Monday, May 28, 2012

Somebody Help: The Forgotten Population in North Darfur

In the remote Jebel Si area of North Darfur, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) runs a hospital, five health posts, and a mobile clinic. These are the only health facilities in the area, and they serve a permanent population of 100,000, as well as about 10,000 seasonal nomads. The majority of MSF’s patients in Jebel Si are women and children.

As the only medical organization with a permanent presence in Jebel Si, the population is entirely dependent on MSF for health care and emergency assistance. MSF’s relationship with the local community is one of mutual trust and cooperation.

But now a series of obstacles threaten to seriously hamper MSF’s ability to deliver medical assistance. Vital medical and logistical supplies have been prevented from reaching the area, work permits have not been granted, and physical access to the region has become increasingly difficult.

As a result of these obstacles, MSF has been forced to scale down its activities dramatically. Unless urgent steps are taken to rectify the situation, the people of Jebel Si will be faced with the reality of a future without essential health care. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

GOC Charges Soldiers On Sexual Conduct In Darfur

Another troop of 800 officers and men of the Nigerian Army have been prepared for deployment on peacekeeping mission to Darfur Region of Sudan, with a stern warning to stay away from sexual misconduct. The 26-battalion troop was also warned to avoid circumstances that may lead to being disarmed by the Darfur rebels and guard against any act that would tarnish Nigeria’s image.
General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Mechanised Division Nigerian Army, Major General Garba A. Wahab, gave the warning at the graduation ceremony of the 26 Battalion Pre-Deployment Training at the Nigerian Army Peace Keeping Centre (NAPKC), Jaji, near Kaduna, yesterday. According to the GOC, “as you are aware, Nigeria is the largest troop contributor to the United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) operations. In this regard, you should strive to live above board and avoid anything that would ridicule the good image our dear country has built over the years in the area of international peace and security.
“As your General Officer Commanding, I have confidence in your ability to execute your task in accordance with UNAMID’s mandate. But, I must remind you that the Nigerian Army will not accept any situation where its soldiers are disarmed hence the need for effective leadership at all levels,” he said. Noting that the situation in the crisis areas of Sudan were unpredictable, Wahab told the peace keepers to avoid engaging in any form of sexual misconduct, saying, “don’t go to Darfur and start sleeping with women. It is highly unprofessional. Aside that, AIDS is real,” he warned. He stressed that having expended huge resources on their training, the Nigerian government placed high premium on their capability as a peace-keeping force. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sudan restrictions hamper aid work in Darfur - MSF

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Government restrictions on Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) have forced the group to suspend key medical activities in part of Sudan's Darfur region, leaving tens of thousands of people without health care, the aid agency said on Tuesday.

The western Darfur area has been racked by violence since 2003, when rebels took up arms against a central government they accused of neglecting the remote region.

While fighting is down from its peak and the United Nations runs a large peacekeeping operation in Darfur, banditry and tribal fighting in addition to clashes between rebels and government forces have continued to plague the region.

MSF said hurdles to procedures like getting permits and shipping in medical supplies forced it to suspend most of its medical activities in the Jebel Si area, a conflict area in North Darfur state, where it is the only healthcare provider.

"With the reduction of our activities in Jebel Si, more than 100,000 people in the region are left entirely without healthcare," Alberto Cristina, MSF's operational manager for Sudan, said in the statement. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sudanese civil society organizations urge Dutch government and entrepreneurs Not to invest in the Sudan

For Immediate Release                                                                                       May 21st, 2012

Sudanese civil society organizations urge Dutch government and entrepreneurs Not to invest in the Sudan

The Sudanese Dutch Private Investment Forum will be organized by The Chamber of Commerce Haaglanden on May 21st, 2012 at The Hague.

Almost all members of the Sudanese delegation are government officials. The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued warrants for the arrest of Sudan's president for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide and other senior government officials who are still in power. Violations of human rights are on daily basis, civil liberties are denied and security is non-existent across the country.

The Sudanese government relies on foreign investments to fund its military and the brutal militias to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity against the people of the Sudan. The revenue from the investment will be used to purchase arms to commit more crimes on innocent people in South Kordofan, Eastern Sudan, Blue Nile, Darfur and the rest of the Sudan.

The Sudanese civil society organizations sent letters to The Dutch government, entrepreneurs, people of The Netherlands and the participants in The Sudanese Dutch Private Investment Forum, urging them to divest instead of investing in the Sudan, to pressure the government of Sudan to improve human rights records, to fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court and to allow the humanitarian aid organizations to access the people in a dire need.

Darfur Union

Nuba Mountains Solidarity Abroad

Sudan Youth for Change Movement

Sudan Democratic forum

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Comment on African Union's Road Map and United Nations Security Council's Resolution 2046

By: Gamal Adam

The African Union’s recent road map which the United Nations Security Council has endorsed with the Resolution 2046 includes a clause that puts pressure on the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) to negotiate with Khartoum in order to settle the Sudanese problem in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile -- a clause which the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) has refuted through its commander in chief, Abdl-Aziz Adam Al-Hilu, who said that selective negotiations are not acceptable because they will never lead to sustainable peace since they do not address the root cause of the conflict in Sudan (see 10/5/2012). Mr. Al-Hilu also added that the international community has short memories with regard to Sudanese conflict and he tried to remind the AU and the UNSC that “Bashir has dishonored more than 43 peace agreements including key provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement….” I say yes, Al-Hilu and Sudan Revolutionary Front have got it right, whereas the international community represented by the African Union and the United Nations Security Council got it seriously wrong. The road map which has been endorsed by the Resolution 2046 might be suitable for the settlement of the crisis between Khartoum and Juba, but including to it South Kordofan and Blue Nile is a serious mistake. It is something in a gold dish, as Sudanese saying goes, which unexpectedly came across Khartoum’s way because it never thought that the AU and UNSC would be in such a level of naivety or even dangerous carelessness. There are many questions which those who included South Kordofan and Blue Nile to the road map for the settlement of conflict between Juba and Khartoum should have first asked themselves before doing what they have done. They should have asked themselves: “Where are the agreements which Khartoum signed with several fronts in 2005 and 2006, including Abuja Agreement, Asmara Agreement, and Cairo Agreement? Why did the majority of southern Sudanese opt for independence rather than unity? Was the unity really attractive and southern Sudanese did not want it simply because they wanted to have their own country for no genuine reason? Why did Pagan Amum cry that the SLPM/A and the NCP started the division of portfolios nicely as if it was a spoon for the NCP and a spoon for the SPLM/A, but as soon as they reached the portfolios of finance, energy and mining, security, interior, and so forth, the NCP threw its spoon away and used both hands? Why is Tijani Seisei crying that his Doha agreement is dying (even though I had told him many months before he signed it that his Doha was going to be born dead because he did not take right steps toward its conception)? How can Doha be an agreement without ceasefire and why have most of the crimes of which Al-Bashir and leading members of his party have been accused continued, including killing, rape, and various types of humiliation (e.g. farmers farm their own farm lands and harvest crops on condition that regime’s militiamen take what they want of the crops and leave the rest to farmers or farmers rent their own lands from militiamen or else they should not farm, militiamen also rape women almost every day and those of them who try to defend themselves or their relatives are killed, stabbed or seriously beaten up, and so forth)? And have Minni, Abul-Gasim Imam, Al-Hilu, Agar, and Arman gone back to arms simply because they are naturally inclined to fight, risking their own lives for no genuine reasons?” The people who formed the Sudan Revolutionary Front did not form it only to be dismantled by selective negotiations which lead to no settlement. In fact, the selective negotiations regardless of their number (43, more or less) did function like a type of medicine that doubled the resistance of virus once it was taken. One of these examples is the Comprehensive Peace Agreement which the NCP and the SPLM/A signed in 2005. Had that agreement been signed between the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), including the SPLM/A and the other constituents of the NDA, Sudan would still have probably been one country ruled by a democratically elected leader, the fruitless agreements that took place in Cairo, Asmara, Abuja, Doha, and Addis Ababa would have been avoided, and efforts and money wasted in them been invested somewhere else. Also, Dinka, Misseirya, and other Sudanese would have been interacting peacefully in Abyay and Hijleej, Al-Bashir’s racist speeches and Al-Intibaha’s abhorrent writings stopped, and the games of hatred in the name of Islam outlawed. However, according to some authentic sources, Dr. John Garang had at the beginning insisted that the problem of the whole Sudan be solved at once in Naivasha, but he let the idea of including the NDA to the talks go because of the mounting pressure that some IGAD members and friends exercised on him. There is no doubt that Khartoum had in some ways influenced the mediators to exclude the other members of NDA, as any move toward the segmentation of Sudan’s problem constitutes a dream that comes true for the NCP regime whose existence in power is based on dividing the Sudanese society at all levels starting from the smallest unit such as family to the entire country. For example, the regime divided members of the same families between supporters and enemies, causing conflicts among them, made population of the same villages kill each other, and tore the social web of Sudanese society by categorizing the people as either Arabs and non-Arabs (‘Abeed—slaves or non-full-citizens) and treat them accordingly. I would like to correct Mr. Al-Hilu that the problem of Sudan is not only limited to Blue Nile, Darfur, and South Kordofan—it has now reached almost every corner in the country and most Sudanese, except NPC members, and Al-Mahdis and Al-Marghanis and their entourages, are convinced that the NCP regime has to go by all means. The document which 12 Sudanese political parties and movements signed in Washington DC on May 10, 2012 and in which they decided to work together for the regime change is evidence that most Sudanese want this regime to go (see 10/5/2012). Moreover, the Sudan Revolutionary Front does not only include SPLM/A-N and the Darfur movements, as the Beja Congress and Kush which represent the far north and east are also its members in addition to some important political figures from the DUP and Umma party who had been fed up with the incompetent leadership of Al-Mahdis and Al-Marghanis and decided to join the SRF (see Sarri at 17/05/2012). I also met many individuals from the eastern, northern, and western parts of Kordofan who were members of the movements that were fighting the regime in Darfur and which are now part of the SRF. All of these efforts leading toward keeping the remaining Sudan united and even bringing South Sudan back in the future, if we are able to completely exclude religion, ethnicity, and race from politics, and make everything be based on citizenship. The frustration of these efforts, exerted by Sudanese of all backgrounds toward finding an inclusive settlement to their country’s problem, will definitely lead to further complication of already complicated situation, as there has never been peace in Darfur and Asmara Agreement did not bring any genuine stability in Eastern Sudan. Moreover, western Kordofan, far north, and many parts of Al-Jazeera (central Sudan) are all potential conflict areas. As Al-Hilu has mentioned, the way toward reaching sustainable peace for Sudan is the inclusive negotiations that will lead to the birth of a constitution that genuinely guarantees equal rights for all Sudanese citizens regardless of their backgrounds, bestows on them the right to never accept again any more coups d’état and resist dictatorships by all possible means, establishes a real national army, as there is no longer Sudanese army, and allows the people of each region to run the affairs of their own region, including the management of resources. I have to point out that the leaders of Sudan Revolutionary Front are partly responsible for the mistakes that the international community is about to make on Sudan, as they are not able to quickly get rid of the factional labels (e.g. SPLM/A North, SPLM/A Adelwahid or Minni, JEM, and so forth) that make them look divided. They have to raise themselves to the hopes of most Sudanese, pave the way for a Sudan that is for all Sudanese, and put an end to Al-Bashir’s Sudan of masters and slaves (or humans and insects). I hope that Sudanese all over the world will demonstrate against the AU and UNSC’s clause on South Kordofan and Blue Nile that will not only further divide Sudan, but will also prolong the suffering of Sudanese people under a regime which many Sudanese describe as the worst ever in the history of Sudan since 1821.

The writer can be reached at

The forgotten Darfur conflict

By Kevin J. Kelley Nearly forgotten amid the attention being given to the Sudan-South Sudan conflict, the nine-year-long war in Darfur is said by differing sources to be either winding down or intensifying. A generally upbeat assessment was offered in February by New York Times East Africa correspondent Jeffrey Gettleman, who visited a set of villages in western Darfur near the border with Chad. About 100,000 local residents displaced by Arab militias’ attacks have returned to their land, the NYT journalist reported, suggesting that this development serves as “a sign that one of the world’s most infamous conflicts may have decisively cooled.” Gettleman, who won a top US journalism award last month, cautioned in his report that “all is not well in Darfur.” He noted that more than two million inhabitants of this region of Sudan remain in camps for refugees or internally displaced people, while some rebel groups continue to battle Sudanese government forces and allied Arab militias known collectively as the Janjaweed. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Khartoum and the Language of War: Who’s Really Listening?

Eric Reeves May 11, 2012 Every day it becomes clearer that unless Juba buckles before Khartoum’s extortionate demands, on a range of issues, then the regime will settle matters militarily—as it did in Abyei precisely one year ago. Yet in a remarkable display of obtuseness, the international community, putatively concerned with peace between Sudan and South Sudan, refuses to hear what the regime is actually saying. This obtuseness is apparent in the toothless UN Security Council resolution of May 2nd, which contains a cease-fire demand that has already been repeatedly violated by Khartoum; in the African Union roadmap, which (though backed by the Security Council) Khartoum accepts only “provisionally,” claiming the roadmap is “full of shortcomings and outright bias in favor of the SPLM”; and in the vehement and geographically ill-informed condemnations of the Southern “invasion” of Heglig along the contested North/South border, a profoundly misguided effort to accommodate Khartoum’s tendentious territorial claims (April 10 – 20). The failure of comprehension is also apparent in the now increasingly perfunctory condemnations of Khartoum’s relentless bombing of civilian targets inside sovereign Southern territory, even as these bombings are meant by Khartoum to bring both political and military pressure on Juba. And perhaps the most telling sign of policy myopia is the refusal by the Security Council to do more than “urge” Khartoum to allow humanitarian access to those starving in Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains, where civilian bombings have been relentless for over eleven months. Without securing humanitarian access from the regime in the very near term, the international community is likely consigning tens of thousands of people to death by starvation as Khartoum continues its genocidal counter-insurgency tactics. A distorted narrative. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Four children killed in Darfur blast: AU-UN

A UNAMID spokesman said the incident occurred when a UXO (unexploded ordnance) detonated in Jealjeala, 60 kilometres (37 miles) from the West Darfur state capital El Geneina. He could not immediately give other details, including exactly when the blast happened. The UN estimates that at least 300,000 people have died as a result of the Darfur conflict, which began in 2003 when rebels from non-Arab tribes in Sudan's far west rose up against the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime. The Sudanese government puts the death toll at 10,000. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The Security Council Who Cried Wolf

By Brigitte Hamadey "Kony 2012" is one organization's attempt to demand the arrest and surrender of Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, to the International Criminal Court. While Invisible Children has succeeded in putting Kony back on a radar screen, the question is not whether their goal will be accomplished, but why their efforts might have been necessary in the first place. The YouTube sensation highlights the fact that there are outstanding arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court that demand the international community's attention. One of the ICC's major realities is that it relies entirely on states to arrest and surrender accused to the Court. In this respect, state cooperation gives teeth to the ICC's bark. This is especially true for the Court's attempt to provide justice in Darfur and Libya, the situations referred by the UN Security Council, because neither Sudan nor Libya themselves requested ICC involvement. The Court has issued seven arrest warrants in these situations. To date, none of the suspects have been surrendered to The Hague. Despite its leadership in referring the Darfur situation to the ICC, the Security Council has failed to pressure the Sudanese government to comply with its international obligations vis-à-vis the Court. For instance, since April 2007, when the Court first issued arrest warrants for suspects who have allegedly committed crimes in Darfur, the ICC Prosecutor has briefed the Security Council nine times on the situation in Darfur, including on Sudan's repeated refusals to cooperate. In May 2010, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber informed the Security Council of its decision that Sudan has failed to comply with its legal obligations. In spite of these findings, the Council has turned a blind eye. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>