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Thread: South Sudan: Watching a fragile nation

  1. #161
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default Between a Rock and a Hard Place

    Deadly clashes in Abyei on first day of South Sudan referendum

    Dinka Ngok sultan, Kual Deng Magok, said the clashes erupted after the Misseriya attempted to capture the village of Macare and that Southern security forces had been ambushed.
    But the senior Misseriya leader, Hamdi al-Doudo has said the clashes were triggered by the southern army (SPLA) moving up to 1,500 soldiers into the area, which the Arab nomads regards as a route to grazing fields.
    South Kordofan Governor, Ahmed Haroun, has called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
    Speaking to Sudan Tribune from the oil-producing region, Juac Agok, the acting SPLM chairman in the area, said armed groups camouflaged as nomads killed 28 local police in a series of clashes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
    "[An] armed group possessing heavy artillery and tanks launched series of attacks on police posts in three different places in the area on Friday and Saturday. They also attacked the same and additional three other locations today," said Agok.
    Agok said the clashes occurred in Maker Abior, Miakol, Todach and Shegei.
    "They launched heavy attack on the police post today (Sunday) at 11 o’clock this morning at Maker Abior resulting into the killing of 18 on the side of local police and injury of 20 others. This occurred as [a] retaliatory attack, after the Friday attack, in which one police was killed and 9 others in Todach on Saturday," said Agok.
    "On their side, we do not have accurate information but we have reports that 22 were killed from today’s attack at Maker. The local police who conducted sentry surveillance at five o’clock today found a lot of dead bodies. I am told 19 bodies were found. This was the clash of today. As for yesterday, 20 were found killed," he said.
    The official said that some of those believed to have sustained injuries are taken to a local hospital in an area called Balilal outside of the Abyei region.
    "Balilal is a one of the localities under south Kordofan state at the corridors branching to the way to Kadugli and to the north from Abyei. It is in the middle serving as the headquarters of militia group. This is where attacks against Abyei and other places in the south are planned," explained Agok.
    The senior official of the southern ruling party in the area also said that 13 were injured on Friday and a further 18 members of local police in Saturday’s attack.
    The Abyei administrator, Deng Arop Kuol, also in an interview with Sudan Tribune from Abyei town, confirmed the clash but gave different casualty figures.
    "Yes, there were clashes starting on Friday and again today. The armed group best described as Missiriya tribesmen launched series of attacks on civilian settlements in three different locations."
    "They attacked Miakol, which is about 18 km north of Abyei town, killing at least one on Friday and 9 others on Saturday. 13 were also injured and 5 today," said Kuol, the Abyei chief administrator.
    The top local official, however, said that he and his northern counterpart, the south Kordofan Governor, Ahmed Haroun were ready to find a settlement to the conflict.
    "Governor Ahmed Haroun was here today after traveling to Muglad for talks with members of the Misseriya tribe who are currently engaged in these attacks. In our meeting we have discussed and agreed ways forward to stop escalation of these attacks to large scale."
    "On our side, we have agreed that our local police will not proceed but remain in their position. Governor Haroun also assured that he would ensure nobody from members of the Missiriya should again launch another retaliatory attack on civilian population and police post we have agreed to find immediate settlement at earliest possible so that peace is restored and movement between the two areas resumes immediately," Kuol told Sudan Tribune from Abyei.
    Quizzed on what could have triggered these series of attacks beginning on Friday, Kuol said members of the Missiriya tribe and their leaders reported to have received false reports that the Dinka Ngok were planning to unilaterally declare returning south since attempts to hold referendum in the region have failed.
    "The cause of attack is nothing than about false reports that the Misseriya received information that the Dinka Ngok was planning to unilaterally declare returning to the south since attempts to hold referendum as stipulated in the comprehensive peace agreement have failed. They (Misseriya) say they have heard reports that the Dinka Ngok were planning to hold their own referendum today so that they can return to the south and so were trying to deter voters from voting," said Kuol.
    Abyei should entering its second day of voting in a referendum on whether it will join the south in remain in the north. The plebiscite has not taken place due to a dispute over whether the Misseriya, who enter Abyei for a few months each year to graze cattle, should be given the right to vote.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/Deadly-c...on-first,37549

    I’m still pretty convinced that we will end up with a declaration that part of sporadic clashes in Abyei the referendum went peacefully.
    The trick is that it HAS TO be peacefull for every body to be a success. And let’s face it, if Misseriya are trouble akers and probably fed with false reports, they are not really backed up by North which has more to loose than to win in this gae.
    In fact the rebels from Darfur and East just came to the conclusion that they could probably create a full havoc by getting allies:
    Eastern Sudan rebels merge with Darfur JEM

    The Eastern Front, a former rebel group in eastern Sudan, signed a peace agreement sponsored by the Eritrean government on 14 October 2007. The deal ended a rebellion started in 1996 with the support of an umbrella of opposition groups called National Democratic Alliance including the SPLM.
    The FAES rejected the peace accord and claimed it was forged by Eritrean and Sudanese governments to normalize bilateral relations but it does not contribute to end the marginalization of the region or bring economic development.
    Speaking from a JEM controlled area, FAES leader Abdel Moneim Muhi Al-Deen Ahmed told Sudan Tribune that their decision to merge with the western Sudan rebel group was motivated by their desire to end the domination of the center represented by the government of the National Congress Party (NCP).
    "The Justice and Equality Movement has a national vision and also include people from the different regions representing the diversity of all the Sudan. So, we are part of this project aiming to end the domination of the center represented by the National Congress Party."
    The FAES joined JEM with 270 soldier and five of its leadership council. Adam Abdalla Yahia, the secretary general of the eastern Sudan rebel group said further members of their group will join JEM bases.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/Eastern-...rge-with,37539

    Now the real real politik question is: is that a real good idea to get Bashir out?
    Better look twice at it cause if there are needs for significant changes in North, you always know what you loose but not what you will get. And what ever comes, there are very little probabilities it will be a nice open, gentle and people oriented democratic government that will come after Bashir.
    On the other side backing up the rebels will just give good legitimate arguments for NCP to get more and more rigid and impose an ultimate crazy Islamic dictatorship.
    The game is tied to manage to preserve a reasonable government in North.

    Hey Stan, apparently we also will get Clinton but the Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not aware...
    Sudan foreign ministry says no knowledge of visit by Clinton
    The Sudanese foreign ministry today denied report of an upcoming visit by the U.S. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton to attend the commencement of South Sudan referendum today.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/Sudan-fo...-says-no,37551
    At least George "Clown ney" is here! To prevent clashes with satelites.

  2. #162
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default Once again, the tactic of making noise to exist has paid

    Militia leader in Unity state says respect ceasefire after Friday clashes
    Colonel Gatluak Gai, a leader of the armed militia allegedly operating with backing from the Sudan Armed Forces, in the southern state of Unity on Monday said would respect and support the recently signed permanent cease-fire between General Athor and the semi-autonomous regional government of south Sudan.
    Colonel Phillip Aguer, the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army spokesman on Saturday said armed elements identified as loyal to Gatluak Gai attacked an SPLA post at Tor Bieth in Mayom county, Unity state, killing six soldiers capturing of 32 others and severely injuring 13. It is claimed that of the 32 captives, 15 were flown to Juba on Saturday.
    The senior military officer denied any losses to their forces but individuals whose relatives were in the clashes on Friday and Saturday said 14 were SPLA members were killed. Bul Athian, of Aweil, the capital of Northern Bahr el Ghazal lost his brother in the attack.
    "We talked today with Colonel Gai. Our discussion was about the recent ceasefire which we signed with government of south Sudan. This agreement covers forces under our zonal command. Gatluak Gai is one of our zonal commanders in western Upper Nile and David Yauyau in south eastern Upper Nile in Pibor," explained General Athor in what seems to confirm allegations that Gatluak Gai and David Yauyau are not acting independtly but are commanded by Athor.
    Athor said that during the one hour long telephone discussion they seemed to reach some understandings which would encourage colonel Gai to accept the ceasefire. “It was a good discussion over some contentious issues,” said Athor without giving any details.
    Gathering reactions to this interview, Sudan Tribune spoke with the SPLA spokesman in the regional capital of Juba, Colonel Phillip Aguer who welcomed what he described as “change of heart.”
    "There is nothing we are looking for in south Sudan other than peace. We need peace and stability in south Sudan. Gatluak’s (Gai) calls for a ceasefire is welcomed. It is as if God has touched him to change his heart. We do not have a problem with him because it was he who launched an attack on our position after we signed the ceasefire with General George Athor, whom we believed was the overall rebel commander. When we signed the ceasefire last week with him [General Athor], we thought Gatluak was one of his officers but we were surprised when he attacked our position," explained Aguer.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/Militia-...ate-says,37563

    Gatluak Gai is taking using General Athor success as an umbrella to gain some benefits from this referendum. SPLA announced previously they crushed him, but they did rather pushed him in a remote place. Now he is back and with this attack and sudden alliance with Athor can expect some benefits from this attrition «#soft COIN#» strategy.
    For Athor, it's even a bigger benefit, he is now a general in charge of at least 3 armed groups and can really weigh in the balance.

    It proves once again that «#soft COIN#» is not providing anything else than immediate results with very little political gains.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default A High Price for War

    davidbfpo

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    Hey M. Lagrange,
    Once again, thanks for keeping us up with the play. I may not be the only one who does not fully understand your reference to 'soft COIN.' Can you explain further? Cheers

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    CMI, 12 Jan 11: Challenges Facing Sudan after
    Referendum Day 2011: Persistent and Emerging Conflict in the North-South Borderline States

    ...This paper identifies nine “hotspots” or flashpoints in the borderline belt that are sites of current or potential conflict. It draws out specific factors, both historical and contemporary, that have contributed to these long-running disputes. Separate sections of the paper focus on border issues between White Nile and Upper Nile states, border issues involving South Kordofan State, and the particularly contentious issue of the oil-rich Abyei area. The greatest potential for renewed conflict lies in the alignment of local resource-based disputes with conflicts between political and economic actors at the subnational and national levels. If left to fester, such local disputes could spark widening hostilities that contribute to a return to all-out war. National and international stakeholders must therefore work to promote resolution of local disputes and resource-sharing agreements to improve the prospects for peaceful, neighbourly relations between the two successor countries....

  6. #166
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default defining soft COIN

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Hey M. Lagrange,
    Once again, thanks for keeping us up with the play. I may not be the only one who does not fully understand your reference to 'soft COIN.' Can you explain further? Cheers
    Hey Collin, you are the seccond one to ask me the meaning of soft COIN and I thought that I used this term after reading it somewhere, most probably in the SWJ pages.
    By soft COIN I refer to the counter insurgency strategy consisting in focussing in containing the insurgents in isolated areas without trying to address any of the issues they raise. It is mainly based on the use of containment, limited kinetic action and more or less the abandon of a piece of territorry to maintain the suppremacy of an administration over the rest of the territorry. I believe that South Sudan is a good exemple: SPLA surrounded the insurgents but refused to go for direct engagement; GoSS did not really do anything to chantge anything (administration or services).

    I hoppe this helps. If some one has a better definition: welcome. Or better, if someone can come with the article where I saw it first: most welcome. Otherwise: I will depose a trade mark on that one!

  7. #167
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Sudan Opposition Leader Arrested

    Sudan Opposition Leader Arrested: Security forces in Sudan have arrested opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi from his home in Khartoum, al-Turabi’s Popular Congress Party spokesman said. The arrest comes a day after Turabi’s party called for a “popular revolution” if the Sudanese government did not reverse price hikes.
    What happened in Tunisia is a reminder. This is likely to happen in Sudan … If it doesn’t, then there will be a lot of bloodshed. The whole country is armed. In the towns, it will be a popular uprising, but in Darfur, and in Kordofan as well, they have weapons.”
    http://www.adailynewspaper.com/sudan...arrested-25311

    Let’s not be completely blind and naïve. Turabi is using the Tunisian uprising to put on the table his fundamentalist agenda once again.
    It is true that in North, people are looking for a change but fundamentalist and the Muslim Brotherhood are also looking at how to use South secession to come back in power.

    AU commends south Sudan election process
    The African Union (AU) Commission election observer mission to the South Sudan commended on Tuesday the electoral process deeming it "satisfactory", a AU press statement said in Addis Ababa.
    The Mission notes with satisfaction that the Referendum was conducted in accordance with the CPA-Comprehensive Peace Agreement- and SSRC –southern Sudan referendum Commission-guidelines.
    http://www.afropages.fr/201101184036...n-process.html

    An opinion shared by the EU and the US.
    Now the real challenge starts: how to avoid collapse of the South and the runaway into war with North to preserve “unity”.

  8. #168
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default South Sudan made the joice of separation.

    Let's have a look at what others say about it#:


    India calls for negotiated peace in Sudan, Darfur

    Speaking at the UN Security Council open meeting on the Sudan here Tuesday, India's Permanent Representative Hardeep Singh Puri expressed "great satisfaction" that the referendum in South Sudan on whether the region
    should remain a part of Sudan or be independent has been completed "successfully and peacefully."
    "Successful conduct of the referendum has met an important element in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement reached between the Sudanese parties," he said.
    Commending the commitment of these parties to respect the outcome of the referendum, Puri said India hoped "the same spirit of cooperation and commitment will be shown by the parties to resolve post-referendum issues which remain to be agreed upon."
    However, expressing concern at a "high and worrying level of violence in the region of Abyei, Puri urged the leaders of the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka communities to show restraint and faithfully implement the agreement which was reached with the mediation of the special representative of the UN Secretary General.
    "The violence witnessed last week in Abyei should remind us of the need to remain vigilant about the ground situation, which continues to remain fragile," he said expressing the "hope that the parties will cease their support to the proxy forces and seek to resolve all issues through negotiations and dialogue."
    http://www.indiavision.com/news/arti...tional/147282/
    An interesting attitude from India who's one of the most not known key player in East Africa. As China, India choose to be a major economic player rather than directly intervening as a political player.

    Does South Sudan secession benefit Ethiopia?

    This week’s referendum also provides a political and moral support for armed groups in the region. ONLF rebels of Ethiopia have already praised the referendum in Sudan. In a statement, the ONLF said
    “This vote represents a precedent affirming that there is no longer a moral or so-called legal basis for denying the Ogaden people their legitimate rights to self-determination and that the AU bears a direct responsibility to address protracted conflicts.”
    http://www.eastafricaforum.net/2011/...efit-ethiopia/
    The question of Ogaden is back on table...
    And Somaliland is following:

    Somaliland to Push for Recognition after South Sudan

    The referendum will have a “positive knock-on effect,” Omar said by phone today from the capital, Hargeisa. “We will be using the South Sudan case to take a more aggressive policy to the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.”
    Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 when a coup sparked civil war. It has never been recognized abroad because the Organization of African Unity ruled in 1964 that post-colonial borders in Africa were inviolable. The break-up of Sudan, Africa’s largest country by area, would be a rare exception to that rule.
    Somaliland enhanced its democratic credentials with elections leading to a peaceful transition of power to President Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo in June. The vote met international standards, according to observers Progressio, a London-based development agency.
    http://english.alshahid.net/archives/17332
    Unfortunately, the following link is coming from an anti US blog. But their analyses of the China vs USA battle in Sudan is interesting... And gives an idea at strategical level of the issues for both. (More or less)
    A tale of blood and oil in Africa – US seeks to undercut China in Africa by exploiting secession referendum
    This “historic vote is an exercise in self-determination long in the making,” he declares. “A successful vote will be cause for celebration and an inspiring step forward in Africa’s long journey toward democracy and justice.”
    Such statements are mendacious. There is no doubt enthusiasm for secession in the south, in the hope that a line can be drawn under the decades-long civil war between the north and the south. Two million people have died in the conflict that began at the moment of independence in 1956 and continued until 2005, with the last 21 years being the most destructive. The number of those displaced is close to 4 million. Generations have been raised in refugee camps.
    But the referendum has nothing to do with self-determination, peace or democracy. It is dictated by the efforts of the United States to gain strategic advantage in relation to China, which dominates [sic] the Sudanese oil industry, some 80 percent of which is located in the south. Its aim is the creation of a puppet state which will become a platform for US domination of the entire region.
    The separation of the south and creation of a new capitalist state will only perpetuate religious and ethnic conflict, with the most likely outcome being a resumption of warfare. Already more than 30 people have been reported killed in clashes on the proposed border between the north and a new state in the south.
    http://sweetandsoursocialism.wordpre...list-web-site/

  9. #169
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default First test or first crack?

    Sudan soldiers clash in Malakal: Several dead

    At least 13 people, including two children, have been killed in clashes between soldiers in the volatile south Sudan town of Malakal, doctors say.
    Battles broke out on Thursday between rival northern troops, some of whom want to stay in the south. Malakal has previously seen north-south clashes.
    The fighting comes as Southern Sudan is waiting for confirmation of the result of its independence referendum.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12368831

    Malakal is less known to be a hot spot compare to Abyei but it is actually the hottest spot just after Abyei. Fighting broke out there in the past.
    Let see if the South will be able to be as cold and patient as for Bar Al Ghazal.

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    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default sorry I'm little messy

    South Sudan accuses Khartoum of “unjustifiably” holding Abyei
    Michael Makuei Lueth, a former minister of legal affairs and constitutional development and a now minister of parliamentary Affairs in the government of south Sudan in a televised statement on South Sudan Television (SSTV) Thursday night accused Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party of holding Abyei “unjustifiably” and described it as home to the Ngok Dinka.
    “The National Congress Party is unjustifiably holding Abyei. This is a clear violation of provision of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on Abyei” said Makuei. The senior member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, who was part of the delegation representing the former rebels, at the peace talks, said the Misseriya did not have any rights in Abyei, other than to the right to access water and grazing.
    “When we accept in the agreement to give Misseriya the access to water and grazing, it was not because they have any right or because we were afraid of anything but it was on humanitarian grounds”, said Makuei.
    While the Dinka Ngok believes that Abyei belongs to them, the Missiriya who graze their cattle in the region for some of the year, argue the area belongs to neither of the two tribes, and thus they have rights in the area. They also blamed territorial rivalry on the CPA, with most leaders from the Misseriya arguing that they have shared this land for centuries without any problem.

    “We have never had any territorial dispute between us and the Dinka Ngok because we have always been one and the same people. The problem started with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the so called court ruling which talks about borders", Hassan Musa, the leader of one of the Misseriya’s groups, told Sudan Tribune on Friday from Muglad town, located west of South Kordofan’s state capital of Kadugli.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/South-Su...rtoum-of,37879

    This post to put in perspective with the previous one on what's going on around Abyei and why (Partially) there are troubles in Malakal.

    Also because this article illustrates very well the two sides propaganda and how thwy are instrumentalising the CPA for territorial and economical purposes. How legitimate questions from the people (How will I ensure to keep my way of living in the future) are used by both sides.

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    Default No need to apologize ...

    for being a "little messy" - you're French.

    Seriously, I'm one of your readers, but rarely a commenter. Fortunately, I've got only some snow to worry about - and not that much of that this winter.

    That being said, the newspaper quote might give some the impression that the Malakal and Abyei problems hinge on tribal cattle grazing rights. You know better; I even know better; but some readers may not get what is at stake.

    Which is this (snip from USAID chart of Oil & Gas Concession Blocks):

    2001 USAID Oil & Gas Blocks - snip.jpg

    I've also been following this article from Foreign Affairs, Sudan's Secession Crisis, Can the South Part From the North Without War?, By Andrew S. Natsios and Michael Abramowitz, January/February 2011:

    ....
    ANDREW S. NATSIOS, U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan in 2006-7, is Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, and the author of the forthcoming book Sudan and Darfur: What Everyone Needs to Know. MICHAEL ABRAMOWITZ, a former Washington Post reporter and national editor, is Director of the Committee on Conscience at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
    ....
    During a visit to southern Sudan in late September and early October, we met nearly 100 people, including the south's president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, and vice president, Riek Machar, civil-society groups, church leaders, international humanitarian workers, UN officials, and many others. We traveled outside Juba to the southern cities of Malakal and Rumbek but were denied permission to travel to the north. In the course of our conversations, we came to see clearly that Garang's vision of a unified, democratic Sudan died with him. Given the depredations and atrocities that the southern Sudanese have suffered for two centuries at the hands of the northern Arabs, getting southerners to vote for unity would have been difficult even with Garang in power. One cause of the ongoing tensions is the condescending attitudes of some Arab elites in Khartoum: they continue to refer to the southerners as a'bid, the Arabic term for low-caste black slaves. For them, the south's revolt during the civil war was no liberation struggle; it was an uprising of slaves that needed to be crushed. Now, these northerners cannot abide dealing with southerners as equals. The southerners, for their part, wish to be rid of the Arabs and Islamism once and for all.

    In the fall, as the date of the referendum neared, international observers and southern officials reported that Khartoum was redeploying its army, with newly purchased heavy weaponry, along the disputed north-south border. In response to the north's muscle-flexing, the southern government, which is based in the city of Juba, sent the toughest units in its own armed forces, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), and also equipped them with new heavy weaponry. The south's leaders threatened to issue a unilateral declaration of independence if the north manipulated or canceled the vote. They also privately warned that if the north attempted to occupy the oil fields in the south -- where 80 percent of the country's known oil reserves are located -- they would destroy the country's oil infrastructure. And they have the troops and the weapons to do so. If Khartoum thinks it can protect Sudan's oil infrastructure, it should reflect on the failure of the U.S. military to protect Iraq's during its occupation of that country.
    and, in their conclusion:

    For all their differences, the north and the south will remain dependent on each other after the referendum, if only because both need oil revenues. And so one way to avert violence might be to encourage the two sides to cooperate in the name of their economic codependence. The vast majority of Sudan's oil reserves may be in the south, but most of the infrastructure necessary to export that oil -- pipelines and a port -- are in the north. Thus, without cooperation between the north and the south, oil revenues could quickly dry up for both. Any new pipeline running from the south through either Ethiopia or Kenya is a decade and billions of dollars away. Meanwhile, some energy experts predict that Sudan's oil production may peak and then decline over the next decade. (The government in Juba, 98 percent of whose revenue comes from oil, is now racing to get international mining companies into the south to explore its mineral resources and thus help the government diversify its sources of revenue.) If oil revenues precipitously decline because of a war or a political crisis between the north and the south, Khartoum and Juba would have to lay off their huge public-sector work forces, which would destabilize both governments over time. And thanks to corruption, the elites in both capitals have personally profited from the oil revenues. In other words, maintaining oil revenues is in the interests of many parties -- and thus a powerful incentive to find a peaceful way out of the current impasse.

    Given these stakes, the Sudanese, in both the north and the south, might very well manage on their own and do once more what they have done over the past six years: pull back from the brink of catastrophe, averting the worst violence, and patch together an inadequate but functional compromise that protects both parties' interests. Considering the circumstances today, Sudan could do a lot worse.
    We shall see (virtually) - and you will see (literally). Stay safe.

    Colonialement

    Mike

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    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Hello Mike,

    Thanks for being such a constant support. And for the link that helps a lot to clarify my discourse. (And sorry again for not responding. I am lost at the moment ).

    Yes, I did put the emphasis on the grazing land problematic. This as we always try to look at the problematic of legitimacy and popular support into small wars.
    The article you put in link, demonstrates clearly (better than me, too lost in the problematic) that there is a distance between population's claims (grazing land and cultural way of life) and governments (GoSS and GoS) interests (Oil and taxes revenues).
    Oil is why the US did intervene (directly and indirectly) in Sudan and specially in the Nuba Mountains. But what the people do fight for are grazing land access rights.
    We face here a very good example of manipulation of people will and legitimate claims by 2 governments to achieve economic and political objectives (clearly deeply linked) which do not echo the population claim. But in reverse, population's claims do echo the SPLM and NCP objectives.

    This does question the link between root causes of insurgencies and how do insurgent groups do evolve and get created. How a popular cause can be use and abused to cover economical agendas.

    There are interesting scholar works on the economical objectives from SPLA since 1994 (Year of the creation of SPLM as a political wing for SPLA). And it clearly appears (I have to past some links there, just give me some time) that once again we start with a legitimate claim based on domestic politic/policies to end up in a personnal quest for enrichment by the insurgents elites.

    In the case of Sudan and the birth of South Sudan, we witness how the elites greed (Insurgents and government) affects the conflict and may even extend or set the conditions for another conflict.

    Mes respects

    M-A

    PS: I am actually moving out from Sudan. I'll be watching it from next door: Kenya.
    Sorry in advance for all those who did follow this attempt of discourse and public information treatment of South Sudan conflict deconstruction, I may have some difficulties to keep this threat up dated regularly.

  13. #173
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    You'd think we'd evolve to being able to develop some sort of resource escrow or trust account that takes issues like the oil in South Sudan out of the equation. Allow the U.S. and China to stop worrying about which will gain an advantage on the other, and there for stop the agitation aspect of their external engagements; and also allow the parties in North and South Sudan to stop agonizing over who will gain the lion's share of the revenues.

    Instead of arguing over where the line will be, etc, simply agree to the escrow and an equitable system of distribution of product and profits. Keep all the books open source on the web so that a wide range of watchdog groups can monitor. Human nature, greed, lust for power, etc are always in play though...
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  14. #174
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Instead of arguing over where the line will be, etc, simply agree to the escrow and an equitable system of distribution of product and profits. Keep all the books open source on the web so that a wide range of watchdog groups can monitor. Human nature, greed, lust for power, etc are always in play though...
    It's not always easy to reach consensus on what is equitable, especially when two or more groups all see some resource as "theirs" by definition.

    No reason why the US or China should care where the Sudan's oil flows, as long as it flows: the issue is not who the oil goes to but the overall supply/demand imbalance and its impact on global pricing. Even if every drop goes to, say, Japan, the US and China still benefit, as the Japanese then buy less oil elsewhere and that oil is available for others to buy.

    Where the money flows is of course a very different question, and it's not going to be easy to get the various parties to agree on any definition of what is "equitable" there..

  15. #175
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default the first public counter cyber social network strike!

    First the death of the Minister of Rural development#:
    South Sudan minister shot dead

    February 9, 2011 (JUBA) - A minister in the semi-autonomous Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) has been killed by his personal driver who broke into his office this morning soon after his arrival.
    The minister of Cooperatives and Rural Development, Jimmy Lemi Milla, was shot dead at around 10:45AM in his office, which is only about 200 meters from the office of the president.
    The assilant also killed the minister’s bodyguard.
    More details are expected to emerge later.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/BREAKING...minister,37930

    And secondly Bashir is trying facebook to counter the opposition#:

    Sudanese president urges supporters to use Facebook to overcome opposition

    The Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir has called on his supporters to use Facebook in order to overcome groups that are opposed to his rule.
    Bashir made the call during his visit to North Kordofan state on Tuesday where he inaugurated a power plant.
    Sudan official news agency (SUNA) cited Bashir as instructing authorities to pay more attention towards extending electricity to the countryside so that the younger citizens can use computers and internet to combat opposition through social networking sites such as Facebook.
    This is the first call of its kind by an Arab president since a wave of revolts spread across the Middle East leading to the downfall of the 23-years old regime in Tunisia and forced the Egyptian government to loosen its grip on the power and make unprecedented concessions.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/index.php

    This might be the first public counter cybersocialnetwork strike#! An article recently published in Wirred (Know that because of Slate not because I read Wirred. ) states that the US army has the capacity to reinitiate by force internet network in a country. This could be considered as an act of war.

    I did not mentioned it but Bashir is facing some opposition demonstrations in Khartoum. The NCP is not ready to let go. Also, there are too many interests at stake now now, that an abrupt departure of Bashir is not really an option for many. And as in Egypt, the problematic of the islamic fundamentalist political opposition is part of the equation too.
    Other threats have demonstrate the importance of Internet and social network in population mobilization in Tunisia and Egypt.
    Here, Bashir just turn around the difficulty of censoring Internet or simply cutting the net. He choose to conduct a cyber social network strike by reversing the use of social networks at his profit.

  16. #176
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default The final phase is on...

    South Sudan army retake Fangak from Athor forces -SPLA

    he top military command of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army on Thursday said repelled forces loyal to General George Athor from Fangak County, Jonglei State, following a clash between the two armed forces on Wednesday and Thursday in the area.
    Dok James Puok, spokesman of the rebel group in an interview with Sudan Tribune from Juba claimed Wednesday that their forces captured Fangak County from SPLA forces after launching an attack on their operational outposts in three different locations.
    General Bol Koang, a SPLA division commander in the area on Thursday said South Sudan army have expulsed forces loyal to General Athor and took control of many areas Athor claimed to have captured on Wednesday.
    "Our forces expulsed Athor’s immediately after entering the area yesterday. They never slept in Fangak. They entered without exchanging fire with any armed group because there were no forces in the area".
    "There were only three policemen in the town", said General Koang through a language assistant during a telephone interview with Sudan Tribune from Jonglei.
    James Maluit Ruei, commissioner of Fangak County also in a separate interview with Sudan Tribune confirmed expulsion of forces loyal to General Athor from the town on Wednesday.
    "Forces loyal to General George Athor entered Fangak at around 2:00 PM and were expulsed by the SPLA forces the same day at around 5:00 PM. They did not spend the night in the town", said commissioner Ruei.
    Ruei said the SPLA troops on Thursday defeated the insurgents and took the control of the all areas and. But he was unable to provide figures of the casualties at the time of the interview.
    "I cannot give you a correct figure now because the fighting is still continuing. I have just talked to General Koang and he told me that his forces are still pursuing forces loyal to General Athor. He did not give me figures of the casualties", he said.
    The resumption of hostilities days after the announcement of the referendum results raises concerns and fears for stability in the South Sudan after the independence next July.
    Experts underline the crucial need for infrastructure in the underdeveloped and divided region to impose the authority of the new state. The lack of roads prevents the quick deployment of the army and police throughout the South Sudan.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/South-Su...e-Fangak,37955

    And an unexpected result of the Sudan referendum#:
    Ethiopia braces for oil shortage as Sudan shuts pipes
    Recently, the country signed an agreement with Sudan Petroleum Company (SPC) to import 80 percent of its benzene demand from the neighboring Sudan. This agreement was to enable the government cut the huge transportation costs, which would in consequence lower the price of benzene on the local market.
    The agreement with SPC has however been suspended following a three month closure of the Sudanese company’s refinery beginning February 1. And although this is not expected to impact the petroleum deal between Ethiopia and The Sudan, the three-month break coupled with Ethiopia’s inadequate storage capacities may lead to a fuel shortage.
    http://www.eastafricaforum.net/2011/...n-shuts-pipes/

    I am not so sure of the relevance of who did start what with Athor. Apparently GoSS made the choice to finally crush Athor rebellion. The next question is: will that allow an healthy and transparent political dialog to emerge in the South or is it just the first violent act of repression of a one party dictatorship?

  17. #177
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    Default Athor conflict update

    At least 211 killed in clashes in south Sudan

    By Jeremy Clarke in Juba
    Wednesday, 16 February 2011

    Attacks by a renegade militia in south Sudan's Jonglei oil state killed at least 211 people, a southern minister said yesterday, doubling earlier estimates. The violence has reignited concerns for the security of the underdeveloped region where voters last month opted overwhelmingly to declare independence from the north.

    South Sudan's army said forces loyal to George Athor, a former army officer who staged a revolt after losing in last year's elections, were responsible for the attacks in Jonglei last week. Army and government officials said yesterday that the scale of the loss emerged after the bodies of women, children and other civilians were found in remote areas. .... (more in article - South accuses North; North denies; etc.)
    Regards

    Mike

  18. #178
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default Sharing the house... part 1

    Now South Sudan has a name#: Republic of South Sudan#!
    And the sharing has started with its bright and clean agreement side and dirty tricks over the kids#:

    SPLM: North-South border demarcation commences Sunday
    Demarcation of the border between North and South Sudan, which remains a contentious issue after the South in January voted for independence, a senior official from the South’s ruling party said Tuesday.
    At least 80 percent of the border have so far been demarcated.
    Pagan Amum, the southern minister for peace and implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), in which the right to self determination was granted, told a media briefing in Juba that the technical committee, tasked with overseeing the demarcation process is expected to table its actions on Wednesday.
    The demarcation process, Amum clarified, will also involve the mapping of the contested areas. The SPLM claim most of the areas contested should be part of South Sudan.
    On the fate of Abyei referendum, Amum, also the SPLM’s secretary general, said the South’s ruling party and its Northern counterparts the National Congress Party (NCP) are due to hold a Friday meeting on the future of the oil-producing area.
    Oil-producing Abyei was supposed to hold a referendum to decide whether it will remain in the North or be transfered to South Sudan but it has been delayed over disputes between NCP and SPLM regarding who is eligible to vote.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/SPLM-Nor...h-border,38002

    And so it is for oil#:

    South Sudan rules out sharing oil revenue with North
    The secretary general of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) Pagan Amum told reporters today that the South will only pay a fee for using the pipelines that transport the oil to Port Sudan.
    "The notion of sharing wealth will not be there. There is no continuation, whether 50 percent or anything," Amum said according to Reuters.
    Most of Sudan’s proven daily output of 500,000 oil barrel is extracted from oilfields in the South whereas the pipelines infrastructure and refineries are based in the North. Both sides need to maintain cooperation on oil after secession to sustain their economies which depend greatly on oil revenues.
    "There’s going to be an agreement on the South continuing exporting its oil through the pipeline in Northern Sudan and to Port Sudan, and the South will be paying pipeline fees for transportation," said Amum.
    "We may be paying a transit fee because now Northern Sudan is going to be a different independent state from the south," he added.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/South-Su...ring-oil,38009

    And so comes the dirty tricks for who will get the kids#:
    Sudanese company suspends oil supply to Ethiopia

    Sudan Petroleum Company has temporarily suspended the agreement signed on fuel supplies to Ethiopia, after the Sudanese oil firm closed its refinery earlier this month, Sudan Tribune has learnt.
    The agreement signed in 2010 between Ethiopia and Sudan Petroleum Company (SPC) was to import 80 percent of its total oil demands from neighboring Sudan. The three-month suspension is likely to cause a hike in oil prices due to Ethiopia’s lack of oil reserves.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/Sudanese...ends-oil,38007


    But where the battle is raging on it's...

    South#?
    Abyei belongs to South Sudan – SPLM official

    "There is no question that Abyei is part and parcel of south Sudan. The people of Abyei are Dinka and there is nowhere Dinka are found in Sudan a part from South Sudan. So, it is no question that Abyei is for the South and we are Dinka", said Miyen Alor Kuol a senior member of the southern Sudan ruling party in the region.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/Abyei-be...dan-SPLM,38024

  19. #179
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default Sharing the house... part 2

    In Jonglei#?

    South Sudan accuses north of arming rebels
    South Sudan's ruling party accused northern authorities on Wednesday of arming rebels since the region's landmark independence vote last month, including renegade troops behind clashes that killed more than 200 people last week.
    Pagan Amum, secretary general of the Sudan People?s Liberation Movement (SPLM), said renegade southern general George Athor had received supplies from Khartoum since the 9-15 January referendum in which the south voted to break away.
    "Supplies were brought to George Athor even after the referendum, and this definitely must stop," Amum said.
    The north dismissed the accusation and renewed its own charges that southerners were backing Dafur rebel groups.
    "The charges are a justification by the SPLM to give unconditional support to the Darfur rebels who continue to launch their attacks from positions south of the 1956 (north-south) border," northern army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad said in a statement.
    "All groups who do not heed the calls for peace, the government of southern Sudan will be forced to engage them."
    Meanwhile, a one-day meeting began in Juba on Wednesday between leaders of all the south?s parties, the start of a consultation process to draw up a constitution for the new nation.
    A larger conference involving civil society groups is to follow but no date has yet been set.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110216...dansouthunrest

    Spokesman of Sudan Armed Force Colonel Khalid Sa'ad al Sawarmi rejected allegations issued by Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) accusing SAF of supporting General Athor.
    In press statement, al Sawarmi said that SPLM is accusing SAF so as to cover its support to Darfur armed groups, adding that insurgents from Darfur managing their hostile work from within south Sudan southwards to 1956-borders. The statement renewed SAF commitment not to supporting any insurgents affiliating to neighboring countries, pointing out that taking geographical factors into consideration, it is impossible to accuse SAF of supporting Ator practically. He added that investigations have approved that the helicopter taken as evidence against SAF belongs to Russian company, adding that investigations approved that there is no link between SAF and Athor.
    http://www.sudanvisiondaily.com/modu...icle&sid=69628


    Or Darfur#?

    Darfur MPs Demand to Diminish the Role of Foreign Organizations in the Region
    Posted on Thursday, February 17 @ 00:00:00 UTC by admin
    #
    Khartoum- (SMC)

    Darfur MPs in the National Council called Darfur called on the government concerned authorities for working to reduce the foreign presence of organizations in Darfur, accusing it of exceeding its mandate through the provision of logistic support to the armed movements and some activities that are contrary to the mandate.
    The Chairman of the Darfur MPs block, Hassabo Mohamed Abdul Rahman said that the stability of the security in the said region justify the dimensions of organizations beside that the national organizations have been able to enforce humanitarian and voluntary work if find the necessary support stressing the importance of strengthening the African, Arab and Islamic presence to work with national organizations.
    Abdul Rahman said that the foreign organizations have become renewed its accusations against the Sudanese government besides tarnishing the image of Sudan through misleading and fabricated reports expressing his fear of opening a new front in Darfur by those organizations after the secession of the south, adding that the government is now in the process of confidence building through the strategy put forward to solve Darfur issue.#
    http://www.sudanvisiondaily.com/modu...icle&sid=69599

    Sudan expels French aid group from Darfur
    KHARTOUM, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Sudanese authorities on Monday expelled French aid group Medecins du Monde from a state in the Darfur region, accusing it of spying on the government and helping rebels.
    U.N. sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Sudanese security officials raided the group's compound and arrested staff in south Darfur's capital Nyala on Thursday.
    Sudan, highly suspicious of foreign intervention, has had a tense relationship with the aid groups that poured in to help hundreds of thousands of people displaced by Darfur's eight-year conflict between government troops and rebels.
    Workers from four humanitarian organisations, who asked not to be named, told Reuters there had been a recent increase travel restrictions and worsening security conditions.
    http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/...ent&RSS20=18-P

    What seems to be clear is, now that South started to crush its internal rebellions with an international blessing, Khartoum seems to have free hands to do the same in North.
    What ever is the out come of the actual offencive against Athor, the collateral damages in Darfur are to be monitored.
    Difficult in deed for the international community to support South repression and criticise North about political freedom:

    Khartoum University students arrested in Sudan security services raid

    February 15, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese security authorities employed heavy force to disperse and arrest students protesting at Khartoum University against the dismissal of their colleagues for failure to pay tuition fees.
    Security agents supported by students affiliated with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday afternoon raided the veterinary faculty of Khartoum University and forcibly dispersed nearly 300 students participating in a sit-in to protest the university administration’s decision to prevent five students from sitting for exams because they could not pay tuition fees.
    Five students were arrested after security authorities drove into the campus with their vehicles and started beating protestors.
    Two of the arrested students are affiliated to the northern sector of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which released a statement on Tuesday condemning their arrest and threatening retaliation.
    Last month Sudan used force to squash anti-government protests organized via the internet by youth groups encouraged by the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that forced the resignation of both the countries presidents. Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak was ousted on Friday after 18 days of public protests.
    Two minor protests were held this week in Khartoum by the mothers and relatives of those detained following last month’s protests.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/Khartoum...students,38004

    Sudan says US denied its diplomat statement on “changing state structure”
    Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday said it had requested “clarifications” from the U.S. on statements allegedly made by the U.S. Consul General Barrie Walkley during a meeting with leading figures from the Sudan people Liberation Movement (SPLM), which controls South Sudan.
    According to a report carried by Sudan Media Center (SMC), a website closely linked to Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), the U.S. diplomat met with SPLM secretary general Pagan Amum, head of SPLM Northern Sector Yasir Arman and the SPLM’s leader in the Nuba Mountains Abdel Aziz Al-Hilu.
    The website reported that Walkley had told SPLM officials that the U.S. strategy towards Sudan aims at "changing the structure of the Sudanese state," and that Washington would not abandon the issues of Abyei, Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains (South Kordofan) in light of their importance in the context of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
    The official spokesman of Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Khaled Moussa, on Tuesday said that the ministry had received a response from the U.S. embassy which reaffirmed commitment to implementing the understandings made between U.S. and Sudanese officials to maintain security and stability between North and South Sudan.
    Moussa warned that the ministry and other state apparatus would nevertheless continue to monitor any activities that negate the understandings made in this regard and would take necessary measures whenever the occasion demands.
    The U.S. Administration this month started a process to remove Sudan from its list of states sponsoring terrorism as a reward for implementing the CPA, but some Sudanese officials cast doubts on the seriousness of the U.S. to follow through on its promises.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/Sudan-sa...diplomat,38003

    People freedom is still limited to their strategic importance and the stability of high level political processes... Wind of freedom can blow anywhere but in Sudan at the momment. What happened in Egypt and Tunisia is not possible today in Sudan. And is most probably not wanted by many if not all international actors in North.
    Now, the SPLA has to win its military campaign against Athor with a high level of respect of populations (minimal civilian cusualties). Otherwise, international community will face grave difficulties to criticise anything happening in Darfur. It is needed to prevent that what ever happens in South becomes a justificational cover for Khartoum.

  20. #180
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default After the butterfly effect, the time delay effect

    Sudan’s Bashir not standing for re-election
    Feb 21st, 2011
    by AfricaTimes.
    KHARTOUM Sudanese President Omar Hassan
    al-Bashir will not stand at the next election as part of a
    package of reforms aimed at democratising the country, a senior
    official of the ruling party said on Monday.ù

    Bashir took power in a bloodless coup in 1989. In April 2010
    he won presidential elections which many opposition parties
    boycotted, citing fraud.
    “(Bashir) announced that he will not enter the coming
    elections to compete for the presidency,” Rabie Abdelati, a
    senior National Congress Party official, told Reuters.
    The next presidential elections are due in four years.
    Bashir is the only sitting head of state to be indicted by
    the International Criminal Court, for war crimes and genocide in
    the war-torn Darfur region. He denies the charges.
    Last week Bashir hinted to youth members of his party that
    he would retire if the NCP adopted a retirement age of 60 for
    political posts .
    The opposition belittled the move, saying the NCP was trying
    to head off mass protests and feared contagion from popular
    uprisings which have ousted the Tunisian and Egyptian
    presidents.
    Abdelati said Bashir had also offered to step down as head
    of the NCP, a move he said was part of a wider strategy to
    democratise the country.
    http://www.africa-times-news.com/201...r-re-election/

    For a good news, that’s a good news. A little unexpected as his friend Kadaffi is not that willing to say good bye but Bashir did play it smart.
    He first mobilized his supporters via facebook and twitter (I do not know if that did really work but it is to be noticed as an interesting tactical initiative).
    And now he is “leaving power” but takes time to get achieve what he/we want.
    Basically he achieve what Mubarak couldn’t.

    I might give it too much importance but after the freedom wind that blew all over the Arab world following the “disaster” of Sudan referendum (On the arab side), it did finally hit Sudan; probably its starting point. Better late than never.
    Does not mean that everything has changed and that Sudan does not play any role into nuclear weapon smuggling or Palestinian fight… But still.

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