Tag Archives: Bashir

Suda – Bashir to unveil reform plan

Sudan Tribune

Sudanese president to unveil comprehensive reform proposal


January 22, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) is putting the final touches on a major proposal for political reform in Sudan which would form the basis for dialogue with other political parties.

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Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir speaks after meeting with South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, in the capital Juba, South Sudan Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 (AP Photo/Ali Ngethi)

Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir was reportedly working on this initiative since last year that was meant to set the stage for political transformation in a country gripped by conflict and crises for decades.

The visiting United States former president Jimmy Carter told reporters after meeting with Bashir on Tuesday that the latter informed him of his intention to announce important” political decisions in the coming days but offered no details.

Some aspects of the lengthy reform document prepared by the NCP was revealed by the al-Ayam newspaper and included

• Reaching peace deal with internal rivals through dialogue that would also be incorporated in a new constitution;

• Democratic transformation that would see the people enjoying freedom of association, freedom to form political parties and freedom of expression among others;

• Launching a program for poverty reduction that would eliminate claims of marginalization;

• Resolving the issue of the country’s identity and making citizenship the basis of all rights

On Wednesday Bashir held talks with the son of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Mohamed al-Hassan al-Mirghani and other party figures to lay out his vision for reform. He is expected to hold further meetings with other opposition parties on the same subject.

DUP leader Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani is currently traveling abroad.

The minister of Investment and leading NCP figure Mustafa Osman Ismail told reporters that Bashir exchanged with al-Mirghani views on national issues in order to reach a consensus on them in the coming period.

DUP Hatem al-Sir said that the meeting was made at the request of Bashir and described it as a good opportunity to deliberate on the overall political developments in the country. He said that dialogue between the two parties is the interest of the nation.

The DUP official went on to say that more detailed talks would be followed between the two sides through different channels.

Bashir’s assistant and NCP deputy chairman for party affairs Ibrahim Ghandour said at an open meeting with the leaders of the party in Nahr al-Neel state that reform pursued by the party was evident after top officials resigned from their government posts.

Last month, president Bashir who is also the chairman of the NCP issued presidential decrees appointing Bakri Hassan Salih as First Vice President, Hassabo Abdel-Rahman as 2nd Vice President and Ibrahim Ghandour as presidential assistant as well as decrees appointing 26 ministers and state ministers.

Ali Osman Taha who was viewed as the top Islamist figure in the government said he resigned as 1st VP to allow Bashir to implement his “change” vision. Other officials also said they tendered their resignations for the same reason.

The biggest surprise in the reshuffle was the departure of the powerful presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie from the government and the NCP leadership. The cabinet also witnessed the stepping down of veteran oil minister Awad Ahmed Al-Jaz, who remained in the government formation since 1989.

Ghandour stressed that this shakeup will be followed by a change in the policies of the state and the party according to scientific methodologies adding that the NCP seeks to accommodate all the people of Sudan without exclusion.

He also made a reference to the recent split in the party saying that the NCP doors are wide open for reform and criticism from inside without expressing views outside that are not in line with the party policies.

Late last year a group of NCP figures led by former presidential advisor Ghazi Salah al-Deen al-Attabani formed a new party which they named Reform Now Party (RNP).

Al-Attabani was expelled from the NCP last October in the wake of a memo he drafted, along with more than two dozen party figures the month before, calling for the reversal of a decision to lift fuel subsidies and an end to the violent measures taken against demonstrators who took to the streets to protest.

They also urged Bashir to form a mechanism for national reconciliation comprised of various political forces and assign the economic dossier to a professional national economic team.

“The legitimacy of your rule has never been at stake like it is today”, they said in a letter addressed to Bashir which was seen as a direct challenge to the president who is now the country’s longest-serving leader.

Ghandour urged opposition not to boycott the 2015 elections saying that no mature political party would forsake the opportunity to be an alternative to the current rule.

“We concur with the political forces on the principles and we will not disagree over government posts,” he said before adding that they recognize the crisis in the country.

“We acknowledge the existence of the crisis and will not be ashamed of it or look the other way. We will hold ourselves accountable before others do. We will proceed with comprehensive reform to overcome all obstacles,” he added.

Sudan’s opposition parties call for establishing 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.

The interim government would organize general elections once a political agreement on constitutional matters is reached, inaugurating a new democratic regime. But the NCP rejects this proposal saying opposition parties must simply prepare for the 2015 elections and that rebels should sign first peace accords.

(ST)

Sudan – JEM says peace must be Sudan-wide not just limited to Darfur

Sudan Tribune
November 8, 2013 (PARIS) – The leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Gibril Ibrahim called for a comprehensive cessation of hostilities in Sudan, stressing they would not accept to be part in any discussion aiming to limit it to Darfur region.

A man guards sacks of food at a food distribution centre at Shangli Tobay village in North Darfur, in this June 18, 2013 ( Reuters)
Darfur joint chief mediator, Mohamed Ibn Chambas plans to hold a workshop with the rebel groups in Addis Ababa to discuss the humanitarian situation in the western Sudan region. The meeting will further tackle a humanitarian cessation of hostilities.

This workshop is a follow-up to a five-day meeting held in Tanzania last August over how to achieve peace in Darfur attended by JEM and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM).

“The workshop should discuss humanitarian matters from a comprehensive perspective “, said Gibril Ibrahim in an interview with the Sudan Tribune. “To this end we asked the participation of (AUHIP chief) Thabo Mbeki in the workshop because we will not discuss Darfur alone”, he added.

Ibrahim argued that the forces of the rebel alliance Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) cannot cease hostilities in a region and continue to fight in another region.

The joint mediator met last week with the rebel groups in Kampala to discuss the preparations of this meeting but still he did not communicate the final arrangements of the workshop.

UN agencies and the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur issued different reports speaking about the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the region as result of the rampant insecurity and tribal fighting.

The SRF rebels, including JEM, SLM led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur, SLM-MM, and SPLM-N, call for a holistic process leading to the organisation of new election and eventually the end of the current regime.

However the African Union, which is involved in the mediation of the two conflicts of Darfur region and Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, refuses to follow their demands and urges them to join the negotiating table without preconditions.

Gibril accused the African Union of following the position of the Sudanese government and refusing to meet them or to hear their point of view.

“We sought to meet the African Union but they avoid us. They believe that the joint mediator is the right channel to reach them and we should communicate through him. But they listen to one party and endorse its position”, he said.

The rebel leader who will meet next week with the European Union official with other leaders of the SRF further said they proposed to the mediator and the international envoys who attended Arusha meeting in Tanzania to modify the mandate of the joint chief negotiator to enable him to discuss issue related to the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

“We said they have to appoint one peace mediator for the whole Sudan or they have to assign a third person who jointly work the existing mediators to supervise the comprehensive process”, he said.

Last August Sudanese government officials welcomed the efforts exerted by the joint mediator and reiterated Khartoum’s readiness to engage talks with Darfur rebel groups on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.

(ST) http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article48737

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Sudan’s Bashir in Ethiopia for Zenawi anniversary

Sudan Tribune

August 19, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) – Sudanese president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, arrived in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Monday to attend the first memorial service of the late Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi.

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The late Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi, pictured with his wife at an African Union summit held in Accra in July 2007 (AFP)

Sudan’s foreign minister, Ali Karti, will also attend as part of the Bashir-led Sudanese delegation.

The Sudanese president is also expected to hold talks with Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn on the current situation between Sudan and South Sudan.

It’s understood Bashir will brief Desalegn on recent developments and existing setbacks that are delaying the implementation of previous agreements that aim to end long-running disputes between the former civil war rivals.

The widow of the late premier and board chairperson of the Meles Zenawi Foundation (MZF), Azeb Mesfin, said that the occasion will be marked across the nation on Tuesday, with various events planned to commemorate the legacy of the former Ethiopian leader.

Other African leaders and high-level delegations from Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan and Djibouti are also expected to arrive on Tuesday to attend the event.

At the memorial service, African leaders will pay tribute to the late prime minister for his outstanding efforts at both national and continental level to maintain regional peace and security, as well as his lead role in environmental protection and climate change negotiations.

Ethiopians across the nation have planted millions of trees in honour of the former leader.

Zenawi, who is still regarded as one of Ethiopia’s greatest leaders, died on 20 August 2012 after leading the country for over two decades.

During his leadership he was the continent’s voice and spokesman in various international arenas.

Leaders have praised his efforts in facilitating peace negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan, as well as his efforts to bring peace and security to Somalia and the region at large.

Under the policies and strategies he designed, millions of Ethiopians – mostly in rural parts of the country – were lifted out of poverty.

However, international rights groups remain critical, accusing him of doing little to improve democracy in the country.

(ST)

Sudan-South Sudan summit – hopes for a deal despite new fighting

AlertNet

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Sudan hopes to reach a broad agreement with South Sudan to end all hostilities at a presidents’ summit in Ethiopia at the weekend, officials said on Thursday, despite new fighting between the army and rebels in Sudan’s borderlands.

Displaced people at Kassab IDP camp

Diplomats said there has been progress after two weeks of African Union-brokered talks between the neighbouring countries, but no breakthrough yet on setting up a demilitarized buffer zone at the unmarked border, much of which is disputed.

Western and African diplomats hope to conclude negotiations at the weekend with a summit on Sunday between Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his southern counterpart, Salva Kiir.

“I believe Bashir and Salva Kiir will be here to achieve something for the people of their countries … We hope they will succeed and sign an agreement,” Abdelrahman Sir al-Khatim, a senior member of Sudan’s delegation, told reporters on the sidelines of the talks.

Last month, Sudan and South Sudan reached an interim deal to restart southern oil exports through the north but Sudan insists on a border security deal first, which both parties are trying to hammer out at this latest round of negotiations.

Unless the two countries reach a comprehensive peace deal by a Sept. 22 deadline, they risk incurring sanctions from the United Nations Security Council.

The African neighbours came close to war in April in the worst outbreak of violence since South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July 2011 under a peace deal that ended decades of civil war.

Sudan would only sign a deal that covers all issues left over from South Sudan’s secession such as oil transit fees and border security, said Khatim, who is Sudan’s ambassador in Ethiopia.

South Sudan says Kiir’s attendance will be only confirmed if there is a breakthrough at the security talks, but diplomats say the president will find it hard not to show up after he was officially invited by Ethiopia.

NEW FIGHTING

Fighting continued in the border area on Wednesday. Sudan’s army said it had clashed with rebels in Blue Nile state and seized the area of Sarkam close to the border to South Sudan.

Sudan accuses South Sudan of supporting rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North) which has been fighting the army in Blue Nile and nearby South Kordofan state for more than a year. Both states border South Sudan.

“After the operation the armed forces started securing the area and cleansed it on a large scale,” army spokesman al-Sawarmi Khalid told the state-linked Sudanese Media Center (SMC) late on Wednesday.

SPLM-North spokesman Arnu Lodi could not confirm the fighting. South Sudan officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Leaders of SPLM-North are also negotiating with Sudan in non-direct talks in Ethiopia over a political solution in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, but diplomats see no real progress.

Kamal Obeid, head of Sudan’s delegation dealing with SPLM-North, said talks were ongoing, adding Sudan still insisted that South Sudan cut any ties with the SPLM-North.

Juba denies any links with the group, which is in alliance with rebel operations from Sudan’s western Darfur region which want to topple Bashir.

The United Nations, African Union and Arab League brokered a deal between Sudan and SPLM-North last month to allow much-needed aid into rebel-held areas in both states. Fighting has displaced more than 600,000 people in both states.

But the agreement has not been implemented yet as Sudan and the U.N. have been unable to agree on how to deliver aid. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Khalid Abdelaziz, Editing by Sophie Hares)

Sudan: Bashir mobilizes militia against rebels and slams US

Sudan Tribune/allAfrica

Khartoum — The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir vowed to flush out remaining rebel pockets in South Kordofan as he ordered the setting up of camps across the country for the Popular Defense Forces (PDF).

Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) is fighting insurgencies on multiple fronts in the western region of Darfur and in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. South Sudan stands accused by Khartoum of aiding the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) that is fighting SAF in border states.

The SPLM-N fighters fought alongside the forces of what is now the south’s ruling SPLM during Sudan’s two-decades civil war that ended with a peace deal in 2005 and led to southern secession in 2011.

Juba says it has broken any links with the SPLM-N after the south seceded but military officials in Khartoum say that several divisions of South Sudan’s army are still fighting with the rebels.

To makes matters worse, SPLM-N joined hands with Darfur rebels late last year to form the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF). The latter claimed last month to have launched its first attacks against SAF in South Kordofan managing to take Jau town and Toroge area.

SAF at the time acknowledged the fighting but said it was SPLA attacking and that they eventually managed to repel them.

Events in the war zones are impossible to ascertain as access to these areas is severely restricted.Read more…

Sudan threatens action against S Sudan over alleged support for rebels

AL JAZEERA

Sudan has threatened military action against the neighbouring state of South Sudan, accusing its troops of involvement in rebel attacks along the border.

The Sudanese foreign ministry, in a statement, said the government would file a complaint with the UN Security Council and the African Union after attacks on Sunday in which Sudanese rebels said they killed 150 government soldiers along the disputed border.

South Sudan's President Kiir

Sudan’s military denied the casualty toll and said it had killed a “huge number” of rebels, but gave no figure.

 

The deaths occurred during Sunday’s “surprise attack” on a government base in the border area of Jau, Arnu Ngutulu Lodi, of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), told the AFP news agency.

Ethnic minority fighters in the SPLM-N fought alongside the former rebels now governing South Sudan.

The South Sudan government said it was an internal Sudanese matter and none of its forces were involved, but the reported assault fuelled tensions between the neighbours already at odds over oil exports and border disputes.

Any involvement of southern forces would have violated a non-aggression pact signed by the two sides this month.

The rebels, who last year formed a “revolutionary front” aimed at toppling Sudan’s ruling elite, claimed the attack in the contested Jau area – part of an oil-rich region on the poorly defined border – as their first combined operation against government forces.

More than 360,000 people have been internally displaced or severely affected by fighting in the two Sudanese border states, the UN says.  Read more…

South Sudan tracking its oil sold by Sudan: Chinese investigated

Reuters Africa

By Ulf Laessing

JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan said on Friday it had started legal steps to track down oil it says was seized and sold by neighbouring Sudan in a row over oil payments and said the role of Chinese oil firms would be investigated.

Kiir and Bashir

South Sudan took three-quarters of Sudan’s oil when it became independent in July under a 2005 peace deal with Khartoum that ended decades of civil war.

The landlocked African nation needs to export its crude through Sudan but both nations have failed to agree on a transit fee, prompting Khartoum to seize some southern oil. Sudan has sold at least one oil cargo, industry sources have told Reuters.

South Sudan, one of the world’s least developed countries, has responded by shutting down its entire output of 350,000 barrels per day. It accuses neighbouring Sudan of seizing 6 million barrels since December.

“The ministry of petroleum has notified the ministry of justice and has issued a legal notice internationally through our legal international consultants to track down this oil and has reported that this is stolen oil,” government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin told reporters. Read more…

South Sudan accuses Sudan of bombing border town

Reuters Africa

JUBA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – South Sudan accused its northern neighbour Sudan on Tuesday of bombing the disputed border town of Jau, killing four soldiers and breaking a non-aggression pact the two former civil war foes signed last week.

Sudan denied the charges and said it was respecting the agreement.

Relations between the two countries have plunged after talks failed to halt an oil export dispute, end violence in border areas and resolve other issues relating to the South’s secession last year under a 2005 peace deal.

The governments signed a non-aggression pact just two days before the reported bombing. The agreement, brokered by the African Union in Addis Ababa, aimed to defuse tensions over the row, which officials have warned could trigger a war.

South Sudan’s army spokesman Philip Aguer said a Sudanese Antonov cargo plane dropped several bombs on a military base in Jau, a town straddling the poorly defined border. Read more…

Sudan and Sudan sign non-aggression treaty

AL JAZEERA

Sudan and South Sudan have signed a “treaty of non-aggression” on their disputed border following talks in Addis Ababa where African Union-led negotiations between the two sides are being held.

The deal was signed by Thomas Douth, the head of South Sudan’s intelligence bureau, and Mohammed Atta, Sudan’s director of national intelligence and security.

“The two countries agree to non-aggression and co-operation,” Thabo Mbeki, the chief negotiator and former president of South Africa, told reporters on Friday.

According to the pact, the two sides agreed “respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and to “refrain from launching any attack, including bombardment”.

Al Jazeera’s Harriet Martin, reporting from Khartoum, said that one of the mediators told her there were no expectation of immediate change on the ground, but that the agreement would be a “means of calling to [both countries] to account because they have signed up to the deal”.

She said that this is memorandum on understanding on non-aggression which covers five principles of which the two clauses referring to “no cross border operations”, and “no supporting of proxies” were most important.

Just north of the border in south Kordofan, Juba is known to be supporting the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) north, which is a key point of tension between the countries at the moment, she said.

Border tensions between the two countries have mounted since South Sudan split from Sudan in July, becoming the world’s newest nation.  Read more…

Sudan: Bashir accuses groups of exploiting Darfur crisis

Sudan Tribune

Khartoum — The Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir has accused foreign groups of profiting from the crisis in Darfur, vowing to fully implement a deal aimed at ending years of insurgency and dependency on aid in his country’s western region.

Bashir made his remarks in a speech delivered on Wednesday during a packed rally held at the stadium of El Fashir, the provincial capital of North Darfur State, to celebrate the inauguration of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), which was re-established under the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) signed in mid July last year between the Sudanese government and the rebel group, the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM).

The new body is designed under the DDPD to act as the principal instrument for the implementation of the framework text. Also with the other regional and national institutions, the DRA has to guarantee the effective enjoyment of all rights and freedoms in the region.

The celebration in El Fashir was attended by a host of dignitaries including Chadian President Idris Deby, the Qatari Minister of Justice Hassan Abdellah Al-Ghanim, Burkina Faso’s foreign minister and former United Nations African Union (UN-AU) mediator for Darfur Djibril Bassolé, and the special joint representatives of the UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Ibrahim Gambari.

In the speeches preceding that of Bashir, President Deby and the Qatari minister urged other rebel factions which rejected the Doha accord to join the peace process.  Read more…