Archive for September 1, 2011

Egypt seeks clarification on location of South Sudan’s embassy in Israel

Posted: September 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

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Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is planning to contact South Sudan’s government to verify earlier press reports that the latter has chosen Jerusalem as the location of its new embassy in Israel.

Earlier press reports had said that South Sudan’s president, Silva Kiir had decided to locate its embassy in Jerusalem. However, Nasr al-Din Kosheib, Egypt and Middle East representative for the Sudan’s People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), voiced skepticism about the reports, suggesting that South Sudan’s relations with Israel would not be at the expense of its relations with Arab states.

Meanwhile, South Sudan’s foreign minister, Deng Alor, said his country’s government would locate its embassy in Tel Aviv, and would name its ambassador to Israel within days.

"Media outlets tend to exaggerate statements sometimes," Kosheib told Al-Masry Al-Youm. An official Arab source at the Arab League, meanwhile, said he had no knowledge of Kiir’s alleged statements.

Khartoum’s government voiced its concerns over the escalating normalization of ties between South Sudan and Israel, saying that such relations would "destabilize Sudan."

Spokesperson for the Sudanese government, al-Obeid Meruh, said on Thursday that the SPLM had been enjoying Israel’s assistance in curbing what he called "Arab and Islamic expansion."

Hany Raslan, the head of the Sudanese studies unit at the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, said that if South Sudan were to choose Jerusalem as the site of its embassy, the move would strengthen the strategic alliance between Israel and the newly created African nation.

Kiir’s statements, circulated by world media outlets, came only two months after the declaration of the state of South Sudan, prompting speculation on whether the new nation would seek to cooperate with Israel as part of a strategy of defense against the Arab north and its allies in the Arab region.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

The Republic of Sudan: Crisis Within

Posted: September 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By: Arjun Sethi

Litigation associate, Covington & Burling LLP

The Republic of Sudan’s recent decision to permit UN relief agencies into South Kordofan for a humanitarian assessment is a smokescreen. The international community must demand more, including unfettered humanitarian access to the region as well as an independent investigation into accusations that the ruling National Congress Party and its military wing committed war crimes and crimes against humanity against South Kordofan’s Nuba population.

Lost in the international celebration accompanying the formal secession of the Republic of South Sudan is the human tragedy unfolding just across the border in South Kordofan, a state in the North.

The violence stems from years of repression experienced by the Nuba, the largest ethnic group in South Kordofan. Khartoum historically discriminated against the Nuba, prompting them to align with Southerners and their revolutionary party, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement, during Sudan’s civil war. Under the January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Nuba were promised a free election, followed by a consultation with their elected leaders. This was supposed to be a channel for them to raise grievances and discuss their political future.

After years of delay, South Kordofan’s gubernatorial election was held in May amid political tensions between the NCP and SPLM.

Violence quickly erupted. Soon the UN mission reported that the NCP’s military wing had committed major human rights atrocities against the Nuba, including targeted killings, attacks on churches and dwellings and indiscriminate aerial bombardments.

The report also referred to a "list" of Nuba wanted for being sympathetic to the SPLM. My client, Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail, who is responsible for all Episcopal parishioners in South Kordofan, is believed to be on this list. He was in the United States when the violence began and he remains under our protection as he applies for political asylum.

The UNHCR corroborated the UN mission’s findings earlier this month.

That violence began to flare in South Kordofan just prior to the creation of the Republic of South Sudan is not particularly surprising. What is surprising is the lack of international attention to protect the people of South Kordofan.

The humanitarian assessment currently underway is at best futile or at worse a distraction. The UN agencies are working under local supervision and do not have unfettered access to the region. Moreover, the government is still banning free access to humanitarian aid and has threatened to shoot down UN flights over South Kordofan. Likewise, the recommendations of the UN agencies could be mitigated or perhaps even vetoed by a Sudanese government task force specifically created to monitor the crisis.

This is to say nothing of the human rights crisis in South Kordofan. Khartoum’s UN envoy has suggested that the decision to allow the humanitarian assessment disproves the human right abuse allegations. The international community should ignore this self-serving rhetoric and, in addition to demanding unfettered humanitarian access, must demand access to preserve evidence of human rights abuses and vow to prosecute those responsible for the abuses.

Secession may be an appropriate tool to address ethnic, religious or political disenfranchisement with a central government. But it must be accompanied by durable measures to protect minority communities who are abandoned on the other side of the border. Here, the 2005 peace agreement and its lackluster provisions concerning popular consultations were never enough to protect the Nuba.

A focus on succession and borders can also unwittingly exacerbate extremist elements. This appears to be happening in the Republic of Sudan, where some are calling for a "purified" Republic consisting exclusively of Arab Muslims.

The crisis in South Kordofan is far from over. Both President Bashir, and the NCP governor of South Kordofan, Ahmed Mohammed Haroun, have a proven track record of human rights abuses. Both men were previously indicted by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and some analysts have suggested that the violence in South Kordofan parallels the violence that characterized the early days of Darfur, a campaign masterminded by Haroun. In addition, the violence in South Kordofan has disrupted the planting season which may lead to a deadly famine in the coming months.

Khartoum can no longer be permitted to act with impunity. The international community must respond strongly to facilitate an end to this crisis by demanding unobstructed humanitarian and human rights access to South Kordofan.

Arjun Sethi is an attorney at Covington & Burling LLP and currently serves as counsel to Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail. Bishop Andudu is the Episcopal Bishop for South Kordofan, Sudan and also serves as the Sudanese Episcopal Church’s National Chairman of Interfaith. With Arjun’s assistance, Bishop Andudu is applying for political asylum in the United States because of the crisis currently unfolding in South Kordofan.

Dr. Majak Agoot Atem, the Deputy defence minister, may not accept position

Posted: September 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

August 31, 2011 (BOR)The newly appointed deputy minister of defence and veteran affairs, Majak Agot Atem, has declined to say whether he will take up his position in South Sudan’s first independent government.

Atem told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday that he did not want to comment publicly on issue.

A source in Juba told Sudan Tribune that Atem had declined the position because he is overqualified to be a deputy minister. The Southern figure has a doctorate, holds the rank of Lieutenant General, actively participated in the civil war as well as the negotiating of the peace deal that led to South Sudan’s independence in July.

Sudan Tribune has been informed that Atem was called by elders and members of greater Bor community in Juba to try to persuade him to take up the offer. Atem, reportedly told them that he would consult his family before he declares his final position.

New ministers and deputies are expected to take their oaths of office on Thursday.

Atem is a member of Dinka Bor community, which has been mixed over whether or not they endorse the new cabinet.

The youth leader of Twic East County, Kuir Ajak said he supports Atem in his assertions saying if the government was formed based on qualifications, “why did they leave Dr. Lual Achuek and Philip Thon Leek?”

Philip Thon Leek, the former governor of Jonglei state from 2005-2007 was elected as an MP to the national assembly in Juba in the 2010 April general elections. Dr. Lual Achuek, was the former oil minister in Government of National Unity before South Sudan declared its independence and is now the MP in Juba assembly.

“I am not supporting Dr. Majak to leave the government for good. He has to complain but if nothing is accepted, then he has to take up his position as the deputy”, Ajak continued.


Members of the Dinka Bor community in Jonglei state said Wednesday that the composition of South Sudan’s new cabinet is fair, despite criticism from some of the tribes youth.

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Dinka Bor returnees from Khartoum dancing at Malek High School in Bor in a ceremony organised to aid full reintergration back into their communities. February 26, 2011 (ST/John Actually)

A Juba-based Dinka Bor youth group called on Tuesday for those appointed to refuse to take their seats in the cabinet due to the overall under-representation of their community in the Juba executive. Since a 2005 peace deal South Sudan has been governed by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), the former rebel group which now controls the parliament of the independent republic.

The chairperson of the Greater Bor Community, Micheal Makuei Lueth told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday that his community is happy with the formation of the new cabinet and said the appointees from the area are committed to work with the government.

Makuei, who is also the new minister of Parliamentary Affairs, said he doesn’t understand why some members of Bor’s youth decided to stand against the SPLM-led government which they fought for during the 22 year civil war.

