Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas to all ... and happy Idd al Adha too

"Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to men on earth
on whom his favour rests!"

Have a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year 2007. Happy Idd al Adha to my Muslim friends too! I forgot! See you all in the new year!

I am going on my holidays.

Sudan accepts UN/AU hybrid force

Atlast, atlast, atlast!

The Sudanese government has atlast agreed to the UN hybrid force for Darfur! The government had been dragging its feet for a long time over the issue. Now a compromise on the hybrid AU-UN force seems to be favourable for the government, albeit with lots of reservation.

The time is now right to put things in order in Darfur. The hybrid force alone cannot bring peace to Darfur. Efforts must now be exerted for concurrent peace talks to end the suffering. An all inclusive peace shouldbe the goal, not fragmented deals with renegade groups that only worsen the situation.

And let there be peace in Darfur...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas curfew in Juba

It is not going to be a good Christmas in Juba with the curfew in place.

Christmas in Juba is not only the the day. The traditional midnight service is the must attend service for many. As far back as I can remember, I have never missed this service, even during the hard faces of the war. There had always been allowances made for people to attend the midnight service without being harassed or arrested.

I hope the GOSS security will grant the people of Juba the chance to take part in the mid night mass.

So does it also mean no all night parties and new year bonanzas?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

10 bulls for LRA rebels

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda cannot cease to amuse. He has a good sense of humour too!

In their slow-moving peace process in Juba, President Museveni is sending 10 bulls as Christmas present to the rebels LRA in their assembly places. He said it is a sign of good will in the talks.


Saturday, December 16, 2006


I will be away for the next three days on a short trip and there won't be new postings. Have fun wherever you are.

South Sudan (2): the case for separation

Welcome back. Let us now see the arguements for separation. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in January 2005 give the South the right to secede in a referundum after six years interime period. Did they have a case?

What had made the peace talks between the SPLA and government take such a long time to conclude was the issue of trust. South Sudanese have lost complete trust on the successive governments in Khartoum. Abel Alier, the former Vice President of the Sudan (from South Sudan) under Nimeri puts it bluntly in his book that 'Too Many Agreements Dishonoured'. That is why the option for separation was vital for the movement to sign an agreement.

There are many other reasons to opt for a separate country. South Sudan has not gained anything in the fifty years of independence, thanks to the leadership in Khartoum who show to that. There are no functional infrastructure, no proper schools or health service and poverty is wides spread. Maybe standing alone thy can do something on their own instead of remaining marginalized.

After abrogating the Addis Abab Agreemnt and declaring Sharia in the country in 1983, Numeri had effectively excluded the South Sudan, which is predominantly Christian from the system. How can South Sudanese in their own country become become second class citizens? And no Christian can ever dream of becoming the president (for example) in an Islamic country. The presidency is not that of a selected few. Everyone should have the right (even if on paper) to be president, like any other person in Nimule, Berber, Foro Buranga, Dinder or Jazeera Aba!

South Sudan has the most untapped resource, in both human and natural. The vast oil reserves in the South could give its economy might that can rival South Africa in growth. There are also other minerals like gold and diamonds. The vast agricultural lands could serve as the breadbasket of Africa. The opportunities are endless.

And capacity? South Sudanese diaspora are the learned and skilled if they could all return to build. They have not been sleeping out there, coz there are professionals of all types. They can do the job. In a multi-tribal society, tensions are expected. The NIF are only fueling them by buying unsuspecting poor tribal chiefs and militia leaders to do their dirty job for them.

The temporary marriage in the form of Government of National Unity (GONU) has no unity to show for it. They are trying to sell the idea of 'making unity attractive' by pleasing the South Sudanese so that they will not vote for independence come 2011. The Arab countries are pouring in money: Egypt woeing with scholarships, Kuwait wants to build five star hotels, etc. The question has always been: what could they do in six years, that they couldn't do in 50? Where were they?

And don't you tell South Sudanese about African Unity! They know that Eritrea went it separate ways from Ethiopia and the United Nations blessed the separation of East Timor! You cannot definitely deny all these.

So should the South separate? I don't think I have been exhaustive of the arguements, but I believe the answer will be known after the ballot in 2011. However, what happens between now and that day is everyone's guess: the unionists will use every sinew to see that the country remains united, by hook or crook. And the separatists have their owns ways too.

Friday, December 15, 2006

SPLA soldiers on rampage in Juba

I felt like crying . . . Not again! There are gun shots going around in Juba! Former soldiers of the SPLA are on the streets demanding to paid their salaries. Sudantribune was quick to report it here.

It is sad how things can go. Of all the people in the movement, SPLM seems to have forgotten their foot soldiers. After getting into government and squandering money, those very soldiers who fought gallantly for change have been thrown to the back.

It is a sad situation for a country does not honour its veterans. These soldiers must be the first to be paid and not cheated of their dues. Who is going to defend the country and fight for the government if the soldiers refuse? How can you expect them to keep peace when they are hungry, knowing tha a hungry man is an angry man.

Salva Kir should listen to voice of reason. His arm length approach to events is going to cause the people of South Sudan dearly, again. He should show strong leadership, rid the country of corruption and restore confidence of the people in his government. Otherwise, the future of South Sudna is hanging in a balance.

Why Southern Sudanese feel trapped

I just thought I should pause with this article on South Sudan. I got it here.

Inside the mud-and-wattle structures, eating places by day and pubs by night, littering the Juba streets, people often hurdle to discuss the future of Southern Sudan. But they are discovering that it’s becoming harder to discuss the future without discussing the wave of insecurity across the country.

“The reason for these incidents is not what many people think it is,” Dr Kenyi Spencer, told this writer outside one such makeshift iron-roofed eating place, a swirl of dust from the fast moving cars, blurring the view between us.Initially, the Lord’s Resistance Army took the blame for the attacks. The Government of Southern Sudan later blamed the Sudan Armed Forces.

The reason, many analysts said, was that the Khartoum traders had hired the Sudan Armed Forces elements to disrupt trade between Uganda and Southern Sudan. That trade, which has made Uganda's border points at Arua and Nimule boom towns, has also given the people an alternative source for goods and brought prices down. In the past goods here in Southern Sudan came from Khartoum, which is much farther from Juba than is Kampala.

But to many analysts, the reason for the attacks is shaping out to be different – and much, much worse and costly – than initially believable.That reason has to do with the future of Sudan.

“The people in Khartoum want to make it impossible for the referendum to take place,” said Spencer, an economist, who returned from South Africa to help rebuild his country.

But to get to that stage, there will have to be a referendum in 2011, according to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by the two parties in 2004. Blocking that referendum, to many Sudanese, is the key to blocking secession. As accusations intensify that Khartoum is fanning insecurity in order to torpedo a referendum that would allow the people of the south to determine their destiny, the Sudanese Defense Minister this week passed the blame to the Lord’s Resistance Army. “Those are the Sudanese LRA from Southern Sudan,” the Khartoum minister of Defense Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein said this week, as he traded words with the SPLA officials, The Juba Post, the south’s largest newspaper, reports in next week’s issue.

Ending the insecurity in the south, the official said Wednesday, during a security meeting is a responsibility for the Southern Sudan government. But the Government of Southern Sudan officials say the perpetrators are not LRA. Oyai Odeng, the SPLA Chief of Staff told Hussein that the perpetrators have been identified as Sudan Armed Forces personnel.

