afrol News, 16 April - After five days of polling in Sudan, in the first multi-party elections in twenty-four years, there is still very little hope for peace after the opposition cried foul of irregularities and alleged vote rigging.
It may seem that Sudan's peace settlement may not actually come through the ballot box, but rather through more dialogue and ironing out of differences between the warring factions.
The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon is already commending and encouraging dialogue after the polls as promised by the ruling party under the President Omar al-Bashir, who still hasn't been let off the hook on the international wanted list for humanitarian crimes.
Elections in Sudan were last experienced in 1986 and almost two decades of civil war between the north and south are the only bitter fruits that the people of Sudan will ever remember as the end result of multi-party elections.
Even with the 2005 north-south peace deal, which ended two decades of war, there is very little peace that has been experienced in Sudan, especially in the South.
Sudan's 2010 election did also not attract all players to contend, with part of the opposition saying the poll was already misconstrued. Most parts of the South did not vote at all, while in those areas where voting took place, it was an uphill for most of the voters to find their names on the roll.
In some cases, where voters were persistent and determined, their names were found places in other areas, sometimes very far from the original polling stations.
Depending on what the international observers will say, Sudan's real peace settlement is far from being achieved, taking into consideration the long years of violence that displaced and disposed people of their homes, belongings and family.
President Bashir on the other hand, is already sure of a win and through his aides is already mapping the way forward for the country, 'the way forward' that may not necessarily be inclusive of all political players in the country, even for just their views.
For instance, the new government of Mr Bashir is ready and preparing for opposition protest of the election outcome. Whether preparation to respond to the protests would be positive or forceful, it is yet an issue to unravel, but not in the so very distant future.
Despite isolated cases of violence in some small pockets of the country during the polls, Sudan's hot-spot Darfur has been reportedly very quiet over the polling period. The region has seen continued fighting since 2003 even though the 2005 north-south peace deal was expected to cool tempers across the country.
The elections are regarded as an important milestone in the implementation of the CPA, which was signed in 2005 to end two decades of warfare pitting the Sudanese Government against the southern-based Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). The SPLM formed the administration that runs southern Sudan after the signing of the CPA.
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