Kakuma News Reflector – A Refugee Free Press

Community Talking Point: Unite or Break Away?

Posted in Community and Culture by KANERE on February 11, 2011

Refugees shared their views on the question of the Southern Sudan Referendum—vote for unity or break away?

2010-11 Winter Quarterly Issue


“In the context of the South Sudan referendum, it’s clear to say that history has shown the New Identity. We don’t hate the North. We can take the control of our Nation. We can make, break, and divide our country.”

-Deng SSRC Official – Kakuma


“When I remember South Sudan, I remember our domestic animals. The horrible injustice. Horrific incidents are when our orange firm was burnt; I will never forget how fire started… With time, change has come and I am voting for my freedom against this colonist. It will not be a surprise but this comes from the effort of our leaders. And yet we have long lists of sad memories.”



“As the referendum is approaching, I am asking the youths of the South to take the lead in voting for separation. This is secret no more, because it’s no more a secret that our blood has flown in the River Nile. South Sudan is my home land where I will always proud to be and live naturally.”



“There is so much fear for the Sudanese in the camps, but I know there are a lot of worries for those in South Sudan as they eagerly await the results of the referendum to be announced. During the registration at Kakuma, there were some policies that caused problems when the International Organization for Immigration (IOM) come to mobilize Sudanese communities. Sudanese leaders protested and then they had to recruit the local refugees to be cooperated, otherwise nobody believed these IOM staffs at the beginning. This caused poor registration, such that many did not register to vote hence did not cast their votes.”

-D.O., Equatorial community


“I want to publicize that I have voted for separation. We lost Sudan over two decades. Our people are tortured and abused. We now want self independence and some unity amongst Southerners. In my opinion, the Arabs should go back to Saudi Arabia where they originated from and they should not forever rule Sudan.”

– G.R D., Nuer


“We have been oppressed by the Northerners, [for] this fact we don’t want to be together any longer. This politics of the North is a grave problem. So after we separate we shall be going to know when or how the problem will be caused. In the beginning before voting, I had feelings and fears but I am just so proud after I learned that Southerners in the world have united to make a country of our own. I love peace and stability.”

– R.O., Eastern Equatorial


“My thanks go to the SSRC who considered the refugees in the camps to also exercise individual democratic voting rights. I am happy as we all voted solidly for separation in the referendum to get our independence as a State in New Africa. I hope when we get back our land, our oil, and then the Arabs should go back to where they belong or live in Africa under the African rule and African Union.”



“I belong to South Sudan where I must vote for separation because I am black person. I also belong to the South where my parent and ancestors have lived, where there was peace and love. Though worries fill my head, I am expecting both Governments of the North and South to welcome the results of the referendum [according to] the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005.”



“My vote is to separate so that South Sudan can stand and rule itself. This is where I belong since before the coming of the Arabs. These are important moments and as the world watches, I would request that no interruptions should rise against the referendum and that the voting periods go for success. We want the South to be Separate and to stand as a State in Africa.”



“It is my democratic right to register to vote for separation and freedom of South Sudan. I feel glad in that; this is my first time to cast my vote. I can’t have any fears because the population that turned up is great enough already to make us determine the results. I belong to South where my heart belongs.”



“I am an Ethiopian Nuer by nationality, so I was not registered to vote for the Referendum. During the civil wars in Sudan between North and South, Nuer divided into two. My parents fled together with other Nuers and I was born in the Gambele region in Ethiopia. I am now at Kakuma where we are not considered Sudanese. Despite the fact that I am Ethiopian by nationality, I always have concerns for other Sudanese; there should be no more crises between the North and South. I am appealing to the world leaders and the Governments to improve the situation in Sudan by making sure that the results are accepted.”



“I now have hope after we have all voted for separation. They call me a Lost Boy, but when the Lost Boys were resettled to the USA I was only 14. I don’t really know how I was left out but so many others resettled to many countries. The last evening before they left me, many had papers in their hands as the evening was marked  with joy, since I was brought to Kakuma by my cousin who died here after being diagnosed with malaria. I was left alone, I lost my parents. I lost my identity.”                                                                                                -J .H.E., Equatorial


“Two decades of the civil war just passed with a storm. When I heard that our independent flag was to be raised, I could not remember when the North started bombing and my relatives were killed… I couldn’t sleep due to being overjoyed; and that was my first day to vote for the Referendum at Kakuma.”



“It was a long time staying with Arabs ruling where Black people of the South had no freedom, no democracy, and no recognition of constitutional rights. We want the Southerners to get organized for our independence.”



“North and South are like different countries apart; its time we should divide North from the South because demarcations were already done by the colonial power. I wish the international community would get proper participation in the referendum; in my feelings the NCP won’t like the success of separation from the referendum.”



“I belong to South Sudan. It’s where I was born and my ancestors originated there. I wish the Government of the South should motivate and encourage all people of the South to vote for separation. My fears in the referendum are that it will cause another civil war which cannot be stopped easily as the North would not like independence of the South. Separation is the only way to freedom, living and life.



“We have been at war since the 1950’s for the changes which never took effect. We [need] our Independence in order to stop the unfair and inhumane treatments. My fears are a lot. Since the first time when the Peace Agreement was signed in 1972 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, between the North and South, no improvements were found. So you can think of how there would be no peace while the North thinks of unity.”



“The Government of National Unity (GNU) has been in power and brought no good changes at all. It’s time now that we should be left alone as we get used to our culture and religions. I pray that nations will bear with either situation, whether the South or the North will win this referendum. I will appreciate the results. I still see some likely troubles ahead with Arabs. My wish is that the referendum should go as planned to future prosperity.”

-L.P., Staff Agency –  Kakuma


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