Archive for September 16, 2011

President Kiir to Address UN General Assembly for the first time

Posted: September 16, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Washington: Fatah Arman

The President of the Republic of South SudanGen. Salva Kiir Mayardit will lead the first ever delegation of South Sudan to UN General Assembly meeting.

He added: “While in New York,the President will have more bilateral meetings with Presidents and Heads of government. Gatkuoth explained: “these heads of states include the President of USA Barack Obama, President ofGeorgia, President of Lebanon Gen Michel Sleimn, Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of Greece, President of Austria Heinz Fischei, and many more".

According to Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Head of Mission of Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan to USA and UN, Kiir will address the General Assembly on the 23rd of September 2011 for the first time after South Sudan became a sovereign Independence state.

He continued: “The president will address the UN General Assembly to highlight the role of the new Republic of South Sudan in contributing to the world peace, fighting global terrorism, challenges facing the new nation and viability of the two states of South Sudan and North Sudan as friendly nations".

Sudan Bans 17 political parties, among them SPLM-N and SPLM-DC

Posted: September 16, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

KHARTOUM, Sept 15 (Reuters) –

Sudan said on Thursday it had asked 17 political parties, among them the opposition SPLM-N, to stop their activities because their leaders and most of its members are from its former civil war foe South Sudan.

Tensions have been building up between the government in Khartoum and the northern wing of the SPLM since South Sudan became independent in July as agreed under a 2005 peace deal.

The SPLM is the ruling party in the South, and the organisation split into north and south along with the country itself. The northern wing, SPLM-N, is allied to armed groups fighting the army in the poorly-marked border area. SPLM-N officials say its offices have been closed since violence broke out in the northern border state of Blue Nile earlier this month.

Sudan has asked the 17 parties to stop their activities "because their leadership and most members have lost the Sudanese citizenship," the Council for Political Parties said in a statement. All parties were active in the South, it added.

Apart from the SPLM-N, 16 other parties affiliated to South Sudan were affected, among them the SPLM for Democratic Change which broke off from the SPLM and is now a major opposition party in South Sudan.

Government officials have said the SPLM-N is illegal because it is not registered as political party.

Sudan has recognised South Sudan as independent state but tensions have built up over unresolved issues such as violence in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, sharing oil revenues and finding a solution for the disputed area of Abyei.

A day before southern independence on July 9, Sudan suspended six newspapers because southerners were among its owners or publishers.

Sudan’s north-south civil war which ended in 2005 after decades of fighting over differences over religion, ethnicity, ideology and oil, cost about 2 million lives.

(Reporting by Khaled Abdelaziz and Ulf Laessing)

SPLM-DC’s Secretariat Rocks by Resignations and Defections

Posted: September 16, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Yien Thiang Luony’s Resignation from SPLM-DC

Dear colleagues,

Its important to inform all of you about my decision to leave the SPLM-DC, the party which united me with some of you. Over the years we have formed enough bonds that shall stay between us forever. As friends and colleagues, I felt obliged to inform you that I have disagree with the way the Chairman is managing the party, especially in matters pertaining to the security issues. As leaders in the party, our chairman should answer us responsibly when one raises a point of concern, but not to brush one off like a child. Some of such queries are live threatening and should be taken as such. While my bus stopped here, I wish you well in your adventure.

Second, allow me to highlight the fact that as I see defections from our party here and there, they were never analyses to see our own weakness as to why people resigned or defect. Instead, the deserters are disparages and accused of embezzling money, running to seeks positions in the government or fearing for the threat for their lives. in any case live is good, which is why some of us cannot come to juba for the fear for their lives. As a peace of advice to you, if you have to advance the cause of the SPLM-DC, I advice you to look inwards first and foremost. There you would be able to find the best way to succeed. Its an honest advice but you have every right to leave or take.

Finally, People who know themselves always meet here and there, its important we maintain respect to one another.

Thanks

Yien Thiang Luony.

Sandra Bona Malwal’s Resignation from SPLM-Dc

13th September 2011

To:

H.E. Dr. Lam Akol

Chairman,

Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Movement for Democratic Change

Subject: Resignation from the Post of Secretary General of SPLM/DC and withdrawal of Membership from the party

Dear Dr. Lam Akol,

With great honor and respect I would like to convey my regards to you after this long period. I would also want to make sure that you are not surprised of why I am writing you this letter. I have worked hard through your support and have learned a lot from you. I felt empowered politically, economically, socially and administratively by your leadership.

As per the subject of this letter sincerely speaking I feel that I would like to step aside from politics until further notice and I am hereby resigning from the post of the Secretary General and membership of the party. My main reason being I am a single parent and need to be close to my children all the time, I need to be picking them for holidays and returning them to Nairobi after each school term, here I feel that I will not be able to handle both jobs simultaneously. Therefore, allow me to thank you personally and all the members in SPLM-DC, all the members of the national council, and the national executive committee members. I would also like to tell them all that I enjoyed working with them, I would like to ask for forgiveness if I happen to offend or inconvenience anybody in one way or another during the period I was in the office.

For the time being I would like to concentrate on my civil society organization of empowering women which allows me free movement when I need to, I wish SPLM-DC all the best in the struggle for democracy and change. Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Sandra Bona Malwal

Coordinator,

Sudanese Women Empowerment for Peace

Juba-South Sudan

Dr. Lam Akol’s Response

Dear members of SPLM-DC,

You have read the resignation of Yien on this forum. I am also getting it at the same time as you did. I will not for now dwell much on the content of the resignation but I want to say something about its circumstances. Yien, Deng and Sandra were to resign last month on "fears on security". I wrote them a letter on the 23rd of August on the issues they were raising [This answers his baseless claim that I brushed him aside like a child and that the security issues were not being addressed] . If Yien wants us to accept the propaganda of our enemies and detractors on security allegations, then he should come out clearly and tell us what we do not know. I am pasting the letter here for everybody to read so that we are not taken in by sugar-coated misrepresentation. Now, if the resignation of Yien, Sandra, Deng, etc, was well-intentioned why did they have to hold a press conference to do so? If they were leaving the party in peace, why did they this morning draw 13.8 thousand SSP out of the party account in the bank, which we discovered was in the name of Sandra and Deng?
We will respond when we read the statement they have put out and what they said at the press conference. In the meantime I would like you to read carefully the letter I wrote to the SG with copies to Yien, Deng and all members of the Secretariat. I was not being prophetic but the writing was clear on the wall. BEGIN:

23/8/2011

The Secretary General,

SPLM-DC.

I hear there are grumblings and finger-pointing in Juba as to what the party should or should not have done and why the Chairman is not in Juba. All these are signs of a sagging morale; and no battle, in this case political, can be fought when the morale is low! None of these issues being talked about is new or has taken us by surprise. Therefore, this is a restatement of those positions so that we are on the same wavelength and do not rehash matters for whatever motives.

Position of the SPLM towards the party:

Right from the word go, the SPLM has appraised that the SPLM-DC was the only party that could pose a threat to its dominance and pull the carpet from underneath its feet, especially, that it was born at a time when the general elections were just a few months away. It resorted to smearing the good name of the party that it had militias and indeed outlawed it. The SPLM could not prove this allegation in the Constitutional Court and that was why we won the case and were allowed to contest the elections. However, they never stopped making such allegations. The most serious aspect of it is that of late the President has been saying the same in public and when addressing the SPLA at its HQ in Juba. Now, with an independent South Sudan under the SPLM there is no Constitutional Court to resort to and anything can happen.

The Move of the Secretariat to Juba:

Some of you in the Secretariat have been agitating for the Secretariat to move to Juba even before the referendum. I was even accused of being obstructive to such a move. In any case, it was eventually decided to move to Juba but we all knew the risk involved. You remember that the Southern members in the leadership of the party held at least two meetings in your house to discuss the matter. Some of the points agreed were:

1. There was a great risk involved in moving to juba but we had to do it come what may.

2. Members who felt that their physical security was at risk are free not to go. I and a few others were identified as such persons.

3. The SPLM was bent on banning the political parties it did not agree with, and that SPLM-DC was in the top of the list.

4. Our presence in Juba will make the job of curtailing our activities much easier.

Therefore, we were prepared for the worst scenario that of proscribing our party. This renders the current rumblings the more astonishing.

Resources of the party:

The party needs resources to run its activities, but it does not follow that if the party has no resources it will die. There are many parties in both North and South Sudan today without resources and are active and running. We need to be aware of this fact in order to erase the current erroneous assumption in the minds of many in our party that it must pay its leaders. Some days back I was informed that one or two individuals threatened to resign from the party because their names did not appear in the new Secretariat, meaning not getting paid! We have been paying in the past because we had some resources, very soon this will stop altogether when these resources run out mainly as a consequence of the Spring Revolutions. We must be prepared for very hard times ahead. “Those who cannot stand the heat will leave the kitchen”. A party is not a payment agency or a milking cow, even the milking cow has to be fed to give milk. A party is for real sacrifice, more so when it has espoused change; one must give it more than he/she takes from it. This is the bottom line. Before the party was formed none of us was starving from hunger, and so none will if the party has no money. Those who cannot proceed without money will give way to those who can.

Labouring under the propaganda of the Opponent:

Labouring under the propaganda of the opponent is the surest way to ruin. The adversary does not wish us well and will therefore strive hard to drive a wedge within our ranks by using all kinds of disinformation.

First, I am told our people are worried because the other side always wonders why the Chairman is not in Juba. But is this new? Did we not discuss it?

I have said it time and again that nothing short of Salva Kiir agreeing publicly to meet me will I ever set foot in Juba. It is a matter of personal security. Period. The same people these members are listening to, were first talking about why the party HQ was not in Juba. Now that it is in Juba, they have shifted gear to as to why the Chairman was not there, and if he is there tomorrow they will shift to something else. It will never end until they see us out of the way. Mohammed Osman El-Mirghani, the leader of the DUP, has been outside Sudan for more than a year and the DUP is running. None of its members is questioning his absence. Sometimes by our very actions we tend to consolidate what is in the minds of the SPLM people that SPLM-DC is Lam Akol and he alone!

Second, I also hear that the SPLM people are telling some of our members that the SPLM-DC ‘s sponsoring of militias is now proved because Peter Gadet brought more evidence! And this became a matter of concern, if not fear. In the first place, who among you dealt with Peter Gadet to be frightened by what he could say? We have said it time and again that let the SPLM take its evidence to a court of law. No responsible government would use serious security allegations for propaganda purposes when people are dying. If what is said about Gadet is true, then he must have definitely mentioned who he dealt with. The party cannot be held responsible for actions of one or a number of its members however high in the hierarchy they may be unless those actions are proved beyond any reasonable doubt in a court of law that they were sanctioned by the party.

Third, it is also alleged that it is the Chairman who is making things difficult for party members to get government appointments, even some of us were quoted as saying that we cannot be in the opposition for life! Well, most of you were involved in our discussions with the SPLM. The SPLM did not even give a room for the Chairman to be blamed, like by offering us something that the Chairman rejected. The SPLM does not accept anything less than total submission to its whims. Those who did so got some of the crumbs, and some are still waiting to get their share. Those who want to join the queue can. But anybody who genuinely seeks change must be prepared for a hard struggle. After all, our party just marked its second birthday two months ago! Where is the long wait?

Fourth, it is rhetorically questioned why isn’t the Chairman breaking links with our party members in the North. When did it become an issue of the Chairman? Was not the NEC in its resolution No. 46 on 4/7/2011 which decided that certain procedures must be followed for a smooth disengagement between the northern and southern components of the party? Are these procedures complete? It will be morally repugnant and politically suicidal for our party just to abandon our comrades in the north who stood with us at difficult times. They will be an asset for us, if not for now in the future. The SPLM which is telling some of us this nonsense, has not cut links with their northern sector except in the press. Who is running the war in Southern Kordofan? Where is Yasir Arman now? Is he not with you in Juba?

Difficult Circumstances:

There is no denying of the fact that our party is undergoing difficult circumstances at the moment. It is being fought by the government of the day and can be dissolved at any moment. So, anybody who thinks that everything is normal must think again. We are not under normal conditions. I said it before that “when the walking gets tough, the tough gets walking”, when things are difficult only commitment to the cause keeps the torch burning. When the ship of Fidel Castro and his comrades landed on the Cuban coast from Mexico to launch their revolution, they were intercepted by the Batista forces with the help of the CIA. The whole force was annihilated, only five survived. These five reorganized and triumphantly liberated Cuba in less than a decade in 1959. Nothing is easy in change! I have also said that most of the parties operating in Sudan now were repeatedly dissolved by successive military regimes that have come and gone in Sudan (1958, 1969 and 1989). Yet, they still survive up to today, interestingly under the same leadership. The SPLM-DC is not less in resolve than those parties. So, the SPLM-DC may soon be dissolved, some of us, God forbid, may lose their lives, others may end up in jail, still others will quit the party, but a few will always remain to continue carrying the torch of change to be joined by many when the riding gets smooth. That is the course of history.

So, the Secretariat may diminish in size as the situation may dictate, it may even disappear altogether, nothing is ruled out. But surely the party will not die as long as there are people out there in South Sudan who are yearning for change. Never before has the future of so many depended on so few!

Conclusion:

Let us continue to discuss our party issues candidly and objectively. However, we must remain vigilant not to be infiltrated by the ideas of the opponents. Personal frustrations and disappointments should not rip us apart. If some of us see grass greener on the other side of the fence, they may go amicably without hard feelings. One day we may need each other again and work together.

Thanks.

Dr Lam Akol,

Chairman, SPLM-DC.

END.

Genocide continues in Sudan, Christian group seeks Congressional help

Posted: September 16, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

harlie Butts – OneNewsNow – 8/28/2011 3:30:00 AM

The government in Northern Sudan continues to attack Christians, especially in the Nuba Mountains, an area that was not allowed to secede when South Sudan separated from the north to form a new country.

The government of the north is attacking the Nuba Mountains almost daily, and while there have been bombing attacks from the air, the military are also killing Christians on the ground, according to Ed Lyons of Persecution Project Foundation.

Sudan“Tens of thousands of people have been displaced,” Lyons says. “They’re going door to door in their campaigns to annihilate the Nuba people. Really, we believe it’s a genocide where Omar Al Bashir in the 1990s and early 2000s really decimated the population there, killing approximately 50,000 people there at that time. But he’s back to finish the job.”

Lyons believes President Bashir is conducting the genocide on the basis of race and religion.

“He is an Islamic president. He has also turned his attention against the African population,” explains the ministry spokesman. “He is more of an Arabic Muslim, and so his two-pronged approach is to eradicate the Christians, targeting pastors, targeting the churches, but also to eradicate many of the black Africans there even if they are Muslim.”

He explains that was the same strategy northern Sudan used in Western Darfur, targeting African Muslims.

Persecution Project Foundation president Brad Phillips has testified before a congressional panel on the situation, and Lyons says he is hopeful the U.S. government will begin to apply pressure on Sudan to halt the attacks.

Obama to meet South Sudan leader at UN

Posted: September 16, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama will meet with South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, the White House said.

The meeting, announced Friday by Ben Rhodes, a US deputy national security advisor, will be the first meeting between the two leaders since South Sudan gain independence in July, after decades of strife that claimed millions of life.

"We welcome South Sudan as the newest member state of the United Nations," Rhodes said.

"The United States has played a long role in supporting a resolution to the conflict in Sudan and self determination to the South Sudanese. This will be a meeting to mark that progress."

Obama had strongly backed self-determination for the southern territory, saying upon recognizing the new state that Washington pledged "partnership" as the new African country seeks "security, development and responsive governance that can fulfill their aspirations."

He also at the time said their independence marked "a new stage in the long journey from Africa to the realization of its opportunities, democracy and justice."

The United States in recent weeks has urged a resolution to fighting in the border states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, with envoy Princeton Lyman calling it an obstacle to improved ties after the south seceded.

Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hEbXxcMs9UoIpEcnteBMq3zi0TFw?docId=CNG.b6d207691ba28c0711d32cc4f2496bd7.271

Cattle raiders kill 46 in Sudan

Posted: September 16, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

At least 46 people were killed and around 5000 cows stolen in the latest tribal violence in newly independent South Sudan, authorities said on Thursday.

South Sudan became independent in July after a 2005 peace deal with Khartoum that ended decades of civil war but the oil-producing nation has been struggling to end tribal and rebel violence that has killed around 3000 people this year.

The violence threatens to turn the new nation into a failed state and could upset the stability of its east African neighbours.

In the latest incident, youths from Warrap state attacked villages in neighbouring Unity state last weekend, officials said on Thursday.

"It’s a disastrous issue. A group with fire-arms came to villages in Mayendit. They came to raid cattle but also killed women and children," Unity state minister of information Gideon Gatpan said, adding that another 40 people were still missing.

Analysts say cattle theft is on the rise, driven by inflation of bride prices, which are traditionally paid in cows.

At least seven rebel militias are fighting the new government’s forces in remote parts of South Sudan, a country roughly the size of France.

South Sudan has accused Khartoum of supporting militias but the north denies this, and many rebels say they are fighting against what they see as corruption and ethnic discrimination in the south’s government, charges it denies.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/africa/5639677/Cattle-raiders-kill-46-in-Sudan

South Sudan seeing growing refugee influx from Southern Kordofan

Posted: September 16, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Briefing Notes, 16 September 2011

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at the press briefing, on 16 September 2011, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Over eight thousand civilians have fled into the newly independent Republic of South Sudan to escape fighting in the state of Southern Kordofan in neighbouring Sudan.

The new arrivals are mostly refugees from the Nuba Mountains region of central Sudan, who began trickling into South Sudan in July following heavy fighting and air strikes. Since last week however, there has been a surge in arrivals with up to 500 people a day from 100 people a day in August.

These are the first refugees to reach post-independence South Sudan and we expect more arrivals amid persistent reports of aerial bombing in Southern Kordofan. New arrivals also include some South Sudanese who had been living in Southern Kordofan State before being compelled to return because of the violence.

Most of the displaced walked for days to reach safety in South Sudan’s Unity State, which shares a border with the troubled regions of Abyei and Southern Kordofan States.

These people are currently scattered in remote northern areas of Unity State where a lack of airstrips and roads is severely limiting humanitarian access. To reach them, aid agencies are using a small number of quad bikes – one of the few means of traveling in this area. These bikes, although well-suited for the terrain, can bring in only limited numbers of staff and goods at a time. WFP supplied-food had to be airdropped recently to the region.

UNHCR has conducted basic registration at the border and identified the most vulnerable among the new arrivals for individual follow-up. We are supporting a mobile clinic to address the health needs, and our partners have been working on improving water and sanitation facilities and providing treatment for the severely malnourished. Meanwhile we are currently developing a site to relocate the refugees away from the border. The work includes building health, school, and clean water and sanitation facilities.

Transporting the thousands of displaced to the site will be difficult because of the absence of or extremely bad quality of the roads. The authorities of Unity State have started doing urgent repairs to open up roads to cars and trucks again. In the interim however, most of the displaced will have to trek to the new site on foot. Specific transport arrangements will be made for the most vulnerable to spare them the harsh journey.

For further information on this topic, please contact:

  • In Geneva: Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba, +41 79 249 3483

http://www.unhcr.org/4e732dde9.html

Fourth South Africa – European Union Summit

Posted: September 16, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Joint Communiqué

South Africa, 15 September 2011

We, the leaders of South Africa (SA) and the European Union (EU), meeting today in South Africa, Kruger National Park, reaffirmed our commitment to a strategic partnership based on shared values and interests , including the promotion of peace and security, human rights, democracy, the rule of law and sustainable development across our regions.

SA-EU Strategic Partnership

We reviewed the rapid expansion of our bilateral relationship, manifested by a strengthened Strategic Partnership and growing cooperation in a number of areas. We expressed our satisfaction with the positive implementation of the Joint Action Plan of the Strategic Partnership, as well as the various high-level political dialogues at Ministerial, Parliamentary and senior officials’ level.

We had fruitful discussions on various bilateral, regional and global issues of common interest and concern.

In our assessment of the implementation of the Joint Action Plan, we welcomed in particular:

  • The formalisation of the Human Rights Dialogue between the EU and South Africa.
  • The effective implementation and increased ownership of the European Union’s development assistance programme for South Africa and the excellent relationship between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and its South African partners.
  • The launch yesterday of the Primary Health Care Programme, worth – 126 million, aimed at increasing life expectancy, reducing maternal and child mortality and supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis.
  • The successful cooperation in the area of science, technology and innovation, (including the recent supporting seminars to this Summit on minerals and mining and climate change research), as well as on environment and sustainable development including green growth, climate action and biodiversity.
  • The consistent progress in our space cooperation, also involving the South African National Space Agency and the European Space Agency, especially the advanced preparations for the extension to South Africa of the European Geographic Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS), a platform which will significantly enhance global navigation satellite system services in South Africa.
  • Excellent progress in a broad ranging dialogue on migration, particularly on issues such as asylum related matter and human trafficking.
  • The implementation of a programme of academic exchange between South African and European Universities -"Erasmus Mundus"- to the mutual benefit of a growing number of post-graduate students and academics.
  • We welcomed progress on the negotiations on a EURATOM-SA agreement on the peaceful use of nuclear energy and look forward to its swift conclusion.
  • We reiterated our resolve to pursue policies that will strengthen economic and social cohesion in our respective regions, with a view to reducing the disparities in the level of development within South Africa and in the EU. We therefore encouraged the exchange of best practices in this area, building on the Workshop on Regional Policy held on 14 September 2011 in Pretoria.
  • We noted the continued growth in bilateral trade. The EU continued to be SA’s most important trade and investment partner, accounting for 35 % of South Africa’s total imports and 28% of its total exports.

Infrastructure Development

We agreed that infrastructure development is a crucial part in the development of both the African continent and the EU region. In particular the North-South Road and Rail Corridor holds great potential for the states of Southern and East Africa for greater economic and market integration, concomitant economic growth and job creation for the region’s population. The approach will be broadened to include sectors and sub-sectors that are linked to the North – South Corridor.

Development Cooperation

We emphasised the importance of the principles of aid effectiveness and their due implementation in practice, particularly in light of the forthcoming Busan High Level Forum (HLF4).

We also agreed to initiate discussions on the future direction of development cooperation between South Africa and the European Union in the context of the EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework (2014 -2020). In order to maintain our current approach to development cooperation we agreed assistance would continue to support value addition, including through innovation, pilot programmes, capacity development, and the sharing of skills and knowledge.

We also agreed to explore how to enhance the relationship between the European and South African Development Finance Institutions, moving towards more blending of grant and loan funds to support investments. Finally, we look forward to the establishment of the South African Development Partnership Agency which will offer new opportunities for cooperation.

Global Issues

G20

We reaffirmed the role of the G-20 as a key forum for global economic cooperation and reiterated our commitment to working in close coordination in the context of G-20 meetings. We are strongly committed to make the G20 summit in Cannes (3-4 November) a success as the G20 needs to send a strong signal of global unity and demonstrate that it is successful in managing the global recovery.

We expressed our will to put continued emphasis on the G20 Framework for Growth as an instrument to coordinate G20 economic policies and achieve strong, sustainable and balanced global growth, and on reforming the international monetary system. We also agreed that the G20 should further enhance the tools for financial support to countries during systemic crises, and on the need to ensure global financial stability and continue financial market reform, as well as to address commodity price volatility.

We look forward to achieving concrete results in the G20 development agenda in areas such as infrastructure investment, food security, domestic resource mobilisation, innovative financing, increased trade and integration and the social dimension of globalisation.

We committed to continue our engagement and active role in the G20 Development Working Group, which made progress in implementing the multi-year action plan, aimed at promoting economic growth with resilience, adopted at the G20 Seoul summit.

Climate Change and Rio+20

We reaffirmed that climate change is one of the most serious and urgent global challenges, which demands a global solution. We will strive jointly for an ambitious, comprehensive and balanced outcome for the UNFCCC negotiations. We also committed to work together ahead of and during the UNFCCC 17th Conference of the Parties and the 7th Conference of the Parties, serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP17/CMP7) that will take place in Durban, South Africa, from 28 November to 9 December 2011.

We concurred that Durban is an opportunity to agree on actions that will make the key decisions reached in Cancun fully operational, as well as to address issues that remained unresolved in Cancun and from the Bali Action Plan and Roadmap.

We acknowledged the "ambition gap" in proposed emission reductions and identify options to increase the level of ambition, as current pledges will not take us to a path below 2°C global temperature increase.

It should also result in significantly improved global governance for sustainable development to tackle remaining major challenges both in developmental and environmental terms.

We agreed on the importance of the Rio+20 Conference to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, whose main topics are the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. The Rio+20 Conference must give a strong global push to the transformation of economies into resource-efficient, low-emission economies leading to the creation of new "green jobs" and further eradication of poverty.

On the basis of these shared objectives, we agreed to further consult each other during the preparatory phase of the Rio+20 Conference.

Regional Issues

EU-SADC EPA Group negotiations

We reviewed the state of play of the EU-SADC EPA negotiations. We reaffirmed the importance of reaching an agreement that is mutually beneficial, enhances growth and generates jobs. We reiterated our strong commitment to conclude the negotiations as a matter of priority. We are convinced that solutions to the pending issues can be found. To this end, we urged our negotiators to expedite their work.

We welcomed the tripartite free trade area (TFTA) negotiations as a positive step towards broadening regional integration and deepening development in Africa.

Africa-EU radio astronomy cooperation

We noted that science and technology remained one of the most successful areas of cooperation under our Strategic Partnership as well as our respective efforts to support the Science, Information Society and Space Partnership of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. In this regard, we discussed the exciting opportunities presented by radio astronomy for mutually beneficial research and innovation collaboration between Africa and Europe, including the contribution of such research infrastructures to human capital and socio-economic development.

Political and Security issues

We reiterated the importance we attach to maintaining an active dialogue on political and security issues both bilaterally and in the context of the Joint Africa-EU Strategic Partnership. In particular we discussed the following;

Sudan and South Sudan

We discussed the situation in Sudan and South Sudan following the independence of South Sudan and the end of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on 9 July and urged the parties to continue working towards resolving all outstanding issues.

We expressed particular concern about the ongoing hostilities in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile state and urged the parties to take steps towards a cessation of hostilities and to ensure the protection of civilians. We also expressed deep concern about the human rights situation and recognised the need for continued human rights monitoring.

We called upon the Government of Sudan and the SPLM Northern Sector to allow for unhindered humanitarian access to the areas affected by fighting.

We emphasised the importance of all parties involved actively working to lay the foundations for peaceful relations between Sudan and South Sudan. In this context, we welcomed the signing of the Border Security Agreement on 29 July 2011 between the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan and called for its speedy implementation.

We urge them to resolve urgently all outstanding issues, such as border demarcation, citizenship, oil revenues, in a cooperative manner. We also discussed the situation in Abyei and called on the parties to complete the withdrawal of their forces. We welcome the key role undertaken by the African Union High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan (AUHIP), led by former President Mbeki, and pledged continued efforts for its work.

We agreed to explore in detail, means of cooperation to support capacity and institution building for South Sudan.

Zimbabwe

We noted progress in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement while also recognising the ongoing challenges that are inherent in the process. We encouraged the parties in the inclusive government to finalise and endorse a road map on elections without any further delay.

We agreed to continue our complementary efforts aimed at promoting, encouraging and supporting the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement and create a conducive environment to the holding of elections that will be free and fair, and transparent under conditions of a level playing field. We call for the respect of human rights and regret any form of action that contradicts the letter and spirit of the GPA.

The EU commends the efforts of South Africa and SADC in assisting the political leadership in Zimbabwe to implement the GPA and encouraged them to remain seized with the process.

We recognised and appreciated the humanitarian and other assistance that the regional and international community continues to provide to the people of Zimbabwe.

We encouraged the parties to conclude the Constitution making process in preparation for the upcoming referendum and elections.

We reaffirmed our commitment to the integrity of the Kimberley Process and will work with partners to ensure its equitable application.

Middle East and North Africa

We discussed the uprisings in North Africa and were encouraged by the envisaged road to democratic transformation in both Tunisia and Egypt.

We underlined the importance of keeping the democratic momentum and of holding free and transparent elections in accordance with the timetables set by the respective authorities

We discussed and expressed our concern on the situations in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria.

We expressed great concern at the unfolding events in Syria and stressed the importance that the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council remain seized of the matter. We agreed that pressure on the Syrian authorities to put an end to the violence and to initiate a peaceful transition to democracy must be pursued.

We called for the immediate resumption of negotiations in the Middle East peace process. We remain committed to the two-state solution with an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian state, comprising the West Bank and Gaza, living side by side in peace and security with the state of Israel within internationally recognised and secure borders.

We urged the government of Israel to immediately end all settlement activities, including in East Jerusalem. Settlements are illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to peace.

We agreed that the African Union has an important role to play in supporting the Libyan people to establish a democratic, independent and united country. We welcomed the outcomes of the meeting of the AU High Level Ad Hoc Committee on Libya, held in South Africa on 14 September 2011. We agreed to encourage the current Libyan authorities to work towards an inclusive transitional government as soon as possible.

We also expressed our common objective to see the formation of an inclusive interim government in Libya that will rebuild the country for the benefit of all Libyans. The goal being to build a new, democratic and pluralistic Libya in which human rights, fundamental freedoms and justice will be guaranteed and prosperity shared.

We further noted the relevance of many provisions of the AU Roadmap and of the proposals adopted in Malabo in July 2011, as well as the Transition Roadmap put forward by the Libyan authorities themselves and the important role of the UN.

We look forward to the hosting of the 5th SA-EU Summit in Brussels in 2012.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201109161078.html?page=2

Analysis: South Africa’s Zuma dodging bullets in arms deal probe

Posted: September 16, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Jon Herskovitz

JOHANNESBURG | Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:58am EDT

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma meets Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (not pictured) after arriving in Khartoum July 8, 2011. Zuma will be attending South Sudan's independence day celebrations on Saturday. REUTERS/Stringer

(Reuters) – South African President Jacob Zuma’s decision to appoint a panel to investigate a decade-old arms deal mired in corruption could mark a turning point in a bruising political battle in his ruling African National Congress.

The knives have been coming out for Zuma ahead of an ANC meeting next year when the party elects its leaders, with foes who are trying to oust him looking to expose as many embarrassing secrets as possible to tarnish him and his allies.

Zuma, implicated but not convicted in the arms deal, may have asked for the panel so that he can dictate the terms of the investigation and fend off his rivals, analysts said.

Zuma’s biggest political fight now is with ANC Youth League leader and party power-broker Julius Malema. The two appear to have already had a tit for tat exchange of corruption allegations, and are squaring off in an ANC disciplinary hearing that could derail Malema’s political career.

Youth League officials in Malema’s home-base stronghold of Limpopo told financial daily Business Day they would press for an investigation into the arms deal to gain leverage for the league’s leader at his ANC hearing.

"In a sense, the president’s hand was forced," said Andrew Feinstein, a former ANC member of parliament who has long called for more investigations into the deal.

Feinstein told Talk Radio 702 that Zuma was staring down a court deadline to produce papers relating to the arms deal and the likely charge from Malema’s supporters.

"When politicians’ hands are forced in this way, they sometimes do things they hope they can control after the fact."

Zuma’s two years in office have been criticized for ineffectual leadership. His support rate has slipped with the public seeing him as more focused on domestic political fights than fixing problems plaguing Africa’s largest economy.

Zuma’s main policy initiatives to improve education, create jobs and stamp out corruption have been met by South Africa slipping in international rankings in the quality of its schools, increased joblessness and concerns of growing cronyism in his government.

TAINTED ARMS DEAL

The 30 billion rand ($4 billion) deal to buy European military equipment from about a decade ago has clouded South Africa’s politics, and Zuma, for years.

It has led to a few convictions of officials who took bribes to help land contracts but critics said investigations did not go far enough, letting several others off the hook.

Zuma — then deputy president — was linked to the deal through his former financial adviser, who was jailed for corruption. This almost torpedoed Zuma’s bid for high office but all charges against him were dropped in 2009.

In addition to the veiled threat from Malema’s supporters, a special corruption-busting police unit called the Hawks has said it wants to re-open an investigation of the case.

"It’s an attempt by Zuma to regain control over the investigation process into the arms deal and any of the leaking of information into the run up to the ANC’s elective conference in 2012," said Hennie van Vuuren, director of the Institute for Security Studies Cape Town office.

Several senior ANC leaders have been tainted by scandal, with groups in the highly fractious party often using corruption allegations as a way to gain leverage.

In what may be example of how the fight is fought, as frictions were growing between Zuma and Malema, a politically connected official leaked details to a major daily about a trust fund used by Malema to finance his lavish lifestyle. The story published in July led to a police probe of Malema’s finances.

A few days after the story, police raided a mining company linked to Zuma’s son over allegations of fraud related to the issue of prospecting rights.

The arms deal has touched many top ANC leaders, making it a fertile breeding ground for material as infighting heats up ahead of the ANC party election about a year from now.

Malema, 30, is considered too young to take on a senior position, but his calls to take over mines and redistribute wealth to the poor have made him one of the country’s most popular politicians and a powerful force in the ANC.

The Malema disciplinary hearing is a high risk gamble for Zuma. If Malema is suspended from the party, Zuma removes forces that could block his re-election. But if Malema is exonerated, he will be courted by Zuma’s rivals lining up their bids for power.

For Zuma, the most effective arms deal probe would be one he controls, where he could limit damage to himself and his allies.

"Given the political casualties, there is a big incentive to delay the release of the report, if not make it public at all," the country’s biggest newspaper, The Star, said in an editorial on Friday.

(Additional reporting by Mmathabo Tladi; Editing by Marius Bosch)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/16/us-safrica-arms-idUSTRE78F2XO20110916


354974-cattle.jpg

16 September 2011 –

The United Nations peacekeeping operation in South Sudan (UNMISS) has dispatched a verification team to the site of a fresh round of deadly clashes and cattle rustling attacks in the new country.

UNMISS spokesperson Aleem Siddique confirmed to the UN News Centre today that a team has been sent to verify the extent of the attacks, which occurred last weekend in Unity state in the north of the landlocked country.

Media reports indicate at least 46 people were killed in the latest clashes, in which youths from a neighbouring state travelled to Unity to steal cattle. About 5,000 cows are reported to have been taken.

Cattle have enormous material and symbolic value in South Sudan, where bride prices are often paid in cows, and there have been increasingly frequent rustling raids in recent months, particularly between different ethnic groups.

Last month Hilde Johnson, the head of UNMISS and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for South Sudan, urged all ethnic communities to exercise restraint.

“This cycle of violence must stop,” she said. “That so many people have been killed or injured again in such wanton destruction is unacceptable.”

South Sudan became independent from Sudan on 9 July after voters overwhelmingly approved the option in a referendum in January.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39579&Cr=&Cr1=

Thousands flee to South Sudan to escape Southern Kordofan violence – UN

Posted: September 16, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan


16-09-2011kordofan.jpg

A view of the Nuba Mountains in the state of Southern Kordofan

16 September 2011 –

More than 8,000 civilians have fled to South Sudan to escape fighting in the state of Southern Kordofan in neighbouring Sudan, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Most of the displaced come from the Nuba Mountains region and began trickling into South Sudan in July, but there has been a surge in arrivals since last week, with up to 500 people arriving every day in the newly independent country, Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the UNHCR, told reporters during a briefing this morning in Geneva.

He said that refugees walked for days to reach safety and are now situated in remote areas of South Sudan’s Unity state, where there is a lack of humanitarian access due to poor quality roads. Limited aid has been delivered through a small number of quad bikes – one of the few means of travelling through the area – and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) recently airdropped food to the region.

“We are supporting a mobile clinic to address the health needs, and our partners have been working on improving water and sanitation facilities and providing treatment for the severely malnourished. Meanwhile we are currently developing a site to relocate the refugees away from the border. The work includes building health, school, and clean water and sanitation facilities,” Mr. Edwards said.

He acknowledged that relocating refugees to the new site will be difficult because of the absence of, or extremely bad quality of the roads.

“The authorities of Unity state have started doing urgent repairs to open up roads to cars and trucks again. In the interim, however, most of the displaced will have to trek to the new site on foot. Specific transport arrangements will be made for the most vulnerable to spare them the harsh journey.”

“We expect more arrivals amid persistent reports of aerial bombing in Southern Kordofan,” he added.

More than 80,000 people have been displaced since violence broke out in Kadugli in early June between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N). In the past two months, some 20,000 of the displaced fled to neighbouring Ethiopia, where various UN agencies are currently providing assistance.

There has been growing concern on the situation in the region, as a report released last month by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the former UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) described a wide range of alleged violations of international law in Southern Kordofan during June.

Reported violations included extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and illegal detention, enforced disappearances, attacks against civilians, looting of civilian homes and destruction of property, as well as aerial bombardments on civilian areas resulting in significant loss of life.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39594&Cr=kordofan&Cr1=

South Sudan: Female Farmer Still Optimistic Despite Hardships

Posted: September 16, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Gracie faced incredible obstacles during her first year with P4P, and had to show a lot of patience as well. When her buyer was finally ready to pick up her surplus, 85% of it was lost. Read here why Gracie is still optimistic about P4P and her plans for the upcoming years.

JUBA — Gracie Seratiore Furimona, 42 years old, is a farmer from the village of Saura in South Sudan’s Western Equatorial state. The mother of five cultivates maize and other crops like groundnuts, rice, cassava, bananas, and beans on a small scale for home consumption.

She joined the Namukuru Farmers group in 2010. The same year, Namukuru and its 30 members were selected to participate in P4P by the Bangladeshi Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), one of P4P’s many NGO partners in South Sudan. Two out of three group members are women – an astonishingly high number, due to the fact that many men have migrated to the next big town, Yambio, to find work, leaving most households headed by women.

Last year, Gracie cultivated maize on 1.5 feddans of land (about 1.5 acres). At the end of both the first and the second harvesting season, she managed to harvest 1 ton of maize, or 20 bags of 50 kg each. From both harvests, she kept 10 bags for her family’s consumption. After BRAC assured her that she would be able to sell to the NGO through P4P, Gracie refrained from selling her maize right away on the local market and waited for BRAC, eager to sell all her surplus in one go and get a good price.

Unfortunately, BRAC had to delay the collection of Gracie’s surplus from December 2010 to March 2011. Communication problems between the NGO and Namukuru resulted in continuing delays. It was the beginning of a hard time for Gracie:

"In these months, I faced many challenges: I did not have enough storage space, my stored maize was infested by maize weevils and rats, and the worst was when a fire in the nearby forest started: I lost almost all my stored maize when the storage burned down! Two of my grass thatched houses burned down as well. Only 5 bags of maize remained that I had stored somewhere else. Out of the five, I could then only sell 3 bags, because we needed the rest for our own consumption… For the three bags I got 150 Sudanese Pounds (about US$ 55) – but I had hoped for much higher earnings!"

Gracie spent half of her income on clearing and preparing two feddans of land for the next season. The other half she and her husband spent on spare parts for her husband’s motorcycle so that he can go to Yambio for casual labor. They also bought a small radio, as they are keen to get current news and stay up to date with what is happening in Africa’s newest nation.

Despite all the setbacks in the past year, Gracie is more motivated than ever and looks forward to the next season: "This season, I am expecting a good harvest with hopefully around 25 bags! My farmer’s group has really helped me to increase our production as they train us on modern farming methods on a demonstration plot nearby. I urge organizations like WFP to continue to support us through projects like P4P so that our surplus maize can be bought, and we earn income from our produce and improve our standard of living. They should start to purchase from us right from the first season, because it is hard for us to store the grain till after the second season, but apart from that, I am really happy."

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/south-sudan-female-farmer-still-optimistic-despite-hardships

2011 Global Development Awards and Medals Competition

Posted: September 16, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Jobs

Dear Researcher,

Do you have a research question on ‘Urbanization and Development’ you want to explore but are short of funds for?

Here is your chance to receive grants of up to US$ 30,000 to pursue your academic quest.

And it does not stop there! The Global Development Network (GDN) is also giving you the opportunity to get up to US$ 10,000 in recognition of the quality of your completed research under this topic.

GDN promotes superior research through the Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development for innovative research proposals and it’s Medals for Research on Development for quality research papers. A second prize of US$ 5,000 is awarded in the two categories as well.

In addition, the finalists will be given a chance to present their work before an international high profile audience in development research at the 13th Global Development Conference scheduled to be held in June 2012. Their travel and stay will be funded by GDN.

This year, our focus is on Urbanization and Development. Entries should be specific to the following themes:

1. The Interactive Economy and Urban Development
2. Urban Externalities (Contagious Disease, Congestion and Crime) and Urban Poverty

3. The Enabling Environment – Housing, Transportation and Infrastructure

For more details, please log on to 2011 Global Development Awards and Medals Competition.

Watch what past winners of GDN’s Global Development Awards and Medals Competition have to sayvimeo.com/27619123

To Apply:

  • All applications and documents must be submitted electronically only at awards
  • Application Deadline – 31 January, 2012 (Indian Standard Time 6:00 PM)

Best regards,

Savi Mull
Team Leader (Awards and Medals Competition)
Global Development Network

Second Floor, West Wing, ISID Complex
Plot No. 4, Vasant Kunj Institutional Area
New Delhi 110070, INDIA
Tel: +91-11-2613 9494 / 2613 6885

Please circulate this email to all interested institutions, colleagues and friends working on development issues.

http://cloud2.gdnet.org/cms.php?id=gdn_development_research