Tag Archives: Sudan

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.
(ST)

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.
NEW STATE GOVERNMENT
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.
(ST)

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

IRIN

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.

Displacement

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.

Assistance

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.”

Access

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.”

Health

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.

Outlook

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.

Sudan Tribune

(EAST DARFUR) – Heavy fighting has erupted Monday in East Darfur state between Ma’alia and Rizeigat tribes amid fears that the deadly clashes could leave hundreds dead and injured.

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Maalia and Rezeigat delegations arrive at Al-Tawisha in North Darfur before the signing of a cessation of hostilities deal on 22 August 2013 (Photo: Hamid Abdulsalam/UNAMID)

Sudan Tribune correspondent quoted sources in East Darfur state capital, Ed-Daein as saying the security situation in the city is very tense following outbreak of fighting inside the locality of Abu Karinka which is considered a Ma’alia stronghold.

He noted that East Darfur governor, al-Tayeb Abdel-Karim, chaired an emergency meeting for the state’s security committee to discuss repercussions of the situation, pointing to a looming fierce war between the two tribes if authorities do not make decisive measures to stop the clashes.

The correspondent pointed that Ma’alia have evacuated hundreds of families from Abu Karinka with the approach of confrontations, saying the fate of those families is unknown because most of them have scattered in the desert in search of survival.

Other sources said that Rizeigat mobilized thousands of fellow tribesmen from several areas in Darfur and elsewhere to join the fight against Ma’alia claiming the latter refused to comply with repeated calls for reconciliation and seized their land.

On Saturday, the state governor said that mobilization of the armed tribesmen could lead to the deadliest clashes ever between the two sides.

He stressed that his government has sent large military reinforcements to create a buffer zone between the two tribes and prevent a security breakdown.

Reliable sources revealed to Sudan Tribune on Saturday that the federal government plans to deploy two army battalions to the area backed by two warplanes to monitor movement of the conflicting parties.

Meanwhile, the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has expressed serious concern over the recent escalation of tensions between the Rizeigat and the Ma’alia tribes in East Darfur.

It urged in a statement circulated on Monday the “leaders and members of both tribes to exercise maximum restraint, engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve their dispute and refrain from all acts that would lead to violence and displacement.”

The mission welcomed the deployment of additional troops by the Sudanese government to create a buffer zone between the two tribes, calling on it to further intensify its efforts to avoid potential eruption of conflict.

UNAMID added that it “shall continue to protect affected civilians, facilitate and support all efforts by the Sudanese government, native administration, leaders of the two tribes and other stakeholders to de-escalate the tensions and achieve reconciliation between the Rizeigat and Ma’alia in accordance with its mandate.”

In Khartoum, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Sudan ad interim, Geert Cappalaere, for his part, expressed deep concern at reports of clashes between Ma’alia and Rizeigat.

He called, in a statement on Monday, on warring tribes to stop fighting immediately, exercise restraint to prevent further escalation, and support mediation efforts to resolve the underlying causes of this conflict by peaceful means.

“These towns are full of ordinary people, most of them women and children, who are just trying to live in peace. They should not have to carry the burden of renewed conflict. I would like to remind all parties to this conflict that they have an obligation to protect civilians and to allow them unhindered access to humanitarian assistance.” he said.

The conflict between the Rezeigat and the Ma’alia tribes in East Darfur state is considered one of the longest and most deadly in the region.

Both the Rezeigat and the Ma’alia are pastoralist tribes, based in East Darfur. The centre of Rezeigat territory is in Ed Daein town, while the Ma’alia centre is in Adila, the second largest town after Ed-Daein.

Last month, 20 people were killed and several others injured in renewed clashes between the two tribes in East Darfur state.

In August 2014, 200 Ma’alia and 123 Rezeigat tribesmen were killed in clashes which took place in the Umm Rakubah area in East Darfur’ Abu Karinka locality.

Armed clashes between the two tribes in 2013 killed over 149 people and forced an estimated 51,000 people to flee their homes and seek shelter in Adila, Abu Karinka and Ed-Daein localities.

Last March, the reconciliation conference between the two tribes, which was held under the auspices of Sudan’s first vice-president, Bakri Hassan Salih in the locality of Merowe in the Northern state, stalled over the right of land ownership known as Hakura (traditional land grant).

Tribal fighting has intensified in four of Darfur’s five states during the past two years leading to thousands of deaths and injuries and forcing over 300,000 people to flee their homes. They are usually triggered by land disputes, pasture rights and fighting over water resources. More than 7,000 people were killed in those clashes since 2007.

(ST)

Sudan – Bashir says electoral victory has increased the burden on him

Sudan Tribune

2015 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir said that the confidence granted to him by the Sudanese people after his re-election has increased his responsibility and burden on his shoulders.

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir raises his arm as his supporters cheer at his victory speech after he won the presidential election at the National Congress Party headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, April 27, 2015 (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)

Al-Bashir told his cheering supporters at the National Congress Party (NCP) headquarters that he will work to meet the expectations of those who backed him.

He asserted that the transparency and fairness of the elections has dealt a blow to talk about the low voter turnout and served as a cultural model to others especially the “European colonial powers”.

“Our religion and history is better than theirs [Europeans] a million times”.

The incumbent said that Sudan is the land of the oldest civilization in history of Merowe in north Sudan adding that “it was not a surprise that they gave a lesson to those who look at themselves as guardians of Sudan”.

“With these elections, the Sudanese people gave the world a lesson in ethics, they gave the world a lesson in integrity,” he said.

Al-Bashir also praised Sudanese people saying that they “proved to be genuine people and disrupted attempts of the self-centered and deceived who said they had a pleasant surprise” in reference to the opposition which had announced earlier that the day of the election results announcement will carry a surprise to the ruling party.

“Thank you for your gift, which amounted to more than 200 armed vehicles which will be used to eliminate the terrorists and insurgents” he added.

The Sudanese army has announced over the weekend that it inflicted a crushing defeat on rebels in South Darfur and seized hundreds of vehicles.

Bashir stressed that those who boycotted the elections have exercised their constitutional right “because Sudan is free and its people are free…. whoever does not want to participate it is their right and we respect their opinion and we respect their position,” emphasizing that he would not accept orders or dictates of anyone.

“I salute the election commission and observers who testified with us that the polls were clean, free and transparent,” he added.

The NCP also secured an easy win in the parliamentary elections with 323 out of the 426 seats in the National Assembly.

The opposition boycotted the election, citing widespread crackdown on civil society and the media, which they say created an impossible environment to fairly contest Bashir’s presidency.

The African Union (AU) observer mission confirmed last week the low turnout in the elections saying it would not exceed 40% and said this could be partially due to boycott by opposition parties.

In a statement issued on Monday, the SPLM-N deputy chairman Abdel Aziz Helu rejected the outcome of the “fake elections” saying “it only confirms the regime’s lack of legitimacy”.

Helu further reiterated “the continuation of the armed struggle to serve to the Sudanese people and their rights in citizenship, freedom and democracy”.

In a message of solidarity with protesters in Lagawa town in West Kordofan state, the rebel leader hailed the successful boycott of elections and called to develop actions to achieve popular uprising in order to overthrow the regime.

The European Union, United States, Britain and Norway all criticized the election, saying the lack of a promised national dialogue left Sudan without an inclusive political process.

The Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) announced that it does not recognise the results of the elections and said that Sudanese people boycotted it.

Abu-Obeida al-Khalifa, an SLM official, said that the elections showed the true weight of the NCP and that the international community refused to recognise the results.

In Washington, the US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told reporters that “we do not consider the outcome of these elections to be a credible expression of the will of the Sudanese people”.

(ST)