Archive for September 2, 2011

By PaanLuel Wel,

Report trickling out of Juba has it that the council of ministers, today, have officially approved the relocation of the present capital city of the Republic of South Sudan from Juba to Ramciel (say Rham-chieel).

In another interesting twist to this breaking news, Ramciel itself has been officially renamed as John Garang in honor of the SPLM/A founding leader and the current tentative founding father of the state of South Sudan.

In essence, the new capital city of South Sudan will henceforth be known as John Garang City, not Juba City anymore.

Juba, however, would still remain the major commercial/cultural/educational etc. city in the country, just as Dar es Salam in Tanzania or Lagos in Nigeria are after the transfer of their capital cities to Dodoma and Abuja respectively.

Here are some relevant past/background information though:,37886

Ramciel’s survey as South Sudan new capital to complete in six months

April 5, 2012 (JUBA) – The survey for the proposed new capital of South Sudan, Ramciel, is expected to be completed within the next six months, reports the official in charge of the project.

South Sudan last year resolved to relocate the nation’s capital from Juba in Central Equatoria state, to Ramciel in Lakes state, which lies in the center of the country, 180km north of Juba. As a result, the government also resolved to suspend any construction of new public buildings for the national government in Juba.

Juba was disqualified for a number of reasons including administrative stalemate over which level of government its jurisdiction should fall under.

After the decision was made to relocate, the minister of Housing and Physical Planning, Jemma Nunu Kumba, was directed by the cabinet to work out plans for the relocation to the new capital.

A South Korean company, (South Korean Land and Housing Corporation), won the contract out of 66 international companies that competed in the bidding exercise in order to carry out the feasibility study of the proposed area.

In a meeting on Wednesday chaired by the country’s Vice President, Riek Machar, the minister and the company presented the work done including the aerial imagery survey of the Ramciel to a ministerial body.

The company reported that the next phase will be to carry out the ground survey including mapping, feasibility study, environmental and social impact assessment, city structure framework and demarcation of zones which should be completed by October this year.

These will also include calculation of land demand by land users and development phases, determination of the size of the new capital as well as determination of the boundary of the capital, among others.

The studies also include site and seismic analysis as well as soil investigation in determining the suitability of the site.

In seismic analysis, the findings suggested that Ramciel is free from earthquakes despite the fact that some of its neighboring states are prone to earthquakes, according to the records from the American geological data for South Sudan.

There has been 67 number of earthquakes measured over 4.0 magnitude in South Sudan for the last 40 years from 1973-2012, according to the data. Among them, 17 number of earthquakes were over magnitude of 5.0 which can cause severe damage to buildings and structures.

These earthquakes occurred only in the three states of Jonglei with 4%, or 3 times, Eastern Equatoria with 33%, 22 times and Central Equatoria with 63%, 42 times. The highest magnitude of earthquake occurred in Central Equatoria state in 1990 with magnitude of about 7.0, and was felt as far as Upper Nile state.

The proposed radius of the national territory of Ramciel will be 50km from the center on all directions. It will also include some part of Tali in Central Equatoria state where the international airport for the new capital will be built.

The meeting urged the company to accelerate surveying and planning of the area so that the construction of the new capital should commence.

The minister of Roads and Bridges was also directed to speed up the construction of trunk roads connecting Ramciel with the other neighboring states.


South Sudan relocates its capital from Juba to Ramciel

September 3, 2011 (JUBA) – The newly born Republic of South Sudan has finally resolved to relocate its national capital from Juba to Ramciel, in Lakes state of Greater Bahr el Ghazal region following extensive consultations with stakeholders.

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Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Barnaba Marial, briefs journalists, Juba, 2 September 2011 (ST)

The decision was reached on Friday in the Council of Ministers meeting chaired by the President Salva Kiir Mayardit. This came as a result of a report presented to the cabinet by an ad hoc committee formed several months ago to look into the issue of the capital.

The minister of information and broadcasting and official spokesman of the government, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, after the resolution was passed told the press that the decision was reached in consideration of the current situation in Juba.

He said there had been a “protracted stalemate” between the national and state governments over the status of Juba as the capital which has hampered development of the city because both investors and individuals could not find land to invest or build houses on.

Another factor he said was the decision taken by the Bari community asking the government to relocate from their land. The transitional constitution, he said, stipulates that Juba or any other location in South Sudan shall be the capital.

The ad hoc committee, chaired by the minister of National Security, Oyai Deng Ajak, former minister of Investment, held consultations with the indigenous Bari community in Juba which presented the recommendation to the committee urging that the capital should be relocated from Juba to anywhere else in South Sudan.

The Central Equatoria state government however recommended that both the national government and the state government should have continued to coexist in Juba town.

However, the national government had wanted Juba to be under the jurisdiction of the national government administratively, a demand the state government had rejected.

The state government also rejected other proposals from the national government, including an area called Gondokoro Island North of Juba town to become the new capital for the national level of government.

In 2003 before the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) the leadership of the movement chaired by late John Garang de Mabior resolved that Ramciel be the new capital for South Sudan. However, the decision was reversed after an appeal from Equatorian intellectuals and elders who wanted Juba to remain the capital.

The relationship between the national government, the state and the host community has not been smooth since 2005.

In a lengthy debate, the Council of Ministers resolved to relocate to the new capital and directed the minister of housing and physical planning to come up with modalities for the relocation process.

Ramciel or Ramkiel, which is few hundreds of kilometers away from Juba, is geographically at the center of South Sudan and is almost no man’s land. Located in the Lakes state, the area borders Jonglei state and is not fare from Central, and Eastern Equatoria states.

The size of the territory for the federal capital will be demarcated in the area and be independent territory outside the jurisdiction the state.

Marial said the process of planning, surveying and putting in place the infrastructures needed may take three to five years to complete. He added that the relocation will be gradual process implemented in stages.


What and Where is Ramciel?

The proposed new Capital of the Republic of South Sudan

08 September 2011
What and Where is Ramciel?
Ramciel – the newly Proposed Location of New Capital [©]

Information by Gurtong Trust

GURTONG – Ramciel is a Dinka word. In fact it is two words coined together: Ram and Ciel. Ram means meet. Ciel means middle. Put together, it means a central meeting place. So, what is central about Ramciel in reference to the Republic of South Sudan?

Simple observation will show that it is somewhat located in the centre of South Sudan, compared to Juba. Although it initially appears to be entirely in Lakes State, which is part of Greater Bahr el Ghazal, future expansion could extend to Central Equatoria and across the River White Nile to Eastern Equatoria State, both located in Greater Equatoria. Same expansion can include land in Jonglei State, which is part of Greater Upper Nile.

During the colonial era, Southern Sudan was divided into three provinces namely Bahr el Ghazal (Capital Wau), Equatoria (Capital Juba) and Upper Nile (Capital Malakal).

A master plan of the proposed new capital of the Republic of South Sudan

A master plan of the proposed new capital of the Republic of South Sudan

Currently, South Sudan is divided into ten states, with 4 states in Greater Bahr el Ghazal: Lakes State (Capital Rumbek), Western Bahr el Ghazal State(Capital Wau), Northern Bahr el Gazal State (Capital Aweil) and Warrap State (Capital Kuacjok). There are 3 states in Greater Equatoria namely Central Equatoria State (Capital Juba), Eastern Equatoria State (Capital Torit) and Western Equatoria State (Capital Yambio). There are 3 states in Greater Upper Nile namely Jonglei State (Capital Bor), Upper Nile State (Capital Malakal) and Western Upper Nile aka Unity State (Capital Bentiu).

Each state has a parliament and a government with her own ministries headed by a Governor.

Ramciel is about 125 miles north of Juba and, like Juba, on the West side of the White Nile. It will take under two hours on a tarmacked road to Juba – no tarmacked road between the two at the moment. Under ideal conditions, it probably will take about 30 minutes to Rumbek and up to three hours to Wau under the same conditions. Connecting Ramciel to Malakal and to Eastern Equatoria (Torit) will require a bridge over the White Nile. On a tarmac road, it will likely take at least three hours to Torit and up to six hours to Malakal through Bor. Reaching Aweil and Kuacjok will be initially through Wau; from there it will be under an hour to both Aweil and Kuacjok under the same road (tarmacked) conditions. Reaching Bentiu, will mean either proceeding north-east from Kuacjok or proceeding north-west from Malakal.

Note that the largest grass swamp in the world, the Sudd – now a world’s heritage- lies in the middle of Geater Bahr el Gazal and Greater Upper Nile, thus making direct road communications between towns located at the opposite four corners of the Sudd practically impossible; thus the need to go around the swamp, which currently makes both Malakal and Bentiu inaccessible by road from the south and west in the wet season from June to November. Ramciel and Rumbek are located at the South end of the Sudd. Bentiu and Malakal are North of the Swamp. Wau, Aweil and Kuacjok are west of the Sudd while Bor is located south-east of the Swamp.

In dry season, the Sudd contracts and wildlife from both east and west migrate towrads the Sudd and the White Nile. In the wet season, the Sudd expands and the wildlife moves into higher grounds further east and further west of the White Nile and the Sudd. Ramciel will be almost at the eastern end of the National Game Park west of White Nile.

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Location of new South Sudan capital is not a “no man’s land”

By Martin Ajhak

September 7, 2011 — The decision to relocate the national capital of the Republic of South Sudan to Ramciel is an informed and decisive one, congratulations and bravo to the council of ministers and President Kiir. Well done. The confirmation of this relocation is not surprising to the entire country and Ramciel’s indigenous groups in particular. Ramciel is strategically the best place for all of us as South Sudanese and foreigners to dwell in. Triangularly, it shares borders with all three Greater regions -Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal and a vast land suitable for possible developmental expansions. It is good place for our security convenience and service delivery. All these attributes makes Ramciel the viable site for our city.

The choice to make Ramciel as a capital of the Republic of South Sudan is driven by its location suitability, geographical centrality, and feasibility for long-term expandable development, weather friendly environment, and peace-loving and hospitable inhabitant’s people of the Ciec community. But not because of the absurd view of it being a no man’s land. I am appalled and disheartened by this assertion.

Mindfully, public figures such as politicians, academics, and members of journalistic community of this newest nation should be more hesitant and disengage themselves from offensive, delusional, controversial, provocative, and sensitive comment at any cost. Whoever thinks that Ramciel is a no man’s land is dumbly wrong and I condemn him or her to hell. No single hectare of land is a no man’s land in South Sudan and generally in Africa. Even an uninhabited forest of Chuol Akol that has never been occupied in our history is not a no man’s land.

This inexcusable and irresponsible remark is an insult to the community, a denial and a violation of Ciec territorial rights as legitimate owners of Ramciel. Well, council of ministers together with Lakes state Governor Chol Tong has already started consultation with Ciec Community leadership, chiefs, traditional leaders of the area and witnesses from other two counties of greater Yirol. Currently, the committee lead by Housing & Physical Infrastructure Ministry is urged to do the same.

As South Sudanese and more importantly the so called politicians should avoid notions that stir more hatred, chaos and confusion among our tribes. It is politicians’ moral duty not to instigate devastating issues in the society. The tribal clashes which have been dominating our progress in South Sudan since 2005 are all traced back to politicians who have been trying to use their influences or positions in way or the other in community affairs. But we just won our long awaited and hard-won independence from North Sudan due to marginalisation and denial of basic rights among other things. It will be good enough if our leaders forge different ways of politicising issues in more open and honest manner. Even a child born in 2005 could not advise a foreigner that there is no man’s land in South Sudan as a whole leave alone Ramciel.

The policy of no man’s land also known as terra nullius has been proven as a failed policy all around the world. When Captain Arthur Phillip from Great Britain settled Australia in 1788 after declaring it in England as a no man land disregarding the existence of Aborigines as traditional owners, their settlement had become an uncomfortable and a chaotic one in the history of Australia. That mistake over 200 years ago is still irremediable despite countless government apologies and compensations.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term no man’s land is a term use to describe a disputed territory or one over which there was legal disagreement.

But Ramciel has never been under dispute, ever since it has indigenous occupants and it is in the centre of Ciec territory. It is their ancestral land over which they have automatically acquired ancestral rights according to the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan.

Section 170 subsections (10) and (11)respectively stipulates that, ‘Communities and persons enjoying rights in land shall be consulted in decisions that may affect their rights in lands and resources’ and shall be entitled to prompt and equitable compensation on just terms arising from acquisition or development of land in their areas in the public interest’.

