Archive for April 18, 2012

Brussels  |   18 Apr 2012

Sudan and South Sudan are teetering on the brink of all-out war from which neither would benefit. Increasingly angry rhetoric, support for each other’s rebels, poor command and control, and brinkmanship, risk escalating limited and contained conflict into a full-scale confrontation between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA). Diplomatic pressure to cease hostilities and return to negotiations must be exerted on both governments by the region and the United Nations (UN) Security Council, as well as such partners as the U.S., China and key Gulf states. The immediate priority needs to be a ceasefire and security deal between North and South, as well as in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. But equally important, for the longer-term, are solutions to unresolved post-referendum issues, unimplemented provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) (that ended the civil war in 2005), and domestic reforms in both countries.

The most recent fighting between the SAF and SPLA arose amid a murky mix of armed actors and interests in the contested borderlands, including a variety of northern opposition forces and proxy militias. The exact cause is vigorously disputed, but the flare-up is the predictable outcome of negative trends: conflicts in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile; lack of agreement on transitional economic and financial arrangements between the two countries; Khartoum’s seizure of Southern oil; South Sudan’s decision to stop oil production; and sporadic cross-border attacks and bombings. It occurs amid mutual recriminations: of Khartoum arming Southern rebels and the SPLA providing material support to its former brothers-in-arms now fighting for the Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, as well as political support to members of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) seeking to topple President Bashir.

In part to prevent the resupply of the SPLM-N, the SAF has also bombed refugee camps and towns in South Sudan and recently attacked Bentiu, the capital of Unity State. Complicating matters are divergent views within the capitals and hardliners seemingly working to undermine negotiated settlements, as demonstrated by the scuttling of the much anticipated North-South presidential summit on 3 April.

The end result is that, following renewed clashes, the SPLA has taken control of the disputed Heglig oil fields and stopped about half of Sudan’s 115,000 barrels-per-day oil output. This has dealt a further blow to Khartoum’s economy, already reeling from separation and the additional fall in revenue that resulted from Juba’s decision in January to stop exporting oil through Sudan’s pipelines. The beleaguered Khartoum regime, which is under pressure on political, economic, and multiple military fronts and increasingly concerned about the prospects of an Arab Spring uprising, cannot afford to sustain such losses.

Risky strategies

A game of “chicken” appears to be underway, in which both sides embark on risky strategies in the hope that the other will blink first. If neither does, the outcome will be disastrous for both.

Some suspect that President Kiir’s tactics are intended to provoke a popular uprising in the North — that he is gambling the attack on Heglig may be the proverbial straw that breaks the back of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP). However, little thought seems to have been given to the consequences if President Bashir is removed from power. Unlike Egypt, Sudan lacks a single, legitimate institution that could manage a peaceful transfer of power. Bashir, who became president following a 1989 military coup, and his close associates have fragmented the security services and rely on personal loyalty and increasingly expensive patronage to retain control. He and security hardliners continue to pursue divide and rule tactics to prevent the emergence of a unified counterweight to NCP dominance of the centre. Bashir’s fall could trigger a wild scramble by multiple armed actors for control of Khartoum and other parts of the country that would be hard, if not impossible, to restrain.

Kiir and the SPLM are also dangerously exposed. With South Sudan’s decision to stop oil production, 98 per cent of its governmental revenue has disappeared. Reserves and other stop-gap measures can only tide Juba over for some months, after which the SPLM would have to impose draconian budget cuts, including on the SPLA, which is a fractious force that includes many former foes. Khartoum has a long history of supporting its enemy’s enemies. At relatively little cost it could continue to support Juba’s opponents and compound domestic instability for a government already plagued by weak institutions, limited reach and increasingly untenable financial circumstances.

Khartoum and Juba need to exercise restraint and consider carefully the consequences of their actions. The decision to abandon negotiations and resort to increasingly bellicose posturing can only hurt both.  Each government, with its own domestic challenges, may reap short-term political benefit from externalising its problems, but there is no military solution, and both sides would suffer from all-out war. The destruction of oil infrastructure would have long-term economic consequences. Stability is necessary in both the North and the South for either to develop and prosper and, in turn, enjoy long-term stability.

Decades of mutual distrust

Decades of mutual distrust prevent either side from making good-will gestures and pursuing win-win negotiations. In such a febrile environment, the UN Security Council must reassert itself to preserve international peace and security. It should mobilise all possible leverage to bring the parties back to negotiations and agreement on the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM), as well as encourage implementation of the border monitoring tasks outlined for the UN Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) in Resolution 2024 (2011), particularly near Heglig and Jau.

The parties and UNISFA must operationalise the JBVMM to investigate and verify claims either side is undermining peace or violating existing and future agreements, including for the necessary withdrawal of SPLA forces from the Heglig area and cessation of SAF bombing of South Sudanese territory. The monitoring mechanism needs to be flexible with high mobility. Lessons should be drawn from previous monitoring missions in Sudan, during which building confidence among Sudanese parties and supporting mutually-agreed arrangements were at least as important as verifying and reporting on legal obligations.

Unimplemented CPA provisions and deferred post-referendum issues

Fundamentally, the current conflict is rooted in the CPA’s unimplemented provisions, such as the status of Abyei, the cancelled popular consultations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile and disputed borders, as well as unresolved issues stemming from separation. While they have acknowledged their interdependence, the two countries must still reach detailed agreements on many divisive issues, such as the joint exploitation of oil, transitional financial arrangements, citizenship, security and trade. The time for posturing and brinkmanship is past; they must return to the table promptly and sustain the focus and commitment necessary to hammer out and implement deals. Otherwise, if these critical issues are allowed to fester, they will undermine any ceasefire or limited peace deal.

Absent the democratic transformation long overdue in Khartoum, Sudan remains unstable as power, resources and development continue to be overly concentrated in the centre. A “new South” has emerged in Abyei, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile that – along with Darfur, the East and other marginal areas – chafes under NCP domination. Because of historic ties, and despite South Sudan’s separation, the North’s centre-periphery wars continue to draw in Juba.

The call by the North’s opposition parties for a national dialogue in the context of a wider constitutional review conference suggests a way forward. Such a conference should be seen as a more extensive national consultative process, to accommodate the stymied popular consultations in the transitional areas and the Darfur people-to-people dialogue. Those latter two processes, if run separately, will not lead to political stability and lasting peace in the whole country.

A new unified international strategy

With developments increasingly appearing to be spiralling out of control, a new strategy is needed to avert an even bigger crisis. As Crisis Group noted in its 26 September 2011 Conflict Alert, any solution must be comprehensive. The international community must focus not only on North-South issues or the situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, but also require the NCP to agree to an immediate, inclusive, national reform process. The first priority needs to be for a security deal that stops both the fighting between the North and the South, as well as Khartoum and the SRF, but for this to hold it must also be clearly linked to binding commitments to discuss and implement political reforms.

The UN – the Security Council – should exert pressure on the two presidents to meet and negotiate an immediate ceasefire. This should be based on the 29 June 2011 Agreement on Border Security and the Joint Political and Security Mechanism, as well as the 10 February 2012 Memorandum of Understanding on Non-Aggression and Cooperation. They also need to reach common ground on a security deal for Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile based on the 24 June 2011 Framework Agreement, to be monitored by an enhanced JBVMM.

To encourage reforms in Khartoum, a united international community, particularly the African Union (AU), Arab League and UN, should put pressure on the NCP to accept a free and unhindered national dialogue aimed at creating a national stabilisation program that includes defined principles for establishing an inclusive constitutional arrangement accepted by all. A national reform agenda should include a program that accommodates all the people of Sudan and supports inclusive governance. The NCP must make genuine efforts to end impunity in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile and allow humanitarian agencies unhindered access, as well as support the efforts of the AU-UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and UNISFA to protect civilians.

If the NCP commits seriously to such a national reform agenda, regional actors and the wider international community should offer assistance. Major players like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the Arab League, China, the U.S., EU and AU must recognise that reform is necessary for stability and requires their support. If the NCP accepts an inclusive reform process, for example, the U.S. should provide incentives under its normalisation package to bolster that process. These could include easing debts, lifting economic sanctions and removing Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. Meanwhile, North-South relations may also be improved by greater domestic stability in South Sudan. Building institutions, extending service delivery, bolstering economic growth, and calming inter-communal tensions are among the priorities, and will be served in part by advancing promised political reforms. This includes an opening of political space inside and outside the SPLM, and an inclusive constitution-making process, that should be supported by partners and donors.

Recent Reports from the International Crisis Group on South Sudan

China’s New Courtship in South Sudan, Africa Report N°186, 4 Apr 2012

Following its oil interests and other opportunities to Juba, China is building a new relationship with South Sudan but finds itself drawn into a dangerous dispute that risks bringing the Sudans back to conflict.

South Sudan: Compounding Instability in Unity State, Africa Report N°179 , 17 Oct 2011

Unity State, a territory of unique importance and complexity in the fragile new country of South Sudan, faces a perfect storm of political, social, economic, and security dilemmas.

Politics and Transition in the New South Sudan, Africa Report N°172, 4 Apr 2011

Now that South Sudan’s self-determination has been realised, long-suppressed grievances and simmering political disputes have re-surfaced, threatening instability on the eve of independence.

Negotiating Sudan’s North-South Future, Africa Briefing N°76, 23 Nov 2010

As South Sudan’s critical self-determination referendum looms, the foundation for a constructive relationship between North and South is yet to be laid.

Sudan: Defining the North-South Border, Africa Briefing N°75, 2 Sep 2010

Sudan’s North and South must take political action to define their mutual boundary if they hope to avoid future complications, including a return to conflict.

Sudan: Regional Perspectives on the Prospect of Southern Independence, Africa Report Nº159, 6 May 2010

If, as likely, South Sudan decides to secede from the North at its January 2011 self-determination referendum, it will need support from Sudan’s neighbours to ensure the decision is respected and new conflict is prevented.

Jonglei’s Tribal Conflicts: Countering Insecurity in South Sudan, Africa Report N°154, 23 Dec 2009

Conflicts among tribes have claimed several thousand lives in South Sudan in 2009, with the worst violence in and around the vast, often impassable state of Jonglei. Violence often afflicts pastoral communities, but in this area it has taken on a new and dangerously politicised character.

War Between the Sudans: No Longer Any Pretense of Peace

Posted: April 18, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

SPLA (South Sudan People’s Liberation Army) vehicles drive on the road from Bentiu to Heglig, on April 17, 2012.

Adriane Ohanesian / AFP / Getty Images

The road to Heglig has no sign or post marking the border between northern and southern Sudan, where Sudan’s new war began on Saturday. Instead, there is a sudden trail of rotting corpses leading steadily north. At its head stands a northern Sudanese military base, now captured and looted by the South. Inside, South Sudan’s generals plan their next offensive, marking troop positions and movements in the sand with a curtain rod. Outside, South South Sudanese soldiers mix freely with their allies – officially denied, but now in open view – from the Darfuri rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The men are wary. They glance at the sky to check for approaching northern warplanes, and dig shallow foxholes for protection against bombs. Suddenly a Sudanese jet screams overhead. The dry desert air erupts with the thud of an aerial bombardment. “We are under attack,” yells Maj. Gen. Mangar Buong, the South Sudanese commander. And the soldiers scatter for cover.

Sudan, once again, is back at war. Whether the conflict lasts for days, weeks or years is unknowable. What is clear is that the pretense of peace can no longer be maintained. Sudan’s northern regime in Khartoum fought the South for more than half a century in a conflict that cost 2 million lives. The pair have been officially at peace since a 2005 agreement that led, last year, to the separation of north and south into two separate countries. But the border between the two remains disputed at several places and the two sides have fought sporadic skirmishes along their frontier for years. (MORE: The Crisis in the Sudans: The Urgency of U.S.-China Cooperation

In recent months, the most deadly of these have centered in and around Heglig, an oil field officially in the north but claimed by the south. Northern and southern soldiers have exchanged fire, northern bombers have attacked southern territory – and last Saturday southern soldiers invaded and seized Heglig. South Sudan claims it is just defending against northern aggression. But that claim is weakened by the presence of JEM, whose agenda is nothing less than the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir’s regime in Khartoum. Like turbaned cowboys, JEM’s fighters swarm up and down the road in roofless pick-up trucks mounted with heavy guns. Arabic is sprawled across their trucks, and they point and pose for photos, exclaiming “Darfur” or “JEM.” Officially, South Sudan says it has no ties with the Darfur rebels. In Heglig, that’s another pretence that no longer stands up.

The big question: is Bashir’s regime really in danger? Maj. Gen. Mac Bol, South Sudan’s deputy military intelligence chief, says the South plans to push up to 90km north of Heglig. Across South Sudan, a full-scale southern mobilization is underway. Hundreds of soldiers stream up towards the Heglig front lines every day in giant trucks. According to multiple sources, both sides are also sending heavy reinforcements to other border hotspots, particularly Raja in the west and Renk in the east. Carol Berger, a post-doctoral researcher at Bristol University in Britain, reports seeing convoys of soldiers traveling through central South Sudan. “They’re taking any transport they can find, even the local taxis, to get back to their barracks,” Berger said. One source close to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir warned TIME: “This isn’t going to be over anytime soon.” (MORE: Sudan vs. South Sudan: The Rising Risk of a New Confrontation

The offensive only compounds the woes of Khartoum’s overstretched military. Already this year government forces have been routed in a series of pitched battles on another front to the northeast, in the Nuba Mountains in Southern Kordofan. There the Nuba rebels are open about their intent to flush Khartoum’s soldiers out of their territory and march on Khartoum – and open too about their alliance with JEM and other rebels to the east, in Blue Nile state. (The Nuba admit South Sudan does lend them diplomatic, medical and advisory support while denying any military backing – though they admit that most of their weapons come from their days in the South Sudan military, before the current rebellion.)

Even if a march on Khartoum fails to materialize from either of these fronts, the offensive puts pressure on Khartoum in another way: shutting down the Heglig oil fields and starving the Sudanese government of revenue. South Sudan already shut down its oil fields earlier this year, denying itself revenues of $4 billion a year but hitting Khartoum in the pocket too, since the South’s oil is pumped out through the north, a service for which Khartoum extracted billions of dollars in fees. The screws could be tightened still further. Most of Khartoum’s other oil fields also lie near the border with South Sudan, and could also become targets.

For the world powers who invested years and billions of dollars in peace in Sudan, the situation has rarely looked bleaker. The U.S. in particular sponsored the 2005 peace deal. Seven years later, diplomats are wondering whether all they achieved was an extended breathing space to allow both sides to re-arm and re-finance before returning to the fighting. US special envoy to the two Sudans, Princeton Lyman, looking tired, admits this is war. “[And] one of the dangers is that it is a war that will spread well beyond Heglig [and] get nastier and nastier.” (VIDEO: Villages Caught in the Crossfire of Sudan’s Ongoing Battles

Khartoum, as usual, is on the receiving end of U.S. criticism. Lyman, who was to visit the Sudanese capital later Wednesday, describes the attitude there as “very belligerent.” But if anything it is South Sudan – created out of the peace that the U.S. brokered only to use its new freedom to go back to war – with which the U.S. is most frustrated. For years, U.S. policy on Sudan had a heavy southern bias – with good reason. Khartoum, once home to Osama bin Laden, has an atrocious record of war crimes, atrocities, corruption, all fueled by a racist, Arab-supremacist outlook. In that context, South Sudan was a victim to be protected. Since the end of hostilities in 2005, however, a very different creature has emerged in the south: a regime every bit as corrupt as the north, with a predatory army and the same flair for ruthless political brinkmanship, which – dominated by an ethnic Dinka majority – is either unwilling or unable to stop a spate of tribal violence that has left hundreds, if not thousands, dead so far just this year. “Our good friend South Sudan has become extraordinarily impatient,” says Lyman. “We think they’ve taken great risks.” Lyman, the U.N. and the international community are united in their desire for peace in Sudan – as are the majority of Sudanese. So far, there is no sign that the leaders on either side are listening.

Border Bandits or Regime Change

Posted: April 18, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Featured Articles
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By Martin Garang Aher

The African Union and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have described the Sudan and S. Sudan as being locked in the ‘logic of war.’ This hypothetic framing is the result of failure and ineffectiveness of the African Union and United Nation Security Council respectively, to bring the two neighbouring nations to an agreement on the modalities of the cessation of hostilities, border demarcation and effective concession on oil transit fees. Not adhering to the implementation process of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in the three areas have also added to the blunder.

In the two years of the mediations between Sudan and S. Sudan by the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP), there appeared to have been serious lapses and easy-goingness that have thus far, aided the mouth frothing and hysteria at the post secession talks between the two nations saw the mustering of troops. The UNSC passes a resolution demanding Sudan to withdraw from Abyei but never acted on the Sudanese defiance. The African Union seemed to have accepted Khartoum’s demand of $36 per barrel for South Sudanese crude transit and refining, and not factoring in the fact that the pipeline was built from the oil money and should remain a shared facility.

As the much awaited and widely predicted return to war unfolds before the foretellers are not yet gone, Obama’s Sudans may replace Clinton’s Rwanda and Srebrenica. Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese are stranded in Khartoum and the flights between the two nations are halting fast and conditionally. They are already foreigners, a status that had similarly and automatically accorded northern Sudanese in South Sudan unannounced haters of the enemy state and ironically, brothers of the hosting one. One may fear that engineers at the political helms in either country may exploit the public panic of the population over the unwelcome war of power solidification by the hardliners in Sudan.

What about regime change? One of the objectives, which the SPLA/M aimed to achieve in 1983 when it started the liberation war, was a regime change in Khartoum and the wish to usher in a new Sudan built on equality. Of course the regime in Khartoum changed soon after that, when president Nimeiri’s rule was ended in 1985. The kind of regime change that the SPLA/M wanted rather than itself remained elusive throughout the years.

Now the Sudanese state had adopted regime change in South Sudan as its cardinal objective and had already managed to pull away David Yau Yau from the ranks of the SPLA, the issue may be heading to the crux of national existence. Had it not been the take over of Heglig, this agendum would not have been made openly by Khartoum.   As the battle to woo each other’s enemies to one’s side continues, oppositions on either side will have to endure labels of any column they will be fitted in and certainly, brace for sudden arrests.

Oil will remain the factor of changes in all cases in the war of regime change. The AU and UNSC hypothesis of the two nations locked in the ‘logic of war’ is a truth that can be understood in the fight over Panthou/Heglig which now had an ideology of regime change. But ending SPLA capture of the oil rich town is not foreseeable in the short while. If provocation led to permanent refusal of Sudan armed forces to withdraw from Abyei, so will the provocation that led Juba to take Panthou.

Indeed the rebels will always matter. Khartoum blames its rebels for aiding Juba in the fight over the oil-producing town while Juba reduces it simply to a response in kind to cross border attacks and aerial bombardment of its territories. As bombardment is spreading along the borders and cross border attacks following in the wake, the Sudans are technically in an all out war.

The only thing that no one wants to predict, but leave to the UNSC sanctions and willingness of those who rule the roost in Sudan and S. Sudan, is the time when the traditional buy-time negotiations will begin again. One thing is certain though; the rebels’ futures may not escape to dominate the talks if they do occur. The sudans have to choose one, either they rebel against each and be enemies to their mutual progress –which they are now doing – or secure their friendly sovereignties by disowning rebels. In any way, rebels will continue to be border bandits. And as we have already witnessed, their tricks can cause quite a stare.

Since the sources of finance are throttled at both ends for the in-betweens, and Juba becoming agitated for shutting down its oil only to see Sudan pumping up to lure her enemies to fight her, chances are that withdrawal from Panthou/Heglig may require AU and UNSC to reframe the language of peace to exclude the words IMMEDIDIATELY and UNCONDITIONALLY when courting South Sudan.

Martin Garang Aher is a South Sudanese living in Australia and can be reached at



JUBA, South Sudan — The U.S. special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan acknowledged in an interview Wednesday that the two countries are at war and warned that the conflict will likely spread if South Sudan does not withdraw from a disputed oil town that it captured from Sudan last week.

So far, however, South Sudan has refused to do so, and the South Sudanese military has said it plans to continue its offensive north. On Sunday, a McClatchy Newspapers correspondent was among the first journalists to visit Heglig, the captured town, now an edgy command post for South Sudan’s army and allied rebels from Sudan’s Darfur region.

The statement comes as the United Nations Security Council mulls putting sanctions on Sudan and South Sudan in an effort to stop the hostilities, which could spoil a decade of intense diplomacy for peace.

U.S. special envoy Princeton Lyman said he had been meeting with South Sudanese officials in an effort to persuade them to withdraw. “We felt it was extremely dangerous (to enter Heglig) and that they should withdraw,” Lyman said, characterizing the American position. “That’s been the basis of my discussions here.”

“This is beyond self-defense,” Lyman said of South Sudan’s offensive, adding that without a South Sudanese withdrawal, the fighting could spread “well beyond Heglig” and the war would get “nastier and nastier.”

The conflict has put Washington in a difficult position. U.S. policy has long favored South Sudan over Sudan, partly in response to a pro-South Sudan lobby in the U.S. that sees South Sudanese as victims of Sudan’s northern, Arab elites.

But now, South Sudan is its own country, and the country is quickly wearing out its friendly welcome to the international stage, even among its well-wishers.

“Our good friend South Sudan has become extraordinarily impatient. And we think they’ve taken great risks,” Lyman said.

Unofficially, South Sudanese officials have delighted in their capture of Heglig, which they consider a South Sudanese territory that was annexed illegally into the north in the 1970s. At the border itself, there is no talk of withdrawal, only of pushing the front lines further north.

It is not clear who fired the first shot in the battle over Heglig. South Sudan has been adamant that it captured Heglig only after repulsing a Sudanese attack on its side of the de facto border.

One source close to the South Sudanese government claimed that South Sudan was caught off guard by the initial attack, in late March, and said that the next round of fighting a week later was also an act of Sudanese aggression.

But several neutral, well-informed officials noted privately that there is no evidence of who started the fighting, and that there were clear incentives on both sides of the border to begin a war.

For one, South Sudan was already suffering the pains of losing its oil revenue after it shut down production in January over a dispute with Sudan on how much it should be paid for transportation services. Now, by capturing Heglig, South Sudan has robbed Sudan of one of its largest fields – and of the revenue generated by the 55,000 barrels of oil produced there a day.

The U.S. has condemned Sudan for its air bombing raids in South Sudan territory, which have killed civilians. Lyman characterized the Sudanese government as “very belligerent” at the moment. After Juba, he is flying to Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, for talks there.

(Boswell is a McClatchy Newspapers special correspondent. His reporting is underwritten in part by a grant from Humanity United, a California-based foundation that focuses on human rights issues.)

By Dr. James Okuk

The determination of the people of South Sudan to separate from the Sudan in order for them to establish an independent country seems to have been undermined by the Jellaba’s elites in South Sudan. These foxy elites thought they were playing smart politics of power gains. But Southerners were out for a long-awaited unfinished business of quitting from unjust Sudan.

The Islamic Jihadists of the old Republic of the Sudan and their top ruler, the most wanted suspect by the ICC for many shameful crimes, President Omer Al-Bashir, are really losing their ground with miscalculations of their Machiavellian politics these days. They have numerously been making unwise decisions and emotional wrong choices against the people of the new Republic of South Sudan. Their fallen and falling wicked politicking is now landing them into deep abyss they might not have been thinking about consciously as their hearts got into their heads and their heads dropped into their feet.

These Khartoum Jihadists tend to ignore learning positive lessons from history of their war with South Sudanese and are now about to condemn themselves to a shameful end of hyenas exits. But they are making a devilish mistake to be thinking that the SPLM is detached from the people of South Sudan, and thus, by shouting loudly “Allah Akhbar” Juba shall collapse immediately with Southerners liberated from their very own freedom-fighters. What an opiated illusion from the top enemies of the ICC!

The Sudan President Al-Bashir and his Jihadist cronies need to be reminded that whether SPLM exists or it does not, the people of South Sudan are so determined to reclaim their original territories as they stood on 1956 and even beyond. This is a matter of creed and not politics for the patriotic South Sudanese.

Lest they have forgotten, Al-Bashir and his blind Jihadists should get it well into their dull heads that South Sudanese are not good in professional lying and hypocrisy. When they say they are separated from Jellaba, they mean it. When they say they want back their stollen resources and occupied lands, they mean it. When they unite to liberate and defend their ancestral and territorial integrity, they mean it. When they say “No” to Jellaba’s neo-oppression and re-marginalization, they mean it. When they say “down down to Al-Bashir”, they mean it because they know to act courageously in accordance with the dictates of their souls more than anything else that may characterize their dignified being.

Now, the troubled Sudan President Al-Bashir is digging his own grave and preparing his good coffin, by thinking that he can simply step into South Sudan to liberate it from the very people’s movement that has ensured that the people of the green and beloved country have crossed the Promised Land under leadership of Joshua after Moses showed the direction with commandments of no turning back to enslaving Pharaoh Egypt.

Even if many people of South Sudan have reservations and are critical about the shortcomings of SPLM leaders in good governance they will never compromise or collaborate with an outsider, especially a Jellaba’s oppressor who attempts to temper with established government of the new Republic. The people of South Sudan are intelligent to change their own government in ballot boxes when the right time comes to do so. They don’t need a tempting hypocrite proven political devil to do this for them.

Instead of balozing and hallucinating in Khartoum about liberation of South Sudanese from SPLM so that they could get re-united with marginalizing Jellaba of the Sudan, President Al-Bashir should instead save his dying soul by allowing peacefully the people of South Sudan to liberate their original territories from arabized occupiers.

He should stop his war of aggression and immediately go back to the negotiation tables so that he is forgiven for his sins, and then the oil can flow again from the naturally rich South Sudan to Port Sudan in accordance with the acceptable international norms on transit and facilities usage fees. With this, and only this, shall Al-Bashir be rescued from ‘hyena exit’ and bloody conclusion of his wicked ruling style that earned him and his colleagues some ICC blows.

Let’s Khartoum gets back to road of peace because it will be the one that will suffer most the consequences of bad collapse because of choosing the wrong path of destructive war. Juba has no much to lose now because it has been made for decades to live in loss already. Juba is just beginning to have what can be called an economy while Khartoum has already begun, though using wrong means to keep its economy moving.

It is high time for Khartoum to re-train its unreasonable psychology of unnecessary pride and forget about Paanthou because it got it by crooked means. Juba is not going to give it up, comes rain or sunshine. Juba is even going to get more of its stollen territories and resources, be it by force of law or by power of South Sudan Armed Forces.

The International Community need to reshape up and comply with South Sudanese defiance because of their right to ownership of property as enshrined in Human Rights Declaration. Threats of sanctions is not going to deter the determined Southerners to withdraw their rising and standing up to take their rights like buffalo soldiers.

Dr. James Okuk lives in Juba and can be reached at

22 soldiers die in South Sudan-Sudan border battle

Posted: April 18, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

22 soldiers die in South Sudan-Sudan border battle

Associated PressJUBA, South Sudan (AP)– Soldiers from Sudan and South Sudan clashed at a river dividing their two countries, leaving 22 dead as fighting spread to a new area of the tense border. A Sudanese official demanded on Wednesday that South Sudan withdraw from an oil-rich area it occupied last week or face a concerted attack.Tuesday’s firefight began after a Sudanese soldier shot a South Sudan soldier who was getting water from the river, South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Wednesday. In all, seven South Sudan soldiers and 15 Sudan soldiers died near the town of Meiram, along the border with Sudan’s South Kordofan state and South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, he said.

Even as border violence was spreading to new regions, Benjamin labeled the fight as a “misunderstanding” and said he did not think violence would continue there.

The river battle comes amid wider violence along the shared border around the oil town of Heglig, which South Sudan troops took control of last week. Sudanese aircraft have been bombing South Sudan’s Unity State as a part of that fighting.

Benjamin said there was no new fighting around Heglig on Wednesday. But a Sudan official, Mustafa Osman Ismail, warned South Sudan that it must immediately withdraw from Heglig or face counterattacks. Ismail, a senior adviser to Sudan President Omar al-Bashir, spoke in Ethiopia’s capital, where he met with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and African Union officials.

He said the trip was intended to “ask those with influence” to persuade South Sudan to withdraw from Heglig.

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir called several heads of states and sent his foreign minister to South Africa to work on the issue, Ismail said.

“Time is running short, and our army is also getting ready,” said Ismail.

He said Khartoum is under pressure from Sudan’s public to liberate “the invaded territory” after South Sudan TV broadcast images of what he said are medical staff captured in Heglig.

South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July after decades of civil war, creating the world’s newest country. But the two never agreed on how to share the oil wealth found in the region between the countries, and the border was never fully demarcated.

Fighting has intensified in the last several weeks amid fears the two sides could return to an all-out war.

Associated Press writer Kirubel Tadesse in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia contributed to this report.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

22 Soldiers Killed In Latest Clash

Twenty two soldiers have been killed in the latest clash that sparked off yesterday morning between the Sudan people’s Liberation Army, (SPLA) and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF)

18 April 2012
South Sudan’s armed forces during the country’s Independence proclamation in Juba last year [©Gurtong/Waakhe Wudu]

By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 18th April 2012 

“SPLA clashed with SAF in Kerr Adem, an area estimated to be 40 kilometres deep into Northern Bahr El Ghazal State (NBGS) away from the Sudanese border region of Mariam Payam in Southern Kordafan,” Brig. Gen. Malaak Ayeun, the SPLA Director for Information and Public Relations told Gurtong.

“This led to a fight where SPLA lost seven soldiers and 20 were wounded, SAF lost 15 men,” said Gen. Ayeun. However Gurtong couldn’t verify the said atrocities.

Kerr Adem is one of the places in NBGS including Raja County, Kafia Kinji illegally occupied by SAF during the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) period according to SPLA officials.

This latest toll follows the 259 killed soldiers reported by SPLA recently in the ongoing incursion.

The SPLA Spokesperson Col. Philip Aguer yesterday warned of expected clashes between the SAF and SPLA in Western Bahr El Ghazal.

This latest clashes follows the resolution by Sudanese parliament last Monday branding the South Sudan’s government her “enemy” and vows to liberate her alleged regions recaptured by the SPLA in recent days.

The United Nations meanwhile has called for ceasefire between the two forces as fighting intensified since last week where a UN coordinating office was struck by aerial bomb in Unity State.

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2012 – The Republic of South Sudan became the newest member of the World Bank Group today when South Sudan’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Kosti Manibe Ngai, signed the Articles of Agreement and Conventions of the World Bank Group in Washington DC.
In addition to becoming a member of the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), South Sudan joined the International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Development Association (IDA), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). IDA is the Bank Group’s concessional financing facility that helps the world’s poorest countries. 
South Sudan became the world’s newest country on July 9, 2011, after decades of conflict. It has some of the lowest education, health, and other human development results in the world, and more than half of the population lives below the poverty line. The country however has rich agricultural and forestry potential, and significant oil reserves.
As a member of IDA, South Sudan will have access to highly concessional resources, in addition to a wide range of technical and advisory services from the World Bank Group. With the admission of South Sudan, membership now stands at 188 countries for IBRD, 184 for IFC, 172 for IDA, 148 for ICSID, and 176 for MIGA. 
 “I am very pleased to welcome South Sudan, the world’s newest country as our newest member of the World Bank Group, to help it manage and resolve its many formidable development challenges while it also builds a broad national coalition to secure lasting peace and prosperity, “ said Obiageli Ezekwesili, the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa.“South Sudan is a test case for the ideas in our 2011 World Development Report on Conflict, Security and Development, emphasizing the leadership role of citizens in their own country- led peace and state-building solutions, with the support of their international development partners. The World Bank is strongly committed to this approach in South Sudan, and also to support the fight against corruption, to promote accountability and good governance, and to work closely with South Sudan and its communities for better social and economic development.” 
The World Bank Group has been actively engaged in South Sudan’s development since 2005, both through analytical work and as the administrator of the Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Southern Sudan (MDTF-SS), which is funded by 13 donors and the World Bank. To date, the MDTF-SS has disbursed about $505 million (against $541 million committed), supporting 20 projects in ten sectors considered vital to South Sudan. 
 “Even before we became members, the World Bank has already been collaborating closely with us. So today we are very pleased that the formalities have finally been completed, and we look forward to a long term partnership with the World Bank Group as we work together on the much needed development of South Sudan,” said Minister Kosti Ngai.
Slightly larger than the size of France, South Sudan has few roads or water infrastructure, while key education and health indicators such as child and maternal mortality and primary enrolment are among the worst in the world. Over the last several years, the MDTF-SS has helped fund the rehabilitation, reconstruction, and maintenance of nearly 3,700 kilometers of all-weather roads, thereby increasing access within the country. Over 1,100 boreholes have been drilled or rehabilitated, and fourteen water distribution systems constructed, thus giving more than 562,000 people across almost 100,000 households in rural South Sudan access to clean and safe water. 
In addition, the MDTF-SS funded the construction of 46 primary schools and 11 county education centers, trained more than 1,200 new teachers, and enabled the printing and distribution of more than 3.6 million textbooks and teachers’ guides throughout the ten states. In the area of health, the MDTF-SS provided for the rehabilitation of 71 health facilities, and enabled the distribution of more than 250,000 malaria kits, 1 million mosquito nets, and 10 million water purification tablets. The rehabilitation of 47 buildings at the Juba Teaching hospital, the largest such medical facility in South Sudan, also means it is now better equipped to serve approximately 100,000 patients a year. 
In the agriculture sector, advisory services and grants for production inputs have been provided to more than 116,000 farmers across 27 counties in South Sudan. This has helped to increase yields of staple crops by over 30 percent, translating into improved household food security and incomes for those beneficiaries that have been able to produce a surplus.
Ahead of South Sudan’s independence last July, a $75 million South Sudan Transition Trust Fund (SSTTF) was established by the World Bank to help provide health care, infrastructure, and employment for the people of South Sudan during this transition period. The World Bank Group is working closely with the government and stakeholders in South Sudan to develop a new two year partnership strategy. The new strategy will work towards a range of efforts that are critical to supporting South Sudan’s development.
In Washington: Phil Hay, (202) 473-1796; cell, (202)
                             Lillian Foo, (202)
In Juba:              Albino Okeny Olak, 249 122 433 880, 

To learn more about the World Bank’s engagement in South Sudan, please visit
To learn more about the MDTF-SS, please visit
To learn more about the World Bank Group, please visit

To watch the video South Sudan: The Road to Development, go to 

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Republic of South Sudan becomes IMF’s 188thMember
Press Release No. 12/140
April 18, 2012
The Republic of South Sudan joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today when Finance and Economic Planning Minister Kosti Manibe Ngai signed the IMF’s Articles of Agreement at a ceremony in Washington D.C.“I am happy to welcome the Republic of South Sudan, which today becomes our 188th member,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said. “South Sudan faces enormous challenges, and the IMF will do its best to assist the country in setting up the foundations for economic stability and growth in the period ahead,” Ms. Lagarde underscored.South Sudan applied for membership of the IMF in April 2011 (see Press Release No. 11/145). The Republic of South Sudan became an independent country in July 2011, and the IMF Board of Governors subsequently offered it IMF membership.Since then, the Fund has been stepping up the provision oftechnical assistance and training (see Press Release No. 11/292) and engaging in a policy dialogue with the authorities in the areas of tax and customs administration, public financial management, oil revenue management, exchange rate policy, central banking, and macroeconomic statistics. The Fund is coordinating with donors and technical assistance providers to support South Sudan through a dedicated trust fund for capacity-building of about US$11 million over the next four years, and to which the European Union plans to come on board as a lead donor.South Sudan’s initial quota1 in the IMF is SDR 123.0 million (about US$189.3 million). With the inclusion of South Sudan, IMF members’ quotas amount to SDR 238.12 billion (about US$ 366.53 billion).

1 A member’s quota in the IMF determines its capital subscription, its voting power, its access to IMF financing, and its allocation of SDRs.

South Sudan becomes IMF’s 188th member country
Published: Wednesday, 18 Apr 2012

WASHINGTON – The International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday South Sudan had become the institution’s 188th member country, giving it access to IMF loans and technical assistance.

“South Sudan faces enormous challenges, and the IMF will do its best to assist the country in setting up the foundations for economic stability and growth in the period ahead,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement.

South Sudan became independent last July under a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war with Sudan in the north. It has been struggling to tackle an economic crisis and contain tribal and rebel violence. Peace with Khartoum remains uneasy, with the north and south deadlocked over oil transit fees.

The IMF said it was providing technical help and training for South Sudan government officials. It was also coordinating with donors on a trust fund to help the country. Oil makes up 98 percent of state revenues in South Sudan, one of the world’s least developed countries.

South Sudan’s capture of Heglig went ‘beyond self-defense,’ US envoy says
By ALAN BOSWELL JUBA, South Sudan — The US special envoy to Sudan and South Sudanacknowledged in an interview Wednesday that the two countries are at war and warned that the conflict will likely spread if South Sudan does not withdraw from a disputed 
South Sudan is World Bank’s Newest Member
Voice of America
April 18, 2012 South Sudan is World Bank’s Newest Member VOA News South Sudan became the newest member of the World Bank on Wednesday when the country’s finance minister, Kosti Manibe Ngai, signed an agreement in Washington formalizing the country’s 
South Sudan Joins World Bank Group
Washington, DC — The Republic of South Sudan became the newest member of the World Bank Group today when South Sudan’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Kosti Manibe Ngai, signed the Articles of Agreement and Conventions of the World Bank 

Sudan president seeks to ‘liberate’ South Sudan

President Bashir to the SPLM/A “Either we end up in Juba and take everything, or you end up in Khartoum and take everything.”

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his wife Widad Babiker in Khartoum (10 April 2012)President Bashir’s government fought a civil war against the SPLM for two decades

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir has said his main goal is now to “liberate” the people of South Sudan from its rulers following recent border clashes.

The former rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement has ruled South Sudan since it seceded from Sudan in July 2011.

President Bashir was addressing a rally at his party’s headquarters.

Fighting between the two countries has now spread to another area, further adding to fears of all-out war.

South Sudan seized the Heglig oil field – generally recognised as Sudanese territory – eight days ago. On Tuesday fighting broke out north of Aweil in South Sudan, about 100 miles (160km) west of Heglig.

The South Sudanese military said 22 soldiers had been killed, with casualties on both sides.

‘By hook or crook’

Main disputes between the two Sudans
  • Transit fees the South should pay Sudan to use its oil pipelines
  • Demarcating the border
  • Both sides claim Abyei
  • The rights of each other’s citizens now in a foreign country – there are estimated to be 500,000 southerners in Sudan and 80,000 Sudanese in the South
  • Each accuses the other of supporting rebel groups on its territory

Mr Bashir told the rally “the story began in Heglig, but it will end in Khartoum or Juba,” according to the AFP news agency.

The current spate of fighting is the worst since South Sudan’s independence last year, which followed two decades of civil war between Mr Bashir’s government and the SPLM.

Mr Bashir said he had made a “mistake” in putting the SPLM in power in Juba.

He told the crowd that his message to the SPLM was: “Either we end up in Juba and take everything, or you end up in Khartoum and take everything.”

A Sudanese foreign ministry official said Sudan would end the occupation of Heglig “by hook or crook”.

A non-Sudanese source close to the border talks told the BBC that during years of discussions before its independence, South Sudan never claimed Heglig as part of its territory.

In a separate development, the world’s newest country became a member of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday.

Sudan’s Bashir vows to “liberate” South Sudan

Tue, Apr 17 2012

By Alexander Dziadosz and Ulf Laessing

KHARTOUM/JUBA | Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:19pm EDT

(Reuters) – Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir vowed on Wednesday to “liberate” South Sudan from its ruling party, a sharp escalation of rhetoric after fierce border clashes that edged the African neighbors closer to all-out war.

There has been growing alarm over the worst violence seen since South Sudan split away from Sudan as an independent country in July under the terms of a 2005 peace settlement. Global powers have urged the two sides to end the fighting.

South Sudan seized the contested oil-producing Heglig region last week, prompting Sudan’s parliament to brand its former civil war foe an “enemy” on Monday and to call for a swift recapture of the flat savanna region.

In a fiery speech to members of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) singing military songs, Bashir repeatedly referred to the South’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) as “insects”, a play on their Arabic name.

“Our main goal is liberation of the southern citizens from the SPLM,” Bashir said. “This is our responsibility before the Southern people.”

He went on to predict “good news” from Heglig within a few hours, but also suggested tensions would not end until the South’s ruling party collapsed. He did not specify how that might happen.

“The story began in Heglig, but it will end in Khartoum or Juba,” Bashir said.

Shortly after the speech, South Sudan’s army (SPLA) spokesman said the South’s forces had repulsed “a very big attack” on Heglig, which is known as Panthou in the south. There was no immediate comment on this from Sudan or independent confirmation of the claim.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sudan and South Sudan accused one another of launching attacks on a new front. South Sudan’s army said a total of 22 soldiers died in the fighting.

Both countries are economically dependent on oil. Any protracted fighting would severely hit their economies.


Distrust runs deep between the neighbors, who are at loggerheads over the position of their border, how much the landlocked South should pay to transport its oil through Sudan and the division of national debt, among other issues.

South Sudan says Heglig is its rightful territory and has said it will only withdraw if the United Nations deploys a neutral force there.

In Juba, around 1,000 South Sudanese gathered at a rally, chanting: “Down with Bashir”. They also criticized U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon after the U.N. Security Council had called on South Sudan to pull out from Heglig.

“Down with Ban Ki-moon!” Alfred Lado Gore, environment minister and a senior SPLM official, told the cheering crowd. “We managed to win our independence and we will win Heglig and (the disputed region of) Abyei.”

Russia, a permanent U.N. Security Council member, called on South Sudan to withdraw immediately to defuse “an explosive situation” in Heglig.

Sudan said it had repulsed an attack on Tuesday by South Sudan’s armed forces near the Bahr al-Arab river, known as the Kiir River in the south.

“Limited forces from the SPLA carried out an attack on the area to divert the efforts of the armed forces working to liberate the Heglig region,” the state-linked Sudanese Media Centre quoted a local military official as saying.

The report said the fighting took place 62 km (39 miles) south of Mairem which, maps show, is on the boundary between the Sudanese regions of South Kordofan and Darfur, the scene of a separate insurgency against the Khartoum government.

South Sudan’s military spokesman, Philip Aguer, confirmed the clashes took place but said the SPLA had not tried to enter Sudan’s territory. The fighting broke out after southern troops were shelled while trying to collect water, he said.

“They reacted, and fighting erupted between them,” Aguer said. “Our forces crossed the river, crossed the bridge briefly, but the command recalled them back.”

He said 15 Sudanese soldiers and seven SPLA troops were killed, figures impossible to verify independently.

In a sign rebel groups in Sudan might be trying to take advantage of the tensions, insurgents based in Darfur said late on Tuesday they had destroyed a Sudanese military base and taken control of a town.

The reports from a faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) loyal to Minni Minnawi could not be independently verified, and Sudan’s army spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

In Khartoum, Sudanese foreign ministry official Omer Mohamed told reporters Sudan would continue to press diplomatic as well as military efforts to recover Heglig. “We have to end the occupation by hook or crook, by either way.”

The 15-nation U.N. Security Council on Tuesday reiterated its call for Sudan to stop air strikes and South Sudan to withdraw from Heglig. It also discussed imposing sanctions on the countries if they did not stop the clashes.

Sudan said sanctions should only be directed against South Sudan, who it accuses of violating its sovereignty.

(Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols at the United Nations and Steve Gutterman in Moscow; Editing by Maria Golovnina)

Sudan’s Bashir vows to “liberate” South Sudan
By Alexander Dziadosz and Ulf Laessing | KHARTOUM/JUBA (Reuters) – Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir vowed on Wednesday to “liberate” South Sudan from its ruling party, a sharp escalation of rhetoric after fierce border clashes that edged the 
South Sudan becomes IMF’s 188th member country
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday South Sudan had become the institution’s 188th member country, giving it access to IMF loans and technical assistance. “South Sudan faces enormous challenges, and the IMF will do 
South Sudan: Republic of South Sudan Becomes IMF’s 188th Member
“I am happy to welcome the Republic of South Sudan, which today becomes our 188th member,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said. “South Sudan faces enormous challenges, and the IMF will do its best to assist the country in setting up the 
22 soldiers die in South Sudan-Sudan border battle
New Jersey Herald
By MICHAEL ONYIEGO AP JUBA, South Sudan (AP) – Fighting spread further along the Sudan-South Sudan border when soldiers from both countries got into a firefight, killing 22 troops,a southern spokesman said Wednesday. The fighting on Tuesday at a river 
Sudan President Ready to ‘Liberate’ South Sudan
Sudan President Omar al-Bashir has said his main goal is now to “liberate” the people of South Sudan from its rulers following recent border clashes. The former rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement has ruled South Sudan since it seceded from Sudan 
Sudan, South Sudan clash on new front as UN mulls sanctions
By Alexander Dziadosz and Khalid Abdelaziz | KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudanaccused each other of launching attacks on a new front near their contested border, stoking fears of a return to all-out war in the oil-producing region.

South Sudan: Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown Launches Campaign to Get 1
South Sudan has a larger proportion of its children out of school than almost any other country in the world, along with the deepest gender inequalities,” said Gordon Brown. “We know that education can be a catalyst for progress in other areas, 

Sudan: UNSC Discussing the Possibility of Sanctions to Pressure North & South
The UN Security Council has discussed possible sanctions against Sudan and South Sudan, as it seeks to pull the two countries back from the brink of … ( Resource: UN Considers Sanctions Against Both Sudans Washington — The United Nations Security 

22 Soldiers Die in South Sudan-Sudan Battle
By AP Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2012 (JUBA, South Sudan) — South Sudan’s government spokesman says a clash between Sudan and South Sudan troops killed 22 soldiers as combat spread into a new area along the nations’ tense border. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said 

Sudanese forces bomb civilian areas in South Sudan
Human Rights Education Associates (press release)
17 April 2012 – The top United Nations human rights official today condemned Sudan’s indiscriminate bombing raids that resulted in civilian casualties in South Sudan and urged the two countries’ governments to halt the escalating violence along their 

US Department of State Daily Press Briefing – South Sudan, Egypt & Guinea-Bissau
I can say that he is in Juba, as I mentioned yesterday, for meetings with the Government of South Sudan. He did meet with President Kiir yesterday. I think I said they’re looking at ways to deescalate the tension and end the current crisis.

South Sudan says one soldier killed to SAF in Northern Bahr el Ghazal
Sudan Tribune
April 17, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan on Tuesday accused the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) of launching an attack on its army positions in an area called Warguet which is part of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, resulting in the loss of life of one of its 
Kakamega Drama Fete Captures Conflict in Sudan Over Oil Wealth
By Hilton Otenyo, 16 April 2012 The ongoing National Schools drama festivals in Kakamega at the weekend highlighted the conflict between South Sudan and Sudan over oil. A play Ballards of Balcony by Kerugoya Girls’ Secondary School depicted the 

Split in hopes of peace, Sudan and South Sudan find only war

The Seattle Times
Two Sudanese Sukhoi fighters dropped six bombs in the Bentiu area. Houses burn in Bentiu, capital of South Sudan’s oil-rich border state of Unity, on Saturday. A Sudanese plane bombed the city, killing five civilians and wounding six, 

Kenyan President Says Sudan, South Sudan Must Not Go Back To War
NAIROBI, April 18 (NNN-KBC) — Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki has called on the East African Community (EAC) to jointly find ways of diplomatically addressing the unfolding events on the South Sudan-Sudan border because the two nations must not return 

Sudan Army in Fresh Clashes With SPLA and Rebels in Darfur and South Kordofan
Khartoum — The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has repelled an attack by South Sudan’s army today in al-Meram locality in South Kordofan state, a local official said. The al-Meram mayor Colonel Fathi Abdullah Arabi told the government-sponsored Sudanese 

Maria Montessori students raising money to build well in South Sudan
The Rock River Times
(Photo by Joyce Budlong) Students at Maria Montessori School in Rockford are raising money to build a well in South Sudan. Different classrooms and individuals have undertaken different projects that have raised more than $2000.

Sudan’s frontline: Dead bodies, circling Antonovs
Omaha World-Herald
By MICHAEL ONYIEGO « World AP HEGLIG, Sudan (AP) – The road to Heglig, an oil town thatSouth Sudan and Sudan are fighting over, is lined with discarded furniture, destroyed buses and tanks, and clusters of dead Sudanese soldiers. South Sudan’s army Top of the Morning: Angelina Jolie, Diplomat; Sudan and South Sudan Close to 
UN Dispatch
Diplomatic gears are kicking into place as violence is escalating between Sudan and South Sudan. The United States (which holds some sway over South Sudan) is calling for Juba to pull back its troops from a Sudanese oil field.

UN Media Stakeout with Amb. Rice and Amb. Oswaha

Posted: April 18, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in South Sudanese Diaspora

SC President, Susan Rice (USA) on Western Sahara/conflict between Sudan and South Sudan – Security Council Media Stakeout – 17 April 2012
Ambassador Rice: Good afternoon. The Security Council had sessions both on the Western Sahara and on the situation between Sudan and South Sudan, and I’ll brief you on both, starting with Western Sahara.
“……The Council held an informal interactive dialogue on the latest developments on the border between Sudan and South Sudan with former president Thabo Mbeki, the AU High Level Implementation Panel Chair, and UN Special Envoy Haile Menkerios. They described a disturbing situation in which both parties are locked in and I quote, “a logic of war.” Mbeki and Menkerios described the divergent views of the two parties on the current situation. They stress that hardliners are winning the day in both Juba and Khartoum and urged the Security Council to engage with both governments directly to convince them to walk back their positions. Council members expressed grave concern over the situation and committed to make every effort to convince the parties to cease hostilities and return to the negotiating table.
Council members reiterated their demand for a complete, immediate, and unconditional end to all fighting, the withdrawal of the SPLA from Heglig, and an end to Sudanese armed forces aerial bombardments; an end to repeated incidents of cross-border violence and to support, by both sides, to proxies in each other’s country. They also reiterated their demand that Sudan and South Sudan redeploy their security forces immediately from Abyei. Council members discussed ways to leverage the influence of the Council to press the parties to take these steps and included in that a discussion potentially of sanctions.
The Council agreed to continue urgent deliberations on how best to address the situation—happy to take a few questions.
Reporter: Yeah, on Sudan, Ambassador, in the lead up to referendum and afterward towards formal independence there was great fears in the international community there could be a war between the South and Sudan, and it didn’t happen, but it seems like it might be happening now. Could you broadly say why we’ve come to this point now? Why has that peace not held?
Ambassador Rice: Well, with respect to Sudan and South Sudan, I think many of us have seen and been concerned about the potential for a resumption of violence, primarily as we discussed today, because of the many unresolved issues in the comprehensive peace agreement. They have no agreement on oil. They have no agreement on their border. They have no agreement on citizenship. They have no agreement on Abyei, and indeed, these were issues that were meant to be resolved before independence. Also, in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, the popular consultations and the political process which was to incorporate all of the people of those regions into the larger Sudan were abandoned.
And so all of these factors have remained unresolved, and both sides have taken—both prior to July 9th and subsequent to July 9th—actions designed to test and provoke and undermine the other. And they have escalated into the situation that we see today.
Reporter: Thanks a lot. The allegation is that the JEM rebels from Darfur are now fighting with the Sudanese Army in Heglig. There are media accounts of them pulling in and hand-slapping and what not. And so, some people think that this means the goal of this is the overthrow of the Bashir regime, and I just wanted to know, was this discussed in the Council? What does the US think of JEM presence in Heglig or fighting alongside the South Sudan Army.
Ambassador Rice: There was discussion in the context of Mbeki’s briefing about the perception in Khartoum, that the South’s objectives are regime change, and he reported indeed that the North has said, if that is the case and they believe it to be so, their objective is now also regime change. I think frankly, one would hope that this is rhetoric and not the objective or the purported objective of either side. Reality is both sides have over time provided support to proxies in each other’s territory. There is little doubt about that. It has continued in both directions and it needs to end as we have said on a national basis and the Council has said on an international basis.
Thank you.
Amb. Agnes Oswaha, Acting Deputy Permanent Representative (Charge’ de affairs), Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Sudan on the situation in Sudan – Security Council Media Stakeout – 17 April 2012
Juba ready to return to the negotiating table:
·As we heard from the Security Council, they are calling for Sudan and South Sudan to immediately return to the negotiating table.
·It has been our repeated call to Khartoum to return back to the negotiating table.
·The current crisis will be resolved through a negotiated and agreed upon solution.
Current situation on the border:
·The situation is deteriorating – there is indiscriminate bombing along the border
·SAF using MIG 29 jets and Antonovs to bomb Warrap, Unity and Upper Nile states, along with Heglig area, destroying the oil fields.
·We took Heglig out of self-defense and because SAF has been using the area as a military operational base to wage their attacks against the RoSS.
Qu: Rice mentioned SPLA is fighting along-side JEM –and maybe SLA and SPLM-N. Is there a united front? What is the follow-up to the sacking of Machar’s House in Khartoum that was mentioned in the RoSS letter to the UNSC?
·RoSS’s policy is very clear. It is the policy of noninterference into another states affairs. We have no interest to interfere in Sudan’s affairs.
·We responded to SAF out of self-defense. We said it over and over we are not going on the offense, but we will defend our territory.
·As we speak our forces are within our boundaries– the border of 1956.
·Khartoum intelligence or military forces have attacked the house of his Excellency, VP Machar. It was vandalized and people in the house were arrested – we don’t know where they are. It adds to our concern about Southerners in Sudan.
oWe called upon the citizens of South Sudan to be peaceful to the northerners that are residing in RoSS.
oWe’ll uphold our national and international obligation to protect them and we call upon Sudan to do likewise to Southerners in Sudan.
·Sudan has declared that South Sudan is an enemy of the state. To us that is not a surprise; we have been their enemies from day one.
Qu: Mbeki said there appears to be a logic of war on both sides – have hardliners taken over in Juba as they are said to have taken over in Khartoum?
·We are open to negotiations. Khartoum walked out of negotiations. We are still appealing to them to return to the negotiating table.
·All of this is a result of the fact the CPA was not fully implemented. If the border was demarcated we wouldn’t have the squabbling over the border or Heglig.
·Some people argue that we took Heglig to punish Khartoum since they lost ¼ of the oil. However, that was not our intention.
oIn the negotiations, we offered them 2.6 billion as a transitional grant to help with the economic safe landing. We also offered to help with their debts and to appeal to their debtors (WB IMF) to help with the process.
·Our intention is not regime change. We leave that to the citizens of Sudan.
·In South Sudan, we want to focus on development and service delivery – our people have suffered so much. It’s time to ensure we have a democratic government that meets the needs of the citizens.
Qu: Reports that the SPLA shot down a MIG 29 SAF Jet –is it true?
Yes, we shot down one MIG jet that had been hovering over our territory– but there are Antonovs and we will try to protect our citizens
Qu. Have you had discussions with the UN about a new peacekeeping force or expanding UNISFA?
The UN is looking into the situation – but we cannot speak for them.

Transcript and notes provided by Crisis Action

Review finds thousands of papers detailing shameful acts were culled, while others were kept secret illegally

, and

The Guardian, Tuesday 17 April 2012

Hanslope Park, where the Foreign Office kept a secret archive of colonial papers

Hanslope Park, where the Foreign Office kept a secret archive of colonial papers. Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian

Thousands of documents detailing some of the most shameful acts and crimes committed during the final years of the British empire were systematically destroyed to prevent them falling into the hands of post-independence governments, an official review has concluded.

Those papers that survived the purge were flown discreetly to Britain where they were hidden for 50 years in a secret Foreign Office archive, beyond the reach of historians and members of the public, and in breach of legal obligations for them to be transferred into the public domain.

The archive came to light last year when a group of Kenyans detained and allegedly tortured during the Mau Mau rebellion won the right to sue the British government. The Foreign Office promised to release the 8,800 files from 37 former colonies held at the highly-secure government communications centre at Hanslope Park in Buckinghamshire.

The historian appointed to oversee the review and transfer, Tony Badger, master of Clare College, Cambridge, says the discovery of the archive put the Foreign Office in an “embarrassing, scandalous” position. “These documents should have been in the public archives in the 1980s,” he said. “It’s long overdue.” The first of them are made available to the public on Wednesday at the National Archive at Kew, Surrey.

The papers at Hanslope Park include monthly intelligence reports on the “elimination” of the colonial authority’s enemies in 1950s Malaya; records showing ministers in London were aware of the torture and murder of Mau Mau insurgents in Kenya, including a case of aman said to have been “roasted alive”; and papers detailing the lengths to which the UK went to forcibly remove islanders from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

However, among the documents are a handful which show that many of the most sensitive papers from Britain’s late colonial era were not hidden away, but simply destroyed. These papers give the instructions for systematic destruction issued in 1961 after Iain Macleod, secretary of state for the colonies, directed that post-independence governments should not get any material that “might embarrass Her Majesty’s government”, that could “embarrass members of the police, military forces, public servants or others eg police informers”, that might compromise intelligence sources, or that might “be used unethically by ministers in the successor government”.

Among the documents that appear to have been destroyed were: records of the abuse of Mau Mau insurgents detained by British colonial authorities, who were tortured and sometimes murdered; reports that may have detailed the alleged massacre of 24 unarmed villagers in Malaya by soldiers of the Scots Guards in 1948; most of the sensitive documents kept by colonial authorities in Aden, where the army’s Intelligence Corps operated a secret torture centre for several years in the 1960s; and every sensitive document kept by the authorities in British Guiana, a colony whose policies were heavily influenced by successive US governments and whose post-independence leader was toppled in a coup orchestrated by the CIA.

The documents that were not destroyed appear to have been kept secret not only to protect the UK’s reputation, but to shield the government from litigation. If the small group of Mau Mau detainees are successful in their legal action, thousands more veterans are expected to follow.

It is a case that is being closely watched by fFormer Eoka guerillas who were detained by the British in 1950s Cyprus, and possibly by many others who were imprisoned and interrogated between 1946 and 1967, as Britain fought a series of rearguard actions across its rapidly dimishing empire.

The documents show that colonial officials were instructed to separate those papers to be left in place after independence – usually known as “Legacy files” – from those that were to be selected for destruction or removal to the UK. In many colonies, these were described as watch files, and stamped with a red letter W.

The papers at Kew depict a period of mounting anxiety amid fears that some of the incriminating watch files might be leaked. Officials were warned that they would be prosecuted if they took any any paperwork home – and some were. As independence grew closer, large caches of files were removed from colonial ministries to governors’ offices, where new safes were installed.

In Uganda, the process was codenamed Operation Legacy. In Kenya, a vetting process, described as “a thorough purge”, was overseen by colonial Special Branch officers.

Implementation of the purgePhotograph: The National ArchivesClear instructions were issued that no Africans were to be involved: only an individual who was “a servant of the Kenya government who is a British subject of European descent” could participate in the purge.

Colonial paper states that documents should only be seen by British subjectsPhotograph: The National ArchivesPainstaking measures were taken to prevent post-independence governments from learning that the watch files had ever existed. One instruction states: “The legacy files must leave no reference to watch material. Indeed, the very existence of the watch series, though it may be guessed at, should never be revealed.”

When a single watch file was to be removed from a group of legacy files, a “twin file” – or dummy – was to be created to insert in its place. If this was not practicable, the documents were to be removed en masse. There was concern that Macleod’s directions should not be divulged – “there is of course the risk of embarrassment should the circular be compromised” – and officials taking part in the purge were even warned to keep their W stamps in a safe place.

Many of the watch files ended up at Hanslope Park. They came from 37 different former colonies, and filled 200 metres of shelving. But it is becoming clear that much of the most damning material was probably destroyed. Officials in some colonies, such as Kenya, were told that there should be a presumption in favour of disposal of documents rather than removal to the UK – “emphasis is placed upon destruction” – and that no trace of either the documents or their incineration should remain. When documents were burned, “the waste should be reduced to ash and the ashes broken up”.

Some idea of the scale of the operation and the amount of documents that were erased from history can be gleaned from a handful of instruction documents that survived the purge. In certain circumstances, colonial officials in Kenya were informed, “it is permissible, as an alternative to destruction by fire, for documents to be packed in weighted crates and dumped in very deep and current-free water at maximum practicable distance from the coast”.

Order to destroy documents by firePhotograph: The National ArchivesDocuments that survive from Malaya suggest a far more haphazard destruction process, with relatively junior officials being permitted to decide what should be burned and what should be sent to London.

Dr Ed Hampshire, diplomatic and colonial record specialist at the National Archive, said the 1,200 files so far transferred from Hanslope Park represented “gold dust” for historians, with the occasional nugget, rather than a haul that calls for instant reinterpretation of history. However, only one sixth of the secret archive has so far been transferred. The remainder are expected to be at Kew by the end of 2013.

UN told Sudans are locked in ‘logic of war’

Posted: April 18, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Sudan

UN told Sudans are locked in ‘logic of war’
AU mediator Thabo Mbeki warns that hardliners are increasingly in control on both sides and urges action to stop clash.
African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki has urged the United Nations Security Council to take action to stop the fighting between Sudan and South Sudan, warning that both sides are locked in a “logic of war” with hardliners increasingly in control.Security Council members promised to urgently discuss how to address the crisis, including the possibility of sanctions, said US ambassador Susan Rice, the current Security Council president.

Rice briefed reporters on Tuesday about former South African president Mbeki’s closed discussion with the council via videoconference.

Mbeki, along with Haile Menkerios, a special UN representative to Sudan, “described a disturbing situation in which both sides are locked in, and I quote, ‘a logic of war,'” Rice said.

“They stressed that hardliners are winning the day in both Juba and Khartoum and urged the Security Council to engage with both governments directly to convince them to walk back their positions.”

A border conflict between Sudan and South Sudan escalated when the South seized the disputed oil town of Heglig. Sudan has responded with fierce aerial bombardment of the town.

The fighting is the bloodiest since South Sudan broke away from Sudan last July and became the world’s newest nation. The crisis threatens to widen into all-out war.

Rice said Mbeki told the council that Khartoum believed South Sudan is seeking regime change in its northern neighbour “and that if that is the case, then the objective of Khartoum would also be regime change” in the South.

“Frankly, one would hope that that is rhetoric and not the objective or the purported objective of either side,” Rice said.

Demands restated

Rice said Security Council members reiterated their demands that the South’s forces withdraw from Heglig and that the Sudanese armed forces end their bombardment.

She provided no details on the sanctions the council might consider.

The ambassadors of South Sudan and Sudan each described their countries as the victim.

South Sudan’s UN ambassador, Agnes Oswaha, insisted that her country “took Heglig out of self-defence and also because the Sudan army has been using the area as their operation base to wage their attacks on the Republic of South Sudan”.

“We have reiterated our position over and over calling upon Khartoum to return to the negotiation table,” Oswaha told reporters after Mbeki’s briefing. “Our intention is not regime change.”

Sudan’s UN ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, said any sanctions the Security Council discusses should be directed at South Sudan because of its seizure of Heglig.

“We are not an aggressor. We are the victim,” he told The Associated Press, adding that Sudan would return to talks when the government of South Sudan “returns to its senses and accepts a withdrawal”.

The fighting has displaced more than 100,000 people.