“I don’t know who they are. Dinka fought to liberate this country with other communities in the South. If we are given one ministerial post and three deputies, one advisor and one Chief whip, then it is ok”, said Makuei.

Makuei pointed out that Rebecca Nyandeng, the wife of the SPLM’s former leader John Garang, was appointed as an advisor to the president. The new chief whip, Atem Garang, the former deputy speaker of the National Assembly in Khartoum, is also from the area.

Like other politicians from South Sudan Atem Garang lost his position in the power sharing Khartoum government after the South seceded. As part of the 2005 deal between the SPLM and the National Congress Party, South Sudan was granted the right to self determination in a referendum, which saw a 98% vote for independence.

The announcement of the new cabinet by South Sudan’s president last week, received a mixed reaction across the country, as people hoped their region would be well represented.

According to Minister Makuei, the members of Dinka Bor community have accepted the appointment adding “that we are going in tomorrow [September 1] to take an oath”.

However, a Dinka Bor Youth group in Juba led by Juma Arok criticised the new cabinet, saying their community lacks representation in the new government and called upon the minister and three deputy ministers to refuse their appointment.

Another Bor youth group, under the interim chairmanship of Simon Thon Ayuen, unanimously and strongly dismissed the assertions made by the Juba-based Dinka Bor Youth as an unfair representation of Dinka Bor opinion.

“We call upon the president of the republic of South Sudan, the citizens of South Sudan and the people of Bor community in particular to disregard the claims” of the Juba-based youth group. A statement from the group said the allegation that Dinka Bor were being marginalised was baseless and “deserved no support of the Youth of Bor County”, a statement from the group said.

“In fact, the formation of the cabinet is fairly represented as all the regions, states and ethnicities in South Sudan have been recognised”, said one of the groups members.

The state minister of agriculture in Jonglei, Mayen Ngor cast-off the claims of youth in Juba and expressed his affirmation that the make-up of the government was fair. He said the youth had clearly not read South Sudan’s transitional constitution.

Mayen said the president has the prerogative to appoint the government and becomes legal after it is approved by the parliament, which happened on Wednesday.

The state minister said greater Bor has one ministerial position today but pointed out that Jonglei state had other appointees. Panjak and Akobo both have two ministerial positions from their communities.

He said the time will come when greater Bor will have two or three minister, while others have none.

“If you see the ministers who have been appointed regionally, there is no state that has brought more than five ministers except Jonglei. And if you go down, you will see that greater Akobo has two, greater Panjak has two and Bor has one but greater Pibor has nil”, said Minister Ngor.

“Time will come when Bor will have two… There are no criteria that Bor is the one to have two or three”, he continued.

He said that youth who had complained should familiarise themselves with South Sudan’s constitution before criticising the president or parliament.


Rebels Vow to Keep Up Fight for Political Change in Sudan

Posted: September 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Published: September 1, 2011

KAMPALA, Uganda — Rebels in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, where armed conflict is inflaming tensions between the government and the newly independent Republic of South Sudan, are not only preparing for a protracted war in the region but also vowing to take the fight nationwide to pursue political change in Sudan.

Abdel Aziz al-Hilu, a rebel leader, said this week that his forces, which have been on the defensive against the Sudanese Army, were gaining recruits, preparing to go on the offensive and would “continue until we reach Khartoum,” the Sudanese capital.

“Everybody is a soldier,” Mr. Abdel Hilu said. “People have said enough is enough.”

He added, “We have no choice: we have to continue fighting, to defend our people, and also for regime change in Khartoum.”

The rebel leader, a losing candidate last year in an election for governor that helped ignite tensions in the region, denied being supported by South Sudan. He said that his insurgents had captured dozens of armored vehicles, retrieved weapons and shot down Sudanese military aircraft.

The Nuban people fought alongside the southern Sudanese over decades of civil war against the north, which is predominantly Muslim. Although South Sudan was granted independence in July, the Nubans remain a part of the north.

The Sudanese government has been accused by residents, human rights groups and some United Nations officials of carrying out a harsh counterinsurgency campaign in the Nuba Mountains that has killed many civilians. Sudanese officials contend they are taking aim exclusively at rebels, and this week the government complained to the United Nations that South Sudan was arming the Nuban rebels.

