Posts Tagged ‘omar hassan’


Last night, I had a dream

In my dream,

President Kiir visits his ailing partner,

President Omar Hassan Bashir

Bashir contracted diarrhea,

A chronic diarrhea

Coz he drank unclean water from river Nile

He couldn’t afford bottled water

He is broke

Oil production got shutdown by Kiir

Bashir ekes out

Handouts from Arab League

After Kiir gave him emotional and moral strength,

He asks him what his say is

In regards to the outstanding CPA issues;

The Abyei,

Border issues,

Oil transit fees,

And nationality question

Before answering Kiir,

He gets up,

Runs to the toilet

Spends half an hour in there

He comes back,

Stands by the door,

And breathes heavily

It’s here Kiir sees his full body frame

Silhouetting in an ankle-length loose white Jalabia

The beer-belly he acquired

Through South Sudan oil money shrinks;

It’s disappearing

His ribs protrude

Kiir counts them

They’re ten

Two of them got surgically removed

After he got shot by Kerubino Kuanyin Bol

During a one-on-one meeting somewhere in Omdurman

In the 90s,

An incident that went unreported for fear of

Grand official butchering of reporters

Along with their families

“I beg your pardon, repeat your question,

Ya baba Mayar”, he asks Kiir

Before Kiir finishes shooting the same question for the second time,

Bashir dashes into the toilet again,

Leaving Kiir seething with rage;



Kiir plunges into a sea of thoughts,

Trying to figure out how

 He will make bashir speak his language

Bashir comes back,

Holding a small bluish container

For keeping water used in place of toilet roll

He fills it up with water from an old pot

And places it near the door

He sits on an old mat

Made from reeds

People say his wife got the mat from a neighbor

Immediately after auctioneers

Stormed in Bashir’s house

 And confiscated the furniture;

They were sent by the landlord

Who grew impatient

After Bashir failed to pay February rent

Back to the point:

Bashir begins to respond to Kiir

He starts off by telling Kiir to go to hell

Coz he ain’t letting any other thing

Slip through his fingers

 Since he allowed south to go it alone as

An independent state through the 2011 referendum

Kiir begs him to reduce oil transit fee demand;

From $36 to 40 cents per barrel

Kiir also implores him to leave Abyei alone

But still, Bashir insists that Kiir goes to hell

And races to the toilet again

He spends his good time in there

Provoked by Bashir’s attitude,

Kiir grows smarter

He hatches a plan

And waits till Bashir comes back

Salva says he wants to use the toilet

Bashir directs Kiir:

“Go straight on; turn left, turn left again.

It’s the one with

 A green door next to the gate”

Salva leaves, taking along the Citizen Newspaper

He takes his time in there

Ten minutes elapse,

Still no sign of Kiir

Now the worst happens

Bashir gets pressed again;

Remember he has a running stomach

He rushes toward the toilet, the only toilet

Only to find it locked from inside

Salva is in, reading the newspaper

Atlala bara ya Salva. Ena taban

What are you doing in there?”

Bashir panics

But Kiir keeps mum

“Knock knock knock”

He knocks, he pushes the door

Kiir whistles

As he turns pages of the newspaper,

He scans through the stories

Pretending to find an interesting story to read

Finally, Kiir breaks the silence:

 “What do you think of my proposals?”

Bashir says they will discuss the issues back in the house

Kiir declines

And keeps reading the paper

Bashir begs Kiir, saying

“Please get out; I will sponsor 100 south Sudanese university students”

Kiir says thanks but that’s not what I want

With his left hand patting buttocks

And the right hand on the stomach;

Bashir begins to talk: “okay okay okay okay,

I’m proposing a meeting with you, just two us.

And it will be mediated by Obama himself”

Kiir resumes whistling

“Kiir please let me use the latrine,

Don’t let me do it in my pants

Kiir you are causing a scene;

My wives kids are milling around

And I can see my neighbors peering

I’ll do anything you want me to.

I will return all the barrels I confiscated,

 I’ve given up Abyei. I…….


My mobile phone rang,

Waking me from the dream

By: Tears Ayuen

Skilled workers are seen sitting behind power tools as they wait for customers at a market in Khartoum, January 7, 2012. REUTERS-Mohamed Nureldin
A skilled worker is seen sitting behind tools as he waits for customers at a market in Khartoum, January 7, 2012. REUTERS-Mohamed Nureldin

1 of 2. Skilled workers are seen sitting behind power tools as they wait for customers at a market in Khartoum, January 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin

By Ulf Laessing and Alexander Dziadosz

KHARTOUM | Wed Feb 8, 2012 2:08pm GMT

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – A few weeks ago, a leading opposition activist sat down in a downtown Khartoum office to talk to a journalist. The young man immediately removed the battery from his cellphone.

“It’s so they can’t trace you,” he said, placing the battery and the phone on the table. “Any one of the security agencies spread throughout the country can arrest you.”

New to Forex?
New to Forex?
Four simple steps to making your first forex trade
Click Here Now

Despite that danger, the activist, from an underground group called “Change Now,” said he was convinced Sudan is on the brink of its own Arab Spring uprising.

Hard times and growing frustration with the two-decades-old government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir have sparked small protests in Khartoum and other university cities in the Arab-African state.

The demonstrations are still tiny compared with those that shook Egypt and Libya. Sometimes about 30 people show up, hold banners denouncing the government for a couple of minutes, and then melt away before security agents arrive. But the demonstrations have become more frequent in the past few months and the question is, could they lead to something bigger?

The main economic challenge is plain. When South Sudan seceded from the north last year, Khartoum lost about three-quarters of its oil, the main source of state revenues and hard currency. The Sudanese pound has slumped by as much as 70 percent below the official rate. Annual inflation is at 18 percent as the cost of food imports has shot up. Wars against insurgencies in different parts of the still-vast country have also soaked up government funds.

In 1985, protests against food inflation toppled President Jaafar Nimeiri in some 10 days. But the government in Khartoum today says the economy is not nearly as bad as it was in the 1980s, when people had to queue for days to get rationed petrol or food. Sudan, it says, will not follow Egypt or Tunisia.

Rabie Abdelati, a senior official in the information ministry and Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP), said that the economy was much better than in 1989 when Bashir came to power.

“The situation at that time was very terrible,” he said. “The government has the ability to overcome all obstacles.”

A relaxed-looking Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, spoke on state television for almost two hours last week to assure the population that the economic situation was under control.

“We have a 3-year economic program (but) this year will be the most difficult,” the president said.


On the surface, life in the capital looks normal. Construction cranes loom on the banks of the Nile, working on new buildings and roads. The city bustles with foreign workers, maids and hotel staff.

But there are sporadic signs that public anger is rising.

In the last week of December, authorities temporarily closed the University of Khartoum after villagers displaced by a huge hydro-electric dam staged a protest, inspiring a week of some of the biggest student demonstrations in years. Weeks later, the spray-painted graffiti calling for “revolution” still covered a few walls near the university.

“Most people didn’t care about the first demonstration as we were all in exams mode,” said a female computer technology student who took part.

But when police came to the dormitories one night to detain some students, “it turned into a protest not just against the dam but against poverty, inflation and the bad situation for students,” said the woman, playing with her blue head scarf.

“It was like anger erupted,” she added. “Now they want to punish us by closing the university, but it will make things worse. We don’t get jobs after graduation. Life is so expensive, people are very angry.”

Abdelati, the information ministry official, said the protests were small and the university would reopen shortly.


Sitting in front of a small metal workshop in downtown Khartoum, Sudanese construction worker Fateh Totu takes his time to recall when he last worked for longer than a week. At the moment he gets jobs for a couple of days, with sometimes a week in between.

“Three, four years ago life was much better. The country was in good shape. Construction work was good,” Totu said, drawing nods from fellow workers sitting on small plastic chairs along a dusty road.

South Sudan’s independence deprived Sudan – a country of 32 million people – of around 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) of the roughly 500,000 it pumped. Since then, oil exports, which made up 90 percent of Sudan’s total exports, have fallen to zero.

The remaining output in the north of around 115,000 bpd serves only domestic consumption.

Industry insiders doubt significant new reserves will be found. But Azhari Abdallah, a senior oil official, said production would rise this year to 180,000 bpd, helped by more efficient technology and recovery rates.

Other officials are less optimistic. Central bank governor Mohamed Kheir al-Zubeir has asked fellow Arab countries to deposit $4 billion (2 billion pounds) with the central bank and commercial lenders to stabilise the economy. Finance Minister Ali Mahmoud said in September Sudan might need $1.5 billion in foreign aid annually.

“The state spends a vast proportion of available resources on the security services. With three conflicts ongoing, the military’s claim on the national treasury is only growing,” said Aly Verjee, an analyst at the Rift Valley Institute. “While some austerity measures have been implemented, there is a general unwillingness in the government to take any step that might lead to popular discontent.”

Landlocked South Sudan must pump its oil through Sudan to the Red Sea. Northern officials hope the transit fees they charges will help. But a deal has been elusive – oil analysts say Khartoum has demanded a transit fee more than 10 times the international standard – and the breakaway state has so far refused to pay.

Khartoum has seized oil awaiting shipment to compensate for what it argues are unpaid fees. Industry sources say the north has sold at least one shipment of southern oil. In protest, South Sudan has shut down production.


How to find new revenues? Khartoum expects to have exported $3 billion of gold in 2011 plus another $1 billion of other minerals. Mining workers say the real figures are less than a third of that.

“Only 7 of the 70 projected tonnes of gold output for 2011 come from regular mines,” said a foreign mining executive who declined to be named. “The rest is produced by gold seekers whose output is very hard to verify, and often ends up being smuggled abroad.”

The government predicts 2 percent growth in 2012 but the International Monetary Fund (IMF) thinks the economy will contract. A senior Sudanese analyst with ties to the government says food inflation is much higher than the official figure. Prices for meat, sugar, vegetable oil and other staples are doubling every year, according to the analyst, who asked not to be named.

Customs officials at Khartoum airport now search almost every piece of luggage brought into the country, hoping to find a laptop or other electric device on which they can charge duties.

Khartoum had long known the South would secede, but did little to diversify its economy away from oil, bankers say. Just days after South Sudan became independent last July, Sudan’s parliament, which is controlled by Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP), passed a budget predicting stable oil revenues.

“They just thought it would continue like that,” said a senior banker in Khartoum who declined to be named. “That’s why I doubt they now have a plan to turn the economy around.”

Harry Verhoeven, a researcher at the University of Oxford who has studied Sudan extensively, said Khartoum had used its oil revenues for large, expensive projects such as the Merowe dam that sparked December’s protest.


Since the united States imposed a trade embargo on Sudan in 1997, most Western firms have shunned the country. The ongoing domestic insurgencies and the International Criminal Court’s indictment of Bashir mean that’s unlikely to end any time soon.

That leaves Khartoum reliant on China, its biggest trading partner, and Gulf Arab states. But no substantial aid or loans have been announced yet apart from small development programs.

At an Arab investment conference in December, prominent Saudi businessman Sheikh Saleh Kamal slammed Sudan’s taxation, investment, land and work laws.

“I said it already in the ’90s but I repeat it again since nothing has changed,” said Kamal, head of Islamic lender Al-Baraka Banking Group and the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “The investment climate in Sudan does not help to attract any investments.”


Despite the growing problems, organising protests isn’t easy. Power cuts, unreliable cell phone networks and low internet usage make it hard to mobilise people through Facebook or Twitter as happened in Egypt.

Activists are trying to link up with groups such as the people displaced by the Merowe dam, or poor farmers.

Many are frustrated with the inconsistent and ineffectual opposition parties, most of which are run by former rulers in their 70s. Activists say the main opposition party, the Umma Party, is unwilling to call for mass protests. The party’s veteran chairman Sadeq al-Mahdi recently said he wanted the president to go. But his son just became a presidential assistant in Bashir’s office. The leaders of another big opposition party have decided to join the government.

For the female computer technology student, the only way is out.

“I’m just tired of Sudanese politics. I think there will be a revolution, but nothing will change. We will have the same people,” she said.

“I just want to leave Sudan. I don’t see any job prospects here. I think 90 percent of students want to leave Sudan.”

(Writing by Ulf Laessing; additional reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Editing by Simon Robinson and Sara Ledwith)

Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said tensions with South Sudan over oil transit payments could lead to war between the two countries during an interview with state TV, in Khartoum, February 3, 2012.

Photo: Reuters
Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said tensions with South Sudan over oil transit payments could lead to war between the two countries during an interview with state TV, in Khartoum, February 3, 2012.

A deepening oil dispute between South Sudan and Sudan has raised hostility to a point where leaders of both countries have suggested there is the strong possibility of a conflict.

Last week, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, speaking on national television, said his country is closer to war than to peace with South Sudan without progress on an oil deal.

His comments followed similar remarks from South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, who has warned that fighting could erupt if Sudan does not meet the south’s terms.

Dispute over pipeline transit fees

The dispute stems from South Sudan’s use of Sudan’s pipelines to transport its oil abroad. The south began shutting down its oil fields last month after accusing the north of stealing $815 million worth of southern-produced oil. Khartoum said it confiscated the oil to compensate for unpaid transit fees.

Asked about the possibility that the dispute could lead to war, South Sudanese Deputy Defense Minister Majak D’Agoot told VOA that Sudan already launched the first attack.

“Isn’t it an aggression? How could an independent state be obligated to share its resources with another country? Where does it happen?  Is it that some external force or some former colonial master is trying to continue to exercise hegemony and control over the people of South Sudan and their resources? What could be the basis for that?” asked D’Agoot.

The north and south fought a 21-year war when Sudan was a unified nation, and the sides skirmished as recently as last May in the disputed, oil-rich Abyei region.

Old scores remain unsettled

Before the current oil shutdown, South Sudan was producing about 350,000 barrels of oil per day. But without refining capacity or a port to ship it from, the landlocked country relies on pipelines that extend through the north to reach international markets.

Khartoum is seeking revenue to replace the estimated $7 billion it lost with South Sudan’s separation, in which the South took three-quarters of Sudan’s oil production.

In addition to the oil dispute, the two nations also have failed to reach a final agreement on the final demarcation of the border.

D’Agoot said the Defense Ministry is working on turning the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army [SPLA], a former rebel force, into a more formal, standing army to face future threats.

“Anything that stands in the way of securing the security of our natural resources, securing ourselves, securing our people, securing our land, it stands to be a source of threat,” said D’Agoot. “I don’t want to pinpoint it to any particular source, but anything that tends to threaten our core interests as a nation of course will have to be responded to.”

While D’Agoot did not want to pinpoint which nation poses the biggest threat to South Sudan’s sovereignty – outside his office, in the middle of the military base – a statue of the former SPLA General John Garang points firmly toward the north.
Related Articles

The war of words between the recently-divided two Sudanese nations is escalating – with the President of Sudan saying war with the south is a ‘possibility’.

During an interview on state television, Omar Hassan al-Bashir insisted he wanted peace, but would go to war ‘if forced to’.

A dispute between the two countries over oil has been rumbling on for months.

Landlocked South Sudan has all the precious resource, but Sudan in the north has the ports and part of the pipeline passing through it.

The row is over fees Sudan believes it should be paid.

As the two have failed to agree a sum, Sudan has seized some of the oil in transit and detained some tankers during the export process.

South Sudan is accusing its northern neighbour of stealing 66 million euros worth of oil and stopped all production last weekend – affecting foreign companies. However, analysts predict the stoppage can not last more than five months.

Sudanese president: We are close to war with South Sudan

By JPOST.COM STAFF02/04/2012 07:23
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir warned Friday that his country is close to going to war against South Sudan, according to an AFP report.”The climate now is closer to a climate of war than one of peace,” said Bashir on national television.

Tension has been rising between the two countries since Sudan seized a shipment of 1.7 million barrels of South Sudanese oil.. In response to the move, South Sudan halted oil exports, which usually pass through Sudan, earning that country a substantial amount of money in taxes.

The countries are also locked in a border dispute over the oil-rich Abyei region, which both claim as their own sovereign territory.

Sudan’s Bashir says tensions with South could spark war
Fri Feb 3, 2012 8:50pm GMT

By Khalid Abdelaziz and Ulf Laessing

KHARTOUM Feb 3 (Reuters) – Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Friday tensions with South Sudan over oil transit payments could lead to war between the two countries.

Asked in an interview with state television whether war could break out with South Sudan, Bashir said: “There is a possibility.”

He said Sudan wanted peace but added: “We will go to war if we are forced to go to war.”

“If there will be war after the loss of oil it will be a war of attrition. But it will be a war of attrition hitting them before us,” he said.

South Sudan took away much of Sudan’s oil production when it split away from Khartoum as an independent country in July. Oil is the lifeline of both economies.

The landlocked South still needs to export its crude through the north’s port and pipelines. But the two countries went their separate ways without agreeing how much South Sudan was going to pay Sudan to use its oil infrastructure.

The crisis came to a head when Khartoum said in January it had seized some southern oil as compensation for unpaid fees. South Sudan responded by shutting down oil production.

Bashir accused Juba of shutting down the oil flow to provoke a collapse of the Sudanese government. Khartoum has been fighting an economic crisis since the loss of southern oil, sparking small protests against high food prices and corruption.

Bashir said it was clear Juba did not want to reach an oil deal after his southern counterpart Salva Kiir had refused to sign during a meeting with him a proposal made by the African Union in Addis Ababa last week.

“They (the South) didn’t sign and they will not sign,” Bashir said, adding that Khartoum was entitled to 74,000 barrels of day of southern oil. Juba pumped 350,000 bpd prior to the shutdown.

“This is our right,” he said.

There was no immediate comment from Juba. Kiir said on Thursday he had rejected the deal in Addis Ababa because it would have required the South to pay billions of dollars to Khartoum and keep exporting crude through Sudan.

South Sudan wants to develop an alternative pipeline to Kenya to bypass Sudan’s facilities but oil insiders are sceptical the project is viable.


Bashir said the economic situation was difficult for Sudan this year but the country would boost current oil production of 115,000 bpd by 75,000 bpd. Sudan’s current output serves only domestic consumption.

Bashir said Sudan would also export gold worth $2.5 billion this year and expand the agricultural sector to compensate for the loss of oil. Experts have expressed doubts that raising gold exports and other plans to diversify the economy will offset the loss of oil revenues of $5 billion booked in 2010.

They say economic diversification has been hampered for years by corruption, misplanning and a U.S. embargo in place since 1997 for hosting militants such as Osama bin Laden in the past.

Apart from oil, the north and south also need to mark the 1,900 km (1,200 miles) long border and find a solution for the disputed region of Abyei. Khartoum also wants Juba to share Sudan’s external debt of $38 billion.

Both countries regularly trade accusations of supporting rebels on each other’s territory.

To read an analytical story about the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan double click on: (Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Khalid Abdelaziz)

Thu Feb 2, 2012 12:23pm EST

* Transit row worsening as countries try to disentangle oil industries

* South Sudan took three-quarters of oil when became independent

* Needs to pay for using pipelines and Port Sudan

JUBA, Feb 2 (Reuters) – President Salva Kiir said on Thursday South Sudan wants to end a row with Sudan over oil transit payments but has rejected a proposal requiring Juba to pay billions of dollars and keep exporting crude through the neighbouring country.

The two neighbours are locked in a worsening row over disentangling their oil industries after the South split from Sudan and became independent in July, following decades of civil war that ended with a peace deal in 2005.

The landlocked new nation took three-quarters of the oil production – the lifeblood of both economies – but needs to pay for using northern pipelines and the Red Sea port of Port Sudan.

Tension rose when Sudan said last month it started seizing southern oil as compensation for what it called unpaid pipeline transit fees. South Sudan responded last week by shutting down its entire output of 350,000 barrels a day.

On Friday, Kiir met Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on the sidelines of an African Union (AU) summit to discuss oil but failed to reach a deal.

Kiir said he had rejected at the meeting a draft agreement by the AU because it would have required Juba to keep selling oil from some fields through Sudan’s export facilities.

“It is difficult for me to accept a deal that leaves our people vulnerable, dependent and paying billions they do not owe,” Kiir said, according to the text of his speech published by the government.


The agreement would also have required South Sudan to supply 35,000 barrels a day to Sudan’s refineries, he said.

The value of the oil would be deducted from payments of $5.4 billion South Sudan also would have to make under the proposal to help Sudan cope with the loss of southern oil.

Kiir said the agreement had also not covered other conflicts such as marking the joint border and finding a solution for the disputed region of Abyei.

“I want to be clear that the Republic of South Sudan is committed to continue negotiations but we would also be wise to pursue efforts to enhance our economic self-sufficiency, prosperity and national security should we not find common ground with Khartoum for now,” he said.

South Sudan said last month it would build an alternative pipeline to Kenya within eleven months to end dependency on Sudan’s facilities.

But analysts are sceptical the project will take off because it would have to cross rough terrain and may not be viable.

Sudan accused South Sudan on Wednesday of being “hostile” towards Khartoum in the oil talks. (Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Sophie Hares)

South Sudan’s Leader Rejects AU Proposal for Oil Deal With Sudan

By Jared Ferrie – Feb 2, 2012 9:24 AM ET

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said he rejected an African Union proposal to end an oil dispute with Sudan because it required the south to pay the north billions of dollars and use its pipelines to export crude.

Kiir, who held African Union-mediated talks with Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir on Jan. 27 in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, said the proposal required South Sudan to ship crude from certain oil fields through Sudan’s pipelines to the Red Sea.

“It is difficult for me to accept a deal that leaves our people vulnerable, dependent and paying billions they do not owe,” Kiir told reporters today in Juba, the capital. “This is an attempt to ensure that we do not build our own pipelines.”

South Sudan took control of about three-quarters of Sudan’s output of 490,000 barrels of oil a day when it gained independence in July. The crude is pumped mainly by China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPZ), Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. and India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd.

South Sudan completed a shutdown of oil production on Jan. 26 after accusing government in Khartoum of diverting oil to its refinery, forcing companies to load crude onto ships it controlled, and blockading other shipments. Sudan said it confiscated oil to cover unpaid bills.

South Sudan signed a memorandum of understanding with Kenya on Jan. 24 to build a pipeline to the Kenyan port of Lamu.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jared Ferrie in Juba, South Sudan

South Sudanese refugees must leave Israel
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
JERUSALEM (JTA) — South Sudan nationals living in Israel will have two months to return to their home country or face deportation, Israel’s Interior Ministry said. Since South Sudan became an independent nation in July, refugees from the area no 

Ethnic Militarization: The Privatization of War in South Sudan
New Sudan Vision
Although what constitutes a war is still quite controversial—not as defined by its magnitude, but as typified or gauged by the number of casualties—widespread tribal conflicts, such as those for whichSouth Sudan is now infamously known for, can, 

Help Arrives For The Survivors Of Violence In South Sudan
A spate of violence in South Sudan’s Jonglei State has driven thousands of people from their homes and into the bush, where they survived on what they could find. WFP has reachd 80000 people in the region with emergency food rations and is working with 

South Sudan’s Leader Rejects AU Proposal for Oil Deal With Sudan
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said he rejected an African Union proposal to end an oil dispute with Sudan because it required the south to pay the north billions of dollars and use its pipelines to export crude.

South Sudan
 wants more talks to end oil transit row

Transit row worsening as countries try to disentangle oil industries * South Sudan took three-quarters of oil when became independent * Needs to pay for using pipelines and Port Sudan JUBA, Feb 2 (Reuters) – President Salva Kiir said on Thursday South 

UN official Valerie Amos warns of looming crisis in South Sudan
Los Angeles Times
REPORTING FROM JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN — The world’s newest nation, South Sudan, faces a devastating humanitarian crisis that could grow worse as people flee a border conflict with Sudan, the United Nations’ emergency relief coordinator warned Thursday.

JobsVehicle Fleet Manager – South Sudan (fixed term, 5-6 months)
Reuters AlertNet
Since starting in 1998, MAG’s programme in South Sudan has grown rapidly into one of our largest programmes globally. MAG South Sudan is undertaking a wide range of mine action initiatives and currently has humanitarian mine action projects operating 

COLUMN: Sudan and Congo savaged as world shrugs
Delmarva Now
Policymakers pin their hopes on the separation of South Sudan from the main part of the country in 2011 and recent elections in Congo as signs of progress. But this is pure hopefulness, not policy. The two Sudans are in active dispute over several 
China to ask South Sudan for help on kidnapped workers: report
BEIJING (Reuters) – China will press South Sudan for help in securing the release of 29 Chinese workers held captive for five days and may appeal to the African Union and other parties to mediate in negotiations, state media reported on Thursday.

South Sudanese distressed by looming deportations
Jerusalem Post
By BEN HARTMAN 02/02/2012 05:18 By Ben Hartman Members of the South Sudanesecommunity in Israel on Wednesday expressed anger and confusion at the government decision announced a day earlier, which will require the entire community to leave Israel by 

South Sudan army deserter arrested in Rumbek on charge of killing businessman
Sudan Tribune
February 1, 2012 (BOR) – Authorities in Lakes State have captured a South Sudanese army deserter suspected of killing a Ugandan businessman in the state’s capital, Rumbek, on Wednesday. The soldier, Pabek Mackuac, was a member of division five in the 

KHARTOUM | Wed Feb 1, 2012 1:37pm EST

Feb 1 (Reuters) – Sudan, stepping up its rhetoric, accused South Sudan of “hostility” in their row over oil transit fees and said it would hold Juba responsible for any attack on northern oil facilities, a state-linked news website said on Wednesday.

The two neighbours are locked in a worsening row over disentangling their oil industries after the South split from Sudan and became independent in July, following decades of civil war that ended with a peace deal in 2005.

