Elections are synonymous with freedom?
I’m deeply concerned about what will happen to our refugee and IDP friends in the coming weeks. Reports by International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch, Enough Project, and many others have clear details of continued violence, as well as expectations of what the situation might like look if and when al-Bashir steals the elections.
I am worried that the bulldozing of the IDP camp outside Khartoum only a week ago is only the beginning to what will happen all over the country. The United States has continued to support elections, which are clearly far from free or fair. Even with all the pressure from the Sudan Sham campaign, yesterday the State Department made this bold statement on twitter: @StateDept U.S. supports the elections in #Sudan as an initial step in Sudan’s democratic transformation as envisioned in the CPA.
It angers me to think that America will stand for democracy at any cost. Even if elections are far from being democratic, the US stands by them simply because we think any elections are synonymous with freedom and liberty. If so Mr. President, Envoy Gration, and Secretary of State Clinton, how will these elections bring freedom to Fatne? How will they heal her cracked feet so she can return home? How will they provide opportunities for her children and grandchildren to grow up in their homeland? How will legitimizing a war criminal responsible for the deaths of her family and destruction of her only village bring her liberty?
For the past year, we have watched the United States stretch out their open hand to Bashir’s ruling party. We have seen refugees and IDPs remain faithful in their belief that Obama will change their situation. But nothing we have done, has been successful at changing Fatne’s situation. She remains in Camp Kounoungo, waiting for freedom and peace so she can return home.