Archive | Sudan

“Civil War” and Geopolitics in South Sudan


A Western Journalist Killed in South Sudan – What Really Happened? A number of major geopolitical moves are currently afoot in Africa. Make no mistake about it: neocolonialism is alive and well on the continent.

Featured image: US freelancer Christopher Allen killed while reporting in South Sudan (Source: Twitter)

Last week, Christopher Allen, a young American journalist was killed on the 27 August by South Sudanese government forces near the Ugandan border of South Sudan.

Allen’s death is tragic and unfortunate and so are the deaths of the two government soldiers and 16 rebels that were also killed in the firefight. All of these deaths are unnecessary and tragic for all the families concerned who will be mourning the loss of fathers, brothers, husbands and sons.

But there are no good guys in this story and no bad guys. The government of Salva Kiir and the rebels under opposition leader Riek Machar are both constructs of Empire in Africa. Salva Kiir became president in 2011 and one of his first acts of the new South Sudan was to hand over nearly 50% of the oil rights to Rothschild’s Glencore.

It doesn’t require a great imagination to see this as payment for Empire’s role in funding and armingJohn Garang’s SPLA. Garang probably underestimated the malevolence of his benefactors. He for his part, had a genuine mission to improve the lot of his people. He was dispatched in a helicopter crash. Coincidentally (or not), the helicopter was owned by President Museveni.

South Sudan has been at civil war which is described as a tribal conflict between Nuer and Dinka. Such an anthropological dissection of society is itself one of Empire’s constructs and has been the modus operandii of warfare in Africa for at least half a century. It is a strategy of war written about in a book called Gangs and Counter-Gangs by British General Sir Frank Kitson; a strategy first used to full effect in Kenya during the Mau-Mau Rebellion of the 1950s. The strategy is simple – divide and rule. Once again Riek Machar is being used as the tool to continue South Sudan’s destabilization, to justify western soft power disguised as humanitarian intervention. Quite why he is being used to topple Salva Kiir is not clear. Salva Kir has perhaps been looking East towards China and Russia instead of West.

Earlier this year the government raised the fees for foreign aid workers permits from $100 to $10 000. There are 2 ways of looking at this. The government could be profiting from international aid as famine once again threatens the region and an influx of aid workers is expected.Or this is the government’s attempt to reduce foreign intervention from the humanitarian soft power complex.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has begun refusing visas for Washington’s humanitarian aid workers many of whom can be regarded as spies and trouble makers, an act which is highly commendable. High-profile American journalist and UN-affiliated operative Jason Stearns also had his visa denied last year, as did Human Rights Watch journalist, Ida Sawyer.

A number of serious questions have been raised about Stearn’s role acting as a US gatekeeper in Rwandan and Central African affairs.

As to the role of the young journalist Christopher Allen, it is unfortunate. Interestingly, he had also been sent to the Ukraine as a journalist. However, instead of recognizing the situation in 2014 as a CIA sponsored coup, he chose to report the western favoured ‘color revolution’ narrative. Ukrainians now find themselves with a government of fascist NeoNazis who are CIA tools and puppets. The story of Ukraine is similar to that of so many African countries, like in Libya to mention only one. How much longer can the fake liberal American missionary-like zeal for intervening in other countries, fool itself?

Unfortunately for the multitude of well-meaning people worldwide fighting for “human rights” in Africa is really not what it appears to be.

Meanwhile, the western mainstream media continues with a standardised narrative, effectively begging for some form of UN or western/NATO intervention. It’s an all too familiar pattern:

‘The war has created the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis and both sides of the conflict have been accused of abuses.’

We leave you with the definitive article on this subject written by journalist Keith Harmon Snow and entitled:

EXPOSING U.S. AGENTS OF LOW-INTENSITY WARFARE IN AFRICA: The “Policy Wonks” Behind Covert Warfare & Humanitarian Fascism

Posted in Africa, SudanComments Off on “Civil War” and Geopolitics in South Sudan

It’s time for youth to deliver South Sudan to lasting peace

The economy is destroyed. Inflation is the highest in the world. Fertile land has been left fallow because the danger of a violent death has kept farmers from tilling their soil. Food is so scarce and food prices so high that onions are cut into quarters for sale in markets in Yei! South Sudan is in desperate need of leadership.
Six years ago, South Sudan gained independence in a joyous occasion that marked a dramatic end to the inter-generation struggle of its people. After fighting two wars against Sudan in which millions were killed, the people of South Sudan were hopeful that a new era of peace and prosperity had dawned. Two years later, in a December night, the high hopes of independence were shattered when a power struggle between the country’s president, Salva Kiir, and his former deputy, Riek Machar, plunged the country into a civil war. Since then, the country and its hopes have become unrecognizable. The power struggle between South Sudan’s leaders has brought the country to a state of near total anarchy.
Nearly two million people, mostly women and children, have sought refuge in other countries. Hundreds of thousands are without any food to eat. If the war continues at its current intensity, half of the population will have starved to death or fled the country by the end of this year. Seventy-two per cent of women living in United Nations displacement camps in Juba have reported being raped or experiencing some form of sexual assault during the war.
The economy is destroyed. Inflation is the highest in the world. Fertile land has been left fallow because the danger of a violent death has kept farmers from tilling their soil. Food is so scarce and food prices so high that onions are cut into quarters for sale in markets in Yei!
These statistics should shock any leader into action. Not in South Sudan, it seems, where political leaders have squandered every opportunity to end the war and save the lives of their people.
There is no doubt that South Sudan is experiencing a man-made disaster of epic proportions. The political leaders of South Sudan from the warring factions are the primary constraint to peace. They have consistently failed to discharge the burden of leadership in the service of their people. For the last four years, South Sudanese citizens, regional and international leaders have been calling on the leaders of South Sudan to soften their hearts and prioritise the lives of their people. Tragically, these calls have fallen on deaf ears.
At this critical juncture in our history, before South Sudan goes beyond the point of no return and into the abyss, the country is in desperate need of leadership that will salvage it from a bitter power struggle and respond to the aspirations of the common South Sudanese for peace, stability and prosperity. There is a desperate yearning for a leadership that will bridge the deep historical cleavages between its peoples and embark on the project of nation building – leadership that will enter and uphold a social contract with the people of South Sudan rather than rule over them.
This is the strong and substantive message that a group of thirteen delegates from the South Sudan Youth Leaders Forum (SSYLF) of which I am a part of, will be taking to the region’s leaders, South Sudanese politicians and the people of South Sudan.  It is for this reason that we are repeating the same message to the leadership and policy fraternity of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan to share our views on what is needed to stop the war and place the nation on a path towards peace and stability.
These young leaders that I am travelling with are drawn from a diverse range of ethnic and political backgrounds. We include among us academics, church leaders, policy experts, government officials and civil society leaders at the forefront of peace-building, reconciliation and nation-building efforts in South Sudan.
The long and drawn out peace process in South Sudan has left the region and the entire world feeling bereft and tired. The peace process is desperately in need of new energy and ideas if it is to achieve its purpose. This sojourn by the South Sudan Youth Leaders Forum (SSYLF) aims to catalyse the type of responsible leadership that has eluded South Sudan for so many years.
We can only succeed in this effort if other South Sudanese and regional leaders are willing to talk with, support and join us in our call.
Undeniably, the situation in South Sudan has never been more urgent. We have a golden opportunity to watch the sun set on a generation that has achieved independence for our people, but tragically mismanaged it for their own narrow interests. This is the time to correct that dark history.
It is time for the sun to rise on a new generation of South Sudanese that can focus on leading, not ruling. The future of South Sudan is in the hands of its youth. We will not squander it but humbly seize this opportunity with all the energy we have to make it right. This is our only chance.

Posted in SudanComments Off on It’s time for youth to deliver South Sudan to lasting peace

UN: South Sudan out of Famine Zone, but Still on Brink

  • An estimated 45,000 people still face starvation in Leer, Koch and Mayendit counties.
    An estimated 45,000 people still face starvation in Leer, Koch and Mayendit counties. | Photo: AFP
“Even though we’ve taken famine off the table, we now have more people in Phase 4. If we don’t assist, 1.7 million people will soon be in famine.”

On Wednesday, the United Nations declared that South Sudan has moved out of the famine zone.

RELATED:  War Forces Two Million South Sudanese Children to Flee Homes

South Sudan’s National Bureau of Statistics and the UN’s food and security analysis reports, both expressed that the situation still remains critical.

“People are in a catastrophic situation,” said Serge Tissot, of the Food and Agricultural Organization.

The UN further warned that South Sudan’s crisis is worsening and just because the label of famine has been removed, doesn’t mean the situation has actually improved.

“Even though we’ve taken it (famine) off the table, we have more people in Phase 4 than ever before,” said Joyce Luma, World Food Program’s country director. “If we don’t assist this population, 1.7 million people will soon be in famine.”

At the briefing, the UN pointed out that almost 2 million people are still on the brink of starvation and an estimated 6 million people — half the population — will face extreme food insecurity between June and July.

In February, South Sudan declared that two counties in Unity State were experiencing famine. The WFP reassured, that although those areas are still in critical condition, early detection and a rapid collective response succeeded in pulling them out of famine – a Phase 5 classification.

In former Jonglei State, an area that previously had one of the lowest levels of acute malnutrition, roughly 20,000 people are experiencing catastrophic food insecurity.

At a recent food distribution drive in the town of Old Fangak in Greater Jonglei, 10,000 people registered for a WFP food drop with 30,000 more are expected within the week.

A 7-year-old related that she had walked for three hours from her village in order to collect food for her parents and five siblings, who were all too weak to accompany her.

“All I eat are vegetables and leaves,” said Nyatang Toy, as she waited in line to receive her ration cards.

An estimated 45,000 people still face starvation in Leer, Koch and Mayendit counties with additional areas across the country has deteriorated as well.

Posted in SudanComments Off on UN: South Sudan out of Famine Zone, but Still on Brink

Caught between two fires: Sudanese refugees in Jordan


There was a time when persecuted Sudanese looked to Jordan,as their only hope to reach a place where their rights and prospects could be valued. That was before the rise of right-wing populism in Europe, the election of Donald Trump, and the VIP welcome extended to Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir in Amman earlier this year. What then is a viable option for those seeking safety?

Ahmad is poised as a journalist from Kutum, a town that lies 120 kilm away from El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur in Sudan. His towering figure and wide shoulders sway slowly with each calculated step he takes around his home’s uneven floor, leaning on his aluminum cane for support. He is among the many Darfuris that have in recent years actively spoken out about persecution in their homeland:

I am forced to raise my voice because my family members are victims. There are real problems: rape, banishment, displacement, occupation of lands. Armed strangers occupy known areas in Kutum. We don’t know who they are. There’s no police to defend us.

Four years ago, Ahmad’s leg was injured during a Janjaweed (armed militia) raid on his village. He states that he continues to be targeted for his reporting on human rights abuses and for “collaborating” with foreign media. The Sudanese government has not shied away from or attempted to cover up its relations with the Janjaweed. On the contrary, despite various Save Darfur international campaigns over the years, relations between Khartoum and Janjaweed militias have advanced far enough for Janjaweed leaders to be granted a seat with the government delegation to the UN/African Union Peace Negotiations on the Darfur Crisis. Such alliances, Ahmad says, are one of the ways the government tries to “sow seeds of sedition to ultimately destabilize Darfur,” which is approximately the size of Spain.

In 2014, Ahmad fled Sudan with his family to Jordan to seek medical treatment, and has remained there ever since. There are around 3,200 Sudanese refugees in Jordan, caught up in a vicious cycle of poverty in East Amman’s slum neighborhoods. Statistics on the so-called “non-Syrian refugee populations” in Jordan are difficult to find, reports quantifying the socio-economic conditions of a forgotten minority refugee group like the Sudanese even more so.

According to aid groups, two out of three Syrian refugees living in Jordan’s urban neighborhoods are surviving on less than the absolute poverty line of sixty-eight Jordanian dinas (approximate ninety-six US dollas) per person per month. There is no doubt that the conditions of the Sudanese are just as dire, if not more so, given the lack of donor interest in this community.

Although migration may be the story of this era, the upheaval by African refugee groups to gain international attention has gone undetected and has overall been simply been ignored by mainstream media. The Sudanese diaspora has over the past years mobilized demonstrations in cities like Cairo, Amman, and Beirut, and all the way to Hannover and Amsterdam. In Amman, such activism took an extreme turn when it resulted in the forced deportation of more than 600 Sudanese refugees, including entire families, back to Khartoum. Some human rights groups like Human Rights Watch closely followed the deportation proceedings and publicly condemned it, but none could reverse these unlawful actions which separated families whom until today have heard nothing from their loved ones. Reports indicate that about 145 of the deportees fled renewed persecution for a second time to Cairo, where racism and violence are also rampant.

The lack of action to uphold the international principle of non-refoulment, and the deafening silence that accompanies such acts, has prompted some researchers to question the hierarchal structure within the humanitarian system. As a article published by the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) explains:

“These people are paid little attention now, but not because they do not fit the legal definition of refugees. They are passed over because, in a world of protracted emergencies, finite and bifurcated funding mechanisms, and a politics of humanitarian priorities that amounts to selective valuation of human life, what matters is where refugees come from.”

Aicha Elbasri, former spokesperson of the African Union/United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), takes an even stronger stance in pointing out the UN’s role in fueling the conflict, which has prioritized maintaining diplomatic ties with the Sudanese government over speaking the truth about these powers. Elbasri resigned eight months after taking up her post with the following words: “As an Arab-African Muslim, I refuse to remain silent while innocent civilians are being killed in my name. I chose to end my UN career to regain my freedom to speak out. I have only lost a job; countless Darfuris are still losing their lives.”

Earlier this year I had the chance to discuss the predicament of the Sudanese population in Jordan with a high-ranking UN official in Amman. He seemed genuinely concerned about their dire living conditions, but tied down by the shortage of funds and other constrains. Near the end of our discussion he concluded that the time might have come for the Sudanese to reassess the Jordanian option as a pathway for resettlement.

There used to be a time when persecuted Sudanese looked to Jordan, the kingdom of refugees, as their only hope to reach a place where their rights and prospects could be valued. That was before the rise of right-wing populism in Europe, the election of Donald Trump, and the VIP welcome extended to Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir in Amman earlier this year during the Arab League summit. What then is a viable option for those seeking safety?

Adam is a sharp-featured yet soft spoken man in his mid-thirties. He was attending university in Khartoum when he got news of an attack on his village in West Darfur, where he lost his father, sister and brother in the space of a single day. “I left the university and returned to Darfur in a state of shock. What I found was disastrous, the villages were completely destroyed,” he recounts. While searching for ways to keep the rest of his family safe, he came across the option of applying for asylum in Jordan and eventually qualifying for resettlement in a third country, where he could then either bring his family or at least support them financially. He worked for a man on a construction site in Khartoum for nine months, and in return received his help in obtaining a passport with a medical visa to Jordan.

Three and a half years after having arrived in Jordan, without any prospect of a resettlement resolution happening anytime soon, Adam says Jordan perhaps offered him protection but not refuge. To Adam, “protection” means staying alive but is devoid of the concept of security. Some years ago, the one-bedroom apartment he shared with four other Sudanese single men was broken into by Jordanian neighbors, put on fire and robbed. He told the story while flipping through his half-burnt Sudanese passport, which had ironically already failed to protect him from abuse and exploitation.

The Sudanese embassy in Jordan takes no responsibility for Sudanese refugees in the country. To the contrary, a number of men including a theater-script writer told me that they have been targeted and intimidated by embassy staff on several occasions.

Every day, Adam leaves his home in Jabal Amman at around 3:30 am and walks under the rays of old Amman’s streetlights towards the central vegetable market in Wihdat to look for work. There, together with hundreds other men, he earns fifty piasters for each load of vegetables he transports from the merchant’s kiosk to the customer’s truck or nearby shop. On the day I met him, he had transported fifteen between from 4:00 and 10:00 in the morning. He walked out with 17.5 Jordanian dinars (approximately 24 US dollars), three of which went to renting the wheelbarrow that is property of the Amman municipality. But he considered it a good day, first because he was not arrested by the wafideen (immigrant) police for working illegally, and second for actually being paid. Sometimes, he and other Sudanese said, they are not paid for their work. “You don’t have a voice even to complain to the police because you are working illegally. As written in the refugee certificate, the bearer does not have the right to work,” Adam helplessly explains.

When you listen to Sudanese refugees in Jordan, you realize that they have become accustomed to racism and ill-treatment, and that the lack of money or food isn’t their central concern. If we eat today, the reasoning goes, we don’t have to eat tomorrow, we won’t die of hunger. The real issue that keeps them up at night is the insecurity of family members they had to leave behind. In Adam’s words, “I sometimes get in a mental state where I am not able to sleep and am only thinking of them. I think of them more than I think of my future. I want to help them out.”

The numerous difficulties they confront notwithstanding, people like Ahmad and Adam continue to speak out, insisting to be heard. “Darfur is in need of a major social peace movement,” says Ahmad. “It needs all the intruders to leave and to let people live peacefully.”

Will their voice break into the echo chambers of closed-door international meetings? And if it does, will there be politicians in those rooms willing to make a difference? As Francis Deng, a politician and diplomat from South Sudan, once said: “What we are silent about is what divides us.”

Author’s Note: Some names in this article have been changed to protect identities.

Posted in Jordan, SudanComments Off on Caught between two fires: Sudanese refugees in Jordan

Strike by judges adds to pain of war in South Sudan

A press statement
A strike by judges in South Sudan has paralyzed operations in the Judiciary, adding to the misery of the country currently hit by a civil war. While supporting the peaceful industrial action, the Communist Party of South Sudan has called on the government resolve the strike, which threatens the rule of law.
In the light of the historic strike that was announced by Judges across the country which is entering its second month due to lack of a response as well as unsettled demands with the Judiciary of South Sudan, as quoted in their memorandum dated 20/April/2016, including the following issues:
  • Resignation of Chief Justice
  • Provision of transportation for judges
  • Provision of stationery
  • Provision and increment of sitting halls for judges
  • Provision of identity cards for judges and judiciary staff
  • Increment of Judges’ salaries as directed by (Resolution No.14/2016) dated 03/02/2016 from the Council of Ministers of the Republic of South Sudan)
  • Provision of health insurance
  • Enactment of pension act for Judges
  • Promotion of Judges who came from Sudan Judiciary to the Judiciary of South Sudan
Their strike is a natural outcome of the complete paralysis of the Judiciary and the state apparatus. The Judiciary is considered as one of the most important pillars of a state after the Legislature and the Executive and its absence means the absence of the rule of law.
The dispute between the judges and the Chief Justice had intensified following the strike; although the judges had surpassed it, following a plea from the Chief Justice, they resumed their work, but very soon they renewed their strike due to lack of response from the Judiciary.
The situation worsened and prompted the Presidency to intervene by asking the Judges for more time. In response, a Presidential Inquiry Committee was formed to look into these demands. Then the President promised the Judges a response to their demands and the Judges suspended their strike for the third time.
Although, the committee has finished its work and reported it to the Presidency, unfortunately the Presidency ignored the demands of the Judges because the regime is not serious in resolving the issue.
Currently, the situation that our country is facing in the absence of the Judiciary means the absence of the rule law, because of the insistence of the regime to maintain the current Chief Justice instead of replacing or sacking him to set up an efficient Judiciary.
For a Judiciary that will ensure the delivery of justice on the basis of above, the Communist Party of South Sudan wishes to state the following:
First: The party praises the peacefulness of the Judges’ strike as a constitutional and democratic means for demanding their rights.
Second: The party completely supports the Judges in their strike to realize their demands.
Third: The party believes that these demands shall contribute in creating a viable Judiciary in South Sudan, therefore:
  • The Chief Justice must resign immediately from his position to avoid any legal gap in the Judiciary and in the country or the Presidency must interfere by replacing or sacking him.
  • The Judiciary must be professionally, administratively and financially independent and must preserve their right of electing a Chief Justice instead of the Presidential appointments
The Secretariat of Central Committee
 Communist Party of South Sudan

Posted in SudanComments Off on Strike by judges adds to pain of war in South Sudan

Trump Wants Regime Change in Syria, Extended US Led Wars in Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan


In March 2011, Obama launched war on Syria to destroy its sovereignty and replace Assad with pro-Western puppet rule.

Trump upped the stakes. He escalated war, increased US terror-bombing, and doubled the number of US forces on the ground ahead of likely larger numbers coming.

His hugely dangerous war plan risks direct confrontation with Russia. Instead of governing responsibly, he’s recklessly risking possible nuclear war in the Middle East and on the Korean peninsula.

In northern Syria, hundreds of thousands of civilians are threatened by US terror-bombing – targeting infrastructure and government sites on the phony pretext of combating ISIS America created and supports.

On Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ spokesman Staphane Dujarric issued a briefing on catastrophic humanitarian conditions in Yemen, Mosul, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and the safety of over 400,000 Syrians in Raqqa.

Around 10 million Yemenis

“require immediate assistance to save or sustain their lives,” he stressed. The country is “the largest food security emergency in the world…on the brink of (catastrophic) famine.”

Fighting and terror-bombing of Mosul continues, up to 400,000 displaced so far – in desperate need of aid. The lives and welfare of around two million Iraqis are endangered by ongoing conflict. The civilian death toll keeps mounting.

“(D)etainees in Afghanistan continue to face torture and ill-treatment in government detention facilities.”

America’s longest war continues endlessly with no prospect for resolution.

In South Sudan,

“lack of accountability for crimes perpetrated during the conflict remains one of the country’s biggest challenges.”

Syrians in and around Raqqa are exposed to daily ground fighting and US-led terror-bombing – including against infrastructure, hospitals, schools, mosques, markets and residential areas.

Unknown numbers of civilians are being killed daily, perhaps thousands before the campaign ends.

According to Dujarric,

“(i)n past weeks, civilians have been exposed to daily fighting and airstrikes which resulted in an escalating number of civilian deaths and injuries…”

“Some 39,000 (were) newly displaced,” most in open areas without shelter or protection from fighting and bombing. Desperate people are without humanitarian aid.

Russia’s intervention in Syria improved conditions greatly for its people – liberated from hundreds of areas previously controlled by US-supported terrorists, provided with humanitarian aid by Moscow and Syria to sustain them.

Separately on Monday, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions on 271 Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center personnel – on the phony pretext of involvement in chemical weapons development.

Washington holds them responsible for developing the toxic agent used in Kahn Sheikhoun on April 4 – an incident  Syria had nothing to do with, a false flag irresponsibly blamed on its military and Bashar al-Assad.

Last Friday, Sergey Lavrov said Russia’s call for an independent, unbiased on-site investigation was “blocked by Western delegations without any explanations.”

“(O)bvious false information” is being used by America and its rogue allies to topple Assad – likely by escalated war, involving larger numbers of US forces.

Posted in Middle East, USA, Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria, YemenComments Off on Trump Wants Regime Change in Syria, Extended US Led Wars in Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan

Janjaweed militiamen gang-rape 3 Darfur women: IDP spokesman


Janjaweed may head to Sanaa 

Three Darfuri women were gang-raped after they left their camps to gather firewood, a spokesperson for Darfur displaced said today.
JPEG - 17.1 kb
Sudanese women made homeless during the five-year Darfur conflict, crowd to see President Omar al-Beshir during his trip to El-Fasher, north Darfur on July 23, 2008 (AFP)


“This happens at a time when government officials claim that Darfur is enjoying security. The crimes and human right violations continue” Hussein Abu-Sharati the spokesperson of Darfur displaced and refugees at the Kalma camp in South Darfur told Sudan Tribune.

Abu-Sharati said that the women were intercepted by a group of Janjaweed militiamen who were present in the area of Wadi Bargo in South Darfur.

He listed the names of the victims as Tayba Adam Al-Tahir 15 years old; Aicha Youssef 17 years old; Kaltouma Salih 55 years old.

“The three women are at the Kass hospital in South Darfur in case anyone has doubts” he added.

The Janjaweed is a heavily armed militia blamed for waging a campaign of rape, killing and pillage in Darfur.

Rights groups and Western governments say that Khartoum used the Janjaweed as a proxy militia against Darfur rebels and civilians suspected of rebel sympathies. However the government denies this and says that the Janjaweed are outlaws.

Abu-Sharati said that an Egyptian officer with the United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) was notified of the incident “but took no action”.

“We also informed the UN officer in charge of humanitarian aid to be our witness. There can be no peace in Darfur without giving us security” he said.

In mid-July the ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo submitted to the judges of Pre-Trial Chamber I an application for an arrest warrant against Sudanese president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir.

Ocampo filed 10 charges against Al-Bashir: three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder against the African tribes of Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa.

Ocampo alleged that rape in Darfur “has been committed systematically and continuously for 5 years”.

“Rape is an integral part of the pattern of destruction that the Government of the Sudan is inflicting upon the target groups in Darfur” the prosecutor stated in the summary of his application submitted to the judges.

In a separate incident Abu-Sharati said that Sudanese security officers arrested families of the IDP’s who came to visit them.

“Last week they took away around 73 people. They stopped cars at checkpoints leading to Kalma and Abu-Shouk camps and ask passengers to get out. They picked a number of them and took them to an unknown location” Abu-Sharati said.

“Their families know nothing about them. The Sudanese authorities must release them and guarantee their legal rights” he added.

UN experts estimate some 300,000 people have died and 2.5 million driven from their homes. Sudan blames the Western media for exaggerating the conflict and puts the death toll at 10,000.

Posted in Sudan, YemenComments Off on Janjaweed militiamen gang-rape 3 Darfur women: IDP spokesman

The United States Is Doing Little to Help Stop the Carnage in South Sudan


By Nick Turse, Haymarket Books 

A camp for internally displaced people that started after a civil war broke out more than two years ago in Juba, South Sudan, on March 3, 2016. (Photo: Tyler Hicks / The New York Times)

A camp for internally displaced people that started after a civil war broke out more than two years ago in Juba, South Sudan, on March 3, 2016. (Photo: Tyler Hicks / The New York Times)

Beginning in the 1980s, the efforts of an eclectic, bipartisan coalition of American supporters — Washington activists, evangelical Christians, influential congressional representatives, celebrities, a presidential administration focused on regime change and nation-building, and another that picked up the mantle — helped “midwife” South Sudan into existence.

Perhaps no country in Africa received as much congressional attention. And on July 9, 2011, its Independence Day, President Barack Obama released a stirring statement. “I am confident that the bonds of friendship between South Sudan and the United States will only deepen in the years to come. As Southern Sudanese undertake the hard work of building their new country, the United States pledges our partnership as they seek the security, development, and responsive governance that can fulfill their aspirations and respect their human rights.” In August 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking in Juba, was emphatic that the US “commitment to this new nation is enduring and absolute in terms of assistance and aid and support going forward.”

What are the ongoing obligations of a midwife? How solid are the bonds of friendship between the United States and South Sudan? How solemn was Obama’s pledge of partnership and Clinton’s of enduring support?

For years, the United States has dumped untold billions of dollars into regime-change operations, nation-building schemes, military interventions, and interminable wars in the Greater Middle East. Iraqis and Afghans, Syrians, Libyans, and Yemenis have grappled with the consequences. South Sudan was a different type of American intervention, but the results turned out to be sadly similar for its people.

The United States provided some roads and electricity, built up the army, and poured a great deal of money into the new nation. Now, it’s reduced to providing humanitarian aid as part of an international effort to fend off the famine that’s forever knocking on the young country’s door. For all I know, the red beans [a boy I encountered] was picking out of the dirt [around a makeshift airport in South Sudan] were “from the American people” — as big bags of US Agency for International Development sorghum, rice, lentils, and other emergency staples are branded the world over.

But is that enough?

Is it enough for a man to feel ashamed and leave a rail-thin child to pluck spilled beans from the dirt? Is it enough for a country to pledge enduring commitment and instead provide just enough food aid to keep the nation it fostered on life support? This is not to say that the United States has offered a trivial sum.The approximately $1.3 billion spent on relief efforts since the country plunged in civil war in 2013 is significant.At least until you realize that a year of ineffective efforts bombing the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria cost about three times that amount.

“The United States will support the people of South Sudan as they begin the implementation process, but it is imperative that the parties remain committed to peace,” National Security Advisor Susan Rice announced on August 26, 2015, after a peace deal was signed between Salva Kiir and Riek Machar. “Together, we must help South Sudan implement the agreement, to stave off famine, to stand steadfast and united against those who block the path to peace, and to hold accountable those who have committed atrocities.”

Since the civil war began, American officials have made a series of similar statements to little effect. Whether this peace deal holds or crumbles like the many cease fires before it, the United States faces a choice: Will it lavish the sort of taxpayer dollars it normally devotes to war-making on its foster child or will it leave this fledgling, fractured country with beans, platitudes, and little else?


TITLENick Turse talks to the people who have managed to survive the grim reality of modern warfare in South Sudan.

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“The United States will continue to support the aspirations of all Sudanese,” declared President Obama at the close of his statement on South Sudan’s Independence Day in 2011. “Together, we can ensure that today marks another step forward in Africa’s long journey toward opportunity, democracy, and justice.”In nation-building projects from Afghanistan to Iraq, military interventions from Libya to Yemen, military aid efforts from Mali to Burkina Faso, the United States has turned out to be remarkably inept when it comes to providing opportunities, the basics for democratic polities, or justice of any imaginable kind. Invariably, such normally military-oriented or -led American endeavors have ended in failure, disappointment, and in a number of cases outright fiasco.

As South Sudan was midwifed into nationhood “by any means necessary,” atrocities from the 1990s and earlier were swept under the rug, only to have them resurface in recent years. Will history repeat itself? Will the United States and its international partners make every conceivable effort “to hold accountable those who have committed atrocities” in order to help achieve a permanent peace? Or will they take an easier road — one that silences the guns of today only to have them ring out anew with even greater fury at the dawn of some distant tomorrow — or perhaps even sooner? It remains to be seen whether the United States will “stand steadfast,” step back, or walk away from the nation it spent so much time and effort ushering into existence — and whether it matters at all what course South Sudan’s foster parent charts.

Posted in USA, SudanComments Off on The United States Is Doing Little to Help Stop the Carnage in South Sudan

Sudan detains human rights defender Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, again

It seems that this soft-spoken man of the deepest integrity is a threat to those who seek to maintain their brutal power in Sudan. His ability to work with people from all backgrounds, his unswerving commitment to truth and justice, and his international connections and credibility are seen by the ruling elite as dangerous qualities.

Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam is in detention again in Khartoum. He was taken by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) from the University of Khartoum on 7th December and is being held without access to his lawyer or his family. He has previously been detained on several occasions, for over a month in 2010 and earlier for a total of 18 months in several spells during 2003-2005.

Dr Mudawi is an award winning human rights defender and someone who has dedicated his life to peacefully working for social development and the rights of all people in Sudan.

He was the founder and Chairperson of SUDO, the Sudan Social Development Organization, which was the largest Sudanese organization providing support to internally displaced people and other vulnerable communities until it was closed down by the authorities in 2009. That closure was subsequently ruled to be illegal by the Sudanese courts but SUDO has still not been allowed to restart operations within the country.

Ironically, Dr Mudawi was criticised by some people this year for agreeing to take part in the Sudanese Government sponsored National Dialogue. His arrest puts in question the sincerity of the Government’s efforts to find a peaceful resolution of the country’s many problems. His detention coincides with an ongoing clampdown on human rights defenders and peaceful protest.

Dr Mudawi is a Professor of Engineering at the University of Khartoum and runs his own successful engineering company. A significant part of his professional work has been focused on bringing clean water and sanitation to communities across Sudan.

In 2005 Dr Mudawi was the inaugural winner of the Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk. In the same year he also received the prestigious Human Rights First Prize.

In 2010 the Sudanese authorities fabricated charges of financial mismanagement against Dr Mudawi, but were unable to bring any credible evidence to court. It seems they are again seeking to manufacture evidence against him. His driver Adam El-Sheikh was also detained on 7th December. Nora Abaid, the accountant at Dr Mudawi’s engineering company, was detained by the NISS on 12th December. Both are being held without access to lawyers or family and are considered to be at risk of torture.

It seems that this soft-spoken man of the deepest integrity is a threat to those who seek to maintain their brutal power in Sudan.

Posted in SudanComments Off on Sudan detains human rights defender Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, again

Making sense of the proposal to upgrade UN mission to South Sudan


Heads of State from East and the Horn of Africa have endorsed a proposal to deploy a rapid protection force to South Sudan, which would later serve under the UN mission (UNMISS) with an enhanced mandate. But this is unlikely to solve the crisis in the world’s newest nation. UNMISS has serious weaknesses and, perhaps more importantly, the South Sudanese conflict is largely economic.

From 7 to 11 of July 2016, Juba, the capital of South Sudan, was put under serious tension and constant bombardment as a result of the fight that erupted once again since December 2013 between the forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and former First Vice-President Dr Riek Machar. The renewal of the conflict has been met with a lot of condemnation, particularly at the international spheres. This led to an outright proposal of the intervention force by IGAD Heads of State, a view that seems to augur well with many other international diplomatic organisations, particularly the UN.

On the 5 August 2016, the Assembly of the IGAD Heads of State held its Second Extra-Ordinary Summit meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and deliberated on the prevailing situation in the Republic of South Sudan. In their resolution, the IGAD Heads of State endorsed the outcome of the meeting of the East African Chiefs of Defense Staff held on 29 July 2016, in Addis Ababa, on the deployment of a Regional Protection Force (RPF) as the basis for further and urgent discussion with the United Nations towards reaching a common ground on speedy deployment of the Force under UNMISS. In their Communique, the IGAD Heads of State further called upon the UNSC to expedite the process of extending UNMISS mandate including the deployment of the Regional Protection Force with distinct responsibilities. And since the IGAD Heads of State have given this hint, it will be much easier for the eagerly awaited United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to extend the UNMISS mandate, that will include the RPF.

However, one pertinent question remains as to whether the suggested RPF plus the existing UN peacekeepers will be effective in bringing the desperately needed stability in the country. First of all, like so many other UN missions, UNMISS has been and is still a highly dysfunctional and a “mafia” mission characterized by so many incompetent international personnel, and many of whom bear “low moral standing” – basically living in debauchery and corrupt to the core.

Secondly, when it comes to protection of civilians, UNMISS has not lived up to its recent mandate – “protection of civilians”. Since 2013, UNMISS has demonstrated its incapability in so many occasions to protect civilians, for example in Bor, Malakal and even in Yambio, where hundreds upon hundreds of vulnerable civilians were left stranded at the mission’s gates.

In addition, UNMISS has from time to time failed to protect its national staff members who are deplorably discriminated and disenfranchised, particularly when one closely looks at the UNMISS operational or systemic policies. It beats conscientious reasoning as to why such a dilapidated organization would be charged with even a bigger and a more challenging task.

Thirdly, the whole of the Eastern and Horn of Africa region is in one way or the other troubled by the insecurities of tribalism and corruption, and that means the RPF to South Sudan will carry all of these inadequacies with them. This, coupled with the already existing enormous systemic challenges of UNMISS and the dynamics and complexities of the South Sudanese conflict, will definitely leave a lot of doubts on the effectiveness and the successes that the forthcoming UNMISS mandate will make  as far as bringing peace to the war ravaged South Sudan is concerned.

The South Sudanese conflict is economically and institutionally driven; therefore, instead of sending in more troops to Juba, more focus in terms of resources and energy should be directed towards the economic and resilience building in vulnerable communities of South Sudan.  As echoed in the Preamble of the UN Charter that, “We the peoples of the United Nations are determined to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples”, one would suggest that UNMISS in terms of manpower and operations should be scaled down and more resources should be channeled to the UN agencies and other humanitarian organisations with clear and well-articulated guidelines in line with South Sudan Development Plan on the areas of economic and social enhancement in which the funding should be used.

The Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) provides a good platform on how to revive the dwindling South Sudanese economy. There is a need to deliver on the Special Fund for Reconstruction (SRF) pledged by the international partners and friends of South Sudan and to be administered by Board of Special Reconstruction Fund (BSRF). South Sudan needs a vibrant economy with well-structured and functioning transitional institutions and mechanisms, instead of a huge, but redundant peacekeeping force.

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