This was supposed to be an exciting time for Sudan, instead it is a scary time. Sham elections are set to begin this Sunday. They are not, as they should be, a step towards peaceful democracy for people that have lived decades of horrible violence and abuse. These elections are a false statement of legitimacy for an indicted war criminal, president al-Bashir. They also mean a step in the wrong direction, taking innocent civilians closer to the brink of an explosion of violence and instability that can only rival Sudan’s own brutal past.
For our friends in the refugee camps, it means that those camps are all they can see as a home—almost as far as they can imagine in to the future.For us, those of us that care about human rights and the real people behind the intangible issues, it means that we must step up. We cannot count on our government to do the right thing, just because it’s the right thing to do. We’re going to have to push and drag them, if necessary, to put humanity before politics.Our little SGN/i-ACT team is a part of many efforts that help you, regular citizen-advocates, connect with regular citizen in Darfur and all of Sudan—and then fight for their human rights. We’ve been, for the last 50 days, involved with and coordinating the Sudan Sham Elections 2010 campaign. It has been all about action!
Now, we are launching, with this same Sudan Sham network, a monitoring-to-advocacy network called i On Sudan. It combines state of the art technology with old-fashioned community building to create a bridge between citizen-reporting to citizen-advocacy.
In these coming days, please stay connected to what is happening in Sudan. Take some quick, simple actions that can make a difference in the lives of millions. It is scary times, but there is always the opportunity to make it exciting times—by getting involved and finding out what WE CAN DO today!
Gabriel and the SGN Team