24 October 2010 – The first batch of materials for the Southern Sudan self-determination poll were received by referendum and UN officials today in the Upper Nile State capital of Malakal.
"We received the office equipment and furniture for the offices of the State Referendum High Committee and the County Referendum Sub-Committee," said state committee member Abuk Kur Adowin, adding that training kits for referendum voter registration had also arrived.
As stipulated in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Southern Sudanese are expected to go to the polls on 9 January to vote for continued unity with or separation from the north.
According to the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission schedule, registration of eligible voters is expected to begin on 14 November and conclude on 1 December.
According to Giovanni Cabrera, state team leader for the UN Integrated Referenda and Electoral Division (UNIRED), voter registration materials would begin arriving on 29 October.
Distribution of these materials will commence on 4 November and end on 12 November, two days prior to voter registration.
The State Referendum High Committee has identified 233 voter registration sites within the state's 13 counties.
"UNMIS aircraft will transport the referendum equipment and materials to Renk, Melut, Maban, Ulang, Nasser, Longuchuk, Maiwut, and Manyo (counties)," Mr. Cabrera said.
For Fashoda and Panyikang counties, the State High Committee will provide road transportation, while county referendum sub-committee officials will collect materials for Malakal, Akoka, and Baliet counties, he said.