SUDAN WATCH: August 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sudan Security Situation 29-31 August 2010 - Darfur Kalma groups discuss reconciliation - Messiriya welcomes Peaceful Coexistence Conference on Abyei

SOUTH DARFUR - Security situation update
The situation at Kalma internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in South Darfur remains generally calm with UNAMID patrols reporting no shooting or arson.

The IDPs have appealed for food distribution to be extended to cover the entire Kalma camp. The market of the Kalma camp was observed to be operating normally and the residents reported that the situation is better as compared to last week.

On Saturday, 28 August Kalma camp IDP representatives submitted a letter to UNAMID’s Community Policing Center (CPC) conveying their commitment to stop weapons use among youth in the camp.

On Monday, 30 August a UNAMID team met with several Kalma community leaders to discuss a means of reconciliation among opposing sides which led to violent incidents in the camp in July. During the meeting the Mission called upon all camp leaders to reconcile their differences in the interest of the IDPs, to live in peace and receive humanitarian assistance.

On Sunday, 29 August three Russians helicopter crew working for a private Sudanese aviation company were abducted by unknown armed assailants at approximately 16.30 hours near their accommodation in Nyala, South Darfur. The Government of the Sudan (GoS) is investigating the incident. On Tuesday, 31 August the three Russian aircrew members (two pilots and one navigator) were safely released.

On Monday, 30 August an aid worker with the American NGO Samaritan’s Purse was released after being held in captivity for 105 days.

UNAMID forces continue to conduct day and night patrols in and around the Kalma camp, no shooting incidents were reported in the area.

WEST DARFUR - Security situation update
On Monday, 30 August UNAMID Joint Special Representative (JSR) Ibrahim Gambari travelled to the West Darfur capital of El Geneina, accompanied by Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General / Resident Coordinator / Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Georg Charpentier, and the Sudan’s Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs, Dr. Mutrif Siddiq.

They met with the Wali (Governor) of West Darfur, Mr. Jafa’ar Abdul-Hakam Ishaq, representatives of the National Security Committee, the humanitarian country team, and international non-governmental organizations to discuss the Government of the Sudan’s new Darfur Strategy.

NORTH DARFUR - Security situation update
On Friday, 27 August unidentified men attempted to break into UNAMID’s camp in Mellit, located approximately 65 kilometers north of El Fasher, North Darfur, but fled when an alarm was raised. A similar incident took place on Thursday, 26 August at the Mission’s teamsite in Kutum, situated roughly 100 kilometers northwest of El Fasher, North Darfur. Security measures at all UNAMID bases have been increased.

On Sunday, 29 August a five-day workshop organised by UNAMID in collaboration with Save the Children-Sweden began in El Fasher, North Darfur. The forum is part of the Mission’s continuing efforts to address human rights issues in the region.

SOURCES: Daily Media Brief from UNAMID (United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur) EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan/via APO
Sunday, 29 August 2010
Monday, 30 August 2010
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
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SUDAN: FOOD SECURITY OUTLOOK UPDATE AUGUST 2010

Heavy rains cause floods but prospects for a good harvest remain high. Click here to read report from Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) Tuesday, 31 August 2010 courtesy of ReliefWeb.
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ABYEI: MESSIRIYA WELCOMES PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE CONFERENCE

Messiriya welcomes Peaceful Coexistence Conference on Abyei
Report from Radio Miraya - Friday, 27 August 2010 11:14
The Chairman of the Local Administration of the Messiriya, Nuer and Dinka tribes, Bashtana Mohamed Salim, said that the Messiriya welcomed the organizing of the Peaceful Coexistence Conference in Abyei area. He added that the conference is an initiative from the African Organization-main stream. Salim told Miraya that the purpose of the conference is to discuss the disputed issues and how to solve them.

On his part, the Prince of Dinka, Ngok Kual Deng, welcomed the invitation and confirmed their participation. Deng stressed to Miraya that the difficulties that are facing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement should be removed.
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S. SUDAN: SOLDIERS ATTACKING AID WORKERS

"The aid community in Southern Sudan documented 80 incidents of obstruction, vehicle hijackings or harassment of aid staff by southern troops since February. No aid staff have been killed, but several have been wounded.

International aid workers are worried that access to needy populations in a region already plagued by hunger may be further restricted as an independence referendum scheduled for January approaches. The vote would determine whether the south splits off from Sudan and forms a separate country. The U.N. says that 4 million people in Southern Sudan - roughly half the population — rely on food aid to survive." Click here for full story from The Canadian Press by Maggie Flick, Tuesday, 31 August 2010.
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S. SUDAN: KILLINGS IN YEI TOWN - LANDMINES STILL POSE A THREAT

Killings In Yei, Mounting Tension
Report from SRS - Sudan Radio Service - Friday, 27 August 2010:
(Yei) – There is high tension in Yei and business paralyzed when ten people were shot dead in separate incidents.

On Thursday evening a senior SPLA officer was shot dead by a soldier in Yei army barracks, in a heated argument over salaries.
In another bizarre incident a man shot dead seven family members of his former in-laws and is reported to be at large. Amidst the tension in Yei, our reporter Christina Jambo sent us this report:

[Christina Jambo]: “Today in the morning in Yei at Lotaya area around 2 A.M two armed men came and attacked the area. But before that they came and threatened the family yesterday. The angry man said if his wife is not brought he will finish that family. So they came at night to the house which had nine people, five women and three children. The man said if his wife is not brought all the people will be punished. He asked one of the ladies in the house to tie them down since they came with a rope. The lady tied all the people including the three kids then they started to shoot. They shot the five women dead and the three kids of two and half years three years and four years. The neighbors said they saw what happen but they could not come out because of fear.”

According to Yei Police the suspected murdered had officially divorced in a court of law the woman he wanted to take back.
In another incident on Friday morning a man who reportedly went berserk opened fire in public, killing one person and wounding another.

SRS will continue to update you on the latest developments on the situation in Yei town.
Deadly developing news
Report from SOS News (sosanews.com) - Friday, 27 August 2010:
It is important for all of you to know that there errupted gun shots in the suburbs of Yei Town last night – around 9:00pm as I was on line with someone on the ground. Two seperate shootings were heard.

The news that came this morning said the trouble started during the day when senior SPLA officers wanted to cut salaries of soldiers by force for participation in a cooperative. The soldiers were said to have refused to be forced to join the cooperative. They also refused to get their salaries in half. Later at night, one of them came armed and shot the commander of the camp at NTC, his deputy and his wife – all dead. The entire group of soldiers are said to have taken up arms and ammunitions and vacated the barraks. They are probabily in the suburbs of Yei, creating fear and panic to citizens of Yei. As I write, there is no movement in Yei, and all residents are urged by the commissioner to remain indoors.

After this incident, another soldier went to a house of his in-laws to get back his runaway wife when he told those people to hand back his wife or he would come and shoot all of them. This threat was not taken seriously bey the family. The soldier returned and killed seven members of the family in their house close to Lotaya, took his runaway wife and disappeared. What a husband. That is the benefit we get for our girls marying people from the other villages.

I will call Yei shortly for an update. Some of you can have direct contact with family or relatives in Yei to get the latest for yourselves.
Landmines Still Pose A threat In Yei
Report from SRS - Sudan Radio Service - Thursday, 26 August 2010
(Yei) – Anti-personnel landmines still pose a threat to the lives of residents of Yei River county in Central Equatoria state.

During the war, Yei county was a battle field and was heavily mined by both the Sudan Army and the SPLA.

Although the some of the landmines were removed there are still some remnants.
On Wednesday, a company that removes landmines, Landmine Action, removed and detonated an anti-personnel near Yei Civil Hospital.

SRS reporter Christina Jambo reports from Yei town:

[Christina Jambo]: “Landmine is still threatening people’s lives in Yei town. This morning landmine action personnel exploded anti-personnel mine near Yei Civil Hospital. The mine was discovered yesterday by civilians and reported it to landmine action personnel and they exploded it this morning. I talked to landmine action personnel and they said that those anti-personnel were everywhere during the war and up to now they have not discovered all of them. So what they do is that they are working with civilians to report them whenever they get them.”

Yei River county is an agriculturally rich area but the presence of landmines in the countryside is threatening the viability of this important economic sector.
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FURTHER READING



Freed U.S. aid worker Flavia Wagner, 35, right is escorted by an unidentified U.S. embassy staff upon her arrival at the airport in Khartoum, Sudan Monday, 30 August 2010. A US aid worker kidnapped four months ago in Sudan's troubled Darfur region has been freed by authorities, the Foreign Ministry said Monday. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)

Norwegian aid worker expelled from South Darfur
Report from Radio Dabanga - Tuesday, 31 August 2010:
An Norwegian aid worker of the NCA was expelled from South Darfur state after she talked with the American hostage of Samaritans Purse who was freed yesterday. Governor Kasha explained that the Norwegian humanitarian worker was listening to a side talk with the released hostage.

The American freed aid worker Flavia Wagner thanked her colleagues and family to contribute her release by praying. Adding that she was in good health and was treated well, explaining that she spent a hundred days in an area with mountains and plateaus and drank quantities of camel milk that can suffice her the rest of her life."
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NCP SPLM JOINT NEWS CONFERENCE IN KHARTOUM



Salah Abdallah, Sudan's Presidential Advisor of Internal Security from the National Congress Party (NCP), speaks at a joint news conference in Khartoum Monday, 30 August 2010. Ruling parties NCP and Sudan's People Liberation Movement (SPLM), who are sharing power in government, addressed the upcoming referendum in South Sudan planned for 09 January 2011, during the conference. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

See report by SUNA - Monday, 30 August 2010 (via website of the Sudanese Embassy, Washington D.C. - excerpt:
Presidential Advisor Calls on International Community to fulfill its Commitments for the Referendum

The Presidential Advisor and co-chairman of the joint political committee for demarcation of the border between the north and the south, Gen. Salah Abdalla, has called on the international community to live up to its pledges to support holding of a fair and transparent referendum in south Sudan.

At a press conference he held Monday at Al-Fateh Tower, Abdalla said that the two partners of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) have agreed on holding the referendum in the fixed time of January 9, 2011 and that the referendum shall be free and fair.


Pagan Amum, (R) Secretary General of Sudan's People Liberation Movement (SPLM), and Salah Abdallah, (2nd R) Presidential Advisor of Internal Security from the National Congress Party (NCP), attend a joint news conference in Khartoum Monday, 30 August 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
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HIGH-LEVEL MEETING IN NORTH DARFUR



UNAMID soldiers guard a high-level meeting with Chinese, European, United Nations and African Union officials in El-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur on 05 July 2010. (Getty Images)
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NEWS FROM SRS - SUDAN RADIO SERVICE

Monday, 23-Aug-2010

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Consultative meeting on Darfur peace strategy in Khartoum, Sudan August 26, 2010 - AU and UN Sudan Consultative Forum in Khartoum July 17, 2010



(L to R) U.S. special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration, Ghazi Salah Eldin, presidential adviser in charge of Darfur file, former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki, head of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel and joint special representative of U.N.-African Union peacekeepers in Darfur (UNAMID) Ibrahim Gambari attend the Consultative meeting on Darfur peace strategy in Khartoum Thursday, 26 August 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)



Former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki (L), head of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel speaks next to joint special representative of U.N.-African Union peacekeepers in Darfur (UNAMID) Ibrahim Gambari during the Consultative meeting on Darfur peace strategy in Khartoum August 26, 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abd)



U.S. special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration (R) and Joint special representative of U.N.-African Union peacekeepers in Darfur (UNAMID) Ibrahim Gambari arrive for the Consultative meeting on Darfur peace strategy in Khartoum Thursday, 26 August 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)



Joint special representative of U.N.-African Union peacekeepers in Darfur (UNAMID) Ibrahim Gambari talks to the United Kingdom's Special Envoy to Sudan Michael Ryder (L) and British ambassador to Sudan Nicholas Kay (R) during the Consultative meeting on Darfur peace strategy in Khartoum Thursday, 26 August 2010. (Reuters)



U.S. special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration (R) talks to the United Kingdom's Special Envoy to Sudan Michael Ryder (L) and British ambassador to Sudan Nicholas Kay (C) during the Consultative meeting on Darfur peace strategy in Khartoum Thursday, 26 August 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)



U.S. special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration (L) talks to Ghazi Salah Eldin, presidential adviser in charge of Darfur file, at the Consultative meeting on Darfur peace strategy in Khartoum Thursday, 26 August 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

UNAMID JSR Attends Consultative Meeting on Darfur Peace Strategy
Source: United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
Date: Thursday, 26 August 2010
UNAMID PR / 33- 2010
Khartoum, 26 August 2010 – The Joint Special Representative (JSR) of the AU-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Professor Ibrahim Gambari today attended a Consultative Meeting on Darfur Peace Strategy with Sudanese Presidential Advisor, Dr. Ghazi Salahuddin Atabani; Chairman of the AU High Level Implementation Panel, Thabo Mbeki, and US Special Envoy for Sudan, Scott Gration.

The participants underlined the necessity of having a comprehensive strategy that would encompass all aspects of the Darfur problem, including security, stabilization, development and early recovery.

The meeting agreed that UNAMID and the Government of Sudan (GoS) would cooperate closely to improve the security situation in Darfur and conduct joint action to ensure stabilization and development in the whole region.

The meeting also discussed the GoS Darfur Security Strategy/Plan along with the draft US Security and Stabilization Initiative for Darfur.

JSR Gambari expressed his satisfaction over the strategy saying he would look forward for cooperation between UNAMID and GoS Police and military forces to ensure the security of Darfur.

The JSR also emphasized UNAMID's commitment to support early recovery and development in the region.

"UNAMID will be supporting recovery programs in close consultation and coordination with the UN Country Team," Professor Gambari remarked.

Mr. Mbeki referred to the necessity of involving the Darfurian people in the peace process and its negotiations, expressing his expectation to have a peace deal concluded before the end of this year.

Also present at the meeting was UNAMID's Deputy JSR for Operations and Management, Mohamed Yonis; Force Commander, Lieutenant General Patrick Nyamvumba; and Police Commissioner, James Oppong-Boanuh.

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
Chris Cycmanick, Officer-in-Charge, Media Relations; cycmanick@un.org, mobile: +249 (0) 91 253 8436
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AU and UN Sudan Consultative Forum in Khartoum July 17, 2010



The opening session of the A.U. and U.N. Sudan Consultative Forum is pictured in Khartoum July 17, 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah - Sat Jul 17, 2010; 9:26 AM ET)



U.N. Under Secretary General for Peace Keeping Operations Alain Le Roy (L), Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union Ramtane Lamamra and former South African president Thabo Mbeki (R) attend the opening session of the A.U. and U.N. Sudan Consultative Forum in Khartoum July 17, 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah - Sat Jul 17, 2010; 9:18 AM ET)



Chinese special envoy to Darfur Liu Guijin (L) attends the opening session of the A.U. and U.N. Sudan Consultative Forum in Khartoum July 17, 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)



Former South African president Thabo Mbeki (L) arrives to the opening session of the A.U. and U.N. Sudan Consultative Forum in Khartoum July 17, 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah - Sat Jul 17, 2010; 9:01 AM ET)



U.S. presidential special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration (L) talks to the Chinese special envoy to Darfur Liu Guijin before the opening session of the A.U. and U.N. Sudan Consultative Forum in Khartoum July 17, 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah - Sat Jul 17, 2010; 8:59 AM ET)



U.S. presidential special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration arrives to attend the opening session of the A.U. and U.N. Sudan Consultative Forum in Khartoum July 17, 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)



Kamal Hassan (L) from the National Congress Party and Loka Byong from the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) attend the opening session of the A.U. and U.N. Sudan Consultative Forum in Khartoum July 17, 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah - Sat Jul 17, 2010; 9:09 AM ET)



Britain's new minister for Africa Henry Bellingham speaks during his meeting with Sudanese officials in Khartoum July 26, 2010. Britain wants to trade more with Sudan. On his first official visit to Sudan, Bellingham said Britain's new government sought to encourage companies to invest more in Sudan, particularly in its oil and services sectors. (Reuters/Mohamed Nurdldin Abdalla - Mon Jul 26, 2010; 2:28 PM ET)

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