Posts Tagged ‘ban ki moon’

UN special envoy says Hague court did not give Heglig to Sudan

Posted: May 28, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary
Tags: , ,

While this revelation from Special Envoy Menkarios only confirm South Sudan official position that the town is a disputed territory and should be settled through negotiation, it still raise more questions than answers. For instant, where has this “UN Special Envoy” been when South Sudan was driven out of Heglig/Paanthou by, among others, the UN Ban-ki Moon, his boss? Why surfacing now when he should have come out in South Sudan time of need? Will he utter the same conviction in Khartoum? etc

Read more here.,42727

PaanLuel Wel.

Sudan and South Sudan Agree to Talks
New York Times
Sudan and South Sudan agreed to restart talks next Tuesday with the aim of ending hostilities, both sides said Thursday. The two armies clashed last month in a disputed oil region near the poorly drawn border, coming closer to all-out war than at any 
Sudan: Ban Welcomes Announcement of Talks Resuming Between Sudan and South Sudan
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the announcement of the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to resume talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, next week, under the auspices of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel.
South Sudan: Murle torture in Jonglei denied by army
BBC News
South Sudan’s army has denied that its soldiers have killed and tortured members of the minority Murle community during a disarmament campaign. “That is not true, that is a lie,” army spokesman Col Philip Aguer told the BBC in response to the 
UN Chief Welcomes Resumption Of Sudan Peace Talks
RTT News
(RTTNews) – UN Secretary-General ban Ki-moon on Thursday welcomed the announcement by the governments of Sudan and South Sudan about their decision to resume peace talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa next week under the auspices of the African 
UN says refugees flocking to South Sudan camp
GENEVA (AP) — The UN refugee agency says it is stepping up operations in South Sudan after the number of people arriving at a camp there has dramatically increased. The Geneva-based agency says an average of 430 people have arrived daily at the Yida 
Eritrean, Sudanese Leaders Hold Talks in Asmara
Earlier this month Sudan and Eritrea agreed to abolish entry visa requirements, opening their common borders for free movement of both nationals. The two sides also discussed the poor state of relations between Sudan and South Sudan, which culminated 
Sudan and South Sudan to resume negotiations
Christian Science Monitor
After weeks of fighting, in which South Sudan took out one of Sudan’s last remaining oil fields, the two countries are returning to the negotiation table, under African Union mediation. By Scott Baldauf, Staff writer / May 25, 2012 After a series of 
Minority teen killed by South Sudan army; military vows to continue 
Washington Post
JUBA, South Sudan — Leaders of a minority community said South Sudan troops shot and killed a teenager on Friday while he was fishing, linking the death to the military’s disarmament campaign in a conflict-torn state. Aid groups and community leaders 
South Sudan: UNHCR Steps Up Aid as Population Tops 35000
Juba, South Sudan — The UN refugee agency is expanding aid operations for refugees in South Sudan’s Yida camp, whose population has swollen to more than 35000 people. People arriving at Yida cite worsening security and humanitarian conditions in the 
‘Football To Fight Against War’: South Sudan Joins FIFA
NPR (blog)
by Eyder Peralta For South Sudan, 2011 was monumental. After decades of war, South Sudanbecame its own nation. But as NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton has told us, that process of emerging from a conflict with its northern neighbor that left it poor and 
Norwegian Tells About His Captivity in Sudan
ABC News
Four foreigners who were arrested by Sudanese authorities and held for three weeks were on a UN mine clearing mission along the disputed border with South Sudan, a relief agency said Friday. The Norwegian, Briton, South African and South Sudanese 
Israeli public opinion turned against South Sudanese migrants (Video)
But it has no ties with Sudan that would allow direct repatriation, and some humanitarian experts say it cannot force subjects of South Sudan and Eritrea back to those impoverished and ravaged states. Eritrea’s ambassador to Israel, Tesfamariam Tekeste 
Sudan, South Sudan to return to talks next week
The Seattle Times
An African Union official says Sudan and South Sudan have agreed to resume talks over issues that brought the two nations to the brink of war: sharing oil wealth and establishing their border. The Associated Press No comments have been posted to this 

Chief negotiator calls for EU involvement in strengthened UN force to end conflict with Sudan.

South Sudan would like the international community to upgrade its military mission to the country and the EU to contribute troops, its chief negotiator said yesterday.

The call, by Pagan Amum, comes against the backdrop of continuing clashes between Sudan and South Sudan, which seceded from the north in July 2011.

Intermittent clashes since January have in the past month turned into substantial military engagement on the ground, with repeated reports of aerial bombardment by Sudan. Already, roughly half of Sudan’s oil-production capacity appears to have been crippled. There have been warnings that the clashes could turn into a full-scale war, evoking memories of Sudan’s decades-long civil war, which ended only in 2005 and led eventually to South Sudan’s independence.

In an interview with European Voice in Brussels, Amum said that South Sudan was prepared to return to negotiations “without preconditions” and fully accepted the roadmap to peace drawn up on Tuesday (24 April) by the international contact group leading peace-making efforts, the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

“We are actually asking to have it strengthened,” he said, with a stronger international force than the UN currently has on the ground. The UN’s secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, said on 21 April that troops from the UN Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) were ready to be deployed to the area of the conflict.

UNISFA , which was established last year, comprised 3,716 troops and 83 military observers as of 31 March, drawn from Russia, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tunisia. Amum said that he would like the EU to contribute personnel.

The EU’s foreign-policy chief, Catherine Ashton, yesterday (26 April) reiterated the EU’s support for the AUHIP roadmap.

Amum discussed two of the thorniest issues in relations between Juba and Khartoum: borders and oil.

He called for international arbitration on settling border disputes, most sensitively in the oil-rich Abyei region, to the west of Heglig.

In March, Juba and Khartoum had reiterated their commitment to discuss oil issues, as part of broader discussions. But Amum said yesterday that South Sudan would not discuss oil, reiterating a statement he made on 23 April that Sudan has made a strategic decision not to pipe oil northward through Sudan in future.

In January, South Sudan turned off the taps to South Sudan – even though it currently has no alternative routes for oil and even though 98% of its official revenues come from oil.

South Sudan cut supplies because, it said, Sudan had siphoned off oil; Sudan said it took the oil as compensation for unpaid transit fees.

Clashes at the border in late March and early April were followed, on 10 April, by South Sudan’s capture of the Heglig oil fields in Sudan on 10 April, a move condemned internationally. On 20 April, a day after a visit by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, South Sudan withdrew – or, South Sudan claims, was forced out. Reports suggest that oil field infrastructure has been so severely damaged that Sudan’s oil-producing capacity (115,000 a day) may have been halved.

Amum said that South Sudan is now developing plans for alternative routes.

Funding for new pipelines – two are being considered – is among the topics that Salva Kiir, South Sudan’s president, is currently raising on a five-day visit to China, which has large economic interests in both South Sudan and Sudan.

Amum’s diplomatic mission to Europe is taking him to Norway and the UK, two of the three members of the international troika of countries most involved in negotiating an end to Sudan’s civil war. (The other member is the US.)

In Brussels, he met the two European commissioners responsible for aid and development, Kristalina Georgieva (international co-operation and humanitarian aid) and Andris Piebalgs (development), and the deputy secretary-general of the European External Action Service, Helga Schmid.

Amum said he would like to see more international engagement in Sudan. Attention has waned, he said, since the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement in 2005, which ended a civil war that began in 1983.

Amum was the official spokesman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army from 1994 onwards.

US Officials Press for Sudan-South Sudan Talks
Voice of America
April 26, 2012 US Officials Press for Sudan-South Sudan Talks Michael Bowman | Capitol Hill The simmering conflict between Sudan and South Sudan has yet to escalate into full-scale war, but it threatens to deepen a humanitarian crisis that is already 
Arab League condemns South Sudan ‘aggression’
Seattle Post Intelligencer
CAIRO (AP) — The Arab League on Thursday condemned South Sudan’s “military aggression” against Heglig, saying the oil-rich border region belongs to Sudan. A statement by Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo also supported what it called Sudan’s 

The Associated Press
By MAGGIE MICHAEL, AP – 1 minute ago CAIRO (AP) — The Arab League on Thursday condemned South Sudan’s “military aggression” against an oil-rich border region claimed by Sudan while also supporting Sudan’s right to defend itself.

In South Sudan border lands oil brings bombs, not blessings
By Hereward Holland | BENTIU, South Sudan (Reuters) – Despite a dozen years of oil extraction inSouth Sudan’s Unity state, the capital Bentiu has little to show for it. Donkeys drag carts bearing oil drums filled with water around the dusty, 
South Sudan wants EU to send troops
European Voice
By Andrew Gardner – Today, 10:12 CET Chief negotiator calls for EU involvement in strengthened UN force to end conflict with Sudan. South Sudan would like the international community to upgrade its military mission to the country and the EU to 
Oxfam: South Sudan refugees face water shortages
San Francisco Chronicle
(04-27) 02:53 PDT NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — An aid agency says tens of thousands of refugees inSouth Sudan’s Jamam camp must be urgently moved to a new site to escape life-threatening water shortages and fatal diseases. Oxfam’s spokesman Alun McDonald 
South Sudan says Sudan-backed militia attacks oil state
Chicago Tribune
JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan, embroiled in border fighting with its northern neighbor Sudan for the past month, said on Friday that Sudanese-backed rebel militia had attacked a town in the South’s oil-producing Upper Nile state, broadening the conflict 
South Sudan’s application to top EA president’s summit
New Vision
By Nicodemus Ikonko in Arusha Heads of States of East African Community (EAC) will converge in Arusha, Tanzania Saturday in an extra-ordinary meeting to consider, among others, a recommendation on the application by the Republic of South Sudanto the 

South Sudan says troops bombed during flashpoint pullout

Posted: April 21, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

S.Sudan says troops bombed during flashpoint pullout

By Hereward Holland

BENTIU, South Sudan, April 21 (Reuters) – South Sudan accused its neighbour Sudan of bombing its troops as they pulled out of the disputed oil region of Heglig on Saturday, dampening already faint hopes of any imminent settlement between the bitter foes.
The newly-independent South seized Heglig last week, raising fears of an all-out war with Sudan, then announced it had started withdrawing on Friday, following sharp criticism from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“The Sudan armed forced bombed our positions last night …and this morning with Antonovs,” South Sudan’s army spokesman Philip Aguer told Reuters.

“Last night we were in full control of Heglig and now we have almost completed our orderly withdrawal,” he added.

There was no immediate response from Sudan’s army which said on Friday it had “liberated” Heglig by force.

Tensions have been rising since South Sudan split away from Sudan as an independent country in July, under the terms of a 2005 deal, taking with it most of the country’s known oil reserves.

The countries are still at loggerheads over the position of their shared border and other disputes have already halted nearly all the oil production that underpins both economies.

In Bentiu, a major town on the South’s side of the border, about two hours’ drive away from Heglig, a long queue of military trucks could be seen. A group of wounded soldiers sat on beds outside a hospital packed with patients.

South Sudan secured its independence in a referendum promised in the 2005 peace accord that ended decades of civil war between Khartoum and the south. Religion, ethnicity and oil fuelled that conflict that killed about 2 million people.

The recent tensions between Sudan and South Sudan have been fuelled by a dispute over how much the landlocked South should pay to export oil via pipelines and other infrastructure in Sudan.

Juba shut down its roughly 350,000 barrel-a-day output in January, accusing Sudan of seizing some of its crude. Oil accounted for about 98 percent of the South’s state revenues.

Limited access to the remote border conflict areas makes it difficult to verify the often contradicting statements from both sides.

(Reporting by Hereward Holland, Alexander Dziadosz and Ulf
Laessing; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Andrew Heavens),0,2107467,full.story

Obama urges Sudan, South Sudan to resolve issues through dialogue
By the CNN Wire Staff (CNN) — US President Barack Obama urged Sudan and South Sudan to resolve their outstanding issues through dialogue and avoid a return to war amid soaring tensions between the neighboring nations. Clashes have escalated between 
South Korea Deploys New Missle in Reposte to North
Town Hall
He also said South Sudan is defending its territory and considers Sudan a friendly nation. 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 
South Sudanese join hunt for LRA leader
Kony is believed to be operating in either the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo or South Sudan. But as Nazanine Moshiri reports from Yambio in South Sudan, people there are also taking matters into their own hands.
South Sudanese leaders act like ‘guerrillas’: envoy
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir addresses people in front of the Sudanese Ministry of Defence. (AAP) The rival Sudans kept up a diplomatic battle over the disputed oil town of Heglig, even asSouth Sudan said it would withdraw its troops.
US President Makes Appeal For Peace to People in South Sudan, Sudan
Voice of America
April 21, 2012 US President Makes Appeal For Peace to People in South Sudan, Sudan VOA News US President Barack Obama made a videotaped message to the people of Sudan and South Sudanthat aired Saturday, saying “conflict is not inevitable,” and their 

Unity State Govenor Denies Coordinating With Sudan Rebels in Heglig
By Bonifacio Taban Kuich, 20 April 2012 Bentiu — The governor of South Sudan’s Unity State, Taban Deng Gai, denied on Friday an allegation from Sudan’s security services that they intercepted him having a phone conversation with Sudanese rebels groups 

South Sudan’s Lakes state offers salary to frontline troops
Sudan Tribune
April 20, 2012 (RUMBEK) – The governor of Lakes state, Chol Tong Mayay, announced to a group of new South Sudan army (SPLA) recruits that he will give his salary for one month and a portion of the salaries of the state’s constitutional post holders, 

Obama urges talks between Sudan, South Sudan to avoid war
Chicago Tribune
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Barack Obama urged the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan on Saturday to stop the fighting between their countries and begin negotiations to settle their disputes, saying there was still a chance to avoid war.

South Sudan says troops bombed during flashpoint pullout
By Hereward Holland BENTIU, South Sudan (Reuters) – South Sudan accused its neighbor Sudan of bombing its troops as they pulled out of the disputed oil region of Heglig on Saturday, dampening already faint hopes of any imminent settlement between the 

Sudan and S. Sudan claim control of oil town
Jamestown Sun
Sudan and South Sudan both claimed to be in control of a contested oil town near the countries’ ill-defined border on Friday after the south said it was withdrawing its troops to avert a return to war. JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Sudan and South Sudan 

Four Togo peacekeepers wounded in Darfur
The attacks occurred on Friday, the same day the head of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Ibrahim Gambari, expressed concern that rebels were exploiting a deadly stand-off between Sudan and South Sudan.

Obama Gives Special Message to Sudan, S. Sudan
The Associated Press
President Barack Obama has told South Sudan and Sudan to stop all millitary actions against each other and resolve their disputes through negotiations to avoid going back to war. (April 21)

U.N. chief says South Sudan infringing on Sudan sovereignty

Published: Thursday, 19 Apr 2012 
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday termed South Sudan’s seizure of a disputed oil field in Sudan an “illegal act” and called on both countries to stop border clashes spiraling into war as the United States warned of a “worrying” escalation in rhetoric.

Clashes along the ill-defined border between the former civil-war foes has led to a standoff over the Heglig oil field after it was seized last week by troops from South Sudan, which declared independence last year.

“I call on South Sudan to immediately withdraw forces from Heglig. This is an infringement on the sovereignty of Sudan and a clearly illegal act,” Ban, the U.N. secretary-general, told reporters.

“I also call on the government of Sudan to immediately stop shelling and bombing South Sudanese territory and withdraw its forces from disputed territories,” he said. “I have impressed on both governments the necessity of ending the fighting and returning to negotiations. They have yet to heed our call.”

Mounting violence since Sudan split into two countries last year has raised the prospect of two sovereign African states waging war against each other openly for the first time since Ethiopia fought newly independent Eritrea in 1998-2000.

Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir all but declared war against his neighbor on Thursday, vowing to teach South Sudan a “final lesson by force” after it occupied Heglig, while Juba accused Bashir of planning “genocide.

“The escalation of rhetoric on both sides is indeed worrying and it’s only fanning the flames,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, the president of the U.N. Security Council for April, told reporters.

“The effort ought to be made to reduce the flames, douse them, and return to the table to resolve the outstanding issues that have made relations between north and south so difficult in the wake of independence,” she said.

On Tuesday, the 15-nation U.N. Security Council discussed the possibility of imposing sanctions on Sudan and South Sudan if the fighting does not stop.

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.

Both are poor countries – South Sudan is one of the poorest in the world – and the dispute between them has already halted nearly all the oil production that underpins both economies.

South Sudan has accused Sudan of launching air strikes on some of its major oilfields. Sudan has denied launching air strikes but said its ground forces had attacked southern artillery positions that had fired on the north.

South Sudan has said it would only withdraw from the Heglig oil field if the United Nations deploys a neutral force there.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July, six months after a referendum agreed under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war that killed more than 2 million people.

(Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Vicki Allen and David Brunnstrom)

U.S. struggles to head off wider Sudan conflict
Published: Thursday, 19 Apr 2012

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is working to push Sudan and South Sudan back from the brink of war as the two sides ratchet up hostilities that threaten to upend the U.S.-backed peace deal that led to South Sudan’s independence last year.

The Obama administration’s special envoy for Sudan, Princeton Lyman, said on Thursday the situation was a “very serious crisis” that threatened wider conflict between the two foes, which fought a brutal civil war for decades before finally signing a 2005 peace agreement.

But analysts said Washington, which worked hard to ensure that South Sudan seceded peacefully last year under the terms of the 2005 pact, found itself with very limited leverage.

“This is a level of hostility we haven’t seen for years,” said Jonathan Temin, director of the Sudan program at the U.S. Institute of Peace, a government-funded Washington think tank. “For the U.S., good options are limited right now.”

Lyman, speaking by telephone from Khartoum during a trip which also took him to the South’s capital, Juba, said the Obama administration was working to nudge both sides back into discussions of their basic security concerns while attempting to cool down the heated rhetoric.

“It’s not going to be easy. Emotions are running very, very high,” Lyman said. “It is important that we get the parties and our international colleagues together around this fundamental question of security.”

Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, vowed on Thursday to teach South Sudan “a final lesson by force” after it occupied a disputed oil field.

The South says the Heglig field, which accounts for about half of the North’s remaining oil production, is in its territory. But Khartoum called the seizure an assault on its sovereignty. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called the takeover “a clearly illegal act.”

The standoff over Heglig follows months of disputes over the position of the 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 in January shut down its oil production of 350,000 barrels per day in protest after Khartoum began taking some of its oil, exacerbating economic crises that have hobbled both countries. Khartoum says it took the oil as compensation for the use of its transportation facilities.

Lyman said he urged South Sudan to pull out of Heglig, and believed the South Sudanese leaders were caught by surprise by the strong international condemnation of the move.


Lyman said the United States, together with the African Union and the Arab League, would push for dialogue on three central security points: the establishment of a 20-km (12-mile) demilitarized border zone, the end of support for proxy fighters and a halt to rebel fighting in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

“That pulls together three critical security issues, which are really what’s underneath these series of clashes that’s been going on since last June,” Lyman said.

The United States also hopes that China – a major economic partner for both of the poor African neighbors – would bring its influence to bear when South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, visits Beijing next week, Lyman said.

It remained unclear whether anyone in Khartoum or Juba was ready to listen.

While Washington’s ties to Khartoum have long been strained, it has also made surprisingly little headway with Juba despite the U.S. role as a major aid provider and guarantor of the 2005 peace deal.

“They really need to be laying down the law to the government in Juba now,” said Richard Downie, deputy director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“The U.S. has to be pulling out all the stops and get the South to withdraw from Heglig,” Downie said. “Right now we’re beyond a worse-case scenario. You’ve got a war combined with an economic crisis combined with an oil shutdown, which is about as bad as you can get.”

The U.N. Security Council has discussed the possibility of imposing sanctions on both Sudan and South Sudan if the fighting does not stop – a potentially disastrous prospect for countries already on the verge of economic meltdown.

“Just the fact that people are mentioning (sanctions) I hope sends the signal to both parties: this is very serious business, it effects international peace and security and the parties must work with all of us to get it under control,” Lyman said.

(Editing by Peter Cooney)

Chicago Bulls Star and South Sudan Native Luol Deng Joins Illinois Elected 

MarketWatch (press release)
WHO: Chicago Bulls Star and South Sudan Native Luol Deng, Illinois elected officials including State Senator Heather Steans, State Representative Kelly Cassidy, Alderman Joe Moore, members of Illinois’ Ethiopian and Sudanese communities, civic leaders 
South Sudan joins World Bank and IMF
Daily Nation
This IMF photo shows South Sudan’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Kosti Manibe Ngai (L) as he signs the treaty to become IMF’s newest member as US State Department Treaty Analyst/Depositary Officer Francis Holleran (R) looks on at the State 
UN chief says South Sudan infringing on Sudan sovereignty
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday termed South Sudan’s seizure of a disputed oil field in Sudan an “illegal act” and called on both countries to stop border clashes spiraling into war as the United States warned of a 
Bashir says Sudan to teach South “final lesson by force”
KHARTOUM/JUBA (Reuters) – Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir all but declared war against his newly independent neighbor on Thursday, vowing to teach South Sudan a “final lesson by force” after it occupied a disputed oil field.
Sudan Declares War on South Sudan
The Mark
Months of strained relations and border skirmishes have led Sudan to declare war on South Sudan, a country that gained independence just last July. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir told a rally of supporters yesterday that he intends to “liberate the 
Nakumatt: From mattress shop to African chain
He said Burundi and South Sudan were the next targets and space had already been identified in both. “It is a 12-18 months project to get what we want,” Shah said at the Reuters office in Nairobi. The stores would cost between 2 and 3 million euros.
Sudan declares war on South Sudan: Will this draw in East Africa, and China 
Christian Science Monitor
After South Sudan seizes Heglig oil fields, which both countries claim, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir declares war. How can international community prevent a regional conflict? By Scott Baldauf, Staff writer / April 19, 2012 Sudanese President Omar 

Deadly Kala Azar Disease Stalks South Sudan
Voice of America
April 19, 2012 Deadly Kala Azar Disease Stalks South Sudan Hannah McNeish | Juba, South Sudan In newly independent South Sudan, deadly Kala Azar disease is still raging in some of the most remote areas lacking basic health services.

Sudan launches 4 attacks on South Sudan
Deseret News
AP South Sudanese Minister of Information Barnaba Benjamin Marial, right, and Military Spokesman Philip Aguer brief the media on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 in Juba,south Sudan about recent fighting between Sudanese and South Sudanese forces along the 
Sudan and South Sudan do not need another war, Ban stresses
UN News Centre
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged Sudan and South Sudan to end their hostilities, stressing that they must avoid a return to conflict, which has already cost them millions of lives over two decades. “The last thing the people of these two 

Negotiating With Monsters
Huffington Post
After a trip to Sudan and South Sudan, Clooney delivered impassioned testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His firsthand account included a powerful video, where the suffering of the Nuban people was highlighted with graphic, 

SYS-CON Media (press release)
Come to New York and get yourself up to date with the Big Data revolution! As advanced data storage, access and analytics technologies aimed at handling high-volume and/or fast moving data all move center stage, aided by the Cloud Computing boom, 

Sudan-South Sudan Conflict: Sudan Launches Border Attacks, Says Official
Huffington Post
By MICHAEL ONYIEGO 04/19/12 04:01 PM ET 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) JUBA, South Sudan — The Arab League said Thursday it would

Karunanidhi for Eelam, a la Kosovo, South Sudan
The Hindu
DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Thursday sought to make a case for the formation of a separate ‘Tamil Eelam’ drawing parallels with Kosovo, South Sudan, East Timor and Montenegro, all nations that have come into being in recent years following the 

US struggles to head off wider Sudan conflict
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is working to push Sudan and South Sudan back from the brink of war as the two sides ratchet up hostilities that threaten to upend the US-backed peace deal that led to South Sudan’s independence last year.

South Sudanese Communities in the Diaspora’s Petition LETTER to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, over Aliiny/Paanthou/Heglig crisis between South Sudan and Sudan. 

TO: UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon
CC: UNSC, EU, AU, IGADD, US Department of State, White House, US Congress.

April 17, 2012

The South Sudanese communities in the Diaspora, united through a joint initiative known as the South Sudan Volunteer Initiative (SSVI), are deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis between South Sudan and [North] Sudan, instigated by a year-long bombardment of South Sudan’s territories by Sudan’s armed forces (SAF). The US-based community in particular, in conjunction with the global SSVI, is calling on the international community, particularly the US government and congress, to immediately stop the ongoing carnage being committed by Sudan, and facilitate an immediate return to the negotiation table in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in order to tackle the outstanding issues, which are the root cause of the ongoing crisis.

While the Sudan government’s activities, particularly its continuous attacks on South Sudan since its independence in July of last year, and its defiance of the international community’s plea to respect human rights, implement the remaining provisions of the CPA, withdraw from Abyei, and stop aerial bombardment of innocent civilians deep inside South Sudan’s territory, are not startling to us – for we are used to them (that is the reason we are here), we find it shocking to see the level in which it has been able to easily deceives the international community on the current crisis. The fraudulent account of Panthou (Heglig) – also known locally as Wunthow, Aliiny – among others names, gained an unprecedented acceptance among some international circles, essentially raising major concerns about the global community’s attention span. The Sudan government has never been honest in its dealing with anyone, leave alone the international community, and for the international community to take its words for anything, much less at face value, is synonymous to allowing a child molester keeps your children under the pretext that he tells you he has recovered.
Although we categorically oppose military solution to our problems, and support the calls of the UN Security Council, the African Union, and the UN Secretary-General, amongst others, for an immediate end to all confrontations, we urge the international community to refrain from making premature statements about Panthou’s status until the demarcation of the South-North border, which Sudan has been avoiding with the false hope that it will demarcate it using its military. Making these kinds of statements will be nothing short of a permission slip for the Sudan government to do as it pleases, which is already the case anyway. We also want to note that the Sudan government’s conviction of demarcating the borders by force is not hard to believe since it has successfully moved the border southward, resulting in the annexation of Panthou (Heglig) – which, as per the 1/1/1956 border, is part of South Sudan’s Unity state, and other areas where oil was discovered. One doesn’t have to be smart to see the pattern, and thus the reason of the continuous attack; an apparent attempt to annex South Sudan’s oil producing state of Unity, to the North. This goes without saying that the rude awakening SAF received from the SPLA came as a result of continuous provocations, which deserve enumeration, however brief, here for the benefit of our readers.

On Saturday April 14, 2012, at 1:30 PM local time, a SAF MiG 29 plane bombed Bentiu town in South Sudan’s Unity State, killing 5 civilians, and wounding 6 others. The aerial attack set ablaze the main Bentiu market, leaving the locals running for their dear lives. On the same day, SAF also released three bombs on Bentiu Bridge, with the intention to destroy the corridor between Bentiu and Rubkotna. More SAF bombs were dropped on Panakuach – also in unity state, wounding 5 civilians. Two bombs were also dropped on Abiemnhom in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State on the same today. As if this wasn’t enough and despite the UN Security Council’s statement on April 12, two days earlier, calling for an immediate stoppage of the aerial bombardments, SAF Antonov plane dropped two bombs a day later on Ajakkuach in Warrap State of South Sudan while also conducting aerial bombardments of Majoknhom, also in Warrap State. This was in a very short order and does not include the previous air raids. There have been total of 60 bombs dropped inside South Sudan territory thus far!

From the above campaign, it is easy to see that South Sudan has been and continues to be the victim of Sudan’s sustained aggression. We also want to remind our readers that South Sudan has been a faithful partner at the negotiation table despites lackluster effort by the Sudanese delegation to accept any recommendation from the African Union’s High Implementation Panel (AUHIP). For instance, before talks broke down an April 4, 2012, the delegation of the Republic of South Sudan accepted the February 10, 2012 memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Non-aggression pact, the June 29 and July 30, 2012 agreements to create a safe Demilitarized Border Zones. However, the Sudan delegation rejected these proposals, again counting on its perceived military might over South Sudan. On March 30, 2012, AUHIP leader, Thabo Mbeki called a Second Extraordinary meeting of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) at the level of the two respective defense ministers, but the Sudanese defense minister arrived in Addis Ababa three days late.

Many international experts and South Sudanese alike expected this behavior from the Sudanese delegation because its refusal to either sign peace pacts or dishonored the ones it signed has been consistent over a long period of time. Eric Reeves, A renowned Sudanese expert from Smith College, put it eloquently when he said “Khartoum has consistently refused to negotiate these areas of the border either within the Technical Boundary Committee (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 (ABC) stipulated by the Abyei Protocol of the CPA, or to accept the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (July 2009)”.

To further illustrates South Sudan’s desire for peaceful coexistence between the two neighboring states, South Sudan leadership has been consistent in making it clear that it will only fight in self-defense. Despites the aerial bombardments listed above, South Sudan’s armed forces – the SPLA has never responded in kind; that is attacking SAF position inside Sudan. Since the talks broke down in Addis Ababa in early April, as a result of Sudanese delegation’s refusal to sign deals, Sudan’s true motive, that is the invasion of unity state continued. The SPLA positions inside South Sudan continued to come under heavy attack from SAF in and around Panthou (Heglig). On March 26, 2012, SPLA repulsed an SAF attack and pursued them past Panthou (Heglig), resulting in temporary takeover of the town. They withdrew two days later to give the AU mediators a chance to find a solution. The last straw was on April 10, 2012 when another heavy attack was repulsed, and the SPLA decided to take over the town to deter further attacks from there, a move that is now receiving unwarranted criticism, because Khartoum seems to have duped the global community.

It has now becomes clear that South Sudan’s reluctant and patience in pressing the issue of Panthou (Heglig) is misconstrued by many, particularly the international community, as an indication that this Southern town belongs to the North. It is not. It appears that the current source of misunderstanding with regard to the status of the Panthou area stems from the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) award of July 2009, defining the boundaries of the Abyei Area, and placing Panthou outside of the Abyei Area. This has been misunderstood, however, to mean that Panthou is not part of South Sudan. Nevertheless, the PCA did not rule on the border between north and south Sudan – it ruled only on the boundaries of the Abyei Area! South Sudan accepted that ruling, and continues to accept the PCA ruling as it applies to the Abyei Area.

However, both Sudan and South Sudan maintain that the North-South border is not yet fully agreed upon, but South Sudan knows that Panthou lies within its territory. For this reason, South Sudan has always contended that Panthou is one of the disputed areas (since the North also claims it), along with other areas such as Kafia Kingi, Hufar Nihas, and Maganis. It is South Sudan’s position that the 1/1/1956 border, which has been stipulated under the terms of the CPA, is and should be the basis for the North-South border, which in fact lies well to the north of Panthou. It is an open secret that the former Federal Affairs minister, Nafie Ali Nafie signed a document on June 14, 2004 informing the governor of Unity state that Heglig region did not belong to Unity State in the South but rather to Western Kordofan state in the North. This leads to the current bogus claim that this region belongs to the North.
Despites the current deadlock, South Sudan is committed to peace, and continues to call for immediate resumptions of talks. This is best illustrated by South Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardit’s statement that South Sudan has no intention to remain in Heglig. It is prepared to “withdraw its forces from Heglig, as long as an internationally – monitored mechanism is put in place to guarantee that the area cannot be used to launch further attacks against South Sudan and the United Nations commits to deploy neutral forces to Heglig until the parties reach a final settlement of the disputed area.” This does not get any simpler, and we cannot say it any better.

Finally, we want to reiterate that we are for peace and will work for it, but we want to also caution the international community to carefully look at the facts presented herein and consider our call for an immediate third party involvement in resolving Panthou conflict. This cannot happen unless Sudan is pressure to coming to the negotiation table and accepting the AUHIP recommendations for a positive way forward. Furthermore, we will be remiss if we did not remind the international community of the gross human rights violations that are currently taking place in Sudan and two areas of Nuba Mountain and Southern Kordofan. While everyone knows that the Sudan government has been doing these things in the past with no particular reason, it now has a reason and one cannot imagine the magnitude of the atrocities.

Examples of these mass killings and violations are plenty, and we only know a small number of them. Just yesterday, the Khartoum residence of South Sudan’s Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, was not only raided, but all properties were looted and 7 relatives of the VP were rounded up and taken to an unknown location. A UN camp was also bombed by the SAF and South Sudanese camp of displace persons (IDPs) in Darfur was burned to ashes. If no action is taken sooner, we are afraid it will be too late to do anything when we all find out the realities. We must act now.

SSVI OPSTAT16Apmt2012a.pdf SSVI OPSTAT16Apmt2012a.pdf
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South Sudan Volunteer Initiative (SSVI)– a worldwide initiative from concerned South Sudanese in the Diaspora and back home in RSS.

For more information, contact our SSVI Envoys and Representatives:
SUZANNE JAMBO (Chair of Advisory Group)
For further assistance, contact Abu Deng, SSVI Principal –

13th April 2012


The office of Secretary General 
United Nations Headquarters 
New York

Special Representative of Secretary General (SRSG)
South Sudan – Juba

Dear Sirs;

Re: The Current UN’s Position on War Escalation

We here under represent all civil societies and would like to outline the following concerns:

First: We quoted The President Salva Kiir’s speech delivered on 12th April 2012, to the joint sitting of (SSLA & SSSC), reiterating that UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon ordered him for (immediate withdrawal of South Sudan troops from Higlig). As a result we condemn strong words of interfering with South Sudan’s defense and control of its territorial boundaries.

Second: We strongly support our President Kiir’s order for the SPLA Forces not to withdraw from Pan- Thou known by others as (Higlig), because it is apart and parcel of the Republic of South Sudan.

Third: To be on records the area of Pan – Thou (Higlig) was annexed to Western Kordufan State in 2004 by Dr. Nafi Ali Nafi who was a minister for Local Government before the signing of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Fourth: We urge the UN Security Council, AU, USA, EU all friends and peace loving to intervene in order for the Sudanese Government to stop Sudanese Army Forces’ (SAF) unfounded aerial bombardment on South Sudan’s borders and towns, it must be dealt and should stop.

Fifth: We urge immediate withdrawal of SAF from all areas; Abyei, Hofra El Nehas, Kafia Kengi parts of Greater Bahr Al Ghazal, Magainis in Upper Nile as stipulated in the CPA (borders of 1956).

Seventh: Re-demarcation of boundaries between the South and the North according to AU High Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

Eighth: We strongly condemn Ban Ki Moon’s bias statement accusing SPLA of occupying Pan – Thou as if it belongs to the Republic of Sudan.
Ninth: we urge UN Secretary General Ban Moon to apologize to the people and citizens of the Republic of South Sudan for undermining our sovereignty by ordering “immediate withdrawal” of our gallant forces (SPLA) from Pan – Thou (Higlig).

Finally, we still have confidence in the UN’s charter and leadership that they can deliver fair solutions to resolve outstanding issues between the two states.

Signed by:

1. Nile Cultural Centre ………………………………………………

2. South Sudan Businessmen and Women ……………………….

3. South Sudan Workers Trade Union ……………………………

4. South Sudan Women Union ……………………………………

5. Juba University Students Union ………………………………..

6. South Sudan Lawyers Union ……………………………………

7. South Sudan Youth ……………………………………………..

8. South Sudan Universities Associations …………………………

9. South Sudan Peace Forum ………………………………………

10. South Sudan Youth for National Mobilization ………………….

– AU & IGAD – Juba
– The President Office
– Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Affair – Juba

Agence France Presse
Bashir after a meeting with Amum.
Bashir after a meeting with Amum.

KHARTOUM: South Sudan Thursday formally invited its “brother,” Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, to a summit in April aimed at resolving outstanding issues which have pushed them to the brink of war.

“We delivered the message to President Bashir and he welcomed it. He expressed his readiness to visit Juba,” the South’s top negotiator, Pagan Amum, said in a statement to reporters at the Cabinet offices in Sudan’s capital.

Amum, who arrived with a delegation of ministers, said the South’s leader Salva Kiir had invited his “brother president” to the April 3 summit “with the aim of solving the pending issues between the two states.”

It would be Bashir’s first visit to the South since it separated in July last year following an overwhelming vote at the end of Africa’s longest war.

After months of failed negotiations, a dispute over oil fees, and mutual accusations of backing rebels on each other’s territory, Amum last week said relations had turned positive after the latest African Union-led talks in Ethiopia.

At those meetings the two sides reached agreements on safeguarding the status of each other’s citizens and demarcating the oil-rich border.

When South Sudan gained its independence it took about three-quarters of Sudanese oil production but it has no facilities of its own to export the crude.

At the heart of their dispute has been disagreement over how much Juba should pay to use the northern pipeline and port.

The new nation shut crude production in late January after accusing Sudan of “stealing” its oil.

But Amum said last week that Sudan has agreed to pay back oil it had taken, while South Sudan would hand over months of unpaid transit fees, although further negotiations were still needed.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had warned the crisis between Sudan and South Sudan was a major threat to regional peace and security.

Tensions peaked in late February and early March when Khartoum threatened retaliation after accusing the South of backing a rebel attack in the disputed border area of Jau.

Airstrikes followed on an oil field in the South’s Unity State, an attack Juba blamed on Khartoum’s forces.

“They really came to the brink of war … but they realized that the international community would not support them,” an analyst who asked not to be named told AFP.

Some friction, however, remains.

On the eve of the South Sudanese visit, Mohammad Atta, the head of Sudan’s intelligence service, alleged rebels supported by South Sudan attacked the oil center of Heglig in South Kordofan state. He was quoted by the Sudan Media Center, which is close to the security apparatus.

“I think it’s propaganda,” responded Arnu Ngutulu Lodi, of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North. “Nobody told me we have an operation going on.”

The U.N.’s Ban welcomed the planned summit and said the agreements on borders and citizenship were “an important step forward and an encouraging manifestation of both parties’ spirit of cooperation and partnership.”

Read more:
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

Khartoum and Juba strike new tone on post-independence negotiations

March 23, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The top negotiators from north and south Sudan on Friday spoke of a new spirit in the discussions on post-independence issues that have dragged on for years.

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Pagan Amum (left), chief negotiator from South Sudan, lead mediator for the African Union, Piere Buyoya (centre) and Sudan’s head negotiator Idriss Abdel-Gader, attend the end of African Union-led talks between Sudan and South Sudan in Addis Ababa on March 13, 2012 (AFP)

The Secretary General of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) Pagan Amum at a radio forum in Khartoum said that the upcoming summit between president Omer Hassan al-Bashir and his southern counterpart Salva Kiir was a joint initiative made by the negotiating teams.

Amum, who is the chief negotiator for South Sudan, said this move aimed to at changing the direction of talks and move the two countries into a new phase that steers the two sides away from mistrust and creates confidence that would allow for changing mentality from “confrontation and clash” to partnership.

The SPLM SG said last week’s framework agreements signed on nationality and borders was a “turning point” that was a result of adjusting stances instead of staying entrenched in prefixed positions. He went on to say that the two delegations started working as one team by recognizing that the disputed items are joint ones.

Sudan’s lead negotiator Idriss Abdel-Gader that the two sides began the process of mending ties in their meeting yesterday and agreed that the media should refrain from reporting sensational stories on the negotiations.

Abdel-Gader also revealed that there will be joint committees to discuss trade after first ensuring the improvement of security situation on the borders. He added that the interior ministers from the two countries will review the status of citizens on the other side of the borders.

Today Amum met with senior security officials in Sudan including minister of interior Ibrahim Hamed, Defense minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein and intelligence director Mohamed Atta in Khartoum to lay the groundwork for the discussions by the interior ministries’ joint committee.

Amum was joined by South Sudan cabinet affairs minister Deng Alor and justice minister John Luke.

The communiqué of the meeting said the discussions were frank and candid with a genuine desire to reach comprehensive solutions.

The SPLM SG, who arrived on Thursday handed an invitation from Kiir to Bashir to an April 3rd summit “with the aim of solving the pending issues between the two states”.

It would be Bashir’s first visit to the south since it separated last year following a referendum.

After months of failed negotiations, a dispute over oil fees and mutual accusations of backing rebels on each other’s territory it is hoped that last week’s accords would create a positive atmosphere going forward.

When South Sudan gained its independence it took about three-quarters of Sudanese oil production with it, but it has no facilities to export the crude.

At the heart of their dispute has been disagreement over how much Juba should pay to use the northern pipeline and port.


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By Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali Khartoum – South Sudan on Thursday invited its “brother”, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, to an April summit to resolve outstanding issues that have pushed the two countries to the brink of war. “We delivered the message 

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Benjamin, 29, had left what is now South Sudan as a child, brought up by various relatives in different countries, cut off from his parents by the long, destructive independence war. Coming home, Benjamin did not expect things to be easy.

Map of Sudan and South Sudan

Photo: VOA
Map of Sudan and South Sudan
South Sudan: Khartoum Violates Non-Aggression Pact

Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

South Sudan is accusing neighboring Sudan of bombing southern targets, days after the two sides signed a non-aggression deal. The allegation threatens already troubled talks on sharing oil revenues.

South Sudan’s chief negotiator at the African Union-mediated talks, Pagan Amum, said Sudanese jets bombed an area in the south’s Unity state, not far from the two countries’ disputed border. He gave few details, saying word of the attack had just been received.

The bombing, if confirmed, would be the first violation of a non-aggression agreement signed Friday at the beginning of a round of talks on oil and other contentious issues. Amum accused Khartoum of continuing its attempts to destabilize the border.

“That is a bad sign that the government of Sudan is not serious to non-aggression, but we expressed our hope the government of Sudan would now end its attacks on South Sudan, particularly areas of bombardment,” said Amum.

Speaking to reporters, Amum said the south is continuing to take a tough line on the main issue in the six days of talks – sharing oil revenues. He said any decision to reopen the pipeline that carries southern oil to international markets would only come after Khartoum pays for oil it took from the pipeline while the payments dispute raged last month.

“There is no way for us to resume unless the government of Sudan pays the south the market value of all the oil they have stolen, which is in excess of $500 million. We cannot export our oil if it is not secure and safe, if the government of Sudan are practicing state piracy. It would be dangerous for us to send even one barrel, not millions,” said Amum.

South Sudan took the bulk of Sudanese oil when it became independent last year, but the oil must pass through the north to reach Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

Khartoum’s negotiators did not speak to reporters as they left the African Union headquarters, where the two sides briefed the AU Peace and Security Council.

The talks, mediated by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, are expected to carry on through at least Wednesday, but diplomats close to the negotiations say they may be extended if there is any sign of a deal that might open the oil pipeline.

Experts say the pipeline shutdown is costing both countries hundreds of millions of dollars a month in lost revenues.

Sudanese air strike hits S Sudan, breaking pact: army

(AFP) –   

JUBA — Sudanese warplanes dropped several bombs wounding four soldiers in a contested area claimed by South Sudan, breaking a fresh non-aggression pact between the two sides, Juba’s army spokesman said Tuesday.

“Sudanese Armed Forces airplanes bombed the Jau area in Unity state on Sunday, wounding four of our soldiers,” South Sudanese army spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP.

South Sudan — which declared independence from former civil war enemies in north Sudan in July — has accused Khartoum of carrying out several bombing raids in frontier regions of its territory, claims denied by the northern army.

The bombings took place in oil-rich areas along the disputed border with the rump state of Sudan, which both sides claim as theirs. The Jau area has seen several bombings in recent months as well as fighting between the two sides.

“There were several bombs launched from Antonov aircraft,” Aguer said.

The region borders Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state where rebels — once part of the ex-guerrilla turned official South Sudanese army — are battling the Khartoum government forces.

Sudan and South Sudan signed a non-aggression pact late Friday over the disputed border in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, a move praised by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

However, Aguer said the latest bombings showed the deal had not been taken seriously by Khartoum.

“Nothing has changed, it is business as usual for them,” Aguer said.

Gideon Gatpan, minister of information for Unity state, confirmed there had been “several bombings” on Sunday in the Jau area.

According to the pact, the two sides agreed to “respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and to “refrain from launching any attack, including bombardment.”

Border tensions have mounted since South Sudan split from Sudan in July, becoming the world’s newest nation.

South Sudan took three quarters of Sudan’s oil when it gained independence, but all pipeline and export facilities are controlled by the north.

Last month, the South halted oil production — accounting for 98 percent of government revenue — after Juba accused Khartoum of stealing $815 million worth of crude oil.

The latest round of talks between Khartoum and Juba continue in Addis Ababa to resolve the furious oil crisis.

The UN chief last week warned that tensions between the two nations could escalate if outstanding issues are not resolved.

However, the South has demanded that a deal includes settlement on the undemarcated border, parts of which cut through oil fields, as well on Abyei, a Lebanon-sized region claimed by both sides but occupied by northern troops.

At least 105,000 Sudanese refugees have fled into South Sudan since fighting erupted in the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile last year, after Khartoum moved to assert its authority in the wake of southern secession.

The refugees are adding to the woes of the grossly impoverished South, which is reeling from internal crises including a wave of bloody ethnic violence, rebel attacks and severe food shortages.

In addition, Juba is struggling to support over 364,000 people who have returned to their homeland since October 2010 from the north, where they fled during the war.

An estimated 700,000 ethnic southerners remain in north Sudan, where aid officials are increasingly concerned for their future, with an April 8 deadline approaching for them to either register or leave Sudan.

South Sudan Accuses Sudan of Air Attack

Posted Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 

South Sudan has accused Sudan of carrying out airstrikes on a disputed border town, just two days after the neighboring countries signed a non-aggression pact.

Authorities in South Sudan say Russian-made Antonov jets dropped several bombs on the town of Jau on Sunday, wounding at least four people.

South Sudan claims Jau is located inside its Unity state, while Sudan puts the town inside its own state of Southern Kordofan.

Disputes over borders and oil have raised tension between the two Sudans, and leaders on both sides have suggested the countries could go to war.

On Friday, an African Union mediation team persuaded the two Sudans to sign a non-aggression pact. The countries have accused each other of supporting the other’s rebels, and the south says the north has bombed its territory on several occasions.

The AU is hosting talks in Addis Ababa aimed at settling the dispute over oil revenues, the biggest source of income for both countries.

South Sudan took 75 percent of Sudan’s oil when it declared independence in July. But the landlocked south must rely on pipelines that run north to an export facility at Port Sudan.

The two sides are embroiled in a battle over how much money South Sudan should pay to use the pipelines and Sudan’s export facilities.

The dispute prompted Khartoum to seize South Sudan’s oil at Port Sudan. South Sudan responded by shutting down all oil production.

South Sudan Oil Dispute Raises Specter of War

Gabe Joselow | Juba, South Sudan

South Sudan and Sudan have been engaged in a war of words since the south stopped pumping oil to the north in a dispute about pricing. Both sides have warned that a return to violence is a possibility.South Sudan is retooling its armed forces – working to strengthen the former rebel Southern People’s Liberation Army into a more formal military.

Soldiers here at the Bilpam military base in Juba could be called into battle sooner than expected, if a bitter oil dispute with Sudan turns from a war of words into action.

The south shut off oil flows to the north, claiming Sudan has stolen millions of dollars worth of crude. Khartoum says it confiscated the oil to compensate for unpaid transit fees.

South Sudanese Deputy Defense Minister Major Majak D’Agoot said such actions represent a serious threat to the new nation.

“I don’t want to pinpoint it to any particular source, but anything that tends to threaten our core interests as a nation of course will have to be responded to,” said D’Agoot.

Although Major D’Agoot did not specifically say Sudan was the primary threat to South Sudan, outside his office a statue of former SPLA General John Garang points firmly toward the north.

Amanda Hsiao of the Enough Project says the oil shutdown also could provoke Sudan to take action.

“With the South saying that, one: they’re willing to break of relations completely with the North; two: that they will seek alternative pipelines so that their oil doesn’t have to flow to the north, Khartoum is left with very little options in terms of dealing with its economic situation. Remember it’s a regime that has few friends in the international community,” said Hsiao.

South Sudan declared independence from the North last July, following decades of civil war that killed more than one million people.

Sporadic fighting has continued. In the past year, Sudan has bombed areas near the border where it suspects Southern-backed militias to be active, including an attack on Abyei in May of last year that displaced up to 100,000 people.

The leaders of both nations have said a return to war is a possibility.

On the streets of Juba, a rapidly developing capital, businessmen are nervous about the prospect of violence.

Michael Toma sells automotive supplies at the Jebel market.

“In my own opinion, I for one think war – I don’t want to rule out war because war is inevitable. However, I’d like to ask the two authorities to work together and come into dialogue so we can reach a harmonious conclusion that’s going to benefit either country,” said Toma.

Others, like Simon Gatdier Yieh, say if Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir wants war, he will get it.

“If the Bashir came with the peace then our president will talk to the Bashir in a peaceful manner. If the Bashir wants to fight with the people of South Sudan we are ready, even now we are ready,” said Yieh.

Both countries are dependent on South Sudanese oil and, as a prolonged shutdown continues to drain their two economies, tensions are bound to increase.

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Sudanese air strike hits South Sudan, breaking pact
JUBA, South Sudan — Sudanese warplanes dropped several bombs wounding four soldiers in a contested area claimed by South Sudan, two days after agreeing to a non-aggression pact, Juba’s military spokesman said Tuesday. “Sudanese Armed Forces airplanes 

                                                                                   Photo: Hannah McNeish/IRIN
                                                                                    The UN estimates 140,000 people need help

Prosecute Those Responsible, Seek International Investigation

FEBRUARY 10, 2012
This goes far beyond traditional cattle-rustling. The conflict is far more vicious, involving the deliberate targeting of villagers, including women and children, for abuse and has taken on dangerous ethnic and political overtones.
Daniel Bekele, Africa director

(New York) – South Sudan should urgently ensure an effective and independent investigation into the violent, ethnic-driven attacks in Jonglei state, and arrest and prosecute those identified as responsible, Human Rights Watch said today. To assist this task, it should promptly ask the United Nations and regional organizations to establish a commission of inquiry.

“To stem this horrific cycle of violence, the organizers have to be held to account,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “For speed and credibility’s sake, the government should ask the UN and African bodies for help.”

Since early January, 2012, the government has repeatedly promised to investigate the attacks and hold those responsible to account, but it has not made any apparent progress in investigations or arrests. There have been new attacks and counter-attacks in January and February, and threats of more to come in March. To help South Sudan move forward with investigations, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon could appoint a commission of inquiry consisting of experts, including South Sudanese, and request support from the African Union, Human Rights Watch said.

On December 23, 2011, according to UN estimates, 8,000 armed men, largely from ethnic Lou Nuer villages in central Jonglei state, attacked ethnic Murle villages in the eastern part of the state, starting with the town of Likwongole. The attackers burned and looted homes; killed and injured people using machetes, sticks, knives, and guns; abducted women and children; seized hundreds of thousands of cattle; and forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes to hide in the bush.

Intelligence gathered by government forces and the United Nations peacekeepers had indicated some time in advance that such attacks were imminent, and both the UN and the government warned residents of local communities to flee. However, because of unsuccessful government efforts to mediate with the communities and an inability to move extra forces into the area swiftly, the government and UN forces in the area were too greatly outnumbered to intervene. A witness who was at the scene several days after the attack told Human Rights Watch he saw 12 dead bodies, including three women who appeared to have been raped with blunt objects.

A week after the attack, despite a visit by Vice President Riek Machar to the area to speak to the leaders of the armed group in an effort to stop the violence, the attackers pushed south to the town of Pibor. The presence of United Nations peacekeepers and South Sudanese forces in Pibor may have averted wholesale destruction of the town. However, it did not prevent the attackers from burning down parts of it nor from proceeding further south into more remote villages where initial testimony gathered by the South Sudan Human Rights Commission indicates that the attackers killed, wounded, and abducted many more people.

The death toll and full impact on communities is still being determined. Murle leaders reported that more than 3,000 had been killed, while UN monitors have been able to confirm just a fraction of that figure and have not released an estimate of total casualties.

Scores of people from both Murle and Nuer communities are being treated for machete and gunshot wounds at clinics in Pibor, Juba, and Malakal, and international aid groups are struggling to provide assistance to more than 140,000 people affected by the attacks and counter-attacks.

“This goes far beyond traditional cattle-rustling,” Bekele said. “The conflict is far more vicious, involving the deliberate targeting of villagers, including women and children, for abuse and has taken on dangerous ethnic and political overtones.”

In early January, President Salva Kiir vowed to “work to ensure those behind this attack are identified and brought to justice,” and the government spokesman, Dr. Barnaba Marial, said the government was in the process of setting up an investigation committee to arrest perpetrators. However, Human Rights Watch is has not been able to get any information that any arrests have been made in connection with the conflict.

Meanwhile there have been retaliation attacks by Murle in January and February 2012, and a statement issued on February 4 by a group calling itself the “Dinka and Nuer White Army” indicatinganother attack is being organized for March 1 .

The South Sudan Human Rights Commission and the human rights team in the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission (UNMISS) have both carried out fact-finding investigations, but both reports, seen by or described to Human Rights Watch, are preliminary and focus on documenting testimony and violations over questions of responsibility. Neither fulfills the need for a thorough investigation, capable of identifying the perpetrators with a view to bring them to justice, Human Rights Watch said.

Political sensitivities may also be at play, and officials and parties on the grounds are quick to make allegations that government politicians in both Sudan and South Sudan are playing a role in stoking the violence. In January South Sudan’s president, vice president, and spokesman all publicly warned “politicians” against inciting violence.

Groups inside and outside South Sudan have issued statements supporting the violence. One press statement issued on December 25 by “Lou and Jikany Youth in Jongeli State” said the youth had captured the town of Likwongole and had decided to “wipe out the entire Murle tribe on the face of the earth.” A self-appointed “Leader of Nuer Youth in North America” issued additional statements, announced the formation of the “Nuer White Army,” and publicly claimed he had raised $45,000 in the United States and Canada to support the attacks.

Jonglei state has a history of violent clashes between the Lou Nuer, Murle, and Dinka communities. Easy access to guns,  the tactic of targeting women and children for killings and abduction, and hostile rhetoric have all contributed to the surge in violence in recent years, with more than 1,000 killed in March and April of 2009alone.

No one has ever been arrested or prosecuted for the 2009 attacks, and the lack of accountability and failure to put into place an effective and equitable grievance procedure, help perpetuate the inter-communal conflict.

In recent weeks, the South Sudanese government has indicated that it is planning a civilian disarmament operation of the affected Murle, Nuer, and Dinka communities. Civilian disarmaments have become a standard government response to inter-communal violence, but on occasion these operations have themselves turned violentand could spark further violence if the decision to disarm a particular community is seen as leaving it vulnerable to attack by its armed enemies.

If the government proceeds, it should ensure the operation is community-led, even-handed in respect to the scope and timing of the disarmament of each community, and carried out in a way that respects human rights, Human Rights Watch said.

South Sudan told to arrest killers

Sat, 11 February 2012

JUBA — South Sudan must honour promises to investigate, arrest and prosecute those responsible for an explosion of bloody ethnic violence in war-wracked Jonglei state, Human Rights Watch said yesterday. “To stem this horrific cycle of violence, the organisers have to be held to account,” said Daniel Bekele, HRW’s Africa director, adding UN and African bodies should help for “speed and credibility’s sake.”
“The government has repeatedly promised to investigate the attacks and hold those responsible to account, but it has not made any apparent progress in investigations or arrests,” the New York-based rights group added. UN peacekeepers mandated to protect civilians have been unable to reliably assess how many people were killed during the brutal attacks last month.
That left forces in the area “too greatly outnumbered to intervene” HRW said, with government officials and UN peacekeepers telling civilians to flee for their lives ahead of the marauding force. Meanwhile, more than 129,200 people have fled fighting in Sudan’s Blue Nile and South Kordofan states since June 2011, the United Nations agency for refugees (UNHCR) said
yesterday. The refugees had largely fled to the newly
independent South Sudan or neighbouring Ethiopia, although the UN said those nations were struggling to cope with the inflows.
The conflict along the border kicked off last year, just before the south formally gained its sovereignty from the north.
Sudan’s army has been fighting the northern wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement — the ruling party of South Sudan.
“Aid agencies are concerned that food insecurity in parts of South Kordofan and Blue Nile could reach emergency levels early this year,” UNHCR said. — AFP/dpa


IN South Sudan, which is once again on the verge of descent into war, the new year began with a horrific scene: the corpses of men, women and children lying strewn in the mud, killed by a militia just yards from the gates of a United Nations compound in the town of Pibor. Peacekeepers there did not fire a shot. Tens of thousands of people were displaced, dozens of homes were torched and hundreds, according to some estimates, were murdered.

United Nations officials explained that a lack of helicopters had prevented them from rushing more than 400 troops to Pibor, a force too small to stop a militia of 6,000. Russian choppers serving the mission were grounded weeks before, after Moscow grew concerned about security.

“I was reduced to begging for replacements from neighboring countries and missions,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told an audience in Manhattan last month. “How do we deliver on Security Council mandates,” he asked, “when the very members of the Council do not give us the support we need?”

The next day, the United States Mission to the United Nations boasted that the Obama administration had won savings for American taxpayers by shutting down some peacekeeping missions and restraining spending on others.

These events laid bare a key weakness that continues to haunt peacekeeping operations but that cannot be blamed on the peacekeepers themselves: hampered by inadequate resources and diffuse lines of command and control, their capacity to deploy troops and secure equipment depends on the steadfastness of individual countries in supporting them.

It is wrong to impugn individual countries for insisting on security for their troops or wanting a say in how their assets are deployed. But what happened in Pibor highlights the challenges that peacekeeping missions face. Nations contributing troops may have little in common with one another, and some may have little national interest in the outcome of a peacekeeping effort.

Having served with the United Nations in Sudan from 2006 to 2008, I can tell you the killings in Pibor cry out for strengthening United Nations peacekeeping missions — not weakening them — so they can act fast and succeed.

I learned that violence flares suddenly in Sudan when I flew into Juba six years ago. At first, I was struck by an idyllic view from the dusty tarmac: long-horned cattle grazed quietly in a field of waving grass. But later that day, not far from my makeshift office, a Bangladeshi peacekeeper’s leg was blown off when he stepped on a buried grenade left over from Sudan’s civil war. I rushed out a notice explaining that the blast was an accident, not an attack, so that the people of Juba would not panic and riot.

That is how danger erupts in many places patrolled by United Nations peacekeepers — without warning. Contingency planning is a necessity.

In the last two decades, outrage over the international community’s failures to prevent genocidal massacres in Rwanda and Bosnia led to great strides in one area of reform: strengthening mandates for peacekeeping missions. Thus the peacekeepers’ mandate in Pibor did permit combat to defend civilians. But then a member nation withdrew vital tools at the wrong moment.

United Nations missions enlist contingents of soldiers from different countries. Each reports to the mission’s force commander but also to its own country’s military leaders. The force commander also answers to both his home country and the United Nations. On the ground, the consequences of unwieldy command structures are clear. Critical military assets lie idle; maneuvers that might prevent bloodshed go untried; morale is undermined and confusion reigns.

What can be done? There are many ways to structure sturdier, more unified chains of command and control. Any of them would be an improvement. The most ambitious suggestion often discussed is for a standing United Nations military force. Lesser steps might at least rationalize existing lines of command. The Security Council, meanwhile, must monitor changing threats to a mission, and make sure the force has what it needs to succeed.

But the very architecture of the United Nations — its sovereign members are the ultimate authority — dictates that the most powerful member states hold the keys to any reforms. World leaders must persuade their voters that better peacekeeping is worth the sacrifice of some national control.

Especially in the United States, President Obama must explain to voters that United Nations peacekeeping is more necessary than ever as we shift from a unilateralist military approach to a greater focus on muscular multilateralism. To cut back on support for it is to cave to the worst penny-wise, pound-foolish tendencies of our domestic politics.

If anything, support for the United Nations’ blue-helmeted troops should be increased. They save America untold billions by taking on moral and security imperatives that we cannot manage alone. For the international community to be more than a nice phrase, we must decide it is worth fighting for.

Benjamin Kahn, an adviser to aid organizations, was deputy chief of public information for the United Nations mission in Sudan from 2006 to 2008.

By Hannah McNeish (AFP) – 

JUBA — The stability and viability of the world’s newest nation South Sudan is at risk unless a deal is struck to end a furious row over oil with former foes in north Sudan, analysts warn.

The South last month launched a protest shutdown of oil production — the fledgling nation’s critical revenue source — after accusing Khartoum of “theft,” with both presidents warning of a risk of war without an agreement.

The South’s oil — which accounts for 98 percent of Juba’s revenue — is key to paying its bloated ex-rebel army, and which continues to absorb militia forces as part of peace deals to stem multiple rebellions in the new nation.

Alex de Waal, a long-term Sudan analyst and an advisor to dragging African Union-mediated talks slated to restart Friday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, has called the South’s oil shut down an “economic doomsday machine.”

Some estimates put South Sudan’s security forces as high as 200,000.

“The real survival issue is about control of the SPLA (army)… over 40 percent of the national budget goes into the army,” said Egbert Wesselink, of the European Coalition on Oil in Sudan, a rights group working for peace.

South Sudan — which declared independence from Sudan in July — is already reeling from multiple crises, including an explosion of ethnic violence as well as rebel forces Juba claims are armed by Khartoum to destablise it.

“Less money will make Juba less strong to control revolt, whether funded by Khartoum or not,” Wesselink added.

The crisis between the two nations has become a major threat to regional peace and security, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon warned last month.

At independence, South Sudan took with it three-quarters of the oil — making up some five percent of China’s imports — but all pipeline and export facilities are controlled by Sudan.

Khartoum has said that Juba had not paid it for using its pipelines and refinery since South Sudan seceded seven months ago, and admits to have confiscated 1.7 million barrels of South Sudan crude.

Tensions have also been raised by their still undemarcated border, parts of which cut through oil fields, as well as the future of Abyei, a Lebanon-sized border region claimed by both sides but occupied by northern troops.

Nevertheless, Juba’s fledgling government is upbeat about its future. Pagan Amum, South Sudan’s lead negotiator in the stalled talks, said he rejected criticism that Juba had “committed suicide” by ending production.

“We will surprise them… history will be our witness,” Amum said.

Juba last month signed an agreement with Kenya to build an oil pipeline to a Kenyan port — potentially freeing it from reliance on Sudan, if Juba survives at least three years without income as the estimated $3 billion line is built.

But Luke Patey, from the Danish Institute for International Studies, warned of the “financial insanity” of investing in a new multi-billion dollar pipeline.

“Economically, the best scenario for South Sudan?s oil is undoubtedly to stop pipe-dreaming, work out an agreement with Sudan, and continue to send its oil north,” Patey wrote in a paper last week.

However, the loss of revenues may have limited immediate impact for many in the oil-rich but grossly impoverished South, where government services are few — if provided at all. Many accuse the fledgling government of rampant corruption.

“South Sudan’s revenue is entirely oil based, and as for the impact, I don’t think the little people are benefiting really, a lot of money goes straight into government,” said Alfred Lokuji, development professor at Juba University.

“I fear that they will take loans against the oil… Although it would solve the problems in the short-term, paying it back would then be the nightmare South Sudan should never enter,” Lokuji added.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir warned last week of the need for “austerity measures to ensure the continued viability” of South Sudan, urging people to accept a “temporary sacrifice for the overall good” of the country.

But UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos has warned that the situation is “extremely precarious” and that a failure to resolve the oil deadlock would worsen existing crises in the South.

“If oil production is shut down, many people will feel the effects,” Amos said last week, after visiting war-wracked regions affected by an upsurge in bloody ethnic violence.

“Humanitarian needs will inevitably increase and the combined efforts of the government, the aid community and the donors will not be sufficient,” Amos said, adding the UN neeed $750 million for humanitarian aid this year.

Peace Eludes South Sudan’s Jonglei State

Gabe Joselow | Juba, South Sudan

A mother waits with her son, both victims of ethnic violence in Jonglei state, South Sudan, for emergency food rations in the town of Gumuruk, Jan.12, 2012.

Photo: AP
A mother waits with her son, both victims of ethnic violence in Jonglei state, South Sudan, for emergency food rations in the town of Gumuruk, Jan.12, 2012.

Inter-tribal fighting in South Sudan’s Jonglei state is testing the government’s ability to maintain security, while church-led peace efforts have stalled, raising the possibility of more violence.

Long before the birth of South Sudan, the tribes of Jonglei state have waged battles. For hundreds of years, the men of the Lou Nuer and Murle tribes have launched raids to steal each other’s cattle, perpetuating a battle of retaliation and revenge.

But in recent times, the pitch of the fighting has grown more extreme.

Amanda Hsiao, field researcher for the Enough Project, based in South Sudan, said the violence has taken on a new dimension.

“The latest attacks in December saw 6,000 to numbers as high as 12,000 youth organized, highly sophisticated, well-armed, moving down to the Murle areas,” Hsiao said. “This is something new and this is a very serious threat to the government’s authority.”

The introduction of heavy weapons, which made their way into the hands of Jonglei militias during Sudan’s civil war, has raised the casualty and death toll from recent cattle raids into the thousands.

Past efforts at disarmament have only complicated matters, said Hsiao.

“These communities are holding on to their guns because that is their means of defense. So in order for them to be convinced of letting go of their only form of defense and in order for them not to be vulnerable after a disarmament campaign the government has to be able to provide security afterward.”

The other crucial element to securing the peace in Jonglei is bringing the warring factions together for negotiations.

That job has fallen on the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) which, with the government’s support, began mediation efforts following an attack by the Murle against the Lou Nuer in August of last year.  The SCC had been training members of each tribe in the art of negotiation so that they would be prepared for a join conference.  However, the two sides could not agree on a venue.  The talks finally fell apart with the Lou Nuer attack in December.

Bu the council is working on a new plan, said Reverend Mark Akec, the acting general secretary of the SCC.

“We will continue to carry out reconciliation among the communities because that is the role of the church,” said Akec. “Although they fight themselves, we are still telling them please live as brothers, be peacemakers.”

Akec added the new strategy involves short and long-term solutions, including establishing pastors and other watchmen in Jonglei to gather information and to serve as an early warning system for future attacks.  And he said there are plans to provide more work opportunities for the youth, to incorporate women in the community in the peace process and to empower local church leaders.

But asked when the council expects the actual peace talks between the different tribes to resume, Akec said they are waiting for the funding.

“Now we are still working on our plans, to raise funding and all those things to enable us to do the work. Because if we are not getting any funding from the international community and our partners, NGO’s, we can not do anything. So we are working now on a plan then we will send it out to the partners, so we are waiting for their response and as soon as we get their response we will start the work,” said Akec.

While the council is optimistic that peace talks will work, renewed violence may be on its way.

Last week, the Lou Nuer militia, which calls itself the White Army, announced plans to surround Murle communities, ostensibly to prevent them from launching any attacks of their own.

Humanitarian agencies have been rushing food and aid to Jonglei in the past few weeks to assist some 120,000 people affected by the violence.

High stakes for South Sudan oil crisis talks
JUBA — The stability and viability of the world’s newest nation South Sudan is at risk unless a deal is struck to end a furious row over oil with former foes in north Sudan, analysts warn. The South last month launched a protest shutdown of oil 

South Sudan is running out of food
Vatican Radio
UN agencies are warning that newly independent South Sudan will face chronic food shortages next year due to internal and border insecurity, erratic rains and a huge influx of returnees from the north. The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) 

Peace Eludes South Sudan’s Jonglei State
Voice of America
February 09, 2012 Peace Eludes South Sudan’s Jonglei State Gabe Joselow | Juba, South SudanInter-tribal fighting in South Sudan’s Jonglei state is testing the government’s ability to maintain security, while church-led peace efforts have stalled, 

South Sudan in talks with Texas Company on oil pipeline
Sudan Tribune
February 8, 2012 (DALLAS) – The government of South Sudan is in talks with a Texas-based company to explore options for building an oil pipeline which would serve as an alternative to the one passing through the territories of Sudan.
South Sudan: Warrap Parliament Discuss 70 Deaths As 70000 Cattle Stolen
A member of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was injured in the shooting and 37 people were killed, according to county authorities. An UNMISS source said Wednesday that their staff members were meeting with the Mayendit County 
‘Help Nation Re-Establish Returnees’, Professor Machar Urges
By Matata Safi, 8 February 2012 Juba — Professor Moses Machar Kachuol, the Chairperson of National Committee for Absorption and Integration of South Sudanese returnees has urged all institutions, both local and internationals operating in the Republic 
Unity State Ready to Welcome Misseriya Nomads but With Conditions
By Bonifacio Taban Kuich, 8 February 2012 Bentiu — Authorities in Unity State said Wednesday they are close to a deal with the Misseriya, an Arab nomadic group from North Sudan, to allow them to enter South Sudan to find pasture for their cattle…
South Sudan to join CAF
Modern Ghana
South Sudan will become provisional members of the Confederation of African Football on Friday, the first step to becoming the world’s newest footballing nation. But the newly-independent state, which broke away from Sudan and was declared independent

By Abdelmoneim Edris Ali (AFP) –

KHARTOUM, SUDAN — Sudan is closer to war than peace with the breakaway state of South Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir said on national television on Friday.

“The climate now is closer to a climate of war than one of peace,” Bashir said.

He spoke after South Sudanese President Salva Kiir warned on Thursday that renewed conflict could erupt if bitter oil negotiations with Khartoum do not include a deal on other key issues, including the contested Abyei region.

Tensions have also been raised by the still undemarcated border, parts of which cut through oilfields, as well as mutual allegations that each side backs rebel forces against the other.

But Bashir said Sudan will not go to war “unless it is imposed on us.”

South Sudan separated last July after an overwhelming vote that followed two decades of civil war which killed two million.

The crisis between the neighbours has become a major threat to regional peace and security, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has said.

Juba announced last Sunday it had nearly completed a protest shutdown of its oil production after talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa failed again to resolve a disagreement with Sudan over oil fees.

Khartoum admits to confiscating 1.7 million barrels of South Sudanese crude since vowing in November to take 23 percent of southern oil exports as payment in kind during the fee dispute.

The South calls this “theft.”

“We will continue taking our rights in kind until we reach agreement,” Bashir said.

When South Sudan separated, it took with it three-quarters of the country’s total oil production of 470,000 barrels per day.

But landlocked and grossly underdeveloped South Sudan can only ship its oil through the north, leaving the two countries disputing how much Juba should pay for pumping its crude through the pipeline and Red Sea marine terminal.

The South depends on oil for more than 90 percent of its revenues, while Khartoum’s finance minister said late last year that the loss of oil from the South left a budget shortfall of 30 percent.

Since then, Sudan has witnessed spiralling inflation — which the government sees reaching 17 percent this year — and the sharp devaluation of the Sudanese pound.

At the same time, crippling debts of almost $40 billion and US economic sanctions, which have banned virtually all trade with Sudan since 1997, choke its access to external financing.

In South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, along the contested border with South Sudan, the regime has for several months been fighting ethnic minority insurgents who fought alongside the former rebels now ruling in Juba.

Sudan’s Bashir says tensions with South could spark war

Fri Feb 3, 2012 7:13pm GMT


KHARTOUM Feb 3 (Reuters) – Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Friday tensions with South Sudan over oil transit payments could lead to war, stepping up the rhetoric in a row over crude reserves between the two countries.

Asked in an interview with state television whether war could break out with South Sudan, Bashir said: “There is a possibility.”

He said Sudan wanted peace but added: “We will go to war if we are forced to go to war.”

“If there will be war after the loss of oil it will be a war of attrition. But it will be a war of attrition hitting them before us,” he said.

Sudan is locked in a row with South Sudan over sharing oil revenues. South Sudan, home to substantial crude reserves, split away as an independent country in July, under a 2005 peace agreement.

The landlocked South still needs to export its crude through the north’s port and pipelines. But the two countries went their separate ways without agreeing how much South Sudan was going to pay Sudan to use its oil infrastructure.

The crisis came to a head when Khartoum said in January it had seized some southern oil as compensation for what it called unpaid fees, and South Sudan responded by shutting down oil production.

Bashir on Friday accused Juba of shutting down the oil flow to provoke a collapse of the Sudanese government. Khartoum has been fighting a severe economic crisis since the loss of southern oil, sparking small protests against high food inflation.

Bashir also said his southern counterpart Salva Kirr had refused to reach a deal about oil payments at a meeting last week on the sidelines of the African Union in Addis Ababa.

“They (the South) didn’t sign and they will not sign,” Bashir said, adding that Khartoum was entitled to 74,000 barrels of day of southern oil. Juba pumped 350,000 bpd prior to the shutdown.

“This is our right,” he said.

Bashir said the economic situation was difficult for Sudan this year but the country would boost current oil production of 115,000 bpd by 75,000 bpd. Sudan’s current output serves only domestic consumption.

Sudan would also export gold worth $2.5 billion this year and expand the agricultural sector to compensate for the loss of oil, he said.

Experts have expressed doubts rising gold exports and other measures to diversify the economy will offset the loss of oil revenues of $5 billion booked in 2010.

They say economic diversification has been hampered for years by corruption, misplanning and a U.S. trade embargo. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Khalid Abdelaziz)

 South Sudan accuses Sudan of killing 79 during cattle raid

AU leaders Monday were trying to encourage the rivals to seek a deal on the sidelines of the Pan-African bloc’s summit in Addis Ababa Photo: EPA/JACOLINE PRINSLOO
South Sudan has accused its former foes in the Khartoum government of arming gunmen who killed 79 people in a cattle raid, as the UN warned tensions between the two sides risk regional peace.

“A militia group from Unity state penetrated into Warrap state … and attacked people in a cattle camp,” said Interior Minister Alison Manani Magaya, adding 79 people had been killed, updating an earlier toll of 40.

“This militia group was armed by the government of Khartoum,” he said, adding that “mostly the women and children were killed” in the latest wave of violence in the world’s newest nation.

“More weapons are flowing in from Khartoum … particularly Unity state and Upper Nile,” he said, referring to South Sudan’s oil-producing states.

But Sudan’s army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad denied the allegations, saying: “We don’t have any connection with this. We never support any armed opposition in South Sudan or any place.”

South Sudan seceded peacefully from Sudan in July after decades of war, but both countries have since repeatedly exchanged allegations that each side backs proxy rebel forces against the other.

Oil-rich but grossly impoverished South Sudan was left awash with guns after years of conflict, and brutal tit-for-tat raids by rival ethnic groups to steal cattle from each other are common.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said on Sunday that tensions and a furious row over oil between the former enemies has become a major threat to regional peace and security.

“The situation in Sudan and South Sudan has reached a critical point. It has become a major threat to peace and security across the region,” Ban told an African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital.

Key issues unresolved at independence have escalated into bitter arguments, including a row over pipeline transit fees to transport the landlocked South’s oil to port in the rump state of Sudan.

Juba said Sunday it had nearly completed a shutdown of its oil production – the fledgling nation’s top revenue source – after it accused Khartoum of stealing $815 million of its oil, and AU-mediated talks stalled.

In addition, tensions have been raised by their still undemarcated border, parts of which cut through oilfields.

AU leaders Monday were trying to encourage the rivals to seek a deal on the sidelines of the Pan-African bloc’s summit in Addis Ababa.

The South’s oil-producing border state of Unity is a base for a number of rebel groups that Juba claims are backed by Khartoum to destabilise the fledgling nation by attacking civilians and laying landmines.

Magaya could not name the specific group responsible for the deadly weekend attacks, but claimed that rebel groups in Unity state were collaborating with one another.

“They took a lot of cattle with them,” he said, added that the gunmen were from the Nuer ethnic group, while those attacked were Dinka.

He said government teams had been sent to investigate and that the death toll could rise as local officials were “still counting the bodies.”

South Sudan is reeling from an explosion of ethnic violence, notably in Jonglei state, where a militia army of up to 8,000 armed youths attacked a rival ethnic group earlier this month, affecting 120,000 people, according to the United Nations.

The attacks were a dramatic escalation of centuries old tit-for-tat cattle raids, with aid workers reporting horrific killings, including babies beaten against trees and women hacked by machetes.

The United Nations has warned that South Sudan faces massive challenges as the world’s newest nation struggles to support hundreds of thousands of fleeing violence.

Last year, over 350,000 people were forced from their homes due to violence, according to UN figures, while since June, South Sudan has also taken in over 80,000 refugees fleeing civil war in the north.

Source: AFP

Scores dead in cattle raid in South Sudan
ABC Online
South Sudan has accused its former foes in the Sudanese government of arming gunmen who killed 79 people in a cattle raid. “A militia group from Unity state penetrated into Warrap state… and attacked people in a cattle camp,” South Sudan’s interior 

Official: South Sudan cattle raid leaves 70 dead
Nation Newsday > News > Nation Official: South Sudan cattle raid leaves 70 dead Published: January 30, 2012 7:43 AM By The Associated Press JUBA, South Sudan – (AP) — An official inSouth Sudan says more than 70 people were killed in a recent cattle 

NYMEX-US crude rises above $99 on Iran, S.Sudan
| SINGAPORE Jan 31 (Reuters) – US crude oil rose above $99 a barrel on Tuesday on concerns over supply disruptions in South Sudan and OPEC member Iran. FUNDAMENTALS * NYMEX crude climbed 33 cents to $99.11 a barrel by 0004 GMT, after falling 78 cents 

Vote for new AU commission chief ends in deadlock
On the sidelines of the summit, protracted disputes between South Sudan and Sudan brought a warning from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Sunday that they threatened regional security. Ban said both Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his South Sudan 
South Sudan accuses Sudan of killing 79 during cattle raid
South Sudan has accused its former foes in the Khartoum government of arming gunmen who killed 79 people in a cattle raid, as the UN warned tensions between the two sides risk regional peace. “A militia group from Unity state penetrated into Warrap

Formal group photo of AU leaders at summit start

Widespread legal bans on homosexuality in most African countries have been challenged by UN chief Ban ki-moon at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa. Ban said gay and gender rights must be respected.

UN Secretary General Ban accused many nations of the 54-member African Union of ignoring or “even sanctioning” discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity for “too long.”

Outgoing African Union chairman Tedoro Obiang Nguema, who is president of Equatorial Guinea, speaking just before Ban delivered his speech, had accused “external powers” of perpetuating their influence.

South Africa is the only country on the continent that legally recognizes gay rights and same-sex marriage. Late last year, Uganda’s parliament re-introduced a controversial bill that calls for the death penalty for certain homosexual acts.

Close-up of Ban in suit with red tie arriving at AU summitBlunt talking by UN’s Ban in Addis Ababa

Ban told summit leaders, whose two-day agenda is supposed to be focused on intra-Africa trade, that confronting homophobic discrimination was a “challenge.”

“But, we must not give up on the ideas of the universal declaration of human rights,” Ban said.

Tunisia returns to AU fold

Making an active return to the African Union is post-revolution Tunisia whose new president Moncef Marzouki said Tunis was looking to attract investors one year after its mass protests that triggered the so-called Arab Spring, also in Egypt and Libya.

Marzouki said ousted former ruler Ben Ali had not considered Tunisia as part of the continent. “Tunisia had no diplomatic role, especially in Africa. It (had) completely disappeared from the scene.”

Tussle for AU leadership

AU leaders on Sunday elected Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi as their new president, to replace Equatorial Guinea’s President Obiang.

Obiang, in his departing remarks, appeared to accuse former colonial powers of interfering. “Africa should not be questioned with regards to democracy, human rights, governance and transparency in public administration,” he said.

Yayi, an economist who has led Benin for six years, acknowledged that he had a “high responsibility” in the one-year rotating job.

“We shall continue to work hand in glove to ensure that we consolidate all that we have achieved so far,” he said.

Duo with officials in backgroundJean Ping (left) is counting on Francophone support

The AU faces a string of issues, including war and hunger in Somalia,  violence in Nigeria, riots in Senegal and oil disputes between Sudan and the newly formed South Sudan.

Ban highlights Sudanese oil dispute

UN chief Ban, in his speech, urged African leaders to play “a more important role [in] solving regional issues.” He highlighted the Sudanese oil dispute and urged South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to negotiate.

South Sudan, which was born last July out of a peace deal, recently shut down oil production after it accused al-Bashir’s Sudan of stealing oil along pipelines used for export.

Ban said he was also “deeply concerned” about a humanitarian crisis along Sudan’s volatile border with the south. He also accused Khartoum of blocking access to aid workers.

Tussle for AU’s top executive post

Monday’s AU deliberations in the AU’s new headquarter complex provided by China will center on a secret ballot for the top executive job. The current AU commission head Jean Ping of Gabon is being challenged by South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Ping was first elected in 2008.

South Africa’s foreign ministry said it was “optimistic” that Dlamini-Zuma, 62, and former wife of President Jacob Zuma, would receive the “necessary” two-third of the votes.

Dlamini-Zuma has the backing of the 15-member Southern African Development Community. Sources say Ping is counting on support of French-speaking AU member nations.

Ping told the opening ceremony that prospects for peace were “real” in war-torn Somalia. The AU has a 10,000-strong force protecting Somalia’s fragile Western-backed government from the al Qaeda-linked Shebab militia.

Author: Ian P. Johnson (AFP, AP, dpa)
Editor: Nicole Goebel,,15701608,00.html

UN chief: Africa leaders should respect gay rights –
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia—UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says African nations should stop treating gays as “second-class citizens, or even criminals”. Ban told African leaders that gathered in Ethiopia’s capital on Sunday for an African Union summit that 
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon — in an unusually outspoken declaration Sunday — told leaders at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa that they must respect gay rights, an issue that is controversial in many African states
Africasia –
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in an unusually outspoken declaration on Sunday, told African leaders they must respect gay rights, an issue that is controversial in many African states. “One form of discrimination ignored or even sanctioned by many 
Huffington Post –
“One form of discrimination ignored or even sanctioned by many states for too long has been discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” Ban is quoted as saying Sunday in the Ethiopian capital. “It prompted governments to treat .
Huffington Post –
01/29/12 11:52 AM ET AP ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says African nations should stop treating gays as “second-class citizens, or even criminals”. Ban told African leaders that gathered in Ethiopia’s capital on Sunday for 
News24 –
Addis Ababa – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, speaking at the opening of a summit meeting on Sunday, told African leaders they must respect gay rights. “One form of discrimination ignored or even sanctioned by many states for too long has been 
BBC News –
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged African leaders to respect gay rights. Discrimination based on sexual orientation had been ignored or even sanctioned by many states for too long, Mr Ban told an African Union summit.


The Associated Press

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — South Sudan and Sudan could face a “major humanitarian crisis” if they fail to solve a running oil dispute, a top U.S. envoy said Sunday as African heads of state converged on Ethiopia’s capital for an African Union summit.

At the opening of an African Union (AU) summit , in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Sunday, Jan.29, 2012, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told assembled leaders to respect people’s human rights. (AP Photo/Elias Asmare)

South Sudan recently shut down oil production after it accused Sudan of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of oil. Related negotiations have reached an impasse.

Both sides are acting out of desperation, taking “dramatic actions” because they fail to see prospects to reach an agreement, the U.S. special envoy to Sudan, Princeton Lyman, told The Associated Press.

Unless the two sides reach an agreement, he said, both will “suffer and suffer in not too long a period.”

Lyman said the oil crisis had pushed humanitarian issues off to the side.

“It’s clear that the situation is declining very rapidly,” he said. “Without access for the international community we see what could emerge as a major humanitarian crisis for the continent, and a preventable crisis that the African Union has to address.”

The Sudan crisis and war and hunger in Somalia are expected to dominate this year’s A.U. summit, though the gathering’s official theme is trade.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the oil dispute threatens peace and security in the region. He called on African leaders to “play a more important role solving regional issues.”

South Sudan fought a decades-long civil war with northern neighbor Sudan, a war that culminated in a 2005 peace deal that saw the partitioning of Sudan and the birth of South Sudan last July. The new border between the two countries remains tense, with sporadic cross-border attacks taking place.

In a separate incident, China said Sunday that militants loyal to South Sudan captured 29 Chinese workers in a volatile border region of Sudan.

Oil negotiations between the two neighbors have been in a deadlock for two years. They have never agreed on the transit fees South Sudan should pay to Sudan for using its infrastructure of port and pipelines.

Ban said he discussed the issue with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki. He urged Kiir to meet with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to resolve their problems.

“I am urging two leaders to demonstrate political will,” he said.

Lyman said fighting in South Kordofan and Blue Nile has ended most communications between the two and increased distrust.

Lyman and Ban expressed concerns about a humanitarian crisis along Sudan’s volatile border with the south, and said the Khartoum government was not cooperating with U.N. missions.

“I am deeply concerned about South Kordofan and Blue Nile State,” Ban said. “Very worrisome because of the accessibility. There is no access for humanitarian workers.”

The U.N. has also expressed humanitarian concerns in South Sudan, where more than 120,000 people need aid because of a wave of ethnic clashes in a remote and volatile region.

The two nations have been meeting in Ethiopia for oil talks. Haile Menkerios, a special U.N. representative to Sudan, said Sunday there has been no recent progress.

Also on Sunday, South Sudan’s minister of petroleum and mining said the nation will not restart oil production unless Sudan accepts a list of demands.

Stephen Dhieu Dau said South Sudan was “committed to negotiations” but that Khartoum would have to accept their offer of paying $1 per barrel for using Sudan’s pipelines for export and $2.4 billion dollar financial assistance package before South Sudan turns on production again.

He also said Sudan must withdraw troops from the disputed border region of Abyei and stop funding rebel groups in South Sudan. He said South Sudan wants an international treaty guaranteed by “international superpowers.”


Michael Onyiego contributed to this report from Juba, South Sudan.


UNITED NATIONS Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Raisedon Zenenga of Zimbabwe as Deputy Special Representative (Political) in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.

Raisedon Zenenga, Director of the Africa II Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)Raisedon Zenenga, Director of the Africa II Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)

With over 28 years of United Nations, Government and diplomatic service, including more than 10 at the management level in complex peacekeeping operations, Mr. Zenenga has a diverse and substantial background in political processes and mediation, proven skills in managing peacekeeping operations, significant experience in working with Government and other key stakeholders in conflict and post-conflict settings, and 19 years of experience with the Organization in the field and at Headquarters.

Mr. Zenenga has worked for the United Nations in some of the most challenging field missions, including those in Somalia, Liberia, Iraq-Kuwait and Sierra Leone. As a senior manager at United Nations Headquarters for the last 10 years, he supported the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire, among other peace operations. Most recently he was the Director of the Africa Division II, Office of Operations, in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Educated at the University of Zimbabwe, Mr. Zenenga holds degrees in public administration and political science. He also received diplomatic training from the Australian Development Assistance Bureau.

Mr. Zenenga is married and has three children.

UN Secretary-General Appoints Zimbabwean as Special Representative to South Sudan
The Zimbabwe Mail
UNITED NATIONS Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Raisedon Zenenga of Zimbabwe as Deputy Special Representative (Political) in the United Nations Mission inSouth Sudan. With over 28 years of United Nations, Government and 

Sudan says taking some South Sudan oil but won’t close pipe
Chicago Tribune
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan said on Sunday it has started confiscating some oil exports fromSouth Sudan that it believes it is owed to meet unpaid transit fees but will not shut down a pipeline carrying the southern state’s oil. 

Sudan says taking some S.Sudan oil but won’t close pipe
Reuters India
By Ulf Laessing and Khalid Abdelaziz | KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan on Sunday said it has started confiscating some oil exports from South Sudan it believes it is due to meet unpaid transit fees but will not shut down a pipeline carrying the southern 

Foreign Minister: Support for South Sudan in all fields
Egypt SIS (press release)
Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr confirmed on Saturday 14/1/2012 that South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit reiterated that he will not take any decisions that could affect Egypt’s quota of Nile water. Minister Amr said that his meeting with the 

From Burma to Haiti to South Sudan and back to America
The world’s newest country, South Sudan, which has a great deal of wealth and potential is not doing as well as even Burma these days. According to the New York Times, “”Bitter ethnic tensions that had largely been shelved for the sake of achieving 

Just A Few Months Old, S. Sudan Already In Turmoil
South Sudan gained independence just six months ago, and already ethnic tensions inside the new country have forced tens of thousands to flee their homes. People who escaped ethnic violence in Jonglei state wait for food rations at a World Food Program 

Horror of violence and death devastate South Sudanese
Sitting on the edge of the bed beside his nine-year-old daughter recovering from a gunshot wounds, Mangiro recounted how he lost the rest of his family in recent tribal clashes in South Sudan’stroubled state of Jonglei. “This child was carried by her 

South Sudan exerting efforts to increase food production
Sudan Tribune
January 14, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan on Saturday said the government is exerting all efforts to increase food production in what he described as “greenbelt” areas in the fertile but landlocked newly-independent country. Betty Achan Ogwaro, South 

    By MICHAEL ASTOR Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS January 6, 2012 (AP)

The United Nations launched a humanitarian emergency effort Friday following last month’s intertribal clashes in South Sudan, responding to a wave of violence that might have left thousands dead and some 50,000 people in urgent need of aid.

South Sudan became independent last July following a 2005 peace deal with now-northern neighbor Sudan, and there have been sporadic cross-border attacks since. But internal violence between the Lou Nuer and the Murle tribes is a reminder of the challenges the world’s newest country faces inside its own borders.

Last month’s clashes took place in and around the town of Pibor, sending tens of thousands of residents into the countryside.

Media reports have put the death toll in the clashes as high as 3,000, but Martin Nesirky, spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said the U.N. could not confirm that number. On Tuesday, Lise Grande, the top U.N. official in the region, said the death toll could be anywhere from dozens to hundreds.

Nesirky said a rapid response plan is now being finalized.

“The requirements already reported are already significant and around 50,000 people are estimated to be in need,” Nesirky said. The U.N.’s High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, will traveling to South Sudan this weekend to assess the situation, he added.

Officials said the World Food Program has delivered emergency rations to feed 1,000 people in Pibor for two weeks, and expects to reach 7,000 more people in the coming days. It has also distributed food packages for 2,000 internally displaced people at Boma.

On Friday the White House declared the government of South Sudan eligible to receive weapons and defense assistance. A White House official said the decision could potentially promote peace and regional stability in East Africa.

Nesirky said the U.N. mission has reinforced peacekeepers’ presence in key areas and is conducting daily land and air patrols to deter potential violence. He said they were also working with the government of South Sudan to protect civilians.

On Thursday, Herve Ladsous, the undersecretary-general for peacekeeping operations, called the situation “a very serious crisis.”

“I think the problem we face in this particular region of Jonglei state is one of access, because there are no roads and we have insufficient helicopters,” he told reporters following his address to the Security Council. He said the U.N. reinforced its staff in the area and that the South Sudanese government is trying to do the same.

Columns of fighters from the Lou Nuer ethnic group marched into Pibor to target the Murle community. The tribes have traded violent attacks over the last several years that have killed thousands. Much of the communities’ animosity stems from cattle raiding.

South Sudan appeals for humanitarian aid amid fighting

By the CNN Wire Staff
January 6, 2012 — Updated 1632 GMT (0032 HKT)

Click to play
Roots of Sudanese violence
  • NEW: The United Nations says it is providing emergency help to those most in need
  • At least 50,000 people have fled violence in Jonglei state
  • The government declares the state a “humanitarian disaster area”
  • Ethnic tension flares as tribes fight over grazing lands and water rights

(CNN) — South Sudan appealed for international aid for a remote region that has been under attack by roaming fighters, as thousands of residents fled into the bush to avoid the violence.

The government declared Jonglei state a “humanitarian disaster area” and called on international aid agencies to help provide urgently needed assistance.

It is not yet clear how many people have been killed or injured in the violence.

The United Nations said Thursday it was mounting a “massive emergency support programme” to help those displaced by fighting.

South Sudan’s struggle with violence

The organization sent a battalion of peacekeepers to the area last week amid reports that members of the Lou Nuer tribe were marching toward two towns which are home to the rival Murle tribe.

The Lou Nuer fighters, who numbered 6,000 to 8,000, have now agreed to leave the area following “intensive negotiations,” a United Nations statement released Thursday said.

But as many as 50,000 people who fled their advance on the towns of Likuangole and Pibor now need food, water and shelter.

“The situation in humanitarian terms is grim,” U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator Lise Grande is quoted as saying.

“They haven’t had food; they haven’t had access to clean water. In a number of cases, some of the people are wounded. They haven’t had shelter. As the day progresses, you can see hundreds of people coming back into town and there is no question they are in trouble.”

The U.N. World Food Programme has already delivered food supplies for some of the most vulnerable, including children, the statement said.

Grande said the United Nations had helped evacuate citizens from the area and avert a greater crisis.

Ethnic tensions in Jonglei state have flared as tribes fight over grazing lands and water rights, leading to cattle raids and abduction of women and children.

Government officials have urged the two ethnic groups to return women and children abducted in the spate of violence.

More forces will be deployed and a committee established to push for reconciliation between the two groups, according to government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

Kouider Zerrouk, a spokesman for the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), said Thursday that the United Nations was “beefing up” its presence across Jonglei state in support of government efforts.

Zerrouk said the situation was now calm but UNMISS was operating daily land and air patrols to deter further violence and ensure the Lou Nuer fighters did leave the area.

The mission would also help the South Sudan authorities transport about 800 additional police to the area, he said in a statement.

Jennifer Christian, Sudan policy analyst with the Enough Project, said that while it’s important to get emergency food and medical aid to those affected, a longer-term strategy is needed to avoid future violence.

“The underlying, largely economic, causes of this cycle of inter-communal violence must be addressed to ensure permanent peace and stability in Jonglei state,” Christian said.

“In Jonglei, cattle is currency. For instance, young men need cattle to pay dowry prices and marry. A lack of access to basic services and economic opportunities compounds the reliance of Jonglei’s communities on this cattle economy, which, in turn, fuels conflict associated with cattle raiding,” she said.

The international community should work to support the South Sudan government in developing its security forces and judicial system, she added.

As residents fled the fighting last weekend, the United Nations said peacekeepers were having trouble accessing the rugged and isolated region, which is surrounded by thick forests.

“The problem we faced in this particular region of Jonglei state was one of access, because there are no roads, because of insufficient helicopters,” said Herve Ladsous, the U.N. peacekeeping chief. “So we did reinforce our available staff there. The government of South Sudan itself is trying to do the same, but facing the same constraints.”

The violence in Jonglei state is the latest to rock South Sudan, which officially gained its statehood in July after separating from neighboring Sudan to the north.

Decades of civil war between the north and south, costing as many as 2 million lives, ended with a U.S.-brokered peace treaty in 2005.

But before South Sudan gained independence in July, human rights monitors expressed concerns that long-standing grievances could end in violence consuming the region again.

The United Nations estimates that more than 1,100 people died and 63,000 were displaced last year by inter-communal violence in Jonglei state, not taking into account the latest clashes.

CNN’s Moni Basu, Nima Elbagir and Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.

United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon. – File Photo

TOKYO: United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon asked Japan on Tuesday to consider sending military engineers to South Sudan to help with nation building efforts as part of a UN mission.

Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa was reluctant to offer immediate help, saying Tokyo was still relying on its soldiers to help clear and rebuild the region devastated by the March 11 quake and tsunami.

But he agreed that Japan, which deployed members of the military for work in quake-hit Haiti, could consider sending Self Defense Forces command centre personnel to South Sudan, which gained independence last month.

Ban later told local media the UN still hoped Japan would consider sending engineers to the African country to build badly needed infrastructure.

He earlier made the same request to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

The UN chief is in Japan for a three-day tour and Monday visited areas near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant hit by the March disasters.

August 4, 2011 (JUBA) – The newly appointed UN special envoy to the Republic of South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, briefed the political parties on the roles her multi-purpose mission will play in the new nation at a meeting in Juba on Thursday.

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UN SG special envoy, Hilde Johnson, briefing leaders of political parties in the presence of South Sudan VP, Riek Machar, Juba (ST)

Johnson was appointed as special envoy to South Sudan by UN secretary general, Ban Ki Moon, following the independence of the region on 9 July. She previously held the post of Minister for International Development in Norway.

She was involved in the North-South Sudan peace negotiations in Kenya in 2005.

On Thursday in Juba she held her first joint meeting with leaders of the various political parties in South Sudan, with the participation of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), during which she briefed them about her new mandate.

In the meeting which was moderated by Vice President and SPLM deputy chairperson, Riek Machar, Johnson said her role will include rendering support on issues to do with security, development, institutional building, democratic development and transformation of the “political equation” in South Sudan.

She said these will include issues to do with the rule of law, justice, diversity and inclusiveness in nation-building as well as constitutional process and the upcoming elections after the four year transitional period.

The special envoy said she will also mobilise donors to support South Sudan and supervise the activities of the various UN humanitarian agencies working on the ground.

Johnson who said she was inspired by the frankness in the expression of views by the leaders at the meeting, adding that open disagreement expressed in peaceful political debate was healthy.

At the meeting leaders of opposition political parties criticised the ruling party, the SPLM, for allegedly reneging on the resolutions passed in a conference held in October 2010. They said the conference called for consensus and inclusiveness in the process of the nation-building.

They said that the recent appointments of 66 new members to the transformed national assembly and 30 to the council of states, did not redress the inclusiveness issues as was agreed upon at the conference.

SPLM officials at the meeting denied the claim, saying a number of other political parties consulted with the president and their members were included in the national legislative body.

Vice President Machar congratulated the special envoy for her “tough” mandate at the introductory meeting with the political parties. He said President Kiir was in consultation with the political parties, and have their members appointed to the two houses of parliament.

He called for cooperation between the political parties, the government and the UN mission in the implementation of the roles spelled out in the mandate given to the special envoy.


U.S. Support to Peace and Security in South Sudan

Fact Sheet

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 8, 2011

The United States has been deeply engaged in Sudan, having led international efforts to broker the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended decades of civil war between the country’s north and south and as the lead international donor both during and after the war.

Promoting Peace and Security

  • Last summer, with President Obama’s leadership and personal engagement, the United States launched an intense international diplomatic and development effort to keep the parties on the path of peace. In September 2010, at a special meeting of presidents and foreign ministers during the UN General Assembly in New York, the President rallied the international community to join the United States in its call for a peaceful, on-time referendum for Southern Sudan.
  • Sudan was a key focus of Vice President Biden’s trip to Kenya, Egypt, and South Africa last June that helped to build regional cooperation on CPA implementation. The Vice President’s regular engagement with Sudanese leaders and regional leaders, including with African Union High-Level Implementation Panel Chairman Thabo Mbeki, has been a critical part of U.S. diplomatic efforts on Sudan.
  • Secretary Clinton met personally with the parties from both sides in Addis Ababa in late June 2011, where she brokered a deal to end violence in the Abyei region and facilitate the deployment of Ethiopian forces to amplify the peacekeeping presence in the region. She has been in close contact with her counterparts throughout the region, and has reached out frequently to senior northern and southern Sudanese officials by phone.
  • Ambassador Susan Rice led efforts to build and maintain multilateral support at the United Nations for peace in Sudan, leading the UN Security Council to Sudan twice in the last nine months. The Troika—a partnership among the United States, United Kingdom, and Norway—has played a critical role in diplomatic and development planning with its Sudanese and international partners.
  • Special Envoy Princeton Lyman, his predecessor, Scott Gration, and numerous other U.S. Government officials have shuttled tirelessly between Washington and Sudan, where they have pressed the Sudanese leaders to reach agreement on the issues that will define their future relationship.

Investing in People and Building Capacity

  • In South Sudan, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is helping to strengthen democratic participatory governance, to enhance access to health care, education and clean water, and to improve basic infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and electricity. U.S. efforts spearheaded by USAID continue to boost agricultural productivity and trade, and help local governments improve their ability to manage resources and meet citizens’ needs. Since the signing of the CPA, USAID has worked closely with the Government of Southern Sudan to provide one million people with access to clean water, to help increase children’s enrollment in schools nearly fourfold, and to establish tools like microfinance institutions to help jumpstart economic opportunities.
  • The United States played a critical role in ensuring that the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission had the capacity to hold a credible, on-time referendum in January 2011. USAID supported the procurement of registration and voting materials, voter education, and domestic and international observation to ensure that the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission and Bureau had the capacity to hold a credible, on-time referendum.

Steadfast Partnership

  • Following its declaration of independence, the United States will establish full diplomatic relations with the Republic of South Sudan, upgrading the U.S. Consulate General in Juba to a U.S. Embassy on July 9. Ambassador Barrie Walkley, the U.S. Consul General in Juba, will serve as Chargé d’Affaires pending the appointment of a U.S. Ambassador to Juba.
  • This fall, the United States will host an international engagement conference that will provide the Republic of South Sudan with a platform to present its vision for the future of its country and engage partners on priority areas of support and collaboration.
  • The United States stands with the people of both Sudan and South Sudan during this time of great hope and immense challenge. Our commitment extends beyond July 9, and we will continue to expand on our deeply-rooted partnership in the years ahead.

Learn more about the U.S. engagement on Sudan at: