January 2013 - Posts
January 31, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The director of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Mohamed Atta Abbas al-Moula accused the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi of being responsible for all the crises Sudan faced over the years.
At a joint press conference with leaders of Libya’s southern city of Kufra who are currently visiting Khartoum, al-Moula defended Khartoum’s support to the Libyan revolution against Gaddafi which broke out in early 2011.
"When we sent our boys to you and met with you in Khartoum [during the revolution] we were driven by the wishes and aspirations of the Sudanese people," al-Moula said adding that the Libyan people had a just cause and that they demonstrated courage and determination to win.
The spy chief went on to say that Gaddafi worked on splitting up Sudan by inciting strife and partisanship.
"Every day Gaddafi’s government sent us a problem and a crime," the NISS director said.
Al-Moula called on the Libyan people to rise above their differences by uniting and repairing the social fabric to build their country stressing that this will reflect positively on Sudan.
Al-Kufra’s local assembly chief Mohammed Hamad Abu-Sedina concurred with the Sudanese official on Gaddafi’s unhelpful role and announced that they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sudan’s Northern state on several issues.
The delegation awarded al-Moula and other NISS officials certificates of gratitude along with other memorabilia. They intend to meet president Omer Hassan al-Bashir in the coming days.
The UK-based ’Daily Telegraph’ reported in July 2011 that the Sudanese army controlled Kufra citing British officials monitoring the no-fly zone enforced by NATO over Libya. This was denied by Khartoum at the time.
Following the demise of Gaddafi’s regime in late 2011 Khartoum disclosed its role in arming and supporting the Libyan rebels while slamming the previous regime "conspiracies" against Sudan particularly in Darfur.
January 28, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, Monday evening returned home from Addis Ababa after taking part at the 20th African Union summit, the summit of the African Peace and Security Council and the NEPAD summit.
He was received upon return at Khartoum Airport by the First Vice - President of the Republic, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, and a number of ministers and senior officials.
In a statement to the press following return of the President of the Republic, chairman of the government delegation for the negotiations in Addis Ababa, Idris Abdul-Gadir, said that the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan has provided the African Peace and Security Council with a report on the files of the negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan and the level of implementation of the cooperation agreements between the two countries as well as the pending issues of the joint border and Abyei.
He said that south Sudan has retreated from the agreement reached on the disarmed area of 24 miles completely, contrary to the agreements on the security arrangements and the security map set by the African Union, affirming Sudan commitment to the security map of the African Union.
He also pointed out that disrespect of the government of South Sudan to establishment of the administration and legislative assembly of Abyei has complicated the deliberation between the two presidents on Abyei issue.
Abdul-Gadir said that South Sudan State has managed to add more new disputed areas other than the known former five areas, indicating that the two countries have asked African experts to provide a legal and non obligatory vision on the disputed areas.
He said that the Peace and Security Council has urged the two countries to complete the matrix concerning the disarmed area of 14 miles and the final situation on Abyei and the border area.
Abdul-Gadir announced that the joint political and security mechanism would meet on February 13, in presence of the African Mediation, to complete negotiations on the disputed area, adding that the agreement on this issue would pave the way for implementing the agreements signed between the two countries.
January 28, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Dozens of workers from Sudan’s state TV staged a protest yesterday to denounce deteriorating working conditions in the form of aging and faulty equipment as well as accumulation of financial arrears.
The demonstrators called for sacking the channel’s director Mr. Mohamed Hatem Suleiman to end what they described as two years of "terrible negligence and deterioration".
Sudanese police stationed several of its vehicles nearby to monitor the protests and prevent it from expanding outside the broadcaster’s premises located in the country’s twin capital city of Omdurman.
An official working with the reporters’ pool at the station vowed to continue the protests until all their demands are met.
"Most cameras have broken down due to lack of maintenance and management has failed to buy a maintenance manual which costs no more than $50," said the official who asked not to be named. He went on to say that the channel’s headquarters have turned into a "miserable" place.
The official also disclosed that Sudan TV’s subscriptions with major news agencies was suspended for failing to pay their dues. This, he said, is why the main news bulletin on Sudan TV no longer features world news.
An editor in Sudan TV’s newsroom said that he was forced to use carbon paper due to a lack of printers’ cartridges. He added that some editors have to sit on tables because of the shortage in chairs and offices in the newsroom.
"There is only one device used for the production of news and shows and is shared across departments," said the editor who also insisted on anonymity.
Sudan TV recently came under the microscope after a parliamentary subcommittee this month directed criticism at its performance saying that its airtime consists mainly of songs. It summoned the TV director to probe him on that among other issues which included disbursing financial dues to its employees.
Sudan remains embroiled in an economic crisis that was coincided with the secession of South Sudan in 2011, which took with it most of the country’s oil wealth.
Addis Ababa, Jan. 25 - The Chairwoman of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has referred to a breakthrough that was achieved a in the relations between Sudan and South Sudan thanks to the close follow up of the Presidents of the two countries to implementation of the agreements that they have signed.
This came in her addressing to the opening sitting of the African Peace and Security Council at the level of presidents and heads of state in Addis Ababa which was assigned to discussing the situation between Sudan and South Sudan State.
Dr. Zuma said that the situation between Sudan and South Sudan poses a big challenge to the African continent.
She underscored the importance of solution of the African disputes within the African framework.
She said that the situation is still complicated in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile State, stating that the African Mediation aims to apply the road-map which was approved by the African Peace and Security Council in last April which is based on dialogue on the pending issues.
Zuma has urged the two countries to exert more efforts to reach agreements for solving the outstanding issues, appreciating the efforts done by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan.
SUNA learned that the President of the Republic, Field marshal Omer Al-Bashir, will address the closed-door sitting of the Peace and Security Council which started after the opening sitting.
January 23, 2013 (LONDON) – The American administration criticised Sudanese government continued refusal to allow the exportation of the South Sudanese oil before to disengage with rebels in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
In a statement released on Tuesday, U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said its country "remains disappointed" by the failure of recent talks on the implementation of a number of deals, signed last year on security arrangements, Abyei administration and exportation of South Sudanese oil.
During recent negotiations in Addis Ababa, the two countries failed to agree on the withdrawal of troops from the border area of Mile 14 which is claimed by the two sides. Also, they disagreed on the composition of the legislative council of Abyei where the parties have to hold a referendum.
But, the most important point of difference, at this stage, remains the relation between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North SPLM-N) that fights against the Sudanese army in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Khartoum demands Juba to disengage with them before to allow the use of its oil infrastructures and maritime port.
Washington, which previously demanded Juba to cut its ties with its former allies, however believes that the Sudanese security interests "will only come if Sudan cooperates with South Sudan and begins direct talks with the SPLM-N to address the Two Areas conflict",said Nuland.
"Lack of resolution on this issue prevents normalized relations between Sudan and South Sudan and compounds the current human rights and humanitarian emergency," she further stressed.
The outgoing U.S. envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Princeton Lyman repeated at different occasions that the mistrust between two sides prevent them from settling the post independence issues.
"I think what happened in the process so far is that they haven’t reached that degree of confidence and trust which is essential in carrying out this type of agreement," Lyman said during a visit to Khartoum last November.
He held recently a series of talks with the SPLM-N leaders in Washington to lay the ground for direct talks between them and the Sudanese in order to facilitate to a peaceful settlement for the current crisis in the Two Areas and also the resolution of outstanding issues between Khartoum and Juba.
Sudanese and South Sudanese presidents are to meet in the sidelines of an African Union annual summit to take place this week. The two leader have once again to agree personally on the litigious issues left in the last round of talks.
Riyadh, Jan. 21- The Third Arab Economic and Social Summit began Monday at the International Conference Hall of King Abdalla bin Abdul-Aziz in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has assumed chairmanship of the current session of the summit from Egypt.
The opening sitting of the summit was addressed by the President of Egypt, Dr. Mohamed Mursi, and the Saudi Crown Prince, Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, on behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
The speeched given at the opening sitting were focused on the importance of bolstering the cooperation in the Arab World in different fields.
The addresses called on the Arab leaders to be in charge of the economic and social files in their countries due to their importance in the citizens' life and the progress in the Arab countries.
The speakers called for exerting efforts to implement what will be agreed upon concerning the issues in the summit's agenda.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Crown Prince has announced the initiative of Saudi Arabia to increase the capital of the Arab economic institutions by 50%.
Meanwhile, the Arab Leagues' Secretary General, Dr. Nabin Al-Arabi, gave a report on the performance in the past sessions of the summit.
The Emi of Kuwait affirmed his support to the initiative of Saudi Arabia, sressing the importance of support to the joint cooperation and concentration on developmet, encouraging inter-border trad, protection to investment and increase of the Aab investmet.
A report Sunday said that Israel had made a deal with South Sudan to purchase oil from the newest country in Africa
First Publish: 1/20/2013, 10:52 PM By David Lev
A report Sunday said that Israel had made a deal with South Sudan to purchase oil from the country, which is the newest country in Africa.
The report by several news agencies said that South Sudan's oil minister was recently in Israel on a visit, and met top government officials, who worked out the deal with him.
The report did not mention which, if any, Israeli companies would be involved in developing the oil, nor was there any indication on how the oil would be transported to Israel. South Sudan is landlocked, and most of its oil exports go through a pipeline that ends up in Port Sudan. It's not clear if Sudan will allow tankers bound for Israel to dock at the port.
South Sudan and Israel have been cooperating since the African country achieved independence in July 2011, but Israel and the current rulers of the country are said to have cooperated closely during the years leading up to independence, as the indigenous African peoples of South Sudan fought several civil wars with the northern, Muslim Arabs and Africans that ran the country.
Israel has rendered medical and agricultural assistance to the country, which has some of the worst health and environment problems in Africa.
January 18, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The United States issued a statement on Thursday dismissing accusations made by the Sudanese government that Washington stood behind the "New Dawn" charter signed by opposition parties and armed rebel groups in Uganda this month.
The Sudanese presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie, who is also the deputy chairman of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), said at a press conference on Monday that the U.S. and the European Union (EU) pushed anti-Khartoum forces to sign the charter.
But the U.S. embassy in Khartoum said in a press release it had nothing to do with the Kampala meeting.
"While the United States has been in dialogue with various parties in Sudan, the U.S. was not involved in the sponsoring, financing, organizing or the outcome of the recent meetings in Kampala between the Sudan Revolutionary Front and the National Consensus Forces" the statement said.
The embassy stressed that Washington’s consistent message to all parties in Sudan that conflicts in the East African nation "can only be resolved through political consultations and negotiations".
The signatories to the deal included the National Umma Party (NUP), Popular Congress Party (PCP), Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N), Sudan Liberation Movement of Abdel-Wahid Mohamed Nur (SLM-Nur) and Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-Minnawi).
The participants agreed on the goal of changing the regime but were at odds over means to achieve that through political or military means. They also concurred on the need to prevent exploitation of religion in politics.
The Sudanese government and the NCP launched a fierce campaign against the charter saying it wants to turn Sudan into a secular state and undermine the country’s institutions particularly the military.
The NUP, PCP and SCP later appeared to distance themselves from the agreement saying they were rushed into signing and voiced objections over some of its clauses.
The U.S. emphasized that there will be no military solution to Sudan’s conflicts in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur adding that "the suffering of millions of Sudanese from these conflicts is a terrible humanitarian price for failure to find a peaceful outcome".
The armed movements in Darfur have formed a coalition known as the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) to unite military efforts in the conflict zones.
The embassy said that a delegation from the SPLM-N is in Washington "to discuss how to reach a resolution to the conflict and humanitarian and human rights crisis in the Sudanese states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile".
"These talks have only reinforced our view that agreement between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-N for an immediate cessation of hostilities and humanitarian assistance is an urgent need. The SPLM-N has assured us that this is their priority. We urge the Government of Sudan to begin such talks at the earliest opportunity. This has also been the recommendation of the Africa Union and the UN Security Council" the U.S. embassy said.
Sudan has vowed to crush the rebel groups this year in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. It has also refused to start peace talks with the SPLM-N despite an AU decision to the contrary.
January 17, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government filed a series of complaints against Uganda with the African Union (AU), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), an official in Khartoum said today.
The Undersecretary of Sudan’s foreign ministry Rahmatallah Mohamed Osman said that his government accused Kampala of trying to overthrow the regime and embracing anti-Khartoum rebel movements.
Osman pointed out that the "New Dawn" charter signed this month by Sudanese opposition and rebel groups was done in Uganda. The charter calls for toppling the regime via different political and military means.
The Sudanese diplomat said that Khartoum will adopt a new strategy in dealing with the Ugandan government if it continues its "hostile positions" towards Sudan.
However he ruled out lodging a complaint against Uganda at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in the present time stressing that they believe in the primacy of African solutions.
Sudan and Uganda have traded accusations for decades on supporting each side’s rebel groups. Kampala says that Khartoum is providing support and refuge to the notorious Ugandan rebels Lord Resistance Army (LRA).
Khartoum on the other hand say that Kampala has become a safe harbor for Sudanese rebel leaders. A recent report published on McClatchy by Alan Boswell speaks of seeing munitions crates carried the tag of the Ugandan Ministry of Defense in the hands of Sudan people Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan.
Uganda announced during a visit by the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir this week to Kampala that it supports Juba’s claims on Abyei ahead of AU summit this month in Addis Ababa.
January 16, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Republic of South Sudan has officially begun taking arrangements for the establishment of a new consulate in Kosti, capital of White Nile state.
The consulate will care for South Sudan border trade, diplomatic interests and facilitate the services needed by the South Sudanese nationals in the state of White Nile which borders the South Sudanese state of Upper Nile.
A delegation composed of a number of South Sudanese diplomats in Khartoum visited Kosti city on Tuesday, to explore a number of sites for the establishment of the new consulate building.
The Sudanese river port town, links the north Sudan with the South Sudan through the White Nile. Before the secession people and goods crossed on daily basis between the two countries.
South Sudan is also considering, the establishment of a consulate in the city of Port Sudan. However, its establishment depends on the resumption of oil pumping and the normalization of bilateral ties.
The two countries are expected to open 10 border crossing points in March of this year, after agreement on the mechanism for implementing the security arrangements that agreement signed on the 27th of September of the last year.
Delegations of the two countries, at the level of the joint political and security committee, are holding talks in Addis Ababa to discuss the establishment of a demilitarized zone and disengagement between the Government of Southern Sudan and the SPLM-North rebels.
January 15, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese president Omer Al-Bashir will visit Juba next week where he will hold talks with his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir over post-secession issues before an African Union summit in Addis Ababa.
The two presidents met several times in the Ethiopian capital, but Bashir did not travel to Juba since the independence of the South Sudan.
Al-Bashir said ready to visit Juba but his travel was linked to progress in the contentious files between the two countries. Last November, he was expected in Juba after the finalization of technical steps to implement the security arrangements deal but failure of the talks led to postpone his visit.
President Bashir will travel to Juba on 21 January to meet President Kiir before the AU summit scheduled on 24 January, reliable sources said on Monday.
The discussions between the two leaders will focus on the final status of Abyei, security issues and oil, the source further said stressing that preparations are taking place in Juba to receive Al-Bashir in his first visit after the independence.
The sources said Bashir wants to to reach a compromise with Kiir before the African Union summit in order to seal a comprehensive deal over all the disputed issues.
Besides the security issue and Khartoum accusations that Juba support the rebel groups in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur, the final statue of Abyei seems the most urgent topic requiring a quick settlement.
The AU Peace and Security Council (AUSPC) endorsed a proposal to hold a referendum in the disputed area in October 2013 but Khartoum rejects it.
Sudan foreign minister said they do not expect that the AUPSC would refer the proposal to the UN Security Council.
But, the move pushed the Misseriya nomads to decide to settle in Abyei while Juba warned that such decision may mean a return to war between the two sides.
Delegations from the two countries are now holding talks in Addis Ababa on the level of Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) where the parties agreed on the seven members of the local administration but they still diverge on the legislative council.
Also, the joint political security committee is discussing ways to monitor the disputed areas on the common border as Khartoum says the two sides must control jointly the Blue Nile and South Kordofan boundary with South Sudan.
January 14, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir again blasted opposition parties for signing what is known as the "New Dawn" charter saying that it will be combated using the Quran.
The deal signed last week between most major Sudanese opposition parties and armed rebel movements affirm the common goal of toppling the regime though the signatories disagreed on means to achieve that.
Another contentious clause relates to the relation between the religion and the state which the participants say it seeks to avoid using religion in politics.
However, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudanese officials insist that this document seeks to separate religion and the state thus pushing for a secular state.
Bashir, speaking at The Holy Quran award in Khartoum, described the charter as the "False Dawn" and called for confronting its proponents.
The NCP spokesperson Ibrahim Ahmed Ibrahim on his end said the accord violates religious and national principles. He said that the party’s deputy chairman Nafie Ali Nafie will state the NCP’s formal position at a press conference on Monday.
Ibrahim noted that some of those who signed the charter later came and distanced themselves from it which proves that it was an inappropriate document.
The National Umma Party (NUP), Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) and Popular Congress Party (PCP) did appear to have backtracked from the deal.
