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SuNDE condemns detention of nonpartisan observers in Juba

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SuNDE Condemns Detention of Nonpartisan Observers

CONTACT: Edmond Yakani
SuNDE Coordinator

0126596709 (sudani)
0477154122 (gemtel)

April 14, 2010 (Juba) - Today, Sudanese Network for Democratic Elections (SuNDE) observers were removed by
security personnel from polling stations in Hai Jalaba, Youth Trading Center, and Saint Theresa in Juba
East and Kator South Constituencies.

This continues a troubling trend in Juba of observers being obstructed from carrying out their right to
observe the election process. This trend started yesterday when 19 domestic observers were removed
from three polling centers in Kator South Constituency by unknown security personnel and taken to the
Public Security office and eventually detained at the Police of the Public Order office near Konyo Konyo
market. The polling stations observers were removed from include Comboni South School (PC #10),
Bakietha School (PC #2), and Lologo Reformatory School (PC #3).
Fourteen of the nineteen observers were from SuNDE. One SuNDE observer was assaulted by the
security personnel.

SuNDE representatives were told that security personnel were given orders to remove all domestic
observers from NGOs from polling stations.
The security personnel entered the polling stations without authorization from any election official,
which is a violation of the rules and procedures set forth by the National Election Commission. NEC
guidelines and rules only allow security personnel to enter polling stations at the request of an election
official.

These incidents are an obstruction of SuNDE’s right to observe the electoral process and impairs the
transparency of the voting process at the polling stations where the SuNDE observers were observing.
Moreover, the unjustified arrest and removal of accredited observers may heighten a sense of
intimidation in certain areas. SuNDE will continue to actively monitor the safety of their observers in
Kator South, Juba East and other constituencies in and around Juba for the remainder of the electoral
process.

SuNDE encourages election officials and other law enforcement agencies to investigate these incidents
and hold the persons responsible accountable.
SuNDE would like to thank the members of the Central Equatoria State High Election Committee, UNMIS
officials, and representatives from USAID for working with SuNDE to secure the release of the observers.

SuNDE particularly appreciates the concern shown by the Central Equatoria SHEC members who
personally escorted the observers back to their polling stations yesterday.
The Sudanese Network for Democratic Elections (SuNDE) is a non- partisan coalition of over 75 Sudanese civil
society organizations. SuNDE is observing in all ten states of Southern Sudan and is deployed in 52 out of 78
counties.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.


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