“We have parted ways,” Mr. Abdel Hilu said of the Nubans’ military and political relationship with South Sudan. But, he added, “we are part of a bigger organization” that is “fighting for the same objectives: of a new Sudan.”

South Sudan: Israel’s new best friend in Africa

Posted: September 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Thursday, September 01, 2011 | Ryan Jones

South Sudan has only existed as a country for a little over two months. But already in that time the fledgling nation has found itself embroiled in the Israeli-Arab conflict.

And South Sudan has clearly marked itself as a friend of the Jewish state.

During a visit to South Sudan last month by Israeli lawmaker Danny Danon, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said that he was recently approached by Hamas and told he must sever all ties to Israel because Sudan is an Arab state.

After reminding the Hamas leaders that South Sudan, unlike its northern neighbor, is not an Arab state, Kiir noted that there are Israeli embassies in Arab countries like Egypt and Jordan.

Rather than cut ties with Israel, Kiir said South Sudan intends to strengthen its relations with the Jewish state.

Demonstrating that his friendship for Israel goes beyond just words, Kiir reportedly agreed to Danon’s request that South Sudan buck the international trend and build its embassy in Jerusalem. Every other nation in the world that has diplomatic relations with Israel refuses to accept Jerusalem as its capital, and instead those nations maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv.

South Sudan’s affinity for Israel goes beyond the diplomatic considerations of the current government.

The young country’s deputy parliament speaker, Daniel Akot, declared that "Israel is like a big brother to South Sudan," and recalled seeing more than one person waving an Israeli flag when South Sudan declared independence on July 9.

Danon and Kiir also discussed the many black Sudanese refugees currently living in Israel after fleeing oppression by Arab militias allied with the Sudanese government in Khartoum.

Kiir asked Danon to help facilitate vocational training for the refugees so they can return home and become productive and successful members of their new nation.

Both Danon and Kiir said that Israel and South Sudan have a bright future as partners in combining the former’s vast technological abilities and the latter’s enormous natural resources.

Sudan rebels say Khartoum using food as a weapon

Posted: September 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

JUBA (Reuters) – Rebels from South Kordofan, Sudan’s main oil-producing state, accused Khartoum on Thursday of using food as a weapon against the Nuba community and breaking its own cease-fire, charges denied by the Sudanese government.

Fighting broke out between the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation North (SPLM-N) and government forces in June.

The region is viewed one of several flashpoints along the border with newly independent South Sudan, which seceded from the rest of the country in July following a referendum in which southerners voted for a split.

Rebels in South Kordofan want a no-fly zone over the Nuba mountains to stop what rights groups call indiscriminate bombing of civilians, which has killed at least 26, injured at least 46 and caused some 150,000 to flee their homes.

"The use of food as a weapon is the most effective weapon they used against the Darfurians," SPLM-N deputy chairman Abdelaziz el-Helu told Reuters by telephone from South Kordofan.

He was referring to Darfur in west Sudan, where the government has also fought with rebels.

"Now they are bombing (Nuba) civilians on their farms and preventing them from tending to their crops, so that in the next dry season people are hungry and will be forced to take refuge in the towns and then isolate the SPLM-N," he said.

Rights groups say many families have sought shelter under boulders and in caves, and are eating wild berries and leaves.

Sudan’s army denied the charges and said rebels had closed roads and prevented aid from reaching people. An army spokesman said the government was working with local and international groups in South Kordofan’s capital Kadugli to deliver aid.

"The army does not carry out aerial bombardment of civilians. It does not violate human rights. It is not possible to ever use food as a weapon," army spokesman Al-Sowarny Khaled Saad told Reuters.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) fought alongside its southern counterpart against Khartoum during the civil war in which some two million people died. The peace deal in 2005 led to the referendum on secession.

A report by the United Nations human rights office in August documented alleged violations by the Sudanese army in Kadugli and the surrounding Nuba mountains including extrajudicial killings, illegal detention, enforced disappearances, attacks on civilians, looting of homes and mass displacement.

The reports, "if substantiated, could amount to crimes against humanity or war crimes", the U.N. report said.

