Here is the daily roundup and summary of the major headlines coming out of Sudan. SDC/GI-NET does not necessarily support the views expressed in the articles in this post
At a public rally yesterday, Sudan President Omer El-Bashir vowed that the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) would “liberate” Kurmuk, the stronghold of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in the Blue Nile state. The SAF has already retaken the capital of Blue Nile state, al-Damazin. President Bashir promised that those who had committed crimes against humanity would be punished.
A UN source said that five international and four Sudanese staff were kidnapped by armed men near Umraik village in North Darfur. Efforts are bring made to find the hostages and negotiate their release. Kidnapping of aid workers and others became a serious problem in Darfur after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President Bashir.
South Sudan’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Ben Achan Ogwaro, says 1.3 million people are facing food shortages and that people and people in Jonglei and Upper Nile have been particularly affected. Ogwaro says the food shortages are due to blockades at the border checkpoints, an influx of refugees, the continuing crisis in Abyei and high fuel prices.
United Nations representative to South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, commended South Sudan on its efforts to punish corruption and maintain transparency in government.
The UN special representative to South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, urged South Sudan President Salva Kiir to properly investigate and prosecute those government officials accused of corruption. President Kiir has declared a zero-tolerance policy on corruption, which Hilde Johnson says is the necessary preconditions to developing South Sudan into a stable nation.
Six refugees raped in North Darfur—Radio Dabanga
According to relatives of the victims, several women had gone out to farm to collect firewood when they were attacked, raped, and then tied to trees. The victims took their case to the commissioner of Kabkabiya who said he could not get the perpetrators because they would have already fled. In another area of Kabkbiya armed men beat four women and stole their donkey. A refugee was also kidnapped and robbed before being released several hours later.
PDF forces take over state security office—Radio Dabanga
Some 800 new recruits to the Popular Defense Forces (PDF), a Sudanese government-backed militia, raided the state security office in Ali Kilik, South Kordofan, saying that they had not received pay for four months of work. Some of the PDF soliders were ordered to participate in actions in the Nuba Mountains but refused saying they did not want to attack their neighbors. PDF soldiers have also blockaded the road used to bring oil in refusing to move until they received their pay. Aerial bombing raids by the government continue in South Kordofan, with the latest strike occurring in Umm Durain.
JEM splinters say ready for peace deal with Khartoum—Sudan Tribune
A breakaway group from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) pledged to sign the Doha Darfur Peace Document (DDPD). The splinter faction is led by Mohamed Bahr Ali Hamdein, who was stripped of his position by JEM leadership after they accused him of attempting a coup within the group by signing DDPD.
NISS shuts down Al-Jarida—Radio Dabanga
The National Intelligence and Security Services of Sudan raided the office of the independent newspaper Al-Jarida and then banned it. Al-Jarida had been already been suspended twice and told not to publish stories by reporters from the Ajraz Al Huriya newspaper, which has already been banned. No official reason was given for the banning of the Al-Jarida newspaper.
South Sudan received an annual grant from the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. The grant will go to a program that will team the American Refugee Committee with the government of South Sudan in order to develop and standardize the way rape cases are managed in a clinical setting.
An Activist On a Hunger Strike—allAfrica
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information denounced the continued detention without trial of Sudanese human rights activist Bushra Qamar Hussein. Hussein has been in the Al Cooper prison for three months and has begun a hunger strike. Hussein has allegedly been abused while in the prison.
Akol Majok Rok, Jur River County Commissioner in Western Bahr-el-Ghazal state, has closed six illegal checkpoints in hopes that it would ease the flow of goods and keep down inflation. Six people were also arrested in the County for stealing goods at a checkpoint.
Interior Minister of South Sudan, Alison Manani Magaya announced plans to create and train an anti-terrorism unit in order to counter any future terrorist threats to the nation. The Minister said that illegal immigrants in South Sudan may pose a threat to the nation’s security.