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Machar assigns Col. Lam Paul as SPLM-IO spokesperson

mer, 14/07/2021 - 11:16

July 13, 2021 (JUBA) - The leadership of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) has assigned Col., Lam Paul Gabriel, as the official spokesperson of the armed opposition movement while Brig. General William Gatjiath Deng has been re-assigned to SPLM/SPLA (IO) headquarters.

Lam Paul Gabriel

“In reference to the mentioned subject, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) would like to inform its members and the public that Brig. General William Gatjiath Deng has been reassigned to the SPLM/SPLA (IO) headquarters with effect from 9th July 2021,” Puok Both Buluang, the acting press secretary in the office of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) chairman said in a July 13 release.

It added, “H.E Dr Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) has assigned Col., Lam Paul Gabriel, as SPLM/SPLA (IO) official spokesperson with effect from 9th July 2021".

No reasons were, however, given for the new changes within the SPLM/SPLA (IO).


Catégories: Africa

South Sudan government committed extrajudicial killings of civilians: report

mer, 14/07/2021 - 10:17

July 13, 2021 (WASHINGTON) – A new report has pinned the South Sudanese government of committing “extrajudicial killings, including ethnic-based killings of civilians, widespread sexual violence, and use of food as a weapon of war."

Joe Biden

The 2021 Report to Congress Pursuant to Section 5 of the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2018 was released on Monday.

“In South Sudan, the State (Department) coordinated financial and political support to establish an African Union hybrid court to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity," the report read in part.

“The government has perpetrated extrajudicial killings including ethnic-based killings of civilians, widespread sexual violence, and use of food as a weapon of war. Non-government armed groups also perpetrated unlawful killings, rape, sexual slavery, and forced recruitment of children,” it added.

According to the report, the African Union and the United Nations have separately documented atrocities in the East African nation.

“In February 2021, Secretary Blinken stated those responsible for human rights violations in South Sudan must be held to account. The AU Commission of Inquiry and the UN Commission on Human Rights for South Sudan have documented atrocities,” the report read.

“State (Department) continues to support civil society documentation to further truth, justice, and accountability and advocate for a robust mandate for the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan to collect and preserve evidence. USAID supports civil society and independent media to promote political stability, peacebuilding, and citizen's participation in, and oversight of, peace agreement implementation,” it noted.

According to the report, the Joe Biden Administration is committed to promoting democratic values that underpin a stable international system critical to freedom, prosperity, and peace.

In May, the Security Council renewed the arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze imposed on South Sudan for another year and extended for 13 months the mandate of the panel of experts tasked with helping to oversee those measures.

South Sudan, however, said the sanctions impede the implementation of its peace agreement.


Catégories: Africa

Kiir vows to extend mobile telecom services to remote areas

mer, 14/07/2021 - 09:27
South Sudan's president Salva Kiir at the launch of Digitel mobile operator in Juba, July 12, 2021 (PPU)

July 13, 2021 (JUBA) - South Sudan president Salva Kiir has assured citizens of his government commitment to extend mobile telecommunication services to the remote areas of the country.

He was speaking at the launch of Digitel, a South Sudan-owned mobile operator in Juba on Monday.

“The installation of mobile service infrastructure is an ongoing process. Recently, people in Maper, Rumbek North County, and Pochalla in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area have connected to mobile network,” Kiir explained.

“I have been informed that in three weeks' time, Boma in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area and Kuron Peace village in Kapoeta county will also be connected to the mobile network”, he added.

The South Sudanese leader also lauded the private sector for supporting his government's efforts in directly intervening into the telecommunications sector.

“To demonstrate this seriousness in the desire to connect rural communities to mobile network, the government will explore option, including tax exemptions that will benefit importation of network equipment and other telecommunications tool,” he said.

According to the president, the equipment would help increase digital literacy programs to the next generation for an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) driven economy.

“The tax exemptions I am proposing will be done in collaboration with national revenue authority to ensure modalities for tax exemption are consistent with its mandate,” he stressed.

The president directed the Roads and Bridges ministry to coordinate with the National Communications Authority (NCA) to include provisions for telecommunications infrastructure in all road designs and construction to support the goal of extending digital services all over the country.

Digitel Network now becomes the third mobile operator in South Sudan alongside the South African-owned MTN and Kuwait-based mobile operator, Zain.


Catégories: Africa

Sudanese army repels Ethiopian militiamen in border area

mer, 14/07/2021 - 07:35

July 13, 2021 (GEDAREF) - The Sudanese Armed Forces in Gedaref state last Sunday repelled Ethiopian militias that crossed the border into the eastern Sudan border area

The Executive Director of Basanda border locality in Gedaref state, Mamoun Abdel Rahim, said that the Ethiopian militiamen sought again to take control of the Sudanese areas that the army had previously chased them from it.

Abdel Rahim added that the Ethiopian militias wanted to control the border areas of Umm Diblo, Haskanet near the border to enable their farmers to cultivate it.

"The armed forces and reserve forces recover the Sudanese territory and expelling the Ethiopian militias that controlled fifty thousand acres in this area," he added.

Ethiopian government massed troops on the border areas with Sudan but their militiamen continue to sneak into the Sudanese territory.

Sudanese officials accuse the Ethiopian authorities of turning a blind eye to their attacks if they are not encouraging them.

Abdel Rahim stressed that the Sudanese army continues to conduct patrols to monitor the border and protect Sudanese farmers who resumed their activities.

Due to the border crisis with Ethiopia, coupled with the GERD dispute, the relationship of Sudan with Ethiopia has become severely strained.

Sudanese government and residents of the border areas accuse the former regime of allowing the Ethiopian farmers to seize their agricultural lands.

Also, Khartoum says that Ethiopian farmers are welcomed as foreign investors once the border markers are placed.


Catégories: Africa

Hamdok flies to Cote d'Ivore to attend World Bank meeting

mer, 14/07/2021 - 06:21

July 13, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, headed Tuesday to Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, to participate in a mini African summit to highlight the need for an ambitious plan by the World Bank to support recovery in Africa.

Last May, World Bank President David Malpass said the Bank and donor countries should consider a supplemental replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA), the concessional lending arm as the coronavirus crisis continues to affect poor countries.

Malpass underscored that the depth of the COVID-19 pandemic had already rendered a record $82 billion IDA19 replenishment too small to help the poorest countries hit by the crisis.

In a statement released earlier this month, the WB said the Abidjan meeting will help identify key priorities for financing in Africa, that will top a financing package for an ambitious IDA20 replenishment.

Sudan's participation in this summit is the first of its kind in three decades, after Sudan's removal from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.

The high-level meeting will be attended by African heads of state and government from Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritania, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda.


Catégories: Africa

Sudanese pound continues climbing as black market falters

mer, 14/07/2021 - 05:58

July 13, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese pound continued on Tuesday to register gains against major currencies prompting panic among black market traders.

Traders who spoke to Sudan Tribune said that US dollar was sold at 450 pounds, Euro at 535 pounds, Saudi Riyal for 120 pounds and UAE Dirham for 121 pounds.

The improvement in the exchange rate reflected improved market supply relative to demand.

Sudan central bank has been regularly holding foreign currency auctions to feed commercial banks' needs in a sign that its forex reserves are stabilizing.

The East African nation devalued its currency last February to bring it to par with the black market which was a key requirement by donors and international financial institutions.

But the move is believed to have contributed to soaring inflation rate coupled with lifting subsidies on fuel.

Khartoum has also sought to lobby regional and international banks to lift all restrictions on money transfers by Sudanese expatriates particularly after the US removed the country from the list of states that sponsor terrorism.

Furthermore, Sudan has secured the blessings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which announced last month that it has admitted Khartoum into the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.

This announcement paves the way for substantial debt relief and new funds which is hoped to further improve the forex situation.

The Sudanese pound has climbed from 490 to the dollar to 440 over the last 3 weeks.

According to Dubai-based Sky News Arabia TV, small traders in the currency black market are struggling to maintain their business as trading volumes plunged.

The TV said some traders have gone as far as abandoning foreign currency business altogether.


Catégories: Africa

UN to launch peace fellowship program in South Sudan

mar, 13/07/2021 - 11:00

July 12, 2021 (JUBA) -The United Nations mission in South Sudan has announced plans to launch a Peace Fellowship Program for citizens drawn from all the 10 states of the East African nation.

The head of UN mission in South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom (Getty)

The initiative, UNMISS said in a statement on its Facebook page, will be undertaken in close cooperation with the Foreign Affairs ministry.

The program will enable citizens get in-depth knowledge of South Sudan's peace process and see what role they can play in the implementation of the peace agreement, it stated.

“At present, 30 participants have been vetted and brought on board. They and potential new comers will represent the greatest diversity possible in terms of geographic origin, tribal affiliation, gender and age-groups,” it noted.

The program will also involve activities, including institutional visits and interactions with key national and international stakeholders as well as online courses in prestigious learning institutions.

“To give something back to the peace process and their country, these soon-to-be experts will assist in raising awareness about these crucial issues in their home communities by participating in radio shows dedicated to the theme and by organising peace workshop,” stressed UNMISS.

The formal launch of the fellowship program is tentatively scheduled on July 15, 2021.


Catégories: Africa

Sudan reinforces security in eastern and southern regions

mar, 13/07/2021 - 10:09

July 12, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan decided to intensify internal security operations in some areas of South Kordofan and the Red Sea states that witness inter-communal tensions.

At least 3 people were killed and several others wounded, in a grenade attack carried out by unknown persons on a sports club in Port Sudan, in eastern Sudan.

Also, 13 people were killed following tribal clashes in the Qadir area of South Kordofan on Sunday.

On Monday, the Security and Defence Council held an emergency meeting chaired by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, to discuss the recent tribal conflicts.

On Sunday, the governor of South Kordofan Hamid Ibrahim told the Sudan Tribune they need military reinforcements to establish security in some troubled areas in the state.

The meeting decided to "dispatch additional troops to the Red Sea and South Kordofan States and to intensify internal security operations in residential neighbourhoods that are hotbeds of violence," said a statement released after the meeting.

The statement pointed out that the Council discussed the shortcomings, the immediate remedies, and the radical solutions.

Recently several Sudanese officials spoke about the need to deal toughly with the troublemakers in the different regions to dissuade them igniting inter-communal troubles.

Also, Yasir Arman deputy leader of the SPLM-N led by Malik Agar accused the dissolved National Congress Party of being behind the violence in Port Sudan.

On Sunday, the governor of South Kordofan Hamid Ibrahim told the Sudan Tribune they need military reinforcements to establish security in some troubled areas in the state.

Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok held an emergency ministerial meeting on Sunday to discuss the security situation in the Red Sea and South Kordofan states and ordered to dispatch extra troops to the troubled areas.

Hamdok further directed the interior minister to travel to Port Sudan to discuss the situation with the state officials and community leaders and to take the required measures.

Following his arrival on Sunday to the capital of the Red Sea state, Interior Minister Izz al-Din al-Sheikh toured the town and directed to remove the barricades open roads within 24 hours.


Catégories: Africa

Sudan praises Russia for calling to avoid GERD unilateral filling

mar, 13/07/2021 - 09:03

July 12, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Foreign Minister Mariam al-Mahdi Tuesday praised the Russian call to avoid unilateral filling and operating of the Ethiopian giant dam and to reach a negotiated solution accepted by the three parties.

Al-Mahdi made its remarks in a joint press conference with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the end of a three-day visit to Moscow where she held talks with Russian officials over bilateral relations and regional issues.

"We thank the Russian position (on the Renaissance Dam), expressed by the Russian Representative at the Security Council calling to avoid unilateral measures that harm the (downstream) countries. This represents great support (for us) because the unilateral filling that harms Sudan must be condemned and intolerable," she said.

The Sudanese minister further proposed to host the next Africa Russia summit pointing that Sudan is an intersection area between the different regions of the African continent.

The UN Security Council on 8 July held a meeting to discuss the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) but it did not adopt a resolution to avoid creating a precedent.

Russian Ambassador at the UN Vassily Nebenzia in his speech said his government realise the relevance of the hydropower dam for development in Ethiopia but called to avoid unilateral decisions.

" At the same time, we note legitimate concerns of Egypt and Sudan over the possible negative impact that unconcerted functioning of the dam may produce on the population of those countries in droughty years," said Nebenzia.

The Russian diplomat called for a negotiated settlement in accordance with the declaration of principle signed in 2015, and to take into account the agreed modalities that define parameters of operation of GERD.

Further, he urged avoid escalations and statements about the use of force stressing they are "unacceptable".

Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Inger Andersen and Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa Parfait Onanga-Anyanga took part in the meeting and called for trilateral compromise.

They further underlined the United Nations readiness to support the three countries and the African Union in its efforts to broker un deal to end this regional issue.


Catégories: Africa

SSPDF commanders trained on international human rights law

lun, 12/07/2021 - 11:09
Senior SSPDF commanders attending training on human rights law in Torit, July 6, 2021 (UNMISS photo)

July 11, 2021 (TORIT) – 50 senior South Sudan Peoples Defence Forces (SSPDF) commanders in Eastern Equatoria state have been sensitized on international human rights laws to guide them in preventing crimes associated with sexual violence committed by uniformed personnel.

The training, organised by the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMISS), took place in the Eastern Equatoria state capital, Torit last week.

The Human Rights Division of UNMISS annually organises similar trainings.

“We schedule such sessions regularly to make you aware of your responsibilities to the people of South Sudan,” Anthony Nwapa, a UNMISS Human Rights Officer told the UN mission's website.

“If the rights of people are respected, they will be happy, and when they are happy, there is peace,” he added.

The one-day event was a refresher course for SSPDF commanders of their obligation to the joint communiques signed between the government of South Sudan and the UN include compliance with the commitment to address conflict-related sexual violence; and approaching the protection of civilians in a professional manner pursuant to established military codes of conduct.

The UNMISS Human Rights Division aims to inform the armed forces in South Sudan on ways to maintain good professional conduct, monitored by the international community.

Globally, countries that do not adhere to internationally accepted human rights standards are listed for committing crimes against humanity punishable with sanctions; sentencing of violators through international criminal courts; stopping military support to the violating nation, among others.


Catégories: Africa

Government to promote peace, unity through sports: Machar

lun, 12/07/2021 - 09:19
Riek Machar officiates at the Great Run Marathon organised by South Sudan Great Run Association in Juba, July 9, 2021 (courtesy photo)

July 11, 2021 (JUBA) – South Sudan's First Vice-President, Riek Machar has said the government will support sport as a tool aimed at promoting peace and unity in the East African nation.

He made the remarks while officiating at the Great Run Marathon organised by South Sudan Great Run Association under the theme “Lets Run for Better Future of South Sudan,” in Juba on Friday.

Machar also congratulated the people of South Sudan on the occasion to celebrate 10 years of independence from neighbouring Sudan. The event was marked with a marathon that attracted thousands of people with shared objectives to promote peace, unity as well as co-existence.

He appealed to the people of South Sudan to preserve peace, saying it is the only way to achieve the goals they have set aside for themselves towards a peaceful, prosperous and united nation.

In attendance were Vice Presidents James Wani Igga, Taban Deng Gai, Rebbecca Nyandeng, several top government officials official and representatives of the diplomatic corp and mission.

South Sudan gained independence on July 9, 2011, but two years later, violence exploded in the country leaving an estimated 400,000 dead and millions displaced into the neighbouring nations.

The South Sudanese First Vice President also acknowledged the high expectations of citizens from the country's leaders when independence was attained a decade ago.

"Our people expect a lot from us. The world is also expecting a lot from us [and] for us to continue celebrations every time, we need to keep the peace alive," he said.

In 2009, Machar, President Salva Kiir and politicians from South Sudan were hosted at a Vatican retreat, during which Pope Francis knelt at their feet as he urged them not to return to conflict.


Catégories: Africa

What they said about Sudanese John Garang

lun, 12/07/2021 - 07:49

By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

This article of a compilation of related topics comes against the backdrop of a number of issues relating to the Republic of South Sudan that was declared its inauguration at midnight on July 9th 2011 with raucous celebrations erupted as the World's youngest nation was born and the people of South Sudan cheered the end of a decades-long struggle for Statehood from the mother Sudan; though the revelry was short-lived. Had it not for the unfortunate death of the charismatic leader Sudanese vice-president John Garang, the succession of the Southern Sudan region might not have happened. Furthermore, this article also comes against the pledges repeatedly made by the current President of the Republic of South Sudan, Silva Kiir “It won't return us to war.

Reports from Juba, on July 9 2021 which marked the 10th Anniversary of the secession of South Sudan (Reuters) reported that - South Sudan's two most powerful politicians gave assurances on Friday that they would not lead the country back into war as they marked its 10th birthday, and Pope Francis said he would visit if they did more to maintain a fragile peace. As we know Violence exploded in South Sudan in late 2013, two years after it seceded from Sudan, when President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, sacked vice president Riek Machar, from the rival Nuer group. Ten years on, South Sudan's leaders say peace is way forward.

The death of John Garang
Toby Manhire
Wed 3 Aug 2005 23.59 BST

On Saturday, just three weeks after he was installed as the Sudanese vice-president, John Garang was killed in a helicopter crash. The death of the former leader of the rebel faction the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), who signed a peace deal in January to end a 22-year-old conflict, left the country on a knife-edge, observers agreed.

"For two decades, Mr Garang personified Sudan's bloody civil war," said Abraham McLaughlin in the US-based Christian Science Monitor. "For the past seven months, he personified peace. His death will sharply test which legacy will prevail."

With Mr Garang's death sparking riots, there were calls for calm. "The Sudanese people must rally efforts to achieve peace and security," urged Egypt's Al-Gomhuria. The Ugandan daily New Vision asked for caution on a wider scale. "All Sudanese, Africans and the world community should ensure that his death does not scuttle peace," it said. The Kenyan Standard added: "Deviating from the path of peace would be to betray the ideals and vision Mr Garang fought for."

Commentators wasted little time before considering who might take over as leader of the SPLA and its political arm, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement. The London-based pan-Arab Al-Quds al-Arabi judged that "the biggest mistake Mr Garang made was not to leave behind a strong deputy". It was certainly no easy task, added the Pan-African News Agency, to find someone with the "credibility, stature and unifying appeal to step into the shoes of [the] legendary guerrilla leader".

The New York Times correctly predicted Salva Kiir, Mr Garang's deputy, as the most likely successor. "He lacks Mr Garang's charisma but it's time for the Sudanese - and ... for Africans as a whole - to stop pinning their hopes on magnetic strongmen, and instead empower the democratic institutions the continent desperately needs."

Not everyone had thought Mr Garang to still be the right man for the job, noted the Kenyan Nation. "There are many who held firmly that while Mr Garang won the war, he didn't have it in him to be the peace leader, where a more consultative style was required," it said. "All that and more might be true. But when all is said and done, [he] will still be judged kindly by history."

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said to Sudan Honoring Garang's Legacy by Keeping the Peace
October 30, 2009 07:12 PM

United Nations officials are closely monitoring the situation in Khartoum, where violence has broken out following the death of Vice President John Garang, the long-time leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement. As head of the SPLM, Mr. Garang played a pivotal role in the peace process that ended Sudan's civil war in January after more than two decades of strife. But, observers are now concerned that his death in a helicopter crash will jeopardize the delicate peace in Sudan.

The United Nations announced Mr Garang's death Monday, less than one month after he was sworn in as Sudan's first vice president. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who attended the July 9 swearing-in ceremony, called Mr. Garang charismatic and larger than life.

"At that time it was such a moment of hope. Here is [a] man who had lived and fought for peace and one united Sudan," he said. "Just as he was on the verge of achieving what he has lived for he is taken away from us. But what is important is that the Sudanese continue with the process of reconciliation and the process of peace."

Animosities between the Arab-dominated north of Sudan and the south began in 1983, after Khartoum's adoption of Islamic law. A peace accord was signed in January, and a new constitution was adopted last month, but the issue of Darfur remains unresolved.

Mr Annan said all indications are that the helicopter crash was an accident. He called on the Sudanese people to remain calm and honour John Garang's legacy by continuing the peace process.

The secretary-general said he has spoken to Sudanese President Omar Hassan al Bashir, who assured him that the government will work with other SPLM leaders to move forward with the peace process. Mr Annan said it is essential for the SPLM to quickly pick a successor to Mr Garang.

"We have offered a very close collaboration with the government and SPLM," he said. "In fact, we have been working with them ever since the crash. It is our plane that has taken the body to New City, and also retrieved the other bodies. So we are on the ground very actively working with them, and we have made it clear that we will give them all the support necessary, both in the political process and in our efforts to contain the humanitarian situation and settle the process in Darfur."
Mr Annan said he assumes that the new SPLM leader will also become the head of southern Sudan and replace Mr Garang as first vice president when the new government is formed on August 9.


Sudan Rebel Turned Vice President John Garang Dies

John Garang Sudanese Vice President John Garang, who had survived assassination attempts and violent splits in his rebel movement during a civil war, has died in peacetime, the victim of a helicopter crash. Garang was the charismatic leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, or SPLM, which dominated the…

Khartoum Explodes in Violence After Garang's Death

Southern Sudanese rioted Monday amid rumors that vice president and former southern rebel leader John Garang's death in a helicopter crash was not accidental. The skies over Khartoum filled with billowing black smoke Monday afternoon, as angry mobs set cars on fire and exploded home-made bombs outside the palace of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and elsewhere in the city. Gunfire could also be heard throughout Khartoum as Sudanese police and military arrested.

After the murder of John Garang: Sudan to where?

After the Sudanese and the world breathed a sigh of relief following the agreement to end the absurd war between the "Southern Rebellion" movement and the government, the killing of the war leader and peace hero, John Garang, casts a shadow over the Sudanese political scene and puts Sudan at a crossroads.

Dr. John Garang was in power or close to it, but when it went against his people in general and his people in the south in particular, he left it and went to battle, bearing, along with the hopes of many Sudanese, arms in the face of a tyrannical authority that was singled out for wealth and power, and above all that it tried by force Imposing its culture, religious beliefs and "extreme Islamic" laws on the other, non-Muslim. He was a brave fighter, a fierce fighter, and a war leader par excellence. But when the subjective and objective circumstances came to laying down arms and sitting at the negotiating table for a united Sudan on the basis of justice and equality in rights and duties among all its religious sects, social groups and geographical regions without discrimination, he was the brave and seasoned political champion of peace who stood before the world and the good Sudanese people. Longing for peace, justice, freedom and equality to say after years of wars and calamities that "peace today is not a dream but a reality." So, in circumstances that are still ambiguous and whose features are not yet clear, the most important historical actors in Sudanese politics have been absent from the Sudanese scene in extremely sensitive circumstances, which may make Sudan in the coming period at a crossroads and perhaps a return to the cycle of civil war in the worst case, and in The best of them is the separation of the south from the north.

Garang a Symbol of Drive for Federalism in Sudan
A Sudanese analyst says the late rebel leader John Garang was a symbol of the struggle for greater federalism in the country. Lecturer John Gai Yoh of the University of South Africa (UNISA) in Pretoria credits the leader of the Sudanese Liberation Movement with creating a campaign that included allies beyond his base in the south. Mr. Yoh notes that his vision materialized with the comprehensive peace agreement signed last January between the former SPLA rebels and the…

The U.S. Sends Envoys to Sudan in Wake of Garang Death
The U.S. President Bush Sends Two senior U.S. envoys to Sudan with the hope of keeping peace efforts there on track following the death of the Sudanese senior vice president and former southern rebel leader John Garang. The Bush administration urged all Sudanese parties to keep working to implement the country's north-south peace accord.

In a move reflecting deep U.S. concern about the situation in Sudan following Garang's death, the Bush administration has dispatched two senior officials there for urgent talks with the parties to the country's north-south peace accord concluded earlier this year.

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Constance Newman and the State Department's new special envoy for Sudan, Roger Winter, left Washington for Sudan only hours after the death of Mr Garang in a helicopter crash was confirmed.

The U.S.-educated Mr Garang, leader of the southern rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement, or SPLM, became senior vice president of Sudan's new national unity government July 9 under terms of the peace accord ending the 22-year civil conflict.

He was a critical figure in the long-running negotiations for the comprehensive peace accord and a frequent visitor to Washington, and his death prompted an expression of deep sadness from the White House, which called him a visionary leader and true peacemaker.

White House Spokesman Scott McClellan said Garang was committed to moving forward on the peace process, and that way for Sudanese to honour him would be to continue to move forward on implementing the agreement.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who last met Mr Garang on a visit to Sudan two weeks ago, telephoned his widow, Rebecca, to express condolences and said in a written statement the United States remains firmly committed to the cause of peace in all of Sudan including the Darfur region.

Acting State Department Spokesman Thomas Casey said the Sudanese government has begun an investigation of the crash that will include participation by the SPLM. He said there has thus far been no request for American technical assistance in the inquiry, but that the United States would be prepared to provide it if asked.
It has been quoted that the people are saying: “It is still a shock. It seems like a bad dream and that when I wake up I will see him. But all I find are people weeping”. https://whatsyourgrief.com/grief-makes-you-crazy2/

Dr Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is http://thussudan.wordpress.com

Catégories: Africa

Museveni tasks cabinet on service delivery, corruption fight

jeu, 24/06/2021 - 10:29

June 23, 2021 (KAMPALA) – Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has urged members of his new cabinet to focus on service delivery and champion fight the against corruption.

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni (Photo: Carl Court/AP)

He was speaking at the swearing on ceremony of the newly-appointed ministers at a ceremony held in Kampala on Monday.

“This government must be one of service delivery. I don't want to hear any more outcries from the people. People are crying because of evictions,” said the Ugandan leader.

“This cabinet must look into that,” he added.

Museveni, who was sworn in on May 12 for his sixth five-year term in office, appointed on June 9 an 81-member cabinet. He also sacked 37 former ministers, reshuffled and named new ones.

He tasked his new cabinet members to focus five targets, citing cohesion, corruption, integration, patriotism, and service delivery.

"This is a cabinet of cohesion in the system. I want the program of National Resistance Movement to be implemented enthusiastically. It must be a cabinet of no corruption. You people should be careful. There is nothing I don't know. I appeal to the ministers not to ask for anything from anybody. If you want to be durable leaders, don't seek and accept favour from anybody. And don't tolerate corruption under you," warned Museveni.

The president also said the new government must be a government of service delivery in the areas of education, health and roads.

"I don't want to hear outcries anymore. The issue of justice, land evictions. This cabinet must look at those five targets. I congratulate all of you on being sworn in today and I congratulate all the people of Uganda for having successfully held elections in spite of the coronavirus and other challenges. Now we have got a parliament and cabinet. So, we are set now,” explained Museveni.

“This ceremony is part of the Constitution and we shall have our first cabinet meeting next Monday in Entebbe," he added.

Meanwhile Museveni said lot of growth has been achieved in terms of education, agriculture, life expectancy, reduced infant mortality, infrastructure and others, over the last 35 years of his rule.

"39 per cent of homesteads are still in the non-money economy, meaning that 61 per cent of the economy are in the money economy. This cabinet must now resolve that all people work for the stomach and money as well," he stressed.

Museveni was declared the winner of elections held on Jan. 14 this year after receiving 58% of the vote while his closest rival, Robert Kyagulanyi garnered 35%.


Catégories: Africa

South Sudan's Block 5A commences oil production

jeu, 24/06/2021 - 09:20

June 23, 2021 (JUBA) - Production in South Sudan's Block 5A – operated by Sudd Petroleum Operating Company (SPOC) – has resumed from the Tharjiath Central Processing Facility into the Tharjiath - WNPOC Heglic Control Centre pipeline after seven years of production shutdown due to civil war.

A worker at the power plant of an oil processing facility in South Sudan's Unity state on 22 April 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

According to a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, SPOC will unpack its production resumption journey at the upcoming South Sudan Oil & Power 2021 conference, organized by Energy Capital & Power, taking place in Juba from June 29-30.

The Block will produce more than 8,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2021, 16,000 bpd by mid-2022; 30,000 bpd by 2025 – and is expected to reach a peak of 45,000 bpd in 2028 once four field development projects have been completed.

Block 5A is the final operating Block to resume production after the Greater Pioneer Operating Company, which operates the Unity Field in northern South Sudan; and Dar Petroleum Operating Company, which operates Blocks 3 and 7 in the Melut Basin. SPOC's resumption of production is highly significant, as it is the last joint operating company to resume production after the civil war.

“The resumption to us as a government means economic security, not only to the government of South Sudan, but also to the communities in the oil producing region,” Minister of Petroleum, Puot Kang Chol told reporters on Monday.

Meanwhile, SPOC, with the support from its partners, has also launched its Magnetic Tomography Method; a new pipeline inspection technology which is the first of its kind in South Sudan and has helped accelerate its 172km export pipeline integrity assessment work.

As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility program, SPOC commissioned its upgraded water treatment plant in Tharjiath that sources water directly from the Nile River located 16km away from the Tharjiath field, ensuring the security of water supply is sustained throughout the year and enabling SPOC to provide continuous clean and fresh water supply to over 20,000 community members surrounding its operations area.

The operator has also launched a Geocell System for pond reinstatement, which ensures a low bearing base, stabilizes eroded slopes, reinforces embankments and effectively protects liner.

“This production resumption would not be possible without the trust, belief and effort from the Ministry of Petroleum, the SPOC Partners - PETRONAS, ONGC and NILEPET, the resumption service providers as well as all SPOC employees. With the Water Treatment Plant upgrading and commissioning, SPOC has brought the river directly to our community," said Eruwan Gerry, head of SPOC.

Revenue from oil accounts for nearly 98 percent of South Sudan's annual budget.

In June last year, the Central Bank of South Sudan said it would start buying crude gold from local miners to boost the country's economy.


Catégories: Africa

101 countries pledge to clear Sudan debt: IMF

jeu, 24/06/2021 - 09:14

June 23, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) obtained enough pledges from its members to provide comprehensive debt relief to Sudan, said the financial institution on Tuesday.

Last May, the IMF Executive Board approved a financing plan to mobilize needed resources to cover its share of debt relief to Sudan.

This plan relies on IMF member countries, including cash grants and contributions derived from IMF internal resources.

"101 IMF member countries have pledged to provide more than SDR 992 million (US$1,415.7 million) in financing," said IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

"This will enable the clearance of Sudan's arrears to the IMF, allow for the provision of new Fund financing, and facilitate the delivery of the HIPC Initiative and other debt-relief to Sudan," added Georgieve.

Sudan's debt has reached over $60 billion, according to the Sudanese officials. The IMF estimates it totalled $50 billion in 2019.

Over 85% of Sudan's debt is arrears, unpaid interest and penalties.

The severe economic reforms and the economic hardships the country is experiencing pose a risk to Sudan's stability, particularly as the Hamdok government did not succeed to implement the safety net programme that was supposed to support vulnerable families.

“This achievement marks a clear recognition by our membership of the extraordinary efforts of the people and the government of Sudan to advance economic and financial reforms despite a challenging environment," said the IMF Managing Director.

She pointed out that these pledges will also help unlock significant amounts of development assistance and create the conditions for higher and more inclusive growth in Sudan.
Also, she hailed efforts by many low-income countries for mobilizing funding for Sudan.

"Sudan is now one step closer to reaching the HIPC Decision Point, a landmark which will significantly reduce Sudan's total debt and allow access to fresh funds and new investments critical to boost growth and fight poverty,” concluded Georgieva.


Catégories: Africa

Burhan denies divisions among Sudan's military component

jeu, 24/06/2021 - 07:43

June 23, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, Head of the Sovereignty Council, denied "rumours" about differences within the military component of the transitional authority in Sudan and reaffirmed their unity and commitment to back democratic transition.

Al-Burhan made his remarks in a military event held at the General Command of the Sudanese army in Khartoum on Wednesday attended by his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo who publically refused to integrate his Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the national army on 3 June.

“The (Sudan) Armed Forces and Rapid Support (Forces) are united to preserve the security of the homeland, its people and its territorial integrity," said al-Burhan according to a statement released by the Military Media after the event.

"He further stressed that the Armed Forces and Rapid Support are one strong hand to protect the transitional period and produce the desired democratic transformation, and called to achieve political unity for all Sudanese," further stressed the statement.

At the end of last month, signs of the alert state were displayed at the entrance to military installations of the SAF and RSF in Khartoum after Hametti's statements about the independence of his force.

In an initiative calling for the unity of transition's forces announced on Tuesday, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok spoke about differences within the military component of the transitional authority.

Hamdok's Media Adviser Faisal Mohamed Saleh said on Tuesday that the military component was the first to be informed about the initiative but they did not respond.

In statements to Blue Nile TV about the initiative, Saleh admitted the existence of "serious differences" between the regular army and the militia force.

"The dispute between civilians ends with withdrawals and statements, but between the military, it is dangerous to the security, safety and unity of the country," he stressed.

Hemetti, in his speech, reaffirmed the cohesion of the military component, adding that the "enemies are waiting for us to antagonize and fight each other," according to the statement.

"The Armed Forces and Rapid Support are one force under the command of the Commander in Chief," he stressed.


Catégories: Africa

Sudan calls on Security Council to meet over GERD filling

mer, 23/06/2021 - 18:53

June 23, 2021 (KHARTOUM) Sudan called on the United Nations Security Council to request Ethiopia halt its plan to fill the reservoir of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) unilaterally.

According to the official SUNA, the Sudanese Foreign Minister called on the Security Council to meet as early as possible to discuss the planned filling of the giant dam and its impact on the safety and security of millions of people living in the downstream countries.

In a letter on Tuesday, Mariam al-Mahdi called on the 15-member body to urge all parties to abide by their obligations under international law and to refrain from unilateral measures.

Al-Mahdi further requested the Council to "call on Ethiopia to stop unilateral filling the Renaissance Dam which will exacerbate the dispute and poses a threat to regional and international peace and security".

After nine years of direct talks without an agreement, Ethiopia says determined to carry out the second filling of the GERD reservoir with 13.5 billion-cubic-meter.

African Union Chairperson and Congolese President Felix Tshiseked failed during a visit to Addis Ababa on 9 May to persuade the Ethiopian prime minister to strike a deal with Egypt and Sudan.

The Sudanese minister said Ethiopia's intransigence and its lack of political will hampered efforts to reach an "agreement that addresses the interests and concerns of all parties".

Last week, the Arab League called on the Security Council to discuss the issue of the GERD between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.


Catégories: Africa

WFP welcomes Germany's food aid contribution to South Sudan

mer, 23/06/2021 - 10:53

June 22, 2021 (JUBA) - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a contribution of €5.7 million ($6.68 million) from Germany to provide life-saving food assistance to thousands of people in South Sudan this year.

The German national flag (Getty)

The donation, WFP said in a statement, comes at a critical time when funding is scarce, and the country faces alarmingly high rates of food insecurity due to conflict, floods and rising poverty.

According to aid agencies, South Sudan is experiencing its worst humanitarian crisis with 7.2 million people–60 percent of the population–facing acute food insecurity and 1.4 million children under five years of age and half a million pregnant and breastfeeding women expected to suffer from acute malnutrition.

Germany's contribution will provide food and nutrition assistance to over 150,000 vulnerable people in the most food-insecure areas, WFP said, stressing that it gave food and nutrition assistance to more than five million people across the country in 2020.

"We are grateful to Germany and its people for supporting South Sudan at this critical time when multiple crises and conflict mean more and more people cannot support themselves and their families," said Matthew Hollingworth, WFP Representative and Country Director in South Sudan.

"WFP relies on predictable funding from donors to support vulnerable families who need food assistance to survive,” he added.

Janika Walter, Chargeé d'Affaires and Head of Cooperation of the German Embassy in South Sudan said Germany hopes that the additional funding will contribute mitigating the suffering of vulnerable people on the brink of starvation, at a time when more South Sudanese than ever before need humanitarian assistance.

"We commend WFP for its continuous efforts to operate in such a challenging environment to improve the lives of South Sudanese families,” he said.

Germany is a long-standing partner of WFP and has supported its work in South Sudan since 2011.


Catégories: Africa

S. Sudan Petroleum ministry launches oil licensing round

mer, 23/06/2021 - 10:28

June 22, 2021 (JUBA) - South Sudan has officially launched its first oil licensing auction with five blocks on offer, the country's Petroleum ministry announced on Wednesday.

An aerial view of an oil field near the town of Bentiu, Unity state (AP)

"The oil licensing round aims to attract interest from a diverse group of foreign investors to a region that is already home to oil and gas majors from China and Malaysia," partly reads the ministry's statement.

Currently, China National Petroleum Corporation and Malaysia's Petronas are operating in the young nation.

According to the ministry once the period for expressions of interest closes, a series of data presentations would be hosted virtually.

Income from oil accounts for 98 percent of South Sudan's annual budget.

In June last year, the Central Bank of South Sudan said it would start buying crude gold from local miners to boost the country's economy.


Catégories: Africa

Sudan's PM calls for national mechanism to achieve transition, RSF integration

mer, 23/06/2021 - 09:41

June 22, 2012 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese Prime Minister proposed to agree on a common vision to accomplish the transitional agenda, including the reform of military institutions and integration of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) into the unified national army.

Abdallah Hamdouk launched on Tuesday an initiative aiming to agree on a national platform to achieve the democratic transition in Sudan.

He said that the country is currently experiencing a deep political crisis exacerbated by the differences between the political parties, among the military institutions and the civilian versus military power struggle.

The Prime Minister said the civilian and military component of the transitional bloc have to agree on the tasks of the transition, on top of which is the establishment of a unified professional and national army with a new military doctrine.

The call to reform the security and military sector comes after the refusal of the Deputy-Chairman of the Sovereign Council, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo "Hemetti" to integrate the RSF militiamen into the Sudanese army threatening the implementation of peace agreements.

Hamdok further stressed that discussions over the reform of security and military sectors should not be limited to the military, but must involve the political and civil society forces

"It is a key step in the whole transitional process, without it the issues of economy, transitional justice, and building a civil state cannot be resolved."

"The Sudanese Armed Forces must be the only national army, and this requires structural reforms, a new military doctrine, representation of the Sudanese diversity at all levels, and the implementation of the security arrangements agreement contained in the Juba Agreement for the Peace of Sudan," he stressed.

He underscored the need to involve the government in the discussions on the integration of the RSF, rather than limiting it to al-Burhan and Hemedti.

The RSF militiamen are rejected from the Sudanese people because of the war crimes they committed in Darfur and South Kordofan, in addition to the killing of peaceful protesters participating in a pro-democracy sit-in outside the General Command of the Sudanese army in Khartoum on 3 June 2019.

The militia supported the popular revolution that overthrew the al-Bashir regime. However, their well-documented participation in the bloody attack on the sit-in made them unacceptable in Khartoum.

Also, the seizure of several gold mines and their management by a company owned by Hemetti and his family also contributed to its rejection.

Intelligence service and police

with regard to the intelligence service and the police, Hamdok demanded the implementation of the reforms related to these services as provided in the constitutional document.

He said the government should manage the General Intelligence Service (GIS) which replaced the NISS of the former regime.

Apart from changing its name, the GIS is still directed by the same staff appointed by the former regime and keeps the same structures, except the dismantled Operation Department.

In his proposal, Hamdok again spoke about the need to review the economic activity of the army and to limit it to the military industries.

The initiative also dealt with a number of other issues, such as the formation of a transitional parliament within a month and handing over wanted former officials to the International Criminal Court.

Hamdok said he discussed his initiative with the military, political, and civilian forces.

"We expect that these consultations will lead to the formation of a mechanism to achieve a consensus among Sudanese. I want to call it the Transition Protection Mechanism."

Catégories: Africa