Sudan’s government dismissed the report as "unfounded" and "malicious" and said last week it would form its own committee to assess the human rights situation there.

Sudan sent a letter to the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday accusing South Sudan of supporting the SPLM-N, a charge the south denies.

Helu described the two-week cease-fire declared on August 22 by Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir as a "deception for the international community."

"There is no cease-fire. Bashir is not serious. He declared a cease-fire from one side and he is the first one to violate it the next day by sending airplanes, especially Antonovs and MiGs," Helu said.

He accused Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes committed in Darfur, of using the cease-fire to buy time in order to prepare a bigger offensive.

"We want protection for civilians from aerial bombardment. If a no-fly zone is imposed to protect the civilians, we are ready to defend civilians from ground attacks," he said, also calling for access for humanitarian aid.

(Additional reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz in Khartoum; Editing by Edmund Blair and Mark Heinrich)

Equity Bank opens more branches to South Sudan

Posted: September 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Economy

Written By:Obrien Kimani, Posted: Thu, Sep 01, 2011


Equity Bank plans to open four more branches in South Sudan as the bank rushes to position herself in the largely un-tapped market.

The bank which opened its fourth branch in the country this week plans to tap into the Western, Eastern Equatorial, Jonglei and Western Baraghazal states among others according to Equity bank South Sudan executive director Paul Gitahi.

The world’s newest state which has been embroiled in civil war for many decades has become a soft target for Kenyan investors due to massive potential growth as the country embarks on a rebuilding path.

Already there are two Kenyan banks operating in South Sudan and three more are expected to join the list early next year.

Family Bank is the latest to proclaim intentions of opening a branch early next year followed by Co-operative bank and Kenya Commercial Bank.

Local manufacturers like Bidco and EABL who have been using distribution networks to supply the market also plan to establish there while KenolKobil and BAT Kenya target to increase supply.

Obama Names Two Experienced Diplomats to Team As Problems Mount

Posted: September 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

President Barack Obama has tapped two experienced U.S. diplomats to represent him in Khartoum and Juba as tensions grow between Sudan and South Sudan.

Mary Carlin Yates, who has served as U.S. ambassador to Ghana and Burundi and as deputy to the commander for Civil-Military Activities of the United States Africa Command (Africom), takes up her new position today as interim Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in the Sudanese capital. The naming of a full-time ambassador has been delayed by ongoing U.S. concerns about the Khartoum government’s military actions in two troubled regions of Sudan, Darfur and Southern Kordofan.

Obama has also nominated career foreign service officer Susan D. Page as the first U.S. ambassador to newly-independent South Sudan. Page, who is currently deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Africa bureau, is a Harvard-trained attorney who helped draft the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) for Sudan that ended decades of civil war between the north and south.

The appointments coincide with calls for stepped up action by the United States and others to prevent further killing and suffering in a region that has experienced war and conflict for four decades. John Prendergast, a prominent peace advocate, warned in a recent report that the challenges facing South Sudan and the menace posed by "an angry, isolated, and besieged" regime in Khartoum, call for a new U.S. policy "rooted in the international responsibility to protect civilian life and democracy promotion."

While no immediate shift in policy is anticipated, the administration spoke out again yesterday on the worsening situation in Southern Kordofan, where human rights groups say bombings by the Sudan Air Force have killed dozens of civilians and displaced thousands more. A statement issued jointly by the White House and State Department called on the government of Sudan "to immediately cease aerial bombings, particularly of civilian areas," which the statement said have continued "despite the Government of Sudan’s announcement of a unilateral two-week ceasefire last week."

The American statement also expressed concern over reports that South Sudan is supporting the rebel movement fighting against Sudanese control of South Kordofan. Aid organizations say they have been barred from the area. This has placed "many people in a life-threatening situation without any prospect of relief," Valerie Amos, the United Nations under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs said on Tuesday.

Photo Essay:


A report released this week by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch accuses the Sudan Air Force of "indiscriminately bombing civilian areas" in Southern Kordofan and "preventing aid from reaching desperate displaced people."

Yates told AllAfrica the growing crisis in Southern Kordofan will be one of her first priorities. The U.S. government wants "both sides to provide unfettered humanitarian access to affected populations," she said in a telephone interview prior to her departure. She also called for the resumption of negotiations to work out a "permanent cessation of hostilities and a political settlement."

Since January, Yates has been in charge of Africa at the National Security Council, where, she said, "Sudan was a major focus for me as well as for the more senior administration officials," including the president.

The 2005 peace agreement promised Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile – both administrative regions of Sudan which border on South Sudan – popular consultations to determine their future. But those consultations have not happened and tensions have escalated since disputed elections in Southern Kordofan in May in which the incumbent governor appointed by Khartoum was declared the victor.

A framework for peace was agreed in June between the Khartoum authorities and the SPLM-N, the northern affiliate of the ruling party in the south, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. But implementation has stalled and Khartoum has sharply criticized the SPLM-N for forging an alliance with two factions of the Darfur insurgent group that is opposing Khartoum in that region. The Sudan government has also refused to allow the presence of United Nations peacekeepers in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.


Yates conceded the complexity of problems she will be addressing in her post. "I’ve got my work cut out for me," she said. She stressed that the administration "remains committed to the development of two viable states in Sudan and South Sudan" and to improving ties with the Sudanese regime. "I certainly hope that my presence in Khartoum signals this intention clearly to the government," she said.

While seeking improved relations, the administration remains committed to "international efforts to bring those responsible for genocide and crimes against humanity," she said. The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity arising out of the conflict in Darfur. The United States does not support deferral of the ICC prosecutions against Bashir and other Sudanese officials, she said.

After Bashir agreed to accept the outcome of the January referendum in which southerners voted overwhelmingly for independence, the U.S. government offered a ‘roadmap’ to normalize bilateral relations. That process included a review of Sudan’s inclusion on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. John Brennan, the president’s chief counterterrorism advisor, visited Khartoum in June as part of the review, and, according to a White House statement, "underscored President Obama’s deep concern over the continued presence of Sudanese Armed Forces in Abyei and urged a rapid and peaceful resolution to the crisis and to resolving outstanding CPA issues."

The 2010 list of state sponsors of terrorism, issued by the State Department two weeks ago, again includes Sudan, while also labeling the government "a cooperative partner in global counterterrorism efforts against al-Qa’ida." The report said although Sudan has restricted the activities of foreign terrorist groups, "gaps remained in the Sudanese government’s knowledge of and ability to identify and capture these individuals as well as prevent them from exploiting the territory for smuggling activities."

Yates said Khartoum also needs to show willingness to resolve the dispute over another border area, Abyei, and to work out its economic relationship with South Sudan, which includes issues related to currencies and debt. She said she would be working closely with the president’s special envoy for Sudan, Princeton Lyman, on these issues.

During Senate testimony in July, Lyman pointed to continuing problems in Darfur as a factor delaying the lifting of remaining U.S. sanctions, which include trade bans and foreign assistance restrictions adopted by both the executive branch and the Congress. He said the administration is pressing Khartoum to ease access in Darfur for humanitarian assistance and for UN peacekeepers, for serious engagement in peace negotiations, and for "an end to the use of proxy militias and targeting of civilians and an improvement in justice and accountability so the reign of impunity in Darfur does not continue."

While Yates’ appointment allows her to begin work immediately, Page’s nomination as ambassador requires Senate confirmation, which normally takes several months. Prior to her current State Department appointment as one of four deputies to Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson, Page worked on east and southern Africa at the National Democratic Institute and served in the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), assisting with implementation of the 2005 agreement. Previously, she headed the Human Rights and Justice Unit for the United Nations Development Programme in Rwanda and served in State Department and USAID posts in Rwanda, Botswana and Kenya.

Even with the appointments of Yates and Page, officials say Lyman is expected to maintain his current role. His distinguished career, which included ambassadorships in Nigeria and South Africa, along with his calming personality, have earned him wide respect and make him ‘first among equals on the Sudan team’, in the words of one former official who has watched him perform in varying situations.

Lyman became special envoy in March but has been a key interlocutor for the administration since August 2010, when he was brought onto its Sudan team to work alongside Scott Gration, his predecessor as special envoy. Gration, a former Air Force major general whose outspoken style sometimes caused friction, ended his tenure when Obama named him as U.S. Ambassador to Kenya in February.

The administration’s Sudan lineup also includes Dane Smith, a former ambassador to Guinea and Senegal and special envoy for Liberia, who has served as lead U.S. negotiator for Darfur since December.

Yates’s replacement at the National Security Council is Grant Harris, who has been a senior aide to Ambassador Susan Rice and the United States Mission to the United Nations. He is the third NSC senior director for Africa under Obama. The first person to hold that job, Michelle Gavin, has been U.S. Ambassador to Botswana since April.

South Sudan seeks alternative to North Sudan oil pipeline

Posted: September 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Economy

Thursday, 01 September 2011 17:39

Global Arab Network – South Sudan is exploring alternatives to transporting its oil through North Sudan, as the two countries face a stalemate over dividing up oil revenues, a government official said Thursday.

South Sudan took 75 percent of the 500,000 barrels a day of oil production when it became independent on July 9, but only the north has a pipeline and a port to export the oil.

Last month, North Sudan halted an oil shipment from landlocked South Sudan in a dispute over customs fees.

“We are having conversations. We are looking to the alternatives,” Pagan Amum, secretary general of the ruling southern Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), told Reuters at a mining industry conference.

“Meanwhile, we believe if Khartoum accepts a deal, it would be in the interests of both Khartoum and the South,” Amum said, adding that he expects international mediators to encourage Khartoum to be “reasonable” in negotiations.

Experts have said southern plans to connect to a pipeline in east African neighbour Kenya are years away, but Amum indicated that an alternative through East Africa would be more economical than paying the $32 per barrel fee that Khartoum has demanded for future use of its oil facilities.

Global Arab Network

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Garang’s former chef savours South Sudan’s independence

Posted: September 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Socio-Cultural

By James Copnall BBC News, Juba

Click to play

David Onsare: When we were in the bush, I used to carry ice cubes

Most chefs risk little more than the odd near miss chopping vegetables – but David Onsare isn’t just any cook.

The Kenyan was the personal chef to the late South Sudanese hero and rebel leader, John Garang.

Now Mr Onsare prepares fancy dishes in one of the finest hotels in Juba, the capital of the world’s newest country.

But before South Sudan gained its independence, he made dangerous journeys with Garang, the visionary rebel leader, preparing his food at every stop.

He got the unusual job after preparing what he calls “delicious food” for Garang at a Kenyan hotel he was working in.

The large bearded man sent his advisors to ask for a meeting.

‘Lovely guy’

“I didn’t know who he was, I had to ask him. He said: ‘I’m a rebel in South Sudan.'”

South Sudan pound billsFreshly-minted notes of the new South Sudan pound pay homage to John Garang

Mr Onsare overcame his fears, and agreed to work for Garang, for whom he has nothing but fond memories.

“He was a genius, a really lovely guy, a determined person. He liked laughing with people, he liked joking.

“I used to advise him to eat greens, so he didn’t get gout. I told him: ‘You are a person of great vision, you need to eat things that will not paralyse your legs.’ He said: ‘That’s very good, are you a doctor?’ I said: ‘Yes, I’m a doctor of food.”

The Kenyan learnt to cook Southern Sudanese delicacies like okra from watching southern women cooking.

Mr Onsare also says Garang liked spinach, and some western dishes.

He carried the rebel leader’s bag, as well as the herbs and spices he needed to cook.

Moments of tension

This most unconventional of jobs had its nervous moments.

Logali Hotel kitchenDavid Onsare has moved from a bush war to a safe, well-equipped kitchen

“Of course, sometimes you have tension. I am not a soldier, but I used to put my God ahead, because we could be attacked.

“He would say to me: ‘Don’t worry, I have enough soldiers.’ So I used to move with him.”

Cooking in some fairly rudimentary locations wasn’t easy though.

“Now I have a kitchen, but in the past I used to cook under the trees,” he says.

“I used to carry ingredients back from Kenya, I even took powdered milk to America because that is what he was used to.”

He also imported chickens in boxes of ice from Kenya, which lasted for a day or two in the humid South Sudanese heat.

Wherever he is now, he can see what he talked about has come true. The people are enjoying the fruits of independence”

End Quote David Onsare Chef

John Garang’s two-decade long fight for greater rights for Sudan’s marginalised people seemed to be nearing a successful conclusion when he signed a peace deal with the government in Khartoum in 2005.

But just a few days later he died in a plane crash, to the dismay of many, and to Mr Onsare’s great sorrow.

“He was like my father,” he explains. “So when he died I felt lonely, I felt bitter. I shaved my hair in mourning, because of him.”

Six years later, South Sudan became independent, following a referendum created by the peace deal Garang had fought for.

Garang’s vision had been of reforming Sudan, not breaking away from it. He spoke of a free country where differences would be tolerated.

So how did his former cook think Garang would feel about the new nation?

“Wherever he is now, he can see what he talked about has come true. The people are enjoying the fruits of independence.”

Life for Mr Onsare is good too – he’s now the head chef at the Logali House hotel.

Just as South Sudan is trying to move away from the years of war, he is enjoying the benefits of peace – in his case, a clean, well-ordered kitchen, with a roof.

SOUTH SUDAN – Grants and Information Co-ordinator

Posted: September 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Jobs

Posted: 01 September 2011 Deadline: 22 September 2011
Job type: Contract Salary: TBD
Location: Sudan
Organisation: Tearfund – UK

Based in Juba, South Sudan

Start date: ASAP

Contract length: 24 months

An exciting opportunity exists for an experienced individual to be responsible for coordinating all proposals, donor reporting, and project knowledge management systems within South Sudan Disaster Management Team Programme.

Based in Juba, the role will involve closely working with project staff, advisors and managers in drafting and editing donor proposals and reports, ensuring compliance with various donor regulations, Tearfund policies and government processes. The post holder will facilitate and document project reviews and evaluations, success stories and lead analysis of projects’ experience to derive learning and good practice. This position will also require frequent travel to Programme field sites.

The applicant will have a graduate degree in a related field or qualification in development, journalism, international relations and communications. A proven experience in grant management, proposal development (including logframe and budgets) donor reporting, project cycle management and implementation is essential. An experience of working in South Sudan is desirable.

You will demonstrate initiative, strong organisational skills, the ability to think creatively in the areas of problem solving and project design, representation abilities, and have experience with donors and multilateral donor mechanisms. The post holder will be a team player who is both adaptable and flexible, with excellent written and verbal communication in English.

The nature of the work will require the successful candidate to apply for a Police / Criminal Records check. We would expect applicants to be able to demonstrate a clear and specific desire to work in this country. All posts involve potential contact with children and the recruitment process will include specific checks related to child protection issues.

Due to the urgent nature of this position this vacancy will close as soon as an appropriate candidate has been appointed.

Competitive Salary & Benefits package

Closing Date: 22nd September 2011

For a job description and to apply online visit

Uganda, Sudan border survey starts

Posted: September 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Thursday, 1st September, 2011

By Wokorach-Oboi

A joint ministerial technical team tasked to define the border between Uganda and South Sudan has started work.

The team, led by Michael Karugaba from the foreign affairs ministry, on Monday visited border areas in Lokung and Madi Opei sub-counties in Lamwo district.

The visit kick-started the fact-finding mission.

Addressing a press conference at Four Seasons Hotel in Kitgum town yesterday, Lamwo resident district commissioner Alfred Omony Ogaba said the exercise would re-establish the border as drawn by the British colonialists.

�Because the new republic has come in place, it is in the interest of the ordinary citizens to know where their actual border lies,� Ogaba said.

The move comes in the wake of reports that South Sudanese authorities are claiming huge chunks of land several miles inside Uganda.

Lokung sub-county leaders recently said residents living near the border reported that South Sudanese authorities had warned them to stop digging and harvesting from their gardens.

However, Ogaba, who talked to journalists on behalf of the verification team, down-played any contention among citizens of the two countries.

�I cannot say there is contention as yet. However, It is understandable that what the South Sudanese might perceive as theirs is not actually theirs. Or if it is theirs, they might not have properly identified it,� Ogaba said.

He, however, confirmed that some South Sudanese had claimed land in Ngom-Oromo Lokung and Madi Opei sub-counties.