Despite the international community’s fears that Southern Sudan's referendum would lead to renewed violence or civil war, the voting took place as scheduled on January 9, 2011. The referendum process was notable not for violence, but for its relatively smooth and peaceful nature. This event featured representatives from the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission and the Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau for a discussion of the referendum.

Four months before Southern Sudan’s referendum on whether Southern Sudan would secede was scheduled to take place, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton called the situation “a ticking time bomb of enormous consequence.”  Yet despite the international community’s fears that the referendum would lead to renewed conflict, the process was notable for its relatively smooth and peaceful nature. The peaceful referendum represented the culmination of immense political, logistical and diplomatic maneuvering by both domestic actors and the international community. Leading the process on the domestic front was the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (based in Khartoum) and the Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau (based in Juba).

This event featured the Chairmen of the Commission and Bureau and the Commission’s Secretary General for a conversation on the referendum. They shared their insider perspectives on how the referendum moved from what many observers saw as potential disaster to a successful process, and commented on the future of the two Sudans.
 

Speakers:

  • Prof. Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil
    Chairman, Southern Sudan Referendum Commission
  • Justice Chan Reec Madut
    Chairman, Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau
  • Ambassador Mohamed Osman ElNijoumi
    Secretary General, Southern Sudan Referendum Commission
  • Jon Temin, Moderator
    U.S. Institute of Peace

Related Publications

Will the Latest Deal Bring Peace in South Sudan?

Will the Latest Deal Bring Peace in South Sudan?

Monday, August 20, 2018

By: Aly Verjee; Payton Knopf

On August 5, the warring parties in South Sudan signed an agreement which calls for the formation of another power-sharing government. The previous power-sharing government collapsed in July 2016, and the war has since spread throughout the country. USIP’s Aly Verjee and Payton Knopf discuss the developments that led to the deal, identify the agreement’s risks and deficiencies, and assess future prospects for the peace process.

Peace Processes

Susan Stigant on South Sudan

Susan Stigant on South Sudan

Thursday, June 28, 2018

By: Susan Stigant

Can South Sudan—the world’s youngest country—find peace? USIP’s Susan Stigant discusses the country’s political crisis and how its exacerbated by the outgrowth of opposition groups, millions of displaced citizens, and other complex challenges to restoring stability. Nevertheless, Stigant explains that peace is possible with U.S. leadership.

Democracy & Governance

Strong Words Alone will not Deliver Peace to South Sudan

Strong Words Alone will not Deliver Peace to South Sudan

Thursday, June 7, 2018

By: Aly Verjee

At the end of May, after only four days, South Sudan’s long-delayed peace talks once again adjourned without reaching a viable agreement. The failure to reach a deal comes only weeks after the White House declared that the Government of South Sudan had “lost credibility,” expressed deep frustration at the “lack of progress toward an agreement,” and warned that “more than seven million people will face life-threatening hunger in the coming months,” as a result of the crisis.

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

View All Publications