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December 2011 - Posts

President urges followers of Justice and Equality Movement to join peace process

Khartoum. Dec. 31 (SUNA)- The President of the Republic Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir has called on those who followed what it so-called the Justice and Equality Movement, with its falsehoods and the stubbornness of its leader, who paid the price for killing and bloodshed against the Sudanese people, to join the peace process and to take the side of dialogue for the sake of peace.

                Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir

In his address today on the occasion of the 56th anniversary of Independence, President Al-Bashir said that our doors are open for whoever wants and seeks peace, and for whoever does not rely on foreign powers and brutal agendas.

President Al-Bashir said that any movement or group that raises up arms against the state will not be stronger than the countries that besieged, fought and attacked Sudan, but they had failed.

President Al-Bashir affirmed government's determination to expand political participation, pointing out that an agreement was reached with the partners in the government on a tripartite charter on economic reform and alleviation of burdens on the citizens.

BREAKING NEWS: Lou-Nuer armed youth enter Pibor town

December 31, 2011 (JUBA) – Armed members of the Lou-Nuer ethnic group today attacked Pibor town, home of the Murle tribe, in defiance of efforts by senior politicians to diffuse tension in Jonglei state’s Pibor county.

Lou Nuer youth listen to VP Riek Machar at Linkuangole on Wednesday Dec. 28, 2011

Vice President, Riek Machar, and other senior members of the South Sudanese government met with the leaders of both groups this week to try and prevent further violence.

Around 3,000 youth entered Pibor town today setting fire to houses, according to acting Pibor county commissioner Allan Keriri.

Eyewitnesses told Sudan that the Luo-Nuer youth control most of the town including the airport. They have made the main county hospital their base inside the town.

Machar, was still in the previously captured Likwangole town trying to negotiate with the Luo-Nuer youth by phone when the attack occurred.

Lou Nuer youth listen to VP Riek Machar at Linkuangole on Wednesday Dec. 28, 2011

The youth who entered the town at around 3pm said they will continue to capture other Murle areas in search of 180 Luo-Nuer children they claim the Murle abducted in August.

The Luo-Nuer say there offensive is in response to an attack in August, blaimed on the Murle, in which more than 700 of their members, mostly women and children, by armed youth from the Murle community in a village called Pieri in August.

This year over 1,000 people have died in Jonglei state in reciprocal attacks, which began as cattle raids but have escalated into retaliatory violence along ethnic lines.

More to follow...

Sudan: Khartoum University’s students hold massive protest against police, administration

December 30, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – A massive student protest took place on Thursday inside the campus of Khartoum University against the background of last week’s events in which the Sudanese police entered the university twice and cracked down on students.

Thursday’s protest at Khartoum University (ST)

The genesis of the crisis dates back to Thursday, 22 December, when police forces entered the university and fired teargas to disperse a protest held inside by students affiliated to Al-Manasir, a riverine population displaced by the construction of a government dam upcountry, and others belonging to anti-government groups.

In protest of Thursday’s crackdown and a subsequent university administration’s resolution authorizing the police to enter the campus, the students refused to sit for exams and held a sit-in on Sunday, prompting new clashes with police forces which broke in again and arrested over 70 students.

Around 5,000 students toured the university’s campus on Thursday and delivered a strongly-worded memo to the university’s administration, calling for the resignation of its director Sidiq Haiati on the grounds of what they termed as acts of “administrative collusion” which allowed police forces to invade the campus and arrest students.

The memo also called for holding police forces accountable and receiving an apology from the ministry of interior as well as compensating the students who were affected by the incidents.

Sudanese authorities accuse opposition political parties of standing behind the unrest in Khartoum University. The chief of police in Khartoum State this week said that their forces were ready to continue fighting the protests.

Sudan has largely survived this year’s wave of popular uprisings which swept across the Middle East and toppled long-ruling autocratic regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

But public discontent is growing due to worsening economic conditions created by the departure of oil-producing South Sudan as well as the eruption of wars in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Minnesota banks to stop money transfers to Somalia

In an effort to cut off funds to Somali terrorists, banks in Minnesota will no longer support money transfers via local businesses called “hawalas”; Minnesota has the largest concentration of Somalis in the United States and officials fear that money sent from relatives living in the United States could be funding terrorist groups like al Shabaab.

In an effort to cut off funds to Somali terrorists, banks in Minnesota will no longer support money transfers via local businesses called “hawalas.”

Minnesota has the largest concentration of Somalis in the United States and officials fear that money sent from relatives living in the United States could be funding terrorist groups like al Shabaab. 

On 15 December, Franklin Bank, the last remaining bank to support hawalas, will discontinue its wire services to Somalia, which has Somalis in Minnesota panicking. Without hawalas Somalis worry that their families in their home country will have no way of supporting themselves.

Somalia’s financial infrastructure is largely inexistent and many families there depend on remittances from relatives living abroad to survive. To make matters worse, Somalia is currently experiencing one of its worst famines in history.

This is going to have a massive negative effect on Somali, Kenyan, and Ethiopian populations who are facing one of the worst recorded famines and droughts in recent history,” said Aden Hassan, a spokesman for the Somali American Money Wiring Association

The CIA estimates that Somalia receives roughly $1.6 billion in remittances each year from around the world.

According to Hassen, sending money through hawalas is relatively easy for individuals, but banks who execute the transfers must complete a complicated series of steps to comply with federal standards to ensure that funds are not being sent to terrorist groups there.

New financial regulations were put in place following the 9/11 attacks to crack down on funding to terrorist organizations, which resulted in Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, and TCF from dropping its support to hawalas.

In Minnesota, Sunrise Community Banks, a local family owned bank which runs Franklin Bank, began working with the Somali community to service hawalas three years ago, but made its most recent decision to end their relationship due to several recent incidents where individuals in the United States were arrested for financing al Shabaab using the hawala system.

In October two Somali women living in Rochester, Minnesota were convicted of funneling money to al Shabaab using hawalas. The two women were accused of going door to door in an effort to raise funds for the terrorist organization. Meanwhile, earlier this month, a woman in San Diego pled guilty to sending money to al Shabaab fighters using hawalas.

David Reiling, the CEO of Sunrise Community Banks, said the bank’s decision was difficult to make given the urgent humanitarian crisis in the region but ultimately concerns over terrorism prevailed.

Reiling said the bank plans to develop a solution that will allow Somalis to safely transfer money without it falling into the hands of terrorist.

“My bank wants to continue wiring money to Somalia but has to find a way to remove the risk,” he said. “The sheer magnitude, of the human need, weighs very heavily on my shoulders. Yes we have a banking issue and we all want to ensure that money does not get into the wrong hands. I think it’s up to all of us to try to find a solution.”

Until a solution is reached, however, “the only way we know at the moment to mitigate that risk is to close these accounts until we can find another solution to work with government to re-establish those lines,” Reiling said.

To help ensure that Somalis in Minnesota can send money to their families, Senator Al Franken (D – Minnesota) has sent letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner urging them to explore alternative methods to transfer money.

”Ending remittances from the United States would be a victory for al Shabab which could claim America was preventing needed funds from getting to suffering Somalis,” Franken said. 

President Al-Bashir receives Mishaal and Hanniya and Review Developments in Palestinian Question

Khartoum, Dec. 30 (SUNA)- President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, Thursday received at the Guest House a high-level delegation of the Palestinian HAMAS movement, co-headed by chairman of the movement's Political Bureau, Khalid Mishaal, and the leader of HAMAS, Ismail Hanniya.

The meeting discussed the developments in the Palestinian reconciliation, the issue of reform at the Palestinian Liberation Movement and the developments at the Arab World and the world concerning the Palestinian question.

In a press statement after the meeting, Mishaal expressed the Palestinian people's thanks and gratitude to the Sudanese people over their concern and support to the Palestinian and Al-Quds issues.

Mishaal said that the Holy Quds is targeted by migration, judization and digging by the Israeli enemy.
He said that HAMAS delegation was briefed by the President of the Republic on the situation in Sudan, appreciating the firm ties between Palestine and Sudan.

Meanwhile, HAMAS leader, Ismail Hanniya, said that they acquainted President Al-Bashir on the developments at Gaza.

He said that Sudan has exerted much efforts for lifting the siege on Gaza.

Hanniya affirmed the necessity of material and moral support for bolstering the Palestinian steadfastness, affirming the importance of the political support to Quds as the capital of Palestine.

