Khartoum, Sudan, Apr 30, 2010 / 02:03 am
Though areas of Sudan have reported peaceful elections, a bishop in the south of the country warns that genocidal violence could begin again. The transformation of political disputes into serious conflict is now “a likely scenario,” he says.
Bishop of Tombura-Yambio Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, commenting in a statement to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), said people’s frustrations were heightened by allegations of corruption in the April 11-15 general elections. The elections were the first multi-party poll in 25 years.
President Omar al Bashir’s National Congress Party, the incumbent party in Khartoum, was victorious in the election. Sitting Vice-President Salva Kiir and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) scored up to 90 percent in its southern heartlands.
The election was marred by reports of voter intimidation, vote-rigging, ballot mix-ups and breaches of voter privacy.
An arson attack on a truck transporting ballot papers took place in Bishop Hiiboro’s region of Western Equatorial State.
“The election results may spark serious violence [soon],” the bishop told ACN. “The violence may be compared to nothing less than a genocide because there are many deep-seated animosities in the hearts of many people of different ethnic groups in the south.”
He warned that resentment festers over unresolved issues such as the border dispute between north and south Sudan centering on the oil-rich Abyei region.
“Until this self-inflicted crisis is managed in a constructive way, the possibility of the entire nation descending into the abyss is a likely scenario.”