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March 2010 - Posts

South Sudan Radio and TV staff threaten to go on strike

March 26, 2010 (JUBA) – Staff of the two major and only Southern Sudan government-owned broadcasting media have threatened to go on strike beginning on Monday over lack payment of 12 months arrears of their housing allowances.

The staff of the two state-owned broadcasting media, which are under the administration of the ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the Government of Southern Sudan, were supposed to be paid their allowances since last year.

The cabinet passed a resolution last year directing all the ministries and independent institutions to start paying the housing allowances to all the staff, classified and unclassified alike, beginning from January of the year 2009. The decision was made after the government assessed the difficulty faced by government employees in getting accommodation as house rents have become very expensive in the region.

The rest of the government institutions immediately begun to pay all their staff, by either paying all the 12 months or at least paying six months at a go from their last year’s budgets, with the promise to pay the remaining balance from this year’s budget.

However, staff of the Southern Sudan Radio and TV lamented that the ministry of Information and Broadcasting failed to implement the resolution and has not paid even a single month to its employees.

This has unleashed loss of confidence in the Radio and TV administration, Sudan Tribune has learned.

The staffs who were signing up for the strike on Friday lamented that their committee earlier formed to follow up the issue with the ministry could not receive any positive response. Meetings conducted with the Undersecretary of the Ministry, George Garang, have born no fruits while the Minister, Paul Mayom Akech previously failed to act and is rarely in Juba this year.

The Director General in charge of both Radio and TV in Southern Sudan, Arop Bagat Tingloth, is reported to have asked the staff to put off the strike on Monday and give him two days time to try to resolve the issue with the mother ministry.

Southern Sudan Radio and TV used to be an autonomous Corporation operating independently from ministry of Information. However, following the signing of the CPA and the formation of government in 2005, it was brought under the direct administration of the ministry.

The two broadcasting state-owned media are currently a very effective tool during the elections as political parties, particularly the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), are airing their campaign rallies and speeches across the nation and beyond international borders.

Observers assessing the situation said any continuous failure by the ministry of Information and Broadcasting to resolve the issue would prove to be a very big below to the elections process if the strikes occur next week and result to shutting down of the only two broadcasting media in the region.

Dr. Ismail: Issues of Reform of Arab Institution, Palestine and Sudan Top in Agenda of the Arab Summit

Serte, Mar. 26 (SUNA)- Preparations were completed in the Libyan Sete city for holding the 22nd ordinary Arab summit after arrival of the Arab leaders and completion of the arrangements at the level of the foreign ministers

 

In a statement to SUNA, the Presidential Advisor, Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail, said that the Arab summit will discuss three major axes which are the reform in the Arab institution in accordance that was reached in the past summit, the Arab issues top of them is the Palestinian question, the ongoing efforts to push ahead the peace process, issues of Comoros, Somalia and the Economic summit in Kuwait

 

He said that the Arab summit would hold a closed-door sitting to hear a report of the President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, on the situation in Sudan and issues of peace and unity

 

Dr. Ismail said that Yemen has presented a paper on the issue of the Arab union, besides another paper presented by Syria on the Arab cooperation

 

SUNA learned that President Al-Bashir will meet Friday evening with the Sudanese community in Serte to acquaint them on issues of the elections and the situation in Darfur

President Al-Bashir Arrives in Serte to Participate in Arab Summit

Serte, Libya, Mar. 26 (SUNA) - President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, and the accompanying delegation Friday evening arrived in Serte, Libya, to participate in the 22 ordinary Arab Summit which will be held during March 27 - 28

 

President was received upon arrival by the Libyan Leader, Muammar Al-Qaddafi, the Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Al-Tigani Fedail, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Al-Samani Al-Wasila

 

The agenda of the summit includes the Palestinian cause and the development Palestinian - Israeli conflict in the wake of the continuation of the Israeli aggressions against the Palestinians and its building to more settlements in Jerusalem as well as Israel's targeting to the Islamic and Christian holy shrines in the town

 

The summit will also review the Arab peace initiative and plans for supporting Quds, the Palestinian question, Julan Heights, Lebanon and the developments in Iraq

 

The delegation accompanying President Al-Bashir included the Minister at the Presidency of the Republic, Gen. Bakri Hassan Salih, the Presidential Advisor and official of Darfur file, Dr. Ghazi Salahuddin, and the Presidential Advisor, Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail

Dr Lam Akol: democracy within political parties guarantees the unity of their ranks

Renk, March 25 (SUNA)- The President of the Sudan People Liberation Movement - the Democratic Change party , Dr Lam Akol Ajawin, has maintained that democracy within the political parties themselves remains the only guarantee for them to maintain their own unity

 

Dr Akol, the candidate for the Presidency of the Government of South Sudan, has pointed out in an address before a mass rally organized in Renk for launching his election campaign in the area, has stressed that his party calls for democratic change for the sake of a stable and unified southern Sudan, and that it calls for discarding nepotism of which the people in the south have been suffering

 

Dr Akol told the mass rally at Renk Stadium in Upper Nile region that his party calls for the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement CPA one of whose basic objectives is to put an end to warring and fighting

 

He has however stressed that for the CPA to be upheld there should be democracy

 

He said during the past five years the situation in the south continued to deteriorate and that there should be a reconsideration of the situation there as the citizens have not tasted the dividends of peace. He referred to disputes between some citizens in the South and elements of the Sudan People's liberation Army

 

He called for economic reform and development which lacks now in the south. He urged for fighting corruption and improvement of civil service and accountability in the south

President Al-Bashir Leaves for Libya to Participate in Arab Summit

Khartoum, March. 26 (SUNA) -President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, left Friday for Libya to take part in the 22nd Arab summit, which is scheduled to begin Saturday in Sort to review 26 topics, including issues of the joint Arab work in the legal, cultural, social, economic, security and political fields

 

The agenda of the summit includes the Palestinian cause and the development Palestinian - Israeli conflict in the wake of the continuation of the Israeli aggressions against the Palestinians and its building to more settlements in Jerusalem as well as Israel's targeting to the Islamic and Christian holy shrines in the town

 

The summit will also review the Arab peace initiative and plans for supporting Quds, the Palestinian question, Julan Heights, Lebanon and the developments in Iraq

 

The delegation accompanying President Al-Bashir included the Minister at the Presidency of the Republic, Gen. Bakri Hassan Salih, the Presidential Advisor and official of Darfur file, Dr. Ghazi Salahuddin, and the Presidential Advisor, Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail

 

President and the accompanying delegation were seen off at Khartoum Airport by a number of senior government officials

Sudan, JEM rebels resume indirect talks for peace in Darfur

(DOHA) — Sudanese government and the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) have resumed indirect talks facilitated by the Chadian government to break the deadlock and pave the way towards a peace agreement.

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Chadian President Idriss Deby

Last week, Presidential adviser Ghazi Salah Al-Deen met with JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim in Ndjamena to discuss divergences raised after the signing of a framework agreement last month, but they only agreed that delegations in Doha should continue to finalize a ceasefire agreement.

Sudanese government and JEM are in disarray over the issues of election postponement and power sharing as the rebels rejected a package of governmental positions including one presidential assistant, two ministers in the national government besides other positions in the region of Darfur.

The indirect talks between Khartoum and JEM at the current stage deal with the power and wealth sharing. In a proposal submitted through the Chadian facilitator, the Sudanese government proposed two posts of presidential advisers, three ministers and one state minister in the federal government, one governor in Darfur, five regional ministries including three in Darfur and two in other regions, and seven members in the national parliament.

JEM, which eyes the position of vice-president, is expected to refuse the proposal of two presidential advisers. Multiple sources say Khartoum intends to attribute this position to El-Tijani El-Sissi the former governor of Darfur and UN official who accepted to chair a rebel the new rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM).

El-Sissi who is from the Fur tribe, largest ethnic group in the troubled region, was requested to lead the Libyan sponsored rebel group after criticism by an American official to the Libyan initiative to reunite rebel factions saying Tripoli had only gathered rebels belonging to the minority Zaggawa ethnic group.

The rebel LJM signed today a framework agreement with the Sudanese government defining the themes to be discussed between the two parties and including a temporary ceasefire agreement.

JEM was opposed to the separate agreement but the chief mediator stressed the importance to include all the parties in the process. The rebel leader Khalil Ibrahim had rejected the participation of other rebel groups in the peace process saying they should first merge with his movement. He also said against parallel talks with them and the Sudanese government.

The Chadian foreign minister Moussa El Faki said today that the efforts led by his country aim to facilitate Doha talks. He further reaffirmed the continuation of efforts exerted by his country to overcome differences between the two parties and reach a final peace agreement.

Commenting the last week meeting between Khalil and Ghazi, El Faki said "There is a difference in some of the issues discussed (between the parties), but I am optimistic that the talks continue".

The Chadian foreign minister was in Doha today to attend the signing ceremony of a framework agreement between the Sudanese government and the rebel Liberation and Justice Movement.

Second Darfur accord signed with rebels in Doha

(DOHA) — The Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) signed a framework agreement on Thursday in the Arab Gulf state of Qatar similar to the one signed last month between Khartoum and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

The LJM chief El-Tijani El-Sissi and the Sudanese presidential adviser Ghazi Salah Al-Deen Al-Attabani led the signature ceremony. The LJM is an umbrella of rebel groups which has quickly rushed to unite in the wake of last month’s truce between Khartoum and JEM.

The Sudanese 2nd Vice president Ali Osman Taha who attended the ceremony praised the role of Qatar and affirmed his government’s willingness to work diligently towards peace and implementing all the agreements signed.

He described today’s move as "important and necessary" and urged other groups to join in a subtle reference to the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) led by Abdel-Wahid Al-Nur who lives in Paris.

Taha also dismissed any talk about delaying elections as JEM has insisted but promised that Darfuris will get full representation in the government and noted that most of Darfur registered for voting.

The Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hamad bin Gasim bin Gabr Al-Thani sitting with Taha lauded today’s achievements adding that a final peace agreement with JEM and LJM is imminent pending few details.

He further said that the signing of the cease-fire was with JEM’s knowledge and that Qatar had accepted the mediation with the full support of the Arab League.

The joint United Nations (UN) - African Union (AU) mediator Dijibril Bassole said in his address at the signing ceremony that the objective of these agreements is to pave the way for holding constructive dialogue and setting frameworks for detailed negotiations that would lead to reaching a peace accord.

Bassole revealed that a timetable was proposed by his team for negotiations with specific deliverables such as security arrangements, amnesty for the ex-rebel fighters, political participation, the administrative status of Darfur, the wealth and power sharing, compensations, the voluntary repatriation of IDP’s, and the participation of the civil society organizations.

He revealed that a second forum of civil society organizations will be held in the coming period.

Both JEM and SLM-Nur rejected the agreement today with the former saying that the LJm has no presence on the ground or political weight.

Separately a group by the name of SLM-roadmap revealed that they have agreed on coordinating with JEM and begin a process to work for uniting their ranks.

Saddiq Al-Mahdi Reviews his Election Programme

Khartoum, Mar. 19 (SUNA)- The leader of the National Umma Party, Saddiq Al-Mahdi, has affirmed his firm confidence of the feasibility the multiparty party democracy in Sudan

 

Interviewed by Sudan Microscope TV programme Friday, Al-Mahdi reviewed his election programmes in the political, economic and social fields for solving Sudan problems

 

He also reviewed the accomplished during the past Third Democracy period in the political, economic and social domains, disclosing that the government in that period decided to go eastward to establish civil and military partnerships with Japan and China

 

He said that the Third Democracy era witnessed several accomplishments, including roads and bridges, providing a surplus in cereals and big revenues from cotton exports

 

Al-Mahdi said that they are committed after winning the coming elections to eradicate totalitarianism and provide justice and equity

 

Concerning south Sudan, he called for an attractive unity or fraternal neighbouring between the north and the south

 

He called for a comprehensive regional conference for solving what he called the security problems and issues of the Nile Basin

 

He pledged to begin his chairmanship period by the solution of Darfur issue.

Sudan Participates at International Inter-Religious Dialogue Conference in Manila

Manila, Mar. 19 (SUNA) - Sudan has participated in Manila, Philippine at the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement on Inter-Religion Dialogue and Cooperation by a delegation headed by Sudan permanent envoy to the United Nations, Abdul-Mahmoud Abdul-Halim

 

The conference which was ended Friday has issued Manila Declaration stipulating the major role of inter-religious dialogue in realizing development and peace and boosting the international co-existence and peace

 

The ministerial meeting underscored the importance of expansion of the peace culture and integration of the inter-religious policies internally, regionally and internationally

 

The conference recommended creation of international mechanism for combating contempt of religion and the religious symbols

 

The Manila Declaration has appreciated the contribution and initiatives of Sudan concerning the inter-religious dialogue, and affirmed the commitment of the member states of the Non- Aligned Movement to protect the sovereignty and unity of the member states

 

Meanwhile, Ambassador Abdul-Hamil gave Sudan address at the meeting affirming the importance of Manila meeting for bolstering the inter-religious dialogue, indicating that holding of the conference reflects the desire of the peoples of the Non-Aligned Movement to support the inter-religious dialogue and cultures

 

He reiterated Sudan condemnation to the attempts to insult religions and the religious symbols

 

Ambassador Abdul-Halim expressed Sudan denunciation to the Israeli measures for judization of sacred areas

 

The meeting has elected Sudan as deputy chairman of the conference

President Al- Bashir sends written message to the President of Rwanda

Khartoum, 19 March 2010 (SUNA) - President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir has sent a written message to the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame. The message was handed by Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Engineer Kamal Ali Mohamed, to the Prime Minister of Rwanda, Bernard Makuza, who received it on behalf of the President. The message affirmed the importance of promoting the bilateral relations linking Sudan and Rwanda as well as calling on the President of Rwanda and all the heads of the Nile Basin countries to unify visions for the development of the current cooperation of the countries of the Nile Basin toward implementation of projects under the umbrella of a commission including all Nile Basin countries. The message also affirmed the importance of further working to achieve the integration of visions with regard to the achievement of the cooperative institutional framework for the basin countries. The Rwandan Prime Minister Bernard Makuza, on his part, affirmed the importance of playing an active role by the Presidents of the Nile Basin countries in the current technical and ministerial negotiations in order to ensure the optimal cooperation among all countries in the Nile Basin for the benefit of the peoples of the Nile Basin as a whole.

Dr. Amin Hassan Omer: Framework Agreement Reached in the Context of Government Commitment to Realize Peace in Darfur

Doha, Mar. 19 (SUNA)- Head of the government delegation for the negotiations in Doha, Dr. Amin Hassan Omer, said that the agreement signed between the government and the Liberation and Justice Movement in Doha as coming in the context of the continuous commitment of the government for realizing a lasting peace in Darfur

 

He said that the agreement signed with the Liberation and Justice Movement included a framework agreement for setting the arrangements and the major issues that will be discussed in the coming session of negotiations, besides an agreement of ceasefire

 

Responding to a question on reports about rejection of the Justice and Equality Movement to the signing of agreements between the government and other movements, Dr. Omer said that the government is not concerned with media reports in this regard, but it only gives regard to the stances conveyed officially to it through the international mediation and Doha forum

 

He emphasized that the government will continue negotiation with all movements and welcomes the other movements that did not come yet and those who want to resume negotiations for reaching a final peace agreement. Dr. Omer said that the government party is not objected integration of the framework agreements signed with the Justice and Equality and the Liberation and Justice Movements into a single agreement, otherwise there will be two final agreements with the same contents

 

