Archive for September 8, 2011

Sudan, South Sudan to pull troops from disputed Abyei region

Posted: September 8, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) — The governments of Sudan and South Sudan have reached an agreement that will allow the withdrawal of their troops from the disputed border region of Abyei, according to United Nations officials.

Special Representative to the Secretary-General Edmond Mulet told reporters Thursday that the agreement was reached in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

"There are encouraging signs," said British Ambassador Mark Llyal Grant, "beginning with the withdrawals of SAF and SPLA forces and establishment of South Sudan’s government. But we are deeply concerned on a range of issues, 600 deaths in South Sudan, obstacles in Abyei, serious humanitarian situation in South Sudan."

More than 1,500 Ethiopian troops have been deployed in Abyei since June, when the Security Council voted to establish UNISFA after north-south violence resulted in more than 100,000 people fleeing their homes.

Abyei is a region under dispute between Sudan and the newly formed country of South Sudan, and was a battleground for decades in the brutal civil war fought between northern and southern forces. A referendum on whether the area should be part of the north or the South has been delayed over disagreement over who is eligible to vote.

The region, the size of Connecticut, is home to the Ngok Dinka people, who are closely allied with the South, but the area also serves as grazing grounds for northern Misseriya tribes.

Meantime, the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect says the U.N. Security Council is failing to protect the people of South Kordofan, Sudan. The group says they have seen a pattern of abuses in the region over the past four months, claiming that individuals are targeted because of ethnicity or political affiliation and that humanitarian agencies are being denied access to those in need of help.

"Sudan is already the site of no less than three UN peacekeeping missions." said Dr. Simon Adams, Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. "Now is the time to step back and reflect on the nature of the regime in Khartoum and its hand in the ongoing direction of mass atrocity crimes. The U.N. Security Council needs to speak strongly and with one voice. The situation in South Kordofan and now also Blue Nile must not be allowed to fester. Perpetrators want silence, victims need action."

Last month, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch released reports that said Sudanese government airstrikes in the Nuba Mountain area had killed at least 26 people and have forced more than 150,000 people from their homes in South Kordofan state. At least 26 people have died and dozens wounded in the airstrikes, the rights groups said.

The researchers, who were on the ground, witnessed some of the attacks, according to the rights groups.

"Antonov aircraft dropped bombs over farmlands and villages on a near-daily basis while researchers were on the ground from August 14-21," Amnesty said.

Aid groups, including the United Nations, have warned that South Kordofan state is at risk of high levels of malnutrition and mortality because the government has restricted access to the area.

In the past, the Sudanese government has said rebels are to blame for the violence in the region, and has been engaged in a fierce campaign to battle what it says are militia in the area.

Nuba fighters helped South Sudan during the civil war with Sudan, which raged for decades and left millions dead.

South Sudan became an independent nation in July. South Kordofan remains a territory of the Sudanese government in the north, but it borders South Sudan.
Sudan, South Sudan forces to pull back from Abyei: U.N.

By Patrick Worsnip

(Reuters) – Sudan and newly independent South Sudan agreed on Thursday to pull back forces this month from the disputed Abyei region, a senior U.N. official said.

The decision, if implemented, could ease border tensions between the two countries.

"This was agreed today in Addis this morning" by representatives of the two governments, Edmond Mulet, deputy head of the U.N. peacekeeping department, told reporters after briefing the Security Council. The Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is the headquarters of the African Union.

Sudan and South Sudan both hope to include Abyei in their territory. South Sudan seceded from the north to form a new nation on July 9 in line with the results of a January referendum held as part of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war between the north and south.

A referendum was originally also planned in Abyei for its population to decide which country they wished to belong to, but it was never held.

Khartoum and Juba have yet to agree on who will control Abyei, stirring fears a long-running quarrel over the region could sour the secession and spark a broader conflict. Neither side has so far withdrawn its forces.

"They have agreed that between the 11th of September until the 30th of September there’s going to be this redeployment or withdrawal of the troops from (the two countries’ armies) from Abyei," Mulet said.

He said the Khartoum government had originally said it would withdraw its forces when an administration was in place in Abyei, but had now dropped that condition.

Some diplomats attending the closed-door Security Council meeting said they were encouraged by the news, but others were more cautious. "We’ll see," one said. "Until it happens…"

Withdrawal by the two sides’ armed forces could ease the task of an all-Ethiopian U.N. peacekeeping force which has been set up to patrol Abyei. More than 1,700 Ethiopian blue-helmets have so far arrived out of a planned 4,200, Mulet said.

Abyei, however, is not the only trouble spot along the border between Sudan and South Sudan. Serious fighting has also been going on between Sudanese forces and opposition groups in the Sudanese states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

The territories are still home to tens of thousands of people from ethnic groups that sided with the south during the civil war that preceded the south’s independence.

"Although there are some encouraging signs, particularly the agreement that was reached today for the beginning of a withdrawal … nonetheless we are deeply concerned about a number of issues over South Sudan and Sudan," British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told journalists.

(Reporting by Patrick Worsnip; editing by Anthony Boadle)

Associated Press

Sudanese forces pull out of Abyei

Associated Press, 09.08.11, 06:40 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS — Assistant U.N. peacekeeping chief Edmond Mulet says government troops from Sudan’s Arab north and the south’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement will soon pull out of the contested region of Abyei.

The pullout comes as Ethiopian peacekeepers begin moving in for a temporary assignment to demilitarize the region, with 1,700 of 4,200 peacekeepers now in place.

Mulet told reporters after a closed Security Council meeting about Sudan on Thursday that the two sides agreed in Addis Ababa earlier Thursday to pull out of the region between Sept. 11 and 30. The council has authorized the deployment of the Ethiopian force for six months.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mapping war crimes in Sudan: An open letter to George Clooney

Posted: September 8, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Samar Al-Bulushi

2011-09-06, Issue 546

cc The White House
In a letter to Hollywood actor George Clooney regarding his activism on Sudan, Samar Al-Bulushi raises a number of concerns around the motives, accountability and politics behind the Satellite Sentinel Project.

Dear George,

I have been following your recent activism on Sudan with great interest. While I admire your commitment to peace and human rights, I believe that you need to more critically evaluate the implications of your Satellite Sentinel Project, designed as an ‘early warning’ monitoring system for war crimes. The mainstream media’s celebration of your project warrants a closer look at what it means for the people you seem determined to help.

The project you launched last December sounds simple enough. According to your website, it ‘combines satellite imagery analysis and field reports with Google’s Map Maker technology to deter the resumption of war between North and South Sudan’. Private satellites that you hire monitor troop movements, and project partners analyse the collected images and post them on the website ‘to remind the leaders of northern and southern Sudan that they are being watched’. As you characterised this operation in a December 2010 TIME magazine article, ‘We are the anti-genocide paparazzi … if you know your actions are going to be covered, you tend to behave much differently than when you operate in a vacuum.’[1]

While the press has lauded this form of ‘cyber-diplomacy’ – some going so far as to credit you with bringing about South Sudan’s independence [2] – I propose a more rigorous consideration of: (1) who is involved in the decision-making and what information is shared and not shared; (2) how you portray the various actors and interests involved; and (3) what independence means for the people of South Sudan.

Let’s explore my first question on information and decision-making: what data is collected by the Satellite Sentinel Project? Who has access to it? What information is shared with the public on your website, and what is not shared? How is this determined? According to your website, the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) is a collaboration between Not On Our Watch, the Enough Project, Google, the United Nations UNITAR Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT), DigitalGlobe, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and Trellon, LLC. DigitalGlobe’s largest customer is the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, which gathers non-classified images for use by the US Department of Defense, intelligence agencies and other government bodies.[3] The US Africa Command (AFIRCOM) lists DigitalGlobe as a resource for its work on the continent. Do you have a policy on sharing data with government entities and the US military?

All of your partners except UNOSAT are US-based, meaning that most, if not all, decisions and interpretations of data are done outside Sudan. None of your public advocacy includes analysis or policy recommendations by Sudanese intellectuals or policy experts. At a minimum, the absence of Sudanese actors and thinkers from your campaign reveals a lack of interest in the internal political processes that are crucial for strengthening democratic citizenship.

In terms of the way you portray the actors and interests involved, according to the SSP and its partners (with the Enough Project – part of the Center for American Progress – the most active and vocal member), Southern Sudanese peoples have been struggling for independence for years, which the north has allegedly resisted largely because it did not want to lose access to the abundant economic resources in the South.

Referring to the data collected by the SSP, you and your partners warn about the risk of crimes against humanity and even genocide against Southern Sudanese by the Khartoum government. As such, you insist the time to ‘act’ is now. As you, together with your colleague, John Prendergast, wrote on the eve of South Sudan’s independence:

We were late to Rwanda. We were late to the Congo. We were late to Darfur. There is no time to wait. With your support, we will swiftly call the world to witness and respond. We aim to provide an ever more effective early-warning system: better, faster visual evidence and on-the-ground reporting of human rights concerns to facilitate better, faster responses.[4]

In your narrative, the Sudanese people are reduced to either victims or perpetrators – passive victims incapable of formulating their own path to peace and justice, or evil-doers requiring punishment. The people of Sudan are invisible in the global conversation, now heavily shaped by your project. The very real political issues at stake are diluted into nebulous questions of morality and the ‘responsibility to protect’, in which external actors like yourself claim a moral authority to defend people who have no way of holding you accountable in this monitoring system you helped to construct.

As you stated in a January 2011 interview on MSNBC about your project, ‘We can do things that governments can’t, because we are individuals.’[5] Would a wealthy Sudanese individual be permitted to launch a satellite over the United States or the United Kingdom with the same declared goal of protecting the citizens of these states from torture, unjust imprisonment or any number of abuses that have been documented in either of these two countries? How is it that your widely celebrated form of advocacy–solidarity simultaneously champions the sovereignty of one nation (South Sudan) while repudiating that of another (Sudan)?

Despite your stated commitment to monitor both northern and southern actors, the Satellite Sentinel Project highlights almost exclusively the actions of the Khartoum government and its army, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). In the context of North–South conflict, both the governments of north and South Sudan have prevented UN peacekeeping missions from performing their duties, and US Senator Leahy recently questioned the annual US$100 million in military aid provided by the US to South Sudanese forces in light of the reports of abuses those very forces have perpetrated. Meanwhile, your partners at the Enough Project recently called for more arms to be delivered to the South Sudan army.

Your selective attention to actors involved in this conflict creates a skewed understanding of the political dynamics – the public is led to believe that violations are committed by one party only (the Khartoum government), and that these abuses are occurring in a vacuum, motivated entirely by local greed, religious intolerance or evil. Failure to look beyond the ‘civil’ war narrative reflects a complete disconnect from geopolitics – no state is immune from the broader sphere of global economic and political activity.

For example, according to a newly published report by Norwegian People’s Aid about land acquisition in the South, nearly 10 per cent of the land in the brand new nation of South Sudan has already been sold or leased to corporations, many of them foreign corporations.[6] Foreign investors have signed agriculture, biofuel and forestry deals that cover 2.64 million hectares of land (approximately the size of Rwanda). These deals took place in the context of a global rush for African farmland in the wake of the food, fuel and financial crises of 2007–08.[7] Two of the largest deals have been negotiated with American companies: Jarch Capital and Nile Trading and Development.

What, then, does independence actually mean in the context of the global financial crisis and growing competition over land, oil, food and water? Will it lead to a better life for South Sudanese peoples? Even before the state’s formal declaration of independence on 9 July 2011, South Sudanese had been invited to open up their country for business. Your project is now playing an active role in integrating South Sudan into the global economy. According to the World Bank, the Satellite project has the potential not only to deter atrocities but also to build the world’s newest independent nation. On the eve of a jointly organised event, a World Bank official proffered a justification for your collective initiatives: ‘South Sudan is an expansive region that is currently poorly mapped. Without basic geospatial information, it is difficult for the government, civil society, development partners, and all stakeholders to visualize plans, see existing infrastructure, and target areas where they want to work and develop projects. This will also empower the Southern Sudanese community to develop their own solutions using maps.’[8]

If only it were that simple. Geographic information is integrally linked to equality in terms of access to data, information, and knowledge. The above quote references an array of actors (government, civil society, development actors) as though each wield equal power in decision-making. In the fledgling young state of South Sudan, it is difficult to dismiss the political and economic leverage held by development ‘partners’ like the bank as it dangles millions of potential dollars in aid while demanding that the ‘right’ institutions and policies are needed for the country’s ‘socio-economic transformation.’[9]

In this era of ‘global solidarity’, it appears that so-called ‘humanitarians’ and capitalists employ the same language of partnership and empowerment. Will your Satellite Project monitor the removal of populations from land acquired by foreign or private actors, or from land designated by the World Bank as critical to infrastructure projects? Will the South Sudan judiciary be empowered to hold legally accountable those responsible for the mass displacement of people whose resources – not lives – are more valuable to the global economy?

As the citizens of South Sudan negotiate the difficult road ahead, we can expect them to challenge the grandiose language of solidarity, partnership and progress utilised by humanitarians and capitalists alike. We can expect them to ask difficult questions of their so-called partners who are quick to provide ready-made solutions. Will you and your partners be receptive to this questioning? If indeed your primary concern is the welfare of the Sudanese people, it seems you must be.


First black child diagnosed with aging disease

Posted: September 8, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By MICHELLE FAUL – Associated Press | AP

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The elfin child with the big personality and bright smile calls herself "the first lady" and dreams of the future. But doctors say 12-year-old Ontlametse Phalatse has only, perhaps, another couple of years to live.

  • In this photo taken Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 progeria sufferer Ontlametse Phalatse, …

  • In this photo taken Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 progeria sufferer Ontlametse Phalatse is photographed at her home in Hebron, near Pretoria, South Africa. 12-year-old Phalatse, who resembles an ageing woman, is the only known black female born with the extremely rare premature ageing disease. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

    In this photo taken Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 progeria sufferer Ontlametse Phalatse …

"I call myself a first lady because I’m the first black child with this disease … Which other black child do you know with this disease?" she challenged.

Ontlametse is the first black child diagnosed with progeria, a rare and fatal genetic condition that accelerates the aging process, the Progeria Research Foundation said.

Nobody knows how many kids in the world have it. In a two-year campaign to identify them, the Progeria Research Foundation says the number of children diagnosed around the world has soared from 48 to 80 on five continents.

The foundation’s executive director, Audrey Gordon, says only two Africans have been diagnosed and both live in South Africa — Ontlametse and a 5-year-old white girl. That is probably because South Africa, an economic powerhouse, offers some of the best medical care on the continent.

Gordon says there are several black holes on the map in her office studded with colored tacks where they have found children living with progeria. "We know that there are children (with progeria) in Africa, in China and Russia, but we just can’t seem to get to them," she said in a telephone interview from the foundation’s office in Peabody, Massachusetts.

Ontlametse’s mother, Bellon Phalatse, says her baby was born looking normal but that she realized early on that something was wrong. The baby suffered constant rashes and by the time she was 3 months old Phalatse thought she had a skin disease.

Before Ontlametse celebrated her first birthday "her hair was falling, her nails weren’t normal, the skin problems, we were going up and down to the doctors."

As the child aged prematurely, her father abandoned the family when Ontlametse was 3 years old.

Despite her frequent illnesses, Ontlametse enrolled in school at 6 and proved a bright pupil. But she was often scorned by classmates, teachers and others who thought she was so small and skinny because she had AIDS. South Africa has the highest number of people living with AIDS of any country but the disease still carries a terrible social stigma.

"It was horrible, I don’t know how to explain" what we went through, Phalatse said.

It was not until two years ago that a doctor friend suggested she have Ontlametse tested for progeria, and brought her a book about the disease.

It included pictures. Children with progeria look remarkably similar, despite different ethnic backgrounds: small and bald with oversized heads, eyes that bulge a bit, gnarled hands. They suffer from thinning skin which has a network of blue veins showing on the heads of white children.

Phalatse said she knew immediately, and a doctor confirmed the diagnosis.

"I’m very happy now that I understand what causes progeria," Phalatse said.

The diagnosis came with the news that most children with the disease die at 13. But it also brought a better understanding of what they can do to try to prolong Ontlametse’s life, and it has brought her the specialized care she needs.

Each school holiday, Ontlametse and her mom fly to the United States, where she participates in research funded by the Progeria Research Foundation at Children’s Hospital Boston. It gives her access to cutting edge drugs that are not yet commercially available.

Back home, they struggle to feed her the required healthy diet. Phalatse is unemployed and the two survive on her daughter’s government disability allowance.

Ontlametse is unfazed: "Sometimes when my mommy has money, she buys lettuce and cucumbers and I help her do salad."

At school, Ontlametse keeps her hat on her head, self-conscious of her bald head. One of the things on her wish list is a specially designed wig.

She has two friends in her class but says not all her classmates are kind, but it doesn’t bother her.

"I don’t care what people say about me," she says, making a throwaway motion with a hand misshapen with arthritis, knobby fingers and discolored nails.

In her rundown brick home in the small town of Hebron about 50 miles north of Johannesburg, Ontlametse ditches the hat. She does her homework, reading, watches TV and has daily chores like washing her socks and cleaning her shoes. She can’t play sports or even a game of hopscotch because physical exercise tires her out.

Asked what she would like to be, she breaks into a big grin that shows irregular teeth.

"I would like to be a psychologist," she says, "so that I can work on the problems of other people and so that they can accept the way that they are because they can see that I accept the way I am."

That she would live that long would require a miracle. Children with progeria die almost exclusively from heart disease between the ages of 8 and 21, commonly suffering high blood pressure, strokes, angina, enlarged heart and heart failure.

Gordon said research into progeria has had remarkable success since her family founded the foundation in 1999, after her nephew was diagnosed with the disease.

In 2003, the foundation was instrumental in the discovery of the progeria gene. Now they hope it can help provide answers about the ordinary aging process and cardiovascular disease.

Yasir Arman: Sudan Needs a New Paradigm To End its Conflicts

Posted: September 8, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By: Brian Adeba

September 8, 2011

Hundreds of people have been displaced from Sudan’s Blue Nile State following fighting between government forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North) in early September. The SPLM North claims it has captured two garrison towns in Blue Nile. The advent of hostilities in Blue Nile followed political unrest in the state of southern Kordofan a few months earlier. Blue Nile State and southern Kordofan had fought alongside South Sudan, which seceded in July 2011. Analysts had long warned about the possibility of conflict in both regions which straddle the border with South Sudan if disputes on political control are not resolved amicably between the government and the SPLM-North, the dominant party in both regions.

Brian Adeba spoke to Yasir Arman, the secretary general of the SPLM-North, about the conflict in Blue Nile and the prospects for a peaceful resolution.

Following the fighting in Blue Nile, the SPLM North has been accused of failing to redefine its objectives to appeal to a broad Sudanese spectrum, away from focusing on a narrow base in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states. How do you respond to this accusation?

Yasir Arman: Part of this accusation is genuine. The other part is just part of the campaign against the SPLM. The SPLM is not a new organization as you know. It is an organization that has worked in northern Sudan for a quarter of a century. For the last six years, I have been involved with the party in Khartoum and worked extensively with everybody. Our objective is clear. What we want now, after the situation in Blue Nile and southern Kordofan, is that the regime must change. The National Congress Party, if they don’t want this change to be effected by force, they have to spell a clear program of change and a new road map, a new paradigm shift. Sudan cannot be the same after all that happened in South Sudan. The National Congress Party is a party that is fighting everybody. It fought South Sudan, Darfur, Eastern Sudan, Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains in southern Kordofan.

Now let us take a look at the rebellions taking place. Of course Darfur is still on fire, then there’s Blue Nile and southern Kordofan. Is there an initiative from your side, to forge a united front among the armed groups in these regions to confront the Khartoum regime?

Yasir Arman: We already started the process where we reached a memorandum of understanding with the Darfurian resistance movements. We already agreed on everything. We also agreed with the Justice and Equality Movement on the remaining issue and it is one issue, the issue of the state and religion, but I believe we will resolve it. More than that, this alliance has to extend to all democratic forces in the country so that we form an alliance that will restructure the centre and will build a new state based on equal rights of citizenship and will provide democracy and transformation and permanent peace and food to our people. That’s what we are aiming for.

As the fighting in Blue Nile escalates, I understand that the SPLM North will be going to Addis Ababa for talks being mediated by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. What you can tell us about these upcoming talks?

Yasir Arman: Actually we are not going for talks. We are going for consultation. We have been invited by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. May be other participants will attend, especially the envoy of the UN secretary general, President Thabo Mbeki and may be others from the international community. And we said we are ready to consult and listen to what exactly Prime Minister Zenawi will tell us. But what we want to say is that the situation now is different from the situation when we signed the framework agreement which was dishonoured by President Omar El Bashir. There is a new situation on the ground. The SPLM North has been banned by the government of the National Congress Party and we will listen to what Meles Zenawi will tell us.

What would it take for peace to reign in Blue Nile and southern Kordofan from your perspective as SPLM North?

Yasir Arman: From our perspective there is a need for change. There is a need to accept the will of the Sudanese people, and that is a very important. There is a need to admit that Sudan is not going to be the same and the country is not going to be run by the National Congress—as a one party system. There is a need for a real transformation, for a new road map.

What specifically would this new road map entail?

Yasir Arman: It will entail agreeing on democratic transformation, agreeing on restructuring the centre in Khartoum in the interest of different regions, in the interest of accepting diversity and equal citizenship. That we will have a new professional army, a professional police force, a professional public service and that Sudan will belong to all. Sudan now belongs only to the National Congress Party.

Have there be any one-on-one talks between leaders of the SPLM/N and members of the regime in Khartoum? I understand that Malik Agar called Vice President Ali Osman Muhammad Taha. Can you shed any light on that?

Yasir Arman: Malik was the governor and there were a lot of talks before the war but they [NCP] are trying to say is not correct, it is rubbish. They are trying to get themselves out of the responsibility that they are the ones who launched the attack in Blue Nile. What they are saying is implicating them more. Malik Agar as the governor, he played his role as a statesman. Up to the last moment, he was trying to avoid the confrontation. And they [NCP] went into this confrontation and they have to be held responsible for what they did.

If there’s one last word that you would want to say, what would that be?

Yasir Arman: What I would like to say is that we are very much concerned about the humanitarian suffering and that Khartoum is denying access to humanitarian operations and using food as a weapon. They [Khartoum] are preventing the displaced from moving to camps, they are using them as human shields. There is a need for strong pressure from the international community to have safe passages and access without let or hindrance to the needy people. And there is a need for a no-fly zone from Blue Nile to Darfur to protect the civilian populations.

Kiir cancels sacking of Garang widow

Posted: September 8, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Appointment of Presidential Advisor by Presidential Decree No. 33/2011

The President of the Republic issued Presidential Decree No. 33/2011 for the appointment of the following Presidential Advisors in the Republic of South Sudan, and they are:

S/N Name in Full Position
1- Hon. Madam Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior Advisor on Gender and Human Rights
2- Hon. Rtd Gen. Joseph Lagu Special Advisor
3- Hon. Telar Ring Deng Advisor on Legal Affairs
4- Hon. Tor Deng Mawien Advisor on Decentralization and Inter-Governmental Linkages
5- Advisor on Religious Affairs To be appointed
6- Advisor on Economic Affairs To be appointed


Reported by:

Thomas Kenneth Elisapana

Presidential Press Unit

Office of the President of the Republic


Kiir cancels sacking of Garang widow

Juba, Thursday

South Sudan President Salva Kiir on Thursday beat a hasty retreat on his previous day’s decision to sack Ms Rebecca Nyandeng Garang, widow of liberation struggle hero John Garang from his Cabinet.

Ms Garang, who was the president’s adviser on Gender and Human Rights, was on Wednesday sent packing alongside four of her colleagues.

President Kiir, however, swiftly reversed the decision on Thursday reinstating the four and creating an additional post of the Adviser on Economic Affairs.

Following the move, Ms Garang will continue in her old position. The South Sudan leader is believed to be under immense pressure to accommodate more political kingpins.

In the Presidential Decree No.33, Kiir left out the Adviser on Religious Affairs, the Rev Tijwong Hather Agwer.

In a related development, President Kiir has constituted a nine-member inter-ministerial committee to ascertain the territorial boundaries of Ramchiel as the site for the new capital.

The new land, which is about 40 square kilometres according to Information minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin, will be administered directly by the central government, unlike that in Juba where powers overlap between the local community, state and the central government.

Meanwhile, the United Nations on Thursday deplored the continued attacks on civilians in northern Sudan’s troubled Southern Kordofan state and called for immediate cessation of hostilities.

Fighting broke out in June between the Sudanese army and ex-rebel forces allied to South Sudan army following disputed state gubernatorial elections. Since then, violence has escalated and there have been reports of mass graves.

In a joint statement released in New York by the Special Advisers to the UN-Secretary General, the UN called for the Sudan “to grant immediate and unhindered access of humanitarian agencies to the whole state of Southern Kordofan in order to provide urgently needed assistance to the population.”

“According to independent sources, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) have continued aerial bombardments in Southern Kordofan, particularly in the Nuba Mountains region, resulting in further killing and displacement of the civilians population,” Adviser on Genocide Prevention Francis Deng, and Adviser on Responsibility to Protect Edward Luck, said in a statement.

The special Advisers urge the government of Sudan to investigate the alleged crimes against humanity and to hold accountable all those responsible, including for their incitement.

Sudan, old and new: Bloody omens

Posted: September 8, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

The new state is getting caught up in dangerous age-old rivalries

Sep 10th 2011 | DAMAZIN AND PIERI | from the print edition

THE world’s newest country, South Sudan, is facing its first big test, barely two months after its inauguration. On August 18th a deadly cycle of cattle raids and revenge attacks reached a climax in the small town of Pieri, in Jonglei state, one of South Sudan’s poorest and least developed. Armed men from the Murle ethnic group swept in at dawn, burning huts, slaughtering children in front of their mothers and causing thousands of people to flee into the bush. More than 600 ethnic Lou Nuer are reported killed, 200 children abducted, and 25,000 cows stolen.

The Murle were taking revenge. In June, some 400 were killed in Pibor county by the Lou Nuer. The clashes go back decades but intensified in 2009, a year when more people died in Jonglei than in Darfur, the strife-ridden western region of Sudan. In Jonglei the Dinka tribe and the Jikany Nuer, as well as the Murle and Lou Nuer, have been fighting over cattle, a vital source of wealth in swathes of South Sudan because young men need them for marriage dowries. Cattle raids take place in other South Sudanese states too, but nowhere is the habit as deadly as in Jonglei.

New factors have made things worse. Young men used to try to rustle cattle with spears. Now, after decades of civil war, automatic weapons are rife. The new government in Juba, South Sudan’s current capital, says that during the war years the government of the rump country in Khartoum dished out arms to client groups such as the Murle to keep the south weak.

Now each cattle raid results in multiple deaths, creating an ever greater thirst for revenge. “The problem is poverty,” says Jonglei’s governor, Kuol Manyang. His domain has hardly any proper roads, so the security forces often cannot reach trouble-spots to head off problems. The police are ill-equipped and the army is still making the tricky switch from a guerrilla movement to a professional national force. Some politicians suggest that troops with no ethnic links to Jonglei should be sent in.

A UN peacekeeping mission says it will help the fledgling army to reimpose order, but it has committed only 150 troops for a limited period. They are now stationed in the area considered most likely to be hit by a revenge attack. The southern government says it has a plan to disarm civilians, to reconcile old enemies by using traditional and religious leaders as mediators, and to speed up development, starting by building a road network.

Disarmament will not be easy. “Uneven and forcible disarmament campaigns of years past…deepened antagonism between ethnic communities and undermined confidence in government,” says Zach Vertin of the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based organisation. “Until neighbouring ethnic groups are disarmed evenly and adequate security alternatives extended in the wake of disarmament, communities will be reluctant to comply and the cycles of violence may continue.” Cattle raids will not bring down the new government. But as long as they persist, development will be stymied, confidence in the government will crumble and investors will stay away.

Even as blood flows within South Sudan, the new country’s relations with Khartoum have worsened. Fighting has broken out in Blue Nile state, just north of the new border, between forces loyal to the government in Khartoum and an opposition group called the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North that is made up of rebels who sided with the forces that won independence for South Sudan but were orphaned on the wrong side of the border when the new country was born.

Both sides accuse the other of starting it. Tens of thousands have deserted the state capital, Damazin. The northern air force has bombed the rebels’ stronghold at Kurmuk, nearer the border with South Sudan. Since June SPLM-North has also been fighting Sudanese government forces in South Kordofan, which lies across a central band just north of the new line. After the war spread to the Blue Nile last week, the Sudanese government in Khartoum shut SPLM-North’s offices throughout Sudan and arrested many of its people. It has accused South Sudan of helping old comrades with arms and cash, and says it has reported the new government in Juba to the UN Security Council. Not exactly friendly new neighbours.

from the print edition | Middle East and Africa

Security: ‘South Sudan armed forces impede UN peacekeepers’ withdrawal’

Posted: September 8, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Nairobi, Kenya – The UN peacekeeping force deployed to monitor the North-South peace agreement warned Thursday that the South Sudanese armed forces were impeding its complete pullout from the region.

The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), which was disbanded after South Sudan officially declared its independence in July, said constant attacks had affected its total pullout.

The UN Security Council has formally wound up the mission and a plan to repatriate its military hardware and other mission equipment launched.

UNAMIS said its plan had been progressing well, but had recently faced major setbacks after elements within the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) seized its equipment, including vehicles and other equipment.

It said while most of the blue berets have pulled out by 31 Aug, in line with the agreed schedule, rear parties who are guarding military and communications equipment belonging to the respective contributing countries remain behind.

The pullout, which started 12 July, is in compliance with the UN Security Council Resolution 1997, and in close coordination with The Sudanese National Technical Mechanism.

Pana 08/09/2011

Special Reports U.N. wants end to South Kordofan violence

Posted: September 8, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 8 (UPI) — The Sudanese government is called on to immediately end its air assault on the border state of South Kordofan, U.N. officials said.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir recently called for a cease-fire in South Kordofan and denied reports of mass graves and ethnic violence in the area. Khartoum blames rebel forces from South Sudan for much of the violence in the border regions.

Francis Deng, the U.N. special envoy for the prevention of genocide, and Edward Luck, a U.N. special adviser on the responsibility to protect, in a message to Khartoum, called for an immediate end to the assault on South Kordofan.

"We remind the government of Sudan of its responsibility to protect its populations, irrespective of their ethnic, religious or political affiliation, from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity," they said in a statement.

Conflict has spread to Blue Nile state along the border between Sudan and South Sudan. Sudan, through its official news agency, has repeatedly brushed off allegations regarding the severity of the violence.

Both experts, nonetheless, called on Khartoum to get serious about the violence and conduct an investigation into alleged crimes committed there.

"If the government is unable to do so, it should allow a prompt international investigation into the ongoing attacks against the civilian population in South Kordofan," they said.

Bashir is accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Khartoum isn’t party to the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court, however.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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South Sudan’s Juba-Bor Road Almost Impassable

Posted: September 8, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

With potholes grinding traffic to near halt on one of nation’s main arteries, local youth do repairs in face of government inaction

Manyang David Mayar | On the Juba-Bor Road, South Sudan

Trucks and passengers wait while local youths repair potholes on the Juba-Bor road in South Sudan

Photo: Manyang David Mayar

Trucks and passengers wait while local youths repair potholes on the Juba-Bor road in South Sudan

The Juba-Bor road is one of the main land transport corridors in the new nation of South Sudan. But with the arrival of the rainy season, the road has become almost impassable to traffic. Dozens and possibly hundreds of vehicles, transporting goods and people from Juba and East Africa to Jonglei state are stuck along the roads worst stretches, causing large price hikes for goods in the state capital.

And while the government appears to be doing little to maintain the road, some youth in Bor are doing their best to fix up the most damaged parts of it, while earning some money along the way.

VOA’s Manyang David Mayar recently took a bumpy bus ride down this road. To hear his report, please click on the link below, or on that top right hand of the page.

South-Aligned Party in Sudan Calls for Bashir Overthrow

Posted: September 8, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Posted Thursday, September 8th, 2011 at 10:41 am

The party of former rebels in Sudan is calling for the overthrow of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

In an interview Thursday with VOA , Yasir Arman, who heads the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, said “it’s high time to change the regime in Khartoum.”

Arman said President Bashir is worse than ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abadine Ben Ali. He also accused Mr. Bashir’s National Congress Party of committing atrocities in the border state of Southern Kordofan, where Sudan’s army has been fighting pro-South Sudan forces since June.

This is the first time the SPLM-North has openly called for Mr. Bashir’s ouster.

The party is the northern branch of South Sudan’s ruling party, which split into two when South Sudan declared independence from Sudan two months ago.

Pro-southern elements are also fighting Sudan’s army in Blue Nile state.

A news release from Arman Thursday said pro-southern fighters in the state had beaten back a Sudanese offensive and captured some equipment.

Earlier, the Sudan Armed Forces said it had inflicted “heavy casualties” on the fighters during a clash Wednesday. The army said some soldiers were also killed.

The U.N. has raised concerns about the humanitarian impact of the fighting in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan, while the United States says the fighting is an obstacle to improving ties with Khartoum.

Sudanese President Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region. His government has been fighting rebels there since 2003.

Sept 8th, 2011: South Sudanese Job Openings

Posted: September 8, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Dear All,
Medair is an international humanitarian organization working in emergency relief and rehabilitation programme in south Sudan, is seeking to recruit a suitable qualified Sudanese National to fill the vacancy post for Logistics officer to be based in Juba with a frequent travel to the field in emergency response team (ERT) in all the ten states of south Sudan.

Please circulate widely.

NB:These position is open for South Sudanese nationals only.



Chaplain Kara Athanasius
Procurement and Liaison Officer
Medair international

South Sudan Programme
Hai Matara opposite UNMIS junction
behind par kins UK.
email: chaplain.kara58

tel: +256 (0) 477108177
+249 (0) 913608592

Skype: karlo574

Support the world’s most vulnerable today:

We bring life-saving relief and rehabilitation in disasters, conflict areas, and other crises by working alongside the most vulnerable.

ERT-H Logistics officer.pdf ERT-H Logistics officer.pdf
267K View Download

Dear all,

Please circulate widely. These positions are open for South Sudanese nationals only.

Please note that we have posted the soft copy b/se the scanned copy of the MoL approved pages bounced back several times.

Many thanks

Tewelde Tesfaghabir
HR Manager
Merlin South Sudan
Tel. +249-955-050-154
Skype: ttesfaghabir

Midwife & Nurse Advert.doc Midwife & Nurse Advert.doc
75K View Download
Hospital Matron - Advert.doc Hospital Matron – Advert.doc
55K View Download
Lab tech, Lab tech,
209K View Download

Dear all,

International Rescue Committee – South Sudan is looking for a Reproductive Health Officer to be based in Malualkon (Northern Behr-el-Ghazal). Please refer to the attached advert for detailed job description. Applications can be sent by or before the closing date i.e. September 23rd, 2011 to human.resources with Reproductive Health Officer clearly mentioned in the subject line. Alternatively, applications can also be hand delivered at IRC`s office in Malualkon (Aweil East, Northern Behr-el-Ghazal).

Advert for Finance & Admin Officer Advert for Finance & Admin Officer
602K View Download
Vacancy Announcement RH.pdf Vacancy Announcement RH.pdf
139K View Download

Sudan’s ticking time-bomb detonates

Posted: September 8, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Wednesday 07 September 2011
By Osman Mirghani

It seems that Sudan, under al-Bashir’s reign, can never be at peace. Before the ink has even dried on the signing of the secession of the South, which the regime justified as the price to pay to end the war and achieve peace, new wars have broken out and Sudan has returned to the arena of death. You did not need to be an analytical genius to anticipate such wars, the situation was as clear as day. Many have warned of this, having seen the incompetent policies pursued by the government with regards to its handling of the peace issue, and the many holes in what is known as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

The question that comes to mind is: Did the government, its negotiators, and its many advisors not realize that there are many outstanding issues that have not been resolved in the six years from the signing of the CPA in 2005, until the date of the self-determination referendum in the south earlier this year, and that these issues would be ticking time bombs exploding one after the other, in light of the tension between Khartoum and Juba, and the problems in the border states?

If the regime in Khartoum did not realize this, this is a major disaster, because the negotiations lasted several years and the highest levels of government were involved, including a number of senior leaders, officials and strategists, supervised by Vice President Ali Osman, and with the final agreement signed by President al-Bashir. Can we honestly believe that all those who participated in the lengthy negotiations and multiple meetings held to discuss the peace issue did not realize the danger of leaving sensitive issues unresolved, or not resolved before the referendum? On the other hand, if the regime was aware of this, and went down the road which would clearly lead to secession with the south, then this is an even greater disaster, because this will renew many doubts about the motives of some parties in the regime, especially as some of them used to promote and publicly call for the secession of the south, believing that this would pave the way for their age-old project to declare an Islamic republic.

These doubts were also reinforced by al-Bashir’s recent comments about the Salvation Regime’s determination to announce an Islamic republic, and apply Shariaa law. These comments are seen as an attempt to escape responsibility for the consequences of secession, and hide behind the slogans used by the regime in the past, for political or tactical goals, which have not been applied seriously throughout its 22 year grip on power. But even if the Salvation Regime, born from the womb and mind of the National Islamic Front (NIF), was sincere in what some of its members say, is it possible to accept the partition of the country in order to implement a party program? It is worth noting that the people of Sudan, who are religious in their nature, never gave the NIF, in all its guises, any form of parliamentary majority during both the democratic periods that Sudan has known. This is why the students of [Hassan] al-Turabi turned against democracy, before ultimately turning against him as well in their struggle for power.

Al-Bashir’s government has tried to respond to its critics by saying it has achieved peace, without answering the question: What peace? Is it the peace that led to the division of Sudan and the separation of the south, or is it the peace that today leads to wars in South Kordofan, the Blue Nile and Abyei, after the war in Darfur?

The reality now facing the people indicates that the government has failed to achieve peace, and has nothing to offer the Sudanese to justify the separation of the South, and neglecting the nation’s unity. Perhaps for this reason the government has resorted once again to its old policies; escaping to war in order to cover its failure to achieve peace. War can be a scapegoat for the regime to draw upon when it comes to future crises, especially on the economic level, where the impact of separation and the loss of a large part of oil revenue are beginning to appear. Prices of essential consumer goods are on the rise, especially with the taxes and new measures imposed by the government, including subsidies partially lifted for some commodities such as sugar and petroleum products, the cessation of imports of certain goods, reduced public spending, and reductions in the state budget.

There has been a significant reduction in the country’s revenue from oil exports, which has become a mainstay of the economy after the government ignored the agricultural sector for years. Corruption accusations also imply that part of the North’s share of oil revenues has been squandered, whilst what remains cannot absorb the shock of separation.
Today Sudan faces three wars stretching from Darfur and South Kordofan to the Blue Nile state, all of which are prone to further escalation. Indeed, officials in Khartoum are now talking about the possibility of a renewed war between Sudan and South Sudan, and if this were to take place it would be deadlier than all previous rounds of war between the two states.

It could expand, dragging in regional parties, as the South has now become an independent state. There are already international fears about the renewed outbreak of this war, especially with increasing signs of this in the South, after it accused Khartoum of supporting militias to destabilize the situation in the new state. After the outbreak of war in South Kordofan, both sides began to undertake their own mobilizations, as proxy wars rage between the two states. It was interesting that Washington, which Khartoum has repeatedly criticized with regards to the fighting in South Kordofan, expressed concerns recently about reports of support from Juba for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in South Kordofan. Nevertheless, this support was to be expected given the many of the northern elements who fought with the SPLA in the south were from South Kordofan, the Nuba Mountains, and the Blue Nile.

Today in Khartoum there are those calling for war and a military resolution to the problems, whether in Darfur, South Kordofan or the Blue Nile, but such people have not asked themselves what Sudan has gained from its policy of war, which the al-Bashir regime has excelled in as much as it has failed in its policy of dialogue. The war in the South consumed everything and everybody, killed and displaced millions, and ended with a peace agreement leading to separation.

The continuing war in Darfur has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced nearly two million, and is still ongoing and prone to further escalation. Has the regime not learned that it can escalate matters and fight [in the short
term], but in the end it will go to the negotiation table?

There are those who believe that the regime in Khartoum is not fluent in the language of dialogue, and only knows the language of escalation, war and terrorizing opponents, in order to cling onto power. Yet there are also those who think that some parties in the regime are gambling on the war to distract the people from future crises, and distract them from the Arab Spring. In either case the situation in Sudan is likely to endure difficult times and heated conflict, perhaps placing it at the heart of current events…and revolutions.

NCP offensive against the SPLA/N in Blue Nile fails

Posted: September 8, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Press Release

NCP offensive against the SPLA/N in Blue Nile fails: Latest Update, Sept.8th,2011
NCP continues to use food as a weapon, denies access to humanitarian assistance in the two areas

The SPLA/N has defeated a major NCP offensive on September 7th, 2011, destroying a convoy on the outskirts of Damazin and capturing the last remaining NCP garrison of Khor Dahab which has been used as a base for assembling and mobilizing forces to attack Gissan town.

The NCP attack was launched from two main axes , namely Eastern Part of Blue Nile- Gissan-Menza, where the SPLA/N has cleared the whole Eastern sector from the NCP forces.

With the fall of Khor Dahab garrison, the SPLA/N is in full control of the Eastern sector. Meanwhile, in the South Western Sector, the NCP mobilized and sent a convoy of two battalions plus towards Dundru- Kurmuk road. They were intercepted by the SPLA/N forces only 21 kilometers South of Damazin. The force was repulsed and dispersed, leaving behind all their equipment including, tanks, artillery and mounted Toyota land cruiser vehicles. NCP Antinov airplanes have been bombarding the site throughout the night in an attempt to deny the SPLA/N the equipment by destroying them. Yet, in the morning, the SPLA/N took three mounted Toyota land cruisers and one mounted Ural truck. The search of the areas for the equipment continues. In a separate development, the SPLA/ N captured the strategic garrison of Seilak in the South Western part of Blue Nile. The SPLA/N forces are moving towards Bot, the only garrison remaining for the NCP forces in the South Western part of Blue Nile up to border of the neighboring Republic South Sudan.
In a related development, the SPLA/N received huge supplies of ammunitions and medicines dropped by the reluctant NCP Air Force, who inadvertently dropped the loads to our areas. By so doing, General Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein, NCP Minister of Defense, has become the SPLA/N Quarter-Master General. We thank him for that.

Meanwhile, the SPLM/N leadership last week, after the NCP’s unwarranted attack in Blue Nile, resolved that General Malik Agar would be the Commander-in-Chief of the SPLA/N in Northern Sudan while General Abdel Aziz Adam El Hilu would be the Chief of Staff of the SPLA/N. The rest of the General Staff will be announced. Hence, the SPLA/N is to be developed as a national liberation army. Its main goal is to achieve the aspirations of the Sudanese people in restructuring the center in Khartoum; and also to realize just peace, democracy, equal citizenship, good relations with our neighbors and the international community.

It is worth mentioning that the Sudanese Air Forces is extensively bombarding the civil population areas and civil installations, including worship sites. As a result, thousands of people are now displaced while others have either been maimed or killed.

The NCP continues the same policies that it started in Southern Kordofan in Blue Nile, denying the civilian population in the areas controlled by the NCP the right to stay in the displaced camps and pushing them back towards war zones. By doing so, they are being used as human shields.

Likewise, the NCP is denying access to the international organization to the areas controlled by the SPLM/N using food as a weapon, an act which constitutes a war crime. The only organization that is allowed even in the NCP controlled area is the Red Crescent and similar agencies. These are NGoS that are controlled by NCP security agencies. They lack capacities and yet experienced international organizations are being denied access to the areas.

Arbitrary arrests for leaders and cadres of the SPLM/N are continuing all over Northern Sudan. This is in addition to closure of offices, confiscation of vehicles and properties. In the Northern State, the National Congress Security Agencies arrested Mohammed Mahmoud Al Awad, the SPLM/N political secretary of the Northern State in the city of Dongulla along with Hashim Musa, the Finance Secretary, Shams Eldin from the Finance Secretariat, Ibrahim Gasim, Mirghani Tiya and Maker Deng Kur, a former SPLM/N member from the Republic South Sudan. In Western Darfur, the security forces closed down all offices, arrested Ustaz Arbab Mohamed Ibrahim, the SPLM/N Candidate for the position of governor of Western Darfur, Saad Sandell, former State Legislative Assembly member, Abu Baker Yousif Zakaria, secretary of the SPLM/N for Administration and Organizations, Daoud Arbab, Secretary of Finance, and Samer Yousif, secretary of Women Affairs. In South Darfur, offices were closed down, documents and properties confiscated and many were arrested. Among them are Abu baker Haroun, the Chairperson of Eldain District, whose whereabouts are not known. In Kassala State, eastern Sudan, offices were closed down in Kassala city and all districts. Properties and documents were confiscated. Among those arrested was the secretary general of the SPLM/N Khalid Abdel Qawi. They went as far as interrogating his old mother, his wife and sister. A well known SPLM/N activist Nazar Bushara has also been arrested. They further arrested the chairperson of Wed El Heleiu District and other SPLM/N members.

1-It has evidently become clear to the NCP that the eradication of the SPLM/N is a not a picnic. It is a wishful thinking and a mission impossible.

2-The NCP propaganda that the Government of the republic of South Sudan is behind what is going in the two areas does not hold water. The NCP themselves were fighting in the two areas and have had problems in these areas for the last 22 years of their rule. In contrast, the Government of the Republic of South is just two months old. The NCP is clearly looking for a scapegoat to hang their defeats. The NCP fought the people of Eastern Sudan, Darfur and the South Sudan long before the Republic of South Sudan was born. The current conflict is a creation of the NCP in that they sowed the seed of the problem when they voluntarily destroyed the CPA; attempted to disarm the SPLA/N and rejected the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement.

3-The SPLM/N and other resistance movements and democratic forces are determined to put an end the illusive NCP program of the second Islamic Republic, a Taliban Republic that is based on heavy human cost and loss, denial of diversity, ethnic cleansing, genocide and terrorism.

Yasir Arman
SPLM/N Secretary General
September, 8th, 2011