SUDAN WATCH: November 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

British Ambassador in Khartoum Nicholas Kay is blogging the drama and scale of the change taking place in Sudan

THE British government's Foreign & Commonwealth Office, commonly called the Foreign Office or the FCO, has started a blog about the work of the British Ambassador to Sudan. The blog is authored by Nicholas Kay CMG, Her Majesty's Ambassador to Sudan. Mr Kay (pictured below) arrived in Khartoum to take up his role as HM Ambassador to Sudan on 29 May 2010. Here is a copy of his first two blog posts followed by several related reports.



The drama and scale of the change taking place in Sudan
Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office website - http://blogs.fco.gov.uk
Written by: Nicholas Kay British Ambassador to Sudan, Khartoum
Posted: Wednesday, 10 November 2010 by Nicholas Kay
When people think of Sudan, they tend to think of suffering, violence and poverty. And sadly, based on most of the recent decades, that image is not far wrong. But I hope in this blog to share with you a slightly altered image and to convey the drama and scale of the change that is taking place in Sudan.

I am a reluctant blogger. But far from a reluctant Ambassador. Professionally there is no other country I'd wish to be in than Sudan today. It is possible that Africa's largest country will divide into two over the coming months. The people of Southern Sudan will decide on that in a referendum in January. The implications for both north and south Sudan, for the region and for the work of the British Government are far-reaching.

I have decided to start writing this blog in the hope that a view from Sudan will be of interest to a wider audience in coming months. I shall try to offer some reflections from the ground as Sudan prepares for a truly historic moment, and to explain the role the UK is playing. I shall also invite my colleagues to contribute their perspectives, especially those of our team in Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan.

Before going any further, I want to be quite explicit about the UK's approach to the referendum and possible secession of the south: our interest is exclusively in seeing the referendum happen to time, to standard and safely. Whatever the result, the people of north and south Sudan should be able to live in peace and growing prosperity. The whole of the UK government in Sudan is working to the same end. Our commitment to helping both north and south is firm today and will continue through and beyond the referendum.
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In the End Game?
Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office website - http://blogs.fco.gov.uk
Written by: Nicholas Kay British Ambassador to Sudan, Khartoum
Posted: Monday, 15 November 2010 by Nicholas Kay
The European Film Festival in Khartoum finished at the end of last week with the screening under the stars in the British Council gardens of "End Game", which tells the story of Thabo Mbeki's role in negotiating the end of apartheid in South Africa. As we watched, only a mile away in the centre of Khartoum, ex-President Mbeki was locked in another historic negotiation - this time mediating discussions between north and south Sudan to agree what will happen if Southern Sudan votes for independence in January.

As I write, we don't know the final outcome of the talks. But the clock - or rather the moon - is ticking. President Bashir is in Mecca for the Haj pilgrimage, and Khartoum is all but closed for business until after the Muslim holiday of Eid al Adha in the coming days. Meanwhile, voter registration for the Referendum begun this morning, on which more later.

During the past week the UK has been more active than ever in striving for a "soft landing" after the referendum. Mr Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, made a four day visit during which he worked tirelessly in his meetings with Vice Presidents, Ministers, the African Union and the United Nations to promote peace and prosperity. He advocated strongly the need for proper contingency planning in the event that violence or conflict break out. He urged (with success) Sudanese leaders to reassure publicly Southern Sudanese in the north that they will be safe whatever the outcome of the referendum and he encouraged the governments north and south to behave responsibly and seize the opportunity to transform their standing in the international community. We covered many miles over the four days, visiting Darfur (a place Mr Mitchell had visited twice before - picture below) and Juba, where he opened the UK Government's new office building in the EU compound, which will provide a great platform for the growing HMG team in Southern Sudan.

