Preventing Electoral Violence in Sudan

Sudan's elections, currently planned for April 2010, are an important milestone of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the Southern People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in 2005. The Institute's Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention and Education and Training Center-International have partnered to conduct workshops throughout Sudan in preparation for the elections. The workshops include civic education and democracy components, conflict resolution skills training, and case studies and simulations.

A key milestone in the implementation of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is the organization of multiparty elections. Scheduled for April 2010, these elections are particularly significant because they are the first to be held throughout Sudan; previous elections largely excluded the south. The April elections will also mark the first time the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) will be tested in multiparty polls since the end of Sudan’s civil war in 2005.

Conducting the 2010 elections present significant political and logistical challenges for Sudan. Given the special circumstances of these polls, targeted efforts must be made to ensure that electoral conflict does not turn violent.

Building on previous work in Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire, USIP’s Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention (CAP) and Education and Training Center, International (ETC-I) began organizing a series of electoral violence prevention workshops in Sudan in January 2009. These workshops addressed strategies for managing electoral conflict in Sudan by combining a case-study approach with training modules in conflict resolution and citizenship skills.

EVP Phase I: North/South Workshops

In the first phase of its electoral violence prevention (EVP) work, USIP conducted a series of workshops throughout north and south Sudan with participants who represent various facets of Sudanese society. Participants identified key sources of conflict and triggers of violence in other African elections, in addition to building their capacities in conflict resolution and citizenship skills.

EVP Phase II: Training of Trainers Workshops

The second phase of EVP, launched in November 2009, focused on developing a North/South network of Sudanese trainers to spread the program content more widely and sustainably in the short period of time before the elections. This network is expected to continue the peacebuilding work even after the elections, as Sudan continues its political transition.

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