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The Carter Center Deploys More than 50 Observers to Monitor Sudan's Voter Registration


In Khartoum: Sanne van den Bergh +249 911 714 041
In Juba: Maggie Ray +249 955 314 925
In Atlanta: Deborah Hakes +1 404 420 5124

The Carter Center deployed more than 50 observers across Sudan and overseas on Nov. 12 to observe the voter registration process for the Southern Sudan referendum on self-determination. The current deployment significantly increases the size of the Center's international observation mission and expands its presence to out-of-country registration locations in eight countries during the registration process, which was formally launched today by the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC). The 56 observers join the Center's team of 16 long-term observers and additional core staff in Sudan.

"The voter registration for the Southern Sudan Referendum should provide a basis for all eligible Southern Sudanese, both in Sudan and overseas, to register to vote in the referendum for self-determination," said Sanne van den Bergh, Carter Center field office director. "The success of the registration process is essential to ensuring broad participation in the referendum, which will determine whether Sudan remains unified or if Southern Sudan becomes a separate nation."

Thirty observers were deployed throughout Sudan to visit registration sites in the North, South, and Abyei. Twenty-six observers also were deployed in the eight out-of-country registration locations specified in the South Sudan Referendum Act – Australia, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, United Kingdom, and the United States. Observers will meet with referendum officials; political party and civil society representatives, including domestic observation groups; members of the international community; and other stakeholders to monitor and report on the voter registration process, as well as the campaign period and other issues related to the overall referendum process in Sudan. In total, Carter Center core staff, long-term, medium-term, and out-of-country observers form a diverse group from 29 countries. [1]

Carter Center observers will monitor voter registration activities from Nov. 15 – Dec. 1, followed by the exhibition of the voters' registry and submission of complaints and objections. Field offices in Juba and Khartoum will support the observation mission.

Background on the Carter Center's mission

The Carter Center began referendum observation activities in Sudan in August 2010 in response to an invitation from the SSRC. As during its April 2010 elections observation mission, the Center will assess the referendum processes in Sudan based on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Interim National Constitution, Southern Sudan Referendum Act, and Sudan's obligations for democratic elections contained in regional and international agreements, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.[2]

The objectives of the Carter Center's observation mission in Sudan are to provide an impartial assessment of the overall quality of the referendum process, promote an inclusive process for all Southern Sudanese, and demonstrate international interest in Sudan's referendum process. The Carter Center conducts observation activities in accordance with the Declaration of Principles of International Election Observation and Code of Conduct that was adopted at the United Nations in 2005 and endorsed by 35 election observation groups.[3]

The Center will release periodic public statements on referendum findings, available on its


The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production.  The Carter Center began working in Sudan in 1986 on the Sasakawa-Global 2000 agricultural project and for more than 20 years its health and peace programs have focused on improving health and preventing and resolving conflicts in Sudan.   Please visit to learn more about The Carter Center.


[1] These countries include: Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia,  France, Germany, India, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Kosovo, Malawi, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, and Zimbabwe.
[2] Sudan ratified the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) Feb. 18, 1986. The ACHPR came into force on Oct. 21, 1986. Sudan acceded to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on March 18, 1986, which entered into force on March 23, 1976.
[3] The Declaration of Principles in Arabic and English can be read at

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