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January 2015 - Posts

Sudan’s NCF to campaign for elections boycott
Sudan’s NCF to campaign for elections boycott

January 30, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) said it will launch next week a campaign to boycott the general elections scheduled for April.

Al-Mirghani backs Bashir’s presidential run
   

The spokesperson of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP), Bakri Youssef, stated that all signatories of the “Sudan Call” charter will participate in the campaign which will be launched under the slogan Erhal - “Leave”.

“Delegates from these political forces have approved the program of the campaign which will include addressing the public in commercial markets and places of public gatherings to urge them to boycott the elections”, he added.

On 3 December, Sudanese political and armed opposition forces and civil society organisations signed in Addis Ababa the “Sudan Call” for the end of war, dismantlement of the one-party state, achievement of a comprehensive peace and democratic transition in the country.

The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir accused signatories of the “Sudan Call” of being agents to foreign powers and warned them from returning to the country.

While the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) arrested NCF’s chairman, Farouq Abu Issa, and head of the Alliance of the Sudanese Civil Society Organisations, Amin Maki Madani, after their return from Addis Ababa where they signed the “Sudan Call” accord with rebel groups.

Youssef pointed the campaign will also include opening of 30 parallel polling stations at the headquarters of the opposition parties, saying that people will use a ballot card reading “I am boycotting elections”.

He pointed that dozens of similar polling stations will be opened across the country at a later stage.

According to Youssef, the campaign will be launched next Wednesday in a public rally which will be addressed by several opposition leaders at the headquarters of the National Umma Party (NUP).

Source was unable to reach any government official for comment on whether authorities will allow the opposition forces to launch the campaign to boycott the elections or it will prevent it.

On Wednesday, Sudan’s interior minister, Ismat Abdel-Rahman, said that police will not allow any actions aimed at undermining security or disrupting elections. Leading figures at the NCP also warned against attempts to sabotage elections.

Meanwhile, the leading figure at the Reform Now Movement (RNM) which recently suspended participation in the government-led national dialogue, Hassan Rizg, told they agree with the NCF on boycotting elections but said the two sides have not coordinated on the latter’s campaign to achieve that purpose.

The NCP rejects calls by all the Sudanese political forces to postpone the general election scheduled for April until after the national dialogue and formation of a transitional government, saying it is a constitutional requirement that must be met.

Southern Sudan TV Live :: SSTV :: شاهد تلفزيون جنوب السودانSudan TV Live :: SUDAN TV :: شاهد تلفزيون السودان
S. Sudan president rushed to hospital after “stress induced’’ illness

January 28, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese president Salva Kiir was rushed to hospital in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis Ababa, on Wednesday after he fell ill during a meeting.

Kiir arrived in Addis Ababa on Tuesday to attend the 24th ordinary session of the assembly of head of states and government of the African Union (AU).

He was also expected to attend the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s (IGAD) leaders summit due to kick off on Thursday to discuss the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

Kiir’s sudden illness interrupted a meeting between the president and rebel leader Riek Machar, which was being hosted by Ethiopian prime minister and IGAD chairperson Hailemariam Desalegn ahead of the leaders summit, which was due to be held on the side lines of the AU assembly.

The direct talks were aimed at securing an agreement between the rival leaders on a series of contentious issues, particularly on the structure of the agreed interim government.

The meeting was also being held to brief African leaders on the progress of the IGAD-led mediation process and to reports on the outcome of consultation meetings between the government and rebel faction held in Juba and Pagak during the recess.

An IGAD source later told president Kiir had suffered a nosebleed brought on by “stress”.

As a result, IGAD was forced to cancel the meeting between the two rival leaders.

IGAD has also been forced to delay the regional leaders meeting.

IGAD officials told if Kiir’s condition does not improve by Thursday, the leaders summit may have to be postponed indefinitely.

According to medical doctor Yonas Yohannes, one of the main causes of non-trauma induced nosebleeds is an increase in blood pressure caused by either stress, excessive consumption of alcohol, dry climate or heavy smoking.

However, he cautioned that the causes of Kiir’s illness could not be properly determined without a thorough medical examination.

Southern Sudan TV Live :: SSTV :: شاهد تلفزيون جنوب السودانSudan TV Live :: SUDAN TV :: شاهد تلفزيون السودان
Sudan's Omar al-Bashir gets Chinese-built presidential palace

January 26, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – It is exactly 130 years since Gen Charles Gordon was hacked to death on the white steps of the governor-general's palace in Khartoum.

Sudan's Omar al-Bashir gets Chinese-built presidential palace
   

It was a defining moment in Britain's colonial history. Stubborn heroism, laced with irony, and the over-reaching folly of imperial ambition.

Today, it is China's turn to make its mark.

Gen Gordon's whitewashed palace still stands on the banks of the muddy Blue Nile.

For years it has been home to Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir.

But the Chinese have just built the president a vast new palace right next door and 26 January is its grand official opening - the date is unlikely to be a coincidence.

The Chinese have form in such matters.

Concrete diplomacy

In recent years they have built similar structures in Angola, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Togo. The list could go on.

You could call it soft diplomacy, or perhaps concrete diplomacy.

China needs Africa's mineral wealth. In return, it has been accused of overlooking human rights.

Sudan, for instance, has large oil reserves. Its president is currently wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide.

But China's role in Africa is evolving.

It is building shopping malls and railway lines, and sending peacekeepers to South Sudan.

Perhaps a million Chinese citizens now live and work on the continent.

It is a very different world to the starched uniforms, paddle-steamers, and stiff upper lip of Gen Gordon's era.

Southern Sudan TV Live :: SSTV :: شاهد تلفزيون جنوب السودانSudan TV Live :: SUDAN TV :: شاهد تلفزيون السودان
Sudan seeks Interpol red notices for al-Mahdi, Minnawi
Sudan’s Bashir challenges opposition forces to participate in April elections

January 24, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government is in the process of requesting the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to issue two Red Notices for the leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) al-Sadiq al-Mahdi and head of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) faction Minni Minnawi.

Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir addressing supporters in West Darfur capital El-Geneina on 18 January 2015
   

The sources close to the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) said that criminal complaints filed against the two leaders were joined to those made previously against other figures that signed the “Sudan Call” with the rebel coalition of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) in Addis Ababa last month.

Sudanese political and armed opposition forces and civil society organizations signed the accord which calls for ending the war, dismantling the one-party state, achieving a comprehensive peace and democratic transition in the country.

This was preceded by the signing of the “Paris Declaration” last August between the SRF and the NUP which calls for a comprehensive solution involving all the political forces including rebel groups. It further stresses the need to create a conducive environment in order to hold a genuine national dialogue.

The NISS arrested Farouk Abu Issa who chairs the opposition National Consensus Forces (NCF) and Amin Mekki Madani who heads the Alliance of the Sudanese Civil Society Organisations since 6 December after the signing of the “Sudan Call” with the rebel umbrella.

Also the security service detained a former ruling National Congress Party (NCP) member from the Blue Nile state, Farah Agar, and his office manager, Mohamed Eldoud for meeting with the rebel groups on the sidelines of peace talks in Addis Ababa

Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir described the signatories as agents, traitors and mercenaries who sealed these deals with sponsorship of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Israeli intelligence service (Mossad).

Bashir also vowed to try al-Mahdi, who has been based in Cairo since the accords, once he returns to Sudan for his alliance with SRF unless he disavows these agreements.

But al-Mahdi, who was Sudan’s last democratically elected Prime Minister before Bashir’s 1989 coup, rejected these conditions and demanded an apology for Bashir’s accusations.

This month it was the revealed that the NISS asked the Council for Political Parties in December to dissolve the NUP on the basis of the accords signed with rebels seeking to topple the regime and sabotage the constitutional order.

“Supporting them (the rebels) from the NUP is inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution and the law.

“Based on the aforementioned, we ask your esteemed council to exercise and effect your authority contained in articles 10, 13, 14, and 19 of the Political Parties Act".

The articles referenced by NISS states that a political party would be deprived from contesting in elections or have its activities frozen or be dissolved through an order of the Constitutional Court based on a lawsuit filed by a two-third majority of Council of Political Parties.

In response the NUP, which is the largest opposition party,announced last week that it has decided to freeze the work of its internal bodies and will operate secretly.

Meanwhile the sister of the NUP leader Wisal was quoted by the pro-government Sudanese Media Center (SMC) website that there are mediation efforts led by national figures to convince al-Mahdi to return home and join the national dialogue process.

She disclosed that al-Mahdi has left Egypt to join one of his sons who has sought medical treatment for his son abroad.

The NUP was part of the national dialogue launched by Bashir a year ago but withdrew after authorities jailed al-Mahdi for one month over remarks he made against the government militia known as the Rapid Support Force (RSF).

Southern Sudan TV Live :: SSTV :: شاهد تلفزيون جنوب السودانSudan TV Live :: SUDAN TV :: شاهد تلفزيون السودان
Sudan’s Bashir challenges opposition forces to participate in April elections
Sudan’s Bashir challenges opposition forces to participate in April elections

January 18, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir has challenged opposition parties to participate in upcoming elections scheduled this April.

Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir addressing supporters in West Darfur capital El-Geneina on 18 January 2015
   

Bashir, who addressed supporters in El-Geneina, capital of West Darfur state on Sunday, said the national dialogue process will resolve all Sudan’s issues, stressing that they are keen to engage all parties in the process “except those who refuse”.

He reiterated that the general elections will be held on time, saying political parties should get ready to participate in the democratic transformation.

Bashir pledged that elections will be free, fair and transparent.

“I dare you participate in the elections,” he said to opposition parties.

The Sudanese president asserted he will allow opposition forces to hold public rallies to lay out their programs in order to allow the Sudanese people to choose their representatives.

He also criticised the decision of some unspecified foreign organisations not to provide financial support for the elections, but assured that his country is capable of financing the elections without external funding.

Last January, Bashir called on political parties and rebel groups to take part in a national conference on peace and constitutional reforms, adding that this process should be held inside the country without foreign intervention.

He also stated that rebels must sign security arrangements agreements before joining the process.

The opposition, on the other side, reacted differently to the call, but shared same view on postponement of elections, asserting that political freedoms and basic human rights as top priorities for the creation of a conducive environment.

Bashir repeated his promise to end rebellion in the country, saying the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) will crush the rebel Sudan Revolutionary Forces (SRF) in Darfur soon.

He said the government will collect weapons of civilians and will hold monopoly on the use of arms, renewing calls for the armed groups to join the dialogue process.

“Those who lay down their arms are welcome and those who refuse to do so we will pursue them everywhere,” he said.

Bashir added that Darfur would return to its previous state, stressing his government’s program for coming period aims to end rebellion in all Darfur states.

The Sudanese army has been fighting rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan since 2011 and Darfur rebels since 2003.

Hayder Galu Koma, governor of West Darfur state for his part underscored support of the people in his state of Bashir’s candidacy for the presidential elections, saying the crowd is the best proof of that support.

Southern Sudan TV Live :: SSTV :: شاهد تلفزيون جنوب السودانSudan TV Live :: SUDAN TV :: شاهد تلفزيون السودان
Sudan’s Umma party freezes internal bodies, will operate underground: source
The leader of Sudan’s opposition National Umma Party (NUP), Sadiq al-Mahdi

January 18, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The opposition National Umma Party (NUP) has agreed to freeze the work of its internal bodies and will operate secretly in the wake of the government’s move to dissolve the party, a senior NUP a senior NUP source told sunday.

Sudan’s Umma party freezes internal bodies, will operate underground
   

The decision was in response to a proposal made by NUP leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi who is currently in Cairo that was taken up by the politburo in a meeting that continued till the early hours of Sunday.

The source, who requested anonymity, said that the proposal saw stiff resistance from current Secretary General Sara Nugdalla and group loyal to ex-SG Sideeg Ismail. Both ended up withdrawing from the meeting to express their disapproval of the move.

This week it was revealed that the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) filed a request since last December with the Council of Political parties to dissolve the NUP on the grounds that al-Mahdi is a signatory to the ‘Paris Declaration’ and ‘Sudan Call’ accords with rebel groups stressing that it calls for dismantling the one-party state and mobilizing all forces “to change the existing constitutional order in the country that carries a military aspect”.

The NISS said in its complaint that alliance with rebels violates Sudan interim constitution of 2005 and Political Parties Act of 2007.

It further said that these accords should be regarded as direct moral support that adopts the approach of military action carried out by rebel bearing arms against the existing constitutional system contrary to the obligations imposed on it by the Constitution and the law on the peaceful transfer of power through elections .

Sleepupporting them [rebels] from the NUP is inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution and the law,

“Based on the aforementioned, we ask your esteemed council to exercise and effect your authority contained in articles 10, 13, 14, and 19 of the Political Parties Act".

The articles referenced by NISS states that a political party would be deprived from contesting in elections or have its activities frozen or be dissolved through an order of the Constitutional Court based on a lawsuit filed by a two-third majority of Council of Political Parties.

The NUP deputy chairman Fadlallah Burma said on Wednesday that they are preparing legal and political arguments refuting the NISS demand.

Burma called this move a “violation of the constitution and bypassing democracy”.

On Saturday, opposition parties the house of late PM Ismail al-Azhari expressed solidarity with the NUP in face of dissolution threats.

The Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) and NUP held a meeting today and issued a joint statement expressing their rejection of the dissolution request calling it a breach of an inherent constitutional right for a old party exercising its right with "responsibility and patriotism".

Last December, Sudanese political and armed opposition forces and civil society organizations signed the “Sudan Call” agreement in Addis Ababa which calls for ending the war, dismantling the one-party state, achieving a comprehensive peace and democratic transition in the country.

This was preceded by the signing of the “Paris Declaration” last August between the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and the NUP which calls for a comprehensive solution involving all the political forces including rebel groups. It further stresses on the need to create a conducive environment in order to hold a genuine national dialogue.

Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir described the signatories as agents, traitors and mercenaries who sealed these deals with sponsorship of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Israeli intelligence service (Mossad).

Bashir also vowed to try al-Mahdi, who has been based in Cairo since the accords, once he returns to Sudan for his alliance with SRF unless he disavows these agreements.

But al-Mahdi rejected these conditions and demanded an apology for Bashir’s accusations.

Southern Sudan TV Live :: SSTV :: شاهد تلفزيون جنوب السودانSudan TV Live :: SUDAN TV :: شاهد تلفزيون السودان
Sudan’s Muslim Brotherhood to boycott elections
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir

January 14, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The Muslim Brotherhood movement in Sudan announced today that it will not participate the April general elections calling it a “useless” exercise in light of the atmosphere that makes results known beforehand.

Sudan’s Muslim Brotherhood to boycott elections
   

In a statement, the group said it was the first to call for national reconciliation on the basis of the nation’s supreme interests and issues.

It added that they were always of the view that no one faction can solve Sudan’s crises alone and that the only route to resolve them is through genuine national dialogue that includes all pillars of the society.

“Dialogue cannot be held except in a free atmosphere where people can obtain their rights guaranteed by religion and constitution in expressing their views verbally in forums or in writing in newspapers or through protests or peaceful rallies and marches,” the statement reads.

“Dialogue entered by everyone in which they are ready to pay its necessary dues and make concessions required for the sake of the country, and of course, the first by nature of responsibility required to pay dues and make concessions, is the ruling party,” it adds.

The group stressed that elections should have been a subsequent phase that is reached after transitioning from a one party state to a nation of laws and bipartisan institutions that would oversee elections in a fair and unbiased manner on the basis of an elections law that guarantees fairness.

“As none of this happened and since the call for elections became the highest ceiling and an ultimate goal, we in the Muslim Brotherhood announce our boycott of the upcoming elections in April 2015,” the group’s statement said.

“We are supported by a popular general feeling of the uselessness of these elections, which are held in a reality that makes results settled before it begins and therefore they will be nothing but large [amount of] money spent and return to usual faces and policies,” it adds.

Most of Sudan’s major opposition parties are refusing to participate in the April ballot, saying the ruling party holds absolute control over power and refuses to make any compromise to end the civil war and allow public liberties.

They have proposed forming a transitional government and holding a national conference with the participation of rebel groups to discuss a peaceful solution for the conflicts in Darfur region, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states

Southern Sudan TV Live :: SSTV :: شاهد تلفزيون جنوب السودانSudan TV Live :: SUDAN TV :: شاهد تلفزيون السودان
Sudan's Bashir riding high as he launches re-election bid
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir

January 11, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – (AFP) - Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir launched his bid for re-election Sunday, facing little threat to his quarter century in power despite an ailing economy, multiple insurgencies and allegations of war crimes.

Sudan's Bashir riding high as he launches re-election bid
   

Bashir's supporters view him as a strong hand capable of holding the chaotic country together, while his opponents are hounded by the security forces, marginalised inside Sudan and riven by personal rivalries.

It is unclear whether anyone will challenge Bashir to lead the country of nearly 39 million people that covers an area almost one-fifth the size of the United States.

Formal applications to register for the April 13 vote opened Sunday, and the electoral commission said it had received Bashir's nomination.

The opposition looks set to boycott the vote, with Mariam al-Mahdi, deputy leader of the Umma Party, sharply criticising the move and saying her party would not take part in the April election.

"We believe it is a total waste not only of the time and resources of Sudan but also the hopes of the people," she told AFP by telephone.

The opposition also boycotted elections in 2010, the first contested vote since Bashir seized power in a 1989 coup.

In 2010, opposition leaders accused the president's loyalists of rigging ballots.

But Bashir has proven to be a political survivor.

Since 2009, the 71-year-old incumbent has defied an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in the nearly 12-year-old conflict in Sudan's western Darfur region.

In 2011, he oversaw a separation from South Sudan, after it voted to split following a 22-year civil war.

The president hinted last year he might not stand for re-election, raising fears of a succession struggle within his ruling National Congress Party, but in October, the NCP announced he would seek another term.

"Bashir is in a strong position internally within government," said Ahmed Soliman, Horn of Africa research assistant at Chatham House.

- Consolidating power -

He consolidated power earlier this month when parliament granted him the right to appoint state governors, who were previously elected.

Bashir has worked to shed his image as an international pariah, travelling to Egypt and Saudi Arabia last year and welcoming Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Sudan.

China's foreign minister also visited Khartoum on Sunday for talks about boosting relations and the conflict in neighbouring South Sudan.

The ICC's decision to shelve investigations into allegations of war crimes in Darfur over UN inaction gave him a further boost.

"The ICC's announcement that it was suspending its investigations was seen as a victory by President Bashir," said Jerome Tubiana, senior analyst for the International Crisis Group.

"The NCP should win without difficulty but all the problems will still be left," Tubiana added.

Sudan faces major economic challenges with nearly half of the country's population living in poverty, according to World Bank figures.

When South Sudan broke away, it took with it 75 percent of the formerly united country's oil production.

Insurgents are still battling government troops in Darfur as well as in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states on the South Sudan border.

Last January, Bashir announced a national dialogue to address the problems, inviting opposition groups, including rebels, to participate.

But the talks have yet to materialise, and critics view the invitations as a bid by Bashir to buy time before the elections.

- United opposition -

Opponents to Bashir's rule are more united than they have been for years but are still expected to struggle to challenge him.

In December, the Umma Party joined other opposition parties and civil society groups to sign the "Sudan Call" document demanding a transitional government to pave the way for free and fair elections.

Sudan's powerful National Intelligence and Security Service has kept up the pressure on opposition parties, arresting two signatories to Sudan Call.

NISS has also shown it will brook no dissent from protesters.

Its forces gunned down dozens of Sudanese who protested against the lifting of fuel subsidies in September 2013.

Their handling of the protests caused divisions within the NCP, with Bashir adviser Ghazi Salahuddin Atabani breaking away to form his own party.

But analysts say opposition failings have played into Bashir's hands.

"This alliance remains fragile because these opposition groups have for a long time been riven by personal rivalries," said Soliman of Chatham House.

Southern Sudan TV Live :: SSTV :: شاهد تلفزيون جنوب السودانSudan TV Live :: SUDAN TV :: شاهد تلفزيون السودان
Al-Mirghani backs Bashir’s presidential run: official
President Al-Bashir (L) shakes hands with DUP leader Mohammed Osman Al-Mirghani

January 9, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani has endorsed president Omer Hassan al-Bashir bid for a new term, a senior party official announced today.

Al-Mirghani backs Bashir’s presidential run
   

The DUP, which has joined the government dominated by the National Congress Party (NCP) in 2011, has yet to formally declare whether it will participate in the elections scheduled for next April.

Some local newspapers in Khartoum spoke of two secret meetings between Bashir and one of al-Mirghani’s sons to discuss the DUP’s position on the elections.

Yesterday, the presidential assistant and NCP deputy chairman Ibrahim Ghandour, disclosed that the DUP has notified his party of its participation in the elections.

Today the cabinet affairs minister Ahmed Sa’ad Omer, who is a DUP official, said that al-Mirghani gave his blessings for Bashir who has led the country since the 1989 military coup he led.

Omer made the revelation during a meeting for the national committee for Bashir’s nomination in Khartoum today that was attended by representatives from political parties, Sufi groups, local leaders along with student, women, youth, sports, media, veterans and artistic figures.

Ghandour said that Bashir’s nomination was endorsed by 23,000 voters while the National Elections Commission (NEC) stipulates that presidential nominees must be endorsed by a minimum of 15,000 voters.

Major opposition parties such as the National Umma Party (NUP) and the Popular Congress Party (PCP) said they will not participate in the elections asserting that the NCP holds absolute control over power and refuses to make any compromise to end the civil war and allow public liberties.

Last month, the chairman of Just Peace Forum (JPF) al-Tayeb Mustafa said that senior NCP officials privately disapprove of plans to hold the elections.

Mustafa, who is Bashir’s maternal uncle, said in his daily column in al-Saiha newspaper he owns, that the NCP is in need of someone to convince it that it is “fighting” a lost battle thus isolating itself even from its own self by insisting on going forward with a lost elections by all standards”.

“I do not mean the financial loss incurred by the people and the nation of 80 billion pounds of which it is in need against starvation and poverty, but I mean the other political loss that is the mostly deadly to its future that its fraught with dangers of devastating catastrophe,” he said.

The JPF head said that he sensed from what he heard from the “heart” of the NCP and some unnamed members of the committee tasked with amending the constitution that they object to the elections being held on time because it conflicts with article 224 of the interim constitution.

But Bashir warned yesterday that the next national government will be formed only from political parties participating in the elections.

He described the justifications provided by the political forces which decided to boycott the upcoming elections as “weak”, noting that the same political forces participated in preparation of the elections law and formation of the electoral commission.

He announced that the NCP will not run in 30% of the electoral constituencies in order to allow other political forces to be represented in the parliament.

Southern Sudan TV Live :: SSTV :: شاهد تلفزيون جنوب السودانSudan TV Live :: SUDAN TV :: شاهد تلفزيون السودان
Sudan amends constitution to let Bashir name governors
The Sudanese parliament

January 5, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese lawmakers Sunday approved three controversial constitutional amendments introduced by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) among the protests of opposition MPs who did not take part in the vote.

Sudanese lawmakers pass disputed constitutional reforms
   

The first bill allows the president to appoint governors who will no longer be elected through universal suffrage. The second transforms the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) into regular force to legitimise the creation of its militia the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Finally the third reform is the inclusion of Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) in the constitution.

Initially, the parliament had been requested by the president to amend the constitution to enable him to appoint and relieve the state governors. The NCP, which controls 90% of the 450 parliamentary seats, two months ago, called to overhaul the decentralised governance, saying election of state governors encouraged the emergence of negative tribal and regional sentiments.

The two other reforms were not announced by government.

Also, the inclusion of the DDPD comes as Darfur rebel groups request to open the framework agreement for negotiations in a peace process mediated by the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

The speaker of the National Assembly, al-Fatih Izz al-Deen said “the proposed constitutional amendments are conciliatory and ambulatory”.

However, the head of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) block, which composed of 8 legislators Ismail Hassan, slammed the move and announced they would boycott Sunday’s sessions

“We will not participate in the crime of amending the constitution,” Hassan further said on Saturday.

In a press conference held on Sunday to explain the PCP’s position on the reforms, Hassan accused the amendments committee of overstepping their initial attribution which was limited to the election of state governors.

He told reporters that the committee had committed a "sin", adding they developed 18 constitutional amendments. He further criticised the approach of the panel saying they did not inform the people and its representatives about the reforms.

The PCP split form the ruling party in December 1999, following divisions over the election of governors by popular vote, a position supported by the then speaker of parliament Hassan al-Turabi and rejected by president Omer al-Bashir.

The two houses also endorsed the inclusion of the DDPD in the constitution, a step requested by former rebel groups that signed the text and the NCP to cut short any new demand from the rebel groups to discuss the framework agreement.

The deputy speaker of the upper house, the Council of States, Badawi al-Khair told the lawmakers before the vote that “the overall objectives of the DDPD are consistent with the general principles of the Interim Constitution (of 2005)”.

The secretary-general of the former rebel Liberation and Equality Movement (LJM) Bahr Idriss Abu Garda told the legislators that the DDPD has addressed the problems for which they took up arms and called for greater efforts to include the convince the holdout groups to joint it.

The adoption of this constitutional reforms comes four months before the general elections scheduled for next April.

It also intervenes, as the government calls for a national dialogue to end war in southern and western Sudan, and to discuss constitutional reforms.

Southern Sudan TV Live :: SSTV :: شاهد تلفزيون جنوب السودانSudan TV Live :: SUDAN TV :: شاهد تلفزيون السودان
Sudan to receive $884 million from Juba in oil transit fees in 2014
Sudan to receive $884 million from Juba in oil transit fees in 2014

January 3, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – South Sudan’s oil minister, Stephen Dhieu Dau, has said on Saturday that Sudan’s share from transit fees of South Sudan’s oil amounted to $884 million in 2014.

Juba and Khartoum
   

He pointed his country’s oil revenue last year was hit by reduced output due to the ongoing internal armed conflict and the rapid worldwide decline in oil prices.

Oil is the largest source of income for South Sudan but its production has been hit by the fighting which broke out in December 2013 in the wake of a power struggle between president Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar.

The total oil revenue last year was $3.38 billion from the sale of 36.6 million barrels.

Violence has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced over a million others. It also resulted in damage to some of the country’s oil fields while production at others was affected by a lack of spare parts.

Oil production fell by about a third to an average 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) since fighting broke out, from 245,000 bpd just before the violence erupted.

According to Reuters, Dau said in a statement on Saturday that after deducting $884 million in payments due to Sudan and loan repayments of $781 million, the government of South Sudan was left with $1.71 billion from its oil revenue.

Oil used to be the main source for Sudan’s budget until southern secession in July 2011, when Khartoum lost 75 percent of its oil production and its status as oil exporter overnight.

Southern Sudan TV Live :: SSTV :: شاهد تلفزيون جنوب السودانSudan TV Live :: SUDAN TV :: شاهد تلفزيون السودان