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Latest News Last Updated: Jan 12, 2010 - 7:27:48 AM

Drummers Come Together to Raise Awareness About Sudan
Sudaneseonline.com

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Sudan President Bashir starts re-election bid

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Omar al-Bashir in uniform (Archive 2009)
Omar al-Bashir has resigned as commander-in-chief of the army

Sudan leader Omar al-Bashir has been officially nominated to stand for president in April's election by his northern National Congress Party (NCP).

The general election will be the first since the end of a two decade north-south civil war in 2005.

The southern SPLM party is expected to announce its candidate later this week.

The BBC's James Copnall in Khartoum says it is unlikely to be SPLM leader Salva Kiir, who is focused on his job as president of Southern Sudan.

Our correspondent says Mr Kiir will want to remain as southern leader ahead of a referendum on independence for the semi-autonomous region due in a year's time.

More than three-quarters of the population live in the north, so it is likely that a northern candidate will win the election, he says.

Mr Kiir also does not have the broad national support the late SPLM leader John Garang enjoyed, our reporter says.

Fears of violence

Earlier, Mr Bashir stepped down as commander-in-chief of the army - in accordance with electoral law - in order for his candidacy to go forward.

 

ANALYSIS
James Copnall
By James Copnall
BBC News, Khartoum
Omar al-Bashir's nomination is no surprise and with his sights set on the referendum, Southern Sudan's President Salva Kiir will almost certainly not stand. Some speculate the SPLM leader in the north, Yassir Arman, a northern Muslim, would be the SPLM's obvious choice.

It is still possible that northern opposition parties and the SPLM will field a joint candidate against President Bashir. However the parties, though grouped in a loose anti-Bashir alliance, have very different ideologies and agendas.

Among the senior northern opposition figures, the veteran Islamist Hassan al-Turabi has announced he will not run. Instead his number two, Abdallah Deng Nhial, will be the candidate of the Popular Congress Party.

Either this means Mr Turabi hopes a southern Muslim can appeal to the broadest possible constituency; or he is scared he would not score many votes himself, either through lack of popularity or rigged elections.

 

The nomination process comes against a backdrop of ongoing violence in the south - with repeated heavy clashes between rival ethnic groups in recent weeks.

Reports are emerging of several deaths in fresh fighting in the Gogrial region of the south's Warrap state, a region where 140 people were reported killed last week.

More than 2,000 people have been killed and 250,000 people displaced this year alone in Southern Sudan.

The 22-year war between the mainly Muslim north and the Christian and animist south claimed the lives of some 1.5 million people.

Correspondents say there is scepticism about the possibility of free or fair elections especially in areas such as the troubled western Darfur region.

However, the authorities say they are doing all they can to meet the challenge of organising what is perhaps the country's largest and most complex ballot.

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Mr Bashir last year for alleged war crimes committed in Darfur.


Sudan President Bashir starts re-election bid

undefined undefined undefined undefined
Omar al-Bashir in uniform (Archive 2009)
Omar al-Bashir has resigned as commander-in-chief of the army

Sudan leader Omar al-Bashir has been officially nominated to stand for president in April's election by his northern National Congress Party (NCP).

The general election will be the first since the end of a two decade north-south civil war in 2005.

The southern SPLM party is expected to announce its candidate later this week.

The BBC's James Copnall in Khartoum says it is unlikely to be SPLM leader Salva Kiir, who is focused on his job as president of Southern Sudan.

Our correspondent says Mr Kiir will want to remain as southern leader ahead of a referendum on independence for the semi-autonomous region due in a year's time.

More than three-quarters of the population live in the north, so it is likely that a northern candidate will win the election, he says.

Mr Kiir also does not have the broad national support the late SPLM leader John Garang enjoyed, our reporter says.

Fears of violence

Earlier, Mr Bashir stepped down as commander-in-chief of the army - in accordance with electoral law - in order for his candidacy to go forward.

 

ANALYSIS
James Copnall
By James Copnall
BBC News, Khartoum
Omar al-Bashir's nomination is no surprise and with his sights set on the referendum, Southern Sudan's President Salva Kiir will almost certainly not stand. Some speculate the SPLM leader in the north, Yassir Arman, a northern Muslim, would be the SPLM's obvious choice.

It is still possible that northern opposition parties and the SPLM will field a joint candidate against President Bashir. However the parties, though grouped in a loose anti-Bashir alliance, have very different ideologies and agendas.

Among the senior northern opposition figures, the veteran Islamist Hassan al-Turabi has announced he will not run. Instead his number two, Abdallah Deng Nhial, will be the candidate of the Popular Congress Party.

Either this means Mr Turabi hopes a southern Muslim can appeal to the broadest possible constituency; or he is scared he would not score many votes himself, either through lack of popularity or rigged elections.

 

The nomination process comes against a backdrop of ongoing violence in the south - with repeated heavy clashes between rival ethnic groups in recent weeks.

Reports are emerging of several deaths in fresh fighting in the Gogrial region of the south's Warrap state, a region where 140 people were reported killed last week.

