SUDAN WATCH: UK's Kinnock: EU may send observers to help Sudan have a credible election

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

UK's Kinnock: EU may send observers to help Sudan have a credible election

Baroness Kinnock in Sudan

Photo: British minister for Africa, Baroness Glenys Kinnock, seen here addressing reporters in Khartoum, warned that greater international efforts must be made to support Sudan's historic north-south peace deal. (AFP/File/Peter Martell)

Reuters report by Opheera McDoom, Tuesday, 12 Jan 2010 - excerpts:
Sudan's elections need credible monitors - Britain
(Khartoum) - Credible monitoring of Sudan's first multi-party elections in 24 years is essential and the EU may send observers to help ensure such scrutiny occurs, Britain, Sudan's second largest bilateral aid donor, said Tuesday. [...]

Britain's Africa minister, Glenys Kinnock, said there was an urgent need for an international effort to support the "fragile" north-south peace process ahead of the elections and a 2011 south Sudanese vote on secession.

"If we are to have a credible election there has to be freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom for the media," Kinnock, on a three-day visit, told reporters. [...]

Kinnock said she had held many talks with the EU about monitoring the elections.

"It's not announced yet so I can smile and say I'm fairly confident (EU monitors will come)."

Last week Britain announced a 54 million pounds aid package to Sudan.

At present the Carter Centre (of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter) are the only official observers, with about two dozen people to cover Africa's largest country of a million square miles. [...]

(Editing by Matthew Jones)
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