Posted by: africanpressorganization | 13 April 2010

Sudan / USA

 


 

 

Sudan / USA

 

 

WASHINGTON, April 13, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefings

Taken questions

Special Envoy Scott Gration is on his way back to the United States with voting underway in Sudan. I think we’re satisfied with the start of the process, but we’ll refrain from commenting specifically on how it’s going until voting is concluded later this week.

Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson has arrived in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, where he’ll meet tomorrow with Foreign Minister Basile Ikouebe and President Denis Sassou Nguesso.

MR. CROWLEY: — basically the focus of his trip was to help Sudan prepare for this election. Now that the election is underway, he felt that his work was done for the moment.

QUESTION: Okay, what do you make of the extension by two days the decision to delay?

MR. CROWLEY: I think we had anticipated that what Sudan had pledged, that there would be a three-day block, and that inside their – that process was in any case where there was a delay in beginning formal voting, that there would be an extension on the back end.

David.

QUESTION: On the same subject, a lot of these Sudan activist groups are saying that this was a sham and the government never really relented on allowing the opposition to have media coverage and that it’s already clear this was a setback for the whole CPA, including the referendum that they’re going to have.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, as we have said, we’ve had concerns about the atmosphere and the environment in the run-up to the election, and we will evaluate what happens now. Let’s let the election actually occur. Let’s have the international observers report on what they saw, and then we’ll evaluate the results from there.

That said, the election, as we have noted, is a significant step towards full implementation of the CPA. Obviously, it’s going to be a difficult election for Sudan to carry out. They haven’t done this in a while. So we will not be surprised if there are irregularities. There’s some evidence that there have been some difficulties in the first two days of voting. But it is important that the election reflect the will of the Sudanese people and we’ll have more to say once the voting is completed.

QUESTION: So just to follow up on that, the U.S. position is that we don’t know whether or not this election will reflect the will of the Sudanese people yet, that that’s a decision that has yet to be made based on reports coming in from poll monitors; is that right?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think that it’s a little bit – we understand the challenge that this represents for Sudan. We understand that in the last few years, there have been significant conflict. But that said, this is an important step for Sudan. But as to the particulars of the voting, I think – we think it’s appropriate, lets the voting take place, let the observers tell us what they saw, and then we’ll evaluate what the consequences are. But we would like to see the result reflect the will of the Sudanese people, understanding that given more than two decades since they’ve held an election, we recognize there are going to be difficulties.

QUESTION: Is it the U.S. position that the current difficulties we’ve seen in the run-up to the election are more of a logistical challenge and that, as you keep on repeating, they haven’t done this in a while —

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah.

QUESTION: — or more a product of the Khartoum Government actually rigging the system?

MR. CROWLEY: The – well, the – rigging is a loaded term. I mean, there certainly have been challenges in preparing for the election. There’s certainly more that the Government of Sudan could have done and should have done to create an appropriate environment for the election. And – but beyond that, the people of – we think the people of Sudan want to see this election take place.

That’s one of the reasons why we have supported this election as part of the Comprehensive

Peace Agreement. And this election is an important milestone because it is the first of a number of steps that Sudan is going to take in terms of determining its future. Clearly, we’re focused as well on this election and what it says about the institutions – election institutions – that will be vital as we look towards January and the upcoming referendum on the future of Southern Sudan. So we thought it was appropriate to have this election, notwithstanding the likelihood there would be considerable difficulties.

 

SOURCE 

US Department of State


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