Khartoum wrote Jan. 12 from the town of Kosti in northern Sudan that the polls remained calm. At least two observers from the South reported that voting there was also going well.

Most observers expected the people of Southern Sudan to vote to separate from the rest of the country. Southern Sudanese in the country's North as well as those who fled to other countries, including the United States, were allowed to vote beginning Jan. 9.

However, Bishop Adwok said many people from Southern Sudan living in the North voted against independence, fearing they would face reprisal from the Islamic government in Khartoum if the South seceded. In many locales in the North, the bishop said, all or almost all registered voters had been to the polls by Jan. 12.

Southern Sudan is largely Christian and animist and also is rich in oil reserves, but remains largely undeveloped. The region makes up about 25 percent of the entire country of Sudan.

International news agencies reported Jan. 12 that more than 60 percent of registered voters had cast ballots during the first three days of the weeklong voting period.

Preliminary results of the vote are expected in February.

Bishop Adwok also expressed concern about clashes between southern police, youths and refugees and northern Arab nomads along the still-uncertain border between North and South. At least 46 people have died in five days, Reuters reported Jan. 12.

In the South, Sister Margaret Scott, a member of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions from New Zealand, told Catholic News Service in an e-mail Jan. 11 that the atmosphere in the village of Riimenze was positive.

"At our place 75 percent of the registered voters have already voted, so we see the people are eager to have their voices heard," she wrote. "At the polling stations there are orderly queues and many people voting. All is good so far."

John Ashworth, acting director of the Denis Hurley Peace Institute in South Africa and an adviser to the Sudan Ecumenical Forum, which includes the Catholic Church, said voting in Juba also was smooth and peaceful.

"It is calm, peaceful and well-organized," he wrote in an e-mail Jan. 11. "People are very happy and enthusiastic, but still calm."

END


Copyright (c) 2011 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250