31 December 2010 – With just over a week left before voting in Southern Sudan's long-awaited referendum begins on 9 January, distribution of ballot papers and other materials to polling centres in Western Bahr El-Ghazal and Warrap states has concluded.
Agoth Ngot Riiny of the Warrap State Referendum High Committee said sensitive and non-sensitive referendum materials were delivered to all of the state's 341 polling centres without a hitch.
"We managed to distribute almost all materials to all centres including remote areas like Greater Tonj," said Mr. Riiny, who heads up operations for the high committee. "Things are going smoothly according to our plan." He urged the state's 470,381 registered voters to turn out and cast their ballots.
Officials in Western Bahr El-Ghazal were optimistic they would also complete distribution to the state's 120 referendum centres. "At this moment, our office has sent almost all materials to ... voting centres and we hope that by the end of the day, all centres will receive the materials that they need," said the state high committee's operations chief, Naima Abbas Eido. The state has 164,353 registered voters.
Ms. Eido disclosed that the UN Integrated Referendum and Electoral Division (UNIRED) had supported the state in transporting some of the materials to remote areas by helicopters.
"UNIRED assisted us in transporting referendum materials to places like Raja and Timsaha, which were very far for us to reach otherwise," she said. "We are grateful for the assistance that we received from them."
Like her counterpart in Warrap State, Ms. Eido called on all registered voters in Western Bahr El-Ghazal to go to the polls during the seven-day balloting period that ends on 15 January.