African Union, IGAD praise Sudan security for peaceful polls

Khartoum- Sudan (PANA) -- Two organisations, the African Union and the Intergover nmental Authority on Development (IGAD), on Sunday hailed Sudan for a peaceful p o lling and vote counting.
Speaking at separate press conferences in Khartoum during which they gave their interim reports on the conduct of the general elections, the two organisations s a id the police, military and paramilitary formations were civil in the manner the y handled voters.
The forces had come under severe criticism during the polling period, with a num ber of monitors taking issue with police and army.
However, AU and IGAD said the retraining of the police had ensured that they did not intimidate and reflect the might of the government.
The continental body, while acknowledging problems associated with literacy and experience, singled out security forces for not being an impediment to the elect i ons.
In statement read by Kunle Adeyemi, the AU observed: â?Considering its recent p olitical history, the numerous challenges relating to the size of the country, t h e security situation and the political tensions prevailing ahead of the election s â¦the election was a monumental milestone in the history of Sudan.
â? IGAD observer, Mr Yussuf Nzibo, said the problems voter rolls and name mix-up an d cases of names missing in the registers were enough reasons to trigger rioting at polling centres.
â?But the police and the army remained relaxed and did not try to show might.
â ? Earlier in the day, Sudanese civil society had protested the refusal of the nati onal electoral commission to heed opposition calls to postpone the polls.
They s a id the withdrawal of opposition candidates had made the poll results illegitimat e and unacceptable.
In response, Adeyemi dismissed the protests, saying: â?We agree that the electi ons were not perfect.
However, you do not expect somebody who did not take part t o say anything positive.
The election was a building block for future elections.
â ? The Sudanese polls, whose results are expected in the coming two days, have also been acknowledged as credible by the European Union, the Carter Centre, Japan, G ermany, Canada and Brazil, all of which appreciated the peculiar circumstances i n which the poll took place.

18 april 2010 16:01:00

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