SUDAN WATCH: Sudan activists - UNAMID receives US Envoy Gration in Darfur - Sudan's delegation at AU HQ meeting on Sudan

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Sudan activists - UNAMID receives US Envoy Gration in Darfur - Sudan's delegation at AU HQ meeting on Sudan

NOTE to self, for future reference. Yesterday evening (Friday, 07 May c. 21:00 hrs UK) I sadly noted here at Sudan Watch that in western Sudan on 07 May 2010 at about 11.30hrs, a military convoy from UNAMID’s Egyptian contingent, with three vehicles and 20 personnel, was ambushed near Katila village, 85km south of Edd al Fursan, South Darfur (click here for map) by a group of unidentified armed men who indiscriminately opened fire, without warning, on the peacekeepers.

This morning (Saturday, 08 May) while searching Google News for reports of the shocking attack, I was surprised to find that among a list of reports, Google had somehow managed to connect and include three seemingly unrelated reports from Sudan Vision Daily, AllAfrica and Sudan Tribune. See copy of the three reports here below, plus several other related reports and a report from Sudan Watch archives regarding an Egyptian peacekeeper killed in El Fasher, the capital city of North Darfur in May 2007.

Gunmen kill 2 peacekeepers in Sudan's south Darfur


The Associated Press - 13 hours ago
Fighting between rebels and Sudanese government forces began there in 2003, killing up to 300000 people and driving 2.7 million from their homes. ...
Two Egyptian peacekeepers killed in Darfur- BBC News
AU and UN call for holistic approach to Sudan crises- Sudan Tribune
Two Egyptian peacekeepers killed in Darfur ambush- AFP
Press TV - Sudan Vision
all 194 news articles »
Government Delegation to Addis for Joining AUHQ Meeting on Sudan
From Sudan Vision Daily - Saturday, 08 May 2010 @ 00:10:00 BST by Staff Writer:
Government delegation chaired by the State Minister of Culture and Youth, Dr. Amin Hassan Omer headed yesterday to Addis Ababa for participating in the international two-day consultative meeting on Sudan's present and future political developments.

The meeting was scheduled to convene yesterday at the African Union Headquarters in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis Ababa.

In a press statement on Thursday, Deputy Chief of Sudan Mission to Addis Ababa, Akoi Bona Malwal, reported that the Head of the AU Panel on Darfur, Thabo Mbeki would present there a comprehensive report on Darfur peace process, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement implementation progress, as well the arrangements for the self-determination referendum.

According to Malwal, participants in the meeting would include: AU, UN, EU, UNAMID Chief, Gambari, AU-UN Joint Chief Mediator, Djibril Bassolé, Organization of Islamic Countries, and the Qatari mediator, Egypt, Libya, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council are expected to join the meeting today.

Diplomatic sources informed that the Sudan official delegation to the meeting included the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mutrif Siddig and ruling party leading figure, Sayed Alkhatieb.

Analysts suggest that the high level of participation in the said meeting reflects the international community’s concern over the risks South Sudan’s secession might pose to the regional and global security.
Sudan: Unamid Receives U.S. Envoy Gration
United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (El Fasher)
From UNAMID - (hat tip AllAfrica) - Thursday, 06 May 2010:
A delegation led by US Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration today visited UNAMID's headquarters in El Fasher, North Darfur.

Mr. Gration met with Deputy Joint Special Representatives Henry Anyidoho and Mohamed Yonis, Force Commander Patrick Nyamvumba, senior UNAMID officials, and UN Deputy Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sudan Toby Lanzer.

The US envoy shared his views on how to better integrate the efforts of the Government of the Sudan, UNAMID, aid agencies, and other stakeholders to secure peace and stability in the region. Among the issues discussed were programmes that promote reconciliation, recovery and development, as well as the challenges of their implementation.

Mr. Gration later met with representatives of various humanitarian organizations operating in Darfur, before departing for Solinga, a model village in North Darfur to which some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have voluntarily settled.

The US envoy plans to travel to Addis Ababa on 9 May and participate in African Union meetings on Sudan to discuss the Darfur peace process and the implementation of the CPA.
AU and UN call for holistic approach to Sudan crises
From Sudan Tribune - Saturday, 08 May 2010:
May 7, 2010 (ADDIS ABABA) - In a joint meeting held with United Nations in Addis Ababa, the African Union on Friday called for a holistic approach to be taken in dealing with the different crises in the Sudan

The African Union and the United Nations stressed "the necessity of reaching a political agreement before the referendum on independence (in southern Sudan) in January 2011", and for an "inclusive" political process in Darfur.

The meeting between the two organizations aimed to evaluate the strategies they should follow, "with a particular emphasis on the post-electoral context, the peace process in Darfur and the preparations for the referendum".

The former South African President, who is charged by the AU to identify the best way to bring justice in Darfur and to settle the political problems in the country, briefed the UN Security Council last December on the conclusions of a report he complied about the Sudan.

Thabo Mbeki, who sought the support of the UN, reiterated the root cause of the conflict in Darfur and Sudan being the "concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a Khartoum-centered elite and the consequent marginalization of the so-called periphery, including Darfur".

However, the UN Security Council pointed out the need to coordinate the efforts of the two organizations in a way to not obstruct the ongoing attempts or to interfere with the International Criminal Court jurisdiction. The AU wants to suspends the ICC referral and the UN Security Council supports it.

The statement also stressed "the need for greater support from the international community and close coordination among international actors". (ST)
Further reading

Sudan's delegation participates in Addis Ababa's international consultative meetings
From MirayaFM - Saturday, 08 May 2010 14:48 - Updated Saturday, 08 May 2010 15:11:
The head of Sudan's delegation to the international consultative meetings on Sudan held in Ethiopia's Addis Ababa, Dr Amin Hassen Omer, conducted on Saturday a number of meetings with key officials including US envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, and Head of the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNMAID), Djibril Bassole.

On Saturday, the African Union will hold deliberations on implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and current efforts at resolving the Darfur conflict, among other issues.

Participants include international envoys for Sudan as well as representatives from the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Arab League, Egypt and Qatar. The delegates aim to formulate strategies to coordinate regional efforts on issues pertaining to Sudan for the near future.
Gration: 'crucial time for Sudan'
From Politico.com - Saturday, 08 May 2010 by Emily Canal 11:57 AM EDT:
Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration said it is a crucial time for the nation in a briefing Wednesday on his just-finished two-week trip to Chad, Sudan, Qatar and Rwanda.

With the south moving toward a 2011 referendum on secession following this month's elections held amidst widespread reports of irregularities, Gration has been pushing for a peace deal between senior officials in the national capitol of Khartoum, which represents the nation's mostly Muslim north, and those in Juba, the de facto capitol of the largely Christian and animist south.

"We must not let this opportunity to promote Sudan-wide political transformation, to improve the overall security, to facilitate a lasting peace pass us by," Gration said. "We will not rest until we've done everything we can to secure a brighter future for the next generation of Sudanese. Failure in this case is not an option, and we'll strive for success."

Gration said he spent much of the trip discussing Comprehensive Peace Agreement issues with the National Congressional Party.

State Department Spokesman Phillip Crowley said Thursday in a briefing that Gration is on his way to Khartoum to continue discussions with representatives of the government of Sudan.

"Tomorrow, he will travel to Addis Ababa to participate in African Union meetings on Sudan and discuss regional strategies and international coordination in support of CPA implementation and the Darfur peace process," Crowley said.

The Enough Project released a benchmark report card for Sudan this week that found national reform and humanitarian access had worsened across the board.

The group warned that "[n]o progress has been made on substantive national reforms critical to addressing some of the root causes of conflict in Sudan."
JSR Gambari meets AUHIP
From UNAMID website - Thursday, 06 May 2010:
06 May 2010 - The African Union High Level Panel on Darfur, chaired by former President Thabo Mbeki, and a UNAMID team led by Joint Special Representative (JSR) Ibrahim Gambari met in Addis Ababa today to explore areas of mutual interest ahead of a United Nations/African Union meeting scheduled to take place soon.

Among the topics covered was the Sudan’s current political landscape following the recent elections and the possible implications for the implementation of the Mission’s mandate.
Consultative meetings on Sudan kick off in Addis Ababa without Sudanese delegation
From MirayaFM - Friday, 07 May 2010 20:13 - Last Updated ( Saturday, 08 May 2010 00:22 ):
International envoys and representatives from the African Union, and United Nations convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, on Friday to begin consultative meetings on Sudan, without the participation of the Sudanese government.

Sudan's Deputy Ambassador to Addis Ababa, Akoi Bona Malwal, said that the government has not received an official invitation to attend the high level meeting, but added that a delegation led by State Minister of Youth and Sports, Amin Hassan Omar, will be taking part in minor side meetings.

Malwal further said that he is aware that foreign ministers from neighbouring countries will be attending the meeting but could not disclose any other information, saying he does not know "what else is happening" even though the discussions are about Sudan.

The meeting is scheduled to discuss the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and ongoing efforts to resolve the Darfur conflict among other issues.

Special Envoys for Sudan from China, France, Russia, UK, and the US as well as representatives from the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will attempt to coordinate regional efforts on issues pertaining to Sudan for the near future.

Meanwhile, Brussels-based International Crisis Group has said that if Southern Sudan secedes after the referendum in 2011, diplomatic support must be achieved will neighboring countries to ensure that the decision is respected in order to prevent a new civil war from ensuing.

The latest NGO report "Regional Perspectives on the Prospect of Southern Sudan Independence", calls on the African Union, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development to harmonize efforts in support of the referendum, recognize its results and assist in the peaceful implementation of its outcome

Click and listen to Sudan's Deputy Ambassador to Addis Ababa, Akoi Bona Malwal.
05 May 2010 - UNAMID urges all parties in Darfur to remain committed to the peace process
From UNAMID website - Wednesday, 05 May 2010 - PR/ 18-2010 PRESS RELEASE:
UNAMID urges all parties in Darfur to remain committed to the peace process
El Fasher, 5 May 2010 - The Government of North Darfur has declared curfew in El Fasher town and its environs starting 23:00 hours (11:00pm) of Tuesday 4 May 2010, to 15:00 hours (3:00pm) of Wednesday 5 may 2010.

The curfew has been lifted on the scheduled time.

UNAMID reminds all parties that the Darfur crisis cannot be resolved through military means but can only come through negotiations.

The AU-UN Joint Special Representative, Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, urges all parties to remain committed to their engagement in the political process and implement the provisions of the Framework Agreements signed between JEM and the Government of Sudan.
*****
Communication and Public Information Division Media Contacts
Kemal Saïki, Director; saiki@un.org, tel.: +249 (0)92 244 3529 / mobile: +249 (0)92 241 0020
Noureddine Mezni, Spokesperson; mezni@un.org, mobile: +249 (0)91 253 8420/ +249 (0)91 217 4276
Chris Cycmanick, OiC, Media Relations; cycmanick@un.org, mobile: +249 (0)91 253 843
*****
Sudan: Activists From Across the Country Support Congressman Wolf's Call for a Change of Course on Sudan
Press Release from Pax Communication (Washington, DC) - Wednesday, 05 May 2010 - [hat tip AllAfrica]:
Today Sudan activists and Sudanese expatriates from around the country commended Congressman Frank Wolf for his bold call to President Obama for a change of course in dealing with Sudan. Twenty-five regional groups representing 18 states have joined together in a show of bipartisan support for the policy recommendations outlined in Wolf's statement and his letter to President Obama.

In a press conference this morning on Capitol Hill, Wolf said it is time for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to re-take control of U.S. policy involving Sudan. Wolf also made a series of other recommendations, including calling on the administration to not recognize the outcome of the recent presidential elections in Sudan and to move forward with its stated aim of strengthening the capacity of the security sector in the South. In addition, he said priority must be given to ending the attacks in Darfur and completing restoration of humanitarian aid in region. (Full text of Wolf's statements and letter here.) [ http://wolf.house.gov ]

"On behalf of the many Americans who are concerned about the Obama Administration's weak implementation of its stated Sudan policy, I commend Congressman Wolf for his leadership on Sudan and his bold call today for a change of course," stated Eric Cohen, Chairperson of the Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur. "It is far past time for the Administration to implement the policy that was announced five months ago which stated that benchmarks would be applied to Sudan based on verifiable changes in conditions on the ground with disincentives applied for backsliding or lack of progress. We strongly agree that Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice should directly oversee the implementation of that policy."

The anti-genocide organizations and Sudanese diaspora organizations supporting Congressman Wolf's request of the President include: Americans Against the Darfur Genocide, Washington, DC; Connecticut Coalition to Save Darfur, Bloomfield, CT; The Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur, Boston, MA; The San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition, San Francisco, CA; Idaho Darfur Coalition, Boise, ID; New York City Coalition for Darfur, New York, NY; The Essex County Coalition for Darfur, Montclair, NJ; Save Darfur Washington State, Seattle, Washington; Georgia Coalition to Prevent Genocide, Atlanta, GA; Jewish World Watch, Los Angeles, CA; i-ACT, Los Angeles, CA; Investors Against Genocide, Boston, MA; STAND, University of Maryland's chapter, College Park, MD; Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy, Washington DC; Stop Genocide Now, Los Angeles, CA; Operation Broken Silence from Memphis, TN; "Change the world. It just takes cents," Denver, CO; Genocide No More--Save Darfur of Redding, CA; Use Your Voice to Stop Genocide RI, Portsmouth, RI; Darfur and Beyond, Phoenix, AZ; Miami Help Darfur Now, Miami, FL; Kentuckiana Interfaith Taskforce On Darfur, Louisville, KY; Never Again Coalition, Portland, OR; Champion Darfur, Las Vegas, NV; and the Equatoria Sudanese Community Association in the USA.

Copyright © 2010 Pax Communication. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).
Note the following copy of an insightful comment by khalid.mustafa published at AllAfrica on Thursday, 06 May 12:18:25 2010 in reply to the above press release from Pax Communication:
"Save Darfur Coalition has not helped Darfur's people; but has spent money on activities to disrupt Sudanese -American relations. These ideological activists have already forced Dr Andrew Natsios to end his role as envoy for president Bush. They try to repeat the campaign with Gn Gration. Natsios now calls for engagement with Sudan . The call to divest from Sudan was started by Netanyahu at the AIPAC conference in 07. It has nothing to do with US interests . The attemot to forge a neo-con policy again (as if G. Bush has not lost the elections!) would poison relations with the whole Muslim world. This runs counter to president Obama's Cairo speech."
POSTSCRIPT
Recently, here at Sudan Watch, I decided to stop publishing news of bandits, pirates, kidnappers and terrorists and other evil doers who aim to destabilise Sudan. In my view, many of the civilian gunmen in and around Sudan are terrorists who belong in jail. I doubt that JEM et al will give up using propaganda and violence in their attempts to gain power and remove the Sudanese government. Terrorists thrive on spreading fear. They use the world's media and gullible activists to spread propaganda and garner support. Sudan Watch archives show that terrorists such as JEM have orchestrated attacks in and around Sudan in order to generate publicity and avoid communicating through official peace mediators, which is why I have stopped publicising their wicked words and evil deeds. This could be the last blog post at Sudan Watch featuring attacks on peacekeepers. Because of its timing and style, I fear that yesterday's attack on Egyptian peacekeepers in Darfur was premeditated in order to maximise publicity and send out messages aimed at destablising Sudan. I suspect the recent kidnapping of South African peacekeepers in Darfur was also terrorist related. From now on, no more publicity for terrorists unless there is verifiable news of them being arrested or attending peace talks.

Note, Sudan Watch report dated 27 May 2007 re Egyptian peacekeeper killed in El Fasher, North Darfur: UN NGO's Leave El Fasher - Egyptian UN soldier killed in Sudan's North Darfur - excerpt:
The circumstances surrounding the death of Lieutenant-Colonel Ehab Nazih, a Military Staff Officer from Egypt, are still under investigation, according to UNMIS, which confirmed that late Friday, three armed men, wearing civilian clothes, broke into the private house he shared with seven other UNMIS staff.

After taking money and valuables from the other occupants of the house, the armed men moved to the victim's room and demanded money from Lt. Colonel Nazih, who gave them all the money he had and was then shot.

He was rushed to the a Hospital run by the African Union Mission in Darfur (AMIS), where he was pronounced dead, UNMIS said, offering thanks to "the AMIS staff and medical personnel who did all they could to save the life of their UNMIS colleague." + + +
Note, Sudan Watch report dated 24 March 2009 re report from Sudan Watch archives March 2006: Al Qaeda terrorists are already entrenched in Sudan, U.N. Envoy Jan Pronk warns

UNAMID

More than 20 peacekeepers have been killed since the joint UN-African Union mission was deployed in Darfur in 2008. (Photo and caption from Press TV news report 08 May 2010)

Before checking and without re-reading Sudan Watch, I reckon the number of African Union or UN personnel attacked/killed in Darfur could be around one hundred.

+ + + God help and bless the peace workers and children of Sudan + + +

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