Last week, two SPLA guards and another person were killed a kilometer from Juba by attackers the SPLA said planned to set fire on a military depot.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

South Sudan (1): the case against separation

It had been clear from the outset that South Sudanese have a case for separation. However, before taking that angle, let us discuss the case against separation.

Secession is no longer palatable in the world. The African Union is pushing for 'African Union' and not keen on already established countries to break up. A united Africa is what they want and therefore frowns at South Sudan to even thnk about such options. The former leader of the movement Dr John Garang de Mabior is clever not to raise it. He always says he is fighting for a new Sudan, and won hearts around the world.

The other reason is that of capacity. As mentioned by the British before independence, South Sudan is not capable of being a nation on its own. It is still lacking in capacity and competence. Iliteracy is widespread, no infrastructure of any kind, and could not survive on its own.

Many people also believe that the South Sudanese lack the vision of a nation. Its societies are still broken along tribal lines. There are still tribal rivalries between the big three tribes: dinka, nuer and shilluk. If South is to separate, there will surely be another war among themselves for power! The NIF seems to use this fault line very well indeed!

With lack of capacity at the top, South Sudan could easily deteriorate into another Somalia. Foreign countries could easily plunder the vast resources of the country.

What could avoid the South State from goiung into war with the North? The wide border between them could be potential for trouble spots, along the oil fields located close to the North.

How true are these arguements? It will not be easy to sell such ideas to South Sudanese though! These are just a collection of the few being trowled around. Next let us turn to the case for for separation.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

World's oldest person dies at 116

How did she do it, I mean to survive to the age of 116? Elizabeth "Lizzie" Bolden was the world's oldest person.

The infant mortality rate, the probability of a child dying before the first year of live in Sudan is 62/1,000. The life expectancy is a mere 57 years!

Yet here is a human like us who lived to be 116 and had 40 grandchildren, 75 great-grandchildren, 150 great-great-grandchildren, 220 great-great-great grandchildren and 75 great-great-great-great grandchildren!

How the Danes solve their speeding problems!

Have your city got speeding problems? Borrow a leaf from the Danes! Check out at halalhippie! It may work, especially in the Arab world!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

South Sudan: to separate or not to separate

A lot of people had been asking me about my views concerning the issue f separation of the South Sudan from the rest of the country. I think this is a real issue for most people during this hard time in the country.

I want to put forward a collection of vews from both perspectives: to separate or not to separate. Before delving into this two views, I would like to give first some backgrounds that formed the views to be shared and be as neutral as I can.

During the British colonial rule in Sudan, South Sudan was governed separately from the North. The Closed District Act ensured that separate development. However, before independence Britain offered the South unity with the North during the famous Juba Conference in 1947. The idea was that the South has better chance of development as part of the North, who are more educated and advanced than the South.

The South Sudanese at that time were not happy and mutinied in Torit in 1955 which led to the 17 years of civil war during the Anya Anya Movement. This war came to an end in 1972 with the Addis Ababa Accord giving South Sudan self autonomy. Unfortunately, former president Numeri abrogated the Addis Ababa Agreement in 1983 and declared Islamic Sharia in Sudan.

In 1983 as a result of Numeris misplaced actions, South Sudan took up arms again with the formation of the SPLA. Peace only came more than 20 years later with the signing of the CPA in Nairobi in 2005. The peace came only after two important elements were included in the agreement: the separation of religion and state and the right of South Sudan to secession (self-determination) Other elements include SPLA keeping its army and autonomy.

With the CPA South Sudanese have for the first time the right to choose between unity and separation. South Sudanese have lost confidence in the successive governments that have dishonoured many aggreements and cannot be trusted. The South remained under-developed and marginalized.

The choice for unity is being played out by selling what is referred to as "making unity attractive". In other words, if South Sudanese witness benefits and development during the six years of Government of National Unity, they will vote for unity.

So should the South separate? I will be putting forward the arguements for and against separation in my coming posts.

Friday, December 08, 2006

How Egypt is woeing South Sudan

It was no surprise when the news came out that the Egyptian government has granted scholarships to South Sudanese to study there. It is not news for the obvious reasons.

Any common man in the streets of South Sudan knows what Egypt was after: the Nile. Egypt was so nervous about the Nile waters that it can do anything to avoid people use the water! The Egyptian involvement in South Sudan goes far back in history.

Following the Addis Ababa Agreemnt in 1972 that brought an end to the first civil war, Egypt offered hundreds of scholarship for South Sudanese. This was also in order to secure the digging of the controversial Jongule Canal. It was controversial because of the environmental impact to the ecoystem in the sudd region.

What is new this tme round? With the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in January 2005, South Sudan has for the first time the right to vote in a referundum for unity or separation. Egypt was openly opposed to the separation of South Sudan and initially opposed the article on separation during the peace negotiations. Now that it is already signed, Egypt wants to strengthen relationship with South Sudan and influence the results of the referundum.

It will take more than Egyptian meddling and Arab World interference to change the course of history. The drive to make "unity attractive" is never going to work. South Sudanese need genuine effort of reconciliation, not thinly veiled attractive packages.

It was only last December 31, that many South Sudanese refugees died in the Egyptian capital at the hands of their notorious police. It is still fresh in the minds of the people.

Our sons and daughters can go to Egypt for education, but that will never be an influence during referundum come 2011! Like a beautiful maiden, it will not be easy to win the heart of South Sudan.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Thoughts . . .

Take a minute to think
And think of the things you thought . . .

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Malakal on fire!

Not again!

The militias in South Sudan are at it again. What is the Sudan Armed forces doing supporting the militais? This is yet again the eveident support of SAF and Khartoum to continuous distabilize South Sudan and abandon the CPA.

The fighting in Malakal should be condemned by all peace loving people. We had enough eneough of these militias and they must be disaremed as soon as possible.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Kola Boof: this woman is dangerous!

I have discovered this Sudanese-Egyptian-American poet and feminist! Hilarious!

Her story is one of intrigue: imagine she was Osama Bin Laden's mistress! This lady wrote several novels and poetry collections too.

Check her out here.

Friday, November 24, 2006

From brain drain to brain gain . . .

Are you a Sudanese living abroad? Do you want to go home and serve your country?

The UNDP TOKTEN programme is the best for you. Let us turn the brain drain to brain gain. Your country needs you!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Government of South Sudan should focus on education

The recent report of the UN Rapid Assessment of Learning Spaces (RALS) makes grim reading.

The report said that 758,207 students are enrolled in 2,922 schools across the vast expanse of Southern Sudan, which is struggling to recover from two decades of armed conflict. According to the survey, almost a third of these children still attend classes in the open air.

This should be an eye opener for the government. Education is the backbone of nation building. If we want to achieve a lot and succeed, investment in education is the best insurance for the future.

South Sudan has one of the best universities in the country: Juba University. Although currently It had created some of the elites of the country since inception in 1978, with its medical faculty its pride. It is a cradle of our culture too. The other two univerisities in Wau and Malakal are coming up too.

Efforts must be put into building up the educational infrastructure. GOSS should make it a priority. The RALS data must be made into good use to chart the future.

We blog for Darfur . . .

That needs courage and determination. That is what We blog for Darfur is all about.

I would like to applaud the initiative of these guys at Mideast Youth. That is a small step, but with big effects.

Darfur has been ignored in most of the media. There is little that come out from the region. We need to have concret and reliable information about the events in darfur. The Arab world media is particularly silent.

Let us put our voices together and blog for darfur.

We can definitely make a change!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bashir in Juba . . . so what?

President Omar el Bashir was in Juba last week. You may ask so what?

Indeed that was the question on everybody's mind. Is that news? Is he there as part of a PR exercise or something sinister?

Just for the record, the last time he visited Juba was for the funeral of Dr John Garang the Mabior, the former SPLM/A Chairman and Vice President who died in a mysterious helicopter crash. That was one year and half ago. He skipped the first anniversary of his death this year in Juba.

The most important element of his visit is the discussion of the militia issues. These militias are really causing headaches to civilians in the South. As per the CPA, there should be no militias. But the government continues to support renegade groups that terrorize civilians. We want to see that stopped. He promised to do just that. Let us hope it happens.

I wish those paliamentarians had asked the right questions: why is the implementation of the CPA going so slowly? Why is the Abyei Border Commission not formed? Why is the Petroleum Commission non-functioning? Vice President Kir should make these things clear.

We want answers, not promises.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The landmine menace in Juba

Life in Juba is getting back to normal, if not for the recent spate of attacks on civilians by unknown gunmen. I believe strongly that things will get better.

However, another real threat to normality is the issue of landmines. The Sudan Armed Forces had planted thousands of these mines in South Suda. They were randomely planted, with no maps of their exact locations. The whole areas around Juba are teeming with them. There are also tons of unexploded ordinances People cannot go back to their fields for cultivation.

It is a big challenge for thos working in demining operations. Areas have to be checked manually meter by meter before they can be certified as cleared. It is going to take ages to do all that.

Meanwhile, life barelly gets back to normal. At least people can get what they want to eat from Konyokonyo market.

According to Landmine Action, each year, up to 20,000 new casualties are caused by landmines and unexploded ordnance: around 1,500 a month and 40 a day. That is very serious indeed.

Black Kush: my next 100 days

What should I be doing in the next 100 days?

I believe it is good practice to set goals, objectives and way to achieving (activities) those aims. So here I go at Black Kush. I want to set my path for the next 100 days. It will be much easier to monitor progress and later evaluate at the end whether there were achievements.

OK, I don't want to sound like a CEO with all SMART objectives and things like that. Plainly stated sentences will do here. After mulling over several ideas and ways of improvements for my blog, I have settled for the following:
  • To represent my opinion as best as I can on issues of interest to South Sudan in particular and Sudan in general
  • To balance different points of view and represent them accordingly
  • To criticize objectively, giving alternative solution where necessary
Wow, that was quiet a mouthful! Believe me, I couldn't even explain all of them if ask. I probably want to show how smart I am! (lol). How do I go about achieving all that? Let me try:
  • By following news coverage about the Sudan and the realationship with the rest of the world
  • By stimulating debate through regular podcast on issues of interests and relevance
  • By revealing some good aspects of our society (Sudan is not only Darfur! There are lots of good things happening here too!)
  • By spicing my posts with anecdotes and lively commentary
  • And lastly, by continuously interacting with other Sudanese bloggers out there!
Phew, that was serious! Am I gonna achieve all that? By the look of things it is not going to be easy.

So 100 days from today, I will invite you to vote whether I have achieved my objectives.

Let the show begin.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Black Kush: my first 100 days!

Black Kush is 100 days today! Hurrah!

It was on August 10th, 2006 that I started my blog. I guess it is time to make some analysis of my work in the last hundred days. Have I achieved what I had set out to do in the first place?

I had posted 50 posts in 100 days, an average of one post every other day. Looking at the toughness of my work and time in working on the net, I guess this is an acceptable target. Considering that there were days or weeks that had gone without a single post before, I consider it an achievement!

I have set also to cover my part of the world or South Sudan to be more precise. I have seen how my world was under represented in the media, or misrepresented too. I covered comments on the Government of South Sudan, criticising and applauding when the need arises. I have checked their activities and what needs to be done. Have I succeeded?

I appreciated the efforts of GOSS to bring peace in South Sudan by supporting peace talks between the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) of Uganda and its government. There will not be peace in the South if the LRA continue to operate.

I had a heart for Darfur, and felt that the world must act to avoid a hunamnitarian disaster of unimaginable scale. I was standing for a UN force in Darfur, knowing that my government is against that. I know AU were underfunded and small force in an area twice the size of Europe. I felt I had too add my voice to the call for sanity. Has it any effect?

Lastly, I want to thank those guys out there who visited my site, posted comments and encourage me by just dropping by. I owe you big, guys.

I especially like to acknowledge the support of Drima, the Sudanese Thinker who always had a word or two. He is one hell of a guy who likes to see Sudanese folks blogging! And I admit am his fun.

I want to go out and celebrate. Tomorrow, I will set out my policy for the next hundred days! Please do come around again! Love to see you here.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Sudan accepts UN's aid in Darfur

Now we are getting some where. President Omar El Bashir had accepted the new hybrid AU-UN force for Darfur.

Let us see where it will take us now. sigh

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Annan opens Darfur conference

The pressure is on. And the mecury is rising.

The AU conference in Addis Ababa on the current situation in Darfur is a welcomed step to solve the carnage. The world is not going to rest until sense is brought back to Darfur. Why should people continue to suffer like this, in world where there is plenty for all. I hope the conference comes up with strong mandates.

The UN force for Darfur is still on the agenda:

"We have not given up the idea of strengthening the force in Darfur," Annan said. "We need to continue our efforts to calm Darfur ... the border area between Chad and Sudan is very fragile and volatile."

A hybrid force, that is. Let them come.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Juba old faithful bridge collapses

What a shame!

The lifeline bridge into Juba collapses under the strain of heavy traffic streaming into the town on 5th November 2006. This old bridge had served the town for many years, resilient to change and tough to the core. But alas, it can take no more.
Pic source: Bente

The fears of Vice President Kir

Salva Kir fears war returns to South Sudan if Darfur crisis continues! Interesting.

This is not news to me. I have already warned here ( BLACK KUSH: Can Darfur undo the CPA? ) that Darfur threatens the fragile peace in South Sudan.

Now the big guy is adding his voice. Let us get a solution quick before all hell break loose again.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Jan Egeland and the LRA

What will it take to bring the Lords Resistance Army rebels of Joseph Kony to drop their guns and go home in peace? The ICC indictment don't seem to work, with the only hope now pitched on the fragile peace talks taking place in Juba.

The UN Head of Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland is putting hope where all else had failed. His meeting today with the elusive rebel leaders showed his commitment to see the carnage in northern Uganda and South Sudan end.

LRA is threatening the peace in South Sudan. The ICC must choose between peace in the Uganda and the workings of international law. If peace in Acholi means forgiving Kony, be it. It maybe hard to bury the hatchet, but the people who suffered most are ready to do anything for the sake of peace. I hope the world is listening.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Who is distabilizing South Sudan?

