News / Africa

US Envoy Meets Sudan Opposition for Talks After Election Pullout

US Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration (File photo)
US Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration (File photo)

The U.S. envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, is holding talks with political leaders in Khartoum in an effort to save the credibility of this month's elections.

The talks began Thursday, a day after Yasir Arman, the presidential candidate of southern Sudan's dominant party, withdrew from the polls.  

Arman and officials from the former rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement said the move is necessary because of electoral irregularities and continued conflict in Darfur.  

The SPLM is part of a fragile coalition government led by the National Congress Party of President Omar al-Bashir.  Arman was seen as one of the favorites to challenge Mr. Bashir in voting that begins April 11.

The SPLM says it will still contest regional and legislative elections across Sudan, but not in Darfur.

In a joint statement Wednesday, the United States, Britain and Norway voiced concern about restrictions on political freedoms in Sudan, and called for a credible and peaceful vote to take place.

On Tuesday, the International Crisis Group accused Sudan's ruling National Congress Party of trying to rig the elections.

The conflict prevention group says the NCP has drafted election laws in its favor.  It also says President Bashir's party has "bought tribal loyalties" and used flawed census results to draft electoral districts.

The Brussels-based group was especially critical of the electoral process in Darfur.  It said the ruling party went to great lengths to count its supporters in Darfur in the 2008 census but made little effort to include the nearly 2.6 million people who have been internally displaced by the region's ongoing conflict.  

The Darfuri vote is critical because nearly 20 percent of Sudan's citizens live in the region.  Darfur also holds 86 of the 450 seats in the national assembly.

The vote will be Sudan's first multi-party elections since 1986 and it is a key part of a 2005 peace deal that ended the country's north-south civil war.

On Monday, President Bashir said if former southern rebels boycott the elections, the Sudanese government will not allow the south to hold a planned referendum on becoming independent.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs