Category Archives: Nuba

Sudan – The Failing Economy and The Future

Over the past few months, I have written several articles dealing with the state of the Sudanese economy and implications for the ongoing conflicts in which Sudan is involved. I wrote in October about ongoing attempts to bail out the Sudanese government in direct contradiction to the sanctions imposed upon it for its genocidal actions, but I wrote as early as May and  June that the economic situation will eventually have a major impact on Sudan’s ability to maintain its military or to avoid uprisings in the streets. Economically, things have gotten much worse in the months since. Professor Eric Reeves wrote a lengthy description of the economic situation faced by the Sudanese government in which he detailed an array of major problems. I encourage you to read the full article, but wish to highlight here some of what Professor Reeves describes. He notes that:

  1. Sudan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world which makes business investment there very difficult and expensive to conduct as well as causing resentment and distrust.
  2. Sudan is one of the worst performing economies in the world. There is negative economic growth in Sudan. The economy is getting smaller at a rate of -11.2% per year.
  3. Inflation is sky-high. In October the official rate was 45.3%. Meaning that next year, everything will cost nearly one-and-a-half times what it does right now. The inflation rates for food and fuel are much worse than that. As bad as this is, Reeves notes that in September, the official rate was listed at 42% but some suggest that the actual rate was closer to 65%.
  4. The Khartoum Regime has sold off much of its oil assets in order to pay current bills.
  5. Anti-regime protests forced Khartoum to reinstate fuel subsidies that the World Monetary Fund demanded that it end so that Sudan’s currency market could stabilize.
  6. The Sudanese government is now printing money to service its increasing debt resulting in both inflation in prices and devaluing of its currency. One US Dollar now is exchanged for 6.5 Sudanese Pounds in the black market compared with 5 pounds earlier this year.
  7. Sudan has limited foreign currency reserves and thus is facing a situation in which it is forced to use its own devalued currency to purchase needed items in foreign markets including the 400,000 tons of Sugar it imports each year.
  8. Arab governments are reticent to offer financial backing to the regime. Only Qatar (and I would add, probably Iran) has offered aid. Claims to the contrary about large deposits in the Central Bank of Sudan actually diminish the regimes credibility and therefore credit with other nations and exporters.
  9. Future prospects of oil income are far more limited than they once were with most of the oil reserves located in South Sudan. In April, 2012 Sudan was actually listed as a net oil importer by the International Monetary Fund meaning that it uses more oil than it produces.
  10. Agricultural land has been poorly managed or destroyed and Sudan no longer has sufficient native agriculture to meet national food needs.
  11. A huge percentage of Sudan’s gross domestic product GDP is going to pay for military operations. These bills are being paid in Sudanese Pounds which are being devalued. Thus soldiers who are being paid the same wages each month are seeing the value of what they are being paid diminish. With 50% inflation, someone paid $3000 per year is now being paid the equivalent of $2000. That is going to promote resentment and could spell the collapse of the regime’s efforts to defend itself.
  12. Political support is weakening along with increasing resentment among those who work for and support the regime.

Professor Reeves concludes:

Despite the already acute and growing danger of complete economic implosion, the regime persists with immensely expensive and unproductive policies, including war in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile, as well as hostile actions along the North/South border, and the supplying of renegade militia groups inside South Sudan.  For a regime that is ruthlessly survivalist, this makes no rational sense: current economic realities are diminishing the chances that the regime will survive.

The world needs to stand up to the Khartoum Regime and force it to change its ways or leave power, not only for the benefit of the greatly suffering peoples in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile, but also for the sake of Sudan itself and its population held hostage by an irrational, destructive, and hate-filled regime.

Rally December 14 in Washington DC for the Sudanese People Under Attack

Join Help Nuba and USASSCA in Washington DC on December 14

Join Help Nuba and USASSCA in Washington DC on December 14

  • December 14th
  • Washington DC
  • 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Lafayette Square (Directly north of the White House)

The Khartoum regime has increased bombardment and the burning of villages and crops across the Nuba Mountains. It is unimaginable. We want to have this rally as a way to show solidarity with the people of this area and the Blue Nile state. We will also remember people from other regions of Sudan who are suffering including the people of Darfur who have never rested from the brutal Sudan regime since 2003.

The world has blinded itself from what is happening in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and Sudan in general. We are calling on you as humanitarian organizations, activists, Sudanese opposition and Diaspora, pro-democracy groups and everyone who cares about Sudan to come out and tell the US government that innocent lives in Sudan must be protected. We need ideas and help with graphics that will help draw attention to the rally and our call for protection. We want everybody to participate.

For more information, you can contact us at 816-200-8824.

The rally is cosponsored by Help Nuba and USASSCA, the United Sudanese And South Sudanese Communities Association, among other organizations.

Thank you very much.

Philip Tutu, Nuba Community

USASSCA Logo

An Urgent Plea from the Nuba Mountains

November 5, 2012

Dear Leaders of the International Community,

We write to you from inside the Nuba Mountains and on behalf of the men, women and children who have waited in vain for your help. Since June 2011, we have been under constant attack by the Bashir regime. Hundreds of bombs have dropped on us, and missiles as well as attacks by soldiers and militia are a constant threat. In the last two weeks, bombardment by the Khartoum regime has increased intensively. Since Friday, October the 26th, the bombardment has become more brutal and covered more than a dozen of our villages.

Many people have been killed, and livestock and several houses and fields of crops have been burned and destroyed. The intense bombing has begun again this week and it is a daily activity in the area. As it is well known to you, we do not have access to food, medicine, healthcare and other basic necessities. We look around at what is left of our homes and see our family and friends weak from hunger and disease. Everywhere we look, we see children, the elderly and other vulnerable people lying on the ground helpless. The number of people dying from starvation and disease is disturbing and increasing. It is very hard for us to explain to our children what is happening when they ask us, “Does anyone in the world know what we are going through?

Why is it that no one cares about us?”

For 17 months, we have been hearing you talk about us. We’ve heard you say that our situation is critical and that you are gravely
concerned; however, we have almost given up hope that your words mean anything. We are aware of UN Security Council Resolution 2046 and the work done by the UN in coordination with the African Union and League of Arab States to secure a ceasefire and humanitarian aid for our area (Nuba Mountains) and Blue Nile. We have heard about the latest AUPSC Communiqué dated October 24, 2012 that we understand will inform your actions on our behalf, and we want you to understand what we have heard and how it makes us feel. Less than 10% of the communiqué addresses what has been described as the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa. The communiqué spells out the priorities of the AU (and therefore the UN), and we are sad to learn that saving our lives – urgently addressing a critical humanitarian crisis – is clearly not a priority.

While UNSC Resolution 2046 demands an end to aerial bombardments and all hostilities, the AUPSC Communiqué fails to acknowledge the conditions we are forced to endure on a daily basis and it fails to acknowledge who is responsible for imposing those conditions on us. The Communiqué does, however, recognize the “difficult circumstances” faced by Bashir and commends him for his courage and statesmanship in reaching agreements with South Sudan and regarding Abyei. This is very difficult for us to understand. We do not understand why a leader who fails to implement existing agreements and therefore requires additional intervention by the international community in order to avoid a war that he would start should be commended. If Bashir is facing difficult circumstances, they are the result of his own making and frankly, we would like him to be in our situation and just test what we are going through for 17 months in the Nuba Mountains. If Bashir lived in the Nuba Mountains, he would understand the meaning of “difficult circumstances.”
We also do not understand why Bashir should be rewarded with financial assistance, debt relief and the lifting of sanctions as outlined in the Communiqué. As stated earlier, Bashir bombed our villages as he was signing agreements. Unlike UNSC Resolution 2046, the Communiqué fails to provide deadlines or outline consequences if Bashir continues to attack us and continues to block humanitarian access. The Communiqué does urge the AUHIP to “undertake a lessons-learnt exercise” and so we respectfully submit the observation based on our own experience and based on Bashir’s behavior since UNSC Resolution 2046 was put into place on May 2, 2012, that Bashir does not comply with agreements. The Communiqué does include a November 10, 2012 deadline for convening negotiations
regarding political negotiations between Bashir and the SPLM-North based on the June 28, 2011 Framework Agreement, but given the
complexity of political negotiations that should encompass the entire country, this deadline will have no impact on our desperate situation.

Deadlines and conditions related to access for humanitarian aid must be separate from the political process and must be prioritized above all else.

While we appreciate your commitment to remain “actively seized on the matter”, we are worried – based on our experience – that your commitment will not save our lives and the lives of our children who have suffered long enough. Our question remains unanswered, why doesn’t anyone care about us? We have a right to be protected from a brutal government and to be rescued from genocide. We have a right to have access to food and medicine like everyone else in the world.

Innocent lives are being taken day and night including children, women, and the elderly right before our eyes and the world’s silence
is unbelievable.

We have much to offer our country, the continent and the world. The Nuba Mountains are beautiful and we are remarkable people. We enjoyed six years of peace after the signing of the CPA, an agreement that was the result of strong Sudanese, African and international leadership. That same combined level of leadership is required today. We welcome the appointment of Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and we urge her to visit us this month with a shipment of food and medicine.

Thank you for considering our concerns and we hope you will stand on our behalf and do everything possible – even if Bashir does not allow it – to deliver urgently needed humanitarian aid to our areas for our people.

Best regards,

1- Stephevanos Jaralnabi Angalo, Omdorain Locality
2- Alamin Kharif Bari, Delami Locality
3- Jibreel Ismail, Alboram Locality
4- Zaki Khalifa Tawor, Kadugli Locality
5- Ahamed Abaala, Haiban Locality
6- Khamis Soba, Deleng Locality
7- Salieh Alias dalum, Lagawa Locality
8- Nur Aldeen Jumma Almahadi, Abujabiha Locality
9- Adam Alnugra Ahamed, Talodi Locality

Report of Summary Executions in Liri, Sudan

Sources in the region have brought to the attention of Help Nuba that following clashes between the SPLA-North and the Sudan Armed Forces in the area of Liri in South Kordofan, Sudan that the Governor of that province, Ahmed Harun, who is already a wanted criminal for his actions during the genocide in Darfur, arrested and summarily executed sixteen civilians from the Nuba Liri tribe, including the paramount chief of the Liri Nuba, Elmak/Adam Juju.

The sixteen victims are:

1- Elmak/ Adam Juju

2- Abdalla Juju – Brother of the Mak

3- Jalal Balola

4- Mohammed Akol

5- Mohammed Sileman

6- Elfaki Kallo

7- Mater Abbas

8- Jallab Elfaki

9- Adam Hasan

10- Mohammed Tiya Elmaban

11- Adam Tago

12- Saliim Kanno Elmahdi

13- Ali Dawudi

14- Eltayib Kunda Abu Rafas

15- Ahmed Musa

16- Marghani Hasan

 

Also two SPLA Soldiers who were captured last July are said to have been executed last week while in detention.

They are:

1- Pvt. Adam Hammad

2- Pvt. Mukhtar Korti

Dr. John Garang’s Vision by Yassir Arman

Dr. John Garang’s Vision is the Only Game in Town for the Welfare of the Sudans
Tomorrow the 30th of July, as we commemorate the memory of Dr. John Garang and celebrate his life and contribution as well, he would be one of the rare Sudanese who can be honored on the divide of both countries and by many Northern and Southern Sudanese and by Muslims and Christians. He was and he is above the divide being ethnic or geographical, and he had crossed many areas on this great divide. And as we all know, Dr. Garang was his vision, the vision of the “New Sudan”, a vision that was essentially and in essence based on the commonality of the Sudanese historical and contemporary and what brings the Sudanese together in the past, present and future, the peaceful co-existence and the common wealth that respects diversity of all forms.
Today Dr. Garang is not around, but his vision never dies. In actual fact, South Sudan and North Sudan they cannot do much without his vision. They are both very diverse and the massive majority of the two countries are marginalized and only the vision of the New Sudan can deliver peace, food, democracy and stability. Both countries cannot achieve progress without true recognition of their diversities in a true democratic state that respects human rights, the rule of law and accountability, builds a caring society that would address the issues of marginalization including women’s rights and taking “towns to people, not peoples to towns”, the famous jargon of Dr. Garang. The two countries are in need of such a great vision.
Dr. Garang was a true democratic Pan Africanist who believed in the unity of Africa from Cairo to Cape Town and as charity starts at home, he was for the unity of Sudan and he made the biggest attempt to preserve that unity on a new basis against all odds. Now as we have two Sudans, the vision of Dr. Garang remains valid and needed by both countries, and it is also valid to re-unite Sudan, a unity between two independent viable countries and democratic states that share the same values. The present situation full of challenges and liabilities that can be changed into assets requires a huge work and struggle by all democratic forces in the two countries. Areas such as Blue Nile and South Kordofan can be and they should be a role model of economic and social integration between the two countries given the historical and social ties as well as the rest of the border states between the two countries.
As we commemorate and celebrate the life of Dr. Garang by those who are from Northern Sudan, for us Dr. Garang is a true son of Northern Sudan as well as of South Sudan. He is a point of link between the two countries and a great hero of our lifetime, and in my humble opinion, he was the most important Sudanese personality in the last century, and it will take both Sudans fifty to one hundred years to bring a wonderful charismatic leaders such as him, full of sense of humor and intelligence, a real human being. The good news is that his vision remains valid and never dies. In fact, it is the only game in town for both Sudans.
Yasir Arman
July 29, 2012