The recent multi party elections in Sudan, although a subject of much contestation, remain a living proof that the much troubled country will at last achieve what has been most elusive for a long period of time, relative peace.
While it would be naive for anyone to expect an election, especially held under the circumstances that the Sudan elections were held, to correct the wrongs of the recent past in that vast country, it can be hoped that a new dialogue will emerge out of the ruins to be led by the newly elected leaders of Sudan.
The people of Darfur, Southern Sudan and other troubled regions of the Sudan deserve a new beginning.
Democracy is not perfect, especially when it comes to elections. We have seen instances where polls have been rigged and elections stolen. This scourge, however, does not only hold true in Africa but is prevalent even in established democracies.
What cannot be denied though is the capacity of democratic institutions to bring the marginalised into the fold to participate in deciding the future of their country.
It was heartening to see ordinary people in Darfur standing in long queues waiting to cast their vote.
To imagine that not so long ago, most the same people were under siege from government backed Arab militias who engaged in genocide.
The elections present an opportunity for the international community to declare a new partnership with the people of Sudan.
We cannot allow the chaos that prevailed in the past few years and the killings that visited the poor under the noses of the UN and the African Union, to once again become the feature of Sudanese life.
While it is expected that President Omar al-Bashir and his goons will return to power, the only encouraging factor is the enthusiasm at which the People of Sudan embraced their chance to bring change. This augurs well for Sudan and for Africa.
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