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Jana Cavojska
photojournalist and writing reporter (Bratislava, Slovakia)

Lawyer by education, photojournalist and writing reporter now. Working for the best sold Slovak weekly magazine Plus7dni and occasionaly also for another weekly and monthly magazines in Slovakia (including streetpaper Nota bene distributed by homeless people). Member of board of trustees of Slovak non - profit organisation Človek v ohrození - People in Peril Association providing developing and humanitarian aid in 25 countries all over the world. Usually I report about people and their stories in different parts of the world. In my blog I would like to speak about the virtue of the "common" people in difficult life situations and about developing help which is really help and not just giving. You can see my photos on my website or in my facebook profile.


Elections in destroyed country

Published 09th April 2010 - 3 comments - 2549 views -

The elections will take place in Sudan on Sunday April 11. The first multi – party elections after 24 years. Civil war between central Khartoum government and separatist Sudanese People Liberation Army (SPLA) lasted for almost fifty years and killed approximately two milions people. And another armed conflict in Darfur province has also caused humanitarian crisis in the region. Electors census and elections were delayed several times due to the lack of capacities for organising them. And now, just before election day, several major opposition parties have announced they will boycott the polls because of Darfur situation and possible electoral frauds. The main party in South Sudan, Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM), is only contesting in the South.

Aside from this all – I think about elections in the post – war South Sudan. The war lasted for fifty years there. Three generations of people don´t know anything else but shooting, hunger, violence and slavery. There  were no schools there. There was no agriculture; people were permanently on the run from fighting soldiers. The only medicine help came from field – ambulances of foreign humanitarian organisations.

I´ve visited South Sudan twice, in 2008 and 2009. I remember no roads, just endless dryly bush. I remember hundreads of refugees returning to the empty places where there were their villages years ago. I remember life without electricity, telephone, newspapers; no way for sharing news. I remember almost empty market places. I remember soldiers of SPLA in every one village. I remember ill man who had to walk by foot three hundread kilometres to the nearest hospital where there was an X – ray. I remember desperate Slovak doctor in Mapuordit hospital speaking about parcel of 1200 kilos of milk – powder for starving children; SPLA soldiers confiscated and burned 900 kilos of it which according to them didn´t satisfy South – Sudaneese quality standards. I remember remote cattle – camps of illiterate cow herdsmen. I remember stories about people kidnaped and sold to slavery in northern part of Sudan.

How will illiterate people in distant, forgotten areas of South Sudan bush decide? How will they understand to the election and it´s significance?

Especially in places where the state has absolutely no sovereignty and the only thing which was able to provide for it´s citizens in last fifty years was war?

Category: Politics | Tags:


  • Hanna Clarys on 09th April 2010:

    They won’t. It’s terrible to say but there is no chance that president Bashir will lose power because of these elections. They won’t be free, they won’t be representative, most people won’t vote. And everything will remain the way it has been for decades.

  • Robert Stefanicki on 09th April 2010:

    Although elections in Sudan will not be free, UN special representative I.Gambari strongly engaged in promoting them. Most of the democracy experts agree that even flawed elections are better then none because of the ferment and opportunity for change they create. This is an interesting and controversial issue, I may later write my own post about it.

  • Sylwia Presley on 25th July 2010:

    Really good question!

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