As per this constitutional stipulation, Ciec and more importantly Ador of Yirol East county in which Ramciel exist as a Payam [district] are entitled to equitable and proper consultations and negotiations because the capital city is going to be allocated amongst their children, gardens, and cattle. Moreover, since Yirol East

County is a part of Lakes State it is crystal clear that Lakes State as a whole is the host of our capital city. But referring it as a no man’s land because it is not going to be directly in your forefather’s boma or payam is regretful. Obviously, Ramciel belongs to us all under the concept of South Sudanese nationhood, among Lakes State residents, greater Yirol as a whole. But there are particular clans that have been dwelling there since the early settlement before we can communally call it ours.

For instance, as South Sudanese, we call Juba our interim capital City but it belongs to Bari, Rumbeek is our State headquarters as Lakes residents but it belongs to its owners, Yirol belongs to Pan Nyang likewise Ramciel belongs to Ciec and together we will call it our Capital city in the same categorical manner. Having shared borders doesn’t qualify neighbours to be part of what is going on in someone house. The fundamental effect of having a national city in ones house or garden is enormous on the owner of house but not on neighbours.

The government of South Sudan is welcomed to start right procedures of relocation. Starting with correctly identifying and recognising the rightful owners of Ramciel. Acknowledgement of Ramciel natives is their inalienable right and no one even the powerful and the richest individuals can or will use his/her influence to take it away, divert it, steal it or conceal it from them. Attributing Ramciel to its rightful indigenous group will be a token of peaceful co-existent and a blessing of the capital dwellers.

In the bible John 14 -2, Jesus Comfort His Disciples by telling them that “in my Father’s house there are many rooms”.

Assuredly, although the government of South Sudan has been faced by lack of viable land, and aggression from Juba locals then the ROSS, potential city dwellers and investors are more than welcome to Ramciel. Ciec community will generously avail enough land to accommodate the city. The hospitality, friendliness, peaceful accommodation of strangers and unwavering loyalty that Ciec community has been exhibited since the struggle and beyond are still on display. Welcome to Ramciel, THE PLACE TO BE!

Ramciel belongs to Ciec Community it is Not a “No Man Land”.

The author of this article can be reached at,40063

Kiir forms ministerial committee for building of South Sudan’s new capital

September 7, 2011 (JUBA) – The President of the newly born Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has issued an order forming a ministerial committee to make the necessary preparations for the building of the new capital to be known as ‘Ramciel Union’.

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President Salva Kiir of Southern Sudan addresses the media at the Presidential Guest House in Juba, Southern Sudan, Thursday, May 26, 2011 (Paul Banks/UNMIS)

Last Friday the cabinet resolved to relocate the government’s seat from Juba to the country’s centre in Ramciel in Lakes state following the “protracted stalemate” between the national government and the Central Equatoria state over the jurisdictions of the city. The host Bari community of Juba felt that they would be acculturated by the bigger communities such as the Dinka and the Nuer, coupled with issues of land grabbing.

Officials say the uncertainty in the town had made access to land difficult to the national government, the ordinary people as well as the investors which they said had hampered the prospect for development in the area.

Ramciel or Ramkiel, which officials say means ‘where rhinos meet’ in the two slightly different Dinka words, lies at the centre of South Sudan and borders a number of states. The area has almost no infrastructure, no towns and only a few seasonal villages.

The presidential order number 17 has constituted the ministerial committee for ‘Ramciel Union’ as the national territory for the capital of South Sudan to be chaired by the minister of Housing and Physical Planning, Jemma Nunu Kumba.

The membership of the committee include John Luk Jok, minister of Justice, Oyai Deng Ajak, minister for National Security, Costi Manibe Ngai, minister of Finance and Economic Planning, David Deng Athorbei, minister of Electricity and Dams, Gier Chuang Aluong, minister of Roads and Bridges, Alfred Lado Gore, minister of Environment, Garang Ding Akuong, minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment and a representative of Lakes state to be appointed by the governor.

The committee shall define and demarcate the borders of Ramciel as the national capital territory which shall fall outside the jurisdiction of Lakes state government. It will also study land use methodology and its management as well as carry out feasibility study with a competent company.

The order directs the committee to also initiate construction of public utilities and infrastructure in the new capital. It will also propose a budget for the committee as well as budget for the Mayor of the capital’s territory who will be appointed by the President.

The new capital may take tens of billions of US dollars to build and officials have acknowledged that it cannot be possible using only the normal annual budgets of the government. Foreign investors may have to be attracted to build the city through direct investment or on a loan basis.

The committee will report their findings to the office of the president within 45 days.


S. South new capital: Ramciel local administrator says roads clearance begins

November 7, 2011 (JUBA) – The local administrator of the proposed territory of the new capital of South Sudan, Ramciel, said they have begun the work to clear all roads leading to the area.

Francis Manyal Atuot the administrator of Ramciel, Lakes state, came to Juba on Thursday and briefed the vice president, Riek Machar. Atout said that the relocation is welcomed by the residents of the Ramciel region.

Atuot and Machar were accompanied by the former minister of higher education, science and technology, Job Dhurai, who discussed the proposed locations of river ports in the region.

In August, South Sudan resolved to relocate the capital from Juba to Ramciel. The decision came, in part, as a result of disagreements over the jurisdiction of Juba city between the national government, the Central Equatoria state, Juba county and residents.

A ministerial committee is chaired by the national minister of housing and physical planning, Jemma Nunu Kumba, to implement the relocation.

The committee shall carry out a feasibility study and will survey the area before the construction of buildings begins in 2012.

A number of credible national and international companies have been bidding to win the contracts.


South Sudan: Embracing Africa’s newest nation

Posted: September 2, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

From the ashes of decades of conflict, opportunity rises
By Rachel Bandler

September 2, 2011

After decades of brutal fighting that left millions dead, South Sudan finally seceded from the North on July 9, forming the Republic of South Sudan. Led by President Salva Kiir, the South has many serious obstacles to overcome, including vast poverty, ongoing conflict with the north, and internal tribal violence. Regardless, secession is a vital step on Sudan’s journey towards a long-awaited prosperity, and it is important that the United States not only endorses the split, but also extends support to the months-old nation during this critical time of development, when the South’s government can so easily unravel.

Demographically, Sudan is largely comprised of Arabs and Muslims in the north and Christians and Animists in the south. This cultural and religious divide has led to fierce fighting between the North and South for almost the entirety of Sudan’s post-colonial existence, beginning in 1956. Highly contested border regions, such as the Abyei region, have fueled the ongoing conflict.

Since 1983 Sudan has been ruled by Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the leader of a small group of Arabs who has reportedly sent death squads to Darfur, collaborated with Osama bin Laden, and been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. Although the South has fought for its independence for decades, it only achieved its goal this year with a referendum for secession that passed with 99 percent of voters in the south. This internationally supported referendum solidified the independence of the Republic of South Sudan, which had been partially autonomous since 1995.

The United States, along with the rest of the Western world, should reach out with guidance and support to the fledgling Republic of South Sudan and help maintain her independence. Moreover, in a region where ethnic violence is highly retaliatory, it is important to help the South and North learn not only to exist alongside one another, but also to form a relationship of cooperation. This is especially true because their economies are intertwined and codependent; the South contains about 75 percent of Sudan’s crude oil reserves, while the North has the necessary refineries and pipelines to process and transport the oil. In order to encourage cooperation, the United States should provide an economical incentive for the two countries to invest in each other, for example, by exclusively buying oil which both the North and South helped produce. This should be especially appealing to North Sudan, which is currently faced with heavy economic sanctions by the United States.

For cooperation to emerge, the North must accept the South’s independence as reality. It is unrealistic to believe that the North and South will ever have overly warm relations, especially after the years of fighting and long history of hatred between them. On the other hand, functional neutrality — perhaps with some amiability — is possible if the North and South learn, over time, to trust one another. This will lead to mutual success, and will benefit both nations.

The take home message of Sudan’s experience is an anti-imperialist one. Not only was it unwise for the northern and southern regions of Sudan to be joined as one, but it was fatal for millions of citizens. Forcefully combining African and Arab cultures, where the latter would come to politically suppress the former, was recipe for disaster. Nationalism is a force that cannot be easily acquiesced, a fact that has been observed throughout history. For instance, it was ethnic tensions and nationalism that led to the “powder keg” in the Balkans and ultimately contributed to the outbreak of World War I.

To this day, however, no complete borders dividing the North and South have been defined, resulting in high instability along their interface. Determining the borders of a state is far from simple, and certainly cannot be determined simply by land area or resources. Sudan’s history has shown that ethnic and religious demographics need to be considered, along with security concerns and historical claims to the land; no continent can be arbitrarily carved into pieces.

That is why the Republic of South Sudan needs to be bolstered — because a failure to do so could mean a collapse of the government, regress to chaos and suppression, a likely retaliation from the North, and the continuation of a conflict caused by imposed borders. On a positive note, doing so can help the Republic of South Sudan develop into a staunch democratic ally for the U.S., which should be warmly welcomed considering the radical Islamic ties of nearby countries, including North Sudan. After a long history of suffering and death, then, the Republic of South Sudan is a nation to be celebrated and welcomed by the international community.

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South Sudan Central bank says oil revenues flow smoothly

Posted: September 2, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Economy

A man from South Sudan displays new currency notes outside the Central Bank of South Sudan in Juba July 18, 2011. REUTERS/Benedicte Desrus

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By Hereward Holland

JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan has converted more than 75 percent of the currency that was in circulation into new South Sudanese pounds after splitting away from the rest of Sudan in July, the south’s newly appointed central bank governor said on Thursday.

Governor Kornelio Koriom Mayik told Reuters in an interview that oil revenues were flowing into the south smoothly but a dispute over the fate of foreign reserves that had been held by the united country’s central bank remained unresolved.

Despite a relatively smooth split, disputes linger. The south took about 75 percent of the united country’s 500,000 barrels per day of oil production but has complained it is now being charged high transit fees to use a vital pipeline via the north.

“From July up to now oil revenues have been flowing well. We have currently been receiving revenues in good schedule,” said Mayik, who was previously the deputy governor.

Shortly after independence on July 9, the south said it was introducing its own currency to replace the Sudanese pound. Khartoum has also said it would issue a new currency.

“We have now (switched) over 75 percent of the total that was estimated to be circulating in the economy of South Sudan,” Mayik said, adding that a constant movement of currency between South Sudan and Sudan to the north meant it was impossible to reach 100 percent.

Thursday was the last day of the 45-day period that was assigned to switch to the new currency.

The South Sudanese pound is officially valued at about 3.30 to the U.S. dollar, but is trading at about 3.80 on the unofficial market, roughly where the Sudanese pound in the north is unofficially trading.

Mayik said he expected the South Sudanese pound to strengthen, adding that the central bank would be supplying more dollars to southern financial institutions.

“We did not supply the required dollars to the financial institutions. It is something we are going to address and we started to work on it yesterday (Wednesday) and within the next few days the situation is going to change gradually,” he said.

Mayik was sworn in as the new governor on Tuesday.

Asked where he saw the exchange rate moving for the South Sudanese pound in the next three to six months, he said: “We are going to see the rate be nearer to 2.50 or 2.60.”

The previous central bank governor had said in August that the southern central bank had enough reserves to pay for the basic needs of the state for a few months, even if it did not receive oil revenues.

“There is still a dispute over the previous foreign reserves because some of the reserves that were meant to flow to the south couldn’t flow,” the new governor said.

“There are problems there and these problems are yet to be resolved. This will not be resolved through the banking sector, they contain issues which are more political than banking,” Mayik added, without giving further details.

The war-ravaged and underdeveloped new state has been trying to build up efficient institutions and develop an economy that is at present totally dependent on oil.

© Thomson Reuters 2011 All rights reserved

Sudan army attacks SPLA forces and governor’s residence in Blue Nile: SPLM-N

Posted: September 2, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

The National Congress Party Continues its Aggression against the Two Areas by
Attacking SPLA Positions in Damazin and the Residence of the Elected Governor.
In a new upsurge of aggression and an extension of what happened in South Kurdofan, forces allied to the Popular Defence Forces and the Sudanese Army instigated an all-out attack on positions of Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA) in Damazin after midnight of the third night of the ‘Blessed Eid Al-Fitr’  without regard of the holiness of the occasion. The  attacks targeted the residence of the elected Governor; and Brigadier-General, Al-Jundi Suleiman, Commander of the Joint Integrated Units who was fired upon at the ‘Mahaseel Gate’ at the entrance to the Damazin City.
The offensive was later intensified to include all SPLA positions. It has been noted known that Damazin city has witnessed high-levels of tension over the last four days, as a result of the deployment of a full Popular Defence Force(PDF) and Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) Brigade, with a large amount of armament, that included 12 tanks and 40 Dushka-mounted trucks. The force then proceeded to lay siege to strategic positions in the city.
The National Congress Party (NCP) will answer for the result of this naked aggression and attacks on civilians, the SPLA and the elected Governor of the Blue Nile State. Now, it is quite clear what had been the intention behind the recent duplicitous cease-fire declaration: it was to prepare the political and military ground for an attack in Blue Nile State.
We would like to confirm that the Chairman of the sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army and the Governor of Blue Nile State is well and hasn’t suffered any harm.
We will continue to inform public opinion of the developing events and affirm that the NCP will bear fully their consequences. It has been a game-plan that started by the move to forcibly disarm the SPLA; and this is by a party that possess the largest military arsenal in Sudan. The NCP will also bear the burden of all the great calamities that befell Sudan, chief among them is inducing South Sudan to secede.
Yasir Arman
Secretary General
Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement

Press Release

NCP stages coup against legitimacy in Blue Nile, destroys the CPA
With its onslaught on the Blue Nile Region on September 1st, the National Congress Party has gratuitously staged a coup against the legitimacy by ousting an elected governor and thereby destroying the CPA in the two areas.
The objective of the NCP has always been to eradicate the  SPLM/A in the North.  Despite the efforts by the SPLM and the regional and international community, as evidenced in the endeavors of Prime Minister Meles Zinawi and the AUHIP Panel headed by President Mbeiki, which resulted in the Addis Ababa Frame Work Agreement, yet President Bashir has insisted on the war track and disowned the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement.
The events that took place in the Blue Nile and earlier on in Southern Kordofan, marked the beginning of the second Islamic Republic as perceived by the National Congress leadership.  This delusional perception has put an end to the CPA in the two areas as well as on the quest for democratic transformation in the Sudan, resulting in the destruction of the Popular Consultation which is the only peaceful mechanism to resolve the conflict in the two areas. Moreover, the removal of the only elected governor in the North – who was elected against the will of the NCP- in spite of its attempts to rig the elections in Blue Nile, is unconstitutional and would therefore not be recognized by the SPLM.
Call for a No-Fly Zone in the two areas and  Darfur:
In view of the current human right atrocities , the SPLM-N calls upon the IGADD countries, the Troika, the  UN Security Council  and International Community who are the grantors of the CPA to sponsor  a  resolution on a No-fly Zone in the two areas and Darfur.  The Sudan Air Force is seriously involved in targeting the civil population, thus becoming directly responsible for massive atrocities, including ethnic cleansing and genocide. This brutal force needs to be reign in.
 Update from the ground:
·       Since yesterday and today, the Sudan Air Force continued its aerial bombardment mainly on civil population targets , resulting in killing two women and a kid in Kurmuk and injured an old man. The major water tank in town for the civil population was destroyed.
·       In Bau, a woman was killed as a result of the bombardment.
·       In Damazin, four SPLM members were slaughtered; hundreds arrested, including Mamoun Hammad, who is the deputy Speaker of the State Parliament and Abdullaihi Ibrahim, who is the SPLM Secretary General. Babiker Mohammed Adam, who is a member of the SPLM Secretariat.
·        Given what happened in South Kordofan with regard to ethnic cleansing, we call upon human rights organizations to put pressure to bear on NCP to ensure the safety of the SPLM-N members.
·       Thousands of displaced people are scattered allover the State and are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
·       The SPLM-N Headquarters in Senar State was attacked by the security forces and SPLM members are being rounded up from their houses.
·       Despite the fierce offensive by the NCP forces, the SPLA is in full control of the area, with the exception of Damazin. The SPLA is fully controlling the town of Gissan, Kurmuk, Dindru, Ulu, Graud, Meinza and Ingassana Hills.
The NCP dream of the Second Islamic Republic is in indeed another brand of the Taliban republic. It will only begin and end in more human atrocities and cost in addition to instability in the Sudan and the wider region. The NCP, as once truly described by Dr. John Granag De Mabior, “they are too deformed to be reformed”.
Yasir Arman
Secretary General of the SPLM/N

Sudanese Armed Forces Clash With Opposition Fighters in Blue Nile Province

Sudanese government forces and members of the northern branch of the ruling party in neighboring South Sudan clashed in the capital of Blue Nile state, the governor and an army spokesman said.

State Governor Malik Agar said government forces attacked members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, of which he is chairman. “When our forces shot back at them, they just heavily bombarded my house and all sites” of the SPLM-N in the state capital, Al-Damazin, he said.

Al-Sawarmi Khaled, a Sudanese army spokesman, said SPLM-N forces attacked first at the southern entrance to Al-Damazin. Sudanese government troops are now in “full control” of the area, he said by phone today from Khartoum, Sudan’s capital. “We’re now carrying out military operations to chase remnants of rebels in Blue Nile.”

Sudan’s government has been trying to disarm members of the SPLM-N in the border states of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan who fought with the forces of South Sudan during the two-decade civil war that ended in 2005. South Sudan gained independence on July 9. Sudanese government soldiers have clashed with SPLM-N fighters since June 5 in Southern Kordofan.

Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir announced a cease-fire in Southern Kordofan last week.

Southern Kordofan

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said in an Aug. 30 statement that the government continued to bomb civilian areas in Southern Kordofan after the declaration of the cease- fire. Khaled denied the allegation.

“Now the real aim behind the cease-fire in Southern Kordofan was uncovered: just paving the political and military situation for attacks on Blue Nile,” Yasser Arman, the SPLM-N secretary-general, said today in an e-mailed statement.

More than 300 vehicles carrying residents fleeing Al- Damazin were heading today to Wed Al-Nile, a town 86 kilometers (53 miles) north of Al-Damazin, Esmail Mohamed, a member of Ummah, Sudan’s biggest opposition party, said by phone as he travelled in the convoy.

“The situation is very serious in Blue Nile,” he said. “Some 4,000 people are being evacuated from the city” by the Sudanese army.

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Khartoum

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at

Sudan army attacks SPLA forces and governor’s residence in Blue Nile: SPLM-N

Sudan Tribune: September 2, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – Forces of the Sudanese government on Friday attacked the the residence of the Blue Nile state governor, who is also chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N), Malik Agar.

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Malik Agar, head of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) speaks during a joint news conference with SPLM north’s secretary general (Reuters)

According to Yasir Arman, SPLM-N’s secretary-general, Sudan’s army (SAF) launched a military offensive at midnight Friday targeting the SPLM’s Joint Integrated Units under the command of Jondi Suliyman and the house of Agar in the state capital Al-Damazin.

Arman told Sudan Tribune that in the past four days the Sudanese government had deployed reinforcements consisting of one infantry brigade, 12 tanks and 40 armed vehicles into the area.

“This debunks the deceptive ceasefire announced by Al-Bashir in South Kordofan because it was declared in order to prepare for an attack against Al-Damazin,” Arman said.

He further warned that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) would be held accountable for attacking the house of “the elected governor” and the “atrocities they are committing against the civilian population” as well as the SPLM-N’s membership in the two areas.

“We wish to assure SPLM-N’s supporters and members of the general public that Malik Aggar is safe,” Arman said, promising to give more details on the events taking place in the Blue Nile within the next few days.

Arman did not explain what triggered the fighting and there was no confirmation of the attacks from independent sources.

In a phone interview with Bloomberg, Agar said the attack happened after three vehicles used by the SPLA were shot at by Sudanese soldiers while approaching the southern part of Al-Damazin.

“When our forces shot back at them, they just heavily bombarded my house and all sites of the SPLA in the capital,” Agar said.

Sudan official news agency (SUNA) carried statements by SAF saying it has been attacked by the SPLA.

Al-Sawarmi Khaled told SUNA that the SPLA started the attacked. He further said they have long expected this move because Agar was mobilizing his troops during the past period. He further said the this attack aims to alleviate pressure on SPLA troops under the command of Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu in South Kordofan.

Agar also spoke to SUNA about “skirmishes” between the commander of the joint integrated units and the Sudanese army at the gates of Al-Damazin.

He further confirmed that the fighting is taking place now in all the state between the two forces.

The eruption of war in Blue Nile with heavily armed SPLA units could put the entire Sudan at risk of a full scale war. The government in Khartoum has been engaged in clashes with SPLA forces in South Kordofan since last June.

SPLM-N has blamed the government for fighting in South Kordofan saying that Sudan’s army was seeking to disarm its fighters by force.

Last May, SAF sent a letter to SPLA saying that its forces in the two states must disarm by June 1st or deploy to what is now the new country of South Sudan.

But the SPLA responded by saying that the units are composed of northern soldiers, therefore withdrawing South is not an option.

The Blue Nile’s governor told the New York Times (NYT) at the time that SAF has moved “dangerously close” to the bases of SPLA fighters and that he did not think the southern-allied forces would surrender.

“It’s like putting a cat in a corner,” Agar said. “They will fight.”