Archive | Sudan

On Intisar’s Zina charges and stoning sentence

NOVANEWS

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The recent sentencing to death by stoning of a young woman accused of adultery stands against all the values, traditions and heritage of the Sudanese and signifies the reactionary political agenda of a tyrannical regime.

On 22 April 2012, Sudanese judge Sami Ibrahim Shabo sentenced to death by stoning a young woman accused of Zina (adultery). Her name is Intisar Sharif Abdalla, married and a mother of three little children. The judgement itself is ruthless under any Islamic Sharia and Fiqh interpretation; stoning hasn’t been applied to a woman for adultery in Sudan despite the country’s fundamentalist religious legal system. The Islamic Fiqh Hudud (corporal punishment) in crimes such as cutting of limbs, the punishment for theft, and stoning to death, the punishment of Zina are silently suspended, yet not lifted from the criminal code and remain present in Sudan’s legal system.

Intisar was accused of having a relationship and being impregnated by a man that wasn’t her husband. After being reported by her brother, initially she and her co-accused both denied the charges. Later the case was reopened again by the brother and Intisar confessed to committing adultery. The most disturbing aspect of this case is that the admission of guilt and judicial sentencing comes following a period of sustained beatings by her brother who brought forward the case. The absence of legal representation and clarification of the procedures for the woman in question, whose first language is not Arabic, is equally troublesome. She was taken to court where Judge Sami Ibrahim Shabo of Ombada General Criminal Court in Omdurman city of greater Khartoum state, sentenced her to stoning to death after one court session. Lawyers only gained access to her after the judgement was made. The man co-accused with Intisar was released based on his mere denial of the charges of Zina!

Intisar’s case highlights the fickle application of international human rights conventions and legislation that Sudan has voluntarily become party to, such as the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention against Torture and the African Charter and its protocol on the rights of women. This case demonstrates the difficulty of reconciling Sudan’s current legal jurisdiction and its regional and international obligations as a member of international and regional communities. This contradiction is as well reflected in the massive polarisation taking place in Sudan at the moment as well as challenges to peaceful coexistence between the different nations inside the country.

Furthermore, the stoning judgment stands against all the values, traditions and heritage of the Sudanese. Given the fact that the application of Zina has so far been dormant in Sudan, this case ought to be read within the broader political and cultural dynamics at work in Sudan currently, and in particular the religious discourses out of which justification for Zina is derived. These discourses, which I briefly outline below, point to the fact that there is more at play than the moral justifications given for this harsh judgement.

There are significant and complex differences among the Islamic Fiqh schools regarding the conditions required for a valid Zina confession and for testimonial evidence. These differences are based on the varying levels of different arguments within Fiqh schools. For example while some Islamic schools require the Zina confession to be uttered four separate times and require the presence of four witnesses during the act of Zina, the Maliki school (dominant in Sudan) considers either one’s confession or the presence of four witnesses as sufficient. However, in cases of pregnancy as a result of Zina, the majority of opinion in the Maliki Fiqh School agrees that the duration of a woman’s pregnancy can last up to seven years before she is subjected to court trial. [1]

A closer look at the classical Islamic schools, mainly the Sunah schools (Madahib) and the scholarship that emerged in the 8th century on the Islamic legal system shows that, they all tried to prevent the conviction of women for Zina and avoided stoning as a brutal form of punishment. It is unacceptable that now, 12 centuries later, a judge sitting in Sudan, or in any other part of the Muslim world for that matter, would rule out all accumulated knowledge, wisdom and various accumulated attempts of interpretations given the complexity of the issue, and choose to sentence a young woman to death.

The sentencing of Intisar comes in accordance with Article 146 of the Sudanese Criminal Code. However, ultimately what the Islamic Sharia of Sudan’s criminal code reveals is the deeply rooted discriminatory nature of Sudan’s legal system generated from the ruling regime’s ideology which perceives women as purveyors of moral wrongs and seeks to banish illegal aliens.

The repression of women in Sudan is illustrated in the Sudanese legislative system’s approach towards women. Both Sudan’s criminal and family codes are engineered through a mix of criminal and moral prohibitions which blur the distinction between the creation of law in the service of promoting a particular public interest and the imposition of moral precepts based on specific ideological conviction. The de-anchoring of the law from a clear standard of general public interest leaves Sudan’s legislation in relation to personal matters particularly open to exploitation as a tool to express the temporary interests of the authorities in control. A good example is the public order police of Sudan’s Special Forces that are assigned to terrorise women and interrogate them by observing their personal behaviour, their dress code, their mobility and their exposure in the public sphere. Ultimately the ideology behind the articles and the application of the Sudanese criminal code is meant to enforce the tyranny of the ruling regime through alienating women by crippling their public participation, both of which have a paralysing effect on society as a whole.

Politically, Intisar’s sentencing is significant. She is originally from South Kordofan, the most recent region where civil conflict erupted in Sudan. Following the independence of South Sudan, gender and racial profiling and discrimination is dominating the current political scene in the country. In addition, the fluidity of Sudan’s current legal system poses a serious threat to thousands of women currently living in the country, enduring and suffering under the violence generated by Sudan’s unjust legal system and its brutal enforcement.

This violence ranges from lashing to long term imprisonments of poor women street vendors, students, and others working in the fringes of society, all of whom are regularly subjected to accusations of prostitution, intention to commit Zina, and indecent dressing. The rationale behind Sudan’s criminal code is based on vague definitions of guilt, yet it very assertively delegates the power of judgment to the enforcers to interpret it as they wish in line with the reactionary political agenda.

Intisar is currently shackled by metal chains and imprisoned in Omdurman women’s prison in Sudan together with her four month old baby, where she is being re-victimised and burdened again by the complex layers of Sudan’s heavy political baggage and unjust legal system.

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SUDAN NEW NATION, LONG WAR

NOVANEWS

Hillary Clinton’s State Departm

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IMET A FEW of them in the town of Pibor last year. These battle-tested veterans had just completed two or three years of military service. They told me about the rigors of a soldier’s life, about toting AK-47s, about the circumstances that led them to take up arms. In the United States, not one of these soldiers would have met the age requirements to enlist in the Army. None were older than 16.

Rebel forces in southern Sudan began using child soldiers long before seceding from Sudan in 2011. The United States, on the other hand, passed a law in 2008 that banned providing military assistance to nations that use child soldiers. The law was called the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, or CSPA, but after South Sudan’s independence, the White House issued annual waivers that kept aid flowing to the world’s newest nation despite its use of child soldiers. President Obama stated in 2012 that the waiver that year was in “the national interest of the United States.”

The president’s move was criticized by human rights activists and others. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, a Republican from Nebraska and the author of the CSPA, described the use of child soldiers as an “unthinkable practice.” The U.S. “must not be complicit in this practice,” he said. “The intent of the law is clear — the waiver authority should be used as a mechanism for reform, not as a way of continuing the status quo.” Because of the requirements of the law, the waivers were issued by the White House rather than the State Department, so Obama was the target of most of the criticism.

Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state when the first waivers were issued, was apparently never asked to comment on them, and the State Department never provided any explanations about its role. Clinton had spent years vowing to defend the rights of children worldwide — in 2012, she railed against “modern-day slavery” in the introduction to a State Department report on human trafficking that took aim at the “unlawful recruitment or use of children” by armed forces. Yet she does not appear to have publicly explained her role in allowing South Sudan and other countries to receive military support despite using children as combatants. In fact, the State Department played a central role in issuing the controversial waivers, according to two sources, including a former State Department official.

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Dr Hasan al-Turabi passes away at 84

NOVANEWS

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by crescent-online.net

One of the leading Islamic political thinkers and activists, Dr Hasan al-Turabi passed away today in Khartoum. He was 84. A specialist in Islamic Law (he had a PhD in Islamic Law), he had contributed many books on the subject as well as served in various capacities in political office. Close to many Sudanese leaders, he eventually fell out with them ending in prison on numerous occasions.

Khartoum, crescent-online.net
Saturday March 05, 2016, 20:09 EST

One of the leading Islamic intellectuals and political activists in Sudan, Dr Hasan Abdullah al Turabi passed away today. He was 84.

After suffering a heart attack at his office in the morning, he was rushed to the Royal Care International Hospital in Khartoum. He slipped into a coma and did not recover and was pronounced dead in the evening.

Dr Turabi was a well-known scholar who specialized in Islamic Law. After studying at Khartoum University, he went to Britain and enrolled at King’s College London for a law degree. After graduating from there, he went to Sorbonne University in Paris, France for a PhD in Islamic Law.

Once back in Sudan, he exercised considerable influence in politics serving in various capacities including speaker of Parliament, Attorney General as well as Foreign Minister. He was also close to several Sudanese leaders exercising considerable influence over their policies but eventually falling out with them and ending up in prison.

He was jailed on numerous occasions the last being on January 17, 2011 for nine days when he led protests in support of the Islamic Awakening movements sweeping the Muslim East (aka the Middle East) and North Africa.

Given his political activism as well as contribution to Islamic political thought, he was well known among Islamic movement activists. However, given the racism among Arabians who consider the Sudanese as Africans (they are because they are based in Africa, just like Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and Mauritania) and not Arabs, hence they treat them with indifference and even contempt.

Dr Turabi’s intellectual contributions were not widely recognized in the Arab world even though he made important contribution to the development of Islamic political thought.

In his political career, he was initially close to Jafaar al-Numeiri who brought about a military coup in Sudan in the late seventies and early eighties. He fell out with him and was imprisoned.

Dr Turabi was also initially close to General Omar al-Bashir who also came to power through a coup and is currently the president of Sudan. He fell out with him as well although the two were politically close for nearly a decade. Power, however, is intoxicating and once Bashir consolidated his hold on power, he had no more use for Dr Turabi.

Fluent in English, French and German besides Arabic, Dr Turabi was able to reach Western audiences and intellectual circles through the media.

Since falling out with Bashir, he had been fiercely critical of his government’s policies and was the only Sudanese politician to support the International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant for Bashir’s arrest on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Turabi’s political career shows the pitfalls of Islamic leaders falling into the trap of supporting dictatorships in hopes of implementing Islam from the top. Once the dictators have consolidated their grip on power, they turn against the very people that helped them propel into power.

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Sudanese government collaborates with Saudi Arabia to betray Palestinian cause

NOVANEWS
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HASSAN+AL-BASHIR

leak

Khartoum – A confidential letter from the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi embassy in Sudan to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, was leaked out and provoked controversy in Sudanese media. The letter purportedly repots a meeting between Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour, Zio-Wahhabi ambassador to Sudan and an European expert on the sidelines of the Twenty-sixth African Union summit in Addis Ababa.

According to the leaked document, Saudi Zio-Wahhabi has expressed its full support for Sudan over the disputed Halayeb Triangle with Egypt, emphasizing on granting Khartoum much-needed economic and political support. On the other hand, the Sudanese government has vowed to coordinate with KSA to reframing its relations with the Palestinian factions.

Since 1902, the Halayeb Triangle is known as a disputed region between Egypt and Sudan. British colonial rule intervention in demarcation in North Africa has led to never-ending political and military tensions in the region while the both sides insist on their sovereignty on the disputed region.

Observers believe that deep divisions between Riyadh and Cairo thawed the Riyadh- Khartoum relations and changed the Zio-Wahhabi regime’s political stance toward Sudan.

Meanwhile, intelligence sources reported that above-mentioned European expert–that met Sudanese minister in Addis Ababa—was actually a high-level official of the Nazi Gestapo ‘Mossad’. The report also drew the ire of the Palestinian media as they accused Sudan of betrayal.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Saudi Arabia, SudanComments Off on Sudanese government collaborates with Saudi Arabia to betray Palestinian cause

The International Criminal Court is unfit for purpose

NOVANEWS
Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem, Sr
Image result for The International Criminal Court LOGO
By Dr David Hoile 

The debate that has opened up regarding the International Criminal Court as a consequence of South Africa’s decision not to arrest Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir while he was attending the recent African Union summit in Johannesburg and Palestine’s successful application to join the court is long overdue.

The pursuit of justice, in the wake of wrong-doing and especially in the face of crimes against humanity and war crimes, is one of mankind’s most noble instincts. The International Criminal Court was embraced with understandable enthusiasm by a wide range of people, non-governmental organisations and governments when it came into being on 1 July 2002. Less than eight years later, however, the ICC-friendly Economist found itself obliged to publish an article about the court entitled “International justice: Courting disaster?” The court had already shown the behaviour that would come to irretrievably undermine it. Entering the fourteenth year of its existence, the International Criminal Court still finds itself unable to credibly respond to allegations of selectivity, racism, incompetence and impotence.

With hindsight, it can be seen that the Court clearly contained the seeds of its own destruction from the start. Good law evolves over decades. It is said that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. The ICC is a court designed by non-governmental organisations. The Rome statute was driven and largely drafted by non-governmental organisations within a month on a take it or leave it basis. The chief counsel of the Israeli delegation in Rome at the time noted of the NGOs that were present that “They were in on nearly every meeting. They were in on everything.” The end result was a founding statute that that even avid fans of the ICC acknowledged was seriously flawed. The resultant ICC is a judicial Frankenstein’s monster.

Many of those who initially welcomed the establishment of the court were African. They joined an institution they were assured would be independent and which would proceed without fear or favour. The body before them today, however, bears little resemblance to what was claimed of it in 2002. Despite having received almost 9,000 formal complaints about alleged war crimes in at least 139 countries, the ICC has focused exclusively on Africa, choosing to indict 36 black Africans in eight African countries. African heads of state have perhaps understandably spoken of “race hunting” by a court largely funded by Africa’s former colonial powers. Unsurprisingly, the African Union has publicly called upon its 54 members not to co-operate with the court.

The credibility of any court is its independence. The truth is that the ICC is as independent as the United Nations Security Council, and its European funders, lets it be. Far from being an independent, impartial, international court, the ICC is inextricably tied to the UN Security Council. Articles 13(b) and 16 of the ICC’s own statute grant special “prosecutorial” rights, to refer or defer an ICC investigation or prosecution, to the Security Council, or more specifically to the five Permanent members of the Security Council. Political interference was thus made part of the Court’s founding terms of reference. There is the deeply questionable situation whereby three of the five Permanent members – the United States, China and the Russian Federation – who are not members of the Court, claim to be able to refer other non-signatories to the Rome Statute to the Court when it is politically expedient for them so to do, something they have done on two occasions. The former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has admitted that “questions of credibility will persist so long” as three of the five permanent members of the Security Council are not parties to the Statute.

The court is also inextricably tied to the European Union which provides over 60 percent of its funding. The ICC has come to be seen within Africa very much as a European-funded and directed instrument of European foreign policy. The United States has forcefully pointed out that the ICC is a kangaroo court, a travesty of justice open to political influence, and has said that no American citizen will ever come before it.

Politics aside, the sheer incompetence of the Court at a basic level has been breathtaking. The court’s proceedings thus far have often been questionable where not simply farcical. Those who brought the ICC into being appear to be more concerned with gender balance rather than competence on the bench. Its judges – some of whom have never been lawyers, let alone judges – are the result of grubbily corrupt vote-trading amongst member states. Far from securing the best legal minds in the world this produces mediocrity. There is more than a passing resemblance to FIFA in as much as at least one elected “judge” had neither law degree nor legal experience but her country had contributed handsomely to the ICC budget. The Court has produced witnesses who recanted their testimony the moment they got into the witness box, admitting that they were coached by non-governmental organisations as to what false statements to make. Dozens of other “witnesses” have similarly disavowed their “evidence”. Most recently the ICC prosecutor had to admit that one of its own star witnesses in its case against Kenyan Vice-President Ruto was “a thoroughly unreliable and incredible” witness. Much the same can be said about the ICC as a whole.

There have been numerous examples of prosecutorial misconduct, not least of which the ICC Chief Prosecutor hiding hundreds of items of exculpatory evidence, which should have ended any trial because they would have compromised the integrity of any legal process. The same Chief Prosecutor was not only seemingly unaware of the basic legal concept of presumption of innocence but also threatened to criminalise third-parties who might argue a presumption of innocence on the part of those indicted – and as yet unconvicted – by the court.

But most disturbingly of all, while claiming that preventing and ending conflict is its most important raison d’etre the ICC’s pseudo-legal blundering has derailed delicate peace processes across the continent – thereby prolonging war. One can expect more of the same from any involvement it may come to have in the Middle East.

The reality is that the International Criminal Court is a billion Euro white elephant that is simply unfit for purpose. It has been a disaster for the concept of international justice. If the answer is the International Criminal Court, it must have been a stupid question.

The writer is the author of Justice Denied: The Reality of the International Criminal Court, a 610-page study of the International Criminal Court published by the Africa Research Centre. The book is available to read or download at www.africaresearchcentre.org The author can be contacted by email atafricaresearchcentre@gmail.com.

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South African court prevents Sudan’s al-Bashir from leaving country

NOVANEWS

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al-Bashir war crimes

A high court in South Africa issued an interim order Sunday preventing Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir from leaving the country.

Al-Bashir is currently in South Africa attending the 25th African Union Summit that is underway in Johannesburg.

The South African court will decide later on Sunday whether or not to hand the Sudanese leader over to the International Criminal Court, which issued an arrest warrant against al-Bashir in 2009.

He is accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Pretoria High Court Judge Hans Fabricus issued the order on Sunday after the Southern Africa Litigation Centre submitted an application calling for the Sudanese leader’s arrest. Amnesty International also appealed to South Africa to arrest al-Bashir.

“Al-Bashir is a fugitive from justice. If the government of President Zuma fails to arrest him, it would have done nothing, save to give succor to a leader who is accused of being complicit in the killing of hundreds of thousands of people in a conflict,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for Africa, late Friday.

“As soon as he lands in South Africa, the authorities must arrest al-Bashir and ensure that he is transferred to the International Criminal Court,” Belay said in a press release to Anadolu Agency.

South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute that formally established the International Criminal Court, which means they can arrest anyone accused of committing genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or crimes of aggression.

However, experts believe it will be difficult for South Africa to effect al-Bashir’s arrest when he sets foot on their territory because he is a guest of the African Union and not the government of South Africa.

“It would be unfortunate if South Africa arrested any African head of state wanted by the International Criminal Court because they accepted to host all leaders,” international relations expert Tom Wheeler told Anadolu Agency in an earlier interview.

South African government officials have thus far refused to comment and instead requested that questions be directed to the continental body.

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Al-Bashir blocks 10 newspapers from running a story about rape and sexual abuse ‘VIDEO’

NOVANEWS

Al-Bashir blocks 10 newspapers from running a story about the rape and sexual abuse of children on school buses ‘

Image result for Omar Hassan al-Bashir, PHOTO

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South Sudan Frees Hundreds Of Child Soldiers, Including 9-Year Old Girl

NOVANEWS
Some 12,000 children are still in active combat both on the side of the rebels and militias allied to government, Unicef says, making the removal of child fighters from the conflict a difficult task.
A Sudanese family takes shelter under their donkey cart at the Kalma refugee camp for internally displaced people, south of the Darfur town of Nyala, Sudan.  (AP/UNAMID)A Sudanese family takes shelter at the Kalma refugee camp for internally displaced people, south of the Darfur town of Nyala, Sudan.  (AP/UNAMID)

NEW YORK, Mar 24 2015 – South Sudan’s Democratic Army Cobra Faction announced its third release of child soldiers as agreed in a pact with the government signed last May.

Over the weekend, 654 children registered with the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) were released – bringing the total freed by the militia group since January to 1,314.

The children exchanged their weapons and uniforms for civilian clothes at a ceremony in Lekuangole, in Jinglei State. Some 3,000 children are slated to be freed under the U.N. deal.

The children – between 11 and 17 years of age – had been enlisted to carry AK-47s, raid homes and cattle farms and take part in deadly revenge attacks through South Sudan.

A nine-year-old girl was among four girls freed with the boy soldiers – part of the largest ever release of child fighters in the world’s youngest nation, the United Nations said on Monday.

“While we welcome freedom for the children, we are also deeply disturbed by the hundreds of children (still) being abducted in Upper Nile and Unity States,” UNICEF’s country representative, Jonathan Veitch, said in a statement.

“Boys are being targeted and rounded up by forces of the government and opposition.”

One child soldier, 12-year-old Steven, speaking to an NGO in the region, said: “There was nothing for me in Pibor (his home town). No roads or hospitals or even schools. Sometimes there was no food. But life in the (fighting faction) was not good. There is no rest,” he said.

At a ceremony on the day of their release, a former leader was seen wiping away tears as the youngsters recited their military chant for the last time. He said to the young children: “That song you sing, that is an adult struggle.”

A South Sudan military spokesman, meanwhile, insists that standing orders prohibit the military from recruiting children.

Some 12,000 children are still in active combat both on the side of the rebels and militias allied to government, Unicef says, making the removal of child fighters from the conflict a difficult task.

The heaviest combat is taking place in the oil regions, as forces loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar battle with government forces for control of the oil fields.

Oil production is down by a third to 160,000 barrels a day, straining the country’s ability to pay for food and other vital imports.

Talks to reach a power-sharing agreement broke down again in Ethiopia this month after the two sides disagreed on how to share executive power in an interim government.

The International Crisis Group estimates that at least 50,000 people have been killed in the conflict, while nearly two million people remain displaced.

Posted in SudanComments Off on South Sudan Frees Hundreds Of Child Soldiers, Including 9-Year Old Girl

Speaking at Adelaide Writer’s Week 2015

NOVANEWS

Map of South Sudan

I’ve just returned from South Sudan (very briefly) to speak at Adelaide Writer’s Week. What a culture shock coming from Africa. Everything here is so shiny.

Anyway, I’ll be speaking about Israel/Palestine, my investigative work over the years, interviewing British writer John Lancaster on financial shenanigans and running a masterclass with the South Australian Writer’s Centre.

Here’s the Adelaide literary festival director Laura Kroetsch introducing my work:

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South Sudan, Another US Intervention Resulting in Violent Chaos

NOVANEWS
Thousands of children are being used as soldiers in the U.S.-caused war in South Sudan.

Thousands of children are being used as soldiers in the U.S.-caused war in South Sudan. | Photo: Child Rights Awareness Creation Organization

Unidentified gunmen abduct 89 boys while in school, possibly to use as armed soldiers.

Unidentified gunmen in war-torn South Sudan, kidnapped about 90 boys, some as young as 13, from their school in oil-rich Upper Nile State, the United Nations reported on Saturday.

The schoolboys were taken while doing their exams, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said, adding that the total number of kidnapped children could be “much higher.”

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the abductions and the gunmen’s intentions were not clear, though in the past armed groups have forcibly recruited children before major offensives.

Yet Another Destructive U.S. Intervention

Conflict has been rife in South Sudan since December 2013 when fighting erupted in capital Juba between soldiers allied to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to his former deputy, Riek Machar. The war there is the result of yet another Washington intervention in a foreign country, with the same results obtained everywhere else, which is destruction, violence, chaos and the victimization of the people.

Washington ignores once and again that the people only want peace. (Photo: AFP)

“Washington was more interested in weakening the Republic in Sudan and encouraged the Republic of South Sudan to break away, but the looming civil war will damage U.S. interests in the region,” Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African news wire, told RT a few days after violence erupted in the country.

“The U.S. has a lot invested politically in the Republic of South Sudan and they were the main forces behind encouraging the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to break away from the Republic of Sudan in the north of the country. Therefore, they have a lot to say about developments that are going on right now in this troubled nation,” the expert said in an interview with RT.

US military intervention in and in nine other African countries is a disastrous echo of 19th century colonialism.

I feel completely uninformed about South Sudan & potential US intervention. If only there were still journalists in America!

He also explained that the motives of the U.S. intervention in Sudan are linked to their interest, as always, in oil, as the country was producing over 500,000 barrels per day, which were held by China, therefore, the subsequent motive in causing destabilization in the nation was to weaken the anti-U.S. government of Khartoum, Republic of Sudan, and lessen the influence of China.

The result of Washington’s intervention has been the country’s deterioration into a civil war, which threatens to spread to other countries throughout Central and East Africa, and the despair of the people who now face potential famine.

(Photo: AFP)

Another common practice by the U.S. is to impose sanctions on countries, as it recently has done in South Sudan.

Death and Displacement

At least 10,000 people have been killed and 1.5 million internally displaced, according to Reuters. UNICEF said about 12,000 children have been recruited into armed groups since the outbreak of war.

The latest incident took place near Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile State, in a small village that has seen its population swell to about 90,000 due to a flood of internally displaced people.

“According to witnesses, armed soldiers surrounded the community and searched house by house. Boys older than 12 years of age were taken away by force,” UNICEF said in a statement.

According to Reuters, the use of child soldiers in South Sudan, which only became independent in 2011, has a long history.

The U.N. last month secured a pledge for the release of about 3,000 child soldiers in South Sudan, in what it called “one of the largest ever demobilizations of children.”

Tens of thousands of displaced Sudanese people now face hunger and homelessness. (Photo: AFP)

Rape and Sexual Violence

Rape and other forms of sexual violence by all sides in South Sudan’s civil war have become so widespread that a 2-year-old child was among the victims, the U.N. special representative on sexual violence in armed conflict said recently.

“In my 30 years of experience, I’ve never witnessed anything like what I saw in Bentiu,” Zainab Hawa Bangura told reporters about a recent trip to the northern town, one of South Sudan’s regions worst hit by the conflict.

 

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