Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sudan army claim ‘captures’ area in South Kordofan, new images show destruction in Blue Nile - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

December 1, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese army (SAF) has claimed it seized control of an area in South Kordofan State from the hands of the rebels Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N).

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FILE - SAF’s spokesman Al-Sawarmi

In a statement carried on Thursday by Sudan’s official news agency SUNA, the country’s media minister Kamal Ubayd announced that SAF regained control of an area he called Tarogi.

Ubayd, who was addressing the council of ministers in Khartoum, said that the “liberation” represents “an important victory”, congratulating SAF for the efforts it made to secure it.

Sudan’s army has been battling SPLM-N rebels in South Kordofan State which since early June. The conflict later extended to include Blue Nile State where SAF on 3 November seized the SPLM-N’s stronghold of Al-Krumuk on the borders with Ethiopia. It later seized Daim Mansoru area south of Al-Kurmuk.

South Kordofan and Blue Nile lie on Sudan’s borders with South Sudan. The two states are home to communities that largely fought alongside southerners in the civil war that ended in 2005 with a peace deal that paved the way for the south’s independence in July this year.

Meanwhile, a new report by the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) analyzing satellite imagescaptured between 11 and 27 November in Blue Nile has indicated that SAF had destroyed civilian structures in the ‘Amara village.

The report, Blue Nile Burning: Evidence of the Destruction of ’Amara Village, also identifies evidences of aerial bombardment and heavy armor movement in and around the village of ‘Amara.

According to SSP, the images indicate that SAF “intentionally razed” civilian structures in the village of Amara.

“The civilian structures in the village, known as tukuls, have apparently been intentionally razed,” the report said.

SSP further said that the images also show two recently built military encampments and tracking consistent with heavy armor movement around the village of ’Amara.

The report also said that the imagery shows caters on the ground some as wide as 13 feet and said this finding is consistent with aerial bombardment around the village of Amara.

“At least eight craters consistent with aerial bombardment are also visible,” it added.

John Bradshaw, the executive director of the Enough Project, an advocacy group, said that the imagery is “consistent with reports from on the ground that the SAF has intentionally destroyed civilian communities in clear violation of the laws of war.”

“The international community needs to take immediate action to protect at-risk civilians in Blue Nile state and elsewhere in Sudan including banning offensive flights over the areas of conflict.”

According to Charlie Clements, MD, Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School, these images and analysis “provide further evidence of the Government of Sudan’s disregard for the laws of war and human rights principles.”

“The civilian structures that appear to be intentionally destroyed are testimony to the Sudan Armed Forces’ continued use of disproportionate force.”


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sudanese - Ethiopian Committee for Development of Border Concludes Meetings in Bahardar


Bahardar - The Sudanese and Ethiopian sides at the Joint Committee for Development of the Joint Border have appreciated by the end of their meetings in Bahardar the distinguished level of the cooperation and understanding between them for solving the issues of mutual concern.
The joint communiqué issued by the two parties appreciated the progress achieved since the recent meeting of the joint committee in Sinja.
The committee has lauded the increasing cooperation between the two countries in combating of the smuggling of weapons, calling for more strengthening to the mechanism at the level of regions and localities and districts in this regard.

The joint communiqué stated that the two sides have agreed to give a special concern to arrest the smugglers gangs and networks and to increase the awareness about the danger of weapons on the general security.

In the trade field, the Sudanese and Ethiopian parties appreciated the cooperation between the two countries for implementing the agreements on the trade and the border trade between the two countries and affirmed their readiness to facilitate and to boost the inter-border trade between them.

The joint committee has praised the level of the cultural exchange between the administrative units in the two countries as well as the people's participation in the cultural programs.
The Sudanese and Ethiopian sides underscored the importance of enhancing the mechanisms of information exchange and appreciated the joint efforts for establishment of health quarantines for livestock as well as the cooperation between the two sides for combating animal diseases and agricultural pests.