As Mr Mitchell and his team led by Sandra Pepera (Head of DFID Sudan) pushed our messages at the highest levels, the Embassy was also heavily engaged in supporting Thabo Mbeki's talks at the working level. We had experts feeding into drafting on economic, security, legal and border issues. On the last, Michael Ryder (the UK Special Representative for Sudan) was closely involved, helped by Phil Hunt, an expert from the MOD's Defence Mapping Agency, who flew into Khartoum to spend valuable time with Sudanese and international experts. Phil was able to offer an objective and well-informed view on where exactly the boundary between north and south was on 1 January 1956 (it has been agreed that any future border should be the boundary as it was at independence in 1956).

Apologies for the long blog. Not every week will be as full. But I can't finish without mentioning the wonderful Service of Remembrance organised by our Defence Attaché, Lt Col Chris Luckham, at Khartoum's Commonwealth War Cemetery on 11 November (picture below). Under bright Sudanese skies, surrounded by immaculately kept graves and lawns, nearly two hundred people from more than thirty countries gathered to pay tribute to the dead of all nations and all conflicts. It was an honour to be there and a strong reminder to me of how vital it is that together we succeed in helping Sudan heal its wounds and silence forever the guns.
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Related Reports

ENDGAME (2009)



A story based on the covert discussions that brought down the Apartheid regime in South Africa.
Director: Pete Travis
Writer: Paula Milne
Stars: William Hurt, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jonny Lee Miller
Source: Nicholas Kay's blog post Thursday, 15 November 2010 / www.imdb.com/title/tt1217616/
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REMEMBRANCE SERVICE AT THE COMMONWEALTH WAR CEMETERY, KHARTOUM, SUDAN ON 11 NOVEMBER 2010



HISTORIC stuff (made me cry). Click here to view slideshow of eleven photographs, courtesy of FCO/UK in Sudan, on Flickr. Copied here below for posterity are the photographs.

Note: This blog Sudan Watch has been and will continue to be digitally archived by the British Library so will be preserved for future historians.



Wreathes. Photo taken at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, Khartoum, Sudan on Thursday, 11 November 2010.



British Defence Attache Lt. Colonel Chris Luckham greets a representative from the Sudanese Armed Forces. Photo taken at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, Khartoum, Sudan on Thursday, 11 November 2010.



Service of Remembrance. Photo taken at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, Khartoum, Sudan on Thursday, 11 November 2010.



Father Joseph al Haj leads the Service of Remembrance. Photo taken at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, Khartoum, Sudan on Thursday, 11 November 2010.



Hymn during the Service of Remembrance. Photo taken at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, Khartoum, Sudan on Thursday, 11 November 2010.



Wreath laying. British Ambassador Nicholas Kay, a representative of the Sudanese Armed Forces and other members of the Diplomatic Corps lay wreaths on the war memorial, Khartoum. Photo taken at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, Khartoum, Sudan on Thursday, 11 November 2010.



British Ambassador Nicholas Kay and a representative from the Sudanese Armed Forces. Photo taken at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, Khartoum, Sudan on Thursday, 11 November 2010.



Major General Moses Bisung Obi, UNMIS Force Commander. Photo taken at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, Khartoum, Sudan on Thursday, 11 November 2010.



UNMIS peacekeepers. Photo taken at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, Khartoum, Sudan on Thursday, 11 November 2010.



Colonel Mike Scott, UNMIS Military Chief of Staff and Lt Colonel Umar Faroouqi laying wreathes on behalf of UNMIS peacekeepers. Photo taken at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, Khartoum, Sudan on Thursday, 11 November 2010.



War memorial. Wreathes upon the monument, Commonwealth War Cemetery, Khartoum, Sudan. Photo taken on Thursday, 11 November 2010.

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UK IN SUDAN



YouTube video: British Ambassador to Sudan, Nicholas Kay welcomes visitors to UK in Sudan website - http://ukinsudan.fco.gov.uk
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RARE JOINT STATEMENT:
NORTH, SOUTH SUDAN DEFENCE CHIEFS VOW NO WAR


On Thursday, 11 November 2010, the south's minister for the SPLA (the southern army) Nhial Deng Nhial appeared at a joint news conference with Sudan's national, Khartoum-based, Minister of Defence Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein.

"We wanted to send a message to our citizens, both in the north and south, that there will be no return to war. Regardless of the amount of differences they will be resolved through political dialogue. There will be no return to war," Nhial told reporters.

Click here to read full story by Reuters at af.reuters.com - Thursday, 11 November 2010: "North, south Sudan defence chiefs vow no war".



Photo: The south's minister for the SPLA (the southern army) Nhial Deng Nhial (L) at a joint news conference with Sudan's national, Khartoum-based, Minister of Defence Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein (R) Thursday, 11 November 2010. (Source: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah - Thursday, 11 November 2010)



Photo: Sudan's Minister of Defence Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein (R) talks to South's minister for the SPLA (the southern army) Nhial Deng Nhial (L) after a joint news conference at the Ministry of Defence headquarters in Khartoum on Thursday, 11 November 2010. North and south Sudan's defence chiefs on Thursday vowed there would be no return to war in a rare joint statement that set out to defuse tensions in the countdown to a referendum on southern secession. (Source: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah - Thursday, 11 November 2010)
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JEM and SLM say they cannot be threatened to join Doha Talks
Source: SRS - Sudan Radio Service - www.sudanradio.org
Date: Tuesday, 16 November 2010
(Khartoum/Doha) – The UNAMID Joint Special Representative says that there will be negative consequences if the Darfur anti-government groups, the JEM and the SLM-Abdulwahid’s faction fail to participate in the Doha talks.

Professor Ibrahim Gambari addressed a press conference in Khartoum on Sunday.

[Ibrahim Gambari]: “JEM must take this opportunity very seriously. As the members of the Sudan consultative forum which took place on the 6th of November in Addis Ababa stressed there would be very negative consequences both for the people of Darfur and for JEM as a movement if it fails to take advantage of this opportunity to the peace process.”

However, the two anti-government groups responded by saying that no one will force them to participate in the Doha peace talks.

JEM head of negotiation, Ahmed Togud Lisan told SRS on Sunday from Doha that they will only join the talks once their demands are met.

[Ahmed Togud Lisan]: “We don’t care about sanctions, we don’t care about other people’s position, what we care about is the interests of our cause and the interests of our people. When our demands are met we will join the negotiations, if not we can tell the international community and anybody who cares about the issue that, we can’t be part of a comedy and be losers at the end. The whole issue will be rearranged in a manner that the National Congress Party will be able to play a light role in.”

On the other hand, the official spokesperson of the SLM-Abdulwahid’s faction, Ahmed Ibrahim Yousif said their movement will not lose at all if sanctions are imposed on them.

[Ahmed Ibrahim Yousif]: “We the Sudan Liberation Movement we won’t lose anything. I mean we don’t have assets and we don’t have anything. No weapons are given to us from outside Sudan, nothing at all. We were threatened before after Abuja, the SLM was threatened, particularly the chairman Ustaz Mohamed Nur, but sanctions are supposed to be imposed on people who are killing others, those who are carrying mass genocide in an organized manner until now.”

That was the official spokesperson for SLM-Wahid faction, Ahmed Ibrahim Yousif speaking to SRS on Sunday.
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From The New York Times

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Statement of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP) / Report on negotiations on the Sudan framework agreement



Statement of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP) / Report on negotiations on the Sudan framework agreement
Source: African Press Organization (APO) - www.apo-opa.org
Author: African Union Commission (AUC)
Date written: Monday, 15 November 2010. Copy in full:
On the 7th of November, the African Union High Level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP) convened a meeting of the Sudanese parties, the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Khartoum. The Parties met to negotiate a Framework Document within which they would address and resolve various outstanding matters relating to the implementation of the CPA and conduct further detailed discussion of the Post Referendum Arrangements.

The outstanding CPA issues include the resolution of the Abyei question, the North-South border, Popular Consultations in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan States, and security arrangements between the North and the South. The Post Referendum issues include citizenship, oil, water resources, assets and liabilities, currency and economic cooperation. The negotiations concluded successfully on November 13 with an agreement on a “Framework for Resolving Outstanding Issues Relating to the Implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Future Relations of North and South Sudan”.

General Principles

The Parties recognised that the people of southern and northern Sudan have close ties of history, culture, geography and economy, as well as personal relations, which cannot be severed whatever the outcome of the South Sudan referendum. For this reason, they have committed themselves to find peaceful solutions to all outstanding matters, determined never to resort to war again. In the case of separation as a consequence of the South Sudan referendum, they undertook to construct two viable states which would cooperate for the mutual benefit and live in peace and harmony with each other.

CPA obligations

The Parties committed themselves to work for the successful conduct of the Southern Sudan referendum and pledged to respect its outcome. They agreed that negotiations on the future of Abyei will continue at the level of the political principals, President Omar Hassan al- Bashir, and First Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit, with the participation of the AUHIP. The principals are determined to conclude their negotiations expeditiously. The Parties will help to ensure that the Popular Consultations in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states enable the views and aspirations of the people of the two states to be expressed and taken into account, and pledge to respect the outcome of the consultation.

The Parties committed themselves to the immediate demarcation of the North-South border. In the event of secession, this will be the longest inter-state border in Africa, hosting in its immediate vicinity on both sides a significant proportion of Sudan’s population. This border also sees the movement of trans-boundary peoples each year in both directions. The Parties have committed themselves to maintaining a ‘softborder’, which will permit unhindered economic and social activity and interaction, which will be essential for economic prosperity and harmony between the north and the south.

They will cooperate to facilitate mutually beneficial cross-border activities. Peoples’ Linkages and Citizenship Issues The Parties agreed that decisions taken on nationality and citizenship will not adversely affect the wellbeing and rights of ordinary people.

In conformity with the provisions of the CPA, the Parties reaffirmed that no person’s Sudanese nationality or citizenship will change during the CPA Interim Period, and that during this period all Sudanese nationals or citizens shall continue to have a right to live anywhere in the country and that no obstacles shall be placed in the way of their freedom of movement, employment or their access to public services in any part of Sudan. In the event of any change in nationality and citizenship laws, the Parties agreed that the two states would ensure that the rights of the people are not adversely affected and that they can continue to reside in either country, in accordance with the law, should they wish to continue to do so and that sufficient time would be given to enable individuals to adjust their status.

Economic and Other Linkages and Arrangements for Cooperation

Guided by the understanding of the facts on the ground, the Parties adopted several principles which would inform the process of mutually beneficial economic cooperation in the event of the separation of South Sudan. In this context they agreed on the approach they would adopt to address such matters as the free movement of people, goods and services, monetary and fiscal policy, the management of oil and water resources, and the handling of assets and liabilities. The Parties recognise that each post-secession state would conduct its foreign policy mindful of the need to achieve the objective of the building of two viable states which would cooperate for mutual benefit.

Ensuring Mutual Security

Regardless of the outcome of the referendum, the Parties undertook that neither would take any action, or support any group, that would undermine the security of the other. Instead, the North and the South would continue to cooperate and share information that would enhance their capacity to deal with internal and external threats as well as trans-border crime.

Conclusion

The Panel is greatly encouraged by the determination of the Sudanese Parties to apply themselves diligently to address all the challenges ahead, at all times working to resolve all outstanding matters through peaceful negotiations.

The Panel is confident that the Parties will sustain the spirit of cooperation demonstrated during the negotiation of the Framework Agreement. Navigating the path ahead will require the dedicated leadership which Sudan’s leaders are more than capable of exercising in the best interest of the people of Sudan.

The Panel calls on Sudan’s neighbours, the rest of our Continent and the world as a whole to extend the necessary encouragement and support to the people and leadership of Sudan as they continue their efforts to find a lasting solution to the challenges they face.
[End of copy]

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Sudan top priority for UN Security Council - UK takes the rotating presidency at the Security Council for November

Sudan top priority for Security Council
Source: UPI.com - www.upi.com
Date: Wednesday, 03 November 2010 at 1:25 PM
(LONDON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- London will place Sudan at the forefront of U.N. Security Council debates as it assumes the rotating presidency of the body, the foreign secretary said.

London takes the rotating presidency at the Security Council for November. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said London considered Sudan a high-priority topic during its presidency.

He said he would lead a Security Council debate on Sudan on Nov. 16, where the focus would be on the steps needed to complete a January referendum on time.

South Sudan is voting for self-determination in January as part of a comprehensive peace deal brokered in part by U.S. President George W. Bush in 2005.

Residents in the central Sudanese area of Abyei will also vote on whether they want to joint North or South Sudan.

Hague said London would "push for timely completion" of the peace deal through the January measure.

Election officials with the United Nations said more than 3,000 voter registration kits were delivered during the weekend in preparation for a registration drive.

Washington added that it believes the January measure is on schedule "but clearly, the parties need to come together, make some decisions and then take the appropriate actions to prepare not only for that referendum but also the one regarding South Sudan."
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UN Security Council's British presidency aims at Sudan peace - Summary
Source: Earthtimes.org
Written by: The German Press Agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) - www.dpa.com
Date: Tuesday, 02 November 2010 - excerpt:
The 15-nation council will hold an open debate on November 16 on the situation of Sudan, to be presided over by British Foreign Secretary William Hague. London said that Sudan is its "highest priority" as it took over the rotating presidency of the council this month.

"We will use our presidency to push for timely completion of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, give support to the efforts of President (Thabo) Mbeki and the African Union," the Foreign Office said in a statement.

"We will maintain the Security Council's focus on Darfur and reinforce the importance of lasting and inclusive peace settlement for the Darfuri people," it said.

The British ambassador to the UN, Mark Lyall Grant, told reporters the debate will involve UN, Sudanese and other African diplomats.

"We believe it critical that the Security Council maintains very close focus on Sudan," Grant said. He led a council delegation that visited Africa's Great Lakes region last month.

"The council attaches great importance that the referenda be held in a timely and peaceful fashion, and that the outcomes are respected by all parties," Grant said.

London said it is working with donors and Sudanese parties to make "urgent progress on preparations" for the referenda and is providing 10 million British pounds (16 million dollars) to support the vote.

London is also providing 100 million pounds to support the UN mission in Sudan and the UN-African Union peacekeeping operations in Darfur.
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EU allocates €17 million for ongoing humanitarian needs ahead of upcoming referendum on South Sudan
Source: Sudan Tribune - www.sudantribune.com
Date: Monday, 01 November 2010 - excerpts:
The European Commission approved an additional package of €17 million to support the advance preparation of essential humanitarian provisions in Darfur, the South and the Transitional Areas ahead of the referendum on the self determination of Southern Sudan, expected in January 2011. This new decision brings the Commission’s support for humanitarian aid in Sudan to a total of €131 million.

Sudan is the European Commission’s largest beneficiary country for humanitarian aid. With this new allocation, the budget for 2010 is €131 million, covering operations in Darfur, South Sudan and the Transitional Areas.

For further information:
http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm
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UN continues to providing support to Sudan ahead of referendum
Source: UN News Centre - www.un.org
Date: Monday, 01 November 2010



Photo: UN Integrated Referendum and Electoral Division (UNIRED) hands over material to support the January 2011 referendum
The United Nations stands ready to assist the upcoming referendum that will decide whether southern Sudan declares independence from Africa’s largest country, an official with the world body said today, with voter registration set to kick off in two weeks.

People in southern Sudan are set to register at referendum centres throughout the country and abroad to vote on 9 January.

“This exercise, conducted by the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission [SSRC], is one of the most important steps in the lead-up to the polling,” Denis Kadima, Director of the UN Integrated Referendum and Electoral Division (UNIRED), told reporters in Khartoum today.

Over the weekend, more than 3,000 registration kits for distribution in southern Sudan and 840 kits for the north, along with registration books and cards, were handed over to the SSRC and its bureau in Juba, the southern capital.

The UN is helping to transport kits and books from Juba to the capitals of Sudan’s states to train nearly 11,000 referendum centre staff, Mr. Kadima said.

