SUDAN WATCH: November 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

7 killed, 30+ injured in clashes between IDPs and gov't forces in Deleij camp and Geneina town, west Darfur

The adviser to the Minister of Information in the Government of National Unity, Dr. Rabbie Abdullaati, denied the involvement of the Sudan Armed Forces in the incident.

From Sudan Radio Service, Monday, 30 November 2009:
(Khartoum) - Seven people were killed and more than thirty others injured in the clashes between IDPs and government forces in west Darfur last Friday.

The clashes erupted when IDPs declared their support for Sudan Liberation Movement rebel leader Abdelwahid al-Nur and refused to take part in the voter registration exercise.

IDP spokesperson, Hussein Abu Sharati, described the incident to SRS on Sunday.

[Hussein Abu Sharati Arabic]: “On Friday, government forces and the Janjaweed militia came to register people in Deleij IDP camp and Geneina town, but the civilians refused to take part in the voter registration exercise, demanding that the government should bring peace by negotiating with the rebel groups in Darfur, disarm the militias and bring those who committed atrocities to justice. The IDPs said that they will only register if Abdelwahid returns to Sudan. That’s when the government soldiers and the Janjaweed started to force people to register. Then they asked the civilians to hand over the person that they wanted to vote for. Then they started shooting at people. They killed seven people and wounded thirty-seven others.”

However, the adviser to the Minister of Information in the Government of National Unity, Dr. Rabbie Abdullaati, denied the involvement of the Sudan Armed Forces in the incident.

[Dr. Rabbie Abdullaati]: “There is no evidence to prove these accusations. Maybe that incident was perpetrated by the Darfur anti-government groups who are divided into many factions. They want to disrupt the security situation, in order to send negative signals to other countries and bodies that support the anti-government groups in Darfur.”

Dr. Rabbie Abdullaati was speaking to SRS from Khartoum on Monday.
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UPDATE on Tuesday at 14:48 PM GMT UK December 1, 2009:

See Sudan Watch today: UNAMID strongly rejects accusations in a Sudan Tribune report against its peacekeepers

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Friday, November 27, 2009

U.S. Special Envoy Gration Sudan Trip Summary

It is critical that Sudanese citizens take advantage of the recently announced one-week extension to register to vote, as it is the only way for the Sudanese people to maintain their right to participate in the national elections in April 2010.

From US Department of State
U.S. Special Envoy Gration Trip Summary
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 27, 2009
The United States Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, has just returned from a November 16-November 23 trip to Sudan. He traveled to the areas of Khartoum, Abyei, and Darfur.

In Khartoum, the two parties to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)—the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)—continue their discussions to resolve key outstanding issues relating to the 2010 national elections and the 2011 referenda in Southern Sudan and Abyei. Without immediate resolution of these disputes, we are concerned about the chances for conducting credible elections and referenda. Unfortunately, the parties have not yet demonstrated the political will necessary to achieve resolution on these difficult and sensitive issues.

Special Envoy Gration also traveled to Abyei to observe the progress in implementing the July 2008 Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling on the boundaries of this area. There is an urgent need for enhanced on-the-ground communication about the PCA decision, including its impact on local communities, in order to allay community concerns and prevent potential conflict.

In Darfur, Special Envoy Gration’s meetings concentrated on the security situation along the Chad-Sudan border. In a disturbing trend, lawlessness and banditry have heightened tensions along the border. Addressing these ongoing security concerns is crucial for achieving a lasting peace in Darfur.

Finally, the Special Envoy visited four voter registration centers in Khartoum, Abyei, and Darfur, as registration for the 2010 national elections is currently underway. It is critical that Sudanese citizens take advantage of the recently announced one-week extension to register to vote, as it is the only way for the Sudanese people to maintain their right to participate in the national elections in April 2010. PRN: 2009/1181

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Large numbers of quality sheep from Darfur, western Sudan have been exported and this explains the rise in prices

The Feast of Sacrifice, or Eid al-Adha is a Muslim holiday which celebrates the story of Ibrahim, or Abraham, whose faith was so strong he was prepared to sacrifice his son to God.

Report by Sudan Radio Service - SRS
27 November 2009 - (Khartoum) - Livestock prices have risen in Khartoum as Muslims celebrate the Feast of Sacrifice, or Eid al-Adha.

Sheep are particularly in demand during the holiday period as they are sold to be slaughtered and eaten as part of the celebrations.

Sudan Radio Service spoke to traders who were selling sheep in the city on Friday. They say prices have risen sharply because Sudanese livestock exports have increased over the last year and there are fewer sheep on the market.

Salim Abdalla Hamad Salim is from Southern Kordofan.

[Salim Abdalla]: “The price of sheep has risen this year compared to last year because the export market has affected the prices and makes them expensive. Large numbers have been exported. I cannot say exactly how many have been exported but large numbers of sheep have been exported. Some animals are being sold for between 400 SDG and 150 SDG. Prices depend on the size of the animal. The big one has its price and the small one has its price also. The cheapest sheep goes for 135 SDG and the highest price is 500 SDG. This year, business is not going well because of the increase in prices.”

Ismail Abdalla Imam, from Kutum in Northern Darfur, says large numbers of quality sheep from Darfur have been exported and this explains the rise in prices.

[Ismail Abdalla Imam]: “We have special customers and we bring them the kind of animals they require. As you can see here, most of these animals are from western Sudan - these red ones are from western Sudan and the white ones are from eastern Sudan. You have to provide quality to stimulate the market and motivate the customer who comes to buy. That big white sheep over there will sell for around 550 SDG and the red one is also worth 550 SDG. The white one in the middle could fetch up to 330 SDG.”

Eid al-Adha is a Muslim holiday which celebrates the story of Ibrahim, or Abraham, whose faith was so strong he was prepared to sacrifice his son to God.

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South Sudan, Western Bahr el-Ghazal: Corruption among top government officials is delaying development in the state

Lino Agustino Adam, the director-general of Public Service and Human Resource Development in Western Bahr el-Ghazal, southern Sudan, is calling on the government to take a lead in fighting corruption in the region.

Report by Sudan Radio Service - SRS:
27 November 2009 - (Wau) - Corruption among top government officials is delaying development in the state, according to Lino Agustino Adam, the director-general of Public Service and Human Resource Development in Western Bahr el-Ghazal.

Agustino says that most offices are occupied by incompetent people, adding that the state is spending money on the salaries of employees who don’t deliver services.

[Lino Agustino Adam]: “You find someone in government telling you that they want their friend or relation to be appointed or employed in some kind of job, without putting the person in the budget. You put them in a job that doesn't suit them. Then they come to you saying, “I am the sister, or I am the son or nephew of His Excellency”. Dressing themselves like a lord, with five pens in their breast pocket and strutting around with a briefcase, when you give them a desk, they cannot work!”

Lino Agustino Adam was speaking to Sudan Radio Service on Thursday in Wau.

He is calling on the government to take a lead in fighting corruption in the region.
Sudan Radio Service - SRS new website will be online soon.

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National Electoral Commission says any Sudanese person with refugee status in Egypt will not be allowed to register

85% of southern Sudanese in Egypt who hold a UNHCR card have been prevented from voter registration.

From Sudan Radio Service, Friday, November 27, 2009:
27 November 2009 - (Cairo) - Eighty-five per cent of southern Sudanese in Egypt who hold a UNHCR card have been prevented from registering in the voter registration exercise.

The registration committee in Egypt announced that any person with refugee status in Egypt will not be allowed to register.

Speaking to Sudan Radio Service in Egypt, one of the registrars, Abubakar Abdelgadir, explains.

[Abubakar Abdelgadir]: “We have received instructions from the National Electoral Commission saying that anyone whose visa has been canceled by the Egyptian authorities and who has a refugee card should not be registered.”

The voter registration exercise in foreign countries has seen low turn-outs because the NEC has imposed a stringent set of registration requirements on Sudanese citizens living abroad.
Sudan Radio Service will be back online soon. This report was received by email.

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South Sudan: Registrars in Mundari East are having problems reaching voters

In Mundari East county, southern Sudan, the National Elections Commission (NEC) should make sure that the registration centers are properly identified, so that people know where to go to register.

When they wanted to show the people how to get to the center, the NEC officials used the same boundary tape the deminers use to indicate the presence of land-mines

Full report from Sudan Radio Service, Friday, November 2009 by email:
27 November 2009 - (Mundri) - The logistical challenges facing registrars in Mundri East county are making it difficult to register people in the county.

Speaking to SRS on Friday, the commissioner of Mundri East county, Wilson Api John, says that the NEC should make sure that the registration centers are properly identified, so that people know where to go to register.

[Wilson Api]: "When they wanted to show the people how to get to the center, the NEC officials used the same boundary tape the deminers use to indicate the presence of land-mines
. In Kideba, one of the registrars asked someone to go and register but he refused – he asked why the registration center was in a dangerous zone because he saw the tapes which usually indicate the presence of land-mines. It took a long time for people to understand that this was the place where they were supposed to register.”

Api added that a lack of transport is the biggest challenge faced by the voter registration team.

[Wilson Api John]: “The turn-out is very low. The officials who are supposed to be registering people are finding it hard to get to the registration centers. They do not have a means of transport - not even bicycles - therefore they are finding it hard to move around because the distance from the village to the registration centers is quite far. They have no means of transportation. They need at least a bicycle for them to get around.”

The commissioner of Mundri East, Wilson Api John, was speaking to Sudan Radio Service from Mundri.
Sudan Radio Service website at http://www.sudanradio.org/news.php is being redesigned and will be back online very soon.  

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

The National Electoral Commission has cancelled arrangements which made voter registration easier for Sudanese citizens living in Kenya

News report from Sudan Radio Service for Thursday, 26 November 2009:
(Nairobi) - The National Electoral Commission has canceled arrangements which made voter registration easier for Sudanese citizens living in Kenya.

Earlier this week, the NEC had decided that a valid passport or a student ID was enough to enable people to register. People without a valid passport were able to register if they were accompanied by a witness who could vouch for their identity.

However, speaking to Sudan Radio Service on Thursday in Nairobi, the Sudanese ambassador to Kenya, Majok Guangdong, said the Embassy had received a letter from the NEC which set out the new registration requirements.

[Majok Guandong]: "Yesterday, we received a letter from the National Electoral Commission indicating that the procedures should follow the law, which states that a person should be Sudanese, 18 years and above, holding a valid Sudanese passport and a resident permit. People who do not meet these requirements will not be able to register."

Ambassador Guandong fears that fewer people will register following the announcement of the new requirements.

[Majok Guandong]: "I think the number of people will definitely reduce because there is no flexibility and the people who will turn out will be just those who meet the new requirements. I am expecting that the numbers of Sudanese coming to register will drop considerably."

He urged Sudanese citizens living in Kenya to continue to participate in the voter registration exercise.
Click on National Election Commission label here below to view related news and updates. Cross-posted to Kenya Watch.
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UPDATE at 17:18 PM GMT UK Friday November 27, 2009:

Report by Sudan Radio Service, November 27, 2009:
(Nairobi) - Following the cancellation of arrangements which make voter registration easier for Sudanese living in Kenya, voter turn-out numbers are expected to decline.

The chairman of a Sudanese community association based in Nairobi, Dr. Senari Abdulwahab, says the National Electoral Commission is denying Sudanese who live abroad the right to register.

[Dr Senari Abdulwahab]: “It is very surprising, because when the representative from the Commission came we talked and he was clear that people should respect the law, but that there must be some arrangement made because most Sudanese nationals in Kenyan don’t have documents like a passport or a resident permit. We agreed and so I was surprised that after two days, the orders to relax the rules were canceled. After this has happened, we can not say that the registration process is for all Sudanese, because they have introduced regulations that are penalizing some people. It is clear that they do not want Sudanese nationals who live in Nairobi to register.”

Senari Abdulwahab was speaking to Sudan Radio Service on Friday in Nairobi.

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South Sudan: Juba's public health inspector has ordered all trucks selling water in Juba payams to be painted light blue

Imagine the fevers and stomach pains.  News just in from Juba, southern Sudan says water retailers in Juba have been accused of using sewage tankers to transport drinking water. The public health inspector for Juba county, Sebit Amusa Tongu’n, has ordered all water-sellers to abide by public health regulations and is quoted in the following report as saying:
We have ordered all the trucks selling water in the Juba payams to be painted light blue"
Email report from Sudan Radio Service, Thursday, November 26, 2009:
(Juba) - Water retailers in Juba have been accused of using sewage tankers to transport drinking water.

Speaking to Sudan Radio Service in Juba this week, the public health inspector for Juba county, Sebit Amusa Tongu’n, has ordered all water-sellers to abide by public health regulations.

[Sebit Amusa Tongu’n]: “We have ordered all the trucks selling water in the Juba payams to be painted light blue. This is a strategy to make sure that people don’t get confused between trucks carrying water and ones carrying sewage. So I would like to tell the citizens of Juba, Kator and Munuki that if you see a truck which is being used to sell water that is not painted blue, you should take its number and report it to us."

Tongu’n also said that it is not clear where exactly some water retailers get their water.

He said all water retailers should fetch water at specified points along the Nile, at sites where the public health office treats water with chlorine.
Sudan Radio Service's news headlines will return soon at www.sudanradio.org. With thanks to

Charles Haskins
News Programming Advisor
Sudan Radio Service (SRS)
A project of Education Development Center
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US Special Envoy Scott Gration's latest report from Sudan: “Along the Border”

Email from US Department of State
Wed, 25 Nov 2009 14:57:48 -0600
“Along the Border”
Scott Gration, Special Envoy to Sudan
Washington, DC
As our UN helicopter landed in Muglad, the large crowd of locals and tribal elders quickly approached our small plane. We were quickly ushered into a meeting hall, where we listened intently as the Misseriya tribal elders spoke passionately about their community’s concerns.

Muglad is a major town in Southern Kordofan, Sudan, and one of the ancestral areas of the Misseriya. It is just north of the Abyei region of Sudan, an area on the North-South border that has been a hotbed of tension and conflict. Ongoing disputes about the boundaries of this area led to a recent decision this year by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hague outlining the final boundaries. I was in Abyei when this decision was handed down, and I returned to the region last week to listen to the people from the area about how they’ve received this decision, including the nomadic Misseriya tribe and the Ngok Dinka, whose traditional homeland is the Abyei Area. Having heard from Ngok Dinka leaders earlier that day, it was time to hear directly from the Misseriya. They made it clear that they were highly concerned about the PCA ruling, voicing their distress that Misseriya land had been taken away.

There has been a lot of misinformation about the PCA decision. Reports that the demarcation commission would build a wall on the border are not true, and reports that the Misseriya would be denied access are also false. In fact, the decision specifically grants access rights to the Misseriya and does not dictate the construction of any sort of barrier.

It is crucial that Sudan and the international community work to implement the ruling of the PCA. It is important that the demarcation of the border get underway, and it is also crucial that, as decided by the PCA, the Misseriya and the Ngok Dinka both are guaranteed access rights to the Abyei region. It is fundamental that we respect the rights and the needs of those who call Abyei and the surrounding areas home.

On this trip I also made a visit to Darfur. I traveled to El Fasher, North Darfur’s capital, and then on to El Geneina in West Darfur near the Chad-Sudan border. I met with UNAMID leaders and others to monitor the status of the security situation and related issues along the border. Ending the tension and the conflict on the border is crucial in bringing peace to Darfur. Additionally, with national elections in Sudan coming up in April 2010, I also took the opportunity on this trip to visit voter registration sites in Khartuom, Abyei, and Darfur. I look forward to sharing more of my observations from my trip in the following days.

Thank you for your continued interest, Scott.

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Southern Sudanese youth leaders say this time is the time for fighting with the ballot paper instead of with bullets

Report by Sudan Radio Service (SRS), Wednesday, November 25, 2009:
(Juba) - Southern Sudanese youth leaders are calling on young people in Sudan to come out and register in large numbers in order to take part in the coming general elections.

In an interview with Sudan Radio Service in Juba on Monday, representatives of the Juba University students’ association said that they will not be manipulated by politicians in the run-up to the 2010 general elections.

Dhal Adit Dhal, from JUSA, spoke to Sudan Radio Service.

[Dhal Adit Dhal]: “So many people have been hired to attack people. But what we have to do as young people is to make sure that this time is the time for fighting with the ballot paper instead of with bullets. We will go to our parents and other citizens to tell them about the importance of the elections. We should not be dragged blindly into them by the politicians. Sudan has been unstable for a very long time. We have to make sure that this time we make Sudan better. A new Sudan with all the different cultures and all the diversities!”

Adit called on young people to vote wisely in the coming elections and to elect responsible leaders who will act to create positive changes in Sudanese society.
Sudan Radio Service will be back online soon.

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South Sudan: Very few people in Mayom county, Unity state, are registering to vote

Report by Sudan Radio Service, Wednesday, November 25, 2009:
(Mayom county) - Registrars in Mayom county, Unity state say they are facing security and logistical challenges and very few people are registering to vote.

The head of registration at Ruathnyibol payam in Mayom county, Zachariah How Koryom, says he fears they may not register some people in the county.

[Zachariah How]: “There are some areas that can not be reached because of the lack of good roads in the constituency. Another problem is insecurity, because of disagreements between communities. We need the police to take care of security while we are moving from house to house. The people do not come to registration centers because they are not aware of the elections and they do not see the importance of registration. So we are carryiong out mobilization and registration exercises at the same time. In the town, the registration is okay because they understand it. We have registered 11,000 people in Ruathnyibuol alone."

Zacharia How added that Mayom county is one of the areas that has been severely hit by drought this year.

He urges the government to solve the problem before the elections which are scheduled for early 2010.

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SPLM-DC chair Lam Akol Ajawin accuses SPLM of harassing SPLM-DC members in southern Sudan

Report by Sudan Radio Service, Wednesday, 25 November 2009:
(Khartoum) - Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, the SPLM-DC chairman, says his party has presented a formal complaint about the SPLM to the chairman of the Political Parties' Affairs Council.

Dr. Akol is accusing the SPLM of harassing SPLM-DC members in southern Sudan.

Speaking in Khartoum on Tuesday, Dr. Akol’s party exhibited a copy of a letter written by the GOSS Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Dr Luka Monoja, on November 9, 2009. The letter urged the governors of 10 southern states not to cooperate with the SPLM –DC.

[Dr. Lam Akol]: “After the publication of this letter, which was sent to the governors of the ten southern states, no one can deny that the SPLM are responsible for harassing political activists and preventing political activities from taking place. This morning, we presented a letter to the chairman of the Political Parties Affairs’ Council and we briefed the Council on everything that is happening. It is an attempt to jeopardize our constitutional and legal rights, and we attached the letter written by GOSS to the governors of the southern states as proof that these kinds of practices are supported by the SPLM leadership itself.”

Dr Akol said his party members are being harassed on a daily basis in southern Sudan by SPLM security agents, following the directives issued by the GOSS.

He said his party will file a lawsuit against the SPLM in the Constitutional Court soon.
This report was received by email. Sudan Radio Service's website is being redesigned and will be back online very soon.

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South Sudan: Advisor to governor of Unity State has defected from SPLM to join SPLM-DC

Report by Sudan Radio Service, Wednesday, 25 November 2009:
(Khartoum) - The advisor to the governor of Unity State, William Twil, has defected from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to join the SPLM-DC.

Twil, who was the advisor to Governor Taban Deng Gai on issues of border relations between Greater Bahr el-Ghazal and Unity state, made the announcement at a press conference in Khartoum on Tuesday.

Twil said that the Government of Southern Sudan, under the leadership of Salva Kiir, has failed since he became the president.

He described the SPLM as the "big four" party, consisting of Salva Kiir Mayardit, Riek Machar, James Wani Igga and Pagan Amum

[William Twil]: “I have decided to leave the administration of Salva Kiir. First of all, there is a disintegration of the political and social situation in southern Sudan because of this person. If we don’t support Doctor Lam in order to rescue the people of Sudan from this personality vacuum, we are heading for a disaster. Day after day, we are hearing about the many problems in southern Sudan, but the reason that southern Sudanese do not want to really express themselves is because of hunger. If it weren’t for hunger, they would have spoken out. If someone speaks, he or she is removed from the ministry or from the department and consequently they and their children suffer. These people, they don’t belong to Salva Kiir and his administration which is dominated by Wani Igga, Riek Machar and Pagan Amum."

William Twil was speaking in Khartoum on Tuesday.
This report was received by email. Sudan Radio Service's newly designed website will be online soon.

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South Sudan: Juba Clean-Up Campaign funded by British government

Report by Sudan Radio Service, Wednesday, November 25, 2009:
(Juba) - GOSS President Salva Kiir Mayardit has participated in a garbage collection exercise, the Juba Clean-Up Campaign.

The campaign involved collecting rubbish in the town with the participation of government staff, the police and the army, UN agencies, NGOs and other stakeholders.

The Speaker of the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly, James Wani Igga, called on county commissioners to ensure that citizens in their counties are properly equipped to dispose of rubbish and litter:

[Wani Igga]: “All the commissioners - and not just the commissioner of Juba, should issue orders calling for every household to have a dustbin for garbage disposal which will be finally thrown in the main garbage collection bin.”

The one-day clean-up campaign is organized by the United Nations Environment Program, in collaboration with the Government of Southern Sudan.

The British government, which funded the operation, has allocated 3.7 million SDG in grants for waste management and environmental protection in southern Sudan.
Sudan Radio Service will be back online soon.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Opposition parties delay election boycott decision - Sudan on holiday for five days beginning tomorrow

Sudan's opposition parties said on Wednesday they would delay a decision on whether to boycott the first multi-party elections in 24 years because of the Muslim Eid holiday and extended voter registration.

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), which is the junior partner in the governing coalition, and 20 opposition parties had threatened to boycott the vote if a package of democratic laws were not passed by Nov. 30, showing a rare united front.

Because of the Muslim Eid al-Adha festival, Sudan will be on holiday for five days beginning on Thursday, making any decision on a boycott by Nov. 30 impossible, the parties said.

Full story: Reuters Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:15am EST (Reporting by Opheera McDoom, editing by Mark Trevelyan) Khartoum newsroom; +249 912 167 378; opheera.mcdoom@thomsonreuters.com

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International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence”

Change Begins At Home - Stop Violence Against Women

Report by Sudan Radio Service, Wednesday, 25 November 2009:
(Juba) - The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was marked in Juba on Wednesday by the launch of an awareness campaign.

The Under-secretary in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Dr Julia Aker, has urged the police to look into cases of violence against women.

Dr. Aker was speaking in Juba during the third commemoration of an event called “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence”:

[Dr Julia Aker]: “I call upon our law enforcement agencies to ensure that when women come to the police station and report violence, please do support them because I know our society does not take them seriously; they just say - “Oh, this woman has been beaten and raped in Kongokongo, never mind, we'll put her in the corner!".”

The theme of this year’s event is, ‘Change Begins At Home - Stop Violence Against Women'.
Sudan Radio Service's website at http://www.sudanradio.org/news.php is being redesigned and will be back online very soon.

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Security situation in Darfur - Nov 25, 2009

Source: United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, November 25, 2009/APO
UNAMID Daily Media Brief / 2009-11-25
Security situation in Darfur
The security situation in Darfur remains relatively calm, but unpredictable.

UNAMID military forces conducted 60 patrols including routine, short range, long range, night, and Humanitarian escort patrols, covering 72 villages and internally displaced persons (IDP) camps during the reporting period.

UNAMID police advisors also conducted 137 patrols in villages and IDP camps.

Discharge of former combatants in Darfur
Following a recent initiative by the Government of Sudan (GoS), more than 300 former combatants, including women and disabled persons, participated in a discharge exercise from 22 to 24 November in El Fasher. It is envisaged that the programme will soon continue in other parts of Darfur, targeting a total of 5,000 former combatants affiliated with signatories to the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) who were disarmed in July 2008 when they formally surrendered their weapons to the GoS.

Those discharged in El Fasher include members of the Sudanese Armed Forces, People’s Defence Forces, and the Sudan Liberation Army/Mother Wing. While this is a unilateral initiative by the GoS, following an agreement with the DPA signatories, UNAMID agreed to offer logistical support to the exercise, including security, transport and health services. The GoS, on the other hand, is providing cash payments of 400 Sudanese Pounds (USD 150) for each participant, which will be followed by food vouchers and other services after two months.

Although the discharge exercise is not linked whatsoever to the development of a future programme for the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants, as included in the mandate of the African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission but for which there currently is no agreement on a policy framework in Darfur, UNAMID decided to assist the GoS in its efforts to strengthen the peace process and improve the overall security situation across the region.

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South Sudan: Teachers in Juba on strike

Before reading the following report from Sudan Radio Service, note this excerpt from Alex de Waal's blog post at Making Sense of Darfur, November 22, 2009:
I hope that for the sake of the many thousands of Sudanese civil servants who depend on a timely salary payment to be able to celebrate the Eid properly, that the Sudan Government finds a way to pay its bills, in the few days left before the holiday. Equally, it must do so for the sake of the CPA.
And read the full story titled Unhappy Eid for the CPA.
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Report by Sudan Radio Service, Wednesday, November 25, 2009:
(Juba) - Teachers in Juba county in Central Equatoria state are on strike because they haven’t received their salaries for the last two months.

The teachers are demanding that their salaries for September and October 2009 should be paid immediately.

The teachers’ representative, the headmaster of Juba Day Secondary School, Daniel Swaka, told Sudan Radio Service that the government has promised to pay the salaries within a week.

[Swaka Daniel]: “We were requested to go to the ministry yesterday by the director-general of education in Central Equatoria state and he told us that they had started to pay the salaries. It transpired to be one month’s salary which some of us started to receive yesterday and the second salary of October is not out yet. The director-general met the acting governor yesterday and they promised that they will pay the remaining salaries within seven days.”

This is the second time teachers’ salary payments have been delayed in Central Equatoria state since the beginning of the year.
Sudan Radio Service's website is being redesigned and will be back online very soon.

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Uganda blames South Sudan officials for President Salva Kiir's plane crash scare

The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, has finally returned home several hours after the plane he was traveling in narrowly escaped a crash.

Salva Kiir, Wednesday morning survived a plane crash, as he was returning home to Sudan from Uganda, after one of the tyres of the plane in which he was travelling burst.

Report from Sudan Tribune, Wednesday, November 25, 2009 12:51:
Sudan 1st VP safe after plane accident in Uganda
November 25, 2009 (WASHINGTON) – The Sudanese first vice president Salva Kiir survived an accident today that was caused by the rupture in one of the tires on the plane he and his delegations were boarding, Ugandan media reported.

However the foul play was ruled out. The incident brings back bitter memory on the death later SPLM leader John Garang who was killed after his helicopter crashed en route from Uganda.

The pilot managed to steer the plane away from hitting the trees which was almost certain to cause harm to the passengers.

The government of Southern Sudan sent another plane to instead of the Antonov 74 cargo plane.

Kiir was in Uganda to discuss the border tensions with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
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From Bor Globe Network, Wed, November 25, 2009 15:54 by Geof Magga:
Uganda blames South Sudan officials for President’s plane crash scare
The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, has finally returned home several hours after the plane he was traveling in narrowly escaped a crash.

Salva Kiir, Wednesday morning survived a plane crash, as he was returning home to Sudan from Uganda, after one of the tyres of the plane in which he was travelling burst.

The pilot managed to control the plane and stopped it on the runway.

Salva Kiir yesterday met with Ugandan President, Museveni, over a border dispute. The meeting took place at Moyo town at the boarder of the two countries.

After the plane’s mishap, Salva Kiir was quickly evacuated and rushed back to Acholi Inn Hotel in Gulu town where he had spent the night.

Early this afternoon, Kiir and his entourage were escorted under tight security by the Ugandan soldiers back to Gulu Airfield. They took off at 2:30 p.m aboard a Uganda-registered charter plane.

The Antonov plane that was involved in the accident is grounded at Gulu Airfield. Engineers from southern Sudan are expected in Gula to repair the damaged plane.

Uganda says it is in no way responsible for what happened to the plane.

Uganda put the blame on southern Sudan government officials for chartering a plane with worn out tyres for their president.
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From en.afrik.com by Geof Magga, Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - excerpt:
Southern Sudan: No sabotage involved in President’s plane crash
According to one of the Airfield workers, John Okello, who witenessed the accident, the plane developed a mechanical problem as it was taxiing out of the airfield.

Okello said, ’’It is a big Antonov 74 cargo plane. Salva Kiir and other Southern Sudan officials boarded it at around 9.00 am today morning. As it was taxiing out of the airfield one of the tyres burst. The plane swung sideways sevearl times but the pilot later brought it under control. No one was injured."

No Sabotage

The area police commander, Aziku Zata confirmed the incident. Zata said, "It was a mechanical problem. There was no sabotage whatsoever."

He said that another plane from southern Sudan was on its way to Gulu airfield to collect the president and his group.

Southern Sudan is prone to plane crashes due to old planes. The airworthiness of some of the planes operating in the southern Sudanese region have often been questioned.

Last year a minister and several army senoir officers died when a plane crashed 300 kms north of the southern Sudanese city of Juba.
Click into Sudan Tribune's article to view comments.

Gen. Kiir safely returns to Sudan

Daily Monitor - ‎1 hour ago‎
The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir who earlier today survived a plane mishap in Gulu, has safely returned home. Gen Kiir, who was in Uganda for a ...

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Low turn-out of women for the voter registration in southern Sudan

Cecilia Andrea Apaya, a senior lecturer at Juba University, said that the university has introduced women’s studies in most departments to help fight the attitude that women are second-class citizens.

She called on the government to offer free primary education to girls, saying that it is the only way to encourage parents to send their girls to school.

Report by Sudan Radio Service, November 24, 2009:
(Juba) - The chairperson of the Southern Sudan Women’s Organization for Development and Rehabilitation, Cecilia Andrea Apaya, says that the low turn-out of women for the voter registration exercise in southern Sudan is due to the reluctance of women to participate in public life.

Speaking to Sudan Radio Service in Juba on Monday, Cecilia Apaya said that illiteracy and ignorance among southern Sudanese women has contributed to the modest role of women in Sudanese politics.

[Cecilia Apaya]: “We must talk to women so that they understand why they should get involved in politics. But if we don’t talk to them, if we don’t raise their awareness, they will not come out to register, because they don’t understand the importance of politics. Most women are not educated, that’s the biggest problem we are now facing. The few educated ones have already registered but the majority has not. Because they don’t understand! They say why should I register my name there, why should I go there? Why should I leave my house, my children? There is no need for me to go there!”

Apaya, a senior lecturer at Juba University, said that the university has introduced women’s studies in most departments to help fight the attitude that women are second-class citizens.

She called on the government to offer free primary education to girls, saying that it is the only way to encourage parents to send their girls to school.
Note, the new website of Sudan Radio Service will be online very soon.

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Sudanese MP says lack of commitment towards the peace agreements is putting the whole country in peril

Report by Sudan Radio Service, November 24, 2009:
(Khartoum) - The spokesman for the Coalition of National Opposition Parties, Faroq Abu-Eisa MP, says that Sudanese are poorer now than they were in the past because of what he describes as the failed economic policies of the National Congress Party.

Addressing a press conference in Khartoum on Sunday, Mr. Eisa said that people have been living in poverty for the last twenty years.

[Faroq Abu Eisa]: “Sudanese people are living in misery. That has never happened before. More than 90% of the population is on the edge of poverty and hunger because of bad economic and political policies, since the current regime came to power in 1989. Our people are at a turning point, they are afraid of what is going to happen in the country due to the same bad policies, the policies of humiliation and insult.”

He warned that what he saw as a lack of commitment towards the peace agreements is putting the whole country in peril.

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NEC has appealed to GONU and international community to fund forthcoming elections in Sudan

Report by Sudan Radio Service, November 24, 2009:
(Khartoum) - The National Electoral Commission has appealed to the Government of National Unity and the international community to fund the forthcoming elections in the country.

The Chairman of the National Electoral Commission, Abel Alier, spoke to members of the press in Khartoum on Monday.

[Abel Alier]: “We are inviting international organizations and governments to deliver their pledges in order to conduct elections in an acceptable manner for everyone. Actually we received assistance but it was specifically for the media. We encourage countries and organizations to work with us, so they can see what we are doing with the assistance they provide. This is important to ensure that people do not think the assistance may be used to fund unacceptable activities.”

Abel Alier was speaking to the press in Khartoum on Monday.

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ICC's Outreach Programme is active in Uganda, DR Congo, CAR and Darfur (Sudan)

Currently, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Outreach Programme is active in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and Darfur (Sudan).

The programme promotes access to and understanding of judicial proceedings and fosters realistic expectations about the court's work.

This in turn has engendered greater local community participation by addressing their concerns and countering misperceptions.

Full story at Congo Watch, Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - ICC's Outreach Programme is active in Uganda, DR Congo, CAR and Darfur (Sudan).

Cross-posted to Uganda Watch.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

South Sudan: W. Equatoria Governor reaches out to the citizens of Greater Mundri to register

November 23, 2009 (MUNDRI) – “Efforts by the Governor of Western Equatoria State to sensitize eligible voters have extended to Greater Mundri region,” a press release from the Governor’s office has said.

Full story: Sudan Tribune by Richard Ruati Tuesday 24 November 2009
W. Equatoria Governor reaches out to the citizens of Greater Mundri to register

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Voter registration requirements for Sudanese living in Kenya have been eased

Note that the voter registration process, which was to end on November 30, has been extended to December 7.

Report by Sudan Radio Service, Tuesday, November 24, 2009:
(Nairobi) - Voter registration requirements for Sudanese living in Kenya have been eased to make it simpler for them to vote.

The Sudanese Ambassador to Kenya, Guandong Majok, described the new conditions to Sudan Radio Service on Monday.

[Guandong Majok]: “A Sudanese student who is 18 years old or above must have a valid passport and a student ID. This is considered as one of the conditions you should have to register. Regarding parents who are here with their children in schools, we have agreed that the mother should have a valid passport and have one of her children enrolled as a student in Kenya. This will enable her to register. We also formed a committee with a chief and people who know the members of the community because there are Sudanese who have been here since the war and after the peace agreement they got Sudanese passports and they live here. We also formed a committee between the Sudanese community and the embassy so that they can act as witnesses for people they know and these people will be allowed to register with their witness.”

There has been a marked increase of people going to register following the announcement of the new requirements.

Kuol Nyang Kuol is a registration officer at the Embassy. He spoke to Sudan Radio Service on Monday.

[Kuol Nyang Kuol]: “From November 10th until Sunday, only one or two people came during the whole day but today, as you can see, there are more than a hundred people.”

The voter registration process, which was to end on November 30, has been extended to December 7.

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SPLM-USA released a petition today voicing discontent with voter registration operations in the USA

Leaders of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement chapters in the United States of America (SPLM-USA) released a petition today voicing discontent with voter registration operations in the USA.

Many diaspora members have been expecting to exercise their right to vote in the elections scheduled for April 2010. But in the entire United States of America, home to a diaspora of tens of thousands of Sudanese, there are only three voter registration centers.

The voter registration period is scheduled to close December 7.

Full story: Sudan Tribune, Tuesday 24 November 2009 - America’s SPLM chapters denounce ’disenfranchisement’ during voter drive

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South Sudan: Tension is increasing in Jonglei state following a series of attacks against villages around Bor town

Report from Sudan Radio Service
By Sirocco Mayom, Tuesday, November 24, 2009:
(Bor) - Tension is increasing in Jonglei state following a series of attacks against villages around Bor town.

SRS reporter Sirocco Mayom has the details of the latest incident.

[Mayom Sirocco]: “Gunmen killed one man, wounded a woman and abducted three children near Bor when they attacked Pan Apet on Saturday night at around 1 am. One of the three children escaped amidst gunshots from the abductors and made it to Bor town. Jonglei state governor Kuol Manyang Juuk condemned the incident and accused the security forces of not carrying out their duties properly.”

Manyang David Mayar, a resident in Bor, says that the situation in the area is worsening by the day.

[Manyang David]: “The situation currently is actually getting worse for the residents. They leave their houses during the night and come back in the day. Children are not allowed to go outside during the evening hours and also at night. And when a person is called at night they have to reject that call because it may be agents of insecurity doing that.”

Efforts to reach the governor of Jonglei state to comment on the issue were unsuccessful.
Click on Jonglei label here below for related reports. Note, the website at http://www.sudanradio.org/news.php is being redesigned and will be back online very soon.

See report from Sudan Tribune November 24, 2009 by Philip Thon Aleu (Bor) November 23, 2009: Jonglei voter registration not affected by insecurity – official - excerpt:
The chairman of Jonglei state National Electoral Commission (NEC) says Monday that voter registration “has not been affected” by insecurity threats aiming to sabotage the process.

Ajang Alaak, the head of the NEC in Jonglei told the press in his office, however that voter registration per day is low and the transport of registrars remains a big challenge in the restive province.

At least 5 people have been killed and 5 children abducted over the weekend in Bor County which hosts the capital of Jonglei state. Mr. Alaak’s comment comes at a time where security situation at Bor villages remains tense following attack by armed men in different locations last week.

“The registration process has not being affected. There is no big threat,” Mr. Alaak responded when asked whether the voter exercise faces some shortcoming from insecurity build-up in areas surrounding Bor town. The attackers aim to “to disturb elections [due 2010] but we shall not allow,” them to do that Mr. Alaak further said.

At least 690,000 legible voters are expected to be registered in Jonglei according to the 5th 2008 National Census results. NEC officials consider a substantial number of voters will be registered with at least 51% voters within the reach.

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Sudan's National Election Commission says voter registration has been extended by a week

Report by Sudan Radio Service, November 23, 2009:
(Khartoum) - The National Election Commission has announced that voting in the forthcoming general election which was scheduled for April 5, 2010, will now take place on April 11.

The voter registration period has also been extended by a week. The decision comes after the NEC held meetings with some political parties on Sunday. The parties demanded the extension of the voter registration period.

Lieutenant-general Alhadi Mohammed Hamad, an NEC registrar, spoke to Sudan Radio Service on Monday.

[Lieutenant-general Alhadi Mohammed Hamad]: “For logistical reasons, we have realized that in some states the registration process has been delayed, and we are also responding to the requests of the political parties who met with the NEC. The commission decided to extend the registration period for an additional seven days, from December 1 to the 7th. Of course, this change will affect the polling date. Instead of April 5, it will be changed to the 11th. We have informed the high commissions in the states so that they will implement the decision.”

Mohammed went on to deny accusations that the NEC is working with the NCP, saying that they have not received any complaints about the process.

[Lieutenant-general Alhadi Mohammed Hamad]: The registration is currently being monitored both locally and internationally by political parties and organizations like the United Nations. And all of them have praised us for what is taking place, and you can even read the statement made by the UN official who is here on a mission to monitor the registration process and so far no political party has issued any kind of complaints about the registration process in Sudan.”

Lieutenant-general Alhadi Mohammed Hamad was speaking to Sudan Radio Service on Monday.

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UN says children in Sudan will no longer be sentenced to death

Untitled report by Sudan Radio Service, November 23, 2009:
(Khartoum) - The United Nations says the Government of National Unity has announced that children will no longer be sentenced to death.

Addressing a press conference in Khartoum on Sunday at the end of her visit to Sudan, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Madam Radhika Coomaraswamy, said she was assured by the GONU Ministry of Justice that children in Sudan will not be executed for crimes which carry the death penalty.

[Radhika Coomaraswamy]: “We were also concerned about the protection of children in the recent inter-tribal conflicts in the south and also issues related to capital punishment and the death penalty for children. Finally, we got a commitment today from the Ministry of Justice that there will be no execution of children. I am announcing it because he made it very clear and if we can prove that these were children, especially in the Justice and Equality Movement, there will be no executions. With regard to inter-tribal conflict you know that 370 children have been abducted over the last few months. We were told this is a practice associated with cattle raiding and because of the presence of small arms there has been terrible bloodshed."

Madam Coomaraswamy said the GONU Justice Minister, Abdul–Basit Sabdarat Saleh told her that the six child soldiers who were arrested during the Justice and Equality Movement’s attack on Omdurman on 10th May last year and who are currently on death row, will not be executed.

[Radhika Coomaraswamy]: “We have six I think who were from JEM on death row. Now the issue is that the government claims that the military tribunal has found that four of them were not children but the assessment of the international agencies is that they are children, so there is this issue. But I was assured today by the Minister of Justice that they will not be executed. So I hope that will be true, we hope that this commitment will be kept. Secondly, with regard to the recruitment policy of the Sudan Armed Forces, there is no active recruitment from the top level, but there are child soldiers in the region, especially in Darfur. We have some data showing that there are children that have not been recruited but have been present in the camps in Darfur. That is why we are having a dialogue with them, with a possibility of drawing up an action plan as well. With regards to JEM, we have information that they are recruiting. In fact, we have data that everyone is continuing to recruit but not as much as they were doing at the time of the war.”

Madam Coomaraswamy said there are still large numbers of children fighting with armed groups in Sudan, saying that she had received statements indicating that these groups recruited child soldiers between September 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009.

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Senior SPLM official urged NEC to allow the media to visit registration centers to inform people about voter registration

Untitled report by Sudan Radio Service, November 23, 2009:
(Khartoum) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement visited voter registration centers in Khartoum on Saturday and Sunday to assess the registration process in Khartoum state.

SPLM Ministers and State Ministers in the Government of National Unity, the Khartoum State Government and the National Legislatures went to visit 7 areas within Khartoum state where there are about fifty voter registration centers.

Speaking to Sudan Radio Service after their visit, a senior SPLM official, the deputy-governor of Khartoum state, Parmena Awerial Aluong, explains the purpose of the visit.

[Parmena Awerial Aluong]: “We visited sixteen centres and there were some problems in these areas. We tried to resolve some of them, not all of them but I felt that the visit was very, very important to us. One of the things I saw was that all the political parties were all represented in the centers [as election observers] and that makes the registration really different from other elections I have seen.”

Awerial urged the National Elections Commission to allow the media to visit the registration centers to inform people about voter registration.

Chief registrars in the different centers say they are forbidden by the NEC to give statements to the media.

Meanwhile, the secretary-general of the SPLM Parliamentary caucus in the National Assembly, Thomas Wani Kundu, says numerous violations were reported to the SPLM by the observers at the different centers in Khartoum.

[Thomas Wani]: “One, the NCP has a policy of deceiving people who come for registration. They are given fake forms which they fill in thinking that they have registered. And then of course people come innocently and began registering without knowing that they were not at a real registration center. Secondly, when the people go in they are called to back so that their numbers are written down and their telephone numbers are taken. The idea behind this is that those people can be bribed so that they will vote for the NCP. Despite the fact that we have got representation from the different political parties, the NCP was predominant in all these centers.”

Thomas Wani has urged southern Sudanese to turn out in big numbers to register in order to be ready to vote during the forthcoming general elections and also to prove “that the results of the recent census were falsified”.

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South Sudan Democratic Forum says voter registration exercise has failed in southern Sudan

Untitled report by Sudan Radio Service, November 23, 2009:
(Khartoum) - The South Sudan Democratic Forum says the voter registration exercise has failed in southern Sudan.

The chairman of the South Sudan Democratic Forum, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs in the Government of Southern Sudan, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, addressed a press conference in Khartoum on Sunday.

[Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro,]: “The voter registration exercise has failed in southern Sudan and I think this is because the NEC and the Elections High Committee in the south did not do their work as we expected. These two committees have failed in their work. Why am I saying this? First of all, voters’ education started very late and it was inadequate and for that reason citizens do not know why they are being registered. Are we being registered for elections or for the referendum? There are some people who say let those who want to contest the elections come first so that we can register. Many people in many areas do not understand what voter registration is all about and I think this is a major failure.”

Dr. Lomuro cited some of the challenges facing the exercise in southern Sudan.

[Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro]: “First of all, there are no vehicles; there is only one vehicle for each county. They are very old vehicles which cannot travel everywhere, especially with the poor roads in southern Sudan. Secondly, there are no motorbikes, and no bicycles. Also, each registration official was given 100 SDG as living expenses for the period from November 1 to November 30. Then they are to be given 1000 SDG. That means that each registrar spends 3 SDG daily for survival and they are operating in areas where they don’t know anybody - and they also use this limited amount of money for food and accommodation.”

Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro was speaking in Khartoum on Sunday.

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South Sudan: NCP has accused SPLM of arresting NCP leaders in Central Equatoria, Warrap and Lakes states

Untitled report by Sudan Radio Service, November 23, 2009:
(Khartoum) - The secretary-general of the National Congress Party for Greater Bahr el-Ghazal, Mathew Mayor, has accused the SPLM of arresting NCP leaders in Central Equatoria, Warrap and Lakes states.

[Mathew Mayor]: “The SPLM is arresting our members there. The arrests were carried out in a racial manner. The head of the southern sector, Mrs. Agnes Lokudu, presented a strong protest to the southern Sudan government, urging them to review the situation as soon as possible.”

Mayor urged politicians not to do things that would disrupt the voter registration process because it would affect the implementation of the CPA.

[Mathew Mayor]: “The parties which are not ready [for the elections] think that other parties which are ready want to disrupt the conduct of the elections. We think they are targeting the referendum in southern Sudan because Article 22 of the CPA says that only an elected government can organize the referendum and if elections were not carried out, it means there will be no elected government, hence no referendum will be held as scheduled. This will really affect the south in general.”

Mathew Mayor was speaking to Sudan Radio Service in Khartoum on Sunday.

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AU's Peace and Security Council on fact-finding mission to Sudan

Untitled report by Sudan Radio Service, November 23, 2009:
(Khartoum) - The African Union Peace and Security Council began a fact-finding mission to Sudan on Monday to learn more about the current situation in country.

Sudan Radio Service spoke to the UNAMID spokesman, Noureddine Mezni, on Monday. He explained the purpose of the visit.

[Noureddine Mezni]: “The African Union Peace and Security Council started a field visit to Sudan on Monday, and this is the first time that the council, which comprises 15 member countries, has organized a field visit out of its headquarters in Addis Ababa.

The aim of the visit is to directly witness the issues on the ground in Sudan and the latest developments; because the council gives a high importance to the situation in Sudan. Beside the visit to Khartoum, the delegation will also visit Darfur, specifically El-Fashir, the capital of North Darfur, to meet with the leadership of UNAMID, and the local authorities. After El-Fashir, the delegation will visit Juba, before returning to its headquarters in Addis Ababa.”

Noureddine Mezni was speaking to Sudan Radio Service from Khartoum on Monday.

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AU's Peace and Security Council will not discuss AUPD report during visit to Sudan

Report by Sudan Radio Service, November 23, 2009:
(Khartoum) - The Government of National Unity says that the AU’s Peace and Security Council will not to discuss the AU panel report on Darfur during its visit to Sudan.

Last month, the AUPSC held a meeting in Abuja to launch the AU panel report, which recommends the formation of hybrid courts in Darfur in a bid to achieve justice and reconciliation in the region.

The advisor to the Minister of Information in GONU, Dr. Rabie Abdulaati, told Sudan Radio Service on Monday that the AUPSC has no mandate to discuss the details of the AU panel report.

[Dr. Rabie Abdulaati]: “When Thabo Mbeki’s report was launched by the AUPSC last month, committees that were formed to implement the report, taking into consideration the comments of the Sudanese government. So I don’t think that this council is going to discuss this report now because it already discussed it earlier. And I don’t think it is the mandate of the AUPSC to discuss these details, because they have already referred this issue to the concerned bodies in the council.”

Dr. Rabie Abdulaati was speaking to Sudan Radio Service on Monday from Khartoum.
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AU is calling for implementation of recommendations of AUPD report

Report by Sudan Radio Service, November 24, 2009:
(Khartoum) - The African Union says it is calling for the implementation of the recommendations of the Mbeki report on the Darfur conflict.

Joseph Nsenjemana, Rwandan’s Ambassador to the AU, who is currently chairing the Peace and Security Council, told a press conference on Monday in Khartoum that the main purpose of visiting Sudan was to push for the implementation of the report.

[Joseph Nsenjemana]: “The peace and security council has taken the next step to see for themselves what is happening on the ground. I think we are conscious that it is a process. The recommendation is a good thing and the implementation is another one. It is the reason why we wanted to see the situation on the ground and to push it forward where necessary.”

Ambassador Nsenjemana will be visiting IDP camps in North Darfur on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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South Sudan: Wau teaching hospital employees protesting about being forced to open bank accounts in order to be paid

Report by Sudan Radio Service, November 23, 2009:
(Wau) - Wau Teaching Hospital employees are protesting about the decision by the GOSS Ministry of Health ordering them to open bank accounts. Employees are now expected to open an account in order to receive their salaries from the government.

The employees say that the two-week notice given by the government was insufficient for them to set up an account.

The Director of Wau Teaching Hospital, Peter Tartizio, spoke to Sudan Radio Service last week.

[Peter Tartizio]: “A letter was given to the director-general of the hospital when he was in Juba for a workshop. He told management about the letter given to him by the Ministry of Health in Juba saying that we should present this order to the employees. Unfortunately, when we introduced this idea to them [employees], they rejected it because the decision was announced so late. Some said their salaries are not enough to be deposited in the bank. Some asked who would be responsible if they didn’t find their money in their account. I told them that I am not the one who came with the idea, so they should forward their complaints to the Ministry of Health.”

When Sudan Radio Service spoke to some of the employees there were mixed reactions to the ministry’s decision.

Langa Peter is a member of staff at Wau teaching Hospital.

[Langa Peter]: “The solution for this case is for the government to give us three months to prepare ourselves. The government can’t just give us such short notice. According to them, the money is supposed to be in the bank in November and we don’t have the proper paperwork for the bank. How will we receive the money from the bank? We are not going to accept that, unless they give us extra money to be able to open our bank account.”

Asha Adam, a nurse at the hospital, said that it is impossible for someone like her, who is earning less than 300 SDG a month, to open a bank account.

[Asha Adam]: “The idea of opening a bank account is wrong; how will we be able to divide our monthly salaries so that some can be deposited into the account, some used for paying rent, some for paying school fees for our children, some to buy food? How will this help us when some of us are earning 280 SDG? The salary we are earning is only enough to buy food in the market; we won’t be able to divide it further.”

Asha Adam was speaking to Sudan Radio Service in Wau last week.
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Civil servants in the Government of Southern Sudan will begin receiving their salaries through bank accounts

Report by Sudan Radio Service, November 24, 2009:
(Nairobi) - Civil servants in the Government of Southern Sudan will begin receiving their salaries through bank accounts from November, 2009.

The GOSS Minister of Labor, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Awut Deng, said her ministry has embarked on an intensive pay-roll “cleansing” operation to reduce government spending.

Awut Deng spoke to Sudan Radio Service in Nairobi on Monday.

[Awut Deng]: “It is true; we will not send out the November salaries in cash since it is now government policy that everybody has to have a bank account. The circular was sent out in October to the effect that November salaries will only be paid via personal bank accounts.”

Awut added that the cost of employees' salaries is greater than the oil revenue which is being used to pay them every month.

She explains that the pay-roll campaign is designed to get rid of unqualified and incompetent workers.

[Awut Deng]: “The pay-roll cleansing is not targeting people who fought during the war. People who are working in southern Sudan did not come from the SPLA only. The pay-roll cleansing is targeting ghost workers. We have people who died a long time ago who are still being paid. You have students who are not in the offices delivering services to the people of southern Sudan but are in the pay-roll and we have children too. It is a policy of the Government of Southern Sudan that we should have a lean, efficient, effective and responsive civil service in southern Sudan now and beyond the interim period. We are talking about 300,000 workers in southern Sudan and we wish to reduce this figure to 100,000.”

Awut concluded that the money recovered from ‘ghost workers’ in Eastern Equatoria state has been used to construct a state-owned hotel. She added that in Western Equatoria state, the governor was able to purchase an FM radio station and road construction equipment as well as sponsoring the education of ten students.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

UNAMID confirms attack on two villages – Taman and Shaleb Shaleb – close to Khor Abeche, South Darfur

From UNAMID's website:
Attack on villages in South Darfur
19 November 2009 - The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has received confirmed reports that 11 persons have been killed, four injured and two missing following an attack by unidentified armed men on two villages – Taman and Shaleb Shaleb – close to Khor Abeche, South Darfur, more than 200 kilometres south of El Fasher.

According to these reports, gunmen on board eight vehicles and about 300 armed men on camels launched the attack, which resulted in fighting with armed elements of the Birgid tribe in the area between Jubel Tein and west Nigea for about six hours on Tuesday 17 November. The cause of the clashes is unconfirmed, although access to water seemed to be the trigger.

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LRA leader Kony has instructed his troops to move into Darfur, Sudan?

From The New Vision, Uganda
LRA’s Joseph Kony to seek protection from Sudan army
Sunday, November 22, 2009
By Els De Temmerman

LRA director of operations, ‘Lt. Col.’ Charles Arop

Photo: Arop showing where two bullets are still stuck in his stomach
LRA leader Joseph Kony has instructed his troops to move into Darfur and report to the first detachment of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) seeking protection and logistical support.

This was revealed by the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) director of operations, ‘Lt. Col.’ Charles Arop, who surrendered earlier this month and was flown to Kampala last week.

“The last time we communicated, in August, Kony said all LRA units should move northwards, enter the first Arab defence and ask them to communicate that we are there,” Arop, 32, told The New Vision.

According to Arop, Kony was planning to move along the Central African border to Chad and then enter into Darfur to meet SAF officers.

“He told me he was going to meet Fadil, the SAF officer who coordinates LRA activities. He wants the Arabs to give him logistical support and a safe haven.”

Asked what pushed the LRA to flee to their long-time backers, Arop said: “Kony is desperate. Things are really hard. We were constantly on the move. Sometimes we would not rest for a week. The UPDF was pursuing us everywhere.”

He estimates that there are only about 250 rebels left, half the number they had before Operation Lightning Thunder, the joint offensive of the armies of Uganda, Congo and Southern Sudan.

“Before the December 14 attack, we had about 500 fighters and 300 unarmed civilians. Most have died or defected since. We now have between 250 and 300 fighters left and not more than 100 civilians.”

Arop, who was himself abducted from Gulu at the age of 16, believes that the LRA would have been finished by now had the UPDF not delayed deploying in the Central African Republic.

“When the LRA relocated to the Central African Republic, it took time for UPDF to catch up and take up positions. They gave Kony ample time to prepare and abduct more.”

Kony’s communication system has been seriously disrupted since Operation Lightning Thunder, said Arop.

“Since December 14, he no longer communicates on phone. He now sends one of his security men on foot to convey messages. They would move 10 to 20km away from him and then communicate on phone.”

In the past week Arop has assisted the Ugandan army to get out the rest of his unit from eastern Congo.

A total of 34 rebels reported to the UPDF intelligence squad in Faradje on Thursday. As a result, Faradje area, the closest LRA location to Uganda, has been completely cleared.

Christmas massacres

The atrocities committed by Arop’s group have been widely documented by human rights groups and are among the worst the Congolese suffered at the hands of the LRA.

On Christmas day, his fighters killed at least 143 people in Faradje and abducted 160 children. According to survivors, the LRA crushed their victims’ skulls with axes and bats. They also set fire to 940 houses, three schools and nine churches.

They killed another 86 people in the first week of January in the towns of Sambia, Akua and Tomate, to the south of Faradje.

The massacres were in retaliation for the participation of the Congolese army in Operation Lightning Thunder, said Arop.

“Kony said the December 14 attack was carried out by the combined forces, including the Congolese. If that is the case, he said, you should go to Faradje and attack them.”

Earlier, the Congolese had annoyed Kony by handing over LRA defectors to the Ugandan army, he added, particularly around Duru.

Arop recalled that a few days after the joint offensive started, Kony selected him and 71 soldiers and gave them orders: to attack Faradje town on December 25.

“He told us that if there was one gunshot from the Congolese, anybody found in Faradje had to be killed; those able to be turned into soldiers had to be abducted.”

Faradje, he said, was chosen because it was the nearest place where such massacres would have an impact and where they would get international publicity.

Asked why he did not defect with his fighters at that time, Arop said he was himself closely watched by a group Kony had attached to his unit.

“Kony gave 30 of his bodyguards to join my group. There was no way I could not execute the mission. They had a phone and were constantly reporting to him. If I refused, I would have been killed.”

Asked how he felt about the killings, an uneasy Arop said: “It was painful but you have to do it. I want to ask the relatives of those we killed to forgive me. Whatever we did, we did it under orders.”

Arop eventually escaped when he found himself with only one fighter left as they were trying to meet messengers Kony had sent. Earlier, after Kony had called back his 30 bodyguards, he had split up his unit in three.

Of the 14 in his group, three were killed; the rest got scattered after they were attacked, and reported to UPDF one by one.

Supplies

Asked where they got their weapons, ammunition and new uniforms from, Arop said they received enough supplies from SAF, many of which were still buried in river banks and hills in Southern Sudan.

“For example in Apatalanga Hill, the mountain range overlooking Agoro Hills, we hid 200 submachine guns, 10 SPG9 missiles, seven 12mm machine guns and four multi-purpose grenade launchers. There are still a lot of arms caches the UPDF has not yet unearthed.”

In Congo, Arop said, they seized weapons from the UN soldiers they ambushed and killed; and on January 2 this year, his unit overran a detachment of game rangers in Garamba National Park and opened their arms depot.

“We could not carry all the weapons. We picked 36 submachine guns, one G3-gun, two micro galil guns, two NATO guns, one PK machinegun and one rocket propelled grenade.”

In addition, he said, they took solar panels, laptops, walkie-talkies, radios, compasses, raincoats and 170 pairs of uniforms.

“We also burned two planes we found at the airstrip. We saw some white people running away but we did not shoot at them.”

As for food, before Operation Lightning Thunder they relied on the supplies given by Caritas during the peace talks.

“We would collect the food from Ri-Kwangba (the place where LRA fighters were supposed to assemble and be disarmed) and carry it to Garamba,” he explained.

“Every month we received 200 bags of beans, 200 bags of rice, 200 bags of posho, 100 jerry-cans of cooking oil, 100 boxes of wheat flour, 100 sachets of salt and 100 boxes of soap.”

Asked about his worst experience in captivity, Arop said the death and horrific injuries of his colleagues. He showed the nine bullets that hit him in the stomach, arm, shoulder and leg, three of which are still inside his body.

Like other commanders who defected before him, Arop said Kony keeps surviving because he never takes part in battles.

“Whenever attacked, he runs away and leaves his fighters to fight back. I have never seen him fight.”

And like his colleagues, he does not believe Kony will voluntarily give up the struggle, even not when the ICC indictment is lifted.

“Kony wants to fight until he overthrows the Government of Uganda. He will never sign a peace agreement. He cannot believe that once he allows himself to be disarmed, he will be forgiven. Signing means you have lost the war and abandoned rebellion. But he does not want to abandon rebellion.”
Further reading

Note that I have put a question mark against each of the news reports. The reports could be propaganda, aimed at diverting attention and gaining publicity. The information contained within each of the reports, until verified elsewhere, ought to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Uganda Watch, Monday, November 23, 2009:
Ugandan security forces kill senior LRA commander Okello Ukuti in CAR?

Sudan Watch, November 06, 2009:
Leading LRA rebel commander Charles Arop surrenders to Ugandan army?

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Members of AU security councils visit Sudan

Last week, South Africa and Norway announced a R55 million agreement to support a police-training project in Sudan.

The funds earmarked for the project will be divided in three parts: 70 percent will be spent in the Southern Sudan, 20 percent in Darfur and 10 percent in Khartoum.

Source: BuaNews, a South African government news service published by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)
Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
Date: 23 Nov 2009
Title: Members of AU security councils visit Sudan
Khartoum - Members of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council are due to arrive in Khartoum on Monday for a briefing on the situation in Sudan.

According to the Director of the African Union Administration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sudan, Dr Ibrahim Ahmed Abdul-Karim, the AU Peace and Security Council members would be briefed on the ongoing efforts to reach a solution to the Darfur issue as well as the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and preparations for elections.

Dr Abdul-Karim indicated that the visit of the AU Peace and Security Council represented a boost for the firm stance of Sudan in dealing with the AU and its role concerning Sudanese issues.

He said the delegation of the AU Peace and Security Council would meet will a number of senior officials and would visit Al-Fasher in Dafur and Juba, capital of Southern Sudan.

Last week, South Africa and Norway announced a R55 million agreement to support a police-training project in Sudan.

The funds earmarked for the project will be divided in three parts: 70 percent will be spent in the Southern Sudan, 20 percent in Darfur and 10 percent in Khartoum.

According to the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the project will greatly assist in creating a more secure and safe environment in Sudan especially Southern Sudan and Darfur.

It will also towards the implementation of the CPA by strengthening the police forces in Southern Sudan.

