Monday, 16 May 2011

SPLM rejects NCP victory in key border state

The Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement (SPLM) has officially rejected the election victory of north Sudan's ruling National Congress Party's (NCP) candidate, Ahmad Haroun.

Haroun was declared the winner of the governorship poll in the oil-rich South Kordofan state, defeating his closest opponent and SPLM's candidate Abdul Aziz Al-Hilu by some 6,500 votes. SPLM said the vote was rigged.
South Kordofan borders South Sudan as well as the disputed Abyei region. The state is due to hold 'popular consultations' in 2011 which will determine whether it remains in Sudan or joins South Sudan, but the process has not been clearly defined.

Haroun is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly mobilising Arab militias to commit genocide against Africans in Darfur, during his time as a minister in the region in 2003-4. He has contested the allegations.

Speaking on behalf of the SPLM on 15th May, spokeman Yasir Arman said, “We will not accept these results because the vote was rigged.”

Experts fear that this latest incident might provoke violence in the region where more than 1.5 million people have died during the decades of conflict.

Many believe that the ongoing tensions between the North and the South - quelled by a 2005 peace deal which paved the way for the South's independence, which will occur this summer - will flare-up again if various frustrated groups and individuals take up-arms once more.

Speaking to the BBC, an official from the Justice Africa think-tank, Hafiz Mohamed, said: "These people were fighting for 20 years and their aspirations are not fulfilled...The way things are going, it's leading to a deadlock, which will end up with people carrying arms to release their frustration…If it starts, no-one can stop it – it will affect the south, it will affect the north. With the war in Darfur, we are heading for dangerous times."

Sources: BBC News, Los Angeles Times, Sudan Tribute, Sudan Vision

For more information, please see the Menas Borders website, here.

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