Meanwhile, The Secretary General of the Decentralized Government Council and head of the Sudanese side in the meetings of the Joint Committee for the Development of the Sudanese - Ethiopian Border, Prof. Al-Amin Dafa'allah, currently convening in Bahr Dar, Ethiopia, has lauded the great progress that the committee has achieved in the political and security fields.
He said in a press statements on the sidelines of the meetings, which are due to be concluded Thursday evening, that most of the decisions and recommendations of the committee's previous meetings were implemented, He said that the most important thing is the existence of the follow up and implementation mechanism, at the level of the states, which holds regular meetings to solve the problems and to enhance the joint work.
He said that the recommendations were focused on benefiting from the regional and continental roads network linking the neighboring states in the two countries for boosting the relations between them.
He indicated that the two sides are keen to support the security and stability at the joint borders, pointing out that there are no bandits (shiffta), except in a small area.
He said that the two sides are effectively cooperating to prevent security violations.
Prof. Dafa'alla emphasized the strong political will of the two parties for boosting the relations between the two countries in order to achieve stability at the borders between them for the interest of the two peoples.
On the other hand, The Governor of the Ethiopian Amhara Region and chairman of the Ethiopian side in the 14th session of the joint committee for development of the joint Sudanese - Ethiopian border, currently in session in Bahardar, Ato Ayalew Gobeze, affirmed that the two sides had a very useful and candid talks that focused on consolidation of the bilateral relations, especially in the political, security, commercial aspects.
In a statement to SUNA on the sidelines of the meetings of the joint committee in Baherdar, Ethiopia, chairman of the Ethiopian side commended the bilateral cooperation in combating the peace-enemy elements at the joint borders, stressing the necessity of cementing the cooperation mechanisms in this connection.

He explained that the Amhara Region have good commercial relations with the neighboring Sudanese states the in fields of animal resources and agricultural production, affirming endeavours to assess the inter-border trade in the coming period.

He highlighted on the Sudanese Investment in the Amhara region, which include Ashraf Meat Processing Company, enumerating the privileges accorded to the Sudanese investors, including tax exemption and incentives.

On tourism in Amhara region, he revealed that the region is the destination of very many Sudanese tourists at the week ends to enjoy the moderate climate and beautiful scenes as well as visiting the sources of the Blue Nile in Lake Tana and the historic sites in the region.
Undersecretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Receives Russian Ambassador


Khartoum - The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Rahmatallah Mohamed Osman last Thursday reviewed with the Russian Ambassador to Sudan, Envarbik M. Fazeliyanov, progress of the firm Sudanese - Russian relations and means of consolidating them further in all domains.

The meeting also exchanged views on the latest developments and the situation in the region.

Meanwhile, the meeting affirmed the importance of coordinating the stances of Sudan and Russia at the international forums, particularly between the Sudanese and Russian missions to the United Nations in New York.

By SUNA, 14 hours 12 minutes ago

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sudan says to take quarter of south's oil, as talks fail AFP

KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan will take 23 percent of the south's vital oil exports as payment in kind, after talks in Addis Ababa failed, but will not block Juba's exports, Sudanese officials said on Wednesday.

"In the interim period, we are not going to charge the full fee. We will deduct about 23 percent as payment in kind," a senior oil ministry official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Khartoum and Juba are locked in a bitter row over how much the landlocked south, which won independence in July and produces some 75 percent of the country's 450,000 barrels per day of oil, owes to use the north's infrastructure.

The Sudanese government pledged in a statement earlier not to block southern exports.

"The Government of Sudan has not, and will not, stop or impede the flow and export of the Republic of South Sudan," it said, after five days of negotiations in the Ethiopian capital ended in deadlock.

But Sudan's unilateral decision to syphon off southern crude is likely to heighten tensions, with the south's chief negotiator, Pagan Amum, threatening to take legal action if the north "steals" its oil.

"If the GOS (government of Sudan) does steal South Sudan oil, or if others try to purchase the south?s stolen oil from the GOS, the Republic of South Sudan will take all legal measures necessary," he said in a statement.

He accused Khartoum of taking the south's oil revenues for May, June, and July.

Sudan's oil ministry said on Monday that it had blocked southern exports, claiming then that the Juba government had failed to pay transit fees of $727 million covering the period from July until the end of October.

The announcement provoked a hostile response from Juba, and the escalating dispute prompted China, the largest foreign investor and main buyer of Sudanese oil, to urge both sides to "exercise restraint" in their negotiations.

Khartoum's chief negotiator on economic issues, Sabir Mohamed Hassan, after returning from the African Union-brokered talks in Ethiopia, emphasised that southern exports would be allowed to continue.

But he said the failure of the south to pay its fees was aggravating the economic difficulties facing the north.

"We have told them that we have a responsibility to take our dues in kind, and that is exactly what has happened in the past few days," he told reporters.

The Khartoum delegation said Juba blocked an AU proposal to charge the south $300 million over the next two months for continuing to export its crude.

Further underlining the lack of progress on this increasingly rancorous issue, Hassan said Sudan was looking to charge the south $36 per barrel for the use of its oil infrastructure, in contrast to a southern offer of 70 cents.

Southern oil minister Stephen Dhieu Dau rejected the north's fee as "extortionate."

"This is extortionate to us. It's discriminatory and it's not based on a cost principle," he said on his return from the negotiations.

The south says it will have to shut in its oil production next week if Khartoum prevents southern oil cargoes from lifting, due to a lack of storage facilities at the Port Sudan export terminal.

"If by December 6 there is no lifting, then we will have to shut down production," oil ministry undersecretary Machar Aciek said.

Both countries depend heavily on their oil revenues, which make up some 98 percent of the Juba government's income, and provided 90 percent of Sudan's hard currency earnings before partition, causing its currency to devaluate sharply since July.

Southern officials have repeatedly discussed building an alternative export pipeline, probably through Kenya, but experts say this is not commercially feasible unless big new discoveries are made.

Oil is one of a number of sensitive issues, including border demarcation, debt and the future status of the contested Abyei region, that the two sides failed to resolve ahead of the south's secession.

Analysts warn that the longer they fail to strike an agreement, the more difficult the negotiations are likely to become.

The next round of oil talks is due to take place in Juba on December 20.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Some 76,000 people fleeing conflict in Sudan enter Ethiopia, South Sudan – UN

Some 76,000 people fleeing conflict in Sudan enter Ethiopia, South Sudan – UN

Sudanese refugees from Blue Nile state cross into western Ethiopia through the Kurmuk border crossing

25 November 2011 –
The United Nations refugee agency voiced concern today over the movement of large numbers of people from Sudan into Ethiopia and South Sudan, saying that an estimated 76,000 people have moved since August, mainly as a result of conflicts.

Of the estimated 36,000 Sudanese refugees who moved towards Ethiopia, up to 17,000 have been transferred to camps, according to Raouf Mazou, the Deputy Director UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) African Bureau in charge of Eastern, Horn of Africa, Chad and Sudan.

The challenge UNHCR is facing is that the refugees have gone to extremely remote locations which are difficult to reach, Mr. Mazou told reporters in Geneva. Assistance had been provided by helicopter, he said, adding that up to 100,000 Sudanese could enter Ethiopia and South Sudan in the coming few weeks if the current trend continues.

Meanwhile, efforts are under way to encourage people to relocate from the Yida refugee site in South Sudan’s Unity State to safer area further south away from the border, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The refugees fled fighting in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state.

South Sudan has also been receiving refugees crossing from Sudan’s Blue Nile state.

Sudan Expels Kenyan Ambassador Over Bashir Warrant « VOA Breaking News

Sudan Expels Kenyan Ambassador Over Bashir Warrant

Posted Monday, November 28th, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Sudan has expelled Kenya's ambassador after Kenya's High Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

The Kenyan court ruled Monday that the country's government must arrest Mr. Bashir “should he ever set foot in Kenya.” Mr. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and genocide in Sudan's Darfur region.

Human rights groups had criticized Kenya for failing to arrest Mr. Bashir when he attended a ceremony in Nairobi for Kenya's new constitution in August 2010.

A Sudanese foreign ministry spokesman said Monday the government in Khartoum has ordered the Kenyan ambassador to leave the country within 72 hours. He said Sudan has also summoned its own ambassador from Nairobi.

Sudan's foreign ministry had earlier said the court ruling was linked to Kenya's domestic politics and would not affect bilateral relations.

Sudan does not recognize the authority of the International Criminal Court, and Mr. Bashir has flouted the arrest warrants by repeatedly traveling abroad, though mostly to countries that are not ICC members.

The ICC has argued that Kenya is obligated as a member state to arrest the Sudanese president. Officials at the Hague-based court have said that if Kenya fails to comply with the ICC warrant, the court may report Kenya to the U.N. Security Council.

Sudan's government has been fighting rebels in Darfur since 2003. The ICC says Mr. Bashir orchestrated a campaign of murder, rape, and other crimes against civilians in the region.

The U.N. says fighting and related violence in Darfur have killed an estimated 300,000 people and displaced some 2.7 million others.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

One Region or Multi States…Voting Will Settle the Controversy

One Region or Multi States…Voting Will Settle the Controversy

The question of one region or states constitutes the elements and future of the Doha Agreement between Justice and Liberation Movement and the government of Sudan represented by the National Congress.
The Doha agreement has entered the stage of implementation under the supervision of Darfur Regional Authority that expires late 2015 by referendum on most contentious issue between the two partners (National Congress and Justice and Liberation Movement) with regard to the question whether the region of Darfur will become one region different from other states of Sudan or will remain within the system of other Sudan’s states by carving it into five states. This issues, which will be settled through the referendum clearly constitutes a bone of contention despite the agreement is meant to bring about stability and development in Darfur.
The President of Darfur Regional Authority Atenjani Sisi announced during a visit to El-Fashir, where the Authority is based, last November 24, announced that El-Fashir would be the capital of the region in the future.
The Sudanese government is faced with another problem that the Doha agreement if culminated in a referendum result in favor of the region will open new doors for further divisions of Sudan, which will encourage other states; especially there are voices in East Sudan calling for such thing.
Justice and Liberation Movement at the end of the day wants make El-Fashir capital of Darfur, which means the return of Darfur to old times and cancelling the existing states and reintegrating others, a scenario opposed by many citizens of Darfur.
The Governor of North Darfur Mohamed Osman Kibir while addressing the general congress of the National Congress held late last month voiced his utter rejection of the option of “one region” and called on the members of the National Congress to work for many states.
Observers see that the “one region” option is being meet with fierce resistance in South and West Darfur as well as recently proposed states: Jebel Marrah state, with Zalingei as its capital, and East Darfur, with Adiein as capital. The residents of such states argue that having many states has opened the door for all to participate in issues related to governing and politics; in addition to development and growth across the region after it was carved into states in 1994. They say that getting back to one region will deprive them of those gains.
Sisi spelled out his plan for the implementation of the agreement and pointed out the necessity for coordination. However, conflicting objectives and views over strategic issues will affect the performance of the Regional Authority.
The adoption of the Justice and Liberation Movement of “one region” relies on money that Qatar will supply for the development of Darfur to construct schools, hospitals, houses of worship, roads and telecommunications. On the other hand, the National Congress counts on maintaining the unity of the country and broadening participation and reducing administrative shadow. Between this and that, the Darfuri citizens, the real stakeholders, will decide what the agreement will lead at the end of the day through voting in the referendum.
The Naivasha agreement ended in dividing Sudan into two separate states. Did the government learned a draw lesson from its experience of management of Naivasha crisis over the past five years to ensure that Sudan remains united in its administrative, political system and integrity of its territories or differences that inevitably will accompany the implementation of the agreement will lead to a region that may set the beginning for autonomous rule that may culminate in secession?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sudan: Civil War in the North?

New thinking is required to take into account a Khartoum regime now in the hands of Sudan Armed Forces generals, a unifying opposition that seeks regime change, and an international community that seems to be losing the ability to engage coherently on Sudan's problems. Continuing with the current ad hoc approach to negotiations and short-term arrangements to manage crises will not address the underlying causes of conflict." - International Crisis Group

In its useful summary of the current escalating crisis in Sudan, the International Crisis Group (ICG) notes the incomplete implementation of the agreement leading to the independence of South Sudan, the dominance of military hard-liners in Khartoum, and the convergence of different opposition forces within the boundaries of the territory now still ruled by the Khartoum regime. As previous commentators on the long-standing Sudan crisis have noted, the issues were never simply North-South, but were rooted in the absence of democracy in the country and the dominance of a small elite at the center over the entrie country, with peripheral regions particularly marginalized.

Also notable in the ICG commentary is the observation that some international actors which played a leading role in the earlier peace agreement, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Norway, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the European Union, now have much less influence. If there is to be effective international involvement, consequently, leadership must fall primarily to other parties, including the African Union, the United Nations, and China.

This AfricaFocus Bulletin includes the full text of the ICG "Crisis Risk Alert," published on September 26.

For a wide variety of current news and commentary on Sudan and South Sudan, see,, and

Of particular interest in recent articles on Sudan Tribune:

"Despite conflict over pipeline fees and speculation about alternative routes, South Sudan has exported 22 million barrels of oil via North Sudan since independence last July.",40352

"President of the Republic of South Sudan Salva Kiir will be in Khartoum on Saturday for talks on the post independence arrangements but he will also seek to contain growing tensions with the northern neighbor.",40353

Civil war is spreading in Sudan, and concerted international action is needed to stem the violence and prevent it from engulfing the entire country and the wider region.

Khartoum's most recent military offensive -- this time in Blue Nile state -- adds to fresh fighting between government and opposition forces in Southern Kordofan and recent hostilities in Abyei. With hundreds of thousands of people displaced, at least 20,000 of whom have fled into Ethiopia from Blue Nile in recent days, the growing war on multiple fronts poses serious dangers for the country, for its future relationship with the Republic of South Sudan and for the stability of the region as a whole.

The recently renewed conflict in these three areas is rooted in unimplemented provisions of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between Khartoum's ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), which ended a two-decade-long north-south civil war in Sudan that cost millions of lives. Those lagging issues include the failed democratic transformation of Sudan, stymied popular consultations, and the unresolved status of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) forces indigenous to the North.

After the end of the CPA, rather than negotiate with Sudanese opposition forces, NCP hardliners have opted for a military solution -- not an unusual policy response for the regime when confronted with opposition. This, however, is pushing Sudan's disparate rebel movements and opposition forces together and could trigger a wider civil war for control of the country.


The CPA was intended to lay the foundation for a new reality in Sudan, end chronic conflict and make continued unity attractive. It was premised on three major principles: fairer distribution of power and wealth between the centre and the peripheries, democratic transformation and the right of southern Sudanese to determine their own future. The CPA also granted the people of the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile to conduct popular consultations to rectify the document's shortcomings on their areas and to redefine their relationship with Khartoum.

General elections were scheduled half way through the sixyear interim period (ie, by 2008), so as to widen participation in governance. In the period after the elections, the new representative government was to build on those foundations in order to consolidate reconciliation, start the popular consultations, continue review of constitutional arrangements and establish conditions that would affirm the rights of all the people of Sudan and encourage Southerners to choose continued unity of their own free will.

This never happened. The NCP and SPLM failed to hold elections as scheduled and manipulated them when they were eventually conducted, two years late in April 2010, so as to ensure majorities in their regions. Consequently, they wasted the period that had been intended to consolidate peace and unity, and the democratic transformation agenda was dropped.

The situation became volatile in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, where many sided with the South during the civil war, but which remained in the North after Southern secession. The promised popular consultations were repeatedly delayed, and even when they started in Blue Nile state on September 2010, SPLM supporters and leadership lost confidence that their demand, namely the right to self-rule, would be met by Khartoum. The situation deteriorated further when Ahmed Haroun, a man indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, was re-elected governor of Southern Kordofan in July 2011, in elections the SPLM-North candidate, Abdel Azzizal-Hilu (also Deputy Chair of the SPLM-N and former Deputy-Governor of Southern Kordofan), claims were manipulated.

Lacking real political power, the leaders of the SPLM-North were reluctant to relinquish their military forces, the former 9th and 10th SPLA divisions composed of troops from Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, despite the CPA requirement that these units be demobilised or redeployed to south of the 1956 North-South border. With the CPA coming to conclusion after the South seceded, and failing popular consultations, they asked instead that a new security arrangement be negotiated that would allow for a more gradual integration of their forces into the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF).

The NCP, weakened by the impending separation of the South, refused any further political accommodation, and Khartoum opted to remove its opponents militarily. This began with the SAF invasion of Abyei in May 2011, followed quickly by the attempt to take control of Southern Kordofan in June, and now Blue Nile state.

Internal Sudanese Dynamics

The loss of South Sudan has had a profound effect on the NCP, and senior generals led a soft-coup within the party. They have outflanked more pragmatic elements in the NCP who seek a negotiated strategy. Encouraging progress in the post-separation arrangements between North and South was blocked. More importantly, hardliners in Khartoum -including SAF generals -- immediately rejected a 28 June framework agreement, which includes a political and a security agreement for Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, facilitated by former South African President Thabo Mbeki and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, and signed by Dr. Nafie Ali Nafie, Co-deputy NCP chairman and a presidential adviser. A few days later, President Omar alBashir publicly disavowed the agreement.

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After conflict broke out in the Blue Nile on 1 September, Khartoum formally banned the SPLM-N, arrested a number of prominent opposition leaders and declared a state of emergency in Blue Nile state and replaced its governor, Malik Agar.

Now, the rebel forces are openly attempting to unify and pursue a policy of regime change. On 8 August 2011, Abdel Azziz al-Hilu met with the leaders of the Darfur rebel movements who rejected the Doha peace process in Kouda (an SPLM-N controlled area in Southern Kordofan), and afterwards, they announced a new alliance with a common objective: to change the regime in Khartoum by the use of force and popular uprising. Two thousand armed men linked to the Democratic Unionist Party and led by Al-Tom Hago joined this alliance. The Beja Congress of East Sudan likewise issued a statement vowing to rejoin the military opposition.
In an effort to defuse the situation, Ethiopian Prime Minister Zenawi met with Malik Agar and Al-Hilu in Addis Ababa on 21 August, and on the same day, he took Malik to Khartoum to negotiate a way out of the danger. However, President Bashir responded by saying his government was unwilling to engage in further external negotiations and would not commit to the rejected framework. The door for direct SPLM-NCP talks was closed.

On 8 September, the SPLM-N officially split from the SPLM, formed a new leadership structure under Agar and vowed to continue war against Khartoum. On 16 September, the SPLM-N submitted a "road map for political transformation" to Zenawi to discuss with Bashir. It lists six conditions to be met by the government before the SPLM-N would accept a cessation of hostilities, including reinstituting Governor Malik Agar, allowing humanitarian access to affected people and agreeing to international investigations into crimes committed in both Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. If Khartoum agrees to its proposals, the SPLM-N would want a mediator to negotiate the road map. Since Zenawi's 17 September trip to Khartoum, there has been no reaction from the NCP. Hundreds of thousands are now displaced, fighting has intensified in both states, and the rainy season ends in three weeks, foreshadowing increased conflict.

The Risk of Conflict Contagion

There is a real possibility of a new era of protracted civil war in Sudan if key international actors are not able to contain it. Fighting could quickly expand both within Sudan and spill over into South Sudan. To the resurgence of war in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile will likely be added an escalation in Darfur, especially now that the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has returned from Libya and rejoined forces in Darfur.

In addition, both Sudan and South Sudan have intensified rhetoric that each country is supporting its rival's insurgents. The government of Sudan claims that the military action by the SPLM-N is a grand plan to topple the regime in Khartoum, an agenda supported by external elements including the government of South Sudan. Juba claims the war is a northern affair and accuses Khartoum of supporting South Sudan rebellions.

The situation will escalate if the international community is delayed or disjointed in its response.

Unfortunately, the NCP no longer trusts the key interlocutors who engaged previously, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Norway, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the European Union. Khartoum suspects them of indirectly encouraging regime change, including by calling for additional investigations into crimes committed in Southern Kordofan, complicating if not derailing the Darfur Political Process (a key process towards settlement of the Darfur problem after the Doha agreement), and refusing to invoke Article 16 of the Rome Statute for the deferral of the ICC cases against Bashir and others. Khartoum is also sceptical of the U.S. offer to normalise relations. After Southern secession these perceptions have deepened.

It is becoming apparent that the only acceptable interlocutors are the African Union High-Level Implementation (AUHIP) team supported by the regional actors and the United Nations envoy, Haile Menkerios, as well as key partners such as China and other major investors.

Two Sudans: The Need for a New Approach

The CPA period is over, and there is no coherent political framework to deal with the many remaining challenges in Sudan. Unfortunately, international attention focused on safeguarding South Sudan's referendum and independence, and largely underestimated the impact of secession on the North.

New thinking is required to take into account a Khartoum regime now in the hands of SAF generals, a unifying opposition that seeks regime change, and an international community that seems to be losing the ability to engage coherently on Sudan's problems. Continuing with the current ad hoc approach to negotiations and short-term arrangements to manage crises will not address the underlying causes of conflict. The various issues -- North-South negotiations, Abyei, Darfur Peace Process, and Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile -- are interrelated and efforts should be made to ensure coherence in resolving them.

What is urgently needed is a new approach -- supported by the key external actors, including friends of Khartoum -- to deal with the internal crisis in the North and the conclusion of post-CPA agreements between the North and South. The AU and UN should continue to support North-South talks, and both parties should be brought back to focus on the key agreements that must be reached, most immediate being economic arrangements.

Meanwhile, the international community should unite behind a single approach to begin addressing internal Sudan crises. A sustainable solution to these must focus on a cessation of hostilities and an inclusive national dialogue consisting of renegotiating the relationship between the centre and peripheries, and agreement on decentralisation and a redistribution of power leading to a new constitution, on the basis of which a referendum and new elections should be held.

A negotiated settlement of disputes is in the interest of all parties. Neither the SAF nor the SPLM-N can achieve an outright military victory. Bashir and SAF generals must be made to understand that the current military strategy of using tribal militias, ethnic cleansing and allowing insurgencies to fester, only increases the risk of fragmentation and prolongs international interference. Likewise, the newly aligned opposition will face similar military challenges; the NCP regime is weakened but not powerless, and an alliance of the disparate opposition groups is unsustainable in the long-term. Widespread instability in North Sudan would not only exact a great toll on the Sudanese people but jeopardise the future of South Sudan. The parties should be helped by their international partners to recognise the imperative of a non-military solution.

Immediate Steps

To begin implementing the approach outlined above, mediation efforts must be streamlined, and key actors must agree on a common international strategy on Sudan. The AUHIP is facilitating the post-secession negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan (with support from the UN and US special envoys). These efforts should continue, but new leadership and the involvement of friends of Sudan are needed to convince the parties to step back from war and engage in a genuine national dialogue and key reforms. The AU, UN and Ethiopia can be helpful, but are unlikely to deliver a comprehensive process without active engagement by others, including efforts by some key actors to reengage the regime in Khartoum. The following steps could help build much needed consensus on the way forward:

Define a new strategy: The AU, UN and Ethiopia should develop a strategy in line with the new approach articulated above: an immediate cessation of hostilities in the three disputed areas, and commitment by the parties to hold an inclusive national dialogue leading to decentralisation, a new constitution and free and fair elections. The AU, UN and Ethiopia should work to build support amongst international partners and friends of Sudan on the new way forward. This will require renewed engagement from key actors.

Streamline the mediation: The roles of the AUHIP, the UN envoy and regional efforts under Prime Minister Zenawi should be clearly defined and the processes streamlined. The mediation efforts should have clear objectives and define a set of benchmarks to underpin resolution of the conflicts and a genuine transition to an inclusive government.

Achieve consensus: Convening of an international conference under the auspices of the AU to build consensus on a new international strategy for Sudan. The conference should comprise a group of people representing all different blocs with a stake in Sudan and should include the AU, IGAD, Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the following countries: Egypt, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Turkey, China, India, Malaysia, Brazil, South Africa, Ethiopia, as well as the EU, UN and members of the troika (US, UK and Norway).

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Now is the time for Sudan's key external actors to speak in a single voice in support of a political strategy that comprehensively deals with Sudan's spreading conflicts and that is underpinned by a clear set of principles on genuine political transformation rather than the current fire fighting approach.

President Bashir will undoubtedly resist any further external efforts to pursue a more peaceful outcome for Sudan, but given the increasing fragility of the regime, not least its growing economic weakness, he may be persuaded to engage with a coordinated international approach. International actors must come out with a strong voice to support a national agenda for a transition to an inclusive government. In the absence of a national political framework, and without clear international consensus to encourage and support a national peace process, the conflict in Sudan may spiral out control and engulf the region.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sudan Vision Daily - Details

First Vice-President of the Republic, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha inspected the project of Heightening Al-Rossires Dam. The Resident Engineer of the Project, Khider Mohamed has briefed Taha on the progress of work in the project, adding that work will be complete next year.

He said the project will extend economic assistance to the citizens through the provision of 600 Megawatt of electricity besides its contribution in the development of the agricultural process in the Blue Nile State.

It worth to mention that the Blue Nile and the lands on both banks constitute vast sites for development, especially in the fertile lands lying on both sides where there is a variety and an abundance of natural resources: soil, water, forests, wild life, and minerals.

The area ranks high among the various parts of Sudan in the field of wealth and economic and social development as a result of the agricultural projects that still represents the first alternative of future investments in the area.

There are four dams in Sudan, and the fifth one is about to be complete. Two of these are on the Blue Nile: Sinnar Dam, and Roseires Dam.

In 1952 the Government of Sudan considered the possibility of constructing a dam near the city of Roseires. In 1955 consulting companies Coyne Bellier and Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners were chosen to study and design the project.

The study recommended the construction of a dam with a storage capacity of 3 Billions cubic meters at a water level of 480 m (Phase I) (Irrigation Datum), the storage capacity is to be raised to 7.4 billions m3 with an increase in height of 10 m up to level 490 m (Irrigation Datum) at the second stage of construction (Phase II).
In 1959, the Nile Water Agreement signed between Egypt and Sudan dedicated 18.5 billion m3) as the Sudan's share of water.

The Agreement allowed for the construction of Roseires Dam and the first stage of construction was started in 1961 and completed in 1966.

Furthermore, Rosaries Dam lies on the Blue Nile at Alddamazeen rapids between longitudes 33-35 east, and latitudes 11-12 north, 550 km South East from the capital of Sudan - Khartoum – The Dam Site is 800 km far from the Tana Lake in Ethiopia.

The area is linked by an asphalt road and a domestic airport. It used to be linked in the past by railway. Land is characterized by flat terrain with few hillocks and soaring mounts along the borders with Ethiopia.

Blue Nile State lies in the savanna zone with annual rainfalls of 900-1250 mm. The reservoir is about 290 square km.

The concrete section is a buttress dam of one km long and a maximum height of 68 m. The total volume of concrete is 850,000 m3.

The earth dam constitute 5 million cubic meter of fill having maximum height above foundation of 30 m. The total length is 12.5km as follows:
4km on eastern bank
8.5km on western bank

Floods are routed through Gated spillway with 7 radial gates, each 12m high by 10 m wide five sluices with radial gate, each 10.5 m high by 6 m wide. .

By Haram Hashim Ali, 16 hours 16 minutes ago

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ethiopia PM denies calling for Sudan president Bashir’s ouster | African news, analysis and opinion – The Africa

FRIDAY, 16 SEPTEMBER 2011 18:12

Ethiopia has dismissed claims in leaked US diplomatic cable quoting Prime Minister Meles Zenawi urging America to topple Sudanese President Al Bashir.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi/Photo/Reuters

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi/Photo/Reuters

According to one of the cables leaked by the whistle blower website WikiLeaks recently, Meles met US diplomats and told them of the need “to remove the Bashir regime.”

But on Thursday the Ethiopian government‘s communications affairs bureau said the PM had never called for the removal of the neighbouring country’s government from power.

“In fact, to the contrary the full WikiLeaks’ release shows that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has advised the Americans on the inappropriateness of "removing the Beshir regime’’, and of his suggestion that the US layout "clear bench marks of actions expected of the GoS (government of Sudan) on both Darfur and South Sudan which would go a long way in addressing the "continued challenges," the bureau said in a statement.

It added: “In its foreign policy statements, the government of Ethiopia has time and again declared its firm position that the responsibility of changing a sovereign government solely rests on the people of the respective countries, not on any other outside forces.”

The bureau said Ethiopia had “fundamental differences with the United States that sees regime change as an integral part of its foreign relations practices.”

However, government admitted Meles held discussions with the diplomats in July 2009 where he “stressed that the US cannot substitute itself for the people of Sudan.”

“A recent living illustration of Ethiopia’s commitment to this democratic stance is the Prime Minister’s repeated disagreement with those foreign powers who tried to prosecute President Al Beshir through the International Criminal Court,” the statement added.

Meles reportedly told the diplomats at the July 9 meeting that the Western paradigm of democracy cannot be “exported” to other countries.

“In the said Wikileaks (cables) the Prime Minster has pointed out that "the 'old paradigm' of the US is wrong and closes of the emergence of organic democracy in Africa," the statement said.

“Ethiopia, therefore, clarifies its position that it never and nowhere supports any external pressure for regime change.”

Sudan is yet to react to the disclosures.