South Sudan News: Abyei Region Votes to Leave Islamist, racist, genocidal North, Join Christian, Animist South Sudan

Juba, South Sudan — (SBWIRE) — 10/31/2013 — The South Sudan News (SSN) reports that the official voting results will be announced on October 31, but the observers claim that about 65,000 eligible voters, residents in the remote and disputed Abyei region on the border between Sudan and South Sudan, voted almost unanimously on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in a non-binding referendum in favor of secession from Sudan and joining South Sudan.

The SSN states that the vote came despite fears it could trigger violence.

The ownership of Abyei was left undecided when the predominantly Christian South Sudan declared independence from the predominantly Muslim Sudan in 2011 after decades of a bloody independence war, and an official referendum on the status of the disputed Abyei has been stalled by arguments over who can vote, prompting the local referendum initiative.

The chairman of the referendum commission told Reuters that he expected a unanimous vote in favor of joining South Sudan – a decision sure to antagonize heavily armed, pro-Sudan Misseriya nomads who do not reside in the region but customarily drive their livestock through the region.

The South Sudan News says that the Arab nomads are backed by the Islamist government of Khartoum led by President Omar al-Bashir indicted by the ICC for crimes against humanity, in particular the genocide in Darfur.

“Our impression is the turnout is high. On Sunday, the first polling day, the main station recorded that 75 per cent had already cast their vote,” the commission chairman, Monyluak Kuol, told Reuters.

The result, expected on October 31, is not legally binding and both Sudan and South Sudan have said they will not recognize it, but the vote is important for the majority in Abyei who identify ethnically, culturally and religiously with the South.

Dinka Ngok people from South Sudan and even from as far away as Australia have returned to take part in the vote.

The SSN notes that the United Nations has a 4,000-strong, mainly Ethiopian peacekeeping force deployed to monitor tensions between the nomads and residents in the region, which has substantial oil reserves and has seen several clashes between Sudanese and South Sudanese troops.

In Abyei town, many buildings are still without roofs and many families live in a makeshift tent city, a legacy of the past fighting.

Abyei’s senior Roman Catholic priest Father Carlos Kaw said the local people had been traumatized by repeated attacks by Sudanese-backed militias and felt the world had forgotten them. “Abyei is fed up with waiting,” he told Reuters.

About South Sudan News and Analysis Bureau
The South Sudan News and Analysis Bureau (SSN) was established to provide accurate, timely and factual news reports about the latest developments in South Sudan. The SSN provides real time reporting and pertinent expert analysis in order to help our friends in the West comprehend and appreciate the historic turning point and upsurge the Republic of South Sudan is experiencing.

Ontario barbers forced to learn women’s styling techniques

Barbers in Ontario are facing the prospect of being forced back to school to learn how to do things like highlights and perms, some of them after decades of experience cutting men’s hair.

New provincial legislation forces about 300,000 tradespeople to be certified in their trade, from electricians to home contractors.

In 1998, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities grouped all trades related to hairstyling — including barbers — under the trade name of hairstylist.


But the change to ministry documents and certificates of qualification didn’t happen until earlier this year, and many barbers have operated without licences because they were rarely if ever enforced.

Now, operating without a licence costs employees a $195 fine and employers a $295 fine for first offences.

To get a license, barbers have to learn the new combined curriculum for hairstylists, including perms, colouring and more.
‘Why do we have to go through this?’

Frank Olszynko, who has been cutting hair since the 1960s and has a licence from Quebec, thinks there should be a grandfather clause.

“We’re barbers, we’re not neurosurgeons,” he said. “Why do we have to go through this?

“Now you have to go to school, you have to put in 2,000 hours, you have to pay $5,000, you have to learn how to perm and colour and bleach and wave and God knows what. I don’t even know any of that stuff, and I don’t want to know.”

Sam Lou said he’s been cutting men’s hair for 15 years and opened his own shop last month. The Ontario College of Trades enforcement officers found him without a licence and asked him to shut down.

“I’m very angry. … I feel like nobody supports me. The government wants people to be successful, open up a business and make a job, create jobs. I created a job, they came and shut it down,” Lou said, adding that he’s lost about $6,000.

The ministry said it will be seeking the industry’s input on the topic of creating a distinct trade of barber, separate from hairstylists.

The consultations are set to take place in the next two years, but until then, barbers are required to be licensed.

“Personally, I’m just going to carry on like I always have,” Olszynko said. “… I don’t really care. I’m going to court, definitely. I’m not paying a fine. I’m not abiding by this stupid law.”