The Upper Nile Referendum State High Committee hosted a three-day workshop to instruct trainers on voter registration procedures in the state capital of Malakal between 1 and 3 November.
Registration of eligible voters for the January 2011 self-determination in Southern Sudan will start on 15 November and end on the first day of December, and books, kits and other related materials are already being distributed across the country's ten southern states.
Supported by the UN Integrated Referendum and Electoral Division (UNIRED), this week's workshop drew 49 referendum sub-committee members from 13 counties in Upper Nile State.
"After this training, they have to go back to their counties to train the referendum staff," said UNIRED State Training Officer Michelle Silva, who was joined by two training staff members from the Juba offices of the Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau.
The workshop covered a variety of topics ranging from the advance preparations needed for the registration exercise to its chronological stages and the closing procedures for voter registration.
Simulation exercises were held on the final day that explained among other matters the grounds on which prospective voters can be disqualified and also demonstrated how registration centre officials should handle angry citizens who have been left off the final voter rolls.
Malakal County sub-committee member Oweti Ocwang Ongwang described the training as very useful and engaging. "We got all the information and I was very enthusiastic when the trainers introduced us to the voter registration materials on the first day," he said.
Mr. Ongwang and two colleagues on the subcommittee who also attended the training will share the highlights of the workshop with 75 staff members who have been recruited to work on voter registration throughout Malakal County.
The training of registration staff at the county level will begin on 6 November and end four days later. "The training materials will also be distributed on those dates," said Ms. Silva, "and they will be brought along by these sub-committee trainers when they return to their respective counties."