By Simon Yel , Kuala-Lumpur-Malaysia
Archive for the ‘World’ Category
Text of Barack Obama’s speech after re-election
President Barack Obama’s speech in Chicago after his re-election Tuesday night, as transcribed by Roll Call:
President Barack Obama’s speech in Chicago after his re-election Tuesday night, as transcribed by Roll Call:
Thank you so much.
Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.
It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.
Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.
I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. By the way, we have to fix that. Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.
I just spoke with Gov. Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.
I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden.
And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation’s first lady. Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you’re growing up to become two strong, smart beautiful young women, just like your mom. And I’m so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now one dog’s probably enough.
To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics. The best. The best ever. Some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning. But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together and you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. You lifted me up the whole way and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you put in.
I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics that tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late in a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.
You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.
That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.
That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.
But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.
We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this – this world has ever known. But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.
We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. To the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president – that’s the future we hope for. That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go – forward. That’s where we need to go.
Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin.
Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over. And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead.
Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do.
But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.
This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.
What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.
I am hopeful tonight because I’ve seen the spirit at work in America. I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. I’ve seen it in the soldiers who reenlist after losing a limb and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back.
I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. And I saw just the other day, in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care.
I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president.
And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.
I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.
America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.
I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.
And together with your help and God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth.
Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States.
Barack Obama wins election for second term as president
Voters returned President Obama to the White House, but he will face a Congress with the same divisions that marked his first term.
What Are They Saying About Obama’s Victory?
By Sam Akaki
Saturday, 27 October 2012 00:00
The upcoming US presidential election will be a de facto international presidential election. Whoever wins will not only become – symbolically and in reality – the chairman of the five-member central committee of the world, which is the UN Security Council, he will also indirectly be in charge of the preeminent global currency, which is the dollar. Crucially, the US president will be the Commander-in-Chief of the supreme army, the nuclear-armed North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Under Article 5, “The parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.” This explains why Syria can only watch, helplessly, as Turkey, a NATO member, closes its air space, trains, arms and sends rebels into Syria.
Moreover, NATO is not only expanding although its main adversary the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) collapsed in 1991 it is also freely choosing and picking which opposition groups are terrorist organizations or pro-democracy fighters, and which country is to be invaded on the spurious excuse of pre-emptive humanitarian intervention to maintain international peace and security.
These realities will present African peoples at home and in the US with a particular dilemma. By instinct, we should vote for Barack Obama. After all, he is “one of us”, his father having been a black Kenyan!
The ‘one of us’ syndrome based on our ethnicity, tribe and clan is central in the African DNA makeup, which invariably determines how we provide public services to our own.
But as Obama’s African policy has shown in the last four years, it will be a monumental self-delusion for any African at home and in the US to believe that his second term in the White House will bring better news to the continent.
The uncomfortable truth is that the difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is only skin deep. Like Romney, Obama is first and last an ambitious US politician, who wants to be president of the last super power of the world.
To achieve that ultimate goal, both men are competing to appear a better US citizen than the other, declaring their uncompromising commitment to pursue not the 1832 Monroe doctrine, but the 1961 President John Kennedy’s doctrine.
The Monroe Doctrine noted that the United States “would neither interfere with existing European colonies (in Africa and elsewhere) nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries.” That was before John F. Kennedy arrived.
By contrast, in his in January 1961 inauguration speech, Kennedy said “let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of our liberty.” By “our success” Kennedy meant US imperial domination of the world!
Regardless of Obama’s campaign rhetoric, his Africa policy will not be guided by any consideration about is late father’s tribal origin or religion, but by US special interest to maintain political, economic and military dominance of the world.
President Obama or Romney will without hesitation use the USAID to maintain soft control over the continent through politically-motivated humanitarian and development assistance. At the same time, the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) will keep a close military eye and ear on Africa from the ground, air, sea and space. Any African leader or military commander who thinks his or her official and personal secrets are safe is a fool.
President Obama or Romney will use the Bretton Woods institutions, which are the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to manipulate African economies and by extension, social and political conditions, which suits the US.
Whoever wins, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will not relax the pressure on African countries to introduce legislation to implement the one-way Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). These, among other things, will potentially allow western technology companies to “own” anything and everything including trees and shrubs anywhere.
The US, which has not ratified the Rome Statue, will continue to selectively use the ICC as a double-edged political weapon not only to punish non-compliant African leaders such as Omar al Bashir and Robert Mugabe, but also to protect leaders of US client states who torture their own people and invade their neighbours.
While some US companies continue to trade with Iran, President Obama or Romney will demand and get the UN Security Council to impose punitive sanctions on any African country that buys oil from Iran.
NATO intervention in Libya may have been its first on African soil, but it is unlikely to be the last whoever wins. Neither Obama nor Romney will lift the sanctions on Eritrea, Sudan or Zimbabwe.
US entry visas will not become any more easily available for African students or old people wishing to visit their grandchildren just because Obama or Romney has become president.
Finally, according to the Census Bureau, 15 percent of Americans, or more than 46 million people, live below the poverty line, defined as an annual income of USD 23,000 for a family with two children.
The vast majority in this group are African-Americans. They will not become better off with well-paid jobs, adequate housing and health-care cover when and if Obama or Romney takes office next January. That is why I say Africa’s unpalatable choice in the 2012 US presidential election is between the devil and the deep blue sea. We are damned if “one of us” Obama, wins and we are damned if he loses on November 6th!
But why criticize Obama for putting America first and last? What a different place would Africa be if our leaders could also put behind their personal interests, clan, tribe and ethnicity – and tackle the population explosion and youth unemployment, which are driving millions of young men and women to die abroad?
Tags: disputes, metering, oil
(Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan plan to avoid future disputes over oil exports with a metering system, but have failed to end a $1.8 billion row over how much Juba will pay for seizing northern oil facilities after its secession.
On Thursday, the African neighbors signed a deal to restart oil exports from the landlocked South through a Sudanese Red Sea port. In January, Juba had shut down its entire output of 350,000 barrels a day after failing to agree on export fees.
When the row escalated, Juba had accused Sudan and the mainly Chinese oil firms operating in the new republic of publishing incorrect production data to the disadvantage of the South.
Oil facilities in both countries were built before South Sudan became independent from Khartoum in July 2011, putting three quarters of oil production in the south but locating processing, refining and sea export facilities in the north.
To avoid any future arguments over export volumes, both sides plan to “review and ensure…effective metering facilities”, according to the final agreement published by the African Union (AU) late on Thursday.
The agreement did not outline any concrete steps but said each party had the right to ask oil firms to install additional metering systems.
The neighbors also agreed to set up a committee headed by an African Union-appointed official to review payments and technical issues to avoid disputes.
Global Witness, a group campaigning for transparency, said it was disappointing that oil payments and audit reports would not be made public.
“This lack of public accountability is particularly concerning given the allegations of high-level corruption that both governments are facing,” Global Witness campaigner Dana Wilkins said in a statement.
Diplomats had hoped the agreement would settle all disputes but both nations failed to agree on how much South Sudan should pay Sudan in compensation for taking over oil facilities once owned by state firm Sudapet.
Sudan demands $1.8 billion for Sudapet’s assets, said Pagan Amum, Juba’s chief negotiator.
“We are not going to pay this,” he said after the signing ceremony in Ethiopia on Thursday.
The agreement, which was brokered after three weeks of talks in Addis Ababa, only said the parties would try reach a deal within two months. Lengthy international arbitration would then probably follow.
Both sides also agreed that Sudan will have to pay back proceeds from two disputed oil shipments, transported by the Ratna Shradha and ETC ISIS vessels, which Sudan seized as compensation for what it called unpaid transit fees.
Southern officials had previously demanded the return of four oil shipments worth more than 6 million barrels, seized since December by Sudan, which has never confirmed or denied the figures.
Juba will give up claims from southern oil diverted to refineries by Sudan when the row over transit fees escalated. “The Government of South Sudan shall not bring any other claims,” the agreement said.
Under the final deal, South Sudan will pay between $9.10 and $11 a barrel to export its crude through the north. Juba will also pay $3.08 billion to help Sudan overcome the loss of three quarters of oil production due to southern secession.
South Sudan’s government expects resuming oil production will take three to six months after the pipelines were watered and some fields were damaged during fighting between the two nations in April.
South Sudan plans to build pipeline to Kenya but analysts are skeptical as it would be difficult to build across rough terrain hit by tribal violence.
(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Alison Birrane and Jason Neely)
September 15, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan has urged UN chief to press South Sudanese government to cease its support to the rebel Sudan people’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) stressing such links hamper the ongoing efforts to settle the unresolved issues.
Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, Permanent Representative of Sudan to the United Nations met on Friday 14 September with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to brief him on the latest developments on the ongoing talks with South Sudan as the UN Security Council prepare to discuss the issue on 22 September.
The parties made progress on the different files except the border demarcation and the disputed areas while the mediation plans to hold a presidential summit on Abyei between Omer Al-Bashir and Salva Kiir on 21 September.
The parallel process with the SPLM-N, on the other hand, is stalled as the parties trade accusations of delay of humanitarian relief, plans to topple the regime with the support of South Sudan and Darfur rebels.
Daffa-Alla said he urged Ban Ki-moon to put pressure on Juba government to disengage politically and militarily with the Sudanese rebel group which fights the government in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. He stressed that such relation breaches the rules of international law.
According to SUNA, the Sudanese diplomat told the UN chief that Khartoum would not hold direct talks with the rebel group until the latter formally disengage politically and militarily with the newly independent South Sudan.
The two parties hold indirect humanitarian and political talks as they meet the mediation separately.
Sudan says the two former divisions of the SPLA in Blue Nile and South Kordofan are still receiving they salaries, weapons and ammunition from Juba. It further says the leaders of the Sudanese rebellion are instructed by the SPLM leader and South Sudan President Salva Kiir.
Juba and SPLM-N denied the accusations. Following the referendum on self determination of January 2011, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the north Sudan established an independent structure as their comrades in South Sudan were preparing to proclaim their independent state in July 2011.
But Khartoum speaks about disengagement to highlight the close relations and the continued support they receive from the SPLM in Juba which is the ruling party.
South Sudanese top negotiator Pagan Amum arrived in Addis Ababa after a long stay in Washington for medical reasons.
Also, Princeton Lyman, US envoy for Sudan and South Sudan arrived to the Ethiopian capital where he met with the chief mediator, Thabo Mbeki to discuss the recent development on the talks.
Daffa-Alla told Ki-moon that the Sudanese delegation was keen to be in Addis on the date fixed by the mediation while the rebels belatedly arrived to Addis Ababa and left two days later to Washington obstructing the talks.
SPLM-N leadership is in a visit to the United States for talks with the American officials and to seek the support of members of Congress and civil society groups as the campaign for US presidential election has already started.
12 September 2012—(Juba) —The United States Agency for International Development, USAID, has handed over the 192 kilometer Juba – Nimule highway to the government on Wednesday.
The tarmacking of the highway which now connects the country to East Africa through Uganda began on February 10, 2011.
The launch was attended by President Salva Kiir, the USambassador to South Sudan, minister of Roads and Bridges and other USAID and government officials.
Speaking at the handover ceremony at Nesitu checkpoint along the high way, the US Ambassador to South Sudan, Susan Page said that the highway is and will fasten delivery of commercial goods to the country and connect South Sudan to East Africa, and beyond.
[Susan Page]: “With the completion of this economically vital road, business transactions within the country and between the South Sudan and the neighboring countries are faster and easier. This road has reduced travel times between Juba and Nimule for more than six hours at the beginning of the project -slightly less than three hours today. Am sure you are all aware of the benefits of that improvement with South Sudan now becoming fully integrated into East Africa, trade roads and more goods coming to South Sudan more regularly and quickly. The United States Government and the ministry of roads and bridges have worked closely together to establish and build the capacity of the road’s authority and its success will be essential to an improved transport network in South Sudan.”
Meanwhile, President Salva Kiir Mayardit called on the public to observe road safety regulations and maintain the road due to its significance to the economy of the country.
[Salva Kiir]: “Now that we celebrate this great achievement of this paved road for the first time in South Sudan, we should also remember the dangers that come with it -particularly over speeding; when drivers find the road is smooth, they run to the extend that they forget their lives, it is dangerous. A good road like this is not good for people to die on it. There must be speed limit, and the traffic agents must put road signs on this highway. Where there is a curve, there must be a sign that shows you are entering into a curve so that one can slow down. This is very important.”
President Kiir also authorized the ministry of interior to deploy highway patrol police to ensure safety of motorists and passengers traveling on the Juba –Nimule highway.
[Salva Kiir]: “There must also be safety on this road; the minister of interior in conjunction with other security organs should ensure that there is security on this road 24 hours a day, because there are some other criminals who have guns, they could come set an ambush on this road. If they see the road is clear without security force, they could easily come and rob any car, take their money or goods. These kinds of people must be apprehended by the security forces -especially the police.”
Juba – Nimule High way is the first fully tarmacked modern road in the country.
To Whom It May Concern,
More than sixty genocide scholars are calling on the Obama Administration to airlift aid to thousands of Sudanese facing starvation in the embattled Nuba Mountains. The experts believe the Sudanese regime is deliberately targeting the minority Nuba people, and they warn that as many as 300,000 internal refugees face imminent starvation.
In their letter to President Obama and other U.S. officials, the scholars cite multiple reports from reputable human rights groups, journalists and U.N. agencies, describing the killing of civilians by Sudanese armed forces. They warn that the regime’s racist ideology is driving it to annihilate ethnic groups it suspects of supporting rebel militia, regardless of the civilians’ true affiliations.
