September 28, 2011

Civil war to come to Sudan?

An excellent analysis of the political situation in [north] Sudan has been published by the International Crisis Group, a thinktank based in Brussels, Belgium. They title their document "Conflict Risk Alert: Stopping the Spread of Sudan’s New Civil War." 

What makes this piece good is that key events are dated - the process of destroying the hope of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is clear, as are the reasons for military action in South Kordovan and Blue Nile State. The document is only about 30 paragraphs long, and will give you a good grasp of the current political situation.

The history of the CPA is reviewed, as is the internal dynamics of the Khartoum regime. The lack of trust toward international nations and groups is noted, as are the difficulties of creating a friendly relationship with the new southern neighbour. 

After listing three recommendations, the final paragraph reads:
President Bashir will undoubtedly resist any further external efforts to pursue a more peaceful outcome for Sudan, but given the increasing fragility of the regime, not least its growing economic weakness, he may be persuaded to engage with a coordinated international approach. International actors must come out with a strong voice to support a national agenda for a transition to an inclusive government. In the absence of a national political framework, and without clear international consensus to encourage and support a national peace process, the conflict in Sudan may spiral out control and engulf the region.

Sourced from allAfrica.

This document has been republished at UNHCR as well.

September 26, 2011

UN projects support Darfur nomads

Darfur clan leader [2005] Irin photo.

A workshop at El Fasher University was critical of the efforts of aid agencies in Darfur.

"North Darfur’s nomads may number one million and make up some 60 percent of the state population," said Hassan Abedlaziz. He said that for years the term nomad never appeared in humanitarian agencies programmes and that now they have begun to work with nomads, but stark needs remain in terms of water, health care, education and vocational training.

While some elementary education now covers nomadic communities, young people are frustrated when their educations end early. With no water services available outside the urban areas and suffering the effects of desertification, nomads have critical water needs and are still dying from water scarcity said Abedlaziz.

UNAMID’s nomad projects include a capacity-building program to train members of the Nomadic Forum for Peace and Social Coexistence to increase their administrative management and proposal writing skills. Another project will do awareness raising on conflict prevention and peaceful coexistence between farmers and pastoralists. A third will help the Forum establish an administrative office. And a fourth will raise awareness among nomadic women of the issues of early marriage and circumcision, as well as on developing income generating activities.

UNAMID Press Release.

UPDATE: Further articles describing this nomad conference can be found here and here. One interesting item mentioned is that of 200,000 girls, only 1,000 were able to go to school.

One of the official stories is on the UNAMID website.

September 22, 2011

Two Beja men killed in Gedaref - violent reaction

On Wednesday, September 21, two Beja men were killed in clashes with authorities in Gedaref. One policeman was injured. The two bodies are in the hands of their fellow Beni Amer tribesmen.

Orders from local authorities had been given to remove cattle and illegally constructed cow sheds within the town limits in the Al-Sawfa district, and some Beni Amer resisted the destruction of the sheds. The police were trying to implement the orders.

As a result of the deaths, a demonstration by perhaps 400 tribesmen occurred on Thursday morning in the centre of Gedaref. Some Beni Amer even came in to the town from the countryside. Shots were fired. Police cars were attacked. The demonstrators would not negotiate with authorities nor hand over the bodies. They demanded that the state commissioner and the chief of police resign. The police used teargas to break up the crowd.

Sourced from various files including ahram. org and Reuters

Video of an injured man in a hospital bed in Gedaref.

September 16, 2011

Arrests for converting from Islam

On 29 July 2011, 150 people were arrested by police in Hay Mayo, South Khartoum. All are members of the Hausa ethnic group and from Darfur. While 21 individuals (children and the elderly) were immediately released, 129 were subsequently charged with apostasy, disturbance of the public peace, and being a public nuisance. The most serious of these charges, apostasy, carries a maximum sentence of death. The case is being tried in South Khartoum.

An apostate includes anyone "who propagates for renunciation of the creed of Islam or publicly declares his renouncement thereof by an express statement or conclusive act." If found guilty of the above offense, the defendants will be given the opportunity to repent. Failure to repent may result in the application of the maximum sentence, which is the death penalty. The other charges carry less severe, though harsh sentences. The maximum sentence is a prison term not to exceed three months, with a fine or a whipping, not exceeding 20 lashes.

Read the entire article at AllAfrica.

September 15, 2011

Another rally in NYC, USA

A plaza outside the UN buildings.

A rally has been called for tomorrow, [Friday, September 16] in New York City, at a plaza next to the United Nations building.

The rally is designed to call for a regime change in Sudan. Many minority groups from around the far regions of Sudan are unhappy and angry with the activities of the Bashir government.

The press release that calls for the rally says:
On Friday, September 16, 2011 from 12:00 to 5:00 PM, the Sudanese Marginalized movements and organizations representing the marginalized areas of The Nuba Mountains, Darfur, Blue Nile, Abyei, Beja, and Nubia, in addition to activists from The Republic of South Sudan, will present a rally and protest in front of The United Nations building in New York City to bring attention to atrocities committed by the criminal Sudanese regime against its own citizens.

An article describes reasons for the rally.

Another article provides a broader analysis of the activities and purposes of the Khartoum government lead by President Bashir.

For further information about the rally, please contact Abdelgadir Kurba at 347-981-9392 or at

September 14, 2011

Over 300 Eritreans arrested in Sudan

Sudanese security have arrested 317 Eritrean refugees attempting to cross the border to Egypt.
Sudanese police, according to reports, stated that 75 women and four children were detained, 30 km from the Egyptian border.

Read the whole article

September 13, 2011

Christians warned of coming jihad

A fresh posting on a site that monitors persecution against Christians notes a few unpleasant events in Sudan from earlier this summer.

A Christian bishop [a leader of a group of churches] was threatened by some aggressive muslims who attacked his home. A church in Omdurman was set on fire. Church representatives have received threats in text messages.

The muslim extremists are seeking to implement President Bashir's vision of Sudan as an Islamic state.

Read the entire article.

September 12, 2011

Same old, same old

Local inhabitants in South Kordovan complain of not being hired by oil companies.

Whenever large corporations move into a region to work on resource development, whether agricultural, mining or oil production, the hopes of local people are raised. Surely some compensation might come to them, even if it a fair trade of labour for wages.

Recent reports in allAfrica note that local people have not received labour jobs; people from Khartoum have come to work on the oil projects. Local people have had their land and farms destroyed by the oil companies as they build the pipeline to export the oil to market. And local people have complained that with the new national border in place, the cattle require additional care, yet watershed that they have asked for have not been built.

Sourced from AllAfrica.

September 8, 2011

International Literacy Day

Today is International Literacy Day [September 8].

Around the world, literacy remains an elusive target: almost 800 million adults lack minimum literacy skills which means that about one in six adults is still not literate; 67.4 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out.

This year’s International Literacy Day, celebrated world-wide on 8 September, will focus on the link between literacy and peace. During a ceremony in New Delhi, India, UNESCO will award international literacy prizes to projects in Burundi, Mexico, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the United States of America.