News / Africa

    Analysts Say Sudan Elections Have Only Losers

    David Dyar

    As vote counting begins in Sudan's week-long general elections, analysts are giving the dire assessment that there will
    be no winners, and only losers in the process.

    Sudan experts at a panel discussion at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace this week in Washington were unanimous in their harsh criticism.

    They said what they viewed as a botched election could mark the beginning of the end for all political parties in Sudan, instead of the country's first successful multi-party vote in 24 years.

    Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Herman Cohen said northern opposition parties made a huge mistake in boycotting the process. "Do not boycott because rigging, (the) rigging, will be seen.  If you boycott, they do not have to rig, so it is important to participate and make sure that the rigging is documented and therefore making the winner even much less legitimate," he said.

    John Prendergast, the co-founder of the Enough Project to end genocide and crimes against humanity, said even worse, they announced their boycott just days before the voting started. "Either you get in and fight it out or you get out early because it was clear early on that this election was going to be stolen. The census, the registration, national security laws, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and the gerrymandering, all these factors months before, the actual electoral process, the electoral event actually occurred indicated where this was going.  They did not do either.  Instead, they waited until the final minute. Confusion reigns. Everyone loses sadly from this process," he said.

    Gerard Prunier, a French researcher and member of the Academic Council of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, said that by not participating, the opposition parties showed they will have no role in the future of Sudan.

    Prunier says they were afraid of the results they were going to get. But he says the ruling National Congress Party, known as the NCP, is not faring much better. He says it has become the party of elites in the capital Khartoum, but nowhere else.  He says general disappointment in these elections will show its weakness. "Democratizing a totalitarian system is extremely difficult and the danger of cutting off your own feet in the process is very high," he said.

    Prunier is also afraid of what will happen when oil-rich southern Sudan votes for independence in a referendum scheduled for next year or declares unilateral independence. "The danger is trying to occupy militarily the oil fields to secure the cash cow (no-rish money making method) of the government and militarily it is feasible so it is tempting and it is going to be a debate inside the NCP.  Some pragmatists will say no, do not do it, it is too dangerous, and some guys will say let us do it because otherwise, we die, and we do not want to die," he said.

    Prendergast said the international community which pushed so much for the comprehensive peace agreement in 2005 ending more than two decades of war between north and south Sudan had abandoned its implementation, such as enforcing border demarcation and figuring out oil issues.

    He said south Sudan and the international community would be paying for this for years, if a conflict breaks out. "We will be paying billions of dollars in humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping forces for the next 40 years in southern Sudan," he said.

    J. Peter Pham, the director of the Africa Project at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, predicted the government in Khartoum will use outside rebel groups, like the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), to destabilize the south, potentially creating a regional nightmare. "Whether it be reactivating or resupplying the LRA or other movements which will then spur a vicious cycle of the other governments saying well we are being meddled with so let us return the favor," he said.

    Pham said President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has no choice but to stay in power since there is an indictment against him at the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Darfur.

    The panelists said very few people in Darfur voted, since they were too afraid to do so or were never registered, and that the peace process there was going nowhere, even as rebels seem to be on the decline.

    They also expressed disappointment in election monitors who they said were not being critical enough, as well as current U.S. diplomatic efforts, which they said were falling short.

    They agreed China, which is the main importer of Sudan's oil which runs through northern pipelines and an important international ally of the government in Khartoum, may be the key player in averting a future disaster.

    Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has been one of the monitors of the election on the ground. He has acknowledged problems, but reserved judgment until vote counting takes place. "I would not say, in advance, that the integrity of the election has been destroyed, but I am not going to make any comment about that until after the election process, the vote tabulation is complete," he said.

    Mr. Carter defended the importance of the election, and said it was one step in a process that will lead to the southern referendum.  He has also warned that if the north-south peace agreement falls apart, there would be another outbreak of war.

    You May Like

    Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora