News / Africa

U.S. Group Calls on International Community not to Legitimize Sudan Elections

Robert Lawrence of Save Darfur Coalition says decision by some opposition parties to boycott elections underscores lack of legitimacy

Multimedia

Audio
  • Robert Lawrence of Save Darfur Coalition spoke with Butty

James Butty

The U.S.-based Save Darfur Coalition – an alliance of more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations – said the decision by some opposition parties to boycott this month’s election in Sudan underscores the lack of legitimacy in the process.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) of south Sudan and several other opposition parties have indicated they might not take part in a flawed process that would lead to the re-election of President Omar al-Bashir.

Robert Lawrence, director of policy for the Save Darfur Coalition, said his group is urging the United States and the international community not to legitimize Sudan’s presidential election.

“We believe the election is not going to be free and fair, and it’s not even going to be credible, and the last thing we want is for the results to legitimize the dictatorial rule of President al-Bashir who is the overwhelming favorite obviously to win re-election,” he said.

Lawrence said the Save Darfur Coalition is also concerned the elections might make President al-Bashir stronger vis-à-vis the International Criminal Court indictments that the Sudanese leader faces.

U.S. envoy to Sudan Scott Gration was quoted over the weekend as saying that he was confident the April 11 election in Sudan would be as “free and fair as possible”.

Lawrence said Gration was perhaps trying to encourage Sudan opposition parties who are trying to boycott the elections to participate.

“I think the general and U.S. policy at large see the election as a means to get to the referendum on independence for south Sudan which is scheduled the beginning of next year. I think General Gration is trying to encourage the parties who are currently talking about boycotting the election to participate in order not to derail the process that is supposed to lead to the referendum,” Lawrence said.

He said Save Darfur Coalition is not trying to say whether the elections should be postponed or not. That, he said should be left to the Sudan opposition parties

But Lawrence said the group is simply trying to highlight the numerous voices that indicate that these elections are not going to be free and fair.

“The Carter Center for example, the monitoring organization on the ground has already issued several reports with grave concern over the conduct of the pre-election period in terms media repression, breaking rallies, and the International Crisis Group put out a report indicating the extent to which Darfur in particular has been disenfranchised,” Lawrence said.

A number of opposition parties, including the Umma party, last week asked the government to implement a number of reforms before they would agree to take part in the elections.

Lawrence said he does not think the opposition can get President Bashir to undo 20 years of repression in four weeks and allow for free and fair elections.

You May Like

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid