December 2015 - Posts
Khartoum, 31 Dec. (SUNA) - Following is an unofficial translation of the speech delivered by the President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omar Hassan Ahmed Al Bashir on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Sudan National Day:-
- Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir
In The Name Of Allah, the Graceful, the Dispenser of Grace
Praise be to Allah, the Unique, the One, the Self-sufficient, the One Who begets not, nor was He begotten, and to whom there in none co-equal or comparable unto Him.
And peace and blessing be upon our Master, Prophet Mohammed, His kin and companions
The very loyal masses of our people
Honorable guests present here
Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon you
Let us start by greeting our forefathers who founded the independence of our nation, on this occasion when we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of our august independence…
The tree that begot this fruit was planted by those robust arms…that tree was watered by the noble blood of our martyrs... for our noble nation to reap that fruit… the heroic encounter that represented the fight for liberation from the colonization… that spirit which held high the value of the homeland …that no voice shall be above the voice of the homeland.. That no partisan voice or personal agenda be given priority… that no tribal trends be entertained… It sufficed for them to say their forefather remains the Nile and that their ethnic affiliation is for the Sudan…that spirit continued high until the banner of our independence flew high on the mast.…
History wrote in its books the birth of our nation. All people were united together for the dignity and the pride of our nation and our people… the colonizers that gambled on sowing the seeds of sedition amongst our people, seeking by that to remain weighing on the chest of this dignified homeland… they lost the gamble... its arrow went astray…
Let us renew our salutation for the forefathers and foremothers of our independence…that generation of heroism and of sacrifice… our salutation for them as we are standing under the shadow of the tree they sow, leaving behind a pound homeland and a great nation.
Our salutation for them while we are following their wisdom and are inspired by their memory which will remain the driving force for our march… we salute their sacrifices and their noble stands…without theme we would not have gained our independence… let our slogan remain the one they raised high… let us personify these aspiration of their as a living reality … let us translate that spirit into a comprehensive document that would stand as a proof to our resolve that Sudan remains a homeland that host all Sudanese people, without exception….a document that stands as an edifice of unity in diversity…
Celebrating the anniversary of our independence is an occasion for us to learn from the lesson of the past and to think about the present and future of our nation… the spirit that led our forefathers and guided them in their great procession and shade light along the march towards their great aspiration and lofty goals… the outstanding lesion that will remain witness to the greatness of our nation is that of forgetting all narrow affiliation what it comes to anything related to our homeland and to our nation…
Thus we will take up this august opportunity to renew our call and to repeat our pledge with all the political and societal spectrums in our country to stand together and back each other, discard away any affiliation save that to our homeland and our nation… let us build the foundation for the rule of law… all are equal before the eye of the law…that yard stick for taking the lead is the sincere performance…good work, sincerity, loyalty for the homeland and to the nation
Sudan has faced so many a challenges… but it came out armed with huge experiences during its march … a march marred by so many a difficulty…. But against it has been able to overcome them all and achieve outstanding success and make huge leaps…. Sudan is thus able to walk steadily in towards the phase of achieving peace and set the foundation for new values for managing political differences and for observing a wider participation by all the sons of the homeland…
The national building process will not be complete without discussing the major issues before which the colonizers set so many a stumbling block to frustrate our march towards completing a national dialogue therein….
The colonizers worked to widen the gap through the adoption of the policy of divide and rule… thus the national governments that took over inherited huge problems and tremendous challenges…leaving them with no time to arrange the priorities and to continue discussions on the questions related to independence…
thus we have unleashed the question of comprehensive all-inclusive national and the societal dialogue that leave no one behind… no view will be barred and all issues are open for discussion…
We have committed ourselves to preparing the climate for that dialogue…therefore we invited all to participate in it…
we provided the assurances and agreed to a 2-month ceasefire all as a show of good faith and to encourage those carrying arms to come and join the process and resort to peace, opt for dialogue as the only means for redressing grievances and ending injustice… we released detainees and welcomed anew the activities of political parties and to their organizing public debates that are governed by nothing save the regulations of the law and the public interest..
Once and on the this great occasion, it pleased me to declare a government decision extending by one more month the ceasefire and renew our call for those carrying arms to listen to the voice of reason and to join the peace process and participate in the national dialogue which is managed by pure Sudanese will, under the roof of the homeland…
The only supervisor is the people, and the guarantees is the national consciousness… the implementation of the outcome of this dialogue is a pledge that we declare before Allah the almighty and a promise to our people..
We would like to warmly great those who responded to the national call and embellished the halls where the dialogue is taking place through their serious dialogue and constructive views …
Here we would like to announce extending by one month the duration of the national dialogue conference which was initially set to conclude its session on the 10th of coming month of January...
Dear august citizen
We have initiated a comprehensive reform programme… this programme is based on the concept that any comprehensive renaissance will not be completed without a reform to the whole political situation in our country and a freedom for the partisan environment so as to overcome the falling-out and differences over the minor issues at the expense of the core issues…
We look to the political parties and to the groups taking part in national dialogue to work for preparing a national document in which they would specify the strategic interest of our nation and lay the foundation for a sound political structure that would hold high the loyalty to the homeland over all other partisan loyalties... And that all political affiliation channels should be veered to work in the interest of the homeland not in the narrow interests of political entities...
The other pillar of reform is that which is related to the state reform in which we have so far achieved great strides, through the adoption of the principle of transparency in the public performance of the state, and also adopted the programme for combatting corruption, and realizing piety in dealing with public money...
The relevant laws and regulations related to the erection of the corruption combat authority will soon be issued, after the legislature passed the overall governing laws…
The state reform programs will continue towards their lofty ends, improving the service provision for the people and remedying of all irregularities in the civil service, putting in place legislations related to the legal reform… as the legal reform is the door to all other reform…
We will not have any peace of mind until all structures that would cement the state of law and the state of institution, are in place…
At the top of our priority in the state reform program, is improving the livelihood of the people and securing their basic daily needs….
Let us thank God the Almighty Who saved us against sliding into bankruptcy... the guess was that upon the separation of south Sudan, Sudanese economy would collapse, but Allah Who possess the treasure of the earth and the skies, arranged all for us in a way that we were able to overcome the chock successfully through the three year economic reform programme that south to restore the stability of the national economy and reign the galloping daily inflation…
While we celebrate the memory of the independence anniversary, let us remind each other of the success that the Sudan has achieved during the past few years, notwithstanding the difficulties and the embargo, the legally unjustified embargo imposed by unjust powers, without any logic, particularly after Sudan has met all its international legal and constitutional commitments. But that attitude remained with them, providing mirage promises that would be considered by thirty water…
we have come to know their intentions and we understand their mentality, and thus we depended on Allah the lord of the two worlds, and thus here we are entering the second year in our five year economic reform programme which comes under the slogan of boosting production for export, improve the living conditions of the people …
This was the central pole of our election programme, and we will give due concern to this matter, following it up daily until our economy is unleashed and moves towards better and wider horizons.. We want to reward our people for their patience and tolerance
Today we want to announce to our people that we will overcome these challenges through the implementation of the government plan that seeks to boost the productive sectors in the agriculture and industrial domains, redress the imbalance in the trade in a way that would ensure stability of our national economy and prosperity for our people.
Dear august people
The blessing of security which Allah bestowed on us the people of the Sudan, amid surrounding world full of political and security instabilities… this blessing require our appreciation and thanks…
There is no doubt that the modernism which remained the essential criteria that characterized our people who have adopted tolerance and rejection of fundamentalism and extremism … these are the reasons, in addition to the blessing of Allah, that prevented or people from sliding into the cycle of hatred and violence… thus comes out call for international institutional reform, and for ending grievances and lifting injustice from oppressed people , for ending the illegal occupation and settlement in accordance with the international legitimacy and international resolutions.
Dear brother and sisters
Sudan's foreign policy remained stable in its declared positions of noninterference in the domestic affairs of others and of adopting a good neighborhood policy, respecting the sovereignty of other states…
Thus we have become a center for which brothers flock and our country has become an accepted mediator in many of the regional conflict… our relations have also witnessed a steady developments with brothers and friends… from here we send a sincere greeting to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia which is leading an international coalition for the restoration of the legitimacy in Yemen… our stand has been a solidarity because of the importance of stability for all Arab countries… our greeting for the United Arab Emirates, for Kuwait and for the state of Qatar and for other Arab and African countries who have been supporting our country and coordinating with it in the regional and international forum, and we do appreciate the role and interaction of the African Union towards finding a number of questions related to the African home.
Internationally we have adopted a policy that is based on openness, balance and cooperation for creating a world in w which justice and democracy prevail….
We have spared no efforts in contributing towards achieving peace and stability in our immediate neighbors, we gave particular priority to the diplomacy of development, trade, economy and investment…
We will continue our diplomacy in strengthening the bonds and joint interests and in contributing to the stability of the people and their countries… in this context we would like to reaffirm our keenness the restoration of stability and peace to the republic of south Sudan, reaffirming once again our keenness to implement the agreements that we signed with it and our support for the agreement concluding by the parties to the conflict there.
In this celebration of our national day anniversary, we greet our gallant armed forces that protect the soil of the homeland and display all in its power to secure its dignity and pride…
we are aware that today the battle field is not only in the military operation scenes…we are aware the enemies are planning to undermine our resolve and to sow the seeds of demoralize us… because the enemy want us to be a nations engulfed by depression and demoralized, to be nonproductive nation…thus the challenge facing us is to resist all malignant attempts and to inspire our people into production and work, to reply to the national call, from which we will not deviate …
Therefore we urge our media to be inspired by the lofty meanings of the independence and to lead a campaign for national construction.. Seeking the interests of the homeland and its future … let the media be at the heart of the battle... The media is a sharper weapon in today's world…
The independence anniversary coincides with the launch of the biggest human development project in the history of our homeland… with programs that center on provision of basic services to the people starting with education, particularly the basic education whose budget have doubled more than once, and the provision of Saudi funding which is evaluated by the World Bank as worth more than 150 million us dollars…
The programme of the primary health care which is tripled from 840 million to 2.1 billion Sudanese pounds for the year 2016 and also the inclusion of additional new 500 health units, the full rehabilitation of 200 rural hospitals and the creation of 20 new reference hospitals, and advance diagnosis centers…
In addition to this there are the drinking water projects that seek to resolve the problem of drinking water once and for ever, with the support and backing of our brothers in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait.
The independence coincides with other major irrigation project after the completion of the construction of the dam and we expect the irrigated areas to increase by 4 million fedans, that it is a double of the area that was irrigated during all the six decades that followed our independence.
Work will continue in the infrastructures of the roads and electricity, prepare the climate for investment in the huge Sudanese resources in the agriculture, oil, mining and investment in the informatics and continuation in the reform programs of the institutions of the civil services to reach the desired level of effective performance.
Dear guests present here
The real independence is to be inspired by the loft values of genuinely adhering to the homeland, discharge our duties in honesty, be sincere in serving the grand objectives of development and construction.
Farmers in the field serve the independent by doubling their production, and productivities, industrialists in their factories would cement the meaning of independence through double efforts and improving their produce, employees in the civil service and the scholar and professors and teachers are the main pillars of the state… through their sincerity and the devotion… the youth and the students and the fuel and energy that serve as impetus for this nation and its future hope. Women and the half of the community through their contribution we would complete the real meaning of independence…
Peace and blessing of Allah be upon you
December 30, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - US President Barack Obama on Wednesday congratulated the Sudanese people on the 60th anniversary of independence expressing hope that 2016 offers them an opportunity to enjoy a prosperous and peaceful future.
- US President Barack Obama
On the first of January 2016, Sudanese celebrate the 60th anniversary of independence of their country.
“On behalf of the American people, I’d like to congratulate you on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of your country’s independence,” said Obama in a message conveyed by the US embassy in Khartoum Wednesday.
It is noteworthy that this is the second time that president Obama congratulates the Sudanese people on the Independence Day following his last year’s message.
The US president usually tends to avoid addressing the Sudanese government or president Omer Hassan al-Bashir who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Darfur region.
Relations between Khartoum and Washington are strained as the East African country is under US economic sanctions and branded as a terrorism sponsor.
Diplomats from the two countries failed during the past years to normalise the complicated relations.
Khartoum says the improvement of bilateral relations should not be linked to internal Sudanese issues, but Washington requires ending the conflicts in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for Sudan’s foreign ministry Ali al-Sadiq said in a press release Wednesday that President Bashir received a congratulatory message from the Russian President Vladimir Putin on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of independence.
December 16, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s state security prosecution office Wednesday evening has arrested the Chief-Editors of al-Tayyar and al-Saiha daily newspapers.
Al-Tayyar Editor-in-Chief Osman Merghani was arrested shortly after he spoke along with the newspaper’s legal advisor Nabil Adeeb in a press conference in which he pledged to follow all legal procedures to lift the ban on his newspaper.
Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) seized copies of al-Tayar in the early hours of Monday from the printing house without giving reasons. On Tuesday, the newspaper was suspended indefinitely.
According to al-Tayyar journalists, this is the eighth time an issue was seized by NISS this year.
Also, the Chief Editor of al-Saiha newspaper Ahmed Youssef al-Tai was arrested Wednesday by the state security prosecution office.
During the press conference, Adeeb expressed surprise about the NISS decision to suspend a-Tayar, saying the Constitutional Court had earlier said the NISS doesn’t have the power to suspend newspapers.
He pointed that article (24) of the Constitutional Court Act prohibits resorting to any other law following its decision not to use it, adding that NISS has repeated its action by suspending al-Tayyar in clear defiance of the law and the court.
Adeeb noted that on Wednesday he submitted a claim for the protection of a constitutional right to the Constitutional Court, saying he would use the court’s ruling about the unconstitutionality of the suspension decision as a precedent.
The legal advisor also pointed that he submitted a request under article (16) to issue a temporary order to stop the suspension procedures pending the outcome of the claim in order to prevent any damage that could result from the suspension decision.
For his part, Merghani said that NISS hasn’t yet informed him of the reasons behind the suspension decision.
H pointed that he appeared Monday before the complaints committee at the National Council for Press and Publication (NCPP) to discuss a column he recently published and was seen by the committee as “inciting people to protest against the government” and a call for an “Arab Spring in Sudan”.
Merghani said he has been previously invited by some Western diplomats to leave the country following his famous assault incident, saying he declined to accept the invitation and preferred to stay in Sudan to continue the legal battle.
A group of masked gunmen on 18 July 2014 stormed the building of Al-Tayyar in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum and assaulted Merghani. They also confiscated all cellular phones and laptops of the newspaper’s staff and attacked several journalists before leaving.
The attack was thought to have been triggered by statements Merghani made during a TV talk show program in which he defended the issue of normalising relations with Israel. He also wrote a column on the same issue in Al-Tayyar.
The NISS routinely suspends and confiscates newspapers either to prevent circulation of certain stories or to punish them retroactively on previous issues.
In February, NISS seized entire print runs of 14 newspapers in one day without stating the reasons for its decision.
In June 2012, NISS suspended al-Tayar indefinitely and allowed it to resume publication two years later upon a ruling of the Constitutional Court.
JOURNALISTS UNION DENOUNCES AL-TAYAR’S SUSPENSION
Meanwhile, the pro-government Sudan Journalists Union (SJU) has condemned the indefinite suspension of al-Tayar expressing concern about the situation of the press freedoms in the country.
In a statement Wednesday, the SJU called for arriving at common concepts to maintain the balance between freedom and responsibility, demanding the launch of a transparent dialogue to stop the extraordinary measures against the newspapers.
It announced that it has embarked on intensive contacts with the political and security organs to lift the ban on al-Tayar as soon as possible.
Also, the opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) has denounced the suspension of al-Tayyar without legal justification or court ruling, describing the move as a “well-established totalitarian practice” that represents an integral part of the behaviour of the regime.
December 12, 2015 (WASHINGTON) – The United States congress is rushing a proposed legislation that would introduce sweeping changes to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) which was established to allow citizens from 38 countries to travel to U.S. without a visa for stays of up to 90 days.
Following terrorist attacks in Paris, U.S. officials have become fearful that citizens of these countries, who are members of ISIS or other terrorist groups, could utilize VWP to sneak into the county to carry out attacks.
The alleged Paris attackers were European citizens who could have theoretically entered the U.S. with little scrutiny.
If the changes to the VWP are approved, dual nationals of countries namely Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan and recent visitors to those countries would be unable to enter the U.S. through VWP.
There are also fears that VWP countries might reciprocate to require visas from U.S. citizens who fit into the same criteria.
Sudan is not mentioned specifically in the bill but since it is designated under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, it will be impacted. The U.S. lists Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism and is under comprehensive economic sanctions since 1997.
For example, a French citizen with Sudanese nationality will need to apply for a visa through a U.S. embassy or consulate. Also a Dutch citizen who travelled to Sudan anytime since March 2011 will also have to go through the same process even they visited as aid workers or students.
Even though the proposed bill passed the House by a sweeping majority, some Democrat lawmakers are attempting to introduce changes to avoid discriminating based on national origin.
"Making sure that we avoid as many unintended consequences as possible is particularly important when we are proposing to disqualify specific populations of people from long standing immigration practices," a letter from 33 Democratic lawmaker reads.
“As written, H.R. 158 would result in discrimination against people simply because of their ancestry. These changes could result in our Visa Waiver Program partner nations placing new limits on travel by U.S. citizens to their countries. Fundamentally, people seeking entry into our country should be evaluated based on the specific security risk that they themselves pose – not where their parents are from”.
The White House has indicated however, that it backs the bill in its current form. It is currently in the Senate and is expected to be included in a spending package that must be approved before Wednesday to avoid a government shutdown.
Saturday 12 Dec 2015 – (Khartoum) A new round of talks on Ethiopia's under-construction Grand Renaissance Dam will take place on 27 and 28 December after Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan failed to reach a final agreement in two days of trilateral talks this weekend.
The meeting of the tripartie committee on the dam in Khartoum, in the attendance of the foreign and irrigation ministers from the three countries, aimed at refreshing technical talks on the dam and discussing concerns from the Egyptian side, ended on Saturday with “no final agreement."
According to a closing statement by Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour, the three countries agreed to go forward with "discussion and negotiations" on the framework of shared principles that were involved in the Malabo agreement and the Khartoum's declaration of principles in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Friday and Saturday's meetings had an atmosphere of "brotherhood, friendship, cooperation," which affirms the three countries' keenness to reach shared agreements and abandon all conflicts, the statement read.
"We are neither a mediator, nor are we neutral or biased, but we have rights just like Egypt and Ethiopia. We are moving with the negotiations in the frame of our national interests that entitle us to converge viewpoints between the three parties," Ghandour said in press statements following the meeting.
Sudan's Water Resources and Electricity Minister Moataz Moussa rejected news related to the failure of talks due to conflicts between the three countries, adding that there was an agenda that was being discussed during the two-day closed meetings.
Ahram Online was not able get an immediate comment from Egypt's representatives in the meetings.
The next talks will also take place in Khartoum, and will include the foreign and irrigation ministers of the three states, as well as the tripartite committee.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, scheduled to be completed in 2017, will be Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant with a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic metres of water.
Egypt has repeatedly expressed concerns that filling and operating the dam on the Blue Nile will negatively affect Egypt's water supply, while Ethiopia has rejected these claims.