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Thursday, April 15, 2010

NEWS OF SUDAN ELECTIONS - NOT AS GOOD AS JIMMY CARTER SAYS

Arrest & beating of girifna members inspecting elections

Source: www.girifna.com

April 14, 2010 (girifna)–This afternoon two of girifna activists were subjected to the terrible acts violence, beating and destruction of property by 10 members of the NCP ,while the police personnel watched indifferently.

Mrs. Najla Seed Ahmad (a well known human right activist , courageous reporter and a girifna volunteer) and Mr. Bakri Ahmad Weda-talla (a youth activist) were reporting voting irregularities in Omdrman- Omdada district- Alamir 1 constituency– known to be an opposition strong-hold area’.

They were unlawfully detained by a team of NCP workers/ security forces personnel and beaten brutally on the street because they refused to be taken to “undisclosed location”. They were then taken to the nearest police station after girifna was able to leak the news to the local and international media, and false charges were registered against both of them. The first charge was kidnapping, which is soon replaced by more realistic and effective one: ”indecent behaviour’ !!

Girifna demands that the aggressors, one of which is identified as Mr. Najam aldeen Khogali Abas ( a local NCP leader) and his gang. be put to justice and that measures are taken to protect Sudanese civil rights activits from such practices in the future. Girifna shall not be intimidated by such acts of terror and will not stop at anything short of a free and democratic Sudan no matter what sacrifice we have to pay. We ask the NCP regime to respect basic civic and political rights granted to us through Sudan’s Interim National Constitution.

We plead with the international community and peace loving nations to stand by the Sudanese people who are suffering the most terrible abused for just standing for their basic civil rights denied to them by the regime in Khartoum .


Sudanese women cast their votes in Hosh Bannaga, the hometown of ruling President Omar al-Bashir, on April 12.

PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images


A Sudanese boy holds a bunch of southern Sudan flags picked up from the ground after a political rally in Juba on April 9.

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

An election worker prepares a ballot at a polling station in Juba on April 11.

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images


Residents of a neighborhood in Juba, sit in the shade next to a collection of rocks, pieces of bone, old boots, and discarded boxes marking their place in line outside a polling station on April 13. This group waited for hours for the station to open but were never able to vote.

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

Supporters of the current south Sudan leader and head of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, Sudanese Vice President Salva Kiir, wave flags and portraits of him as his bodyguards pass during a rally in Juba on April 9.

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

More pictures here

Girifna Political Activism is a Brave Proposition in Sudan

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 13°C] Political dissent could be a dangerous activity, depending on where you live and how your government treats dissenting voices. In Sudan, reaction to dissent in Darfur by the Sudanese government led to mass displacement of its population into refugee camps in Chad or into displacement camps within Darfur. Reaction to dissent by rebel groups also led to violent attacks, mass killings, and other tactics that were commonplace during the North/South civil war that ended in 2005.

(source: A mugshot of Omar al-Bashir taken from Girifna Facebook page.)

These government tactics also led to the International Criminal Court arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. Charges of genocide are pending review.

A Geoffrey York article published yesterday in The Globe and Mail, introduced me to a dissident group based in Khartoum called Girifna, which according to their website literally means “we are disgusted” and metaphorically, “we have had enough.” They describe their beginning:

In the evening of October 30, 2009 a group of three friends in Khartoum noticed on the eve of registration day that Sudanese citizens had no information about where to go to register and no national campaigning by the government or civil society groups was taking place. This was a problem, because no registration meant no voting. The group was propelled to start a peaceful quest for change based on a campaign that urges citizens to register so that they have a role in ridding the country of the National Congress Party (NCP) that has ruled for 20 years through a military coup. On the following day the group printed informational brochures urging people to register and they received support from many others who helped with the funding and distribution.

Voter education is Sudan is important, particularly since there has not been any multiparty elections in the country since 1986, so much of the population have never had the opportunity to choosing their government representatives.

High illiteracy rates throughout the country—particularly in outlying regions in the South, Darfur and elsewhere—makes voter education necessary to consider the elections free and fair. With government control of most of the media landscape, popular education like handing out anti-establishment voter education pamphlets (see video below) by Girifna activists is indeed an act of bravery.

Click post title for Obama's Sudan Fumble

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