The situation is worrying in South Sudan. The news circulating that a "New LRA" is functioning in the South is not to be brushed under the carpet. The groups have been carrying out copy-cat killings of civilians similar to the notorious LRA of Joseph Kony.

True, if the government in Khartoum happens to be behind the killings of innocent´civilians, that will be the worse violation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Why will they do such a thing?

There has always been suspicion about Khartoum. Although the CPA was signed, a number of militias remain loyal to Khartoum. These are the groups which are threatening the peace in South Sudan. These groups must be reined in for stability to prevail.

GOSS must exercise its authority over the whole South Sudan. No rag tag militias must be allowed. A thorough investigation must be carried out. If Khartoum is implicated, the evidence must be made known. All the perpetrators must be brought to justice as soon as possible.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

SPLA must improve security in South Sudan

What is happening in South Sudan? It saddens to hear that yet another group of civilians has been killed.

The security situation in South Sudan is getting worse by the day. The recent spate of killings of innocent civilians travelling the roads around Juba is a big setback in the fragile peace. The SPLM must do something now and urgent. The South Sudan army must be mobilized to rid the bushes of South Sudan of these murderous bundits.

South Sudan has come out of a violent 21 years of war. There is no reason to go back to that horrible past. Those bundits attacking civilians must be rounded up as soon as possible. The SPLA ows the people of South Sudan some protection.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Al Jazeera TV: ten years on

Happy Birthday Al Jazeera TV!

The Arab World's most popular old news TV Channel turns ten years today. This "Arab CNN" was hated by Arab governments, bombed by the USA but loved by over 40 million ordinary Arabs. The channel had seen its reporters killed in crossfire or charged for being members of Al Qaeda (eg. Tayseer Alouni in Spain)

Wherever you stand, you will agree that Al Jazeera is the most popular channel. It had brought the Israeli-Palestine conflict into homes, the gruesome faces of the war in Iraq and Afghanistant and the unpopularity of US policy in the Middle East.

It has also been accused of biasness and fueling anti-West propaganda in the ME. I have watched it for years, and loved and hated it at the sametime too!

We wait and see what their English channel will bring.

Read their english profile here.

Who is Mo Ibrahim?

Can the real Mohammed aka Mo Ibrahim please stand up?

I am getting confused! When the billionaire businessman announced his prize for good governance in Africa, he was both praised and criticised at the same time. But that is irrelevant for me. Is he a Sudanese or an Egyptian, is the question?

Most news outlet refer to him as "Sudanese businessman" born in Sudan in 1946. Read here and here and here! However, Time Europe and the BBC said he was born in Egypt!

I was just wondering whether some guys are playing politics here: that nothing good can come out of Sudan, except for carnage like in Darfur!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

We love you Ethiopian Airlines!

Welcome Ethiopian! The news that Ethiopian Airlines will start regular flights to Juba is a welcomed news!

Juba is the capital and seat of the government of South Sudan. The signing of the CPA has opened the town to the world. Its previous links were only through Khartoum.

Few airlines serve the route, apart from small chartered flights from East Africa. Ethiopian is the only international airline that will add the most necessary international link to this "City of Dreams" as it forges its way through a hardwon peace. Ethiopian has shown its commitment to supporting South Sudan in its struggle to succeed as a nation. Ethiopian's move is also a vote of confidence in the new emerging economy of South Sudan. I hope others will follow suit.

Welcome to your new home, Ethiopian! We love you!

Monday, October 23, 2006

NCP and SPLM: strange bed fellows

The National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement (SPLM) are sure strange bed fellows. I just wonder more than once how they keep their Government of National Unity (GONU) functioning.

Now they are trading blows again. The SPLM claimed they were not consulted when Khartoum expelled the UN special envoy Jan Pronk. Being part of the government, where were the decisions made? Are there many governments in Khartoum?

Now it is Khartoum's turn to slam the SPLM. The NCP said the visit of the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to Juba was wrong. Since Sudan is still one country, any president visiting should come through Khartoum and meet president Bashir first.

Who is wrong and who is right? There are more to come, it seems.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sudan expels UN envoy Jan Pronk

Things are not getting any better in Sudan. Now it is the time of Jan Pronk.

The UN special envoy to Sudan has been given three days to pack up and leave the country. His crime: claiming in his web blog that the Sudanese army had suffered serious losses in fighting with rebels in northern Darfur. He also said generals had been sacked, morale was low and soldiers were refusing to fight in North Darfur. I am amused that the Sudanese army generals are reading his blog at all!

Cool. This man has guts. He always said the unsayable! He is feared for hi open remarks. That is why the guys in Republic Palace want him out of their backs. He just gave them the excuse to pounce on him.

Take it from me. The government will relent in the end and allow him to stay. This is high class politicking.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

HRW highest award to a Sudanese

Human Rights Watch, the international watchdog on human rights is awarding its highest award to a Sudanese from Darfur. Salih Mahmoud Osman, a lawyer who has defended and given free legal aid to hundreds of victims of human rights abuses in Darfur, Sudan for the past two decades, will recieve the award in November.

Bravo Salih. You deserved to be honored this way.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Darfur rebels demand new talks, self-determination

The time will certainly come when the cracks will lead to the collapse of the whole system of government in Sudan. The new demands of the new rebels alliance for self-determination is far from realistic, at least for now. I believe it will turn out to be a negotiation tactic: ask for the impossible and then agree on a better compromise.

Self autonomy is the answer, as I said in my last post.

Tip: Coalition for Darfur

The problem with Sudan. Part 1: the system

How do you run a country of 2.5 million square km, 33.3 million people, 7 times the size of Germany, with more than 400 spoken languages and dialects, multiracial, and with lots of resources?

After 50 years of independence from the British, Sudan has failed miserably in finding the right formula. Successful governments in Khartoum have experimented with several forms of systems, from the military to the Islamic fundamentalist ideologies.

Military regimes have not done the country any good. Sudan had seen a good share of military coups in Africa: Ibrahim Aboud (1958), Jaafar Mohammed Nimeri (1969), Suwar el Dahab (1985) and Omar el Bashir (1989). Although the country saw some semblance of calm, a war raged on in South Sudan for 40 years of the 50 years of independence.

The so called democracies had done no good either. The first president of the Sudan Ismail el Azhari failed to bring country together. Even the two times the Sadig el Mahdi ran the country as Prime Minister, Sudan was worst than it had ever been, as the rich plundered the resources and the poor get poorer.

Islamic ideological use in government was the craziest of all. Between 1966 and 1969, Sudan had a series of governments that proved unable either to agree on a permanent constitution or to cope with problems of factionalism, economic stagnation, and ethnic dissidence. The successions of early post-independence governments were dominated by Arab Muslims who viewed Sudan as a Muslim Arab state. Indeed, the Umma/National Unionist Party proposed 1968 constitution was arguably Sudan’s first Islamic-oriented constitution.Declaration of September laws by Nimeri in 1983 imposing Sharia Law and abrogating the Addis Ababa Accord with South Sudan plunged the country into deeper quagmire.

The country is at the verge of collapse and disintegration: rebel movements in the South, East and West of the country. The center is facing the greatest dilemmas as pressure mounts for solutions.

But how do you come out of the situation? Managing the huge country from the center had been one gigantic failure. What the country had never tried is federation. Give the different regions the right to govern themselves in partial autonomy, but retain important ministries. I believe it is the best solution to a recurring phenomenon. Decentralization is the answer.

When each region runs its own affairs, none will think of breaking away as an independent state, hopefully.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sudan denies directing the janjaweed

It is always impossible to put the genie back into the bottle. Sudan's denial is not new.

Museveni and the LRA

When the goings get tough for the colonel, the general gets into the field. So it is for the stalled peace talks between the Lords Resistant Army rebels and the Uganda government taking place in Juba, South Sudan. President Yoweri Museveni has confirmed that he will be going to Juba to oversee the talks himself.

However, the rebels called his move premature. If it can help push the talks forward, what the hell!

Who killed Garang: the conspiracy theories

The circumstances which lead to the untimely death of the South Sudanese leader Dr. John Garang de Mabior in a tragic helicopter crash will never be fully known. Dr. Garang was returning to Sudan after a brief visit to Uganda where he met president Museveni when the helicopter disappeared in the mountain ranges of South Sudan on 30th July 2005.

I for one don’t like conspiracy theories, but I couldn’t help but consider all that were made around the circumstances of Garang’s death. They range from the remotely plausible to the utter ridiculous. Here is a collection of the conspiracy theories so far.

Khartoum involvement
Garang is a threat to the Islamist government in Khartoum. He is gaining support even among the Arab and Muslim northerners. People point to the fact that his reception in Khartoum drew the largest crowd ever to fill the Green Square.

LRA complicity
The Lords Resistant Army (LRA) rebels planted bombs on the helicopter. Garang had gone to Uganda to discuss ways of mopping out the LRA rebels from Sudan. The rebels used to hide in the South during the conflicts but with peace, there is no where to hide. They fear the Garang-Museveni pact could be their end.

SPLA rivalries
They say Garang was assassinated by his SPLA colleagues. Some point to the differences between Garang and his deputy Salva Kir (now the current SPLM leader Sudan VP) prior to the signing to the peace agreement. They believe this was a fight over leadership of the movement.

Congolese rebels
Museveni was fighting the Congolese rebels within Congo and they planted this bomb in the helicopter meant for him. Garang was one unlucky person to travel in Museveni’s bobby-trapped helicopter.

CIA hit
The CIA has taken Garang out of the equation. They fear his ideas about one united and powerful Sudan which can threaten their interests in the region. It was said to be carried out by the CIA’s Worldwide Attack Matrix.

The enquiry made into the accident has concluded that it was an accident with no foul play. Not many people buy this story. Months after the final report was made, Rebecca Garang, the wife of Dr. Garang called for a new probe into the cause of the accident. What am certain is that the truth about the death of Dr. John Garang de Mabior will never be known. But conspiracy theories will always be around for a long time to come.

Monday, October 16, 2006

UN could have averted Darfur catastrophe

That is what the Minority Rights Group International is saying in their report. The UN could have read the signs of an impending catastrophe earlier, the report says.

Act now, UN. Better late than never.

Wanted: a presidential advisor

Question: How many people are needed to be presidential advisors/assistants?
Answer: Infinity!
Question: How do you get appointed as a presidential advisor/assistant?
Answer: Start a rebel movement first!

That seems to be the fastest way to get into the Republican Palace in Khartoum these days. In the past opposition parties get there through coalition governments, et cetra. Not now.

The new trend is disturbing for the country, to say the least. Sudan had rebels in the east, west, south ( but not yet the north!) What is common in all these groups? Their leaders get appointed as vice presidents and advisors! Salva Kir, Mini Minawi . . .

The latest group to join this club are the eastern rebels. Welcome aboard, buddies.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Can Darfur undo the CPA?

As the Darfur conflict in the west of Sudan gains international attention, the efforts to resolve it is threatening the fragile peace in the South of the country.

South Sudan has a government just one and half years old, formed following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in Nairobi on 9th January 2005. The peace agreement brought to an end one of Africa's longest conflicts, that pitted the north against the south. Slowly life is getting back to normal, as landmines are cleared, refugees return home and international agencies work round the clock to provide services such as health.

The Government of National Unity (GONU), formed between the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the National Congress Party (NCP) is struggling along. Although there are problems with the implementation of the CPA , GONU has survived so far. All bodies want to see that the peace is maintained and no going back to conflict.

However, another conflict far away in the west (relative to South Sudan) is threatening the little gains of the peace and autonomy in the South. The issue is whether the government should allow the UN to take over from the AU. The NCP insists that the intended UN mission is a breach of its Sovereignity. The position of the SPLM on this issue is quiet different, to say the least. SPLM is for intervention by the UN in Darfur to stop the death and destruction going on.

The NCP dominated government and their SPLM colleagues are on a collision course. Recent utterances by senior NCP officials like Ibrahim A. Omer does not seem peaceful at all. Saying that if the SPLM support the deployment of UN troops in the country, the NCP will cancel the CPA (i.e. the CPA will cease to exist) is naive, if not utterly rediculous.

This is not a simple statement. It represents the thoughts of the NCP high command. They seem to think the CPA is an SPLM document which can be pushed under the carpet anytime. The NCP wants to threaten the SPLM, a partner to the government with lame threats of jettisoning the CPA. I believe it is an irresponsible remark and should not be left unchallenged.

The CPA had the gurantees at the UN Security Council. It is not that easy to undo an agreement, like what Numeri did to the Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972. This is 2006. It will be the worst mistake that the NCP will make. What will become of the heavily armed SPLA soldiers present in Khartoum today? Do you think they will just surrender their weapons? Khartoum can become another Mogadishu or Bagdad.

Darfur is another matter and must be handled separately from South Sudan. Tampering with the CPA is not a good idea and will bring more disaster than Darfur is already causing.

Friday, October 13, 2006

New UN chief elected

Congratulations to the new UN Secretary General , the South Korean Ban Ki-moon, 62.

The new UN chief is inheriting a very tough job. The UN is under a lot of stress these days. North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Darfur, terrorism, you name it.

I am particularly concern how he will handle Darfur. It seems the international pressure aimed at making Sudan accept the UN forces for Darfur is not strong enough. The coalition showed lots of cracks over the issues. If the problem is not solved by the end of the year, he is in for a really tough New Year party.

Hard luck.

It's Friday 13th!

How superstitious are you?

Most cultures have superstitions. My humble little tribe in Soutn Sudan definitely has lots of that. You don't whistle at night, or look at yourself in the mirror, or many other stuff. An owl cooing on your roof top is a sign of evil to come, a bad omen.

I guess nothing beats the age old Friday 13th fear in the Western world. It is called paraskevidekatriaphobic (I will excuse you if you cannot pronounce it. I couldn't the first time myself!)

I found it hilarious. Read for yourselves, folks.

A Nobel prize for poverty busters!

Thumbs up for the Nobel Committee for their choice of awarding the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize to the least expected groups. Awarding it to the Bangladeshi Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank shows théir recognition to efforts in fighting poverty.

Poverty remains the root cause of the problems in the developing countries. At least countries can now see that micro-credit schemes are worth the sweat, for they can help pull poor communities out of their quagmire.

Again, it has gone to the third world countries, not the first world! Bravo, Muhammed!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Remembering Dr John Garang de Mabior

“In the cabin of the giant Boeing 747, the lights were dimmed as the “fasten your seat belts” and “No smoking” signs lights came on. Then the metallic voice of the captain came floating over the intercom: “ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seat belts. We are now starting our descent to the John Garang International Airport in Juba . . .”

How charming. But not yet. What better way to remember a hero of the Sudan by naming an international airport after him. It will join a hosts of other airports named after heroes such as: the Jomo Kenyatta International in Nairobi, the Murtula Mohammed International in Lagos, the J F Kennedy International in New York and the Charles De Gaulle in Paris. It is the best manner to keep his memories alive from one generation to the next. We will not only make sure his legacy lives on, but also that he is remembered every day. His vision will be kept alive from dying or disappearing with the setting sun.

This is not a strange phenomenon. In many parts of the world, Africa included, there have been struggles for justice and equality. The marginalized and the oppressed masses in the world have led resistances, both peaceful and violent to change the status quo. In most instances, these liberators never lived to reap the fruits of their efforts. They fell in the struggle, so that others can have the best that the world and their countries can offer.

There are other ways we can keep his legacy alive. A John Garang Memorial Center can be built in Juba where he was buried. I suggest a huge park be built in his memory where visitors can see the tomb. It can also double as a memorial for all those who died in the struggle for freedom and justice, by putting up the names of all the fallen heroes in templates around the park. The center can also be made an Institute for Peace and Development Studies.

Wait. There is another way too. Let us rename the big Africa Road in the heart of Khartoum the John Garang Highway. John Garang loved Khartoum. It is his rallying cry for a new Sudan that won him hearts in Northern Sudan. It is the capital that he had fought for 21 years to make as inclusive of all the peoples of the Sudan as possible.

So next time you fly into Juba, don’t think you are landing in another country. It is the John Garang International Airport. Heroes never die.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sudanese national anthem: the call to arms

The Sudanese national anthem is a call to battle. Most anthems praise the beauty of the land and its resources etc. Not the Sudanese. Here is what it says:


Nahnu Djundullah Djundulwatan.
In Da A Da Il Fida Lam Nakhun.
Natahaddal Maut Endalmihan.
Nashta Ril Madjd Bi Aghlathaman.
Hathihil Ard Lana! Falyaish Sudanuna,
Alaman Bayn Al Umam.
Ya Benissudan, Hatharamzukum;
Yah Miluleb, Wa Yahmi Ardakum.


We are the army of God and of our land,
We shall never fail when called to sacrifice.
Whether braving death, hardship or pain,
We give our lives as the price of glory.
May this Our land, Sudan, live long,
Showing all nations the way.
Sons of the Sudan, summoned now to serve,
Shoulder the task of preserving our country.

For many it may sound more approriate now than ever before! With the government raisng the banner of defending the land, the call to arms 'and giving our lives as a sign of glory' is rather worrisome. We are defending our land (Darfur) from invaders (sic!) The anthem sounds great as a rallying call for battle!

The spirit with which the writer of the Anthem wrote may defer, but it has rather bad image for Sudan. The anthem was written by Sayed Ahmad Muhammad Salih and adopted in 1956. It just shows how much we love to fight each other, in the name of 'preserving our country'. Every time I hear the anthem, it is like being called into battle. Maybe it is time we have a new anthem!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Kush: the African Civilization

The first African civilization after Egypt was built by an Egyptianized people who lived between the Nile River's first and third cataracts and spoke Nilo-Saharan languages. This region around the first cataract, called Nubia, had been conquered and colonized by Egypt in the fourth millenium BC. Because of this, Egyptian civilization diffused southward and a new African kingdom was built up in the floodplain around the Nile's third cataract: the Kush. Their capital city was Kerma and it served as the major trading center for goods travelling north from the southern regions of Africa.

Kush attained its greatest power and cultural energy between 1700 and 1500 BC during the Third Intermediate period in Egypt. The domination of Egypt by the Hyksos allowed Kush to come out from under the hegemony of Egypt and flower as a culture; this period ended, however, when the New Kingdom kings, having thrown the Hyksos out of Egypt, reconquered Kush and brought it under Egyptian colonial rule.

However, when the New Kingdom collapsed in 1000 BC, Kush again arose as a major power by conquering all of Nubia. The conquest of upper Nubia, which had been in the hands of the Egyptians since the fourth millenium, gave to Kush wealthy gold mines.

Following the reassertion of Kushite independence in 1000 BC, the Kushites moved their capital city farther up the Nile to Napata. The Kushites by and large considered themselves to be Egyptians and the proper inheritors of the pharoanic titles and tradition. They organized their society along Egyptian lines, assumed all the Egyptian royal titles, and their architecture and art was based on Egyptian architectural and artistic models. Their pyramids were smaller and steeper and they introduced other innovations as well, but the Napatan culture does not on the surface appear much different than Egyptian culture.

The Kushites even invaded and conquered Egypt in a magnificent irony of history. The Napatan kings formed the twenty-fifth pharaonic dyansty in the eighth century; this dynasty came to an end with the Assyrian invasion of Egypt in the seventh century BC.

The Assyrians, and later the Persians, forced the Kushites to retreat farther south. This retreat south eventually closed off much of the contact that the Kushites had with Egypt, the Middle East, and Europe. When Napata was conquered in 591, the Kushites moved their capital to Meroe right in the heart of the Kushite kingdom. Because of their relative isolation from the Egyptian world, the Meroitic empire turned its attention to the sub-Saharan world. For most of its prosperous life, the Meroitic empire served as the middle term in the trade of African goods to northern Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. While it still continued the cultural traditions of pharoanic Egypt, the Meroites developed newer forms of culture and art because of their isolation from the northern kingdoms.

Many of these innovations occurred in the realm of government. Unlike pharoanic Egypt, the king ruled through a customary law that was established and interpreted by priests. The king was also elected, but he was elected from the royal family. As in Egypt, descent was reckoned through the mother's line. Eventually, however, this descent model produced a series of monarchs who were women, an innovation not seen in any other major civilization.

The Kushite religion closely resembled Egyptian religion. It was polytheistic and contained all the major Egyptian gods. Amon was the principal god, but as in Egyptian religion, Meroitic religion involved regional gods which were served as principal gods in their region. There are some non-Egyptian gods, such as a lion warrior god, which the Meroites probably derived from southern African cultures, but these gods were few.

The Meroitic Empire thrived throughout the last half of the first millenium BC. After three centuries of decline, it was finally defeated by the Nuba people. It's commercial importance was replaced by Aksum to the east.


Black Kush, a new awakening!

I have been away and very busy that blogging my site had been a big problem. I am happy to be back. To signify this new awakening, 'Juba Blog' has changed its name to Black Kush. The URL remains the same, though!

Why Black Kush? Well black because am a Sudanese and Black African too. Do you know that more than 60 % of the Sudanese are blacks? Kush is the ancient Sudanese Kingdom that I will be telling you more about in times to come.

So here comes Black Kush . . .

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

AU extends Darfur force mandate

At least the people of Darfur will not be left alone. These gives a breathing space. Darfur plus: AU forces plus reinforcement in terms of logistics and funding may safe Darfur for the moment, but not for long. It is just postponing the obvious. I welcome it, though.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Who will replace Kofi Annan?

The term of Kofi Annan as the United Nations Secretary General, runs out on December 31st, 2006.

The race is already on to find a replacement. According to the U.N. an unofficial system of regional rotation, it is Asia's turn to field a candidate for the prestigious job in the world. To win the Secretary-General's post, a candidate must have the backing of all five permanent members of the Security Council: USA, UK, France, Russia and China. The current front-runners so far:

  • Prince Zeid al Hussein, Jordan's ambassador to the U.N., (Jordan)
  • Shashi Tharoor, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information (India)
  • Ban Ki Moon, Minister of Freign Affairs and Trade (South Korea),
  • Surakiart Sathirathai, Deputy Prime Minister (Thailand)
  • Jayantha Dhanapala, Senior Advisor to Sri Lankan President (Sri Lanka)
Other potential canditaes:
  • Niranjan Deva-Aditya, Sri Lankan ambassador-at-large
  • Anwar Ibrahim, former Malaysian deputy Prime Minister,
  • Goh Chock Tong, former Singapore Prime Minister .
The new Secretary General will inherit a lot of world problems: Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Darfur, North Korea, volatile Israeli/Palestinian issues, HIV/AIDS, global warming, you name them.

An Arab UN SG seems plausible, but it seems the Americans are not yet happy with the current list. They want more candidates. Judging from how Kofi Annan himself got the position, it is going to be an interesting race. Let the fun begin.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

AU backs 8,000 troops for Somalia

Wonderful. These guys never cease to baffle. The cash-strapped African Union approves the sending of 8,00 troops to Somalia .

They are unable to deliver in Darfur, but have the guts to approve more peace keeping duties on the continent. The million dollar question: who will finance them?

Houston, we have a problem: CPA in trouble

Anyone living in Sudan knows that from the start. The Khartoum government will never be committed to whatever peace it signs.

Thus, Koffi Annan's Report to the UN on the poor state of implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is not news. One year on, most aspects of the agreement remain on paper: Abyei is not tackled, oil sharing is still hidden in shroud in secrecy, government still holds back legislations for civil service employment and changes, emergency laws are still in place, government still maintains militias in South Sudan and have not completed the withdrawal of the SAF; the woes continue.

We in the South are at least happy that the guns have fallen silent. The government should not be allowed to abrogate on agreements signed. They have a history, like the Addis Ababa Accord of 1972, abrogated by Nimeri's government.

The SPLM should watch out. This should not be allowed to go on like that. Khartoum must be made to abide by the agreements fully.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Lam Akol: MI 2

Lam Akol, the Sudanese FM is probably sweating real bad under his collar! Sure, he had the job of representing the government of Bashir to the world.

His Washington trip is re-enacting Mission Impossible 2: with a letter from Bashir under his armpit, Akol was sent to reiterate the position of Khartoum government over Darfur and the UN. But they were waiting for him before Bush: Condoleezza Rice told him in the strongest possible terms to accept the UN force in Darfur. Period.

I would love to see his face when he meets Bush next. Although the government was showing some signs of backtracking with regards to the AU forces, nothing concrete is forthcoming.

Although the SPLM is a part of the government of national unity in Khartoum, they are behaving with indeferrence when it comes to Darfur: like it is the problem between the National Congress and the UN. One time trying to be the mediators! Wake up guys, you are the government in Khartoum. Don't think you can be excluded when sunctions come around.

Remembering 9/11

The question that is always asked of people is where were you on that fateful day five years ago?

I was actually in Darfur, Geneina, to be exact, working in the hospital. Darfur at that time was quieter, although the so called "armed robbers" as the rebels were widely known that time, were still active. I was shocked to get back to the mess and found the news on TV!

Five years on, there is a lot that people are reflecting on. In one single terrorist blow, more than 2,700 people were killed, among them more than 70 other nationalities. It was a terrible thing of unknown proportions. No one would have thought that a group of murderous jihadists could turn a jumbo jet into a killing weapon. Not even Hollywood scriptwriters had thought of that for a blockbuster movie!

That event had led to what Bush called the "War Against Terrorism". However, that had sparked off more violence: Afghanistan, Madrid, Iraq, London.

Sudan had been in the limelight of this war. Even before 9/11, Sudan suffered the effect of the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam bombings of the American Embassies with the cruise missile attack on the Al Shiffa Pharmacitical Factory. No one to this day knows what the Americans were after: they claimed a chemical weapons factory, but no evidence was found.

Five years on, has the world been safer? Far from it. The recent release of the Al Qaeda tape promise more to come. The world will have to brace itelf for more carnage. It is up to the moderate Muslims in this world to rescue their religion from the hands of extremists who are bend on turning it into a calling to bloodshed in the name of Allah.

I wonder if mortal men can fight God's war for him. Probably not.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sudan and AU

I was just thinking what will happen when the AU pulled out of Darfur, the UN failed to come and the condition worsens in Darfur.

What will be the relationship between Khartoum and the AU? Remember, Sudan's Bashir is destined to head the African Union next year, something agreed upon in the last Summit in Khartoum. That complicates the whole picture, I guess.

Bashir failed to get the AU seat because of Darfur. Now that Darfur is still burning, will he be handed the seat? The whole world will be crying foul!

Lam Akol in Washington

The Sudanese FM is on his way to Washington, to deliver a message from Bashir. Cool. Jendayi Frazer was in Khartoum last week with a message from Bush.

Cool. They called it Shuttle diplomacy. Jendayi failed to convince Bashir, but will Lam Akol succeed in his turn? I doubt, if he is just repeating the old rhetoric from Khartoum over Darfur.

Friday, September 01, 2006

President Bush Assassinated!

"President George Bush was shot by a niper while in Chicago attending an anti-war rally. The investigation is focusing on a Syrian-born man."

Don't be shocked! It has not happened. Apparently it can only happen in a movie! According to CNN the British public broadcaster Channel 4 is producing a drama film about just that, the fictional assassination of Bush. The film is due this September and October. This is going to cause a lot of contraversy in USA! Their next project: "the Trial of Tony Blair!"

It makes me think: can anyone make a film about the Assassination of President Omar Bashir, while he is still alive and kicking! Maybe, by a suicide bomber while opening an oil facility in the jungles of South Sudan. Or maybe, hijack a plane and fly it into the Republican Palace!

Man, you will not see the next sun rise!

Note: Watch the CNN report Here

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hard Luck, Jendayi

So atlast she was able to meet Bashir, after being snubbed and kept waiting for two days. But had anything changed?

Am talking about Jendayi Frazer, the US envoy sent by Bush to urge the Sudan government to accept a UN force to Darfur. The answer remains the same and will always be a big NO, she was told.

And here seems to be the main reasons that make the government of Sudan fear the UN, the Sudan Tribune says:

"Sudan has likened the deployment of U.N. troops to a Western invasion that it says would attract militants and cause an Iraq-style quagmire.

But analysts say Khartoum objects to U.N. troops because it fears the soldiers would arrest any officials or militia leaders likely to be indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court".

So the government has skeletons in the closet about Darfur that they don't want the world to know. It is an admittance that something wrong had wrong there. Cool, I couldn't spell it much better than that.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Jendayi Frazer: Mission Impossible!

It is sad that the situation in Darfur is deteriorating very fast. Only God knows where all the wrangling and arm twisting will lead the people of Darfur.

The saddest thing is that the people of Darfur who are facing the daily killings, rapes and hunger have no voice in their own destiny. Althought the US pressure on Sudan to accept the UN force is not bearing any fruits so far, all eyes are focused on the visit of the US Special Envoy Jendayi Frazer.

Will her visit bear fruits? Bashir has already said no change of policy. It is unfortunate that she had a cold reception in Khartoum, an NCP organized or rather staged demonstration to her visit. Her car was also mobed by protestors!

There are lots of questions that come to mind about Darfur with regards to the government: why is the SPLM, which is part of the Government of National Unity, silent about Darfur? Why is the rebel faction of Minni Minawi silent about Darfur? The Islamists are being mobilized to opposed the UN forces in Darfur, but where are the moderates who want to see peace in Darfur?

Poor Jendayi, she had an impossible mission to convince Khartoum . . .

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Uganda/LRA sign truce

Bravo Riak Machar! Your mediation efforts has borne fruits.

At least the Government of South Sudan have scoop a big thing. The signing of the peace truce between the Lord's Resistance Army rebels and the Ugandan government is a welcomed break in the 20 years war.

The ICC will have to review their arrest warrants for the LRA leaders. At least there is a chance that norhern Uganda and South Sudan will have some peace.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sudan abuses children - UN

They have always been an available resource for any fighting force. You just get them, train them how to kill, brainwash them and show them who to kill and they will willingly do that! And of course you don't have to pay them!

Am talking about children in wars and conflicts. They have always been used around the world: the LRA in Uganda, the Tamil Tigers, anywhere, you name it.

The Sudan is still abusing children. The Report by UN Secretary General report accused the SPLA and the government of Sudan of abusing children, enlisting them as child soldiers and of widespread sexual abuse.

This things must stop. Children should be in schools, not the battle fields. How can the world prevent such abuses from happening? The government should respect the rights of children.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Darfur Nightmare Revisited

Darfur has become a nightmare not only to Sudan, but also to the UN and the International Community.

Sudan's Bashir thinks that by playing tough, the world will turn away from Darfur! He thought he can sleep the nightmare off!

No way! With the AU troops dying now and again, and the population fleeing death, hunger and diseases, there is no way that the world is going to keep quiet. The support the Aab League is giving Sudan won't hold water, because when the goings get tough, they too may fade away.

There are no permanent policies in the world. I believe the tough guy talk is just mere propaganda and may give way with enough pressure. Keep the barometer rising, Mr Koffi Annan!

The Sudanese Thinker: Sudan, Iran & The Arab League

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Garlic and lemons treat AIDS!

You may not believe, but that is what the South Africans are saying!

At the ongoing International AIDS Conference in Canada, the South African delegation are showing a new treatment regiment for HIV/AIDS: fruits and garlic can treat AIDS!

Closer to home, HIV/AIDS remains a big challenge in Sudan, but especially in the South which borders an AIDS zone. Just coming out of years of war, the border is still porous and no programmes are in place to fight the pandemic.

The recent call by the Minister of Health to increase AIDS awareness is in place. ARV is almost unknown in the Sudan. South Sudan also faces a big challenge.

I may as well prepare my own . . . Papayas, anyone?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bashir got it wrong, again!

The Sudanese president Omar Hassan Ahmed al Bashir has declared that the UN force risk facing Hizbollah-like resistance in Darfur. Point taken, but he is wrong there, again as usual.

Who are dying in Darfur? Sudanese! And they are Muslims too! How do you explain the use of the UN force (could be mainly Christian force) to save Muslims from fellow Muslims!

Hizbollah was fighting a different kind of war that cannot be compared to the carnage in Darfur. The truth is the Bashir governmen wants to continue the policy of ethnic cleansing of the African tribes in Darfur. Period. Hope Minni Minawi is listening.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Two years for Slovenian envoy

How many people enter Sudan illegally every day? There are hundreds of people from the neighbouring countries who have been living in the country for years without the necessary papers.

Why should they target the special envoy of the Slovenian president who entered Sudan through Darfur with the rebels without a visa? Tomo Kriznar is now jailed for two years for "spying"

Something of a diversion . . . ?

BBC in Juba on FM

Juba citizens welcomed the official launching of the BBC relay transmitter on FM 88.2 today.

Welcome to Juba, BBC. You have been part of our struggle.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Setback at LRA talks

The peace talks between the Lord Resistance Army and the Uganda government in Juba to try to bring a settle has hit another setback. The Uganda Defence Force today kills senior rebel commander Raska Lukwiya, the third man in the LRA high command. This can be seen as an act of provocation. It also shows that the Ugandan government is not serious about peace.

The fragile peace talks has started on a difficult footing in the first place. The declaration of cease fire by the rebels last week was welcomed, but the Uganda government was yet to declare the same. A cease fire will have given the talks some firmness. It can also give the discussion "a good faith" atmosphere.

A similar event occured during the long Sudanese peace talks in Nairobi. When the SPLA captured Torit in 2003, the GOSS withdraw from the talks and Omar Bashir said the protocols that have been signed "the SPLA should soak in water and drink". It disrupted the talks. But when the SAF took back the town with massive Arab support, they were pressured to go back to the table and later reached a deal.

Uganda should negotiate in good faith. Attacking rebels and not declaring a cease fire raises a lot of doubts about their seriousness in the discussions. The LRA should exert utmost restrain by not retalliating to this agression.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

CPA: between NCP and SPLM

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) and the National Congress Party (NCP) is one year seven months old. And it seems it is not going on fine.

The guns may have gone silent, the refugees trying to go home and the government of South Sudan and Government of National Unity in place, but all the signs are that things are far from right between the bed fellows.

There are parts of the CPA are not being implemented to date or sections being very slowly implemented, if at all. Oil money for the South is still unclear as the country make billions and the Abyei Border Commission report suspended.

The fact now that the NCP and SPLM are talking the issues over are signs of the seriousness of cracks in the fragile peace. Hope they agree on these issues. No one really want to go back to war. Our people have suffered enough. Let peace prevail.

Friday, August 11, 2006

LRA and South Sudan

The ongoing peace talks between the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) rebels and the Uganda government is the closest that the two parties have got into since the out break of the conflict. However, the obstacles this talk is facing because the Government of Uganda have not declare as cease fire like the rebels is threatening the gragile talks.

The President of South Sudan Salva Kirr Mayardit has summoned the rebels to try to broker an agreement. There is a lot at stake here.

South Sudan has not enjoyed the fruits of the hard-won peace. After more than fourty years of instability, some semblence of stability has come to the South. But the LRA is threatening all that. They continue to rick havoc in South Sudan, attacking villages, killing civilians and abducting people. These atrocities must stop.

If this talks collapse things will not be good in South Sudan. The fact that some elements of the Sudan Armed Forces still support the LRA are complicting matters. These too must stop. Enough is enough!

The world must come together to end this conflict. The arrest warrants issued by the International Court of Justice for Kony and his henchment should be suspended if the negotiations can bring peace. Peace is the goal of all parties, ICC included.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Testing the blog . . .

Hope you will come again, for there is a promise of great happenings in here.

Do come around.

Am still tiding up here.