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October 2010 - Posts

Egypt Police Shoot Dead Sudanese Migrant

EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — An Egyptian security official says a man from Sudan's Darfur region was shot dead trying to sneak across the border into Israel.

Egyptian border guards surprised a group of Africans and their Egyptian smugglers trying to cross into Israel six miles (10 kilometers) south of the Rafah border town, said a security official.

The two sides exchanged fire and the Sudanese man was killed while two others were taken into custody.

The remaining Africans and their smugglers scattered into the desert border region.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

Many migrants seeking political asylum and jobs try to cross into Israel with the help of Bedouin traffickers. Egypt has killed dozens of migrants in recent years.

Readout of the President's Call with Former South African President Thabo Mbeki About Sudan

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

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U.S. President Barack Obama (

President Obama called former South African President Thabo Mbeki this afternoon to discuss Sudan.  President Mbeki, in his role as the Chairman of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan, has been working with northern and southern Sudanese leaders to urge them to come to agreement on outstanding provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and post-referendum arrangements.  President Obama thanked President Mbeki for his leadership and his efforts, and the two discussed the importance of moving ahead aggressively to support the negotiations and resisting any entreaties to delay.  President Mbeki described his most recent efforts, and they agreed to continue closely coordinating AU and U.S. efforts to ensure on time referenda.  With only 72 days to go until the referenda scheduled for January 9, 2011, both share a sense of urgency and a commitment to mobilizing the international community to support a timely, credible process on January 9 and a peaceful, prosperous future for all the people of Sudan.

Mbeki agree to work closely with US over South Sudan referendum – White House

October 30, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — Former South Africa’s President and head of African Union panel on Sudan has agreed to coordinate efforts with US administration to settle divergences over Abyei referendum and post referendum outstanding issues.

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U.S. President Barack Obama (

President Barack Obama in a telephone call with Thabo Mbeki on Friday stressed on the need to expedite the ongoing efforts to settle differences between the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

The two parties failed this month during talks in Addis Ababa brokered by the US envoy to Sudan Scott Gration to agree on who has the right to participate in the referendum on the future of Abyei area.

Mbeki, who this week announced the adjournment sine die of the discussions over Abyei and other issues, is supposed to co-chair the next round of talks with the special US president special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration.

The White House, in a press statement released today, said that Obama discussed with Mbeki "the importance of moving ahead aggressively to support the negotiations and resisting any entreaties to delay".

"President Mbeki described his most recent efforts, and they agreed to continue closely coordinating AU and U.S. efforts to ensure on time referenda."

In accordance to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed on 9 January 2005, the southern Sudanese have to determine if they want to establish an independent state in their region or not. Abyei population should vote to say if they want to be part of the south or the north.

During a recent meeting, the Sudanese presidency agreed to develop a common vision on the social and economic relations between northern and southern Sudan regardless of the referendum outcome.

They also consented that the commissions working on the outstanding issues, including Abyei and border demarcation have to take in account this common vision which should be adopted first.

Sudanese government offers two billion for Darfur development - rebels

October 30, 2010 (DOHA) — Sudanese government has agreed to dedicate two billion dollar for Darfur rehabilitation and reconstruction, the move represents a breakthrough in Doha peace talks, a rebel leading official disclosed.

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A woman pushes a wheelbarrow as other Sudanese refugees look on, in the Our Cassoni refugee camp in eastern Chad on March 12, 2009. (Getty)

Tadjadine Beshir Niam, chief negotiator of Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) told Sudan Tribune that the stalled talks on the wealth sharing file reached this agreement in a meeting held Friday in Doha with the participation of Sudanese state minister for finance who joined the talks on Friday.

The talks between Sudanese government and LJM rebels now are held at the level of the steering committee to resolve the outstanding issues submitted by the five committees that finalized their meetings recently.

Niam said that this amount is different from the two billons that the host country Qatar pledged to donate for Darfur recovery and development. Qatar said will establish a foundation to finance development projects in the region.

He further said the parties have agreed to establish a microfinance bank to spur development and reduce poverty in the war ravaged region through small loans to poor people to implement individual projects.

In a peace agreement signed by the Sudanese government and the former rebel Sudan Liberation Movement in May 2006, the parties agreed to allocate 700 million USD to the development projects in Darfur.

Last August, Finance and National Economy Minister, Ali Mahmoud, announced that his government endorsed a plan to implement development and recovery projects in the restive region of Darfur at a total cost of $1.9 billion.

Niam said they will continue the talks on Saturday on the wealth sharing to discuss the percentage of Darfur from the oil discovered in the region.

The steering committee had to conclude the discussions today October 29, but the rebel negotiator pointed out that the government pledged to put on the negotiating table on Saturday a package of propositions dealing with the outstanding issues in the power sharing file.

LJM demands to accord a post of vice-president to Darfur region, the establishment of one administrative region in Darfur and the participation of Darfurians in the central government as well as the government of Khartoum region.

The mediation said it intends to discuss the peace agreement currently negotiated in Doha with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) led with Abdel Wahid Al-Nur.

JEM, which suspends it participation in the talks, also is expected to send a delegation to Doha to discuss the resumption of negotiations with the government. Khartoum said it wants to reach end the talks with the rebel groups before the referendum on independence for southern Sudan.

No divisions in South Sudan government, minister says

October 30, 2010 (JUBA) — Marial Benjamin Bill, a minister of information and broadcasting services in the government of south Sudan on Friday dismissed claims that leaders of the regional government are divided and that they have started forming tribal establishments, months into referendum vote.

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Salva Kiir interviewed by Al-Sudani journalist Rofayda Yassen (photo Al-Sudani)

The minister, who called for press conference to respond to the publication made by Khartoum based Al Sudani newspaper, said there is no divisions among political leaders and in the government of southern Sudan.

According to Al-Sudani, Salva Kiir Sudan’s First Vice President and President of southern Sudan government, in a long interview with him conducted during his presence in capital, accused Riek Machar of working to strengthen his weight inside the government of the semi-autonomous region.

"There are no divisions among political leaders in South Sudan in general let alone allegations that there is division in the government and people of Southern Sudan. Political leaders, both in and outside the government are united and moving together towards the referendum with one purpose: self-determination," said Marial.

"I want would like to inform you ladies and gentlemen of the press that the president was quoted out of context on a number of issues following an interview with journalists in Khartoum recently,” said the minister.

Marial, however, confirmed that the interview did take place but said he wanted to set the record straight on a number of issues on which the President was misquoted.

Al Sudani alleged that there is disunity within ranks and files of the government of south Sudan leadership, especially between president Kiir and his vice President Riek Machar Teny. Al Sudani claimed to have heard about this division from "the streets". Which streets and why pick on reports from the streets instead of coming to the relevant authorities for verification and clarifications, asked the minister.

He asserted that government of south Sudan with the people are currently more united than any than time in the past and that the Vice-President is unequivocal in his support of the government and the President.. He explained that vice president Machar has been working together with the other leaders to cement this unity as exemplified by his leadership role during the recent South-South dialogue. "We are united and are moving together as one body," said Marial.


The minister further added that the same Al Sudan alleged that President Kiir declared that South Sudan would establish diplomatic relations with Israel if it becomes an independent state after the referendum.

According to the daily newspaper Kiir said Israel is the enemy of Palestinians and not Southerners, so when the southern Sudan proclaims its independence it would establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

"This is not correct. This is not the president has said. What the president said was that South Sudan has no enemies and will be free to form mutually-beneficial relations with any nation in the interest of its people. The president did not mention anything to do with Israel. He never uttered name "Israel" while being interviewed, clarified minister Marial.

The statements allegedly attributed to Salva Kiir were extensively echoed by the Arab media outlets which denounced the pro-Israeli position of the southern Sudanese leader.

Denying another report by Al-Rai Al-Aam daily claiming that Israeli intelligence (Mossad) is training the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the minister wondered how a foreign intelligence agency can train what he termed as "national army" in reference to the SPLA.

He said that these reports seem to be aimed at portraying Southern Sudan as a possible hostile state which will give Israel a pedestal from which to infiltrate the Arab world.

He, however, explained that South Sudan will be free to establish diplomatic relations with any country in the world if it secedes from rest of the Sudan in the upcoming vote self determination for people of the region.

If South Sudan becomes independence state, Juba "will be free to establish diplomatic relations as it deems fit," said minister Marial, wondering why some people seem concerned with the possibility of a new state having diplomatic relations with Israel yet several other countries in the region and even in the Arab world.

Arab world countries like Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco just to name a few, have established strong ties and relations with Israel. "What is special about South Sudan if it decides to establish diplomatic relations with her if the relationship would be for interest of the people of south Sudan," he asked.

Urging media to uphold the tenets of professional journalism, he said his government will not take any punitive actions against Al Sudani because it guarantees freedom of expression.

The minister who also urged journalists, both local and international, to follow the right procedures and respect protocols when seeking audience with leaders, explained that the said interview should have been conducted by the Editor-in-Chief and not a junior reporter as it was the case of Al-Sudani journalist.

SPLM does not intend to compromise over Abyei

October 30, 2010 (JUBA) - The south’s ruling party the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement on Friday dismissed allegations that it would compromise the future of Abyei in order to secure approval of independence of the south from the National Congress Party who control the central government.

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A man from the Dinka tribe holds a placard during a demonstration calling for the immediate formation of the Abyei referendum commission outside the United Nations headquarters in Khartoum September 23, 2010 (Reuters)

Tensions over the future of the oil producing region are mounting on daily basis with some observers fearing that a confrontation in Abyei could trigger a return to civil war.

Abyei, which lies on the north-south border, is scheduled to hold a referendum in January to determine whether it will remain in the north or join what could be newly independent south Sudan.

Under a 2005 peace deal the south is due to hold a simultaneous self determination vote.

The Abyei vote has been delayed a dispute over who is allowed to take part in the poll.

A clause of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement identified Abyei as a region belonging to the nine Dinka Ngok chiefdoms, who align themselves with the SPLM and the south.

But since the deal, members of the cattle herding Missiriya tribe, who enter Abyei for a few months each year from southern Kordofan and the NCP have agitated to be allowed to participate in the vote.

The SPLM have rejected the proposal, despite the insistence of the NCP, causing talks to resolve the issue to reach an impasse.

On Friday Dinka Ngok youth from Abyei issued a strong warning against any attempt to include members of the Missiriya, saying the proposal had no basis

As well as the voter eligibility, the two sides have also failed to agree on the composition of the committee to run the referendum.

Michael Makuei Lueth, a senior member of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement who is minister of parliamentary affairs in the regional government told Sudan Tribune on Friday that his party will not compromise future of Abyei for independence of the region.

"I want to make it clear that the SPLM leadership will not trade Abyei with independence of South Sudan because Comprehensive Peace Agreement is very clear to all including the two parties in reference to the National Congress Party and the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement. In the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the right for people of South Sudan and Abyei to vote during the internationally monitored and separate referenda exists,” said Makuei.

"If there are people who think that SPLM will concede Abyei for independence of South Sudan, they should know that SPLM has repeatedly rejected attempts by the National Congress Party to include Missiriya in the referendum vote, because their arguments lack references, he adds.

Makuei said the people of Abyei have the constitutional rights as enshrined in the interim constitution and referendum law to vote at a referendum which would allow them decide whether to remain part of Kordofan or return to the south from where the region was transferred in 1905.

"This is a constitutional right for people of Abyei and should not be the subject of any discussions for compromise. It is their rights. Similarly, the people of South Sudan have their constitutional rights to vote at [an] internationally monitored referendum on self determination provided in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to decide their political destiny from rest of the Sudan,” explained Makuei

Therefore, he said, “no one expects the other to compromise the future of the other. It is the people from the two regions which will decide their own future through voting not the SPLM or National Congress Party.”

On Wednesday, an estimated number of 2,000 people predominantly members of the cattle owning Missiriya tribe, took to the streets and central town of Muglad, protesting against attempts to exclude them from participating in the forthcoming vote in the region.

The group addressed by tribal leaders including Amir Muktar Babo Nimir, submitted another position paper to the office of the United Nations in the area rejecting their exclusion from referendum vote and warned that they would fight anyone who would attempt to prevent them voting in the area if poll takes place.

Hassan Musa Bilal, a one of the Missiriya section’s leaders, confirmed in an interview with Sudan Tribune from El-Obeid in South Kordofan on his way to Muglad, that they will not accept anything less being included in Abyei referendum.

"Yes, there was a peaceful demonstration on Wednesday. Our people took to the street to demonstrate against injustice in dealing with our rights in Abyei,” said Hassan.

The tribal leader also accused the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of neglecting direct talks between Dinka Ngok and Missiriya tribe at the grass root levels and that they are wasting time and resources on discussions outside the region.

"These people are joking and waste time and resources. If they are serious and need permanent solution, they should allow us in reference to Missiriya and our brothers from Dinka Ngok to initiate our own ways and mechanisms to settle any differences,” said Hassan, adding that they have no problem with Dinka Ngok.

He told SudanTribune that the "Missiriya and Dinka Ngok have no differences which cannot be settled. We have lived together for years as brothers and sisters eating and drinking from the same pot in reference to Abyei without any problem. Our problem appeared after the signing of the CPA which demarcates borders. Why borders and we have do not problems between us. Borders are created for those who have territorial differences. For us with brothers from Dinka Ngok, we have never had any territorial differences since time of Amir Deng Majok and Babo Nimir. Our people have lived and interacted peaceful as one and the same family," said Hassan.

He said that the SPLM was the source of the current differences between Dinka Ngok and Misssiriya.

"We have had any difference with brothers from Dinka. Our problem is the SPLM. The SPLM is destroying our ancestral relationship. The SPLM wants to divide us [from our…] brothers because of their own political differences with the NCP. We will not accept it and if they want the Missiriya as community would be forced to use any possible means to get their rights to vote if the two parties cannot resolve their difference amicably,” he warned.

Hassan described his tribe as peace loving and caring community.

The "Missiriya are generally peace loving and caring people. We initiate peace and support peaceful coexistence with our neighbors but we fear nothing except Allah […] therefore, we will not accept any attempt to undermine our rights. If our right to vote in this referendum is not given, we will use any means possible to get it,” warned Hassan.

Referendum materials reach Jonglei as flooding overshadows voter registration

October 30, 2010 (BOR) – Consignments of referendum materials have arrived Jonglei’s state capital, Bor, as training of voter registration staffs has been hampered by flooding officials say.

“In reality, this is rainy season and there are floods everywhere. No cars will be moving during [voter] registration [in Jonglei state],” said Reuben Garang Yuol, the chairperson of Jonglei referendum state high committee (SHC), told the press on Friday in Bor town.

Southern Sudanese are due to vote in a referendum on 9 January, 2011 in accordance with a 2005 peace dealt that ended two decades north-south civil war where over two million lives were lost.

With two months left to the plebiscite, numerous issues that including border demarcation, citizenship and national debts are yet to be resolved by the peace partners; the former rebel group the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) who have governed the south since 2005 as part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

The South Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) has set November 14 as date for commencement of voter registration.

The SSRC’s state high committee in Jonglei state has received office furniture, generators, motorcycles and computers, according to officials.

Voter registration equipments was due to arrive on Friday.

“All the coming days will be full of transportation of materials [from Juba] Bor,” Garang said in his first press address since assuming the chairmanship of the state’s referendum committee in August, 2010.

The referendum materials are to be hand over to the referendum sub-committees based at headquarters of counties.

United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) is airlifting referendum materials to state capitals in the south including counties that are inaccessible by road.

The flooding that is impeding, and in some instances stopping, land transport to the 11 counties of Jonglei state is also preventing thousands of voter registration staff receiving their salaries.

“Another obstacle is how money [for registration staffs] is going to be paid? We don’t know until now,” Garang said.

Training for voter registration is due to begin on Saturday in Bor town.

China fails to block UN report on Sudan: diplomats

October 20, 2010 (WASHINGTON) –Chinese diplomats made a failed attempt on Wednesday to block a U.N. report alleging that its locally manufactured ammunition was sent to Darfur in violation of an arms embargo, according to diplomats at the world body.

Last week, Beijing threatened to block the report unless the wording is changed. It fell short of using its veto power at the UN Security Council (UNSC) on a resolution to renew the mandate of a panel of experts that monitor the observance of sanctions imposed on Darfur.

China is the major buyer of Sudanese oil and has other key commercial interests.

The Sudan sanctions committee met Wednesday afternoon and two diplomats familiar with the closed-door deliberations told Associated Press that China argued that the report by the committee’s panel of experts should not be sent to the UNSC.

After the meeting, a Chinese representative who identified himself by the name Zhao told Agence France Presse (AFP) the report in Beijing’s opinion "is full of flaws with too many unconfirmed facts."

"Where did they get the informed sources? No evidence is given," Zhao said, adding that the report "lacks confirmed facts — how can we agree on those recommendations? We ask them to improve the work of the methodology."

The diplomats said the committee chairman, Austria’s U.N. Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting, agreed that the annex to the report would be updated with a letter to include additional information on sources. But they said the report itself would not be changed, and will likely be formally sent to the 15-member council next week.

During Wednesday’s meeting, the diplomats said China got no support from the other committee members, who include representatives from all 15 council nations.

The U.N. panel responsible for implementing the embargo told the UNSC that Sudanese forces have used more than a dozen types of Chinese ammunition against Darfuri rebels over the past two years. It also reported finding recently manufactured shell casings from Chinese ammunition at the site of numerous attacks launched by unidentified assailants against peacekeepers from the joint U.N.-African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

It is not clear if the panel is pointing fingers at Khartoum for the recent surge of attacks on UNAMID peacekeepers and personnel.

The report by the panel found that the Sudanese government had routinely skirted the sanctions - using recently purchased Russian helicopters, Sukhoi 25 fighter planes from Belarus and at least one Russian MiG-20 fighter jet in Darfur.

Sudan acknowledged to the panel that it had transferred some of the aircraft into Darfur, but insisted that the aircraft had not been used in military operations and therefore did not violate sanctions.

Russia has sold some 36 Mi-24 and Mi-17 helicopters to Khartoum since 2009, while Belarus has sold 15 Sukhoi 25 jets to the Sudanese government since 2008, according to the panel. Sudan signed end-user agreements with both governments guaranteeing that the aircraft would not be used in Darfur.

The panel uncovered a total of 18 varieties of shell casings, including 12 from China and four from Sudan. Two samples of ammunition - which were used by the Justice and Equality Movement, one of the main rebel groups - were manufactured in Israel. The panel said that Israel confirmed that the ammunition was sold to the government of Chad. Chad - which also signed an end-user agreement with Israel not to ship the arms to a third country - has long been accused of smuggling weapons to JEM.

The United Nations estimates as many as 300,000 people have died in the humanitarian crisis after Khartoum mobilized militias to quell the revolt.

Darfur rebel figures will not contest charges of killing AU peacekeepers: ICC

October 20, 2010 (WASHINGTON) – Two Sudanese rebel leaders who stand accused of leading a deadly attack on African Union (AU) peacekeepers more than three years ago will not contest the charges at the confirmation hearing scheduled for next month, the prosecutor’s office at the International Criminal Court (ICC) said today.

Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus each face three counts of violence to life in the form of murder, war crime of attacking a peacekeeping mission and pillaging.

The two men allegedly commanded a 1,000-strong rebel force in the Sept. 29, 2007 attack, on the African Mission in Sudan (AMIS) base in Haskanita in North Darfur. They looted the camp of 17 vehicles, refrigerators, computers, mobile phones, ammunition and money.

The attack killed twelve soldiers and severely injured eight others who were mainly from Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Botswana. It was the deadliest single attack on the peacekeepers since they began their mission in late 2004.

Banda was a senior military commander in Darfur’s rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) before he was dismissed during a bitter split among the movement’s governing elite in mid-2007. He went on to form a rival faction, the JEM Collective Leadership, with former JEM vice president Bahar Idriss Abu Garda. The latter appeared voluntarily before the ICC to answer charges relating to the same attack but the court declined to pursue those charges in February citing insufficient evidence to prove his criminal responsibility.

Jerbo on the other hand was a leading figure in the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM)-Unity faction before being removed later for unknown reasons.

The two suspects surrendered voluntarily to the ICC last June, almost a year after a summons of appear was issued for them in secrecy and appeared before a judge to be formally notified of the charges. Presiding judge Sylvia Steiner from Brazil set November 22nd as the date for a hearing to confirm the charges against the two men — a requirement before the case can go to trial.

The weekly briefing issued by the prosecutor on Wednesday revealed that his office and the defense made a joint filing before the Pre-Trial Chamber informing the judges of an agreement between the parties which may allow for a shortened confirmation hearing if the judges so decide.

"The parties agreed that the facts contained in the document containing the charges, which the judges are encouraged to consider, as being proven for the purpose of the confirmation hearing.....the Defence waived its rights to challenge the prosecution evidence, present its own evidence or contest the charges during the hearing. The approach agreed by the parties will involve a limited oral presentation by the Prosecution and the Legal Representatives for Victims as may be ordered by the Chamber," said the prosecutor’s office.

The prosecution described this approach as a " novel" one for the ICC and if approved by the judges "could save judicial time and resources".

"This agreement by the parties is limited to the confirmation hearing. In the event the Pre-Trial Chamber confirms the case for trial, the Defence may at that stage contest any of the charges".

Officials at the prosecutor’s office declined to comment on the new development when contacted by Sudan Tribune.

The Hague-based court, established in 2002 to try those responsible for war crimes and genocide, has also issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir, who has snubbed the court and denied the allegations as part of a Western conspiracy against his government.

The ICC is investigating both sides of the Darfur conflict. In addition to the three cases involving Banda and Jerbo, Garda and Bashir, it is also seeking the arrest of two government figures namely South Kordofan governor Ahmed Haroun and militia leader Ali Kushayb for 51 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

South Sudan’s President warns against violence during referendum campaigns

October 20, 2010 (JUBA) – The President of the semi-autonomous government of Southern Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit on Wednesday, issued a statement warning that policies inciting violence during campaigns in the forthcoming referendum on self determination for people of south Sudan, would not be tolerated.

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Salva Kiir arrives at Juba airport on May 03, 2008

South Sudan is widely expected to vote for independence in the poll, agreed as part of a 2005 peace deal that ended over two decades of war between north and south.

Kiir said his government would create an environment for all parties and advocacy groups to campaign freely for both unity and separation and urged state governors to do the same.

“All state governments and institutions must create conducive environment for all proponents without distinction on the basis of their choices,” said president Kiir in a six page document received by Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.

Advocacy groups campaigning in support of both two options would receive government funds to make their case, the document said.

Kiir warned that any campaign that incited violence would not be tolerated.

“The government of southern Sudan will fund both advocacy groups campaigning for unity and secession and assure them to freely campaign for options of their choices without holding any fear. This is what I have been saying and I repeated it during the opening session of all political parties’ conference which ended on Sunday. I said a high leveled ground will be provided for all to campaign freely,” said Kiir.

The president of the regional government said that he wanted all political parties to be empowered to play a role in educating voters for all processes of registration and polling as well as campaigning.

President Kiir, while addressing the end of the southern political parties’ conference that ended on Sunday urged his own government controlled by the SPLM in the south and the Khartoum government dominated by the National Congress Party to protect rights of the citizens.

Many southerners live in Khartoum and other areas of the north and northern Sudanese also live and work in south Sudan.

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Salva Kiir arrives at Juba airport on May 03, 2008

Kiir said that in the event that if the south secedes all citizens and their property should be protected.

Calling for regular consultation among political leaders and parties before, during and after the conduct of referenda, he emphasized the need for the two regions to improve their relationship.

“I have said many times in several meetings and occasions that south Sudan will exert all necessary efforts to maintain close and improved relations with the north if it secedes because it will not move from its original geographical location.”

“If it separates, it will not be shifted to the India occasion or to anywhere else a part from its current geographical location. It will remain here in the same geographical location. The same to the north unless something magical occurs, hence the need to maintain close and improved relations with all her neighbors,” said Kiir.

The two sides are currently deadlocked over establishing the commission for a separate referendum in the oil-rich region of Abyei.

They also cannot agree on which tribes will be legible to vote.

This week the north reacted angrily to Kiir’s suggestion that a UN buffer zone of peacekeepers should be established on the north-south border.

Sudan’s defense minister denies calling for referendum postponement

October 20, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan’s defense minister denied having called to postpone the referendum on self-determination for southern Sudan scheduled to take place on 9 January 2011.

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Defense Minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein (Reuters)

Minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein reiterated his support for the referendum on self-determination if the parties overcome the obstacles of border demarcation and identification of who can participate in Abyei’s vote. the official SUNA reported today.

"According to the reality on the ground, yes. Border issues and Abyei must be resolved within the framework of one nation because doing so in the framework of two countries open the door for foreign interference," Hussein told reporters in Cairo following his meeting with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday.

"The referendum is not a goal but a tool to consolidate and promote security and stability," the top military official said and warned that his government will not recognize the South should they proceed with unilateral declaration of independence (UDI).

The army’s spokesperson Al-Sawarmi Khaled said today that the minister who is visiting Cairo currently visiting Egypt denied categorically that he had called to postpone the referendum or confirmed government’s intention to postpone it.

Al-Sawarmi, pointed the minister had only called to complete the necessary security arrangements ahead of the referendum so that it can be conducted in a healthy atmosphere.

Northern and southern leaders disagree about who should take part in the vote and leading northern politicians have already said it will be impossible to run the Abyei plebiscite on time.

The NCP has been lobbying for the Arab Misseriya tribe who enter Abyei to find pasture for their cattle for 3-4 months of the year. The request has been denied by the SPLM as they were not mentioned in peace agreement the two signed in 2005.

A legislator from south Sudan’s oil rich Abyei region has described Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein, Sudan’s defense minister as a “non-starter full of wishful thinking”, on Tuesday following the minister’s call to delay two referendums that will decide whether Sudan splits into two countries.

Arop Madut Arop, the Abyei area legislator told Sudan Tribune in a phone interview on Tuesday that such remarks from pro-NCP officials especially at this critical time were simply the “kicks from dying horses”.

“The national government was responsible for the enactment of the Referendum Act which was passed. They formed the southern Sudan Referendum Commission which is now operational. Apart from the other technical aspects that may be required, they have nothing to do with the smooth conduct of the January referendum,” Arop said.

He added, “Why don’t these people [in the national government] allow the referendum bureau headed by Justice Chan Reec to do its work normally? This is just interference.”

Arop is confident that voting would go ahead as planned on 9 January.

Both sides have accused each other of amassing troops on the border in recent weeks. The UN announced yesterday that 100 troops had been sent to Abyei to diffuse tensions.

The timetable for the referenda was agreed between the two parties in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the accord that ended decades of north-south civil war in Sudan.

Negotiations aimed at resolving the Abyei stalled last week, with the SPLM accusing the NCP of sabotaging the talks.

The talks are due to recommence later this month in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Darfur peace talks are moving to decision making stage - rebel

October 20, 2010 (DOHA) — Sudanese parties engaged in the Doha talks are moving from negotiations to decision-making process in order to finalize a peace agreement they are preparing to ink in the upcoming weeks, a rebel official said Wednesday.

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AU-UN mediator for Darfur Djibril Bassole (L) and Qatar’s state FM Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud, at a meeting with Sudanese and LJM delegations in Doha October 5, 2010. (QNA)

Yesterday, Tuesday, the mediation chaired a meeting of the steering committee composed of top officials in the negotiating delegations of Sudanese government and Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) to assess the progress made by the parties in five committees they formed, announcing the end of direct talks.

The steering committee has now to review the positions of the two parties on the outstanding issues and decide together on every point that the committees failed to agree on it. The security arrangements and power sharing include many contentious issues.

"Tomorrow the steering committee will receive formally the outcome of the five committees and will start discussions from 22 to 27 October on the outstanding issues submitted by the panels dealing with the different files," said Tadjadine Bechir Niam who is LJM chief negotiator.

On 30 October the two delegations will initialize the minutes of discussions at the level of this committee and hand it over to the mediator who should propose compromises on the disputed matters, if there are any.

The mediation will work in a transparent way and will put out a detailed timetable of its activities during this period up to the day where a peace deal will be signed, he said.


LJM rebel official further said during this period of discussions and before to sign formally a peace agreement with the Sudanese government they plan to hold a series of public meetings with the Sudanese political forces, Darfur civil society, IDPs and refugees to explain the deal and win their support.

The LJM also will visit neighbouring countries and some members of the international community to meet the official authorities and the Sudanese Diaspora to brief them on the peace deal they reached with the government.

"We need to explain the agreement and listen to the point of view but also to gain their support to this agreement," Niam said.

Asked about if they intend to contact the other rebel groups who are not part of the process, LJM top negotiator said the mediation will conduct contacts with the Justice and Equality Movement (LJM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) to persuade them to join the peace process.

He however stressed that nobody can escape Doha as it is the official venue of talks for peace in Darfur.

JEM rebels last May froze their participation in the process after signing a framework agreement with the Sudanese government while the SLM of Abdel Wahid Al-Nur, said he would hold a meeting for the leadership of the movement to decide on this regard.

The joint mediator Djibril Bassole said he is conducting contacts with the two rebel groups to convince them to join the process stressing that the process should be inclusive and any agreement needs to by comprehensive to ensure its implementation.

Sudan and Malaysia Sign Memo on Higher Education,Capability Development

Kuala Lumpur, Oct.20(SUNA)-Sudan and Malaysia on Wednesday signed on the sideline of the Fifth Islamic Conference of Ministers of Higher Education and Scientific Research a memorandum of understanding on domains of higher education and capability development. Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research , Peter Adok signed for Sudan and the Malaysian Minister of Higher Education, Khalid Bin Nora-Eddin signed for Malaysia


The memo covers encouragement of cooperation in domains of capability development, exchange of expertise and information among institutions of higher education in the two countries


Dr Peter in joint press conference he held with his Malaysian counterpart following the signing ceremony, expressed Sudan's desire to cooperate with Malaysian government in all fields, especially in domain of higher education and scientific research


The Malaysian Minister, Khalid Bin Nor lauded the progress being achieved in all developmental fields in Sudan, stressing his country' s resolve to widen scope of cooperation with institutions of higher education in Sudan

Following are the headlines of the major daily news papers issued in Khartoum today Thursday the 21st of October 2010

AL-KHARTOUM : the south - south dialogue parties : the climate in the south is unsuitable for the referendum


---- Cairo : our projects in the south aimed at supporting stability and development ---- the referendum commission announces the timetable of the referendum operation


----- the minister of defense renews his support for the referendum ---- the schools public holiday on the 14th of November ---- Ali Osman ---- Algazira scheme will realize food security


ALINTIBAHA : Natasious : there is no eminent war ---- minister of finance participates in the Arab donors meetings ---- directions to the states to ban any false medicines AKHBAR ALYOUM : Ali Osman : there are some obstacles facing the unity and the efforts are continuing to surpass them


---- Ali Osman directs the ministry of finance to purchase the dhura crop and open the doors for exportation to the neighboring countries


ARRAI AL A'AM : a pledge to compensate those affected by the Gezira scheme ---- 50 units didn't submit their final accounts ----- stopping of the high ways traffic settlement ALWAN : General Auditor: the size of internal debt is not known ---- 23 parties sign a conduct document for the south - Abei referendum ----- signing of a final agreement for the negotiators parties in Doha


----- Aldigair calls for a working program to reactivate the role of the private sector. ---- discovery of large quantities of gold in southern Darfur


------ ALWIFAG


---- Russia opposes the establishment of a seperation area between the north and south ---- 262 million USD for the animal resources in 2009


---- Abu algait and Suleiman to visit the country today


ALAKHBAR: ---- Abei administration optimistic about reaching an understanding phase on the area


---- Aldoha determines three weeks to reach a draft agreement


---- ALAHDATH : the rescue of 10 of the gold searchers in the northern state ---- Taha we will not surrender to the obstacles facing the unity


---- the minister of interior accuses some western states by trying to abort the peace efforts


------ Zain holds an information safety conference


----- AJRAS AL-HURYIA : testing operation of Alginaina electricity station within 10 days


----- the referendum commission : the registration on November the 10th , the voting on the 9th of January

Meetings of the Joint Sudanese-Algerian Ministerial Committee begin

Khartoum, Oct.20(SUNA)-The meetings of the Joint Sudanese-Algerian Ministerial Committee commenced here Wednesday where Foreign Minister, Ali Ahmed Karti chaired the Sudanese side and Algerian Acting Minister for Maghreb and African Affairs, Abdul-Gadir Masamil presided over the Algerian side


Addressing the meeting, Ali Karti said that convocation of the meeting was an evident for progress of relations between Sudan and Algeria


The Minister, meanwhile, told the meeting that Sudan is committed to hold the referendum at its fixed time and in climate in which people of South Sudan could exercise their rights without dictation or pressure, stressing on importance of completing the technical part so as the referendum not be a contested issue


" We have been working for making unity attractive and over a billion dollars was spent on development of the South", the Minister underscored


On Darfur issue, Ali Karti said that the government had adopted new strategy on Darfur, commending in this regard the Algeria' support to Sudan ,especially in the Arab League and African Union


The Algerian Minister indicated in his address to importance of exerting concerted efforts to face the regional and international challenges, affirming his country's rejection to unjust decisions which issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sudan

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