News / Africa

Former Top U.S Official Urges Improved Security, Freedom of Assembly in Lead-Up to Sudan Poll

The former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs says Sudan’s upcoming April general elections remains an integral part of the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) .

Leading candidates in Sudan's first multiparty presidential election, from left, Yasir Arman, Omar al-Beshir and Sadiq al-Mahdi
Leading candidates in Sudan's first multiparty presidential election, from left, Yasir Arman, Omar al-Beshir and Sadiq al-Mahdi

Multimedia

Audio
  • Ambassador Jendayi Frazer, director of the Center for International Politics and Innovation at the Carnegie Mellon University spke with Clottey

TEXT SIZE - +
Peter Clottey

The former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs says Sudan’s upcoming April general election remains an integral part of the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) .

Jendayi Frazer who is currently the director of the Center for International Politics and Innovation at the Carnegie Mellon University said there are many challenges for a credible free and fair vote.

“I think it is going to be a difficult process, but it is a process that one has to get through because it’s a step on the road to realizing the vision that is set out in the CPA. But that said, I think there are many challenges for a credible peaceful and fair election,” she said.

In a speech recently in Accra, Ghana, Jendayi Frazer called on African leaders to professionalize election management in their countries with institutions that would help reduce electoral conflicts by providing accountability, justice and transparency.

The former State Department official, together with Ghana’s Center for Democratic Development (CDD), organized a three-day conference this month on “Preventing Electoral Violence and Instituting Good Governance”. The meeting attracted ministers and election administrators from countries including Ethiopia, Southern Sudan, Kenya, Ghana and Liberia.

Ambassador Frazer said the conference also focused on upcoming elections in Africa.

“We had one of the major case studies be Sudan along with Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia and Uganda,” she said. “And we were able to really delve into what is necessary to create that fair playing ground and to have elections act as a preventive measure to conflicts. I think the Sudan is far from really being in an ideal situation today.”

The general election scheduled to be held April 11-13 is Sudan’s first in 24 years after decades of civil war between the north and the south.

Several opposition parties have accused President Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP) of plotting to influence the National Electoral Commission to rig the vote - - a charge the NCP denies.

Ambassador Jendayi Frazer
Ambassador Jendayi Frazer

But Ambassador Frazer said the NCP is undermining the credible voting climate ahead of the election.

“The first problem in terms of a credible vote is the environment in which the vote is taking place.  The National Congress Party continuing to harass the opposition [by] using security legislation to basically prevent freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. That’s part of the problem. It’s the political constraining of space that is being undertaking by the National Congress Party that is problematic,” Frazer said.

She said there need to be sufficient security and safety in the Darfur region to permit the voting population there to fully participate in the election.

Ambassador Frazer said it is unfortunate the elections are being managed by national authorities and that the UN is not playing a stronger role. She said she hopes the international community will learn a lesson from the April polls.  That lesson, she said, is that the world body should play a larger role in ensuring a free and fair vote in next January’s referendum that will determine whether the south becomes independent.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid