Archive for September 26, 2011

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Posted: September 26, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Photos

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Prince George’s focuses on Economic opportunities in South Sudan

Posted: September 26, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Economy

New nation ripe for business, trade with county, officials say

by Lindsey Robbins, Staff Writer

As part of ongoing efforts to bolster Prince George’s County’s economic presence in Africa, officials hosted a roundtable discussion Monday on emerging business opportunities in the newly-formed South Sudan.

More than 100 businesspeople attended the gathering, which was hosted at the Prince George’s Economic Development Corp.’s headquarters in Upper Marlboro and sponsored by U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Dist. 5) of Mitchellville, along with the county’s Africa Trade Office and the Association of Maryland Africa Societies.

“This is an opportunity to play a major role in building a nation,” said Patricia Hayes-Parker, executive director of the Africa Trade Office.

South Sudan — which had a gross domestic product of $30 billion in 2010, according to federal data, and derives 98 percent of its revenues from oil exports — seceded from Sudan in July following a voter referendum. Because of its new independence and the region’s history of continuous civil war, economic development in South Sudan represents an array of challenges and opportunities, roundtable leaders said.

“As it emerges, we can profit them and they can profit us,” Hoyer said. Hoyer has a history of involvement in South Sudan, including traveling there in 2007 as part of a diplomatic mission.

Princeton N. Lyman, the U.S. special envoy for Sudan, said the country has significant opportunities for growth in the agricultural, education technology, tourism and mineral fields, as well as infrastructure to support new roads.

“I encourage all of you to look for an opportunity to invest in trade to better this country,” he said.

But along with their encouragement, Lyman and Hoyer also cautioned businesses about potential challenges in South Sudan, including the corruption often tied to oil production, the instability around the new north-south border and the ongoing struggle for peace between the two countries.

The Africa bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development, whose mission is to provide economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide, also is analyzing key investment sectors in South Sudan, along with engaging in efforts to improve regulatory framework on land use in the region, said Raja Jandhyala, deputy assistant administrator for the bureau.

She warned business representatives that because South Sudan is new, they might have to work harder to gain trust in the country, which might view them as interlopers who want to tell them what to do with their land.

“The biggest issue is security,” said Bernard M. Wright, president of Wright Consultants & Associates in Bowie. “We’ve been looking at quite a bit of work over there. … There’s a lot of development waiting to happen.”

Emmanuel Hakim, manager of EMF Construction Firm in Bel Air, traveled to South Sudan in May. He reiterated the need for improved roads to facilitate development, adding the country has many areas that are ripe for investment, especially in construction and contracting. Hakim, originally Sudanese, has done work in Uganda and Kenya and said he was hoping to learn what opportunities were available in connection with U.S. government work.

Another element of the county’s global focus involves a trade mission to India toward the end of November. Details were not immediately available; they are to be announced Oct. 5.

The county’s last foreign trade mission, in January, involved sending 10 Bowie State University students to Ethiopia for two weeks to represent Prince George’s business interests.

In an earlier trade mission to Cameroon in 2008, Fort Washington construction company Hardie Industries forged a $122 million deal with Millennium Challenge Corp. to rehabilitate airport runways throughout Ghana.

The Africa Trade Office supported more than $171 million in business deals last year, mostly to local businesses and has yielded 18 partnerships through trade shows, forums, trade missions and general support of international trade, Hayes-Parker said.

lrobbins

http://www.gazette.net/article/20110926/NEWS/709269932/1033/1033/prince-george-s-focuses-on-opportunities-in-south-sudan&template=gazette


Crimes against Humanity in Abyei: Why I resigned from the Sudanese Government
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” Dr. Martin Luther King

Paper Prepared by:

Luka Biong Deng
Executive Director of Kush Inc..
Visiting Fellow at Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, UK
Former National Minister of Cabinet Affairs of the Sudan

For:
WE HAVE A DREAM
Global Summit Against Discrimination and Prosecution

United Nations, New York City, USA
September 21-22, 2011

1. Introduction:

I am extremely happy to have such opportunity to share with you why I resigned from Bashir’s Government in Khartoum and to share with you as well my thoughts about the future of Sudan after the secession of South Sudan. I would like to start with a well known statement by the founding leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) that “The National Islamic Front is too deformed to be reformed”. This phrase captures very well the status of affairs today in Sudan as the ruling National Islamic Front currently known as National Congress Party (NCP) under the leadership of President Bashir has deformed Sudan even worse than before the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. The consistent pattern of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by NCP and its leadership in Darfur, Abyei, Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile and against the entire people of Sudan clearly shows that NCP is becoming a liability not only to the people of Sudan but indeed a real threat to regional and global Security.

Given the fact that I participated in the negotiations of the CPA, constitutional making process in the Sudan, continuous engagement between the parties in the implementation of CPA, continuous negotiations for the post-secession arrangements and arbitration process for the delineation of Abyei Area as well as participating in the government of Southern Sudan and national government, I will be able to share with you with confidence the unfinished business of the CPA with the hope of providing options and insight for engagement in Sudan and South Sudan to become viable with good relations.

I am currently the Executive Director of Kush, Inc. Kush is a not-for-profit organization designed to promote peace, stability and economic development in Africa with an emphasis on South Sudan and Abyei Area and building good relations along the North-South border. After serving in government for six years, I decided to serve the people of South Sudan and Abyei area outside the government and I feel very fortunate to be part of the not-for-profit sector and to share with you our dream of building a peaceful, viable and democratic new state of South Sudan not only in its efforts towards realizing the aspirations of its people but also in forging good relations with its twin country the Sudan.

Prior to my resignation from Bashir’s Government, I was convinced beyond any doubt that CPA has provided a golden opportunity to transform Sudan including NCP and its leadership and to build Sudan on new basis. I committed myself to the full implementation of peace and to promote good relations between the North and South. In some cases I even used to appreciate the political courage of the leadership of the National Congress Party in accepting the path of peace instead of war as people of Sudan have suffered a great deal during the prolonged conflict.

During the visit of President Bashir to Juba where he reaffirmed his commitment to the timely conduct of the referendum for the people of South Sudan and that he will not only respect the choice of the people but he will be the first to recognize the new state of South Sudan. Such commitment was received with great relief by the people of South Sudan and the international community at large and renewed hope for building good relations and trust between the North and South. It provides as well an opportunity for Sudan to forge new relations with international community on pending issues of debt relief, sanctions and normalization of diplomatic relations. In some incidents I described President Bashir as man of peace and President Salva even describing him as “Peace Hero” in his statement on the day of the announcement of results of referendum in Juba in February 2011. All these hopes were dashed by the invasion of Abyei area and the current war waged against the people of Southern Kordofan. These recent incidents clearly revealed to the world the true colour of President Bashir and his party, the National Congress Party. In fact Dr. John Garang was right when he described that National Islamic Front (NIF) is too deformed to be reformed.

For the purposes of my presentation, I would like first to provide you with a brief account of how the CPA provided not only a basis for achieving sustaining peace but also a framework for transforming Sudan for better. Then I will narrate the reasons for my resignation from the government of Sudan. Then I will discuss the unfinished business of CP, particularly the issues of peace and stability along the North-South border. I will map the political landscape in the North after the secession of South Sudan and the new opportunities for engagement in the North. I will also briefly discuss the challenges of building new state in South Sudan and how a viable South Sudan could help in addressing the challenges of peace in the border areas. I will conclude with key policy options of engagement in building peace and stability in the Sudan and South Sudan.

2. CPA: A Framework for Transformation of Sudan

Although I will not attempt to inconvenience you with the full historical account of the genesis of the root causes of the Sudan recurrent conflict and civil wars, it is important to highlight that the marginalization of rural Sudan is central to understanding the conflict in Sudan. People of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile joined the struggle in the South after they became convinced the elites in Khartoum were less concerned about their welfare and the people of Darfur later took up arms after they discovered that they have been cheated, exploited and marginalized under the slogan of political Islam. Besides the marginalization of rural Sudan, the elites in the centre consistently used ethnicity and religion to suppress the rural Sudan and to dominate power in the centre. The liberation struggle that was waged by the SPLM in the South, Southern Kordofan, Eastern Sudan and Blue Nile with political vision of New Sudan had not only appealed to the rural Sudan but awakened them to rise up to fight for the their rights.

The success of the SPLM in bringing peace that is transforming Sudan rests with its vision of New Sudan that challenged the old Sudan agenda that defined Sudan around one religion and one ethnicity. The CPA has provided a golden opportunity for ending the violent conflict and a new basis for defining national identity and recognition of cultural and religious diversity as a virtue and a basis for peace building, citizenship and legal pluralism. Specifically, the CPA has redefined the nature of state in Sudan away from Arab-Islam paradigm and recognized the cultural, religious and ethnic diversity as a virtue and the foundation for national cohesion in the new post-conflict Sudan. Specifically, the post-CPA Sudan has been defined as multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious country where such diversities co-exist and are sources of strength, harmony and inspiration for the Sudanese people and shall not be used for creating division.

One of the salient features of the CPA is that it has laid down a new basis for the relationship between all levels of government in the Sudan and their people through new constitutions at the national, Southern Sudan and states levels. The sovereign authority in the Sudan has been recognized to be vested in the people with all levels of government deriving their authority from the people. Among the basic principles adopted in the CPA is the devolution of governmental functions and powers to the people at appropriate levels where they can best manage and direct their own affairs.

Besides the recognition of sovereign authority of the people and devolution of powers, the Bill of Rights has also been recognized in the CPA and enshrined in the new Interim National Constitution and subsequently making it obligatory on all levels of government to respect, uphold and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Bill of Rights is a covenant between the people and their government at every level and the cornerstone of social justice, equality and democracy. By adopting the principle of devolution of powers and the Bill of Rights, the CPA has laid a basis for good governance, respect of rule of law and basic rights and freedoms which are the concerns of the rural Sudan. Two years after the signing the CPA, Sudan has witnessed a constitutional transformation with all states and Southern Sudan having their own constitutions, functioning legislative assemblies, governments and judiciary. As rightly stated by Dr. John, the icon of peace, that “Sudan will not be the same again with the signing of the CPA” Sudan was indeed changing everyday with the implementation of the CPA.

2.1 Self-Rule and Popular Consultation

The sustainable peace in the Sudan will primarily hinge on the stability in the transitional areas of Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile, Eastern Sudan and Darfur as these areas represent the majority of the marginalized rural Sudanese. Indeed, the extent to which Khartoum can continue to commit and in fact build upon these CPA principles going forward will be a yardstick by which it will be able to measure the peace that it can secure internally. While the people of Nuba Mountains, Eastern Sudan and Blue Nile initially joined the agenda of the SPLM to fight for freedom and rights symbolized in the New Sudan vision, the people of Darfur were later on dragged into civil war with similar underlying causes of marginalization, suppression and neglect from the central government.

As the conflict in Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile is a microcosm of other conflicts in the rural areas of northern Sudan , the CPA has provided a resolution for such conflict and a model framework for addressing the issues of governance, neglect and marginalization not only in the two states but also for the entire rural Sudan . The resolution of conflict in Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile in the CPA, through its respective principle, has accorded both states with something on the way to autonomous and decentralized self-rule with independent executive, legislative and judicial organs. According to the CPA, this arrangement was subject to popular consultation by the people of the two states through their respective democratically elected legislatures. While the CPA ended, the parties agreed recently in Addis Ababa to continue with their commitment to implement the protocols and popular consultation. The implementation of the protocols for Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile will be a litmus test for the CPA as a framework for resolving other conflicts in other areas of the Sudan such as Darfur and Eastern Sudan.

In fact the decentralized self-rule did not adequately meet the aspirations of the people of Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile at the time of the conclusion of the CPA. What they were aspiring for was the right of self-determination that the people in Abyei secured –the right to a referendum. Despite their dissatisfaction, most people in these areas appreciated what has been achieved in the CPA as first step in their long search for ultimate self-determination. As I mentioned in my statement before this committee on 24th January 2007 that “In case the implementation of the CPA fails to provide a meaningful self-rule in Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile, then the chance that war will erupt again is most likely in these transitional areas.” It seems what I said four and half years ago proved to be a reality today.

2.2 Abyei Referendum

The problem of Abyei Area is one of the main causes that sparked the conflict again between the north and south after the conclusion of the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement in 1972. Since the British colonial authority arbitrary decided to annex Abyei area to Northern Sudan in 1905 without the consent of the Ngok people, the area has been gravely devastated by policies of ethnic cleansing and counterinsurgency. Despite the conflict in Abyei area was resolved in the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement; the provisions concerning Abyei Area were deliberately ignored until the entire Addis Ababa Agreement was later abrogated. The CPA has recognized this thorny conflict by according the people of Abyei dual citizenship in the South and North, special administrative status under the Presidency and a referendum to determine their future administrative status. The people of Abyei area overwhelmingly supported the CPA as their aspirations have been adequately met. As I mentioned in 2007 in my statement before the US Congressional Hearing that “Lack of implementation of Abyei Protocol makes it now the most contentious flashpoint and litmus test to stability and peace in the Sudan” is becoming a reality now. This poses a direct challenge to the United States Government’s unique and special contribution to the CPA as the current Abyei Protocol is based on the suggested draft text prepared by USG and it subsequently makes USG to have major stake in the implementation of this Protocol.

3. Why I resigned from the Sudanese Government? (see attached letter of resignation)

The way the NCP handled the issue of the protocol of Abyei shows not only a lack of commitment to the peace agreement but it clearly shows its ethnic agenda of dehumanizing the black Africans in the Sudan. This has been shown in the consistent pattern of ethnic cleansing in Darfur, Abyei, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile committed not by any other person but the President of the Republic and his aide the Governor of Southern Kordofan state. While the SPLM has shown flexibility in the implementation of Abyei Protocol and concession for the sake of peace, the NCP deliberately and consistently obstructed the implementation of Abyei Protocol through the following actions:

· NCP without a legitimate basis rejected the report of the Abyei Boundaries Commission (ABC) despite a clear provision in the CPA that such report shall be final and binding.
· NCP invaded Abyei town in May 2008 that razed villages and resulted in massive displacement of thousands of people and loss of innocent lives and properties.
· While the SPLM, despite the loss of some areas of Dinka to the Arab Misseriyia, accepted the ruling of the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on the boundaries of Abyei area, the NCP officially accepted it but its actions showed a clear rejection of the final and binding ruling. The boundaries of Abyei area as per the ruling have not been demarcated as the NCP-supported Arab militia obstructed the demarcation. It is worth mentioning that it was the NCP that suggested to the SPLM to resort to international arbitration over the boundaries of Abyei area.
· NCP deliberately obstructed the conduct of Abyei Referendum on 9th of January 2011. While the two parties (SPLM and NCP) agreed that the SPLM would nominate the chair of Abyei Referendum Commission and NCP to nominate the chair of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, the NCP rejected the SPLM nomination while the SPLM accepted the NCP nomination.
· In an effort to dilute the choice of Ngok Dinka in a referendum, NCP argued to allow all Arab nomads to vote in Abyei Referendum. While the Protocol of Abyei Area explicitly defines the eligibility of voters in Abyei Referendum to members of Ngok Dinka and other Sudanese residing in Abyei area and with no other reference at all to other specific communities but rather a requirement of residency, the NCP blindly and without any convincing argument (legal precedents or prior state practice) insisted that all Arab Misseriya should vote in the Abyei Referendum. In fact the Arab nomads that move seasonally to South Sudan did not vote in the Referendum of Southern Sudan.
· While the two parties have entrusted African Union High Level Implementation Panel under the auspice of President Thabo Mbaki, President Bashir after failing to mobilize Arab Misseriyia to attack Abyei town, ordered the premeditated invasion of Abyei area and used all military might of the state that resulted in more than 120,00 persons displaced, more than 200 killed, 20 persons tortured, more than 5,000 huts burnt, properties of more than 10,000 households looted and at least 5 persons dying daily among the displaced population because of malnutrition, poor health services and denial of humanitarian access. The NCP has started now after the displacement of Ngok Dinka to settle Arab nomads in the Dinka land thereby changing the ethnic composition of the area by force.
· The NCP has not taken any steps to implement the African Union mediated agreement on temporary arrangements for Abyei Area to deploy UN Forces (Ethiopian forces) to ensure the withdrawal of Sudan Armed Forces out of Abyei area and to allow return of displaced population to their home areas. They have dishonoured arrangements for nominating members of the Abyei Administration and have made no visible plan to redeploy their forces. Currently four Ethiopian soldiers lost their lives in explosions planted by the Sudan Armed Forces and the injured were denied evacuation by Sudan Armed Forces.
· Unfortunately, the international community paradoxically decided not to access the affected people of Abyei area by wrongly considering Abyei area as part of the North and subsequently rewarding the brutality of Bashir against the people of Abyei area (see attached Kush White Paper on Abyei).

4. CPA: Unfinished Business:

After six years of the interim period that ended on 9th July 2011 and during which all the provisions of the CPA should have been implemented, there are critical provisions of the CPA that have not been implemented. On the top of these provisions is the conduct of referendum in Abyei area and popular consultations for the people of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states. Unlike other provisions that have not been implemented, the referendum in Abyei area and popular consultations in the two area clearly addressed the root causes of conflict in these areas and are considered as major achievements in the CPA in meeting the political aspirations of the people of these transitional areas.

4.1. Popular Consultation: NCP betrayed the people of the two areas

The people of South Kordofan and Blue Nile states attached a lot of hope on popular consultations as a mechanism through which they could consolidate what they have achieved in the CPA and to provide a platform to negotiate with the central government mechanism to address shortcomings in the implementation of CPA in order to meet their political aspirations within a united Sudan. However, the NCP deliberately undermined the popular consultations and betrayed the people of the two areas through the following actions:

· NCP resisted the popular consultation legislation and it was forced to accept the law after serious pressure through peaceful demonstration in Khartoum led by the SPLM calling for the passing of bills related to referendum for people of South Sudan and Abyei area and popular consultations and that resulted in the imprisonment and torturing of some leaders of the SPLM.
· NCP deliberately rigged elections in the two areas, particularly in Southern Kordofan state with the aim of diluting the representation of the people in state legislatures that will exercise the popular consultations.
· NCP deliberately obstructed the process of popular consultation in Blue Nile that started well under the supervision of the governor of the state.
· NCP unilaterally dismissed the members of South Sudan in national legislature (National Assembly and Council of states) before the end of the interim period (9th July 2011) with clear intention of denying them to participate in the discussion of the results of popular consultations if no solution is found at state level.
· NCP unilaterally took a decision contrary to the provisions of the CPA to forcefully disarm the SPLA in the two areas before the end of the interim period on 9th July 2011 and waged a war against the people of South Kordofan on 5th June 2011.
· NCP rejected to implement the African Union mediated Addis Ababa Agreement that allowed for ceasefire, peaceful resolution of outstanding issues and free access of humanitarian assistance.
· NCP continues to commit massive human rights violations, including war crimes, ethnic cleansing and displacement of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, children and women and denial of humanitarian access to aid the victims. Furthermore the NCP has not only refused to open camps for the internally displaced people (IDPs) but uses them as human shield in the ongoing aerial bombardment of their houses, hospitals and places of worship.
· The preliminary reports by the UN in Southern Kordofan confirm the atrocities committed by NCP tantamount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Mass graves are found in Southern Kordofan state and NCP is trying to reallocate such mass graves before thorough investigation by the UN is undertaken
· Democratic newspapers are banned and remaining newspapers are censored by the national security. SPLM-North has been banned and elected Governor of Blue Nile state has been removed by a Presidential decree of Bashir and state of emergency has been declared in the Blue Nile state. Most SPLM North members are rounded up and detained and many journalists, poets, youth leaders, women leaders and human rights activists are behind bars.
· More worrying is that NCP plans to declare war against the new state of South Sudan and that will drag the entire region into status of instability.

The atrocities that are now being committed by NCP in the whole of Sudan brought Sudan back to a civil war between the NCP and Sudanese people. We are witnessing mass atrocities once again in Sudan and we have only a limited time to prevent further escalation that will engulf the rest of the Sudan.

4.2 Post-Secession Arrangements: A commitment for two viable states

In order to strengthen and nurture the historical relations between the North and the South on the new basis and to mitigate the consequences of secession of the South and to ensure as well that the two states will not only be peaceful but equally viable, the AUHIP has been facilitating the negotiations between the parties with the hope of reaching a comprehensive agreement around issues of mutual benefits to the two states. Based on my personal knowledge during these negotiations, I came to a conclusion that NCP is not keen or capable to forge new good relations with the new state in the South as it is well reflected in the following positions:

  • Citizenship: Given the unique history of Sudan and social relations developed over years, the SPLM supports the principle of option to choose and guarantee the freedom to reside, own, work and travel, the NCP on the other hand rejects such principle and is lukewarm in accepting the four freedoms with the South. With such position, the NCP intends to grant citizenship on the basis of their political choice rather than that of individual and it subsequently undermines the interest of large population of nomads and other transboundary population. Despite international law’s prohibition on creating statelessness and favouring the right of option and encouraging soft landings for citizens when sovereignty changes occur, Sudan has decided to automatically withdraw citizenship of all Southerners in the North and released ALL Southerners from public and private service in the North depriving them of livelihoods and making their continued stay in the North difficult, regardless of citizenship status.
  • Oil Sector: While the South is committed to using oil facilities to build economic cooperation on the basis of international practices, the NCP opted to use its leverage over pipelines in the North to effect exorbitant fees USD 33.2 per barrel exported through the North and to wage economic war against the South. Indeed, during the month of July the North oversold Southern oil and retained the share of the South in the oil revenue.
  • Currency: While the South opts to have its own currency and to use the redeemed Sudanese currency as part of its foreign reserve to promote trading activities with the North as recommended by International Monitory Fund, the NCP unilaterally issued in a disorderly manner its new currency in an effort not take responsibility of its currency in the South as it liabilities. With this unilateral action and refusal to accept the redeemed currencies in the South as its liabilities, the NCP has not acted contrary to international practices but it left the South valueless old Sudanese currency estimated to be more than one billion US dollars. Actually what the North has done is contrary to international financial and banking standards in that the Central Bank of Sudan has not honoured its currency liability. Also they refused the redemption by trade which state practice showed would have benefitted both the North and South and while negotiating about the South’s currency and agreeing in principle that both should not issue a new currency without coordination, they unilaterally issued a new currency while depriving the South of SDG’s in July that were due under the CPA.
  • Soft-Borders: While the parties agreed to the principle of soft border and free movement of goods, services, people and animals, the NCP decided unilaterally to close its borders with far reaching economic consequences on the people of South Sudan.
  • North-South Border and the Third Party: While the South argues for the need for a third party (UN or AU) to supervise and monitor the border, particularly in the disputed areas, the NCP rejects any presence of the third party and opted instead to military occupy the disputed areas along the North – South border.

4.3 The Danger of Disintegration and Radicalism in Sudan

While the secession of the South would certainly create serious economic shocks on the North, it would have equally provided new opportunities and space for serious reform in the North through the process of permanent constitution making. Contrary to the expectations, the continuing state of Sudan faces the following challenges but provides as well opportunities:
· The leadership of the NCP is not only getting weaker and without focus but it is more divided with more radical elements and army directing the affairs of the state.
· With the secession of the South, the Islamic extremists are advocating for establishing now a real Islamic state as the North has now been purified from non-Islamic elements. President Bashir even echoed this by stating in one of the public rally that with secession of the South Islam shall be the only religion of the state and Arabic shall be the official language of the Sudan.
· While the other political parties are rather weak, the SPLM North is the only credible political party that can provide strong opposition and be a key ally in pushing the agenda of democratic reform and change in the Sudan. But given the political development in Southern Kordofan state and atrocities being committed in Darfur, the SPLM North may opt to adopt the path of regime change through armed struggle.
· Given the current political development in the Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, increased violence and atrocities in Dafur and disappointment in the East, Sudan runs the risk of disintegration as there are voices now calling for right of self-determination in these regions.
· It is apparent that after secession of the South, some opportunities are missed in the North by not building on the CPA reforms and seeing them as way to resolve crisis, addressing the grievances of the periphery and avoiding further violence.

5. South Sudan: The Challenges of Building a New State and New Relations
Certainly, the viability of the new state of South Sudan will largely depend on the stability in the North, the peace or violence found along its border with Sudan, and the type of relations that will be developed between the two states. The current political development and atrocities committed in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile will pose a real challenge to the new state of the South. There are now strong views within the NCP that call for invasion of South Sudan. It is apparent that with NCP in power in Khartoum, there will be no good relations between the North and South and that will greatly undermine the viability of two states.

7. Our Dream for Sudan

  • The international community must recognize that the way NCP is managing the affairs of state of Sudan is extremely alarming and will soon create a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. The leadership of the NCP is becoming a real liability not only to its own people but a real threat to stability and peace in regional and continent. The pattern of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity being committed by the leadership of NCP require collective international action. The world has discovered, if impunity is permitted, as evidenced by Darfur and what is now happening in the Southern Kordofan and Abyei area, we shall not have seen the last of such violence only its exportation to other areas and other victims. The international community must scale up their efforts to bring the leadership of NCP to justice and the efforts of International Criminal Court (ICC) of apprehending the culprits of these atrocities to be supported and expanded to include the recent atrocities committed in Abyei and Southern Kordofan. As part of scaling up pressure on the Sudan, the members of the UN to restraint diplomatic relations with Sudan until it stops such atrocities and to seriously work towards full implementation of the remaining provisions of the CPA and the current agreements signed in Addis Ababa.
  • The UN Security Council, on the basis of the preliminary UN Human Rights Report, Amnesty International Report and Human Rights Watch Report, to commission a thorough investigation of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by NCP and its leadership in Abyei, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. We in particular call upon the members of UN Security Council who objected to such investigation to reconsider their positions.
  • Given the terrain and denial of access to the affected areas, the humanitarian crisis will get even worse during the next few months. Therefore it is critical for the international community to increase humanitarian assistance and to explore creative options for getting aid to South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei either through imposing NO-FLY zones or support indigenous organizations or to encourage safe-corridors and IDPs camps for the affected communities, particularly in secured areas in South Sudan where the new State of the South needs to address challenges related to security, water, education, health, agriculture, and to encourage private direct investment.
  • While working to apprehend the culprits in the atrocities committed in Sudan, the international community, particularly African Union must put more pressure on NCP to fully implement agreements signed by parties in Addis Ababa. In particular, the international community and in an effort to build confidence between the North and South to exert pressure on the government of Sudan to immediately withdraw SAF forces from Abyei area as per Addis Agreement and the immediate return of Abyei area to South Sudan. The international community to adopt a clear policy on dual jurisdiction of Abyei area and to encourage humanitarian access to Abyei area from the South.
  • The new Republic of South Sudan as a newest country, it has all enormous potentials and opportunities to be become a viable state and to forge good relations with the North. Certainly unstable North will derail the South to realize its potential and growth that is needed for the benefits of the people of the region. The success of South Sudan is central to the stability of the region and it should be seen in the context of strategic global security, given the emergence of Islamic radicalism in the North. What the South will be lacking most is the skilled human resource and capacity to build a new state and such capacity gap can easily be gradually resolved by assisting the return of Diaspora and increased investment in human resource, particularly in education and training. Given the available international experiences and knowledge, the world stands a chance of making its newest country a success and to avoid any option for failure.

Our dream is that Sudan will be better off without President Bashir and NCP as people of Sudan will not only lead their lives with dignity, harmony and respect to each other but Sudan that would enjoy good relations with its neighbours, particularly South Sudan and international community. Sudan without Bashir will make Sudan to be removed from the countries supporting terrorism, Sudan without sanctions, Sudan that would benefit from debt relief, and Sudan that will be viable with good economic relations and soft border with the South, Sudan that would play a leading role in the region, continent and world, Sudan that sees diversity as virtue rather than a curse and Sudan that all its citizens will be proud of.

8. Conclusion:

In conclusion, let me remind the participants of this summit that people of United States of America are on the verge of honouring one of its greatest fallen heroes – Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King, in his letters from Birmingham jail, stated that an “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Mr. King’s words ring just as true today in our timely summit as they did then. In Sudan there are heroes and heroines dying or suffering every day – not just on battlefields, but because of their opinions, ideas, conscience, race, religion or being in Abyei, Nuba Mountains, Darfur and member of SPLM-North. They need you to stand up for the injustices falling upon them.

21st May 2011
H. E. Omer Ahmed Hassan El Bashir,
President of the Republic of Sudan,
Khartoum, Sudan.

Mr President,

Subject: Resignation as Minister of Cabinet

Since I was appointed as Minister of Cabinet Affairs by Your Excellency on the basis of the political partnership between the NCP and SPLM, I vowed to be a loyal member of the Cabinet under Your Leadership so that we can fully implement the national programme agreed upon for the remaining period of the CPA. On the top of the priorities of this national programme is the full implementation of CPA and maintenance of peace and stability in the Sudan.

Since my appointment as national minister, I tried whatever possible to discharge my duties and responsibilities to the best of my abilities and I equally worked harder to promote the image of Sudan in different international fora. In some instances I defended the personality of Your Excellency for the sake of peace in the Sudan. Equally, during my brief period in the national government, I gained a lot of experience, particularly in the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs. I always express my admiration to the suburb quality of civil service in the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs that I termed sometimes as an exemplary institution in the Sudan.

Mr President, since the conclusion of the CPA in 2005, I have been following closely the way you have been leading our nation. Although I admired your political courage that might have contributed to the conclusion of the CPA, I equally, Mr. President, observed the gradual decay and demise of the state of Sudan under your leadership. Despite my ignorance of Islam, I saw how the noble Islamic values and ethics of self-denial, honesty, peace, austerity and honesty, upon which you have been basing your leadership, have been greatly undermined and even supplanted by earthy values of greed, corruption and selfishness. Looking up to Your Excellency as national leader and symbol of our nation, I saw how the issue of Darfur and Abyei and your prejudice against African groups reduced you to symbolize only Arab ethnic groups in the Sudan.

Mr President, your decision to declare Abyei area as a war zone and dissolution of Abyei Administration has not only marked a blatant violation of the peace agreement but it has also undermined the peace as the core achievement of CPA. The barbaric attacks of civilians in Abyei area that resulted in massive displacement of thousands of people and loss of their livelihoods have added the people of Abyei to the list of the people who greatly suffered from war crimes under your leadership. Mr. President your decision to unilaterally dissolve Abyei Administration and declaration of war in Abyei area are not only contrary to the provisions of the CPA and Interim National Constitution but it has grossly undermined the national programme to which you have committed your national government to implement.

Mr. President, with the current events in Abyei area, escalation of conflict in Darfur, robbery of election results in Southern Kordofan, utter neglect of Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement, collapsing economy with hyperinflation that is affecting every citizen, erosion of rule of law and fundamental freedoms and the intensification of unrest in the South by the NCP-sponsored militias, I came to a conclusion that the way you are leading Sudan is making you not only a liability to the Sudanese people and your party but also to the continent and indeed to the world at large. I am afraid, Mr. President that the people of Sudan will remember you as leader who fought his own people but with a record in causing enormous human suffering and injustice that resulted in disintegration of Sudan.

With the aforementioned reasons, I felt obliged Mr. President to present to you my resignation through the First Vice President of the Republic of Sudan as I will not be fit to serve under your leadership. Clearly the values and the national programme of building peace during the remaining period of the interim period have been grossly undermined by your leadership.

Mr. President, despite this unpleasant view about your leadership, still you have a golden opportunity to work with your brother President Salva to focus on building good relations between the North and South. Our current meetings in Ethiopia facilitated by President Thabo Mbaki provide a golden opportunity of how SPLM and NCP can work together to ensure two viable states after the secession of the South. Abyei area should not be an obstacle to this future vision of building two viable states and your political courage with President Salva to resolving amicably Abyei issue would certainly contribute positively towards the realization of this noble vision.

Thanks

Luka Biong Deng,
Minister of Cabinet,
National Government,
Khartoum, Sudan

CC. H.E. First Vice President of the Republic of Sudan, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit
CC. H.E. Vice President of the Republic of Sudan, Ustaz Ali Osman

South Sudan faces food shortages due to violence, rain

Posted: September 26, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Written by Reuters Monday, 26 September 2011 12:43

altSouth Sudan faces severe food shortages because the new African nation will produce less than half the food it needs to feed its population this year due to heavy rains and widespread violence, the United Nations said.

South Sudan won independence from Khartoum on July 9 under a 2005 agreement that ended decades of civil war. But it has been struggling to end tribal and rebel violence in several parts of a country the size of France, Reuters reports.

The number of South Sudanese requiring food assistance from aid agencies will rise next year to 1.2 million people from 970,000 now because agricultural output has been hit by the violence and rain, according to the U.N.

"It’s not worrying, it’s alarming," Lise Grande, U.N. humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, told Reuters in an interview in the southern capital Juba late on Thursday. The country has a population of 8 million.

In a best-case scenario South Sudan will produce 420,000 to 500,000 tonnes of food in 2011, a deficit of more than half a million tonnes, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). In 2010, the food deficit was 300,000.

"The situation in the first year of statehood is extremely alarming. Progress on state-building agenda, peace-building and reconciliation is at risk if we can’t get the food security situation under control," Grande said.

Violence in two border states in north Sudan and the closure of several border crossings to the south has blocked roads and commercial traffic to the south, choking off supplies.

At the same time 341,000 southerners have returned home since October from Sudan where they were treated as foreigners after independence.

Around 300,000 people have abandoned their homes and farms this year due to tribal or rebel violence that has killed around 3,000, Grande said. "If you add all that up, you’re looking at a very dangerous situation," she said.

"Unless steps are taken right now to cover that (food) deficit, we could see a sharp increase in acute and severe acute malnutrition and a sharp increase in the number of households that are food-insecure," Grande said.

FAO officials said a drought in the Horn of Africa has increased the price of food in the landlocked nation.

"We made several gains and an overall improvement (in food production) in 2010," said Mtendere Mphatso, an official at FAO, referring to the output of 700,000 tonnes last year.

"All these gains are being reversed and the key drivers are insecurity and erratic rainfall."

Being much less developed than the north, oil-producing South Sudan needs rapidly to build infrastructure and state institutions while trying to feed its population.

The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) said it was facing a budget shortfall of $21 million, or 13,500 tonnes, to fund food assistance in South Sudan.

"We are facing a serious food and budget shortfall which affects our ability to reach all those who need our assistance," WFP spokeswoman Amor Almagro said.

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19413:south-sudan-faces-food-shortages-due-to-violence-rain&catid=54:Governance&Itemid=118

South Sudan May Join World Bank in a Year as Funds Planned

Posted: September 26, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

South Sudan may become a member of the World Bank within a year amid plans by the lender to fund infrastructure and health care projects, said Helen Mbao, senior operations officer for the country.

“Everyone is anxious that this process is done quickly,” she told reporters today in the capital, Juba.

South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan on July 9, applied for World Bank membership before declaring independence. The Washington-based lender approved a $75 million grant called a “transitional trust fund,” Mbao said. Part of the funding will be spent on a plan to develop local companies through a business-plan competition, she said. Vice President Riek Machar may approve that component within a month, Mbao added.

The other components may be approved by the end of the year, including a plan to build roads in the fertile south of the country that would allow farmers to have easier access to markets, said Tesfa Michael Nahusenay, the bank’s senior transportation specialist for South Sudan.

As much as 500 kilometers (311 miles) of new roads may be constructed by June, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jared Ferrie in Juba via Johannesburg at pmrichardson

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

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-26/south-sudan-may-join-world-bank-in-a-year-as-funds-planned-1-.html

South Sudan: Killing for culture

Posted: September 26, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Written by Rob McKee
Monday, 26 September 2011 15:45

She cannot say her name. The South Sudanese girl was shot in jaw with an AK-47. But the reason she cannot communicate her identity isn’t because of the bullet wound. It’s because she has yet to learn how to speak. Only four months old, the little girl is a victim of a new wave of violence in South Sudan, which experts have described as genocidal. While inter tribal conflicts are not uncommon, a worrying trend of this fighting is the somewhat deliberate attacks on women and children.

The United Nations says the death toll from an attack by Murle people on the rival Lua Nuer tribe in Jonglei State is more than 600/Photo/Reuters

The United Nations says the death toll from an attack by Murle people on the rival Lua Nuer tribe in Jonglei State is more than 600/Photo/Reuters

The United Nations says the death toll from an attack by Murle people on the rival Lua Nuer tribe in Jonglei State is more than 600. It is estimated that an additional 850 were wounded and 26,000 displaced. What’s more, 200 children were kidnapped and nearly 8 000 houses torched to the ground.

“It is the first large-scale attack since South Sudan’s independence that goes well beyond cattle raiding” said UN Peacekeeping mission head, Hilde Johnson.

Some of the wounded are being treated at a Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) hospital in Leer, Unity State. The stories they tell describe an attack of genocidal proportions.

“They came very early in the morning and just started shooting everything, men, women, and children,” said Chol Deng from her hospital bed. The young woman was shot twice but managed to hide her baby in a thatch of long grass before the first bullet tore through her left arm and the second through her right hand. “I just lay still and the gunmen walked over my body believing I was dead,” Deng recalled. Twelve hours passed before anyone came to her aid.

Other victims’ stories are equally, if not more, disturbing. Take that of Bang Duoth. His frail body is sprawled out on a hospital stretcher, hooked to an intravenous feed replacing the blood that he lost after being shot three times in the abdomen. “I dragged myself along the ground into a garden where I was able to hide as the rest of the attack unfolded,” he said. “I saw the attackers put a whole family inside a house and then set it on fire. They burned everyone alive.”

This recent violence in Jonglei State was not a typical cattle-raiding incident where one tribe attacks men from another in order to steal a herd.

Cows are currency in South Sudan and cattle raiding attacks are a near-everyday occurrence. But this attack was of a magnitude that is difficult to fathom. Survivors claim that many of the attackers were in military uniforms and used heavy calibre weapons – including rocket propelled grenade launchers – on unarmed women and children.

In addition, there are signs the attack was coordinated. At the same time on the same day, people from the Murle tribe hit seven separate villages.

Lua Nuer people too, however, have a history of similar attacks on the Murle. In June, they were accused of massacring Murle people in an attack that also went beyond cattle raiding. Lua Nuer people readily admit this.

Another young victim, who has no understanding of politics, religion or tribalism, represents the uncorrupted innocence that is under-fire in parts of South Sudan. A small toy rubber duck sits idly at the feet of the one-year old girl as she sleeps on the floor of a hospital tent. “I was with my family when they entered the village and started shooting”, the father, who requested anonymity. “My family and I ran in different directions. I never saw them alive again.”

The man’s wife and five of his children were killed. When the attack was over, other survivors found his youngest, sixth daughter, lying on the ground, wounded from a gunshot. She will live but will never know her mother or five siblings.

Even MSF, a world leader in providing emergency medical assistance in some of the world’s most hostile environments, was not spared in the recent clash. Its office was looted and vehicles burned, and one local staff member in Jonglei was killed. Initially 17 people were reported missing, one of whom remains unaccounted for.

Warning

“We condemn this attack on our medical facilities and the killing of our staff in the strongest terms,” said MSF mission head, Jose Hulsenbek. “This is totally unacceptable. Medical facilities should always be respected as places of neutrality, where patients and medical staff should have no fear of attack. It is difficult to imagine the scale of this attack – this is so huge and we are still trying to assess all the casualties, the wounded, and the damage.”

“The South Sudanese authorities, the international community, and other aid organisations should quickly step in to assist the victims of these large scale killings”, Hulsenbek continued.

MSF also concerned at the situation in remote areas that have not yet been reached due to seasonal rains.

"Authorities should step up their efforts to ensure the safety of the population,” said Hulsenbek.

On August 26, the United Nations announced it is sending peacekeepers to Jonglei to act as a buffer between the two tribes and hopefully prevent a rash of revenge killings. This year has been the most violent in South Sudan since the end of a two-decade civil war with the north in 2005. The UN says 2 500 civilians have been killed compared with 940 at the same time last year.

In 2010, the US intelligence community issued a clear warning relating to tribal violence in southern Sudan. Yet today the advice remains largely unheeded. “Over the next five years, a number of countries in Africa and Asia are at significant risk of a new outbreak of mass killing," the statement read. "Among these countries, a new mass killing or genocide is most likely to occur in southern Sudan." One year later, the intelligence community’s prediction is showing increasing signs of accurateness.

Both arms in casts, Chol Deng sits up attentively from her hospital bed to answer a question. “Do you want to go back to Jonglei when you recover? Do you feel safe there?” She has a confused look on her face and in a matter of fact way states what she deems to be the obvious. “Of course I’ll go back. It’s our land. Even if we die we’ll die in our land. We will never leave and we will never accept anybody else in our land. If they want to kill women and children, then I, as a woman, will pick up a gun and fight myself.”

http://www.theafricareport.com/archives2/opinion/5173004-south-sudan-killing-for-culture.html

Sudan conflict may spiral out of control: ICG

Posted: September 26, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

KHARTOUM — The conflict in Sudan is spreading, and the government’s efforts to crush the rebels in its southern border region could spark a wider civil war for control of the country, a report warned on Monday.

"With hundreds of thousands of people displaced… the growing war on multiple fronts poses serious dangers for the country, for its future relationship with the Republic of South Sudan and for the stability of the region as a whole," the International Crisis Group think tank said.

Khartoum is now engaged in military operations against rebel movements in three separate regions along Sudan’s volatile border with the south, which gained full independence on July 9.

The impending loss of the south prompted what the think tank described as a "soft-coup" within Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party by senior army generals, who outflanked the more pragmatic elements seeking a negotiated strategy and opted instead to remove their opponents militarily.

The conflict in South Kordofan state erupted just one month before southern secession, between the Sudanese army and Nuba militiamen who fought with the SPLA, the former rebel army of the south, during their decades-long war with the north.

The fighting, apparently triggered by the army’s insistence on disarming the opposition SPLM-North, spilled into nearby Blue Nile state at the beginning of this month, as the government moved to assert its authority within its new borders.

"There is a real possibility of a new era of protracted civil war in Sudan if key international actors are not able to contain it," the ICG report warned.

"To the resurgence of war in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile will likely be added an escalation in Darfur, especially now that the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has returned from Libya and rejoined forces in Darfur," it added.

In August, the SPLM-North’s deputy chairman Abdelaziz al-Hilu met with leaders of Darfur’s main rebels movements, and formed a new alliance aimed at bringing about regime change in Sudan through the use of force and popular uprising.

Since then, Khalil Ibrahim, the leader of JEM, Darfur’s most heavily-armed rebel group, has returned to the country’s war-torn western region from Libya, where he sought refuge last year.

The ICG urged the international community to put pressure on Khartoum to abandon its military strategy in favour of an inclusive national dialogue that leads to decentralisation, a new constitution and free and fair elections.

"In the absence of a national political framework, and without clear international consensus to encourage and support a national peace process, the conflict in Sudan may spiral out control and engulf the region."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gN3ZXNh3uNLYqFE6eKoBjskw-Afg?docId=CNG.a1a0fa7851ea5002e0eaf3cb1af82a01.651