Saturday, May 21, 2005

Sudan's Soba massacre, or the unwise Khartoum State land policy - IMF chief visits Chad

Sudan's police ordered a printing house to stop printing Saturday's edition of the Khartoum Monitor, Sudan's only English-language newspaper, after the editor refused to change an article and an editorial that criticised the government's treatment of displaced people.

The newspaper reported eyewitnesses saying 33 people were killed and that police had fired into the crowd. The report did not include the government version of the story, which said no weapons were fired.

Sudan has a history of suspending newspapers and detaining journalists. The government has officially lifted state censorship of newspapers but press restrictions continue.

Mourni camp in West Darfur

Photo: An armed Sudanese policeman contains women and men as they wait to receive food staples at a distribution point in the Internally Displaced Camp (IDP) of Mourni, the largest in West Darfur. At least 17 people were killed in clashes between refugees and police in a squatter area some 10 kilometres (six miles) east of the Sudanese capital, police said.(AFP/File/Cris Bouroncle)
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Lone woman on a mission

Squadron Leader Ruth Elsley

Photo (ADF) Squadron Leader Ruth Elsley, 36, is looming as a legend in Khartoum. She is the first woman to become the head of an Australian Defence Force's overseas contingent, leading Australia's 15-person team as part of the United Nations' peacekeeping mission, Operation Azure.

And to date, Squadron Leader Elsley is the only woman officer in Khartoum among some 170 males from about 40 countries who comprise the headquarters staff. - Full Story at Air Force News.
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Mine clearing course for Sudanese

May 20 AllAfrica report says military personnel from Sudan will be trained at a recently opened centre for education in mine clearing. Excerpt:

The Sh500 million International Mine Action Training Centre will drill the soldiers on de-mining and neutralising landmines in their country in line with the recent peace agreement and plans to resettle refugees.

There are about 80,000 Sudanese refugees at Kakuma camp in Turkana District, near the border with Sudan.

The soldiers will join 100 Kenyan military engineers already training at the centre located in Embakasi, Nairobi, before being deployed at home. They will be followed by a 75-strong company from Sudan's integrated forces.

The Sudanese will be expected to complete their training and return home to clear the landmines, especially in the south, before the more than 200,000 refugees in Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Ethiopia are repatriated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

On Tuesday, the UNHCR's local representative, Mr George Okoth-Obbo, announced he expected to conclude the Sh7.3 billion repatriation job by October. It would include awareness programmes on landmines and Aids.
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International Monetary Fund chief visits Chad

International Monetary Fund chief visits Chad

Photo: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Rodrigo Rato visits a medical centre in tent at Oure Cassoni camp, Chad May 20, 2005. The camp on the Chad-Sudan border is home to over 26,000 refugees. (Reuters/IMF/Stephen Jaffe/Handout) Full Report.


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