June 28, 2010 (Khartoum) — Sudan on Monday announced it will close down its borders with Libya, a reference seen as a sign of Khartoum’s growing frustration with Libya over its refusal to expel Darfur’s rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) leader, Khalil Ibrahim. The decision comes just one day after Sudan asked Libya to extradite…
USSP Press Release
June 27, 2010 (SSNA) — It is indeed a matter of great concern that South Sudan is currently passing through a worrying state of insecurity. But sad still is the fact that most of the procedures taken by the GoSS or even the local authorities in addressing these serious developments have been massively sub-standard and marred by ethnic prejudices.
Now as I write this release, the whole of the Upper Nile State lives in a huge state of terror and insecurity. It must be remembered that, since the tribal confrontations that happened between the Chollo and Dinka Padang Communities during the CPA celebrations one and a half years ago has led to a terrible fall out in relationship between the communities and made worse by issues of controversial and disputable land rights. However, it was the government intervention from the GOSS, a move much marred by tribal favouritism that eventually promoted the current degree of enmity and antagonism that leaves too little room for any sensible reconciliation.
Sadly enough the situation in Malakal the capital of the Upper Nile state, has deteriorated drastically in the last few weeks following the unaccounted for killing of the Chollo Para-mount chief, Oyath Odhok.
However, the procedures taken thereafter by the GoSS ministers of Interior Brigadier Gier Chuang Aloung and his counterpart the former Minister of Legal Affairs that led the South Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) to unanimously strip all the SPLM-DC’s MPs, Hon. Samuel Aban AchIen, Hon. Andrew Okony Ayom, Hon. Martha Angar Kur, and Hon. Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec from their immunities, then followed immediately by what in fact amounted to arbitrary arrests, contradicts the spirit of democracy, human rights and even the basic legal procedures.
In Malakal it was a different scenario where Hon. Mustafa (Mayak) Gai of the Upper Nile State Legislative Assembly, and citizens, Dr. Odol (George) a pharmacist, Ayul Liebo, Oluny Ackiek Oluny and others were kidnapped at night and taken to unknown destinations. There are reports they were badly tortured and that their tormented families could not have access to them. UNMIS Human Rights and Red Cross were not even allowed to see them.
June 26, 2010 (SSNA) — North and South Sudan are set to begin secession negotiations on July 5. The announcement comes three days after the two parties signed an agreement hosted by Addis Ababa. On June 23, South Sudan’s ruling party, SPLM, and NCP, signed an agreement in Mekelle, Ethiopia. Under the agreement, the two…
June 25, 2010 (SSNA) —This week, fight over who owns the Nile has reached political peak, with Cairo leading the way on diplomatic fronts. During the colonial era, Egypt was the only nation to oversee and manage the use of Nile waters. But now, things have changed.
Egyptian Finance Minister Youssef Botrous Ghali travelled to Burundi earlier this week for talks regarding the treaty, al-Masry al-Youm reported.
"This is serious," said Henriette Ndombe, executive director of the intergovernmental Nile Basin Initiative, established in 1999 to oversee the negotiation process and enhance co-operation. "This could be the beginning of a conflict."
Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s intelligence chief, is in talks with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala over differences concerning the recent Nile basin agreement, Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm reported on Thursday.
"We were saying: ‘This is crazy! You cannot claim these rights without obligations”, Isaac Musumba, Uganda’s state minister for regional affairs, and its Nile representative, told the Guardian.
In May, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania signed a "River Nile Basin Co-operative Framework" agreement. Kenya which was first seen as less interested in the agreement later signed on. Burundi, along with Congo, abstained from signing the agreement.
Under the agreement, each state’s share of the Nile Basin water will depend on climate, economic, population, social, and other important issues.
“All the upstream states saw the move by Egypt (Sudan has a more passive role) as "tantamount to an insult", Minelik Alemu Getahun, one of Ethiopia’s negotiators, was quote by the Guardian as saying.
If the deal is ratify, a body to decide on water allocation will be set up without Egypt and Sudan that need the river most. This causes panic in Cairo.
The 1929 bilateral treaty gave Cairo a power to veto any water development project in the Nile basin.
In 1959, Egypt and Sudan signed a deal that gave them "full utilisation of the Nile waters".
June 24, 2010 (Washington) — U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to Sudan, Robert Whitehead; the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Government of Sudan, Ambassador Rahamatalla Mohamed Osman; Under Secretary for Management, Patrick F. Kennedy; Assistant Secretary for Africa Affairs, Johnnie Carson; and Managing Director Program Development, Coordination and Support of the Bureau of…
June 23, 2010 (UPI) — Sudan’s government is reported to be exploring for oil in the war-torn Darfur region, which, if successful, could halt a threatened renewal of one of Africa’s bloodiest civil wars.
The secessionist south is expected to vote for independence in a 2011 referendum, part of a 2005 peace agreement that ended 21 years of war in which an estimated 2 million people have died.
But since most of Sudan’s oil fields are in the south, the Arab regime in the north cannot afford to let it do so — unless Khartoum finds its own oil.
The Paris Web site Africa Energy Intelligence reported this month that the government was concentrating on two key zones in the northern areas it controls — Darfur in the west and the Red Sea zone in the east.
Images from the Quickbird Satellite indicate that no strikes have been made, the Web site reported. But it said the eastern drive is headed by the Red Sea Operating Cop., a consortium grouping the state-owned Sudapet, the China National Petroleum Corp., Petronas of Malaysia, Express of Nigeria and two Sudanese firms.
Global Witness, the international watchdog group, reported that images from the Landsat satellite showed a grid pattern of seismic activity by oil companies stretching 315 miles across Darfur’s desert in the northwest near the Libyan border that began in September 2009.
Other images showed oil exploration camps and large storage depots, the non-governmental organization reported.
Several firms have oil concessions in Darfur, Global Witness said. These include the Great Sahara Petroleum operating Co., a consortium of Saudi Arabian, Yemeni, Sudanese and Jordanian firms.
Government officials said in January that Khartoum wants oil companies to develop a new oilfield in southern Darfur and is planning to offer the zone to investors.
"Were oil to be discovered, it could actually prod the conflicting parties to come to some kind of agreement so that there would then be a basis for exploiting it, and, we would argue, necessarily sharing it in an equitable way," said Global Witness official Mike Davis.
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 that ended 21 years of war between the Muslim Arab-dominated north and south, whose population is largely Christian or animist, is generally seen as a "precedent … for sharing oil as a basis for making peace."
The 2005 pact gave the south a measure of autonomy until the future of the country is determined in the referendum set for January.
But Khartoum cannot afford to relinquish the south because that will mean being cut off from the region’s oil fields. Khartoum depends on the revenue the region produces.
The south, too, is active on the oil front — trying to find an alternative route to get its oil to market since the only pipeline there runs northward to Port Sudan on the Red Sea.
One option that has gained some traction is a new pipeline southward through Uganda to Kenya’s Indian Ocean ports of Lamu or Mombasa.
The Japanese, the second biggest buyer of Sudan’s oil after China, has offered to build such a pipeline for $1.5 billion.
Under the 2005 agreement, the ruling National Congress Party in Khartoum and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement agreed that if a majority vote for independence in the referendum, the south will secede so long as at least two-thirds of the registered electorate participates in the poll.
President Omar Beshir, wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur, warned earlier this month of an "explosive situation" if the south, as expected, chooses independence.
The rivalry between north and south has been heating up in recent weeks, with violent clashes reported along the border zones. There have been reports of government troops seeking to take control of some oil wells.
Sudan has oil reserves estimated at the equivalent of 5 billion barrels. It produces around 500,000 barrels per day, of which 400,000 bpd is exported.
Darfur, an arid desert region in western Sudan, has been devastated since 2003 by a civil war, separate from the north-south conflict.
This one is between the government and Darfur tribes who claim Khartoum has neglected the region and is conducting a war of attrition against then.
By Reuters June 23, 2010 (Khartoum) — Sudan on Wednesday denied trying to import arms on a ship intercepted in Cyprus, saying explosives on board had been ordered by a mining company. Cypriot authorities on Tuesday said they had prevented a cargo vessel from leaving their waters since June 11, saying it contained prohibited military…
By Reuters June 22, 2010 (Nicosia) — Cyprus has intercepted a vessel carrying military equipment thought to be bound for Sudan, under an arms embargo by the United Nations and the European Union. Authorities said on Tuesday the Antigua and Barbuda flagged cargo vessel had been prevented from leaving Cypriot waters since June 11, when…
By Joseph Adyieng June 21, 2010 (SSNA) — The Cabinet announced today is composed of thirty-two (32) ministers, two (2) unnamed are reserved for the National Congress Party (NCP). The thirty (30) named are the subject of the following dissection. 1. The Dinkas are eleven (11) in number and continue to dominate the key ministries…
June 21, 2010 (Juba) — The President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS), Salva Kiir, has appointed his new cabinet. Names of those who have been appointed in the new government are as follows:
1. Mr. Kosti Manibe Ngai – Minister of Cabinet Affairs
2. Mr. Pagan Amum – Minister of Peace and CPA Implementation
3. Mr. Nhial Deng Nhial – Minister of SPLA and Veteran Affairs
4. Mr. Deng Alor – Minister of Regional Cooperation
5. Dr. Cirino Hitend Ofuho – Minister in the Office of the President
6. Mr. John Luyk Jok – Minister of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development
7. Mr. Gier Chuon Aluong – Minister of Internal Affairs
8. Mr. Michael Makuei Lueth – Minister of Parliamentary Affairs
9. Mr. David Deng Athorbei – Minister of Finance and Economic Planning
10. Gen. Oyay Deng Ajak – Minister for Investment
11. Mrs. Awut Deng Acuil – Minister of Labour and Public Service
12. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin – Minister of Information
13. Dr. Luka Tombekana Manoja – Minister of Health
14. Dr. Samson Lukare Kwaje – Minister of Agriculture and Forestry