Archive for April 14, 2012


Khartoum – Egypt announced its indefinite support to Sudan’s call for withdrawal of the forces of the State of South Sudan from Heglig and expressed its astonishment regarding the hostile behavior of the State of South Sudan toward the Sudan, at a time the two countries had been preparing for a summit between their two Presidents in order to put an end to their differences through dialogue.

This announcement came when the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed Kamil Amru made a telephone call Friday with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Ahmed Karti.
The Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs pledged that Egypt will use its regional and regional weight in order to maintain the independence of Sudan as well as the integrity of its territory.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, on his part, appreciated the Egyptian supportive stance, highlighting Egypt’s honourable stances toward the issues of Sudan.
Meanwhile, the official spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Al-Obaid Ahmed Morawah, announced that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has embarked on carrying out a plan to inform the world about the sound position of Sudan as well as the aggressions by the State of South Sudan.
Ambassador Morawah explained that in this connection the Minister of Foreign Affairs will begin a tour to the countries of South Africa within the coming two days to convey messages from President of the Republic Field Marshal Omer Al Bashir to the Presidents of South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Mozambique.
In this connection, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up an Emergency Chamber, including specialized team, in order to monitor and to follow up the stances of the regional and international parties from the recent aggressions against the area of Heglig by the forces of the State of South Sudan, and to further put forward recommendations to the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this connection.

“South Sudan president Salva Kiir telling Muslims mujahideen that the way to paradise is not through south sudan,if it was here,we would have gone long time ago–Chol Kuur”

1. President Kiir’s statement

2. Al-Jazeera: Are South Sudan and Sudan heading for War?

3. Reporting from Aliny/Heglig!

People of South Sudan Should Not Panic
Dear Great People of South Sudan,
Greetings in the name of our SPLA Gallant Forces,
News is surfacing from deferent sources around the globe on the situation in Unity State, especially the tense situation around Heglig areas.
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Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President and Commander In Chief of SPLA
Closely Monitoring the Situation in Heglig
Dear People of South Sudan, you all know Mundukurat have never defeated SPLA in any battle for many years. I would like you to as well know that our SPLA Gallant Forces under the Leadership and Command of Gen. Salva Kiir will always and with honor protect all territories of this Great Nation “The Republic of South Sudan”.
My fellow South Sudanese; rest assured that SPLA is 100% ready to defend this country with the little they have, remember, SPLA WILL NOT LET US DOWN.
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SPLA Gallant Forces Around Heglig Area Will Not Let
The People of South Sudan Down
Photo By Larco Lomayat
Fellow South Sudanese, time has come for us to stand side by side with our SPLA Gallant Forces to defend this Great Nation, let us do what it takes or what we can to support them with whatever we have.
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All South Sudanese Should Not Panic, Heglig is under full control of SPLA, and forever it will remain under the control of SPLA; unless ordered by the SPLA Leadership to withdraw, otherwise, Mundukurat and their stooges from South Sudanese who are blindly supporting them will never ever take Heglig from SPLA.
SPLA Oyee,
Gen. James Hoth Oyeee
Gen. Salva Kiir Oyee
People of South Sudan Oyee,
God bless you all, and God bless South Sudan. Victory is certain
Comrade Larco Lomayatdit
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To: H.E. Ms. Susan E. Rice, President of the UN Security Council
From: Ambassador Agnes Adlino Orifa Oswaha, Acting Deputy Permanent Representative, RSS
Date: April 14, 2012

RSS Letter to UNSC.pdf

By John A. Akec

No one can dispute that South Sudan is one of the few nations on this planet that has offered enormous sacrifices in order to arrive at where it now stands: a sovereign state that has achieved its freedom through blood of its martyrs that culminated in the exercise of the right to self-determination. This right is assured by many UN conventions. For example, Article 1 (1) of International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights states: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”Self-determination, thus, comes loaded with huge responsibilities that are summed up by the innocent-looking but highly significant words of the last sentence of the clause: “By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”So often, as post-independence African history would attest to, it takes generations (and more struggle and further sacrifices) for the nations of post-liberation countries to fully realise this responsibility. That such responsibility is not being realised adequately can be manifested in many obvious cases as well as hidden and subtle ways.As part of this attached responsibility, all national governments (ancient or nascent) are expected to safeguard their citizens’ interests, rights, and lives at all time; not just at home front but also wherever the citizens of the concerned nation are to be found in the global village.SOUTH SUDNANESE IN SUDAN – DO THEY MATTER TO ANYONE?
Having more than a half-million South Sudanese citizens living in the Republic of Sudan (for well known historical reasons, most of which has to do with taking refuge during the long North-South war), one would HAVE thought all government organs in the Republic of South Sudan would do their very best to safeguard the rights and interests of these folk, especially at the time of transition and tensions with the successor state, Sudan.More could have been done to reduce the hardships currently experienced by many caused by transition to independence. Instead, it would seem those who packed and made the exit and are fortunate to hold positions of responsibility in the new Republic, are determined not to look back again at those who lingered behind, whatever the causes and reasons.

A striking example is the absence of money transfer system between South Sudan and Sudan since South Sudan’s declaration of independence on 9th of July 2011. This was when the government of Sudan decided to stop money transfer from Sudan to South Sudan and vice versa, pending the setting up of international system for money transfer between the two countries. The Bank of South Sudan (BOSS), the South Sudan central bank, was caught by surprise; when its electronic banking system that was run on a server presumably housed and administered by Sudan’s central bank was disconnected, bringing down the electronic transaction system in BOSS for several weeks, before the Bank was able to offer the service again.

Today, nine months since declaration of the independence, South Sudan central bank is yet to set up an international money transfer system to and from Sudan, despite the negative impact the lack of such facility has had on large population of South Sudan nationals still stranded in Sudan.


This population is composed mainly of those retired from civil and organized forces in what was North Sudan who are still waiting to receive their retirement pay from Khartoum government; South Sudanese studying in Sudan universities; families split up with of couples working in South Sudan while the rest of family continues to live in Sudan to allow children to complete school or vice versa, that is, the wife and children resetling in the South while the husband stays behind to sell family home or complete other family business; medical students completing houseman ship in Sudanese hospitals; those who have headed to Sudan to Khartoum to seek medical treatment (because they could not afford going to Jordon, India, or Nairobi); self-employed people with vocational skills who are not yet sure if they will find work in their new country and who know how to survive in Sudan; and finally, the hundreds of thousands of poor IDPs who want to leave but have been stranded for months on end to have their turn to be transported by land or river. We are talking of between 500,000 to 700,000 of them, or about 7% of South Sudan population.


As if the above hardship was not enough, the episode was spectacularly repeated last week when the Civil Aviation Authority in the Republic of Sudan notified South Sudan Ministry of Transport on 6th April that it was suspending flights between the two neighbouring countries from 9th April 2012 until the two countries agree on a system of flights that follows international code, implying among other things, passengers should follow proper immigration procedures including issue of visas and possession of valid travel documents. Not again! The news hit South Sudan Ministry of Transport like a thunder bolt- totally unprepared. But no, it is a thunder bolt to be borne solely by many South Sudanese who are still flocking out of Sudan in their hundreds and thousands, everyday, since 2010. And with the drawing close of 9th April 2012 and increasing tensions between two Sudans this announcement was the last straw that broke the back of the helpless South Sudanese still resident in the Republic of Sudan. With no means to receive money from homeland (even by errand as it used to be when there was air travel), most are not allowed to work, many still waiting for pension money, their awes are compounded and getting desperate by day.

Interestingly enough, Madame Agnes Poni Lukudu, the Minister of Transport in the Republic of South Sudan, explicitly placed the blame squarely at the door of Khartoum government “for any inconvenience caused as a result of unilateral decision by it to stop flights between South Sudan and Sudan.” Nowhere in her statement which she delivered at South Sudan Hotel in Dr. John Garang’s Hall last Saturday (7th April 2012) and published by the Citizen newspaper, did the Minister acknowledge the failure of her Ministry in not being proactive enough to take measures well ahead, before the axe of Khartoum could fall on the heads of South Sudanese air travelers, as happened last year when the Bank of South Sudan was caught with no money-transfer arrangement in place at the time Khartoum decided to pull the plug on the nascent nation and had our central bank electronic account frozen. The Khartoum un-decoded message to us in Juba was then, and is now:”Systems for public goods don’t come out of vacuum, somebody somewhere consciously made effort to create them. Now create your own systems. Good riddance!”

Reacting to the circular, all that Madame Lukudu could afford to offer in these circumstances was to advise South Sudan air travelers heading South:”to find alternative routes;” and that “Khartoum will be responsible for any inconvenience caused by this unilateral decision.”

Such a hands-off approach, I confess is not sufficient, and is hardly a reassuring for many South Sudanese who are currently stranded in Khartoum airport, most of whom lack travel documents, let alone having deep pockets enough to get them out of Sudan via other routes.

A week has passed and the Ministry has not made any visible efforts to resolve the problem with Sudan Civil Aviation Authority to allow air travel between two Sudans to resume while the international system is being setup, apart from announcing the bad news to the public.

Moreover, despite the later decision by Sudan Civil Aviation Authority(on the pressure by airline companies) to allow additional one-month grace period for airliners to put their houses in order while flights continue as normal (exceptfor showing an emergency travel form from South Sudan Embassy in Khartoum and vice versa in Juba), reliable sources from airliners say that the Ministry of Transport in South Sudan has paradoxically closed South Sudan airports in the face of commercial passenger planes travelling from Khartoum; ostensibly as an implementaion of the circular of Sudan Civil Aviation Authority! No further information has been released by the Ministry about the progress on negotiations with Sudan Civil Authority (if any). It would appear, therefore, that the Ministry of Transport is not treating flight suspension between Sudan and South Sudan with the urgency and seriousness it deserves.

Admittedly and thankfully, the Ministries of Interior and that of Foreign Affairs in the Republic of South Sudan have sent teams to prepare emergency travelling documents as well as passports for those who are travelling by land, river, and air. However, their efforts can be useful only if South Sudan Ministry of Transport allows the flight to resume sooner than later, pending any agreement about new arrangement with Sudan. That is, no need to tread the same path of Bank of South Sudan.

Failing that, there is no moral equivalence to be relied upon by the Ministry of Transport in being too rigid in implementing Sudan’s government circular to the last letter. But instead, there could be a strong case to argued about the possible failure by the Ministry in the duty of care towards South Sudanese in the Republic of Sudan. Candid analysis will not fail to point out that, in this episode, the Ministry of Transport has been the weakest in link in the chain of events, leading to many South Sudanese air travelers being stranded in Khartoum Airport.

To close, it is worth reminding ourselves that all the Ministers in South Sudan make the following oath before assuming office:

“I [name], do hereby swear by the Almighty God /solemnly affirm/, that as a Minister, I shall be faithful and bear true faith and allegiance to South Sudan and shall diligently and honestly discharge my duties and responsibilities and strive to foster the development and welfare of its people; that I shall obey, preserve and defend the Constitution and abide by the law; and that I shall protect and promote the unity of the people of South Sudan and consolidate the democratic decentralized system of government and preserve the integrity and dignity of the people of South Sudan; so help me God/ God is my witness.” (Article 1 (2) of Interim Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011).

Watching from the margin, and seeing how some of our ministers are willfully failing to honour and internalize their pledges made before assuming office; namely to preserve the dignity of the people of South Sudan (everywhere, with Sudan being a case in point); many of us are bound to shake our heads and rub our chins, thinking: “Joshua, you are being led down. Shake the team up to perform, and get a back-eye!”

God bless South Sudan.

Where is Heglig?
International confusion and ignorance in answering this question about Sudanese geography has become one of the greatest threats to peace, and the negotiations required for peace to be sustained
Eric Reeves
April 14, 2012
The rapid escalation of military violence between Khartoum’s Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and South Sudan’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) is now sustained in large measure by widespread international confusion about where “Heglig” is. Hasty or disingenuous assignments of “Heglig” to (northern) Sudan have emboldened Khartoum to characterize SPLA military actions as “South Sudan’s blatant invasion of Heglig.”  Given Khartoum’s own military seizure of Abyei in May 2011, this seems remarkable (if unsurprising) hypocrisy; but so far it is working at the UN, with the U.S. State Department, with the AU, and among EU members.  This vastly increases the chances of all-out war.  Given the brutally indiscriminate ways in which Khartoum has previously chosen to wage war on the people of the South—as well as of Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan—we should expect huge civilian casualties, massive human displacement, and intolerable assaults on civilians in the North who are “ethnically Southern.”
The location of “Heglig” (which Southerners have long referred to as Panthou) has yet to be negotiated vis-à-vis the “1 January 1956 border,” the determining point of reference in establishing whether a wide range of locations lie in the South or the North.  Although the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) repeatedly and explicitly stipulates the “1 January 1956 border,” the precise location was to have been to be a matter that required extensive research and negotiation by the Technical Boundary Committee (TBC).
Indeed, some twenty percent of this border remains undelineated, and a much greater percentage remains undemarcated.  The reason is simple: Khartoum has consistently refused to negotiate these areas of the border either within the TBC or through high-level political engagement.  Over more than seven years, it has repeatedly refused to convene or participate in good faith in the TBC, to accept the findings of the Abyei Boundaries Commission stipulated by the Abyei Protocol of the CPA, or to accept the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (July 2009).
It is this last decision that appears to have caused the most confusion in shallow international minds.  The PCA (in The Hague) defined Abyei in a way that moved both the Heglig (and Bamboo) oil sites to the east of Abyei’s eastern boundary.  But with respect to Heglig, this is all it did.  It did not place Heglig in northern Sudan or South Sudan; it simply said that Heglig lies to the east of Abyei:
“The eastern boundary of the area of the nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms transferred to Kordofan in 1905 runs in a straight line along longitude 29° 00′ 00” E, from latitude 10° 10′ 00” N south to the Kordofan – Upper Nile boundary as it was defined on 1 January 1956.”
This ruling did nothing to settle where the “1 January 1956 border” actually lies.  It had no mandate to make such a determination, and did not attempt to do so.  This elemental fact has escaped virtually all international actors, in large part because Heglig has been robustly controlled militarily by Khartoum for many years, especially since oil was discovered in the area in the 1970s.
In short, the location of Heglig remains to be negotiated, even as Khartoum refuses to negotiate—and the regime is distinctly less likely to do so now that its pre-emptive geographic claim of the region has been ratified by a series of statements by international actors of consequence.  Given Juba’s determination that Heglig will not be allowed to become a future staging ground for additional assaults on Southern territory, and the strong belief by many Southerners that Heglig is south of the “1 January 1956 boundary,” either the geographic status of Heglig is negotiated, or there will be no peace.
The same international actors who have explicitly or implicitly declared that Heglig lies in (northern) Sudan also profess to support the CPA and its implementation. But how does this square with the acquiescence before Khartoum’s seizure of Abyei, in violation of not only the Abyei Protocol of the CPA but the ruling by the PCA?  Nothing has changed in the eleven months since Abyei was seized, except for the deployment of an Ethiopian brigade that operates without a human rights mandate, no Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with Khartoum.  Most significantly, it cannot provide the security necessary for the return of more than 100,000 Dinka Ngok displaced to the South during the seizure of Abyei, especially given Khartoum’s refusal to withdraw its SAF or militia forces, as it agreed to do on June 20, 2011.
And more to the immediate point, how do these international actors square their commitment to CPA implementation even as negotiation of the “1 January 1956 boundary” is a central feature of the Agreement.  The North/South boundary was to have been delineated and demarcated within six months of the signing of the CPA. And yet as the International Crisis Group reported in September 2010, these efforts “had been tied up for far too long in the Technical Border Committee,” where Khartoum was engaged in delaying tactics.  It was clear to ICG, and should have been clear to the international community, that this was not a matter that could be resolved without political commitment from Juba and Khartoum to address outstanding border issues.  Juba was willing; Khartoum was not.
Thus the repeated declaration in the CPA that “the January 1, 1956 line between north and south will be inviolate” became meaningless.  Without both delineation and demarcation, this was a motto not a principle—and more conspicuously so following the military seizure of Abyei, given the CPA declaration that, “The parties shall refrain from any form of unilateral revocation or abrogation of the Peace Agreement” (CPA, Machakos Protocol 2.4).  There could be no more conspicuous “abrogation” of the CPA than the May 20-21, 2011 seizure of Abyei.
But this has not prevented a chorus of condemnations of Juba’s “invasion” of (northern) Sudan:
•”The AU notes with alarm, the occupation of the Heglig by the forces of (South Sudan) ….”
•The U.S State Department “strongly condemns the military offensive, incursion to Southern Kordofan state, Sudan, by the SPLA today [April 12, 2012].”
•”The move by the South Sudanese armed forces to occupy Heglig in Sudan is completely unacceptable,” declared the UK’s Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham.
•The European Union, through EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton asserted that “the move by the South Sudanese armed forces to occupy Heglig is completely unacceptable.”
None of these statements acknowledges what becomes clearer by the day: Juba was responding to a second round of military aggression, launched by the SAF from Heglig.  This aggression is what prompted the SPLA to act.  But until wiser or more informed voices are heard from these important quarters, Khartoum will only grow more emboldened.  And South Sudan, feeling increasingly abandoned, is likely to accelerate military moves that it regards at once as defensive as well as preserving of historical claims to the lands around Heglig.
Notably, President Salva Kiir has promised that the SPLA is prepared to withdraw from Heglig if a UN force guarantees that it will not again become a launching point for military assaults deeper in Southern territory.  At precisely the moment in which such a UN commitment is most needed, ignorance and expediency seem most likely to prevent that commitment.  All-out war is increasingly inevitable.

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6749th Meeting (PM)

As Violence between Sudan, South Sudan Threatens Return to ‘Full-Scale War’,

Security Council Demands End to Cross-Border Clashes, Force Redeployment

Alarmed by escalating conflict between Sudan and South Sudan — as manifested most recently by the seizure of oil fields in Sudan — the Security Council this afternoon demanded that both sides immediately end cross-border violence and support to armed proxies and redeploy their forces from forward positions.

“The recent violence threatens to return both countries to full-scale war and the period of tragic loss of life and suffering, destroyed infrastructure, and economic devastation, which they have worked so hard and long to overcome”, the Council said in a statement delivered by Susan Rice of the United States.

To defuse the situation, immediate actions demanded by the Council include withdrawal of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) from the oil-rich area of Heglig in Sudan, an end to aerial bombardments by Sudan’s air force and redeployment of the forces of both sides 10 kilometres outside the North-South borderline specified in their agreements of 29 June and 30 July 2011.

The Council also reiterated its demand that both parties redeploy their forces immediately from the disputed Abyei area.  In addition, both sides were urged to take immediate steps to establish a demilitarized border zone and activate the border monitoring mechanism already agreed upon, with the support of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNIFSA).

Towards lasting peace, the Council called on the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to “urgently and peacefully” resolve issues regarding Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei and all other outstanding matters of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended their decades-long conflict.  For that purpose, the Council called on the leaders of both States to hold a summit, as previously planned, and to work with the related African Union high-level panel.

The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 3:12 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of the statement contained in document S/PRST/2012/12 reads as follows:

“The Security Council expresses its deep and growing alarm by the escalating conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, as manifested most recently by the seizure and occupation of the town of Heglig and its oil fields in Sudan by the SPLA.  The recent violence threatens to return both countries to full scale war and the period of tragic loss of life and suffering, destroyed infrastructure, and economic devastation, which they have worked so hard and long to overcome.  The Security Council demands a complete, immediate, and unconditional:  end to all fighting; withdrawal of the SPLA from Heglig; end to SAF aerial bombardments; end to repeated incidents of cross-border violence between Sudan and South Sudan; and an end to support by both sides to proxies in the other country.

“The Security Council affirms its strong commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both Sudan and South Sudan.  It recalls the importance of the principles of good neighbourliness, non-interference and regional cooperation.

“The Security Council demands that both sides redeploy their forces 10 kilometres outside the North/South 1/1/1956 borderline in accordance with their Agreements of 29 June and 30 July 2011.  It urges Sudan and South Sudan to take immediate steps to establish a Safe Demilitarized Border Zone and activate the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism, and reiterates its readiness to continue to support the parties in implementing this Agreement with the support of UNISFA, in accordance with resolution 2024 (2011).  The Security Council calls on Sudan and South Sudan to respect the letter and spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding on Non-Aggression and Cooperation of 10 February 2012.

“The Security Council reiterates its demand that Sudan and South Sudan urgently redeploy their security forces immediately from the Abyei Area in accordance with their Agreement of 20 June 2011 and resolution 1990 (2011).

“The Security Council calls upon the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan urgently and peacefully to resolve the fundamental issues of security and border management, the situations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, and Abyei and all outstanding CPA issues that are fuelling the mistrust between the two countries.  It further calls on the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan to meet immediately in a summit as previously planned in order to advance the issues that stand in the way of achieving lasting peace.

“The Security Council underscores its support for the continuing efforts of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel to assist Sudan and South Sudan to reach agreement on all outstanding issues, and encourages continuing partnership with the United Nations in this regard.

“The Security Council views the current situation as a serious threat to international peace and security.  It will continue to follow the situation closely, and will take further steps as necessary.  The Security Council looks forward to receiving a briefing from the AUHIP and Special Envoy [Haile] Menkerios in the coming days.”

US Shifts stance on South Sudan
The East African –  April 14

THE US last week moved away from its longstanding policy of strong support for South Sudan by denouncing the Southern army’s “offensive incursion” into a town in neighbouring Sudan.
“We condemn South Sudan’s military involvement in the attack on and seizure of Heglig, an act which goes beyond self-defence and has increased tensions between Sudan and South Sudan to dangerous levels,” the State Department said.
At a press briefing in Washington, department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland agreed with a reporter’s suggestion that the US condemnation of South Sudan’s behaviour is “unusual.”
The Bush and Obama administrations both allied the US closely with South Sudan, providing it with millions of dollars in military and development aid.
At the same time, Washington remained highly critical of Sudan, whose president has been charged by the ICC for crimes against humanity.
The US has long characterised the government in Khartoum as a sponsor of terrorism, despite occasional acknowledgments by American officials of Sudanese co-operation with US anti-terrorism initiatives. The US has also maintained trade and economic sanctions against Sudan for more than a decade.
Last week’s State Department pronouncement included a condemnation of Sudan for its “continued aerial bombardment in South Sudan.” The US also called on both sides to cease military actions in disputed areas and to resolve their differences politically.
Asked at an April 11 briefing whether the US was mistaken to be so supportive of South Sudan for many years, Ms Nuland insisted that the Obama administration has been “evenhanded” in its response to violence in the border region.
The Khartoum government has few friends in the US, however, while the South Sudan has many influential supporters both inside and outside the Obama administration. Christian advocacy groups allied with Israel and celebrities such as movie star George Clooney have had an impact on the US public and on policymakers by depicting South Sudan as a victim of Sudanese aggression.
There has long been evidence, however, that the Juba government has instigated some of the violence in the border area and has violated the human rights of many of its own citizens.
A UN expert reported last September, that both sides in the Nuba Mountains border area have carried out summary killings of civilians. The South Sudan government’s security forces have engaged in “unlawful killings, beatings and looting” of South Sudanese citizens, according to Human Rights Watch.
The NGO further charges that the South Sudanese authorities have failed to hold accountable those responsible for intense tribal violence inside the country. Thousands of South Sudanese have been killed in recent months in fighting between the Lou Nuer and Murle ethnic groups.
A report last month from South Sudan for the US McClatchy Newspapers chain quoted an anonymous UN official as saying that the Juba government exhibits “fundamental indifference” toward the Murle victims of this tribal warfare.
Noting additional injustices on the part of the South Sudan government, McClatchy reporter Alan Boswell observed that “the US and influential activists remain supporters of a government that often lies at the heart of the problem. Even with its poor human rights record,” Boswell wrote, “South Sudan continues to be the darling of its committed backers.”
Heglig? This Tent Does Not Belong To The Camel!
“It is definitely unfair of the international community to expect Juba to just sit and watch Khartoum carry out daylight robbery of her property without responding.”
14 April 2012

By Jacob J Akol*

“Master”, pleaded Camel, “my nose is cold. Can I put it in the tent to warm it up?” “Of course you can,” said the kind master. Shortly after, the Camel pleaded with the master to allow him put his ear inside the tent. When this was permitted, the head followed, then the front legs and then the hump. The rest is history. As we all know from this Arab story the Camel kicked the master out of the tent and into the cold night of the desert and claimed the tent for himself; but does it follow that the tent is the property of the Camel?

Anyone who knows a bit of the history of the Sudan would automatically conclude that any “disputed territory” along the Sudan-South Sudan border rightly belongs to South Sudan; but has been appropriated, by hook or crook by the Sudan. South Sudan has no history of land or wealth-grabbing from North Sudan or from anyone else territory. North Sudan is built precisely on that principle. The late Dr John Garang de Mabior, who led the then South Sudan’s-based Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) for more than 20 years, illustrated this philosophy once to a crowd of Dinka herdsmen in 1998:

“Imagine a traveller walking into your cattle camp one evening; you welcome him warmly, give him milk to drink and the best bed to sleep on. He stays with you for indefinite period and when you tell him that he has overstayed his welcome and was time for him to go, he claims that it was your fault to let him stay so long anyway and demands a share of your cattle: would you allow him to do so?”

There was a deafening “Nooo! Never!” from the crowd.

Would Garang have given Khartoum the chance to dub the world into believing that the Heglig Oil Field is in Northern Sudanese territory? That we will never know.

South Sudanese who know that Heglig or Panthou or Aliny oil field is nowhere near the border of the Sudan as it stood on January 1st 1956 are mystified as to when and how the area has now become “part of (North) Sudan” as the international community is now clambering to permanently disposes South Sudan of its territory and oil wealth.

The United Nations Secretary General, the European Union, the African Union and even friends of South Sudan like Norway, are calling on South Sudan’s army to pull out immediately from “Sudanese territory”. The United Kingdom and Egypt, which jointly ruled the Sudan until January 1956, should tell the rest of the world where exactly Heglig is located and they will, if truth be told, acknowledge it is tens of miles within the border of South Sudan in what was known as Western Upper Nile, purposefully changed later by Khartoum after the discovery of oil into the so-called “Unity State”, just like they have changed Paanthou to Heglig.

Another anomaly that’s deceiving the International Community into thinking that Heglig is part of North Sudan is the judgement of the International Court of Arbitration (ICA), which excluded Heglig from being part of Abyei. Fair enough; but who said Heglig was ever part of Abyei?

The confusion first arose from the findings of the Abyei Border Commission (ABC), who were directed to define the territory of the nine Ngok Dinka Chieftaincies whose territory was transferred to Kordofan (North) during the condominium for “administrative reasons”. The ABC included the Paan Aru area as part of the territory belonging to the nine Ngok Dinka chieftaincies. What they should have made clear in their report was that this particular area, Heglig or Paanthou or Aliny, though occupied by a section of the Ngok Dinka, was never transferred to Kordofan and had always remained part of Western Upper Nile now known as Unity State.

The question is: If Heglig or Paanthou or Aliny was never part of Abyei that was transferred from Bahr Al Ghazal to Kordofan, why did the Government of Southern Sudan accept the ABC’s findings without questions, making it clear that Heglig was never a part of Abyei transferred into Kordofan? The answer could either be pure lack of attention to details on the part of Juba; fear of giving a reason to Khartoum to reject the findings of the ABC or a collaboration by some people from Warrap State and Abyei to annex the oil field to Abyei, which they believed would vote in a referendum to be part of the Warrap State. After all 2% of oil proceeds is usually allocated to the state from where the oil wells are located.

As it turned out, Khartoum disputed the findings of the ABC. In the process of Khartoum’s intransigence, Juba agreed to have the case of Abyei taken up by the International Court of Arbitration. This Court redrew the original map of the ABC and excluded Heglig from territory awarded to the Ngok Dinka. Khartoum was jubilant with the decision of the ICA, asserting that the decision had now legalised their illegal occupation and annexation of Heglig to the North. Although Juba was not entirely happy with the decision of the ICA, nevertheless, they accepted the ICA’s decision, while still believing that the demarcation of the border between North and South as it stood on January 1st 1956, would show Heglig to be well within the border of South Sudan. After all first things first: the independence of South Sudan was paramount to South Sudanese; anything else could be sorted out later; so they thought.

Little did they expect that Khartoum would not adhere to the ICA’s decision or to the dictates of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on Abyei. While they appeared to be in agreement with both the Abyei Protocol and the decision of the ICA, they were in fact preparing to abort any demarcation of the Abyei borders as prescribed by the ICA as well as finding ways to abort the Abyei Referendum as prescribed by the CPA.

Khartoum firs aborted the demarcation of the Abyei border by arming Arab militiamen who threatened to stop by force anyone carrying out the border demarcation.  When the international community dilly dully on forcing Khartoum to affect the decision of the ICA, Khartoum invaded Abyei by force, two months before the independence of South Sudan, on the pretext that their forces were first fired upon by the SPLA as they were moving their units out of the area. The fact that Arab tribes of Kordofan had a stronger motive than the SPLA to fire upon Khartoum’s troops leaving Abyei never registered with the international community. Equally, Khartoum’s own devious elements could have set up some Southern elements within their pay roll to fire on Northern troops for it to justify invasion of Abyei and abort the Abyei Referendum.

When, once more, the international community dilly dully with Khartoum on the invasion of Abyei, Khartoum invaded the Nuba Mountains, then Southern Blue Nile. In all three cases, thousands of civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced into refugee camps in Ethiopia and South Sudan. The so-called “International Community” continued to dilly dully with aggressor Bashir.

Then the bombing of South Sudan’s territory and actual invasion of border areas begun, with clear indications that Khartoum intended to cordon off more oil areas deep inside South Sudan.The dilly dullying continues.

It is definitely unfair of the international community to expect Juba to just sit and watch Khartoum carry out daylight robbery of her property without responding. No wonder South Sudanese at home and in the Diaspora find themselves greatly offended by Ban Ki Moon’s reported ultimatum to Kiir to pull South Sudanese troops out of Higlig without pre-conditions. They see the UN SG as being soft on Bashir on multiple occasions and unduly bossy with Kiir.

*Jacob J Akol is editor of the Gurtong Website and Gurtong Focus Monthly Magazine. Digital editions are available on this website.

Douglas Mpuga

South Sudan is holding on to the disputed border oil town of Heglig. The newly independent state says it has repulsed an offensive by Sudanese forces meant to retake the town.

South Sudan seized the oil field on Tuesday, as fighting in the poorly-defined border area escalated and sparked international condemnation and fears of a wider war with its northern neighbor.

The South Sudanese capital of Juba was Saturday said to be bracing for war. “The city is on a war footing; there are demonstrations being held every day and the youths are going to the headquarters of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) to register in order to go to the frontline,” said Alfred Taban, the editor of The Juba Monitor newspaper.

“The mood [in Juba] is very belligerent indeed,” he said, “I can’t see how the situation cannot turn into a full scale war, unless, of course, something is done very fast to disengage the two sides.”

The border fighting has dampened hopes that the two sides will soon reach an agreement on oil payments and other disputed issues through African Union-brokered talks. Khartoum said it was pulling out of the negotiations on Wednesday.

In January, landlocked South Sudan shut down its own oil production in a row with Khartoum over how much it should pay to export via pipelines and other northern infrastructure to a terminal at Port Sudan.

The African Union and the United Nations have demanded an unconditional withdrawal. The African union’s peace and Security Council has called the occupation of Heglig “illegal and unacceptable”, but also condemned Sudan for carrying out aerial bombardments of South Sudan.

The authorities in Juba, Taban said, say the problem is with Khartoum because it is Khartoum that has been bombing parts of South Sudan, and when the SPLA matched into Heglig they were just retaliating.

He said the situation is made worse by the fact that the border has not yet been demarcated but theoretically Heglig is in the north (Sudan) although Southerners (South Sudan) have historical claims to that area.

Taban said an attempt by Sudan to recapture Heglig appears imminent. “There is a lot of mobilization going on in Khartoum – they are distributing arms, vehicles, and ammunition to the Messiriya tribe so that they can go and fight.”

With this mobilization, he said, there is no doubt they are going to match into Heglig anytime.

The fighting in Heglig has stopped oil production there affecting almost half of Sudan’s oil output.–147440065.html

South Sudan says repulses Sudan army attack on Heglig

By Khalid Abdelaziz and Ulf Laessing

KHARTOUM/JUBA | Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:30am EDT

(Reuters) – South Sudan said on Saturday it had repulsed an attempt by the Sudanese army to retake a disputed oil-producing border area, extending a stand-off that has edged the two countries closer to a full-blown war.

South Sudanese troops wrested control of the Heglig oilfield from Sudan on Tuesday, prompting widespread condemnation from global powers and vows of retaliation from Khartoum.

The Sudanese army said late on Friday its forces were advancing on Heglig, vital to Sudan’s economy because a field there accounted for about half of its 115,000-barrel-a-day oil output. The fighting has halted that portion of its output, officials say.

“They tried to attack our positions around 40 milesnorth of Heglig last night but it was contained,” South Sudanese Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told Reuters.

“Heglig is (still) under our control,” he added.

Sudanese army spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid did not answer his mobile phone when Reuters attempted to call him on Saturday.

The fighting has brought the former civil war foes closer to a resumption of full-blown conflict than any time since the south seceded in July, and struck a blow to Sudan’s already struggling economy.

The Sudanese pound hit a historic low on the Khartoum black market as people fearing the economic fallout of the conflict rushed to convert savings into dollars, money traders said.

Sudan already had lost about three quarters of its oil output when South Sudan seceded, driving up the cost of imports and fuelling food inflation.

Landlocked South Sudan shut down its own output – about 350,000 barrels a day – in January after failing to agree how much it should pay to export crude via pipelines and other infrastructure in Sudan.

Juba now says it will withdraw from Heglig only if the United Nations deploys forces to monitor a ceasefire.

The crisis has all but killed hopes that the two countries would be able to reach a swift agreement on partition-related issues through African Union-brokered talks. Khartoum pulled out of the negotiations after the south seized Heglig.

Since the south voted for independence from Sudan last year, the two sides have failed to resolve issues including the position of the 1,800-km (1,200-mile) border, division of the national debt and status of citizens in each other’s territory.

The two sides fought one of Africa’s longest and deadliest civil conflicts. Some 2 million people died in the war, rooted in disputes over ideology, religion, ethnicity and oil.

(Additional reporting and writing by Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Michael Roddy)

Sudan and South Sudan Keep Up Their Border Attacks
New York Times
MOMBASA, Kenya — Sudan and South Sudanengaged in a second day of direct military clashes and aerial bombardments on Saturday in what the South described as a “limited war” between the two nations that will continue indefinitely “off and on.

South Sudan army repulse SAF attempt to retake Heglig – VP. Machar
Sudan Tribune
April 14, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s Vice President, Riek Machar, said an attempt by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) to retake the disputed town of Heglig (Panthou) was repulsed Friday night. Machar, who is currently in Bentiu town of Unity state where

S. Sudan army says still in control of disputed oil hub
Protesters wave flags outside the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in capital Juba demanding the withdrawal of Sudanese Armed Forces forces from the disputed oil hub of Heglig. The South Sudan army has claimed to still be in control of

Sudan troops advance to disputed town
Globe and Mail
Sudan’s army closes in on disputed town of Heglig to retake oil fields from South Sudan forces. Peru’s government deployed troops on Thursday in an attempt to rescue hostages held by Shining Path rebels. Around 40 workers from natural gas companies

Heglig crisis dominates Friday’s prayer sermons in Sudan
Sudan Tribune
April 13, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Pulpits of mosques in the Sudanese capital Khartoum have dedicated their prayer sermon on Friday to condemning the seizure four days ago of oil-producing town of Heglig by neighboring South Sudan. South Sudan’s army known as

Sudanese forces advance on key oil town – World News
San Francisco Luxury News
Sudan’s armed forces are on the outskirts of Heglig town and are advancing toward the settlement, which was occupied by South Sudan this week, a Sudanese military spokesman said. “We are now on the outskirts of Heglig town,” Al-Sawarmi Khalid Saad told

Sudan’s Army Moves on Oil Town Seized by South Sudan
Voice of America (blog)
Sudan says it has launched a counterattack toward a key town in a major oil-producing region, occupied earlier this week by South Sudanese forces. Army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad Friday said Sudanese forces were getting close to Heglig.
International peacekeepers prerequisite to withdraw South Sudan troops – Kiir
Sudan Tribune
April 13, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir Mayardit demanded Sunday that United Nations peacekeepers be deployed on the border with Sudan before to withdraw its troops from Heglig. The SPLA’s occupation of Heglig on Tuesday 10 April has

South Sudan says repulses Sudan army attack on Heglig
By Khalid Abdelaziz and Ulf Laessing | KHARTOUM/JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan said on Saturday it had repulsed an attempt by the Sudanese army to retake a disputed oil-producing border area, extending a stand-off that has edged the two countries closer
Bombs kill 5 in South Sudan, doctor says
AP A doctor says five people were killed in bombings on strategic locations in South Sudan’sUnity State. Peter Gatkuoth, medical director of Bentiu Hospital, says four civilians and a soldier were killed Saturday. Jets released six bombs.

Sudan To Dominate First-Ever African Security Forum
Voice of America
A hoped for sideline summit between the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan has been cancelled as the two countries edge closer to war. South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir is expected to attend the Tana High Level Security Forum Saturday and Sunday in

Bombs hit disputed Sudanese oil town, official says
Global BC
Sudanese planes bombarded a disputed oil town near South Sudan’s border on Saturday, a southern military official said, and a doctor said bombs aimed at strategic sites in South Sudan’s Unity State killed five people. Col. Philip Aguer said Saturday
South Sudan repulses SAF attempt to retake Heglig – Machar
Sudan Tribune
Sudan & South Sudan on the Brink of Catastrophic War 2012-04-13 11:40:57 The Price of International Expediency and Disingenuous Moral Equivalence By Eric Reeves April 12, 2012 — The price of a year’s worth of international diplomatic failure and
President of Niger Denounces South Sudan Agression on Sudan
Sudan Vision
President Al Bashir affirmed that Sudan has no interest to continue the war which is loss to both country, explaining that the aggressions by the People’s Army of South Sudan came in implementation of foreign agenda and that the State of South Sudan is

Reviving the ‘New Sudan’ vision
In the face of growing unrest, former statesmen John Garang’s vision could serve as a banner of unity.
The late Sudanese politician John Garang reframed the overarching narrative about Sudan’s internal conflicts [EPA]

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – John Garang, the Southern Sudanese Christian rebel-turned-statesman, was arguably one of the best and most charismatic leaders Sudan has had. He surely had many flaws, but one of his greatest contributions was his “New Sudan” vision, which widely appealed to many Sudanese, even in the predominantly Muslim Arab north.

What Garang essentially did was reframe the overarching narrative about Sudan’s internal conflicts and struggles. Rather than talk in terms of either the counter-productive Arab Muslim north versus African Christian south narrative or Darfur’s Arab versus African tribes storyline, he took an honourable stance and made an important valid observation………………..

Read the whole story here…

Liberating Juba from Khartoum: the future of South Sudan
The recent squabble over oil between the country and Sudan points to its need to forge new regional alliances.

Although South Sudan has gained independence, it remains economically dependent on Sudan [GALLO/GETTY]

Addis Adaba, Ethiopia – When South Sudan seceded in July 2011, the world knew that they would be taking the vast majority of the Sudan’s oil wealth with them. A new country with dismal infrastructure but vast oil reserves, hopes were high that despite years of conflict, South Sudan could use its oil wealth to build itself up.

But what good is all that oil in a country that cannot get it safely and reliably to market? This question is especially pressing due to the fact that domestic crude refining capabilities are non-existent and the only immediately available partners are their old foes to the north…….

Read more here……..

How the Arab world lost southern Sudan
Both pan-Arabist and Islamist governments have failed to embrace diversity and pluralism – to their own detriment.
Sudan’s leaders failed to extend rights to people in the South, which led to the nation’s partition  [EPA]

The division of Sudan into two states is a dangerous precedent. The Arab world has to draw the right lessons from if it wants to avoid the break-up of other Arab states into ethnic and sectarian enclaves.

The birth of South Sudan is first and foremost a testimony to the failure of the official Arab order, pan-Arabism, and especially the Islamic political projects to provide civic and equal rights to ethnic and religious minorities in the Arab world.

The jubilation that swept the people of southern Sudan at their independence from the predominantly Arab and Muslim north attests to the long-standing feelings of repression and alienation by a people, the majority of whom were born into the post-independence Arab world……..

Read more here…..