The landlocked new nation took three-quarters of the oil production – the lifeline of both economies – but needs to pay for using northern export facilities and the Red Sea port of Port Sudan.

Tension rose when Sudan said last month it started seizing southern oil at Port Sudan as compensation for what it called unpaid pipeline transit fees. Juba, the southern capital, responded last week by shutting down its entire output of 350,000 barrels a day.

The African Union has been trying to broker a deal but a meeting between Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his southern counterpart Salva Kiir failed last week. More talks are scheduled for next week.

The Sudanese negotiation team said South Sudan had not been ready to reach a fair deal at the latest round of talks in Addis Ababa, the state-linked Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) said, citing a statement issued by the delegation after its return.

“The Government of Sudan … called on the southern government to review its hostile leaning towards Sudan,” the SMC said, adding that Sudan remained ready to continue talks in “good faith.”

Sudan also again accused Juba of supporting rebels in the main northern border state of South Kordofan, the SMC said.

“The Government of Sudan will hold the government of South Sudan responsible for any attempt to target or sabotage oil fields, facilities and oil infrastructure,” SMC said, without elaborating.

There was no immediate reaction from Juba. South Kordofan is home to much of Sudan’s remaining oil industry after the split.

Fighting broke out in June between the Sudanese army and rebels of the SPLM-North, and clashes spread to Blue Nile in September. Both states border South Sudan.

Blue Nile and South Kordofan contain large groups who sided with the south in the civil war, and who say they have continued to face persecution inside Sudan since South Sudan seceded.

The SPLM is now the ruling party in the independent south and denies supporting SPLM-North rebels across the border.

Events in South Kordofan and Blue Nile are difficult to verify because aid groups and foreign journalists are banned from areas where fighting takes place.

SPLM-North is one of a number of rebel movements in underdeveloped border areas who say they are fighting to overthrow Bashir and end what they see as the dominance of the Khartoum political elite.

The fighting has already forced about 417,000 people to flee their homes, more than 80,000 of them to newly independent South Sudan, according to the United Nations. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Khalid Abdelaziz; editing by Tim Pearce)

South Sudan lists demands in oil row with north

Al Jazeera – ‎Jan 31, 2012‎
The United States has called on Sudan and South Sudan to end their dispute over oil transit fees. Sudan has released four oil tankers that belongs to the south as a gesture of good will. But the government of South Sudan, which halted its oil 

New York, January 18, 2012–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Sudan’s routine use of newspaper closures as a means to censor critical reporting. Over two weeks, the authorities have shut down and confiscated the assets of two daily newspapers.”Khartoum has consistently used newspaper confiscations and closures to silence critical voices,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “The government must immediately halt this practice of repression and return all confiscated assets.”The National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) shut down the private daily Alwanon Friday, Reuters reported. Editor-in-Chief Hussein Khawjali told the news agency that the NISS called and informed him of its decision to close the paper and seize its assets. The decision came a day after the NISS raided the newspaper’s office and confiscated copies of its January 12 print run, according to local news reports. Authorities did not provide a reason for the closure, but Alwan had published several articles in support of Hassan al-Turabi, the head of the opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) which publishes the daily Rai al-Shaab, which was shut down two weeks earlier.On January 2, the NISS called Rai-al-Shaab Editor-in-Chief Al-Tayib Ibrahim Issa to inform him of its decision to shut down the newspaper and seize its property, international media reported.  NISS told Issa to inform his staff to clear all personal belongings, Al-Jazeera said. That action came a day after security forces raided Rai al-Shaab‘s office and confiscated its January 1 print run, Al-Jazeera said.

Authorities did not provide Rai al-Shaab with a reason for the closure, but the head of NISS told the local press that the newspaper was being shut down for its lack of professionalism and “violations” it had committed. Al-Turabi, once the justice minister and foreign minister, is a leading critic of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. He has spent several years in prison or under house arrest. Rai al-Shaab, his party’s newspaper, has been a frequent target of censorship, CPJ research shows. It was previously shut downand three of its journalists arrested in May 2010. The paper had resumed publishing for only a few months before the latest closure.

In 2011, authorities carried out at least 19 confiscations of newspaper print runs, CPJ research shows. Despite the frequent actions taken against newspapers, Sudan continues to have a vibrant independent print media.

CPJ is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization
that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide.

Mohamed Abdel Dayem
m.abdel.dayem@cpj.orgDahlia El-Zein: