KHARTOUM, Sudan, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- All materials are in place for voters in South Sudan to cast ballots for self-determination in January, a U.N. election official said.
Voters in South Sudan are to choose whether they want to form an independent nation as part of a comprehensive peace agreement that ended Sudanese civil war in 2005.
U.N. officials delivered more than 4 million ballots to regional voters after severe weather in Europe threatened delays. Ballots were distributed to election officials in Juba, the capital of South Sudan; and in Khartoum, Sudan's capital.
Eamon O'Mordha, the deputy director of the U.N. Integrated Referendum and Electoral Division, said in a statement that everything was set for the vote, scheduled to take place for one week starting Jan. 9.
"I am happy to say that all the materials and plans are in place to meet the goal of a timely start to the referendum," he said.
A separate measure giving voters in the region of Abyei the right to pick between the north and the south is in serious jeopardy, however.
U.N. officials working on a Sudanese panel under U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said there were few problems reported with the referendum. Violence in Darfur and concerns over the post-referendum period hang over the January measure, however.
The ballot features two symbols -- one featuring a single hand for independence and another depicting two hands for unity.