Posts Tagged ‘middle-east’


JUBA, South Sudan (AP) – The Arab League said Thursday it would hold an emergency meeting over the increasing violence between Sudan and South Sudan. The south reported new skirmishes even as Sudan’s president increased his threats of war toward the south.

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir said the recent violence has “revived the spirit of jihad” in Sudan. South Sudan said it had repulsed four attacks from Sudan over a 24-hour period as fighting on the border showed no signs of slowing.

Acting on a request by Sudan, the Arab League scheduled an emergency meeting of foreign ministers in Cairo next week to discuss the violence, Deputy Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed bin Helli said. The league earlier called on South Sudan to withdraw from the oil-rich Heglig area that southern troops invaded and took over last week.

Despite the threats from Sudan, a southern government spokesman said South Sudan was only defending its territory and considers Sudan a “friendly nation.”

South Sudan military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said three of the attacks were on Wednesday and one was on Thursday. He did not give a death toll.

South Sudan broke away from Sudan last year after a self-determination vote for independence. That vote was guaranteed in a mediated end to decades of civil war between the two sides. But the sides never fully agreed where their shared border lay, nor did they reach agreement on how to share oil wealth that is pumped from the border region.

Instead, the two countries have seen a sharp increase in violence in recent weeks, especially around the oil-producing town of Heglig. Both sides claim Heglig as their own. It lies in a region where the border was never clearly defined.

Aguer said southern troops repulsed one attack by Sudanese troops near Heglig on Wednesday and two attacks in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state. One was repulsed in Western Bahr el Ghazal state early Thursday, he said.

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday threatened to topple the South Sudan government after accusing the south of trying to take down his Khartoum-based government.

Al-Bashir continued his hardline rhetoric on Thursday in an address to a “popular defense” brigade headed to the Heglig area. The ceremony was held in al-Obeid, in northern Kordofan.

“Sudan will cut off the hand that harms it,” said al-Bashir, a career army officer who fought against the southern army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, during the 1983-2005 civil war. Al-Bashir seized power in a 1989 military coup.

The capture of Heglig by the South Sudanese “has revived the spirit of jihad and martyrdom among the Sudanese people,” he told the brigade’s 2,300 men, according to the official Sudan News Agency.

In Khartoum, the pro-government Sudanese Media Center said late Wednesday that fighting broke out between the two nations in the Al-Meram area in South Kordofan, with northern troops driving away what it called “remaining elements” of the SPLA. It said northern troops chased away SPLA fighters who fled across the border into South Sudan.

It said the fighting left an unspecified number of dead and wounded among the SPLA forces but gave no precise figures.

South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said South Sudan does not consider itself at war with Sudan, but he said the south is defending territory it believes it owns based on borders outlined in 1956 by British colonialists.

“Up to now we have not crossed even an inch into Sudan,” Benjamin said. He added: “The Republic of South Sudan considers the Republic of Sudan to be a neighbor and a friendly nation.”

Benjamin said that southern forces would withdraw from Heglig if the African Unionguarantees a cessation of hostilities, an agreement on border demarcation, and the withdrawal of Sudanese forces from the nearby border region of Abyei, with Ethiopian troops moving in as peacekeepers.

Benjamin said that al-Bashir is carrying out “genocide” against Sudanese people in the Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions of Sudan. He said al-Bashir’s words Wednesday were a warning that he would like to do the same in South Sudan.

“Can they quote one war fought by the Republic of Sudan fought with any foreign country? They have always used their military artillery to kill the innocent people of Sudan as well as South Sudan,” Benjamin said.

The International Crisis Group said in a new analysis on Thursday that Sudan and South Sudan are “teetering on the brink of all-out war from which neither would benefit.” It said an immediate cease-fire is needed, then solutions to the unresolved post-referendum issues.

“Increasingly angry rhetoric, support for each other’s rebels, poor command and control, and brinkmanship, risk escalating limited and contained conflict into a full-scale confrontation,” the group said. “Diplomatic pressure to cease hostilities and return to negotiations must be exerted on both governments by the region and the United Nations Security Council, as well as such partners as the U.S., China and key Gulf states.”

The U.S. played a large role in brokering the 2005 peace accord between the two sides. China is a big player in the two countries’ oil industry.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2012-04-19/sudan-violence/54417280/1

Sudan president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir threatens South with war over oil field

Published On Thu Apr 19 2012
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir waves to the crowd during a visit to the Northern Kordofan town of El-Obeid to address a rally of freshly-trained paramilitary troops.Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir waves to the crowd during a visit to the Northern Kordofan town of El-Obeid to address a rally of freshly-trained paramilitary troops. EBRAHIM HAMID/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Khalid Abdelaziz and Ulf LaessingReuters

KHARTOUM/JUBA — Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir all but declared war against his newly independent neighbour on Thursday, vowing to teach South Sudan a “final lesson by force” after it occupied a disputed oil field.

South Sudan accused Bashir of planning “genocide” and said it would fight to protect its people.

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.

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.

Appearing in a medal-spangled military uniform at a large rally, Bashir danced side-to-side, waved his walking stick in the air and made blistering threats against the leadership of the South, which seceded last year after decades of civil war.

“These people don’t understand, and we will give them the final lesson by force,” the burly military ruler told the rally in El-Obeid, capital of the North Kordofan state. “We will not give them an inch of our country, and whoever extends his hand on Sudan, we will cut it off.”

China, a major investor in the oil industry in both countries, expressed “serious concern” about the increase of tensions and called on both sides to stop fighting, “maintain calm and exercise maximum restraint”.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said South Sudan’s seizure of the oil field was an “illegal act” and called on both countries to stop fighting.

South Sudan separated from the rest of Sudan with Bashir’s blessing last July under the terms of a 2005 peace deal. But since then violence has steadily escalated, fuelled by territorial disputes, ethnic animosity and quarrels over oil.

Last week, South Sudan seized Heglig, a disputed oilfield near the border between the two countries, claiming it as its rightful territory and saying it would only withdraw if the United Nations deployed a neutral force there.

Sudan’s armed forces spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid said by phone the army was now fighting “inside Heglig.”

South Sudan’s army (SPLA) said it had repulsed a large attack on Heglig on Wednesday evening, stopping Sudan’s forces about 28 kilometres from the territory.

“The SPLA maintained its position,” spokesman Philip Aguer said. He also accused Sudan of launching another attack in the border regions of South Sudan’s Western Bahr al-Ghazal state.

In a sign of the conflict widening, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) — considered the most militarily potent of the rebel factions in Sudan’s western Darfur region — claimed it had launched an assault on the al-Kharsana oil region near Heglig.

“We are surrounding the Sudanese army in the main military base in al-Kharsana,” JEM spokesman Gibreel Adam Bilal said by phone. Heglig is hundreds of kilometres away from JEM’s bases in Darfur but the group has fought in the Kordofan region in the past.

The Sudanese army spokesman, Khalid, denied JEM’s statement, saying there was no fighting in the al-Kharsana area.

Limited access for independent journalists to Sudan’s remote conflict zones makes it difficult to confirm the often contradictory claims issued by all sides.

African states have often waged war on each other’s territory, but it is extremely rare for them to talk openly of fighting against government forces of sovereign neighbours.

Bashir’s address to the rally on Thursday followed a fiery speech to party supporters on Wednesday, when he vowed to “liberate” South Sudan from its ruling party, which he repeatedly referred to as “insects”, in a play on its Arabic name.

South Sudan’s Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin responded on Thursday with outrage.

“Mr. President, we are no insects and if you are launching your genocide activities to the Republic of South Sudan to kill the people of South Sudan . . . we can assure you we will protect the lives of our citizens.”

However, he also said South Sudan was willing to resume talks immediately on all outstanding issues.

“The Republic of South Sudan is not in a state of war, nor is it interested in war with Sudan,” he said.

In both speeches, Bashir vowed to retake the Heglig oilfield, which he said was part of Sudan’s Kordofan region. But he also said that alone would not end the conflict.

“Heglig is not the end, but the beginning,” he said in Thursday’s speech.

Global powers have voiced alarm at the escalation of violence and urged the two to stop fighting and return to talks.

“China has worked hard to ameliorate the problems between the two Sudans, and we will continue to work with the international community at mediation efforts,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

Some 2 million people died in Sudan’s civil war, fought for all but a few years from 1955 to 2005 over disputes of ideology, ethnicity and religion.

The countries remain at odds over issues including the border, how much the landlocked South should pay to transport its oil through Sudan and the division of national debt.

Both countries accuse each other of waging proxy war through militia operating on each other’s territory.

Sudan’s military — with an air force, tanks and artillery — is far better equipped than the former guerrilla fighters who make up the South Sudan army. In addition to the civil war in the south, Sudan has also fought long-simmering rebellions in Darfur and its South Kordofan and Blue Nile border states.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague for alleged war crimes in connection with the Darfur conflict, charges he rejects as political.

The south has tens of thousands of fighters under arms, with decades of experience in guerrilla conflict.

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1164358–arab-league-calls-emergency-meeting-on-2-sudans-violence-al-bashir-ups-war-rhetoric


Dear All,
Please find SPLMN statement regarding the Istanbul Economic Conference on Sudan.

Thank you
Anwar Elhaj
SPLM-N Representative to the US

The Istanbul Conference to help Sudan Economically Means to Finance the War against Civilians and the Continuation of Genocide

The convening and participation in the Istanbul Conference to discuss Sudan debt cancellation and to provide economic and financial assistance to its regime clearly contradicts the commitments of the participant countries to protect and safeguard human rights, justice and accountability.  The leaders of the regime, for which this conference is planned, are convicted of war crimes and genocide, using food as a weapon in Nuba Mountains / South Kordofan and Blue Nile, targeting innocent civilians by indiscriminate aerial and ground bombardments, and suppressing and confiscating all freedoms.
 
The countries of the European Union and Norway, who are playing a vital role in the organization of this conference, are democratic countries that need to uphold their democratic values and commitments.  The United Nations, which is also taking part in this conference, is the same organization that referred the case of Darfur to the ICC that eventually indicted the leaders of the Sudan regime for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.  The perplexing question is how these countries and organizations that want the leaders of the Sudan regime for war crimes and genocide can organize such an economic conference to help the same leaders to continue committing the same crimes.  On the other hand, such a conference raises a number of questions about the seriousness of these countries and their commitment to their own decisions and the values they promote nationally and internationally.  
 
We regret even the thought of convening the Istanbul Conference to help the genocidal regime in Khartoum, and we call on all legislators, civil society organizations and political parties in these countries to mount their objection to such a conference. We also call upon all Sudanese especially in Europe and particularly in Norway, Brussels (the headquarters of the EU), Germany, Britain and France, to campaign against this conference, which will prolong the suffering of the Sudanese people in general and especially the civilians in the war affected areas if it takes place at the end of this month.
 
We are pleased by and appreciate the position of the United States of America regarding this conference.
 
Yasir Arman
Secretary General, SPLM-N
Secretary for Foreign Relations, SRF
March 5, 2012
The Istanbul Conference to help the Sudan Economically Means to Finance the War against Civilians and the Continuation of Genoc.doc The Istanbul Conference to help the Sudan Economically Means to Finance the War against Civilians and the Continuation of Genoc.doc
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Congressman Donald Payne in our thoughts and Prayers
 
 
Congressman Donald Payne, the Democratic representative and one of the leaders of the Black Caucus and the great friend of the Sudanese people and African people in general, is currently facing a critical heath situation. Congressman Payne has been in the front line for years defending unwaveringly the right of the Sudanese people for democracy and just peace and he is a friend to a number of Sudanese, first among them was the late Dr. John Garang De Mabior.
 
We, who know Congressman Donald Payne, call upon all Sudanese who knew him to keep him in their thoughts and prayers with their different beautiful languages and religions for this highly distinctive Congressman and wish him and his family the best.
 
Yasir Arman
Secretary General of the SPLMN
4 March 2012
Sudan’s rebels say defeated army in Blue Nile State

March 4, 2012 (NAIROBI) – Rebels in Sudan’s southern state of Blue Nile said they clashed on Saturday with the country’s army and killed 24 soldiers.

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Soldiers from Sudan’s army in the Blue Nile state capital al-Damazin, September 5, 2011 (REUTERS)

The fighting took place on Saturday’s evening in Al-Ahmar Sadak area in Al-Tadamon locality, southeast of Al-Kurmuk town, the official spokesman of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N), Arnu Loddi, told Sudan Tribune.

According to Loddi, SPLM-N forces managed to destroy three Land Cruiser vehicles and seize a great amount of ammunition. He added that the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) fled the area leaving 24 dead bodies behind.

Sudan Tribune could not reach SAF’s spokesman for comment.

“This is another message from the Sudanese Revolutionary Forces (SRF) and SPLM-N to the regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) that we are advancing on all fronts. Our struggle is continuing and our victory is certain” Loddi said.

The SPLM-N has been fighting government forces in South Kordofan as of June and in Blue Nile as of September last year.

The group forged the SRF alliance in November with three rebel groups from the country’s western region of Darfur, and vowed joint military operations to overthrow the government.

Sudan accuses neighboring South Sudan of supporting the rebels but Juba denies the charge.

Most recently, Khartoum said South Sudan’s army supported and participated in an attack launched by SRF forces on the border town of Jau on 26 February.

http://www.sudantribune.com/Sudan-s-rebels-say-defeated-army,41797

US Condemns Bombing of Oil Wells in South Sudan

Posted: March 2, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan
Tags:

The United States has strongly condemned an air strike against South Sudan’s oil wells blamed on neighboring Sudan.

In a statement Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said such attacks on civilian targets are “deplorable.” She said the U.S. “demands” the Sudanese government end its aerial bombardments, which it says violate international law.

A spokesman for Sudan’s military, Sawarmi Khaled Saad, denied his country was behind the bombings.

South Sudan officials, including government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin, say Sudanese warplanes dropped bombs Wednesday in an area of Unity State, about 75 kilometers from the two countries’ contested border.

The officials say the bombardment destroyed two oil wells.

Marial said the attack violated a non-aggression pact Sudan and South Sudan signed in Ethiopia last month.

“…this is actually a violation of the non-aggression treaty that we signed two weeks ago and with the nature of Sudan’s government, they don’t always respect what they signed with anybody. We are not surprised,” said Marial.

The south repeatedly has accused the north of violating its territory, and both sides have accused each other of supporting the other’s rebels.

In her statement Thursday, Nuland also stressed South Sudan must cease any military support for rebels active in the north. She said both countries are “inflaming conflict,” and “fueling mistrust.”

The two countries are locked in a dispute over oil revenues. The south took over three-fourths of Sudanese oil production when it became independent last July, but relies on northern pipelines and facilities to send the oil abroad.

The north seized millions of barrels of oil after the south refused to pay what it considered excessive transport fees. The south has reacted by shutting down oil production, a move analysts say is bound to hurt both countries.

The dispute and simmering tensions over the border have raised fears the two Sudans are headed toward war. In the former unified Sudan, the north and south fought a bloody civil war that lasted 21 years.

Marial said Thursday that South Sudan will file a complaint about Sudan with the United Nations Security Council. Sudan filed a complaint about the South with the Security Council on Tuesday.

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/US-Condemns-Bombing-of-Oil-Wells-in-South-Sudan-141091163.html

US slams Sudan’s air attacks inside S Sudan

WASHINGTON – The United States on Thursday slammed reported air attacks by Sudan’sfighter jets on civilian targets inside South Sudan as “unacceptable,” urging the two sides toexercise restraint to avoid escalation of tensions.

“Such incidents are unacceptable and threaten to escalate tensions between the two states.Additionally, continued aerial attacks on civilian targets by the Sudan Armed Forces aredeplorable and constitute violations of international law for which there must be accountability,”US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

South Sudan said Thursday that two Sudanese fighter jets Wednesday dropped bombs inPariang county inside South Sudan, damaging oil and water wells while Sudanese groundforces were massing in a nearby area.

Nuland said the US demands that “the Government of Sudan end these aerial bombardmentsand immediately allow humanitarian access to civilians in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.”

The US urges Sudan and South Sudan to exercise restraint as they are “drifting toward greaterconflict and away from the promises of peace and collaboration to which each committed in theComprehensive Peace Agreement,” she added.

“An end to the violence in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile is critical to establishing peaceboth within Sudan and between Sudan and South Sudan,” Nuland said in the statement.

The US continues to stress to the government of South Sudan ” the need to respect thesovereignty of Sudan and immediately end any military support for Sudan People’s LiberationMovement-North rebels.”

The statement warned that the actions of both parties “are inflaming conflict, fueling mistrust,and imperiling the efforts of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel to facilitateagreements between the parties on outstanding Comprehensive Peace Agreement issues.”

The Sudanese army said last Sunday that armed clashes broke out between its forces andSouth Sudan forces on the border. Sudan and South Sudan signed a security agreement onFebruary 10 to avoid armed conflicts between the two sides, but they have so far failed todemarcate their joint borders.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2012-03/02/content_14743272.htm

Invisible Crisis In World’s Newest Country?

South Sudan gained independence in 2011, but it has been locked in a bitter conflict with its northern neighbor. Rep. Frank Wolf (R.-Va.) just returned from the area. He talks with host Michel Martin about what some observers are calling a humanitarian crisis, and what the U.S. can do to help.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I’m Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, last week’s conversation about the musical reunion of pop stars Chris Brown and Rihanna, who’s relationship famously ended after a violent altercation, was a hot topic in our Barbershop segment last week and it lead to some even hotter responses from some of our listeners. We’ll tell you which of our regulars sparked the flood of angry mail in a minute, but first we want to bring you an update on developments in the world’s newest country.

South Sudan gained independence last year but the bloody conflict that has plagued the region did not end with that declaration. A border dispute, internal uprisings, and reported cross-border military raids have some observers saying the region is no longer at the beginning of a celebration of nationhood but rather at the start of another massive humanitarian crisis.

Congressman Frank Wolf, a Republican from Virginia, recently returned from a trip to South Sudan, only his latest to the region, and he’s compiled a report about what he saw there and he is kind of enough to join us now. Congressman Wolf, thank you so much for speaking with us.

REPRESENTATIVE FRANK WOLF: Thank you for having me.

MARTIN: And it’s been only a few months since South Sudan gained independence. You were the first member of the Congress to visit the new country and you’ve spent, as we mentioned, a number of years traveling back and forth. You just filed a pretty disturbing report from the region upon your return. Could you just give us your assessment of why you say that this on the beginning of another humanitarian crisis?

WOLF: Well, I was there with my chief of staff, Dan Scanlon, and what I saw were people pouring across the border from the country Sudan and the Nuba Mountain area because up in the Nuba Mountains they’re bombing people three and four times a day. They drop bombs that are loaded with shrapnel. They don’t use a precise bombing scope that they can target it and they just roll the bombs out of the back of the plane. So, it might hit here, it might here there. There’s no way of knowing where they’re going to hit.

So they can’t work the fields. They can’t work the crops, and there’s no food up in the Nuba Mountains. So they’re leaving the Nuba to come south and then the government has even the government of Sudan, the Khartoum government, has bombed some of the refugee camps in the south, so the people tell me they’re hungry. And lastly, the women we talked to believed that they were being targeted because of the color of their skin and they all wanted to know why Bashir was permitted to continue to do what he did.

When the effort took place in the former Yugoslavia and Kosovo, Milosevic was an indicted war criminal. The West made sure he got to the court. Karadzic was an indicted war criminal, the West made sure he got to the court. And Mladic was an indicted war criminal, a general from Srebrenica, that he got to the International Criminal Court. They haven’t seen any activity with regard to Bashir and so they don’t quite understand.

Here in the West people moved against Milosevic and they were brought to The Hague or brought to the court. And now Bashir’s been in office for, I mean, almost twenty years, maybe longer and there’s been no activity.

MARTIN: Could I just tie a bow on this? You’ve been telling us about the fact that and reminding us that Omar al Bashir, the president of Sudan, has been in office for a couple of decades now, has been wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes genocide and crimes against humanity related to what happened in the western part of the country and you’re describing the fact that it seems that he continues to operate with impunity. What is your sense of why that is? Why is it that the international communities focused attention on this doesn’t seem to be bearing any fruit?

WOLF: Well, my own opinion is that when it took place on the continent of Europe people got worked up about it. You had a lot of media there. Now that it’s in a very remote, very difficult area of Sudan to see what’s going on.

MARTIN: I think what I hear you saying is that this part of the world just does not seem to compel our attention in the way that other parts of the world.

WOLF: Because they’re poor people and they’re Africans where as on the coast of Albania, the situation with Serbia, they were Europeans. It was I think if this were happening in Southern Europe the world response would be different rather than this happening in Southern Sudan. Now, Bashir has a Washington representative, he has a high powered lawyer here in town, a guy by the name of Bart Fisher, to represent them. Well, there’s something wrong there.

Secondly if you remember Bashir’s been traveling to many countries. He went to Malawi a couple months ago and we asked Malawi not to have him in. They have him in. Well, I asked the secretary of State, who I know cares deeply about this, let the word go forth that if you are a country and you allow Bashir to visit you will get no foreign assistance from the United States government, period. And also, I’ve asked the administration to make sure this guy Bart Fisher can no longer represent Bashir and the Sudan government here in Washington.

MARTIN: I wanted to talk more about what you think is motivating what you saw there. As you know – as you know better than anybody there are long running tensions between the South and the North. That’s one of the motivations behind independence for the South. Is it your assessment that a lot of the violence that you’re seeing is intended to drive more people into the South? Is it intended to damage the South in some way or do you think that it is just a – not just – but a byproduct of the kind of ethnic tensions that have plagued the North for some time now?

WOLF: I think it’s the latter. I think it’s just some ethnic tension. You’ll see the same thing in Darfur. When we were in Darfur a number of years ago, we interviewed a number of young women who had been raped just before we got there. And they said that when they were being raped they were told that they were making a lighter skinned baby. Race seems to play a large part of this.

You also have the whole issue of oil. It’s been complicated by oil. Both of the countries, the North and the South, depend on the oil coming out and now there’s a great dissension as to how that oil will be distributed and how the proceeds will be. And then it’s animosity. As you know the South used to be part of the North and I think many people in the North, particularly at Bashir, never wanted to see the South separate. No one wants to see the country broken apart.

Lastly you have Bashir’s been an indicted war criminal. He’s been indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and many other things and that I think has put a lot of pressure on the circumstances there. So, it’s a complicated issue. I don’t know if there’s any one thing but the longer this thing continues, both the North and the South will suffer. They both need the oil revenues and of course the people are going to be the ones that pay the ultimate price.

MARTIN: If you’re just joining us you’re listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I’m joined by U.S. Representative Frank Wolf, a Republican of Virginia. He just got back from a fact-finding trip to the worlds newest country South Sudan but he says that there’s a growing potentially disastrous humanitarian situation unfolding there. We’ve been talking a lot about what’s been going on in Sudan in the North and the sort of the ongoing things that a lot of Americans will be familiar with but I want to go back to South Sudan.

As we said, the world’s newest country. This separation arrived at after a long series of negotiations. You just met with South Sudan’s new leadership and I wanted to ask how you think things are going there because there have also been disturbing reports that after the initial euphoria of independence that there have been, you know, ethnic tensions there that have lead to killings and reprisal killings and so forth. So, what’s your assessment of how things are going in South Sudan?

WOLF: Well, they have had problems and there’s been some ethnic killings. A large number of people have actually been killed. Overall I think they’re going to do okay. I think Salva Kiir and his people Salva Kiir is the president of the South. I think they are committed to making this thing work and Salva Kiir lived in the bush for years. He was a military officer. I think most of the people that are in the government many have been educated here in the West.

I think they’re going to do okay and also they’re going to have the necessary resources if they can work out this oil share in agreement between the North and the South. Right now they’ve shut off the oil because the North has been taking proceeds that they think belongs to them.

If you can resolve this – and I sense they will, because both countries are dependent upon it – I think they’re going to do OK. I’m pretty confident that I think the south will make it, although keep in mind, America, we fought the battle of the Revolutionary War. The Articles of Confederation didn’t work very well, and we had a very difficult time getting a Constitution. We had great men like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and Madison and Monroe. It took us a while. So I think it’s going to take them a while, but I think they’re going to be OK.

MARTIN: Finally, congressman, before we let you go – and I really do appreciate your taking the time to talk to us about this – you’ve made a compelling case, both in your written report, which is on your website, and also here in our conversation today about the toll you think that neglect, international neglect is taking on this region where there are these serious challenges.

You know, a lot of the world’s attention is now focused on the Middle East, you know, the ongoing situation in Syria, which is very dire, the tensions with Iran and so forth. What is your argument to the American people about why they should continue to care and focus on this region?

WOLF: Well, in the Bible it says, to whom much is given, much is required. And I think these people are not asking for American foreign aid in the sense that it’s going to cost us money. They want us to stand with them with regard to democracy. Keep in mind, 2.1 million people were killed in a North-South battle. Many of them were Christians, many animists, some Muslims, but they wanted freedom. We should understand that.

You know, the words in the Declaration of Independence – President Reagan said the words in the Constitution were basically a covenant with the entire world. And so I think they’re not asking us – they don’t want soldiers. They don’t want forces. They’re not asking for large foreign aid. They just want our moral support to stand with them. And had it not been for the United States, they would not have had freedom.

President Bush appointed John Danforth, former Senator John Danforth, who did an incredible job of negotiating this North-South arrangement. And they needed America to stand with them, because many other countries were not interested in them. So they’re not asking for tangible things that cost us.

I think America should be interested in – we should be interested in the Coptic Christians that are being persecuted in Egypt. We should be interested in what’s taking place in Syria. I think when you are the leading power in the world, not – you should want this for power, but I think it’s important that we help people with regard to peace.

MARTIN: Frank Wolf is a member of the U.S. House. He is a Republican who represents a district in Virginia. He was kind enough to join us from the studios at the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill and, as we mentioned, he’s just back from a fact-finding visit to South Sudan.

Congressman Wolf, thank you so much for speaking with us.

WOLF: Thank you very much.

http://www.npr.org/2012/03/02/147804076/invisible-crisis-in-worlds-newest-country

Returnee train departs Khartoum carrying South Sudanese home

The Daily Star – ‎
KHARTOUM: A 60-car train carrying 1400 southern Sudanese stranded in the North by their homeland’s declaration of independence has left Khartoum for the South, the International Organization for Migration said Friday. The passengers are among hundreds 
Daily Monitor –
A man takes notes at a polling station in Dakar during the counting of votes, on the day of the Senegalese presidential election, last Sunday. Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade was booed as he cast his ballot in an election which has sparked deadly 
Zimbabwe Independent – ‎
I WOULD like to draw your attention to Gwynne Dyer’s article “New divisions in Africa worsen” (Zimbabwe Independent, February 24) so as to clarify some issues raised. The writer makes the assertion that South Sudan was bombed by Sudan, which is a false 
msnbc.com (blog) –
JUBA, Sudan — South Sudanese officials say that Sudanese armed forces bombed two oil wells inside South Sudan and Sudanese troops are massing near the disputed border. Only on msnbc.com AP Updated 13 minutes ago 3/2/2012 7:31:25 PM +00:00 Limbaugh in 
NPR – ‎‎
South Sudan gained independence in 2011, but it has been locked in a bitter conflict with its northern neighbor. Rep. Frank Wolf (R.-Va.) just returned from the area. He talks with host Michel Martin about what some observers are calling a humanitarian 
San Jose Mercury News – ‎
By MOHAMED OSMAN AP KHARTOUM, Sudan—A 60-car train carrying 1400 southern Sudanese stranded in the north by their homeland’s declaration of independence has left Khartoum for the south, the International Organization for Migration said Friday.
San Francisco Chronicle – ‎
(03-02) 03:44 PST KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — The International Organization for Migration says a 60-car train carrying 1400 refugees has left Sudan’s capital for the newly independent south. The passengers are the first of hundreds of thousands expected 
China Daily – ‎‎
WASHINGTON – The United States on Thursday slammed reported air attacks by Sudan’s fighter jets on civilian targets inside South Sudan as “unacceptable,” urging the two sides to exercise restraint to avoid escalation of tensions.
Washington Post – ‎Mar 1, 2012‎
JUBA, SOUTH Sudan — South Sudanese officials said Thursday that Sudanese troops were massing near the disputed border and that Sudan’s armed forces had bombed two oil wells in South Sudan. A spokesman for South Sudan’s armed forces said two Sudanese 
msnbc.com (blog) – ‎Mar 1, 2012‎
South Sudanese families arrive with their belongings at a train station in Khartoum on March 1 to be transported home to South Sudan. A family waits for water before being transported home to South Sudan, in Khartoum on March 1.
Voice of America – ‎Mar 1, 2012‎
March 01, 2012 US Condemns Bombing of Oil Wells in South Sudan VOA News The United States has strongly condemned an air strike against South Sudan’s oil wells blamed on neighboring Sudan. In a statement Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria 
Independent Online – ‎Mar 1, 2012‎
South Sudan has accused the Khartoum government in the north of bombing 74km deep inside its territory, and of sending troops into contested border areas. South Sudan on Thursday accused the Khartoum government in the north of bombing 74km deep inside 
New York Times – ‎Feb 29, 2012‎
The Bashir government in Khartoum is facing a formidable and growing alliance of internal adversaries seeking its ouster and a mounting list of internal economic crises. President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s bombing of civilian targets and his blockade of 
Washington Post – ‎Feb 29, 2012‎
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday accused Sudan’s leader of trying to scuttle a historic peace deal that created the world’s newest country last year. Clinton told a House panel that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s 
Sudan Vision – ‎
Every sane and fair person was surprised by the unusual attack on president El-Bashir by the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who accused Bashir last Wednesday of working to undermine the new state of ROSS, the US secretary in her speech to the 
Sudan Vision – ‎‎
Khartoum — Local authorities in South Kordufan have blocked the way before the entry of foreign organization the region under the banner of providing humanitarian assistance to war victims, arguing that most of these organizations are “biased” in 
TrustLaw – ‎‎
Sudan should not strip Sudanese nationals of southern origin of their Sudanese citizenship if they are unable or unwilling to acquire South Sudanese citizenship. (New York) – Sudan should not strip Sudanese nationals of southern origin of their 
Outcome Magazine (blog) – ‎
WASHINGTON, March 2 (UPI) — Sudan and South Sudan are drifting further from commitments outlined in a 2005 peace agreement, the US State Department warned. South Sudan in July became an independent country as part of an agreement reached with 
Reuters AlertNet – ‎
In his first visit to South Sudan, ACT Alliance general secretary John Nduna today pledged continued solidarity with the people of the world’s newest country, and urged the government in Juba to fulfil its responsibilities to its citizens.
Kuwait News Agency –
PARIS, March 2 (KUNA) – The French government on Friday expressed “deep concern” over reports of an incursion and air attacks by Sudanese forces against targets in South Sudan. Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said that the impact of such 
AllAfrica.com – ‎
Khartoum — The British Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, Mr. Stephen O’Brien, announced that his country is exerting serious efforts together with its partners and the African Union to prevent deterioration of the 
AllAfrica.com – ‎
By Matata Safi, 2 March 2012 Juba — The government of the Republic of Sudan has violated the security memorandum of understanding it had signed recently with the government of South Sudan in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa and bombed two oil 
KABC – ‎
File photo. Hemera/Thinkstock(KHARTOUM, Sudan) — The United States on Thursday condemned bomb attacks in South Sudan. While Sudan officials denied any involvement in the bombing of two oil wells in the newly created state, South Sudan officials say 
Afrique en Ligue – ‎
Khartoum, Sudan – Some 1400 South Sudanese left the outskirts of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, Thursday evening on a 10-day journey to their homeland, over a month to the deadline for those willing to go home to do so or be deemed illegal.
AllAfrica.com – ‎‎
Khartoum — Sudanese opposition parties condemned pressures by Islamists parties and groups to adopt an Islamic constitution in Sudan after the secession of South Sudan last July. Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood, Salafi Ansar Al-Suna, the far-right Just 
AllAfrica.com – ‎
Khartoum — The Sudanese foreign ministry on Thursday summoned the US Deputy Chief of Mission Dennis Hankins to get clarification on the position of Washington with regards to the upcoming conference to be held in Istanbul, Turkey.
AllAfrica.com – ‎
By Ater Garang Ariath, 2 March 2012 South Sudan Vice President Dr. Riek Machar will address South Sudanese Diaspora on Saturday at Minnesota State University Mankato-United States of America according to the press release from USA SPLM Secretariat 
AllAfrica.com –
By William Sunday D Tor, 2 March 2012 The NCP as usual has been spreading misleading news accusing South Sudan of attacking their territorises which have been denied several times by the South Sudan rulers. The world had witnessed the NCP actions, 
AllAfrica.com –
By Dhieu Williams, 2 March 2012 Juba — The SPLA spokesperson yesterday over phone interview accused Khartoum of bombing territories within South Sudan Wednesday and moving troops close to SPLA forces based in oil producing state of Unity.
Newser – ‎
AP | 12 hours, 9 minutes ago in The International Organization for Migration says a 60-car train carrying 1400 refugees has left Sudan’s capital for the newly independent south. The passengers are the first of hundreds of thousands expected to make the 

National Elections Bill 2012

SSHURSA
SOUTH SUDAN HUMAN RIGHTS SOCIETY FOR ADVOCACY
Head Office:Kololo-Tongpiny Road Plot 41 Opposite ARC International After US 
Embassy Behind Government Ministries,Juba, Republic of South Sudan
Tel: +211955300382/+211915364531; E-mail: 
sshursa2007@gmail.com/bboutrosb@yahoo.com
Submission of SSHURSA on the National Elections Bill 2012,
To
The Office of the Chairperson, Legislation and Justice Committee, South Sudan 
National legislative Assembly, Juba, South Sudan
Presented By
Biel Boutros Biel
Executive Director, SSHURSA
At 
PUBLIC HEARING ON THE NATIONAL ELECTIONS BILL 2012
National Lesgislative Assembly
March 1-2, 2012,
Juba, South Sudan

National Elections Bill 2012

Sudan attempts to silence opposition news coverage
New York, March 1, 2012-Sudanese authorities must halt their efforts to silence news coverage of opposition leadership, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Authorities have already closed three newspapers in 2012 and confiscated thousands of copies, CPJ research shows.The National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) confiscated the entire print run of the independent daily Al-Tayar on February 20 after the paper printed claims by Hassan al-Turabi, head of the opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) and leading critic of President Omar al-Bashir, saying the NISS had bugged his office, according to news reports. Two days later, the NISS indefinitely suspended Al-Tayar on charges of “jeopardizing national security,” news reportssaid. The newspaper frequently ran investigative stories on government corruption, its editor, Osman Mirghani, told Reuters.Also on February 20, authorities confiscated the entire print run of independent daily Al-Youm al-Tali for publishing al-Turabi’s accusations, news reports said.”By closing news outlets and seizing newspapers, President al-Bashir’s government demonstrates its continuing appetite to censor critical news coverage,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “The government must immediately allow the shuttered newspapers to resume operations, and it should stop its practice of seizing every newspaper edition that carries an unflattering story.”Al-Tayar is the third newspaper to be closed in the past two months, CPJ research shows. Authorities shut down Rai al-Shaab, a daily affiliated with al-Turabi’s party, after raiding its office and confiscating its print run in early January, news outlets reported. The NISS also raided the offices of another private daily, Alwan, which had published several articles in support of al-Turabi, and confiscated its print run in mid-January, news reports said.In 2011, authorities confiscated newspaper print runs on at least 19 different occasions, CPJ research shows. In each case, the authorities waited for the newspapers to be printed and then confiscated the copies before they were distributed, thus inflicting maximum financial losses.

###
CPJ is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization
that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide.

Contact:
Mohamed Abdel Dayem
Program Coordinator
Tel. +1.212.300.9018
Email: m.abdel.dayem@cpj.orgDahlia El Zein
Research Associate
Tel. +1.212.300.9017
Email: delzein@cpj.org
Link: http://cpj.org/2012/03/sudan-attempts-to-silence-opposition-news-coverage.php

 Sudan/South sudan: The Ticking Time Bomb

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=477d79iab&v=001GW57Qq-hwGRaLtXryPw_U3wIDB1wXDqPhyKo3yh3vXTiccVS1nR7DRbcaeX9vhRgJVn1rchNdS-4tJegMeaPIeE4EZEu1RFfzEyIng8L0SY%3D