Banjul- Gambia (PANA) -- The Associate Director of the International Refugee Righ ts Initiative, Olivia Bueno, has expressed fears that violence may erupt in Suda n in the build up to the 2011 referendum that will determine the secession of Sou t h Sudan from the North.
Bueno told PANA in an interview in Banjul, alongside the 47th session of the Afr ican Commission on Human and Peopleâ?s Rights meeting: â?In fact, there has bee n violence in Sudan for the past years, leading to the displacement of many citi z ens.
â? She said even the demarcation was likely to spark conflict, given that the South succeeded in its cessation bid come the January 2011 Referendum, while noting t h at some parts of the country had oil resources but acknowledged that a structure had been put in place with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Bueno, who is currently attending the 47th Ordinary Session of the African Commi ssion on Human and Peoplesâ? Rights as a participant of Non-Governmental Organis ations, noted that her organisation is also working with the Darfur Consortium o n the plight and situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs).
During the months leading up to the elections, she said, these restrictive polic ies enabled the Sudanese authorities to systematically suppress fundamental huma n rights guaranteeing dialogue and civic engagement.
â?Traditionally, marginalized groups at Sudanâ?s peripheries, civil society an d the political opposition continued to be excluded and targeting of these group s occurred in direct relation to the electoral process,â? Bueno said.
According to her, strong statements and threats were issued by Khartoum in the w eeks leading to the elections against those who voiced disappointment over the p r ocess, including lack of progress made in remedying lessons learnt from the regi s tration process and in legal reform.
Bueno noted that the goal of the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) is to enhance the protection of the rights of the displaced worldwide.
IRRI grounds its advocacy in the rights accorded in international human rights i nstruments to those who are forced to flee and strives to make these guarantees e ffective in the communities where the displaced and their hosts live.
IRRI recognizes that it is vital that the voices of displaced and host communiti es are heardâ"and heeded.
It is non-profit, non-governmental organization based in New York and in Kampala , Uganda.
In the US, IRRI has close ties with the Social Science Research Council, while i n Uganda, IRRI collaborates with the Refugee Law Project of Makerere University i n Kampala.