Posts Tagged ‘omar al bashir’

South Sudan after Paanthou Crisis
Steve Paterno
                  When the Paanthou crisis occurred, South Sudan found itself unprepared and underrepresented in the diplomatic front. The diplomatic ferocity of its opponent in Khartoum to spread propaganda was never been equally matched. Just overnight, the newly emerged country found itself almost isolated internationally, for acting rightly in self defense. The barrage of condemnations against South Sudan came from even close allies and friends such as the USA.
               As a result, South Sudan had to resort into drastic measures. The nation made a painful decision just to please the international community by immediately ordering the pulling out of its troops from Paanthou, an area that belongs to South Sudan but claimed by Khartoum, because of its oil wealth. To further compromise and heed to the international community call, South Sudan even went out of its way by doing more than its share of responsibility, when it decided to withdraw its police forces from Abyei area, leaving the civilians basically vulnerable under the mercy of cruel Khartoum armed forces.
            To make up for its diplomatic gap, South Sudan dispatched a high level official delegation into foreign capitals to plea for South Sudan case. This then followed by deployments of South Sudanese ambassadors to strategic countries and international organizations. South Sudan is now in a bit better shape to make its case heard internationally, which is really simple in a way. Actually, there is no moral equivalent between Juba and Khartoum so as to level the competition. Khartoum is ruled like how the criminals run the streets of crime hit cities in the West. The government in Khartoum is run by what the Sudanese people locally refer to as mujirimin (thugs). Even the head of the Khartoum regime, President Omar al-Bashir is an indicted criminal and an international fugitive. The regime is killing its people and causing problems with everyone else. The records are there in abandon to speak for themselves.
             Now that South Sudan has done more than its share of obligations, it is the turn of international community to pressure the mujirimin in Khartoum to act in accordance with international norms and demands. Khartoum must be held to account for all the UN resolutions and other agreements it unilaterally abrogates and continue to violate. This then will pave the way for peaceful negotiations as it will place Juba and Khartoum under equal footing, because as things currently stand, the two are not equal in the world standing.
           In order for a peaceful and genuine negotiations to take place, the negotiations between South and North Sudan must be transferred under the auspicious of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). One begins to wonder how in the first place the negotiations between South and North Sudan ended up under the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), headed by a failed South African politician Thabo Mbeki, a former South African president who could not even secure the chairmanship position in his political party of African National Congress (ANC), even though he was an anointed president of the Republic of South Africa. The panel is not only headed by a failed politician, but it has proven in its deed that it is failing, since it has done it in Darfur and is now doing it in the case of South Sudan.
           Sadly enough, this supposedly continental panel includes consultants like Dr. Alex De Waal, an opportunist masquerading as a scholar and expert on Sudan. The following two articles (Alex De Waal and Darfur Genocide Question and Alex De Waal response by proxy on Darfur genocide question), written by this author is enough to portray an accurate picture and motives of Dr. Alex De Waal in his involvement in Sudanese affairs. In short, (AUHIP) appears more of a dumping ground for employment accommodations awarded to African failed politicians such as Thabo Mbeki or the Western opportunists, masquerading as experts, the likes of Dr. Alex De Waal.
          No wonder right after the Paanthou crisis, Mbeki ran to the UN and began to toe the line of Khartoum, by accusing South Sudan for aggression. How can South Sudan a victim of constant belligerence suddenly turned into an aggressor in a course of one night is still baffling to those who follow issues in that region.
          At any rate, the stakes involved is higher than accommodations of failed politicians and making the relevance of expertise of Western opportunists. For that reason, the IGAD must immediately take over the negotiations since the issues under negotiations are pertinent to Comprehensive Peace Agreements (CPA), brokered by IGAD.
          Otherwise, the easiest unilateral alternative for South Sudan is clear as it is declared in South Sudan TV by a South Sudanese army general deputy chief of staff Isaac Obuto Mamur that in case of a failed political settlement, the South Sudanese army stands ready; starting by demarcating the borders in African style of courage, honor, and sacrifice. The declaration by the battle hardened General with the body that sustains more bullet wounds than an African elephant can withstand is of course not just a bravado pep talk to the troops.
          The South Sudanese troops have just proven to their opponents in Khartoum and the entire world that they can easily demarcate the borders if they so wish to. So, that decision is currently pending under political negotiations, while the South Sudanese troops reserve its rights to demarcate the borders. The UN Security Council threats of sanctions against the Republic of South Sudan has actually little bearing on abilities, moral, and battle prowess of South Sudanese troops—the generation of people who are driven by their desires for freedom, justice, and equality.
              South Sudanese gallant forces, the SPLA have performed outstandingly as they acted in self defense to chase Khartoum forces from Paanthou. They sent Khartoum weak armed forces running, leaving behind scores of dead bodies, all their belongings, and even some human souls that the SPLA is able to preserve as prisoners of war (POW), in accordance with the Geneva Protocol of war. Simply put: SPLA incursion into Paanthou has proven that Khartoum armed forces is not a competition in ground combat in comparison to the SPLA. Khartoum is still winning the air war though, where South Sudan is lacking behind. This means, South Sudan needs to upgrade its air defense capabilities so as to effectively deal Khartoum a blow.
            More importantly, South Sudan needs to manage and coordinate its military operations against Khartoum jointly with Khartoum’s armed oppositions, particularly the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF). The opportunity of coordination has been missed during the incursion of Paanthou, because the action was in response of self defense and unplanned. However, with a better planning and strategy in coordination with the other armed groups in the Republic of Sudan, an incident similar to Paanthou scope, would have created a momentum that will establish a life of its own in driving the Omar al-Bashir thuggish regime out of power within just a shortest period of time.
             Since, the coalition against the Khartoum regime extends far and beyond, South Sudan must capitalize on the momentum in making sure the coalition stick and increase in size. Uganda already bravely came out against Khartoum’s regime belligerence by declaring its readiness to face Khartoum in its aggression, which it wages not just against South Sudan but neighboring nations, such as supporting the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) of Uganda.
            Ironically, and by implications, the USA military is also involved in this coalition war against Khartoum, despite the contradictions of American administration’s public condemnation of South Sudan. In a letter from US President Barack Obama to American Congress, dated October 14, 2011, the America President revealed that he decided to deploy American troops in central Africa to combat the LRA atrocities. The troops are specifically deployed in areas affected by LRA, Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
              In a layman’s word, America decided to fight the LRA, which actually means, fighting Khartoum—the force behind LRA. Perhaps it is a high time that the South Sudan President Salva Kiir pay a courtesy call across to American President Barack Obama so as to have him explain the contradiction of trying to fight the LRA, which is supported by Khartoum against South Sudan, and at the same time condemning South Sudan for standing up against Khartoum’s constant belligerence.
              So, if President Obama gives a lame excuse for the contradiction of policy because of an American election, then he must have a courage to explain to any of the families of those American combat forces fighting the LRA who are the real backer behind the LRA, specially the provider of the weapons and bullets that will kill these brave American soldiers during this combat operation.
              The CPA was intended to transform the Sudan. Since the CPA was signed, all the political forces, which are by the way oppose to the regime in Khartoum with a vehement zeal, were looking for direction so as to challenge the brutal dictatorship of National Congress Party (NCP) in Khartoum. Since then, they never found a direction. Now there is an opportunity for them to effectively deal with the thuggish regime in Khartoum by looking for direction and leadership in the Republic of South Sudan. Therefore, the Republic of South Sudan needs to call and sponsor a conference of all Sudanese opposition groups to be held in Juba. The conference goal should be the overthrow of the criminal President Omar al-Bashir and his NCP regime, among other things.
                In case the South Sudan government, the SPLM in particular has not done it yet, they need to immediately establish contact and send a special invitation to come to Juba for the popular governor of Gadaref state, Karamallah Abbas, who is bravely challenging the regime in Khartoum. Governor Abbas is the first to challenge the marginalization of the people of Gadaref by the regime in Khartoum, which led into his ouster from power by the regime.
               Gadarif state is a rich agricultural area, but yet the local people of the state go hungry despite the food they produce. The awareness of marginalization orchestrated from Khartoum is now spreading like cancer and South Sudan must lead in creating the awareness.
Steve Paterno, a South Sudanese residing in the USA, is the author of “The Rev. Fr. Saturnino Lohure: A Roman Catholic Priest Turned Rebel, the South Sudan Experience.” You can reach him through his email:

Sudan strikes on S.Sudan may be illegal: UN


Sudanese air strikes on foe South Sudan could amount tointernational crimes, the UN rights chief warned Friday, adding that she was “saddened and outraged” at bombing raids that broke a UN ceasefire order.

“Deliberate or reckless attacks on civilian areas can, depending on the circumstances, amount to an international crime,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told reporters.

Khartoum has repeatedly denied its warplanes have bombarded Southern territory during weeks of bitter border conflict, including civilian areas and a UN base as well as Southern army positions along the contested frontier.

However Pillay, who has been visiting South Sudan, said Khartoum had carried out “indiscriminate bombing without consideration that civilians are living there.”

A May 2 Security Council resolution called for Sudan and South Sudan to cease hostilities along their border and settle unresolved issues after the South’s separation last July following a 1983-2005 civil war.

On Wednesday, Sudan’s army said it had fought with South Sudan along the disputed border, while the South said it had come under renewed Sudanese air attack, violating that UN ceasefire.

“Twice in the past six months I have publicly condemned the indiscriminate use of aerial bombardment by the Sudanese Armed Forces – today, I condemn it again,” Pillay added.

“What the UN has done in response to the aerial bombardment by Sudan in the territory of South Sudan is mostly the adoption of a Security Council resolution, which is very serious when it reaches this stage,” Pillay said.

Both sides have pledged to seek peace after bloody clashes began in late March, peaking with the South’s seizure of the key Heglig oil field before it pulled back after international condemnation.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said Thursday neither the UN nor the African Union can impose its will on Sudan, although Khartoum’s foreign ministry has sent written confirmation of its commitment to stop hostilities.

Under the resolution, talks must start by May 16.

Bashir and other senior Khartoum officials are already accused by the International Criminal Court of war crimes and genocide in Sudan’s western war-torn Darfur region.

Riddle over war damage at Sudan’s Heglig

AFPBy Ian Timberlake | AFP 

Somewhere within the twisted metal of Sudan’s damaged Hegligpetroleum complex may lie the evidence to prove who caused the destruction during the 10-day occupation of the region by South Sudanese troops last month.

The United Nations has called for an impartial investigation into what happened at Heglig during the border war which sparked international alarm.

Sudan and South Sudan have blamed each other for the extensive damage to the export pipeline and central processing facility serving the north’s main oil field.

Sudanese officials said it produced roughly half the national production before South Sudanese forces moved in on April 10, disputing the north’s claim to the area.

During the occupation South Sudan’s army alleged the north bombed the Heglig area “indiscriminately,” and that an air raid struck the processing facility, setting it ablaze.

But the north blamed southern troops and called for compensation.

An African diplomat taken on a government-run tour a few days after Heglig’s “liberation” said the damage did not appear to have been caused by aerial bombing.

He said an explosion under the facility’s power station had left depressions in the ground and the metal roofing was blown out — damage inconsistent with an air strike.

The diplomat, who declined to be identified, said he could still detect the smell of explosives and felt South Sudan was responsible.

“My sense is that, I can’t see how Sudan would’ve self-inflicted that kind of thing on themselves,” the diplomat said.

“It was well thought out, well executed… just enough to cause disablement, at least for a while.”

But he said some observers in Khartoum disagree, believing that either side could have done it. “There are some who say that,” he added.

A source close to the oil industry also felt the South was behind the damage because it could not have been caused by aerial bombing.

Sudan announced last week that it had resumed pumping oil from the partially-repaired Heglig facility but the source said it would take months to resume full production.

An international economist estimated that Sudan’s oil revenues shrank by more than $700 million after Heglig was damaged.

South Sudan separated last July with about 75 percent of the former united Sudan’s oil production, leaving Khartoum struggling for revenue and hard currency.

Juba still depended on the north’s pipeline and Red Sea port to export its crude, which it said provided 98 percent of its earnings,.

But a protracted dispute over fees for use of that infrastructure was at the heart of tensions which brought the two countries to the brink of all-out war and led South Sudan in January to shut its oil production.

“It seems quite plausible to me that South Sudan did it,” an international analyst said of the Heglig damage.

Despite Sudan’s claims to have driven the South Sudanese troops from Heglig by force, the analyst and the diplomat said there had not been heavy fighting in Heglig itself, supporting the argument that Sudan wanted to preserve the oil facility.

“You would’ve seen artillery shells quite extensively… pock marks, and (battle) damage” if there had been intense combat, the diplomat said.

Corpses that were scattered about, “may have been of a show nature,” he added.

Sudan did not allow journalists into the Heglig area during clashes with the South, and granted them only brief access on government-escorted tours after South Sudan said it had withdrawn.

“They did not want them to witness this damage,” said South Sudan’s military spokesman Philip Aguer.

“Whatever story Khartoum is giving, it’s a fabrication. It is their own bombing. It is their own destruction,” he said. “Khartoum is a country based on denial.”

Magdi El Gizouli, a fellow at the Rift Valley Institute, a non-profit research group, said that because it was a war zone, “I think both parties contributed to the damage”.

Under a May 2 UN Security Council resolution, the two countries are to cease hostilities and resume by next Wednesday negotiations on unresolved issues including oil.

The resolution also calls for “an impartial fact-finding effort to assess the losses and economic and humanitarian damage, including to oil facilities and other key infrastructure, in and around Heglig.”

South Sudan is ready to comply with “all the articles” in the UN resolution, Minister for Cabinet Affairs Deng Alor said.

The African diplomat said the UN call for fact-finding is significant because in a climate of war rhetoric, “the first victim is truth.”

Sudan ‘launches new air strikes against South Sudan’

Posted: May 9, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Sudanese war planes have launched renewed air strikes against South Sudan, violating a UN Security Council resolution to end weeks of a bitter border conflict, the South’s army has claimed.

Sudanese war planes have launched renewed air strikes against South Sudan, violating a UN Security Council resolution to end weeks of a bitter border conflict, the South's army has claimed.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir addresses his supporters during a visit in Heglig, Sudan Photo: EPA

“The Republic of Sudan has been randomly bombarding civilian areas,” said Southern army spokesman Kella Kueth, who said the air strikes hit the border states of Upper Nile, Unity and Western Bahr el-Ghazal on Monday and Tuesday.

It was not possible to independently confirm the reports of bombing, and Sudan has repeatedly denied it has bombed the South.

“The people of Khartoum, they just deny,” Mr Kueth said, adding that both fighter jets and Antonov airplanes carried the air raids.

Both sides say they are complying with a United Nations Security Council resolution which ordered them to stop fighting from last Friday, after international concern the rivals could return to all out war.

A border war with South Sudan began in late March, escalating with waves of Sudanese air strikes against South Sudanese territory and the South’s 10-day seizure of the Heglig oil field from Khartoum’s army.

The South’s army confirmed it had pulled back six miles south of the contested border line, in accordance with the UN deadline Wednesday to do so. However the border is undemarcated.

“Yes, we have done so… but we are focusing on the bombing,” Mr Kueth added.

The UN resolution threatens additional non-military sanctions if either side fails to meet its conditions, including ordering Sudan to halt air strikes.

It also lays down a May 16 deadline for Khartoum and Juba to “unconditionally resume negotiations” mediated by the African Union.

Troops from the rival armies are dug into fortified defensive positions along the restive border.

The reported attacks come as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay visits South Sudan to discuss the protection of civilians affected by the border fighting.

Sudan has accused the South’s army of occupying border areas Khartoum claims as theirs, in the frontier zone between Sudan’s South Darfur state, and the South’s Western and Northern Bahr el-Ghazal states.

However, the South reject those claims, saying clashes there were between Khartoum’s army and northern rebels.

“We, the South, do not have anything to do with Darfur, we do not concern ourselves about that,” Kueth said.

Sudan also accuses the South of backing rebels from Darfur as well as those fighting in Sudan’s South Kordofan state and Blue Nile.

Juba rejects the claims, and in turn accuses Khartoum of backing rebels on its territory, a tactic it used to deadly effect during their 1983-2005 civil war.

The South also accuses Khartoum of occupying several parts of its territory, including the Lebanon-sized Abyei region, claimed by both sides but which Sudan’s army stormed last year forcing over 100,000 people to flee southwards.

Source: AFP

South Sudan Economy On the Verge of Collapse, World Bank Warns
Washington — The newly independent state of South Sudan is quickly headed towards an economic cliff in light of its decision to shut down oil production which went into effect earlier this year, says a confidential report by the World bank.
South Sudan completing withdrawal of police service in Abyei
Sudan Tribune
May 7, 2012 (JUBA) — South Sudan said on Monday it is completing withdrawal processes of police forces from the contested area of Abyei, apparently in conformity with the United Nations Security Council resolution endorsing roadmap of the Africa Union 

South Sudan expects Uganda backing vs. Sudan

Kansas City Star – ‎
By RODNEY MUHUMUZA AP KAMPALA, Uganda — A South Sudanese official said Monday that his government expects Uganda to play a substantial role in resolving the border conflict that has at times threatened to plunge South Sudan and Sudan into a full-scale 
Al-Arabiya -‎
Sudan is struggling to restore its economy after years of war and the break-away of newly formed South Sudan. (Reuters) By Yara Bayoumy Sudan’s dispute with its southern neighbor over oil transit fees has created a $2.4 billion gap in the country’s – ‎‎
Al Jazeera learns that 200 troops switch allegiance to South Sudan, accusing Khartoum of destabilising the new nation. More than 200 Sudanese soldiers have defected from the army, accusing Khartoum of deliberately trying to destabilise the newly 
Irish Examiner – ‎
Sudan’s president has said that the conflict with Southern Sudan will not affect close relations between the two peoples. Omar al-Bashir’s comments come days after his government accepted an African Union plan to resume talks with South Sudan, 
NewsDay – ‎
KHARTOUM – Sudan’s dispute with its southern neighbour over oil transit fees has created a 6.5 billion pound gap in the country’s public finances and caused exports to plunge 83 percent, the Sudanese finance minister said on Monday.
Independent Online –
By Reuters Sudan’s finance minister said on Monday a dispute with South Sudan over oil transit fees has caused a 6.5 billion Sudanese pounds ($2.4 billion) gap in the country’s public finances. Ali Mahmoud also said inflation in the first quarter of 
AngolaPress – ‎‎
Khartoum – Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Sunday he would not allow conflict with South Sudan to overshadow “strategic relations” with its people, striking a less confrontational tone over a crisis that has raised fears of war.
Bernama – ‎
KHARTOUM, May 7 (Bernama) — The Sudanese government on Sunday said it will transport around 12000 South Sudanese citizens stranded on the border via an air bridge in the coming days, China’s Xinhua news agency reported. Sudanese Minister of Social 
New Vision –
Sudan’s army accused South Sudan on Saturday of having troops on its territory, a sign tensions between the former civil war foes were unlikely to cool despite an international ultimatum to end fighting. Sudanese army spokesman al-Sawarmi Khalid said 
New Vision – ‎
A source at the Sudanese Embassy said that the delegation includes the chairperson of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs Ahmad Abdulrahman Muhammad and a member of the committee Mr. Mahdi Ibrahim Muhammad. It has not been established – ‎‎
Khartoum Sudan’s economy has not failed, President Omar Al Bashir said Sunday despite losing billions of dollars in oil revenue, and the unknown costs of a border war with South Sudan. The International Monetary Fund has forecast Sudan’s real gross – ‎May 6, 2012‎
By Mohammad Fadhel, Special to Gulf News Why are the Sudanese political leaders driving their country from one failure to another, as if failure is an inevitable fate? Sudan, which gained independence on January 1, 1956, was led by an elite group of 
Edmonton Journal – ‎May 6, 2012‎
KHARTOUM – The United Nations has asked Sudan to hand over four of its staffers who were arrested more than a week ago by Sudan’s army along the tense southern border, a UN report said on Sunday. “The four were UN staff who had been working on a 
The Province – ‎May 6, 2012‎
Sudanese President Omar al- Bashir addresses supporters during a rally at the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) headquarters in Khartoum April 18, 2012. KHARTOUM – Sudan’s economy has not failed, President Omar al-Bashir said on Sunday despite 

The Two Sudans on the Brink

Posted: May 4, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Reports
Tags: , ,

By Richard Downie

There are fears that Sudan and South Sudan are edging closer to all-out war. The latest crisis has been precipitated by a dispute over oil, which propels the economies of both countries. South Sudan broke away from Sudan to become an independent nation in July 2011 but has been unable to agree on terms for using the North’s oil pipeline, its only route to selling its oil. The dispute escalated in January, when South Sudan shut off production entirely rather than pay what it said were exorbitant fees to transport its oil through Sudan. A military confrontation quickly ensued, which culminated in the seizure by South Sudan’s army of the main oil field controlled by the North, Heglig, on April 10. In a speech to party supporters, President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan said that efforts to retake Heglig would “not be the end, but the beginning.” He pledged to “liberate” South Sudan from its government.

Q1: What explains the latest fighting?

A1: The failure of both countries to agree on the terms of their separation is at the heart of this dispute. Although South Sudan reached independence peacefully last year, the outcome was achieved by putting off negotiations on a long list of contentious issues. They included demarcating the common border and establishing citizenship rights for Southerners living in the North and vice versa. But top of the list was how to jointly manage the oil industry, which accounts for 98 percent of revenue in the South and is the main source of income in the North. When negotiations resumed last fall, both sides adopted intransigent positions, and the talks quickly broke down. Exasperated by the failure to reach a deal and moves by Khartoum to confiscate some of its oil before it could be exported, the government of South Sudan (GoSS) took the fateful decision to shut down production entirely.

Layered on top of the diplomatic impasse was a deteriorating security situation on both sides of the border. GoSS blamed Khartoum for fomenting a succession of damaging rebellions within its borders. Meanwhile in the North, a series of conflicts have quickly gotten out of control, mostly in border regions populated by groups whose sympathies lie with the South. In keeping with previous patterns of behavior, the regime in Khartoum has reacted with indiscriminate force, killing civilians and displacing communities. This response has only served to motivate the rebels. Worryingly for the regime, disparate groups in Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur are beginning to coordinate their operations. Last November they announced the formation of the Sudan Revolutionary Front and declared their intention to topple President Bashir from power. Khartoum has long suspected, with some justification, that the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) government in South Sudan is assisting these rebels. This rising tide of mutual hostility, combined with the punishing economic costs of the oil shutdown and the aggressive posturing of two ill-disciplined armies, made a military confrontation more likely. Nevertheless, the decision by Southern forces from the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA) to occupy an oil field that is widely regarded as lying within Northern territory was a major escalation. South Sudan now finds itself in the unusual position of being painted as the aggressor, while Sudan’s demand that Southern forces immediately withdraw from Heglig has been backed by the international community, including the United States.

Q2: What are the prospects for ending the fighting in the near term?

A2: Not good. The hotheads seem to be driving policy on both sides of the border. Emotions are running high, and recent statements, such as the one issued by President Bashir, are throwing kerosene on the flames. For the time being, neither side is showing much inclination to step back from the brink or suggest a realistic basis for negotiations. A spokesman for GoSS, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, said the South will not withdraw its forces from Heglig unless the fighting stops, the African Union acts as guarantor of a cease-fire, Sudanese forces withdraw from the contested border region of Abyei, and an agreement on demarcating the border is reached. It is unlikely these demands will be met in the near term. For its part, Khartoum’s current strategy does not appear to extend beyond winning Heglig back by force.

Q3: What can the United States do to stop the fighting?

A3: The United States, in common with the rest of the international community, is in the frustrating position of having to watch from the sidelines while the peace unravels. Special Envoy Princeton Lyman is engaged in shuttle diplomacy, visiting both Juba and Khartoum this week, but the reality is that the United States has limited capacity to influence events. Long-standing sanctions against the National Congress Party (NCP) regime in Khartoum curtail his ability to engage with the northern leadership, but in any case, NCP has never been inclined to listen to anything the United States has to say. In theory, the United States has more leverage over the South, which it backed during the long years of Sudan’s civil war and which it continues to supply with desperately needed economic and technical support. So it is a matter of considerable frustration and some annoyance to Washington that Juba shows just as little willingness to listen to U.S. appeals as do its counterparts in the North. Nevertheless, U.S. pressure on Juba to moderate its behavior remains the best potential avenue for ending the crisis. Perhaps Washington would have had more traction with its friends in South Sudan if it had previously been more forceful in pushing for responsible governance in return for its economic and diplomatic largesse. China is perhaps one of the few countries that can wield influence on both sides of the border. Its investments in the oil industry mean it has an economic stake in restoring peace. China does not publicize its diplomatic activity, but it would not be a surprise if Beijing were putting pressure on Khartoum and Juba behind the scenes. A planned visit to China by President Salva Kiir of South Sudan later this month may provide an added opportunity.

Q4: Is the fighting likely to have an impact on global oil prices?

A4: Logic would suggest not. As oil producers, the two Sudans are small players in the overall picture. Of the two countries, South Sudan has 70 to 75 percent of the oil. It was pumping 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) before shutting off production in January, a move that barely caused a ripple on world markets. That leaves Sudan, which produces approximately 115,000 bpd. The Southern occupation of Heglig, its largest oil field, has dented output, although to what extent is unclear. Heglig was producing 60,000 bpd before the latest fighting, and officials had previously stated that production stopped entirely following its seizure. But in a statement on April 18, Sudan’s oil minister said production had only fallen by 40,000 bpd overall and that some of Heglig’s oil had been “diverted.” Regardless of the true figures, the disruption of Sudan’s oil production is unlikely to have a global impact, although its effect on the domestic economy is likely to be very serious indeed.

Richard Downie is a fellow and deputy director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

Two New Sudans: A Roadmap Forward


Princeton Lyman
Special Envoy for Sudan 
U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing
Washington, DC
July 15, 2011

Chairman Kerry, Ranking Member Lugar, Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, thank you for the opportunity to be here to discuss the historic achievement symbolized by South Sudan’s independence and the opportunities and challenges ahead as Sudan and South Sudan seek to define their future relationship with each other and the international community.

I will discuss below the many tasks and challenges that lie ahead. But first we should recall that a fundamental objective of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement was to provide the people of southern Sudan a choice whether to continue within one country or to separate. The people made that choice in January, voting for separation, and the independence of South Sudan was achieved July 9 without major conflict and with the recognition of the Government of Sudan. All those, in the Congress, among the many public organizations and advocates, the government entities and individuals over two administrations, all those who worked for this over many years should take pride and joy in this achievement.

I was in Juba last Saturday for South Sudan’s independence ceremony. It was a very moving occasion. As President Obama said in his statement recognizing South Sudan, the day reminded us “that after the darkness of war, the light of a new dawn is possible.” Tens of thousands of people endured sweltering heat for hours to celebrate the birth of their new nation. Sudan was the first country to recognize South Sudan’s independence. This was a historic achievement that represents a new beginning for the people of South Sudan as well as those of Sudan.

Mr. Chairman, this achievement was far from inevitable. Just a year ago, the peace process between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement was stalled. Many doubted whether it would be possible to have an on-time, peaceful referendum for Southern Sudan and whether the Government of Sudan would ever accept the results. A return to open conflict seemed very possible. During that time, President Obama committed to reenergizing the peace effort, and since then, we have intensified our diplomatic engagement with the CPA parties as well as our partners in the African Union, IGAD, Europe and the United Nations. The President himself, the Vice President and his entire national security team have been involved in this effort around the clock. We are grateful for the support that this committee and you in particular, Mr. Chairman, have given to this effort. We also appreciate the efforts that so many Americans have made to keep a spotlight on the situation in Sudan.

Over the last year, the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan have demonstrated their capacity to work together on the major task of separation and to overcome great odds in their search for peaceful completion of the CPA. Nevertheless, this period has also been marked by armed clashes along the border, a crisis in Abyei, and fighting currently under way in the northern state of Southern Kordofan. Several critical issues regarding relations between the two states that were to be negotiated by July 9 have not been resolved. Thus the situation remains fraught with serious threats to peace. The two states must work to rekindle the spirit of cooperation that was so evident after the referendum of January 9 and which was promised again by the two leaders in the ceremony of July 9.

The CPA parties have made some progress in their negotiations over the past few months, but as I indicated above some of the most important issues namely oil, Abyei and citizenship remain unresolved. How these outstanding issues are managed over the near term will define the future relationship between Sudan and South Sudan. At the IGAD Summit on July 4, President Bashir and President Kiir committed to continue negotiations beyond July 9. We are urging the parties to quickly return to the negotiating table in the coming days and set a firm deadline for completing this unfinished business. The parties should work with the support of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to finalize mutually-beneficial arrangements, in particular, oil revenues, citizenship, Abyei, and their shared border. Allowing these issues to linger without resolution for too long could destabilize the future relationship between Sudan and South Sudan.

Of particular importance is the contentious issue of Abyei. After months of rising tensions and a buildup of forces by both sides, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) forcefully took over the disputed area of Abyei in May. An estimated 100,000 people were forced to flee their homes. After weeks of intense negotiations, the parties signed an agreement on June 20 outlining temporary arrangements for Abyei, to include the establishment of a new UN peacekeeping force in Abyei and the redeployment of all Sudanese military forces from the area. Secretary of State Clinton met with the parties in Addis Ababa during these talks and played an important role in finalizing this deal. We then led efforts in the UN Security Council to quickly secure a resolution authorizing this new peacekeeping force, which will consist of up to 4,200 Ethiopian peacekeepers.

The violence that flared in Abyei cannot be allowed to return and jeopardize the larger peace. It is critical that the parties move forward with genuinely implementing this agreement over the coming weeks as they continue to work toward a final arrangement on Abyei. The Ethiopian peacekeepers have begun deploying to Abyei. The SAF and Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) must follow through with their commitment to withdraw their forces. Conditions must be put in place to allow those displaced from Abyei to voluntarily return home in safety and dignity as soon as possible. Enormous damage was done to homes and other structures in Abyei and much was looted during the SAF take-over. Considerable assistance will therefore be needed for those returning home. We are working closely with the Ethiopian peacekeeping force, the United Nations humanitarian agencies, and our own USAID to arrange support for a safe, voluntary return. At the same time, as part of their negotiations, the parties need to resolve Abyei’s final status. Negotiations on this matter were delayed by the SAF take-over of the area and the extensive negotiations for assuring the departure of military forces from there. This delay was costly. It will take weeks for the Ethiopian forces to be fully deployed and some time for the displaced to feel it safe to return.

Negotiations on the oil sector are equally important, but they must move on a quicker timetable. By the end of July, there has to be an understanding of how oil will be marketed and sold and to what extent the SPLM will provide some tapering off of reductions of income to the north. Agreement is made more difficult, however, because the SPLM does not want to make such a decision without final agreements on Abyei, the border, and perhaps some other issues. We are thus faced with conflicting timelines. In this situation, it is imperative that if there is no final resolution of oil revenue distribution, there must be an interim agreement by the end of July. Each side has claimed it is ready to shut down the oil flow if there is no agreement, positions that if acted upon would only hurt both sides and above all the people of all Sudan. Thus this issue demands action very soon.

Mr. Chairman, beyond their negotiations with each other, Sudan and South Sudan must also work to establish peace within their respective borders. Despite their separation, both countries have significant diversity and must decide how they will manage that diversity over the coming years.  Most immediately, we remain deeply concerned about the situation in the northern border state of Southern Kordofan, an area that is home to tens of thousands of SPLA fighters. The people of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile were promised in the CPA that their political interests would be addressed in a process of popular consultations. Unfortunately, those consultations have not occurred in Southern Kordofan. Tensions increased in Southern Kordofan following the state’s heavily-contested elections in May. The SPLM refused to accept the results of the election in which the sitting Governor was declared the winner. It was in this atmosphere that the Government of Sudan issued an order to the SAF to dissolve the Joint Integrated Units and forcibly disarm SPLA units that remained in the state. On June 5, intense fighting broke out between the SAF and SPLA forces in the state. To date, the fighting has continued, with the SAF carrying out aerial bombardments of SPLA areas. We are extremely concerned by credible allegations of targeted and ethnic-based killings and other gross human rights abuses. These abuses must end, an investigation must be conducted, and perpetrators must be held accountable. The UN estimates that 73,000 people have been displaced by the fighting, and critical access and resupply routes for humanitarian agencies have been blocked.

Negotiations over Southern Kordofan began in Ethiopia in late June under the auspices of the AUHIP. The Government of Sudan and the SPLM-North signed a framework agreement on June 28 outlining new political and security arrangements for Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states. This agreement has the advantage of calling for addressing political issues at the same time as security ones, which is indispensable for reaching an agreement to cease hostilities and lay the groundwork for a longer term settlement. Unfortunately, President Bashir has raised problems with the framework agreement, which puts negotiations at risk. We continue to call on the parties to return to the negotiating table, to recognize the need to address both political and security issues, and to agree on a cessation of hostilities which would allow unfettered humanitarian access. Despite the opposition of Khartoum, we also continue to call on the Government of Sudan to accept a continued UN presence in the two states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile to support a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access, and the establishment of new security arrangements. We believe, and we know that much of the international community agrees, that it is in their interest to do so. The Security Council has expressed its readiness to authorize continued UN operations if Khartoum consents.

Within Sudan, we also remain deeply concerned about the security and humanitarian crisis in Darfur. Clashes continue to occur in North and South Darfur between the Government of Sudan and an alliance of Darfur rebel groups, notably the Sudanese Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement. The SAF continues to use aerial bombardments as well as proxy militias as part of its military strategy against the movements, thereby resulting in civilian casualties. Conflict and widespread insecurity impact the humanitarian situation negatively and hamper humanitarian organizations from carrying out their activities in the deep field. The GOS continues to obstruct access of UN-African Union peacekeepers and humanitarian organizations struggle to obtain visas and travel permits from the GoS, which undermine the effectiveness and independence of humanitarian efforts. We have consistently pressed the Government of Sudan to provide full and unfettered access for aid workers and peacekeepers, in order to deliver humanitarian assistance across Darfur. Our own humanitarian staff is only able to access Darfur with high level visits. Otherwise, operational access is simply not possible. Although there has been some limited IDP resettlement in West Darfur and a significant increase in seasonal IDP returns for cultivation, around 2 million Darfuris overall remain in IDP camps. Approximately 70,000 additional persons have been displaced since December 2010.

We have invested considerable efforts in pushing the Government of Sudan and the armed movements to commit to serious negotiations in Doha. Two of Darfur’s rebel groups, the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) have participated in the Doha negotiations. The LJM may sign a peace agreement with the Government of Sudan this week; however LJM has little military strength on the ground. Negotiations between JEM and the Government of Sudan have been suspended since early May, and JEM is currently reconsidering its position on the results of the Doha process. We have emphasized to the Government of Sudan that an agreement with the LJM would be a positive step toward peace, but that it must continue to negotiate with the other armed movements. We also will be applying pressure on the non-negotiating armed movements to return to peace talks.

The position of the armed movements is also of concern. Several of them insist that they do not wish to negotiate on Darfur so much as on changes to the regime in Khartoum, and in some cases are determined to pursue that objective through fighting in and beyond Darfur. This position does not permit realistically peace talks with the Government of Sudan. We will also continue to encourage the non-negotiating armed movements to return to peace talks on Darfur. While the Doha process has now come to an end, other venues can be developed if talks are possible. In this regard, we are currently consulting with the AU, the UN and our international partners on a way forward after Doha that builds on progress achieved in Doha and leads to a more comprehensive settlement.

Any successful peace process must engage not only the armed movements, but also the people of Darfur. The UN and the AU have put forward the initiative of a Darfur Political Process, through which Darfuris would express their views on the way forward for a political settlement. However, we feel strongly that the current security and political environment would not lend itself to a credible or legitimate peace process in Darfur. For this reason, we will be coordinating with the AU and the UN on the necessary enabling conditions that we believe must be in place before the U.S. will support a Darfur-based process.

Mr. Chairman, Sudan needs to end its isolation in the international community and secure a more prosperous future for its people. It has a historic opportunity to do so with the completion of the CPA. Sudan faces an uncertain economic future as it adjusts to a significant loss of oil revenue and continues to shoulder nearly $38 billion of debt. Undoubtedly, Sudan is in need of debt relief, access to the resources of the International Financial Institutions, and a sustainable climate for private investment. Provided Sudan fulfills its obligations under the CPA, the United States is prepared to help.

We have laid out a roadmap to normalize our bilateral relations and taken initial steps in that direction. In February, following a successful referendum, the President began the process of reviewing Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. Last month, the President dispatched Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan to Khartoum to discuss this review and to demonstrate our commitment to this process. Additionally, we have been actively involved in the World Bank technical working group to review the process for Sudan’s debt relief. We have also approved licenses for several American companies wishing to participate in agricultural development in the north.

However, we can only move forward with improved bilateral relations, as outlined in the roadmap, if the Government of Sudan fulfills its obligations under the CPA and demonstrates its commitment to peace within its borders and with its neighbors. A failure to reach a cessation of hostilities will negatively impact this process. U.S. government action to lift remaining U.S. economic sanctions and to request legislative assistance with the removal of applicable foreign assistance restrictions also will be dependent on Sudanese actions in Darfur. We will expect to see concrete actions on humanitarian access, freedom of movement for UNAMID peacekeepers, engagement in peace talks, an end to the use of proxy militias and targeting of civilians, and an improvement in justice and accountability so the reign of impunity in Darfur does not continue. This is not just the position of the United States. It is also the view of other members of the international community and international creditors.

Mr. Chairman, the Government of South Sudan will also depend on international support as it seeks to address its many challenges. South Sudan has some of the lowest development indicators in the world, and its people have high expectations that their lives will improve with independence. Many of its people also remain vulnerable to the activity of armed militias in the border states of Unity, Jonglei, and Upper Nile to the North, and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the state of Equatoria regions to the south. The United States has provided significant support for South Sudan over the years, and we will remain a steadfast partner as South Sudan seeks to peacefully meet these challenges. The strong ties between our peoples go back many decades, and we want to continue to build on that partnership.

Over 15 countries have offered capacity building assistance to the GOSS. Following the Troika development ministers’ visit in May, USAID is working closely with the AU, UN, ADB, EU, India, China, South Africa, Uganda and others to ensure that the ROSS has a viable human capital plan in place to build capacity for key functions in Juba and state governments. This builds upon the work USAID has done over the last 7 years in the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of South Sudan, health, education, and agriculture. USAID is working with partners to scale up to ensure that stop gap measure along with medium to long term capacities are being addressed. The United States, the UN, the UK, and other donors will focus on building a human rights culture throughout the GOSS, including the SPLA. All the donors will help in economic development. The United States plans in particular to make a major effort in agricultural production, which can help the vast majority of South Sudanese and for which there is much promise.

To succeed and to sustain international support, the Government of South Sudan must demonstrate its commitment to building an effective, democratic and inclusive government that embodies South Sudan’s diversity, respects human rights and delivers services with transparency and accountability. The eyes of the world will indeed be on South Sudan in the weeks and months ahead. The government must deliver on its commitment to a broad-based, inclusive process to write its permanent constitution. The government must also put in place safeguards to prevent corruption and avoid the pitfalls that have befallen many other oil-producing nations. President Kiir made a strong statement in his inaugural address on these very issues. The United States will work with other international partners to provide advice and support for the government to help him implement those pledges.

Mr. Chairman and other members of the committee, the challenges ahead are great, but the historic occasion last Saturday offers a new beginning for the people of South Sudan and Sudan. Now it is up to the leaders and people of South Sudan and Sudan to turn this moment of promise into lasting peace. We will continue to assist them in this hard work. Over the coming months, the Obama administration’s engagement will be unwavering, and we will be a steadfast partner to all those in Sudan and South Sudan who seek a better future of peace and prosperity.

Sudan and South Sudan: Conflict continues

In the shade of a mango tree, the south’s VP proclaims ‘There is no ceasefire.’

BENTIU, South Sudan — Sudan bombed a civilian market here today killing three people, highlighting the continued tensions.

Sudan claims that it is retaliating for South Sudan’s shelling of the town of Talodi in Sudan on Sunday, which caused many casualties.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said Monday that he is not interested in negotiating with South Sudan. He said the only way to deal with South Sudan is to fight,according to the BBC.

It is clear that South Sudan’s withdrawal from Sudan’s Heglig oilfield over the weekend has not ended the hostilities between the two neighboring countries, said South Sudan’s Vice President Riek Machar.

“Our history is a history of fighting each other. The Republic of South Sudan was created out of self-defence,” said Machar, on relations with its northern neighbor Sudan. “We fight, and we talk.”

Machar sat beneath a large mango tree on the bank of the Naam River where he held court perched on a pair of flimsy baby blue plastic chairs stacked on top of each other for extra strength: He’s a big man.

He’s also a Big Man: He wears a heavy gold Rolex watch and a candy-striped shirt with chunky black and gold cufflinks. The fingers interlinked over his large belly sport gold rings. I recognize the distinctive gap between his front teeth before I recognize the rest of his face.

On the matching plastic table in front of him are three touchscreen smartphones, a couple of maps and a sketch of the area around Heglig oil field where a brief, bloody border war was fought this month. On Friday, South Sudan ordered its troops to withdraw, but few here think the war is over.

“The conflict is there, it hasn’t gone away,” says Machar. He was flanked by his wife Angelina Teny, a serious political player in her own right; the Minister of Defence John Koang Nyuon; and the Governor of Unity State, Taban Deng Gai.

“There is no ceasefire. We can return to Heglig at any time if [President Omar al-] Bashir attacks our forces.” He seemed convinced Bashir would continue to order attacks on the south. Governor Gai complained that Sudan is continuing its aerial bombardment of South Sudanese territory.

A few miles north of Bentiu were four craters left by an Antonov bombing late on Friday night that killed at least one soldier and wounded three more in the Unity oil field.

Machar insisted that it was diplomatic not military pressure that resulted in South Sudan’s capitulation.

“We withdrew from Heglig because of the UN Security Council, the African Union and US positions and the threat of sanctions,” he said. “We cannot afford sanctions against us. We cannot afford to be a pariah when we are not even a year old.”

The world welcomed South Sudan when it won independence on July 9 last year, but a series of tricky issues were left unresolved, including revenue and debt sharing, border demarcation and citizenship. These are the points over which both Sudans are arguing now.

Unlike Sudan under Bashir, for whom international opprobrium has become common currency, South Sudan does not want the blows to its economy and reputation that will come with international sanctions.

In January, as negotiations between Juba and Khartoum reached what — at the time — seemed their nadir, South Sudan cut off oil production, strangling both economies. Its seizure of Heglig on April 9 made matters even more serious as that oilfield alone provided more than half of Khartoum’s remaining oil revenues. That is why Bashir could not afford for its occupation by the South to go unchallenged.

Machar wasn’t worried that the oil shutdown would make fighting a war with the north economically impossible.

“We can sustain running our country without the extravaganza of oil revenues for quite some time,” he said. “We fought for over 40 years with very little resources and we managed to create a state.”

According to Machar the last southern troops pulled out of Heglig at nine on Friday night and moved back to Teshwin, a border settlement which, like so many others along the disputed boundary, doubles as a garrison. By then the Heglig oil field was in flames and buildings and possessions looted.

Sudan President Bashir visits contested oil town of Heglig

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has arrived in the contested southern oil field town of Heglig, promising there will be no more talks with South Sudan as tensions between the East African neighbors point to an increasing risk of all-out war.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has arrived in the contested southern oil field town of Heglig, promising there will be no more talks with South Sudan over border demarcation and disputed oil revenues.

South Sudan’s army announced on Friday that it was pulling its troops out of Heglig to avoid all-out war with its East African neighbor, having occupied the field since April 9.

Sudan said its forces had driven the South out of the area.

“No negotiation with those people,” Bashir said of the South Sudanese regime upon his arrival in Heglig, according to the Agence France Presse, adding: “Our talks with them were guns and bullets.”

On Monday witnesses accused Sudan of carrying out airstrikes near the South Sudanese border town of Bentiu, killing three people, Reuters reports.

The alleged attack comes a day after South Sudan claimed the North had bombed and launched ground strikes against three sets of targets inside its border, killing four soldiers.

Khartoum has denied carrying out aerial attacks on its southern neighbor, but there are mounting concerns that all-out war between Sudan and South Sudan – which secured its independence from the North last July – is imminent.

After South Sudanese forces occupied Heglig earlier this month, claiming it was being used as launch pad for Sudanese attacks inside its territories, Bashir vowed to “liberate” the people of South Sudan from their “insect” rulers, saying:

“Our main target from today is to liberate South Sudan’s citizens from the SPLM (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement), and this is our responsibility before our brothers in South Sudan.”

The president accused South Sudan’s government of trying to destroy its northern neighbour, the Agence France Presse reports, adding: “Our main target from today is to eliminate this insect completely.”

On Saturday night a Muslim mob several hundred strongset fire to a Catholic church frequented by South Sudanese in the Al-Jiraif district of Sudan’s capital Khartoum, screaming insults at the mainly Christian and animist southerners as they did so.

In a statement released Sunday, the African Union called on both countries to end “senseless fighting.”

“The commission urges the two parties to immediately and unconditionally resume negotiations … to reach agreements on all outstanding issues,” AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping said, the Associated Press reports.

Sudan and South Sudan fighting ends, for now

South Sudan withdraws troops from Heglig after bombardment by Sudan. Will peace last?

BENTIU, South Sudan — A brief but bloody border war in the disputed oil fields of central Sudan appeared to be over on Friday, as South Sudan announced that its troops would withdraw from the Heglig oilfields it occupied two weeks ago.

The fighting over Heglig signaled a dramatic deterioration in relations between South Sudan and its northern neighbor, which have been at loggerheads since southern independence in July last year. War loomed between Sudan and South Sudan over the territory.

The dispute hinges on the sharing of oil revenues, border demarcation, citizenship and questions over how to divide the national debt. The governments in the rival capitals of Juba and Khartoum have accused one another for months of backing proxy forces, but in Heglig the two armies went head-to-head for the first time since a 2005 peace deal ended 22 years of civil war.

When South Sudan’s army seized Heglig on April 9, the town was strewn with the rotting bodies of northern soldiers. South Sudan’s aggression triggered days of aerial bombardments by Khartoum, underscoring the depth of hostility between the two old enemies.

The fighting was matched by belligerent rhetoric, which appeared to ratchet up the likelihood of war. “They started the fighting and we will announce when it will end, and our advance will never stop,” President Omar al-Bashir told a rally.

But Friday, the South Sudan government made an abrupt reversal and announced it would pull back its troops from Heglig.

“The Republic of South Sudan announces that the SPLA [southern army] troops have been ordered to withdraw from Panthou-Heglig,” said Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the country’s information minister, using the southern name for the area.

The withdrawal would begin immediately and should be completed within three days, he said at a press conference in the capital Juba.

For its part, Sudan’s defence minister said the northern army had “liberated” Heglig, and Khartoum celebrated its military victory.

Despite the South’s attempt at face-saving in Bentiu, the closest southern town to the fighting, it looked like a defeat for the South Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

On Friday morning reinforcements continued to arrive, with at least five truckloads of southern soldiers seen in the town 55 miles south of Heglig.

Just the day before, commanders had insisted to GlobalPost that they would hold Heglig and even continue moving north towards the town of Kharasana, which also houses a Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) base.

But two days of aerial bombardments and ground attacks appeared to have taken a heavy toll on the South’s forces. At the military hospital inside the 4th Infantry Division barracks, there were 150 casualties and only 72 beds.

In any case, most of the soldiers — suffering flesh wounds, fractures and burns as a result of the bombings — sat outside beneath trees rather than in the sweltering wards.

Medical director Captain Zacharia Deng said the hospital’s four doctors and two anaesthetists were struggling to cope with the influx.

“We do not have enough space,” he said. More wounded were expected to arrive on Friday evening.

Among the injured was Private Anthony Agok, with a bandaged hand, who said he was hit in his foxhole by a blast from a bomb dropped from a Sudanese Antonov aircraft on Thursday. Other soldiers sported bandaged limbs and heads. A few were smeared in white cream to ease the pain of extensive burns to their arms and faces.

Private Agok said he was keen to continue fighting. “As long as I live, the North will not occupy our territory,” he said, repeating the southern claim that Heglig lies on the south side of the disputed border.

But others were less gung-ho.

Private John Okeny, whose elbow was struck by shrapnel during a bombardment, also on Thursday, said he had had enough. “They bombed us continuously from noon till six,” he said.

The retreat from Heglig illustrated with deadly effect the superior military power that Sudan enjoys over its southern neighbor: SPLA troops could not withstand the sustained air attacks launched by Khartoum.

But with South Sudan insisting that it was not giving up its claim to Heglig, the halt in fighting may only be temporary.

In January, South Sudan shut off oil production, a move that is strangling the economies of both North and South, both of whose economies are heavily reliant on oil revenues.

South Sudan’s assault on Heglig — which was described as “illegal” by the UN and the African Union — was an attack on Sudan’s ailing economy, as most of its oil revenues come from that one field.

But the attempt to deal a mortal blow to Khartoum’s economy has come at a high price for South Sudan. Juba was widely condemned for its aggression, and has been forced to withdraw under military pressure, leaving it in a weaker position diplomatically and militarily.

Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) sing pro-war songs at April 23, 2012 at a base in Bentiu. Sudanese war planes launched a fresh bombing raid on a key South Sudanese town Monday, dashing hopes that a withdrawal of Southern troops from a contested area would end weeks of fighting. Several bombs were dropped on Bentiu, capital of the oil-rich South Sudan border state of Unity, killing at least one child and wounding several civilians, an AFP reporter witnessed.
 Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) sing pro-war songs at April 23, 2012 at a base in Bentiu. Sudanese war planes launched a fresh bombing raid on a key South Sudanese town Monday, dashing hopes that a withdrawal of Southern troops from a contested area would end weeks of fighting. Several bombs were dropped on Bentiu, capital of the oil-rich South Sudan border state of Unity, killing at least one child and wounding several civilians, an AFP reporter witnessed.

HEGLIG – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said Monday there will be no more talks with South Sudan, as fresh Sudanese air raids dashed South Sudanese hopes for an end to weeks of fighting.

“No negotiation with those people,” Bashir said of the South Sudanese regime, which he earlier described as an “insect” that must be eliminated.

“Our talks with them were with guns and bullets,” he told soldiers in the main oil region of Heglig, which the South occupied for 10 days.

On Friday, Bashir and Defence Minister Abdelrahim Mohammed Hussein – both wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region – declared the army had forced Southern soldiers out of Heglig.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir had already announced that his forces would leave under “an orderly withdrawal”. His army said the pullout was completed on Sunday.

Despite the end of the occupation, the governor of South Sudan’s Unity State, Taban Deng, said Sudanese bombs fell on a key bridge and a market, killing at least two children in the state capital Bentiu on Monday.

The bombs prompted heavy bursts of gunfire from Southern soldiers hoping to shoot down Khartoum’s warplanes, said an AFP correspondent who was 50 metres (yards) from where the ordnance hit.

In the market, stalls were on fire and large plumes of grey smoke rose high into the air, as screaming civilians ran in panic.

“They have been given orders to wipe us out, they have called us insects,” Deng said, referring to Bashir’s earlier speech.

“We have been pressured by the international community to pull out of Heglig and this is the consequence, we have brought the war to home,” Deng added.

There was no immediate comment from Khartoum but a foreign ministry statement on the “liberation of Heglig” said Sudan “stresses that the government of Sudan has not, and does not intend to attack the Republic of South Sudan”.

The continued fighting sparked anger in Bentiu.

“I’m fearing that even if we give them Heglig, there will still be a war,” said shopkeeper Suleiman Ibrahim Ali. “I’m not alone – everyone is fearing the Antonov (warplanes).”

The South’s deputy director of military intelligence, Mac Paul, said: “I think it is a clear provocation.”

The attack is the latest of several along the disputed border.

The international community had called for an end to Sudan’s cross-border raids, as well as to the South’s presence in Heglig.

Southern officials said Sudanese troops had pushed across the contested border on Sunday before being repulsed after heavy fighting, although it was impossible to verify exactly where the clashes took place.

Southern troops were digging into positions fearing renewed ground attacks by Sudan, said the South’s Lieutenant General Obuto Mamur.

Kamal Marouf, a Sudanese army commander, claimed in Heglig Monday that more than 1,000 South Sudan troops were killed in the clashes.

“The numbers of killed from SPLM are 1,200,” Marouf said in an address to thousands of his soldiers as a stench of death filled the air.

The toll is impossible to verify but an AFP correspondent who accompanied Marouf said the putrid bodies of dead South Sudanese soldiers lay beneath trees which are scattered about the area.

Sudan has not said how many of its own soldiers died in the operation.

The main oil processing facility in Heglig – providing about half of Sudan’s crude – was heavily damaged, an AFP correspondent reported.

A storage tank was destroyed by fire, eight generators which provided power to the facility were also burned, and some oil was leaking onto the ground at the plant operated by Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC).

Both sides have accused each other of damaging the oil infrastructure.

The violence in Heglig was the worst since South Sudan won independence in July after a 1983-2005 civil war in which an estimated two million people died.

The South pulled out from Heglig after international pressure, but is calling on Khartoum to withdraw its troops from the contested Abyei region, which it seized last May.

Tensions have mounted over the border and other unresolved issues, raising concerns in recent weeks about the possibility of a wider war.

After the Heglig occupation, US President Barack Obama, UN chief Ban Ki-moon and the African Union urged Sudan and South Sudan to resume talks.

© Copyright (c) AFP
South Sudan Accuses Khartoum of Air Attacks
New York Times
NAIROBI, Kenya — Sudan attacked South Sudan with warplanes and ground troops, only days after Sudan said its military had forced the south’s forces out of a contested oil-rich region, South Sudan said on Monday. South Sudan said last week that it had

Sudan’s Bashir says no talks as new air raids hit South
Regina Leader-Post
Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) sing pro-war songs at April 23, 2012 at a base in Bentiu. Sudanese war planes launched a fresh bombing raid on a key South Sudanese town Monday, dashing hopes that a withdrawal of Southern troops from a contested 
Amid dispute over oil, Sudan bombs South Sudanese towns
Christian Science Monitor
When South Sudan declared independence from Sudan, it took three quarters of the formerly united country’s oil, which has since been a source of tension and conflict. By Tom A. Peter, Correspondent / April 23, 2012 A SPLA soldier walks in a market 

Sudan MiGs bomb market in South Sudan
Kitsap Sun
BENTIU, South Sudan (AP) — Sudanese warplanes bombed a major town Monday in South Sudan, hitting a market and killing a boy while wounding at least 10 people. South Sudanese troops fired back as the threat of full-scale war between the two nations 

South Sudan accuses Sudan of bombings, Khartoum denies
Chicago Tribune
KHARTOUM/BENTIU, South Sudan (Reuters) – Sudan and newly-independent South Sudanaccused each other of launching fresh attacks on their territories on Sunday as neither side showed any sign of bowing to global pressure to return to the negotiating 

South Sudan: UN condemns aerial bombardments in Unity state
UN News Centre
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) today deplored the continued aerial bombardments in Bentiu town in the country’s Unity state, and called on the country and its neighbour, Sudan, to take all measures to ensure the safety of civilians.

CP World Report: Chuck Colson, South Sudan, God Spot, Face Britain Project
Christian Post
As tensions between Sudan and South Sudan escalate into military combat on the border, ChristianSouth Sudan citizens are trapped in Sudan and living in fear. Many among the half million of them have never lived anywhere else, and now they have been 

Machar admits South Sudan’s poor diplomacy over Heglig occupation

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April 22, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s Vice President, Riek Machar says his nine-month-old country performed poorly on the diplomatic front during its occupation of the contested Heglig oil region on the north-south border, which South Sudan’s army 
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On Friday, Ibrahim Gambari, the head of UNAMID expressed concern that Darfur’s rebel groups were attempting to exploit the current border conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, which seceded last year. “In the climate of ongoing tensions between Sudan 
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As in neighboring Southern Kordofan, which Human Rights Watch visited in August 2011, civilians in Blue Nile continue to endure Sudan’s indiscriminate bombing and other abuses, even as new conflict between Sudan and South Sudan threatens to engulf the 
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Official: Sudan bombs S.Sudan, killing a boy
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April 23, 2012 03:25 AM EST | AP BENTIU, South Sudan — An official and a witness say Sudanese aircraft have bombed an area near Bentiu, the capital of Unity State in South Sudan, killing a boy and leaving at least two people wounded. Maj. Gen.

EAC Council of Ministers Vets South Sudan Application
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In the World
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MICHAEL ONYIEGO / AP A soldier in South Sudan, injured in the Sudan attack, has a bullet removed from his leg. BENTIU, South Sudan – Sudanese armed forces launched an attack more than six miles inside South Sudan’s border, an official said Sunday, 

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Business Day
FEARS of an all-out-war with Sudan have not dissuaded Standard Bank from formally opening itsSouth Sudan branch within days. Standard Bank Africa CEO Chris Newson has said: “We have been doing business and supporting the government of South Sudan  

Bashir says Sudan to teach South Sudan “final lesson by force”

Posted: April 19, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Sudan

Sudanese president threatens force against South Sudan over oil field

By Sudarsan Raghavan, Thursday, April 19, 2012
NAIROBI — Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir threatened Thursday to reignite a full-blown war against its newly independent neighbor, South Sudan, dramatically ratcheting up tensions between the two nations.Appearing in front of a large rally in the Sudanese border province of North Kordofan, Bashir vowed to teach South Sudan a “final lesson by force.” A day earlier, he had threatened to “liberate” South Sudan from the “insects” who ruled it, referring to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, the former guerilla group.
 Bashir’s threat comes days after South Sudan seized Heglig, a disputed oil field near the border, claiming that it was the new nation’s territory.But it was unclear whether Bashir was making a formal declaration of war or merely ramping up pressure on the United States and other Western and regional powers to persuade South Sudan to leave Heglig.The two sides fought Africa’s longest civil war until a 2005 peace deal enabled South Sudan to become the world’s newest nation last year, with Bashir’s approval. But tensions never really died down as heated disputes erupted over border regions and oil transit fees, triggering waves of violence that propelled the two nations closer to war.

South Sudan has refused to leave Heglig until the United Nations sends a neutral force to oversee the area. Over the past 24 hours, Sudanese troops have attacked four areas near the field, according to South Sudanese military officials.

Bashir has vowed to retake the oil field and push on toward Juba, the capital of South Sudan. The capture of Heglig by the South Sudanese “has revived the spirit of jihad and martyrdom among the Sudanese people,” he told the rally in El Obaid, North Kordofan’s capital, according to the official Sudan News Agency.

“These people don’t understand, and we will give them the final lesson by force,” he added, according to a translation by the Reuters news agency. “We will not give them an inch of our country, and whoever extends his hand on Sudan, we will cut it.”

Bashir says Sudan to teach South “final lesson by force”

By Khalid Abdelaziz and Alexander Dziadosz

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir threatened 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.

“These people don’t understand, and we will give them the final lesson by force,” Bashir told the rally in El-Obeid, North Kordofan’s capital. “We will not give them an inch of our country, and whoever extends his hand on Sudan, we will cut it.”Appearing in medal-spangled general’s uniform at a large rally in the border province of North Kordofan, the burly military ruler danced side-to-side, waved his walking stick in the air and made blistering threats against the leadership of the South, which broke off last year after decades of civil war.

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 oil field 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.

Bashir vowed to retake the oil field, which he said was part of Sudan’s Kordofan province. That alone would not resolve the conflict, he added.

“Heglig is not the end, but the beginning.”

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

In a dramatic escalation of rhetoric on Wednesday, Bashir said he would “liberate” South Sudan from its rulers, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, which fought the guerrilla civil war against Khartoum.

There was no immediate comment from the South to Thursday’s speech.

China, a major investor 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”.

“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.

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 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 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 Kordofan and Darfur.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague for 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.

(Reporting by Ali Abdelatti, Khalid Abdelaziz, Alexander Dziadosz and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Peter Graff)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

South Sudan’s
 capture of Heglig went ‘beyond self-defense,’ US envoy says
By ALAN BOSWELL JUBA, South Sudan — The US special envoy to Sudan and South Sudanacknowledged in an interview Wednesday that the two countries are at war and warned that the conflict will likely spread if South Sudan does not withdraw from a disputed 
South Sudan is World Bank’s Newest Member
Voice of America
April 18, 2012 South Sudan is World Bank’s Newest Member VOA News South Sudan became the newest member of the World Bank on Wednesday when the country’s finance minister, Kosti Manibe Ngai, signed an agreement in Washington formalizing the country’s 
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Bashir Seeks to ‘Liberate’ South Sudan
Voice of America
April 18, 2012 Bashir Seeks to ‘Liberate’ South Sudan VOA News Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has vowed to remove South Sudan’s ruling party from power, as tension between the countries continues to escalate. Addressing a rally in Sudan’s capital, 

Sudan president threatens to oust South government
This photo of Saturday, April 14, 2012, shows a dead Sudanese soldier lying on the road to the Heglig front lines in South Sudan as fighting between Sudan and South Sudan over the past two weeks centered around the oil-rich Heglig area.

Minister: South Sudan not Serious about Voluntary Repatriation of its Citizens
Sudan Vision
The Minister added that the government of the State of South Sudan is not serious and does not give concern over the return of its citizens. Concerning the Joint Tripartite Initiative which includes the UN, Arab League and the African Union to deliver

Sudan threatens to unseat South Sudan government amidst clashes
Christian Science Monitor
Omar al-Bashir said he would “liberate” the people of South Sudan if fighting over oil revenues continue. By Michael Onyiego and Mohamed Saeed, The Associated Press / April 18, 2012 Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir addresses supporters at a rally, 

22 soldiers die in South Sudan border battle
Southeast Missourian
By MICHAEL ONYIEGO ~ AP JUBA, South Sudan — Soldiers from Sudan and South Sudanclashed at a river dividing their two countries, leaving 22 dead as fighting spread to a new area of the tense border. A Sudanese official demanded Wednesday that South 

Faribault County Register
As the international community pushed for a peaceful solution to the dispute, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir vowed to “liberate” the people of South Sudan, saying it was his country’s duty to them. South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July after 

China Expresses Concern Over Sudanese Conflict
ABC News
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South Africa: Bashir declares war on South Sudan
7thSpace Interactive (press release)
Pretoria – Sudanese President Omar al- Bashir on Wednesday declared war on South Sudan, and vowed to bring down the government of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Juba, at a time of escalating military confrontations on the border 

WORLD News of the Day From Across the Globe –
San Francisco Chronicle
El-Bashir vowed to “liberate” the people of South Sudan, saying it was his country’s duty to them.South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July after decades of civil war, creating the world’s newest country. But the two never agreed on how to share the 
South Sudan’s Machar calls on youth to join the army and defend the nation
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Sudan president aims for South Sudan’s liberation
Khartoum, April 19: Sudan President Omar al-Bashir has said his main goal now is to “liberate” the people of South Sudan from its rulers following recent border clashes. President Bashir also described the former rebel Sudan People’s Liberation 

Sudan president seeks to ‘liberate’ South Sudan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘By hook or crook’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sudan’s Bashir vows to “liberate” South Sudan

Tue, Apr 17 2012

By Alexander Dziadosz and Ulf Laessing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sudan’s Bashir vows to “liberate” South Sudan
By Alexander Dziadosz and Ulf Laessing | KHARTOUM/JUBA (Reuters) – Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir vowed on Wednesday to “liberate” South Sudan from its ruling party, a sharp escalation of rhetoric after fierce border clashes that edged the 
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Sudan, South Sudan clash on new front as UN mulls sanctions
By Alexander Dziadosz and Khalid Abdelaziz | KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudanaccused each other of launching attacks on a new front near their contested border, stoking fears of a return to all-out war in the oil-producing region.

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

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

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

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

South Sudan says one soldier killed to SAF in Northern Bahr el Ghazal
Sudan Tribune
April 17, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan on Tuesday accused the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) of launching an attack on its army positions in an area called Warguet which is part of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, resulting in the loss of life of one of its 
Kakamega Drama Fete Captures Conflict in Sudan Over Oil Wealth
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Split in hopes of peace, Sudan and South Sudan find only war

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

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

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

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

The nexus of oil, war and humanitarian catastrophe is an opportunity for the powers involved (increasingly Beijing) to come together to press for a solution

Hannah McNeish / AFP / Getty Images

A photograph taken March 3, 2012 shows environmental damages caused by bombs which hit El Nar oil field in Unity State, South Sudan on February 29.

On the surface, our recent trip to the rebel-held areas of Sudan’s Nuba Mountains hauntingly echoed earlier visits to Darfur and South Sudan. A huge group of people—targeted by their government in Khartoum because of their ethnicity, the rich land they live on, and their resistance to dictatorship — are being serially bombarded, raped, abducted, and starved in this case for the second time in the last two decades. The culprit remains the same as well: the Khartoum regime led by General Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. This human rights catastrophe within Sudan is unfolding alongside a virtual state of war between Sudan and South Sudan, playing itself out in the border oilfields not far from the Nuba Mountains.

A closer look, however, reveals three startlingly new dynamics that together provide an unprecedented opportunity for peacemaking in the region, even as wider war threatens. If this chance is missed, and conflict between Sudan and South Sudan intensifies, the result will undoubtedly be the deadliest conventional war on the face of the earth.

First, the South Sudan government in Juba has shut off the oil wells providing both governments with most of their income, as the bulk of the oil flows from South Sudan’s oil wells through Sudan’s pipeline. Both countries face economic catastrophe as a result, with collapsed currencies, hyper-inflation, and massive food deficits likely as state treasuries are emptied. This introduces new urgency for a comprehensive peace deal that addresses the outstanding issues between the two states as well as creating a process to resolve the parallel civil war within Sudan taking place in the Nuba Mountains, Darfur and other restive regions. As President Salva Kiir told us, “We didn’t shut down the oil indefinitely. We want a solution.”

Second, China’s interests are evolving. Before South Sudan gained its independence last year, China reflexively defended its commercial partner in Khartoum, frustrating international efforts to press the Sudanese regime for peace or human rights compromises. Since the bulk of the oil now lies south of Sudan’s new border, China must deal with both countries to secure a continuing return on its $20 billion oil sector investment. Peace is very much in China’s national interest.

Third, the ongoing crisis in Sudan and South Sudan has historically been a humanitarian concern. But the shutoff of South Sudan’s production has an impact on global energy supplies, and thus, as both President Barack Obama and Senator Richard Lugar pointed out recently, on the price of gas at U.S. pumps. China was reliant on over 6% of its daily imports from the Sudans, but now has to dip into global markets to meet that shortfall. Getting Sudanese supply back on the market is even more imperative due to intensifying U.S. efforts to sanction Iran’s oil exports. Suddenly it is in the national interest of the U.S. and other major oil importers to help secure a deal to counter energy price inflation.

We hope Khartoum can be pressured to stop using starvation as a war weapon by opening aid access to the Nuba Mountains and other areas in extreme need. We also heard repeatedly from Nuba civilians hiding in caves that their most urgent need is to end the Sudan regime’s bombing of their villages and farms.

The above three new dynamics provide a chance to end the bombing and starvation once and for all. The nature of Chinese engagement may hold the key. As the two largest energy consumers in the world, China and the U.S. share a common interest in Sudanese peace. Beijing has more influence than anyone in both Juba and Khartoum. In the aftermath of their meeting in South Korea, Presidents Obama and Hu have a golden opportunity to deepen strategic cooperation to buttress foundering African Union mediation. More visible efforts are required in the form of a joint task force or shared leadership of a small group of influential countries that throw their collective weight behind specific African proposals. Such proposals need to more comprehensively address the interlocking economic and political issues that fuel instability within and between Sudan and South Sudan. Beijing and Washington need to quickly formalize their partnership. Lasting peace in that region will not come easily or quickly.

African mediation lacks hardball leverage. In addition to deeper Sino-American cooperation, further influence could be created if the U.S. and interested allies initiate a hard target search for the assets of Sudanese war criminals and their commercial interests. If those assets can’t be frozen, they should be publicized so that those most responsible for continuing cycles of conflict can be exposed to their own publics for how much oil money they have stolen over the years in the war economy they created.

Missing this window of opportunity for peace may result in a few more pennies at the pump in the U.S. and Europe, but for the Sudans it could cost millions of lives.

George Clooney and John Prendergast are co-founders of the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), a partnership between the Enough Project, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and DigitalGlobe. The SSP has documented evidence that forces with the government of Sudan razed five towns and villages and bombarded civilians in the border areas of Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile state.

Read more:

AU: South Sudan’s Capture of Heglig Oil Field ‘Illegal’

Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa

The African Union said Thursday that South Sudan acted illegally when it sent troops across the border into Sudan to capture a strategic oil field and demanded the force’s immediate withdrawal. Diplomats are urging the presidents of both countries to show leadership as war seems imminent.

The AU Peace and Security Council condemned Sudan as well as South Sudan for hostile actions that appear to signal a resumption of the war that ended seven years ago.  Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra warned that the south’s military incursion into the northern oil field at Heglig and the north’s aerial bombing campaign had raised tensions to a new level.

“It cannot be reduced to yet just another incident like the ones we have seen before.  Therefore, it is the feeling in the Peace and Security Council that it is the time now for the two leaders — Presidents Omar al-Bashir and Salva Kiir — to display the required leadership, so that the two countries would avoid a disastrous war which the two people do not need to fall in again,” Lamamra said.

But the south’s capture of Heglig appears to have dashed all hopes for a Bashir-Kiir summit.  The Khartoum government said it was pulling out of AU-mediated talks.  And a hoped-for meeting on the sidelines of a security summit in Ethiopia on Saturday and Sunday evaporated when it was announced that President Bashir would not attend.

AU diplomats say South Sudan’s move to capture and close the Heglig oil fields has cut Sudan’s oil production in half.  That has raised calls in Khartoum for swift military action to reclaim the fields.

As border clashes escalated on Thursday, South Sudan President Kiir told parliament he would not order a withdrawal from Heglig.  He said the south has a rightful claim to the area.

The AU Peace and Security Council rejected that claim, in a statement read by Commissioner Lamamra.

“The council is dismayed by the illegal and unacceptable occupation by the South Sudanese armed forces of Heglig, which lies north of the agreed border line of the first of January 1956 border line.  The Council demanded the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the army of the Republic of South Sudan from the area,” Lamamra said.

African Union officials expressed concern about deteriorating conditions on several fronts.  The Khartoum government is said to be delaying efforts to provide humanitarian aid to South Kordofan and Blue Nile states along the border.  More than 400,000 people there fled their homes last year after violence broke out, and reports suggest that troops are massing for more fighting.

AU diplomats also noted reports of irregular militias forming to support regular Sudanese army forces in Blue Nile and Kordofan states.  Those officials say that previously, military activity in the region had been exclusively by regular military units.

The appearance of militia units is raising fears of a return to the village burnings and other brutal tactics attributed to the Janjaweed militias that ravaged Darfur during the early days of that region’s civil war nearly a decade ago.

, S. Sudan leaders accuse each other of wanting war

Jakarta Globe
by Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali | April 13, 2012 The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan accused each other on Thursday of wanting war, with each denying the other’s charge, as Sudanese war planes bombed a bridge in the South after days of fighting in a 
UN: Sudan, South Sudan must stop border conflict
The council demands the withdrawal of South Sudan’s military forces from the oil-rich town of Heglig that is claimed by Sudan and an end to Sudan’s aerial bombing of South SudanSouth Sudan’s president said Thursday the nation will not withdraw its 

Syria; Sudan/South Sudan; North Korea; Mali; and more
UN Dispatch
Sudan/S. Sudan: The UN Security Council met in public Thursday to read out a statement demanding “a complete, immediate and unconditional end to all fighting” between Sudan and South Sudan. The council statement, read out by presiding US Ambassador 

At UN, South Sudan Says Won’t Leave Heglig Until Monitors, SC All Syria
Inner City Press
By Matthew Russell Lee UNITED NATIONS, April 12 — South Sudan will only leave Heglig in Sudan “once a mechanism is in place and a neutral force is deployed in the area,” South SudaneseDeputy Permanent Representative Agnes Oswaha told Inner City Press 

South Sudan: Kiir Refuses to Pull Out Troops From Heglig
From South Sudan is Atem Yah Atem, from … ( Resource: Are The Two Sudans Heading for War? Juba — South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayadrit brushed aside calls to withdraw his army from the oil-rich region of Heglig after being asked to do so in 

South Sudan President addresses National Legislature on Sudan ‘attacks’
New Sudan Vision
Photo by New Sudan Vision. (Juba, NSV, South Sudan) – Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan, in an address to the National Legislature yesterday, promised to defend the sovereignty of the young nation should there be an all-out-war.

AU: South Sudan’s Capture of Heglig Oil Field ‘Illegal’
Voice of America
April 12, 2012 AU: South Sudan’s Capture of Heglig Oil Field ‘Illegal’ Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa The African Union said Thursday that South Sudan acted illegally when it sent troops across the border into Sudan to capture a strategic oil field and 

South Sudan says won’t withdraw troops
Beaver County Times
South Sudan’s president said Thursday that the nation will not withdraw its troops that this week entered a disputed border region with Sudan. South Sudan President Salva Kiir spoke to parliament in the midst of escalating clashes along the border with 


Posted  Monday, April 2  2012 at  22:30


  • Top-level southern delegation meets Kenyan leaders and asks for help to prevent an outbreak of fighting

Southern Sudan minister for information and Broadcasting and government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin addresses the press on April 2, 2012 at Serena. He said that his country cannot go to war but there is need to protect their territory. Photo/JENNIFER MUIRURI

Southern Sudan minister for information and Broadcasting and government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin addresses the press on April 2, 2012 at Serena. He said that his country cannot go to war but there is need to protect their territory. Photo/JENNIFER MUIRURI

South Sudan on Monday turned to President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga for support as its relations with Sudan threatened to degenerate into a full-scale war.

South Sudan sent a high-level delegation to Nairobi led by Office of the President minister Emmanuel Lowilla and the Information minister, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, to ask the two principals to help avert an outbreak of full-scale war between Juba and Khartoum.

“Our president, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, has made it very clear that he will never take the people of South Sudan into war again but we will defend our territorial integrity to the last man,” Dr Benjamin told a press conference in Nairobi after meeting the two principals.

He accused Khartoum of conducting sustained aerial and ground bombings of villages and oil fields in South Sudan territory over the last four days.

“At 2am yesterday (Monday), the Sudan army bombed a small village 120 kilometres inside South Sudan. It is where the oil fields are located. Their aim is to scare away investors who want to help us set up oil refineries in the area. Sudan is not interested in peace,” he said.

He added that the bombing was aimed at scuttling Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir’s planned visit to Juba today to sign two framework agreements on nationality and borders.

But the Sudan media reported that Mr Bashir had called off the trip after South Sudan forces launched attacks inside Sudan’s border state of South Kordofan in Teludi and the oil-rich town of Heglig.

The reports quoted security sources who claimed that bloody clashes had erupted six kilometres from Heglig, which led to “significant injuries” among Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) soldiers.

The SAF spokesperson, Colonel Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad, accused South Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA) of carrying out a fresh incursion in the Teshwin area of Heglig, according to the Sudan Tribune. Col Sa’ad said SAF dealt swiftly with the “aggressors”.

Khartoum accuses SPLA of collaborating with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) and rebels from the Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to attack the two towns in a bid to control it.

A statement from Mr Odinga’s office said the PM had assured the South Sudanese delegation of Kenya’s willingness to broker peace between the two nations.

Mr Odinga is said to have told the delegation that Kenya was deeply concerned about the escalating hostilities between the two nations and would do whatever it takes to ensure the contentious issues between them are resolved without resorting to war again.

“The PM said Kenya is concerned that another full-scale war between Juba and Khartoum would pose immense security and humanitarian challenges to the region which is struggling to contain insurgents from Somalia and is yet to overcome the drought and refugee problems in the Horn of Africa,” says the statement.

Obama urges South Sudan restraint

(AFP) – 

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Monday urged South Sudan in a telephone call with the young nation’s leader to show restraint following heavy border fighting with Khartoum’s forces.

In a call to US-backed South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, Obama “expressed concern about the growing tensions” between the two nations including border clashes and bloodshed in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state.

“President Obama underscored the importance of avoiding unilateral actions, and asked President Kiir to ensure that South Sudan’s military exercises maximum restraint and is not involved in or supporting fighting along the border, particularly in Southern Kordofan,” a White House statement said.

Obama pressed the two nations to reach an agreement on oil production. South Sudan took the drastic decision to halt its production in January after Sudan started to seize crude due to a payment dispute.

Obama also voiced hope that Kiir would soon meet with Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir after last week’s clashes prompted Khartoum to call off a summit.

“President Obama welcomed President Kiir’s commitment to moving forward with a summit and to finding peaceful solutions for Sudan and South Sudan,” the White House said.

Bloody clashes including airstrikes, tanks and heavy artillery — the worst violence since South Sudan’s independence in July — had raised international concerns the former civil war foes could return to all-out war.

Fears are also growing about food shortages in Southern Kordofan, where humanitarian groups say a relentless bombing campaign by Khartoum has severely hampered agriculture.

Sudan has pinned the blame for the crisis on South Sudan, saying that it is arming ethnic insurgents in Southern Kordofan who are affiliated to what is now Juba’s leadership.

South Sudan: Sudan’s bombing of South Sudan scares away US, Chinese oil investors

 By Associated Press, Monday, April 2
NAIROBI, Kenya— A South Sudan official said Monday that Sudan is bombing oil-rich regions of South Sudan in order to scare away American and Chinese investors.South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Sudan is bombarding disputed areas in South Sudan despite a Feb. 10 nonaggression and cooperation pact signed by both countries in African Union-led negotiations in Ethiopia.
“As we speak today they are continuing bombing villages,” Benjamin said.Benjamin linked the bombings in the Upper Nile, Unity and Western Bahr Al Ghazal states to South Sudan’s shutting down of its oil sector earlier this year. Landlocked South Sudan shut down oil production in January saying that its northern neighbor had stolen its oil which was meant to be exported through Sudan.Benjamin said since South Sudan stopped production, Sudan increased aerial bombardment of the disputed areas and organized ground attacks in late March which were repulsed by the South Sudanese troops.Sudan and South Sudan have previously blamed each other for starting the conflict in the disputed regions.Benjamin accused Sudan of trying scare away investors, including American and Chinese companies, in the oil-rich regions where there are plans to build oil refineries which he said will be operational in six to seven months. The oil refineries will help South Sudan process some oil to help meet local demand for the commodity, he said.Echoing the words of South Sudan’s president, Benjamin said South Sudan remains committed to peace and would fight back only to defend its territorial integrity.

“We will not be dragged into a senseless war,” he said.

Benjamin also complained that the African Union is not doing a satisfactory job mediating talks with Sudan. South Sudan is disappointed by an AU report to the U.N. Security Council that Benjamin said portrayed his country as the aggressor in hostilities between the two countries. He suggested that a regional bloc known as IGAD take over.

The seven-nation IGAD — the Inter Governmental Authority for Development — negotiated the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended a decades-long civil war between Sudan and South Sudan. That deal led to South Sudan’s secession from Sudan last year.

Among the unresolved issues from the split is the demarcation of the border and an agreement to share oil revenue.

Benjamin said South Sudan shutdown its oil production because Sudan had stolen million barrels of oil and increased oil transit fee through its pipeline to $36 a barrel. Benjamin said it was better that South Sudan’s oil stay in the ground.

Benjamin said that South Sudan will construct two pipelines — one to Kenya and one across Ethiopia into Djibouti. Benjamin said the South Sudan is also seeking international loans in order to fill in the budget deficit caused by the shutdown in oil production.

He said the despite the bombings South Sudan still would welcome Sudan President Omar al-Bashir to meet with South Sudan President Salva Kiir. A meeting scheduled between the two for Tuesday was canceled by Sudan.

Sudan, South Sudan Agree to Overcome Tension
Sudan and South Sudan negotiators agreed in Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to overcome the standing tension between the two countries and calm the situation militarily and politically, Sudanese media reported Monday. Khartoum’s Al Ray Al Am daily 
Sudan and South Sudan accuse each other of attacks
Radio Netherlands
Sudan and South Sudan on Sunday accused each other of launching attacks in the oil-producing area straddling their border after talks aimed at ending the worst hostilities since Juba declared its independence were delayed. The United Nations and the 
South Sudan: We are not satisfied with the African Union mediation of disputes 
Washington Post
NAIROBI, Kenya — The government of South Sudan says it is not satisfied with the mediation role of the African Union in resolving its disputes with Sudan. South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Monday that South Sudan is 

Sudan Proposes AU Monitors On Borders With South As Battles Continue
Khartoum — The military tensions on the borders of north and south Sudan clearly reflected in a failed attempt made today in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to bring delegations from the countries at the negotiating table.

South Sudan rebels kill SPLA general and two colonels
Sudan Tribune
Gatwec Gai because he was a colleague of SSLA operation commanders when they were part ofSouth Sudan Defense Force (SSDF) from 1997 to 2006. Brig. Gen. Gatwec joined the SPLA after Paulino Matip signed Juba Declaration on January, 9, 2006.

S. Sudan says Sudan still bombing, won’t be dragged to war
By Yara Bayoumy | NAIROBI, April 2 (Reuters) – South Sudan said on Monday Sudanese forces were still bombing regions in the oil-producing area straddling their border, but insisted it would not be dragged into war. South Sudan’s Information Minister 

Sudan, South Sudan accuse each other of attacks, talks delayed
Chicago Tribune
ADDIS ABABA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan on Sunday accused each other of launching attacks in the oil-producing area straddling their border after talks aimed at ending the worst hostilities since Juba declared its independence were 

Obama urges South Sudan restraint
WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Monday urged South Sudan in a telephone call with the young nation’s leader to show restraint following heavy border fighting with Khartoum’s forces. In a call to US-backed South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, 

South Sudan, Sudan trade new accusations as talks start
Malaysia Star
By Yara Bayoumy and Aaron Maasho NAIROBI/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – South Sudan and Sudan began talks on Monday aimed at easing military tensions, but both sides’ continued accusations of attacks by the other left little hope for a peaceful outcome.

On refugees and settlers
In the framework of its Passover preparations, the government decided to expel 1000 asylum seekers to South Sudan later this week. The decision was made after the Foreign Ministry ruled that South Sudan is a safe place where the expelled refugees would 

Security Apologies to Newspaper Journalists Expelled From SPLM Meeting
Juba — A senior security officer on Sunday said the expulsion of Sudan Tribune journalist, Ngor Garang, from covering the last day of National Liberation Council (NLC) of South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) was unintentional 

South Sudan Says Khartoum Stalls Peace Talks While Waging War

Posted: April 1, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

April 01, 2012

South Sudan Says Khartoum Stalls Peace Talks While Waging War

Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa

South Sudan chief negotiator Pagan Amum (file photo)

Photo: Reuters
South Sudan chief negotiator Pagan Amum (file photo)

South Sudan has accused the Khartoum government of rejecting peace overtures while its forces bomb targets in the south. As a result, African Union-mediated talks in Addis Ababa are in danger of collapse.

South Sudan chief negotiator Pagan Amum says Sudanese warplanes bombed southern positions for a seventh day Sunday, while Khartoum’s defense minister spurned scheduled security talks. He said the minister’s absence for a meeting of a Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) shows Sudan is rejecting the AU-mediated peace process.

“Unfortunately, the response of Khartoum is war. They have launched aerial and ground attacks from Monday. Up to today they are bombing South Sudan. The government of Sudan is the one that is waging war, the head of the JPSM on their side is not here.  The Meeting was supposed to take place yesterday, and he has not appeared.”

Officials of the AU mediation panel described the talks as “on hold” pending the arrival of the Sudanese defense minister. They held out hope that he was on his way after receiving what was described as a personal invitation from the chief mediator, former South African president Thabo Mbeki.

Trading accusations

The South Sudanese delegation that arrived for the scheduled start of the talks was clearly upset at having to wait while defense ministry officials in Khartoum deal with what they say is a military incursion from the south.

Chief southern negotiator Pagan Amum flatly rejected reports of a military incursion into Sudanese territory.

“There is no South Sudanese presence.  Not a single South Sudanese soldier on Sudanese soil”.

Mediators had hoped the talks would lead to a rescheduling of a summit meeting between Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.  The meeting had originally been set for April 3 in the South Sudanese capital, Juba. But the Khartoum government backed out of the meeting after accusing the South of attacking the Sudanese oil center of Heglig last Monday.

The south vehemently denies the attack, and accuses Sudan of instigating the clash.

Remaining hopeful

Mediation panel sources remained hopeful Sunday that the Juba summit might still be held, though it could be delayed a week. They say a meeting of the presidents is crucial to breaking logjams that have delayed progress in the talks on key issues, including sharing oil revenues.

South Sudan is said to be in especially desperate straits after shutting down its oil production in January. Oil accounts for 98 percent of the country’s income.

South Sudan’s Foreign Minister Nhial Deng Nhial tells VOA his government would be willing to move the summit to a neutral site, probably Addis Ababa, if that would ease Khartoum’s objections.

“We have no objection at all to meeting President Bashir in a venue other than Juba in South Sudan, though we would prefer President Bashir to come to Juba, as a return because President Salva paid a visit to Khartoum last October and the understanding was that President Bashir would come to Juba. But if for any reason he feels coming to Juba is objectionable, we have no problem meeting him anywhere else.”

African Union officials said mediation panel chief Thabo Mbeki was willing to stay as long as necessary to get the two sides to implement a Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism. The mechanism is aimed at preventing a war by jointly examining outbreaks of hostilities along the disputed frontier. The mechanism was part of an agreement signed last June, weeks before the south declared independence from Khartoum.

Sudan, South Sudan Leaders Urged to Convene Planned Summit
By Tesfa-Alem Tekle, 31 March 2012 Addis Ababa — Countries bordering Sudan and South Sudan, as well as international organisations, have called on Presidents Omar Hassan Al Bashir and Salva Kiir Mayardit to convene their planned 3 April meeting, 
South Sudan open to investment in oil and minerals
Sudan Tribune
March 31, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan is open to investment in the oil and minerals sector, the country’s deputy minister of petroleum and mining told Sudan Tribune on Saturday, explaining that it is in the interest of the government to diversify economy 
South Sudan, Sudan Resume Clashes Ahead of Talks
Wall Street Journal
By NICHOLAS BARIYO KAMPALA, Uganda—The armies of oil-producing South Sudan and Sudan have resumed clashes after a lull of three days ahead of talks aimed at preventing the resumption of conflict between the former civil war foes, officials said Sunday.

Sudan, South Sudan accuse each other of border attacks
The Province
By Hereward Holland and Aaron Maasho, Reuters March 31, 2012 A patient recovers at Bentiu Hospital, in South Sudan’s Unity state, on March 29, 2012. The hospital has received 33 war wounded and a military hospital nearby another 40 after clashes on the 

South Sudan Says Khartoum Stalls Peace Talks While Waging War
Voice of America
April 01, 2012 South Sudan Says Khartoum Stalls Peace Talks While Waging War Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa South Sudan has accused the Khartoum government of rejecting peace overtures while its forces bomb targets in the south.

School exam results in South Sudan show decline
Bikya Masr
South Sudan is considered one of the most under-developed places in the world — photo by Pete Willows for Bikya Masr. CAIRO: According to a report by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the percentage of students who passed their basic ..

South Sudan Says Will Not Arrest Bashir during Visit to Juba

Posted: March 24, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Naharnet


South Sudan said Saturday it will not arrest Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, during an upcoming visit to the newly independent nation.

South Sudan said fears by former civil war foe Sudan that Bashir would be arrested when he visits Juba on April 3 were unfounded as he had been invited by his southern counterpart Salva Kiir.

“That itself is an assurance. You don’t invite someone as a trick,” Pagan Amum, the secretary general of the South’s ruling SPLM party told reporters upon his return from Khartoum where he delivered Kiir’s invitation to Bashir.

“President Bashir will be protected as a guest of state, as a head of state and the government of South Sudan is under the obligation to… build peaceful relations with the republic of Sudan and that is the business that President Bashir is coming for,” he added.

Members of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) have voiced concerns that the invitation is a ruse by South Sudan to avenge decades of civil war in which an estimated two million people died.

“I would like to allay all the fears by NCP or by any concerned South Sudanese that the aim of inviting President Bashir is because we have business that is not finished. It is a business of peace, it is a business of interest of the people of South Sudan,” Amum said.

Amum, the South’s top negotiator in African Union-led talks on outstanding issues between the two countries after the south’s independence last July, said Bashir had accepted Kiir’s invitation.

The two leaders will sign an agreement struck at the latest round of AU talks in Ethiopia to demarcate an oil-rich border area and safeguard the rights of citizens in each other’s countries.

Relations between Sudan and South Sudan worsened in late January, when the south shut down oil production that accounts for 98 percent of its revenues in a fierce oil row in which Juba accused Khartoum of “stealing” its crude.

The two nations are still at odds over the South’s use of Khartoum’s pipeline and refinery to export its oil.

Amum said that after the first deals were signed, the two presidents would meet with the AU and negotiating teams to work on agreements about the thorny issues of oil and contested border areas.

“Then they can proceed in this new positive environment to discuss all the issues and help reach agreement with in a very clear time frame, hopefully a month or two. This is the result of our mission to Khartoum and the letter that we delivered to Bashir,” he said.

South Sudan hopes to end oil row within “a month or two”

Chicago Tribune – ‎‎
JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan hopes to resolve a row over oil and other outstanding issues with Sudan within a month or two, South Sudan’s top negotiator said on Saturday, pointing to an easing of tensions between the two old civil war foes.
AFP – ‎
JUBA — South Sudan said Saturday it will not arrest Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, during an upcoming visit to the newly independent nation. South Sudan said fears by former civil war foe 
East African – ‎
By A JOINT REPORT (email the author) The aftermath of South Sudan’s cessation coupled with political turmoil in the Arab world, have left the Khartoum government feeling isolated and economically vulnerable. At a recent conference on infrastructure and 
Washington Post – ‎
JUBA, South Sudan — On the day South Sudan became independent last year, China opened an embassy here, eager to protect its oil interests. It quickly dispatched its foreign minister and began discussing a huge aid package for this destitute land.
Ahram Online – ‎Mar 23, 2012‎
For a while, it seemed that Sudan and South Sudan were about to find a way to get along. An agreement signed in Addis Ababa was supposed to end border tensions, settle the status of expatriates across borders, and pave the way for in-depth talks about 
Capital FM Kenya – ‎Mar 23, 2012‎
Sudan, Mar 22 – 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 to President Bashir and 

March 24, 2012

JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan hopes to resolve a row over oil and other outstanding issues with Sudan within a month or two, South Sudan’s top negotiator said on Saturday, pointing to an easing of tensions between the two old civil war foes.The new nation also said it would not arrest Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide and other crimes, when he visits the southern capital Juba next month.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war, but the two have continued to argue over issues including how much the landlocked South should pay to use Sudan’s oil facilities for export.The dispute pushed Juba to shut down its 350,000 barrel per day oil production in January.

But the two sides have made some headway in recent weeks, agreeing to provisional deals that allow for protection of citizens residing in one another’s countries and lay out plans to demarcate much of the poorly-drawn border.

Both presidents are set to meet in Juba on April 3 to sign the documents and discuss other unresolved issues including the status of the contested Abyei region and the oil dispute.

“They can proceed in this new positive environment to discuss all the issues and hopefully reach agreement within a very clear time frame, hopefully a month or two,” Pagan Amum, South Sudan’s chief negotiator, told reporters in Juba.

Amum said Bashir would not be arrested during his visit. South Sudan is not a signatory to the ICC’s Rome Statute, which compels members to arrest suspects.

“President Salva Kiir has provided assurance as he is the head of state inviting president Bashir and that in itself is an assurance. You don’t invite somebody as a trick,” Amum said.

Sudan does not acknowledge the ICC and says the accusations are politically motivated.

(Reporting by Hereward Holland; Editing by Alexander Dziadosz and Karolina Tagaris)

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.

JPEG - 39.3 kb
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.


South Sudan invites Bashir to bilateral meet over oil dispute
The Daily Star
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 
Government lifts OFW deployment ban in Libya, Nigeria, South Sudan
By Philip C. Tubeza The government has lifted the ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Nigeria, Libya and South Sudan. Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said Thursday that the governing board of the Philippine Overseas Employment 
South Sudan invites Bashir for talks
Independent Online
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 

A homecoming in South Sudan
Vancouver Sun
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.

National Elections Bill 2012

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:
Submission of SSHURSA on the National Elections Bill 2012,
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
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.

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

 Sudan/South sudan: The Ticking Time Bomb

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Earlier this month, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said on national television that Sudan is closer to war than peace with the breakaway state of South Sudan. (Reuters)

Earlier this month, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said on national television that Sudan is closer to war than peace with the breakaway state of South Sudan. (Reuters)


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday accused Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir of trying to undermine newly independent South Sudan, adding Washington would consider increasing pressure on Bashir to reverse course.

Clinton told U.S. lawmakers that “what we’ve got with Bashir is a very determined effort to try to undo the results of the comprehensive peace agreement,” which led to the creation last July of a separate state in South Sudan.

She recalled “the United States played a very important role in negotiating that agreement,” a 2005 deal that ended more than two decades of war between the Islamist-led government in Khartoum and rebels representing the mainly Christian and animist south.

“The people of South Sudan voted for independence and ever since, despite Bashir going to Salva Kiir’s inauguration, there has been a steady effort to undermine this new state,” Clinton said, referring to the new southern president.

“We will certainly look at trying to up the pressure on Khartoum and on Bashir personally,” the chief U.S. diplomat told a House of Representatives committee.

On Feb. 3, Bashir said on national television that Sudan is closer to war than peace with the breakaway state of South Sudan, with a dispute over oil and other issues stoking tensions.

Bashir spoke after Kiir warned that renewed conflict could erupt if 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.

“We also believe there has to be an agreement to finish out the comprehensive peace agreement and try to finalize all of the border issues, the oil issues, and that’s going to be very difficult, too,” Clinton said.

“We support the process that the African Union is running in Addis Ababa but it doesn’t seem to be making a lot of progress yet,” she said.

Clinton: Bashir trying to scuttle Sudan peace deal

Associated Press

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 regime in Khartoum is actively trying to undermine the government of South Sudan and that the Obama administration will look at new ways to build pressure on them to stop. Her comments came in response to a lawmaker’s question about reported bombing attacks on refugees fleeing violence in the south and firefights between southern and northern troops.

“I think that what we’ve got with Bashir is a very determined effort to try to undo the results of the comprehensive peace agreement,” Clinton said.

South Sudan was created last year after southern Sudanese voted to secede from Sudan in a referendum required by a 2005 peace agreement that ended the country’s long-running civil war. Clinton noted that the people of the South had voted overwhelmingly for independence and lamented that Bashir, after initially embracing the results and attending the inauguration of South Sudan’s president, had been involved in “a steady effort to undermine this new state.

“We will certainly look at trying to up the pressure on Khartoum and on Bashir personally,” she said.

Earlier this month, South Sudan accused Sudan of bombing a border town, violating a non-aggression agreement between the two nations just hours after it was signed.

That agreement was inked during talks to resolve outstanding provisions of the 2005 peace deal, including the division of the two nations’ once-unified oil industry. South Sudan inherited nearly three quarters of Sudan’s oil production but its oil must still exported through pipelines through Sudan.

The two countries have been unable to agree on the transport fees the south should pay. In lieu of an agreement, Sudan declared it would take a percentage of the South’s oil as in-kind payments prompting the South to accuse Khartoum of stealing its oil and shut down all production in its oil fields, depriving Khartoum of a critical source of income.

The two countries are also far apart on other issues such as the demarcation of the north-south border and the status of the disputed Abyei region.

UN peacekeeper killed in Darfur ambush
Separately, the UN peacekeeping department will brief the Security Council later on Wednesday about reports that rebels killed some 130 members of the Sudanese army near the border withSouth Sudan. Rebel groups in Sudan claimed credit on Monday for 
US accuses Bashir of trying to undermine South Sudan
Earlier this month, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said on national television that Sudan is closer to war than peace with the breakaway state of South Sudan. (Reuters) By AFP US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday accused Sudanese 
Clinton: Bashir trying to scuttle Sudan peace deal
Modesto Bee
Clinton told a House panel that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s regime in Khartoum is actively trying to undermine the government of South Sudan and that the Obama administration will look at new ways to build pressure on them to stop.
Vice President Riek Machar will give address to South Sudanese at Minesota 
New Sudan Vision
The Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan Dr. Riek Machar, will address South Sudaneseat Minnesota State University Mankato, on Saturday 3rd of March 2012. Dr. Machar is in the United States for quick medical checkups.

Sudan mourns musical icon Wardi

By Ian Timberlake (AFP) – 

Mourners carry the body of Wardi, who returned from self-imposed exile in 2002 (AFP, Ebrahim Hamid)

KHARTOUM — Sudan mourned on Sunday the death of musical icon Mohammed Wardi, a former prisoner who spent years in self-imposed exile but who died on home soil after seeing his beloved nation divided.

“Mohammed Osman Wardi, Sudan’s lead singer, passed away… in Khartoum,” the official SUNA news agency said in a brief dispatch.

Wardi was born in 1932 on the island of Sawarda in far-northern Sudan. He began singing at the age of five, had his first hit in 1960, and still filled a Khartoum concert hall on New Year’s Eve 2010, when he was carried on stage for a rare show in his twilight years.

“Everybody in Sudan loves Mohammed Wardi,” a man from the western Darfur region said.

The Sudanese political activist group Girifna wrote in an online post that it “is saddened by the death of one of Sudan’s revolutionary icons.”

President Omar al-Bashir, cabinet ministers and musicians were among thousands who gathered to pay their respects to Wardi early Sunday when he was buried at a central Khartoum cemetery.

Wardi had gone into self-imposed exile shortly after Bashir, an army officer, seized power in a 1989 coup backed by Islamists.

The singer moved to Egypt and then Los Angeles to receive medical treatment for kidney trouble.

Tens of thousands of Sudanese greeted him at the airport when he first returned in 2002, vowing no retreat from the leftist views often heard in his moving songs.

“I am a human being, and every human being is against dictatorship and I will continue to denounce it,” he told AFP in June 2002.

“The atmosphere does not encourage creation. Freedom is essential to the blossoming of art.”

He said he did not regret the time he spent in detention under former president Gaafar al-Nimeiry, who took power in 1971 after a three-day communist coup which Wardi applauded. The singer was jailed for 18 months.

Wardi sang patriotic as well as romantic songs about the Nile River and everyday Sudanese life in Arabic and his native Nubian dialect Halfawi.

Just over a year ago, he told AFP that the 2005 peace deal which ended 22 years of civil war with southern Sudan had encouraged his return with hope for “the unity of all Sudan.”

But, speaking with sadness just before South Sudan voted overwhelming for independence, he said he had been singing about a united nation for more than five decades and he hoped “that even if south Sudan chooses secession, one day it will reunite with the north”.

The South became independent last July.

Political analyst Magdi El Gizouli wrote in a tribute that Wardi “will be missed”, not only in Sudan but around the region.

“His legacy… extends beyond music,” Gizouli said.

He recalled hearing Wardi’s songs over loudspeakers as a school student and said the lyrics “were probably a primer in political education.”

Iconic Sudanese singer Mohammed Wardi, who popularized Nubian music, dies at age 80

By Associated Press, Updated: Sunday, February 19

KHARTOUM, Sudan— Famed Sudanese singer Mohammed Osman Wardi, who popularized the music of his native Nubia, died Saturday at the age of 80, the state media reported.The reports said the singer died of kidney complications in a Khartoum hospital. His funeral early Sunday was aired live on state television, despite his strained relation with the country’s Islamist government.
Wardi, who hailed from Sudan’s northern region of Nubia, played traditional instruments such as the stringed oud and the tambour drums but also sang to more modern instrumental arrangements. He is credited with pioneering a focus on the musical accompaniment of his pieces, as opposed to earlier generations of singers who concentrated on vocals and lyrics.His repertoire included love songs as well as more politicized pieces favoring Sudanese independence and later uprisings against military regimes in 1964 and 1986.He was associated with Sudan’s political left. He went into exile following the 1983 imposition of Islamic law codes by then-President Gaafar Numeiri, but returned to Sudan in the last decade, still keeping his distance from the government.His fame extends to neighboring African countries including Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia.Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Associated Press

Iconic Sudanese singer Mohammed Wardi dies

Sunday, February 19, 2012

(02-19) 03:15 PST KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) —

Famed Sudanese singer Mohammed Osman Wardi, who popularized the music of his native Nubia, died Saturday at the age of 80, the state media reported.

The reports said the singer died of kidney complications in a Khartoum hospital. His funeral early Sunday was aired live on state television, despite his strained relation with the country’s Islamist government.

Wardi, who hailed from Sudan’s northern region of Nubia, played traditional instruments such as the stringed oud and the tambour drums but also sang to more modern instrumental arrangements. He is credited with pioneering a focus on the musical accompaniment of his pieces, as opposed to earlier generations of singers who concentrated on vocals and lyrics.

His repertoire included love songs as well as more politicized pieces favoring Sudanese independence and later uprisings against military regimes in 1964 and 1986.

He was associated with Sudan’s political left. He went into exile following the 1983 imposition of Islamic law codes by then-President Gaafar Numeiri, but returned to Sudan in the last decade, still keeping his distance from the government.

His fame extends to neighboring African countries including Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia.