Archive for December 6, 2011

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach (1970)

Posted: December 6, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Education, Philosophy

Jonathan is sick and tired of the boring life in his sea-gull clan. He rather experiments with new, always more daring flying techniques. Since he doesn’t fit in, the elders expel him from the clan. So he sets out to discover the world beyond the horizon in quest for wisdom.

part 1







final part

James Allen Quotes – As A Man Thinketh

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 6 — Despite having a peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, the UN for two days running has been unable or unwilling to confirm that Sudan’s Armed Forces cross the border and occupied the town of Jau in Unity State over the weekend.

  On December 5 Inner City Press asked for the UN’s response, and how it would deal with Sudan’s Defense Minister now that he has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Martin Nesirky said in essence that the UN will continue to work with the Defense Minister, and that he would check on the attack on Jau.

  Twenty four hours later, not having heard any response from the UN, Inner City Press asked again:

Inner City Press: yesterday I had asked whether the UN especially, its Mission in south Sudan, could confirm the taking and may be relinquishing of this city of Jau —

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, I did check, and my colleagues did check. The UN Mission in South Sudan is aware of the reports, as I mentioned yesterday, of fighting in the Jaw area on the border between Southern Kordofan and Unity State. However, the Mission is not in a position to confirm this information at the moment.

(c) UN Photo
Ban Ki-moon & Herve Ladsous, change after ICC indictment not seen

And for its part, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is telling us that the humanitarian coordination team in South Sudan is concerned that thousands of people have been placed in severe danger following this reported protracted artillery and aerial bombardments that took place this weekend along the border that we’re just talking about. And this of course is already coming amid a worrying increase in hostilities between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the SPLA (North) in that area in South Sudan. Aid agencies have been forced to withdraw staff, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is telling us, and they are concerned, that they cannot provide sustained and uninterrupted assistance, such as food and health, to the approximately 20,000 refugees in the Yida area in South Sudan.

And also, what I can mention is that plans to help 4,000 people, who had fled earlier fighting, moved to safe areas, have been complicated by reports of landmines in the area. So, the team, and that means the humanitarian coordination team in South Sudan, has called on the Government of Sudan and the SPLA (North) to abide by international humanitarian law and refrain from further actions which could harm innocent people.

Inner City Press: for some reasons it strikes me, OCHA, if they are saying that people are fleeing this area, are people fleeing reports of an attack or an attack? It sounds like they may be there or confirming —

Spokesperson Nesirky: I think the point here, Matthew, is that the Mission is not in a position to confirm it by being right there on the spot. They are aware of the reports. It’s obvious that something is happening, or has happened. It’s simply that the Mission is not right there on the spot to be able to confirm the details. I think it is as simple as that. I wouldn’t try to see a discrepancy there, okay, Matthew?

But why hasn’t the UN, especially its peacekeeping mission there, been able to confirm (or of course deny) the violation of the border?

  Again, since Herve Ladsous was installed at the fourth Frenchman in a row atop DPKO, the Department’s answers have grown less frequent and more contrary to accountability and to the protection of civilians, whether dodging questions about any standing claims commission regarding the introduction of cholera into Haiti, monitoring Sudanese Armed Forces flights of Janjaweed militia from Darfur to Southern Kordofan or entry into South Sudan. Things seem to be getting worse daily. Watch this site.

USA now Relegated to the sidelines at Sudan-South Sudan talks

Posted: December 6, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in World

By Alan Boswell

McClatchy Newspapers

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Last week, while African leaders toiled behind closed doors at a luxury hotel to try to prevent renewed war between Sudan and South Sudan, U.S. and other Western diplomats huddled in the lobby waiting for updates.

The negotiations over Sudan’s contentious breakup increasingly are becoming an African-only affair, a sharp departure from just a few years ago, when the United States, South Sudan’s most powerful ally during its long civil war struggle, played the key role in brokering the 2005 agreement that set the stage for the country’s independence.

The relegation of the United States to the back seat reflects the more multilateral, behind-the-scenes approach the Obama administration favors and the iciness between Washington and Khartoum, but the result is that the Western nations that had dominated Sudan policy for years are mostly peripheral observers of the negotiations today.

The talks at Addis Ababa’s Sheraton hotel have been led by the African Union and overseen by former South African President Thabo Mbeki. Also at the table is the United Nations’ special envoy to the two countries, Haile Menkerios, from the African country of Eritrea.

The talks failed to produce any agreement on how to split South Sudan’s all-important oil revenues, but African diplomats’ growing role in the latest chapter of the Sudanese conflict seems to match the continent’s increasingly assertive approach to Somalia, another long-running trouble spot on the continent. In both cases, while Western money continues to bankroll regional negotiations and policies, it’s the African governments and not their patrons who appear to occupy the driver’s seats.

That African leaders are taking greater responsibility for two of the continent’s most chronic conflicts could mean that the oft-heard refrain, “African solutions for African problems,” may become more than just a slogan.

Britain, Norway and the European Union _which also helped broker the 2005 deal — sent senior envoys to Addis Ababa but were excluded from the meeting rooms. They and their aides spent most of the time in the Sheraton’s palatial lobby, sipping macchiatos and sparkling water, waiting for the meetings to recess. When the negotiations paused, the envoys sought out participants and members of Mbeki’s team for briefings on what happened.

Western envoys say that although they weren’t at the table, their presence at sideline meetings helped raise the pressure for peace.

The United States, the U.K. and Norway released a statement Tuesday that urged both sides to reconvene for further talks “as soon as possible” and said they fully supported Mbeki’s role as facilitator.

The U.S. special envoy, Princeton Lyman, wasn’t in Addis Ababa, although he’s participated in previous rounds. A young American staffer served as the sole U.S. representative who was allowed to observe some meetings, though not those concerning oil, the most crucial part of the talks.

Phaedra Gwyn, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Juba, South Sudan, said Lyman was in Washington for meetings with senior White House officials but was following the negotiations through his representative and African Union contacts.

If Lyman had been present, observers said, he wouldn’t have been in the negotiating rooms either, because of the African Union’s increasingly assertive stance as well as the Sudanese government’s desire to keep the West from the mediation table.

That’s a major shift from several years ago, when the U.S. drafted baseline text for parts of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, ending nearly two decades of Sudanese civil war.

Officials who attended the recent talks, who requested anonymity in order to speak freely, said the United States had lost most of its leverage with Khartoum. Sudanese officials are deeply bitter about the internationally backed agreement that shaved off a third of their territory but left the regime of President Omar al Bashir — who’s been charged with crimes in the Darfur region — as isolated as ever.

U.S. officials counter that Khartoum has only itself to blame. Twice, American offers to improve ties with Sudan fell apart after Bashir responded brutally to internal challenges.

In 2005, after the peace deal, the Bush administration refused to relax sanctions on Sudan because of the atrocities that were taking place in Darfur.

Then, earlier this year, moves by the Obama administration to begin normalizing ties halted as renewed fighting in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states — areas that also fell under the 2005 accord — prompted more reports of widespread human rights violations by Bashir’s government.

U.S. officials say they won’t normalize ties with Khartoum until the fighting stops and restrictions on humanitarian aid are lifted. Gwyn said Lyman was focused on those issues.

The result, close Sudan watchers say, is that moderate elements within the regime who’d argued for engagement with the U.S. have now been sidelined or silenced.

Thanks to a rising Asia and Africa’s new eagerness to tackle its own problems, Sudan no longer may feel compelled to accept the United States’ mediation.

On Monday, Beijing announced that it was sending its top Africa envoy to Sudan and South Sudan to press for a deal after the breakdown in talks last week. China, which has much at stake due to its oil deals with Sudan and South Sudan, has been “conspicuously absent” from the talks, Said al Khatib, a senior Sudanese negotiator, said last week.

But when Sudan — which hosts the main pipeline and port through which South Sudan’s oil is sold — recently halted a shipment of South Sudanese oil meant for a Chinese firm, Beijing broke its silence, with its Foreign Ministry urging both sides to exercise “restraint” and “flexibility” to keep the oil flowing.

The African Union is still searching for a diplomatic success story, apart from Sudan’s semi-peaceful partition earlier this year. The African style of diplomacy has its critics: It’s deferential and consensus-oriented, lacking the coercive tools that often are necessary to close big deals. It also has struggled to be taken seriously on major issues: Its opposition to NATO intervention in Libya largely was ignored, and its efforts to end the post-election crisis in Ivory Coast failed to gather momentum.

The talks between Sudan and South Sudan aren’t going much better. They’ve yet to produce a major breakthrough since South Sudanese voted overwhelmingly for independence in January, and tensions have risen steadily. Still, some observers credit Mbeki’s diplomacy as the only thing that’s keeping the two old enemies talking at all.

(Boswell is a McClatchy special correspondent.)
Read more:

UNMISS peacekeepers deployed in Jonglei State

6 December 2011 – The United Nations peacekeeping operation in South Sudan is investigating the causes of another spasm of ethnic violence in the new country that has reportedly killed dozens of villagers and displaced many more.

About 45 people are said to have died and many others forced to flee their homes in Jalle in the state of Jonglei after yesterday’s attack, according to the peacekeeping mission (UNMISS).

The mission dispatched an integrated assessment team to Jalle to determine the cause of the attacks, with initial reports indicating that at least 100 tukuls, or traditional huts, have been burned.

Local residents have said the armed people from the Murle community attacked Jalle yesterday, killed both adults and children, and stole cattle, a key source of income and status in South Sudan.

UNMISS reported that the attack occurred a week ahead of a scheduled press conference in nearby Pibor that aims to reconcile the Murle and Lou Nuer communities, who in September were involved in a series of clashes that killed about 600 people.

South Sudan has been beset by outbreaks of ethnic violence since it became independent in July from Sudan, with Jonglei among the areas worst affected. The situation has been further complicated by the presence of many armed groups and militias across the country.

Dozens killed in latest round of ethnic violence in South Sudan – UN mission
UN News Centre
The United Nations peacekeeping operation in South Sudan is probing another spasm of ethnic violence in the new country that has reportedly killed dozens of villagers and displaced many more. About 45 people are said to have died and many others forced

Sudan Keen on Solving Outstanding Issues with South Sudan, Government Tells UN
Sudan Vision
Khartoum – The Sudanese government informed the United Nations (UN) on its commitment to resolve all outstanding issues with newly born state of South Sudan, explaining that all proposals submitted by Sudan to tackle impeding issues have been refused

Western nations now on the sidelines at Sudan talks
By Alan Boswell ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Last week, while African leaders toiled behind closed doors at a luxury hotel to try to prevent renewed war between Sudan and South Sudan, US and other Western diplomats huddled in the lobby waiting for updates.

South Sudan formally joins IGAD
The Republic of South Sudan has formally joined IGAD. This was disclosed yesterday by the minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Moses Wetangula in his welcoming speech at ministers’ retreat in Mombasa. ..

Anja Niedringhaus/Associated Press

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, after her speech on human rights issues at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday.

By and

WASHINGTON — The United States will begin using American foreign aid to promote gay rights abroad, Obama administration officials said on Tuesday.

President Obama issued a memorandum directing American agencies to look for ways to combat efforts by foreign governments to criminalize homosexuality.

The new initiative holds the potential to irritate relations with some close American allies that ban homosexuality, including Saudi Arabia.

But Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton underscored Mr. Obama’s remarks, in a speech delivered in Geneva in connection with International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.

“I am not saying that gay people can’t or don’t commit crimes,” she said. “They can and they do. Just like straight people. And when they do, they should be held accountable. But it should never be a crime to be gay.”

The directive comes after the Parliament in Uganda decided to reopen a debate on a controversial bill that seeks to outlaw homosexuality, a move that could be expanded to include the death penalty for gay men and lesbians. That bill had been shelved earlier this year amid widespread international condemnation.

“I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting L.G.B.T. persons around the world,” Mr. Obama said in the memorandum, referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, “whether it is passing laws that criminalize L.G.B.T. status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful L.G.B.T. pride celebrations, or killing men, women and children for their perceived sexual orientation.”

Specifically, Mr. Obama said in the memorandum that the State Department would lead other federal agencies to help ensure that the government provides a “swift and meaningful response to serious incidents that threaten the human rights” of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people abroad.

It was not immediately clear whether that would mean a cut-off of American aid to countries that target the gay community, but it suggests that American agencies will have expanded tools to press foreign countries that are found to abuse the rights of gays, lesbians and others.

Based on findings in the State Department’s latest annual human rights report, several countries, including several vital American allies, could face increased pressure over their treatment of gays and others.

The report said that in Saudi Arabia, under Sharia law as interpreted in the country, “sexual activity between two persons of the same gender is punishable by death or flogging. It is illegal for men ‘to behave like women’ or to wear women’s clothes and vice versa.”

The law in Afghanistan “criminalizes homosexual activity, but authorities only sporadically enforced the prohibition,” the report said. And in Pakistan, homosexual intercourse is a criminal offense, though rarely prosecuted.

Homosexuality is accepted in most of Europe. In India, the law permits consensual sexual activities between adults. In China, according to the report, “no laws criminalize private homosexual activity between consenting adults,” and “homosexuality was decriminalized in 1997 and removed from the official list of mental disorders in 2001.”

The annual State Department rights reports already provide one tool for influencing foreign treatment of gays and lesbians, through the “shaming” function of those reports. Mr. Obama’s memorandum called for similar, separate annual reports on treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

With the 2012 presidential campaign already under way, Mr. Obama’s action was bound to be viewed through a political lens, and it drew fire almost immediately from one Republican candidate, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. Saying he had seen news reports that the Obama administration “wants to make foreign aid decisions based on gay rights,” Mr. Perry said in a statement, “This administration’s war on traditional American values must stop.”

He added: “President Obama has again mistaken America’s tolerance for different lifestyles with an endorsement of those lifestyles. I will not make that mistake.”

Gay people tend to vote Democratic more than Republican, and have generally been supportive of Mr. Obama, with many praising his move to repeal the ban on gay people serving openly in the military. But he has faced criticism for failing to clearly support a right of same-sex couples to marry.

The presidential memorandum said that federal agencies engaged abroad had been directed to “combat the criminalization of L.G.B.T. status or conduct abroad; protect vulnerable L.G.B.T. refugees and asylum seekers; leverage foreign assistance to protect human rights and advance nondiscrimination; ensure swift and meaningful U.S. response to human rights abuses of L.G.B.T. persons abroad; engage international organizations in the fight against L.G.B.T. discrimination.”

Mr. Obama has frequently made use of presidential directives to protect the rights of gays and lesbians, particularly when political sensitivities might have made legislative action impractical.

Sudan Troika Statement on Negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan

Posted: December 6, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 6, 2011

Following is the text of a joint statement by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, and United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Begin Text:

We welcome the discussions held on transitional financial arrangements and commercial oil fees between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and Government of South Sudan (GoSS) that were facilitated by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) in Addis Ababa on 25-30 November.

We believe these significant negotiations were advanced through the presentation of new proposals that warranted careful consideration by both sides. We note in particular a detailed proposal by the GoSS that put forth a financial contribution to help the GoS reduce its financial gap after South Sudan’s secession. In light of recent developments, we strongly urge the Parties to reconvene as soon as possible, ahead of the agreed December 20 date, to agree on arrangements for the export of oil. We urge both states to finalize as soon as possible a sustainable agreement that encompasses all outstanding petroleum sector and financial issues.

We further reiterate our strong commitment to continue working with the AUHIP and both governments to reach an agreement on other outstanding post-CPA issues. We urge both governments to immediately implement agreed security and administrative arrangements on Abyei and the border. The withdrawal of all GoS and GoSS armed forces from Abyei, the establishment of the Abyei Area Administration, and the convening of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee in Abyei are of highest priority and any obstacles to these objectives should be resolved quickly. Swift resolution of these outstanding issues will advance security and prosperity for citizens of both countries. We further call on the parties to refrain from any further destabilizing actions or inflammatory language that might jeopardize the relations between both states, and in that context note with concern the recent and dangerous escalation of military action along the Sudan-South Sudan border.

We commend the efforts of the AUHIP in facilitating these negotiations and wholeheartedly support the AUHIP’s continued engagement. We encourage other international stakeholders to play a positive role in engaging with both Sudan and South Sudan to help peacefully resolve outstanding issues and work toward the development of two viable states at peace with one another.

We strongly support the AU Peace and Security Council’s call for the AUHIP to continue to prioritize democratization in both Sudan and South Sudan as a sine qua non for stability and equitable governance.

Steve Paterno: Israel Ties to South Sudan a Must

Posted: December 6, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Steve Paterno
The Khartoum’s ruling party mouthpiece, al-Intabaha is reporting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will pay a historic one day visit to South Sudan, where the Prime Minister will hold meetings with both political and military leadership of South Sudan. As a sworn enemy of the Jewish people, Khartoum is anticipating such events with great deal of suspicion. For a very long time, Khartoum has been pointing fingers against Zionists for meddling in the conflicts that the regime orchestrated and nurtured in the country. Nonetheless, the historic ties of the Jewish State to the people of South Sudan has its deep roots in the sheer struggle of the people of South Sudan, which dates back to the early 1960s. In 1960s through earlier 1970s, Israel was overtly assisting South Sudanese freedom fighters with weapons, training, and even sending in mercenaries, in order for the Southerners to resist against the onslaught of the regime in Khartoum.
At the time, which was the height of Cold War, Israel presented itself as an alternative, by curving a niche of its own little influence in the continent, which was a battleground for the Cold War warriors. Since then, Israel has diagnosed so well the regional threats and the shared strategic mutual interest it has in South Sudan and the entire East African region. The Jewish State figured out that it could not abandon the fate of the region to be ultimately determined by the two warring superpowers. Hence, Israel establishing significant and long lasting relationship with the East African region.
When South Sudan gained its independence, Israel never wasted time, but moved swiftly to establish a full diplomatic relationship with the newly independent state of South Sudan. Therefore, it will not be a secret that Israeli prime minister will pay a visit to South Sudan to discuss issues of mutual interest. After all, in September of this year, President Salva Kiir and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had met at the sideline of UN general assembly meeting. If anything, the Israeli-South Sudan relation needs to be enhanced, particularly at this point and time, where both countries have more in common.
Israel is already considering Sudan as a gateway for weapons smuggling—weapons which often originate from Iran through Sudan and into Egypt and finally, destined for Gaza Strip. As a proof, Israeli Air Force and commandos, managed on several occasions to intercept and destroy weapons bound for Gaza as they are being docked of Sudanese sea port. The Sudanese weapons smuggling ring clearly poses serious security risk to the state of Israel.
Sudan has also over the years established itself as a fertile ground for Islamic radicalization. Many brands of the radical jihadists and terrorist outfits, including the al-Qeada, Hamas, Hizbullah, and Islamic Jihad, called Khartoum home. Khalid Mishaal, the leader of Hamas just concluded a successful official visit in Khartoum, where he was hailed by his host as a hero.
Another issue of serious Israeli concern with Sudan is the country’s cozy relationship with Israel’s foe, Iran—a country that stands ready to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Since forceful taking power in 1989, the Islamic regime in Khartoum immediately made contact with Iran, flying in Iranian military trainers to model the country’s armed forces along the dreaded Iranian Revolutionary Guards—a military built with clear aim to safeguard the Islamic system. That is why it is not surprising that Sudan is a major Arab country that forms the unholy Iranian-Arab alliance, alongside Syria, Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The strength of this alliance is clearly evidenced when a delegation of this group traveled to Khartoum, led by Ali Larijani, the speaker of the Iranian parliament to express their full support for President Omar al-Bashir in wake of issuance of international arrest warrant against the Sudanese president.

With the anticipations of unpredictable governments in the neighboring countries, due to the recent Arab upraising, Israel stands a better chance by strengthening the old alliance to the South. Thus far, two of the principals of East African countries of Kenya and Uganda, have respectively made separate trips into Israel, in efforts to bolster the existing relationships. Therefore, South Sudan boosting of relationship with Israel is an added bonus to the regional strategic interest.

Pariang MPs Condemn SAF Occupation, Urge South Sudan to Return Jau

Posted: December 6, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Sudan: Pariang MPs Condemn SAF Occupation, Urge South Sudan to Return Jau
Speaking on behalf of his fellow residents of Pariang County in Unity State of South Sudan, Riek Manyiel Ayuel said Jau is a South Sudan town and is far away from the border with Sudan and therefore its occupation by SAF is a gross violation of

South Sudan: We Must Not Delay Writing the History of the Country
During the dark days when the South was under the Khartoum colonial government, no Southerner dared to get engaged in conducting any form of research to write down the history of South Sudan because he could be lynched by the Arabs who had ensured

South Sudan: Global Coalition Calls On the Country to Join ICC
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court today called on the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) to prioritize acceding to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) the world’s first and only permanent international court able to

South Sudan: WES Drafts Girls Child Education Bill
Education in western Equatoria State and south Sudan as general is suffering from lack of education access, poor infrastructures and learning space, uniform curriculum, and financing, thus this needs to be addressed in all components…

South Sudan: Greater Bahr El Ghazal Youth Passes Resolutions
Juba — The Greater Bahr El Ghazal Youth, GBYU following conference held in northern Bahr El Ghazal state capital Awiel yesterday disclosed the formation of Executive body and came up with numerous resolutions passed. This was announced by Angok Arthur

South Sudan: Abyei Iniquity and Insinuation Is a Curse That Will Never Go Away
It is obvious that what led that land inhabited by small section of Dinka tribe to be part and parcel of Southern Kordufan in the North has also contributed too much in complicating things at the moment, and because a lot of South Sudanese considered

South Sudan: Govt, UN Launch World’s Volunteerism Report
The occasion was attended by Youth, girl guides, scouts and police band who marched from South Sudan Hotel to the National Legislative Assembly. While addressing the gathering in the Assembly “Blue Room”, the Minister of Culture Youth and Sports Cirino

South Sudan: Establishment of a Dry Port in Juba
Although the Republic of South Sudan is by nature landlocked without the outlet to the sea, the Nile offers us wealthy resources such as drinking water which can be utilized for irrigation and the abundance of fish. Our New Nation is also endowed with

JobsTechnical Hhealth Coordinator – South Sudan
Reuters AlertNet
The position is based in Upper Nile and reports to the South Sudan Country Director. Conduct community assessments to identify critical requirements for program interventions with a particular focus on returnees, women, and vulnerable populations.

Sudan Troika Statement on Negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan
US Department of State (press release)
We welcome the discussions held on transitional financial arrangements and commercial oil fees between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and Government of South Sudan (GoSS) that were facilitated by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP)