Sudan referendum galvanizing refugees outside Sudan

Sudanese refugees who fled to Kenya are making preparations to vote in the upcoming Sudan referendum, even though they've moved outside the country's borders.

Nasser Nasser/AP
Sudanese refugee women line up at a polling station in the refugee camp of Abou Shouk at the outskirts of the Darfur town of el Fasher, Sudan Sunday, April 11, 2010.

With anticipation for the Jan. 9 referendum on South Sudan building, Enough visited Kakuma camp in northwestern Kenya, home to 22,000 Sudanese refugees.

Training of civic educators and polling station staff was in high gear, and word was spreading around the camp about the upcoming vote.

Kakuma first opened in 1992 to accommodate Sudanese fleeing civil war between North and South; some of the people we spoke to have lived there since then.

Now, many people in the camp eagerly await the chance to vote, expressing excitement about their first polling process and about the prospects the referendum raises to eventually return home.

IN PICTURES: Polling staff and civic educators at work

IRIN News recently published this profile of “Joshua,” one of the civic educators at Kakuma charged with informing the Sudanese community in the camp about the referendum. Check it out for a personalized perspective on the referendum and what the process holds for the future of Sudan.

And if you’re interested in seeing additional photos from Kakuma, here’s Enough's full album.

Laura Heaton blogs for the Enough Project at Enough Said.

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