More than 2,000 people have been killed and 250,000 people displaced this year alone in Southern Sudan.

The 22-year war between the mainly Muslim north and the Christian and animist south claimed the lives of some 1.5 million people.

Correspondents say there is scepticism about the possibility of free or fair elections especially in areas such as the troubled western Darfur region.

However, the authorities say they are doing all they can to meet the challenge of organising what is perhaps the country's largest and most complex ballot.

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Mr Bashir last year for alleged war crimes committed in Darfur.


Sudan President Bashir starts re-election bid

undefined undefined undefined undefined
Omar al-Bashir in uniform (Archive 2009)
Omar al-Bashir has resigned as commander-in-chief of the army

Sudan leader Omar al-Bashir has been officially nominated to stand for president in April's election by his northern National Congress Party (NCP).

The general election will be the first since the end of a two decade north-south civil war in 2005.

The southern SPLM party is expected to announce its candidate later this week.

The BBC's James Copnall in Khartoum says it is unlikely to be SPLM leader Salva Kiir, who is focused on his job as president of Southern Sudan.

Our correspondent says Mr Kiir will want to remain as southern leader ahead of a referendum on independence for the semi-autonomous region due in a year's time.

More than three-quarters of the population live in the north, so it is likely that a northern candidate will win the election, he says.

Mr Kiir also does not have the broad national support the late SPLM leader John Garang enjoyed, our reporter says.

Fears of violence

Earlier, Mr Bashir stepped down as commander-in-chief of the army - in accordance with electoral law - in order for his candidacy to go forward.

 

ANALYSIS
James Copnall
By James Copnall
BBC News, Khartoum
Omar al-Bashir's nomination is no surprise and with his sights set on the referendum, Southern Sudan's President Salva Kiir will almost certainly not stand. Some speculate the SPLM leader in the north, Yassir Arman, a northern Muslim, would be the SPLM's obvious choice.

It is still possible that northern opposition parties and the SPLM will field a joint candidate against President Bashir. However the parties, though grouped in a loose anti-Bashir alliance, have very different ideologies and agendas.

Among the senior northern opposition figures, the veteran Islamist Hassan al-Turabi has announced he will not run. Instead his number two, Abdallah Deng Nhial, will be the candidate of the Popular Congress Party.

Either this means Mr Turabi hopes a southern Muslim can appeal to the broadest possible constituency; or he is scared he would not score many votes himself, either through lack of popularity or rigged elections.

 

The nomination process comes against a backdrop of ongoing violence in the south - with repeated heavy clashes between rival ethnic groups in recent weeks.

Reports are emerging of several deaths in fresh fighting in the Gogrial region of the south's Warrap state, a region where 140 people were reported killed last week.

More than 2,000 people have been killed and 250,000 people displaced this year alone in Southern Sudan.

The 22-year war between the mainly Muslim north and the Christian and animist south claimed the lives of some 1.5 million people.

Correspondents say there is scepticism about the possibility of free or fair elections especially in areas such as the troubled western Darfur region.

However, the authorities say they are doing all they can to meet the challenge of organising what is perhaps the country's largest and most complex ballot.

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Mr Bashir last year for alleged war crimes committed in Darfur.


Voice of America  
 
 
 
 

Drummers Come Together to Raise Awareness About Sudan

A pro-Sudan demonstration in London

A pro-Sudan demonstration in London

Five years after a comprehensive peace agreement in Sudan was signed ending the longest running war in Africa, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Sudan is at a critical juncture.  The peace agreement left many issues undetermined, such as the border between the north and south, and the sharing of oil revenues. A number of human rights and humanitarian  groups have launched a campaign to raise awareness about Sudan with what they call a global drumbeat. One launch event was held in London.

Making noise in pursuit of peace. This is the London Launch of Sudan 365 - a global campaign to raise awareness about Sudan in a critical year, says one of the organizers, James Smith of the Aegis trust

"It's like an alarm to bring people together to call people together, to focus the world's attention on the dangers that Sudan faces today," said Smith.

The dangers are many, a five-year-old peace agreement has largely stopped the fighting in Sudan but many issues remain unresolved, such as allocation of oil revenue and how the country will run it's first elections in 24 years, expected this April. 

"We need a sharing of oils to be done in a fair way, we need elections to be done in a democratic manner and this is the thing which will show that we have democracy in the country," said Archbishop of Sudan the Most Reverend  Daniel Deng.

Priscilla Rubin fled Sudan in 1993.  She says she was born in war and hopes peace might allow her to go home. She wants her daugher Annette to have a sense of her Sudanese heritage.
 
"This thing is our symbol of Sudan: women carry water in it," she said. "We want to go home and teach our children how they can carry water in this thing."

The global beat isn't just happening in London - it's taking place in more than a dozen cities.  The beat for peace campaign is supported on video by some of the world's most famous drummers from around the world.

Campaign organizers hope in the coming year governments will provide diplomatic support for Sudan as it tries to work through unresolved elements of the peace deal. The United States, Norway and Britain have already pledged their support.
 


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