Here is the daily roundup and summary of the major headlines coming out of Sudan. United to End Genocide does not necessarily support the views expressed in the articles in this post.
Sudan condemns renewal of US economic sanctions—Sudan Tribune
US President Barack Obama decided to renew sanctions against Sudan yesterday, eliciting an angry response from Khartoum. The sanctions were first put in place in October 1997 because of Sudan’s record of supporting terrorist organizations and committing human rights abuses. In 2003, additional sanctions were enacted in reaction to the Darfur genocide. It is believed that the ongoing conflicts in Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan played a role in the President’s decision to renew the sanctions.
South Sudan is seeking foreign investors to build an oil refinery. The oil refinery will give South Sudan greater independence from Sudan as their oil industries are still interconnected. The interconnected nature of their oil industries makes it difficult for American companies to invest in South Sudan’s oil sector as US sanctions prevent US companies from undertaking any business that may indirectly aid Sudan.
Michael Mach, director of South Sudan’s military intelligence agency accused Sudan of using its airline company, Sudan Airways. Mach reported that a Sudan Airways helicopter had been captured as it was bringing arms to the rebel South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) led by George Athor. South Sudan fought a large battle against the SSLA in Mayom town just this past weekend.
Sudanese refugees who fled to Ethiopia from Sudan’s Blue Nile state accused the Sudanese government of killing and raping civilians. Accounts of aerial bombardments on civilian areas by Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) have been reported for weeks, but new refugee testimony reveals that the SAF and allied militias are deliberately targeting civilians in ground offensives as well. As the rainy season ends, SAF can ramp up ground offensives, and humanitarian organizations are concerned that attacks on civilians by ground troops will intensify.
Calm in Unity following violent clash—Miraya FM
South Sudan’s Unity state was the scene for a deadly battle between the federal Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the rebel South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) this past weekend. During the battle in Mayom, Unity state, the SSLA rebels attacked the town killing at least 111 civilians, including four children. Two other residents are missing and presumed dead. Calm has since returned to the Unity state and UNAMISS has sent peacekeepers, medical staff, and other personnel to the area to stabilize the situation and aid civilians affected by the conflict.
Garang Diing, Minister for Commerce, Industry, and Investment, spoke before the National Assembly on the issue of food insecurity in South Sudan. In his presentation, Diing cited a report by the UN that says up to a third of South Sudanese are food insecure and at risk of starvation. Diing said that a long-term goal for alleviating food insecurity must be implemented.
Police use tear gas to disperse protest in eastern Sudan—Sudan Tribune
Police used tear gas to disperse hundreds of protestors who gathered on the streets of Kassala to protest the death of a 13-year old boy who was killed by police during a high pursuit chase. Demonstrations have been going on for three weeks in Kassala over the issue of the rising costs of consumer goods.
Refugees from Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia looking for a better life in Israel are ending up exploited by Bedouin traffickers. The traffickers promise the refugees they will get them to Israel for an agreed sum of money. Once the refuges are in their care they extort them for much larger sums of money and use physical and sexual abuse to force them to pay. Refugees are sometimes shot by Egyptian border police or are arrested and detained in deportation prisons before they are deported back to their country of origin.
Food and water shortage in Kalma camp—Radio Dabanga
The humanitarian coordinator at the Kalma displaced persons camp in North Darfur reported a severe food and water shortage in the camp. The coordinator said that the food supplies given by the World Food Programme (WFP) were only 25 percent of the allotted quota and now the supplies are running low. He also accused the Sudanese government of blocking fuel transport to the camps that power the water pumps. The blockades have cause a severe water shortage.
A regional conference on Sudan’s economy has been postponed to March 2012 as many countries were unable to make the scheduled date next month. The conference will focus on ways in which Sudan plans to develop other industries to make up for the revenue lost when oil-rich South Sudan seceded. Sudan has also been looking to have debt relief for $40 billion in loans, and it is likely they will lobby for this at the conference.
Harun testifies against JEM leaders—Radio Dabanga
The Governor of South Kordofan, Ahmed Harun, testified against three Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) leaders, including Tom Hamid Tutu and Abraham Almaz. The JEM leaders are on trial for waging war against Sudan, and if convicted can be sentence to life behind bars or a death sentence. Ahmed Harun is himself wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity committed in Darfur and Nuba Mountains.
The Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) announced that a second camp for Sudanese refugees fleeing aerial bombardments in Blue Nile is being opened in MaoKomo Special Woreda of Benishangul Gumuz State in Ethiopia. Five thousand refugees, mostly women and children, are already living in the new camp.