May 2010 - Posts
May 28, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir has appointed Salva Kiir Maydrit and Ali Osman Taha respectively as First Vice President and Vice President of the republic, the official SUNA reported today.
Elected with 68 percent of the votes, Bashir sworn-in for a new five-year term on Thursday in a ceremony attended by some African leaders. This is his first election in multi-party polls. In 2005, he continued to preside over the country in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
The two deputies will take oath before the President on Saturday.
Kiir appointment was expected as he is elected President of the Southern Sudan Government and in accordance with the interim constitution the president of the semi-autonomous region is the First Vice-President of the Sudan.
However there were many rumors and speculations about the fate of Mr. Taha who lost much of his influence in the country since the signing of the CPA which he had negotiated with the late John Garang, former leader of the SPLM.
Some reports said the Presidential Assistant, Nafie Ali Nafie, would be promoted as vice-president taking in account the influence he has in the management of the Sudanese affairs.
Nafie and some other leading figures in the ruing National Congress Party were opposed to the concessions Taha had made during the IGAD sponsored peace talks with the former rebel SPLM.
During the five-year interim period they were blamed for impeding the implementation of the peace agreement; particularly after the sudden death of John Garang in July 2005.
The marginalization of Taha also paved the way for another speculation related to the appointment of a Darfurian as second Vice-President replacing Taha.
Darfur rebels inspired by the CPA, since Abuja peace talks in 2005, demand to name a vice-president from their region.
The recent emergence of a former governor as leader of a new rebel group led to believe among the other rebel movements he would be appointed as vice-president. Rumors say the Libya supported rebel leader already negotiated the position with Khartoum.
Before the formation of national unity government in august 2005, Taha had been the First Vice-President, a position that he had occupied since 1998.
During the last five years Taha dedicated his time to the implementation of the CPA and worked with the SPLM leadership to resolve the different crisis the two partners encountered.
Yesterday SPLM leading figure Deng Alor said that Taha who handles the organization of the southern Sudan referendum on self determination, is expected to reside during the upcoming period in Juba.
May 29, 2010 (JUBA) – The United Nations humanitarian chief has visited Southern Sudan to acquaint himself with the current humanitarian situation in the course of implementing the final phase of the 2005 North-South peace deal which ended the 21 years of armed conflict in the region.
John Holmes, Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, on Friday led to Juba a delegation and discussed a wide range of insecurity related humanitarian issues with Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the Vice President of the semi-autonomous region.
The delegation was briefed by the Vice President on the status of implementing the remaining key provisions in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) such as the North-South border and formation of commissions for both Southern Sudan and Abyei referenda due in seven months.
On the North-South border, Dr. Machar told Holmes that 80% of the border demarcation has been agreed upon by the joint committee representing both North and South while the other 20% remains contentious. This will be reported to the Presidency to resolve on or may be form another committee to handle it. We may need an international assistance on this, he further explained.
He added that names constituting the membership of the Southern Sudan referendum commission will also have to be approved by the recently elected and convened National Legislative Assembly in Khartoum before the commission would come into effect.
The meeting also discussed insecurity in Southern Sudan caused by inter and intra-community violence or with the organized forces in addition to the recent armed standoff between loyalists to the renegade Gen. George Athor Deng and the SPLA as well as the activities of the Ugandan rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
Machar said it was unfortunate for the renegade former army Deputy Chief of General Staff, George Athor, to resort to the use of violence instead of legal means following the declaration of gubernatorial elections results which he lost to Kuol Manyang Juuk in Jonglei state. He added that his government has asked UNMIS to keep contact with George Athor with the aim to end the standoff peacefully.
On the LRA he said the government since December 2008, after Joseph Kony refused to sign the Juba-mediated final peace agreement with the Ugandan government, gave orders to the SPLA forces to close all borders to the LRA and engage its forces from within and capture them. Ugandan and Congolese troops also participated in the air and ground offensives against the LRA inside Congolese territory.
He however added that military engagement alone without peaceful negotiations going in parallel may take a long time to resolve the violence with the “guerilla” group.
Machar also stressed that his government’s top priorities at this stage are security, referendum and food security followed by clean water, education and health services in addition to infrastructure. He urged the United Nations system to assist the regional government in achieving them. The government also encourages local and foreign investment in food production, he further explained.
He further revealed that the Government of Southern Sudan may create a ministry for Humanitarian Affairs in the next cabinet that would deal with the looming humanitarian situation in the South by effectively coordinating humanitarian interventions in the coming period including the expected exodus of Southerners, in their millions, from the North to the South.
The UN chief expressed his organization’s readiness to cooperate with the government in coordination of humanitarian efforts in the region. He also called for peaceful resolution to the armed violence with the renegade general, George Athor.
Khartoum, May 28 (SUNA) - President of the Republic, Filed Marshal Omer Al-Bashir has issued two Republican Decrees on appointment of Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit as a First Vice President of the Republic and Ali Osman Mohamed Taha as a Vice President of the Republic
Meanwhile, the First Vice President and the Vice - President will take the constitutional oath before the President of the Republic at the Republican Palace Saturday
May 23, 2010 (JUBA) Sudan will, for the next two years, benefit from a 35.5 million SEK (approx $4.5m) grant, courtesy of a humanitarian intervention agreement signed between International Aid Services (IAS) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
Started in 1989 as a non-political and non-profitable humanitarian relief and development organization, IAS’s vision is to transform society with a mission to save lives, promote self-reliance and human dignity through human transformation going beyond relief and development.
The implementation of the two-year project, ’Integrated Water Resource Management and Capacity Building as Transformational Tools in Post-War Sudan’ reportedly started on April 1, 2010 and will continue till March 31, 2012.
This humanitarian intervention, Sudan Tribune has learnt, is designed to strengthen the effective implementation of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) from the grassroots level, through enhanced delivery of safe sustainable water solutions and comprehensive capacity building packages.
Signed in January 2005, the CPA ended over two-decades of a bloody civil war fought between north and south Sudan.
“These objectives will be reached through application of an Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) concept building on IAS experience in the sector,” a statement from IAS website partly reads.
The two-year project will strategically be directed towards water and sanitation activities, focusing on development of water resources for primary schools, health institutions and other public meeting places thus bridging the gap between water, education and health.
However, much as the interventions will also target areas of concentrated (refugee) return, equipping resident communities to facilitate a smooth reintegration process, water source development will be prioritized for various agricultural inputs necessary for sustained food security and livelihood.
Meanwhile, the two partners will design as strong community development component that will strengthen grassroots capacity for project management and to raise awareness on vital cross cutting issues.
Thus by addressing issues like HIV/AIDS, gender and environment, the two-year project has been earmarked to provide a foundation for increased sustainability and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Sudan.
May 23, 2010 (ASMARA) – Sudan has extended an invitation to the Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki to attend the inauguration of the Sudanese President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir who is elected last month in a first multiparty election since a military coup d’Etat that brought him to power in June 1989.
The invitation is delivered by Sudanese minister of Justice Abdel Basit Sabdarat who was received by President Afewerki in his office on Thursday 20 May, reported Shabait, the official website of the Eritrean ministry of information.
Bashir has invited Chad’s Idriss deby and Mauritania’s Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to attend the inauguration ceremony. The Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, received a message from President Al- Bashir but it was not clear if it contained an invitation to attend the 27 May ceremony.
The Sudanese president, who is indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), won the election with 68% of the vote in the election presidential. The opposition accused the ruling National Congress Party of manipulating the election results.
"Governments that are committed to justice for atrocities committed in Darfur should not attend the inauguration of President Omer Al-Bashir of Sudan on May 27," called the US-based Human Rights Watch in a statement issued this week.
Elise Keppler, International Justice Program senior counsel at Human Rights Watch, said: "Al-Beshir is a fugitive from justice who should be arrested, not feted."
Attending his inauguration "would send a terrible message to victims in Darfur, and globally," she further said.
Khartoum, May 23 (SUNA) - Khartoum State's Wali (governor), Dr. Abdal-Rahman Al-Khidir has announced that his state would reconsider all bus stations and the environment around Khartoum Stadium in order to prepare the stadium area for receiving the contest of African Nations Championship, that Khartoum is to host in the advent of next year
In a meeting with the Chairman of the Sudan Football Association, Prof. Kamal Shaddad, and his deputy, the Speaker of Khartoum State Legislative Assembly, Mohamed Al-Sheikh Medani, and Chairman of Khartoum Football Local Association, Dr. Al-Khidir expressed readiness to continue support to rehabilitation of Khartoum Stadium
Khartoum State's Wali formed a committee under chairmanship of Dr. Shadad, Mohamed Al-Sheikh Medani and other members to deliberate about the contractor and the consultant to study all the engineering options and to nominate the best one to be submitted to the Wali
Dr. Al-Khidir stated that his state is committed to complete the supplementary works, pledging that they will expand Khartoum Stadium to be a large edifice that honours Sudan and affirms its ability to host international competitions
Dr. Al-Khidir affirmed that they will complete the operations for the stadium's rehabilitation and expansion before the African Nations Championship next year
May 19, 2010 (LONDON) — Chadian authorities have refused to allow Khalil Ibrahim leader of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to enter into Ndjamena and confiscated his passport.
Khalil was left Egypt yesterday to Libya from where he flow on regular flight into Ndjamena but when he arrived in the Chadian capital the authorities confiscated his passport and ordered him to return to Tripoli, Ahmed Hussein Adam JEM spokesperson told Sudan Tribune.
"They even refused him to leave the plane but the crew said they can’t take him back to Tripoli unless he has valid travel documents," he added.
He regretted a conspiracy against the cause of Darfur people and urged the Chadian President, AU-UN Chief Mediator and Qatari officials to secure his save return to JEM positions in Darfur.
Diplomatic efforts are engaged by different parties to find out a solution to this unprecedented situation.
JEM has suspended its participation in Doha peace talks accusing Sudanese army of breaching a truce concluded last February.
The Sudanese army announced last week the capture of Jebel Moon, a rebel stronghold area adding that 108 rebels were killed during the fighting. Also bloody clashes occurred between the two belligerents in North and South Darfur. These developments are seen as serious threat to the peace process in Doha.
Khartoum, May 19 (SUNA)- The Chadian Minister of Interior and Public Security, Ahmed Mohamed Basher, announced that the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement, Khalil Ibrahim, Wednesday evening left N'djamena Airport for Libya
Basher said that Khalil Ibrahim and his group were holding false passports
May 18, 2010 (JUBA) – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) inaugurated a $55 million program in the semi-autonomous region of South Sudan aimed at helping farmers there to develop their agricultural potential.
- Women farmers in South Sudan (Sidney Traynham/UMCOR)
Last month, the World Food Program (WFP) warned that South Sudan is facing a major food crisis that could lead to a “free fall” impacting 4.3 million people living off assistance.
Furthermore, the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) has announced last Friday the lifting of taxes on food products in response to the looming hunger in the region.
USAID said that a five-year initiative, called the Food, Agribusiness, and Rural Markets (FARM) program, will initially focus on select counties in southern Sudan’s ‘green belt zone,’ which spans Western, Central, and Eastern Equatoria states, and where conflict destroyed much of the local capacity for agricultural production during Sudan’s civil war.
The USAID director Raj Shah arrived in Sudan last week where he toured Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps in Darfur and then travelled to Juba to launch FARM.
A team formed by the agency has conducted an assessment to explore options and priorities for expanding its agricultural and food security programming in Southern Sudan. The findings were used to come up with the FARM initiative.
It was estimated that agricultural potential is extremely high with about 90% of its total area considered suitable for agriculture, 50% of which is prime agricultural land. The soil and climate conditions were evaluated to be suitable for growing a wide variety of food and cash crops.
The project is to focus on commodities such as ground nuts, sorghum, rice, cassava, maize, sesame, tomatoes, cabbage, onion and okra. The areas covered in this program are comprised of Central Equatoria Counties: Morobo, Kajo Keji, Yei; Eastern Equatoria Counties: Magwi, Ikotos, Budi; Western Equatoria Counties: Maridi, Mundri, Tambura.
USAID director said that his agency will increase its presence in South Sudan in what appears to be a subtle preparation for the high probability of secession following the 2011 self-determination referendum in the region.
“All of that will require, as of today, more personnel and more resources, and that will only continue to increase really over the next 18 months,” Shah said. “I think you’ll see a big increase in numbers of people here.”
“Agriculture is the backbone of the economic development in southern Sudan, employing the majority of the population of more than 8 million, 80 percent of whom live in rural areas,” according to a USAID statement.
South Sudan is overwhelmingly dependent on oil revenue but some reports accused GoSS of mismanaging the money leading to persistence of food crisis and insecurity.
A GoSS official vowed to spend prudently in order to develop agriculture.
“There is going to be rationalization in all aspects of expenditure to create funds for the development of our agriculture,” the SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum said.
May 15, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese security service arrested Saturday the leader of the opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) Hassan Al-Turabi.
"At around midnight (2100 GMT), a group of security officers arriving in three cars, came and took Hassan al-Turabi from his home," his secretary Awad Babakir told AFP.
His family said ignoring the cause of the arrest but his son Sidiq sait it might be related to an interview with a Sudanese daily newspaper where he accused the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) of rigging the elections.
Turabi’s PCP was one of the opposition leaders who took part in last April polls despite his criticism for the ill-preparations and the media monopoly by the ruling party. After the release of the elections results he said his party would not accept it and rejected to participate in the new government as proposed by the NCP.
Al-Turabi in a press conference held on April 17 following the elections, said that his party will refuse to recognize the results even if they are shown to win in some constituencies and accused the National Elections Commission (NEC) of poorly managing the polls.
"The voting and the counting process are fraudulent. We will take the matter to court and if the judges do not rule in our favor, we may have to use other alternatives than the ballot boxes," said Turabi at the PCP headquarters in the Riyadh district of the Sudanese capital Khartoum.
Also, during the electoral campaign Turabi pinpointed to direct responsibility of the Sudanese President in rape crimes in Darfur. He said Bashir told a meeting with Sudanese officials in that a Darfurian woman should be honored if someone from northern Sudan rapes her.
"He [Bashir] told us, [if] this Gharbawia [Darfuri woman], when a Ja’ali [man from the Ja’al tribe in northern Sudan] man humps her, is this an honor or rape?”
Last February, International Criminal Court appeals chamber ordered the pre-trial judges to reconsider genocide charges against Bashir.
The Sudanese President was indicted last year by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur.
May 15, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese army has killed over one hundred insurgents and captured a key rebel stronghold area in West Darfur in less than two weeks after the suspension of peace talks by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the army spokesperson said.
Since the signing of a framework agreement in Doha last February, the Sudanese government and JEM rebels traded accusations of violating a truce they had agreed to observe. On May 2, JEM unilaterally suspended its participation in the Doha peace process to protest "continuous aerial and ground assaults" by the Sudanese army.
"We liberated Jebel Moon from the Justice and Equality Movement, killed 108 rebels and captured 61 alive," said Alsoarmi Khaled, the spokesperson of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF).
He also said they seized a number of trucks, vehicles and heavy weapons, adding that SAF troops will hunt down remnant rebels who are pulling out of Jebel Moon area.
Suleiman Sandal, the head of JEM intelligence unit, down played the capture of Jebel Moon saying they voluntarily evacuated the area following the breach of the ceasefire and daily bombing of their positions in the area.
"We decided a large-scale redeployment of our troops in the states of Darfur and Kordofan as a result of the breach of ceasefire by the government," Sandal said in an interview with Sudan Tribune from Cairo today.
"We want to brief our supporters about the latest developments in Doha and our conditions to resume the peace process," he added. "However this attack confirms that the government undermined the framework agreement," he stressed.
The Joint Chief Mediator, Djibril Bassole on Friday appealed on the two parties to observe the cessation of hostilities in order to create a suitable atmosphere to resume the talks. He said planning to meet JEM leader after the arrival of the Sudanese delegation to Doha after one month of suspension due to electoral calendar in Sudan.
The seizure of Jebel Moon coincided with another battle between the two belligerents in the road of Nyala Al-Dha’ein on Thursday. The Sudanese government said the rebels attacked a convoy escorted by the police but Sandal said the police force hit their mobile unit in the village of Tartar near the highway.
Sandal said their troops defeated the police force composed of 150 vehicles and captured 23 vehicles full of weapons and ammunitions. Yesterday the Sudanese police, in its version, said they lost 27policemen and killed 33 rebels among them three leading JEM members.
The capture of Jebel Moon weeks before the rain season is seen as big blow for the rebel group. The mountainous area was serving as military headquarters of the rebel group after their redeployment from the areas near the Chadian border as result of the improvement of bilateral relations between Khartoum and Ndjamena.
"The scattering of JEM troops in different areas in Darfur during the rainy season will make it an easy target for the Sudanese warplanes," said an international expert who preferred not to be mentioned.
Ahmed Hussein Adam, the official spokesperson of the rebel group, said they "are now closer to withdraw from the talks more than ever".
However, analysts say the joint mediator can reverse the situation if he convinces the Sudanese government and JEM rebels to stop the fighting and sign a detailed ceasefire before to discuss any other agendas.
The Sudanese government delegation arrived Saturday to Doha where it is expected to meet on Sunday with the peace mediator and the Qatari officiels to discuss the agenda of negotiations with the Liberation and Justice Movement led by El-Tijani El-Sissi.
May 15, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — At least 60 policemen and rebels have been killed in fighting between the Sudanese police and rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), in South Darfur, police say.
Police General Mohamed Abdel Majid Al-Tayed, spokesperson of the Sudanese police said in a statement published by the official SUNA that 27 police officers and 30 rebels were killed when JEM attacked a police convey in Al-Dha’ein - Nyala highway on Thursday.
He further said the policemen killed in addition three leading commanders among them Hamad Shatta and destroyed 5 vehicles used by JEM fighters. He added that they are pursing now the remaining rebel force.
JEM suspended its participation in the Doha peace talks early this month accusing the Sudanese army of breaching a truce they agreed with the government last February.
In statement to Sudan Tribune today, the joint chief mediator Djibril Bassole urged the warring parties to stop violence in the restive region of Darfur to create a conducive environment for the resumption of the peace talks.
The police spokesperson further disclosed that the interior minister and police director general were in Nyala today and held a meeting with the security committee in the state and visited the wounded people among the police force.
May 10, 2010 — Sudanese official from the presidency, census commission and Southern Kordofan governor and his deputy discussed today final arrangements related to the reconduct of census in the state during the months of May and June in order to organize regional elections there..
Last January, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in southern Kordofan state contested the results of the fifth census of 2008 saying the counting was partially conducted in the state and that the geographical constituencies were determined unfairly.
The census, which is used to draw up constituency boundaries, had missed out large areas occupied by SPLM supporters, said Abdel Aziz Hilu, leading SPLM member and deputy governor of southern Kordofan last January.
Today’s meeting identified the time frame for reconducting the census during the months of May and next June, in order to determine dates and detailed timetable related to the procedures and financial budgets which would be discussed at the next meeting, said Ahmed Haroun, the state governor following the meeting.
His deputy governor, al-Hilu, stressed that the two peace partners are cooperation very well in the state, he also pledged to keep working with the NCP for the success of the census and programs or plans for Southern Kordofan.
The SPLM and the NCP had agreed that the Southern Kordofan would only participate in April 2010 elections on the national level only. The elections for the state assembly and governor position would be conducted after the re-count of Southern Kordofan.
May 10, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit and intelligence Chief Omer Suleiman met today with Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir vowing that Cairo will do everything in its power to preserve the country’s unity ahead of the 2011 referendum in South Sudan.
- Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit speaks to the press after meeting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in Khartoum May 9, 2010 (Reuters)
"Egypt is in favor of the unity of Sudan as a part of Africa and a member of the African Union. We will do everything in our power to save the unity of Sudan," Aboul-Gheit told reporters in Khartoum after talks with Bashir.
The top Egyptian official said that his delegation held useful consultations on the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the future status and the referendum in the south.
He further said that Cairo will continue to support developmental projects in the South to encourage citizens there to support unity. Aboul-Gheit also revealed that his government proposed a conference in Cairo between the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) "to support unity".
However, the Egyptian official reiterated that his country will respect the choice of the Southerners in the 2011 referendum.
Egypt is concerned that a probable South Sudan independence in 2011 will further weaken its position with regards to the intense diplomatic battle it is fighting with Nile basin countries which is seeking to re-allocate water sharing accords.
"While Egyptian officials try to downplay the water concerns, some worry an independent South would soon join the groundswell of states objecting to the standing agreements," said a report by the International Crisis Group released on Thursday.
Some legal experts say that the water agreements will still be binding to the new state in line with International Law.
A 1959 accord between Cairo and Khartoum reserves 55.5 billion cubic meters a year for Egypt and 18.5 billion cubic meters for Sudan, a combined total of 87% of the river’s water, leaving just 13 percent for other Nile Basin states.
Last month, Egypt rejected any new plans for Nile water allocation, stressing that its share in the river was a "historic right" with Sudan considered a strong ally.
"Sudan and Egypt agree completely on the question of Nile waters. We are ready to continue discussions with other countries and to cooperate to build a bridge and reach a final agreement that will satisfy all the Nile Basin Initiative countries," Aboul-Gheit said.
May 10, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese authorities have arrested gunmen suspected of killing two Egyptian peacekeepers working with the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur, the elected governor of South Darfur said today.
A convoy of Egyptian peacekeepers with three vehicles and 20 military personnel was ambushed near Katila village, on May 7, 85km south of Edd al Fursan, South Darfur, at 11:30am. The assailants fled the area when they returned fire.
Elected governor, Abdel-Hamid Moussa Kasha announced on Sunday the arrest of the gunmen suspected of the ambush against the Egyptian peacekeepers in South Darfur.
Kasha added that that those arrested are bandits denying their affiliation to any party.
Sudanese police spokesperson, Mohamed Abdel Majid tolf the official SUNA the police is conducting investigations and collecting data, pointing out that the regular forces were still hunting down the remaining members of the gang.
Friday’s attack brings to 24 the number of UNAMID personnel killed in Darfur since the Mission’s was established in January 2008.
Yesterday the Egyptian foreign ministry said that the instructions given to the Egyptian mission’s leadership and the Egyptian embassy in Khartoum were to have full coordination with the Sudanese authorities and the UN to search the region and capture the perpetrators.
Also, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called on the Sudanese government to launch an immediate investigation and to identify, apprehend and bring the perpetrators to justice.
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