UNIRED’s technical assistance includes designing voter registration forms, developing complaint regulations and designing voter education materials, he added.

“The UN provides logistical support to deliver those items to locations throughout Sudan and in the eight countries where southerners will exercise their right to vote,” the official said, referring to Australia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.

For its part, the UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan, known as UNMIS, will deliver these supplies by air to remote and isolated locations, while the joint UN-African Union mission in the Darfur (UNAMID) will transport registration materials from Khartoum to the war-ravaged region’s state capitals.

Security for the delivery of referendum materials will be ensured by the Southern Sudan Police Service in the south and by the Sudan Police in the north. UNMIS police have trained nearly 14,000 police officers in the south between May and October, with preparations for referendum security training in the north under way.

“Informing the Sudanese people and potential voters about the referendum process is another way in which UNIRED is helping to create the conditions for a free, fair and transparent process,” Mr. Kadima said today.

The SSRC voter education materials – including posters, stickers, banners, caps and bags – are being procured with the support from the UN Development Basket Fund, while donors are supporting civil society organizations in carrying out awareness programmes.

“Within its capacity, UNMIS will continue to do its most to ensure that the referendum is held on time and peacefully,” Mr. Kadima said, adding that the upcoming voter registration is one of the most “important milestones” in the referendum process.

On 9 January the inhabitants of southern Sudan will vote on whether to secede from the rest of the country, while the residents of the central area of Abyei will vote on whether to be part of the north or the south.

The referenda will be the final phase in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which was signed in 2005 to end two decades of conflict between the northern-based Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in the south.

“This peace process is unique in the history of the Sudan and the next few months will be critical for safeguarding the achievements made since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote in his latest report to the Security Council on Sudan.

“As the Comprehensive Peace Agreement deadline for the referendums approaches, public anticipation and anxiety are building up at an accelerated pace. The events of the next three months will have a profound impact on the future of the Sudan.

“The stakes are undeniably high, as failure to meet the deadline for the referendums prescribed by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement could have severe consequences. Notwithstanding the progress made so far, it is imperative that the parties to the Agreement and all relevant authorities redouble their efforts to ensure that they successfully meet the deadline,” he said.
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REFERENDUM MATERIALS HANDED OVER IN KHARTOUM
ON 30 OCTOBER 2010


U.N. preps for Sudan's voter registration
Source: UPI.com - www.upi.com
Date: Tuesday, 02 November 2010 at 1:19 PM - excerpt:
Voter registration for a referendum on self-determination for South Sudan gets under way in two weeks, the United Nations announced.
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Photo: U.N. Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General of Sudan (SRSG) Jasbir Lider, U.S. Special Envoy Scott Gration (L), Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) Chairperson Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil (C), Senior Adviser USAID Larry Garber (2nd L), Commissioner Sabit Alley (2nd R) pose with election materials that include voter registration kits, manuals and cards of referendum materials that were handed over in Khartoum October 30, 2010 (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah) Yahoo News



Photo: U.N. Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General of Sudan Jasbir Lider hands over election materials that include voter registration kits, manuals and cards of referendum materials to the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) Chairperson Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil in Khartoum October 30, 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah) Yahoo News



Photo: U.N. Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General of Sudan (SRSG) Jasbir Lider, U.S. Special Envoy Scott Gration and Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) Chairperson Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil look at election materials that include voter registration kits, manuals and cards of referendum materials that were handed over in Khartoum October 30, 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah) Yahoo News

Related Stories

Sudan's commitment to election welcomed
Source: UPI.com - www.upi.com
Date: Monday, 25 October 2010 at 9:01 AM - excerpts:
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, completed a three-day visit to the African country Sunday and said the government has put its commitment in writing to conduct the Jan. 9 referendum, Voice of America reported.

Fouad Hikmat, International Crisis Group's African Union and Sudan special adviser, said the assurances given to Kerry were a positive development

"I think it is very good news, and this maybe a reiteration from (Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir) what he just recently said to the Sudanese people through his speech to the national assembly that he is going to work very hard to make sure that the referendum is going to be on time, and that the government is going to respect the results of the referendum provided that it is done in a transparent, free and accurate way," Hikmat said.

During his visit, Kerry warned of tougher U.S. sanctions against Sudan if the governments of north and south Sudan hamper the referendum, VOA said.

Hikmat said Khartoum wants its relationship with the United States to improve, as well as sanctions lifted and the country's removal from the terrorist watch list. He also said Sudan would like U.S. help with the International Criminal Court's arrest warrant against Bashir for war crimes allegedly committed in Sudan's Darfur region.
U.N. extends mandate for Darfur
Source: UPI.com - www.upi.com
Date: Friday, 15 October 2010 at 1:31 PM - excerpts:
Security Council voted to extend the mandate for the mission to Darfur as South Sudan gets set for a January vote for self-determination.

The U.N. Security Council, meanwhile, voted to extend a mandate for a monitoring group for Darfur. The group is tasked with monitoring an arms embargo and individuals who are thwarting the peace process in the troubled region of Africa.

China, a veto-wielding member of the Security Council, abstained from the vote, saying it questioned the panel's objectivity.

Members of the Security Council recently returned from a tour of Sudan where they reviewed developments in Darfur and preparations under way to hold the referendum.
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From The New York Times - 02 November 2010

Headlines Around the Web

What's This?
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NOVEMBER 2, 2010

Obama renews Sudan sanctions,

keeps pressure on vote

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

NOVEMBER 2, 2010

Obama grants waiver on child

soldier prohibition in Sudan

Washington Times Communities

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Egyptian FM: We Continue To Work

For Sudan Unity

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Sudan's ex SLA rebel leader Minni

Minnawi signed Darfur Peace

Agreement security deal on

Saturday, 30 Oct. 2010

WHITE HOUSE NEWS

NOVEMBER 1, 2010

Notice from the President on the

Continuation of the National Emergency

with Respect to Sudan

More at Blogrunner »

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Monday, November 01, 2010

Sudan's ex SLA rebel leader Minni Minnawi signed Darfur Peace Agreement security deal on Saturday, 30 Oct. 2010

Minni Arcua Minnawi signs Darfur Peace Agreement

Photo (from Sudan Watch archive): Rebel Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) faction leader Minni Arcua Minnawi signs a deal with the Sudanese government in the Nigerian capital Abuja May 5, 2006, after days and nights of intense talks under global pressure. The government of Sudan and the main Darfur rebel faction signed a peace agreement on Friday to end three years of fighting that has killed many thousands of people and forced 2 million to flee their homes. (Reuters/STR)
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Commissioner for Security Arrangements Arrives in Al-Fasher to Implement Arrangements with Menawi Movement
Source: SUNA - www.sunanews.net
Date: Thursday, 28 October 2010:
(Al-Fasher) - The Commissioner for the Security Arrangements, Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Mustafa Al-Dabi, has affirmed that the commission has reached at joint vision with the Sudan Liberation Movement, Mini Arko Mennawi faction, to meet in Al-Fasher in order to commence adopting the arrangements necessary for including the elements of the movement in the security arrangements, in accordance with Darfur peace agreement.

In a press statements he made upon his arrival at Al-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur State, Gen. Al-Dabi said that although four years and a half have passed since the signing of Darfur peace agreement, which stipulated implementation of the security arrangements in a two-year period, the government remained leading continuous dialogue with Menawi movement for the implementation of the security arrangements' clause for for the interest of the homeland and peace.

He said that the remaining period of the agreement does not exceed half a year, a matter that necessitates speeding up the steps to absorb the forces of the movement in the security arrangements.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Technical Department at the Commission, Maj. Abdalla Hassan Al-Amin, explained that his department was ready to implement the security arrangements for Menawi forces, adding that the meeting of Gen. Al-Dabi with the Chief of Staff at Menawi movement in Al-Fasher Thursday comes with the aim to determine and implement the security arrangements as soon as possible.
BH/MO
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Agreement on security arrangements reached to finalize Abuja peace deal
Source: SUNA - www.sunanews.net
Date: Saturday, 30 October 2010:
(Al Fashir) - Security Arrangement Commission and Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM)/Minnawi faction on Saturday signed document finalizing security arrangements as provided in Darfur Peace Agreement reached by Sudan Government of the Movement in May, 2006 in Abuja, Nigeria.

Commissioner of Security Arrarngments, Gen Muhamed Ahmed Mustafa Al Dabi in the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority and Chairman of SLM Chief of Staff, Muhamedain Adam Bashr Members of Security Arrangements Commission, representatives of the Army and leader of the Movement attended the signed.

Gen Al Dabi stressed the keenness of the two sides to finalize the security arrangements, hoping that the move would lead to further stability in the region.

The Commission will begin implementing the arrangements according to the timetable set November 15th in favour of the two sides, he said.

Adam Salih Abaker, SLM Spokesman SLM has been keen on the ceasefire as stipulated by Abuja Peace Agreement and support to the security organs in the states.

The Director of Integration Maj Gen Abdallah Hassan Al Ami has said Security arrangements was the backbone of Abuja deal.
AH/MA
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Darfur peace partner seals security arrangements deal with the Sudanese government
Source: Sudan Tribune - www.sudantribune.com
Date: Sunday 31 October 2010:
October 30, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) headed by Minni Minnawi signed a security arrangements deal in North Darfur capital of El-Fasher today to more than four years after both sides signed the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) in Abuja.

The delay prevented Minnawi from running in last April’s general elections. He has also yet to retain his position as the senior presidential assistant which he acquired following the DPA.

Sudan official news agency (SUNA) quoted the commissioner for security arrangements at the executive transitional authority of Darfur Lieutenant General Mohamed Mustafa Al-Dabi as saying that the accord demonstrates the determination by both sides to make this the culmination of what was achieved through DPA.

He expressed hope that this would pave the way for peace and stability in Darfur and revealed that the implementation will start in mid-November in accordance with the timetable mutually agreed on between the government and the SLM-Minnawi.

Commander Adam Saleh Abakr told SUNA that they have been keen on making this agreement a reality and will work on getting it implemented as quickly as possible.

Sources in Khartoum say that Minnawi, who has recently moved to Juba, has been reluctant all these years to sign it because he wanted the government to implement a number of provisions in the DPA that he believes Khartoum has been foot-dragging on.

Minnawi persistently accused Khartoum of ignoring the terms of the DPA and has appeared unhappy over being excluded from peace talks with other major rebel groups of SLM-Nur and the Justice and Equality Movement.

SUNA did not provide details of the agreement but it includes integration of Minnawi’s forces into the army after determining their numbers and medical fitness. (ST)
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MINNI MINNAWI

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Suliman Arcua Minnawi known as "Minni" (born 1968 in Furawiyya, North Darfur) is the leader of the what once was the largest faction of the Sudanese Liberation Army until it was weakened by dissention and infighting. A former school teacher, Minnawi was the secretary of Sudan Liberation Army leader Abdul Wahid Nur, before the organization split in 2004.

Under Minnawi's leadership, his SLA faction signed a peace agreement, known as the May agreement, with the Khartoum government in May 2006. Nevertheless, fighting has continued with Minnawi's group fighting other SLA factions. In July 2006, fighting broke out around the northern Darfur town Korma, resulting in the deaths of at least 80 people. [2] Minnawi was appointed the top Sudanese official in the Darfur region, as chairman of the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority, and is technically the fourth ranking member of the Presidency, as Senior Assistant to the President of the Republic but has been progessively shut out from power by his "peace partners" of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) of President Omar al-Bashir. Minnawi belongs to the Ila Digen (or Awlad Digayn) clan of the non-Arab Zaghawa people.

On September 14, 2006, Minnawi broke ranks with the Sudanese government when he stated that he does not object to the new UN peacekeeping force detailed in UNSC Resolution 1706. [3]

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