December 31, 2005

Chinese to build power plant in Port Sudan

An agreement has been signed in 2005 that will lead to the construction of a 520 MW coal fired electrical power plant in Port Sudan, at a cost of $512 million [US].

Funding is being provided by Ex-im Bank, China and construction is by Shandong Electric Power Constr. Corp.

Recorded in "Building Bridges: China's Growing Role as Infrastructure Financier for Africa" Trends and Policy Options - Infrastructure #5. World Bank, PPIAF.

August 1, 2005

Beja writer detained by authorities

Security Officers from Sinkat, Red Sea State, Eastern Sudan questioned a published Beja writer at their offices about his book that reputedly held some pages of text that were critical of the government. The title of the book by 63 year old Mr. Mohamed Adroub Ohajis called "Beja Congress - Past and Present." Officers demanded that pages be torn out of the book. Some 288 copies of the book were seized. Mr Ohajis is a retired teacher, writer on Beja history. A project he was working on at the time was a dictionary of the Beja language.

The Sudan Organisation Against Torture promoted this case as an example of intimidation and harassment, and invited appeals to government officials to "end restrictions on freedom of expression, allow full and open reporting of, and comment upon the current state of affairs in Sudan."

June 24, 2005

Central government bombs Beja rebels

Eastern Front rebels announce that casualties fill hospitals in Tokar and Port Sudan after air raids. Fighting on the ground was active for a few days. Also noted was the largest raid in years by the rebels against three barracks in Tokar. They attacked a military post on June 19 in Dolabyai, southeast of Tokar. This occurred after the central government made a peace deal with the National Democratic Alliance the previous week. The Eastern Front has been part of the NDA. To diffuse the rebellion, the government offered $88 million to develop east Sudan. Military officials deny any bombing from the air.

June 15, 2005

Food aid given in Halaib and Sinkat regions

WFP's partner, Sudanese Red Crescent, distributed over 675 tons of
assorted commodities to 30,035 beneficiaries under Food-For-Recovery
activities in different locations in Halaieb and Sinkat localities in
Red Sea State. Another 2 tons of commodities were provided through the
Ministry of Health and ACF to more than 1,245 beneficiaries in
supplementary feeding centres in Port Sudan town. 

May 20, 2005

25% of toddlers suffer malnutrition

(z) Sudanese Red Crescent (SRC) conducted a joint nutrition survey on 22 April in Odi, Hamoshkoraib locality Kassala State, targeting children under-five years. The survey found Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) at 24.6 percent for children under five. Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) was reported at 3.4 percent. Primary factors that contributed to the deterioration of the nutritional status among children include access to food and clean drinking water.

Due to the severity of the situation, SRC recommended blanket supplementary feeding for all children under-five years for a three-month period to be followed by targeted supplementary feeding for children under-five years and pregnant and nursing women. Additionally, SRC recommended measles vaccination for all under-fives as the survey indicated that out of the 203 children screened, only one child was vaccinated. Limited access to safe water was reported as the biggest risk factor for morbidity and malnutrition.

The survey stressed that an appropriate strategy needs to be formulated immediately to address the critical safe water needs through the drilling of new boreholes, in conjunction with hygiene and health awareness. Meanwhile, WFP is currently reviewing a proposal submitted by SRC for a supplementary feeding programme in Odi.

May 1, 2005

Fifteen people, including government adminstrators die

An attack by the Eastern Front claimed the lives of 15 people, some of them were civil servants. The group claimed the action was in protest against a government- organised conference on the development of Eastern Sudan, which brought together traditional tribal leaders in Kassala but did not include members of the Eastern Front. Additionally, five people were kidnapped, including three politicians of the Red Sea parliament.

Later released, this incident took place in Amadam, North of Kassala, while the parliamentarians were on their way back to Port Sudan after attending the conference.

Source: SOAT

January 7, 2005

Cold weather and drought in Eritrea

Reported in the weekly World Food Program Report

Severe frost damaged vegetables in the areas surrounding Asmara between 20 and 31 December 2004. The Ministry of Agriculture has distributed seeds to facilitate the replanting of vegetables.

(c) Due to shortages of fuel, irrigation farms could not pump enough water, thus, many vegetables and fruits are drying in many areas of southeastern Eritrea. Water in the dams is expected to last up to end January 2005, thereafter, acute water shortage is expected in Areza, Mai Mine, Tsorona, and Adi Keyih (southeastern Eritrea). According to information received from the Regional Ministry of Agriculture representative, pastoralists from this area are on the verge of migrating with their livestock towards the Northern Red Sea zone in search of water/grazing land for their animals.