Friday, April 2, 2010



The same principle applies to those who violate international law by brutalizing their own people. When there is genocide in Darfur; systematic rape in Congo; or repression in Burma - there must be consequences. And the closer we stand together, the less likely we will be faced with the choice between armed intervention and complicity in oppression.

This brings me to a second point - the nature of the peace that we seek. For peace is not merely the absence of visible conflict. Only a just peace based upon the inherent rights and dignity of every individual can truly be lasting.

Source: obama-nobel-peace-prize

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 has the excerpt above

Part 4

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Despite rosy reports from some senior U.S. Government officials, violence in Sudan continues to mount in advance of national elections to be held later this month. This includes a recent offensive by the Government of Sudan in the Jebel Marra region of Darfur, which in recent weeks has killed hundreds and driven as many as 100,000 people from their homes. The Obama Administration has largely ignored this ongoing violence and has instead heralded exclusionary peace talks on Darfur as “major progress," going so far as to call the talk a “landmark.” The Administration also appears to blindly support the upcoming elections, which nearly all international human rights organizations agree have no chance of being either free or fair.

The U.S Sudan policy is not just adrift -- it risks enabling gross human rights violations by the Government of Sudan. We urgently need Congress to engage on this important topic.

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Received the following news in an email April 2, 2010:
Dear All,

News from West Darfur reported that thousands of Internally
Displaced Persons (IDPs) from camps around the
city of Kass
(West Darfur) have stormed the city and occupied the city
Thousands of the IDPs are reportedly filling the
streets of the city. The Mayor (NCP)
and other NCP members
have fled the city. The Defense and Security Ministers have

flown from Khartoum to ElGeneina ( capital of West Darfur).

Mohamed Suleiman


SCENARIOS: Sudan elections brinkmanship - what's next?

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/africaCrisis/idUSLDE6300L6

Thu Apr 1, 2010 5:45am EDT

KHARTOUM, April 1 (Reuters) - South Sudan's main party has announced a partial and unilateral boycott of April elections, withdrawing its presidential candidate and boycotting polls in Darfur, citing the conflict there and electoral fraud.

The move surprised and angered Sudan's opposition, who said they had been promised the support of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) for a joint position on a possible boycott of the April 11 polls in the entire north of Sudan.

Some analysts have said with Yasir Arman out of the race, incumbent Omar Hassan al-Bashir's return to the presidential palace is assured.

Here are some scenarios of what could happen next.


The opposition parties will meet on Thursday night. Some want a boycott but others want to challenge Bashir. Bashir's National Congress Party (NCP) will hope their divisions will stop them reaching a common position.

A mass withdrawal from the polls would deny Bashir the legitimacy he wants to help him defy an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur.


The SPLM, who enjoy majority support in the south, which has 25 percent of Sudan's electorate, have not endorsed another presidential candidate. Arman has said they will not do so because they want to expose fraud in the presidential elections.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which has mass support from the Islamic Khatmiyya sect, had been in talks with the NCP to endorse Bashir in exchange for key government positions but more recently joined the opposition ranks, mulling a boycott.

The NCP will watch closely whether the DUP decides to withdraw from the presidential poll, stay in the race or endorse Bashir.

The other large northern sectarian party, the Umma Party, may be reluctant to withdraw its presidential candidate. Umma party chief Sadeq al-Mahdi was the last democratically elected leader of Sudan and has been considered one of the three favourites in the presidential election.

He may believe his chances are good of beating Bashir with Arman out of the picture, and could push for the opposition to unite behind his candidacy.

However alleged electoral irregularities could push them to boycott, saying there is no way the polls can be free and fair and Bashir is already guaranteed a win.


The only long-term international observer mission, the Carter Center, and observers from the European Union will be following events closely.

While they are likely to continue their missions, they will be concerned that any endorsement they give the polls will lend credibility to the outcome.


Earlier this week Bashir, worried by the threat of an SPLM-opposition alliance, issued a stark warning to the SPLM: if you refuse to take part in elections, the planned 2011 referendum in south Sudan on secession will not be held.

The SPLM's announcement of a boycott of elections in Darfur implies it will continue to run in all other parts of Sudan, ending its earlier threat of a full boycott in the north in solidarity with opposition parties.

The referendum is a priority for the SPLM and the international community, concerned any move to derail the sensitive vote could reignite a north-south civil war which claimed 2 million lives and destabilised much of east Africa. (Reporting by Opheera McDoom)

Regarding the excerpt from the above article:


Earlier this week Bashir, worried by the threat of an SPLM-opposition alliance, issued a stark warning to the SPLM: if you refuse to take part in elections, the planned 2011 referendum in south Sudan on secession will not be held.

This of course proves again Bashir expects to "win" the election, for if he were to lose, how would he be able to deny the referendum?


US envoy in crisis talks after Sudan election pullout


Thu Apr 1, 2010 3:52am EDT

By Andrew Heavens

KHARTOUM, April 1 (Reuters) - U.S. Sudan envoy Scott Gration began crisis talks with political leaders in Khartoum on Thursday after the shock withdrawal of a presidential candidate threatened to undermine the credibility of coming elections.

Yasir Arman, the candidate for the south's dominant Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) pulled out of the race late on Wednesday, less than two weeks before voting, citing concerns over election fraud and insecurity in Darfur.

Opposition parties were due to meet later on Thursday to discuss whether to unite in boycotting the vote, a move that would seriously undermine what were supposed to be Sudan's first multi-party elections in 24 years.

The SPLM also said it would boycott voting in Darfur, the scene of a seven-year conflict, going back on an earlier threat to pull out of the whole vote in the north in solidarity with opposition parties.

The elections are central to a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war between Sudan's Muslim north and the South, where most follow Christianity and traditional beliefs.

Analysts said Arman's withdrawal effectively handed the presidential race to Sudan's incumbent president Omar Hassan al-Bashir, and could be part of a deal with Bashir's northern National Congress Party to guarantee a referendum on southern independence also promised under the peace deal.

But a boycott by the opposition could derail any claim by Bashir to have been elected in fully democratic elections.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed Gration had flown to Khartoum in reaction to Wednesday's news and was planning to shuttle between meetings with leading opposition and government figures.

On Wednesday a joint statement by Washington, Britain and Norway said they were "deeply concerned by reports of continued administrative and logistical (electoral) challenges, as well as restrictions on political freedoms".

But they said "irrespective of the outcome of elections", it was essential the January 2011 referendum go ahead on time.

Sudan's north-south civil war killed 2 million people and destabilised much of east Africa. Darfur's separate conflict has claimed an estimated 300,000 lives in violence Washington has called genocide.

Last year the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Bashir for war crimes in Darfur. He hopes to defy the court and legitimise his rule with a win in April's polls. (Editing by Opheera McDoom)


Gration post: http://blogs.state.gov/sudan/index.php/site/entry/diaspora_community/

I am just catching up with all the news that came in my email box today. And only an inanimate object could think the election in Sudan has anything to elect in an atmosphere of justice.

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