Archive for October 20, 2011

President Kiir Speech at the Closing of the g7+ Retreat in Juba

Posted: October 20, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Speeches



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The Closing Remarks on the g7+ Retreat in Juba

H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit

President of the Republic of South Sudan

Juba, South Sudan

October 19, 2011

H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao

The Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Timor – Leste

Honourable Ministers

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

On the onset, I would like to thank our Guest of honour, H.E. the Prime of the Democratic Republic of Timor -Leste and his delegation, among them, Her Excellency, Madam Emelia Pires, the Minister of Finance, for being with us here in Juba in the last two days.  It could not be more appropriate that the first international conference in an independent South Sudan has brought together the membership of the g7+ to share experiences, to learn from one other and to develop a common position that reflects our collective experience.

The g7+ offers a unique platform for countries that are affected by fragility and conflict, coming together, to increase our voice on the international stage, and to propose new ways of doing business that fits the needs of our people and Governments.

I personally, take this opportunity to thank My Brother, Mr. Prime Minister, for visiting us and for taking his valuable time, during which he diligently conducted numerous meetings with our Government officials, donors, and our development partners, as well as other sectors here in Juba in his very short visit. It is worth saying that we in the Republic of South Sudan are grateful, and we have expressed that by taking an active role, participating in the g7+, since its inception in early 2010 before we even became an independent state. My Government views the g7+ as an essential forum for generating new ideas to address the challenges we face as fragile state. We have in the g7+ a collective commitment to finding new ways of building peaceful and stable future for all the citizens in our nations.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

Like many of our Brothers and Sisters in the other g7+ countries/states, we in South Sudan have come a long way, through different methods and means as we conducted our struggle. We achieved our destiny, through the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, which assured us the right to self determination in an internationally supervised referendum.  On the path towards the referendum we established the institutions of governance and started practicing democracy.  Since then we held free and fair elections, and then the just concluded transparent, free and fair referendum. We have put in place a comprehensive Development Plan and are committed to tackling corruption. Though there is still much to be done we believe that we are on the path towards justices, liberty and prosperity.

Nevertheless, we must also recognise the fact that there are no short cuts to overcome a great number of the challenges in delivering peace, stability and development for our people.  As the discussion over the past two days has emphasised, moving away from conflict towards development is a huge challenge.  It requires a vision, strong commitment to building the institutions of government, and sound management of the nation’s resources.  How we spend money as a government, and how our development partners spend money in our countries, is critically important to our success, given the scale of need across our nation.

For us in South Sudan, the list of what still needs to be done is endless and resources are scarce. We therefore value the significant contributions of the International Community, who have been with us during times of war and in peace. Their continued efforts have often complemented and enhanced the effectiveness of government spending in meeting the needs of our people, supporting us to provide improved access to health and education services, improving access to basic infrastructure and promoting the development of our economy.

However, experience from many of our countries is that all too often aid has been managed in a way that has bypassed our own systems. By using parallel structures, aid has undermined rather than strengthened our governance structures.  This has resulted in a lack of government ownership and leadership of development aid.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

This is why the g7+ is so important.  In the coming months we have the opportunity to influence the terms on which we receive support from our brothers and sisters in the developed world. As we move towards the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan taking place next month, it is clear that what we need from the International Community is not more of the same.  Instead, we the members of the g7+ must push for a New Deal on international engagement with fragile states, in which the focus of international assistance should be on the process of peace and state building. This means strengthening the institutional capacity of government, delivering jobs for our people and providing access to justice for all.   We need new partnership between our countries and our partners across the diplomatic, security and development communities.

If the fragile and post-conflict affected States are to achieve the targets set out in the Millennium Development Goals, we need to take immediate action. We need to make sure that aid builds our capacity as a government, rather than undermining it.  We need to make sure that aid strengthens our systems, instead of replacing them.  Most critically, we need to make sure that the Government is in the driver’s seat when it comes to managing the support offered by the International Community.

This means that we should develop new set of principles and actions for use in fragile and conflict affected States.  The time has come for action, and South Sudan will continue to strive with all of you to move this agenda forward.

I truly hope that South Sudan can provide an example of what this New Deal between the Government and the International Community could look like.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

The challenges ahead are significant, but no more so than those we have all faced in the past.  Collectively, we have the knowledge, the resources and the will to make a difference.  Let us use our combined experience and voice to make fragility and conflict a thing of the past.  As independent countries we can learn from each other, and avoid common mistakes. As a group we must encourage the international community to think and act differently when engaging with our countries. If we do these things, we will create an opportunity for change for the betterment of all our people.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

Before closing, I would like to highlight my thanks to the Government of Timor Leste. It has been an honour to have been graced with the presence of His Excellency Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão in our New Republic, and we have greatly benefitted from the advice he has provided to us over the past few days.  I would also like to recognise the Chair of the g7+, H.E. Emilia Pires, whose unwavering leadership has made it possible for us to gather here in Juba.  We in South Sudan have a lot to learn from your experience in tackling the problems that we face today. I look forward to a continuing and sustained partnership with you and the Government of Timor Leste.

To all of the g7+ members thank you for your constructive engagement and commitment during the last two days here.  Let us move forward with our agenda without hesitation and let us not rest until we achieve our goals.  By learning from one another, we can ensure that we confine fragility and conflict to history forever.

I hope you liked the world’s newest nation, we are certainly glad that you came!   I hereby declare the retreat closed.

Thank you and God bless you all.

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Sudan says seizes town in border state, rebels deny

Posted: October 20, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

KHARTOUM Oct 20 (Reuters) – Sudan’s armed forces have seized a town close to a rebel stronghold in the border state of Blue Nile where fighting has been going on for almost two months, state media said on Thursday.

A rebel spokesman confirmed a battle in the town of Sali but denied the army had driven away its fighters from the area near the border with newly-independent South Sudan and Ethiopia.

The army has been fighting rebels of the SPLM-North in Blue Nile since September. The two sides are also fighting in neighbouring South Kordofan state, north Sudan’s main oil state.

Army spokesman al-Sawarmi Khalid Saad told state news agency SUNA that after a 12-hour battle, Sudan’s forces had taken Sali, nine kilometres (5.6 miles) north of Kurmuk, which is seen as a stronghold of the SPLM-N and its armed wing SPLA.

“The armed forces took the SPLA military camp in Sali and cleared it completely of rebels,” he said.

But a SPLM-N spokesman said fighting was still going on there: “SPLA forces have not been driven away from the area.”

Last month, activists said the Sudanese army had deployed an armoured brigade along a road to Kurmuk.

Analysts say fighting in Blue Nile and South Kordofan risks drawing Khartoum’s former civil war foe South Sudan into a proxy war.

The Sudanese government has accused the south’s dominant Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) of being behind the violence. The South denies this.

Events in Blue Nile and South Kordofan are hard to verify because aid agencies say they have no access and foreign journalists cannot travel there without permission. (Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Jon Boyle)

JUBA, 5 October 2011 – The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology has announced 60 scholarship opportunities offered by the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Juba. Please, click below here for the details.

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South Sudanese Scholarships to Egypt

Speech of Head of RSS Mission in Canada

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I take this opportunity to thank the organizers of the “STAND Leadership Conference” for inviting me to share with you the joy of the people of the Republic of South Sudan and the suffering of the marginalized people of the Sudan proper. (Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions)

I also bring you warm greetings from our President H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit and the people of the Republic of South Sudan. The People of South Sudan are grateful to all Canadians and peace loving individuals for standing firm with the marginalized people of the Sudan during the 22 years of struggle for just and equitable peace in the Sudan.

We encourage you to keep standing with the people of the Blue Nile, Nuba Mountains and Darfur, because they have become the second southern Sudan, I think the rulers in Khartoum have a problem with their southern part of the country, before it was us now is Southern Blue Nile, and southern Kordofan or (Nuba Mountains)

The Republic of South Sudan became an independent state just three month ago. Geographically, Sudan in the North, Central African Republic in the West, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda in the South, Kenya and Ethiopia in the East border the Country.

It covers a total area of more than 619,000 square kilometers and more than 80% of the land is suitable for Agricultural development.

South Sudan is divided into ten administrative units called State. They are: Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria, Jongolei, Upper Nile, Unity, Warrap, Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Western Bahr El Ghazal, Lakes, and Eastern Equatoria States respectively.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement party (SPLM) is the major party in power since the last general elections of April 2010. However, since the signing of the comprehensive Peace agreement, CPA in 2005, the SPLM party has included all the active political parties in the South into the government.

After Independence in July 9th, 2011 the President of the Republic of South Sudan has formed a government of national unity, a government that has empowered women into some of the most important cabinet positions. All the political parties in the south are members of the cabinet

In the economic field, the country is adopting capitalist or market oriented system to attract foreign investments for accelerating economic development. The country is gifted with immense natural resources.  We are also open for Public Private Partnership in our journey for economic development of all our economic sectors including the oil sector.

Currently, the only oil fields being exploited are those in Unity State, and Upper Nile States. The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining is in the process of expanding explorations into Jongolei, Warrap and parts of Eastern Equatoria State for oil, gas and other natural resources such as Gold, Diamond, Uranium and Nickel.

The Republic of South Sudan enjoys a very good relationship with its neighbours to the East and South. With the northern neighbours the relations is tense due to the occupation of Abyei by the Sudan Armed Forces, the un-demarcated borders, the wars in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan.

In the West we are still dealing with the notorious Lord Resistance Army LRA of Joseph Konyi hiding in the border areas between South Sudan and Central African Republic or DRC Congo. We are in favour of soft border to encourage trade between the two nations, we are in favour of dual citizenship, but our brothers in the north are not in favour of dual citizenship.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Having said that, please allow me to take few minutes to try to answer some of the questions that most people are thinking about, regarding the political developments in South Sudan.

  1. What groups/coalitions inside South Sudan are opposed to RSS or are threatening the unity of the country? What elements of South Sudanese society are showing resistance to RSS policy?

Let me assure you that the people of south Sudan are united in their journey for just peace. All the political parties in south Sudan have declared publicly at least that they would like to rally behind the President to consolidate the hard won freedom for the people of South Sudan.

The only active rebel leader is Gen. George Athor who rebelled in 2010 after losing the Governorship of Jongolei State. He has been in the run since then. The government of the Republic of south Sudan is not interested in military confrontation with Athor, the President declared general amnesty for all who have taken up arms against the government since 2005.

The amnesty was well received by many rebel leaders such as General Peter Gadet, Abdal Bagei Ayei, Yaou Yaou and others who are currently in Juba. There are no elements opposing the policies of the government of the Republic of south Sudan, other than the official opposition in the national parliament in Juba, of which the government considers it as positive element in developing our country. We hope General Athor will join us soon in our nation building effort.

2. How likely are armed groups/elements in South Sudan to join the rebellion in South Kordofan, the Blue Nile state and maybe Darfur?

The President of the Republic of South Sudan just concluded a very important visit to Khartoum last weekend October 8-9 2011. He led a very high level delegation to the Sudanese capital Khartoum, to reassure the government of the Sudan that we are not interested in war; we want to help them find solutions to the wars in Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan and Darfur.

There is no benefit for war in South Sudan. There is no indication that there are elements in South Sudan willing to join the war in those areas, if we are interested in war the occupation of Abyei would have been the one to take South Sudan back to war. But we said no more going back to war because nobody actually benefits from wars.

3. What are the most pressing issues that need to be discussed first with Khartoum? E.g. border demarcation, oil revenue sharing, citizenship rights, future of Abyei, etc. What is resolved and what is unresolved about these issues?

The most pressing issues that the government of South Sudan would like to see resolved are the issues of the Abyei, the demarcation of the north south border, citizenship rights and the oil pipeline.

Regarding the oil pipeline the government of Sudan is demanding that we pay $ 32 dollars for every barrel that passes through their pipeline facilities in port Sudan, we have refused and negotiations are still under way and if you have good ideas of how these issues can be resolve, I will forward to our government in confidence to help them in the negotiating table.

For the Abyei issue, we want to see that the people of Abyei are given the right to choose their destiny through an internationally supervised referendum for them to decide which side of the two Sudan they want to belong to.

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South Sudanese Scholarships to Egypt

4. Now that South Sudan has become a recognized country, what specific things is it asking the international community for assistance with its development? What can Canada do?

The Republic of south Sudan attends its independence on 9 July 2011, but with many challenges. South Sudan needs almost everything because war has left nothing in South Sudan. However, the Government of South Sudan has laid down its priorities during the inauguration of independence speech by the President. He (the President) outlines five key areas that need assistance. 1. Security, 2- Food Security/Agriculture, 3- Health care 4- Education 5. Good governance/democracy/transparency. 

During the visit of the Canadian minister for International Development Hon. Beverley Oda to Juba last July, the President indicated to the minister challenges in South Sudan are many but we would love if Canada can pick one among the five key priority areas and help. We have also requested capacity building training for our civil servants, such as members of parliament, and other department of our ministries.

Canada can provide wealth of knowledge when South Sudan embarks on writing its permanent constitution in the next two years. Canada can help the modernization of the agricultural sector to ensure South Sudan has food security for its population. Canada can also provide training or educational assistance to the civil societies in south Sudan to champion the wishes of the people of South Sudanese

Once again, let me take this opportunity to thank the organizers and all of you for showing interest in what is happening in my country.


Joseph Moum Majak Ngor Malok

Head of the Republic of South Sudan Mission

To Canada

251 Bank Street Suite 602

Ottawa, Ontario

K2P 1X3, Canada

Tel: +1613- 567- 2800

Fax: 613- 567- 2801


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South Sudanese Scholarships to Egypt

As ruler, Gadhafi sought world stage

Posted: October 20, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in World

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) — Over four decades in power in Libya, Moammar Gadhafi portrayed himself as a revolutionary battling Western colonialism, the leader of a united Africa and the “king of kings” of his oil-rich desert nation and beyond.

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 4:06 PM EST, Thu October 20, 2011
 Moammar Gadhafi came to power in a bloodless coup against King Idris in 1969, when he was an army captain.

He died a fugitive in his hometown, hunted down Thursday by the forces that toppled his iron-fisted rule two months ago. His death was cheered by throngs of his countrymen in Tripoli, who let loose with celebratory gunfire and the honking of horns at the news.

Gadhafi’s death puts an end to the career of the strongman who came to power in a bloodless coup against King Idris in 1969. The 27-year-old army captain soon adopted the rank of colonel, by which he was known for most of his career. He had a gathering of tribal leaders declare him “king of kings” of Africa in 2008, but the title never quite caught on.

He cut a flamboyant figure in comic-opera military uniforms or tribal robes that played up his Bedouin roots. He sported trademark sunglasses, surrounded himself with an eye-catching female security detail. On a 2009 visit to Italy, he invited 200 models to his ambassador’s house, paying each $75 to listen to lectures on Islam and giving each a copy of the Quran.

Saad Djebbar, a former legal adviser to the Libyan government, said Gadhafi’s mercurial public image was a calculated ploy, aimed at appearing foolish or mad. But as the “Arab Spring” revolts erupted in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, toppling long-serving authoritarian leaders, Gadhafi “was completely out of touch of the realities of the new world around him,” Djebbar said.

Upon assuming power, he fashioned himself as an Arab nationalist. The United States tried to work with him at first but quickly found out that his brand of nationalism included opposition to the West.

By 1972, he was urging Muslims to fight Western powers. He backed American black militant groups and supplied arms to Palestinian factions battling Israel, as well as to Irish Republican Army fighters battling British rule over Northern Ireland.

His “Green Book,” first published in 1975, envisioned a radically simple system of “People’s Conferences” that would replace political structures from tribes to parliaments. But Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Libya, said the effect of Gadhafi’s rule was to leave himself as the nation’s sole authority.

“He has destroyed every institution in the country,” Miles told CNN. “There is no real civil society in Libya.”

Gadhafi said he wanted to unite the Arab world, and even proclaimed a merger of Egypt, Libya and Syria in 1972. That merger plan fell apart, as did a later attempt at a union with Tunisia. Arab leaders largely shunned him, seeing him more as a “buffoon” and a “clown” than a potential regional leader, said Dirk J. Vandewalle, a Libya expert at Dartmouth University.

Libyans celebrate in Tripoli

Gadhafi capture an ‘opportunity’ for NTC

Anti-Gadhafi forces take Bani Walid

That rejection from Arab and African leaders, combined with his growing anti-Western sentiment, left him to turn to terrorism in the 1970s and 1980s, Vandewalle said.

In 1986, Libya was implicated in the fatal bombing at a West Berlin nightclub that left one American service member dead, prompting U.S. President Ronald Reagan to dub the Libyan leader the “mad dog of the Middle East.” Reagan ordered the United States to bomb Libya and imposed economic sanctions against the North African country.

Two years later, Libya was implicated in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270 people when it exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Moammar Gadhafi, left, arrives for an Arab Summit Conference in Rabat, Morocco, with Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser in December 1969, months after taking control of Libya in a bloodless coup. Moammar Gadhafi, left, arrives for an Arab Summit Conference in Rabat, Morocco, with Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser in December 1969, months after taking control of Libya in a bloodless coup.
Gadhafi rides a horse through Tripoli in November 1975. Gadhafi rides a horse through Tripoli in November 1975.
Gadhafi reviews troops on an official visit to Senegal in December 1985. Gadhafi reviews troops on an official visit to Senegal in December 1985.
Gadhafi speaks to reporters at a meeting of the High Command of the Revolutionary Forces of the Arab Nation in February 1986 in Tripoli. Gadhafi speaks to reporters at a meeting of the High Command of the Revolutionary Forces of the Arab Nation in February 1986 in Tripoli.
Nelson Mandela, then president of the South African National Congress, greets Gadhafi in Tripoli in May 1990. Nelson Mandela, then president of the South African National Congress, greets Gadhafi in Tripoli in May 1990.
Gadhafi salutes during a 1999 military parade celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Libyan Revolution in Tripoli. Gadhafi salutes during a 1999 military parade celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Libyan Revolution in Tripoli.
At a 2007 meeting in Paris, Gadhafi is seen surrounded by his female bodyguards. At a 2007 meeting in Paris, Gadhafi is seen surrounded by his female bodyguards.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Gadhafi sign an agreement between Russia and Libya on April 17, 2008, in Tripoli. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Gadhafi sign an agreement between Russia and Libya on April 17, 2008, in Tripoli.
Gadhafi attends a meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in Rome during a G-8 summit in 2009. Gadhafi attends a meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in Rome during a G-8 summit in 2009.
Gadhafi exits a plane in Tripoli with family members and bodyguards after traveling to the United States and Venezuela in 2009. Gadhafi exits a plane in Tripoli with family members and bodyguards after traveling to the United States and Venezuela in 2009.
Gadhafi arrives in Italy for talks with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in August 2010. Gadhafi arrives in Italy for talks with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in August 2010.
Gadhafi smiles and raises his arms as he enters the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli on March 8, 2011. Gadhafi smiles and raises his arms as he enters the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli on March 8, 2011.
Gadhafi through the years Gadhafi through the years

Years later, Gadhafi appeared to moderate and seek rapprochement with the West. In 1999, he turned over suspects in the Lockerbie bombing, and in 2003 the country agreed to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. Those moves paved the way for the lifting of economic sanctions, the restoration of diplomatic relations with Washington in 2006 and Libya’s removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism the following year.

In the years before the current rebellion started, Gadhafi even hired a public relations firm to burnish his global image as a statesman and a reformer. Starting in 2006, the leader spent about $3 million a year to execute a public relations strategy that included paying think-tank analysts and former government officials to take a free trip to Libya for lectures, discussions and personal meetings with Gadhafi.

Then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Gadhafi in 2008 and “thought he was serious” about Libya’s turnabout.

“He said at one point it has taken too long, that the lessons of history had to be learned,” Rice later said.

In 2009, Gadhafi became chairman of the African Union, aiming to turn the now-54-member organization into a group of “African united states.” He had been working to build his influence in the region for decades, building a gleaming mosque in Niger’s capital, Niamey, in the 1970s and another popular mosque in Bamako, the capital of neighboring Mali. Gadhafi also poured money into Chad and Burkina Faso as well.

He addressed the U.N. General Assembly for the first and only time in 2009. In his 96-minute ramble, he denounced the U.N. Security Council as a “terror council,” suggested the H1N1 swine-flu virus was a military tool and called for renewed investigations into the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

But critics called his plans for a united Africa impractical, and he lost his bid for a second term as AU chairman in 2010.

The bell began to toll for Gadhafi in February after people around the Middle East and North Africa started challenging their leaders in the so-called Arab Spring movement. Gadhafi found himself a target following the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, whom the Libyan leader had supported, as anti-government demonstrations began.

The eastern city of Benghazi fell to rebel forces swiftly as Gadhafi blamed outsiders and “armed gangs” for the violence. He told his people the United States was giving young Libyans “hallucination pills” to fuel the revolt. He vowed never to leave Libya and to “die as a martyr at the end.” But his reputation and his fate were largely sealed by his crackdown on protesters and attacks against rebels and civilians alike.

The rebels were soon backed by NATO airstrikes, launched in March under a Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force to protect civilians from reprisals. Over the summer, revolutionary fighters edged closer to Tripoli, cutting off key supply routes for Gadhafi’s remaining forces. By August 21, they had broken through into the capital; two days later, they ransacked Gadhafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound.

Members of his family, including his wife and three grown children, soon decamped to Algeria. The “king of kings” remained behind, broadcasting occasional defiant messages by radio and television to his shrinking band of followers.

“All along, he was telling them that he is in a safe place and that he is going to bring them back to power,” former aide Abubaker Saad told CNN. “For the past few months, that’s basically the message that he was sending. But, of course, in reality, he was hiding and running for his life.”

CNN’s Mike Pearson, Faith Karimi, Matt Smith, Greg Botelho and Catherine Shoichet contributed to this report.

How Gadhafi’s capture unfolded during siege of Sirte

By Phoebe Connelly | The Envoy – 6 hrs ago
Revolutionary fighters celebrate the capture of Sirte, Libya, Thusday, Oct. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)

The world only learned gradually this morning of the death of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi. But now multiple news outlets are piecing together the dramatic account of Gadhafi’s final moments.Jalal al-Galal, a spokesman for the rebels’ provisional governing alliance, the National Transitional Council told Reuters, that Gadhafi “was killed in an attack by the fighters. There is footage of that.” Gadhafi is now officially the first leader killed as a result of the Arab Spring uprisings, as the Associated Press notes in its obituary of the leader.

According to reports from several sources, Gadhafi was fleeing a NATO-led rebel attack on the former leader’s hometown of Sirte, which had been a last remaining stronghold for Gadhafi forces. According to the Reuters report, the rebels found the former Libyan strongman hiding in a hole in the ground; the rebel fighter who found Gadhafi said that the Libyan leader repeated “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot” upon his capture. The BBC reported that the same rebel fighter was “brandishing” a golden pistol which he said belonged to the Libyan strongman.

ABC reported that the hole was in fact a drainage culvert; you can see pictures of the location in the broadcast clip below:

Al Jazeera English posted footage of Gadhafi’s body on the street in Sirte. The Guardian has posted a longer version of the same clip.  You can watch the footage below, but readers should be warned that it is very graphic:

Al Jazeera English also broadcast an obituary of the former Libyan leader, with clips spanning his 42 years in power–including a final video where he threatened to use “massive violence to quash protesters” who had taken to the streets of Libya as part of the Arab Spring uprising.

You can watch the video below:

Finally, a raw video has surfaced of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton getting the initial unconfirmed report of Gadhafi’s death during her visit to Afghanistan. You can watch that footage below: 

US Senate confirms envoys to South Sudan, Bahrain

Posted: October 20, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

AFP) –

WASHINGTON — The US Senate has confirmed the appointment of the country’s first-ever ambassador to South Sudan and a new envoy to Bahrain, accused of human rights abuses over a mid-March crackdown on protests.

The two envoys were approved by unanimous consent Tuesday, along with ambassadors to Luxembourg, Bangladesh, Cape Verde, Mali and Sweden.

The confirmed ambassador to South Sudan, Susan Denise Page, will be the first US diplomat to serve in the post since the country gained independence in July.

During a congressional hearing earlier this month, she urged the new state to negotiate promptly with the north to share oil revenues, warning of dire economic consequences otherwise.

Thomas Krajeski, the confirmed ambassador to Bahrain, urged the kingdom not to crack down on anti-regime protesters and to instead implement reforms.

The US State Department said in a letter made public on Tuesday that it would weigh the results of a probe into Bahrain’s protest crackdown before pursuing a planned $53 million arms sale to the kingdom.

A commission was due to report back by October 30 on Bahrain’s crackdown on Arab Spring-inspired protests, which authorities say left 24 people dead, including four police officers. The opposition puts the toll at 31.

Bahrain, where a Sunni monarchy has ruled over a majority Shiite population for decades, is located strategically in the Gulf opposite Iran, and houses the headquarters of the US Fifth Fleet.

Related articles

Behold the Pentagon’s new magic bullet: Switchblade

Posted: October 20, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in World

It comes in a tube, flies for only a few minutes and then blows itself up.

Tried and tested to lethal effect in Afghanistan, it’s the Pentagon’s new “kamikaze” drone. The existence of another new, small “killer” drone has been known for more than a year but evidence that it has been used in combat in Afghanistan has just emerged. It’s another element in the increasing use of remote-controlled weaponry.

By Brian Adeba
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For those of you interested in global issues, including those pertaining to Sudan, please refer to the link below for a research article I wrote, which has just been published in the Canadian Journal of Media Studies (CJMS).
In this article, I examine coverage of the Darfur conflict (using qualitative and quantitative content analysis) in two major dailies in Canada: The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.
Close to 300 articles, including news, editorials, features, and commentary were studied. The study covers the period 2003-2008. Specifically, I sought to establish the following: 1) The main themes of the conflict 2)Who were the sources who framed the conflict 3) What are the implications for policy makers.
I have been fascinated with framing theory—the prism through which reporters view issues. In short, our upbringing, our social standing in society, our economic status, religious orientation etc, influences the way we view issues. Part of my study therefore sought to review how reporters in two newspapers with divergent editorial slants (conservative and liberal) viewed the Darfur conflict.
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Brian Adeba: A Comparative Analysis of the Darfur Conflict (2003-2008)

Best regards,

Muammar Gaddafi ‘killed’ in gun battle
Reports say that toppled leader and the head of his armed forces have both been killed, following the fall of Sirte.
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2011 12:19
A senior NTC official has said that Muammar Gaddafi has died of his wounds after being captured near Sirte.Another NTC commander said that Moussa Ibrahim, former spokesman for Muammar Gaddafi’s fallen government, was also captured near the Sirte.Abdul Hakim Al Jalil, commander of the 11th brigade, also said he had seen the body of the chief of Gaddafi’s armed forces, Abu Bakr Younus Jabr.”I’ve seen him with my own eyes,” he said and showed Reuters a picture of Jabr’s body.”Moussa Ibrahim was also captured and both of them were transferred to (our) operations room.”

Earlier, Jamal abu-Shaalah, a field commander of NTC, told Al Jazeera that the toppled leader had been seized, but it was not clear whether he was dead or alive.

“He’s captured. He’s wounded in both legs … He’s been taken away by ambulance,” Abdel Majid, a senior NTC military official said.

The news came shortly after NTC claimed capturing Sirte, Gaddafi’s hometown, after weeks of fighting.

NATO and the US state department said it cannot confirm the reports of Gaddafi’s death. Meanwhile in Benghazi, crowds gathered in the streets to start celebrating the reports of Gaddafi’s death

Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte falls to NTC

Libyan forces take full control of city, with loyalists of former leader fleeing after weeks of fighting.
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2011 11:59
 Gunfires were heard in the heart of Sirte as celebrations started across the country [Reuters]

Libyan National Transitional Council fighters say they have captured the last positions held by Muammar Gaddafi’s loyalists in the deposed leader’s hometown of Sirte.

“Sirte has been liberated. There are no Gaddafi forces any more,” Colonel Yunus Al Abdali, head of operations in the
eastern half of the city, said on Thursday.

“We are now chasing his fighters who are trying to run away.”

Another front line commander confirmed the capture of the Mediterranean coastal city, which was the last remaining
significant bastion of pro-Gaddafi fighters almost three months after the former leader was overthrown by NTC forces.

The AP news agency reported that the final push to capture the final parts of the city began around 0800 local time and was over after about 90 minutes.

Fighters on the ground did not allow reporters to enter the positions formerly held by the Gaddafi loyalists as they said mopping up operations were still under way.

Reuters reported sound of shooting could be heard coming from the west of the city.

Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from Tripoli, said a convoy of 100 cars is heading West to Misrata from Sirte.

“It is yet not clear who is in the convoy but some of the fighters say high levels of Gaddafi regime are part of it,” he said.

Events are rapidly unfolding and Al Jazeera sources are saying that Gaddafi might have been killed.

Celebratory gunfire

At least 16 pro-Gaddafi fighters were captured, along with multiple cases of ammunition and trucks loaded with weapons. They were beaten up and later taken away in the back of trucks.

Hundreds of NTC troops have been surrounding Gaddafi’s last bastion in a deadly struggle that exacted a heavy toll on human lives.

Click here for more of Al Jazeera’s special coverage

NTC fighters said there were a large number of corpses inside the battle zones, but it was not immediately possible to verify the claim.

Celebratory gunfire were heard in the heart of the city, which fell into the hands of Libya’s new rulers almost two full months after Tripoli was captured. Gunfire and car horns were blaring in Tripoli as celebrations started across the country.

Despite the fall of Tripoli on August 21, Gaddafi loyalists have been putting up a fierce fight in several areas, including Sirte, preventing Libya’s new leaders from declaring full victory in the eight-month conflict.

Gaddafi, wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of ordering the killing of civilians, has been hiding since he was toppled.

Earlier this week, fighters gained control of another stronghold, Bani Walid, and by Tuesday said they had squeezed Gaddafi’s forces in Sirte into a residential area of about 700 square metres.

In Crumbling Sudan: Dodging Bombers with the Rebels of Blue Nile

Posted: October 20, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in World

Sudanese rebel leader Malik Agar at his rebel hideout near the Kurmuk region of the Blue Nile state on October 10, 2011.

Hannah Macneish / AFP / Getty Images

The sound of a plane is hard to pick out in the thick, empty landscape of dry grass and blue sky in the Sudanese state of Blue Nile. But once it grows closer, the low whine of an engine is unmistakeable. The fighters have been looking up, sensing a problem. They see it, what they are certain is an Antonov bomber sent by their enemy. Quickly, the fatigue-clad rebels leap out of their camouflaged Land Cruisers and trucks and scramble down the banks of a dry creek. Sweat streaming down their cheeks, they crouch under trees, listening to the plane circle overhead. At last, the bombs drop — one, two, and three — perhaps in a faraway field, perhaps on a faraway family. The soldiers emerge from the brush and onto the sandy creek bed to take a drink from the stagnant pools of water. The worst part of their day has passed.

This is how the long, hot days are won — or at least not lost — for the rebel forces battling the Sudanese military for control of Blue Nile state, which used to be in central part of the enormity of old Sudan. Then, the oil-rich south of the country voted overwhelmingly for independence and set itself up as the world’s youngest nation. Blue Nile is now on the southern frontier of what is left of Sudan — which continues to be beset by local separatisms, including that waged by the rebel soldiers in Blue Nile. (See TIME’s photoessay “Independence for Southern Sudan.”)

Conflict has spread across the new border region between the remainder of Sudan ruled by Khartoum and South Sudan, which has its capital in Juba, from Abyei to South Kordofan and, since the beginning of September, Blue Nile. Though violence in Abyei has subsided, ground skirmishes and reports of bombings continue to trickle out of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, a conflict that observers worry will escalate into a fresh civil war to further rend what is left of Sudan. “If [Khartoum] continues this vein in governance terms, they face the potential disintegration of the country,” says Richard Downie, deputy director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

For the moment, it’s still a guerrilla-style rebellion being run from a modest grass hut. Malik Agar, the former governor of Blue Nile who was forced out of office last month, now leads the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army North (SPLM/A-N) from a remote patch near the town of Kurmuk. On Oct. 6, Agar, wearing fatigues, combat boots and a neat salt-and-pepper beard, had a group of foreign journalists over to visit his makeshift command center, delivering polished sound-bites while his men passed out sweet tea and Pepsi. “There are so many angry young men who have joined us,” he said to the cameras and microphones trained at him. Agar claims 74 civilians have been killed and over 100 injured in the Khartoum’s bombing campaign, spurring greater civilian support for his movement and bringing rebel movements from Darfur and South Kordofan to Blue Nile to work more closely together against Khartoum. Said Agar, “It’s not a misnomer that the enemy of your enemy is your friend.”

The history of the enmity between Khartoum and the opposition groups here run deep, and the latest conflict stems in part from the very thing meant to end bloodshed in this part of the world. Opposition forces that supported the South Sudan rebels during the decades-long war say that Khartoum has not upheld its end of a 2005 peace agreement, which, among other things, guarantees greater democracy in Sudan and a greater voice to the people — and politicians — of Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Khartoum and the oppostion have also not been able to agree on what to do with the soldiers who fought under the banner of the SPLM before the movement helped establish South Sudan as a separate country. The peace agreement says those soldiers should either be demobilized or deployed to the now officially independent south. Neither has happened. Like the movement, the rebel army in Sudanese territory, the SPLA, has pointedly added the word “North” to its name. (Watch TIME’s video “The Lord’s Resistance Army Hunts Children in Sudan.”)

This spring, Khartoum sent its army in to flush the fighters out of the region — a move that has instead devolved into a fight for control of the states. Now Agar and his party, which Khartoum has banned, are calling, among other things, for the international community to pressure President Omar al-Bashir to stop bombing civilians, and for the removal of al-Bashir himself from office. “This regime is deformed to an extent that you can’t reform it,” says Agar. Khartoum, for its part, said in an Oct. 3 paper that the SPLM has “executed a plan to spread fear and instability in the state through targeting civilians in repeated attacks… completely avoiding government army sites.”

If Agar and his troops are itching for a long fight, residents in the southern part of Blue Nile are not sticking around to see it. Along the red dirt roads of the rebel-controlled region, small groups of women, children and elderly men walk with sticks resting over their shoulders, carrying pouches of whatever they could transport from home. Agar estimates about half the state’s 1.2 million people are now on the move. (Without outside monitoring groups operating in the state, there is no way to verify that figure.) But in a little over a month, more that 27,000 refugees have streamed over the border with Ethiopia to escape the bombing and fighting, according to the United Nations High Command for Refugees (UNHCR), which is running camps along the border. The U.N. refugee agency opened a second camp in western Ethiopia this month to accommodate the continuing influx. Others, like cattle herders who refuse to leave their animals, are simply fleeing to places inside the state where they don’t think the Antonov bombers will spot them from far above, pitching tarp tents under trees and waiting for the storm to blow over.

The tempest isn’t likely to abate, judging by the looks of Kurmuk, once a busy trade town on the border with Ethiopia. In the past six weeks, Kurmuk has become something of an oversized base for the rebellion. Trucks of soldiers tear around throughout the day. Soldiers go on training runs each morning, singing and shuffling in their boots through the littered dirt streets. In the market, most shops are shuttered and desolate; only a few vendors sell cigarettes and tea to the soldiers, hoping to make some extra cash for their families who have already left. “My family comes to visit me here sometimes,” says Jahir Jaro Mosa, an elderly man who runs a tea stall in what’s left of the Kurmuk market. “When they hear the Antonovs come, they go back across the border.” (See photos of Southern Sudan on the eve of independence.)

Nearby, the Kurmuk hospital, which has been treating soldiers from both sides of the conflict as well as the few remaining civilians in town, is now down to one doctor, a south Sudanese man who has been working here since 1997. International aid groups, as well as the handful of foreign private companies that were doing business here, have pulled out of the state, taking the many services they were providing with them. In a quiet operating theater, Dr. Evan Atar sutures the amputated arm of a Satdam Anima, 20, a soldier whose limb was blown apart by a piece of bomb shrapnel. Anima’s eyes flutter open as he begins to come out from under the anesthesia. They settle blankly on a corner of the room. “The impact on civilians is maybe even worse than on the soldiers themselves,” says Atar. He says during the previous war, at least, life in Kurmuk was able to carry on as normal. Now, everyone has had to leave. The hospital is running out of supplies and many across the region are facing a severe food shortage without being able to cultivate their land during the conflict. “The civilians have lost everything in this war,” Atar says.

Touring the region, the convoy of soldiers and rebellion supporters is oddly exuberant, alternately cheering at people they see along the way and stopping to point out bomb craters off the side of the road. In the remote, bucolic village of Maiyas, six people were killed in one bombing early this month, including a pregnant woman. Standing in front of the crater, residents turn pieces of twisted bomb shell over in their hands and tell the visitors how the victims were mutilated by their impact. “I couldn’t even bear to take the bodies to the graves,” one recalls. The village chief, Khidir Abusita, said that most of Maiyas’ estimated 4,000 people have not left yet. How long they’ll stay isn’t clear. “Today at noon there was another Antonov circling around,” Abusita says. “We’re scared.” When the soldiers start to pile back into their mud-smeared trucks, the men gathered around the bomb crater bid them farewell: “SPLA, oyee! SPLA, oyee!” Long live the SPLA!

Produced in association with the International Reporting Project.

See “Sudan’s Conflict Spreads: Is This the Start of a New Civil War?”