SUDAN WATCH: Sudan's changing map - peace deal could spark more conflict

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Sudan's changing map - peace deal could spark more conflict

There is no room for complacency as humanitarian situation in Darfur remains grim, warns Oxfam.

Press reports today are pointing to trouble near the Chad-Sudan border, near the area a third rebel movement NDMR are operating. AFP reports yesterday that attacks in Chad by unidentified men near the border with Sudan's western Darfur killed 15 Chadian villagers.

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Chadian soldiers guard the border with Sudan. (AFP/file)
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Sudan's changing map

A report at PINR Jan 14 titled "Sudan's Changing Map" predicts that Sudan's territorial integrity may soon collapse as the regional rebels see their best opportunities in the fractional chaos that will follow. Note the Conclusion, as follows:

"While the December 31, 2004 permanent cease-fire agreement between the S.P.L.M./A. and Khartoum will bring stability to southern Sudan, the rest of the country is likely to descend into fractional collapse as Darfur's genocide continues and the northeast violently dislodges from Khartoum's influence. If the Darfur and N.D.A. negotiations are not quickly brought to a resolution, Khartoum will likely lose control of Sudan's geographical peripheries. The Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement (J.E.M.) in Darfur and the Beja Congress and the Free Lions in the northeast are attempting to force this conclusion by stalling the negotiations and escalating the violence in their respective territories (there is some evidence that the J.E.M. is coordinating its actions with the northeastern rebels to this end).

John Garang will be in a unique position as the top vice president in Khartoum to help force the regional peace negotiations to a resolution. While he will pursue a strategy of protecting al-Bashir's government, in order to secure the terms of the north/south peace deal, this will likely take the form of leaning on the regional rebel groups to accept the terms on the table. The West and the U.N. will help give his lobbying weight, but that does not mean the rebels will cave. Sudan's territorial integrity may soon collapse as the regional rebels see their best opportunities in the fractional chaos that will follow."

Full Story.
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Interview: Sudan peace deal could spark more conflict - Mahdi

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Excerpt from Reuters report Jan 16:

Sudan's last elected leader said on Sunday that a deal to end more than two decades of civil war in the south would encourage more people to take up arms because the deal did not have popular support.

Sadiq al-Mahdi, twice prime minister and leader of the Umma party, historically Sudan's biggest, told Reuters the deal signed a week ago was incomplete and, if not rectified, would lead to the fragmentation of Africa's largest country.

"The agreement as it stands does encourage people to seek benefits by military pressure," Mahdi said in an interview in his home in Khartoum.

"If you say the goodies, the benefits, are going to be simply handed out according to military pressure then you are going to get mounting military pressures which ultimately will divide the country up," said Mahdi, great-grandson of the charismatic Mahdi who ruled Sudan in the 1880s. Full Story.
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Sudan's First VP Garang makes Darfur plea

A BBC report today says Garang makes Darfur plea.

Garang says the planned national unity government had to move fast to resolve the Darfur conflict peacefully -- he does not think the Darfur conflict would jeopardise the peace deal between the SPLM and the Khartoum government -- he says there is a need for a similar comprehensive peace accord for the Darfur region, based on justice and fairness.

"There has to be a change of policy, a policy that is based on peaceful settlement, a fair and just political settlement achieved through peaceful means, not through war - addressing the concerns of all the groups in Darfur, both the African nationalities and the Arab nationalities," he told the BBC.

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Garang says fairness and justice are important

Note: The UN says there are about four million people who fled the south because of the conflict and who are expected to return. Many of the relief agencies operating in the south say they have begun preparing for a massive influx of returnees back to their homes.
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Sudan's First VP pledges to hold soon talks with Darfur rebels

While 10,000 people in the refugee camps die each month from malnutrition and disease, Sudan's First Vice President, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, pointed out that the coming weeks will witness sessions of negotiations, decisions and arrangements to put off the war in Darfur and to realise the unity of rank through the ongoing negotiations with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Cairo. Full Story.

Where has he been on the Darfur peace talks all these months?

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Ali Osman Taha
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Sudanese minister calls for Arab media support on Darfur

The source of this news via Sudan Tribune Jan 16, is Sudanese radio -- it says a Sudanese minister has called on Arab media to play its role in combating inimical media campaign which is being carried out by prejudiced Western media against Sudan. It calls for Arab media support on Darfur.

Note also, the report says a delegation of the Arab Journalist Union expressed its solidarity with the Sudanese government in realising peace and accord, as well as resolving the Darfur problem.

So, as always, here's continuing to be wary of interviews and reports pumped out from Khartoum and Arab nations.
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Janjaweed poaching in Congo - endangered white rhinos to be moved to Kenya

A report from IOL says despite decades of war-related poaching by gunmen from Sudan and Congo, local and international conservationists in the Congo have long managed to protect rhinos and elephants in the park.

The report explains: rangers have fought off southern Sudanese rebels who had poached bushmeat from the former Zaire to fund their 21-year insurgency in the mainly Christian and animist south -- the crisis has been exacerbated by northern Sudanese poachers who hail from the same ethnic group as the Janjaweed Arab militia accused of raping and killing in Darfur -- and last year, they began crossing into Congo on horseback, slaughtering rhinos and taking their horns back to Sudan.

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There could be more northern whites in zoos than in the wild

Five of the few northern white rhinos left in the wild will be flown from Democratic Republic of Congo to prevent poachers wiping them out, conservationists said on Saturday. Fewer than 10 of the rhinos are believed to remain and with heavily armed poachers carrying out frequent raids in the wilds of northeastern Congo, moving the beasts to sanctuary in Kenya is deemed the only option to guarantee their survival.

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