Monday, January 18, 2010

Watch in 2010

from WORLD magazine--January 16, 2010
Hope remains tenuous for South Sudanese leaders marking the fifth anniversary in January of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed with leaders in the predominantly Islamic North. The 2005 CPA ended two decades of civil war waged by Muslim in the North against Southern Christians who refused to submit to Islamic law. The war left more than 2 million people dead and some 4 million Southerners displaced.
The CPA promised autonomy to the South, with guarantees that the North would share the country's vast oil wealth. Southern leaders say the Northern government has failed to abide by many of CPA's terms, and the South continues to struggle to provide basic services in its frontier towns.
Still, both sides say they are tentatively ready to proceed with nationwide elections scheduled for April. Voters will choose a president, governors of states, and members of assemblies in the North and South. Many fear the elections could be corrupted: The Northern president--Omar al-Bashir-- is a wanted war criminal who perpetuated genocide on Sudanese in the country's western region of Darfur. Despite his promises of fair elections, many believe Bashir would never allow a rival to win the presidency or threaten his National Congress Party's (NCP) power. But NCP remains unpopular with many Northerners, leaving some election observers wondering what would happen if they voted for a Southern president.
Election results are critical for another reason: They could affect a referendum scheduled for January 2011 to decide whether the South will declare its independence. And experts say the April contest will be another critical test of Bashir's willingness to abide by the agreements he signs. That may be an unlikely prospect: So far, the defiant leader hasn't shown much intention of keeping his word.
Dominic's comments----(Nov. 7, 2009)
Sudan is preparing for next year's elections. Voter registration is going on. This will be the first democratic exercise in decades. Refugees from the camps in Uganda and Kenya are returning daily to their villages and towns.

(Jan. 10, 2010) Truly it is difficult to remember dates for Sudan elections because they keep on changing from time to time. Even for us Sudanese, we doubt whether the central government in Khartoum will be serious of April's schedule. They may keep on pushing the date ahead in order for them to hang onto power. They are also preparing to make the referendum difficult for the Southern Sudanese. They anticipate that Southerners will definitely choose to have a separate state/country than to be governed by Islamic laws.