Thursday, 6 January 2011

Sudan referendum - is the news positive?

To begin 2011, a Referendum is due to take place in Sudan concerning independence for Southern Sudan.
A good starting point for finding information on this is the BBC news site. This has a clear guide to the issues, plus a timeline of recent history, profiles of voters and more.

Another good basic introductory guide is the IFES Election Guide. This has basic facts and figures about the referendum and the Sudanese electoral system.

A good source of news coverage from Sudan is Afro - online news portal which contains writings from African journalists.
Global voices online also has a section for comment from bloggers. It includes links to some interesting citizen media sites including blogs and YouTube.

Background on the importance of the referendum can be obtained from the United States Institute of Peace website This has an audio file of an event which discussed the management of the referendum. The site also has a free online library of papers covering security in Sudan.
It is also creating a Sudan-North South Border intiative library which will contain documents designed to strengthen inter-group relationships in the border areas commonly known as Tamazuj (Arabic for inter-mingling).

CSIS (American research body Center for Strategic and International Studies) has some reports which have polled Sudanese viewpoints on the referendum. It also has academic comment from its analysts.

A really interesting site to watch is the Sudan Vote Monitor. This is a civil society intitiative empowered by Usuhadi technology which will enable voters and civil rights monitors to mark and record on a map any incidents of electoral fraud or violence during the polling. The site also has up to date news polls about events.

Finally another civil society intiative is Sudan votes- which is financed by the German Federal Foreign Office and produced by Media in Cooperation and Transition (MICT). It contains personal reports from Sudanese journalists, twitter feeds and videos. Some material is archived from the 2010 elections. Some offered in Arabic only.

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