Washington, D.C., March 10, 2010 – The Voice of America (VOA) has launched special broadcasts to Sudan and created a content-rich website on elections more than a month before Sudanese are to vote in the country's first free presidential contest since 1986. "The people of Sudan suffered through years of civil war. Now, they're getting a chance to vote in elections. VOA wants to make sure they have all the information they need to make informed choices," said Steve Redisch, VOA's executive editor.
VOA's "Sudan Elections in Focus" website http://www.voanews.com/sudan contains stories about the candidates, analysis and commentary by bloggers, details about election preparedness and logistics.Every Friday in March, VOA will air a 10-minute special report on the English-to-Africa stream. Programs examine the candidates, their platforms, electoral preparedness, and the ongoing conflicts over land and resources in Africa's largest country. It can be heard at 1645 UTC and 1845 UTC on VOA shortwave frequencies 6080 and 15580. Starting in April, the Sudan special report will air every day.
The presidential elections pit Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir against South Sudan's President Salva Kir. The elections are proscribed under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which ended 20 years of civil war between the North and the South when it was signed in 2005. Also at stake in the election are seats in Parliament. In 2011, Sudanese are scheduled to conduct a referendum that would allow South Sudan to secede from the North. The referendum, also part of the 2005 peace deal, is a source of tension between the North and the South.
(VOA Press Release)