The agreement follows a memorandum of understanding between South Africa and Sudan signed two years ago, aimed at providing assistance in the field of safety and security in support of the CPA between the north and south of the Sudan, the Darfur Peace Agreement and overall security capacity building.

As a result, the Norwegian Embassy was consulted for financial assistance on the implementation of the memorandum. - BuaNews-NNN

Security situation in Darfur, Sudan - Nov 22, 2009 - UNAMID provides electoral assistance as registration enters final week concluding on Nov 26

As part of an agreement with the Sudanese Government, UNAMID has been tasked with providing technical assistance in Sudan’s upcoming elections, currently slated for April 2010. UNAMID staff members are among 69 election teams working in Northern Darfur registering eligible voters.

The registration period, initially scheduled to run 30 days beginning 1 November, will now conclude on 26 November 2009. The shortened period is due to the upcoming religious holiday of Eid al-Adha. Results of the electoral registration are scheduled to be made public on 1 December, with a challenge period, designed to file complaints, appeals or amendments, from 2 December 2009 to 5 January 2010.

To date, 245,000 of 850,000 eligible voters in Northern Darfur have registered. There are 577 voter registration centres throughout Darfur.

Source: UNAMID Daily Media Brief from EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, November 23, 2009/APO.  Here is a copy, in full:
Security situation in Darfur

The security situation in Darfur remains relatively calm, but unpredictable.

UNAMID military forces conducted 65 patrols including routine, short range, long range, night, and Humanitarian escort patrols, covering 60 villages and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps during the reporting period.

UNAMID police advisors also conducted 108 patrols in villages and IDP camps.

UNAMID provides electoral assistance as registration enters final week
As part of an agreement with the Sudanese Government, UNAMID has been tasked with providing technical assistance in Sudan’s upcoming elections, currently slated for April 2010. UNAMID staff members are among 69 election teams working in Northern Darfur registering eligible voters.

The registration period, initially scheduled to run 30 days beginning 1 November, will now conclude on 26 November 2009. The shortened period is due to the upcoming religious holiday of Eid al-Adha. Results of the electoral registration are scheduled to be made public on 1 December, with a challenge period, designed to file complaints, appeals or amendments, from 2 December 2009 to 5 January 2010.

To date, 245,000 of 850,000 eligible voters in Northern Darfur have registered. There are 577 voter registration centres throughout Darfur.

Demobilization and reintegration programme begins in North Darfur
More than 150 ex-combatants took part today in the first of a three-day demobilization and reintegration programme sponsored by the Government of Sudan and supported by UNAMID.

The wheels for the initiative were set in motion in the summer of 2008, when signatories, comprising leaders from rebel movements, agreed to hand over their weapons.

The programme is composed of several components including briefings on reintegration, verification of administrative documents, medical and disability screening, fingerprinting, and the issuance of identification cards. Participants are given a cash payment of 400 Sudanese Pounds ($150 USD). After two months, the participants will be issued food vouchers and other basic amenities.

In all, more than 400 ex-combatants from North Darfur are to be eventually demobilized in El Fasher. Two additional demobilization and reintegration events are scheduled for West and South Darfur shortly.

The disarmament demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programme is part of the Final Security Arrangement of the Darfur Peace Agreement.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Al-Qaeda Moving to Africa: Sources (IslamOnline.net)

Here is a copy of an article published at IslamOnline.net (IOL):
Al-Qaeda Moving to Africa: Sources
Aamir Latif, IOL Correspondent, Sun. Nov. 22, 2009
"Somalia is the next possible front, where current conditions suit Al-Qaeda network," Professor Rizvi told IOL.

ISLAMABAD/ KABUL – Amid ongoing back-door talks between the emboldened Afghan Taliban and the US and full-scale Pakistani military operations against militants in the border tribal areas, many of Al-Qaeda's senior leaders are reportedly seeking a new shelter in Africa, according to intelligence sources.

"They are stuck in Afghanistan because their several hideouts, including various strongholds in South Waziristan, have been captured by the army," a senior Pakistani intelligence official, associated with Afghan affairs, told IslamOnline.net on condition of anonymity.

"They cannot move freely from Afghanistan to Pakistan and vise versa any more," he contended.

"Therefore, the best option for them is to look for an alternative."

At least six soldiers and 14 militants were killed on Saturday, November 21, in clashes between the army and local militants in the restive tribal region.

Nearly 30,000 troops supported by air power and artillery unleashed a massive offensive against South Waziristan, a known Taliban stronghold near Afghan border, in mid-October.

The Army said it had found trenches and recovered huge caches of arms and ammunition in a number of locations.

The US says the inaccessible mountainous region has become a shelter for Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants.

The senior Pakistani intelligence official says Afghanistan will not remain a safe haven for Al-Qaeda for long, citing talks between Taliban and the US.

"Though there are dim chances of success for the talks, it seems Al-Qaeda has sensed something wrong," he said.

"That is why they are moving from Afghanistan."

Talks between Taliban and US representatives tumbled a few weeks ago after Taliban rejected an offer to control six provinces in return for accepting foreign troops and eight US military bases in different parts of Afghanistan.

However, the two sides reportedly agreed to continue back-door diplomacy brokered by Muslim heavyweights Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

African Shelter

Background interviews with senior intelligence officials and sources privy to Taliban suggest many of Al-Qaeda's senior leaders are reportedly seeking an alternative shelter in Africa.

"Various Al-Qaeda leaders have already moved to Africa, where their most-likely destination is Somalia," suggest the senior Pakistani intelligence official.

Defense and security analysts believe that war-hacked Somalia could be the most likely next stop.

"Somalia is the next possible front, where current conditions suit Al-Qaeda network," Professor Hassan Askari Rizvi, a Lahore-based senior security analyst, told IOL.

"There is a lose grip of government in Somalia, which could be an alternative for the Al-Qaeda leadership.

Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab militant group has been waging relentless battles against the transitional government and the Africa peacekeepers.

The group controls large areas in war-ravaged Somalia.

"It seems as if these areas would be the target in war on terror in near future," says Rizvi.

The intelligence official says Ayman Al-Zuwahiri, Al-Qaeda's second-in-command, too is considering moving from Afghanistan.

"Right now, he is very much in Afghanistan, as per our information. But we have reports that he too is considering moving to Somalia."

Normal Dynamics

Taliban sources say many Al-Qaeda leaders are moving out, but offer a different reason.

"This is a continuous process," a Taliban leader told IOL, wishing not to be named.

"A number of Al-Qaeda leaders have already moved to different countries, including Europe via Iran during the past eight years."

Noor Zaman Achakzai, a security analyst based in the Pakistani town of Chaman, which borders the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, agrees.

"I personally know that hundreds of Al-Qaeda have already fled to Europe and Africa during the past seven-eight years via Iran," he told IOL.

The southwestern borders of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan bump in at Chagi district of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

The area is a famous human smuggling route used annually by thousands of illegal immigrants who move into Europe via Iran and Turkey.

"They never stay at one place; instead they keep on moving because it is their old tactic," says Achakzai.

"They don’t want to be bombed by the Pakistani or US forces simultaneously."

Al-Qaeda leadership stayed for years in Sudan back in the early 1990s before moving to Afghanistan when the Taliban rose to power.

The Taliban leader refutes the intelligence agencies’ contention that Al Qaeda leaders are moving from Afghanistan for fear of being ditched by Taliban.

"This is not the case. They are moving to divert the attention of occupation forces and open new fronts."

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed in 1989, guarantees children the right to life, education, the right to play and to be protected

The following news report by Sudan Radio Service says 'the Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed in 1989, guarantees children the right to life, education, the right to play and to be protected from abuse'.  
Report received by email from Sudan Radio Service:
Friday, November 20, 2009 (Nairobi) - The United Nations has marked the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The UN says that the Convention on the Rights of the Child has transformed the way children are treated.

The deputy representative for UNICEF Somalia, Hanan Suleiman, says that various attempts are being made in Sudan to safeguard children's rights.

[Hanan Suleiman]: "There are various rights in the convention related to health and education. Issues such as harmful traditional practices. You will see that in most countries, including Sudan which has signed and ratified the convention, that various attempts are being made. We have seen that in the last few years, education has improved for young children and we have seen enrollment increase in various countries including Sudan itself although we still have a long way to go. We have also seen improvements when it comes to access to clean drinking water which is another important issue for children.”

Hanan Suleiman added that UNICEF is staging a series of events around the world to commemorate today’s event.

[Hanan Suleiman]: “In the countries we are working in we continue to provide humanitarian and development assistance to children around the world in the areas of health education, water and sanitation and protecting their rights. We are also commemorating the day today by holding awareness sessions in different countries as well as working with governments to raise awareness of the convention. We are also trying to use this as an opportunity to get countries to apply the convention and make sure it is being implemented and that is one of the key messages we are sending out today.”

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed in 1989, guarantees children the right to life, education, the right to play and to be protected from abuse.
Note, the website of Sudan Radio Service is having technical difficulties.  

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