January 10th, 2011 Posted in Sudan |

Archbishop Daniel Deng placing his vote in the ballot box Report from Episcopal Church of Sudan

Sunday 9th January marked the first of seven days in the historic self-determination referendum for the people of Southern Sudan. The Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul Yak, Episcopal Archbishop of the Sudan, together with Archbishop Paulino Lukudu of the Roman Catholic Church advanced to Hai Jalaba Junior School polling station to cast their referendum ballots at four o’clock that afternoon. Unsurprisingly, there was heavy media attention ready to capture the two archbishops exercising their democratic right at the polling station.

With the Archbishops were an accompanying entourage composed of a delegation from the All Africa Conferenceof Churches (AACC) who had come as an ecumenical body of referendum observers. On arrival, and with big smiles and waves, the Archbishops greeted the crowd of fellow Sudanese citizens who had also turned up to vote. They proceeded inside the station and after a brief explanation of the process from the polling station officials, they finally voted.

Sharing his thoughts outside, Archbishop Daniel spoke of his elation at having finally cast his vote. ‘We have been waiting fifty five years for this day,’ he said. ‘This is the day, this is our time.’ He also remarked that southern Sudanese should unite if they had not already done so. He called the referendum a bridge to a new Sudan and added that this day marked the start of an important event in the history of the Sudan. He noted that all Sudanese had now proved to the world that they could reach this day peacefully. His statements come just a day after his return from Malakal where he had been at the forefront of a 21?day reconciliation process between Lt. Gen. George Athor and the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) following the former’s rebellion against the government after losing the Jonglei State gubernatorial elections in April 2010.

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