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Vote in Southern Sudan

January 13, 2011

Sister Marilyn Lacey is a founder of Mercy Beyond Borders, a nonprofit organization based in California that is committed to improving the lives of displaced women and children living in extreme poverty. This is accomplished through educating women and girls, funding small entrepreneurial projects designed and implemented by the displaced women themselves, and promoting maternal-child health.

Below is a letter that Sister Marilyn wrote just prior to the start of a weeklong election that will determine if southern Sudan will become independent and form its own nation. 

January 9 marked the start of a week-long referendum that will determine the future of Sudan. The U.S. and the UN will play significant roles in helping with logistics and monitoring in a place so vast and so rural that many Sudanese have little or no concept of “country” and identify instead primarily with family or village or ethnic group.

Nearly 4 million Sudanese (within Southern Sudan and in 8 other countries where large numbers of Sudanese refugees live around the world) have registered to cast their vote. Here in California the Sudanese who live in San Jose and San Diego will be driving to Phoenix, the nearest official voting site. Their excitement is tempered by anxiety because no one knows whether Omar al-Bashir, President of Sudan, will honor the referendum outcome. Southerners hope for complete independence, but already their provisional government is mobilizing its military to match the movements of the northern army along the internal north-south dividing line.

Please join with Mercy Beyond Borders, its supporters, and all people of peace around the globe in praying for a transparent voting process, an outcome respected by all and a future of nonviolent, positive development for all Sudanese in both North and South. Results are expected in February. We live in hope! Sister Marilyn posts updates on news of the election process on her blog.

Visit Mercy Beyond Borders and learn more about its work in Sudan.


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