SUDAN WATCH: December 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Messages of Peace: That we all look after our neighbours and that peace will spread around the world...

Google's holiday logo Christmas 2009

Google's Holiday Logo December 2009

Google's holiday logo Christmas 2009

Season's greetings.  This six year old blog Sudan Watch is powered by Blogger. Blogger is owned by Google. I started blogging in July 2003.  Thanks to Blogger for everything. Happy New Year to all at Blogger and Google, and to readers of Sudan Watch.  Love and peace x x x  God bless the children of Sudan.

Millions living in forgotten cities

Millions of people are living in forgotten cities
"...Thatched huts are upgraded into slums. Camp dwellers start exchanging belongings amongst themselves. Barter develops into markets. People try to make a living through prostitution and crime. Idleness fosters addiction to alcohol and drugs. Combatants come to hide themselves for a while within the camp and recruit youngsters for their militias. People in the camps start organizing themselves. The camps develop into cities, with an economy, a power structure and increasing violence.

Camps are cities in suspense. They suffer from shortages of water and sanitation, shaky food deliveries, oscillating relief assistance, despotic rulers, lawlessness and insecurity, both around the camp and inside..."

-Jan Pronk, October 2009 (click here for full story)
- - -

Messages of Peace: That we all look after our neighbours and that peace will spread around the world...

From CORD's Messages of peace:
Bechir Adam Daoud Head of CORD’s Literacy Programme Gaga Camp, Chad:
‘My hope for all of us in the Sudanese refugee community is that next year will bring peace to Darfur and that we can start to return home. We need to learn how to develop more and become less reliant on outside help.’

Louise Lloyd Jarvis Programme Manager Gaga Camp, Chad:
‘Fighting alone will not solve the problem in Darfur. Those people who go to school and get an education are the ones who will solve the problem. Fighting with guns; that will not solve it, even in a hundred years.’ Hedjewa Adam a rebel soldier with the Sudan Liberation Movement

My wish would be that more people understand this, act upon it and lay down their arms.
My prayer is that God is raising up 'Peacemakers' here and it is these men and women who lead the community into the next decade, not the ones who hold the guns.'

Kit Lawry Supporter Relations, UK:
'My wish is that people in the developed world realize how important peace is, for all of us.'

James Griffin Security & Logistics Manager, Chad:
'Against the backdrop of all the problems within Chad – and in Darfur where these children have fled from, the amazing thing is that the children in the camps are still children, and maintain that playfulness and innocence which only they can have. May they continue to be my biggest inspiration.

I am extremely lucky to find great people here who I really enjoy working with and trust. My wish is that this will continue and that the strain of working in Chad will not hinder us growing as a team.'

Serge Ntabikiyoboka Country Director, Burundi:
'Our main wish is to have peace consolidated in the country after the planned elections in 2010. There are real signs of violence at the moment, and the situation may become worse during this period.

Our second wish is to see our programme continuing to expand- and that everyone in the CORD Burundi team enjoys good health.'

Dennis Bailey Country Director, Northern Uganda:
'My wish for 2010 echoes the short prayer said by all members of the African Union as they gather in session:
God bless Africa,
Guard her people,
Guide her leaders and
Grant her peace.'

Angie Archer, Supporter Relations, UK:
‘Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.’

Kerry Bosworth Finance Director, UK:
'My peace wish is that the current child population in the camps in Chad will celebrate adulthood in their own home country.''
- - -

Holiday Greetings and best wishes for a new year of happiness in a world of peace

Peace

Image source: Julia Gronnevet h/t Bec Hamiton tweet

Setting Sudan sun

Photo: Setting Sudan Sun

Labels: , ,

US Special Envoy Scott Gration: “A New Year for Sudan”

Email received from the U.S. State Department:
Sudan Updates: “A New Year for Sudan”
Scott Gration, Special Envoy to Sudan
Washington, DC
December 30, 2009
We’ve reached the end of the year, a time for reflection but, most of all, a time for looking forward, for making resolutions we intend to keep. It’s clear that 2010 will be a critical year in securing a peaceful future for Sudan. National elections are scheduled for April 2010, and registration for the referenda on self-determination for Southern Sudan and Abyei will begin in July with the vote taking place in January 2011. In between, popular consultations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, demarcation of the Abyei and North-South borders, reviews of wealth-sharing arrangements, and negotiations on post-CPA issues must be finalized. Direct talks between the Government of Sudan and Darfur armed movements are scheduled to begin in Doha in late January and a negotiated political settlement is still urgently needed to achieve a lasting and just peace in Darfur.

We will continue to work diligently with all parties throughout Sudan in pursuit of peace and stability in Darfur, for full implementation of the North-South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), and to prepare for what happens after the CPA expires in July 2011. At the same time, and in accordance with our strategic objectives, we will be monitoring the actions taken by the parties in Sudan and will hold them accountable for their accomplishments and their shortcomings. Make no mistake, failure to make progress and a continuation of the unacceptable status quo by any party will be met by credible pressures from the United States and our partners in the international community.

The road ahead will be tough and beset by numerous and seemingly insurmountable challenges. But in the face of these trials, we will work with steadfast determination with the parties to reach positive agreements followed up by verifiable implementation. The ultimate passage this week of the Southern Sudan Referendum Law is a positive step towards CPA implementation, allowing critical preparations for the referendum to begin in earnest. In this last month of 2009, we have also seen major progress in Chad-Sudan relations, with high-level visits and encouraging steps toward normalization of relations between these two countries. This is a necessary step for advancing the Darfur peace process and achieving lasting changes on the ground for the people of Darfur. I hope that the parties in Sudan will build on these acts of progress and resolve to move forward on the critical issues facing Sudan in the new year. With positive action and political will, the parties in Sudan have an opportunity to work together to bring the Sudanese people the peace, stability, and prosperity they deserve.

Thank you for your continued interest, and have a happy new year, Scott.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

UN brings Sudanese tribes Missiriya & Dinka together for historic peace talks

Report from UN News Centre, Tuesday, 29 December 2009:
UN brings Sudanese tribes together for historic peace talks
The United Nations has paved the way for historic talks between clashing tribes to bolster the fragile peace in the disputed oil-rich area of Abyei, close to the border between Sudan’s north and south and where a referendum on its future is scheduled to be held in 2011.

Nearly five years after the signing of the peace pact ending more than two decades of north-south strife, one of Africa’s longest and bloodiest civil wars in which at least 2 million people were killed, tensions persist in Abyei, home to the Missiriya and Dinka Ngok tribes.

In July, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague shifted some of the borders of Abyei, leaving control of the Heglig oil field with the national Government in Khartoum.

Although that ruling was welcomed by both the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), the two signatories to the 2005 peace agreement, the relationship between the Missiriya and Dinka Ngok tribes has been marked by clashes and inflamed tensions.

Recognizing the need for dialogue at this critical juncture, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and the Abyei Area Administration joined forces to bring the leaders of the two tribes together for the first time in the conflict’s history.

During the 14 December meeting, which kicked off to cheering, drumming and dancing, top officials from the tribes discussed border security, arms control and migration issues.

Over 2,000 people from both tribes attended the talks to accelerate reconciliation and to dispel misconceptions, such as the rumour that the Dinka intend to build a barrier to prevent the Missiriya from herding their cattle between pasture and water.

“Peaceful co-existence is not a matter of choice, but is prerequisite for the continued existence of the two communities because the Missiriya and the Dinka will always remain neighbours irrespective of the 2011 referendum results,” said Amir Kwol Arop Kwol, Paramount Chief of the Dinka Ngok tribe.

The dialogue was also the first in the history of peacebuilding in the Abyei area in which women took an active part in the talks.

“Women bear the heaviest burden during conflict situations,” according to Nyancuk Truk, a representative of the Dinka. “We not only lose our sons and husband in the fighting, but we also lose our dignity.”

UNDP stressed in a press release that “only through the support to community reconciliation dialogues in Sudan that bring together women groups, youth and traditional leaders will the region be able to ensure its hard-won peace.”

Labels: , ,

National Assembly endorses S. Sudan Referendum Law

Southerners who have lived in the north since independence can choose where to vote.

Report from SRS - Sudan Radio Service, Tuesday, 29 December 2009:
National Assembly Endorses Southern Sudan Referendum Law
(Khartoum) – The controversial referendum law for southern Sudan was passed on Tuesday by the National Assembly following a long meeting between the SPLM and the NCP.

The amended law approved by MPs includes a provision demanded by southern politicians that enables southerners living outside the south to cast their ballots in the south.

A previous version adopted unilaterally by the NCP last week prompted a walkout from parliament by southern politicians fearful that if southerners voted in the north they might be subject to intimidation and vote-rigging by the NCP.

In an interview with SRS outside the parliament buildings in Omdurman, Justin Joseph Marona, the co-chairman of SPLM-NCP parliamentary emergency joint committee, said the contentious issues within the bill had been resolved.

[Mr. Justin Marona]: “We’ve agreed that Article 27(3), which was deleted, should be put back. This section enables southerners residing in northern Sudan since independence to return to southern Sudan to prove their ethnic origins (sic). We also added a section that says southerners who have lived in the north since independence can choose where to vote.”

However, Marona, who is negotiating on behalf of the SPLM on the joint committee, said there are still serious differences between the SPLM and the NCP over the Abyei referendum and the popular consultation process for Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains.

[Justin Marona]: “There are still differences over Article 24 that says that the Messiriya groups should vote in the Abyei referendum. But according to the Protocol and the ruling at The Hague, Abyei is the area where the nine Dinka Ng’ok tribes and their chiefs live. So this is the area where the referendum will take place. There will be a meeting shortly over this law. There are also differences over the popular consultation legislation. But our stance has been very clear in all the negotiations.”

Marona expressed his optimism that the differences will soon be resolved in the course of meetings between the SPLM Vice Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar and the 2nd Vice President of the Republic, Ali Osman Mohammed Taha.

Labels: , ,

S. Sudan referendum bill passage delayed until Tuesday?

Today there are conflicting news reports of the National Congress Party and the SPLM reaching an agreement over controversial referendum legislation, following a debate in the National Assembly in Khartoum on Monday.

This morning, I received an email from Sudan Radio Service requesting me to withdraw their report published 28 December 2009 entitled NCP And SPLM Agree Over Referendum Legislation.   

Note that Sudan Tribune's report today says South Sudan is rejecting ‘inclusive’ referendum bill -- Southern Sudan referendum bill passage delayed until Tuesday

More here later when news becomes more clear. 

Labels:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Can northern Sudan alone pass laws for the whole of Sudan?

The United States Embassy in Khartoum issued a strongly-worded statement from the State Department on Wednesday evening following the announcement that the NCP had passed legislation which differed from the original bill agreed to by the SPLM. Further details here below.

NCP Passing Of Amended Referendum Act Angers SPLM As US State Department Expresses Concern
Report by SRS - Sudan Radio Service, Wednesday, 23 December 2009:
(Khartoum) – The SPLM is accusing the NCP of pushing an amended version of controversial referendum legislation through parliament on Tuesday. The US State Department has issued a strongly-worded statement condemning the NCP for the move.

The SPLM claim that the legislation, which in part lays out the procedure for a referendum to decide the future of southern Sudan, was amended during the passage of the bill without the SPLM being consulted.

NCP MPs used their majority in the parliament to amend article 27 of the legislation which had previously been agreed with the SPLM. The article now includes a clause which stipulates that southerners living in the north must vote in the north during the referendum.

The move caused outrage among SPLM MPs and other southern political parties. They demanded that the agreed article should be reinstated. The original article stipulated that "all southerners living outside southern Sudan should return to their region of origin in order to vote."

The SPLM deputy chairman, Dr. Riek Machar, expressed his "surprise" at the NCP move at a press conference in Khartoum on Tuesday evening.

[Riek Machar]: “We are surprised about what happened today, because we had agreed at the highest level about this law. We agreed at the level of the presidency, attended by both chairmen of the NCP and the SPLM, after which this law was approved by the cabinet. We were present at that meeting. They (NCP) even described the session as "historic". There was a common desire to pass the referendum law for southern Sudan, the popular consultation process for Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile and the referendum law for Abyei. On Monday, I held a meeting with El Shiekh Ali, the joint chairman of the joint executive political committee and we discussed the importance of passing these laws.”

Machar added that after the NCP's decision to amend the agreed legislation, the SPLM will consider passing a different referendum law in the Southern Sudan legislative assembly.

[Dr. Riak Machar]: “I would like to say we will not accept the law which was passed today, because the SPLM caucus withdrew and the southern political parties also withdrew from the session. Some members from the NCP also withdrew from the assembly. The house was turned into a northern Sudanese assembly. Can northern Sudan alone pass laws for the whole of Sudan? I think this is an unacceptable precedent, because southern Sudanese could say to themselves that if things have reached such a state, then we will pass the agreed legislation in the south - then we will see which law will be the national law because we reject what took place today."

However, the NCP chairman of the committee which supervised the drafting of the referendum laws, Badreia Suliman, speaking at a press conference in Khartoum on Tuesday, said that the SPLM’s withdrawal from the parliament was unjustified since the terms were agreed upon by the two partners in previous meetings.

[Badreia Suliman]: “The withdrawal of our brothers in the SPLM from the legislative assembly session at the final stage which was meant to pass the referendum legislation is inexcusable, because the law was already agreed upon by all the political parties who were represented on the emergency committee.”

The NCP insists that including the original article violated the constitutional rights of Sudanese citizens because it contradicts article 25 which guards against racial discrimination in Sudan.

Other than southerners living in the north being able to vote in the south, the SPLM had insisted that southerners living abroad should also be able to vote during the referendum in 2011.

The disagreement between the NCP and the SPLM over the disputed article highlights recent tensions between two CPA partners and threatens to call into question the legitimacy of the referendum legislation under the terms of the CPA.


The United States Embassy in Khartoum issued a strongly-worded statement from the State Department on Wednesday evening following the announcement that the NCP had passed legislation which differed from the original bill agreed to by the SPLM:

“The United States is deeply concerned about reports that the National Assembly passed the Southern Sudan referendum bill with language added by the NCP that is different than that agreed to by NCP and SPLM leadership. Reneging on the agreement negotiated on December 13th by the two parties undermines the peace process, jeopardizes CPA implementation, and risks sparking renewed political hostilities between the parties. We call on the parties to pass the remaining bills, including the Abyei referendum bill, using the text as agreed, and to restore the Southern Sudan referendum bill to the agreed-upon language before it is signed into law.”

In the same statement, the United States also expressed its concern about the passage of a revised National Security Act on Monday which it said, “contains no new measures of accountability for the security services. For elections to be credible, it is incumbent on the regime to demonstrate in word and in deed that this law will not be used to arrest and detain political opponents. The Government of Sudan must also make immediate and significant improvements to the electoral environment, including permitting peaceful demonstrations, ending press censorship, and allowing opposition voices to be heard. The high voter registration signals the clear desire of the people of Sudan to participate in the process of democratic transformation as proposed in the spirit and letter of the CPA. The United States calls on all parties to work together to ensure the upcoming elections and referenda are conducted in a credible manner.”

The statement was issued by the US Embassy in Khartoum on Wednesday evening.
- - -

See report by Radio Dabanga in The Netherlands, 23 December 2009 entitled Vice president Sudan Salva Kiir feels cheated.

Labels: , , ,

SPLM delegation visits Cairo to discuss CPA

SPLM Delegation Spends Weekend In Cairo To Discuss CPA
Report from SRS - Sudan Radio Service, 22 December 2009:
(Cairo) – The SPLM and the Egyptian government discussed the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and other issues in Cairo on Saturday.

The SPLM delegation, headed by GONU Minister of Foreign Affairs Deng Alor, was invited to Cairo by the Egyptian government.

The SPLM secretary-general, Pagan Amum, spoke to SRS on Saturday after the meeting.

[Pagan Amum]: “It was an invitation from the Egyptian government. We met with the Minister Omar Suleiman and other government officials. We discussed the Sudanese crisis and Egypt’s role, and we tried to come up with some solutions. We discussed CPA implementation, peace-building in Sudan, and peace in Darfur. We also spoke about the democratic transformation issue and how to guarantee that the coming general elections will be free and fair and what Egypt could do as far as ending the disagreement between the NCP and SPLM is concerned. All these issues have been discussed.”

Amum also said that the Egyptian government will soon invite the NCP and a delegation from Egypt will also visit Sudan.

Labels: , , ,

S. Sudan: Malakal dockers say insecurity is reducing trade

Malakal Dockers Say Insecurity is Reducing Freight Traffic
Report by SRS - Sudan Radio Service, 22 December 2009:
(Malakal) – Dockers at Malakal port in Upper Nile say that the insecurity situation in the state has greatly reduced the amount of activity at the port.

The leader of the dockworkers’ union in Malakal, Sharaf El-Din Mustafa, told SRS that the amount of goods coming through the port has steadily diminished.

[Sharaf El-Din]: “These days, the situation has become very unpredictable. Traders used to come here, shipping at least about 3000 or 4000, sometimes up to 5000 sacks, now they are bringing 300, 400 or 500 sacks. The recent incidents have really scared people. Frankly, all of us are scared.”

Sharaf El-Din Mustafa, the leader of the dock-workers’ union in Malakal, spoke to SRS on Saturday.
Click on tag here below to view related reports.

Labels:

Message to Red Cross: Please check Darfur prison conditions

Inmates' Relatives Concerned About Darfur Prison Conditions
Report by SRS - Sudan Radio Service, Tuesday, 22 December 2009:
(El Fashir) – Relatives of prisoners from Abu Shok IDP camp in Darfur are protesting about the harsh living conditions endured by inmates who have been in prison for more than six months without trial.

Speaking to SRS on Sunday, a relative of Mayor Hussein Sajoa who preferred to remain anonymous claimed that the prisoners are being tortured and brutally treated.

[Relative]: “These people have been in prison for almost seven months now and so far none of them have been accused of any crimes. We were just told that they are being arrested under ‘emergency legislation’. The prisoners are being tortured both physically and psychologically, and Mayor Hussein Sajoa and Mayor Adam Haroun have had to see a doctor and they started undergoing tests since yesterday. Concerning Sheikh Abdul Razig; Razig’s health and mental state is not good; he is now acting like someone who has completely lost his mind. He can’t even sit with the other prisoners.”

A member pf the Northern Darfur legislative council, Sheikh Duda Adam Hamid, also spoke out against the prisoners’ treatment.

[Duda Adam]: “Our brother, Abdul Razig, who is one of the very active persons as far as the displaced people are concerned, was arrested for no good reason six months ago and was thrown in jail. This automatically led him to have a serious mental problem which he is currently suffering from. Yesterday, there was a group which went to visit the prison, including the chairperson of the social affairs committee in the legislative council, Madam Aisha Mohammed Ahmed. She went to visit Abdul Razig in prison and she found that the man’s mental condition was very bad, and so she spoke to the person in charge and he promised her that the patient will be taken to Professor Ibrahim, the psychiatrist. We are still asking for the release of the prisoners.”

At the beginning of the year, authorities in El-Fashir arrested the leaders of different IDP camps in the Darfur region.

Labels:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

UNHCR: LRA killed 1,200 & abducted 1,400 in N.E. Congo Sep 2008 to Jun 2009 + killed 80 in 27 attacks in S. Sudan Dec 2008 - Mar 2009

UN report details attacks on civilians. See report by Associated Press, December 22, 2009 at this blog's sister site Congo Watch.

Labels:

MINURCAT forces have trained Chadian DIS officers to serve as part of a special security force for campsites in E. Chad

UN staff escape injury after attack in southeast Chad
From UN News Centre 20 December 2009:
United Nations peacekeepers have helped secure an area of south-eastern Chad where a UN civilian logistics convoy came under attack from unidentified armed men earlier this morning.
The convoy was travelling between the towns of Goz Beida and Koukou Angarana when it was ambushed at gunpoint by the attackers, who commandeered one of the three vehicles in the convoy and fled, according to a press release issued by the UN peacekeeping force in Chad and the Central African Republic (known as MINURCAT).

Members of the Chadian Detachement Integre de Securite (DIS) team, which had been accompanying the convoy, then pursued the attackers and recaptured the stolen vehicle. One DIS officer was injured in the ensuing exchange of gunfire.

MINURCAT and the DIS dispatched teams to the scene to secure the area, provide medical assistance and retrieve the vehicles, the mission reported.

MINURCAT forces have trained DIS officers, comprised of Chadian police and gendarmes, to serve as part of a special security force entrusted with providing security to the campsites in eastern Chad that are home to thousands of Chadian internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees from the neighbouring Darfur region of Sudan. They are also tasked with helping to protect humanitarian workers operating in the region.

Labels:

Kala azar (sand fly bites) kills 11 people in Jonglei, S. Sudan

Kala Azar Disease Kills 11 in Jonglei
Report by Sudan Radio Service, 21 December 2009:
(Bor) – Eleven people have died from Kala azar disease while more than 37 others have been admitted to Fangak county dispensary in Jonglei state.

Kala azar is a fatal parasitic disease that affects the internal organs. It is transmitted by sand-fly bites.

Our correspondent in Bor, Sirocco Mayom sent this report.

[Sirocco Mayom]: “At least 37 people were admitted to Fangak clinic as a result of Kala azar. The commissioner of the county told reporters yesterday that the situation is critical in the areas of Akobo, Ayod, Fangak and Pigii. Eleven people have died as a result of the disease. He urged the Government of Southern Sudan and the government of the state to provide more drugs for the disease. He said that the government of southern Sudan was to provide three boxes of drugs but this is not enough for the patients because there are many patients that may still be infected.”

Sirocco Mayom was reporting for SRS from Bor.
- - -

Sandfly bite from Egyptian Sandfly

Sandfly bite - Wikipedia

Labels:

Sudan Radio Service's producer visited Malakal market, Upper Nile, southern Sudan

Mixed Messages From Malakal On Security
Report by SRS - Sudan Radio Service, 21 December 2009:
(Malakal) – In Malakal, Upper Nile state, residents have mixed views about the security situation, some saying that the situation is calm, while others are living in fear.

Our producer, Hussein Halfawi, visited Malakal market on Thursday and spoke to residents. He sent this report.

[Halfawi]: “Malakal, in Upper Nile state appears to be enjoying a special and unique festive atmosphere, despite the insecurity and bloody tribal clashes that the area had experienced during the past four years. The city is calm and the security is pretty normal, as you can hear in the background, people are busy in the market, restaurants and shops are working normally, and you can hear different types of music playing in the shops. Life is so normal here so far, people here greet each other everywhere as if they are one family, despite the political conflicts, the lack of development and the tribal clashes that erupt from time to time which could badly affect this beautiful city. Let us now hear how the people feel here in the market.”

[Female 1]: “Really the security situation is very difficult in the area, we are close to Christmas now and everyone is scared that a problem can suddenly occur and they will start running. Women here are ready and willing to celebrate Christmas in peace and stability, but still there is fear inside them because the security situation is bad due to the increase in the tribal clashes. We don’t know what the solution will be. The state government itself is the one contributing to the deterioration of security."

[Male 1]: “While I’m talking to you now, I feel scared. If I hear a car tire burst I will just run without asking what has happened. This is the situation, everyone is careful. Here in the market, we are the most scared people, now I have learnt how to shut down my shop in less than a minute and run.”

However some people think that the security situation will be calm, following the appointment of the new governor.

[Male 2]: “Actually currently there are a lot of changes in Malakal, unlike before. As far as security is concerned, we are actually stable, the way I see the security level for the time being, it seems to me the security is improving and we are expecting more improvement."

[Male 3]: “Generally, there is no fear, people are just scared for nothing, there is nothing happening inside the state. When they changed the governor, people thought there would be chaos and that the new governor will face difficulties, but we thank God there is no problem and it went peacefully."

Those were the views of Malakal residents on the security situation in the area.

Early this month, there was tension in the state when the former governor, Galuak Deng Garang, refused to hand over his position to the newly-appointed governor, William Othwonh.
- - -

Further news from Sudan Radio Service 21-Dec-2009

Labels: , ,

UN chief: Civil society and rebel groups agree to resume talks in Doha Qatar 18 Jan followed by talks between Government and rebel groups 24 Jan 2010

Quote of the Day
"It will be the Sudanese people who solve Sudan’s problems. But working together, the United Nations and the African Union can provide them with critical assistance on their difficult journey towards lasting peace and prosperity." -UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, 21 December 2009.
Source: Report on UN Secretary-General's remarks to the Security Council’s briefing by the African Union High-level Panel on the Sudan, in New York today, 21 December 2009.
From:  UN Department of Public Information, News and Media Division, New York.  Copy in full:
UNITED NATIONS, AFRICAN UNION CAN PROVIDE CRITICAL HELP ON SUDANESE PEOPLE’S JOURNEY TOWARDS LASTING PEACE, SECRETARY-GENERAL TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the Security Council’s briefing by the African Union High-level Panel on the Sudan, in New York today, 21 December:

I am honoured to be with you today, and to welcome this esteemed delegation. Today’s meeting is an important symbol of collaboration between the African Union and the United Nations. It is also another concrete demonstration of our common commitment to work with the Sudanese people in addressing the serious challenges they face.

Today the Panel will brief you on their report which has been adopted in its entirety by the African Union Peace and Security Council. The Council also established a High-level Implementation Panel comprised of former Presidents Thabo Mbeki, Pierre Buyoya and retired General Abdulsalami Abubakar. We are privileged to receive their first-hand briefing.

The report of the High-level Panel provides a frank assessment and insightful analysis of the situation in Sudan and offers numerous proposals for the way forward. Perhaps above all, the Panel members have insisted on seeing Sudan in its totality. They have clearly articulated the links between the crisis in Darfur and broader efforts to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Their insights come at a critical moment. In little more than three months, elections are scheduled to take place. In just over a year, the two referenda are scheduled, which will determine the future shape of Sudan. The National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM), as the two parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, have taken steps to prepare for these major events, but there is still much to be done.

We must remember that neither the election nor the referenda are ends in themselves. Managing the results -- whatever the outcome -- will require genuine cooperation between the NCP and the SPLM. In the meantime, violence -- in South Sudan in particular -- is occurring on a disturbing scale and frequency.

In Darfur, the peace process has reached a critical point. Chief Mediator Djibril Bassolé has been working with the Government of Qatar to generate momentum by giving civil society a strong voice at the peace talks. Representatives of civil society and armed movements have agreed to resume consultations in Doha on 18 January next, which will be followed by direct talks between the Government and the movements on 24 January 2010.

Efforts must continue to encourage the Government, and more especially the rebel movements, to make concessions and embrace the consensus which Mr. Bassolé is building. In my view, the High-level Implementation Panel, and the international community at large, has a critical role to play here. By giving Mr. Bassolé our unequivocal support, we will send a strong message to all parties that they must engage in the negotiations he is leading.

Beyond this, the Panel can make an invaluable contribution to the “soft-landing” we are all working towards after the election and referenda, by helping the parties to the CPA to bridge their differences. This is an outcome that is badly needed for Sudan itself, but also for Sudan’s neighbours and, indeed, for all of Africa. The High-level Panel also addressed the difficult issues of justice and reconciliation in Sudan. Their efforts to develop creative and pragmatic proposals are highly commendable.

We must keep sight of the importance of compliance with Security Council resolution 1593 (2005), referring the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court.

I have just concluded a very productive meeting with the visiting delegation, in the course of which we agreed on the importance of continuing close AU-UN cooperation on Sudan. Beyond our co-management of UNAMID, we must make every effort to ensure that the activities of the United Nations in Sudan and the work of the African Union’s High-level Implementation Panel are mutually supportive.

It will be the Sudanese people who solve Sudan’s problems. But working together, the United Nations and the African Union can provide them with critical assistance on their difficult journey towards lasting peace and prosperity.
- - -

Further reading

REPORT OF THE AFRICAN UNION HIGH‐LEVEL PANEL ON DARFUR (AUPD) OCTOBER 2009

UN Radio - African Union panel briefs the Council on Sudan - 21 December 2009

SECURITY COUNCIL REFERS SITUATION IN DARFUR, SUDAN, TO PROSECUTOR OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT - Resolution 1593 (2005) Adopted by Vote of 11 in Favour To None Against, with 4 Abstentions (Algeria, Brazil, China, United States)

Click on tags here below to view related reports.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sudanese minister says GONU will do more to protect NGOs

Report from SRS - Sudan Radio Service, 17 December 2009:
State Minister Says GONU Will Do More To Protect NGO Staff
(Khartoum) – The Government of National Unity has acknowledged the existence of a humanitarian crisis in Sudan.

Speaking after his visit to European countries on Tuesday, the State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Dr. Abdulbagi al-Geilani said that there are humanitarian needs in Darfur and southern Sudan that have to be resolved.

[Dr. Abdulbagi al-Geilani]: “If we say we don’t have a problem, we are lying to you. We have problems in Darfur; we have problems in southern Sudan and with the CPA. We do have problems with the CPA. They don’t talk of the 80 percent that has been implemented, what they talk about is the 20 percent of the CPA which has not been implemented. Why are we not concentrating on the eighty percent of the CPA which is already implemented? There are some areas that are disputed, let us deal with these and concentrate on them. But always they are focusing on the non-implementation of democratic transformation as if the whole of the CPA is connected with two or three laws. Now people have sat down and resolved them, it means that we need to concentrate on the positive issues.”

Al-Geilani added that there is no war in Darfur and he blamed armed bandits for being responsible for threatening humanitarian operations in the region.

[Dr. Abdulbagi al-Geilani]: “There is no war in Darfur, there are some bandits threatening humanitarian operations, because they target humanitarian workers. This indirectly affects the humanitarian operations. We said that the Sudanese government has solutions to these problems. Firstly we must provide security for the staff and offices of humanitarian organizations; we must give them some kind of protection. They refused this idea because they thought it might damage their credibility and their independence. As you heard, two aid workers were released after 107 days. This shows that the mechanisms which we have begun to put in place are functioning.”

Last month, al-Geilani visited Morocco, Britain, Ireland and Columbia to attend conferences on humanitarian issues in these countries and to discuss ways of resolving the Darfur conflict.

Labels:

Sudan Radio Service speaks to residents in Malakal, Upper Nile, southern Sudan

Report from SRS - Sudan Radio Service, 16 December 2009:
Malakal Residents Optimistic After NCP-SPLM Accord
(Malakal) – Residents in Malakal, Upper Nile state, have expressed their satisfaction following the announcement by the two principle signatories to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that they have reached an agreement on referendum and popular consultation legislation.

Over the weekend, the NCP and SPLM reached an agreement over the referendum laws for southern Sudan and Abyei and the popular consultation process for Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

SRS spoke to some residents in Malakal on Tuesday.

[Resident 1]: “I hope the two partners, despite the time they are taking to dodge these issues, will eventually agree to solve them, because these issues concern everyone. Even Pagan Amum and Yassir Arman had urged that these issues should be resolved, because people are heading for the referendum without any clear solution being reached. But we thank God that the two partners have agreed about most of their differences, hoping that even the remaining issues will be solved.”

[Resident 2]: “My opinion regarding the agreement of the two partners and the pending issues is that these are very important things. They are the partners who are responsible for the CPA and they are the only two parties who can implement the CPA. This is a good step which will lead to the democratic transformation that people are demanding.”

[Resident 3]: “After many differences, arguments and arrests, the two partners have decided to agree. As long as they have agreed on something that will lead the country forward, that is good.”

The parties agreed that a 60 percent turnout of registered voters and a 50 plus 1 percent 'Yes' vote would enable the south to declare independence following the referendum for self-determination which is scheduled to take place in 2011.

Labels: , ,

SLM's Minnawi calls for more opposition demonstrations to establish a 'better Sudan'

Report from SRS - Sudan Radio Service, 16 December 2009:
Minawi Calls For More Opposition Demonstrations
(Khartoum) – Senior presidential advisor Minni Arko Minawi is calling on political parties to continue staging demonstrations, saying it is the only way to establish a 'better Sudan'.

Minawi, who is also the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement-Minawi faction, spoke to SRS during a ceremony to celebrate the release of the people who were detained following demonstrations on Monday in Khartoum.

[Minni Minawi]: “If the situation is complicated, people will become more agitated. Why? Because next April people are hoping that the elections will determine the destiny of Sudan. But I say it is time to establish the real Sudan, because as it is, the real Sudan is not well established. If we build Sudan on mistakes, it will continue to have catastrophes but if it is correctly established, it will move forward. If we continue to be scared of the authorities and those in power, our rights will be lost forever. But if people stand together today, men and women, for sure things will change. For that reason I would like to appreciate, praise and thank our brothers who participated in the demonstrations.”

About 50 people were arrested by police on Monday following an attempt to stage a rally in front of the National Assembly to demand pro-democracy reforms to pave the way for 2010 elections.

Labels:

Sudan African National Union expresses election doubts

From SRS - Sudan Radio Service, 16 December 2009:
SANU Expresses Election Doubts
(Juba) – The Sudan African National Union has expressed its concern that the forthcoming general elections will neither be free nor fair.

SANU chairman Dr. Toby Madut told SRS that the election process is too complicated, particularly as it will be conducted during the rainy season:

[Dr. Toby Madut]: “We are going to be voting in the rainy season and we think this is not the right time of year for elections. Secondly, we feel that the way voting is done, the way a voter has to vote 12 times, is really inconvenient and not only inconvenient but our people will not be able to vote properly. Most of the people are illiterate and don’t understand all these procedures and if we go ahead with this type of voting then many people will not vote properly - or at all.”

He added that the elections will also not be free and fair if the government does not provide funding for political parties to enable them to explain their policies.

Madut also feels that the elections should take place at different times and not all together:

[Toby Madut]: “There should be several phases of elections. In the first phase, people should only vote to elect the President of the Republic and the President of the Government of Southern Sudan and the Governors. Then, after a year, people can vote for the constituencies, the women’s lists and the party lists.”

SANU is currently selecting its candidates to stand in the forthcoming elections scheduled for April 2010.

Labels:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

South Sudan: NCP accuses SPLM of registering voters after December 7 deadline

Hello, the second paragraph of this report made me laugh. Maybe I'm in a funny mood today and this report is not funny at all.

From SRS - Sudan Radio Service, 15 December 2009:
NCP Accuses SPLM of Registering Voters After December 7 Deadline
(Khartoum) – The National Congress Party is accusing the SPLM of registering voters after the registration exercise has officially ended.

The NCP secretary for Greater Bahr el-Ghazal, Matthew Mayor, told SRS on Tuesday in Khartoum that the voter registration exercise is still continuing in some parts of southern Sudan. Voter registration officially ended in Sudan on December 7.

[Matthew Mayor]: “Yesterday, we discovered that they were still registering people and we launched an investigation. We received accusations three days ago saying that the SPLM is still registering voters, even after the end of the official period. The registration papers have been seen at the polling stations. They have still not been collected and we are concerned that registration is still underway even after the end of the official period. People who are in the field are saying the SPLM is still registering soldiers. Of course this is not a simple issue, it is a big one and we will discuss it with the relevant authorities, which is the commission. This is a violation of the voter registration exercise.”

SRS attempted to contact the head of voter registration at the NEC, Alhadi Mohamed Ahmed, but he was unavailable for comment.

Labels: , ,

South Sudan: Teachers in Juba return to their classrooms after being paid

Good news from SRS - Sudan Radio Service, 15 December 2009:
Teachers End Strike in Juba County
(Juba) – Teachers in Juba county went back to school on Tuesday after being paid their salaries for September and October.

The teachers’ representative, the headmaster of Juba Day Secondary School, the Rev. Daniel Swaka, speaking to Sudan Radio Service on Tuesday, confirmed that the strike had ended:

[Rev. Daniel Swaka]: “The teachers held a meeting and decided that they stop the strike and immediately start classes on the 15th which is today and in fact in the early morning as usual we came to the school and the lessons started normally which is an indication that the strike is already off.”

Teachers in Juba county went on strike in early November in protest against the government whom they accused of withholding salaries for September and October.
Click on tag here below to view previous reports.

Labels:

Monday, December 14, 2009

SLA's Minnawi calls for implementation of Darfur Peace Agreement

On Saturday, Minni Arko Minnawi met with the First Vice-president of the Republic of Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit.

From SRS - Sudan Radio Service, Monday, 14 December 2009:
Minawi Calls For Implementation of DPA
(Khartoum) – The senior Presidential Assistant, Minni Arko Minawi is urging the Government of National Unity to implement the Darfur Peace Agreement.

Minawi spoke to journalists in Khartoum on Saturday following his meeting with the First Vice-president of the Republic, Salva Kiir Mayardit.

[Minni Minawi]: “We discussed major issues concerning Sudan and Darfur. The First Vice-president briefed us on the meetings between the SPLM and the National Congress Party. I demanded that there must be a statement regarding the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement and that the DPA should be implemented as soon as possible. In addition, laws should be enacted so that all of us are on an equal footing in implementing the agreements, passing key laws and moving the democratic transformation process forward.”

Minawi, who is also the leader of the Sudan Liberation Army, signed the DPA with GONU in the Nigerian capital Abuja 5th May 2006, before breaking ranks with GONU later in the year over the issue of UN troop deployment in Darfur.

Labels: ,

Sudanese GONU pledges to implement AUPD Report - Mbeki met with Turabi and Mahdi

From SRS - Sudan Radio Service, Monday, 14 December 2009:
GONU Pledges to Implement AU Panel Report
(Khartoum) – The Government of National Unity has repeated its willingness to implement the report of the African Union Panel on Darfur headed by Thabo Mbeki.

Presidential advisor Dr. Ghazi Al-Atabani spoke to journalists in Khartoum on Sunday following his meeting with Mbeki.

[Dr. Ghazi Al-Atabani]: “We have affirmed our readiness to cooperate with the AU panel. We can achieve peace within the time allowed for us because elections will be conducted next April and that will bring in a new government. However, time is limited and so we agreed that we need to move quickly to achieve peace in Darfur. Finally, we agreed that we will consult with them on the procedure to adopt for implementing the report. There are some initial and "non-final" ideas embodied in the report. We have agreed that those ideas need to be explored in greater detail. We have also agreed to hold joint consultations on how to implement them but we do not call these reservations.”

The chairman of the AU panel, Thabo Mbeki, met several northern Sudanese political leaders during his last visit, including the secretary-general of the Popular Congress Party, Dr. Hassan Abdalla al-Turabi and the chairman of the Umma National Party, Saddiq al-Mahdi.

Labels: , ,

15 million Sudanese voters registered for elections

From SRS - Sudan Radio Service, Monday, 14 December 2009:
NEC Registers More Than 15 Million Voters
(Khartoum) – The National Electoral Commission has announced that more than 15 million voters have been registered for the forthcoming elections.

According to the head of registration at the NEC, Alhadi Ahmed Mohamed, about 15.8 million voters had registered by Sunday.

Alhadi Ahmed Mohamed spoke to SRS in Khartoum on Sunday.

[Alhadi Ahmed Mohamed]: “When we started the voter registration, we were anticipating a sixty percent turnout, or about eleven million people. Now we have exceeded fifteen million and are heading for seventeen million. I think this is a good percentage. Registration was conducted efficiently. During the period, we never faced any security problems, different parties carried out their work perfectly. The higher committees, the registration officials, the police force who secured the places, the government and the donors who paid for the operation; everyone was deeply committed to the process.”

Alhadi Ahmed Mohamed was speaking to SRS in Khartoum on Sunday.

Labels: ,

SPLM satisfied with referendum negotiations

GOSS President Salva Kiir returned to Juba on Monday after a breakthrough in discussions with the NCP over legislation concerning referendums to decide the future of southern Sudan and Abyei.

Once the Southern Sudan Referendum law is passed, the Referendum Commission will be set up and the registration process for the referendum will begin. Another commission will also be set up for the Abyei area to determine the criteria for voting for non-Dinka Ngok living in Abyei.

Note that the registration required to vote in the elections scheduled for 2010 is separate and different from the registration process required for the referendum votes and the popular consultation exercise.

From SRS - Sudan Radio Service, 14 December 2009:
SPLM Satisfied With Referendum Negotiations Despite Accepting NCP Demands
(Khartoum) – GOSS President Salva Kiir returned to Juba on Monday after a breakthrough in discussions with the NCP over legislation concerning referendums to decide the future of southern Sudan and Abyei. Progress was also made in negotiations concerning the popular consultation process for the people of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.

The GOSS Minister of Presidential affairs, Dr. Luka Biong, who accompanied Kiir, told journalists that the parties have agreed on a voter participation rate of 60% to enable southerners to be able to vote for secession in the 2011 referendum:

[Dr. Luka Biong]: “I think for the people of southern Sudan it is good news despite the fact that the SPLM was pushing for the turnout percentage to be 55% of the total electorate, with a simple majority of 50 plus one but the SPLM felt that it was necessary to move ahead and to accept the NCP demand for a higher turnout of 60% per cent of the electorate. We think this is achievable because the registration of people in southern Sudan has shown clearly that the turnout could even be more than 60%.”

Dr. Biong added that once the Southern Sudan Referendum law is passed, the Referendum Commission will be set up and the registration process for the referendum will begin.

The Minister noted that another commission will also be set up for the Abyei area to determine the criteria for voting for non-Dinka Ngok living in Abyei.

It is important to remember that the registration required to vote in the elections scheduled for 2010 is separate and different from the registration process required for the referendum votes and the popular consultation exercise.

Labels: , , , ,

Sudan's Council of Ministers endorses the referendum law

President al-Bashir, First Vice-president Salva Kiir and the 2nd Vice-president Ali Osman Taha met in Khartoum on Sunday.

From SRS - Sudan Radio Service, Monday, 14 December 2009:
Council of Ministers Endorses Voter Legislation
(Khartoum) – The national council of ministers on Sunday night unanimously endorsed the referendum law for southern Sudan, Abyei and the popular consultation laws for Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

The council had called for an emergency meeting headed by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and attended by his Vice-president Salva Kiir, together with presidential assistants and advisors.

President al-Bashir, First Vice-president Salva Kiir and the 2nd Vice-president Ali Osman Taha met in Khartoum on Sunday.

President al-Bashir was in a conciliatory mood after the meeting but warned against what he described as outside interference:

[Omar al-Bashir]: “This is an important session and a step towards the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. We hope we will move together to accomplish the full mission of the interim period by conducting free and fair elections, which will be an example. Experience has shown that even if the political situation has worsened, when we sit together responsibly, we overcame all the hurdles. I think this is a lesson we can learn from. We have always insisted that we should not involve others, because they turn it into their business.”

The laws will be tabled before the National Assembly on Monday for debate and endorsement before the Assembly is dismissed.

The move follows a breakthrough in negotiations between the two principal partners to the CPA, the SPLM and the NCP, regarding some of the contentious issues in the CPA.

The parties agreed that a 60 percent turnout of registered voters and a 50 plus 1 percent 'Yes' vote in the referendum for self-determination, due to take place in 2011, would lead to the granting of independence for southern Sudan.

Addressing the press, SPLM secretary-general Pagan Amum announced the agreement.

[Pagan Amum]: “We have reached an agreement on the three major disputed laws, which may lead to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The referendum law, self-determination for south Sudan, and the popular consultation law for both South Kordofan and Blue Nile and the referendum law for the Abyei area. This decision agreed upon by the two parties will be presented to the cabinet and then to the National Assembly. We hope that the National Assembly will be ready to adopt these laws before the end of the current session.”


Pagan Amum was speaking during a press conference in Khartoum on Sunday.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Salva Kiir locked in crisis talks since Thursday

The leaders of Sudan and of its semi-autonomous southern region are having crucial talks in Khartoum.

It is rare for Sudan's most important politicians to meet, but President Omar al-Bashir and Salva Kiir have been locked in crisis talks since Thursday.

The direct head-to-head talks reflect a growing worry in Sudan about the state of the peace process.

The talks are focusing on the remaining issues dividing the sides. Four major areas of disagreement remain between the sides.

Full story by James Copnall, BBC News, Khartoum, Sudan, Saturday, 12 December 2009: Sudanese leaders locked in crisis talks


Sudan leaders reach deal on disputed reforms: SPLM

Reuters - Andrew HeavensEdmund Blair - ‎50 minutes ago‎
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - A senior south Sudanese official said on Sunday his group had reached a deal with the main northern party on laws related to democratic ...

Labels: , ,

Saturday, December 12, 2009

SPLM-DC arming militia in southern Sudan?

From SRS - Sudan Radio Service , 11 December 2009:
(Khartoum) – The government of Upper Nile is accusing the SPLM-DC of arming a militia in the region.

On Wednesday, the deputy governor of Upper Nile state escaped death after his convoy from Akoka was ambushed by gunmen who were later captured.

The state Minister for Information, Thon Muom claims that one of the gunmen is an SPLM-DC militia member.

He spoke to SRS on Thursday.

[Thon Muom]: “The gunmen that we are talking about support the SPLM-DC. We were ambushed by an organized gang. They attacked us from the roadside while others were blocking the road. After the SPLA soldiers backed us up, some of them ran towards the river. Our soldiers were able to repulse them and we caught some of them. That’s when we discovered that they were an SPLM-DC militia. One of the people we caught is called James Uthou and he admitted that they have a battalion and half in Al-Jazeera and their commander is call Guang Nyaker. They get their supplies from Kodok and are paid from Malakal here.”

Asked to respond to the allegation that his party operated a militia in south Sudan, the SPLM-DC chairman Dr. Lam Akol, brushed off the accusation.

[Dr. Lam Akol]: “The SPLM-DC doesn’t have any militia. I have said that several times. But there are people who want to tarnish our name, people who are afraid of the progress that the SPLM-DC is making in southern Sudan and the popularity which we are getting. They are scared of that. The fighting in the area started six months ago. In January, in the same area where they claim the ambush took place, the Shilluk were shot at by some Dinka. Were they SPLM-DC? In September, some Shilluk armed men retaliated and killed Dinka in Gai-Thiang. Were they for the SPLM-DC? Akoka was attacked last month by some armed men, among the dead were SPLA soldiers. Were they for the SPLM-DC? There is armed conflict all over the south, are they all caused by SPLM-DC militias? Let them take the people they claim to have captured to court. Why have they not taken them to court so that everybody will know that the court has convicted somebody? In any case, we are going to take the minister to court so he can prove his allegations. We are taking him to court for defamation.”

Dr Lam Akol was speaking to SRS from Khartoum on Friday.

Labels: ,

Thursday, December 10, 2009

CECAFA - Sudan Cup: El-Malakia from Juba is in Khartoum to play against El-Merrikh

Football in southern Sudan is developing and has a bright future. El-Malakia from Juba is in Khartoum to play against national giant El-Merrikh in the quarter-finals of the Sudan Cup. It is the first time in many years that a team from Juba has reached this level of the competition.

The Sudan Football Association (SFA) is holding its Annual General Meeting this week in Khartoum. Six new football associations from southern Sudan have joined this year’s assembly.

Reportedly, finance is the main reason Sudan's national team was not able to participate in this year’s CECAFA tournament in Nairobi, Kenya.

From SRS - Sudan Radio Service, Thursday, 10 December 2009:
(Khartoum) – The Sudan Football Association (SFA) says that the national team was not able to participate in this year’s CECAFA tournament in Nairobi because of financial constraints.

The Secretary General of the SFA, Rudolf Andrea, spoke to SRS in Khartoum on Thursday.

[Rudolf Andrea]: “The national team needed plenty of training but our financial situation prevented us from participating. The time was so short, by the time the decision was taken, the start of the CECAFA competition was only a week or two away. There wasn't enough time to gather the players and prepare them to go out there to play. Finance is the main reason Sudan is not participating.”

The SFA is holding its Annual General Meeting this week in Khartoum. Six new football associations from southern Sudan have joined this year’s assembly.

In other soccer news…

El-Malakia from Juba is in Khartoum to play against national giant El-Merrikh in the quarter-finals of the Sudan Cup. It is the first time in many years that a team from Juba has reached this level of the competition.

Rudolf Andrea noted that this shows football in southern Sudan is developing and has a bright future.

[Rudolf Andrea]: “El-Malakia team reached this level after defeating Renk Olympic, Rapta Kosti and El-Merriekh from Geneina. I want to say that this is the first time a team from southern Sudan has reached this far in a competition organized by the national football association.”

El-Malakia was beaten 4-2 in Juba by El-Merrikh on Tuesday but still got a place in the quarter finals on points.
- - -

UPDATE - From SRS - Sudan Radio Service, 11 December 2009:
(Khartoum) – Khartoum's El-Merrikh defeated Malakia from Juba 9-0 in the quarter-finals of Sudan Cup soccer tournament on Thursday evening in Omdurman.

Malakia was beaten 4-2 in Juba by El-Merrikh in the first round on Tuesday.

The chairman of El-Merrikh, Jamal Al-Wali, donated 10 million SDG to the Malakia club as well the gate money which is usually divided between the two teams.

Wali said his club donated the money to Malakia to thank them for the warm welcome and the hospitality accorded to El-Merrikh while the team was in Juba this week.

Al-Wali also donated 60 floodlights for Juba Stadium.

The donation to Malakia Football Club was announced during the match.

El-Merrikh will play Al-Hilal, their principal rival, in the final in Khartoum on Monday.

Al-Hilal defeated Al-Mirgani of Kassala 2-1 in Kassala on Thursday to earn their place in the final.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Government of Southern Sudan has officially launched its website at www.goss.org

From SRS - Sudan Radio Service, Thursday, 10 December 2009:
(Juba) The Government of Southern Sudan has officially launched its website at www.goss.org.

Speaking during the launch ceremony, the GOSS Minister of Information, Paul Mayom, outlined the importance of the website:

[Paul Mayom] “This website puts southern Sudan in a strategic position on the globalized economy to engage effectively and productively with the international community for business development, cultural exchange, democratization and resources mobilization for the corporate well-being of our people. The website will also contribute to the preservation of those positive aspects of our cultures and act as a part of the national memory of our struggles, challenges and hopes. Future generation will turn to its pages to get glimpses of the sacrifices made by our fore fathers. It will also rally them around the national duty to defend the treasure of the liberty for this country.”

Mayom added that the website will also allow southern Sudan to tell its story to the world and take services to its people.

The website was designed by a German firm with funding from the World Bank.
After several weeks of technical difficulties, SRS's website is now up and running again thanks to

Charles Haskins
News Programming Advisor
Sudan Radio Service (SRS)
A project of Education Development Center
Safaricom: +254 715 05 2924
+254 722 20 8598
Thuraya: +882 1643 339 226
Office: +254 (20) 387 0906
Fax: +254 (20) 387 6520
Skype: ackamaracus
www.sudanradio.org

Labels: , , , ,

2010 will be the most crucial year in recent Sudan’s history - SID Forum on Conflict: Launch of Sudan Observatory

From Society for International Development (SID)
By Irene Panozzo, November 3, 2009
SID Forum on Conflict: Launch of Sudan Observatory
2010 will be the most crucial year in recent Sudan’s history. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in January 2005 in Nairobi between president Omar al-Bashir’s government and the then southern rebels of the Sudan’s people liberation movement/army (SPLM/A) is approaching its final and most decisive tests: parliamentary and presidential elections, the first multi-party consultation in 24 years, scheduled for next April and, in January 2011, a referendum through which southerners will decide whether to remain part of the largest African country or to secede, giving birth to an independent South Sudan. More than one year in advance, southerners are widely thought to favour separation. In an unprecedented move, on October 31 Salva Kiir, SPLM chairperson and president of the autonomous South Sudan, has clearly linked the vote for independence to a first class citizenship status in a new country for southerners.

Whichever the South’s choice will be, Sudan’s future appears gloomy. The outcomes of different scenarios exercise by Clingendael Institute and the United States Institute for Peace (Usip) go in the same direction: war might erupt again. Even the best case scenario by Clingendael, ‘CPA Hurray!’, doesn’t exclude conflict, though small-scale and localized. The worst case scenarios by both institutes clearly speak of a renewed large-scale war between North and South Sudan, paralleled by North-North and South-South conflicts and a total collapse of the Cpa. Should this future become reality in 2011 and afterwards, the consequences would be felt well beyond Sudan’s borders, with probable dangerous spill-overs in some East African countries, mainly Uganda and Kenya, and in the Greater Horn of Africa region. Moreover, a new North-South war would certainly have repercussions on Darfur, making a quick solution to that crisis even harder and less probable.

Avoiding a new Sudan’s war is thus clearly the main single challenge the country and its leaderships, both in the North and in the South, must face and possibly win. There is little time left for it: elections will be held in less than six months and there is still a large number of unsettled and potetially disrupting issues blocking the process. North-South borders have not been demarcated yet and the two partners in the government of national unity (GNU), president Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP) and the SPLM, have an ongoing dispute over the use of last year census results, on which part of the electoral process is based.

However, the most urgent issue to solve is the reform or promulgation of a bunch of laws, provided for in the CPA. At the end of November the last pre-electoral parliamentary session will end. The National Assembly has then the next few weeks only to discuss and vote outstanding bills such as the ones reforming the national security and intelligence services and setting the rules for the 2011 southern referendum. While on the latter the two peace partners are still working for a compromise, few weeks ago the NCP tabled a National security forces draft law which would allow the intelligence services to retain powers of arrest and search, a provision the SPLM and opposition parties say would violate the interim constitution. Therefore, on October 19 the SPLM bloc decided to boycott parliamentary activities until the NCP presents a clear timetable to speed up discussions on the remaining bills, so as to have them approved within the end of November. Failing that, the former southern rebels and some opposition parties have already said they will boycott April general elections.

Preserving the CPA and fostering its full implementation could also help address the Darfur crisis, looking at it through a national lens. Significantly, the new US Sudan policy, formally announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on October 19, gives new emphasis to the troubled relationship between North and South for its importance in itself and as a means to approach Darfur problem for what it is: another (unfortunately not the first, hopefully the last) Sudan’s war. The African Union high level panel on Darfur (AUPD), headed by former South Africa’s president Thabo Mbeki, has come to a similar conclusion: in their final report, adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council on October 29, the AUPD members underlined that “Darfur is an integral part of Sudan” and Sudanese people should be enabled “to approach the next important phase of their history as one nation”. Therefore, the AUPD concluded, “there is an urgent need to secure a definitive peace settlement for Darfur before the 2010 general elections”. Time is running dramatically short.
About Irene

Irene Panozzo (Dr.) is researcher and journalist, expert of Sudanese history and politics. Irene’s research work has been focusing on Sudan for more than ten years, with a particular focus on North-South relationship. Her research interests also include the Chinese presence in Africa and the international relations of African countries. Irene holds a bachelor’s in International and Diplomatic Sciences from the University of Trieste and a PhD in History, Institutions and International Relations of Extra European Countries from the University of Pisa.

Get in touch with Irene via Email.

Labels: ,

Jan Pronk: Millions of homeless people and children living in forgotten cities

Millions of people are living in forgotten cities

Quote of the Day on refugee camps
"Thatched huts are upgraded into slums. Camp dwellers start exchanging belongings amongst themselves. Barter develops into markets. People try to make a living through prostitution and crime. Idleness fosters addiction to alcohol and drugs. Combatants come to hide themselves for a while within the camp and recruit youngsters for their militias. People in the camps start organizing themselves. The camps develop into cities, with an economy, a power structure and increasing violence.

Camps are cities in suspense. They suffer from shortages of water and sanitation, shaky food deliveries, oscillating relief assistance, despotic rulers, lawlessness and insecurity, both around the camp and inside."

-Jan Pronk, October 2009 (see copy below).
Prof Jan Pronk of The Netherlands

Professor Jan Pronk (pictured above) the UN Secretary General's former Special Representative to Sudan, now lives and works in The Netherlands. Here is a recently published column from Prof. Pronk's website.

Forgotten
By Jan Pronk
SID, 29 October 2009
Millions of people are living in forgotten cities. They are refugees and displaced persons, put away in camps at the margins of the modern world. Hardly ever a camp is closed down. Camps are swelling in order to offer refuge against continuing or newly emerging danger. Generations stay for decades in one and the same camp. They are doomed to die on the same dumping-ground where they had been born.

Is this acceptable? It seems to be, actually. The world outside is hardly offering a perspective on a new life outside the camps, only some to establish a little order within the camps themselves. Sustaining refugee survival within camps is easier and cheaper than halting the violence which they had to escape. They receive food, plastic sheeting, bore-holes and first aid. Clinics are set up to provide mother and child care. Occasionally some children get a little schooling, mostly in the open air, without books, pens, paper, blackboard and chalk and without salaries for the teachers. Thatched huts are upgraded into slums. Camp dwellers start exchanging belongings amongst themselves. Barter develops into markets. People try to make a living through prostitution and crime. Idleness fosters addiction to alcohol and drugs. Combatants come to hide themselves for a while within the camp and recruit youngsters for their militias. People in the camps start organizing themselves. The camps develop into cities, with an economy, a power structure and increasing violence.

Camps are cities in suspense. They suffer from shortages of water and sanitation, shaky food deliveries, oscillating relief assistance, despotic rulers, lawlessness and insecurity, both around the camp and inside.

The joy of having reached a sanctuary can boost a perspective. It can lead to action and persistence. However, in most camps life is marked by traumas and uncertainty. In these camps suffering abounds and life is desolate and empty.

In all refugee camps life and thought are determined by two things only: memories and expectations. Recollections prevail. Inside the camps everything is being relived, time and again. Bombardments and attacks are recalled and retold. Rape and killings come back to mind daily, together with the nightmares of the flight, the threats and terrors on the way, the fear not to last out. Not all refugees are able to reach safety. In Darfur one out of every seven refugees has been killed.

The recollections go together with the hope of a future in safety, outside the camp, and with expectations about life in decency. Camp dwellers are longing for return to the place where they did belong. They cherish the hope of reconstructing hearth and home and the desire resuming life back home or building a new existence somewhere else..

Refugees tell stories, time and again. Twenty five million refugees, and as many stories. In their stories the past prevails. But at the same time they are mesmerized by the future. People hope, without expecting much. They live between hope and desperation.

A camp may seem to be a static unit of time and space, dead and empty. However, it forms part of a turbulent history, part of a life full of tenacity and yearning. Present life within the camps is a function of both the past and the future. It is the sum total of stories, memories and contemplations, nothing more, but also nothing less: when expectations are betrayed and hopes are dashed, there is nothing left.

For refugees and displaced people in camps the present is empty, an endless repetition of nothingness: no jobs; no information; education devoid of sense; food, water, health and security in doubt – and, for the rest, waiting, just waiting, without any expectation. People sense that they have been forgotten, excluded and deprived of their rights. They find that they are voiceless, powerless and without any perspective. This feeling is right. In the eyes of people in the world outside a refugee is a loser, irrelevant, a burden, worthless, unworthy of rights indeed.

The longer the present will last, the emptier life will become. For millions of refugees and displaced people this is the reality of today. For them the future is a void, it means suffering. The past, on the other side, equals violence and death. The world they fled was a jungle. The camp, upon arrival, was a hiding place, an asylum and a sanctuary. However, gradually it became a dump, a junk heap and a prison. Like dumping grounds are being covered with soil to put these out of sight, camps are wrapped up with relief to salve our conscience. Rather than offering women, children, old age people, farmers, villagers and other civilians protection against evil powers that force them to seek refuge in a camp, the world is shielding itself from the camps with a thick layer of indifference. Rather than receiving displaced people in our midst we bury them far away from our own cities, outside our habitat, somewhere deep below the surface of a civilized society, like in dungeons where they easily are forgotten, out of sight, out of the picture, out of our minds.

The longer this lasts, the less hope - “there is nothing left to be done” –, but also: the more bitterness, frustration and resentment. The more refugees consider themselves forgotten, the greater the chance that the violence which they escaped will be fed by camp realities. At a certain moment camp dwellers are no longer interested in a solution of the conflict back home. They may start interpreting the camp as a bulwark behind which walls they cherish their own truths. They then give birth to an offspring which has nothing to loose and will only look forward renewing the fight. The resentment of such a new generation will not only be turned towards the enemy of their parents and ancestors, but against the world as a whole: “The world has written us off, now we are going to write off the world”.

(http://www.sidint.net/forgotten/)
About Jan
Jan Pronk is President of SID as well as Professor of Theory and Practice of International Development at ISS, the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands. From 2004 to 2006 he was Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in Sudan, where he was leading the UN peace-keeping operation (UNMIS). He also served as Minister for Development Cooperation and Minister for the Environment of the Dutch government. Having studied economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, he has worked as a politician since the 1970s, first as a Member of Parliament for the Social Democratic Party and then as Minister.

Get in touch with Jan via Email.
- - -

Photo from southern Sudan

South Sudan

Untitled photo from southern Sudan from Sudan Watch archives 2006 (source unknown).

Labels: ,

Sudanese stabbed in Cairo football dispute

Algeria v Egypt

Algeria v Egypt

Algeria v Egypt

Algeria v Egypt

Algeria v Egypt

Photos: Algeria v Egypt football match held in Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan. Algeria beat Egypt 1-0. (Posted at Flickr by Andrew Heavens, Nov 20, 2009)

There is still tension between Egyptian and Sudanese soccer fans following Egypt’s defeat by Algeria in Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan two weeks ago.

The Egyptians claimed that they were attacked by Algerian fans after the match and that the Sudanese authorities did nothing to protect them.

Source: Report by SRS - Sudan Radio Service, 8 December 2009:
Sudanese Stabbed in Cairo Soccer Dispute
(Khartoum) – There is still tension between Egyptian and Sudanese soccer fans following Egypt’s defeat by Algeria in Omdurman two weeks ago.

Egyptian fans claim that Sudanese police failed to protect them when fighting broke out between rival supporters after the match.

A Sudanese living in Egypt, Mahir Musa, was attacked on Monday following an argument about the match. He spoke to SRS in Cairo.

[Mahir Musa]:"I had gone to visit my relatives in Alashir. At night I went to buy cigarettes from the kiosk. I politely asked the owner of the shop to hand me a cigarette. He then noticed from the way I spoke that I was from Sudan.

He then started talking to me about the football match. From there I said I was not interested in the cigarettes anymore and that he should give me back my money so I could leave. when I said I didn’t want anything from him, I just wanted my money, he started insulting me, I got annoyed and when I responded suddenly he came out from the kiosk carrying a knife and he and his friend started attacking me by stabbing me. My relatives had to take me to the hospital. This is just one of many the incidents happening to Sudanese in Cairo.”

The Egyptians claimed that they were attacked by Algerian fans after the match and that the Sudanese authorities did nothing to protect them.
Algeria v Egypt

Algeria v Egypt

Algeria v Egypt

Algeria v Egypt

Algeria v Egypt

Algeria v Egypt

Photos: Algeria v Egypt football match held in Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan, posted at Flickr by Andrew Heavens, Nov 20, 2009.

Football:  Algeria beat Egypt 1-0 in Khartoum

Photo: Algeria v Egypt football match held in Omdurman, near Khartoum, Sudan. Source: Sudan Tribune report November 18, 2009 (KHARTOUM) - Egypt dispatching troops to evacuate soccer fans in Sudan: official

Labels: , , , , ,

Click HERE to scroll up ......Click HERE to scroll down