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Sudan: Using the web to promote fair elections, justice and democracy

As we are waiting for final results of the historic elections in Sudan, let's look at organizations and movements using the web in different ways to campaign for justice, freedom and democracy in Sudan.

Sudan Sham Elections 2010 is a network committed to sustained action for peace in Sudan.

The network says, “An indicted war criminal, responsible for millions of deaths, will never be a legitimate leader”:

We are regular citizens around the 50 United States and DC, standing with the people of Sudan—the marginalized, the disenfranchised, and the brutally oppressed—in demanding truth and strength. An indicted war criminal, responsible for millions of deaths, will never be a legitimate leader.

This is Sudan Sham Elections 2010 Twitter page.

Sudan Sham Elections 2010 has launched a new phase of its campaign called i On Sudan:

iOnSudan is a platform that gathers and disseminates reports from different sources, including general users, reporters known to iOnSudan, and reputable news organizations. iOnSudan cannot verify that any one report is completely reliable or accurate. The importance of this platform comes from the picture that is painted from the accumulated reports over time and space. As iOnSudan grows and develops, we hope that strong relationships are created between reporters, advocates, and the iOnSudan Network as a whole, so that accuracy and reliability can be better ensured.

i On Sudan connect reports of violence, abuses, and other events to advocacy activities in the United States and around the world.

People living in Sudan have a chance of becoming an iOnSudan Reporter:

- Do you live in Sudan?
– Do you have regular communication with Sudanese?
– Are you a Sudan based civil society organization?
– Are you part of an international NGO?

iOnSudan relies on reports submitted by anyone with relevant
information relating to Sudan. By submitting reports from you or your organization, you will be helping to create awareness around the world about current events in Sudan. You will be helping to raise local voices and empowering advocates to mobilize to action.

i On Sudan has been using Ushahidi to allow citizens to send election related reports. Sudan VoteMonitor has also been collecting reports via SMS and email and display them on a map.

i On Sudan is also on Twitter and Facebook.

Save Darfuris a coalition that raises awareness and speals the truth to power on behalf of the people in Darfur. Save Darfur has an election page and a blog.

Robert Lawrence has an election roundup on the blog:

On the last of five days of polling in Sudan, reports from across the country continued to document technical problems, electoral irregularities, and unfortunately violence and intimidation.

News was dominated by reports that nine members of Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP) were killed in South Sudan three days ago. The NCP blamed the Sudan People’s Liberation Army – but SPLA leaders denied the violence was coordinated and described the incident as an isolated, individual crime by one of its soldiers. In other news, the youth movement Girifna reported on its website that two of its members had been detained in Khartoum yesterday. The Committee to Protect Journalists called on the Sudanese authorities to immediately drop criminal charges against prominent journalist and opposition party member Al-Haj Ali Warrag. Authorities charged Warrag on Sunday with “waging war against the state” in connection with an article that he published on April 6.

Here is another roundup of day three of voting by Robert Lawrence:

Day three of voting continued much as that of the first two days. As noted yesterday, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) extended voting an extra two days so polls will now close on Thursday, April 15. There were continued reports of serious flaws in the balloting process, particularly as it relates to the voter registers, where many voters are finding it difficult to locate which polling place they are registered at. This appears to be particularly true in South Sudan, where by some estimates, some polling locations have had less than ten percent turnout. According to one report by Reuters, at one polling station in the southern town of Torit, there were 1,323 registered voters, but only 29 (or 2%) successfully made it to the poll on the first day.

Opposition leaders such as Sadiq al-Mahdi, of the Umma party described “what is happening now [as] … chaos,” and stated that the election has turned from a celebration into a funeral. Along the same lines, Yasir Arman, who withdrew as the presidential candidate of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) called for the dissolution of the NEC citing “huge mistakes.”

Sudan365 is a movement that was launched on 9 January 2010. It is a movement for a brighter future of the people of Sudan. It was formed 365 days from when a referendum is due to be held to determine the future of South Sudan.

Sudan365 interviews Alsarah, a Sudanese born singer, songwriter and ethnomusicologist. Alsarah has reworked a song about voting in Sudan.

You can join the group on Facebook.

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