Darfur peace talks to resume within two weeks - Sudanese president
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ismail is quoted as saying the next round of Darfur talks should be final.
At the summit, leaders of Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan, Eritrea and Chad reviewed the situation in Darfur, saying the conflict should be resolved within the framework of the African Union.
Photo: Libyan leader Col Gaddafi (C) attends an African mini-summit on Darfur in Tripoli, Libya. (AFP/Osama Ibrahim)
Note, Eritrea has good relations with all the major opposition movements in Sudan, many of them armed groups that have openly pledged from Asmara in Eritrea to overthrow the government in Khartoum.
Sudan has demanded that Eritrea not harbour armed Sudanese opponents or offer them assistance as a condition for normalising relations, Foreign Minister Ismail said. (AFP/File/Yasser al-Zayyat)
Cihan News Agency Istanbul report May 18 on summit says Sudanese Embassy Press Attache in Ankara Abdurrahim Omer Muhiddin visited Zaman Newspaper and Cihan News Agency on Tuesday. Excerpt:
Muhiddin said the genocide never took place in the region and defined the Darfur issue is an issue of the "immigrants and the locals". The issue has been distorted in the international arena claimed the Sudanese official emphasizing that the problem became an issue due to an ongoing struggle between the immigrant Arabs and Negro locals. According to Muhiddin, such points of view were absolutely erroneous. The Sudanese official said: "It is very difficult to make the distinction between the Arabs and Negroes in The Sudan. Two societies mingled with each other like finger and a finger nail."
Photo: Sudanese President Lt. Gen. Omar el-Bashir attends the 3rd African summit to discuss the Darfur crisis late Monday night May 16, 2005, in Tripoli, Libya. (AP).
"The Abuja negotiations should be resumed by the end of the month", President Bashir told reporters.
"All the countries represented at the summit agreed to send delegations to attend the Abuja talks and contribute in narrowing the views between the negotiators," he said. Full Report AFP May 17, 2005.
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Four killed as refugees near Khartoum clash with Sudanese forces
May 17 Reuters report - four people killed [Update via Reuters Sudan says 17 dead] - and dozens injured when Sudanese police and soldiers clashed with refugees from southern Sudan in a camp near Khartoum, witnesses say. Excerpt:
Slums and camps surrounding the sprawling capital are home to more than two million people from all over Sudan, but most of them are southerners who have fled two decades of civil war.
The areas have little or no running water or electricity, and aid agencies have found it difficult to fund assistance to them. Khartoum authorities say they want to demolish the slums to relocate residents to permanent, planned housing plots.
The governor of Khartoum insists the relocations are done with the consent of the people and their leaders. But the UN has criticised the policy, saying the relocations of the residents are not carried out in consultation with the people, and they are moved to desert areas miles out of the capital where there are no services.
One UN official at the scene said hundreds of people were fleeing the fighting. "It is not possible to move around inside still," the official said.
The UN sent representatives to the area to try to calm the situation.
Photo: Refugees near Khartoum clash with Sudanese forces
"The troops, army and police came in this morning and they shot at the civilians," said Majak Machar, a resident of the camp in Soba Aradi, about 30 km (19 miles) south of Khartoum.
"They wanted to take the people to another area and the people fought them because they didn't want to go."
"The civilians then attacked the police and have killed at least two of them" said Majak Machar, a resident of the camp in Soba Aradi.
May 18 update: Governor of Khartoum responds
Photo/Report Associated Press: Governer of Khartoum state, Dr Abdul Haleem Mutaafi, right, tells a press conference in Khartoum Wednesday, May 18, 2005 that a major political party which he declined to name had incited refugees of the Soba Aradi area leading to violence.
Sitting beside him in military fatigues is Tareq Mahgoub, Police director of Khartoum state. Many of the estimated two million war refugees camped around Khartoum are opposing forced relocation away from the capital. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)
Photo: Southern Sudanese refugees leave the camp in Soba Aradi, about 30 km (19 miles) south of the capital Khartoum, May 18, 2005. At least 17 people were killed and dozens wounded in clashes which erupted when Sudanese police tried to relocate refugees mainly from southern Sudan away from a camp near Khartoum on Wednesday, officials said. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin
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Sudan allows Ugandan forces to operate in Sudan
There has been no word in the press from John Garang and his former SPLM rebel group on the news that Sudan's President and Uganda's defence minister discussed Ugandan forces' deployment in Sudan under a UN mandate - and also renewed their agreement permitting Ugandan troops to continue to hunt the Ugandan LRA in Sudan.
The new agreement extends the Ugandan forces' stay in Sudan to June 30, 2005.
Presumably, the report at AllAfrica relates to South Sudan - it says the agreement, originally signed in April 2001, yielded tremendous results for Uganda. It has been renewed repeatedly since then and last expired on December 31, 2004.
"The agreement between Khartoum and SPLA has changed the entire scenario in southern Sudan," a source said.
Full Report May 17, 2005.
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Note: SOAT alert May 18 reports further arrests and detention of alleged SLA sympathisers.
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The Irish Government May 18 welcomed the release of Sudanese human rights worker Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam who was arrested in Kharthoum, ahead of his trip to Ireland to receive the inaugural Front Line award from President Mary McAleese.
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Sudan and Uganda sending troops to Somalia
Somali.net report May 16 says Sudan and Uganda are sending one battalion each to Somalia in the coming days.
Other African nations will take part in logistics and transportation of troops and equipment. These soldiers will help the new government relocate to Somalia from Nairobi, Kenya where it is temporarily located now.
Sudan and Uganda share a long border and often accuse each other of arming and training rebels.
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5,000 people in southern Sudan flee from Ugandan rebels
At least 5,000 people in southern Sudan have fled food shortages and attacks by the rebel LRA and sought refuge in northwestern Uganda since January, the UN High Commission for Refugee agency (UNHCR) said.
"[Some] said they were running away from LRA attacks, while the majority have fled their camp of Nimule in southern Sudan to Arua in Uganda due to food shortages, as relief supplies to the camp stopped some time back," UNHCR spokeswoman Roberta Russo, told IRIN on Saturday.
Full Report IRIN May 16, 2005.
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Update on Canada
Darcey in Canada explains the latest re Canadian troops for Darfur. More from Darcey later as and when there is news.
Update: Here is some: Kilgour speaks. Thanks Darcey.
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UN website for Sudan mission
Thanks to Coalition for Darfur for finding the new website of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS).
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Let's all be hummingbirds
Warm thanks to Ansel in America for this Japanese story, courtesy of Wangari Maathai:
When the forest where the hummingbird lived went up in flames, the other animals ran out to save themselves. But the hummingbird stayed, flying to and from a nearby river with drops of water in its beak to pour on the fire.
From a distance, the other animals laughed and mocked it. "What do you think you are doing?" they shouted. "This fire is overwhelming. You can't do anything."
Finally, the hummingbird turned to them and said, "I'm doing what I can."
[We can all be like the hummingbird, doing whatever we can says Wangari Maathai, the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is Kenya's deputy minister for environment, a member of parliament for the Tetu constituency, and founder of the Green Belt Movement.]
Tags: Darfur Sudan Libya Eritrea