Satellite imagery has revealed mass graves, razed communities, and the indiscriminate low altitude aerial bombardment of civilian areas in South Kordofan state. Reliable eyewitnesses continue to report systematic government shelling and bombing of refugee evacuation routes, with helicopter gunships hunting civilians as they flee their homes and farmland to hide in caves, and a deliberate and widespread blockage of humanitarian aid into South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. Anecdotal evidence of perpetrators screaming racist slurs as civilians are killed and raped are familiar to anyone who knows what has been happening in Darfur since 2003.
Almost 200,000 people from South Kordofan and Blue Nile states have fled across the border into South Sudan to escape the violence which began 15 months ago. Humanitarian agencies warn they face starvation and disease in squalid and overcrowded camps, cut off by seasonal rains.
However, hundreds of thousands remain trapped in Sudan, sheltering in caves and living on grass and insects. The Sudanese government, based in Khartoum, refuses to allow aid groups access to those at risk. An African Union-brokered deal, signed at the beginning of August, may eventually allow the delivery of aid, but observers fear Khartoum will place conditions on access, determining where food goes. Naturally, the regime denies there is any humanitarian emergency in the region.
In their letter the scholars point out that the Sudanese government, led by indicted war criminal Omar Bashir, used the same tactics against the ethnic minority Nuba people in the 1990s. The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Sudan and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in its southern states led to South Sudan’s independence in 2011. However, Khartoum has violated the terms of the deal by refusing to allow the people in the contested Sudanese border states of Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Abyei to have a say in their future. Many in the region identify more with ethnic groups in South Sudan. Consequently, rebels in the SPLM-North have gained ground in the area, long marginalized both economically and politically by Khartoum.
The genocide scholars fear the Sudanese regime will continue to block or interfere with humanitarian access because it believes food aid will bolster the rebels. They call on the U.S. to act under the power given to it as one of the three guarantors of the CPA.
“We strongly urge you to act now to stave off the starvation of an entire people,” the scholars said in an open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and Advisor to the President and Director of the Atrocities Prevention Board Samantha Power.
“As world leaders you have the moral authority granted by the U.N.’s unanimous 2005 declaration of the Responsibility to Protect to demand delivery of aid to those inside Sudan,” the letter continues.
The scholars go on to warn that Khartoum will continue to kill its own people, “if once again the United States declines to use the economic and diplomatic leverage to enforce the delivery of aid into South Kordofan and Blue Nile states under internationally acceptable terms.”
While human rights groups and aid agencies have been pressing the Obama administration to act for more than a year, this is the first time experts from ten countries have called on the U.S. president to intervene.
But will he? If it chose to, the U.S. could apply ‘soft power’ pressure to the regime in the form of targeted economic sanctions against the architects of the Darfur genocide, measures already approved by the U.N. Security Council but never implemented. The White House could also offer incentives in the form of access to much needed financial support from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The U.S. could also remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terror, in exchange for the cessation of violence against ethnic minorities in Darfur and the contested border areas.
However, the White House has consistently underestimated its potential leverage, fearing President Bashir will jeopardize fledgling South Sudan’s independence to an even greater extent. Obama is also under pressure from U.S. security and intelligence agencies to appease Khartoum in the unlikely event that Sudan’s avowedly Islamist leaders will pass on information about its ideological bedfellows in al Qaeda. Given that Bashir counts Iran, Hamas and Hizbollah as his closest friends, it is doubtful he would hand any useful intelligence to Washington. Yet, hope continues to triumph over experience and common sense. And the civilians hiding in caves in the Nuba Mountains continue to pay the price.
September 5, 2012
To: President Barack Obama
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice
Special Assistant to the President Samantha Power.
From: The Undersigned Genocide Scholars
Subject: Humanitarian Catastrophe in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States of Sudan
Dear President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, Ambassador Rice and Special Assistant Power:
On June 6, 2011, the Sudanese regime, led by indicted war criminal Omar al-Bashir, unleashed a wave of targeted ethnic killings against the people of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan state, Sudan. Since then this state-sponsored violence has spread to engulf much of South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
The continuing multiple atrocities amount to at least crimes against humanity. This, in and of itself, is alarming. According to the tenets of the Responsibility to Protect now is the time to protect the targeted population.
Satellite imagery has revealed mass graves, razed communities, and the indiscriminate low altitude aerial bombardment of civilian areas in South Kordofan state. Reliable eyewitnesses continue to report systematic government shelling and bombing of refugee evacuation routes, helicopter gunships hunting civilians as they flee their homes and farmland to hide in caves, and a deliberate and widespread blockage of humanitarian aid into South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. Anecdotal evidence of perpetrators screaming racist slurs as civilians are killed and raped are familiar to anyone who knows what has been happening in Darfur since 2003.
Sufficient evidence exists for us to believe the Sudanese regime is attempting to annihilate those whom the government suspects of supporting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North’s (SPLM-N) aims. Hence many local people are automatically targeted regardless of their true political affiliations.
Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese remain trapped in South Kordofan, the victims of forced starvation, unable to farm their land. This critical situation largely mirrors what the same regime perpetrated in the 1990s, a case of genocide by attrition.
Meanwhile in Blue Nile state, a scorched earth campaign by government forces has forced the SPLM-N to retreat, leaving tens of thousands with no protection from the perpetrators.
As genocide scholars we have a solemn responsibility to educate the public about the horrors of the past in the hope of creating a future free of such crimes. We are the keepers of the chapters of human history that are difficult to confront, casting a dark shadow on all of humanity. We study the past to find ways to prevent such egregious actions in the future. We exist to remind the world of humanity’s capacity to commit genocide anywhere and against any group of people.
It is because of that responsibility that we write to you. We call on you to fulfill your responsibilities as global leaders when it comes to confronting mankind’s most terrifying of crimes.
Although we welcome your efforts to aid the refugees who have found their way to camps in South Sudan, we must point out that as world leaders you have the moral authority granted by the UN’s unanimous 2005 declaration of the Responsibility to Protect to demand delivery of aid to those inside Sudan. As guarantors of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed that same year, moreover, you have not fulfilled your legal and moral obligation to sanction violators of that agreement.
The Sudanese regime continues to slaughter its own civilians, while denying them access to aid and in defiance of various international treaties and conventions it has signed, not to mention the Sudanese constitution.
The Tripartite Agreement signed on 4 August 2012 in Addis Ababa, called upon the Government of Sudan to allow humanitarian access to all areas of the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile state dependent on certain conditions. Yet the Bashir regime’s track record leads us to fear it will interfere with aid delivery to those in most need. Seasonal inaccessibility also requires extraordinary and timely arrangements, such as airdrops. Hence we beseech you to take the following steps immediately to ensure aid is delivered to South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
• Establish a land and air humanitarian corridor through which aid can be delivered without interference or hindrance from Sudanese security, military or other forces or proxies.
• Secure arrangements with the SPLM-N for the airlifting of these supplies directly into territory in their control.
• Inform relevant Sudanese officials that, due to the urgency of the catastrophe created by their actions, the United States will deliver relief directly into the war-affected areas underneath SPLM-N control.
• Invite relevant Sudanese officials to observe the cargo to be delivered so they can verify the contents.
• Use the most effective means possible, including airlifts, to get supplies into affected areas in SPLM-N control.
• Keep armed escort planes on standby for the protection of aid delivery planes if necessary.
It is therefore unwise to respond to the Khartoum regime’s various crimes with appeasement. By allowing the NCP to behave with impunity, the U.S. and the rest of the international community signals a weakness that only emboldens those who would flout its own international agreements.
Furthermore, it is unwise to assume, as the international community does, that Khartoum intends the best for its citizens. Therefore we call on your administration to end Khartoum’s effective blockade of aid to South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The regime will continue to kill their own people if once again the United States declines to use the economic and diplomatic leverage at its disposal to enforce the delivery of aid into South Kordofan and Blue Nile states under internationally acceptable terms.
We strongly urge you to act now to stave off the starvation of an entire people. Nothing would speak louder to the United States’ concern for the protection of international human rights than an immediate operation to deliver aid to the Nuba Mountains people while they are still alive and able to be helped.
If your administration chooses to stand with the victims of Sudan’s continuing campaign of ethnic cleansing, then history will accord you respect and honor. If you do not stand with the victims, history will be much harsher.
We very much look forward to hearing from each of you in regard to our letter and the suggestions therein.
In solidarity with the victims, and with respect,
Dr. Samuel Totten
Professor Emeritus, and author of Genocide by Attrition: Nuba Mountains, Sudan (2012)
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Dr. John Hubbel Weiss
Associate Professor, History
Mr. David Kilgour, J.D.
Former Canadian Secretary of State for Africa
Dr. Israel W. Charny (dual citizenship, U.S. & Israel)
Director, Genocide Prevention Network and Past President of the International Association of Genocide Studies, and Chief Editor, Encyclopedia of Genocide
Dr. Helen Fein
Chair of the Board, Institute for the Study of Genocide, and author of Human Rights and Wrongs: Slavery, Terror and Genocide
New York, NY
Dr. Roger Smith
Professor Emeritus and Past President of the International Association of Genocide Studies, and editor of Genocide: Essays Toward Understanding, Early Warning Prevention
College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA
Dr. John Hagan
MacArthur Professor, and Co-Director, Center on Law & Globalizations, American Bar Foundation Co-author of Darfur and the Crime of Genocide (Cambridge University Press, 2008)
Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
Author of After the Killing Fields: Lessons from the Cambodian Genocide.
Dr. Ben Kiernan
Whitney Griswold Professor of History and Director of Genocide Studies Program (Yale University
Author of Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur
New Haven, CT
Dr. Herb Hirsch
Professor, Department of Political Science and Co-Editor of Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal and author of Anti-Genocide: Building An American Movement to Prevent Genocide (Praeger, 2002)
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Dr. Hannibal Travis
Associate Professor of Law and author of Genocide in the Middle East: The Ottoman Empire, Iraq and Sudan (2010)
Florida International University College of Law
Professor Linda Melvern
Department of International Politics, and author of A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda’s Genocide
University of Aberystwyth, Wales
Dr. Henry Theriault
Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, and Co-Editor of Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal
Worcester State University, MA
Dr. Eric Weitz
Dean of Humanities and the Arts, and author of A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation
City College, City University of New York
New York, NY
Dr. Gregory Stanton
President, Genocide Watch
Research Professor in Genocide Studies and Prevention, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Dr. Rouben Adalian
Director, Armenian National Institute
Dr. Susanne Jonas
Professor (retired), Latin American & Latino Studies, and author of The Battle for Guatemala: Rebels, Death Squads and U.S. Power
University of California, Santa Cruz
Dr. Robert Skloot
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Nicolas A. Robins
Co-editor, Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal, and author of Genocide by the Oppressed: Subaltern Genocide in Theory and Practice
Raleigh, North Carolina
Dr. John D. Ciorciari
Assistant Professor of Public Policy
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Dr. George Kent
Professor, Department of Political Science
University of Hawaii, Honolulu
Dr. Elisa Von Joeden-Forgey
Visiting Scholar, Department of History
University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Peter Balakian
Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor in Humanities, and author of The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response
Colgate University, Hamilton, NY
Dr. Ernesto Verdeja
Assistant Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies
University of Notre Dame
Mr. Stephen D. Smith
Executive Director, USC Shoah Foundation, and Adjunct Professor of Religion
University of Southern California,
Los Angeles, California
Dr. Paul Slovic
Professor, Department of Psychology
University of Oregon, Eugene
Dr. Jason Ross Arnold
Assistant Professor of Political Science
L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Dr. Jason K. Levy, Associate Professor, Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and Director, National Ho9meland Security Project, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Dr. Amanda Grzyb (Dual Citizen, U.S. and Canada)
Assistant Professor, Information and Media Studies, and editor of The World and Darfur: International Response to Crimes Against Humanity in Western Sudan
University of Western Ontario (Canada)
Dr. Alan L. Berger
Reddock Family Eminent Scholar in Holocaust Studies, and Director, Center for the Study of Values and Violence After Auschwitz
Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton
Dr. Douglas H. Johnson
International Expert, Abyei Boundaries Commission, 2005
Author of The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars
Haverford, PA and Oxford, UK
Dr. Gagik Aroutiunian
Associate Professor, Department of Art, Media & Design
DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Dr. Gerry Caplan
Independent Scholar and Author of Rwanda: The Preventable Genocide
Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
Dr. Dominik J. Schaller
Lecturer, History Department, and author of The Origins of Genocide: Raphael Lemkin as a Historian of Mass Violence
Ruprecht-Karls-Univeristy, Heidelberg, Germany
Dr. Philip J. Spencer
Director of the Helen Bamber Centre for the Study of Rights, Conflict and Mass Violence
Dr. Maureen S. Hiebert
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
University of Calgary (Canada)
Dr. Eric Reeves
Professor, and author of A Long Day’s Dying: Critical moments in the Darfur Genocide
Smith College, Northhampton, MA
Dr. Robert Hitchcock
Professor, Department of Geography, and co-editor of Genocide of Indigenous Peoples
Michigan State University, Lansing
Dr. James Waller
Cohen Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, author of Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing
Keene State College, Keene, New Hampshire
Dr. Rubina Peroomian
University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Colin Tatz
Visiting Fellow, Political and International Relations, and author of With Intent to Destroy: Reflecting on Genocide
Australian National University, Canberra
Dr. Kjell Anderson
The Hague Institute for Global Justice
The Hague, The Netherlands
Dr. Adam Jones
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, and author of Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction
University of British Columbia
Dr. Elihu D. Richter, MD MPH
Jerusalem Center for Genocide Prevention and Hebrew-University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Danish Institute for the Study Abroad, Copenhagen, Denmark
José Carlos Moreira da Silva Filho
Professor, Criminal Law Post Graduate Department
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Port Alegra RS – Brazil
Co-Founder, The Jerusalem Center for Genocide Prevention
Dr. Uriel Levy
Director, Combat Genocide Association
Dr. Penny Green
International State Crime Initiative
Kings College, London
Dr. Tony Ward
Professor of Law
University of Hull, UK
Ms. Amy Fagin
International Association of Genocide Scholars
New Salem, MA
Dr. Ann Weiss
Director, Eyes from the Ashes Educational Foundation, and author of The Last Album: Eyes from the Ashes of Auschwitz-Birkenau
Bryn Mawr, PA
Dr. Rick Halperin
Director, Embrey Human Rights Program
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
Mr. Geoff Hill
Bureau Chief, The Washington Times,
Johannesburg, South Africa
Tags: money, power, president
by Tearz Ayuen
You broke ass son of a hunter
Do you know who you’re messing with?
Do you have an idea who the fuck I am?
You seem to know nothing about me, uh?
I am the son of the president
Did you hear that?
My dad is the president
Read my lips, preee-ssssi-denn-t
We run this country
We rule you, motherfucker
We own everything in it;
The airport, the police, the army, the rivers and mountains, the wildlife,
The oil, the banks, the hospitals, the media, the mountains,
The roads, the whole city
We own you and your poor parents
We’ve got your lives in the palm of our hand
We decide who lives and who dies
That’s our responsibility,
We can raise taxes,
Quadruple food prices,
And hoard basic food items like flour,
Sugar, bread and milk
If we like,
Just to cleanse the country of roaches like you
I could call my dad right now to instruct his boys to do it
And believe me, by the end of six months,
You would have starved to death
As a wild fire consumes savannah grassland in summer,
So would hunger and diseases feast on your siblings
Or there are so many ways to kill a rat
We could just shut all the windows of survival,
With exception of only one
Guess what it is
It’s your sister, fool
We could mold her into something else,
A sex trade commodity
We could turn her into a hawker,
A professional prostitute,
Who would satisfy my dad’s business friends’ sexual adventures
Imagine how much she would be getting in exchange of her body
With only one source of income, you people wouldn’t die quickly though
But slowly and painfully,
Both physically and emotionally
So, what makes you think I can’t enter this club with my Nine?
Like I told you earlier,
We own everything
This nightclub is also my dad’s
I have access to it,
Whether I am carrying an RPG or 50 Cal
It’s none of your fucking business
Now get the fuck out of my way,
Before I put a bullet in your dumb head
And have your body dumped in the river
I said get the fuck out of my way!
You have the guts to push me, uh?
You are planning to commit a suicide, right?
Dude, I won’t let you do that
Coz you are already dead,
Poverty killed your other half
And it is about to take away the remaining half
In fact, you were born like that – half-dead,
A son of a pauper
Thanks to your uncle, Grinding Poverty!
The only blood brother of your father
And now you want me to stain my hands with your stinking blood?
I am not going to waste my bullet on a worthless thing like you
I would rather shoot a dog or a baboon
Yes I am a drunkard and so what?
What do you expect of a big boy like me,
A big boy whose father is the most powerful man around here?
We got all the money, man
In my house, we do not use toilet rolls
Toilet paper is a symbol of poverty
It indicates how poor one is
I tell you,
In my place, we wipe our asses with dollar bills,
Hundreds, to be specific
So, what comes to your mind?
All I do is drink,
Smoke weed, shisha, cigars and cigarettes,
So, how does my drinking concern you?
Or are you jealous of the liquor brand I am drinking?
Dude, this is called Cognac
I believe you can’t pronounce that, Mister Never-Been-To-School
Now read my lips again, ko-ni-ak
Cognac is a French brandy, fool
You have never tasted it,
And never shall you taste it
It’s very expensive, dude
It would cost you one of your kidneys to buy a cognac,
You broke ass motherfucker
I don’t even know why I am talking to you,
What do you mean, get a life?
Do I look like I got no life?
Look me in the eye
Check me out,
From my toes to the head;
My designer jeans, my UGG boots, my Heuer Carrera,
My dreadlocks, my tattoos, my iPhone, my drawers
Now tell me,
What life are you talking about?
I ride a Chrysler 300 C
I own two mansions,
One in Kampala, one in Nairobi,
Another in Sydney
I got millions of dollars in the bank
Isn’t that life?
I have been to many places,
Cities you have never dreamt of
I have been to Havana, Dublin, Oslo, Rio de Janeiro,
Jamaica, Buenos Aires, Atlanta, Lagos and Antananarivo,
To mention but Just a few
If it is about school,
Forget it, man
Yes I discontinued my studies
Because I saw no reason of learning
In fact, I shouldn’t have enrolled in school in the first place
School is for poor dudes like you
A vehicle for escaping beggary,
A means of keeping wretchedness at bay
For me, my destiny is set
From day one,
The very day I was planted in my mum’s womb
Like father like son,
In few years coming, I will be the president
Yes, I am a prospective Commander-in-Chief of armed forces,
The would-be controller of everything in this country
The heir of my father’s business empire
The inheritor of this country
And remember I don’t need scholastic crap to rule you
The fact that my father was once the president is enough
It mandates my future presidency
Automatically, it gives me all the qualities of a leader
Even if I don’t succeed my father,
I will succeed one of his protégés
Shortly before the end of his tenure,
Dad’s protégé will visit us in our family house
He will explain to mum and my uncles his intentions,
That it is about time I am groomed for presidency
Shut the fuck up!
And put that fake phone away
Let me finish
Yes, we will all welcome the good news
Immediately, we won’t wait to celebrate,
To pop bottles of champagne
This would bring my drinking,
And my smoking to a pause,
As I concentrate on the campaign trails
With my father known as a hero,
The former president,
The man of the people
It would not take that long to win voters’ admirations
The paupers who take pride in names,
Things that are devoid of meaning
Folks who scramble to submit in their votes for my presidential candidacy
With the sole hope of being rewarded with the crumbs
That fall off the table,
Hope that never materializes
By the way, this is the only time you’re considered valuable
During elections, we value you
You become a valuable customer,
A political customer
All we require from you is a vote
After that, we forget your ass until another election season
That’s how we do it
We, the born to rule
Who the hell are you people?
Let go of my arms
Stop pulling me
So you are cops, uh?
So, this filthy dude called cops on me?
And you idiots got the balls to lay your hands on me?
Silly smelly cops
You little rats,
You just got your asses fired
That, I promise you
Wait till my dad learns of this……..
Tags: atong, beauty, miss world
South Sudan’s Atong Demach who was fourth overall was the top African queen at this year’s Miss World competition.
ORDOS, 20 August 2012 [HOWZIT MSN ]- The finals of this year’s Miss World beauty pageant have been held in the northeastern Chinese mining city of Ordos, Inner Mongolia, located on the edge of the Gobi desert.
True to pre-event predictions, China’s Wenxia YU, was crowned Miss World 2012 at a thrilling ceremony held on the weekend. She takes over from Miss World 2011 Ivian Sarcos of Venezuela.
This year marked the 62nd edition, and saw some 116 countries taking part, including the newly independent African nation South Sudan.
Represented at the world stage this year by the ever gorgeous and stunning Atong Demach, South Sudan managed to create history by winning the coveted Miss World Africa prize, also known as the “African Continental Queen of Beauty”, on their first ever shot at the world title.
Demach, who turned 24 this year (16th June, 1988), also won the “Miss World Top Model” prize, a feat that contributed to her gradual progression into the list of top finalists.
At the Dongsheng Fitness Center Stadium venue, Atong mesmerized the wide array of global audience seated, as well as million others who watched through a syndicated worldwide broadcast, with her class-act stage craft, alluring and striking poses, and stunning looks.
After making it into the list of Top 15 countries, which also included contestants from Kenya, Indonesia, Netherlands, USA, Philippines, Spain, Brazil, England, Wales, China, Jamaica, Australia, Mexico, and India, Demach subsequently made it into the Top 7.
The Top 7 also included contestants from Jamaica, India, Australia, Brazil, China PR and Wales. Demach cruised into the finals of what was a night of pure fun for her, with cheeky ease, placing a respectable fourth position, and bringing the world’s attention to the country she represents.
Africa continues to make giant strides at the global event, held every year since its first edition. The continent has and continues to make a strong case at that stage.
South Sudan joins a tall list of other African countries, who have won the Miss World Africa prize. South Africa is the country with the most Miss World Africa titles, winning 11 in all, the most recent being last year when Bokang Montjane who was also in the top 7, won it. Emma Wareus of Botswana won Miss World Africa in 2010.
Demach is a final year student of the Juba University, located in Juba, the capital and largest city of the Republic of South Sudan and which also serves as the capital of Central Equatoria, the smallest of the ten states of South Sudan.
Her future ambition she says is “to be involved in helping all needy children while I also hope to help work towards protecting our precious environment”.
The unassuming but intelligent young lady from Bor, a town located on the River Nile, says she is … “honoured to represent my country for the first time at Miss World and proud to stand for Beauty with a Purpose. All of us, who will compete, stand for the values of humanity, the beauty and strength of women in our world”.
With a little over 8 million people, South Sudan is poised on defining herself away from the Sudan of old, which for a very long time, was stained and bedeviled with attrocities of war crimes against innocent civilians, looting, greed and insensitive corruption.
Blessed with enough natural resources, it is expected that Africa’s new nation will rise and shine. Demach’s winning of the Miss World Africa prize, is just one of several successes the country looks forward to achieving in the coming years.
In its 62nd year, the Miss World beauty pageant was founded by Eric Morley in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations. Some 26, young, beautiful ladies took part in the maiden edition.
The event is now being run by Julia Morley, wife of the deceased founder, who died in 2000. The Miss World franchise is available to some 130 countries.
Considered the world’s most successful beauty pageant, the Miss World event continues to offer hope to young, beautiful and brilliant ladies, who are keen on impacting lives and changing society.
The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud. I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist.
The Israeli government has also resorted to overt racist statements when referring to African refugees. Eli Yishai, the interior minister, said recently that he would use “all the tools to expel the foreigners,” claiming that “Israel belongs to the white man.”
Note to refugees from South Sudan: Israel is for the white man
These were the astonishing words uttered by Israel’s interior minister Eli Yishai in an interview recently in which he outlined the Israeli government’s view of African migrants. He also added in the same interview which featured in the newspaper Maariv that “The infiltrators along with the Palestinians will quickly bring us to the end of the Zionist dream,” With particular reference to the few hundred South Sudanese refugees living in Israel, the comments by made by Yishai were delivered as the government set about enforcing its new policy-to expel the South Sudanese.
The Hidden Obama: A young man more introspective than ambitious, the future president took a long time to choose a direction in life.
The Associated Press
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel was forcing 120 South Sudanese to leave the country on Sunday, starting what was to be a mass deportation of thousands of …
The Problem of University of Juba Is Corruption and Needs Political …
In most of our government’s institutions in South Sudan, it is easy to predict a tribe of a minister if you identify the gate keeper. This is the rampant practice that …
Cameron was traveling in one car with his bodyguards and assumed that Nancy was in the other car with his wife Samantha and their two other children. Samantha, however, assumed young Nancy was with her father, and they only realized she was missing when they got home.
Insight: Vatican bank-money, mystery and monsignors
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – For a financial institution whose ATMs offer Latin as a language option, whose offices are below the pope’s windows and where tellers work under the gaze of crucifixes, one might assume the Vatican bank would have a dispensation from earthly travails.
But new judicial woes and internal upheavals at the bank, officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), have raised new hurdles for the Vatican, just as it entered the final stretch of years of efforts to join the international club of financial righteousness.
On May 24, in the type of corporate drama rarely seen in the Vatican, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, 67, the Italian president of the IOR, stormed out of the bank’s executive offices……….
Press freedom in Sudan is rapidly deteriorating, with confiscation of newspapers by the security agency becoming a norm. The scope of violations committed against publications and journalists by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) is widening by the day.
Since early May, the NISS has confiscated more than 14 editions of different newspapers in Sudan, suspended more than 13 journalists from writing in newspapers, and identified about 20 taboo topics not to be tackled by the press.
Newspapers confiscated by the NISS since early May:
- On May 1 and 2, the NISS confiscated Al-Jarida from the printing press.
- On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, the NISS confiscated Al-Midan after printing was completed.
- On May 6, the NISS confiscated Al-Midan and Al-Jarida after printing was completed.
- On May 7, the NISS confiscated Al-Tayar after printing was completed.
- On May 8, 10, 13, and 15, the NISS confiscated Al-Midan after printing was completed.
- On May 17, the NISS halted printing of Al-Midan.
- On May 11, 12, and 14, the NISS confiscated Al-Jarida after printing was completed.
- On May 18, the NISS confiscated Akhir Lahza from the printing press.
Every confiscated newspaper results in losses of between 10,000 and 15,000 Sudanese pounds (equivalent to US$330 and US$5,000) in printing costs, even without factoring in other operational expenses including rental of premises, wages and salaries, travel expenses, and advertisement costs. In addition, these newspapers suffer a moral blow and lose the confidence of their readership because of their repeated no-shows on newsstands–which they are unable to explain because the government bans newspapers from discussing censorship.
By confiscating newspapers, the security agency aims to cause a significant financial loss and force the newspapers either to go out of business or to comply with its instructions.
On May 15, the NISS arrested for the second time this month prominent journalist, university professor of media, and editor-in-chief of the suspended Al-Adwa newspaper Faisal Mohamed Saleh. He was interrogated at the State Security Prosecution several hours after his arrest. A police complaint was issued against him under Article 94 of the Criminal Code on resisting a law enforcement officer.
Saleh was released on bail pending further investigations, with a hearing set for June 11. Conviction under Article 94 is punishable by approximately one month of jail time and a fine.
Between April 25 and May 11, Saleh was told to appear at the security agency daily because of a statement he made on Al-Jazeera TV in which he criticized a speech by President Omar al-Bashir as escalating the language of war.
“The security personnel came to my house and my office more than once during the day and in the evening on Wednesday, April 25. I wasn’t at home,” Saleh said. “Around 8 p.m., they came to my house again and told me I was wanted by the security agency. I joined them outside and went with them to the premises of the security agency. I was questioned about my comments regarding the president’s speech in Al-Abyad City to Al-Jazeera’s 6 p.m. newscast of Thursday, April 19. There was not much to say since they already had the news bulletin recorded and I also repeated my comments to them. They told me that such comments were not fit for media and it was better to communicate them to the authorities by other means and that I should be conservative when speaking to foreign media outlets and should not talk about certain issues except to local media. They also told me that I used some inappropriate words. I replied to all that. The interrogation lasted until midnight. I was asked to come back on Thursday morning to continue the interrogation which they insisted on calling a ‘dialogue.’”
Saleh continued to report daily to the security agency premises in Khartoum North for 11 days. On the 12th day, however, he decided not to go to the security agency premises and posted his intention on local websites. The next morning, he was arrested and kept in the security agency premises for about nine hours without interrogation.
Journalists banned from writing per NISS orders
In addition to the direct censorship exercised by the NISS on newspapers and other publications, the NISS instructs management boards and editors-in-chief of newspapers to suspend certain journalists from writing. Should a newspaper not comply with NISS orders, it would face confiscation and possible suspension. Editors-in-chief report that they were instructed by the security agency not to publish the work of certain journalists or their news outlets will be closed.
At last count, the following journalists were suspended:
- Haidar al-Makashfi, editorial consultant at Al-Sahafa
- Zuhair al-Siraj, columnist at Al-Jarida
- Abdullah al-Sheikh, former editor-in-chief of multiple papers
- Abu Zar Ali al-Amin, writer at the suspended Rai Al-Shaab and at Al-Jarida
- Fayez al-Salik, Al-Jarida
- Amal Habbani, Al-Jarida
- Mujahed Abdullah, Alwan
- Essam Jafar, Alwan
- Rasha Awad, Al-Jarida
- Ashraf Abdul Aziz, Al-Jarida
- Al-Tahir Abu Jawhara, Al-Jarida
- Mohammad Mahmoud Al-Subhi, Al-Jarida
- Abdul Salam al-Qarai, Al-Jarida
Banning journalists from writing is a weapon used by the security agency to deprive journalists of their livelihoods and income in order to coerce them into obedience.
The security agency sends a daily letter to editors-in-chief in Khartoum containing a list of taboo topics. “The list of red lines is long and renewed on a daily basis,” said journalist Idris al-Douma, the managing editor of Al-Jarida. “We usually abide by the directives of the security agency and have never disregarded them. Yet, the security agency still disrupts the printing of the newspaper. We do not know the reason behind such deliberate disruption. We believe thatAl-Jarida newspaper is targeted by the security agency but we do not know why,” Al-Douma said.
Security agency censorship takes different forms, including orders communicated to the editor-in-chief or the managing editor over the phone not to publish about certain topics that the agency considers taboo.
“I received an evening phone call from the Intelligence and Security Services on Saturday, May 5,” said Madiha Abdullah, editor-in-chief of the critical Al-Midan. “They told me over the phone that the newspaper must not contain articles that criticize the performance of the security agency, the armed forces, or the police, and must not criticize the president, and that the newspaper must not discuss the situation of civil liberties and press freedoms, problems in the government of the state of Gedaref [in Eastern Sudan] or the dismissal of the governor,” she said. “Previously, they had warned against criticizing the performance of the army and the violations committed at the hands of the police, uniformed forces, and the security agency, along with a list of taboo subjects. However, we usually do not abide by these directives, as they are too numerous and restrictive and violate our right to publish and the people’s right to access information.”
Op-ed: African migrants should indeed be expelled, along with another Israeli sector
In the past, Interior Minister Eli Yishai from the Shas party already warned us that African work migrants brought to Israel diseases such as hepatitis B, measles, and AIDS.
Now, according to Minister Yishai, it turns out that they also imported to Israel various phenomena such as the rape epidemic, violence, theft, and the usage of knives for purposes other than cutting vegetables.
Indeed, some researchers insist that such criminal phenomenon have been observed in Israel even before the African crime families arrived here. However, these must be odd claims that are no less unfounded than Darwin’s evolution theory.
And as the Africans brought to Israel not only the crime virus, but are also dangerous missionaries who are plotting to convert us from Judaism to the new religion of criminality, we should all join the call issued by Minister Yishai this past week.
Indeed, we should imprison and expel from here all of these Africans. However, this should only be done on one condition.
In addition to all of these criminals, another criminally minded community must also be expelled. After all, this community’s involvement in criminal activities exceeds that of any other sector in Israel and there is no other community that made a greater contribution to rising crime here and to the process of Israel’s social deterioration.
I’m talking about the Shas party’s Knesset members.
The truth about ‘refugees’
Op-ed: African migrants threatening Israel’s future with help of leftist groups, European governments
The most enlightened thing one can do is to embrace the children whose parents infiltrated into Israel on a cold night, but the time has come to take off the masks: The three Eritreanssuspected of raping a 15-year-old girl are merely a minor prelude to what will happen here should we fail to regain our senses soon.
At this time already, some 40% of crimes in Tel Aviv are committed by these illegal aliens, and at this rate the millionth infiltrator will be arriving in Israel at some point. Did anyone say “demographic threat”?
Our pathetic desire to be enlightened is making us lose our minds. The “Israeli Children” NGO claims that Israel expels the children of foreign workers. But that’s a lie – Israel expels the parents. The children go with them.
And here’s yet another lie: The term “refugees.” These are not refugees. We are dealing with people who are seeking a better life. Even according to the relevant UN convention, refugees are only considered as such in the first state they arrive in from their country – in this case, it’s Egypt.
Leftists groups are also lying when they say that one cannot return to South Sudan because of mortal danger. South Sudan is 20 or 30 times larger than Israel. The dangerous zone there only comprises a tiny part of the land.
In Eritrea, by the way, a dictatorship rules and there is mandatory army service of 15 years. Most infiltrators are draft-dodgers; people who simply did not want to join the army. One can understand them, but this is not our problem.
High Court to the ‘rescue’
Leftist groups petitioned the High Court of Justice, which forbade Israel to return infiltrators back to Egypt shortly after they cross the border, lest they be shot. Yet this constitutes dangerous self-righteousness. Had the Egyptians shot the first five infiltrators returned to them, the 500 waiting their turn would think twice about coming here.
Yet now they have an insurance police courtesy of the High Court; they know that even if they are nabbed, Israel will protect them.
Another law that the High Court banned because of a petition by leftist groups is legislation that would forbid employers to hire infiltrators. Until a detention facility is built (the State is currently trying to build it at your expense, at a cost of hundreds of millions of shekels,) such law is illegal.
The result of this is that the infiltrators are working, and their friends in Africa who hear about it are arriving here en masse.
Do you see what’s happening here? European governments are handing over money to leftist groups that assist the infiltrators via the High Court. And what does Europe gain from this? That’s obvious. Every infiltrator who arrives here is one less infiltrator who goes there.
Bnei Brak may ‘expose’ landlords who rent out flats to Africans
City officials say landlords subdivide flats, cram refugees in them with ‘total disregard for general population’
Following the halachic ruling issued by rabbis in Bnei Brak’s Pardes Katz neighborhood according to which residents are forbidden to rent out apartments to African migrants, the municipality announced Wednesday its inspectors would work in the coming days against landlords who illegally subdivide apartments and rent them out to “many Sudanese who have arrived recently.”
Speaking to Ynet, Mayor Rabbi Yaakov Asher explained, “Police do not deal with them on grounds that they have refugee status, and this is the only way we found to tackle the phenomenon.
“We may reveal the names of landlords who rent out apartments to refugees, but not before they receive prior notice,” he said.
The City of Bnei Brak has the authority to file charges against people who subdivide apartments. A city official said the phenomenon is expanding “as many Sudanese who lived near the central bus station in Tel Aviv have left because of the police station located nearby.”
According to city officials, some landlords cram as many as 10 Sudanese refugees into the apartments and charge $100-200 from each of them.
One official said the City is considering the possibility of revealing the landlords’ names “so the public will learn the identity of those whose personal monetary interests outweigh the harm caused to the general population.
Surge in number of illegal migrants
Some 5,528 illegal migrants infiltrate Israel through southern border in first three months of 2012 in contrast to 1,742 who entered at same time last year
Some 5,528 illegal migrants infiltrated Israel through the southern border in the first three months of 2012, compared with only 1,742 illegal migrants who infiltrated Israel during the same period last year, data released by the Population and Immigration Authority revealed on Tuesday.
Over the months of January and February 2012, some 2,406 Eritreans and 848 Sudanis and 220 migrants from other countries came into the country illegally through the Egyptian border. At the same time 601 people were deported from Israel (some of which were foreign workers and not infiltrators), and 24 have had their status regularized.
In 2011 the majority of infiltrators arrived from Sudan and Eritrea, countries which by international law, Israel cannot deport people back to. Yet the most recent government decision on the matter determined that as southern Sudan has already gained independence, it is possible to deport illegal migrants from that country.
Even so, the Jerusalem District Court has accepted petitions filed on the subject and postponed the deportation to April 15. At the same time, the Foreign Ministry is seeking to delay the deportation due to new information it received on the situation in Southern Sudan.
According to Immigration Authority data, there are currently 75,000 legal foreign workers in Israel today, most of whom are employed in the nursing sector (42,653) and construction (5,221). An additional 2,225 foreign workers are employed legally as specialists in their field.
The Immigration Authority estimates that 13,885 illegal migrants are currently residing in Israel, with the majority employed in the nursing sector and 2,000 in the construction sector.
In 2011 some 34,350 illegal migrants left Israel willingly.
MK: African migrant infiltrations like in biblical times
Meeting of south Tel Aviv residents demands government action to curb flow of refugees to area. Protestor: Those who say I’m racist can go to hell in their black-free buildings and neighborhoods
Dozens south Tel Aviv’s residents gathered at the Hatikva neighborhood on Monday to protest what they referred to as the State’s failure to address the flow of African migrants to the area.
Some protestors said the refugees “chase our daughters,” while others called the Africans “beasts” and claimed they “spread diseases, drink and steal.”
The conference was held just a few days after a migrant from Eritrea allegedly murdered his pregnant wife in the neighborhood.
“Today a refugee stole the purse of an elderly woman I take care of,” neighborhood activist Pnina Cohen said. “They walk around in robes with nothing underneath and chase our daughters. This is a war we must wage, or else we’ll lose our home.”
Irna, who lives near the murdered woman’s apartment, said, “I lived in fear even before the murder. I made aliyah from Russia to this neighborhood because I like it, but I don’t leave the house at night. It’s very scary.”
Gidi Aharoni from the Kfar Shalem neighborhood said, “They spread disease and mingle with our children; they drink and steal. Those who say I’m racist can go to hell in their black-free buildings and neighborhoods. “
City Council member Shlomi Maslawi (Likud) said, “Demographically speaking, they have already surpassed us, and we have become the minority in our own neighborhood. This is a national problem. They take away our housing, jobs and receive welfare at our expense. We demand that the government reinstate the ‘Gedera-Hadera policy’ and scatter them across the periphery.”
Knesset Member Michael Ben-Ari (National Union), who was accompanied by extreme rightist Baruch Marzel, told the meeting that the infiltration of African migrants through the Egyptian border is akin to the “Midianite raids on Israel in biblical times.
“They too arrived from Sinai, with their large numbers as their weapon. They also stole,” he said.
The MK criticized fellow lawmakers “who are afraid to speak their minds for fear of being accused of racism.
“People mention Iran and the Palestinians as being the main threats to Israel, but here there is a tangible danger, and the Cabinet is not convening to try and find a solution,” Ben-Ari added.
TA man suspected of torching migrant homes
Police say evidence links Shapira neighborhood resident to recent firebomb attack on homes of African refugees
Police arrested a 20-year-old resident of Tel Aviv on suspicion of throwing Molotov cocktails at the homes of asylum-seeking migrants in the city’s Shapira neighborhood, Ynet reported Sunday.
Firebombs were hurled overnight Friday at four homes in which African migrants reside and towards another apartment which also serves as a kindergarten. No injuries were reported, but the structures were damaged.
Activists protest violence directed at migrants (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Investigators have gathered forensic evidence that allegedly links the suspect to the crime. Police are still trying to determine whether the suspect had any accomplices.
Following the incident, some 200 social activists held a rally in the Shapira neighborhood on Friday in support of the migrants. “It was just a matter of time,” said Orit Marom of the Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel. “The incitement against asylum-seekers is terrible. Israelis spit at them on the street.”
Dori, a neighborhood resident, said that while she is against hurling firebombs, it is the migrants who usually instigate the violence. “We are afraid to walk the streets or send our children to the park alone,” she said.
Another Shapira resident said: “We are not a sewer in which all the refugees are thrown into. They should be scattered all over the country. Let us live.”