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.
‘Military operations will be in Khartoum’—Radio Dabanga
The Sudan Liberation Army factions led by Minni Minnawi (SLA-MM) and Abdel Wahid (SLA-AW), and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) have decided that they will no longer fight in Darfur but in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. The decision came in reaction to the government’s vow to ramp up its efforts to crush the rebels in Darfur. The rebel factions said they will “not fire a shot” in Darfur except if it is necessary to protect civilians or their own operations.
Herve Ladsous, UN Under-Secretary-General of Peacekeeping Operations, expressed concern over Sudan and South Sudan refusal to withdraw their troops from Abyei. Both countries have stated that their troops must remain there to defuse tensions between returning herders and farmers. The Under-Secretary-General repeated reports by the UN Interim Security Forces for Abyei (UNISFA) that stated that neither country had withdrawn its troops from the contested Abyei region. He asked that the UN Security Council set a deadline by which both countries have to withdraw their troops or suffer consequences.
Sudan has pledged to remove its soldiers from the disputed area of Abyei only after the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) are fully deployed, a decision that violates the agreement they made with South Sudan in June. South Sudan has asked the UN Security Council to issue an ultimatum to Sudan to force them to withdraw. UNISFA, however, says that neither Sudan nor South Sudan has honored the agreement, and that neither side has made any progress in withdrawing troops. Interestingly the Sudanese government acknowledged that their failure to withdraw Sudanese Armed Forces may contribute to tensions between herders and farmers trying to return to plant crops.
WFP issues ultimatum to Kalma camp refugees—Radio Dabanga
The World Food Program has given the refugees of the Kalma camp until October 15th to come up with a decision on re-registration. The World Food Program wants to re-register all the residents of the camp, a move resisted by the residents who fear that if they turn in their old ration cards they will lose their food rations. Camp leaders claim that the World Food Program threatened to cut the Kalma camp out of the annual budget if they do not come up with a decision by October 15th, meaning the Kalma camp would not receive food rations for a year.
Refugee International reports that more than 20,000 people returning to South Sudan are stranded at the border towns of Renk and Kosti in Sudan. The returnees have little food or provisions, and say they are dying of hunger while they wait. Local agencies are already working above capacity and the situation is getting worse as more returnees continue to arrive in border towns. It is not certain when the returnees will be able to continue on to South Sudan and repartition resources are already stretched thin.
Jonglei state authorities have completed planning for a conference that will address the inter-communal violence that has killed hundreds and displaced thousands. State and local representatives and religious leaders are expected to attend the conference that starts Friday in Bor.
South Sudan’s president visits Khartoum on Saturday—Sudan Tribune
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir is expected to arrive in Khartoum on Saturday to discuss post-Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) issues and defuse growing tensions with Sudan. Some post-CPA issues that still need to be resolved are the status of Abyei, oil-revenue sharing, and border crossings. The refusal of both countries to withdraw their troops from Abyei and the continuing conflicts in South Kordofan and Blue Nile have contributed to rising tensions between the two states, and the two presidents are expected to discuss these problems.
UN Under-Secretary-General of Peacekeeping Operations, Herve Ladsous, warned that the failure for the two countries to withdraw their troops risks escalation of tensions between them. M. Ladsous also expressed concern that the presence of the armed forces may escalate problems between the Misseriya herders and Ngok Dinka farmers. The annual migration of the Misseriya tribe coincides with the Ngok Dinka planting season, and Mr. Ladsous is concerned that presence of soldiers and the Misseriya herders will prevent the Ngok Dinka from arriving in time to plant.
Canada is expected to lead new efforts at attaining peace in Darfur. Joint Special Representative for UNAMID visited with high-level Canadian government officials for three days in Ottawa, where they discussed ways to bring other armed rebel groups into Doha peace negotiations. Canada has already been heavily engaged in supporting UNAMID and efforts to bring peace to Darfur.