Monthly Archives: June 2012

Urgent Appeal from the SPLM-N Leadership

Urgent Appeal from the SPLM-N Leadership
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS ARE FACING IMMINENT DEATH IN SUDAN IN FRONT OF THE EYES AND EARS OF THE WORLD
It is now one year since war started by Khartoum in the Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan and the Blue Nile. Approximately half a million are internally displaced and hundreds of thousands have become refugees as a result of continuous aerial and ground bombardments for the entire year. Systematic policies by Khartoum and war indicted criminals, headed by General Bashir, use mass starvation as a weapon and genocidal militias, army and aerial bombardments against civil populations. General Bashir ignores the bleeding and the efforts to open access for humanitarian operations; refused the tri-partite proposal that was signed by the SPLM-N, the United Nations, the African Union and the Arab League four months ago; and ignores the Security Council Resolution 2046 article 4, which urges him to agree to the tri-partite proposal.
Given the SPLM-N’s consultation in Addis Ababa in the first week of this month with the AU High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), the Chair of IGAD and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, the US Special Envoy, the United Nations, the African Union and the Arab League, it is evidently clear that Khartoum is not for the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution that will open access for a humanitarian operation. At the same time, in the last three weeks, more massive displacement is taking place. Thousands of people are starving and thousands are crossing the borders as refugees into the Republic of South Sudan. More than 30,000 crossed the border from Blue Nile into the Republic of South Sudan in the last three weeks, and 500-700 are crossing on a daily basis from the Nuba Mountains to South Sudan. This has been reported by the UN and credible NGOs, the last being MSF.
The “on border operations” have no capacity to respond to this situation. Courageous politicians, human rights activists, journalists, NGOs and notable and prominent personalities from all over the world have voiced their concern and worries on the fate of hundreds of thousands who are facing imminent death by hunger or war crimes. Among them are late Congressman Donald Payne, Congressman Frank Wolf, Congressman Michael Capuano, Congressman Chris Smith, Congressman James McGovern, Congressman John Olver, Congressman Jim Moran, Congressman Al Green, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Senator John McCain, Senator John Kerry, Senator Chris Coons, Senator Johnny Isakson, Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Roger Wicker, Baroness Caroline Cox, Martin Luther King III, Nick and George Clooney, Rev. Franklin Graham, Eric Reeves, Mukesh Kapila, John Prendergast, Nicholas Kristof, Greta Susteren, Ken Isaacs, Andrew Natsios, Roger Winter, Pam Omidyar, Tom Andrews, Ryan Boyette, Humanity United, the NAACP, Act for Sudan, American Jewish World Service, Enough Project, and United to End Genocide. These are among many and we regret being unable to mention all strong voices that are giving hope to the Sudanese people and especially the displaced and the refugees.
Access had not been allowed by General Bashir, bombardment is continuing and people are dying from hunger, the rain has started and there is no clear plan to respond to the situation. We appeal and urge the friends of Sudan everywhere to combine their efforts to implement article 4 of the UN Security Council Resolution by contacting the Security Council and by pursuing every possible avenue that will put pressure on General Bashir to agree to the tri-partite proposal and to open access for humanitarian assistance, which is a human right for those who are affected, and failing to allow access is a war crime.
The SPLM-N would like to reiterate its commitment again for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2046 and we indeed submitted our proposal for a roadmap for implementation when we recently met the Chair of the AUHIP, former President Thabo Mbeki, and the Chair of IGAD, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who have been tasked by the Security Council to implement the Resolution. Moreover, we are ready for an immediate cessation of hostilities on humanitarian grounds to create a conducive environment for a humanitarian operation.
Yasir Arman
Secretary General, SPLM-N
June 14, 2012

A Bad Day for the Khartoum Regime

This morning began with the report that Sudanese Minister of Finance Ali Mahmoud told members of the Sudanese parliament that the austerity measures being put in place including the ending of fuel subsidies were a reflection of the “bankruptcy” of the state. With food prices inflating at a rate of 30% and falling currency values along with the real fact that more than 75% of its oil revenues are now gone, the prospects for the future of the Sudanese economy are grim.

The National Consensus Forces (NCF), the major opposition party to Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP), is organizing protests against the removal of the fuel subsidies and is calling for “regime change.” The NCF was joined by the Popular Congress Party (PCP) in protesting and calling for change. Hassan Al-Turabi, leader of the Popular Congress Party, reportedly said that the recent gathering of the NCF and PCP argued that the “meeting should be the kick-off a campaign to confront the regime which continues to oppress the people, stressing that the current economic crisis affects the rich and poor alike.” Al-Turabi said:

The middle class began to recede after the intensification of poverty and inflation. Therefore the opposition leaders met to plan for the after this regime.

Meanwhile, South Sudan is finalizing a deal to create an oil pipeline through Kenya that will result in a major financial loss, oil transit fees, going forward for Khatoum as well as the securing of South Sudan’s future oil income through a friendly nation.

Finally, the Egyptian military has staged what appears to be a coup d’etat in Egypt, removing the Khartoum regime friendly Muslim Brotherhood from power and suddenly putting a major wrench into Bashir’s attempt to unite the newly Islamist run states of Libya and Egypt with his own regime. The linchpin has suddenly been removed and the scheme is mid-collapse.

At this point, unless the Khartoum regime can negotiate peace with both the South Sudanese and the Sudan Revolutionary Forces, limiting its financial expenses for its war efforts and restoring a full flow of oil, it faces the real possibility of complete collapse in the months ahead.

Kristof: American help needed, warranted — but missing.

Op-Ed Columnist

From Peace Prize to Paralysis

By
Published: June 9, 2012

IN THE NUBA MOUNTAINS, Sudan

Kristof writes :  “This [ the Khartoum regime] is a regime whose leader has been charged with genocide, has destabilized the region, has sponsored brutal proxy warlords like Joseph Kony, has presided over the deaths of more than 2.5 million people in southern Sudan, in Darfur and in the Nuba Mountains — and the Obama administration doesn’t want him overthrown?

In addition, the administration has consistently tried to restrain the rebel force here, led by Abdel Aziz Al-Hilu, a successful commander who has lived in America and projects moderation. The rebels are itching to seize the South Kordofan state capital, Kadugli, but say that Washington is discouraging them. … Abdel Aziz … seemed mystified that American officials try to shield a genocidal government whose army is, he thinks, crumbling.”

“In both Syria and Sudan, the Obama administration seems stuck behind the curve.”

“In Sudan, we should disable the military runways that bombers take off from to attack civilians in the Nuba Mountains, or destroy an Antonov bomber and make clear that we’ll do the same to others if Sudan continues to bomb its people. Then we should support efforts by private aid groups to bring food and seed into the Nuba Mountains, by airdrops in this rainy season when roads are impassible.’

Source:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/opinion/sunday/kristof-from-peace-prize-to-paralysis.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

SPLM-N Seeks a Humanitarian Ceasefire

The SPLM-N would like to sign a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to reach the people of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Of course, the Khartoum Regime will not agree to this because it has been working hard to create the famine in the first place by bombing civilians working in fields and making it impossible to plant crops. The regime in fact, believes that it can force the SPLM-N to disarm by creating such a horrendous famine that the SPLM-N will lay down its arms in the hope of bringing relief to the people of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Meanwhile, the international community has thus far refused to place enough pressure upon Khartoum to relent and to allow humanitarian aid to be delivered or to work toward sending that aid through South Sudan into the region. Famine and the rainy season are the friends of Khartoum. Those who wish to deliver humanitarian aid to the starving civilians are their enemies.

Famine in Northern Bahr el-Ghazal

In addition to facing widespread famine in South Kordofan and Blue Nile in Sudan, we are facing famine in the northern regions of South Sudan as well. Skyrocketing food prices and supply shortages are creating a terrible situation in Northern Bahr el-Ghazal. Many regions have similar problems. Working together would seem to be the obvious solution.

Blue Nile Situation is Worsening Rapidly

The UN says that it is “alarmed” by the dramatically increasing flow of refugees from Blue Nile into South Sudan.  António Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said that:

Not only are refugee numbers suddenly much higher, but the condition that many of these people are in is shockingly bad. Some have been eating tree leaves to survive along the way…Despite the rain, this is an area where there’s simply not enough safe drinking water; This, and the security situation, makes it all the more urgent that people are relocated fast to better protected places.

With the world’s attention focused on the talks between Sudan and South Sudan, in recent days, Sudan has expelled NGOs from eastern Sudan, has worsened the situation in Darfur (see a village burned down and acting to worsen the medical situation in Zam Zam camp), and continues to threaten the populations of South Kordofan and Blue Nile where the famine is worsening with each passing day.

Sudan Expels Aid Groups from Eastern Sudan

Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) has ordered the seven aid groups working in eastern Sudan in the states of Kassala, Red Sea, and Gadaref to suspend their work. HAC’s primary job is to protect the regime from criticism. It is not primarily interested in helping to fix the problems caused by the overwhelming centralization of power and resources by the Khartoum Regime or allowing to be fixed by anyone else.

As the humanitarian organizations are working to remedy problems largely caused by the Khartoum Regime or whose remedies are impeded by the Khartoum Regime, it would not be surprising that they would point out the inadequacies of the Khartoum Regime in their work and potentially to recommend changes.

What all of the “marginalized” peoples of Sudan and South Sudan need to understand is that the cause of their problems is ultimately the same, the Khartoum Regime does not care about them and will not allow their lives to improve substantially at the expense of the Khartoum Regime if it can at all be avoided.