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.
2- Abdalla Juju – Brother of the Mak
10- Mohammed Tiya Elmaban
14- Eltayib Kunda Abu Rafas
Also two SPLA Soldiers who were captured last July are said to have been executed last week while in detention.
Sudan today said that it will accept humanitarian access to South Kordofan and Blue Nile as long as there are observers from the African Union and Arab League to monitor it. The deal requires the immediate cessation of hostilities. Clearly this is the primary aspect of the agreement. The fact is that the regime cannot continue to fight a losing battle against the Sudan Revolutionary Front in South Kordofan while also facing severe economic troubles and protests in the streets.
It may well be necessary for there to be a ceasefire in the south so as to allow humanitarian access to save the tens of thousands of people whose lives are in jeopardy, but it is also clear that Sudan could not in the near term return to full scale combat readiness. The Sudanese government will need to shift finances from military to domestic spending and once that shift takes place, the SAF will be worse off against the SRF than it is today. This is great news if it actually happens, that Sudan lets in humanitarian aid, but even if it does not, the very fact that it is considering doing so is an indication that the resolve and ability of the regime to maintain its previous policies is significantly weakened.
Posted in Blue Nile, Genocide, Khartoum, Khartoum Regime, Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, SPLA-N, SPLM-N, SRF, Sudan
Tagged Blue Nile, humanitarian aid, South Kordofan
Growing dissatisfaction with austerity measures imposed by the administration of Omar Bashir’s government, opposition parties are calling for the overthrow the government. Students are protesting in large numbers in the streets shouting, “The people want to overthrow the regime!” The opposition parties and rebels groups in Sudan separately made similar calls yesterday. According to the Sudan Tribune:
The opposition forces say the austerity plan announced by the government did not affect the huge budgets of the army, police, security apparatus, and sovereign sector which acquire 70% of wages and salaries line or 56% of the whole 2012 budget.
This is not only the sign of a regime in severe economic difficulties, it is the sign of a regime on the verge of collapse. Governments cannot abandon care for the general needs of their population. Further, it is clear that Sudan’s ability to continue fighting, much less to improve its capabilities on the battlefield through increased military spending, are non-existent.
Ahmed Hussein Adam, the foreign relations secretary of the Darfur based rebel group known as the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said that:
What is happening in Sudan these days is the beginning of a true revolution.
Posted in JEM, Khartoum, Khartoum Regime, South Kordofan, SPLA-N, SRF, Sudan
Tagged Austerity, DUP, JEM, ncp, Revolution in Sudan, SRF
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.
Posted in Blue Nile, Famine, Genocide, Khartoum, Khartoum Regime, Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, SPLA-N, SPLM-N, SRF, Starvation, Sudan, United Nations, UNSC
Tagged Blue Nile, Famine, South Kordofan, SPLM-N
Some time ago, I discussed a rather sober assessment of South Sudan’s economy. It appeared that Sudan would be able to continue fighting and that South Sudan would be unable to do so. However, a new assessment by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) offers a new perspective. Sudan is facing “daunting challenges.”
The IMF noted that Sudan lost 75% of its oil reserves when South Sudan became a nation. Without the production from Heglig, Sudan would be in catastrophic economic trouble, but it is not in great shape now. In a posting from a couple of weeks ago, I noted something that has become much more significant. I said that:
While having the upper hand, Sudan should be somewhat concerned. Yes, it has substantially more financial resources to commit to war, but it will also have to spend those resources at a much higher rate to prosecute a war, even a defensive one. The difference in the motivation of the soldiers is paramount. The Sudanese soldiers would be fighting for money to support their families. Sudan is going to have to pay its soldiers substantially to motivate them.
If Sudan’s economy is in bad shape, then this dynamic becomes exceedingly important. Sudan will begin to see desertions from its armed forces and certainly from mercenary groups that it supports. People fighting for money will stop fighting when the money stops flowing or if the tide of battle turns against them. One cannot support a family if he dies. Thus, such soldiers are much more likely to abandon the fight if it gets difficult. People fighting for survival and people fighting for freedom will continue to fight. If in South Sudan and perhaps soon after, the SPLA-North, were to put anti-aircraft weaponry in the field of battle, removing the massive advantage of Sudan, the tide of the entire war could change.
In the meantime, regardless of the fighting, there are people starving in South Kordofan and Blue Nile with the rainy season rapidly approaching. That is a battle the people of the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile cannot afford to lose.
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.
Posted in African Union, Darfur, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide, Khartoum, Nuba Mountains, South Sudan, SPLA, SPLA-N, SPLM, SPLM-N, SRF, Starvation, Sudan, United Nations, United States, UNSC
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.
Posted in Arab League, Blue Nile, Darfur, Heglig, Israel, Juba, Khartoum, Nuba Mountains, Omar Bashir, South Sudan, SPLA, SPLA-N, SPLM, SPLM-N, Sudan
Thabo Mbeki of the African Union met with South Sudan President Salva Kiir to discuss arranging negotiations with Sudan. South Sudan’s response, “Sure, let’s meet.” Sudan’s response, “No, give us what we want to achieve in the negotiations as preconditions for negotiations and then we’ll negotiate.” You can read more about the meeting between Mbeki and Kiir here.
In other news, the United States has donated $30 million to the UN World Food Program to address food insecurity in South Sudan. The donation will be delivered through the US Agency for International Development (USAID). While we have discussed the need to get food aid into the Nuba Mountains before the rainy season hits, there is also a major need to get aid to many regions within South Sudan. According to USAID’s press release:
Due to South Sudan’s poor road network, about 60 percent of the country will become inaccessible during the rainy season. This contribution helps WFP complete prepositioning of much-needed commodities across South Sudan, where roads will soon become impassable.
Meanwhile, Sudan and the UN have grossly differing estimates for the number of refugees from Sudan who are currently in neighboring countries. Sudan’s estimates are less than half of those of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Regardless, hundreds of thousands of Sudanese now reside in neighboring countries because of the inhuman conduct of the Khartoum regime in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile, while hundreds of thousands more are internally displaced. Remember that the several hundred thousands Christian former citizens of Sudan have become “South Sudanese” in the eyes of the Khartoum government and are being pressured to leave. In addition, many thousands more in the border region of South Sudan have also been displaced because of Khartoum’s cross border bombing campaign and cross border raids.
Posted in African Union, Blue Nile, Christians in Sudan, Darfur, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide, Juba, Khartoum, Nuba Mountains, Omar Bashir, Salva Kiir, SPLA, SPLA-N, SPLM, SPLM-N, Starvation, Sudan, United Nations, United States, UNSC
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
Posted in Blue Nile, Christians in Sudan, Darfur, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide, Juba, Nuba Mountains, Salva Kiir, South Sudan, SPLA, SPLA-N, SPLM, SPLM-N, SRF, Starvation, Sudan
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.