February 23, 2010

Election violence - Beja Congress supporters attacked

Al-Sahafa reports that bloody clashes erupted yesterday between a group loyal to Presidential Assistant Musa Mohamed Ahmed and militias loyal to the NCP leader Suleiman Ali Beetai of Hamishureib [Hamishkoreb] Religious Schools. Seven of the Beja Congress’ supporters were wounded, one seriously.

Beja Congress Party spokesperson Salah Barkuein said a delegation from the party visited “Talkuk” area for elections campaigning but they were ambushed by the Beitai’s militias commanded by his son Mahmoud Beitai, SAF captain.

COMMENT: What we have here is a failure to understand the democratic process. This process is supposed to work because everyone has an opportunity for free speech, to say what they want. Decisions about what people say are made at the ballot box. The Beja Congress team was there to do some elections campaigning. Good for them. However, a military man loyal to the political party that is also the current governmental party has decided that alternative voices calling for alternative policies are unwelcome, and further, that these unwelcome voices need to be silenced through physical intimidation.

This brings shame upon the NCP, and might actually increase the desire to hear the Beja Congress policies, if they are so threatening to the current regime.

Telkuk is in Red Sea State, about 60 km southeast of Tokar, and about 20 km from the Eritrean border.

Source UNMIS media report, Feb 23, 2010

UPDATE [from Feb 24 UNMIS media report] It turns out that four of the Beja Congress fellows who were attacked were candidates!!

"Kassala says security measures to prevent poll-related incidents
The Kassala State High Elections Committee has downplayed a recent attack by NCPsupporters on four Beja Congress candidates in the state, reports Akhir Lahza. The headof theState Security Committee, Mohamed Abdelmoneim, described the incident as “normal”. He said his committee took measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents."

UPDATE : March21. Beja Congress releases Press Release railing against election vilolence.
The Beja Congress calls upon all national parties, and all the forces of democracy and civil society organizations to join together and unite ... to topple ... darkness and tyranny and arrogance ..., and [to develop] the construction of united democratic Sudan enjoy the freedom and human dignity, prosperity and stability ...
Source http://sudannewseast-begaor.blogspot.com/2010/03/blog-post_21.html

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