November 26, 2009

Eritrean refugees in east Sudan suffer

UNHCR cites lack of services and abduction, trade in and use of young girls as sex slaves as  among the key difficulties encountered in the refugee camps in Sudan, Akhbar Al-youm reports. 

UNHCR Regional Director George Okoth-Obbo told a press conference at UNMIS on November 25 that the main tasks of the agency at the moment is to received the influx of refugees from Eritrea and to provide protection, services and counseling. He notes that some18,000 refugees pour into eastern Sudan from Eritrea each month and that 66,000 refugees are currently facing hard conditions in eastern Sudan such as poverty, drought, lack of services and unemployment.

Okoth-Obbo further pointed out that the refugee agencee is now working with local and ste authorities and relevant parties to develop programmes to improve the conditions of these refugees and their host communities.
{United Nations High Commission for Refugees}

UNMIS media monitoring report - November 26

UPDATE: A more complete report, with pictures, was published a week later, on December 3, 2009.


November 24, 2009

Sudan Election- not in Hala'ib Triangle

Al-Intibaha reports that Egyptian authorities asked tribal chiefs in Halaib Triangle to urge their members not to register their names. The chiefs said Egyptian authorities told them that the Triangle belongs to Egypt and that residents have no right to register or vote in Sudanese elections.

You tube video "Halaib Triangle belongs to Sudan" [in Arabic]

November 15, 2009

More details please - reconstruction of east

This appears to be good news for inhabitants of the Red Sea State etc., but it's more polish than leather, more sizzle than steak. 

From Sudan Vision
East Reconstruction Fund to Implement 12 Projects
Khartoum- Neimat Al- Naeim
East Development and Reconstruction Fund, three Chinese companies have signed yesterday detailed memos of the Chinese loan projects to implement 12 development projects at the three eastern states: Red Sea, Kassala and Al-Gedarif at $43 million in the context of the Chinese loan.

The Presidential State Minister, Executive Director of the fund Engineer Abu Obeida Mohammed Duj explained, in a press conference, the details of the memos and the achievements of the fund which, by signing the memos, approaches a new stage in implementing the signed contracts with the Chinese companies.

He described the said projects as a leap in kind for the east indicating that the current stage comes following the completion of the 282 relief projects.

Duj affirmed the commitment of the Finance Ministry towards the development projects in Eastern Sudan indicating that SDG 375 million was allocated for the said fund in the budget of the year 2010 affirming that the fund represents a real addition to Eastern Sudan Agreement.

= = = = = =

Here at, we would like to know about  the 12 development projects.
What are they?
Where are they located?
What's their value? Each one might be valued at about $3.5 million. [or not].
Why is there a loan involved? The ESPA promises were going to paid out of general Sudanese revenues, right?

Can we see a list of the completed 282 relief projects, and their costs?
Is the budget for 2010 actually being expanded from what was agreed to in the ESPA?
Why expand the budget if the previous years payments haven't been received?


November 12, 2009

Has Sudan signed too many agreements?

OPINION. Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud, the Political Officer at the Communist Party of Sudan, says that the whole of Sudan is being bogged down and held hostage by a number of unimplemented agreements, reports Al-Ahdath. Speaking at a campus rally in Khartoum, he said that it would be very difficult for the country to come out of the quagmire it is in.

[We've previously drawn attention to the fact that the ESPA has not been fully implemented.]

November 5, 2009

Sudan peace debated in British parliament

Parliamentarians in the British House of Lords explored the peace agreement, voter registration, the upcoming elections and the referendum of 2011 in an hour long session on Wednesday, November 4. The complete text runs about 4 pages.

It seems that the purpose of the debate was to "call for further efforts by Her Majesty’s Government as a guarantor of the CPA to avert an unimaginable disaster among our friends."

The text provides an excellent review of the current situation. Many problems are identified.
Crucial to the implementation of the CPA is the national census. On its basis constituencies will be decided, the internal border drawn, and any referendum about secession taken. Yet this census was conducted a year late in 2008 and the results, released in June this year, were rejected outright by the Government of Southern Sudan, all the state governors and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, following its claims that south Sudanese make up only 21 per cent of the population. SPLM officials have said that they estimate Southern Sudan to account for a third of Sudan's population and that they will not accept figures less than that. The 92 per cent increase in south Darfur's population is also considered fraudulent.
The role of church leaders in trying to win a peace is noted.
John, the Bishop of Ezo, has pushed ahead with his school-building programme, gaining with the DfID funders a significant reputation for the Episcopal Church in Sudan, as almost the only body that sticks with people when other NGOs have pulled back to Yambio.
Archbishop Daniel Deng  has been criss-crossing the country since his enthronement, witnessing at first hand the suffering that the people are experiencing, especially in the south. At Easter he visited the Nuer area of Ayod. He was one of a group of Dinkas. He spoke of love and peace between the tribes and discovered, after he had returned to Juba, that the trouble between the two tribes—the cattle rustling and the violence—had stopped.
Baronness Cox offered five concerns, one of which was that southern leaders have suffered under the current unified Sudan, and feel that their only hope for freedom and justice lies in independence.

She ended her comment with this paragraph.
The comprehensive peace agreement is the only hope on the horizon for peace and alleviation of suffering for the people of Sudan who have suffered too much, too long. But it is fragile and inevitably some do not wish it to proceed. The Sudanese look to the United Kingdom as a special friend, but also as the nation which has a historic responsibility to help them in these critical times. I trust that history will show that we fulfil that responsibility honourably.

November 3, 2009

Southern politician undermines unity of Sudan

[NOTE: We generally try to avoid North South Sudan issues here at, but the north/south views are so different that we need to address them now and again. Vice President Kirr boldly spoke about some of the implications of a vote for separation in a recent speech.]

A leader of southern Sudan called on his people to vote for secession in an upcoming referendum if they do not want to end up as second class citizens, as voter registration began Sunday November 1, for elections across the country.

Read it all.