Category Archives: South Sudan

Sudan withdrawing forces from Abyei

Sudan has agreed to withdraw the Sudan Armed Forces troops from Abyei. This is a good step toward settling the issues of the border territories.

Sudan, SPLA-N, and JEM

Sudan is accusing South Sudan of supporting the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army-North in South Kordofan and the Justice and Equality Movement in southern Darfur. This was obviously going to be the strategy of the government of Sudan when the UNSC made the absence of support part of the proposal. I wrote about this issue for Help Nuba on May 1st. I wrote at that time that:

As for ceasing to harbor or support rebel groups, it will be impossible to confirm compliance. If these groups continue to act on their own, the appropriate governments will be accused of supporting them regardless of whether or not they actually offer material or any other type of support. In addition, remember that the rebel groups in the south of Sudan are fighting for freedom against a genocidal government. The UN as an organization is supposed to support democracy. Yes, I know that this is farcical at this point, but to have an official policy that mandates that people combating genocide are not to be supported is at best wrong and at worst cruel and inhumane.

Nothing has changed in three weeks. Sudan is still trying to slaughter the people of South Kordofan and they are still fighting against the Khartoum regime. Neither side seems like it is going to stop anytime soon.

Sudan reaches out to Arab League

Nabil al-Arabi, Arab League Secretary general was in Khartoum for talks with president Omer Hassan al-Bashir over the weekend. The Khartoum regime is seeking aid from the Arab League to combat potential sanctions applied by the US and United Nations failure to work with South Sudan. They haven’t said that explicitly, but it appears to be the truth. The Arab nations have consistently sided with Sudan against South Sudan and exert influence in the United Nations.

Sudan has reached security and peace agreements in the past few months with Chad, with the Central African Republic, and with the newly Ghaddafi-less Libya. It is certainly not a good thing that the newly freed people of Libya have as one of their first activities embraced Omar al-Bashir.

Meanwhile, the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan is being portrayed as one between the Arab world on the one side and South Sudan, Uganda, and Israel on the other. The Sudan Revolutionary Front, the group comprised of people from the Nuba Mountains and Darfur along with others who are persecuted by the Khartoum regime are treated as if they fight for others instead of the truth which is that they are fighting for their own peace, justice, and liberty. This is Sudan’s way of misdirecting the discussion and discouraging western support for the “rebel” groups.

In the meantime, with the focus of attention away from the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile and instead on preventing war between Sudan and South Sudan, the Khartoum regime will be able to continue its efforts to kill or expel the Blue Nile and Nuba peoples, Christians and Muslims, men, women, and children and with the approaching rainy season, the urgency grows rapidly.

Sudan Council of Churches Office in South Darfur Ordered Closed

Sudan has raided and closed the offices of the Sudan Council of Churches in Nyala along with Sudan Aid without giving any notice, according to a report from Compass Direct News. Three employees of Sudan aid were arrested. National Intelligence and Security Services also shuttered a church that was caring for the needy in the area.

Salva Kiir- South Sudan opposes Islamization and Arabization

The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, explained that South Sudan has been fighting against the expansion of Islamization, the combination of Islamic religious views and the enforcement of them using political and military force. Kiir stated in his Sudanese People’s Liberation Army Day speech that:

The government in Khartoum once said we are the obstacle and if they can defeat us they will expand Islamization and Arabization up to South Africa.

What is “Arabization?” In this context, Arabization is the enforcement of Arab Islamic societal and cultural norms while subjugating African ones as inferior and to be abolished. In Darfur, it was Arabization which was opposed by much of the African Muslim population that led to genocide of the African Muslim population there by Arabists. I say “Arabists” because in Darfur, these were racial Africans, not racial Arabs, who were enforcing Arabization under the penalty of death.

In the Nuba Mountains, the government is attempting both to promote Islamization  and Arabization against the African Muslims there while forcing the cultural African Muslims and all of the Christians to flee or die. The SPLM-North is defending them against the Sudanese government while ultimately seeking to create a government that would allow for religious freedom.

Though not speaking about the events in South Kordofan, but about South Sudan, the Sudan Tribune notes that:

Kiir explained that the SPLM manifesto calls for a secular state where “no religion is better than the other” and “no region and tribe should be better than the other” because “religion belongs to God” and the “land belongs to the general population.”

Below you will find videos of the Salva Kiir’s SPLA Day speech which was delivered in Arabic.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir speaking on SPLA Day 2012

Part I

Part 2

South Sudan to Receive Anti-Aircraft Weapons

The Sudan Tribune reports that General James Hoth Mai, the head of South Sudan’s military, said that South Sudan will soon be able to provide anti-aircraft weaponry to the nation’s military. It is likely that such weaponry would come by way of either Israel or the United States. As noted by Help Nuba yesterday,  South Sudan’s minister of agriculture and forestry, Betty Achan Ogwaro, is currently visiting Israel. It would make sense that as part of the mission, military assistance was discussed. Israel helped the people of South Sudan in the decades long civil war against the north.

Anti-aircraft weaponry would dramatically turn the tide of the conflict, particularly should any come into the hands of the SPLA-North which is stronger on the ground than the Sudanese Armed Forces, but is no match for Sudan’s air power. In fact, a significant threat that the SPLM-N might acquire such weaponry could well bring Sudan to the negotiating table.

This would be very good news for South Sudan if true.

South Sudan and Israel Cooperation

South Sudan and Israel are cooperating on agriculture and water conservation. South Sudan’s minister of agriculture and forestry, Betty Achan Ogwaro, visited Israel to discuss how Israeli technology could help South Sudan.

Israel has historically helped South Sudan and there is interest in strengthening South Sudan-Israel ties in all areas including security cooperation.

Act for Sudan Press Release about Kauda

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Elizabeth Blackney, 541 390 1913, eliz@medializzy.com

SUDAN DEFIES US AND UNSC, ESCALATES ETHNIC VIOLENCE

Bishop Andudu speaks out against ethnic cleansing, Activists urge strong consequences

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 10, 2012 – Act for Sudan urges the United States, the United Nations, the African Union and the Arab League to issue a strong warning to the Government of Sudan that if it carries out an attack on Kauda Valley, it can expect immediate and debilitating consequences.
While activists appreciate recent efforts by the United Nations to address the humanitarian crisis and to resolve the outstanding issues that have instigated violent conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan, these measures will not save the lives of Sudanese living in Kauda Valley and throughout the Nuba Mountains who are in grave danger.

In January, George Clooney’s Satellite Sentinel Project provided clear evidence that the Government of Sudan was preparing a final assault against the Nuba people living in Kauda Valley, Southern Kordofan.

President Omar al-Bashir and his assistant, Nafie Ali Nafie, confirmed the government’s intentions and the Satellite Sentinel Project’s predictions. According to a Sudan Tribune article dated May 8, 2012, Nafie indicated that the army is close to taking control of the area and Bashir threatened to hold prayers in Kauda this Friday.

While Kauda Valley is the stronghold of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement North, a member of the Sudan Revolutionary Front which has vowed to overthrow Bashir’s regime, the tactics of the Government of Sudan violate international norms and the spirit of the United Nations Resolution 2046 dated May 2, 2012.

Since June 2011, the Government of Sudan has indiscriminately and continuously bombed Kauda Valley. It has blocked humanitarian aid from reaching civilians and it has cut-off the main evacuation route for those attempting to escape. The Government of Sudan has trapped and subjected its citizens to months of terror and violence. Before the rainy season begins, it intends to carry out a final military campaign to eliminate those who have not succumbed to starvation.

According to Bishop Andudu, the Anglican Bishop of the capital of Southern Kordofan, Kauda Valley in the Nuba Mountains was home to a diverse population, a place where Muslims and Christians lived and worked together peacefully. He noted, “however, the people who are being killed by the Sudanese government in the Nuba Mountains are mostly black Africans – both Christians and Muslims and animists.”

Act for Sudan has consistently sounded the alarm about the spectre of the Government of Sudan’s systematic behavior of breaking agreements to allow humanitarian aid as well as those that require a cessation of violence, most recently in a letter to the United Nations Security Council dated April 24, 2012.
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Act for Sudan is an alliance of 68 American and Sudanese grassroots organizations that advocate for an end to genocide and mass atrocities in Sudan. Act for Sudan is dedicated to advocacy that is directly informed by the situation on the ground and by Sudanese people who urgently seek protection, justice, and peace. For more information please visit http://www.actforsudan.org.

South Sudan has Left Abyei. Will Sudan Follow?

South Sudan has complied with the UN Security Council resolution and withdrawn its troops from the disputed territory of Abyei. Will Sudan follow suit? AU chief, Jean Ping, called on the government of the Sudan to:

Reciprocate and withdraw its forces from Abyei, in line with its acceptance of the Roadmap and the timetable contained therein. With the effective deployment of UNISFA, there is no longer need for any other force to remain in Abyei.

Sudan Rejects UNSC Demand to Negotiate with SPLM-N

Sudan has is rejecting the UN Security Council’s demand to negotiate with the SPLM-North based upon a June, 2011 agreement. SPLM-N Secretary General Yasser Arman indicates that the SPLM-N has agreed to negotiate. A statement signed by him states that:

The entry point for the comprehensive peaceful settlement in Sudan is for the parties to address urgently and seriously the humanitarian crisis in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile immediately and to put into effect the tripartite agreement of the United Nations, African Union and the Arab League, which was signed by the SPLM-N long ago and avoided by Khartoum using different tricks to buy time. And in this regard, the SPLM-N is ready for a humanitarian cessation of hostilities that will enable the UN, African Union and Arab League to implement their proposal.

Sudan’s leader Omar Bashir, no doubt feels that since Sudan seems to currently have the upper hand in international opinion to force South Sudan to abandon support of the SPLM-N, it is time to increase Sudan’s military operation against the SPLM-N rather than to negotiate. In response to this decision by Sudan, the United States may push for sanctions against Sudan. However, there is little to no chance that sanctions will pass the UNSC as both Russia and China are likely to veto any such resolution.