JUBA, Southern Sudan — Sunday, November 1st marked the start of the month-long period of voter registration throughout Sudan, a key step toward the first democratic elections to be held in the country in 24 years, now slated for April 2010. Here in Juba, the capital of southern Sudan, a parade organized by the United Nations Mission in Sudan, or UNMIS, along with Sudanese civil society groups and international NGOs helped to kick off the process. But it is hard to find much reason for celebration in such an occasion, given the enormous risks and threats that the electoral process presents in the coming months for the citizens of Sudan and for the fragile peace between the North and South.
Click here to read my full field dispatch.
IRIN, the news organization affiliated with the U.N. humanitarian coordination agency, also published a feature about voter registration today which is worth checking out. (Full disclosure: They quote me, but that’s not the only reason I’m recommending it.)