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August 2010 - Posts

Kenya Defends Bashir Visit as Necessary for Regional Peace

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir waves as he arrives at the promulgation of Kenya's new constitution at the Uhuru Park grounds in Nairobi, 27 Aug 2010  

Michael Onyiego | Nairobi

Suanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir waves as he arrives at the promulgation of Kenya's new constitution at the Uhuru Park grounds in Nairobi, 27 Aug 2010

Kenya has rejected international criticism over the inclusion of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Friday's Promulgation Day festivities.  The east African nation has defended its actions as necessary for regional stability and national security.  

At a news conference in Nairobi, members of the Kenyan government defended the decision to invite controversial Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir to the Friday signing of the country's new constitution.  The International Criminal Court has issued two warrants for Mr. Bashir under allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur.

Kenya, a signatory to the court, was blasted by the international community for failing to arrest Mr. Bashir and present him to The Hague.  

The court's judges expressed even stronger disapproval Friday, saying Kenya has a clear obligation to enforce the warrant.  The court referred the matter to the U.N. Security Council, asking the body to take "any measure they may deem appropriate" to resolve the issue.     

But Transport Minister Amos Kimunya explained Kenya's obligations under the Court were not the only factors that influenced the country's policy regarding Sudan.

"National interests come first; regional interests come second in ranking," he said. "Regional interests include our membership in IGAD, COMESA - where we are members with Sudan - and African Union, where we are obligated as African Union by the decisions of the Union."

Kimunya was referring to a 2009 decision by the African Union to ignore Mr. Bashir's arrest warrants.  The decision was made after the U.N. Security Council ignored an AU request to defer the warrant for one year in the interest of peace.

According to Kenya's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Bashir's invitation was also extended in the interest of regional stability.  Sudan is just months away from a January referendum that many expect will split the country in two.  The referendum is the final step of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended 20 years of civil war between the government in Khartoum and rebels in the south.

In a statement, the Ministry explained President Bashir and Southern Sudanese President Salva Kiir were invited to the ceremony and frequent interaction with both parties is necessary to push for the implementation of the peace agreement as well as the referendum.

But Mr. Bashir's presence at the Promulgation ceremony complicates Kenya's relationship with the international court.  ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo is investigating alleged crimes against humanity committed after Kenya's disputed 2007 presidential election.

More than 1,000 people were killed in early 2008 after President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga accused each other of rigging the vote.  It is believed that many prominent Kenyan businessmen and politicians played a role in funding and organizing the ethnic violence that rocked the country.

Kenya has promised to cooperate fully with Moreno-Ocampo, but recent events have cast doubts over the country's commitment to justice.  

Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said Sunday he was surprised by the presence of Mr. Bashir and urged Kenya to clarify its position and reaffirm its commitment to cooperate with the Court.  

Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Richard Onyonka said Mr. Bashir's visit had no bearing on the ICC investigation in Kenya.

"We will continue with the arrangements which we have with the International Criminal Court to make sure that any individuals who may have participated in committing crimes against humanity and other crimes during the post-election violence will be prosecuted," he said.  "We will take this to its logical conclusion.  As far as we are concerned, the two issues between what has happened in President al-Bashir coming to the country and us being a signatory to the International Criminal Court and having issues pertaining to the post-election violence are mutually exclusive."

Moreno-Ocampo is expected to return to Kenya in October to continue his investigation into the post-election violence; the prosecutor has indicated he will bring charges against six suspects when he presents his case to The Hague at the end of the year.

 

Press release by the SPLM-DC against recent accusations by GoSS’s minister

Press Statement

Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - Democratic Change (SPLM-DC)

Gier Chuang Libelous Allegations are Pure Lies

August 27, 2010 (KHARTOUM) - Mr Gier Chuang Aluong, the Government of Southern Sudan’s Minister in charge of security, held a press conference on the 26th instant in which he made baseless allegations against SPLM-DC and its Chairman, Dr Lam Akol, in connection with the Sudan Airways Helicopter that was held by the SPLA in Paloc airport early this month. As usual, these Spokesmen of GOSS would never rest until they drag the name of the SPLM-DC into their failures, blunders and inefficiency. But Gier Chuang has gone too far. He is quoted by the official GOSS website to have said the following:

“Critically, the minister explained that the crew and the passengers captured with the plane have given leads on the identities and motive of the sponsors of the operations. For instance, he explained that the crew reported that Dr Lam Akol have in the past contributed to the hiring of the helicopter and paid SDG 200,000 for ten hours’ operation to and from Belewic. . ( www.goss-online.org).

The minister is unashamedly manufacturing stories we challenge him to produce the evidence he has on who among the crew said that, evidence of the payment and whether the money was paid for ‘the past’ or the particular flight that in which the helicopter was captured?

The lies of this small minister become more glaring when he is quoted by the same GOSS website as follows:

"Gen Gier explained that the SPLA received a tip from peace-loving members of the national intelligence about the helicopter, its trip and cargo on the 7th August 2010. The information intimated that the helicopter would deliver weapons and food supplies to Gen Athor. The SPLA together with the JIU laid ambush and intercepted the plane on its return trip. The minister explained that the security forces did not intercept the plane on the first leg of the trip to let it pick the passengers who would provide more information and evidence of the motive of the sponsors.” (www.goss-online.org).

You need not lay an ambush and intercept the plane; the route and time of the plane were known a priori and the plane in its forward journey did land in Paloc as scheduled. This is a misuse of the word “ambush” unfit of a General. If the allegation of Gier Chuang that the plane was carrying weapons and food supplies were to be believed, we would like to ask him a simple question: what “would provide more information and evidence of the motive of the sponsors” of the plane, intercepting it on the forward trip with the “weapons and food supplies” on board or seizing “passengers” on its return trip? Commonsense would suggest that it is better to catch the culprit red-handed. But commonsense is not so common to Gier Chuang and his ilk. Do not forget you addressing intellectuals who will analyse every word you utter. On the incident in Paloc, the SPLA Spokesman, Kuol Deim, was quoted as saying:

“The units of SPLA Military Intelligence in charge of guarding the airport suspected the plane. When it was searched they found that it was carrying weapons, ammunition and nine military leaders of General Athor..” (Al Adath Arabic newspaper, No 1006 dated 12/8/2010 (in Arabic)).

Who do we believe, Gier Chuang or Kuol Deim, or none?

Gier Chuang has no credibility to talk on matters related to SPLM-DC. He was the one who misled the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly last June to lift the immunity of the SPLM-DC members in the Assembly on trumped up charges that they were involved in the horrendous murder of a Shilluk Paramount Chief in Panyikang County. The allegations were found for what they were; baseless. That day in the SSLA was a black spot in the history of Southern Sudan democracy. Up to now, the Assembly has not recovered from the repercussions of this sad episode. Gier Chuang seems to hold a personal grudge against George Athor and some observers think he was a factor in his mutiny.

Gier Chuang should stop besmearing the good name of SPLM-DC. He must present his claims to a credible court of law, otherwise, we will make him do so. It is an irony of fate that the security of South Sudan is in the hands of the likes of Gier Chuang who cannot tell the head from tail in such a complicated enterprise in this age of globalization.

The Information Department SPLM-DC.

South Sudan bank running out of foreign currency

By Ngor Arol Garang

August 24, 2010 (RENK) — The finance minister for the semi-autonomous region of Southern Sudan said on Monday that the government there is running short in foreign currency because of Khartoum remitting the South’s share of oil revenue in local currency.

David Deng Athorbei, the regional minister of finance and economic planning, who made the revelation said the move by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) was deliberate.

“This is a clear and complete violation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. It is one of the most serious violations of the CPA because it has dire consequences,” said Athorbei.

Under the 2005 landmark peace deal between the north and the south, the Government of Southern Sudan’s 50% share of revenues generated from oil within its territory should be paid in hard currency into accounts managed by the Bank of Southern Sudan.

Athorbei noted that this was not the first time the central bank had changed payments for the oil exported from foreign currencies to Sudanese pounds.

“The changing of the hard currencies especially dollars has political motivations and was intentionally coined to suppress [the] economy of south Sudan. This is not the first time it is happening. They have done a lot in the past but [… ] not to this extent”, said the minister.

He called for immediate intervention by Salva Kiir the President of the autonomous Government of Southern Sudan.

“This situation requires immediate intervention of the presidency because it is becoming political issue”, he said.

The finance minister stressed that the NCP and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) need to give the situation immediate attention because it was affecting the implementation of developmental projects whose materials and equipments are imported from foreign countries to the region.

Salvatore Garang Mabiordit, undersecretary in the finance ministry told Sudan Tribune that the change in disbursement currency have not only affected the government institutions but also the private sector.

“Everybody is now affected because [the Bank of Southern Sudan] cannot supply other banks in the south let alone foreign transactions in dollars,” said Mabiordit

Mabiordit said that he spent many days in Khartoum last July discussing financial issues including remitting oil revenues in local currency with authorities from the central ministry of finance and central bank.

“I spent days discussing it with relevant authorities while in Khartoum but it appears that little attention has paid,” he said.

The new development appear to be in line with the severe shortage in hard currency experienced by the country which has prompted Sudan’s central bank to undertake radical measures which limits how much travellers can buy from foreign exchange bureaus.

Travelers from Sudan are only permitted to take a maximum of the equivalent of 2,000 Euros of any foreign currency out of Sudan after providing the necessary documentation to justify the need for it. The travellers will be able to buy the foreign currency before leaving the country but can only receive it at the airport after clearing immigration and customs.

A report released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier this month showed a sharp decline n reserves held by the Sudan central bank from $1.58 billion in 2006 to $390 million in 2009 which is estimated to cover a little over two weeks of imports.

The IMF has set a target for Sudan to increase its reserves by $560 million to reach $950 million by the end of 2010.

Sudan central bank intervened utilizing its forex reserves to prevent the pound from sliding further in the market against the dollar particularly during the 2008 global financial crisis.

Most of Sudan’s foreign exchange earnings comes from the oil exports, which the IMF projects will moderate over the medium term. Other sources include inbound transfers from Sudanese expatriates abroad and foreign direct investments.

It’s On… Egypt and Sudan Move Forward on “Peaceful” Nuclear Plans

Robert Farrow @ 11:30 pm

Let the Mideast nuclear arms race begin.

The news this week that Iran started its Bushehr nuclear reactor provoked two other regional powers to make their own public statements. The Sudanese theocracy was the latest regime to announce they will move forward on their peaceful nuclear reactor.
Israel National News reported:

Sudanese media reported Sunday that officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will visit the country this week to discuss Khartoum’s plans to import a “peaceful nuclear reactor.” The announcement followed a breakthrough in Iran’s nuclear program over the weekend, as engineers began loading fuel rods into the Bushehr reactor.

Sudanese leaders established a nuclear program in early 2010, according to state news agency SUNA, and they plan to build the country’s first nuclear power station in 2020. They say the program is necessary in order to provide electricity to all of the country’s citizens, many of whom live in areas with no electric grid.

Iran’s senior leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in April that Iran is prepared to help Sudan create a nuclear program by sharing both knowledge and technology. The two countries share close economic and political ties; both are Islamic theocratic states.

Likewise, Egyptian president Mubarak announced this week that his country will announce plans for their own nuclear plant.
UPI reported:

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is preparing to announce plans to construct the country’s first nuclear power plant, an official said.

An unnamed source told the Egyptian newspaper Al Masry-al-Youm Mubarak is likely to name Dabaa as the site for the country’s first nuclear power plant Monday.

and:

Constitution is Islamic? Really?

The rhetoric from the left and the Muslims continues to heat up over the Victory Mosque — how Osama bin laden will view the 13-story community center planned for a site two blocks from Ground Zero.

We have Frank Rich at the New York Times saying dissent undermines General Petraeus, who was called “General Betray Us” in an ad that the New York Times ran at a great discount in 2007 when liberals said dissent was patriotic.

We have Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times appalled by strip joints near Ground Zero — and calling those who disagree with him stupid, stupid, stupid.

We have Maureen Dowd of the New York Times saying: “Many people still have a confused view of Muslims, and the president seems unable to help navigate the country through its Islamophobia.”

Basically, we have a nervous breakdown by the New York Times editorial board and its columnists.

Then we have Daisy Khan, wife of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf: “We are deeply concerned, because this is like a metastasized antisemitism. It’s beyond Islamophobia. It’s hate of Muslims.”

So not only are opponents anti-Islamic, but anti-Jewish.

All of this is positively sane compared to this from Haaretz: “Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told the Al Wasat newspaper in Bahrain that the freedoms enshrined by the U.S. Constitution also reflect true Muslim values.”

Really?

The Constitution of the United States is embraced by Islam?

How?

Where?

Show me the Islamic nation that respects freedom of speech and freedom of speech and a free press and the right to petition government for redress and the right to peacefully protest and the right to bear arms and the right to a jury trial and the right to face one’s accusers and protection from cruel and unusual punishment and the right to remain silent and equal rights for women and minorities and yes, teh right to drink alcohol…

I will grant you that some Islamic states offer some of these rights and that Turkey was pursuing a Western-style democracy.

But he is a Sunni Muslim and in Saudi Arabia, a majority Sunni nation whose legal system is stuck in the 7th century.

Sudan plans to build nuclear reactor

By Reuters

Sudan is planning to build a nuclear reactor and its first nuclear power plant for peaceful electricity purposes by 2020, the state news agency SUNA said.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir speaks during a rally to support Darfur peace talks in Khartoum Au

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir speaks during a rally to support Darfur peace talks in Khartoum August 7, 2010.

Photo by: Reuters

Sudan's economy has suffered under United States sanctions since 1997 and from decades of warfare, but it has managed to hike oil production to 470,000 barrels per day, boosting growth.

It has also built dams along the Blue and White Niles, which merge in Sudan, to generate power. But large swathes of the country remain without regular electricity.

SUNA quoted Mohamed Ahmed Hassan el-Tayeb, director-general of the Sudanese Atomic Energy Agency, as saying the government had begun to plan in early 2010 to develop nuclear energy.

"The Ministry of Electricity and Dams has already started preparing for the project to produce power from nuclear energy in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and is expected to build the first nuclear power plant in the year 2020 ," SUNA said a report on Saturday.

Tayeb said an IAEA delegation would visit Sudan to discuss the project this week. Sudan has been an IAEA member since 1958 and can develop nuclear energy with IAEA assistance.

Sudan has close economic and political ties with Iran, which is locked in a dispute with the United States and some of its allies over its nuclear program.

On Saturday, Iranian and Russian engineers began loading fuel into Iran's first nuclear power plant, a major milestone as Tehran forges ahead with its atomic program despite UN sanctions.

The weeklong operation to load uranium fuel into the reactor at the Bushehr power plant in southern Iran is the first step in starting up a facility the U.S. once hoped to prevent because of fears over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Flush With Oil Cash, Southern Sudan Plans Giraffe-Shaped Capital City and a Rhinopolis

BY Jenara Nerenberg Mon Aug 23, 2010

City architects tap their inner animals and go wild on urban planning.

Sudan animail-shaped cities

Southern Sudan expects to hit big with oil in the coming years, and what does the government plan to do with the newfound billions? Build animal-shaped cities. That's right, the government recently announced that it's capital, Juba, will be transformed with neighborhoods, amusement parks, roads, and buildings that all fit nicely into blueprints of a giraffe, and nearby Wau will take the form of a rhino.

The project will cost an estimated $10.1 billion dollars. Locals have been quoted as saying they believe such a massive overhaul will mean Southern Sudan is "developed," but in reality over 90% of the country is extremely poor, fitting into the very bottom of the economic pyramid at earnings of $1 per day.

We've had some recent discussions of what makes a "top city"--could animal type be the next defining criteria?

Weathering change in southern Sudan
 
Daily rainfall data gives evidence of climate change
(Photo: © David Sharland/CMS)
Sudan often conjures up images of civil war, but David Sharland tells a positive story about helping a community adapt to climate change.

Introduction
Sudan is in the news for the atrocities in Darfur, for sporting prowess and for political issues, but seldom for its climate.
 
The distance from expanses of water of southern Sudan makes it a place of relatively stable climatic conditions, but, over the past five years, there have been marked and verifiable changes in the weather patterns of the south.
 
Traditionally, farmers would expect to cultivate and plant in March, the soil having been softened by February rains.  Rain would be expected to continue until November.
 
Please add ALT text
A dead mango tree in Lui — a sign of a falling water table
(Photo: © David Sharland/CMS)
Now, however, the rains cannot be relied upon until June and often end in October.
 
Though the total annual rainfall has not changed so much, the period over which it falls has become truncated, leading to increased flooding and soil erosion.
 
Longer dry seasons add to water stress of trees and perennial crops, and we are seeing many well established trees dying as the water table drops.

Meteorology
The usual rainfall in recent years has been around 900 mms. a year, with 2007 proving an exception — with 1611 mms. spread from May to October.

Please add ALT text
The flooding of a tree nursery near Lui, September 2007
(Photo: © David Sharland/CMS)
In 2007, not only did we have the long dry season with nearly no precipitation, but we also had very heavy rains in September, causing extensive flooding.
 
This led to a lot of soil erosion and further deterioration of already poorly maintained roads.

Many well established and otherwise healthy mango trees died and many others are showing extreme stress.  Neem trees, too, are showing signs of defoliation and little growth.
 
These are both very tolerant species, and are a visual reminder of the dangers facing Sudan and sub-Saharan Africa.

A response?
We are seeking to work with local communities and schools, to plant drought-resistant trees that can improve the soil and the environment.
 
We use grafting techniques to enable the growing of citrus fruits under marginal conditions; we encourage the use of shorter-season food crops; and we use tree and grass lines to reduce the effects of soil erosion.

We also have graphs of rainfall figures that we've been collecting for the last five years.  Given that data, we have talked with local government officials about adapting farming practice and recommended using shorter-season crops.

Although previously sceptical about bringing in big changes in farming, such officials, including the Party Secretary, have adopted the rainfall records to such an extent that they are already advising farmers to sow sorghum — which requires less sustained rainfall —rather than maize.

Being able to back their advice with the rainfall figures has given them a new authority and credibilty and new kudos in the local community.

If we believe God to be the source and sustainer of life, we have an obligation to care for his world.

Our brotherly responsibility obliges us to share wisdom of ways to adapt to climate change.
 
Our partnerships across the world put us in a position to respond on a micro scale to these macro issues.

David and Heather Sharland are CMS mission partners based in Lui in Sudan.  David works in agricultural development and Heather works in community health.  Both have a lot of experience of rural community-development work in Africa, particularly with the poor and marginalised.
Dysfunctional Parliament in Southern Sudan is Worrying!
Written/Submitted by Deng Riak Khoryoam   

Monday, 23 August 2010 08:58

 

Quote: "It's not the strongest, neither the most intelligent species that survive the possibility of extinction over the history; but the species that is responsive to change" (Charles Darwin, 1809-1882)

At the outset of this piece of writing, I would like to make it crystal clear that I am not out there to criticize for the sake of it. My aim is to criticize constructively by offering suggestions/solutions to the problems facing our government in the south, and I do so objectively. I have got no ulterior motives too.

I am not out to crucify personalities but challenging them (the leaders) to change their behaviors, which could have negative effects on people. Above all, I am advocating for a policy change to be more accommodative and subject to public scrutiny. We have to be honest to ourselves before we can demand from our northern brothers to show honesty on issues of concern. Although I know that sometimes honesty is not synonymous with the truth, but at least, we can set it as the one that should never get compromised.

In the past couple of months after the general elections, the focus of Sudanese politics shifted immediately to the referendum by Southerners for self-determination of the new status of South Sudan. This is generating lot of public debate about the two choices (unity and separation), especially when the compass tend to indicate that southern independence is inevitable. I have been following closely the events as they unfolded, and continue to unfold. I read a lot of nonsensical comments made by different northern figures denouncing southerners opting for secession as it's practically the case now because southerners are fed up with northerner's unwillingness to abolish Islamic laws, which are discriminative in nature and coupled with other countless undesirable things. They've blown things out of proportion and now it is dawning on them either to respect and accept the outcome of the forthcoming referendum or prepare for an eventuality that they might not enjoy.

But now in addition to this, there is something much more disturbing; is that the regional parliament in the south. This parliament has not really been up to th duty expected from law-makers. The members there are not speedingly doing their business in the August house in light with this upcoming referenda in the south and Abyei. Some reports were obtained that the MPs are going up to three months without sessions or sittings because apparently there are no agendas that have been set to deliberate on, and that the acting speaker (who is the deputy speaker) is unable to do the job since the speaker is on long holidays.

But here comes the questions: why are there no agendas in parliament to discuss when there are a lot of things that are supposed to happen as a prerequisite for the referendum to happen on time and to avoid the worst case scenario of like what happened to the previous population census and general elections? Is it because there are no agendas or it's because the MPs are incapable of carrying out their duties as expected by the electorates? Were these MPs really voted in by their constituents or were just rigged in by SPLM on people's behalf as a kind of political patronage ?

You will certainly agree with me that most of the 171 MPs currently in the Juba parliament are just masquerading as people's representatives, yet in actual sense, they are not. They are either there to represent and protect the interest of their appointing authority or their own selfish- interests. The wise ones had managed to woo their constituents to vote them in using unrealistic promises, which they knew will never be fulfilled except in ideal circumstances. A government institutions where there are no checks and balances, is as dangerous as a car on high speed without a brake. The implications are dire. This is the case in our parliament as well as the GOSS. With this, the South could be emerging into troubles as we watch it scaringly!!!

The issue of national anthem being drafted or handled by army personnel instead of parliamentarians shows how dysfunctional and empty the parliament is in its dealings, especially on public affairs. In my view, just like any other southerners who have expressed their opinions and bitterness on this, the work of military personnel in the likes of Kuol Deim Kuol and Malaak Ayuen is not supposed to be in direct interference into the civilian politics. They can only be invited to give a helping hand to the civilian executive or legislative branch of GoSS if at all they are proven to be having useful experience in composition of national anthems, but not doing the other-way-round as if they are above those powers.

In my opinion, a special committee should have been formed by parliament to draft and handle the national anthem and try to get the views from the masses to see whether it represents the conscience as well as the diversity of all southerners. This brings me the these questions: when did the MPs declare themselves as obsolete in their duties so that other could do them on their behalf? When did the constitution legalize army generals to get involved in civilian politics or is it because they know that the Southern Sudan parliament is not able to do its duties? Which system of government do we want to have or adapt; is it parliamentary and presidential or military one? Now the Juba parliament is just quiet and reluctant even after the thing came to light a couple of months ago.

In conclusion, the South Sudan parliament should reconsider its position again or be educated on what they are supposed to do if they think they represent people in that August house. Otherwise, I hold an opinion that majority of the SSLA MPs don't know their responsibilities and duties as the people's representatives; they only know to cause havocs and intimidations like stripping off the SPLM-DC members of their immunities on no substantial grounds. The committee that was tasked to look into this found no reason to implicate the four innocent SPLM-DC MPs in the murder of the Shilluk Paramount Chief and those accompanying him in the GoSS donated new brand Toyota Double Cabin Hilux last May. But funny enough, some malicious SPLM's MPs insisted that they were involved in whatever circumstances surrounding the incidence even if there are no legal evidences found? It is like saying "whether it flies it is still a goat."

What kind of a parliament is this in the whole world that does not respect the rule of law when its members are supposed to be law-makers!!!. I am tempted to say here that I can only have confident on those MPs who went to the parliament either as independent candidates or from other political parties' tickets, because they really have the real mandate from the people. Change will happen one day.

Deng Riak Khoryoam lives in Southern Sudan and can be reached at driakfangak@hotmail.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Nile, Egypt, Sudan (Ethiopia) and Abyssinia

and False Literature

Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis
In three early articles, I examined issues pertaining to the historical rivalry and the real balance of power between Sudan (real, historical Ethiopia) and Abyssinia (falsely and criminally re-baptized as Ethiopia) in respect with Nile –related issues, and the Anglo-French colonial onslaught against Africa – for which Paris and London utilized the barbarous, pseudo-Christian kingdom of Abyssinia against all the indigenous African nations, be they Muslim or followers of traditional African religions.

Titles and links to these three articles are available here:

Can Sudan Survive and Remain Intact? Plead for Sudan´s De-Arabization, Pacification, and Expansion"

(http://www.buzzle.com/articles/can-sudan-survive-and-remain-intact-plead-for-sudan´s-de-arabization-pacification-and-expansion.html)

Sudan. Survival Means De-Arabization, De-Colonization, Renewal of Mahdist Policy vs. Fake Ethiopia

(http://www.buzzle.com/articles/sudan-survival-means-de-arabization-de-colonization-renewal-of-mahdist-policy-vs-fake-ethiopia.html)

Peace in Sudan Means Irrevocable Destruction of Abyssinia, a.k.a Fake Ethiopia

(http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/164117)

In the aforementioned articles, I emphasized that through colonial machinations, England and France attempted to engulf the Sudanese leadership to catastrophic ideologies that bring forth unsustainable positions taken by the Sudanese leadership and catastrophic results for all the indigenous Kushitic and Nilo-Saharan nations of Sudan and Eastern Africa. I then suggested solutions for the troubles generated and policies able to outmaneuver the EU – US colonially promoted machinations for which the leaderships of Abyssinia and Kenya have long been working.

I then contextualized the Nile waters issue within a wider setting. In two successive articles, I first demonstrated that the water resources-related national interests of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda do not oppose in anything Egypt´s and Sudan´s Nile water-related interests, and that there is no division of the concerned countries into downstream (Sudan and Egypt) and upstream (all the rest).

I then stated that in reality all the other parts of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), signatory or not signatory (of the so-called Cooperative Framework Agreement), can have "more water" without taking it from the river Nile (Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya) or can take it from the river Nile but without affecting the Nile water flow in any way (Uganda); in fact, only Abyssinia (fake Ethiopia) can affect the Nile water flow, if the local administration decides to take "more water from the river Nile" (assuming that Sudan and Egypt would ever allow this to happen).

I therefore interpreted the paranoid, dangerous, and war-heralding agreement as an improper theatrical act whereby all parts except Abyssinia (fake Ethiopia) appear as possibly concerned with the Nile waters that are however out of their possible impact - whatever effort or deed they may undertake, building a dam on their rivers or not! In fact, the so-called Cooperative Framework Agreement which was signed (by Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya and Abyssinia) on 14 May 2010, which has absolutely no validity on the basis of International Law, serves only one Nile Basin Initiative member, namely Abyssinia (fake Ethiopia), which merely orchestrated the rest in a diplomatic war against Sudan and Egypt.

I denounced the unlawful support, clarifying that among many NBI members there are several tyrannical administrations accused of genocides; to back one another, they use the term "basin" in order to manifestly trigger confusion between two different entities:

a. the Nile Basin water resources, and

b. the Nile river water resources.

I pointed out that there cannot be any substantial historical claim on the Nile because the historical Ethiopia is a political - geographical term conferred to Ancient Sudan (Kush), being thus totally unrelated to the colonial state of Abyssinia which has absolutely no right to use the name of Ethiopia. The modern state of pseudo-Ethiopia is a historical forgery – offspring of an incestuous plot.

I accepted that the modern state of Abyssinia (fake Ethiopia) may have an apparent geographical claim on the Nile and its waters, stating however that this eventual claim does not concern the entire Nile basin, the United Nile or the White Nile, but only part of the Blue Nile.

I then examined the possible political validity of the Abyssinian claim on the Blue Nile – a claim that generates a real divide on the Nile. As the Blue Nile´s trajectory inside Abyssinia (fake Ethiopia) crosses occupied lands of subjugated nations who struggle to liberate themselves and secede from the colonial state of Abyssinia (fake Ethiopia), the Blue Nile waters belong to these nations and not to the illegal, racist Abyssinian occupiers who shamelessly re-baptized their disreputable genocidal state "Ethiopia", idiotically imagining that in this way they can raise claims on the Nile waters.

The Blue Nile waters belong to the Berta and the Gumuz of the Benishangul province, the Oromos of Oromia province, and the Agaw, who form the local majority of Gojjam, the region between Oromia´s borders and the Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile. The Agaw Land has recently been renamed Amhara province, which is for the said area a totally false name, tyrannically imposed – and therefore absolutely invalid.

Titles and links to these two articles are available here:

False Divide on the Nile: Downstream (Sudan, Egypt) vs. Upstream (Fake Ethiopia, Others) Countries

(http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/164443)

Real Divide on the Nile: Fake Ethiopia vs. Sudan and Egypt

(http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/164706)

In conclusion, I stated that not a single drop of the Blue Nile waters can possibly belong to the vicious pretenders and monstrous tyrants, the current Amhara – Tigray Tewahedo (Abyssinian) regime of fake Ethiopia, who stand accused for a globally unique number of genocides mercilessly, ceaselessly and unrepentantly perpetrated against more than 15 different East African nations over the span of two centuries.

I also suggested the following:

To close the fake divide on the Nile Waters, Egypt and Sudan must separate roles and focus on two different fronts; whereas neighboring Sudan must arm, train, sustain and guide the Berta, the Oromos and the Agaw rebels to blow up the criminal state of fake Ethiopia, Egypt must mobilize all the resources available to educate Africa, the Islamic World, and the Global Community about the incommensurably inhuman nature of, and the extreme falsehood diffused by, the racist, anti-African, anti-Islamic, and antihuman elites of Abyssinia (fake Ethiopia).

In the new series of articles, I intend to reveal a vast effort undertaken by the illegal, tyrannical, and barbarous regime of the Amhara and Tigray Abyssinian tribes to diffuse confusing ideas, fallacious concepts, fake claims, unsubstantiated interpretations, mistaken analyses, and vicious approaches I the world mass media.

As a matter of fact, a great deal of falsehood has been diffused worldwide over the past month, mainly after the invalid signature of the pseudo-agreement (as per above), and it will take several articles to refute the most malicious samples of bribed journalistic writing.

Before starting with the rebuttal of a first report, I want to denounce the immoral deeds and the disreputable attitude of ignorant writers who get money from the criminal regime that plunged more than ten African nations into absolute destitution, abject poverty, utmost starvation, and monstrous oppression, total deprivation of Human and Civil Rights, and intentional genocide.

Taking money from today´s Abyssinian embassies, consulates, foundations, institutions, state organizations, ministries means stealing the tyrannized Oromos, Ogadenis, Sidamas, Afars, Kambaatas, Kaffas, Shekachos, Hadiyas, Gedeos, Wolayitas, Nuer, Agaw, Berta, and Gumuz.

Every act of bribery perpetrated by the racist, murderous authorities of Abyssinia (fake Ethiopia) constitutes a provocative robbery of the aforementioned subjugated nations´ natural resources.

Every writer, reporter, journalist, columnist and commentator who authors in favour of the criminal Abyssinian regime of fake Ethiopia participates in the ongoing genocide perpetrated by the Amhara and Tigray Tewahedo (Monophysitic) Abyssinian elites against all the aforementioned Kushitic and Nilo-Saharan nations.

The Terrible Lie: "Egypt's Nile Monopoly is Starving Ethiopia"

The aforementioned lie became the title for a recent report that I will herewith republish integrally and then refute. I insert numbers in the brief text of the report; they refer to points of my commentary that I will add after the report´s text.

Egypt's Nile Monopoly is Starving Ethiopia 1

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/19/egypts-nile-monopoly-is-starving-ethiopia/

By Nelson Marans

Egypt continues its egregiously selfish actions 2 as it refuses to allow the nations that are at the headwaters of the Nile to obtain their fair share of that river's supply of precious water ("Cairo keeps water rights to Nile River," Geopolitics, Thursday).

The result is particularly severe in Ethiopia, 3 where chronic lack of water for crops has placed nearly 60 percent 4 of the population at the starvation level. Despite this, and based on an outmoded 1929 treaty 5 between Egypt and England, Egypt has insisted on taking the majority of the Nile flow, satisfying 90 percent of its total water needs from this single source.

Ethiopia has little choice in the matter. 6 The armies of both Egypt and Sudan enforce this unjust distribution, which gives Ethiopia only 5 percent of the Nile River supply. 7

This has been the pattern of an autocratic Egyptian government, 8 which we subsidize 9 to the extent of over $2 billion per year with nothing in return 10 except votes against us in the United Nations 11 and other world bodies, as well as continuing persecution of the Coptic Christian population. 12

Commentary

1. Egypt does not have a monopoly on the Nile; any statement referring to "Egypt's Nile Monopoly" is false and malignant of purpose. All countries adjacent to the Nile benefit from the river in many ways. Sudan has recently built the Merowe Dam; if the ignorant and idiotic writer Nelson Marans inscribes inconsistent words one after the other, and shamelessly presents them as "text" and "content", an editor-in chief can indicate to him that the following links are a sufficient proof that Egypt does not have a Nile monopoly
Furthermore, Uganda can build a dam on one of White Nile´s tributaries that crosses its territory without affecting in anything the Nile river flow.

Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Congo and Kenya are out of the picture because only in terms of wider contextualization are related to the Nile river; whatever water policy these countries may introduce and implement, cannot affect the Nile waters. As they are free to use their water resources as they may choose, there is no Egyptian monopoly (not only on the Nile river but) on the Nile basin.

The confusion between the two terms ´Nile basin waters´ and ´Nile river waters´ is evident throughout the small report, but of course for the disreputable supporter of the genocidal regime of Abyssinia (fallaciously and criminally renamed ´Ethiopia´) this is intentional; another proof for the mendacious character of the article.

The term is therefore employed only to support illegal demands of a genocidal regime based on two ethno-religious groups run by inhumane, bestial, racist elites who must all be executed to the last in order to liberate more than ten subjugated Kushitic and Nilo-Saharan nations.

2. Egypt´ actions reflect only due and systematic implementation of the International Law. For the ungrammatical Nelson Marans, Egypt´ actions are "egregiously selfish"! In any web definition, one can verify that "egregious" means "conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible" (http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&defl=en&q=define:egregious&sa=X&ei=zNIkTIT3HNS5jAfTiYFz&ved=0CBIQkAE). All normal persons can understand that a country that follows ad applies the International Law cannot be possibly described as "reprehensible". Only outlaws like the filthy Habesha (Abyssinian) gangsters around tyrant Zenawi can possibly be "reprehensible".

The uneducated author wants an entire country to act according to his idiotic, unlawful and calamitous suggestions, violating the International Law, so that he does not deviate into his cheap name calling. This is a unique case of paranoid writing by an ignorant person who does not feel any moral compunction to support the world´s most appalling tyrants and genocide perpetrators.

"Egregiously selfish actions"! The pro-Zionist writer, who has been hired by the genocidal regime of Abyssinia, would probably be ready to denounce some of Tel Aviv´s "egregiously selfish actions" such as the murder of innocent and unarmed peace activists….

All Muslims should take good note of the fact that the heinous, rancorous, Anti-Islamic regime of Abyssinia and Meles Zenawi´s genocide perpetrators hire common pro-Zionist writers to produce filthy anti-Egyptian, anti-Sudanese, anti-African and Anti-Islamic literature in order to diffuse falsehood and confusion about the illegal and evil purposes of the Zionist state´s best ally in Africa. This should refocus all Muslim countries´ targets and policies; it should also convince all the Muslim governments of the world about the urgent need to bring a dead end to Islam´s worst enemy, Abyssinia (the criminal realm of fake Ethiopia).

3. Another lie is the idea that, if today´s Abyssinia (Meles Zenawi´s illegal state whereby the ethnic-based, tribal authorities terrorize more than ten different Kushitic and Nilo-Saharan groups) is allowed to build a dam on the Blue Nile, the socioeconomic situation of the world´s most wretched tyranny will possibly improve. The extraordinary falsehood contained within the few words makes of the statement an unforgettable aberration.

The colonial state of Abyssinia with an area totaling ca. 1100000 km2 is crossed by the rivers Blue Nile, several tributaries, Atbarah (known as Takeze among the Amhara and Tigray tribes), Sobat, Awash, its main affluent Germama, Shabelle, Jubba, Omo, and many other smaller rivers.

With all these rivers crossing the territory of Abyssinia (fake Ethiopia), it is highly questionable whether a dam built on the Blue Nile would truly "save" the country from starvation!

If we add a certain number of extant lakes, notably Tana, Turkana, Hawassa, Zway, Kok´a, Abiyata, Shala, Abaya, Chamo, the so-called Chew Bahir lake, and several smaller lakes, we understand that the real, "chronic" failure of the monstrous colonial state to efficiently benefit from the immense water resources available will not turn to success after the erection of a dam on the Blue Nile, if Egypt and Sudan allow something like that to happen.

The chronic failure is of purely sociopolitical nature, and not a single Abyssinian state will ever mark any success, as long as the Abyssinian tribes rule tyrannically and inhumanely over so many different nations. Socioeconomic success will come to these nations after they secede from fake Ethiopia, an unsustainable fossil of state.

This is certainly known to the gangsters who impersonate the administrators, the ministers and the diplomats of the cursed, ill-fated and doomed state of Abyssinia (fake Ethiopia); if they create such noise about the Blue Nile waters, they act out of their sick, vicious and ulcerous hatred of Islam, and of their northern neighbours compared to whom they feel inferior, marginal, and miserable. This has been the typical Abyssinian mentality over the past centuries and it has been recorded in a great number of documents and testimonies written about them by their highly civilized neighbours.

Fake Ethiopia´s demand for "more Nile waters" is an expression of evil hypocrisy and unadulterated barbarism, because even if we assume that Egypt and Sudan allow something like that, the possible benefit will go to the hands of the leprous, racist, gangsters who rule the ill-fated country.

4. Mentioning any percentage of population while talking about Abyssinia (bogus-Ethiopia), Nelson Marans commits a disastrous mistake. Who says that 60% starve in Abyssinia? This figure is first false, being contradicted by any data that humanitarian NGOs and international bodies may have published. Second, this figure is nonsensical. Those who starve in Abyssinia are all targeted with genocide and national extinction by the evil Amhara – Tigray regime; it´s Zenawi´s plan and job to exterminate them through starvation. If Abyssinia is placed under UN mandate and an international provisory administration runs the country, distributing the existing resources equitably, no one is going to starve. And there will be no need for a dam on the Blue Nile!

Worse for Nelson Marans, all those who are starving in Abyssinia today want to secede and form independent states.

Why is he not then calling for UN-monitored referenda, one per province, to offer the tyrannized nations of Abyssinia the chance to be free and to get rid of starvation at the same time?

Probably, Nelson Marans knows, as much as his financers do too, that ca. 83% of Abyssinia´s total population (representing the totality of the country´s subjugated nations and terrorized ethno-religious groups) reject the racist rule of the Amhara and Tigray Tewahedo Abyssinians, and they all want to secede.

Why caring about 60% hypothetically starving and not about 83% certainly terrorized and traumatically dehumanized people?

5. If the 1929 Agreement between Egypt and England is outmoded according to the besotted writer, then certainly the Treaties of Versailles, Trianon and Sevres are more outmoded, and then Germany must occupy Poland, Austria-Hungary must detach Transylvania from Romania, and the Ottoman Empire must be re-established. This is what Nelson Marans suggests!

6. The effort to make his readers feel pity for the world´s most excruciating and most bestial tyranny is absolutely ludicrous.

Nelson Marans must come to terms with the urgent need of more than ten subjugated Kushitic and Nilo-Saharan nations to tear down the Satanic Hell of fake Ethiopia. It´s not true that fake Ethiopia "has little choice"; what is true is that fake Ethiopia has no right to exist.

The man has not been born to save the fake Ethiopian from ultimate and irrevocable extermination – which will come at the correct moment, either Nelson Marans likes it or not.

7. Another idiotic approach! Assuming the figure is correct, why then is Nelson Marans not demanding the efficient exploitation of all the other water resources of Abyssinia by the local administration – to thus save his "60%" of hypothetically starving people?

8. How comical it is to call the Egyptian government "autocratic" when avoiding discussing about the worse-than-Nazi nature of the fake Ethiopian administration – the World History´s most execrable genocide perpetrators!

9. America subsidized Egypt to keep a balance between Cairo and Tel Aviv, following Camp David agreement. And it is well known that Washington subsidized terrorist and dictatorial states with far worse Human Rights violations record than Egypt. Even now, despite the ongoing genocides, the US subsidizes Abyssinia (fake Ethiopia) too.

10. "Nothing in return"! This is pathetic and ludicrous. What America got in return is that Egypt did not offer naval bases to both Russia and China; to the former in the Delta coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and to the latter in the Red Sea coast opposite the demilitarized Sinai. It would be idiotic to imagine that Israel would have survived thus long without the balance between Egypt and Israel that the US correctly for their interests preserved.

11. When an agreement is made on one subject, the agreement is kept by all signatory parts with respect to its own terms. The agreement in question did not involve any Egyptian vote support in the UN, and Washington knows this very well; unfortunately, the falsifying author plays with emotions to spread his unsubstantiated and failed defamation of Egypt. Cliché, pathetic, inane!

12. There is no real, evidenced and substantiated persecution of the Coptic population in Egypt; but I am glad that Nelson Marans mentions the Copts. Why is he not traveling to Alexandria then to consult with the head of the Coptic Church about the rights of the Palestinians and the calamitous nature of the state of Tel Aviv?
A paradise on earth: One nation, thousand worlds

 

There are countless tourist attractions in Sudan, unmatched anywhere. There are the ancient civilizations' sites, the colourful cultural, ethnic and climatic diversities, the beautiful fauna and flora that include rare animal and plant species, wildlife conservation parks like the Dinder Park, the Red Sea hill resorts -- all are great attractions for tourists, film-makers and investors.

In the southern states of Sudan, there are the virgin tropical forests and many natural scenery and tourist villages. In the northern states there are many archaeological sites on the Nile banks, from Dongola up to Wadi Halfa in the extreme north, and at Bajarwia in the Nile State.

In Darfur State, there is the fascinating Jebel Marra mountain. In Khartoum State there are many places, including the historic confluence of the White and Blue Niles... a historic site for tourists.
Apart from tourists, interested investors who wish to venture in this sector have many alternatives. They can promote the infrastructure of this sector by building tourist camps and villages, establishing fishing and diving centres on the Red Sea coast, providing services along the roads leading to major tourist areas. For filmmakers, the scenery is second to none. For tourists, it is a paradise on earth.

For tourists, taxis are available at the airports. Special limousine services and car rentals are also available. There are also train and bus services criss-crossing the country for the budget tourist. A cruise on the Nile can not be missed.

Sudan, a land known for its sunrises and sunsets, ancient civilization and diverse geographical entities and wildlife and fauna is extending a sincere invitation to you.

 

KHARTOUM SIGHTSEEING
Khartoum state has three main towns, which are Khartoum, Khartoum North and Omdurman, all joined by four bridges across.

One of the most exciting places to visit in Khartoum is the National Museum, which is the custodian of the rich historical heritage of Sudan. There is also the Ethnographical Museum, which reflects the cultural life and traditional artifacts of the Sudanese people. The Museum of National History sheds light upon the diverse animal life of Sudan. A visitor can also enjoy Khartoum's Botanical Garden, where he/she can enjoy the wonders of Sudan's rich botanical variety.

A visit to the city of Omdurman acquaints the tourist with Sudan's very unique and traditional markets and bazaars. It was made capital of the Mahdists who fought the English colonizers at the end of the last century. Hence the visit to the Mahdi and the Khalifai's Museum has no alternative.

In Omdurman, there is also a boatyard where traditional boats are made near the Nile. West of Omdurman, about 40 minutes drive, is the camel market. Here, camels brought from western Sudan are offered for sale or barter.

KAWAHLA REGION: This is situated about 325 km southwest of Khartouin. The region is in the rich Savanna belt and is home to a variety of birds, rabbits and gazelles.

WEST OMDURMAN
A semi-desert region southwest of Omdurman that extends north and west up to the Western desert. It is a region abundant in desert gazelle's onyx and fowl birds. The hunting season is typically October to July,

SIGHTSEEING SAFARIS
One of the most famous game reserves in the country is Dinder Park, which is located some 585 km southeast of Khartoum. Our four-wheel-drive vehicles, which are prepared especially for such trips, cover this distance in 10 hours, passing on its way through the Gezira Scheme, regarded as the largest irrigated agricultural schemes under one administration in the world.

Thereafter one could encounter the town of Sennar, the capita! of the first Islamic kingdom in Sudan (1504-1821). The town is home to Sennar water dam on the Blue Nile, which dates back to 1925 and irrigates the Gezira Scheme.

The journey to Dinder Game Park takes one across Singa bridge, and another 4 hours drive takes to the outreaches of the game park at a camp named Galago. From here our tour begins with wild animals and birds, not to mention the beautiful landscape of the game park.

Dinder Game Park is one of the largest wild reserves in Africa. The park boasts a unique diversity of animals and birds, including buffalos, lions, kudus and gazelles in addition to a wide variety of baboons and monkeys. On its southern outskirts, elephants and giraffe can be found roaming the area.

SEA LOVERS

The Sudanese Red Sea coast, which stretches for 750 km from Sudan's northern borders with Egypt down to the southern boundary with Eritrea, is certainly unique and unrivalled in the world as to the purity and unexplored beauty of its beaches and water.

The region is known internationally as an ideal place for snorkeling, diving, seafaring and large fish hunting. The marine life is rich and diverse with crystal clear waters, coral reefs and exotic colourful underwater life.

The Red Sea is looked upon as a huge lake that intercedes between the Mediterranean Sea from the north and the Indian Ocean to the south with fiords and small islands.

Diving trips usually begin from Port Sudan aboard yachts of different sizes and fully equipped with diving equipment, with the availability of many diving locations.

Senganib Coral Colony is also famous for its sea fiords and many types of fish, chief among them the Hammer Head Shark. Divers often sail north to the region of Romi Corals, where the famous marine scientist Jack Costaeu had accomplished his notable studies and research. Mr. Costaeu's underwater laboratory still exists.

Further north, we find the largest sea island on the Sudanese coast. It is the Island of Mogarsem, which is embedded with golden sand beaches, and dense mangrove forests, interspersed with volcanic sun-beaters and rocky hillocks. Schools of Manta Ray's fish can often be found roaming the surrounding waters. In the evening, the nights here are spent leisurely amid quiet isolated camps and traditional folklore demonstrations.
Sea cruise may last for two or three weeks. However, those who desire shorter or longer trips can also be accommodated.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL TOURS
Early history of human life in Sudan dates back to about 25,000 years, as evidenced by the discovery of what is known as the relics of Singa man.

There are four main sites and some other small ones, whose history dates back from 750 BC to 500 AD. Temples and pyramids, which are restored and kept in good shape, stand witness to those great civilizations, which once prospered in the Sudan and influenced large parts of Africa.

Visits to the relics of Merowe Kingdom usually take two days and one night for the visitor to be fully acquainted with the many sites and relics. Further north of Merowe is Barkal, the Metropolis of the Napatan kindgom, which lies some 400 km north of Khartoum. Visitors will cross the Bayouda desert, a southern part of the western desert. It is a typical desert atmosphere scattered with sand dunes, thorny acacia trees and thick bushes.

Upon arrival at the massive Barkal Mount, the sacred and sanctimonious abode for the ancient Napatan kings, visitors will find our well equipped camp ready to accommodate their every need, Our camps are fully equipped and our guides well acquainted with the traces and sites of the greatest civilization ever to be found in Africa.

The region abounds with pyramids, royal burial grounds, temples and lush greenery of palm date orchards along the river Nile.

A tour may take more than a week after crossing the Western Nuba desert for a distance of 150 km that takes from five to six hours drive due to the sandy roads. Reaching the Nile after the blazing and scorching desert is a real delight and blessing. The ancient town of Kerma comprises one of the oldest and unique civilizations of Sudan and Africa (2800 BC). Western archeological expedition has repeatedly discovered evidence of the uniqueness and wonders of Kerma civilization. The amphors found in great quantities is characterized with fine quality and artistical nuances unparalleled in the ancient world.
Further north are the archaeological relics belonging to the modern Egyptian kingdom - the two temples of Soleb and Sadenga, not far from the Nile.

In the adjacent Western desert, which is part of Great Sahara, tours for desert lovers could readily be organized amid sand dunes and sparse oasis where gazelles and rabbits are found. The length of such tours may be defined by the tourists.

It is worth mentioning that most of the archaeological sites are located along the ancient caravan routes. Sudan at that time served as a crossroad for African, Hellenic, Egyptian and Mediterranean civilizations. Hence several vital Sudanese towns sprang to accommodate the movements and busy activity of transit caravans.

Most notable among such towns are Shendi, Suakin, Berber, Kassala, Dongola, Melit and Omdurman. These can be visited through tour programs. The town of Kassala in eastern Sudan acts as an example of an urban center for the famous Beja tribes (Kippling's fuzzy wuzzy) and the Rashaida people of the Arab peninsula. The town is known for its old traditional markets, artifacts, industries and silver ware.

Suakin's old port, on the other hand, dates back to the times of prophet Suleiman.

In western Sudan, along the borders with Libya, is the town of Melil that stands as the starting point of the 40-day-road. This famous historical route joins West Africa with the Middle East via Sudan. Although the road has lost its aura and continental importance today, it is still used by some tribes to herd camels to the markets of Egypt. Moreover, Melit town is regarded as a large camel market not for Sudan alone, but for neighbouring African countries as well.

SUDANESE RED SEA
Of the most attractive natural areas of Sudan are its Red Sea coastlines. They are the country's biggest tourist attractions and have gained an excellent reputation throughout the world.

Geological Characteristics of the Red Sea: The Red Sea is a long and narrow marine basin, with a total length of about 1,900 km. It extends northwards from the strait of Baab El Mandab in Yemen to the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. It is 306 km at its widest point. The Red Sea has three distinct zones of depth: the shallow reef-studded shelves of less than 50 metres, the deep shelves of 500-1,000 metres and the central trench of more than 1,000 metres.

The maximum depth of the Red Sea is 3,040 metres off Port Sudan

The Red Sea is unique in several aspects, among them is its uniform temperature distribution at the surface and at different depths. At the surface near Port Sudan, the temperature range is 26.2-30.5 degrees Celsius, at a depth of 150 metres, the range is still 23.9-25.9 degrees. Moreover, its high degree of transparency reaches up to 46 metres. These characteristics have made the Red Sea an ideal place for snorkelers, divers and photographers - as it is comfortably warm, one could float nicely and the visibility is better than in most other places.

The Sudanese coast is 650-km-long as the crow flies. Numerous embayments and gulfs make it around 800-km-long. It has two prominent features: coastal lagoons or marsas in local parlance and reefs or Shia'ab in Arabic. The marsas may be protected embayments of the sea, or may have been cut into the coastal plain, well beyond the general coastline.

In marsas, despite the heavy fresh water influx during the short rainy season, corals grow and build coral knobs (tens of centimeters to meters in size) and the patch reefs (meters to tens of meters in size). As for the reefs, they are distinguished according to their shapes and positioning. There are the fringing reefs, which are immediately at the coast. They line the entire Sudanese coast, with the exception of the marsas and the Tokar Delta in the south. The fringing reefs are usually 1000 meters wide and could extend up to 3,000 meters. Then there are the barrier reefs, which are generally separated from the coast and the fringing reefs by a ship channel. The barriers range from narrow discontinuous reef walls, only several tens to a few hundred meters wide, to platforms of up to 14 km in width. Finally, there are the atolls, which are reef platforms located farthest offshore, several hundreds of meters to a few kilometers in width and surrounded by waters. Examples of these are the Senganeeb Island and Shia'ab Rumi. All these types of reef provide shelter to a diversity of marine life. They also offer protected areas for snorkelers and shallow-water divers.

Coral reefs
One of the most magnificent features of the Red Sea are its beautiful coral reefs. Corals, or more precisely, their skeletons, are the main components of which reefs are built. Coral is an animal, individually called a polyp, which is generally one to a few millimeters in diameter. It looks like a bag with six arms (or multiples of six) and for its protection and support it forms a skeleton of a kind of limestone. These individual skeletons, or corallites, as they are called, are cub or tube shaped. Usually, they live in coral colonies, which may be centimeters to several meters in size. Different kinds of corals occur in different areas of the reef; factors such as waves and light determine the nature of the coral, whether of delicate or solid structure. Thus, the distribution of corals reflects their respective adaptation to the prevailing environmental conditions in various parts of the reef. Aside from corals, other elements are also instrumental in the structure of reefs; for example, worms and calcareous red algae, a form of marine plants.

Marine life
Surrounding the reefs and complementing them in creating a breath-taking sight, is the wide spectrum of marine life. The Red Sea is famous for its plants and animals, many of which are related to those of the Indian Ocean, but some of which are exclusively found in the Red Sea.

Among the common fish in the Red Sea are the tarpon, giant herring, salmon herring or milkfish, soldier fish, goggle eye and rock cod. There are also more than 320 species of sharks, among them such voracious predators as the tiger shark and hammer shark. It should be noted, however, that unless irritated or attracted by blood, sharks are peaceful animals and, generally speaking, shark attacks along the Red Sea coast are very rare. In addition, several species of whales also find home in the Red Sea, namely the blue whale, a 15-meter-long giant which feeds on plankton, and the killer whale, which poses no threat to humans but scares off sharks. The whale shark, 8 to l0 meters in length, is a jolly, plankton-eating giant that befriends fishermen.

Recreational Activities:
All these characteristics and many others make the Red Sea an attractive location for vacations and relaxation. This is especially true for those who love the sea and enjoy its offerings. Scuba divers, snorkelers, yachting and various water sport enthusiasts will find the Sudanese Red Sea an ideal place for recreation

WILDLIFE
Stretching from the desert in the north to the Sudano-Guinean savanna in the south and from dense tropical forests in the extreme southwest to the mountainous regions in the east, Sudan is a natural host to an exceptional diversity of wildlife. At least 34 species of antelopes alone have been identified, spread across and reflecting the great variety of habitat. Certain species are confined to specific localized habitats. Others cross great distances, migrating from one area to another each season. Certain regions of the country, such as the vast flood plains of the Nile and the marshlands of the south, are practically inaccessible throughout the year or during a large part of it. It is in these ecosystems that certain species find ideal refuge from man and thrive in great numbers.

Sudan is probably the only country in the world with the greatest variety of big mammals living on land. It should be noted that animal husbandry and stockbreeding are very developed and widespread in Sudan, and can alone ensure the supply of animal proteins both for national consumption and for export needs. It is worth noting that Sudan was one of the first countries in Africa to designate wildlife protection areas as early as the 1930s. In Africa, Sudan has a prominent reputation as the region with most abundant game and thriving wildlife tourism.

Geographically, we can divide the different species of animals that are found in Sudan into:

Sudano-Sahclian and Sudano-Guincan Zones
Among the species that do not remain attached to a particular habitat but are generally found in the Sudano-Sahelian through Sudano-Guinean zones are the hippopotamus, elephant, warthog, hartebeest, buffalo, ostrich, lion, giraffe, leopard, spotted hyena, wild dog, cheetah, black rhinoceros, ant bear and white rhinoceros.

Desert Zone
Addax can be found in the desert and arid zones of northern and north-western Sudan. Many of the oryx species have been seen in Sudan for the last 25 years, but it is likely that during certain seasons some of them migrate from Chad, where recent information reports their presence.

Southern Sudan
Addra gazelle and dorcas gazelle are found in the south of Sudan, east and west of the equator, as well as in the regions of Bahr El Ghazal, El Buheyral, Jonglei and Upper Nile. The highest concentration of the country's antelopes is found in the zones where they have been protected by the inaccessibility of the region. Also zebras, elano, kob and black rhinoceros inhabit these parts. The red flanked duiker remains confined in its habitat in the savanna woodlands of the southwest.

Flooded annually over an area of over 100,000 sq. km., the vast plains of the south shelter great numbers of antelopes that migrate from one area to another. The most numerous single species is the white-eared kob, numbering almost one million. During its annual migration, it joins with thousands of new arrivals from the Serenguiti-Mara ecosystem in Tanzania and Kenya. Large populations of sitatunga, Nile lechwe and buffalo inhabit the marshlands of the south, one of the most extensive swamp networks in Africa, This region hosts the lesser kudu grant gazelles and klipspringer dik dik.

Jebel Mara, a mountainous region in the extreme northwest of the grassland savanna, shelters the greater kudu gazelle. The rivers and swamps in the central and southern parts arc home to the hippopotamus and the Nile crocodile.

The dense and humid forest zone on the Congolese border, with an area of about 4,600 sq. km, shelters a high concentration of bongos, yellow backed duikers, blue duikers, sitatungas, giant forest hogs and chimpanzees. The relatively small forest-covered area of the Imatong Mountains (960 sq. km.) is inhabited by the blue duiker and weyns duiker, as well as by a species of the giant bush bucks.

The Red Sea Hills
Nubbian ibex, erin-ean gazelles and klipspringers are found in the Red Sea hills. The barbary sheep finds home in the desert hills of northern Sudan.

National Parks
Sudan has six national parks covering a total area of 60.370 sq. km, and 19 game reserves with a total area of 35.500 sq. km. A total area of around 100,000 sq. km. is designated for wildlife protection.

Government of Southern Sudan Mission to the USA and the UN Press Statement

In less than six months, Southern Sudan will vote in a referendum on whether to remain part of Sudan or to become an independent nation.  The critical region of Abyei will also vote simultaneously in a referendum and decide if they want to remain in the North or become part of the South.  Although the North and South agreed five years ago, in an internationally recognized agreement, that these referenda would take place, in recent months Khartoum, through the National Congress Party (NCP), has done all it could to delay them by refusing to engage in good faith on determining their modalities.

There are several examples of the National Congress Party’s lack of good faith. For instance, the two parties agreed in national legislation that a Southern Sudan Referendum Commission would organize and conduct the Southern referendum in cooperation with the Government of Sudan and Government of Southern Sudan.

Months ago, Khartoum stalled its agreement on the composition of the Commission and is now reneging on its earlier commitment that the South would be given the right to name the Secretary General of this Commission. 

The NCP Chair has even refused to accept a legitimate vote of the Commission’s members to reject the NCP’s candidate. The Secretary General is an important position as it will assist in a number of executive, administrative and financial matters of the Commission.  However, while not required by the referendum legislation itself, the NCP members of the Commission have held up all Commission activities and preparations until this appointment is finalized.  The Commission can be doing a great deal while it resolves this issue, but the NCP refuses to let it. 

Holding the Commission’s work hostage to this single decision and other delay tactics are part of Khartoum’s strategy, despite the fact that the South is being as flexible as it can to speed up an already much-delayed process. Moreover, the NCP has not agreed upon the establishment of the Abyei Referendum Commission.  While the parties agreed earlier that the NCP would get to appoint the Chair of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission and the SPLM would get to appoint the Chair of the Abyei Referendum Commission, the NCP has refused to accept any of the qualified candidates the SPLM has put forward.  In the meantime, they have begun to suggest that the referenda cannot be held without the demarcation of the borders.  This is an untruth.  Under the CPA and the Interim National Constitution, neither of the referenda is preconditioned upon the definition or demarcation of the Abyei or North-South borders.

That said, the Abyei border is already known to the parties and to the world given last year’s ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.  Seventy percent of the North-South border is also already known.  Each of these borders have been defined on a map and agreed upon by the parties.  The demarcations that are being delayed by the NCP are in no way needed for the referenda.  In any case, referenda have been held in other countries even where there were undefined borders and in the event that a small portion of Sudan’s North-South borders remain undefined in January, this too shall be done in Sudan. Indeed, all of the tactics, delays and arguments of Khartoum discussed above demonstrate a growing lack of commitment to carrying out the referendum as well as other crucial elements of the peace agreement Khartoum signed with the South. Such activities cannot be endorsed or encouraged by the SPLM or members of the international community. 

The people of Sudan and the African continent deserve better. We call upon the members of the international community to use all of the influence and tools they have at their disposal to encourage the NCP to implement the CPA in good faith including the holding of the referenda on the 9th of January 2011. This will ensure a durable peace and continuous prosperity for the people of Sudan and the region. 

 

Hon. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth

Head of the Government of Southern Sudan Mission to U.S.A and U.N, and member of the SPLM National Liberation Council.

For more information please contact:  (202) 293-7940

The Islamic Republic of Sudan?

BY JONATHAN SCHANZER

The Sudanese newspaper Rai al-Shaab (Opinion of the People), owned and controlled by Sudanese opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi, recently published an article that potentially provides new and important insight into Sudan's terrorist ties to Iran. The article alleges that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, is operating a secret weapons factory in Sudan to funnel weapons to Iran-sponsored terrorist organizations in Africa and the Middle East.

Several Arab bloggers circulated the article last week. Today, these blogs are the only evidence that the article ever existed. Soon after it was published, Sudanese authorities shut down the entire newspaper. The paper's deputy editor, Abu Zur al-Amin, was arrested on charges of "terrorism, espionage and destabilizing the constitutional system," according to Reuters.

The Sudanese newspaper report claimed that the Quds Force, a deadly arm of the IRGC that has been fingered by the U.S. government for providing military support to the Taliban and other anti-U.S. forces in Afghanistan, set up the factory "in the jurisdiction of Khartoum" as part of an undeclared element of the 2008 defense pact signed between Iran and Sudan.

Israel, for its part, might already be aware of the IRGC weapons factory. In fact, it might have already attacked the weapons produced there. In March 2009, U.S. officials claimed that Israel had conducted three airstrikes in Sudan in early 2009 that targeted Iranian weapons shipments meant for Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. One attack in January 2009 targeted a 17-truck convoy, killing as many as 39 people, reported CBS News, the first Western media outlet to reveal this story. Israel, as is often the case, neither confirmed nor denied this report.

Although Rai al-Shaab's news item is still unconfirmed, the long history of military cooperation between Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and the Islamic Republic certainly places it within the realm of possibility. Indeed, the mullahs have been helping Sudan expand its terrorist infrastructure since Islamists (led by the aforementioned Turabi) brought Bashir to power through a coup d'état in 1989.

In 1991, according to author and prominent Iranian opposition activist Mohammad Mohaddessin, Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, along with dozens of military advisors and officials, paid an official visit to Khartoum, where he pledged $17 million in financial aid and arranged for weapons deliveries to the country. "The Islamic revolution of Sudan," he proclaimed, "alongside Iran's pioneer revolution, can doubtless be the source of movement and revolution throughout the Islamic world." As many as 2,000 soldiers from the IRGC were subsequently sent to Sudan to train the country's military forces.

Sudan has continued to serve as a central hub for Iranian terrorist activity. From training Hamas to funneling weapons to a Hezbollah cell in Egypt last year, Sudan has played an important role in Iran's regional strategy. The Rai al-Shaab article argues that this factory is an extension of these efforts. The weapons, it claims, are being supplied to extremist elements in Africa and the Middle East, including supplying the "Houthis [in Yemen], Somalis, and ... Hamas in the Gaza Strip with missiles."

Why would Tehran establish a weapons factory in Sudan, when it could simply produce arms on Iranian soil? The article claims that the factory is an Iranian attempt to streamline its supply chain, now under intense scrutiny due to the international furor over the country's illicit nuclear program. The IRGC reportedly has complete control of the factory, but the weapons do not bear Iranian markings.

Specifically, Rai al-Shaab noted the interdiction of 35 tons of North Korean-made weaponry by Thai authorities in December 2009, which the IRGC had reportedly earmarked for Hamas, as a reason for it to establish a Sudan-based factory. The plane's cargo reportedly included "shoulder-launched missiles, parts for surface-to-air missiles, and electronic systems to control weapons," according to the Wall Street Journal. Until now, only Israel has accused Iran of bankrolling this shipment.

Today, Sudanese authorities are cracking down on the journalists for violating Sudan's press law, which places "responsibility for publishing false information in a newspaper upon the newspaper's editor and managers." Turabi was one of the figures recently jailed in this wave of arrests. Although there are certainly good reasons to arrest him -- he was a close ally of Osama bin Laden during the al Qaeda leader's time in Sudan during the 1990s -- Al Jazeera reports that Bashir arrested him over the Rai al-Shaab story.

The existence of an IRGC weapons factory in Sudan would certainly be cause for alarm. The IRGC, after all, is viewed by the U.S. government as a chief actor in Iran's efforts to attain a nuclear weapon. The factory could also be used to supply weapons to Hamas in the Gaza Strip, not to mention arms for the Sudanese regime's ongoing genocide campaign in Darfur.

Questions remain over the possible IRGC weapons factory in Sudan. But it's a fair bet that Western intelligence agencies are scrambling to answer them.

Darfur? It's the Oil, Stupid
Will Sudan be Re-Colonized?

By Stephen Gowans, Blog

The United States is maneuvering to introduce a UN peacekeeping force into Darfur, as a first step to securing control of the region's vast supply of oil. US control of Darfur's petroleum resources would deliver highly profitable investment opportunities to US firms, and scuttle China's investment in the region, thereby slowing the rise of a strategic competitor whose continued industrial growth depends on secure access to foreign oil. Washington is using highly exaggerated charges of genocide as a justification for a UN intervention it would dominate, while at the same time opposing a workable peacekeeping plan acceptable to the Sudanese government that would see the current African Union mission in Darfur expand.

While Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is often presented as obstinately opposing the introduction of peacekeepers into Darfur, Sudan has already accepted an AU force, urges the strengthening of the current AU mission, but opposes its replacement by Western troops. Bashir's fear is that a Western military presence will become permanent, and that Sudan — the first country south of the Sahara to gain independence — will be the first country to be re-colonized.

His fears can't be dismissed.

There is no shortage of turmoil in Darfur for Western trouble-makers to exploit. Conflicts over water and grazing land have raged for decades between sedentary farmers and nomadic tribes. And now there's a new flashpoint: who will reap the benefits of the region's new found oil resources?

In other places, the practice of the United States, Britain, Germany and other Western powers has been to inflame tensions within countries whose resources and cheap labor make them attractive targets for economic take-over, or whose public policies block or impose conditions on foreign investment and trade. The turmoil is often used as a pretext for intervention. While the real reasons for intervention are inextricably bound up with profit-making opportunities, the stated reasons are invariably presented as being related to selfless humanitarianism. This was as true of the ***, who said they were intervening militarily in countries across Europe to rescue oppressed German minorities and to save the continent from communism, as it is of the United States today, which, we're expected to believe, can't afford to provide healthcare to all its citizens, but can spend countless billions on wars to deliver democracy and freedom to non-citizens half way across the globe.

Consider Yugoslavia. There the United States and Germany encouraged secessionism, and then used the ensuing conflicts as justification to establish a permanent NATO military presence, followed by the sell-off of the dismembered federation's publicly- and socially-owned assets. While the secessionist conflicts were real, the consequences were often grossly exaggerated to justify intervention on humanitarian grounds. The tens of thousands of bodies NATO spokesmen warned would be found scattered throughout Kosovo after the 1999 78-day NATO terror bombing campaign — like the weapons of mass destruction used to justify another war – were never found. Heaps of bodies thrown to the bottom of the Trepca mines, like Iraq's banned weapons, were inventions.

True to form, Washington declares the conflict in Darfur to be a genocide (another invention), a finding that compels international action, but Washington quietly reveals its true motivations in an executive order to strengthen sanctions on Sudan, which cites "the pervasive role played by the government of Sudan in Sudan's petroleum and petrochemical industries." Washington then declares Sudan's control of Sudanese petroleum resources to be a threat to "U.S. national security and foreign policy interests."

Two realities suggest that it is US foreign policy interests (which is to say, the interests of the banks, corporations and hereditary capitalist families which dominate policy-making in Washington), and not genocide, that shapes US policy on Sudan.

First, while there has unquestionably been a large number of violent deaths in Darfur, there has never been a genocide. This is not to say that Khartoum isn't guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. It may be just as securely ensconced in the club of war criminal countries as the US, Britain and Israel. But on the matter of genocide, the UN Commission on Darfur was quite clear: there has been no genocide in Darfur, notwithstanding Washington's allegations. What there has been is a disproportionate response by Khartoum to attacks by rebel groups on police stations and government buildings, and while that response has targeted entire groups, it has not been aimed at eliminating them.

The response of the public in the West – one based on uncritical acceptance of the genocide alarm raised by a notoriously untruthful Bush administration – speaks volumes about the power of Western governments, the media and ruling class foundations and think-tanks to selectively galvanize support for interventions in some countries, while effacing all recognition of comparable or greater levels of violent conflict and avoidable tragedy elsewhere. The number of violent deaths in Darfur (in the hundreds of thousands) is modest by the standards of other African conflicts. Fighting has claimed four million lives in the Congo since 1998. Were there ever Save Congo marches, as there were Save Darfur marches worldwide last September? Some 600,000 Iraqis are dead as a result of the US and British invasion of Iraq. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says 3.7 million Iraqis are displaced, the largest refugee crisis since 800,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from ex-Mandate Palestine by Zionist forces in 1948. There will be no US or British-sponsored Save Iraq or al-Awda campaigns.

Second, Washington has systematically undermined the peacekeeping efforts of the African Union in Darfur. The AU force was raised by funds provided by the US and EU. Washington and the Europeans had struck a deal with the African Union a decade ago to underwrite interventions in the continent's hot spots by African troops, but their promises have never been completely delivered upon. Midway through 2006, Washington announced funding would be withdrawn for the AU force in Darfur and that a stronger UN force needed to take its place. The AU force, it was lamented, had too few troops to be effective. A stronger UN force was needed. But if so, why had the US and EU not spent the money necessary to maintain an effective AU force in the first place? And why not spend the money that would go to building a larger UN force on strengthening the existing AU force? This would be acceptable to the Sudanese government. It's happy to endorse a bulked-up AU force, but is frightened a UN force, made up of Western troops, will be used to bring about regime change and force Sudan back under a Western colonial heel.

A chess match is now been played out between pro-intervention members of the Security Council (the US and Britain), those opposed (China), and Khartoum, whose approval is required before UN troops can be deployed. From Khartoum's and China's point of view, an outright rejection of a UN mission is undesirable because it could hand Washington and London a pretext to assemble a coalition of the willing to invade Sudan. Both countries, then, have an interest in compromising on a UN peacekeeping mission, so long as it is held in check by significant AU participation. The US and Britain, on the other hand, are angling to give UN authorities as much influence as possible. These considerations can be seen in a tentative June 12 deal which would see the creation of a new peacekeeping force made up mostly of African troops, with an AU commander given operational authority, while overall authority resides with the UN. The AU commander would make decisions on the ground but UN authorities could over-ride his decisions if they disagreed. Considering the US's history of trying to change the Sudanese government, its defining of Sudanese state control of the oil industry as a threat to US foreign policy interests, and its strategic interest in sabotaging China's access to Darfur's oil, it would not be long before the UN found a reason to disagree with the AU commander's decision, and assumed full control of the mission.

There is indeed a very real risk that Sudan could be brought back under Western colonial domination, with a UN peacekeeping force setting the stage. The ideology of humanitarian intervention will, as has always been the case when imperialist powers seek to use force to advance the interests of their economic elites, provide the pretext.

Faith in UN Intervention in Darfur Misplaced

By Stephen Gowans
August 07, 2007


Many Western activists have rallied around calls for sanctions on Sudan and UN intervention in Darfur. But a review of recent Western interventions in the world's trouble spots suggests their faith is misplaced. While the US and its allies, and the UN Security Council, point to lofty goals as the basis for their interventions, the true goals are invariably shaped by the economic interests of the corporations and investment banks that dominate policy making in Western countries. Worse, intervention has typically led to the deterioration of humanitarian crises, not their amelioration.

Conflict as Pretext

The United States and other imperialist powers look for conflicts, or provoke conflicts, in countries they do not dominate politically. They use these conflicts as pretexts to intervene in other countries in multiple ways: militarily, through proxies (which may include the UN), by funding an internal opposition, or by some combination of these means. The goal is to exploit these countries economically. Political control, through a strongman or puppet government, allows great nations to protect and enlarge the investments of their corporations and banks and to open doors to their exports. That is, the United States and other imperialist powers are engaged in a relentless pursuit of political domination of countries they do not currently dominate, in order to exploit their resources, assets and markets, by creating or looking for conflicts that provide pretexts for intervention.

In Yugoslavia, the US, Germany and the UK encouraged secessionists to unilaterally declare independence from the Yugoslav federation and helped ethnic Albanian Kosovars wage a guerrilla war to establish Kosovo as an independent country. The ensuing conflicts with the federal government were used as a pretext by NATO to intervene militarily to bring the conflicts to an end. The secessionist governments and KLA guerrillas were portrayed by the Western media as the victims while the federal government, which was reacting to the provocations, was portrayed as the instigator. The result was that Yugoslavia was re-balkanized and brought under the control of the US and Germany, who have since imposed a neo-liberal tyranny and whose corporations, banks and wealthy investors have bought up the former federation's state- and socially-owned assets. (1)

In Iraq, the US uses the conflict between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, as a pretext to remain in the country as an occupying force. Were troops withdrawn too early, we're told that an all-out civil war would ensue (as if a state of all-out war, sustained by the presence of US and British troops, does not already exist.) Likewise, we're assured that if troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan, al Qaeda will resume its use of the country as a base for its operations, leading to a string of 9/11s. More than a decade ago, the US provoked a conflict in the Gulf - or at least allowed one to go ahead - when Iraq wasn't turned down by the US ambassador, April Gillespie, after it sought permission to invade Kuwait. Iraq was thereby entrapped into undertaking an invasion Washington used as a pretext to launch the Gulf War. The effect was to begin the process of bringing Iraq, and its considerable petroleum resources, under the control of the US. (2)

Sudan is not today under US political control, and like Iraq, is a source of immense oil reserves and the potential for gargantuan petroleum profits to be reaped by foreign oil companies. The Bush administration complains that the Sudanese government interferes in Sudan's petroleum and petrochemical industries. Khartoum is not, then, a partisan of the three freedoms that matter most in Washington: free trade, free enterprise and free markets. This, from Washington's point of view, is a threat to US foreign policy (i.e., corporate) interests. If Sudanese policy prevents US oil companies from exploiting the country's oil resources, Sudan is a threat to the foreign policy interests of the United States. Accordingly, it must be treated as an enemy. And indeed it is an enemy - but only an enemy of the class of corporate board members, hereditary capitalist families and investment bankers in whose interest free trade, free enterprise and free markets are promoted and enforced. Sudan, its people, and the economically nationalist policies of its government are not, however, enemies of the bulk of Americans. (3)

There are existing conflicts in Darfur which the US and its allies have used to argue for Western intervention. There is a conflict over water and land between sedentary and nomadic peoples, made worse by desertification. There is a conflict between rebel groups, which have attacked government installations, and the government itself. And there is a conflict among rebel groups. These conflicts are used by the US and its allies as pretexts to impose sanctions and to argue for intervention. But the US is no more interested in resolving these conflicts than it was in resolving conflicts in Yugoslavia. It's interested in dominating Sudan politically, so that US and British oil companies can amass huge profits from Sudan's vast petroleum reserves.

A record of deception

There was no genocide in Kosovo. When forensic pathologists went looking for the scores of thousands of bodies NATO said were hidden throughout Kosovo, they found two thousand - a number that was consistent with a small scale guerrilla war, not a campaign of genocide. But after NATO intervened militarily with a 78-day bombing campaign, thousands fled, bridges, factories, schools and hospitals were destroyed and hundreds, if not thousands, of civilians were killed. What was a low intensity guerrilla war was turned into a humanitarian crisis by NATO. (4)

There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But after the US and Britain invaded, some 600,000 Iraqis died as a result of violence provoked by the invasion, four million fled their homes, poverty became rampant and infrastructure destroyed by US and British bombs remained in a state of disrepair. A once modern country that had used its oil revenues to develop itself economically and to build a robust system of social welfare was turned by the US and Britain into an almost peerless humanitarian disaster. (5)

According to the UN commission appointed to investigate Washington's charges that the Sudanese government is pursing a policy of genocide, the accusations have no foundation. It's true, the commission found, that Khartoum has responded disproportionately to attacks on government forces by rebel groups, and it's true that Khartoum is implicated in war crimes, but the commission found no evidence the Sudanese government is engaged in the project of seeking to eliminate an identifiable group, the defining characteristic of a policy of genocide. As far as humanitarian disasters go, the disaster in Iraq is far worse. So who would trust the perpetrators of that disaster - who, after all lied about there being a genocide in Kosovo and banned weapons in Iraq – to intervene in Darfur to resolve the humanitarian crisis there? That would be like giving your car keys to a known thief and pathological liar. (6)

Ignoring conflicts

The other side of the coin is that there are countries the United States already dominates in which terrible humanitarian disasters and human rights violations occur about which very little is said. When conflicts occur in these countries, the conflicts are ignored by the Western media, because they're not needed as a pretext for intervention by Western governments. In fact, it's in the interests of Washington that these conflicts not be brought to the attention of the public.

In Ethiopia, for example, thousands of members of the opposition were imprisoned after elections were disputed. Recently, the government threatened to execute dozens of opposition leaders on treason charges. Foreign reporters and human rights groups have been expelled from the country. Because Ethiopia is politically dominated by the US, there's no reason to bring its deplorable record to the public's attention. There is no need to build a case for intervention. Ethiopia is already under the US thumb. Accordingly, few people know anything about what's going in the country because Ethiopia is off the Western media's demonization radar screen. But they are likely to know about Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, who many believe has committed all the crimes Meles Zenawi, the prime minister of Ethiopia, has committed. Except Mugabe hasn't arrested thousands of members of the opposition or threatened to execute the opposition's leaders. The difference between Zenawi and Mugabe is that Zenawi is a US puppet and Mugabe isn't. For opposing imperialist meddling in southern Africa and seeking to indigenize Zimbabwe's economy, Mugabe is in the dead center of the West's demonization radar screen. (7)

There are about half a million people displaced in Somalia as a result of an invasion by Ethiopia, undertaken at the behest of the US government. This is a humanitarian disaster created by a US proxy. There is no Save Somalia Campaign. (8)

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, there is a conflict provoked by the former intervention of US proxies Rwanda and Uganda that has led to the deaths of four million people since 1997. The 200,000 deaths in Darfur (80 percent from starvation and disease; 20 percent from violence) are dwarfed by the millions of deaths in DR Congo. But while there's a Save Darfur campaign, there is no Save Congo campaign. (9)

The solution to Darfur

If UN intervention in Darfur isn't a solution - and it isn't – what is? While it sometimes seems that the UN is a neutral body that democratically decides how to resolve conflicts, that's not what the UN really is. The UN, in all important respects, is the UN Security Council, a small group of mainly imperialist powers who do what imperialist countries do: try to divide the world up among themselves. The United States, the dominant member of the Security Council, has no interest in resolving the conflict in Darfur. It's interested in establishing a permanent military presence to wrest control of Sudan's oil from the Sudanese government. If the US can induce other countries to commit troops to carry out its objectives, so much the better. Bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, a UN military mission to secure the US goal of bringing Sudan under US domination is a welcome development in Washington.

It should be clear that the record of UN and NATO interventions is one in which small conflicts are turned into humanitarian disasters. Gordon Brown, the prime minister of Britain, says Darfur is the world's greatest humanitarian disaster. There are 200,000 dead in Darfur but there are probably 600,000 dead in Iraq. There are four million refugees in Iraq and far fewer in Darfur. (10)

Liberal public intellectuals like Michael Ignatieff, the former Harvard professor and now aspirant to the job of Canadian prime minister, said a war needed to be waged on Iraq because of what Saddam did to the Kurds. US military intervention under the authorization of the UN was supposed to deliver peace, prosperity, human rights and democracy between the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates. What it delivered was something far worse than when Saddam was around. (11)

The solution to Darfur is to stop pressuring the US government to intervene in Sudan and start pressuring the one rebel group that won't sign a peace accord to do so. Khartoum has sat down with the rebel groups to work out a peace deal and one group has refused to even participate in the talks. Conflicts cannot be resolved if one side is uninterested in peace. Nor can they be resolved if powerful forces are using the conflicts as pretexts to invade and impose sanctions.

If pressure is imposed on the hold-out rebels to arrive at a peace with Khartoum, and peace ensues, what then? Will the activists who agitated for Western intervention in Darfur turn their attention to rescuing the Congo from its humanitarian crisis? Will grassroots pressure be brought to bear on Ethiopia to withdraw from Somalia? And what of Iraq? Will the same people who worked themselves up into high moral dudgeon over Darfur demand immediate withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq? Shouldn't they demand this first? After all, the dimensions of the Iraq disaster are worse than those of the Darfur disaster, and it is the activists' own governments that have authored the larger disaster. One would think Americans and Britons would give priority to working for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, rather than channelling their energies into pressing the governments that lied about and created tragedies in Yugoslavia and Iraq to intervene in yet another oil-rich country. Activists have an obligation to understand the institutional patterns of behaviour of their own governments, to inquire into the forces that shape those patterns, and to prevent emotion from undermining reason and analysis. It does no good to allow our own governments and media to mobilize our energies to work on behalf of imperialist goals, while diverting us from projects that are legitimately in the interests of the bulk of humanity.

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