22 September 2010 – The referendum is a nationally owned process, to which the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) provides logistics assistance and technical advice but no monitoring, the head of the UN Integrated Referendum and Elections Division (UNIRED) Denis Kadima stressed during his first press conference at UNMIS headquarters in Khartoum .
As requested by the UN Security Council Resolution 1919, UNMIS will provide support in all phases of Sudan’s self-determination referenda slated for 9 January, 2011.
This meant advice on conceptualization of operations, support in procurement and logistics as well as with tabulation of votes, said Mr. Kadima to the media representatives
To coordinate efforts, UNIRED, an integrate referenda support division was created from teams of UNMIS and the UN Development Programme, assisting the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) together with other organizations, including the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, International Organization of Migration and the European Union.
Besides developing manuals and guidelines for the SSRC, UNIRED was tasked to distribute about 120 tones of referendum materials including voter kits, registration forms and pamphlets, Mr. Kadima said.
To complete this massive logistical task, over 70 Referendum Support Bases would be established in remote areas of Southern Sudan, the division head added.
In an effort to ensure a peaceful process, UNMIS had provided security training for about 9,700 security officers in Southern Sudan, Mr. Kadima said, adding the aim was to train 21,000 police officers by the start of polling.
Responding to a journalist’s question about the newly established United Nations monitoring panel, Mr. Kadima emphasized that the Panel was appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon following a joint request by the parties of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to monitor the referenda for Southern Sudan and the Abyei Area as an independent body.