Reasons for reservations mentioned later ranged from opposing certain clauses to saying that they were rushed into signing it.
The NUP leader and former PM al-Sadiq al-Mahdi downplayed the effectiveness of the charter saying that the only way to unite ranks is through peaceful means and not military ones.
Al-Mahdi’s cousin Mubarak al-Fadil said in a statement yesterday that representatives of the opposition parties knew what they were signing adding that the party leaders were apprised of the final product.
Al-Fadil, who has long been at odds with al-Mahdi, suggested that these opposition parties are seeking excuses to "disown" what they signed.
"I say to the leaders of the parties whose representatives stamped this document with the authorization, consent and full coordination that this document is open for improvement [in line] with resolution of the closing meeting," he said in a statement titled ’The Final Opportunity Document, Background and Secrets’.
"So do not waste time and use these minutiae details to escape from the national responsibility. Our people are dying in the thousands every day and our country is burning and disintegrating not only through the civil war but by Ingaz policies that have brought poverty, hunger and disease," he added.
The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) which is comprised of the armed movements issued a statement yesterday saying that they formed a committee that will be tasked with raising awareness about the charter among opposition parties and civil society, following up on the status of signatories and monitoring the situation pertaining to those detained after signing the agreement in Uganda.
January 12, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) repulsed an attack on its positions southward of the capital of South Kordofan state where they killed over 50 rebels, said Al-Sawarmi Khaled spokesperson in a statement released on Friday .
The Sudanese troops are fighting since more than a year the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan where the rebels are mainly present in southern and eastern parts of the troubled state .
Last October, the SPLM-N shelled the state’s capital Kadugli saying they want to export the conflict to the government’s zones. SAF from its side, launched a counterattack with heavy aerial raids on the rebel positions to prevent such move.
Al-Sawarmi, in a statement issued late in Friday night, said the Sudanese troops killed more than 50 rebels and destroyed four tanks when the SPLM-N fighters attacked its positions in Harmra and El-Ahmier, two areas located 15 km south of the capital Kadugli.
The military spokesperson said the attack started on Friday morning when the rebels shelled the areas before to engage a large-scale offensive with a big number of fighters and eight tanks aiming to control advanced positions allowing them to shell the capital Kadugli, as he claimed.
Reached by telephone SPLM-N spokesperson Arno Lodi told on Saturday morning they did not yet get any details from their troops in the area about this operation.
Al-Sawarni said the army lost a number of soldiers without further details.
The African Union mediation team led by Thabo Mbeki did not yet announce a date for the resumption of humanitarian or political talks between the Sudanese government and the SPLM-N.
Khartoum says Juba must disengage with its former allies before to discuss a political settlement with the rebels.
The SPLM-N and its allied Darfur rebels in the Sudanese Revolutionary Front say they seek to bring down the regime. Also, they demand a holistic peace process to discuss a comprehensive solution for the conflicts in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
January 11, 2012 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese president Omer Al-Bashir has raised the spectre of banning political parties that conclude political alliance with rebel groups, the interior minister announced Thursday.
The opposition parties and some women, youth or civil society groups together with rebel groups initialled the "New Dawn Charter" which calls to topple the regime by political and military means, following a meeting held in Kampala on 5 January.
The Sudanese officials immediately criticized opposition forces for sealing such political agreement with the rebels and warned they will deal decisively with them.
Besides its criticism for gathering with the rebels who fight the government in South Kordofan, Darfur and Blue Nile, the government said the deal is against Islamic constitution.
After a meeting on Thursday with the president Al-Bashir, minister Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamed told reporters that the State welcomes everyone who wants to exercise his political role and political rights in accordance with the laws of political parties and other applicable laws.
"The state will not allow (political) forces dealing with the insurgency and outlaws since they call to violence and the use of arms" to bring down the regime, Bashir said according to the minister.
The law of political parties in Sudan does not authorise armed groups to exercise political activities or to participate in the elections unless they disband their armed wing.
The minister said he further discussed with the president ways to ensure security in the country after the "recent threats" resulted from the meeting between "some parties, rebels and outlaws".
He added that this development implies to review plans to deal with "who have joined the rebellion and treason to destabilise security".
Security services arrested recently five opposition members after their return from Kampala where they participated in the meeting with the Sudanese Revolutionary Front.
Different opposition forces expressed reservations over the charter as they have to discuss it before signing the final version in a ceremony attended by the leaders of the political parties.
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