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November 2011 - Posts

Sudan sentences Darfur rebels to death: state media

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - A Sudanese court sentenced to death seven people accused of being members of the most powerful rebel group in the country's war-riven Darfur region, state media said on Monday.

Fighting has declined in the mostly western territory from its peak in 2003 and 2004 but clashes between government troops, militias, bandits, tribes and rival rebel factions have continued.

The court, based in the North Darfur state capital of El Fasher, "sentenced seven of the defendants who belonged to the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to death by hanging," a statement on the state news agency SUNA said.

The report did not spell out the charges against the defendants, but said they had been found guilty under several laws, some dealing with anti-terrorism and banditry.

It said the case was related to an attack on a military convoy travelling from Khartoum to Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, that killed dozens of soldiers.

The defendants had the right to appeal to the country's supreme court, the report added. Three other defendants would be put into care homes because they had not reached the age of "criminal responsibility".

Mainly non-Arab rebels in Darfur took up arms against Sudan's government in 2003, accusing Khartoum of marginalising the remote territory.

Khartoum mobilised troops and mostly-Arab militias to crush the uprising, unleashing a wave of violence that Washington and some activists have called genocide. Khartoum dismisses the accusation.

Darfur's main rebel groups said earlier this month they had formed an alliance to topple the government of President Omar al-Bashir, a move the United Nations condemned as "counterproductive". `

In July, Qatar brokered a peace agreement between Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement, an umbrella of small rebel groups. The main rebel groups have refused to join the deal.

Kenya's judiciary issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President

A Kenyan court on Monday issued an arrest warrant for Sudan President Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges, following a request by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).

Though Kenya has ratified the founding treaty of the ICC, it failed to arrest the Sudanese leader when he visited the country in August 2010.

The ruling means that his arrest "should be effected by the Attorney General and the Minister for Internal Security should he ever set foot in Kenya," Judge Nicolas Ombija said.

US former President Bush to visit Ethiopia

(ADDIS ABABA) – By Tesfa-Alem Tekle - US former President, George W. Bush, will visit Ethiopia in December, in a tour to three African countries, the US Embassy in Addis Ababa announced on Thursday.

Bush and his wife, Laura Bush, are expected to visit in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia from 1-5 December during which the couple are expected to celebrate the remarkable progress made over the past decade in addressing the challenges of disease, poverty and security in Africa.

“The trip demonstrates President and Mrs Bush’s continued commitment to the people of Africa through the work of the George W. Bush Institute’s (GWBI) Global Health programme,” explained a statement issued by the George W. Bush Presidential Centre.

The tour will also highlight the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon initiative; an innovative partnership between GWBI, the US Department of State President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), Susan Komen for the Cure, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (Unaids) and other private partners.

During their visit in Africa, Mr. and Mrs. Bush are expected to emphasize the importance of the continued fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and other preventable diseases.

In 2001, President Bush announced the commitment of his administration to fighting the spread of preventable disease in Africa.

Now ten years on, a total of 6.6 million people in developing countries, among whom 4.7 million are in Africa, receive life saving anti-retroviral medication through PEPFAR, the Global Fund and the international community.

While in office, President and Mrs. Bush travelled to Africa in 2003 and 2008 and Mrs. Bush travelled seperately there in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

No ‘Arab Spring’ will occur in Sudan anytime soon, Bashir says

(KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir dismissed speculations about a possible ‘Arab Spring’ in his country suggesting it is a far-fetched scenario.

Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir (R) and presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie (L) - SUNA

“Those who are waiting for the Arab Spring to come will be waiting for a while,” Bashir told the first day of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) general conference.

He stressed that the Arab Spring in Sudan already took place through his bloodless coup which he led in 1989 against the democratically elected government of al-Sadiq al-Mahdi.

Bashir also revealed that the new cabinet will be formed in the coming days with what he said is wide participation from political forces.

The Sudanese leader said that the dialogue with political parties over the prior period will form a seed for crafting the new constitution.

But Bashir mocked those who talk about worsening economic political situation saying that they are the same ones riding luxurious cars, eating the best food and are safe in their homes.

He also vowed to crush the rebellions staged by the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

On the economic side, Bashir said that his party is working on combating poverty, curtailing government spending and addressing economic conditions resulting from the separation of the south and loss of the vast oil reserves as a result.

The NCP general conference will discuss amendments to the party’s statute which are expected to generate a lot of debate.

Mustafa Osman Ismail, NCP foreign relations officer, was quoted by Sudan official news agency (SUNA) as saying that changes will include percentages of representation at the General Conference or the Shura, or at the state level.

He said that the purpose of this is reducing the rates of selection and increasing rates of the sectors that come through conferences. He added that the proposed changes reduce selection rates from 10% to 5% and elevation across sectors from 20% to 15%.

There will also be increases to participation rate of youths and women in party structures, Ismail said.

US warns South Sudan on support to SPLM-N

November 22, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – South Sudan must cease any support it provides to Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) that is currently engaged in fighting with Khartoum in the border states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, the United States said today.

The message was delivered to the South Sudan government during a visit by the White House Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough to Juba and Khartoum that started last week.

The US special envoy to Sudan, Princeton Lyman and the interim US Chargé d’Affaires in Khartoum Mary C. Yates’ also participated in the meetings that took place.

“In Juba, Mr. McDonough and Special Envoy Lyman addressed these same crises and the need to respect the sovereignty of Sudan, including by ending support for the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile,” said a statement released by the National Security Council spokesman, Tommy Vietor.

Both states border the newly independent state of South Sudan and their population largely fought alongside the south during Sudan’s north-south second civil war 1983-2005.

"They reiterated the United States’ deep concern over continuing fighting in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile and the ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by the fighting, which is exacerbated by the Government of Sudan’s blocking of international humanitarian assistance to the civilian population," Vietor said.

The statement out of Washington will likely provide a moral boost to Khartoum which has lodged two complaints this year with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) claiming that Juba is aiding SPLM-N fighters.

Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir threatened that his country is running out of patience is prepared to go to war over South Sudan’s support to SPLM-N.

Sudan also accused the US of coordinating with the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) to condemn Khartoum in the UNSC. This came after United Nations said this month that Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) bombed a refugee camp inside South Sudan.

Khartoum says rebels use Darfur as tool for ’New Sudan’

November 20, 2011 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie ruled out new peace talks with Darfur rebel groups and accused them of attempting to use Darfur as tool for a vicious crisis called ’New Sudan.’

                                  Nafie Ali Nafie (Getty)

Three main rebel groups in Darfur and the SPLM-N formed a new alliance to oust the government of President Omer Hassan al-Bashir. The forces of Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) said they would work together in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan but pledged to fight the regime also in Khartoum.

The government has accused the non-signatories of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) of having a regime change agenda and of not being interested in reaching a negotiated settlement to the eight year conflict.

Speaking at a meeting of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) held in Nyala, capital of South Darfur, Nafie criticized the SRF, saying that some circles want to put Darfur at the heart of a continuing crisis called ’New Sudan,’ in an attempt to bring it again on the negotiating table.

He said that the government will not open talks with the rebel group, reiterating that Doha was the last venue for negotiations on the Darfur issue.

At the end of a two-day workshop organised this week by the US Institute of Peace in Washington, the State department called on the Sudanese parties to settle their differences by peaceful means. It also urged ’the Government of Sudan to remain open and flexible to negotiations with the armed movements.’

However, Nafie ruled out any talks with the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel al-Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) saying such process would lead to negotiate again on the agenda of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

The Sudanese government and the SPLM negotiated the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) for two years (2003-2005), which led to the secession of the South Sudan last July after a referendum on self-determination.

The presidential assistant said the establishment of the new rebel alliance is a tool of the West and the United States specifically. The NCP accuses the West of working to dismember the country into small states.

The presidential assistant minimized the importance of economic challenge facing his government. In addition he criticized the coalition of some "aging" political parties with the "South Sudan’s supported" SRF. The Sudanese official was referring to the opposition Popular Congress Party led by Hassan al-Turabi.

Nafie further stressed that security agencies can defeat the rebels with "a little determination, and address" and after that the West will deal with the government "on the basis of equality and mutual respect without ideological, economic dominance or dictates".

The SRF in its platform advocates for a secular and democratic Sudan based on the voluntary unity among the different regions. The United Nations criticized the rebel alliance saying it "represents a step further in a pattern of escalation that is counter-productive" and called on the parties to resume discussions.

State minister Amin Hassan Omer who is tasked with the enforcement of the Doha agreement urged the involvement of all Darfurians in the implementation of the peace deal. He stressed that the DDPD pledge to develop the region and provide services to Darfur’s people.

President Al-Bashir Affirms Sudan Support to Building of Strong Army in Somalia

Khartoum, Nov. 17 (SUNA) - President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer al-Bashir, has called for support for Somalia to build a strong army that is capable to impose security, the sovereignty of the state and to expand stability in the country, stressing that the Somali army is capable to do so.

    President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, President Al-Bashir

He referred to the situation of the African Union forces in Somalia.

In a press statement Thursday evening at the Guest House, following the talk held between the Sudanese and Somali sides in the framework of the visit of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, President Al-Bashir said that the talks were focused on establishment of a strong army in Somalia to impose sovereignty of the state and security.

He said that the consultations also tackled the situation of the African Union troops in Somalia and their performance, indicating that the Somali Army is the single body that is capable to deal with the security situation in Somalia.

President Al Bashir indicated that the talks included the security situation and the military and humanitarian aid in Somalia, saying that the security situation necessitates moving forward to the imposition of the control of security.

He said that the food and the humanitarian conditions needs further efforts to benefit the rain season for improving the situation of the Somali people and help them overcome the difficult conditions in Somalia which are being followed up by the whole world.

He said that the visit of President Sheikh Sharif to Sudan came within the framework of continuous consultations between the two countries and the concern of Sudan the Somalia issue since its beginning 21 years ago.

The Somali President would leave home on Friday by the end of his visit to Sudan.

Sudan’s interior minister says JEM leader is in remote North Darfur

November 16, 2011 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese Minister of Interior Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid said on Tuesday that the leader of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Khalil Ibrahim is in a remote area of North Darfur state.

Fille photo showing Khalil Ibrahim with some members of his group on 19 April 2008 (Reuters)

Since his return to Darfur from Libya last September, Sudanese officials issued conflicting statements over the presence of JEM leader inside Darfur region.

Minister Ibrahim stated today the security situation is improving despite the "international targeting" of the country and its resources. The minister was referring to the international condemnation of the bombing of a refugee camp inside South Sudan.

Speaking about the situation in Darfur, the Interior minister said the regular forces have successfully improved the security situation in the region. He stressed that UN reports on the voluntary return of displaced persons and refugees in Darfur, are the best proof of this improvement.

He went further to say that JEM leader is isolated in a far remote area of North Darfur "unable to move after the interruption of supply lines for his troops since the fall of Gaddafi’s (regime in Libya) and improved relations with Chad."

Last Month Sudanese army spokesperson, Al Sawarmi Khaled, asserted that JEM chairman is not inside the Sudan. He went to say "there is no evidence of his entry to Darfur." He added such reports are circulated by his rebel group to polish their image.

The minister also criticised a coalition of three Darfur rebel groups with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement–North (SPLM-N) terming it as an attempt to boost the morale of the defeated rebel groups.

The SPLM-N, JEM and the two faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur (SLM-AW) and the Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) announced formally last Friday the establishment of an alliance to overthrow the government in Khartoum.

ICC prosecutor to request arrest warrant for Sudan defence minister: report

November 15, 2011 (WASHINGTON) – The prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) will soon request an arrest warrant for Sudanese defence minister, Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, the website of Al-Arabiya TV reported.

Sudanese Defence Minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein (Reuters)

This will be the fourth case by the Hague-based tribunal on Darfur case since the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) referred the case to the ICC under a Chapter VII resolution.

The most high-profile case to date is that against Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir who has refused to recognize the court’s jurisdiction and vowed not to surrender any suspect.

In addition to the case against Bashir, the ICC 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.

The court has secured the appearance of three rebel leaders accused of an attack on African peacekeepers. Bahr Idriss Abu Garda was cleared during the confirmation of charges hearings last year. The other two Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus are awaiting trial though they don’t intend to contest carrying out the assault according to court documents.

’Investigators at the ICC Prosecutor’s Office have been collecting evidence against the Sudanese defence minister for a while now and these will be submitted to the pre-trial judges, once the indictment is announced, as our sources indicated, around Nov. 17 or 18 or the week starting Nov. 21,’ Al-Arabiya reporter in New York wrote.

The report did not give any specifics about the case being brought against the defence minister.

Hussein was the former minister of the interior and representative of the president for Darfur during the height of the conflict in the region 2003-2004.

Mainly non-Arab rebels from Darfur took up arms against Sudan’s government in 2003, accusing it of marginalising the remote western territory.

Khartoum mobilised troops and mostly-Arab militias to crush the uprising, unleashing a wave of violence that the UN estimates has killed 300,000 people and which Washington has described as genocide. Khartoum dismisses the accusation and puts the death toll at 10,000.

New Government and Commissioners of Khartoum State Announced

Khartoum, Nov. 14 (SUNA) - The Leadership Office of the National Congress of Khartoum State, headed by the National Congress Chairman in the state, Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Khidir, Monday approved formation of the new Khartoum State government.

                                  Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Khidir

The new state's Cabinet included appointment of Engineer Siddiq Mohamed Ali Al-Sheikh as the Deputy Wali (governor) of Khartoum State, Ustaza Layla Omer Bashir as the Minister of Finance and Manpower, Engineer Azhari Khalfalla as the Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Ustaza Mashaer Al-Doleb as the Minister of Orientation and Social Development, Engineer Dr. Ahmed Osman as the Minister of Water and Infrastructures, Gen.

(engineer) Al-Rasheed Osman Faqiri as the Minister of Planning and Physical Development, Dr. Mamoun Humaida as the Minister of Health, Dr. Yousif Tibin as the Chairman of the Higher Council for Environment and Cleaning, Mohamed Awad Al-Baroudi as the Chairman of the Higher Council of Culture and Arts, Engineer Al-Saeed Osman Mahjoub as the Chairman of the Higher Council for Strategic Planning, Al-Tayeb Hassan Al-Badawi as the Chairman of the Higher Council for Youth and Sports.

The new approximants included Omer Ahmed Ibrahim Nimir as the Commissioner of Khartoum Locality, Gen. (police) Ahmed Imam Al-Tuhami as the Commissioner of Omdurman Locality, Al-Naji Mohamed Ali as the Commissioner of Karari Locality, Abdul-Latif Abdalla Fedaili as the Commissioner of Um Badda Locality, Dr. Ammar Hamid Suleiman as the Commissioner of Eastern of the Nile Locality, Engineer Tariq Al-Mubarak as the Commissioner of Khartoum North Locality, Bashir Abdul-Gadir Abu-Kasawi as Commissioner at the state's headquarters and Hassan Mohamed Hassan Al-Jaafari as a commissioner at the state's headquarters.

Meanwhile, the Wali (governor) of Khartoum State, Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Khidir, said that the methodology adopted in the appointments for the state's ministers and commissioners dealt with assigning at the least 40% of the positions for the youths, 25% of the positions for women as well as reducing the number of the ministries from 11 to eight ministries, cancelling the positions of the constitutional advisors, decreasing the number and expenses of the national experts.

Sudan accuses its southern neighbor of seeking to undermine its security

November 14, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein has pointed fingers at South Sudan saying the latter is devoting all its resources to destabilize his country.

Sudan’s Defence Minister Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein (Reuters)

The top military official claimed that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) seized heavy armory belonging to South Sudan during the fighting with rebels from Sudan people Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) in Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

Both states border the newly independent state of South Sudan and their population largely fought alongside the south during Sudan’s north-south second civil war 1983-2005.

Hussein stressed in the interview with Al-Shorooq TV that South Sudan’s support to rebels has become “crystal clear” to the international community. He pointed out to new evidence they found showing SPLM-N rebels operating from areas inside South Sudan including Juba and Yei.

The Sudanese army has been fighting the SPLM-N rebels in South Kordofan since June and in Blue Nile since September. Khartoum accused the rebels of provoking the fighting while SPLM-N claimed that SAF wanted to forcibly disarm them.

Since the fighting started, Khartoum has accused Juba of providing military aid to the SPLM-N and as such has lodged two complaints so far this year with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) protesting this.

This week tensions escalated between the two countries after an SAF fighter jet was reported to have bombed a refugee camp inside South Sudan near the borders causing an unspecified number of casualties. The incident drew strong condemnation from the United Nations and the United States.

Sudan denied carrying out any military activity in the region and said that there are no refugee camps for Sudanese citizens in the south but gatherings of rebel groups.

The Sudanese defense minister echoed these statements saying that SAF does not have any military targets in South Sudan and that the battles are ongoing inside Sudan.

“It is not true that there are refugees from Sudan in the south, but there are Southern refugees in the North" Hussein said.

He also warned South Sudan that SAF soldiers fight for Islamic values and a nation.

"The brothers in the south must remember that they did not enter the cities of Juba, Wau and Malakal as conquerors, but they entered under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement" Hussein said.

In a related issue the Sudanese government said that the rebel alliance deal announced yesterday is new proof that South Sudan is hosting rebel leaders.

Yesterday the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the two main factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur (SLM-AW) and Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) and SPLM-N announced the establishment of a new alliance called the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF).

The statement issued by the SRF from an unspecified location is resolved to bring down the regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) through popular and military means. They also announced their determination to fight the regime in all of Sudan’s regions including the capital Khartoum.

The spokesperson of the Sudanese government Kamal Obeid said that Juba’s support to rebels is an indication of their ill intentions.

Obeid said that South Sudan is evading its main functions with regard to its relations with Sudan or neighboring countries. He said that the rebel groups were dependent on Libya and Chad for support and are now looking to Juba for help even though it has no means to do so

The NCP deputy media officer Yasir Youssef said that the new alliance is one with an agenda of racism and sabotage. He called on South Sudan to stop supporting the rebels and worry about its own internal problems.

Malawi explains to ICC why it didn’t arrest Sudan president

November 13, 2011 (WASHINGTON) – The government of Malawi responded to a request for an explanation by the judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on why it did not apprehend the Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, when he visited last month.

         Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir

Bashir is the first head of state charged by the Hague based court since its inception in 2002. He faces ten counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide he allegedly orchestrated in Darfur.

The African Union (AU), in several resolutions instructed its members not to comply with the arrest warrant even if they are ICC members. So far Kenya, Chad, Djibouti and Malawi are the African ICC members that have allowed Bashir to visit without issues.

The last trip to an ICC state party took Bashir to Malawi for the meetings of the 19-member Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). ICC judges afterwards asked Malawi to submit observations by November 11th on its refusal to arrest the Sudanese leader.

According to the Nyasa Times, Malawi said in its response that they gave Bashir all the immunities and privileges guaranteed to every visiting head of state and government which include, “freedom from arrest and prosecution within the territories of Malawi.”

This Malawi said was on the basis that Sudan is not party to the Rome Statute, arguing that Article 27 of the Rome Statute, which “waives the immunity of the Heads of State and Government,” was not, therefore, applicable.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has referred the Darfur case to the ICC under a Chapter VII resolution in 2005 since Sudan is not a state party to the court.

"Malawi accorded His Excellency President Al Bashir these privileges and immunities in line with the established principles of public international law, and in accordance with the Immunities and Privileges Act of Malawi."

Malawi further stated, “as a member of the African Union, [it] fully aligns itself with the position adopted by the African Union with respect to the indictment of the sitting Heads of State and Government of countries that are not state parties to the Rome Statute.

Nonetheless, the African state said it reconfirms its unflinching commitment to the Rome Statute in combating impunity and ensuring that the world is free of heinous crimes like those specified in the Statute.

Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika has previously said that African leaders should not be dragged to the ICC for offenses committed in Africa.

"Why on earth should your leaders be dragged to the Hague when your judges are right here," he said.

African judges and the judicial system "would be seen to be admitting failure if they continue to allow its own leaders to appear before an international judiciary for offenses committed on the African continent."

"We Africans must stand up and be courageous to try our own leaders so that no African should be dragged to court outside our own judiciary system," he said.

The US and European nations have issued statements criticizing Malawi for failing to adhere to its legal obligations further adding to its diplomatic isolation

Major aid donors suspended packages worth around $1 billion over concerns about human rights abuses and maladministration by President Bingu wa Mutharika, who drew international condemnation when his forces killed 20 protesters at anti-government rallies in July.

The US leading Congressman Frank Wolf had asked President Obama to suspend aid to Malawi as a result of hosting Bashir.

"The very thought of US taxpayers providing money to a country that has opened its doors to wanted war criminal should be reason enough to cancel both the MCC and American foreign aid funding all together for Malawi," Wolf wrote in letters to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

S. Sudan’s Kiir rules out return to war with north

By Julius N. Uma

November 11, 2011 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir on Thursday ruled out the possibility of a return to war with the north and urged the UN Security Council (UNSC) to intervene regarding Khartoum’s recent threats to invade the south.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (R) and his South Sudan counterpart Salva Kiir hold a joint press conference in Khartoum on October 9, 2011 (Getty)

Addressing diplomats, the international community and the media in Juba, the South Sudan capital, Kiir described recent accusations by Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir, alleging that the south was supplying arms to opposition groups in Sudan as provocative.

In response, however, the Sudanese government, on Saturday, announced that it had lodged a complaint with the UNSC against its southern neighbour, based on allegations it had been supporting rebellions in Darfur, South Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile.

In 2005, north and South Sudan signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) a deal which ended more than two decades of civil war and setting a path which led to South Sudan’s independence in July 2011.

This is the second time since August that Khartoum has filed a complaint against South Sudan with the UNSC, just three months after the latter declared its independence.

“We categorically reject these claims to be utterly baseless and malicious,” said Kiir.

The president also dismissed recent claims by the northern government as “totally unfounded.” The north had said that South Sudan was hosting opposition forces that fled as a result of intense fighting in Blue Nile’s Sali area.

According to Kiir, those who fled the fighting were mainly legitimate refugees in search of safety. He appealed to the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to the estimated 1,000 civilians displaced in the border areas of Renk.

“It is surprising that Sudan as a member of the United Nations has arrogated itself to threaten the sovereignty of the Republic of South Sudan through military invasion. This is an issue of grave concern and contradicts the spirit of the CPA,” he said.

The South Sudan leader largely blamed his northern counterpart for his reluctance to have outstanding post-CPA issues resolved, citing issues like the north-south border demarcation, Abyei referendum and popular consultations in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

“It is unfortunate that even if we have agreed to demarcate the border between the two states, Khartoum remains resolutely opposed to any process that would lead to a peaceful resolution of the dispute over a number of contested border areas,” he remarked.

On the disputed oil-producing Abyei region, Kiir said its illegal occupation by northern forces-SAF and refusal to withdraw as a UNSC requirement, remains a potential threat to regional peace and security.

Kiir strongly condemned Wednesday’s incident in which northern war planes reportedly bombarded Guffa village in North Eastern Upper Nile state, killing seven people.

“We are committed to peaceful resolutions to any conflict but we will never allow our sovereignty to be violated by anybody,” he remarked.

The US embassy in South Sudan, on Wednesday, issued a strong statement condemning "in the strongest possible terms" the incident in what analysts largely view as a culmination of renewed tension between the two neighboring nations.

It also stated that, the "indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilian targets always is unacceptable and unjustified," and expressed concern that the attacks "increase the potential of direct confrontation between Sudan and South Sudan."

South Sudan’s Kiir hits back at Bashir over recent remarks

November 10, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The president of South Sudan Salva Kiir, today lashed out at his northern counterpart Omer Hassan al-Bashir, accusing him of seeking to deflect away from his own internal problems by blaming other parties for it.

FILE - South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir (L) and Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir wave to the crowd during the Independence Day ceremony in Juba July 9, 2011 (Reuters)

In remarks delivered at the graduation ceremony of the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) in Eastern Equatoria state, Kiir called on Bashir to sit down with his own people in order to resolve the flaring conflicts in Sudan.

The Government of South Sudan (GoSS) website also quoted Kiir as dismissing Bashir’s allegations that the SPLA is providing support to rebels fighting Khartoum in the border states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

Kiir described Bashir’s assertions as a form of escape from his own internal political problems adding that the Sudanese leader is keeping his soldiers away in the battle fields so that they do not turn against him.

Last Sunday, Bashir warned South Sudan that his country is running out of patience and that he is prepared to go to war.

He claimed that his Khartoum was in possession of evidences indicating that the south was preparing to launch a war against the Sudanese Army (SAF), threatening that his country would respond in kind.

The SAF are battling fighters from the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Khartoum accused the SPLM-N of seeking a regime change and attempting to create ’a second Benghazi’ in reference to the Libyan coastal city which instigated the rebellion against the 41-year-long rule of Muammar Gaddafi.

But the SPLM-N claimed that it was forced to defend itself in face of attempts by SAF to forcibly disarm their fighters.

This month, Sudan lodged its second complaint in 2011 with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) detailing accounts corroborating its assertions that South Sudan is providing military support to the anti-government rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

South Sudan became an independent nation in July and remarks from leaders in Khartoum and Juba at the time promised cordial and constructive relations between the two neighbours.

Kiir also disclosed today that at least seven people were killed in Upper Nile state as a result of aerial bombardment by SAF.

The United States issued a condemnation of the purported attack.

"The United States strongly condemns in the strongest possible terms the aerial bombardment by the Sudan Armed Forces that occurred near the international border between Sudan and South Sudan, including reportedly the South Sudanese towns of Yafta and Bew Quaffa," said Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman. Such "indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilian targets always is unacceptable and unjustified," Toner stressed.

"The provocative aerial bombardments near the border increase the potential of direct confrontation between Sudan and South Sudan," he added.

"This attack only further emphasises the need for an immediate halt to indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas by the Sudan Armed Forces, and a resolution to the conflict through a resumption of political talks," he said.

Sudan’s DUP leader leaves door open for joining NCP-led government

 Corrected version: Al Mirgahi also slammed DUP members who seek to join the new NCP’s government

November 9, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani on Sunday appeared to leave the door open for joining the upcoming cabinet despite earlier assertions to the contrary.

Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir (L) receiving Eod al-Adha greetings from Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) chief Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani November 7, 2011 (SUNA)

The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has been in intensive talks for months with major opposition parties seeking to convince them to join the new government which would be the first after the secession of the south last July.

The National Umma Party (NUP) led by former Prime Minister al-Sadiq al-Mahdi has formally rejected participation and ended bilateral talks with the NCP.

But officials from al-Mirghani’s party on the other hand have given conflicting signs on the DUP stance ranging from total refusal to confirming that they will join once cabinet allocations are agreed on with the NCP.

Addressing supporters following Eid al-Adha prayers over the weekend, al-Mirghani said that the final decision lies with the party’s bases.

The DUP chief said that current issues will be handled with firmness and wisdom away from the frivolity. He added that a specialized committee is reviewing issues concerning participation and will present outcome to the party leadership.

But in remarks he made the same day outside the Khatmiya mosque of Abd al-Aziz Mohamed Hassan, Mirghani accused those seeking to enter the new government of trying to create discord within the DUP.

He also questioned what benefit the DUP would gain from joining a "politicized" cabinet with an approach known to serve certain people.

Several leading figures within the DUP have been pushing for participating in the new government prompting angry response from al-Mirghani and threats of expulsion for them.

Another sticky issue is demand made by president Omer Hassan al-Bashir that the DUP fires Ali Mahmood Hassanein and Al-Tom Hago for supporting a regime change.

The cabinet formation has been delayed several times pending a final position by the DUP. The NCP has voiced frustration with the DUP and threatened to proceed with announcing the new government.

Observers say that despite the NCP achieving a landslide victory in April 2010 elections, it still feels the need for bolstering its legitimacy by having opposition parties entering the cabinet.

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