from IDP Action
Published on 11 Mar 2010
1. IDPs in Sudan

2. The Census

3. Election Registration

4. Elections

5. Recommendations

Presidential and Parliamentary elections are due to be held in Sudan from 11 to 13 April. These elections - and the January 2011 referendum to be held under the terms of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) to decide on unity or secession for southern Sudan - are very tense moments for Sudan's fragile, partial peace. The various conflicts afflicting Sudan for the past 50 years, such as the north-south war and the more recent conflict in Darfur, among others, caused millions to flee their homes. These internally displaced persons (IDPs) fall outside easy categories for census-counting and electoral registration. Many IDPs resisted being counted and labelled resident of one area rather than another for fear of cutting links to their homeland and jeopardising claims to property. The census and election registration processes recently undertaken in Sudan are deeply flawed. The risk is these flaws add fuel to the fire, creating a vicious circle perpetuating violence and displacement. In some areas, in particular Darfur, the failure to count and register IDPs casts doubt on the legitimacy of any election held under the present register.