On the sharing of power in Darfur region after reaching a final peace agreement, he said that power will then be reached through the elections, while the wealth in the region will go to the people of Darfur but not to the parties and movements

 

He said that Sudan is expecting much from the coming Donors Conference for Development in Darfur, especially that several Arab and Islamic countries have the desire to contribute to the development in Darfur, adding that Qatar has preceded all by its decision to establish the Bank for Development in Darfur

US official says Darfur’s Nur forfeited peace opportunity

March 13, 2010 (DOHA) — The leader of Sudan Liberation Movement Abdel-Wahid Mohamed Nur has wasted a "historical" opportunity to join the peace talks and the accord signed in the Arab Gulf state of Qatar, the US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration said today.

"He [Al-Nur] isolated himself and believe that he either does not want anything or does not know what he wants and we gave him a historical opportunity and extended many invitations to him but he has had his chance" Gration told reporters in a press conference at the US Ambassador’s residence in the Qatari capital.

Last month, the Sudanese government and the Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) signed a temporary ceasefire and a framework agreement in Doha paving the way for direct negotiations and a comprehensive peace accord.

While JEM is considered a militarily strong group, observers say that the absence of Al-Nur who belongs to the Fur tribe, considered the largest in Darfur, will mean that any peace agreement signed will not end the conflict. He enjoys wide support among Darfur’s IDP’s.

Al-Nur’s persistent demands for security in Darfur as a prerequisite for sitting at the negotiation table has frustrated diplomats and mediators alike. Gration has sought to convince loyal IDP’s and SLM field commanders to overthrow him but was met with stiff resistance.

Gration said that the Doha accord marked a turning point for a resolution to the seven years conflict and called on both sides to "strictly" abide by it through the cessation of hostilities and violence so as start working on issues such as compensations, return of IDP’s to their homes, development projects in order to combat unemployment and improve the socio-economic lives of Darfuris.

The US official said that the compensation thorny issue will be determined through the participation of civil society and refugees in the peace agreement adding that he does not see any major obstacles preventing the implementation of the accord.

Furthermore, the envoy expressed hope that the agreements are done early so they can move into the implementation phase… “So that the people begin as soon as possible to experience peace and security and move on with their lives… we want this to happen now, the sooner the better, because they need to live in better conditions.”

He stressed that Washington is working for the people of Darfur and help Sudanese people expressing their wills through peaceful means such as elections. On Chad-Sudan relations he said that recent thaw between the two countries will reflect positively on the region’s security.

"We are pleased with what has been achieved on better ties between the two countries to ensure stability across the border between this building and reconciliation that would benefit the two peoples and the region as a whole and hopefully the continuation of this matter for the maintenance of regional security and stability and to promote peace in Darfur" Gration said.

Gration praised the Qatari role in brokering the recent deal saying that without Doha’s “tremendous efforts, which not only helped the negotiations, but also their efforts to unite the rebel groups to bring members of civil society here to do requisite training goes far beyond just negotiations, they have actually been wonderful in picking up tasks far beyond what is required as a facilitator…”

On elections, Gration said that the US administration is looking forward to having the “big election” in Sudan this April.

“This election is the first time in 24 years that the people in Sudan can express their will through the ballot and I think this is very important, because the process that are put into place now, the political transformation, the democratization that is happening right now might set the future generation a way of expressing their will through the ballot and not the bullet” he said.

He said he believes that the elections should be held as planned despite growing demands from the Sudanese opposition that they be delayed till next November.

Sudan arrests Somali Islamist leader while trying to escape to Eritrea

March 13, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese security services arrested a Somali Islamist leader while he was attempting to cross border to Eritrea, a Somali outlet reported today from Mogadishu.

Muse Abdi Arale, the secretary for defence of Hizbul Islam group has been arrested in Sudan while trying to enter in Eritrea with money embezzled from the rebel group.

Sheikh Hassan Mahdi, a senior official from Hizbul Islam told Mareeg Online that the Sudanese police arrested Arale while he was trying to cross the eastern Sudan border and reach Eritrea.

Muse Arale embezzled the money from the group and travelled from Mogadishu by car to Kenya from where he entered south Sudan and then reached Khartoum secretly.

Led by Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, Hizbul Islam is facing a leadership crisis inside since the defection of Sheikh Hassan Abdulahi Al-Turki, a notorious Islamist guerrilla leader to Al-Shebab early this year.

Last week, a senior insurgent leader from Hizbul Islam, Bare Ali Bar, has been shot to death in Mogadishu at Bakara market which is a stronghold of Al-Shebab rebels.

The gunmen shot the Hizbul Islam military leader several times in the head and escaped on foot. No one has yet claimed responsibility. But Somali say Bare was an outspoken critic to the Al-Shebab, a former ally of Hizbul Islam.

Formed by four groups to fight the UN backed government of President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the Hizub Islam is witnessing power struggle and divisions since last year.

Al- Bashir affirms concern with provision of clean drinking water to the citizens of North Kordofan

Al-Obied, March 13 (SUNA)- The Candidate of the National Congress for the Presidency of the Republic, Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir has affirmed his concern with the provision of clean drinking water in North Kordofan State. Addressing a mass rally in Al Obied town in North Kordofan State, President Al-Bashir said work is now under way for the implementation of 22 water projects in the State. He added that due concern would be given to the maintenance and rehabilitation of water sources and establishment of new water stations covering all localities of State. He referred to the ongoing work in implementation of the first phase of Kordofan electricity, indicating that this stage has covered Um-Rawaba and Al-Rahad towns and will soon reach Al Obied. Al-Bashir said that this network will cover all areas of Kordofan and work is under way in building an electricity station at the area of Al Fula. AL-Bashir reaffirmed concern with women issues. He also renewed his concern with the general and technical education. The mass rally was also addressed by Dr. Ahmed Bilal Osman, Musa Mohamed Ahmed and Eng. Mohamed Ali Mansour.

Dr. Fatima Abdul-Mahmoud Pledges to Support Freedoms and Democratic Transformation

Khartoum, Mar. 12 (SUNA)- The candidate of the Sudanese Socialist Party for the presidency, Dr. Fatima Abdul-Mahmoud, said that her election programme includes working to change somelaws that restrict freedoms and the democratic transformation

 

Interviewed by Sudan News Agency (SUNA), Dr. Fatima said that she plans to organize workshops at which scholars and specialists would come out with recommendations that will contribute to formulation of a new Personal Law

 

She said that her election programme focuses on establishment of distinguished foreign relations and preservation of the sovereignty of Sudan. She called for assignment of a percentage from the oil revenues for the interest of the Sudanese citizen

 

She called for giving concern to the enhancement of agriculture, industry, employment of the craftsmen, solving the issues of the retired employees and re-employment of those who were dismissed from work

 

Dr. Fatima indicated that she will seek suspension of Sudan foreign debts so that Sudan can carry out its role at the level of international relations

 

She said that her election programme for the presidency of the republic aims to gradual adoption of the privatization system so as to avoid serious negative impacts, adding that the issue of poverty in Sudan was a consequence of political setbacks and natural factors that led to migration from rural to urban areas

 

She described the big number of political parties in Sudan as a healthy phenomenon, stressing that these parties shall establish alliances and coordinate their programmes

 

The candidate for the presidency called for giving more incentives for boosting the confidence between north and south Sudan, especially that some countries and personalities support the separation of south Sudan

 

Dr. Fatima pointed out that she is against the separation of the south from the north, due to serous impacts of the separation on both the south and north Sudan

 

She called for dedicating the period before the referendum for boosting the national unity, adding that if the southerners decided to separate then good neighbourliness relations shall be established between the north and the southern state

 

She affirmed her special concern with the issues of women, indicating that all circles and people shall deal with the woman according to her efficiency, but not according to her gender

 

Dr. Fatima Abdul-Mahmoud said that her election programme gives concern to the enhancement and qualification of women due to their important role in the family and the society

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