Death of Darfur rebel leader sparks student brawl in Sudan’s capital

December 29, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – At least twelve students have been injured when violent clashes erupted at a Sudanese university on Wednesday between supporters of Darfur rebels and those of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

Eye witnessed told Sudan Tribune that students affiliated to the Darfur rebels, Justice and equality Movement (JEM), whose leader Khalil Ibrahim was killed over the weekend, clashed with NCP’s students at Sudan University in downtown Khartoum, leading to a police crackdown in which teargas was heavily used.

According to the witnesses, the story began when JEM’s students held a gathering in which they denounced the Sudanese authorities for using force to disperse a mourning pavilion setup by the slain leader’s family in southern Khartoum.

They added that the confrontation started when NCP students responded by accusing Khalil of being a traitor.

As the clashes spiraled out of the university campus, police forces intervened and fired teargas to break up the altercating factions.

The sources reported that twelve students sustained injuries while others fell on the ground due to the teargas.

The death of Khalil Ibrahim and the wave of anti-government protests witnessed recently in some universities have evidently alarmed the authorities in Khartoum State whose governor last week announced the formation of a new security-monitoring unit comprised of 33 groups tasked specifically with countering “riot activities” in the capital.

Sudan’s spy chief vows to wipe out rebellions

December 29, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s top intelligence official has promised to eradicate all rebellions in the country by next year, warning that the fate of the slain Darfur rebel leader, Khalil Ibrahim, awaits all those carrying arms against the state.

Sudan’s spy chief Mohamed Atta

Mohamed Atta al-Moula, who heads Sudan’s fearsome National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), took his vow while addressing a parade while addressing a parade of NISS agents in Khartoum on Wednesday, according to the Sudanese Media Center (SMC), an NISS-run website.

The NISS chief saluted members of the regular forces, including the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), the police and the paramilitary Popular Defense Forces (PDF) for what he termed as their strong stand-up against whom he called the traitors and deserters of the Darfur rebels, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), which Atta branded as a terrorist organization.

Atta stressed that the year 2012 would be a year for “wiping out” rebellions against the state as well as whoever is tempted to threaten the security of Sudanese people.

He further warned that all rebels would meet a fate similar to that of Khalil.

The Sudanese government is fighting different rebel groups in the country’s tense and neglected peripheries, including the western region of Darfur, where JEM and two factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) are active, and the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, where rebels linked to South Sudan are fighting.

Leaders of Sudan’s security and military apparatus have been priding themselves in the killing over the weekend of JEM’s leader Khalil Ibrahim in an airstrike conducted by a fighter jet at 3 am.

Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Mohamed Hussein told the country’s parliamentarians on Tuesday that the killing of Khalil was tantamount to beheading the rebellion in Darfur.

Sudan’s president Omer Al-Bashir was more scathing when he considered the death of Khalil as “a divine retribution” resulting from what he termed as his choice to pursue the path of war, terrorizing the innocents and working to break up the unity of the country.

JEM quickly slammed Al-Bashir comments, saying that he should be the first target of such retribution considering the crimes he committed in Darfur region.

President Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of masterminding war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide allegedly committed in the early years of Darfur conflict.

In a related context, the leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP), Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, has warned against jubilation over Khalil’s death.

Al-Mahdi led a delegation of his party on Tuesday to the house of Khalil’s family in Id Hussein suburb in southern Khartoum and offered his condolences to the members of his family.

The NUP leader said that the loss of Khalil was a loss to the entire nation. He went on to note that despite the difference in the approach, his party and Khalil share one cause which is that of establishing a new system in Sudan that achieves equality and redress grievances between its people.

“Death will not negate the legitimacy of the cause, and we must admit that the country has problems and those problems will not be solved by violence,” he added.

Al-Mahdi cautioned against the dangers of expressing jubilation over Khalil’s death or seeking to avenge it. He said that what everyone should be thinking about is how to find a solution that creates a new system that embraces everyone, remedies grievances and enables Darfur people to attain their legitimate aspirations.”

UK to cancel all of Sudan’s debt by 2014

December 29, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The British government intends to forgive more than $ 1 billion in debt owed by Sudan over the next few years, according to a report by the Financial Times.

Officials at the UK Department for International Development told the Financial Times that cancelling the debt of countries such as Sudan would be counted as part of the target to spend 0.7% of national income on foreign aid by 2014.

The newspaper said that Britain is expected to relieve Sudan of £740 million ($1.2 billion) in debt.

It noted that Sudan defaulted on its £173m debt to the UK in 1984 under the rule of late President Ja’afar Nimeiri, and ever since it has not made a single repayment.

But with astronomical interests rates that ranged between 10%-12% annually the debt now stands at £678 million ($1.0 billion).

The UK-based Jubilee Debt Campaign, which says that debt repayments and loan conditions cripple economic development in poor countries, criticized the move on Sudan’s debt and suggested that it is simply a smoke screen.

“Any debt cancellation for Sudan is not aid,” said Tim Jones, policy officer at the Jubilee Debt Campaign.

“Most of the debt is made-up money based on ridiculously high interest rates. The debt should be cancelled because it is unjust and unpayable, not used to meet targets and massage figures” he said.

But the UK Department for International Development defended its debt cancellation policy.

“By cancelling debts, we are freeing up money that can then be spent tackling poverty and providing essential services such as schools and hospitals to their people” it argued.

Sudan has been lobbying the international community intensively to have its debt canceled as a reward for letting South Sudan secede peacefully last July.

Sudan and South Sudan are negotiating how to split up the national debt but no progress has been made up so far.

Legal experts say that until a deal is reached between Sudan and South Sudan on splitting up national debt, Khartoum is liable for making the necessary payments.

Most of Sudan’s debt dates back to the days of president Nimeiri. It grew from $9 billion in 1985 to $37.8 billion. The majority of it is owed to the Arab Gulf States of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Last September, the Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti wanted of economic collapse in his country unless the international community steps in to assist particularly with regards to debt relief.

"We are working also on debt relief with France and others, because debt servicing incurs more than $1 billion annually," Karti told reporters in Paris at the time following a meeting with his French counterpart Alain Juppe.

He said that the world could not simply stand back and watch the economy collapse describing the economy’s woes as "really serious".

South Sudan took 75% of the country’s oil reserves that existed under a united Sudan which meant that the north lost billions of dollars in revenues that have helped fuel an economic boom particularly since a peace agreement was signed between Khartoum and southern rebels in 2005.

The North African nation is now witnessing chronic shortage in foreign currency, soaring inflation rates and decline in value of the pound.

Darfur JEM scoffs at Bashir’s labeling of Khalil’s death as ‘divine retribution’

December 28, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) dismissed as “moral bankruptcy” the remarks made today by Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir in which he described the killing of JEM chief Khalil Ibrahim as “divine retribution”.

Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, left, moves to embrace Khalil Ibrahim
FILE - Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, left, moves to embrace Khalil Ibrahim, leader of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in Doha February 24, 2010 (Reuters)

Ibrahim was killed over the weekend in North Kordofan during his sleep in a strike conducted by a fighter jet around 3am.

Several rebel sources privately accuse two neighboring countries and an Arab Gulf state of coordinating the killing of Ibrahim using a drone aircraft.

Addressing the graduation ceremony of Staff & Command 38th class, Bashir said that Ibrahim’s death was a result of his choice to pursue the path of war, terrorizing the innocents and working to break up the unity of the country.

The Sudanese president added that Ibrahim’s demise is a message to “domestic parties” that have failed to differentiate between opposing government and opposing the nation. He added that these parties could not comprehend the regional changes including normalization of ties with Chad, the downfall of Gaddafi’s regime in Libya and the Doha peace accord signed last July.

Bashir concluded by stressing that it was “divine retribution” which put an end to Ibrahim’s life as a payback for his crimes committed against civilians. He went on to say that this ends a chapter of hatred and discord among the people.

But a senior JEM official quickly rebuffed Bashir’s statements.

“His [Bashir] statements represent moral bankruptcy and total detachment from reality. This is a new low in political practice,” Ahmed Hussein Adam the external relations secretary at JEM told Sudan Tribune.

“If it is about divine justice then Bashir would be its first target on account of the crimes he committed against the Sudanese people throughout his rule. The assassination of Khalil does not in any way change the fact that Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide in Darfur” Hussein said.

The JEM official warned that the assassination of their leader sets a “dangerous” precedent in Sudan.

“This has been condemned by all parties in Sudan and there is clearly public anger over this legitimizing of political assassinations,” he said.

“The regime now belatedly realizes that by killing Khalil they made him a symbol that united all of Sudan. They are now very scared. If they weren’t why did they forcibly displace the condolence ceremony for Khalil’s family in Khartoum?”

“It is bizarre that Bashir talks about Gaddafi’s removal being a positive thing. Wasn’t it Gaddafi that ferociously defended him against the ICC warrant and received him frequently? It is Bashir not JEM who should be concerned about the disappearance of Gaddafi from the stage” Hussein said.

The JEM official underscored that the rebel movement remains “united and determined” to achieve its goals of “unity, democracy and justice” for the people of Sudan.

Republican Decree Appointing Members of Executive Council of Darfur Regional Authority Issued

Khartoum, Dec. 27 (SUNA)- President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, has issued a Republican Decree appointing the following as members of the Executive Authority for Darfur Regional Authority:-

                     Marshal Omer Al-Bashir

1- Yassin Yousif Ibrahim: Assistant Chairman of Darfur RegionalAuthority for the Authority's Affairs.

2- Amina Haroun: The Minister of Finance and National Planning.*
*Ibrahim Mahmoud Musa Madibu: The Minister of Culture, Information and Tourism.

3- Tajal-Sir Bashir Niyam: The Minister of Rehabilitation, Development and Infrastructures.
*Mohamed Yousif Al-Telaib Ghabbash: Minister of Darfur Regional Authority's Council.

4- Osman Mohamed Al-Bushra Abbakar: The Minister of Health Affairs.
*Hussein Abdul-Rahman Hassan Ibrahim: Minister of Youth and Sports.

5- Osman Fadul Wash: Minister of Technology Development and Capacity Building.

6- Azhari Al-Tahir Ahmed Shatta: Voluntary Repatriation and Resettlement Commissioner.

7- Abdul-Hamid Ahmed Amin Abdul-Hamid: Commissioner for Justice, Fact and Reconciliation.

8- Adam Abdul-Rahman Ahmed Abdalla: Commissioner for Lands.

9- Major General Tajal-Sir Abdul-Rahman Abdalla Ahmed: Commissioner for Security Arrangements.

JEM leader killed in NATO style bombing of Gaddafi, Turabi says

December 27, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The head of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) Hassan al-Turabi likened the recent killing of a Darfur rebel leader to the slaying of late Libyan ex-top man Muammar Gaddafi last October after his convoy was hit by NATO warplanes.

Islamist Sudanese opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi (AFP)

In remarks made to reporters after the demise of Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Chief Khalil Ibrahim was confirmed, Turabi said that the attack targeted Ibrahim’s vehicle killing him and a lone bodyguard while others around them escaped unharmed.

The Darfur rebel group issued a statement on Sunday saying that regional powers were involved in the assassination of its leader. JEM spokesperson Gibreel Adam Bilal told Sudan Tribune that Ibrahim was killed in his sleep in a strike conducted by a fighter jet around 3 am.

Bilal denied that Ibrahim was killed in the ongoing battles between JEM and the Sudanese army in North Kordofan state.

Several rebel sources privately accuse two neighboring countries and an Arab Gulf state of coordinating the killing of Ibrahim using a drone aircraft.

Turabi paid condolences to Ibrahim’s family in Khartoum but rejected suggestions that this proves the PCP link with JEM which the government has been alleging for years. He emphasized that he disagreed with Ibrahim in methods used to fight the regime.

The Islamist opposition leader said his disagreements with Ibrahim were similar to his reservations towards the late al-Qaeda head Osama Bin Laden whom he said used “harmful force”.

“I won’t do that” Turabi said before adding “If Islamists in the [Sudanese] army worked staged a coup and overthrew the regime I won’t be with them. That’s it. Our religious thought has developed”.

Turabi was the mastermind behind the 1989 coup led by president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir. But the pair fell out following the introduction of a bill to limit the president’s powers in 1999, a move which the president resisted by dissolving parliament and declaring a state of emergency.

“What I said about Bin laden applies to Khalil. I know him as an Islamist, a top-class Islamist. I know he is a patriot, a leader and a brave man for his cause and it was him who started negotiations in Doha [with Khartoum]” Turabi said.

“But the accord was betrayed after the government kicked out aid agencies and refused to release his POW’s” he added.

He also expressed fear that Darfur might eventually secede similar to South Sudan which became an independent state last July.

Turabi also vehemently denied remarks attributed to him saying that Ibrahim picked a successor describing it as a "fabrication’.

He also dismissed links between the detention of his aide Ibrahim al-Sanoosi on his way back from Juba and JEM’s recent offensive.

Vengeful JEM says foreign countries conspired with Sudan to kill its leader

December 26, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – Darfur rebels, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), have vowed to avenge the killing of its leader Khalil Ibrahim, alluding to foreign involvement in his demise.

Khalil Ibrahim, leader of JEM until his death this week. (File)

JEM’s account of how Ibrahim was killed has contrasted with that of the Sudanese government, which has beefed up security in the capital Khartoum and prevented the slain leader’s bereaved family from receiving condolences.

News of Ibrahim’s death was first announced to the media late on Saturday by Al-Sawarmi Khaled Saad, the official spokesperson of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF).

According to Sawarmi, Ibrahim died on Saturday afternoon after succumbing to a severe injury he sustained during clashes earlier on Thursday between his forces and those of SAF in the Wad Banda area of North Kordofan State, which borders Darfur.

While JEM kept saying that its forces were moving towards the capital Khartoum, SAF claimed that Khalil was killed as he was leading his forces towards the newly independent Republic of South Sudan, which Khartoum routinely accuses of aiding Darfur rebels.

Abdallah Masar, minister of information and Sudanese government spokesperson said Sunday in Khartoum that Khalil Ibrahim was heading to Juba to attend a meeting of the leadership of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front, which is planned to take place in Kampala on 28 December.

JEM, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, and two factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur and Minni Minnawi forged an alliance aiming to topple the Sudanese regime last month.

In a press conference he held later on Sunday in Khartoum, Al-Sawarmi detailed their account of Khalil’s death, saying that he sustained a deep wound "during clashes" with SAF forces on Thursday and afterwards was evacuated by his forces to Um Gurhuman area and later to an area called Al-Mazra’ah where he died.

He further said JEM rebels had buried him in the same area on Saturday evening.

But the rebels offered a different account of their leader’s death, saying he was killed in a sophisticated air strike.

In a somber statement issued on Sunday, JEM’s spokesperson Gibreel Adam Bilal, confirmed reports of the leader’s death.

The statement said that Ibrahim was "martyred" along with one of his guards at 3am local time on Friday by a missile attack launched from an unidentified jet fighter with a level of precision unknown to the Sudanese army’s air forces.

"This indicates a collusion and conspiracy by some quarters in the regional and international milieu with the regime of genocide in Khartoum," stressed the spokesperson.

JEM’s statement omitted to mention the location of Ibrahim’s burial but Sudan Tribune’s sources said that Khalil’s body was interred where his convoy was attacked south east of Nyala, the provincial capital of South Darfur State.

SAF, however dispute this and say there were no clashes between the rebel force travelling with Khalil Ibrahim and the army.

JEM’s spokesman threatened to bring double retaliation against Ibrahim’s "murderers".

"Those who assassinated him will pay double price," he declared.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune, Gibreel asserted that JEM will keep on the fight in order to topple down the regime of the National Congress Party through armed struggle.

"We spoke in the past about the political and military means to overthrow the regime but from now onwards the gun will be our sole voice with the regime," he said alluding to a new stance on the peace process taken by the rebel group.

"By this plot, Khartoum opened the door for political murders. They have to get ready for that and assume the consequences of theirs action," he warned.

Meanwhile in Khartoum, the authorities intensified deployment of police forces and cracked down on a crowd gathered at a morning pavilion setup by Ibrahim’s family which resides in one of the sprawling capital’s remote suburbs.

Eye witnesses in Khartoum told Sudan Tribune that police forces had surrounded the house of Ibrahim’s family in Id Hussain suburb on Sunday and fired teargas to disperse dozens of people who turned up to offer condolences.

In response, the witnesses added, the crowd was shouting "Martyr martyr, Khalil is a martyr."

Among those who arrived at house of Khalil’s family to offer condolences were the two daughters of the prominent Islamist leader Hassan Al-Turabi who is alleged to have links with Ibrahim and his group.

Khalil Ibrahim’s successor?

Ibrahim’s demise at the age of 53 has given rise to various speculation as to who will succeed him in the helm of the heavily armed rebel group, which he founded and led since 2003.

In reference to this point, JEM’s spokesman mentioned in his statement that the movement’s legislative council would designate an acting leader who will arrange for a vote to elect a new leader after two months.

However, sources close to JEM told Sudan Tribune that Ibrahim’s deputy, Ahmad Bakhit, has a good chance of acceding to the movement’s throne. Other sources however favoured JEM secretary for foreign relations Gibril Ibrahim, who also happens to be the brother of Khalil Ibrahim

Sudan announces killing of Khalil Ibrahim

December 25, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The spokesperson of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) Al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad announced that the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Khalil Ibrahim has been killed in the ongoing battles in Kordofan.

JEM spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

There were unconfirmed reports earlier in the day that JEM chief was injured during the clashes with Sudanese troops.

It is expected that JEM would issue a statement on this sometime on Sunday.

On Saturday the Sudanese authorities acknowledged that JEM has launched wide scale attacks for the second day in remote areas on the borders of North Kordofan state and North Darfur.

The governor of North Darfur Osman Kibir had said that JEM attacked 20 villages and carried out killing and looting among ordinary citizens.

Sudan’s central bank outlines its 2012 policies

December 24, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The governor of Sudan’s Central Bank Mohamed Khair al-Zubair said the bank in the upcoming period will focus on ensuring the stability of the exchange rate, balancing demand and supply by boosting domestic production and cutting down government borrowing from the banking sector.

FILE - An official leaves after a news conference presenting Sudan’s new currency at the Central Bank headquarters in Khartoum July 16, 2011 (Reuters)

In his meeting with Sudanese business owners, al-Zubair also revealed that among new policies would be the expansion in gold exports through the Central Bank by establishing a stock exchange for gold and encouraging foreign currency investments as well as regulating the flow of remittances from expatriates abroad.

The governor also called on the private sector to take advantage of regional funding institutions and international organizations such as the Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development, Kuwaiti and the Saudi development funds, Islamic Development Bank, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Al-Zubair said that Sudan has begun to attract the internal and external support for implementing its three-tier development plans starting from the next budget. He added that the Bank of Sudan will continue its policies to strengthen the microfinance projects and provide financial support to revive small industries in the country by allocating 12% of the banks’ portfolio for financing.

He explained that there is $100 million in available funding from agricultural and the Industrial Banks to help in financing projects.

Last July, the oil-rich South Sudan broke away to become a separate nation denying the north billions of dollars in revenue and causing an erosion in the value of the pound.

Analysts and critics say that the Sudanese government failed to use the oil money to diversify the economy and help non-petroleum sectors such as agriculture. They also accuse the government of overspending and mismanaging the country’s resources with special focus on defense and security.

Khartoum is hoping that fees it wants to charge the landlocked south for transporting its oil through the infrastructure in the north will partially offset the economic impact of the country’s breakup. But to date negotiations between the two countries on how much the fee should be per barrel failed to yield results.

Rebel group assaults citizens at areas of Umm-Gozain, Goz Abyadh and Armal in North Kordofan

says the Army's Official Spokesman

        The spokesman of the Armed Forces

Khartoum, Dec.23(SUNA)- A rebel group affiliated to rebel Khalil has committed a heinous aggression towards citizens at areas of Umm-Gozain and Goz Abyadh in North Darfur as well as the area of Aramal at the at the North Kordofan -North Darfur borders, The Official Spokesman of the Armed Forces, Col. Al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa'ad announced Friday.

He told SUNA that the rebel group attacked the people in those areas while they were living their normal life, stressing there were no any kinds of forces from the Army of Police in such places.
Col. Al-Sawarmi added the rebels targeted a patrol of natives administration in a conduct which does not suit persons who call for achievement of justice .

He stressed that the Armed Forces pursued the rebels and that the area is being combing by the Army.

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