Caritas says elections in Sudan need to stabilize peace and encourage development.
Further violence would set back the peace process, threaten relief operations and put millions of people at risk of poverty, death and desperation.
Fr. Pierre Cibambo, Africa Liaison Officer for Caritas Internationalis, said, “The elections need to be a step towards a stable peace and development for Sudan. It is imperative to ensure free, fair and inclusive elections. The provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement must be implemented fully and faithfully. All parties must abstain from violence.”
The 11-13 April poll is Sudan’s first national multiparty elections since 1986. International observers fear that political rivalries will spill over into violence, sparking off new clashes between different ethnic groups. Some political parties have already called for a boycott and levels of violence in the south remain high. A return to full blown war would have dire consequence, especially for children and displaced people already weakened by years of conflict and poverty.
The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement ended decades of war between north and south, but much more needs to be done to ensure all Sudanese can live in dignity and peace. At least 2.7 million people remain displaced and need to be reintegrated into society. A major food crisis hit the south in 2009, leaving one out of two children suffering from malnutrition.
Caritas is present throughout Sudan. In Darfur, Caritas is helping 350,000 people, including 240,000 who have lost their homes, with clean water, healthcare, peace building and livelihoods. Caritas is also supporting 58,000 Sudanese refugees living in camps in Eastern Chad.
In Southern Sudan, Caritas is providing food aid, seeds and food for work to 35,000 people until the 2010 harvest, especially in the Ezo, Tombura and Nagero areas, which are too remote or dangerous for other aid agencies to work in.
Please call Patrick Nicholson on +39 06 698 79 725 or +39 334 359 0700
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
with any requests.