Here is the daily roundup and summary of the major headlines coming out of conflict areas. United to End Genocide does not necessarily support the views expressed in the articles in this post.
Sudan and South Sudan
The Liberation and Justice Movement(LJM) is hoping that the workshop in Washington aimed at making peace in Darfur will be successful in convincing other rebel groups to sign the Doha Darfur Peace Document (DDPD). The LJM was the only rebel group to join the Sudanese government in agreeing to the Doha peace accord, and most of the other groups refused unless they were allowed to renegotiate the conditions.
Sudan has denied that Sudanese civilians are fleeing the country for refuge from government attacks or that it bombed two of the refugee camps in South Sudan they are fleeing to. US Ambassador Sudan Rice said the denials were a “blatant lie” and that the evidence is “incontrovertible”. The aerial attack on the Yida refugee camp was witnessed by UN personnel delivering aid in the area and the damage was videotaped.
Four of the major rebel groups operating in Sudan agreed on Friday to form a coalition called the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), to overthrow Omer El-Bashir’s regime and replace it with a democratic government based on “voluntary unity and neutrality of religion on political matters”. The coalition is made up of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM), the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).
Malawi explains to ICC why it didn’t arrest Sudan president –Sudan Tribune
Malawi submitted to the International Criminal Court (ICC) an explanation for why they did not arrest Sudanese President Omer El-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The explanation stated that Bashir had been afforded the same immunity as all heads of state who visited Malawi for the regional economic conference. They further argued that because Sudan is not a signatory of the Rome Statue, Bashir is immune from prosecution by the court. Malawi also cited the African Union’s resolutions that said member countries are not required to fulfill the warrants of the ICC, which they believe is biased against Africans as all the indictments have thus far been against African war criminals.
South Sudan security detains UN Helicopter –Miraya FM
South Sudanese security forces detained a UN helicopter carrying polio vaccines in Louro Payam, Budi County in Eastern Equatoria State on Friday. The crew was reportedly not allowed access to food, water, or communication equipment. The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said a report of the incident would be filed with government authorities.
The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed fears that the tension between Sudan and South Sudan following Sudan’s bombing of South Sudanese territory will displace more people from the volatile border areas. Up to 55,000 additional people have already fled from Kurmuk and Damazine in Blue Nile state to South Sudan due to Sudan’s escalating aggression.
Amnesty International has released a report accusing Sudan of detaining 100 political activists in Khartoum and subjecting them to torture and abuse. Demonstrations against Omer El-Bashir regimes have increased recently, as protestors are blaming the government for the dire economic situation.
In an attempt to curb corruption in government, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir fired the head of anti-corruption commission, Dr. Pauline Riak, for failing to prosecute a single government official for corruption. She was replaced by former member of the Supreme Court, Judge John Gatwech Lul.
South accuses north Sudan of cross border attacks—Sudan Tribune
South Sudan accused Sudan of sending mercenaries across the international, but ill-defined, border to attack a South Sudanese military base. The attack reportedly killed at least 5 South Sudanese soldiers and injured 26. Sudan has denied these allegations saying the attacks were likely committed by the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA), an armed group that rebelled against the South Sudanese government. South Sudan rejected this argument saying Sudan was disguising its soldiers as South Sudanese rebels. The two countries have begun building up their armies along the border and Oxfam International has withdrawn its aid workers from the area.
Sudan has accused South Sudan of being behind the new allied coalition of Sudanese rebels, the Sudan Revolutionary Front. Sudan accused South Sudan of sponsoring the meetings between the rebel groups in Juba and said such support constitutes “a clear declaration of hostility”. Sudan and South Sudan have regularly traded accusations that the other supports rebel groups in the other country. South Sudan has stated that Sudan’s accusations are false and are being made to justify further military aggression against the South.
Syrian President Bashar al- Assad’s violation of the Arab League peace deal, has brought more international pressure on the regime. The Arab League voted to suspend Syria’s membership. The European Union extended its sanctions to cover 18 more individuals responsible for the crackdown on Syrian protestors. Turkey and Jordan have condemned Assad’s actions, with King Abdullah of Jordan calling for Assad to step down. Russia, however, condemned the Arab League’s suspension of Syria’s membership.
In reaction to Syria’s failure to implement the Arab League-brokered peace deal, the European Union has extended sanctions to freeze the assets of 18 Syrians responsible for crackdowns on protestors. The EU also restricted the European Investment Bank from giving Syria loan payments. 19 companies have had their funds frozen and the EU embargo on Syrian oil have already reduced oil production by 75 percent.
Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-Moon applauded the Arab League’s decision to suspend Syria’s membership in the League because of its continued violence against protestors. Ban also called on Syria’s leadership to return to the peace deal brokered by the Arab League.
Syria: Arab League suspension threat illegal—Al Jazeera
Syria’s Assad regime called the Arab League’s suspension of Syrian membership illegal. The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership because the regime failed to honor the peace deal offered by the League. The regime also criticized the Arab League for giving the United States’ so much influence in the League.
Russia moves to shield Syria—London Evening Standard
Despite mounting pressure by the international community to further isolate the Assad regime in Syria, Russia publicly condemned the League of Arab States decision to suspend syria’s membership in the League. Russia is a close ally to Syria, selling the country much of its weaponry and maintaining a naval base on its coast. Russia, along with China, vetoed a resolution in the UN Security Council that would have imposed sanctions on Syria.
King Abdullah of Jordan publicly called on Bashar al-Assad to step down, becoming the first Arab leader to do so. The Arab League agreed on Sunday to suspend Syria’s membership, due to Assad’s failure to honor the peace deal brokered by the League. At least 240 Syrian protestors have been killed between November 2nd when the deal was offered and last week.
Libya militias clash in longest sustained fighting since Qaddafi’s fall—Christian Science Monitor
Over the past four days rival militias in Zawiya and Warshefanahave clashed in the longest sustained fighting since deposed president Muammar al-Gaddafi was captured. At least six people were killed in the battles. Many of the militias are connected to various ethnic and tribal groups and have refused to disarm until their rivals do. The militias point to the disturbing possibility that Libya will be unable to unite around a democratic government.