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‘AU undermines its own principles by sending election observers to Sudan’

April 9 - 2015 NEW YORK
Ahmed Hussain Adam, Darfuri scholar and Visiting Fellow at Cornell University’s Institute for African Development
Ahmed Hussain Adam, Darfuri scholar and Visiting Fellow at Cornell University’s Institute for African Development

The African Union undermines its own founding instruments and principles by sending a mission to monitor the Sudanese general election next week, according to Ahmed Hussain Adam, Visiting Fellow at Cornell University’s Institute for African Development.

Last December, the AU announced that former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, would lead the election observation mission to Sudan.  

In a commentary received by Radio Dabanga today, Adam, a prominent Sudanese scholar from Darfur, called the AU decision to send an electoral monitoring mission “a very regrettable move and utterly unacceptable”.

The scholar states that the decision “clearly violates the very principles and guidelines of the AU in this regard, including the African Union Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa of 2002. The Declaration sets out clear guidelines, principles and conditions for free and fair elections. None of those principles and guidelines enshrined by the Declaration are met by Sudan’s government”.

 “Unless the AU reverses it decision about monitoring Al Bashir’s elections, the AU will be a part of the problem, and consequently undermines its role in Sudan.”

“Sudan is effectively at war with itself,” Adam says, pointing to the ongoing repression of civic freedoms, the crack-down on the press, and the increase of political detentions -“The government’s prisons are bursting with political prisoners”-, the active boycotting by the main opposition parties of the election, and the passive rejection by the majority of the Sudanese people to the next week elections.

“Al Bashir’s regime is violating international humanitarian and human rights law by day. The majority of the Sudanese people are either languishing in the camps for the displaced or refugee camps in the neighbouring countries, or affected by the ongoing conflicts in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile.

“Sudan is effectively at war with itself.”

“The AU is failing on Sudan’s test case,” the commentary reads. “The AU needs to reverse its approach to and policy on Sudan swiftly and drastically. It should show the Sudanese people and the world that it is serious about its African Solutions for African problems slogan.”

The Darfuri scholar warned that “unless the AU reverses it decision about monitoring Al Bashir’s elections, the AU will be a part of the problem, and consequently undermines its role in Sudan”.

 


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