Well, since I last wrote, a lot has happened in Sudan in regard to the elections. Here are a few key items:
- It came out that ballots that were supposed to have been printed in South Africa to prevent duplication were in fact printed by the Sudanese government’s printing press, with duplicates (read: election fraud). Oof.
- Deficiencies in media freedom
- Lack of education on the voting process for those in rural areas (i.e. most of Sudan’s population)
- A drop in the number of available polling stations
- President Bashir responded to said Election Monitors by suggesting he would cut off the fingers of those who “interfere in [Sudan’s] affairs.” I’d like to think he was speaking metaphorically.
- Luis Moreno Ocampo, the now-famous prosecutor at the ICC, compared Bashir to Hitler, implying that monitoring an election under the rule of a leader indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity will be nearly impossible.
I was trying to keep my hopes up about these elections, praying that they would truly be free and fair. However, after the past few weeks and the new, unfortunate developments that have occurred, I’m starting to worry. According to the Sudan Tribune, many within Sudan are even pushing for the elections to be delayed until November, threatening to boycott them in April if not. If both international consultants AND Sudanese citizens don’t think the country/National Electoral Commission is ready, then I too cast my vote to postpone them.
So, at the end of the day, those of us over on this side of the world who are not International Election Monitors or ICC Prosecutors can only do our best to learn, stay up to date, and pray for peace and justice in Sudan. In fact, thanks to the folks here at His Voice, I discovered the Sudan Global Day of Prayer that Samaritan’s Purse (an organization my husband worked for that I fully endorse), is spreading the word about. At the very least, I encourage you to view their daily list of prayer requests in Sudan and say a prayer for the elections, or whatever other events may take their place in the next few weeks.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, Grant Sudan Your Peace.