Tag Archives: Sudan

Sudan – Museveni to visit following Kenyatta-Bashir meeting

Sudan Tribune

(KHARTOUM) – Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni will officially visit to Sudan next Tuesday for talks with his Sudanese counterpart, Omer al-Bashir, as Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta and Bashir discussed issues of mutual concern on Thursday.

JPEG - 13.7 kb
Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir (L) shakes hand with Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni following the signing of a 1999 peace accord between the two countries as Kenyan president Daniel Arap Moi and former US president Jimmy Carter look on (Photo: Carter Center)

The visit comes amid strained relations between Khartoum and Kampala as the two countries trade accusation of support to rebel groups. Sudan accuses Uganda of harbouring rebel groups member of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) while Uganda claims that the rebels of the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) are in western Sudan.

Last week a Sudanese presidential assistant accused Kampala’s representative in the African union Peace and security Council (AUPSC) of orchestrating a meeting in Addis Ababa last August between 15-member body and Sudanese opposition leaders.

The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) said vice-president Hasabo Mohamed Abdel Rahman chaired on Thursday a meeting with executives of the concerned ministries to prepare for the visit.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Obeid-Allah Mohamed Obeid-Allah said in a press statement that the meeting highlighted the importance of the visit on account of the fact that “Museveni is an African leader who has a major role in the region, and is keen on communicating with Sudan and playing a positive role on issues of mutual concern”

“We are confident that the Ugandan side has demonstrated good faith with respect to the security issues that will be discussed by the two sides,” the minister further said.

Since several months, SRF leaders stopped to hold their meetings in Uganda left the east African country.

The minister pointed out that Museveni will address a symposium on democracy and freedom in Africa, organized by the Strategic Studies Centre, and will visit Africa International University.

Observers in Khartoum point that the possible normalisation in ties between the two countries would help to bring stability in South Sudan which has strong economic relations with the two countries.


Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta stopped over at Khartoum airport on Thursday evening on his way back home from Italy. He was received at the airport by his Sudanese counterpart and a number of ministers and senior government officials.

Kenyatta held brief talks with the Sudanese leader during his visit to Khartoum.

He told reporters that they discussed bilateral relations and means of bolstering them for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

Kenyatta also praised the strong ties between Sudan and Kenya, stressing the need for building solid grounds for cooperation between the two countries on issues of mutual concern.

“Sudan and Kenya are neighbours and have mutual interests that should be protected and promoted,” he said.

He said he had discussed with al-Bashir a number of regional issues, particularly security and peace, noting that Sudan and Kenya were closely cooperating on many of those issues.

President Kenyatta said he would visit Sudan shortly for further consultation and exploration of areas of bilateral cooperation. He reiterated his country’s keenness on maintaining close cooperation with Sudan on bilateral and regional issues.


Sudan – Darfur conflict changing and becoming more internecine but not getting better


In Darfur, things have changed, but not for the better
31 August 2015

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) undertook a field mission to Darfur and Khartoum this month amid growing concern about the situation in Darfur. The African Union (AU) has been involved in attempts to solve the Darfur conflict for over a decade, having started to send peacekeepers to the area in 2004.

In June 2015, the United Nations (UN) Security Council voted to extend the mandate of the UN–AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), citing a ‘significant deterioration of the security situation’.

The unanimous vote represented something of a defeat: an admission that after 11 years of international involvement, the region remains as dangerous and unstable as ever.

It is important not to underestimate the scale of the Darfur conflict, and its cost – in both human and financial terms. Since the fighting began in earnest in 2003, more than 300 000 people have been killed and an estimated 2.5 million more displaced (this from a population of around 6.2 million).

The AU has had a presence there since 2004, in the form of the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS), which morphed into UNAMID in 2007. UNAMID’s mandate provides for 15 845 military personnel, 1 583 police personnel and 13 formed police units of up to 140 personnel each, which are drawn from 37 different countries. Its budget is currently US$1.1 billion per year. The International Crisis Group (ICG) estimates that the total international cost of the war in Darfur, including humanitarian aid, has exceeded US$20 billion since 2003.

Over the years, the conflict has changed, becoming ever more fractured and internecine

This investment of money, personnel and diplomatic capital has failed to resolve the situation, however. Even though a high-profile peace deal – the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) – was signed in 2011 between the government of President Omar al-Bashir and various rebel groups, the fighting has intensified over the last 18 months. This has left policymakers wondering whether UNAMID is fit for purpose, and what it should be doing differently.

Changing nature of the conflict

Understanding the tangled web of alliances and motivations that underpin the conflict has never been easy, although when the fighting began it was possible to observe the broad trend, which pitted non-Arab tribes against government forces and government-sponsored militia groups (known pejoratively as the Janjaweed). It is on this basis that peace talks proceeded, and the DDPD reflects this understanding, even though several major rebels groups refused to sign the document.

Over the years, however, the conflict has changed, becoming ever more fractured and internecine. ‘Violence in Darfur has continually evolved. In 2003–2005, it was mostly due to attacks by pro-government, largely Arab militias targeting non-Arab communities accused of supporting the rebels. While those continued and intensified again in 2014, violence has mutated since 2006, with Arab communities and militias fighting each other and, to a lesser extent, non-Arab communities targeting non-Arab communities. Arab militias also turned against their government backers, while rebel factions fragmented and fought against each other as well,’ said the ICG in a report in April 2015 entitled ‘The chaos in Darfur’.

It is also important to note that the conflict has outgrown Darfur itself, especially with the occasional cross-border incursion by Chadian forces, and the deal between several major Darfuri rebel groups and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states to form the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SFR).

This poses challenges for any effective peace talks (although the prospect of new peace talks remains illusory, as the Sudanese government resolutely refuses to renegotiate the DDPD). Where should the international community begin: With the rebels and the government? With the government and the Janjaweed, themselves increasingly resistant to Khartoum’s dictates? With the intra-Arab spat between the Salamat and Misseriya, or the resource-fuelled dispute between the Beni Husein and abbala Reizegat? With the long-standing tensions between the non-Arab Zaghawa and other non-Arab militias? With the faction fighting between fragmenting rebel groups?

Involving armed groups in parallel processes

‘Resolution of Darfur’s diverse conflicts requires many things, including a rethink by the international community, in particular the UN Security Council, of many aspects of its relationship with Sudan. One element of that resolution, however, must be to involve as many armed groups as possible in parallel peace processes, including local inter-tribal conferences; Darfur regional security talks; and the national dialogue. In particular, Arab militias need representation in all processes, and government and rebels must acknowledge that they do not fully represent those communities,’ concluded the ICG.

There are encouraging signs that the AU is cognizant of the need for a new, inclusive peace process, particularly in the wake of the PSC’s field mission to Darfur and Khartoum from 19–21 August. Following this visit, the PSC met to discuss the activities of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) for Sudan and South Sudan, and issued a communiqué that emphasised the importance of national dialogue. Most significantly, the communiqué indicated that the PSC had extracted significant concessions from al-Bashir while in Sudan:

The PSC extracted significant concessions from al-Bashir while in Sudan

‘[The PSC] notes the statement made by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir that the Government of Sudan is ready to observe a two-month ceasefire in order to create the necessary confidence for all stakeholders, including representatives of the armed movements, to join the National Dialogue process, and further notes the commitment made by President al-Bashir to grant amnesty to members of the armed movements to enable them to attend the National Dialogue in safety,’ said the communiqué.

This is a ‘big picture’ issue, however, and if it is to have any chance of success it will need a great deal of political will, and time. In the short term there is still an important role for UNAMID and the international community to play. But to do so they may need to focus on smaller, more readily solvable issues.

Room for improvement

In assessing the effectiveness of any peacekeeping mission, there are two distinct levels of analysis. Firstly, would the situation be worse without the presence of the mission? And secondly, what can the mission do better?

To the first point: almost certainly, Darfur and its beleaguered civilian population would be worse off without UNAMID. The mission not only provides protection to various camps for internally displaced persons but also conducts regular patrols and containment operations to minimise the opportunity for violence. According to the most recent report of the UN secretary-general on UNAMID, during the period from 26 February 2015 to 15 May 2015, the mission ‘conducted 10 376 patrols, comprising 5 567 routine patrols, 682 short-range patrols, 204 long-range patrols, 2 007 night patrols, 178 humanitarian armed escorts and 1 738 logistics and administrative armed escorts. A total of 5 008 villages were covered during these patrols.’

In addition to this, UNAMID provides protection and support for other humanitarian operations, and support for high-level mediation efforts. All these go some way towards improving the situation on the ground, even if only marginally.

‘What can UNAMID do better? This question can be answered by asking another question. What would Darfur look like if UNAMID was not there? Clearly, the situation without UNAMID would have been much worse than the situation on the ground now. It is not perfect, but I believe the mere presence of UNAMID contributes a lot,’ said Meressa Kahsu, a Researcher and Training Coordinator for the Institute for Security Studies who has visited Darfur recently.

UN spokesperson describes ‘conspiracy of silence’

Despite its obvious impact, UNAMID has not been immune to criticism that it could and should be doing more to fulfil its mandate, especially when it comes to protecting civilians. Most damaging were the revelations from former mission spokesperson Aicha el Basri, who resigned from her position to reveal what she described as a ‘conspiracy of silence’ to mask the mission’s shortcomings. She said that UNAMID troops had repeatedly failed to intervene to protect civilians, even when incidents happened before their eyes; and that the mission was also guilty of covering up the scale of these incidents. ‘I felt ashamed to be a spokesperson for a mission that lies, that can’t protect civilians, that can’t stop lying about it,’ she told the BBC.

Recognising shortcomings

The UN denied these accusations, but it is well aware of other shortcomings in the mission. In his report, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlined several factors that prevent it from fulfilling its mandate effectively. These included 60 attacks and hostile incidents against UNAMID personnel in the 90-day reporting period; other attacks against UN agencies and other humanitarian actors; restrictions on movement, access denial and denial of clearances imposed on UNAMID and humanitarian actors, most often by local government officials; and delays or denials of visas for UNAMID staff. These add up to an extremely hostile operating environment.

Despite its faults, Darfur’s civilians would be worse off without UNAMID

‘The mission is like a prisoner who can’t move outside the jail. UNAMID can’t move outside the base without permission from the Government of Sudan. So how can it be effective in implementing its mandate? One example is the media reports on an incident of mass rape in the village of Tabit towards the end of 2014,’ said Kahsu. ‘UNAMID was unable to reach the village in a timely manner and investigate the alleged cases, only gaining access some days after the incident. This brings the credibility of the UNAMID report on the incident into question.

‘Consent of the host country is one of the principles of UN peacekeeping. In my view, this consent is no longer there,’ said Kahsu. In fact, things have become so bad that the government has demanded that UNAMID leave the country entirely. In response, UNAMID is examining possible options for an exit strategy.

If some of these challenges are beyond UNAMID’s control, it can work harder to address other criticisms. One that is well within the mission’s control is to improve cooperation between the UN and the AU, which is not always as good as it should be. The hybrid nature of the operation poses difficulties, but it also represents an opportunity: by leveraging the UN’s experience with the logistics of such missions and the AU’s political influence with the government in Khartoum, UNAMID should be able to punch well above its weight – and make a real difference. At the moment, Institute for Security Studies research shows that this is not happening.

The international community may not be able to solve the situation in Darfur in the near future. It can, however, take concrete steps to make UNAMID more effective, thereby allowing the peacekeeping force to better fulfil its mandate. Already, UNAMID’s presence is able to mitigate the worst effects of the violence for thousands of Darfuris, and there is no reason why it cannot play this role even more effectively. In fact, if it is truly to live up to its mandate, it must do so.

Relevant documents

Communiqué of the 539th meeting of the PSC on the activities of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) for Sudan and South Sudan

Report of the Secretary-General on the African Union–United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, 26 May 2015

UN Security Council Resolution 2228 (2015) [extending UNAMID’s mandate until 30 June 2016]

Sudan – Bashir and Turabi meet and discuss “successive regime”

Sudan Tribune
July 13, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – An official in Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) revealed that president Omer Hassan al-Bashir held talks with the head of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) Hassan al-Turabi on the latter’s vision for what frequently describes as a “successive regime”.
Sudanese president Omer Al-Bashir shakes hands with Hassan Al-Turabi, leader of the opposition Popular Congress Party in Khartoum on 14 March 2014 (SUNA)

Hamid Mumtaz, NCP’s political relations secretary, told reporters on Monday that the previously unannounced meeting sought to unify the search of what he called “the unification of Ahlul-Qiblah (People praying to Mecca)” but he denied that it tackled the issue of bringing together the divergent Islamic movements.
He did not say when or where the meeting took place.
The NCP official said Ahlul-Qiblah would include “all Islamic movements, Sufis, Salafists, contemporary movements, Arab nationalists and leftist movements as well as a civil society”.
Mumtaz said Turabi spelled out his “successive regime” proposal in detail.
It is believed to be seeking to overcome what is widely viewed as the failure of Islamic parties in governance and establish a new organization for them along with the NCP and overlook the bitterness of the past and take into account the issue of freedoms and diversity in Sudan.
Turabi has asserted last week his confidence in the possibility of re-uniting the Islamic movement in Sudan “sooner or later”, emphasizing that it must be achieved within a year and called for praying towards this goal.
The PCP led by Turabi split from the NCP in 1999 in a major rift among Islamists and later al-Tayeb Mustafa split to form the Just Peace Forum (JPF) and most recently Ghazi Salah al-Din al-Attabani established the Reform Now Movement (RNM) in October 2013.
Turabi was the mastermind of the 1989 Islamists coup which brought Bashir to power. However, the two men fell out in a bitter power struggle ten years later. Al-Turabi was ousted from the NCP and he later moved to form the PCP and become one of the government’s most outspoken critics.
But since early 2014 he has effectively left opposition ranks saying they have failed in toppling the regime and spoke enthusiastically of the national dialogue launched by Bashir in January 2014.

Sudan – preparation to deploy joint force in Darfur

Sudan Tribune
July 5, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese government will deploy during the upcoming days a joint force from the army and police elements in the East Darfur state to curb tribal violence and restore security, the governor said.

East Darfur governor Anas Omer (Photo Ashorooq TV)

Hundreds were killed during inter-communal fighting between Rezeigat and Ma’alia tribes, despite reconciliation conferences and efforts by the local regular forces to prevent the armed confrontations.
Speaking to Sudan Tribune on Sunday, the new governor, Anas Omer, said the 1800-strong security force will be equipped with sophisticated weapons and will not include local elements in order to give it a neutral character.
He further underscored that the joint forces will not only deal with tribal clashes but will oversee the growing season, secure migration routes of pastoralists and protect Khartoum -Alnuhoud – Abu Karinka – Ed-Daein.
The government deployed troops in the conflict areas in August 2014 and May 2015; but the regular forces failed to contain violence and end the recurrent clashes between Ma’alia and Rezeigat..
However, the governor explained the failure of previous attempts by the presence of local elements in the regular troops.
“The joint force will be deployed in line with a new mandate and will not be based in one place, but will be able to move because it will be equipped with sophisticated weapons and new gears. Also there will be no local component and that means they will be neutral,” and added.
“We are counting a lot on these forces,” he added.
Following the deadly clashes last May, the government admitted the failure of traditional reconciliation conferences and said the regular forces will deal roughly with any party that attempts to carry out attacks and bring the culprits to justice.
The new governor who is from central Sudan, is appointed by the Sudanese president last June as part of his new government after his re-election in April 2015.
Just before April elections, the parliament abolished the election of state governors and adopted a constitutional amendment providing their appointment by the president. The move was taken after reports saying the election of governors contributed to the rise of tribalism particularly in Darfur region.
Omer who was speaking to Sudan Tribune form Khartoum, said he is in the national capital to follow up the departure of the joint force and other new arrangements.
He further disclosed that the state government will be formed after Eid al-Fitr adding that its members will not be East Darfur in order to ensure government’s stability and provision of services and development in the troubled state.
The Ma’alia accuse the former governor and government officials in Khartoum including the vice-president Hasabo Abdel-Rahman of backing the interests of their tribe: Rezeigat.
They also say the army and government militia in East Darfur are composed mainly from the Rezeigat.

Sudan – air force bombs central Darfur

Radio Dabanga

Several dead in second bombing in Central Darfur this week

June 12 – 2015 ROKORO
Fire in Kuma Garadayat, North Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid)

Fire in Kuma Garadayat, North Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid)

The Sudanese Air Force bombed Solo and Dalo, west of Rokoro in Central Darfur, on Thursday. According to an armed rebel group, three civilians were killed, including a child. A large number of livestock did not survive the explosions.

The military spokesman for the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid El Nur (SLM-AW), Mustafa Tambur, told Radio Dabanga that an Antonov airplane was flying over the area since 6 pm. After about an hour, it dropped sixteen bombs on the villages of Solo and Dalo.

There were three casualties. One of them is a child under the age of five.

Tambur added that the aerial bombardment also killed about 236 cattle, including camels, and has forced hundreds of residents to flee to the nearby caves and valleys.

The SLM-AW reported an aerial bombardment in the same area on Tuesday. There were no casualties, but people fled from their homes into the surrounding valleys.

Sudan – President Bashir delivers conciliatory inauguration speech

Sudan Now/allAfrica

Photo: Mohamed Siddig/UNMIS

Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir voting in Sudanese elections on 11 April at St. Francis School, Khartoum.

Khartoum — President Omar Bashir who was sworn in before the parliament on Tuesday delivered a speech in which he promised achieving peace and halting blood shedding in conflict area.

In a ceremony attended by the heads of state from Egypt, Chad, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Djibouti and Somalia, beside representatives from Arab and African states, the president renewed his commitment that he would be president for all Sudanese people irrespective of those who participated or boycotted the elections as this was a constitutional rights exercised by all people.

President Bashir told the legislature, following his sworn in as president for a new term, that he would remain loyal to the Sudan and the Sudanese people and that he would do all he could to serve his homeland.

Bashir reaffirmed that the general and presidential elections were conducted in a free and fair climate under the supervision and observation of regional and international observers and that this would remain a source of pride for the Sudanese people.

President Bashir commended all those who participated in the process, with special reference to the Sudanese people who took part in that national action that showed the resolve of the Sudanese people and their commitment to the peaceful exchange of power through the ballot boxes. He thanked the Sudanese people who put their faith on him.

The president also commended the nationalistic spirit with which the people engaged in the elections, saying the Sudanese people as expected of them went to the elections in full and free will to choose their representatives and their president.

“I bear witness here before you and before Allah the almighty that we will remain in the service of the Sudanese people working to bring every possible good for the people. We pledge before you and before Allah the almighty that we will never be but in positions of pride” President Bashir vowed in his speech before the parliament.

He thanked the national committee that stood behind his nomination led by Field Marshal Abdul Rahaman Swardahab. President Bashir also praised the role played by the National Election Commission which he said has carried out its role in all capability and national commitment.

The president equally commended the role played by the police, army and the security and all regular forces who contributed to the success of the elections in a civilized manner and in a spirit of tolerance and cooperation, denoting their full awareness about this huge constitutional right.

The president said special thanks go to the Sudanese armed forces and their new strong arm, the Rapid Support Forces, and the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) who shade their blood in protection and in preservation for the dignity of the Sudanese nation and in securing the climate that led to conducting the elections.

“Our commitment and pledge is that the government will continue supporting them until all citizens are secured in every inch of this grand homeland” President Bashir pledged.

President Bashir sent a special thanks and gratitude to the Sudanese women who have now secured one third of the seats in the parliament, saying that the women in the Sudan have coupled words with deed when they said they would be decisive elements in the elections which they did, he said.

President Bashir commended the youth and the students who have been the spirit and the energy in the elections. The president sent special thanks to the workers, farmers, and businessmen, the pensioners, teachers and intellectuals as well as the religious leaders and the various sectors of the Sudanese popular groups and leaders along with the Sudanese people with special needs who were actively engaged in the elections and were vital for their outcome.

President Bashir commended the role of the political forces that participated in the elections as well as the media men and journalists who contributed in the elections completing this national tableau.

Bashir has underlined that the Sudan is looking forwards to building an effective and productive partnership with all friends and with all sisterly countries of the world, based on Sudanese overtures on all Arab brothers, African neighbors and friends around the globe.

He has pointed out in his speech before the legislatures following the sworn in ceremony as president of the Republic, that Sudanese relations with Arab countries have recently witnessed positive developments and that its African and Asian relations have been a model to be followed for cooperation and constructive relationship.

He said the Sudan would work with open heart and mind to complete its dialogue with the Western countries so that relations would return to normal, guided in this by the positive indexes that showed up recently, and in confirmation of Sudan declared policy of removing all obstacles so as to gain the friendship of all peoples and governments of the world.

He pledged to start a new era in the Sudan where the application of the lofty Islamic sharia will be reinforced, in response to the desire of the Sudanese people and in commitment to the pledges made to those who martyred in defense of those lofty principles.

The president has pointed out in his speech before the national parliament, in the presence of heads of state and government and delegates who came to take part in the inauguration, that the Sudan will enter a new era where blood shedding will cease and reaffirmation of the commitment to relentless efforts to complete the peace process in the country.

The president has reaffirmed his keenness to achieve peace and that the doors close before the doors of sedition, and will open the doors for love, good and brotherhood among and between our people in Darfur, South Kordufan and the Blue Nile area.

He underlined that this peace would be created by the Sudanese hands and Sudanese determination and will, resulting in stability in the homeland and lead to a new phase of development and national building, with a pledge to preserve the unity of the people and the homeland.

He said he was keen to enter in a new era in which he would work with the partners in the homeland to write permanent constitution for the country in a way that would achieve full stability in the homeland and pave the way for making use of the energies of the people for national construction and for development.

He said Sudan is entering a new phase in which all conflicts, nepotism and wars would be discarded and all efforts will be veered towards the reconstruction of the country, based on the guidance of the holy Koran.

The President congratulated the members of the parliament who have been elected by the voters from all part of the country to the National Legislature.

Bashir said in his statement following the inauguration ceremony that he was sure the MPs will carry with them the concern and the worries of their constituencies and that they would continue their role in discussing legislation and in working to monitor the work of the executive, stressing that he would stand with the MPs in the road to reform and development in the country.

He said the government is committed to the reform of the state organs with all the might and resolve and that the aspects of weakness, shortcoming and corruption would be remedied. He said he was confident the MPs would play their role in the supervision, monitoring and in the drafting of legislation to this end.

The president commended the role played by the outgoing MPs, commending the legislature, its leading role and vanguard position in support of the concern of the homeland and in backing and supporting the Sudanese armed forces.

The President has meanwhile announced the formation of a new commission charged with fighting corruption and that this commission would be affiliated to the presidency of the Republic.

He said the new era Sudan is entering into will be that of social justice, the rule of law and prevalence of the shura among the Sudanese people.

He said the new era will be characterized by the high place of transparency in decision making, in appointment and in decisively dealing with any form of corruption or failure to discharge duties or function.

President Bashir told the MPs that in the new ear investment will witness a qualitative leap through attraction of Arab investment capitals that will take role in the Arab food security where the Sudan stand as the lead.

The president said agriculture would be the spearhead in the investment process in the Sudan and that it would be the motor that would help the Sudan remedy poverty, unemployment and compensate the country for the losses made because of the war and conflicts.

The president has meanwhile stressed that assuming public posts will be based on qualification and on competences and that at the same time there would be freedom of expression so long as it is abiding by the law and avoid calling for religious or racial sedition in the country.

He said the Sudan would also make use of all its resources to help build the modern Sudan.

Bashir has revealed that the discovered gold according to the most recent geological map stands at over 8000 tons at a market value of 330 billion dollars which will be used to complete the grand development project and to achieve economic prosperity for the Sudanese people.

The president stressed that the coming phase will be devoted for future developments and that a new page for national accord and togetherness of the national ranks, will be opened.

He said the living conditions of the Sudanese people will be given priority, saying the Sudanese people have born all the suffering and shortages but they still continued their resolve to see sustainability of the economic development and to provide the best possible living conditions for the people, through the best use of the national resources, improving productivity and investment with better cooperation with Sudanese economic partners.

He said Sudan is poised to be a leading productive nation that will meet its needs and cover the food gap for others.

He also announced that all preparations have been completed for launching the comprehensive national dialogue, be it political or societal, which he had called for last year. He said the process will kick off in the coming few days.

The president called on political parties in opposition and who are reluctant to join the process and on rebel movement that the doors of the country are still open to all of them and that they will not be closed before the national political forces that reject the use of force and opt for dialogue as a means for a comprehensive national dialogue that will bring all national forces and deal with all national issues and questions.

The president has announced pardon on all those who carry arms and who are genuine for returning to the home and take part in the dialogue.

“They are all welcome around the national dialogue table so as to come out with a document that would be acceptable for all Sudanese people and which will bring together all Sudanese people and unite their ranks, build its national glory, tall among other nations” the president stressed.

He said he calls on all the Sudanese political forces, be they in agreement or not with the government, that the joint national duty should be to preserve the security and stability of the country and to observe the peaceful coexistence between its various cultural components in a culture of peace and cohesion and that there should be a peaceful deliberation of power and that in case of any differences the politicians should go back to the people.

He said the people should work together to protect the country from foreign breaking and from any other international agenda that would negatively impact the people of the Sudan. He said the Sudanese political scene is big enough to accommodate all people.

He said Sudan is at a very critical stage with serious developments in the neighbouring areas, including wars, conflicts, splits and destruction. He called on all to avoid the Sudanese undergoing similar fate. He called for working together with the neighbouring Arab and African brothers to find political solution that would avert the region warring and displacement and destruction.

Bashir said the new cabinet will be announced shortly, to continue with the plans set in the quarter of century strategic plans and also will be guided by the election programme announced by the Presidential candidate Omar Bashir during the election campaign.

He said the new cabinet will take into consideration the aspirations and expectations of the Sudanese people and their legitimate demands, seeking to convert them into realities.

The president pointed to the various achievements reached thanks to the efforts exerted by the outgoing cabinet, the legislative and political organs.

The president has stressed that much attention will be given to the weaker sectors and that production will be encouraged in the agricultural and industrial sectors and that all hurdles before investment would be removed.

Sudan – Darfur’s deepening conflict


Darfur’s deepening conflict

NAIROBI, 2 June 2015 (IRIN) – Violence in Sudan’s Darfur has surged to levels not seen in a decade, with more than 150,000 people driven from their homes this year alone. The region’s long-suffering residents are also bearing the brunt of a measles epidemic.

It is a conflict to which the international community appears to have no answer and which risks being overshadowed by other crises in East Africa and beyond. The humanitarian and security challenges are vast.

Here’s why:

How did we get here?

Darfur’s war began in 2003 with a rebellion by tribes complaining of political and economic marginalisation against the Arab-dominated government of President Omar al-Bashir. Khartoum’s counter-insurgency campaign has relied heavily on locally-recruited Arab militias who have been accused of mass killings of civilians in non-Arab areas suspected of supporting the rebels. According to the UN, the conflict has left as many as 300,000 people dead and displaced another 2.5 million.

Over the years, the conflict has grown increasingly complex, with rebel movements splintering into numerous rival factions – some of which made peace, at least temporarily – and Arab groups turning against each other and the central government in ethnic disputes often linked to land rights and political power.

After years of failed international peace initiatives, and the indictment of Bashir by the International Criminal Court for crimes including genocide, the conflict has intensified since 2013 with the government launching dry-season offensives against the rebels in Darfur as well as the neighbouring Kordofan region.

Surging violence

This year, government troops, including former militias now called Rapid Support Forces, have attacked numerous settlements in purported rebel strongholds including the Jebel Marra mountains.
Recent media reports show scores of civilians sheltering in caves in the mountains, and telling of an aerial bombardment near the village of Golo in January that left an unknown number of people dead and others wounded.

In May, the government paraded trucks piled high with weapons they said were seized from the rebel Justice and Equality Movement after a major battle in the Tullus area of South Darfur on 26 April.
There have also been several major tribal clashes.

Most recently, fighting broke out on 11 May between Ma’aliya and Reizegat tribesmen near the town of Abu Karinka in East Darfur state over a long-running land dispute. The battles reportedly left hundreds of dead and wounded and displaced thousands. The two Arab tribes have clashed repeatedly in recent years, despite mediation efforts. Hundreds were killed and thousands displaced by fighting between the two groups in the same area last year.

In North Darfur state, a series of deadly attacks this year has fomented tensions between the Berti and Zayadia tribes and displaced thousands more people. Berti student leaders reportedly suspect Musa Hilal, a prominent Arab militia chief, of stirring trouble in the province. Hilal is a political rival to North Darfur’s Berti governor, Osman Mohamed Yousif Kibir, who stands accused of recruiting an ethnic militia of his own.


In all, about 430,000 people have been displaced in Darfur since the start of 2014, bringing the total in the region to 2.5 million, according to the UN. Some 1.5 million of those are children. About 3.1 million people are displaced in Sudan as a whole.

Many internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Darfur have little prospect of returning to their homes.
Aristide Nononsi, the UN independent expert on human rights in Sudan, said after visiting Darfur in May that the displaced lived in fear of armed groups and criminality.

While most IDPs want to go back to their homelands, “many interlocutors whom I met, in particular in North and South Darfur states, remain anxious about the security situation in their areas of origin… as well as the restoration of sustainable peace in the region,” Nononsi said in a statement.

The fighting around Abu Karinka reportedly saw more than 650 homes burned, and an estimated 24,000 families displaced. Hundreds more families fled with their livestock to neighbouring North Kordofan state before violence broke out, according to the UN’s humanitarian coordination body, OCHA.

“The victims are in need of water, food, shelter and medecines,” East Darfuri humanitarian aid commissioner Abdu Abdelmahmound said on May 15.

According to UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, more than 9,000 new IDPs had arrived in the Mellit locality alone as a result of the fighting between the Berti and Zayadia tribes. It said it was also assisting new IDPs in seven other locations in North Darfur.


According to OCHA, about 1.5 million of those displaced in Darfur live in camps or “camp-like settings.”

“The provision of basic services in these locations, relative to the rest of Darfur, is mostly adequate,” Damien Rance, a spokesman for OCHA in Khartoum, told IRIN. “The quality of basic service delivery however has deteriorated over the years as the number of displaced people continues to grow, fewer NGOs remain to deliver these services, reduced funding is being channelled to these services, and the political interest of the international community wanes.”


A long-standing problem facing humanitarian agencies in Darfur has been access to vulnerable populations, particularly in active conflict zones.

After the violence in Abu Karinka, for example, OCHA said humanitarian partners were standing by to move food, emergency shelters and household items. However, authorities have denied UNAMID – the joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur – access to the town to carry out an assessment.

Around 430,000 people have been displaced in Darfur since the start of 2014

“The government has said that, at this stage, it is providing all of the aid that is required,” OCHA’s Rance said. “The international humanitarian community stands ready, willing and able to assist.”

More broadly, OCHA said that access restrictions and insecurity had prevented it and its partners from verifying the situation of 92,000 of those reportedly displaced by recent fighting, including in the Jebel Marra mountains.

Food Security

Militias allied with the government have long been accused of adopting “scorched-earth” tactics, destroying homes and livelihoods in rebel strongholds and thus contributing to high levels of malnutrition.

According to UNICEF, some two million Sudanese children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition, of which 550,000 are severely malnourished and at risk of death.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which resumed work in Sudan in September after an eight-month suspension, recently appealed to donors for more funds so that it could expand its operations in Darfur.

“The ongoing conflict is still taking a heavy toll on civilians,” said Eric Marclay, ICRC’s head of operations for East Africa. “We want to assist both the displaced and host communities directly… seed and tools are needed now to prepare for the next planting season. The additional funding will also finance medical care and the building of water and sanitation facilities.”


According to UNICEF, frequent population displacement and high rates of malnutrition as well as very low vaccination rates contributed to an outbreak of measles in April. The disease has since reached epidemic levels in 14 states, prompting UNICEF to launch a nationwide vaccination campaign. Of the 35 reported deaths so far, 25 have occurred in Darfur.

UNICEF country representative Geert Cappelaere said about 50,000 children are being deprived of humanitarian aid, including essential vaccines, in the Jebel Marra area.

“Because of conflict, we have not been able to access the population in some areas for the last four years,” Cappelaere told Voice of America. “So, we have there a massive group of children that are unvaccinated and may be one of the causes of the outbreak of measles we are having today.”

Funding and capacity

The UN’s 2015 response plan for Sudan seeking about US$1 billion is just 28 percent funded, leaving huge gaps in areas including security and livelihoods assistance. UNICEF said its Sudan 2015 appeal was only 14 percent funded.

Humanitarian agencies also face a vastly diminished operational capacity since the government expelled more than a dozen international aid groups in 2009.

According to OCHA’s Rance, the number of aid workers in Darfur has fallen from 17,700 before the expulsions to just 5,540 in November last year.

“This decline in skilled workers obviously leads to a significant capacity deficit, particularly when seen against that fact that we have seen more new displacement in 2014 than in any single year since 2004. Accordingly, the ability to deliver adequate levels of basic humanitarian services has been adversely affected,” Rance said.


The prospects for an end to the conflict appear bleak.

While President Bashir, who was elected to another five-year term in April, has said he will launch a national dialogue after his inauguration, it remains unclear which members of the opposition and rebel movements will take part.

Analysts and opponents say Bashir’s apparent divide-and-rule policies in Darfur, which have seen the region divided into five provinces, are unlikely to change.

“These policies have destroyed the social fabric in the western region, which has led to the numerous violent conflicts between tribes, in particular the Arab tribes,” said Yousef Hussein of the Sudanese Communist Party. “The government now holds Darfur hostage.”

Meanwhile, the UNAMID peacekeeping mission has faced accusations of timidity and of covering up abuses by Sudanese government forces and is under pressure from Khartoum to scale back its mission or withdraw completely.

Reports of abuses continue unchecked.

“Our concerns run the gamut from conflict-related abuses such as attacks on civilians by government forces and sexual violence by the RSF, to indiscriminate aerial bombing on villages, and the utter lack of accountability,” said Jehanne Henry of Human Rights Watch.