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Published 30th April 2010

Vol 51 No 9


Sudan

Stolen votes yield a hollow victory for Khartoum

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Vote-fixing in an election lacking any credibility has galvanised opposition in the North and may undermine the ruling party

A beaming President Omer Hassan Ahmed el Beshir waved his stick triumphantly as his victory was announced in Khartoum on 26 April. Yet the ruling National Congress Party faces a succession of challenges after what many African and Western officials call deeply flawed elections – though mainly in private. The divided and formerly supine Northern opposition now looks determined to continue the struggle triggered by the polls.


A good vote in Africa

Free, fair and good-humoured. They were organised and monitored entirely by Sudanese and their results were widely accepted as free and fair. Those were Sudan’s landmark elections ...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Africa’s journalists are being caught up in increasingly paranoiac, and sometimes murderous, national politics. On 24 April, three journalists in Nigeria were killed in two separate incidents: Edo Sule Ugbagwu of The Nation was gunned down at home, and Nathan Dabak and Sunday Bwede of the Light Bearer were killed while reporting the communal violence in Jos.   In neighbouring Cameroon, three journalists – Serge Sabouang, Robert Mintya, and Ngota Ngota Germain – are being held in Yaoundé’s Ko...
Africa’s journalists are being caught up in increasingly paranoiac, and sometimes murderous, national politics. On 24 April, three journalists in Nigeria were killed in two separate incidents: Edo Sule Ugbagwu of The Nation was gunned down at home, and Nathan Dabak and Sunday Bwede of the Light Bearer were killed while reporting the communal violence in Jos.   In neighbouring Cameroon, three journalists – Serge Sabouang, Robert Mintya, and Ngota Ngota Germain – are being held in Yaoundé’s Kondengui gaol accused of trying to discredit the Secretary General of the Presidency, Laurent Esso. And the government of Congo-Brazzaville has suppressed evidence about the burning to death of Franco-Congolese journalist Bruno Jacquet last year.   Last week, several African reporters explained to the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Geneva how they chased stories such as human trafficking, arms smuggling and corporate connivance in corruption. Among the speakers were Mary Akuffo (Ghana), Annie Mpalume (Zimbabwe) and John Grobler (Namibia), all of whom investigated illegal mining operations. Joining them were Frank Nyakairu (Uganda), who wrote some groundbreaking reports on human trafficking, and Ken Opala (Kenya), whose stories on conditions for prisoners on death row have sparked calls for prison reform in Kenya. More than ever, their voices are needed.
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