SUDAN WATCH: Last opportunity to demand postponement of Chad's May 3 elections

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Last opportunity to demand postponement of Chad's May 3 elections

When it comes to journalists and Darfur, Julie Flint is my favourite. She has written extensively on Sudan and, with Alex de Waal, authored "Darfur: A Short History of a Long War."

In the following excerpt from her latest piece in The Daily Star April 15, 2006 entitled "The lethal link between Chad and Darfur" [hat tip CfD] Flint offers a great solution that makes sense:
"If concern for peace in Darfur extends beyond rhetoric, serious action is needed to avert a further deterioration in Chad in the event that Deby can, on this occasion, cling to power. Deby has scheduled presidential elections for May 3. He won fraudulent elections in 2001 and broke a promise not to stand again by amending the Constitution to enable a third term. The chaos in Chad is reason enough to demand a postponement of the May elections, which are set to repeat the farce of 2001, and to convoke, under international supervision, a national conference to launch a genuine democratic process. Sudan's Military Intelligence must be made aware that involvement in a proxy war against Deby will carry a heavy price.

Sudan's denial of any connection to the Chadian rebels should be treated with the contempt it deserves. But the Sudanese connection must be put in context: Chad's crisis is essentially a domestic crisis and its solutions are primarily domestic. In the 15 years since Deby took power, the international community has failed signally to push for democratization of his brutal, authoritarian regime. Chad, like Darfur, requires a genuine, truly popular political process that will create enduring peace. This may be the last opportunity to demand it."


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