Southern Sudan votes for Independence

The independence referendum for Southern Sudan for which an estimated 2 million Sudanese have died over the last 30 years started today wherever Southern Sudanese live. I expect to return next month to continue providing technical assistance on setting up a new central bank and issuing a new currency. My Deloitte colleague Adam Wicik sent the following email this morning along with many happy pictures of which I am attaching three.

Greeting from sunny, warm and still calm Juba. Again, there is no escaping some photos from here.
As you all know, a Referendum on the future of Southern Sudan started today and will go on for another 7 days.  Today was the first day.  As it is Sunday, with kind permission of Andy, Kate and I were able to go around and pretend to be press photographers.  We almost got arrested once for taking photos, but Deloitte ID card works like magic!
Photos fall into two groups – voting, i.e. long queues, people patiently waiting, casting their votes and immediately shouting in happiness, and having a fingers dipped in long lasting ink to stop them from voting twice.  Everything has been quiet and peaceful so far.
There was some singing, dancing, and drum beating as well.  Of course, what else could you expect on a happy day.
You will see some photos of those happy (and sleepy for some) moments too.
George Clooney is here again.  As always staying at AFEX.  Today we caught up with him at the local church.

This is all for now.  Keep your fingers crossed that the rest of this week, and the next six months, stay calm and happy.

All the best,

About wcoats

Dr. Warren L. Coats specializes in advising central banks on monetary policy, and in the development of their capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy. He is retired from the International Monetary Fund, where, as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department, he led missions to over twenty countries. Before then, he served as Visiting Economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and to the World Bank, and was Assistant Prof of Economics at the Univ. of Virginia from 1970-75. Most recently he was Senior Monetary Policy Advisor to the Central Bank of Iraq; an IMF consultant to the central banks of Afghanistan, Kenya and Zimbabwe; and a Deloitte/USAID advisor to the Government of South Sudan. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the Cayman Financial Review and until the end of 2013 was a member of the IMF program team for Afghanistan. His most recent book is entitled "One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
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