By Mabior Philip
Parliament - Juba, Sudan (Borglobe)....Legislators in the Juba-based Southern Sudan regional parliament are setting on for a secession campaign ahead of a vote that will split an already volatile Sudan in to two nations.
Southern Sudan, a region most ravaged by two decades-long civil war, but currently dependent on revenues from oil, is to hold a sensitive vote in January next year, to either confirm the unity of the Sudan as set in a 2005 peace deal or opt for secession from the dominantly Islamic north to establish her own independent nation.
Legislators yesterday convened an unusual sitting to strategize on how to prevent the embattled north from rigging the results of the vote.
Speaker of the parliament, James Wani Igga, said the legislators should go to their own constituencies, tell the electorates why separation is the favorable choice, defuse tension, sensitize on how to vote, and to monitor irregularities in the vote.
The legislators noted with worries that a mistake was made in allowing southerners outside the south to vote for they will not be under monitoring of the regional government.
They said the north will let all the northerners and Arab communities outside Sudan register and vote for unity, which may not be the choice of southerners. “If those outside vote unity then it shall be final”, said Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Micheal Makuei Lueth.
The number of Southerners in the north was estimated at half a million in the 2008 census, but the northern officials said they had already registered 4.5 million, which the legislators said was the beginning of rigging.
“The north will encourage the registration of as many as possible and later discourages voting of as many others so that the 60% is not attained”, Wani Igga said