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Thread: South Sudan: Watching a fragile nation

  1. #141
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    Default Thanks for keeping us up to date on this

    Prospects don't look good...

  2. #142
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default Freedom has a cost...

    In Jonglei this came true. Authorities are asking the people to pay to get registered. They say it’s to be able to pay security forces while waiting for funds to come from the National Referendum commission… I like this idea: first you fight for freedom then you have to buy it once you’re free.
    Freedom cost recovery… A new concept for peace building.

    Jonglei referendum committee to extend dates at late starting centers“People are deceived that you have to pay 5 Sudanese Pounds (SDG) to register. This is not true,” Boloc said, blaming unspecified "people outside" for the false information”.
    Jonglei state assembly passed a ‘Referendum Bill, 2010’ in September asked all citizens to pay a voluntary contribution to help the referendum process.
    The bill asked for a non-compulsory 5 SDG from each household although this varied depending on income. It appears that failure to communicate that voluntary nature of the fee has led to some people in Jonglei believing the payment is a requirement when registering.

    Just to make it clear to everybody: it’s non-compulsory but mandatory to pay… I wonder why nobody came before with this idea of freedom fighting cost recovery by the population. May be cause that’s not a good idea. Who knows?

    Otherwise… The propaganda campaign on who is threatening who has started:

    Référendum au Soudan: les ex-rebelles et Khartoum s'accusent d'intimidation
    Des responsables du Mouvement populaire de libération du Soudan (SPLM, ex-rebelles sudistes) ont visité samedi des centres d'inscription dans la banlieue de la capitale Khartoum.
    A proximité, des "comités de citoyens", "bras" du Parti du congrès national (NCP) au pouvoir à Khartoum, recueillent les numéros de téléphone de Sudistes après leur inscription sur les listes, selon ces responsables.
    "Le SPLM encourage les Sudistes au Nord à ne pas s'enregistrer parce qu'ils pensent que la plupart des Sudistes vivant au Nord sont favorables à l'unité. Et comme vous le savez, le SPLM est maintenant en faveur de la séparation", a pour sa part dit à l'AFP Mandour al-Mahdi, haut responsable du parti au pouvoir (NCP).

    I translate :
    Khartoum and Southern ex-rebels accuse each others of threatening the population:
    Representatives of the SPLM visited referendum registration centers on Saturday in Khartoum suburb. Next to the centers, “citizen committees”, the civilian arm of the NCP are collecting Southerners’ phone numbers after they register, according to SPLM representatives.
    The SPLM is encouraging Southeners to boycott registration as they think that most of the Southeners living in North are pro Unity. And as you know, SPLM is in favor to separation… Said andour al-Madhi, a high representative from NCP.
    Well, SPLM accuse NCP to bully the people to vote for unity and NCP accuses SPLM to tell the people to not vote…

    NCP Officially Protests to Referendum Commission Registration Obstructions
    Complaint was handed-over by the NCP Deputy Chairman for Political and Organizational Affairs Dr. Nafie Ali Nafie together with NCP Chief in Khartoum State, Dr. Abdel Rahman Al Khidir.
    "The commission has barred registration of some southerners for no logical reasons," said Al Khidir considering the move a violation of Article (25) of the Referendum Act. He added that the guides are under age and disqualified for the job.
    "Due to these violations, the government has fixed new centers in each of Alkalakla and Shigla residential quarters. But those centers were dismantled by some parties who threatened to kill the NCP elements, "reported the governor.
    According to him registration in the first day amounted to 1066 voters, 657, 800, and 566 in the following three days.
    Addressing a press conference held last Saturday at the SMC premises, NCP Khartoum Deputy Chief, Dr. Mandour Almahdi reported apparent registration violations committed by the SPLM. He added that the movement was intimidating operators who had been persuading southerners to approach the centers.
    It is worth noting that the NCP threatens not to recognize the referendum outcome should the referendum national commission fail to put right registration violations.
    The memorandum raised by the Highest Council of Peace and Unity consists of violations under the following articles of the 2010- Law of Referendum in Sudan:
    1. Article No. (22)
    2. Article No. (23)
    3. Article No. (25)
    4. Article No. (26).
    5. Article No. (27)
    6. Article No. (49).
    7. Article No. (51).
    8. Article No. (51).
    9. Article No. (54).
    Here are some of the violations committed by commission's workers:
    First: the ages of some of the workers are less than 40 years and this contradicts conditions of the appointment of the workers of the commission.
    Second: refusal of registering southerners who have a northerner parents; this is a violation according to Article No. 25.
    Third: (A) Observers in registration centers don't represent all southern tribes and the commission asks each person who wants to register to bring his/her Sultan with him/he the thing makes registration impossible.
    (B) Refusal of housing certificate issued by the local authorities in addition to the refusal of military cards.
    Fourth: Delay of the procedures of registration as the members of the commission arrive late and leave before the accredited time the thing wastes times.
    Fifth: the members in the registration centers are at variance with intentionally so as to delay the process and such practice is a violation according to article No. 54.

    Juba authorities accused of arresting unity campaigner
    Zuhair Hamid Suleiman is the deputy secretary of the NCP Youth committee and chairman of the youth subcommittee at the higher committee for the support of unity established by President Omer Al-Bashir on 7 November.
    He was arrested Saturday at Juba airport and taken to unknown destination, said Abdel Mutti Mohamed Kheir, an official at the NCP Youth Secretariat, today in a statement released in Khartoum. He further said that Zuhair is supervising the NCP campaign in the greater Upper Nil states.

  3. #143
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default The financial sum of all fears...

    Apparently, SAF bombed South once again…
    North warplanes raid South Sudan, SPLA says
    Four Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLA) soldiers and two civilians were critically injured when three helicopter gunships allegedly bombed an army base at Kiir Adem, an area located 45 miles away from Aweil North County, Northern Bahr el Ghazal state of Southern Sudan.
    Kuol Athuai Hal, Aweil North Commissioner told Sudan Tribune by phone that Wednesday’s strike, which occurred at about mid-day, involved two jet fighter planes and anti-aircraft allegedly belonging to north-based Sudan Armed Forces (SAF).
    "The two military aircrafts of the Sudan Armed Forces bombarded us again today in rotational shift. They were rotating bombardments. When one was bombing another was flying about in the sky waiting the other one to finish. They started at 10: am till 12: pm,” commissioner Hal told Sudan Tribune.
    "There is a weakness on the side of our forces here. Why allowing the armed forces to bomb them twice. Why allowed them to kill our innocent civilian. What is the mandate of the SPLA if they cannot protect civilians,” asked Lual in a war like tone

    On the referendum registration side, it’s not going that well. Between 34 and 40% of the population in South did register up to now. Bt what is interesting is what is happening abroad.
    It’s hard to say that Kampala is a NCP bastion… It rather seems that countries around are not that ready to have an independent South Sudan as neighbour:

    Referendum Commission Investigates Threats to South Sudan Refugees in Uganda
    The National Commission for South Sudan Referendum has reported that its committee in Uganda is investigating claims of phone- threats against south Sudan refugees there to prevent their registration for the referendum.

    Commission spokesman, George Maker told Sudan Vision that they received clear information regarding the party that practiced such threats and their committee was investigating the cases.

    Death threats target Southern Sudanese in Uganda so as not register
    Staff from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) running the registration have also received menacing calls and letters.
    "There have been death threats by telephone, in letters, banging on doors in the middle of the night," a diplomatic source told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
    The source said the threats were targeting potential voters and staff working for the IOM. The Geneva-based migration organization declined to comment.
    There has been conflicting reports last week that emerged saying that the SPLM asked Southerners in Uganda to boycott the registration but the ex-rebel movement denied making such a call.

    And finally, an interesting exercise: how much would cost a war between North and South and can parties afford it?
    Sudan: cost of a future war could be over $100bn
    25 November 2010 - The Aegis Trust today released our new report on the future economic cost of war in Sudan. It finds the potential costs, conservatively estimated, could be over $100bn. In particular, costs could include:
    • US$50billion to Sudan itself in lost GDP;
    • US$25billion of GDP relative to a more stable situation in neighbouring countries; and
    • US$30 billion in peacekeeping and humanitarian costs to the international community.

  4. #144
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default Who really needs a war?

    From the Northern Bar El Ghazal front…
    Over 2,500 civilians flee aerial attacks in Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal
    November 28, 2010 (ABYEI) – Locals and officials from Northern Bahr el Ghazal on Sunday reported that 2,500 civilians have fled areas at the north –south borders fearing aerial attack on the area by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF).
    "The previous bombardments which seriously violated the [Comprehensive Peace Agreement] CPA and referendum law, led to the displacement of 2,500 people in the area. This displacement at a time of voter registration has prompted the state high executive committee for referendum to relocate registration center formerly located at Kiir Adem to Malek Miir," said Kuot.
    Kuol Athuai Hal, commissioner of the area in a separate telephone interview with Sudan Tribune from Gokmachar, the administrative headquarters of Aweil North County, also confirmed occurrence of the displacement, saying recent attacks have encouraged people to leave.
    "People are moving toward middle and low land areas now. Everything is being moved. Children and elderly people are being sent out. They are leaving their original homes because they fear other attacks," Athuai said.
    Colonel Deng Thiep Akok, former member of south Sudan legislative Assembly in Juba also said that they have received reports from relatives and authorities in the area on similar displacements.
    "The information I have from communications and daily contacts with relatives and local authorities indicate that a lot of people started moving out of their homes at the extreme north of the area. This started on Thursday after the area was attacked again," said Akok.

    SPLM backs south Sudan’s president against reprisal attack
    "We know advantage and disadvantage of war. This is why we appear reluctant because we put interest of our people as first priority because we know the 9th of January about few weeks away. So we must all put collective efforts to seeing this day becomes and answer to what our people need. Therefore, he said, we must try to avoid anything that would trigger return to war because it is obvious that national congress party and those who would wish the south to constantly remain in the northern bondage wants a retaliatory attack to light the flames of another prolonged war", Makueng said.
    However, Awach Anei Wal, an intellectual from Northern Bahr el Ghazal blamed the south Sudan government for not releasing a statement on the incident.
    "The fact that government of south [Sudan] did not release a statement or anything official condemning this incident is quite alarming. It seems that the leadership does not even care about its people, the people of Mading Aweil," Wal said.

    What is quite interesting in addition to this military show of force is the new press offensive by Khartoum against Juba:
    Sudanese official accuse Juba of planning to topple Khartoum government
    November 27, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — A Sudanese presidential adviser accused on Thursday the southern Sudan ruling Party, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) of planning to topple the government of President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.
    Abdallah Massar, told a meeting with local political leaderships held in Nyala, capital of South Darfur state that the SPLM plans to undertake a military action aiming to topple the Islamic regime in Khartoum.
    According to the official SUNA, the Presidential adviser who leads a splinter faction of Party Umma said this hostile operation would start next March and with attacks from southern Blue Nile, Abyei and Nuba Mountains in southern Kordofan.

    Sudan’s NCP says it is prepared for ’Plan B’ against the SouthAccording to a report published on Thursday by the pro-government daily Akhir-Lahza, Gosh was addressing a public rally at Karima town in the Northern state when he accused the SPLM of refusing to sign agreements relating to post-referendum arrangements under the influence of the U.S.
    The presidential adviser also claimed that the U.S. had asked the SPLM not to cede the central contested area of Abyei, saying that the Washington has “hijacked” the ex-Southern rebel group.
    Gosh said that the NCP was ready for its own “plan B” should the SPLM violate the CPA cautioning that the “battle smoke would cover the south and not the north.”
    Salah Gosh even made an apathetic statement about south Sudan secession, saying that separation would not be evil and if it did happen, “we would turn to building the south and in that case, God will have removed the burden of developing and creating infrastructure in the south.”

    I do not know what was the plan A (probably the CPA) but the SPLM plan B to take over Khartoum is long gone with Garang’s death. The ones who do need an ennemy to stay in power today seems to be the NCP.
    Out of the pure need of dictatorial regimes to have ennemies, those declarations come also in a tense political context in Egypt where the Islamist opposition has lost the elections. The Muslim Brotherhood is not only opposition in Egypt but also in Sudan. The heat Cairo is taking with Muslim Brotherhood will affect Khartoum sooner or later. Deturn attention on SPLM might be the solution Khartoum found for the momment.

  5. #145
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    North Bahr el-Ghazal governor denies presence of Darfur rebels
    "There are no Darfur rebels that I know operating in Northern Bahr el-Ghazal. I have never seen them. Who said they are in Northern Bahr el-Ghazal should have told you where they are operating, said Governor Awan who was speaking to Sudan Tribune from Aweil town, capital of Northern Bahr el Ghazal.
    The governor added that calm returned to the area. "The area is calm. The general security situation in the state is relatively calm. The issue which created panic and fear along the far north border areas of the state in Aweil North County was the recent aerial attacks there but security there has returned to normal," said governor Awan.

    South Sudan minister invites Khartoum to prove region is supporting Darfur rebels
    “It time for our brothers in the north to come clean on some of these waves of allegations. Anyone who still thinks Darfur rebels leaders are hiding in the south should come and identify them. Infact, I will be more than willing to accompany them in arresting them in this process,” said Marial, who was flanked by Mustapha Biong, the Ministry’s Director General for Information.
    “They are people in the north who do not want referendum to be conducted. They appear to have forgotten that the right to self determination for the people south Sudan was discussed and agreed by the two parties in the Naivasha,” said Minister Marial.
    He said leadership of the two parties pledged commitment to implement the agreement at the time of singing in the presence of international community.
    "The two parties pledged their commitment to fully implement the agreement in good faith and to the spirit of which it was negotiated but I do not understand why the Sudan Armed Forces launched offensive attack to drive our people out of their homes during registration. Why sabotaged voter registration?" asked minister Marial.
    He said failure of Khartoum government to make unity an attractive option to the south Sudanese during the last six year of interim period shows that Northern Sudan is not interested in united Sudan.
    “There is nothing that shows the north is interested in united Sudan," he said.
    "They have not made unity option an attractive choice during the last six year of interim period instead they made secession more attractive option to the south Sudan people they have failed to convince them," Marial explained.

    What ever you or I think (I have no opinion, that’s not my country), he is right about making unity attractive. Just have a look at what North official says:
    South Sudan’s secession will rid the country from 3 "lousy neighbors": official
    The Amman-based Al-Arab Al-Youm newspaper cited the Sudanese ambassador in Jordan Mohamed Osman Saeed as saying that Southern Sudanese want unity but said that certain parties are applying pressure so that separation is the outcome.
    However, the Sudanese diplomat said that in the event of secession the North "will gain a good neighbor and will be relieved from three lousy neighbors".
    He did not name the three countries but after the country’s breakup North Sudan will have no borders with Uganda, Kenya or the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).,37126
    With diplomats like this, you don’t even need wikyleaks…

  6. #146
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    For a free, fair and transparent democratic consultation for administrations’ staffs follow the SOP:
    Jonglei to fire unregistered officials

    The Governor of Jonglei State, Kuol Manyang Juuk has said that his government will dismiss officials who refuse to register for the ongoing registration exercise for the forthcoming South Sudan Referendum scheduled for January 9. The move by the Governor is to encourage more people to list for the expected vote for independence in a referendum next year.
    "Official who is not registered for the referendum should be terminated including those who will not vote on January 9th", Kuol Manyang Juuk has said.

    More seriously, the things keep on going not good:
    SPLA say that 12 soldiers killed by northern militia in Unity state

    SPLA spokesperson Philip Aguer told Reuters that the attack occurred 25 kilometers north of Unity state’s capital Bentiu.
    He claimed that 12 people had been killed in the ambush including 10 “10 SPLA soldiers and two civilians."
    "They are definitely militia backed from Khartoum," he said. "It was a very coordinated attack."
    The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) controlled by Sudan’s Khartoum-based National Congress Party (NCP) has denied the attack took place.
    "This is completely untrue — it’s not possible we have anyone in Unity state," SAF spokesman al-Sawarmi Khaled told Reuters.
    The north-south U.N. peacekeeping mission (UNMIS) confirmed the attack to Reuters but could not identify the aggressors.
    "We are aware of that an SPLA truck with soldiers and their families was ambushed by an unknown group yesterday ... in Unity state," said UNMIS spokesman Kouider Zerrouk.,37142

    Truth is, at this stage, it could be anyone. Do not forget that South Sudan is like the wild wild west (without James West And Artemus Gordon unfortunately), bandits are everywhere and sometime much better equiped than SPLA.
    Wait and see…

  7. #147
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default Let there be an independant Misseriya State...

    Here are some news from North Sudan and the problematic of Islamist opposition. Some may have felt that my point linking the events in Egypt and the referendum in Sudan a little hard to get, but thanks to the Islamist opponents, here is the link:

    Sudanese Islamist calls on president Bashir to resign
    Al-Tayeb Zain al-Abdeen, who is a professor of Political Science at the University of Khartoum, was reacting to Bashir’s cancelled appearance at two events this week in Libya and the Central African Republic (CAR).
    "President Al-Bashir must sacrifice himself for the sake of the nation to save it from existing and projected sanctions by stepping down from power and to establish a national transitional situation before holding new elections in the North agreed upon between the political forces after a period of stabilized conditions",37180

    Al right, for those who will read the full article, al-Abdeen use the problematic of Sudan and more especially Bashir isolation in the regional political scene (Cf IGAD and EU-Africa submits). But this comes just after the Muslim Brotherhood got evicted from the political scene in Egypt. Sudan was, and still is, one of their strong bastions. Egypt and Sudan government are on the same line on Islamist political opposition (Cf Al Turabi misfortune after the 2010 elections).
    NCP and Bashir in particular need an enemy to picture Sudan as a free country under siege by western powers for cultural/civilisation reasons and remain in power. But by doing so, he also accidentally opened the door for the Islamist opposition to attack him. Very wisely, the Islamist opposition choose the international community line as the “Arab line” would have disserved them and has proven to be inefficient in all neighbouring countries.
    Could that be a unexpected side effect of the referendum and Bashir ending up in ICC a surprising collateral damage. I personally doubt of it, for many reasons but mainly because it would create a pro Islamist power vaccum in Sudan, something that no one, and certainly not Egypt or Ethiopia, wants.

    Now back to the crazy Abyei situation:
    I took some times before coming with the developments of the situation there but as a new round of discussions is opening; I thought it would e interesting to come back to it. Especially as he Misseriya decided to play the loose gun and be the wild cart in a loosing game.
    Misseriya forms alternative government for AbyeiDecember 04, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – Chieftains of Al-Misseriya tribe has established an alternative government to supplant the current administration of the oil-producing area of Abyei, Al-Sahafah daily newspaper reported on Thursday.
    Al-Misseriya is a group of cattle-herding nomads who have traditionally crossed the borders into Abyei area for nearly nine months a year to graze their cattle. The governing National Congress Party (NCP) in north Sudan wants Al-Misseriya to vote in the referendum whereas the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) of South Sudan insists that only Dinka Ngok are eligible to vote.
    The new government, which has been scheduled to assume its responsibilities as of 25 December, is composed of 10 ministers. Members of the new government were selected at a meeting held on December 02 in northern Abyei.
    The meeting selected Abdul Rahman Bikhtal to head the new government and Tariq Omer Shafiqah as deputy governor.
    The move comes in response to an announcement by members of Dinka Ngok tribe last week that they would organize their own referendum if the NCP and the SPLM failed to break the deadlock over Abyei vote.
    Tariq Omer, the deputy chairman of the new government, told Al-Sahafah that the step was a response to threats by activists of the Denka Ngok tribe,37161

    Abyei MP calls Misseriya alternative government a “mockery”December 5, 2010 (JUBA) - The MP for Abyei has strongly criticized the recently formation of an alternative government in the oil-producing by the Misseriya tribe, who are demanding a right to vote in a referendum to decide the region’s future.
    Abyei MP Arop Madut Arop responded to the move by saying it was “mere mockery system” created by a “merchant class of Arab slave traders with business mentality”.
    He denied reports that the Dink Ngok tribe were planning to organize their own referendum, should the NCP and their southern counterparts, Sudan’s Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) failed to break the deadlock over Abyei vote.
    The MP also accused Thabo Mbeki, the former South African President, who currently head the African Union high level implementation panel on Sudan, for “taking sides” in the ongoing Abyei negotiations.
    “Thabo Mbeki has lost neutrality in the mediation process. His [Mbeki’s] brother has business links with the Khartoum regime and this is something we all know about. Now, how do you expect such a person to act as a mediator on sensitive issues like the one on Abyei?” Arop asked.,37176

    That could be just a joke but… It’s already had consequences on the field.
    This shows clearly that there is a need of important soft component in the field at grass roots level. I’m not too much of a chamberlain fan and the communities comes first theory but in state building and peace building, there is definitively a need to have a better awareness/education community’s oriented component. Especially in areas where communities over and sudden become the stake of State/Peace building. Most of the time, they never saw any form of government during the past 50 years and from one day to another, without really fully understanding what is going on, they have to behave in accordance with the Law, respect a government and administration…
    And I perfectly know that it is a burden for most of us. Even a threat to the fragile government to be in some cases. But what the Misseriya are doing is just proving that they got it all right: we do not want to be an instrument of the North or the South, so we create our own State. And this mess up a little more the North/South talks but in fact increase our representation in the talk. Will the State department go to discuss with the Misseriya government… That’s another story.

  8. #148
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Juba officials accuse, Sudanese army deny fresh bombing in the South

    December 7, 2010 (JUBA) – Southern Sudan government accused today the northern Sudan army of bombing positions in the greater Bahr el-Ghazal province while the latter denied the allegations.
    Southern Sudan minister of information, Barnaba Marial Benjamin Bil, accused today Khartoum army of working to undermine the referenda on self-determination by carrying out regular air attacks in southern Sudan.
    "The Sudan Armed Forces are intentionally sabotaging conduct of the referendum in order to return the country back to war. I’m told two of their planes were in western Bahr el Ghazal State today after reports that they have again bombed Northern Bahr el Ghazal State on Monday," said Marial.
    The minister said voter registration processes in the two states of west and northern Bahr el Ghazal have been greatly affected air attacks. "Voter registration processes in Western and Northern Bahr el Ghazal has been greatly affected air attacks on these areas by the Sudanese armed forces. People there have run away and registration centers have been closed," he said.
    However, the Sudanese army spokesperson Al-Sawarmi Khaled dismissed today the accusations but reaffirmed it will continue to hit Darfur rebel groups without violating the southern Sudan border.
    "Allegations that SAF bombed positions in Bahr el-Ghazal are baseless. The armed forces did not bomb any areas in southern Sudan," Al- Sawarmy said in a press statement he put out today.
    "Those who promote such allegations did not know the friendly atmosphere that prevailed yesterday the meeting of the Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha and Southern Sudan government Vice-President Riek Machar and the understandings reached between the Sudanese government forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA)," the military spokesperson further stressed.
    He however stated that the Sudan Armed Forces continue operations to fight and hunt down Darfur rebels on the border between North and South Sudan in Bahr el Ghazal region without penetrating south to 1956 border.,37195

    After Jan 15, that's gonna be fun to decide where the border is... And if JEM rebels are or not in a foreign country.

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    Default Insurgencies in South Sudan: A Mandatory Path to Build a Nation?

    Insurgencies in South Sudan: A Mandatory Path to Build a Nation?

    Entry Excerpt:

    Insurgencies in South Sudan:
    A Mandatory Path to Build a Nation?
    by Marc-Andre Lagrange

    Download The Full Article: Insurgencies in South Sudan

    The 2010 elections in Sudan were more than just a formal exercise for the Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement (SPLM/A). It was for both of them the ultimate test of the capacity of SPLM to turn from an armed insurgent/liberation movement into a government supported by a national army and set the base for separation from Khartoum regime. Immediately after its first elections, the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) had to face two small scale insurgencies in Jonglei State. Led by General George Athor and David Yaw Yaw, those two insurgencies, despite their apparent limited scale, had a serious destabilizing potential for the first elected government of South Sudan.

    Download The Full Article: Insurgencies in South Sudan

    Marc-Andre Lagrange is humanitarian and relief aid expert specializing in the conflict zones of Africa. He worked on the ground throughout the last decade mainly in Central Africa.

    Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
    This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

  10. #150
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    Default Danger does not come from Abyei but from Darfur...

    SAF already bombed several villages in the North of Northern Bar El Ghazal, creating a complexe problem of where is geographically located the operations as the border of Northern Bar El Ghazal is located North to the CA border that is actually used to determine the separation between North and South. Smartly, SAF used that «#geographical#» vaccum to conduct operations in a territory that is not yet not under its authority.
    Now, SAF is conducting operations against the Darfur rebel group of Sudan Liberation Army of Minawi. But where it comes dodgy is that there are more and more declarations from Khartoum to accuse SPLM to support the SLA. Statements which are not always denied by Minawi...

    Sudanese army attack former Darfur rebel group
    December 9, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese army clashed today with troops loyal to the former Darfur rebel leader Minni Minnawi heading to southern Sudan, Sudan’s military spokesperson said today.
    Al-Sawarmi Khaled, Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) spokesperson accused Minnawi of moving his troops to southern Sudan in order to prepare for war. He also said that are now a target for the Sudanese army.
    "We are searching for them and will engage them," he said.
    Minnawi stated on Thursday that he has to intention to declare war against Khartoum. He further said his movement is ready for war if Khartoum seeks it.
    "The door to dialogue will remain open if the government wanted it, but we will not seek it and we are not those who need it."
    A government semi official media organ (SMC) said last week that Minnawi was advised to attend the conduct of southern Sudan referendum before to engage war with Khartoum.,37226

    Sudanese army carry out more attacks against Minnawi in Darfur
    December 11, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese army carried out attacks during the last two days against the troops loyal to the former rebel leader who signed Abja peace agreement the UNAMID said today.
    These attacks come after the Sudanese army announced on Thursday a first attack on Thursday 9 December on Minni Minnawi fighters saying they were attempting to join southern Sudan.
    On December 3, Al-Sawarmi Khaled, Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) spokesperson said that Minnawi troops are now legitimate target and accused them of preparing for war. He added they have moved with weapons and vehicles from the areas assigned to them towards southern Sudan where is based the leader of the group.
    Minnawi has consistently accused the Sudanese government of not implementing the 2006 peace agreement particularly the security arrangements protocol.
    He was also expecting to be associated to the formation of the NCP dominated state governments but the three governors of North, South and West Darfur refused the participation of the former rebels in their administrations.
    Khartoum accused the southern Sudan ruling SPLM of supporting Darfur rebel groups; it also warned Juba of severe consequences if it continues to back insurgents in western Sudan.,37240

    A trick from Khartoum or just some rebels from Darfur who try to get some benefits from the South Sudan referendum?

  11. #151
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default It's gonna be X"mess" soon

    Let’s start with the big star: Abyei

    Abyei administration says north Sudan army deployed troops in the region
    Angok claimed that the 31 battalion of SAF was currently present in the areas of Nama and Laffat al-Tumsah, adding that the battalion was receiving large reinforcements.
    The press secretary, who warned of a military escalation in the area, said that south Sudan army, SPLA, did not have any presence in the area except the battalion affiliated to the Joint Defense Forces (JDF).
    Established under the security arrangements protocol of the CPA, the JDF comprises equal number of military units from SAF and SPLA. The JDF is meant to be dissolved if south Sudan decided to secede.
    However, SAF’s spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid Saad said the 31 battalion was deployed in the area permitted under the security arrangements protocol. He said that the battalion was inside the city and now it had been re-deployed to its area.,37330

    They tried and them they losed… Not really a big deal.

    During that time in Jonglei:

    Athor seeks modification on executive pardon over fate of his forces
    Dok James Puok, spokesman of the renegade group in an interview with Sudan Tribune from Malakal town on Saturday also confirmed the meeting of the South Sudan delegation with General Athor but said needs President Kiir to modify amnesty he issued in October so as to accommodate fate of their forces.
    "Yes, the delegation of the government of south Sudan met General Athor on Wednesday. This was after our delegation met him first on Tuesday to brief him on the processes of negotiation," said Dok James Puok.
    The official spokesman said they have discussed all their demands and raised concerns on the condition, which required forces of the General Athor to lay down their arms before joining SPLA forces.
    "Some of the issues we discussed with delegation of the government of south Sudan were simple issues but one of our major concerns is the fate of our armed forces because the amnesty was not clear. The president needs to make it clear so that it covers the fate of our forces," said Dok.,37339

    Let see how this will evluate. Hopefully peacefully.

    While South is trying to get unified, in North NCP is preparing the after referendum and contain the radical islamist push.

    Sudan’s Bashir endorses lashing of YouTube woman, says North will transform into Islamic state
    Bashir went further to announce that North Sudan will move fully into an Islamic law state after the likely secession of the South in next month’s referendum.
    “If god forbids, the South separates [then] the constitution will be amended [and] a lot of things relating to the South will go away,” he said.
    “But the opaque talk [about] the Sudanese people I don’t know what…is multi-racial and multi-religious, the [Islamic] Shari’a will be the main source for lawmaking….and Arabic language will the official language of the state as will be stipulated in the upcoming constitution,” Bashir added.
    The head of the SPLM’s Northern sector Yasir Arman said Bashir’s statements would encourage repression in the north.
    "This type of discourse is preparing the ground for a police state. The north, whether alone or with the south, is an extremely diverse place."
    Arman said it was the north’s hard-line stance that had pushed southerners towards separation.
    "If it [the north] continues like this it will encourage other areas like Darfur, the Nuba mountains and eastern Sudan to walk out as well," he added, referring to areas on the peripheries of northern Sudan.
    "It will also result in Sudan having worse relations with the outside world," Arman said.,37345

    I just coud not make a better evaluation of the situation than Mr Arman.

    South Sudan Secession is Not the End of the World

    Basher stressed government’s commitment to fully finance agriculture, and introduce mechanization, advance technology and other inputs to overcome the problem of skilled labor.
    He urged farmers to settle government loans so as to qualify for re-lending in the coming season, stressing the importance of assigning more concern to animal resources promotion as well as forestry, particularly plantation of Gum Arabic Trees (Hashab) as the prices of the produce have been liberated.

    The president renewed government's sponsorship of the vulnerable in that state through prepared mini- agricultural projects funded by the state government, Zakat Chamber and credit funds, for allocation to poor individuals.

    Electrcity and Dams Minister, Osama Abdallah said the plan was one of the infrastructures that support agricultural and industrial sectors within the framework of the Agricultural Development Program. He added that expansion of the national electricity network’s capacity would increase supply in the region, particularly after linking the new plant in Gedarif with that of Hawatta and Fao ones.

    For his part, Director of the Sudanese Company for Electricity Transition Ltd, Ja'afar Ali Albasher, reported that the plant would be installed by the Indian Company Englec to the cost of $35 million funded by the Indian Bank for Exports Development.

    Bashir does have a very limited “marge de manoeuvre” and so do the external powers, regional included.
    He has to please the radical islamist and to sustain households economical level. And make peace in Darfur, and clear his self from theft allegations, and escape the ICC… A busy agenda I would say.
    But the main problem in the post referendum is not Bashir. The main problem is that if there is a new North/South war with a second front in Darfur and possibly a third one in East or Nuba Mountain… Are we really sure that it will turn in the advantage of reasonable people?
    In Sudan as in other countries with strong militarised government/paragovernment and leader on the run, the problematic is not just one man but rather who could replace him.

  12. #152
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    In Barsoom, as a fact!


    South Sudan army clash with forces loyal to General Athor, 12 killed
    Speaking to Sudan Tribune on Monday from his base in the extreme northwestern part of Jonglei, in an area close to Malakal town, Capital of the Upper Nile State, Athor accused the SPLA of attacking his forces twice over the weekend.
    "The SPLA forces from Khorliet and Khorwac launched two attacks on our forces on Saturday and Sunday, he said.
    "This was part of organized attempt to execute orders (given by Juba) that some of my senior commanding officers and I should be captured alive and killed at the meeting we had recently with a delegation sent by president of the government of south Sudan to meet me," he stressed.
    However the plot failed because he had been already informed about it before the meeting took place, he claimed.
    "We were already getting enough information about this plan. We had the information of when and where they would initiate and launch an attack which they had planned to advance to the venue of the meeting," said Athor
    The Southern Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardit,earlier this month issued a presidential decree to tasking a committee to discuss with the renegade to ways end his rebellion. The committee headed by Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan.
    Biar Atem, an official from the government of south Sudan, in an interview with Sudan Tribune from Juba described the statement as "incorrect and backtracking statement".
    "Nobody had the plan to arrest or kill George Athor. Everybody support peaceful dialogue initiated by South Sudan president, so he should stop giving out unnecessary and incorrect statements to the media," said Atem in a seemingly angry voice.
    "There are no people plotting against him instead it is him backtracking efforts of South Sudan President to bring peace and unity of all South Sudanese including him and other traitors," he emphasized.,37353

    Southern army says it will not carry out reprisal attack against General Athor
    General Salva Mathok Gengdit, a presidential advisor on SPLA affairs in an interview with Sudan Tribune from Juba on Tuesday said he regretted the clash and that initiating another attack was not an option.
    “The clashes that I am told occurred over weekend are regrettable because nobody had expected resumption of armed confrontation, while president has appointed a committee tasked to explore ways and modalities of how to implement the amnesty,” said General Mathok.
    Mathok, who previously served as a deputy chief of general staff for administration and finance, under the command of General Oyai Deng Ajak, said the president and chief of general staff are informed of the latest incident.
    "The president of the government of south Sudan and general chief of staff of the SPLA forces are informed. They are aware of this incident and something good is being done about it," said Mathok.
    On his part, the SPLA spokesman, Colonel Phillip Aguer said he still does not have clear information but received reports from the local command that forces loyal to General Athor laid an ambush for their forces that were in the area.
    "The report we have is that forces armed personnel suspected to be supporters of George Athor laid an ambush for our forces in Pigi County in Jonglei state," said Aguer.
    "He attacked while talks with him are in the progress,” he said stressing that the incident will be treated separately and amnesty negotiations would continue.
    The senior military officer said he still does not have accurate information regarding casualties but reports that some soldiers were among the dead and injured.
    "I still do not have accurate figures and details of the clash. We are still gathering details of this incident because this happened in the remote area but there are reports that at least 14 people have died. Two of whom were those who sustained injuries on Sunday attack," said Aguer adding “there maybe more”.
    The figure of 14 is an increase on earlier reports, which said that 12 people died in the attack.,37359

    SPLA is consistent in its containment strategy and this is basically showing that Athor is trying to take advantage of it. It really brings the question of how far can you conduct COIN without focussing on pressuring the insurgent.
    At this stage, GoSS is still on the bright side and finally winning this COIN campaign as GoSS still appears as the nice guy who tries to give peace a chance while Athor is the one spreading violence.
    But would those negotiations fail that GoSS would face a very delicate situation.

  13. #153
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    Oct 2005


    Rift Valley Institute, 1 Dec 10:

    When Boundaries Become Borders: The Impact of Boundary-Making in Southern Sudan's Frontier Zones
    The demarcation of the north-south boundary in Sudan, as stipulated by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), has the potential to draw a new international boundary in Africa, one that will run from the Central African Republic (CAR) to Ethiopia. The boundary between northern and Southern Sudan is some 2,010 km (1,250 miles) long. If Southern Sudanese vote for secession in the referendum due to be held in 2011, this boundary will become a border between two new states.
    The Kafia Kingi Enclave: People, Politics and History in the North-South Boundary Zone of Western Sudan
    This is a study of the western extremity of the border between Darfur and Southern Sudan, with a focus on the Kafia Kingi enclave. Both Western Bahr al-Ghazal (93,900 km2) and South Darfur (127,300 km2) are huge places: respectively, they are roughly the size of South and North Korea, or Portugal and Greece. At 25,000 km2 Kafia Kingi alone is the size of Puerto Rico.

    The enclave is sometimes referred to as Hofrat al-Nahas (which means ‘copper pit’), after an ancient mining settlement at its northern edge. Its area is roughly contiguous with the Radom Biosphere Reserve, a national park recognised by UNESCO. The enclave’s territory covers 12,500 km2, roughly the size of Puerto Rico. Formerly part of Bahr al-Ghazal, the enclave is currently under the administration of South Darfur.

    This report includes an overview of the history of Kafia Kingi covering the period from the seventeenth century to the present day. During that time place names, administrative boundaries and ethnic groups have all changed, and most administrative terms have changed their range of reference.

  14. #154
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    In Barsoom, as a fact!

    Default One of the core problem faced in State Building is actually the one who do state buil

    Sudan threatens UN over auditory report on DDR fundsSudan has demanded the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) to provide it with a detailed auditory report on the finances of a program designed to rehabilitate former war soldiers, as news of money abuse by UN officials working for the program surfaced in foreign media.
    A German newspaper recently cited a confidential UN report as disclosing that some 50 UN experts working for the DDR program in south Sudan had received exorbitant salaries of 14 million US dollars.
    According to the paper, the report also disclosed that some UN experts had received salaries of fake names that do not exist in the UN payroll.
    News of the financial irregularities has prompted Sudan to react, threatening to report the issue to the UN Secretary General if the UN fails to provide it with a full details on audits carried on finances of the program.
    The official in charge of coordinating the DDR program with the UN in Sudan, Osman Nuri, on Tuesday claimed that the UN had only released 39.967.380 out of 105.068.169 US dollars provided by the donors for the DDR program.
    As reported by Sudan’s official news agency SUNA, Nuri, further recounted that the official in charge of coordinating the DDR program in south Sudan, William Deng, has noticed that enormous amounts of money were being spent outside the purview of the program.
    Nuri said that these two facts made the government suspicious that the UN was abusing donors’ fund.
    Consequently, Nuri added, the government had asked the UNDP to appoint independent auditors to review the way it handled donors’ money.
    The Sudanese official said that the UNDP had indeed appointed independent European auditors but refused to release a full report on their findings to the Sudanese authorities, citing internal regulations which prevent it from doing so.,37429

    The new erupting scandal on UNDP DDR funds miss management in South Sudan is just one of many.
    How do you expect to build a state based on good governance and accountability when the very same international institutions which are supposed to teach others are not transparent and not accountable to anyone? When donors do not seek for results but for political gain?
    No wonders why we end up building fake/failed states, they just reproduce what the international community is doing!

    In the main time,

    Sudan’s FM warns of war with Juba over Darfur rebels
    "We want the South to have a healthy start, safe and stable and we do not want it to be a party to what is going on between the government and the Darfur movements," Karti further said.
    The minister pointed out to government allegations that the southern Sudan ruling SPLM harbors Darfur rebels groups and supports them with logistics and weapons. Since last November, Sudanese warplanes also bombed different areas in southern Sudan saying they hit Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) fighters.
    Minni Minnawi, the sole signatory of Darfur Peace Agreement and former Senior Presidential Assistant is now based in Juba. His forces clashed with the Sudanese army recently in different areas in Darfur and he is considered as "legitimate target" by Khartoum.
    The government says JEM rebels are now trained by the southern Sudan army SPLA and Ugandan army, but the rebels and Juba denied the allegations.
    The visiting Amr Moussa said the Arab League said there was no indication that north and south would return to war.
    "I don’t see any indication that the parties have the willingness to go back to war," Moussa said, adding "What is going on between them is far away from war. There is a political good will."
    The Arab League chief who will dispatch some 87 observers to monitor the referendum said the regional organization will "respect the result of the referendum and what the voters decide," he said.,37430

    Sudan’s NCP warns SPLM against annexation of Abyei

    The NCP official said that the Dinka Ngok have agreed to allow the Misseriya to take part in the region’s referendum after earlier opposition to the idea.
    He warned that if the SPLM goes ahead with any unilateral measures in Abyei the NCP will reject the South Sudan referendum outcome.
    "On Abyei, our grave concerns have not abated. As the negotiations continue, it is vital that everyone involved shows patience and does their utmost to reach a peaceful and permanent settlement acceptable to all" said Benjamin Mkapa, the chair of the Panel and the former President of Tanzania.,37436
    It is clear to every body here that in case of regain of war activities in Darfur in the post referendum period, it will be difficult for GoSS to not try to take the occasion to realise an old dream: take war to the North.
    And it would be foolish from the Darfur rebel to not take the occasion of the creation of this new country with whom they share an ennemy to use it as safe heaven and “arriere”.
    But what is even clearer is that both regimes need a war to preserve their position and stay in power and avoid implosion, in Nrth as in South.

  15. #155
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    Oct 2009

    Default Transformation of the SPLA

    People interested in this issue may wish to take a look at the new report from the Small Arms Survey - HSBA:

    See below post for link.

    Making the SPLA a professional army has a very, very, very, long way to go, and actually, in my view, isn't really possible..
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-03-2011 at 07:40 PM. Reason: Added second paragraph

  16. #156
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Dec 2006


    The link is not working, but once here Arms Holdings clicking on (from HSBA Issue Brief 15) will get the pdf file.

    Clicking on Arms Flow will echo much of M-A's concerns as well as previously documented concerns in Zaire and now DRC.

    A number of legal instruments exist for regulating transfers of arms to and within Sudan, though they are generally regarded as insufficient for stemming in-flows. The UN Mission in Sudan and the African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation (UNAMID) in Darfur are tasked with monitoring and reporting on arms flows, but have failed to adequately document them; UNAMID has also been a source of weapons and ammunition to armed groups.
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  17. #157
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    Oct 2009

    Default SPLA TRansformation report

  18. #158
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    Aug 2007

    Default resources on the southern Sudan referendum

    Voting in the southern Sudan independence referendum starts on Sunday. A few quick references:

    BBC, Southern Sudan referendum Q&A page

    UN DPKO, UNMIS mission page

    UN OCHA, ReliefWeb page for the Sudan

    South Sudan Referendum Commission

    Crisis Group, Sudan page
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.

  19. #159
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    In Barsoom, as a fact!

    Default A peacefull referendum...

    Actually, the situation is quiet in almost all of the country. But still, this is not exempt of exceptions#:

    Human rights violations by security forces and police in the south
    Amnesty International documented human rights violations by security forces and by members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) during the April 2010 elections. In the south, as well as the north, journalists were arbitrarily arrested and harassed for reporting electoral violations. Voters and members of the opposition were also harassed and intimidated in some parts of the south.
    Although the preparations for the referendum have been relatively peaceful, it is essential that authorities issue clear instructions to all members of the police and armed forces to respect and protect the human rights of all citizens, and make sure that any perpetrators of human rights violations are held accountable.
    Violations by members of the SPLA in various parts of south Sudan, including attacks on the local population, have been reported in recent years. The threat of outbreaks of violence may restrict movement in some areas. Amnesty International calls on all law enforcement agencies including members of the SPLA to allow the freedom of movement of all citizens

    Six killed in clashes between SPLA and rebel militia ahead of referendum

    At least six people have been killed and 26 taken hostage in clashes over the weekend in Unity state between rebel militias and southern Sudan’s army – the SPLA – as the military give conflicting details on the attack, which comes days ahead of a referendum on the region’s independence.
    SPLA spokesperson Philip Aguer, said the southern Sudan army ambushed militia loyal to Galwak Gai. He also claimed in statements to Reuters they were sent by Khartoum to disrupt the south’s referendum.
    “From our side, I am told no single soldier has been killed. There are also no reports of injuries on our side from the ground but I am told six on the side of the side of the attackers have been killed.”
    “Two (of Gai’s militia) were killed yesterday on Friday and additional four others were killed today on Saturday and our forces are following them. They are conducting hot pursuit. They will not give them room to sabotage this coming referendum so that our people exercise their rights to vote in a free environment. They will make sure that they are outside southern territory today so that [the] upcoming vote is conducted in an in security free environment. They will make them run and bring them under control,” Aguer said.,37531

    Clashes ahead of Sudan referendum

    There was also fighting reported in the disputed border region of Abyei over the weekend, leading to as many as 9 deaths, said Charles Abyei, the areas speaker of the assembly. While details remain unclear, the fighting was reportedly between members of the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya tribes.

    But the voting period is not the critical one#! The immediate post voting, January 16 until results proclamation, will be critical one as the Southerners will realized they just voted to have the right to become independent and are not independent. And then after July when they will realize that they have no enemy to unify them and that SPLM is not capable to deliver what it promised them.

  20. #160
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Dec 2006


    Hi M-A and greetings from the frozen north !

    I couldn't help but wonder about you today as I watched Euronews. Although little violence during the elections (relatively speaking for Africa), they discussed some undisputed border areas and still unresolved oil revenues.

    Looks like you have Jimmy Carter there too

    Regards, Stan
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

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