Posts Tagged ‘south sudanese’


Welcome and Rally for Dr. Lam Akol’s home coming.

Fellow South Sudanese, 

We encourage every member of SPLM-DC and South Sudanese from all walks of life to join president of the Republic of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit in welcoming Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, our brother, father, and leader back to South Sudan. His home coming means a lot to our government, economy and democratic transformation.
We have all called and asked for his return, let us all rally behind him, give him the necessary support he needs and together we will make a difference in our beloved and new country The Republic of South Sudan.
We wanted to share with you this short message early so that you will make a time and a day to welcome him. Your role is important. For us, his coming home will not only reinforce and strength President’s effort to transform South Sudan to a fully Democratic Nation but also to irradiate and uproot pressing and triggering challenges of corruption “mismanagement of national limited resources”.
The call for Dr. Akol’s return is a right decision, in right time and in right direction. The demand for the supply of transparency and accountability has been over due to most of our Financial Institutions. The system needs to change; it is un sustainable and we can’t continue manage RSS that way.
Perhaps we can judge that God have answered our prayers that RSS institution needs to be reformed to prevent further constitutional crisis and to address the core consent and resolve of South Sudanese aspiration. One need not be an economist or mathematician to figure out what different policies of quantitative and qualitative easing and forward guidance Dr. Akol is capable of, what is important is our consistent stanch support voices for democratic Change is key.

Unity of our diversity is paramount; controversial messages of politics of personal destruction aiming to divide our diversity for personal interest should not be entertained. we are convinced beyond and above reasonable doubt that South Sudanese have a right to know what RSS institutions is doing with their nations oil/non oil money.
We may pose a different views, approaches and solutions but the underline expectations of South Sudanese is one.

Best Regards
Ritti

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United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS): REPORT ISSUED ON INTER-COMMUNAL VIOLENCE IN JONGLEI, SOUTH SUDAN

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) today released a report on the findings of its in-depth investigation into the inter-communal violence in Jonglei State, that claimed the lives of hundreds in 2011 and early 2012. The report was compiled by the Human Rights Division of UNMISS with support from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Human rights officers undertook 20 field missions to towns and rural areas of Jonglei State that were targeted by the violence, in particular those affected by the late December 2011 attacks by thousands of Lou Nuer armed youth on Murle settlements in Pibor County

http://unmiss.unmissions.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=BnqdT-sQAJY%3d&tabid=3465&language=en-US

Tribal raids killed 900 South Sudanese in Dec-Feb: U.N

(Reuters) – Nearly 900 South Sudanese died during a burst of violence between rival cattle herding tribes in late 2011 and early 2012, the United Nations said on Monday, criticizing the newly formed state’s army for failing to protect civilians. South Sudan, which split away from Sudan a year ago, has been struggling to stamp its authority on an undeveloped country the size of France awash with weapons.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/25/us-southsudan-killings-idUSBRE85O17D20120625

UN Report Says South Sudan Tribal Violence Intensifying

NAIROBI, Kenya — The United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says inter-communal violence in Jonglei state beginning last year was perpetuated, in part, by hate speech and the proliferation of weapons.  A new UNMISS human rights report says the government failed to act fast enough to stop the violence. The UNMISS report released Monday says an ongoing cycle of inter-ethnic violence in Jonglei state has intensified in recent years as rival groups become better armed and better organized.

http://www.voanews.com/content/un_report_says_south_sudan_tribal_violence_intensifying/1248763.html

South Sudan must prosecute Jonglei killers and abductors – UN

NAIROBI (AlertNet) – The government of South Sudan must prosecute those responsible for killing hundreds of people in Jonglei state six months ago, the United Nations said in a report released on Monday. In its human rights report, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said 888 people were killed between December 2011 and February 2012 in a conflict between the Lou Nuer and Murle cattle-herding communities over water and grazing land.

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/south-sudan-must-prosecute-jonglei-killers-and-abductors-un


Congratulations 2012 Graduate,

Youth Empowering Societies through Service (YESS) is proud of you and want to share your accomplishments with our YESS family. As South Sudanese and Africans our parents have made countless sacrifices so that we may be educated. We wholeheartedly believe that EDUCATION is the KEY to our future as a nation and a continent. You are the leaders of today, we thank you for your hard work and perseverance, most of all we wish you success and prosperity in all your future endeavors.

2012 GRADUATES HIGHLIGHT

Name:
School/ Institution:
Degree Type:
Honors:
Future endeavors (school, internship, career, company):

Answer one of the following:

1. What does this accomplishment mean for our beloved country the Republic of South Sudan?
2. Name three words that describe your sentiments for our beloved country the Republic of South Sudan?

Please attach a photo, we would prefer one with your cap and gown. Also if you would like you may also include a personal narrative bio.

We look forward to highlighting you,

Youth Empowering Societies through Service Team

ContactYESS@gmail.com


Beijing envoy in Khartoum amid Sudan-South tension 

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE MAY 13, 2012
Sudan separated last July under a peace deal that ended 22 years of civil war.

KHARTOUM – A Chinese envoy was in Khartoum for talks on Sunday after his country backed a UN resolution that aims to halt border fighting between Sudan and South Sudan.

Zhong Jianhua arrived in the Sudanese capital on Saturday and was expected to leave on Sunday night after talks with government officials, a Chinese official told AFP.

“I think mostly it’s about the current situation between the two Sudans,” said the official, who did not wish to be identified.

From Khartoum, Zhong will head to Addis Ababa and then to the South Sudanese capital Juba, the official added.

Zhong was to hold talks later on Sunday with Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Karti, the spokesman for Khartoum’s foreign ministry said.

China backed a unanimous May 2 UN Security Council resolution ordering Sudan and South Sudan to halt weeks of border fighting which raised fears of all-out war.

Despite the ceasefire call, Sudan’s army said last week there had been renewed combat along the disputed frontier, while the South said it again came under Sudanese air attack.

The UN resolution said the two countries must resume by this Wednesday stalled African Union-led talks, which were held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, to settle issues unresolved after South Sudan separated last July under a peace deal that ended 22 years of civil war.

The issues include oil payments, the status of each country’s citizens resident in the other, disputed border areas and the contested Abyei region.

Analysts say China has been balancing its support between old ally Sudan and newly-independent South Sudan, which was the source of five percent of its oil until a shutdown in January.

South Sudan separated with about 75 percent of the former united Sudan’s oil production, but Juba still depended on the north’s pipeline and Red Sea port to export its crude.

The 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 to halt its crude production.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir visited Beijing in April and received an $8-billion loan for infrastructure development in the impoverished country.

Read more:http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Beijing+envoy+Khartoum+amid+Sudan+South+tension/6613894/story.html#ixzz1umBwEbVq

South Sudanese begin journey home: IOM
Pakistan Daily Times
KHARTOUM: The first group of ethnic South Sudanese among up to 15000 camped in crowded conditions in Sudan began their journey home on Saturday, the International Organisation for Migration said. About 400 people, mostly adults, were travelling to 
Sudan says it’s ready to talk with South Sudan
Kansas City Star
By MOHAMED SAEED AP KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan says it is ready to hold talks with South Sudan about outstanding issues between the two countries. Sundan’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday that the “security question” should top the agenda.
South Sudan pulls out its forces from Abyei
Daily Nation
By AFP South Sudan has withdrawn hundreds of police from the territory of Abyei that it disputes with Sudan ahead of a UN Security Council ultimatum, a UN spokesman said on Friday. But the United Nations is still “verifying” the South’s claim that it 
S.Sudan police withdraw from disputed Abyei
Ahram Online
Both Sudan and South Sudan claim Abyei, a border region containing fertile grazing land, which Khartoum took in May last year – triggering the exodus of tens of thousands of civilians – after a southern attack on an army convoy.
Sudan’s conflict with South Sudan cuts both ways
Los Angeles Times
A Sudanese worker inspects the damage to an oil-processing facility in Heglig last month. South Sudan seized Sudan’s main oil field in the town in April, sparking intense fighting. Under strong international pressure, South Sudan withdrew.
Ban welcomes South Sudan’s withdrawal of police from disputed Abyei area
UN News Centre
The disputed town of Abyei was the scene of renewed violence in May 2011 after Sudanese Government forces took over the area. UN Photo/Stuart Price Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed South Sudan’s decision to withdraw its police force from 
South Sudan police withdraw from disputed Abyei
Middle East Online
Juba withdraws hundreds of police from territory of Abyei that it disputes with Sudan ahead of UN Security Council ultimatum. UNITED NATIONS – South Sudan has withdrawn hundreds of police from the territory of Abyei that it disputes with Sudan ahead of 
Harley hosts benefit walk for South Sudan
News 10NBC
Today students, teachers, Harley families and members of the Rochester community banned together to bring water to South Sudan. Harley affiliates and Rochesterians came out to the Harley field house to raise money for project that will provide safe 
Sudans brace for a war both thought was over
Salt Lake Tribune
By JOSH KRON Mayom Wel, South Sudan • On a recent blistering afternoon, this village danced in an open field. Women sashayed, hoisting chairs over their heads. Barefoot children scampered. Old men, with skin as dry and cracked as the bark of a savanna 
First group of stranded South Sudanese to be repatriated
GlobalPost
The first group of stranded South Sudanese, who have been living in makeshift shelters in Sudan, are to be repatriated to the southern capital, Juba, today. A Southern Sudanese man salutes the statue of late South Sudan rebel leader and first 
Beijing envoy in Khartoum amid SudanSouth tension
Montreal Gazette
KHARTOUM – A Chinese envoy was in Khartoum for talks on Sunday after his country backed a UN resolution that aims to halt border fighting between Sudan and South Sudan. Zhong Jianhua arrived in the Sudanese capital on Saturday and was expected to leave 
LRA commander Caesar Acelam reportedly captured
Daily Monitor
By Monitor Reporter (email the author) Senior Ugandan and South Sudanese security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because UPDF is yet to make an official announcement of the ‘big catch’, say ‘Maj. Gen.’ Caesar Acelam was picked as he 
South Sudan eyes EAC membership
The Citizen Daily
He said allowing Southern Sudan to join the EAC will be of mutual benefit to all member countries, considering the readily available market of about ten million people for various products produced in the region. The Speaker said South Sudan wanted the 
S. Sudan’s bid to join EAC to be processed
Africa Review
South Sudanese celebrate their country’s Independence. Juba wants to join the East African Community and its application is in the process of being verified. Photo | JARED NYATAYA | By ADAM IHUCHA Posted Sunday, May 13 2012 at 17:26 South Sudan’s 

MAY 8 2012

The new African country, founded in part to escape from the northern government’s violence, is showing some hostility of its own. 

sudan may7 p.jpg

South Sudanese soldiers drive in a truck near the front line in Panakuach, Unity state. / Reuters

                      Some wars have a self-evident logic to them. When U.S. troops first set foot in Afghanistan, there was little doubt about why they were there or what they wanted to do. But the fighting between The Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan, which reached official “war” status when Khartoum formally declared war on its southern neighbor on April 19, belongs to a different category of armed conflict. It’s more like Russia’s 2008 invasion of Georgia, or Israel’s 2006 incursion into Lebanon, the end product of a long series of calculations and miscalculations, internal politics and external pressures, suspicions legitimate and imagined — a war launched on its own uncontrollable momentum.

Still, this conflict, which has cooled in the few days since the UN Security Council demanded that both sides cease hostilities and enter into negotiations, could have been prevented. When I visited South Sudan in mid-March, knowledgeable individuals described war between the north and south as a serious, though not inevitable, prospect. A non-Arab Sudanese rebel group known as the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North — which Khartoum sees as aided by South Sudan — is fighting the northern army in South Kordofan, Sudan. If the rebels had made dramatic enough gains, one U.S. official had earlier speculated to me, the northern government might attack the South in response. A South Sudanese government official told me that Khartoum wanted to go to war, or at least wanted to appear willing to go to war, in order to pressure the South into making concessions during ongoing negotiations over oil revenues.

Ethnic conflict in Jonglei and Unity States, two provinces in South Sudan, risked throwing much of the new nation into the sort of chaos that the regime in Khartoum, still smarting from the loss of over a third of its territory, was likely to exploit. Abyei and other disputed areas were mentioned as possible flashpoints, but in all of my conversations with officials, scholars, consultants, and civil society figures, the name Heglig — the oil-producing border region that southern troops entered on April 10, sparking the current crisis — was never mentioned. There had even been a recent, diplomatic thaw. Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir was scheduled to visit Juba on April 3 for a presidential-level summit. A soccer match between youth clubs from the countries’ capital cities would even mark the occasion (the summit was canceled on March 26, when border flare-ups began).

So how did it get to this point? From one perspective, the war is the end result of a complex of unresolved issues between north and south. The status of Abyei, a disputed, oil-producing, and mostly non-Arab citythat the northern military practically leveled and depopulated in the summer of 2011, is still undecided. The south has a sizable oil industry that is dependent on northern infrastructure. In January, the Southern government responded to punitively high transit costs imposed by the north — as well as evidence that Khartoum was siphoning oil away from the north-south pipeline without compensating the southern government — by shutting down its entire oil sector. Somewhere between 200,000 and 800,000 southern refugees from the Sudan’s 23-year long civil war still live in Khartoum, and their status has yet to be determined.

Though the two Sudans had gone through the motions of multilateral negotiations, over time, the South became convinced that the north wasn’t negotiating in good faith. It is easy to see why officials in Juba believed that military action was a viable means of changing Khartoum’s calculus. Arguably, Khartoum’s declaration of war was a formality, an official confirmation of the already war-like posture that Bashir has taken towards his southern neighbor since it became independent last July.

After Juba shut down the country’s oil production in January, Khartoum bombed oil wells inside of Southern territory. In November, northern Antonov cargo planes dropped bombs on Yida, a refugee camp for civilians fleeing South Kordofan, that is clearly inside of southern territory. The northern military mounted attacks on several border cities, including Jao and Teshwin, which is near Heglig. And in April, Khartoum moved to strip over 750,000 southern refugees of their citizenship, reneging on an agreement reached just days earlier.

The south entered Heglig on April 10, after nine months of provocation from the north. The United Nations, U.S., and African Union have all declared the seizure “illegal.” The invasion had proven provocative, and even reckless — the South has earned international condemnation while ending near-term hopes for negotiated peace.

South Sudan doesn’t see its invasion as illegal, given the Khartoum government’s aggression over the past year. The South is also convinced that it has a legitimate claim on Heglig, which was ethnically cleansed of its native Dinka population during the Sudanese civil war, and could reasonably be considered disputed territory, according to a report by the International Crisis Group. The northern response has been predictably thuggish: northern warplanes have repeatedly bombed Bentiu, the capital of oil-producing Unity State, and a place that is indisputably inside of the South Sudan, killing several civilians. On April 14, an Antonov was spotted over Juba (according to sources inside the South Sudan, the plane later crashed inside of Southern territory after developing mechanical difficulties). The rhetoric coming from Khartoum has matched the regime’s behavior: Bashir vowed to “liberate” the South Sudan, and to “give them the final lesson by force.”

For the South, war is a sequel to the oil shutoff, which has deprived a suffering northern economy of one of its chief sources of revenue. It’s a means of gaining leverage over an aggressive and seemingly implacable neighbor that has eschewed earnest, diplomatic engagement. For the north, aggression and implacability is an effort on Bashir’s part to appear stronger than he actually is. The northern government faces armed uprisings in Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan, an organized political opposition, international sanctions, multiple International Criminal Court indictments, and an economy that’s on pace to contract 7 percent by the end of the year. The vulnerable Sudanese regime, undoubtedly unnerved by the violent and nonviolent toppling of governments throughout the Arab world, might see war with the south as, literally, politics by other means.

But the north’s war effort could backfire. The Southern military is stronger than many realize — the SPLA is organized, battle-hardened, and, by all accounts, far better equipped than it was when it fought Khartoum during the civil war (unlike the north, the South has no air force, but they do have anti-aircraft weaponry, and succeeded in shooting down at least two northern aircraft since hostilities began). The northern military is managed by regime cronies and demoralized by decades of continuous war. Its repeated failure to retake Heglig might cost the current defense minister his job.

On April 21, the South voluntarily withdrew from Heglig, after holding the area for 10 days, and pushing as far as 25 kilometers into northern territory. It’s possible that the Southern invasion of the region wasn’t meant as a prelude to a long-term occupation, but rather as a reminder to Khartoum that Juba is more than capable of making the north pay for its belligerence.

Maybe this gambit will pay off — or maybe it will result in a massive, inter-state conflict that could badly destabilize two countries that aren’t terribly stable to begin with. Clashes are continuing along the border, as the armies jostle for territory before the upcoming rainy season. The UN is keen on stopping the conflict before it escalates. On May 2, the Security Council unanimously passed a resolution threatening to sanction both governments if they did not immediately cease hostilities and enter into African Union-mediated peace talks within two weeks.

For now, the conflict is a novelty in the long history of north-south violence: a true inter-state war, a fight between regular armies rather than militia groups, and between internationally recognized governments rather than guerilla leaders.

Political independence represents the ultimate responsibility for a people, a means of giving tangible expression to a community’s immediate priorities, as well as its long-term dreams. South Sudan’s leadership is getting a crash course in just how heavy this responsibility is. The war is an ironic sign that the South Sudan is truly a member of the community of nations, empowered to make consequential decisions and to defend its perceived interests — regardless of where these decisions might lead.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/05/from-victim-to-mutual-aggressor-south-sudans-disastrous-first-year/256842/

The Silence in Sudan

Why did the United Nations stop reporting atrocities in Darfur?

BY COLUM LYNCH | MAY 7, 2012

Darfur once captured the world’s attention as a contemporary symbol of the international failure to confront mass atrocities. In recent years, however, it has fallen off the radar screen, as the level of government-sponsored violence has subsided and as other pressing Sudanese crises, including the threat of war between Sudan and South Sudan, have captured the headlines.

But there is another reason you don’t hear much about the troubles in Darfur these days: The United Nations human rights agencies essentially stopped issuing public reports on abuses there three and a half years ago, according to U.N. officials, human rights advocates, and a leaked U.N. report. The sunnier accounts of events in Darfur in some ways reflects the tendency of the U.N. and African Union leadership to trumpet the successes of a peace process that they have helped brokered, and downplay its failures. But the long silence owes much to the Sudanese government practice of intimidating U.N. officials and independent aid workers into remaining quiet or minimizing government violations — by threatening possible expulsion or harassment on the ground.

Indeed, the U.N.’s reticence to report publicly on rights abuses intensified after the Sudanese government expelled 13 relief organizations in March 2009, heightening fears that open criticism of the regime could trigger a swift crackdown on outsiders. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has not issued a single report on abuses in Darfur, Sudan, since January 2009, when it documented government killings of displaced Darfurians back in the Kalma camp for internally displaced peoples (IDPs) in August 2008.

The U.N.-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), which includes staff from the high commissioner’s office, has also been largely silent. A group of three former U.N. experts, meanwhile, recently wrote a confidential report claiming that the U.N. mission in Darfur has minimized critical reporting of government abuses, downplaying a series of attacks against the Zaghawa tribe last year that displaced 70,000 people, and which amounted to ethnic cleansing.”There has indeed been a drop-off in the number of public human rights reports produced by UNAMID over the past couple of years, and it is something we have been concerned about and have been raising with the team on the ground,” Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner, told me. Colville declined to elaborate on why the U.N. had stopped issuing the human rights reports it had periodically published on Darfur until the beginning of 2009.

U.S. officials and human rights advocates acknowledge that the nature of violence in Darfur has changed since the bloodiest phase from 2003 to 2005 of a government counterinsurgency campaign that has never entirely ended and that has led to the death of more than 300,000 people and the displacement of nearly three million. A peace treaty between Chad and Sudan has undercut the military position of one of Darfur’s main rebel groups, the Justice and Equality Movement. There is at least a peace agreement in place now, that while not exactly delivering peace, has created a political process to channel some of the region’s more violent impulses. But that doesn’t meant that the problems have gone away: The region continues to be plagued by intertribal warfare, banditry, and crime.

Meanwhile, Khartoum continues to kill civilians through a campaign of aerial bombardment, as it has recently attacked the central Darfurian region of Jebel Marra. It also imports weapons in violation of U.N. sanctions, and it provides military support to favored militias in an effort to root out possible bases of support for rebel forces now bent on toppling the government. Indeed, the three former U.N. experts documented evidence that Khartoum — which traditionally supported Arab militia in Darfur — trained, armed, and organized local non-Arab tribes for the first time to fight anti-government Zaghawa rebels.

Early last month, Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, privately raised concerns about the lack of reporting on rights abuses in Darfur in a private meeting with Ibrahim Gambari, UNAMID’s representative. More recently, the United States, Britain, and other European powers also pressed the U.N. chief peacekeeper, Hervé Ladsous, in a closed-door Security Council session to step up reporting on rights abuses, arguing that developments on the ground still require public reporting on abuses by government or rebel forces in Darfur.

“From a U.S. point of view, we’re hardly sanguine about the security situation” in Darfur, Rice told reporters on April 26. “We see that the violence is escalating in four or five regions of Darfur, and we’re particularly concerned about North Darfur and Jebel Marra.”

The partial reporting moratorium comes at a time when media interest in Sudan has waned, or at least shifted from Darfur to other parts of Sudan, including South Sudan, which declared its independence last July 2011, culminating a landmark agreement that ended a 28-year civil war between Khartoum and the southerners. The nascent country has since been plagued by violent flare-ups in places like Abyei, South Kordofan, and elsewhere along the border, raising fears that Khartoum and South Sudan might again be on the brink of war, this time a battle between two well-armed independent nations.

The U.N. has recently sought to portray Darfur as a relative success story, highlighting a dip in violence from the worst stages of the civil war. The U.N. estimates that 109,000 internally displaced Darfuris have recently returned to their homes, and 31,000 refugees have returned from Chad. “What we have witnessed is a decline in direct confrontations between Sudanese forces and armed movements in 2011 compared with 2010,” Gambari recently told reporters. The overall numbers of internally displaced, he said, has fallen from 2.8 million to as low as 1.5 million.

In a lengthy telephone interview, Gambari defended the U.N. mission’s reporting on human rights, saying that its human rights section provides daily, weekly, and monthly reports to peacekeeping officials at U.N. headquarters in New York and to rights experts at the U.N. high commissioner’s office in Geneva. He also denied suggestions by rights groups that the U.N. had bowed to Sudanese government pressure in withholding reporting on human rights.

“We report everything that happens in Darfur in daily situation reports,” including human rights violations, he said. “We send reports to headquarters every day, every week, every month. Headquarters does not seem to have developed a mechanism for sharing these with member states.”

But he said in an effort to address Rice’s concern the U.N. will begin sharing monthly reports on human rights abuses with member states. “We can put that together,” he said. “There is no real inhibition on the part of ourselves [to provide additional reporting on rights abuses] and no pressure on the part of the [Sudanese] government.”

Gambari said the human rights situation in Darfur should be viewed from the perspective of a trouble spot where “the war is winding down” and life is “beginning to emerge from conflict.” The United Nations, he said, is shifting its focus to capacity building, helping to create institutions that promote the rule of law. “We feel UNAMID can be more effective in addressing human rights through capacity building. But that doesn’t mean we’re not amenable to more reporting.”

U.S. officials, human rights advocates, European diplomats, and independent U.N. researchers say the effort to assess conditions in Darfur has been complicated by the U.N.’s failure to provide a more authoritative, or reliable, account of the human rights situation in Darfur. But they say that they regularly pick up reports from the field that government-sponsored violence continues.

“Still we do receive reports from sources inside Darfur indicating the war architecture and tools of repression are very much intact,” said Jehanne Henry, the Darfur researcher for Human Rights Watch. “This week, for example, people from Jebel Marra reported to us that the government bombing in Jebel Marra killed civilians and caused many to flee their homes.”

Henry said the Sudanese government has applied pressure on the United Nations and others to limit rights reporting on rights abuses, and that its efforts “have effectively muzzled the AU/UN mission into silence.” She added, “Humanitarian aid agencies, traditionally a reliable source of informally reporting on rights abuses, also do not speak out [for] fear of being kicked out of Darfur altogether.”

Three former members of a U.N. expert panel investigating sanctions violations in Darfur claimed a report, first divulged by Africa Confidential, that the U.N. mission has downplayed or ignored evidence of abuses by government-backed militia. The team, which resigned late last year over a dispute with the panel’s chairman, produced an unofficial report that claims UNAMID officials failed to adequately detail a large massacre by Sudanese forces and government backed militia in eastern Darfur, even though the Sudanese government itself cited the killings in one of its own reports, according to the experts’ report.

The researchers, Jerome Tubiana of France, Michael Kelly of Britain, and Claudio Gramizzi of Italy, examined events in the area of Shangal Tobay, where Sudanese forces and government-backed militias drove tens of thousands of Zaghawa tribespeople from their homes, killing large number of civilians, during 2010 and 2011.

The plight of the Zaghawa, who have played the role of victim and victimizer, underscores the complexity of violence in Darfur. The Zaghawa first began settling in the Shangal Tobay area during the late 1940s, arriving in far greater numbers in the 1970s following a severe drought in their northern homelandaccording to a history of the region presented in the U.N. experts’ report.

Many of the group’s men filled the ranks of a key faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) — headed by Zaghawa rebel leader Minni Minawi — which took up arms against the government in 2003. Soon, they emerged as the dominant power in Shangal Tobay, a community with as many as 30 ethnic groups. A 2006 peace accord with the government solidified their control over the area. Under their rule, the Zaghwawa thrived while other tribes “suffered abuses (including taxations, arrests, and murders) at the hands of the rebels,” according to the report.

But the peace accord collapsed in 2010, driving the SLA fighters into hiding, abandoning Shangal Tobay, and exposing the region’s Zaghawa community to reprisals. Sudanese government forces, meanwhile, recruited a group of non-Arab militias that had bridled under the Zaghawa’s rule and used them to carry out a series of systematic attacks against the Zaghawa between December 2010 and June 2011. The U.N. mission, which was stationed in Shangal Tobay, was unable to provide protection for thousands of Zaghawa civilians that had sought protection, forcing them to flee the town.

“This cycle of violence provoked one of the most significant displacements that Darfur has experienced since the height of the conflict between 2003 and 2005, with the reported registration of around 70,000 IDPs,” according to the report. “Members of the panel believe that the cycle of violence in eastern Darfur in the first half of 2011 was characterized by ethnic cleansing targeting one particular group.”

“Members of the panel also found that violent incidents against Zaghawa civilians were on occasion not passed up the UNAMID reporting chain in the same way as violence committed by Zaghawa rebels and militia,” the report said. “Members of the panel also found that events they themselves witnessed alongside UNAMID personnel were not fully reported in UNAMID Patrol Reports or Situation reports.”

The panel accompanied a UNAMID patrol on May 22, 2011, as they came upon the small Zaghawa village of Nyortik in flames. The panel members believed the village was burnt to the ground by a pro-government militia in retaliation for the killing of a truck driver that was linked to the militia. But they said the UNAMID officials simply took the militia leaders’ word that the Zaghawa had burnt their owntown to the ground — and then failed to even report the incident in a “team site patrol report” shared with a wider circle of mission staff.

The panel’s experts argue that UNAMID’s handling of the event was consistent with a pattern of bias in its reporting, which tended to ignore government abuses while highlighting those carried out by the rebels. It also undercut the ability of U.N. and African Union policymakers to gain a clear picture of what was happening on the ground. In the end, the truck driver’s killing ultimately sparked one of the worst outbreaks of violence in Darfur in years.

In a possible reprisal attack, pro-government militias attacked the Zaghawa stronghold of Abu Zerega on May 31, 2011, looting the tribe’s livestock, before calling in Sudanese government reinforcements. By the end, the government and pro-government militia had executed some 18 Zaghawa civilians. On June 17, Zaghawa rebels carried out a reprisal raid on Shangal Tobay, advancing by car and camel, killing 19 people, including 6 Sudanese soldiers and militia members.

But the United Nations responded slowly, waiting 12 days to conducting an investigation into the massacre at Abu Zerega, which was only a few kilometers from a U.N. outpost. The delay allowed the perpetrators an opportunity to hide or bury the bodies. In the end, UNAMID concluded simply that the 18 victims had been “allegedly killed/disappeared” while the government’s own investigation concluded that a “total of 18 Zaghawa cviliians had been summarily executed.”

“Members of the panel believe that in under-reporting or deliberately omitting to report some incidents in the area of Shangal Tobay, UNAMID prevents itself [from having a] clear understanding of the chain of violence.”

Whatever the reason, the ramifications are severe. The U.N. mission gave the Security Council little reason to suspect a government role in the massacre of the Zaghawa last May. Indeed, in July 2011, the U.N. secretary general’s report to the Security Council — the main vehicle for reporting on developments in Darfur — said nothing about the role of Sudanese soldiers or pro-government militias in the massacre of the Zaghawa in Abu Zerega.

But it did link the Zaghawa rebels to the reprisal attack.

The U.N. stance, according to the panel members, “risks exacerbating existing perceptions of UNAMID as insufficiently neutral: perceptions which may post a threat both to UNAMID’s own security and to the eastern Darfur area’s peace and security.” Even worse, it has served to erase Darfur from the map of global trouble spots competing for the world’s attention.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/05/07/the_silence_in_sudan?page=full


250 Sudanese Militia Join SPLA
The Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) spokesperson Col. Philip Aguer Panyang told Gurtong last Saturday that a group of 250 Sudanese militias defected to SPLA in Foluj town of Upper Nile State.
07 May 2012

By James Deng Dimo
JUBA, 7th 2012 [Gurtong]

Speaking to Gurtong, Col. Aguer said that the militias were sent by authorities in Khartoum to attack South Sudan’s Kadar oil field but officially decided to join the SPLA.

The militias were led by Maj. Gen. Duit Yiech and other high ranking officers with their full military equipments including 7 artillery machine guns mounted on vehicles with full ammunitions.

“Despite President Omar Hassan al Bashir declaring war against the South Sudan, this is a blow to his government in Khartoum by losing such a big number of troops and weapons,” Panyang said.

According to the SPLA, since the escalation of fighting in Hegilig region, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) has been advancing into South Sudan’s territory through air raids despite SPLA’s withdrawal from Heglig (Panthou) in conformity to the UN and AU calls.

Recently, Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) rejected a new map of the republic of South Sudan that includes Southern Kordofan (another disputed oil rich region) and claim that it remains a Sudanese territory.

http://www.gurtong.net/ECM/Editorial/tabid/124/ctl/ArticleView/mid/519/articleId/6935/250-Sudanese-Militia-Join-SPLA.aspx

From SSTV
           It is a great pleasure for the people of South Sudan to hear that South Sudanese soldiers that have been residing in the North Sudan fighting South Sudan have started their journey back to join South Sudanese people.
General Yiech Speaking
Soldiers and Vehicles Brought Along (Malak Ayuen Speaking)
          Meaning that the one of the five important forces led by John Duit Yiech that was send by the government of the North Sudan to fought with South-Sudanese escaped and channeled their direction to join South Sudanes in Adar. The leader of the troop General John Duit Yiech had had a great decission to cross the land to the South Sudan. What a great symphasy! Stand up for your Right!!
           The greater leader (John Duit Yiech) had spoken in the South Sudan TV alongwith the Brigadier General Malek Ayuen Ajock who received and introduced him into the land of the South Sudan. Uncle General Duit mentioned in his speach (in Nuer Language) that he came to South Sudan and will stand for the Jinubeen’s right to stability.
          I do not want to fight with my own people on behave of North Sudan, he added. I brought these weaponds and military cars that will be used by the South Sudan Army (Sudan People Libration Army) to defend this Land. If Jalaba come to kill South Sudanese, I and my troops will die on the South Sudan Land protecting it from our enemy. I and my soldiers do not come to South Sudan as captive, Duit Yiech added. May Almighty God bless General John Duit Yiech (Chot-Jiok).
         For more information please, pickup your phone and confirm from South Sudan.
Regards,
Gatluak Nyak Titit
Victoria, Australia

Bashir says wants warm relations with South Sudanese

Posted: May 6, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Sudan
Tags:

ReutersBy Yara Bayoumy | Reuters 

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Sunday he would not allow conflict with South Sudanto overshadow “strategic relations” with its people, striking a less confrontational tone over a crisis that has raised fears of war.

After South Sudan seized the contested Heglig oilfield last month, Bashir vowed to free the South’s citizens from the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement whom he called “insects”.

During a month of conflict, the United Nations condemned Sudan’s air strikes on South Sudan’s territory and international pressure forced the South to withdraw from Heglig.

The fighting prompted the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution threatening sanctions if they did not follow an African Union roadmap to stop fighting and return to talks.

On Sunday Bashir said South Sudanese government’s “infringements” on Sudanese territory “and their muddying of the neighbourly, brotherly relations between the two countries in a blatant way will not deflect us from our view of the future and our strategic relations with the people of South Sudan”.

“… We look with wisdom and foresight to well-established relations between us and the people of South Sudan,” said Bashir, speaking in an uncharacteristically mild manner, at a conference to discuss a five-year national strategic plan.

Khartoum and Juba say they have accepted the resolution. But Sudan has said it could find difficulty in implementing “parts” of it while South Sudanese troops were still inside its territory and reserved the right to defend its land. South Sudan says these areas are its own.

The South has also accused its northern neighbour of launching air strikes on its territories. Khartoum has denied reports of specific attacks but said it had a right to use its air power in self-defence.

Both sides also accuse each other of backing rebel militia, and both deny each other’s claims.

The crisis has halted nearly all oil production in the region, strangling both oil-dependent economies.

Bashir said the country’s economic hardship was temporary following the loss in oil revenues and that it was not a “catastrophe that heralds collapse”.

Sudan lost three-quarters of its oil after South Sudan seceded from its northern neighbour in July as part of a 2005 settlement that ended two decades of civil war.

The two sides have since been in conflict over oil revenue shares, border demarcation and citizenship. They are supposed to sit down to talks by an AU-imposed deadline of Tuesday and resolve all outstanding issues within three months.

Before South Sudan’s seizure of Heglig, the oilfield was producing about half of Sudan’s 115,000 bpd output. Sudan’s oil minister has said Heglig has started pumping oil again, but has not specified the amount it was producing.

http://news.yahoo.com/sudan-says-sudan-troops-inside-territory-083023003.html

Bashir says wants warm relations with South Sudanese
Chicago Tribune
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – 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 
UPDF Ready to Shoot Down Sudan War Planes
AllAfrica.com
By John Semakula and John Masaba, 5 May 2012 The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Force (UPDF) is ready to fend off any attack, be it from a foreign force, using superior war planes like those Khartoum is using against South Sudan.
Caf congratulates newly elected president of South Sudan FA
Goal.com India
By Kent Mensah The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has congratulated the first president of the South Sudan football association, Chabur Gor Alei, and the new executive board. The new association member of Caf held its elections on April 30 in
South Sudan: Salute to SPLA
AllAfrica.com
By John Juan Dong, 5 May 2012 We as the people of the Republic of South Sudan salute our gallant young men and women who form the disciplined forces in uniform, the SPLA. You have shown your citizens that you are the power and defenders of this young 
Sudan’s economy has not failed, says Bashir
Al-Arabiya
The International Monetary Fund has forecast Sudan’s real gross domestic product to decline after South Sudan separated in July. (AP) By AFP Sudan’s economy has not failed, President Omar al-Bashir said on Sunday despite losing billions of dollars in 
Give the Senior Citizens on Pension Their Dues
AllAfrica.com
We have read the article of the columnist of The Citizen Newspaper, William Sunday Tor strongly suggesting to our Government of the Republic of South Sudan the need for creating a budget and a comprehensive system of paying post-service benefits, 

South Sudan: 27 Sudan soldiers killed in clashes

Posted: May 1, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan
Tags:

Associated Press | Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012

South Sudan’s army said Tuesday it killed 27 soldiers from Sudan’s armed forces during a clash along the countries’ contested border.

South Sudan’s military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said the fighting took place in Hofra along the road to South Sudan’s Unity State capital, Bentiu.

He said three South Sudanese soldiers were killed and two others wounded after soldiers for the south intercepted three Sudanese trucks mounted with machine guns traveling to positions held by South Sudan’s soldiers.

“They were trying to surprise the SPLA, but we had been monitoring their preparations for the last three days,” said Aguer. The SPLA is an acronym for South Sudan’s military.

He said South Sudan’s forces killed 27 soldiers, including the Sudanese major leading the attack, before driving the trucks back across the border.

This is the latest in a steady stream of confrontations between the two forces since South Sudan left the oil-rich and disputed town of Heglig more than 10 days ago. South Sudan had invaded Heglig, saying it belonged to the south. Sudan later retook the town; Sudanese forces say they pushed out the South Sudanese while South Sudan says its troops pulled out to avoid an all-out war. Sudan elevated the tension even further by bombing South Sudan.

Aguer said Sudan’s military launched Tuesday’s attacks from Heglig. Aguer said the SPLA forces only pursued the Sudanese troops “about 5 kilometers” from Hofra, and did not plan to immediately respond.

But he said South Sudan would retaliate if Sudan continued launching attacks from Heglig.

“This may be the first of many attacks,” he said. “It has not reached that level, but definitely if they continue to advance toward Jau and Pariang, SPLA has the right.”

The international community has condemned the fighting and has called for an end to the hostilities between the countries, but those calls have largely been ignored. The two nations’ armies have continued to clash around positions at Teshwin and Panakuac near the disputed border, and Sudanese jet fighters have repeatedly dropped bombs inside Unity State, including on Bentiu.

South Sudan split from Sudan in July last year, but the two countries have yet to agree on border demarcation and divvying up oil revenues and resources.

Read more: http://www.heraldextra.com/news/world/africa/south-sudan-sudan-soldiers-killed-in-clashes/article_067a058b-9cbd-58eb-adc0-0c97cd85cc75.html#ixzz1teZ2tvIt

UN Council aims for Wednesday vote on Sudan sanctions

National Post – ‎‎
UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council powers hope to vote Wednesday on a resolution that could threaten Sudan and South Sudan with sanctions if they do not end their conflict, diplomats said. China and Russia are leading resistance however to 
News24 – ‎
Khartoum – The British embassy said on Tuesday it had met with one of its citizens allegedly detained by Sudan’s army along the tense southern border and he is in good condition. The Briton, Chris Fielding, has been held for at least three days along 
CBS News – ‎
JUBA, South Sudan — South Sudan’s army said Tuesday it killed 27 soldiers from Sudan’s armed forces during a clash along the countries’ contested border. South Sudan’s military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said the fighting took place in Hofra along the 
CNN – ‎‎
By the CNN Wire Staff (CNN) — Thousands of people trying to return to South Sudan from Sudan have been stranded for months at the Kosti way station and are running out of “means of support,” a United Nations official said Tuesday.
Chicago Tribune – ‎
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – China and Russia are resisting a Western push for the UN Security Council to threaten Sudan and South Sudan with sanctions if the two countries fail to comply with demands to halt their escalating conflict, UN envoys said on 
Washington Post – ‎‎
Bentiu, South Sudan — Every few moments, Nyameat Nyak glances nervously at the sky. It’s been two weeks since Sudanese warplanes bombed her teashop as she was serving five traders, pregnant with her sixth child. Shrapnel sliced through the walls, 
Chicago Tribune – ‎‎
JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan accused Sudan of launching a ground attack in an oil region of the newly independent state on Tuesday and said it was preparing to strike back, in rising tension that shows no sign of abating. The scale of the fighting was 
Chicago Tribune – ‎
(Adds quotes from Pagan Amum) By Yara Bayoumy JUBA, May 1 (Reuters) – South Sudan accused Sudan of launching a ground attack in an oil region of the newly independent state on Tuesday and said it was preparing to strike back, in rising tension that 
Chicago Tribune – ‎‎
(Fixes headline) By Yara Bayoumy JUBA, May 1 (Reuters) – South Sudan accused Sudan of launching a ground attack in an oil region of the newly independent state on Tuesday and said it was preparing to strike back, in rising tension that shows no sign of 
Reuters Africa – ‎‎
By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS, May 1 (Reuters) – China and Russia are resisting a Western push for the UN Security Council to threaten Sudan and South Sudan with sanctions if the two countries fail to comply with demands to halt their escalating 
Independent Online – ‎
By Reuters Women from the north and the south wait for transport in Khartoum on Monday. Tens of thousands of South Sudanese working in the north lost their jobs after the split and are waiting to return to South Sudan. About 500 000 are now technically 
Business Daily Africa – ‎
By AHMED SOLIMAN (email the author) Less than a year after South Sudan’s independence, Sudan and Juba are on the brink of a return to full-scale war. The current military escalation provides both governments with a comfortable fall-back position: 
Voice of America – ‎‎
May 01, 2012 IOM: Deadline to Repatriate Thousands of South Sudanese Unrealistic Lisa Schlein | Geneva The International Organization for Migration is urging authorities in Sudan’s White Nile State to extend a Saturday deadline for repatriating 12000 
AFP – ‎‎
By Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali (AFP) – 6 hours ago KHARTOUM — Sudan warned its Southern neighbour on Tuesday over widening “aggression” as the South alleged fresh clashes despite an African Union peace initiative. “The government of Sudan confirms that 
Sky News Australia – ‎
South Sudan widening ‘aggression’ Updated: 03:37, Wednesday May 2, 2012 South Sudan has occupied new areas along the border with Sudan in a pattern of widening aggression, Khartoum’s foreign ministry says in a statement. ‘The government of Sudan 
BBC News –
South Sudan’s foreign minister Nhial Deng Nhial says it is possible his country may halt oil exports for another two years in protest at Sudanese transit fees, despite his country’s dependence on oil for government revenue. South Sudan stopped its oil 
CBS News – ‎
NAIROBI, Kenya — The UN’s World Food Program is warning that recent fighting between South Sudan and Sudan could push more people into a hunger crisis situation. WFP South Sudan country director Chris Nikoi said in a statement Tuesday that the food 
Chicago Tribune – ‎
LONDON (Reuters) – South Sudan’s chief negotiator on Tuesday criticized China, which backs both Juba and Khartoum, for not taking a more robust role in resolving a crisis between the neighbors that has halted oil output and may tip them back into war.
Financial Times – ‎‎
By William Wallis in London and Geoff Dyer in Washington The UN Security Council is putting the finishing touches to a resolution that could lead to sanctions on Sudan and South Sudan, despite Russian and Chinese reservations.
Reuters – ‎
By Yeganeh Torbati | LONDON May 1 (Reuters) – South Sudan’s chief negotiator on Tuesday criticised China, which backs both Juba and Khartoum, for not taking a more robust role in resolving a crisis between the neighbours that has halted oil output and 
CBS News – ‎
GENEVA — The International Organization for Migration says it cannot meet the deadline set by Sudan’s White Nile State to help relocate up to 15000 South Sudanese. IOM spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy says his organization is “deeply concerned” because 
Wall Street Journal –
By JENNY GROSS LONDON—South Sudan’s chief negotiator Tuesday said Sudan was continuing its aggression against South Sudan and preventing a peaceful resolution to the conflict over oil-transit fees and land as Sudan launched fresh attacks on a key oil 
CBS News – ‎
KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan’s Foreign Ministry has permitted diplomats from Britain, Norway and South Africa to meet their nationals detained in a disputed region along the border with South Sudan. Sudan claims the foreigners were carrying out military 
Chicago Tribune – ‎
JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan accused Sudan of launching an attack in an oil region of the newly independent state on Tuesday and said it was preparing to strike back, in another sign of the festering violence along the frontier.
New York Times (blog) –
Goran Tomasevic/ReutersA woman in the Nuba Mountains standing on Sunday amid the wreckage caused by a Sudanese air raid. LONDON — Social media may have played a role in spreading revolution during the Arab Spring, but can they prevent a war?
Independent Online – ‎
By Peter Fabricius South Africa’s ambassador in Sudan met the foreign minister in Khartoum yesterday to ask for consular access to the SA demining expert who was arrested somewhere in the border region between Sudan and South Sudan.
AFP – ‎
By Ian Timberlake (AFP) – 10 hours ago KHARTOUM — South Sudanese youth have been reported kidnapped by armed gangs in Sudan and sent to fight — including in the recent Heglig oil conflict, South Sudan’s ambassador told AFP in an interview.
Al-Arabiya – ‎
By AFP South Sudanese youth have been reported kidnapped by armed gangs in Sudan and sent to fight — including in the recent Heglig oil conflict, South Sudan’s ambassador told AFP in an interview. But Kau Nak, who admits his job is the toughest in his 
NPR – ‎‎
South Sudan is the country that voted to break away from Sudan. They’ve been jostling for control of border zones, including oil fields. And just as the two sides were sitting down to negotiate, fighting broke out. This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News 
Sky News Australia – ‎
UN debating how to end Sudan fighting Updated: 13:28, Tuesday May 1, 2012 Diplomats at the UN say they are close to agreement on a revised draft resolution on sanctions against both sides in the Sudan violence. Senior representatives from the five 
South Sudan civilians are trapped in conflict over oil
Washington Post
Bentiu, South Sudan — Every few moments, Nyameat Nyak glances nervously at the sky. It’s been two weeks since Sudanese warplanes bombed her teashop as she was serving five traders, pregnant with her sixth child. Shrapnel sliced through the walls, 
South Sudan: 27 Sudan soldiers killed in clashes
Daily Herald
South Sudan’s army said Tuesday it killed 27 soldiers from Sudan’s armed forces during a clash along the countries’ contested border. South Sudan’s military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said the fighting took place in Hofra along the road to South 
Sudan: IOM Deeply Concerned About Fate of South Sudanese Waiting for Transport 
AllAfrica.com
Geneva — IOM Deeply Concerned about Fate of South Sudanese Waiting for Transport in Kosti – IOM is very concerned following an announcement by the Governor of Sudan’s White Nile State that all international agencies, NGOs and South Sudanese currently 
UN set to vote on Sudan resolution
Financial Times
By William Wallis in London and Geoff Dyer in Washington The UN Security Council is putting the finishing touches to a resolution that could lead to sanctions on Sudan and South Sudan, despite Russian and Chinese reservations.

By THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN

South Sudan’s leaders have stolen at least $10 billion in oil revenues shared with them by Sudan in the past 7 years. With somewhere between $12 to $17 billion turned over to South Sudan, Africa’s newest “government”, during this time frame some say estimates of only $10 billion stolen is to conservative.

South Sudan has about 8 million people so the oil revenues amount to somewhere between $1,500 to $2000 per man, woman and child in a country where everyday hundreds if not thousands die from hunger and disease.

Where has the $10 billion gone? In some cases directly into London City bank accounts, never having made it into South Sudan’s official treasury. In one instance the South Sudanese Minister of Finance managed to have $300 million “disappear” at one time.

And what has South Sudan to show for its $12 billion+ share of the oil revenues? Almost no infrastructure, few schools, fewer medical facilities and millions suffering from malnutrition and sickness.

The South Sudanese leadership can’t even claim to have spent the money on their military for they have little in the way of modern armament, never mind all the claims of Israeli arms sales to them.

The Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), if you can call it that, for years was revolting over unpaid salaries, resulting in the USA stepping in and providing over $100 million a year to pay its salaries since the last major mutiny in 2009.

The SPLA itself is an ethnic or tribal based military force with little centralized control. Ethnic minorities make up the companies, brigades or even divisions that are based in their own tribal territories. When tribal conflicts over land and water rights break out the local militias quickly call in their “big brothers” in the SPLA and local conflicts become inter-SPLA warfare.

Many times the local commanders are at odds with the largest, ethnically Nok based units and do not coordinate their actions with them.

In other words there are serious doubts whether South Sudan’s President Salva Kir actually controls South Sudan’s army. The latest attack on Heglig, recognized internationally as part of Sudan may not have been initiated by Salva Kir but by the local SPLA commander.

Since convincing South Sudan to stop all oil production in late January 2012 (see “US Plan To Destabilize Sudan”) the USA has continued its history of broken promises and blackmail against both parties and failed to deliver the aid it was secretly promising to South Sudan if it implemented the USA’s plan to evict China from Sudan’s oil fields and, in killing two birds with one stone, destablizing or even bringing down the Bashir government in Sudan by depriving it of it main source of income.

After three months without any oil income at all South Sudan President Salva Kir had to take an emergency trip to China hat in hand to try and keep his government afloat, returning with a Chinese promise of some $8 billion in aid. Hopefully he has learned not to trust the USA, though one should not hold ones breath in this regard.

The World Bank has also signed a several hundred million dollar “loan” agreement with a very smug looking South Sudanese robber baron a.k.a. Finance Minister though no one has bothered asking how with their oil fields shut down, their only source of income, South Sudan will be able to repay the World Bank.

With George Clooney and Angelina Jolie accusing Sudan’s government of everything from food aid blockades to genocide coupled with the Phony Kony/Silent Children 2012 pr blitz  (the people of north Uganda, the region the program claimed to be portraying, threw stones at the screen when it was shown there) western attention has been diverted from the real reason for the suffering in South Sudan due to the massive theft of almost all of the countries income.

While the USA certainly has a hidden hand behind the recent fighting between South Sudan and Sudan, hunger, disease and the missing $10 billion may very well be behind South Sudan’s recent military offensive against Sudan. As the saying goes “patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels”, what better way to distract your people from hunger, disease and Grand Theft International than starting a war with your erstwhile partner.

One thing is for sure and that is that South Sudan has more than its share of scoundrels and that the USA has more dirty tricks up its sleeve for the people of the region.

Thomas C. Mountain is the only independent western journalist in the Horn of Africa, living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached at thomascmountain at yahoo dot com.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/05/01/south-sudans-missing-10-billion/

Thank You Luke Kuth Dak

Posted: April 29, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Letters
Tags: , ,

Dear Luk Kuth,

Greetings from South Sudan citizens especially my colleagues whom we read your article together, we all got relieved and strengthened to have such a voiceful gentleman like you! It is a previledge to read your tribal non-tolerent message to entire world not only South Sudanese. As some of you might have read and understood the reasons of several rebellions(rebolts) in south Sudan, these are all tribal influences and leadership competitions of some individuals across the new nation.

Underscoring lack of education and civilization across Africa and particularly Junub Al Sudan, majority turn in to be betrayers of their soil they fought for, so that they survive on, to make matter worse, majority with little education are pretending to be advocating for the liberation of the south yet they had been hiding in khartoum clapping hands to arabs who by then called southerners “Jungle dogs”.

I feel proud when I find such freedom fighters like you and could simply wish such a people blessings so that they can campaign for tribal differences and unify the south Sudan under one theme” Junubin”

I personally watched several interviews conducted between Khartoum and this idiot who call himself to be a professor David de Chand where he always condemns leadership in south Sudan and termed our country as a “failed nation” which does not have a destination! ” he has no objectives in his manifesto! he is just a tribalist who pretends to be caring for one tribe in South Sudan which he turned against during our arm-struggle with Khartoum.

He was enjoying millions pounds for betraying southerners in Khartoum and US where he was sent to for further studies.He does not have back-ups though he disgraces his own people just because of money!

We highly ranked you for such rightful condemnation for these idiots who are trying to confuse our citizens for tribal influences across our new nation
We are all junubin, no body is better than anybody nor a tribe better than any tribe as well as religion within south sudan

Abraham Agoth
South Sudan,

the writer can be reached at;agoth.abraham@yahoo.com/abrahamagoth@gmail.com

In Mading Aweil, South Sudan

China to Loan South Sudan $8 Billion

Posted: April 28, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Economy
Tags:

Bloomberg News

By Jared Ferrie on April 28, 2012

China will provide South Sudan $8 billion in development loans over the next two years, a government spokesman said.

The loans will be used for road construction, agriculture, hydroelectricity, infrastructure and telecommunications, which would be built by Chinese companies, according to Barnaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan’s government spokesman. He declined to reveal the cost of the borrowings.

China signed agreements promising to provide the funding during South Sudanese president Salva Kiir’s visit to Beijing on April 23 to April 26. “It was a very successful visit,” Benjamin said by phone today from the capital Juba. “I think this funding came at the right time.”

South Sudan acquired three quarters of the formerly united nation’s 490,000 barrels of oil a day output when it declared independence on July 9. The export pipelines and processing facilities remain in Sudan and the two countries have been unable to agree on fees for use of the infrastructure. South Sudan lost 98 percent of its revenue when it halted production in January after accusing Sudan of stealing $850 million worth of its oil. Sudan said it confiscated the crude to make up for unpaid fees.

Kiir discussed South Sudan’s plan to build export pipelines that bypass Sudan with Chinese officials, Benjamin said, adding that China didn’t agree to finance such a project.

“They will consider the fact that it is important to have an alternative pipeline,” he said.

Alternative Pipelines

South Sudan said in January that it was planning alternative links. It signed a memorandum with Ethiopia in February to build a pipeline via Djibouti, and said that it’s in talks with a Texas-based construction company to build another line to the Kenyan coastal town of Lamu.

South Sudan’s chief negotiator with Sudan said on April 23 that his country has taken a “strategic decision” to no longer export its oil through Sudan.

Oil revenue sharing is among issues outstanding since the south seceded after fighting a two-decade war with Khartoum. Talks since independence have failed to yield agreements on disputed border regions, and the two nation’s forces have clashed frequently along the frontier.

China dispatched an envoy to the Sudanese capital Khartoum to try and help ease tensions, who would also probably visit Juba in South Sudan in the coming week, Benjamin said.

Crude in both countries is pumped mainly by China National Petroleum Corp., Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. and India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jared Ferrie in Juba at jferrie1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-28/china-to-loan-south-sudan-8-billion

Former British PM Urges Action in South Sudan
Voice of America
April 27, 2012 Former British PM Urges Action in South Sudan Mariama Diallo | London Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently launched an initiative calling on the international community to take urgent action to address education in South 
Weatherford couple leads effort to expand orphanage in South Sudan
Fort Worth Star Telegram
But because she’s on her way to the Republic of South Sudan, she’s not sure when she will be able to go to the dentist again. It’s not the first time that the former American Red Cross worker has been to the war-torn region, but her mission is 
Unity State governor forms new cabinet
Sudan Tribune
By Bonifacio Taban Kuich April 27, 2012 (BENTIU) – Unity State’s Governor Taban Deng Gai announced his new cabinet, county commissioners and advisers on Wednesday, urging them to work hard to manage the financial crisis that resulted from South Sudan’s 
South Sudan official says Khartoum-backed rebels attack southern frontier town 
Washington Post
JUBA, South Sudan — A southern official says a rebel force backed by Khartoum launched attacks on a frontier town near South Sudan’s disputed border with Sudan. South Sudan military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said Saturday that Friday’s attack 

China to Loan South Sudan $8 Billion
BusinessWeek
By Jared Ferrie on April 28, 2012 China will provide South Sudan $8 billion in development loans over the next two years, a government spokesman said. The loans will be used for road construction, agriculture, hydroelectricity, infrastructure and 

South Sudan hopeful of becoming full Fifa member
East African
Photo/File Kenya’s Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka presents a medal to a South Sudan national football team player after the new nation played Kenya’s Tusker FC at the Juba stadium to celebrate its Independence from Khartoum last year.

East Africa: South Sudan, Sudan should to resolve unfinished business under CPA
Afrique en Ligue
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – Leaders of the East African Community (EAC) on Saturday urged President Salva Kiir of South Sudan and President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan to return to the negotiating table and find peaceful means of resolving all their 

Sudan v South Sudan: Close to the brink

Apr 28th 2012 | BENTIU, JUBA AND NAIROBI | from the print edition

THE military build-up is immediately apparent in the barracks in Rubkona, just a few miles south of the disputed border between the two Sudans. It is usually home just to the 4th division of the South Sudanese army, but pickup trucks with mounted machineguns and the logo of the 6th division loll in the shade while the 2nd division puts on a show for visiting journalists. Both units are usually based much farther south. Alcohol laces the breath of a parading soldier early in the morning. Generals, including the army chief of staff and the deputy head of military intelligence, discuss the latest events.

On April 20th South Sudan announced the withdrawal of its troops from the Heglig oilfields north of the de facto border after seizing them ten days earlier. The leaders of the new country, which formally gained independence from the north only nine months ago, had come under intense pressure from the African Union and the UN, which described the advance as an “illegal act”. The north claimed a military victory, saying it had killed hundreds of Southern Sudanese. The truth probably lies in-between: finding it harder than it anticipated to hold on to Heglig, South Sudan retreated under fire. Civilians and soldiers looted anything of value. Oil installations are severely damaged—a big blow to Sudan’s economy, which is already reeling from the south’s secession.

Along the grassy border, even after the southern withdrawal, fighting has continued. There were ground clashes on April 22nd and Sudan conducted a series of air raids. On April 23rd MiG jets roared over Bentiu and Rubkona (see map). Plucky locals, not all in uniform, fired haplessly at them with AK-47s and the odd machinegun. The aircraft tried to destroy a bridge between the two towns, which allows South Sudan to send reinforcements to what is now thought of as “the front”.

One jet also strafed Rubkona’s market, killing at least two people. The next day, farmers and charcoal-sellers were among those wounded when a market in Lalop was hit. A local leader, Taban Deng, claims that well over 80 civilians have been killed in air raids since the beginning of March. Nyaka Tunguar, a teaseller, was the only survivor when a rocket hit her stall. “I was injured and five people died, but they died for their land, so I am proud.” Nationalist sentiment is running high in both countries, though Sudan’s archbishop, Daniel Deng, is probably right when he warns that the two governments are close to starting a war that their people do not need or really want.

Sudan’s leaders deny any cross-border incursions. President Omar al-Bashir was bullish when he visited Heglig after its recapture. “There can be no negotiations”, he said, with the South Sudanese, who understand only “the gun and bullets”. A couple of days earlier he described South Sudan’s politicians as insects to be eradicated. Hardliners in Khartoum, the northern capital, want the army to sweep deep into the south, or at least to take over oilfields beyond the border. More thoughtful types in the top brass realise the northern army is overstretched; it is already engaged in the rebellious regions of Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.

The United States has protested loudly against aggression on both sides. A presidential envoy visited the north and south but had relatively little to offer. The African Union (AU) urged both sides to stop fighting, and said they had three months to sort out their disagreements, which include the exact location of the border, the status of each country’s citizens in the other state and, above all, oil. But the AU has few powers for imposing a resolution.

Some of its members may be better placed to influence events. Ugandan officials have warned that they will respond to a Sudanese attack on Juba, the southern capital, from the air. That is no empty threat: a recent purchase of Russian Sukhoi fighter jets puts Sudan in range. Kenya, like Uganda a big investor in the south, has been more measured in its response, stressing that South Sudan should become a member of the East African Community, a trade block. Kenyan leaders are keen for South Sudanese oil to flow through a proposed pipeline to a new port due to be built on Kenya’s coast near Lamu.

Ethiopia is also involved. Meles Zenawi, the prime minister, has worked hard to build trust on both sides. Ethiopian traders supply many Sudanese in both countries with cheap goods. Mr Meles has previously hosted talks and sent peacekeepers to some parts of the disputed border. He could now decide to withdraw or reinforce them. Ethiopian officials say they are working with Egypt, with which it has had testy relations, to find a common position.

But can outsiders persuade the warring parties to stand down? The north is not very responsive at the moment, whereas southern politicians are sending mixed signals. President Salva Kiir flew to China on April 23rd, another country with influence on both sides, and listened to pleas for peace. But his vice-president, Riek Machar, said back home, “We will defend ourselves. If they continue bombarding, if they continue to attack us, we definitely will retaliate.”

There is grandstanding on both sides, along with the mobilisation of civilians. Sudan has boosted its Popular Defence Force, a state militia, and the south is telling its people to stop fighting tribal battles and defend the homeland. War is closer than at any time since the 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war. This time, there is unlikely to be a winner.

http://www.economist.com/node/21553453

The Sudans at loggerheads

Africa’s next big war?

Less than a year after partition, the two Sudans are close to conflict. China holds the key to peace

Apr 28th 2012 | from the print edition

BADLY drawn imperialist borders that cut across tribes or lumped too many diverse people unhappily together once fuelled much violence in Africa. Half a century after independence full-blown wars are much rarer, even if some borders still irritate. One of the last open wounds appeared to close on July 9th 2011, when the mainly Christian and animist south of Sudan seceded from the predominantly Muslim north. After decades of fighting that killed some 2m people, partition seemed to mark a success for both African and Western mediators.

Yet now that success is overshadowed by the threat of war. Over the past nine months the two Sudanese successor states were supposed to find a way to divide up such things as oil revenues, border posts and the rights of people living on one side of the border who wish to be citizens on the other. Both sides made outsized demands and engaged in extreme brinkmanship. New sparks flew when the south announced plans to build a pipeline to the Indian Ocean, through Kenya to the south-east, which would cut the north out of most of the oil trade. Militias, often proxies of the old rump state or the new southern one, attacked each other. International mediators, vital as brokers of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that paved the way for partition, stood aside, though Ethiopia and Egypt organised some talks and the UN proffered advice. Barack Obama last week made a stirring appeal for calm.

On balance, the north has been more obstructive than the south. For years it has repeatedly acted in bad faith, loth even to contemplate independence for the south. But more recently it is the south that has been reckless, sending its troops to capture the Heglig oilfield, which lies clearly to the north of the border. This has turned niggling animosity into a conventional battle for territory. The north recaptured its lost land on April 20th, killing hundreds in the process and bombing a market near the southern town of Bentiu on April 23rd (see article).

Negotiations have completely broken down. Both sides talk darkly of a “declaration of war”. This may be just more brinkmanship, but could tip everyone over the edge. Troops are massing on the border. The south, once a lot weaker in conventional terms, has bought a bazaar of arms, including tanks.

As well as causing untold misery in the Sudans, an all-out conflict could suck in other countries. Uganda’s government has threatened to help South Sudan against the north, which it suspects of funding a Ugandan terror group, the Lord’s Resistance Army. Other governments in the region are keenly aware that the Sudans sit on a fault-line between Muslims and Christians that cuts from east to west across the continent, reaching volatile Nigeria and beyond.

There be dragons

Common sense can and should prevail. Some northerners still want the south to fail as a state; it needs to be spelled out to them that, if this were to happen, the north would suffer badly too. The underlying question is financial: how much should the landlocked south pay the north for using its pipelines and export terminals on the Red Sea to export its oil? The north has been demanding a ludicrous price. But the Sudans need each other: the oil and the pipelines are both worthless by themselves. If the two countries could agree on a way to divide up the spoils, the rest should fall into place.

Outsiders can help break the deadlock. The United States can lean on the south to dissuade it from making foolish cross-border raids. At the same time, the West should make clear that it will lift sanctions currently imposed on the north because of its depredations in Darfur (a separate bloody conflict), but only if the north proves more willing to co-operate on every front, including the pipelines. The UN should also send peacekeepers as a buffer along the north-south border.

Most crucially, the Chinese should step forward. They are best placed of all to secure a lasting peace deal, for they alone have the contacts, the credibility and commercial interests on both sides. Once allies of the northerners, they are now just as close to the south. It was to Beijing that South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, flew at the height of the most recent spat.

The Sudans were China’s sixth-biggest source of oil imports in 2011. The fighting has snarled up production. Alive to their own interests, Chinese leaders have started to inch from their longstanding doctrine of non-interference in imbroglios in far-flung places. Keeping the peace in the Sudans could be a showcase of a new Chinese diplomacy—to the benefit of all.

http://www.economist.com/node/21553442

Sudan and South Sudan: Giving divorce a bad name

South Sudan has invaded parts of the north less than a year after its secession

Apr 14th 2012 | KHARTOUM | from the print edition

THE cold war between Africa’s newest neighbours is heating up. South Sudanese troops advanced deep into Sudan on April 10th, capturing its most valuable oilfield, Heglig, in the biggest clash since the south seceded from the north last July. Southern troops claimed to be responding to air and ground attacks from their former master, but the scale of the offensive is unprecedented. A fragile peace process that has survived several bumps in the past few months may now falter. Sudan has suspended its participation in the divorce negotiations in neighbouring Ethiopia. Parliaments in both countries are calling for military mobilisation. The drums of war beat ever louder.

The last straw could be South Sudan claiming Heglig as its own. A ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2009 appears to put the field in the Sudanese state of Southern Kordofan. But the south now disputes this. “Heglig is deep inside our borders,” says Colonel Philip Aguer, a spokesman for South Sudan’s army, adding that its troops have moved farther north. Sudan will not accept this, and for once it seems to be getting some international support. The African Union is calling on the south to withdraw its soldiers immediately and unconditionally. Sudan has complained to the UN Security Council.

The crisis is a direct result of both sides’ failure to make progress in negotiations over post-secession security arrangements, citizenship rules and oil revenues, among other issues that should have been resolved long ago. Both countries have accused each other of supporting rebels on their territory since before separation. Of the two, the southern rebels in Sudan are by far the stronger. Known as SPLM-North, they supported the decades-long southern fight for independence but found themselves on the wrong side of the border at separation. The group controls much of the Nuba mountains in Southern Kordofan and launches guerrilla raids in Blue Nile state. Sudan says SPLM-North is getting weapons and supplies from South Sudan, and that its fighters go there to rest after battles. The northern rebels in the south are smaller but have sometimes caused havoc in Unity and Upper Nile states. A local oil worker says they previously helped to defend Heglig.

Just as Sudan faces a renewed threat from the south, the long-running civil conflict in its western Darfur region is escalating again. Three years ago, General Martin Agwai, then commander of African Union peacekeeping troops in Darfur, said the conflict was “over” and that banditry was now the biggest problem. But on April 3rd areas around Sortony in North Darfur were hit by aerial bombardments and attacked by pro-government militias on the ground, forcing thousands of civilians to flee and sparking fears that the bad old times are back.

They may be. A dissident report by former UN investigators that has been submitted to the Security Council—but not yet published—documents the recent recruitment of non-Arab militias by the Sudanese Armed Forces. They are accused of ethnic cleansing of the Zaghawa tribe,which is led by Minni Minnawi, a Darfuri rebel who last year withdrew from a peace agreement that had made him a presidential adviser. The report says the use of non-Arab militias marks a “significant evolution”. At least 70,000 civilians appear to have fled new attacks in 2011.

The UN report also documents fresh ammunition deliveries by the Sudanese army to Darfur and reports on a series of air bombardments of civilians in the Zaghawa stronghold of Shangal Tobay in early 2011. A UN arms embargo was apparently violated by the deployment of at least five Sudanese Sukhoi ground attack jets in Darfur and the acquisition by Sudan of new Antonov aircraft of a type that has previously been used in bombing campaigns. One Antonov was photographed next to open crates of bombs.

On the opposing side, Darfuri rebel groups seem to have formed an alliance with South Sudanese troops. Together they call themselves the Sudan Revolutionary Front. A separate report published this month by the Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based think-tank, says that the two groups have claimed credit for the same attacks around Jau and Tarogi in February and for downing an unmanned Iranian-made plane in Southern Kordofan on March 13th.

The fighting is making life ever harder for the half million South Sudanese who live in the north. “I have been in this country for 43 years but am no longer welcome here,” says one, as he makes plans to leave in a hurry. Following separation, South Sudanese were given until April 8th to sort out their status. But South Sudan has failed to issue identity documents, leaving them in legal limbo. Most are keen to leave, fearing for their welfare.

Only a month ago a solution seemed at hand. Negotiators on both sides initialled a “Four Freedoms” agreement, allowing citizens to move, live, work and own property in either country. But Islamist hardliners in Sudan objected, accusing southerners of being fifth columnists. The loss of Sudan’s main oilfield will not reassure them.

http://www.economist.com/node/21552581


BENTIU – South Sudan, April 22, 2012 (AFP) – South Sudan’s army said Sunday it had completed its pullout from an oil field seized from the rival Sudanese regime, ending a bitter standoff which forced thousands of civilians to flee.

South Sudanese officials said the withdrawal from Heglig had been ordered to avert a return to all-out war. But they accused forces of the Khartoum-based Sudanese government of carrying out aerial bombardment on the departing troops.

The South’s troops seized Heglig on April 10, claiming Khartoum was using it as a base to attack the South’s oil-producing Unity State.

Heglig is internationally regarded as part of Sudan, although South Sudan disputes it. The 10-day occupation by the world’s newest nation met widespread criticism, including from UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who called it illegal.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir on Friday announced his forces would carry out “an orderly withdrawal” from the area. On Sunday, a Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) spokesman said all southern troops had left.

The SPLA “completed its withdrawal from Heglig yesterday” spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP.

But, he charged, as the withdrawal was ongoing, Khartoum’s air force “continued bombing on the night of the (Friday April) 20th and in the morning of the 21st”.

The two sides have offered contradictory explanations for recent developments in Heglig.

On Friday, Sudan said its soldiers had “liberated” the oil field by force, despite Kiir’s earlier announcement of a withdrawal.

The South Sudanese UN Ambassador Agnes Oswaha has said Juba decided to withdraw “because it does not wish to see a return to war.”

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

The United Nations said Sunday the entire population of Heglig had fled the standoff, leaving thousands of civilians displaced in the open.

“According to the government of Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and other reports received by the UN, the entire civilian population of Heglig town and neighbouring villages fled,” the UN’s humanitarian agency said.

The report cited HAC figures saying 5,000 people had escaped from Heglig, mostly to the communities of Kharasana and Keilak, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Heglig, Sudan’s main oilfield.

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

Continental and foreign powers have urged negotation to avert further escalation, with US President Barack Obama on Friday calling on the two sides to “have the courage to return to the table and negotiate and resolve these issues peacefully.”

Kiir heads to China on Monday for an official visit to a country long-considered Khartoum’s ally, although Beijing has developed closer ties with Juba, notably in the petroleum sector.

“China’s position on that issue is to promote dialogue and urge peace. It does not favour any side,” said Li Guangyi, professor at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Xiangtan in central China.

“Fighting is not only not beneficial to them (Sudan and South Sudan), it isn’t beneficial to China either,” he added.

The African Union (AU), which has for years sought to broker a sustainable peace between the bitter rivals, on Sunday again called for “a complete cessation of all hostilities,” and a swift resumption of talks.

Both sides should consider their “responsibility towards their region, the rest of Africa and the larger international community,” the AU statement said.

Since the invasion, oil production at Heglig has been shut and facilities there were leaking. Each side accused the other of damaging the oil infrastructure, which accounted for about half of the north’s production.

South Sudan formally gained independence from Khartoum in July.

Also on Sunday, Sudan claimed to have inflicted heavy losses on rebels from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) who allegedly attacked the strategic town of Talodi.

“Fighting is still going on,” Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad told reporters, while a rebel spokesman reached by AFP had no information and said “things are not clear.”

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2012/04/s-sudan-completes-withdrawal-from-flashpoint-oil-field/

Sudan: 400 Southern Soldiers Killed in Fight Over Heglig

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 

Sudanese officials claim that 400 South Sudan troops were killed during the battle for the flashpoint town of Heglig, an oil-producing area claimed by both countries.

South Sudanese troops completed their withdrawal from Heglig Sunday, saying the number of soldiers killed is just a fraction of what Sudan claims. Estimates of casualties in Sudan are impossible to verify.

The showdown over Heglig and its lucrative oil fields is raising fears of a full-scale war, less than a year after South Sudan declared independence from the north.

South Sudan said it pulled troops out of Heglig because of international pressure. But Sudan says the southern forces withdrew because they were on the verge of defeat.

The international community has pressed both sides to halt cross-border attacks and restart dialogue to settle unresolved issues, including oil revenue and citizenship disputes.

U.S. President Barack Obama is appealing to both governments to avoid war and return to peace talks. He says there is no military solution to their dispute.

Mr. Obama Saturday called on both governments to stop arming rebels across their borders and to allow aid groups access to people caught in the fighting.

The north and south signed a peace deal in 2005 that ended a 21-year civil war that killed more than two million people. The deal included an independence referendum for the south.

http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2012/04/22/sudan-400-southern-soldiers-killed-in-fight-over-heglig/

Renewed fighting on Sudan border near disputed oilfield

Fighting has broken out on the border between Sudan and South Sudan, shortly after the South pulled out of a disputed border town. South Sudanese military officials say they repulsed ground and air attacks.

Sudan confirmed there had been clashes, which come after 10 days of fighting over the oilfield town of Heglig.

Satellite pictures of the Heglig area released on Sunday suggest key oil installations were badly damaged in the fighting and are no longer operating.

The pictures were analysed by the US-funded Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), which says it is impossible to know who was responsible for the damage.

Sudan and South Sudan have accused each other of attacking oil facilities. On Friday South Sudan said it was withdrawing from Heglig, while Sudan said it forced out the South’s troops.

Access to the disputed border region around Heglig is limited, making it difficult to verify what is happening in the area.

The renewed fighting has been taking place to the south of the Heglig oilfields, although it is unclear which side of the disputed border it is happening.

Sudan military officials said its forces had repulsed a major rebel attack.

The BBC’s James Copnall who is in the border town of Bentiu says the fighting makes it clear that tension has not eased, and also underlines that all-out war is still a possibility.

He says South Sudan is building up its troops near the border, and is assuming that Sudan is doing the same.

‘Runway lengthened’

The satellite pictures provided by SSP suggest that the oil industry has been deliberately targeted in the earlier fighting.

One picture appears to show an oil collection point at the end of two pipelines has been destroyed, leaving charred wreckage over a wide area.

SSP says it is impossible to know whether the damage was done by aerial bombing or ground attacks.

Others show tanks, smoke rising from explosions that are consistent with aerial bombing, and cratering.

There are also pictures showing that the Sudan Air Force runway in South Kordofan has been paved and lengthened to allow Antonov bombers to land there.

SSP, which was set up to campaign against the return to full-scale civil war between the two countries, used pictures from DigitalGlobe satellites, which were analysed by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

SSP receives funding from the Not on Our Watch project, founded by US activists including the actors George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon.

On Friday South Sudan said it would withdraw from the Heglig area, while Sudan said its forces had re-taken control of the area.

The area north of the disputed border provides most of of Sudan’s oil output, and is a crucial part of its economy.

Meanwhile on Monday the South Sudan President Salva Kiir is travelling to China for an official visit, Agence France-Presse reports.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17808937


By South Sudan Nation Website Editor

“I am a head of state accountable to my people and do not have to be ordered by someone I do not fall under his direct command. I will not withdraw the troops,” Pres. Kiir to UN Sec.Gen. Ban Ki Moon, April, 11/2012, Juba

Unreservedly, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, deserves all the accolades for his momentous decision to send the gallant SPLA to (re)-capture our lost territory of Paanthou that the jellaba former Republic of Sudan president Nimeri illegitimately and arbitrarily sequestered from us after the discovery of oil in the area.

Whatever errors of omissions and commissions committed by our leaders since the signing of the CPA that have now brought us to the current predicament, all South Sudanese nationals must look forward, not backwards, on what actions we must embark upon hereafter.

Just like we can’t continuously keep blaming the unfortunate and ill-prepared Chiefs and politicians who attended the 1947 Juba Conference or Joseph Lagu’s Addis Ababa Agreement that only served to exacerbate our political predestination, we shouldn’t be wasting our energy ruefully lamenting and reproaching our leaders now for the past errors done.

At this critical moment in our destiny, let’s all join hands and minds to support the leadership on the current political perplexity pertaining to the outcome of the war in Paanthou, but more importantly, what should our forces do about the oil infrastructures should the jellaba North Sudan take possession again.

Due to its very significance as the number one oilfield, the repossession of or the loss of Paanthou, for us, South Sudanese, is really crucial just as ownership of the land itself and the restoration of the right of the original citizens of that area.

Similarly, the same predication goes for Abyei region and those areas now being besieged by the belligerent aggressors from the North who want to usurp all our God-given natural resources prevailing in those areas.

As a people, we, South Sudanese, in our long and tortured progression to nationhood and liberation since being politically orphaned and betrayed by colonial Britain in 1947, have gone through unfathomable mishaps and calamities that severely hampered and retarded our evolution.

We must resolve with absolute determination what and how to deal with the issue of Paanthou oil field especially if we are going to involuntarily cede it once again to the nefarious jellaba with the serious ramifications and implications detrimental to our very survival.

Recognizing jellaba historical intransigence and obfuscation, we can neither be assured nor hopeful of equitable share of or fairness of deals pertaining to our own oil revenues if the jellaba got hold of Paanthou and resume pumping our oil northwards.

Inevitably, in the stark reality that the jellaba come out as victors in this war, we can most certainly accede that any further negotiations on the remaining issues will be meaningless and inconsequential.

For sure, we can’t rely too much on the international community that currently is pro-Arab and too scared to hurt Islamic sentiments, so we’re unfairly doomed in whatever continuation of negotiations we shall have with the jellaba.

The next few days will be very decisive and crucial for South Sudan nation and as such, President Kiir must decisively decide what action we must take if by some misfortune, the jellaba emerge victorious in the Paanthou war.

If the South is militarily forced to withdraw from Paanthou, what do we do with the oilfield infrastructures, leave them intact so that the jellaba continue to exploit our resources to grow stronger and perpetuate their aggression against the South?

Alternatively, should the SPLA forces be ordered to set the place ablaze so that the jellaba don’t use our resources to advance their egregious policy of destabilization of our nation?

President Kiir should rest assured that there is already legal precedence where oilfields have been set ablaze by the withdrawing forces, including the destruction of arsenal on the battlefield to prevent your adversaries for taking advantage.

Where and when our national interest is potentially or actually under threat, as this spate of war truly proves, we’d never hesitate to take action, whatsoever, to secure the nation and our survival.

President Kiir and SPLA commanders on the ground in Paanthou: Please don’t accord the jellaba any advantage to exploit that which is to our own detriment.

http://www.southsudannation.com/index.html


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

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

April 17, 2012

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

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

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

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

Many international experts and South Sudanese alike expected this behavior from the Sudanese delegation because its refusal to either sign peace pacts or dishonored the ones it signed has been consistent over a long period of time. Eric Reeves, A renowned Sudanese expert from Smith College, put it eloquently when he said “Khartoum has consistently refused to negotiate these areas of the border either within the Technical Boundary Committee (TBC) or through high-level political engagement. Over more than seven years, it has repeatedly refused to convene or participate in good faith in the TBC, to accept the findings of the Abyei Boundaries Commission (ABC) stipulated by the Abyei Protocol of the CPA, or to accept the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (July 2009)”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, contact our SSVI Envoys and Representatives:
UN REPRESENTATIVE: JANE ANANIAS – ngironakakwa@yahoo.co.uk
AFRICA:
ENVOY: FLORA MINALLA – fmst45@yahoo.co.uk
ENVOY: AUGUSTINO MAYAI – augustino1982@yahoo.com
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ENVOY: SURAYA BAIFA ISSA – kantaazu@gmail.com
USA:
USA HEAD ENVOY: ELISABETH KUCH – ekuch2000@gmail.com
USA MIDWEST/CENTRAL ENVOY: JOHN DORTEO – jomunu@yahoo.com
USA SOUTHERN REGION ENVOY: ISSAC K. GANG – isaac@isaacgang.com
USA WEST COAST ENVOY: ROSE JOSEPH – toritgirl2@yahoo.com
EUROPE:
EUROPE HEAD ENVOY: MARY LODIRA – M_lodira@yahoo.co.uk
UK ENVOY: KONYEN NAKUWA JNR – mjnakuwajnr@gmail.com
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OCEANIA/ASIA ENVOY: SANTINO ATEM DENG – atem_deng@yahoo.com.au
ADVISORY GROUPS (ELDERS):
SUZANNE JAMBO (Chair of Advisory Group)
HON: DANIEL WUOR JOAK; DR ALFRED LOKUJI
ANNE LINO WUOR ABYEI; JOHN NASSAR
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DR HAKIM MOI; HON. NYALANG DUOP NYANG CHAN
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USA COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVE: JAMES LOMOLE SIMEON – jsimeon153@yahoo.com
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OCEANIA/ASIA COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVE: DANIEL LEE – dan.jlee@yahoo.com.au
For further assistance, contact Abu Deng, SSVI Principal – dengjoseph1@yahoo.com


Sudan expels southern police cadets

South Sudanese students who rejoiced at their country’s armed occupation of Sudan’s main oilfield have been expelled from a police college in Khartoum, the interior minister said on Tuesday.

“We dismissed Southern students from the police college because they celebrated after Heglig’s occupation,” Ibrahim Mahmud Ahmadtold parliament.

He did not say how many were expelled.

The action comes after South Sudan eight days ago invaded Sudan’s main oilfield of Heglig, along the border.

One dismissed student, a woman, said there were a total of 23 male and female candidates in her class. She did not know the number of cadets in two other classes.

“In the ladies’ residence I didn’t see any celebration but maybe it happened in the men’s residence,” said the student who asked not to be identified.

Fighting broke out last month between the armies of Khartoum and Juba along their disputed border, but the clashes escalated last week with waves of aerial bombardment hitting the South, whose troops seized Heglig.

The clashes are the worst since South Sudan won independence last July after a 22-year civil war that ended in 2005, and have heightened nationalist feeling in the north where an estimated half-million ethnic Southerners remain.

Since April 9 they have had to either move South or formalise their status in the north.

Students are allowed to stay for their studies.

Khartoum dismissed southern police and other members of the civil service before South Sudan’s independence, meaning those officer-candidates who have been expelled would not have been given police jobs in the north anyway.

http://news.yahoo.com/sudan-expels-southern-police-cadets-minister-000041341.html

5,000 South Sudanese forced out of Darfuri camp 

South Sudanese citizens living in a camp in the Sharef area of East Darfur had their homes burned down and destroyed on Monday by a group of militia.

Witnesses told Radio Dabanga their camp was completely looted yesterday including the clothes they were wearing.

They said today the militants came back and indiscriminately burned down their homes forcing the traumatised camp residents out into the surrounding areas.

Sudanese citizens from neighbouring villages went out to help the camp residents and many took families into their own homes.

The razed camp was reportedly set up in 1991 and was home to more than 5,000 people of South Sudanese origin.

The witnesses said this attack came about after president Bashir gave orders for citizens to mobilise for jihad against rebels.

http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/28840

Sudan says cost no bar to recapture of oil region

ReutersBy Yara Bayoumy and Alexander Dziadosz | Reuters

NAIROBI/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan said on Tuesday the cost of a full-blown conflict with South Sudan would not deter it from recapturing the disputed Heglig oilfield, and that newly tapped oilfields would help to sustain its struggling economy.

South Sudan took control of 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.

Both countries’ faltering economies are likely to be important factors in the conflict’s outcome.

“Despite the high cost of the war, despite the destruction that the war can cause … our options are very limited. We can tolerate some sacrifice, until we can liberate our land,” Sudan’s ambassador to Kenya, Kamal Ismail Saeed, said.

“So from our side, yes, it is expensive but that doesn’t deter us or that doesn’t stop us from exerting all effort to liberate our land,” he told reporters in Nairobi.

“We have been in war without oil for several years and we survived … As a matter of fact … the good news (is) we have developed other sources and fields of oil and that will really compensate our loss.”

Fighting over oil payments and territory has withered the combined crude output of both countries.

The Heglig field is vital to Sudan’s economy because it accounted for half the 115,000 barrels per day output that remained in its control when South Sudan seceded in July. The field’s output has stopped due to the fighting, officials say.

The landlocked South had already closed its 350,000 bpd output after failing to agree how much it should pay to export via Sudan’s pipelines, a Red Sea port and other facilities.

The latest clashes have also dampened hopes that Sudan and South Sudan can reach a deal soon on disputed issues such as demarcation of their 1,800-km (1,200-mile) border, division of debt and the status of citizens in each other’s territory.

The loss of Heglig, a shock to many Sudanese, has also stirred tensions in the north. Sudan’s interior minister said on Tuesday the police college had dismissed its South Sudanese students after “their violation of police regulations and their celebration of the occupation of Heglig”.

U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said she was alarmed by the South’s “unwarranted” occupation of Heglig and urged both sides to halt the violence, including the North’s bombing campaign against the South.

“I condemn the indiscriminate aerial bombing by Sudanese forces in civilian areas in South Sudan, including in Mayom and Bentiu in Unity State, resulting in the deaths of at least 8 civilians and many injuries since Saturday,” she said in a statement.

“In the past week we have seen an intensification of the use of Antonovs as well as jetfighters dropping bombs and launching rocket attacks, including in areas dangerously close to the offices of international organizations. Such deplorable attacks must stop immediately.”

South Sudan’s military (SPLA) spokesman said its positions were bombed on Monday, but no clashes were reported on Tuesday.

“We are aware they are trying to advance, and the SPLA is ready to receive them,” spokesman Philip Aguer said, describing the conflict as a “limited war”. Sudan’s army spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

NEW OILFIELDS

Saeed insisted Khartoum could weather the latest conflict, which has sent food prices soaring and hit the currency as officials try to make up for the sudden loss in revenues.

He said production from new fields in the west of the Kordofan region, in Darfur and in the states of White Nile and Blue Nile would offset much of the loss of Heglig’s output.

“We used to produce 115,000 barrels a day before the attack, we lost about 40,000, and now we’ll get another 30,000.”

South Sudan insists Heglig is rightfully part of the South and says it will not withdraw its troops unless the United Nations deploys a neutral force to monitor a ceasefire. Saeed said that was unacceptable.

“They have two options: either to withdraw very quickly or withdraw. We will reserve the right to use all means at our access to kick them out of there, and we will do it,” he said.

“They will be thrown out of there very soon.”

Pillay and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm over reports of a buildup of militia forces in the disputed Abyei border region.

The U.N. statement did not say where the reports were from or give details but called it a violation of a June agreement in which both sides said they would withdraw forces from the area.

Ban called on Khartoum to “ensure the full and immediate withdrawal of these elements from the area”.

Abyei, which is prized for its fertile grazing land and produces some oil, was a major battleground during Sudan’s civil war and is symbolically potent for both sides. Both countries lay claim to it.

Khartoum seized Abyei in May last year after a southern attack on an army convoy, triggering an exodus of tens of thousands of civilians. The Security Council authorised the deployment of 3,800 U.N. peacekeepers in Abyei in June.

Some 2 million people died in Sudan’s civil war, waged for all but a few years between 1955 and 2005 over conflicts of ideology, ethnicity, oil and religion.

(Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau at the United Nations and Tom Miles in Geneva; Writing by Yara Bayoumy and Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Jon Hemming)

http://news.yahoo.com/u-n-ban-alarmed-militia-buildup-sudan-border-084612241.html

South Sudan defiant after week of fighting with Sudan

AFPBy Waakhe Simon Wudu | AFP 

South Sudan’s army vowed Tuesday to hold their positions in a contested oil field seized from Khartoum’s army, one week after the outbreak of bitter fighting that has raised fears of a wider war.

Despite air strikes and a reported counter-attack by Khartoum’sSudan Armed Forces (SAF) to retake the disputed Heglig oil field, the South’s Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) said it would not withdraw from the battle zone.

“If they advance, definitely SPLA is ready to fight back and repulse them. … The SPLA is ready for them outside Heglig,” Southern army spokesman Philip Aguer told reporters.

The hostilities are the worst since South Sudan’s independence fromSudan in July, and world powers have condemned the fighting, as fears grow that clashes could spread beyond the current border conflict.

In Geneva, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay urged both sides to halt the hostilities, warning of the humanitarian consequences of the conflict.

“There is still time to pull back from the brink and bring all parties to the table to negotiate diplomatic solutions to disagreements over borders, oil, citizenship and other crucial issues,” said Pillay in a statement.

“I call on all parties to work to avoid an escalation of armed confrontation, bearing in mind the dire human rights and humanitarian consequences for civilians,” she added.

Fighting broke out last month between Khartoum and Juba in the Heglig oil field — key to Sudan’s already struggling economy, as it supplied around half of its oil production — before an escalation of violence on April 10.

The South has reportedly placed tanks and artillery around oil infrastructure in Heglig, which both sides say belongs to them. Aguer said Khartoum had damaged wells as they sought to dislodge Southern troops by aerial bombardment.

“The border is still fragile, tension is still very high,” Aguer added. “The SAF continue to bomb indiscriminately. … On Tuesday they bombed one of the oil wells outside Heglig, it is still burning.”

Khartoum has launched a wave of air raids on Southern border areas, killing several civilians and hitting a UN peacekeeper base on Monday in the village of Mayom, in the South’s oil-producing Unity state.

The United Nations confirmed the attack, although Sudan denied the air strike.

However, the region appeared calmer Tuesday, with “no reports of fighting so far”, said Gideon Gatpan, Unity state’s information minister.

World powers have also called for restraint and voiced deep concern at the escalating violence.

Khartoum seeks the South’s unconditional withdrawal from Heglig. But Juba has said it will not pull back unless Khartoum removes its troops from the contested Abyei region nearby, among other conditions.

Leaders on both sides have also exchanged angry rhetoric — accusing each other of starting the violence and of wanting war — with Khartoum’s parliament on Monday voting the government ofSouth Sudan an enemy, a move dismissed by Juba.

“They have declared war against the people of the Republic of South Sudan … they have declared jihad war against the infidels of South Sudan,” Southern Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjaminsaid Tuesday.

“I think this is a crazy decision. Our position is we consider the Sudanese people as brothers and sisters. … We don’t see them as an enemy.”

Questions are being raised in Khartoum over how easily Southern forces managed to seize Sudan’s main oil field, dealing another blow to an economy mired in crisis.

The Sudanese military is already severely stretched in the face of the major insurgency in South Kordofan, a smaller uprising in Blue Nile, and ongoing fighting in the war-ravaged Darfur region.

Some two million people died in Sudan’s 1983-2005 civil war, one of Africa’s longest, before the peace deal that opened the way to South Sudan’s independence.

When the South separated, Khartoum lost about 75 percent of its oil production and billions of dollars in revenue, leaving the Heglig area as its main oil centre.

http://news.yahoo.com/sudan-parliament-brands-juba-enemy-042146751.html


Sudan’s
 frontline: Dead bodies, circling Antonovs

KSWO
South Sudan’s army, known as the SPLA, moved north into Heglig earlier this month, sparking the bloodiest fighting since South Sudan broke off from Sudan last July and became the world’s newest nation. A top SPLA official said the south plans to keep 
Pillay urges Sudan and South Sudan to pull back from the brink
StarAfrica.com
GENEVA, Switzerland, April 17, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday urged the governments of Sudan and South Sudan to stem the violence on both sides before it seriously undermines the 
Who Do You Believe? War Crime Indicted Sudan President Bashir? Or Your Eyes 
Huffington Post (blog)
As you know, I went to South Sudan and Sudan over the past weekend with Reverend Franklin Graham and Samaritans Purse. The President of Sudan, President Bashir, is under indictment for war crimes and genocide for atrocities he committed in the western 

The South Sudanese People’s Liberation Army has moved into an oil town on the South Sudan/ Sudan border. While nationalist sentiment runs high, the newly separated states can ill afford renewed conflict: political dialogue is both difficult and urgent.

Erwin van Veen and Ann Fitz-Gerald, 17 April 2012

About the authors
Erwin van Veen works as policy analyst on peace and security for the OECD’s International Network on Conflict and Fragility
Ann Fitz-Gerald is a senior academic with Cranfield University’s Department of Management and Security.

The air in Juba was thick with excitement when South Sudan declared its independence in 2011 after its referendum. Yet, it was never going to be easy and now both Sudans seem close to falling into the jaws of the ‘conflict trap’ – the phenomenon by which countries with recent experience of conflict are more likely to fall back into conflict. On April 10, the South Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) took control of Heglig, an oil town perched on the border between Sudan and South-Sudan. It is unclear at the moment whether this is another incident in a long series, or the spark that will explode the powder keg. But it is even more urgent to assess what can be done to prevent a slide back to violent conflict.

The natural response of the international community when faced with such escalations of violence is to call for restraint and dialogue, which is precisely what the United Nation’s Secretary General (UNSG), Mr. Ban Ki Moon, the US government and the African Union’s mediator, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, have done. However, we know that political dialogue requires a sufficient degree of commitment from both parties to have a chance of success. The list of failed attempts at dialogue is a long one. So, to assess whether this call for dialogue is likely to be heeded, at least two questions need to be answered:

First, how much pressure is the international community willing and able to exercise? This is difficult to assess from the outside, but, given the choice, it is likely that key global players such as the US and UN may prioritize Syria and Iran over Sudan. Regionally, the situation is hardly more favourable with Kenya and Ethiopia embroiled in Somalia, and Egypt focused on domestic issues. Libya’s chaotic situation ensures a ready supply of highly mobile manpower and weapons, as evidenced by the situation in Mali, which may make matters worse. Hence, international calls for dialogue may sound louder than the pressure and support the international community can actually generate.

Second, is dialogue welcomed by participants? Several considerations must be taken into account here. To start with, the trail of broken agreements and promises between Sudan and South-Sudan is a long one and mistrust runs deep.  Recent analysis  suggests that the SPLA has been stockpiling weapons and that both the SPLA and the Sudanese Armed Forces are arming South Sudanese rebel militia groups. However, little reliable, open-source analysis is available on what exactly is happening in the contested border areas. One also needs to take into account that South-Sudan has limited diplomatic capacity to tell its side of the story. Publicly, however, both sides state they welcome dialogue, which the international community can capitalize on. Yet it is also clear that they are gearing up for other scenarios.

In addition, South-Sudan is a young and proud state that cherishes its land and its sovereignty. It may well take the view that it now must defend its hard-won autonomy. The country took a drastic step in January by shutting down its oil production in protest over transit fees, and escalation may well be one of its few strategic options left. The South has proven before that it can survive with food distribution lines cut off and oil wealth denied – large parts of its territory have no electricity anyhow – but its leaders would have to make radical political and financial decisions and be accountable to their people for the ensuing hardship. South-Sudan’s domestic peacebuilding and statebuilding agenda would certainly suffer setbacks, its recent commitment to the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding  notwithstanding.

And yet, on the face of it, there seem to be sufficient common interests to provide a basis for dialogue.  For one, the human suffering and economic damage of renewed conflict will be huge. Collier and Chauvet have conservatively estimated the domestic and regional cost of a civil war to amount to about 85 billion dollars  . The cost of a state descending into conflict with its neighbours can account for two thirds of this amount. This is the figure against which Sudan, South-Sudan and their neighbours must gauge their appetite for dialogue and war.

In short, the signs are not overly hopeful that calls for dialogue can or will be heeded. What can the international community do to help prevent another civil war? Three lessons stand out from the international intervention in the FYR Macedonia in 2001, one of the most successful examples of conflict prevention.

Co-ordinated, fast action between the OSCE, NATO and EU proved critical to an integrated political-security response that was sufficiently context specific. In the case of Sudan, it would be easy to argue that UNMIS and the AU need to swiftly deploy peacekeeping troops into disputed areas like Heglig and that their mediators must immediately commence facilitating a longer-term process to resolve the range of outstanding issues.  However, a lesson from the last few years is that third party intervention, of the UN in particular, has not always been welcomed by Sudan. Moreover, President Kiir stated on April 12 in the South-Sudanese parliament that he had rejected calls from several international leaders, including UNSG Ban Ki-Moon, to pull his troops out of Heglig. Hence, a leading UN role near the contested border seems unlikely. In keeping with the model which kept the pre-Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) talks on track, an alternative option could be that the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) partners’ forum steps up and provides an AU-led initiative with logistical, financial and advisory support. The UN could consider supporting this quietly from behind the scenes.

Strong leadership is essential. It was Kenya that kept the many pre-CPA talks on track and that helped realize several way-stations towards the CPA, such as the Machakos protocol of 2002. Such leadership was also a key ingredient of the successful international intervention in FYR Macedonia, where Mr Van der Stoel, as personal envoy of the OSCE chairman in office, was a highly respected and trusted facilitator who enjoyed the confidence of all parties. As noted above, Kenya may not be able to fulfil this role again at this point in time. In that case, Ethiopia remains one of the few trusted parties for both sides. If its top leadership could convince the presidents of Sudan and South-Sudan to work towards a political agreement, the tide might be turned and Ethiopia would render the region a very valuable service. This is one of the calls that international leaders could consider making. Given the trail of broken promises, however, the conflict must be addressed at the highest levels. It would be helpful if both sides could refrain from any aggression to Ethiopian peacekeepers patrolling Abeyei in the meantime.

Finally, the intervention in FYR Macedonia showed that confidence building is vital. This could begin with credible and verifiable information being collected and shared from the conflict-affected border areas – the lack of reliable information being one of the major difficulties to date. Rumours spread too quickly at the moment, feeding distrust and risking catalysing ill-considered action. An international monitoring mission, possibly IGAD sponsored and AU-supported, might be a way out of this conundrum – but speed will be of the essence.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/erwin-van-veen-ann-fitz-gerald/pride-and-prejudice-in-heglig


By Deng Elijah

South Sudan just gained independent, and it’s still the youngest, the poorest and most vulnerable state. If South Sudan can’t adjust within the current socio-politico-economics constraints, if the international community can’t nurture a nine-month-old infant, if the fellow African Union can’t cope with South Sudanese trauma, If South Sudan is not listened to, then the only hopes for South Sudanese will be establishing a new “planet”. Or perhaps, help Nigeria establish Nigeria-South Sudan continent. But that would be efficient if and only if the new continent would invite Libya, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, and perhaps pioneer the once proposed “Gold-currency” to cut off the current politico-economic headache with the rest of the continents. Well, that was just a slip of a tongue!!

Alternatively, it would be unfair, or some may even conclude that the father of a prodigal son would be psychopathic, if instead he fined his youngest, lost son when he returned. Or perhaps his judgments were extraordinary, but it is also true that our judgments depend on our perceptions, experiences and prior knowledge.  Possibly, South Sudanese have their own context on this situation that they are competitively resolving with many other concern groups. However, the concern groups were somehow hasty to have imposed sanctions on the aid that they endow. How would you sanction a nation that feeds on less than 2% of her economy, aid and debts? Seriously, South Sudan deserves a planet!

Maybe the truth remains that you never argue with a fool because they would drag you to their level then beat you with experience. Controversially, Bashir dragged South Sudan to his level, but surprisingly, he must confess that he entered the wrong ring.

Nevertheless, we would be biased to predict South Sudanese’s long run victory based on either Heglig or on ground tactics alone. Or else Sudanese would be the only outstanding African champions, having been in war for over 5 decades.

It’s grievous indeed that many South Sudan allies are currently “aligning” behind the ICC indicted, and one of the world’s most wanted criminals. Bashir must celebrate his short term winning of empathy from international community, if South Sudan refuses to withdraw; however, he remains the criminal who is accountable for over 4millions lives in Sudan. Bashir must face ICC or South Sudan tribunal. Needless to say, South Sudan must pursuit the criminal, however, they have to keep an eye on their advocators.  They may have to instantiate better platforms, find amicable solutions or else re-launch a seizure!

As noted in Khartoum, Sudanese pound (one of the world’s strongest currencies) is drastically depreciating. It is currently traded at SD 6 per dollar1in Khartoum and prices2 are sky-rocking

Despite that, there could be ban on trade, possibly on armaments, or other essentials commodities if South Sudan never obeys the international call of withdrawal from Panthou (Heglig). Yet, South Sudan’s image is being distorted in favor of the blighted Khartoum regimes.

It would also be consequential for South Sudanese to remember that the same convict was and is still a king in Arab world despite his atrocities. Bashir had prominent support from big powers like Russia3China4Turkey5 etcetera. He had support from within AU, and African countries. If not, Bashir would have been prosecuted before South Sudan got independent, in July 2011. In other words, Bashir was mindful of whom he was trading with and how he plays his games. So, can South Sudanese really conclude Bashir’s cowardice at this point? Or could he possibly be trying to fit South Sudan in his shoes, and beat them with experience? Either way, South Sudan should keep an eye on the enemy without neglecting her allies!

Heglig

Heglig was originally and currently (as of mid- April) a South Sudan territory, which is undeniable. However, for some explainable reasons Heglig is being shown6 on the map as a Sudanese region. This is what the international community seems to base their warning of withdrawal on. However, for South Sudanese, this scenario should not be surprising as it is one of the major disputes in many parts of South Sudan including Juba. Thus, could South Sudanese apply the same principles they used in solving land disputes in Juba and other disputed areas?

Of course, withdrawal would be viable if Khartoum government withdraw from Abyei, and accept peaceful negotiations to resolve all these disputes. Also, the UN, AU and EU would have to deploy their forces in the disputed areas including Panthou.

Apparently, South Sudan would have to reconsider their decision on their next options; either advancing to Abyei and other contested regions on a full-scale war or unconditionally withdraw from Panthou, regardless. That means, adhesiveness to only panthou is never a solution since South Sudan will only be entertaining Khartoum’s accusations and yet the international community won’t implement any traded accusations.

South Sudanese has to commit to either full-scale war or no war. In either case, their decision has to be quick, efficient and achievable within a given time.

On the other hand, withdrawal from Panthou (Heglig) would be a win for South Sudanese in the long run. If the South peacefully withdraws, they would be able to work out their current misconceptions with UN, US, AU, Egypt, EU and others. They would be able to bale out economic sanctions and further depreciation of their currency. South Sudan would retain their status quos that the Khartoum regime has witnessed their inflated biceps, which would be a bail for reaching agreements on the remaining issues. Moreover, Sudan would also stop their “undercover” bombardments of innocent civilians in Unity states and any other areas along the border. Both parties may postpone a full-scale war, which could be more advantageous to the South since their economy may boom when the North would be barely surviving.

In other words, there would be no point clinging to the same straw with a dying man or else we would both be willing recruits of a never ending streams of tribal, religious, social and political curse. Try to analyze this report7!!

Consequences:

“The recent violence threatens to return both countries to full-scale war and the period of tragic loss of life and suffering, destroyed infrastructure, and economic devastation, which they have worked so hard and long to overcome”, the Council said in a statement delivered8 by Susan Rice of the United States.

After the oil shutdown in January, South Sudanese economy2 has been struggling, and now it would be Sudanese pound and development in both countries.

If the bombardment continues in Unity state, Bentiu, then it would be hard for investors to invest in South Sudan oil, and the country will remain as it has been for the last centuries. Similarly, the agriculture and any other industries that would have been established will be affected due to lack of services, war and its aftermath. Well, because South Sudanese know these consequences, then there would be no need to polarize them!

South Sudan is just a toddler but with great potentials. As estimated in 2009 census, South Sudan is only 8millions in population compared to 32 millions (well, including their rebels) in the North. However, as South Sudanese say “it’s not the flesh that goes to war, but the mentality”. Therefore, just as they captured Panthou, they would also capture Khartoum depending on South Sudanese definition of “mentality”. This may be right, as it was Biblically the case between David and Goliath. However, if Goliath also had a sling or perhaps the “blessings” that David had, then it would have been by chance that David would gather his courage.

Postponing war.

Many South Sudanese had no intentions of returning to a “meaningless war” as president Salva Kiir repeatedly announces in his speeches. Therefore, ignoring the chances of a full-scale war, let’s first brainstorm on how far we would reach before taking this upper hand of “teaching Bashir a lesson”.

As it is the case today, chances of delaying a war have to come at a cost. It would be asymptotically bounded to how much we give up today for tomorrow. And since we can’t sacrifice without our consciences, let’s take a few second to reevaluate any possibility:  is South Sudan willing to constraint within the fundamentally acceptable self-defense? That is would South Sudan abide to international community’s definition of “self-defense”? Could South Sudan only vindicate by presenting any necessary proofs to Permanent Court of Arbitration9 (PCA) instead of exchanging accusations with Khartoum government? After all, the satellite recordings may prove any traceable proof, if need be.  Can South Sudan afford to delay a full-scale war? And if so, do South Sudanese have cause(s) of this mini-war?

It’s possible that South Sudanese have most answers to their questions that would prevent the conflicts today, if they need to. My naïve instincts believe the main reasons that forced Khartoum to start bombing South Sudan, Unity State were due to oil shutdown, intentions to disestablish the South and perhaps due to mere Jealousy of South Sudan sovereignty. But South can solve only the oil shutdown since defending South Sudan territory is a natural right, and yet the cure for jealousy is already known.  As a Kenyan suggested, “mwenye wivu ajinyonge” meaning let’s the jealous ones hung themselves, South shouldn’t be bothered of Bashir’s jealousy.

Moreover, Khartoum’s intention on South Sudan’s oil is clear. They budgeted what they are currently demanding. Demanding $36 dollars per barrel, just for transit, was a sign of aggression. And where on Earth would the international community “back up” such a huge demand? Or is it a myth that such pipes would only transport dust if the South decides to shut off on oil issues with the North? Fortunately, it would be South Sudan demanding 28% of Heglig’s oil production very soon (well, assume you haven’t heard that).

This price is negotiable, and hoping that this delegates used door-in-the-face technique, which South Sudan delegate appropriately encountered with a foot-in-the-door.  70 cent per barrel was unbearable but it may be valuable in the upcoming agreements. However, South Sudan may sympathize and offer a little bit more.

Why postponing war!

The relationship between the two Sudans may resemble the Koreans’. It’s very hard to predict when the two countries may return to a full-scale war, but it’s very likely. Chances are, the two sides may amend an ideal CPA to finalize the remaining deals.

However, South Sudan may sign an expensive deal on oil transit with Khartoum, in order to buy time, which is hurtful. But better half bread than none. It is very important that South Sudan would complete her current projects with Eastern Africa and within the young nation.  Besides, South Sudan would be able to obtain equipment and trainings at better prices. South would be able to train air forces (maybe marine and navy too, if need be), and they may decide to demarcate whatever they would afford to, if war were unrestrainable.

South Sudan army would be well equipped both on ground and in air.  Her development and economy would also get a chance to catch up with other regions. And if the third civil war between Sudan nations is inevitable, say in four years from now, then South Sudan army would not only target to recapture Heglig in a short time, but the entire 1956 border. That would be effective and efficient compared to the today’s undecided war. Or if the contract ends, and the border have not been demarcated, then the South might only request the international community to wish them luck at the border(take that for a joke). Just in case!!

In sum, “People don’t plan to fail they just fail to plan” Alan Lakein.

Deng Elijah is a South Sudanese who lives in British Columbia, Canada. He can be reached @ dengsimon2000@gmail.com


Douglas Mpuga

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Fears-of-a-Wider-Sudan-War-as-South-Sudan-Holds-onto-Heglig-Oil-Field–147440065.html


April 12, 2012 

Agence France Presse
Photo taken on April 3, shows the shell of a vehicle that was hit by a bomb in the abandoned village of Trogi during fighting in South Kordofan, Sudan. (AFP photo/Adrianne OHANESIAN)
Photo taken on April 3, shows the shell of a vehicle that was hit by a bomb in the abandoned village of Trogi during fighting in South Kordofan, Sudan. (AFP photo/Adrianne OHANESIAN)

KHARTOUM: Heavy fighting in Sudan’s Blue Nile state has killed 13 government soldiers and one rebel, the insurgents said on Thursday but Khartoum’s military denied the death toll.

In a statement, rebels said their ambush and subsequent six-hour battle on Tuesday, 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of the state capital Damazin, also wounded 17 government troops and three insurgents from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).

Access to the region is restricted and such figures cannot be verified.

The reported fighting came on the same day that Sudanese and South Sudanese forces resumed clashes along their border, bringing them closest to a return to outright war.

South Sudan separated last July in an overwhelming “yes” vote after decades of war.

The South denies Khartoum’s claim that it supports the SPLM-N, ethnic rebels who have been battling the government since last year in Blue Nile and South Korfodan states.

Sudan’s army spokesman, Sawarmi Khaled Saad, said rebel scout teams have clashed with government troops in Blue Nile but were defeated.

Khartoum has cited security concerns in placing tight restrictions on the operations of foreign relief agencies in both South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

The United Nations says the fighting has displaced or severely affected 350,000 people.

United States officials have warned that about 250,000 people could soon go hungry in the region.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Apr-12/170073-14-dead-in-sudan-clashes-rebels.ashx#ixzz1rr7bZy7R
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)