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US special envoy to Sudan blasted by opposition leaders over elections

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April 4, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration came under fire from opposition leaders after he gave his blessings to the April elections to go forward and expressed confidence that they could be held in a credible manner.

"They [National Election Commission] have given me confidence that the elections will start on time and they would be as free and as fair as possible," Gration told reporters.

"These people have gone to great lengths to ensure that the people of Sudan will have access to polling places and that the procedures and processes will ensure transparency. This has been a difficult challenge but I believe they have stepped up and met the challenge " he added.

The remarks by the US official has shocked many in Sudan particularly those opposed to the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) who felt that the world power has betrayed them.

"So he went to the Election Commission and they assured him that they are fair and unbiased. It is like asking a thief to swear he is honest and then believing him" a 26-years old student in Khartoum by the name of Khalid told Sudan Tribune.

"The US wants the [National] Congress Party to stay in power because they are the only ones who are willing to give them concessions. Obama turned out to be no different from Bush. We, the ordinary Sudanese will pay the price for this selfish policy" he added.

The former prime minister and leader of the Umma Party Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi described Gration as "naive".

"The U.S. position has two things in it. There are those who adopt a view that represents the American right which is close to Israeli thinking that says that [Sudan] must be dismantled to weaken Sudan - like the other Arab countries - in the face of Israel. There is Larry Soler of the Heritage Foundation advocates of this view and support the secession of southern Sudan and escalating the crisis in the Darfur issue and in this view, the victory will help the National Congress [Party] on the scenario of breaking up Sudan" Al-Mahdi told the Qatar based Al-Jazeera TV today.

"There are other people good intentioned but naive as Gration. He has already came here and exchanged views with political forces, but he could not because he failed to diagnose the problem and could not deal with the problem between the two partners, after his many attempts and shuttle visits and now when it came to the question of the elections did not affect anything in the meaning in both cases [he] failed" al-Mahdi added.

Al-Mahdi said he is puzzled why the US insists on holding credible elections in Iran while not doing the same in Sudan.

This week the Umma Party in its declaration that it intends to boycott elections unless certain conditions are met said that Gration promised Al-Mahdi during his meeting with him that he will press the NCP on postponing elections which has been the central demand of opposition parties saying reforms are needed to ensure the polls are fair and free.

The NEC has been accused by opposition of violating the electoral law and favoring the ruling party in its conduct and decisions.

The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has strongly rejected any delay to the polls threatening Southerners to push back the 2011 referendum if the join the calls for postponement.

Incumbent President Omer Hassan al-Bashir of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) who is running for re-election wants to win the elections to legitimize his rule, in defiance of an International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant for his arrest for war crimes in Darfur, after a brutal counter-insurgency campaign begun in 2003.

The Umma Reform and Renewal Party (URRP) leader Mubarak Al-Fadil issued a strongly worded statement today slamming the US special envoy.

"We in the Umma Party and the Sudanese National Consensus Forces have made it clear to Mr. Scott Gration that the elections that the National Congress Party insists to impose on April 11, 2010 are partial and farcical elections devoid of the minimum fundamental requirements of a free and fair election" Al-Fadil said in his press release.

"Gration deliberately disregarded the fundamental articles of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, to which the United States is guarantor, that stipulate the restructuring of state organs and the abrogation of all laws contravening the bill of rights founded in the CPA and enshrined in the Constitution".

Al-Fadil recounted what he described as breaches of the electoral process done with the collaboration of the NCP and NEC which according to him were ignored by the US envoy.

"Gration has ignored the serious revelations of the Carter Center’s report outlining grave irregularities in the electoral registry; the National Election Commission’s refusal to hand over the electoral registry for audit and their reduction of the total number of polling stations by 60%, constraining access to those voting for non-NCP parties. This information was overlooked by the Special Envoy together with that which was given by the opposition forces concerning the Electoral Commission’s transfer of the tender award for ballot card printing from the international firm which was the legitimate winner of the tender to the NCP-controlled Sudanese Currency Printing Press, placing the entire election process in the hands of the NCP. Mr. Gration has failed to heed the opposition’s warnings about the blatant bias of the Electoral Commission towards the NCP and has chosen to ignore our caution regarding the fragile political and legal environment in the country; the dispute over the population census; and the shaky state of security in Darfur and continued state of emergency together with renewed violence in the area; all of which stand to hinder the election process and reduce its legitimacy".

"Gration continues, in the name of the United States of America to publicly advocate this flawed election, defend the Electoral Commission and the NCP, leading President Omer El-Bashir to “laud the position of the United States in support of the NCP”.

This week the Sudanese presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie expressed his gratitude to Gration for his commitment to hold the elections on time and his understanding that the polls are crucial for the stability of the country and that the NCP will not allow for a national interim government to run the country until the elections are concluded.

In a related development, the Umma Party appeared poised to run in the elections despite assertions that they want the government to respond positively to a set of demands.

The Umma Party said after a lengthy meeting on Friday that their participation in next week’s poll is contingent upon fulfillment of eight conditions which include ensuring the neutrality of the media and freedom of access to it by all political parties, government funding of election campaigning, prohibiting the use of government resources by any party, regulation and determining a specific ceiling for campaign financing and spending, recognizing that elections in Darfur region will be incomplete and creating a body to oversee the work of the NEC.

Furthermore, Al-Mahdi’s party demanded that the right of South Sudan to hold the 2011 referendum as planned should not be subject to negotiations or political maneuvering.

The party said that should the government agree to the aforementioned terms, the elections must be postponed till next May which is different from the original date proposed by opposition parties which falls in November.

But today Al-Mahdi softened its stance saying that the government responded to 80% of its demands and that they are negotiating the remaining 20%.

Nafie today said at the NCP headquarters said that opposition parties will have no choice but to take part in the elections "after losing the external support".

The parliamentary, local and presidential elections are a crucial step in the 2005 north-south peace deal that ended a 21-year civil war and paves the way for a referendum when southerners would decide whether they will opt for secession from the Muslim-dominated north.

(ST)

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  • 5 April 2010 06:59, by Gatwech

    Dear readers,

    The so-called Northern opposition parties are just crying wolf because they have been left in the cold after trying to use SPLM to kill CPA and particularly to kill the referendum on self-determination.

    These people spearheaded by Sadiq Al-Mahdi used John Garang in the past in their NDA marriage and blackmailed Garang from joining the right vision of self-determination for the South and perhaps beyond soon.

    They have forgotten that they are today dealing with more wiser and visionary leaders focused on rowing the boat to the shore for the people they dearly love. Independence is the final destiny.

    Gen. Gration has done a very good job by approving in silence the withdrawal of Yasser Arman and the giving a go a head of the presidential and the rest of elections.

    I admire him for his recent statements saying the US government is preparing for the independence of the South, and not the so-called unity of the already failed unity of Sudan.

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    • 5 April 2010 19:14, by mohamad adam

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  • 5 April 2010 07:10, by Deng Wel Deng

    Perhaps what can be term legitimate is what be organise by the oppositions. I do believe there are one to three irregularities somewhere but all those can’t illegitimates the credibilty of the whole election.The concern is referendum

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    • 5 April 2010 14:19, by Gatwech

      BREAKING NEWS: YASSER ARMAN SPLITTING SPLM INTO NORTH AND SOUTH

      By MIRAYA FM (Website),

      The Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Salva Kiir Mayardit, has called an emergency meeting of the party’s political bureau. The meeting in Juba is expected to discuss the SPLM elections boycott.

      The discussions include the stance taken by 13 SPLM candidates contesting for governorship posts who have frozen their elections campaign with intentions to boycott Sunday’s polls.

      On Sunday, SPLM supporters gathered at the party’s headquarters in Khartoum calling for Yasir Arman to reverse his withdrawal and participate in the republic’s presidential elections.

      The demonstrators accused the National Elections Commission (NEC) of manipulating and violating the electoral process.

      .................................................................

      It is now becoming clearer that Yasser Arman and his Northern Sector have joined the Northern Opposition parties in their conspiracy to look for ways to destroy the coming referendum. This has been the intention of Yasir to push for boycott of election in the whole North after learning that he would fail the elections.

      Yasir wants to fail together with the referendum if he could not win to postpone the referendum himself. He and his group called SPLM-North joined by Pagan Amum have picked boycotting the elections as the only way to cause crisis with NCP and disrupt the process of elections and therefore of the referendum since the former is the prerequisite to the latter.

      Southerners in the SPLM should now be careful and refrain from jumping in support of this boycott the SPLM-North.

      The SPLM Political Bureau should DISOWN those 13 candidates for governorship who have sensed their loss in the elections and want to destroy the chance to referendum in the South.

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    • 5 April 2010 19:20, by mohamad adam

      ????? ???? ???? ??? ???????? ????? ?? ???? ???????

      ?????? ?????? ???? ?????? ?????? ??????? ??? ??? ????? ???? ????? ?? ???? ???????? ??????? ????? ??? ????? ?...
      ???????? ...
      ??????: ????????

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  • 5 April 2010 07:15, by Dinka Boy

    We South Sudanese know Yasir Arman more than El Bashier,

    We need Election to be done at the right time and we want SPLM to put back his presidential candidate( Yasir Arman).

    What are the evidences that help you that Mr Yasir Arman is not a legitimate leader who indeed can,t guarantee South Sudanese referendum in 2011?

    First, Arman is a full SPLM cammander who served the interest of South Sudanese since 1986 till the signing of CPA. His struggle in case of our interest can make him the president of Sudan understand the contract of CPA accord.

    Now, we mean that Omer El Bashier will give referendum in 2011 if Sudanese in general elect him in this month?

    My Southerners, if SPLM withdraw Yasir Arman because we South Sudanese think of him as an obstacle in 2011 referendum,then we all are wrong. Why?

    Because the Arman presidency has no obstacle of referendum. He will and can not force South Sudanese to unity. We have to know that this election has been propose and it’s a must election that SPLM will not skipped unless if we agrred for War due our SPLM violation. Or we South Sudanese agree for the postponement of election and referendum to the farther notice.

    I beleived all know the precedures of how to handle contract,but if we not then it will be the blame to all of us at the nearest future.

    Yes, we think of Arman as Arab guy,but we will not do us harm than the ways many of Southerners thought of it. Why SPLM worried about ICC and the problem of Darfur. Are we sure that Bashier will hand Us the free referndum because of him being the president of Sudan. No dear brother.

    These issues of Darfur will probably take couple of years and it will delay the referendum that we are all yearning for. My friend, i really want Arman to compete with Bashier in this April no latter then next year so that we can quickly go to the referendum that was schedule next year.

    The withdrawal of Arman is an hazardous step that will not serve SPLM by peaceful means unless by war. Certainly, tell me latter in 2011 if we will get our independent while we had skipped this election. My prediction is too high then any other hypothensis that my brothers are wishing.

    SPLM is not clear because some of leaders like traitor Riek Machar said that Arman was the one who demand his withdrawal. Is that right?

    Some others said that there irregularities and the sign of rigging of election, then what are the evidences,and why not we provide cues to NEC and monitors about the irregularities;instead of we SPLM just withdrwal our candidates without concerned. Fear for what! who knows that Arman will take the seat so that we freely can go to 2011 without any alternation.

    SPLM and PB made a wrong decision that will take South Sudan to nowhere. I don,t think we will achieve 2011 while we have not participated in 2010. Tell me latter unless SPLM get it by war. Thanks

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    • 5 April 2010 13:17, by Mel mosa

      Hey Dinka boy

      You have not idea about what going on between NCP and SPLM. The both government are from military background. If you don’t have experience military politician, please keep quiet and watch.

      Thanks

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    • 5 April 2010 18:59, by Time1

      Dinka Boy

      Armans case is closed, please forget it and move forward. lets talk about this elections and what the future will bring fromt eh different candidates and the different levels of elections, this election is not only about who will be president, it is about what change can the elected individuals bring on the ground, what change can those elected in parliament bring? what changes will governors make in their states in terms of democracy and development, do not waste every bodies time on one candidate who wants to be president, this elections is not about grabbing power, its is to initiate a democratic process, to set the stage for the begining of that process, even though not completely perfect but a good start that will influence future elections.

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    • 5 April 2010 19:20, by mohamad adam

      ????? ?????: ???? ??? ???? ??????? «????? ????»

      ??????: ??? ????

      ??? ???? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? ????? ?????? ???? ????? ?????? ??????? ?? ??? ????????? ?? ??? ??? ??? ???? ??? ??????? ??????? ??????? «????? ????» ??????? ??????. ???? ?? ??? ??????? ??? ????? ????? ??????? ?????? ??? ??????? ?????? ????? ??????? ???? ????? ????? ??? ???????? ??????? ???????? ?????? ?????? ???? ?????? ??????? ????? ???? ??????? ?????? ???? ????? ??????.

      repondre message

  • 5 April 2010 07:41, by mohammed ali

    If one becomes neutral for one second and forget about his political,ethenic,tribal or whatever affliation; he should ask :why is this huge change in the American policy?

    Obviously the explanation given by Almahdi, the least,we can say about it is it is biased.He simply wants to recruit the event to his interest.

    So, why?What do we have that intersts America that much?Obviously America wants to legitimize it’s change of policy through elections.The same as Albasheer against the ICC! The questions remains:WHY?

    Isn’t this a good reason to make us look to ourselves with or without secession?

    Doesn’t this(change in policy)tell us that we have something very valuable, the OTHERS run after it and make US fight and kill OURSELVES for nothing!

    A moment for thought, before being engulfed a big fish!

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  • 5 April 2010 08:03, by Hillary B.M.L,M

    Enough is enough, Election and referendum are spoiled.

    Political Intruders entered strongly to make every things useless and those are Northern Parties and other figures inside SPLA among them is Mr. Yasir Saeed Arman. If am not mistaken, do we know who is Yasir Araman? Ja’ali by Tribe, do he want South to Separate? off course No. So what do thinks of his and all other Northern Opposition Parties views toward South Sudan?

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    • 5 April 2010 09:12, by mohammed ali

      Hillary,

      Lt us take things one by one.Let us finish with elections.The northern opp.parties are suffering from disuse atrophy!They are not going to survive for log.This is a fact of evolution.

      After finishing with elections ,we will start to prepare for the refurundum.Up to that time let us concentrate on elections!There will be time to debate it,but it must be fair,free and transparent, above all it should be accepted and respected by all parties!

      But our focus should be on our national interest!Wheather we remain united or seperated that is something else.We will still influence each other wheather we like it or not!Fightying between ourselves was never in our national interst.Now it has stopped let us look forward,seperated or united!Let us look beyound our petty differendes, sometimes stupid difference like arabs, non arabs,nubian,jalyeen ,dinka, neuer,shaygia,shuluk..or whatever.

      We are living outside Sudan and tolerating to live with different ethinicities..are they shuluk or shaygia, neuer,dinka jalyeen,jalaba or whatever in the countries where we live?do we live with them with our tribal mentality?So..why we donnot do the same in our own country and land?!It is only when we think about our country, we start practising our foolishness.It is sad!

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    • 5 April 2010 23:21, by mohamad adam

      n tribune
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  • 5 April 2010 09:57, by telfajbago

    Hahahaha!!!!.It’s only today the Sudanese political parties and activists knew what El.Bashir’s ambassador Scott bn Gration is and what he is doing. The unscrupulous Presidential envoy had vowed to institutionalize injustice, genocide and the killing of the innocent civilians in Darfur,since their deal with El-Bashir of counter-terrorism is paying off. roll up your sleeves the marginalized groups of Sudan,the world is governed by interests.

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    • 5 April 2010 10:34, by Gatwech

      telfajbago,

      We the South Sudanese are leaving you in the mess by January 2011. Wait until that time when you can roll up your sleeves and kick asses, okay? We are out of this mess!

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      • 5 April 2010 11:17, by Lokorai

        Dinka boy,

        I have observed your writing carefully and have come to conclude that you aren’t a Southerner after, to be Dinka. If you are one however, then you are very very naive...

        Your bad manners have gone overboard and hope there is someone to tell you the damage you are doing to intellectuals.

        Please don’t insult our leader Dr. Machar or the SPLM party- I thought I had asked you to do it kindly.

        Leave Southerners alone, please!

        Lokorai

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        • 5 April 2010 11:57, by Bonifacio

          Lokorai,

          Leave this Dinka Rat to me, Iam now busy of sending his life out of this earth of our grand-father. Just only one week i swear!!! or unless he improve his behaviour so as to quit my JUJU on following him.

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          • 5 April 2010 14:36, by DASODIKO

            Gatweck you are nut and very emotional according to your continous foolish comments. I would like to tell you that; things are not achieved by day dreaming. The America and International Community as you are putting in mind will not fight for your Independent, this in one thing. count with me since the signing of the CPA how many people were killed on the eyes of the UN where the supperpower America is a big memeber. Through tribal fightings which is instigated by the NCP, about 500, 000 innocent civilians lost their live. The UN was brought in there to prevent the killing of a single individual.

            In short no one will fight your war but you; and you without alliance you can do nothing; so please people of South think double on your comments towards other suffering people of the margin or you will end up in a dead lock. NCP is preparing for war and you are preparing on papers work to decide the referandum. Five years has passed like a day nothing was respected so let us wait and see.

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            • 5 April 2010 15:01, by Gatwech

              DASODIKO,

              Making an alliance between a rat and a cat cannot work because the cat can end up swallowing the rat. This is like SPLM alliance with the opposition parties that are known for even accusing the NCP of working to separate the South from the North.

              If you are for independence of the South, how come you want to ally with those that reject it (independence)? That is a foolish argument on your side.

              Yes, don’t think that we don’t know there is war coming. And we know how it is coming. And we want to make it clear which direction it comes from, not by confusions using political prostitution with oppositions.

              Bashir signed the CPA and has to shoulder it or violate it himself. We want him to violate it himself, not through the opposition groups, okay?

              We already have our plan ’B’, dude........

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            • 5 April 2010 15:30, by mohammed ali

              DASODIKO ,

              It is always easy to blame the Jalabba.This will not solve any problem!

              Do the Jalabba or the NCP or whatever incite this tribal war on the web pages.You ,the intellectuals even in your "diaspora!" are divided horribly along tribal lines.The bloody fightings in Cairo few years back and recently in Austrelia ,were not instigated by the NCP or the Jalabba.

              Divided or united,there is a big problem it shoul be faced honestly and courageously!

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          • 6 April 2010 01:52, by Achom

            Dinka boy thanks brother, our southern people doesn’t have sense of respect at all. how can we lead New sudan if we are not giving respect to each other. Dr, Machar made it clearly to every bodies, that election is not for one person but seem to provent Bashir not going to the ICC. Bashir must go to court let one of his vice take over the country. election is not for individual person, is for all citizen of sudan.

            thank you

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      • 5 April 2010 19:53, by Malakal

        Gat-witch,

        When did you become a Southern Sudanese? Stop being grossly absurd. Your uncle Riak is trying to make Unity State part of the North, you did not comprehend that? Well my friend I think you are headless chicken.

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        • 5 April 2010 20:19, by Gatwech

          Malakal,

          Your comments make no sense at all. You always comment like a mad man.

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        • 6 April 2010 01:57, by Achom

          Gat-w, we are here to addressing the points clearly, I real too don’t get what you are saying.

          Thanks

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  • 5 April 2010 14:15, by Gatwech

    BREAKING NEWS: YASSER ARMAN SPLITTING SPLM INTO NORTH AND SOUTH

    By MIRAYA FM (Website),

    The Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Salva Kiir Mayardit, has called an emergency meeting of the party’s political bureau. The meeting in Juba is expected to discuss the SPLM elections boycott.

    The discussions include the stance taken by 13 SPLM candidates contesting for governorship posts who have frozen their elections campaign with intentions to boycott Sunday’s polls.

    On Sunday, SPLM supporters gathered at the party’s headquarters in Khartoum calling for Yasir Arman to reverse his withdrawal and participate in the republic’s presidential elections.

    The demonstrators accused the National Elections Commission (NEC) of manipulating and violating the electoral process.

    .................................................................

    It is now becoming clearer that Yasser Arman and his Northern Sector have joined the Northern Opposition parties in their conspiracy to look for ways to destroy the coming referendum. This has been the intention of Yasir to push for boycott of election in the whole North after learning that he would fail the elections.

    Yasir wants to fail together with the referendum if he could not win to postpone the referendum himself. He and his group called SPLM-North joined by Pagan Amum have picked boycotting the elections as the only way to cause crisis with NCP and disrupt the process of elections and therefore of the referendum since the former is the prerequisite to the latter.

    Southerners in the SPLM should now be careful and refrain from jumping in support of this boycott the SPLM-North.

    The SPLM Political Bureau should DISOWN those 13 candidates for governorship who have sensed their loss in the elections and want to destroy the chance to referendum in the South.

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    • 5 April 2010 15:31, by DASODIKO

      Haaaaaaaaaaaa, plan (B) you are still fighting among yourself, your fight may be on the net. Please follow up the issues you raise. My readings to your mind is that you are not a good thinker you are just Rudy Poo Johnny come lately, and happy go lucky type or you are just a NCP cat inside SPLM/A in South Sudan. God be with Kiir& Machar, if you are their thinker.

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      • 5 April 2010 17:39, by mohammed ali

        DASODIKO

        I will accept that I am a bad thinker!Why donnot you become the good thinker and I will follow you.No problem with that!It doesn’t matter wheather I am NCP or SPLA as long as we agree on simple common principles.Is there any difference between a republican and a democrat or a labour and a conservative.We have petty differences, but we fight for them to death!That is stupid.

        Be the thinker and I am ready to follow you!

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  • 5 April 2010 18:29, by Time1

    The northern opposition is not popular and has no strong support countrywide, they also do not understand the Sudanese problem, Gration is just trying to find a solution were everyone would conpromise to reach a peaceful end which satisfies all sides withint he CPA framework.

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    • 5 April 2010 18:55, by Time1

      The northern opposition should stop being selfish, there are also other views apart fromt heir own views, what is needed is a consensus, no one can have everything but everyone can have something, this is the policy which is working now for this elections, a middle ground is needed for all candidates and parties not just opposition demands alone, considering opposiiton will not even win if they are given more chance, they are weak and have no support

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Memory, healing and transformation in South Sudan 2014-07-23 05:55:08 Memory, Healing and Transformation in South Sudan A Working Paper by David K. Deng July 2014 Contents Introduction 1 What is memorialization? 2 Timing 2 Risks 3 Principles 3 Integrity 3 (...)

South Sudan: Independence Day marred by ongoing war crimes and looming famine 2014-07-09 01:39:56 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE 8 July 2014 South Sudan: Independence Day marred by ongoing war crimes and looming famine · Both sides to the conflict committing war crimes and crimes (...)

UN urged to probe alleged cover-ups and manipulations by its mission in Darfur 2014-06-26 05:40:52 Strengthen Peacekeeping Mission’s Rights Reporting, Civilian Protection (New York, June 25, 2014) – The United Nations secretary-general should investigate alleged cover-ups and manipulation of (...)


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