Friday, March 30, 2007

What to keep in mind...

Always remember to forget the things that made you sad
But never forget to remember the things that made you glad.

Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue
But don’t forget to remember those that have stuck by you.

Always remember to forget the troubles that have passed away
But never forget to remember the blessings that come each day.

(Sent to me by a friend. Don't know who the author is.)

New South Sudan minister of finance freezes govt accounts

The corruption saga goes on. Now the new finance minster has frozen the government accounts of GOSS. We just have to wait and see how things turn out. The only consolation is that when people see that GOSS is really serious about tackling corruption, they may think twice before considering playing.

Gabriel Changson Cheng was a founding member of Ivory Bank, the first bank instituted by South Sudanese. Unfortunately, the bank was terribly bogged down by corruption that almost cost its closure! Will Cheng deliver now as finance minister?

Olympic Genocide and Darfur

China came out blasting. It is to be expected when calls are being made for the world to boycott the Olympis Games over their policy in Darfur. Are these people really serious in making such huge unprecedented moves?

Itis like the world is pinning its only hope in ending the crisis in Darfur on China. Instead of engaging it more constructive, such calls labeling the 2008 games as "Oympic Genocide" by actress Mia is by far too extreme.

But still we live in a world of hypocresy and bullying, where the big call the shots.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sudanese football and the African Cup of Nations

I have always find it a big shame that Sudan, a founding member of the Confideration of African Football that organizes the African Nations Cup, has never participated since 1976. There is no doubt that Sudanese are passionate about the sport.

What usually caused our poor performance are interference in team selections that are biased. There is no programme for seeking talent among the youth. Shamefully, most sports arenas are run down and has bad pitch. (El Marriekh and Hilal FC has good stadia, admittedly compared to the National stadium!)

So has there time come to make it to the next African Nations Cup 2008 finals ? Our coach thinks so. I am wishing him luck!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Khartoum police, Darfur former rebels clash

The Darfur fighting has come to town . . . I was following closely the developments of the fighting between Minawi's forces and the police. It is a clear indication of the tension between the former rebels and the government, the severity of the degree of mistrust.

No matter who was responsible, the police should have known better instead of being trigger happy. The Khartoum police are notorious for fuelling these kinds of tensions. There have been several such attacks between former SPLA forces in Khartoum and the police over the flimsiest of issues. They lack the power to diffuse tensions. Whether intensionally or not, it does not add to trust.

Meanwhile, Khartoumers have to brace themselves for more of the same . . .

Saturday, March 24, 2007

419 email scam

I have been getting these kinds of emails in my inbox for quiet a long time. I just wonder how people fall for these kind of scam.

FROM THE DESK OF MR. IBRAHIM RASHEED,

THE BILL AND EXCHANGE MANAGER

AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING UNIT.

FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPT.

BANK OF AFRICA (BOA)

ANNEX OUAGA-BURKINA FASO.

I am IBRAHIM RASHEED, the manager in charge of auditing and accounting unit foreign remittance department of bank of africa (BOA)ouaga-burkina faso in west Africa.With due respect and regards I have decided to contact you on a business
transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction ,

During our investigation and auditing in the bank, my department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person, a foriegner who died in a plane crash and the fund has been dormant in his account with the bank without any claim of the fund in our custody either from his family or relation before my discovery to this development,Although personally, I kept this information
secrete within myself and to enable the whole plans and idea be profitable and successful during the time of execution.

The amount involved is (us$9,210.000.00) (Nine Million Two Hundred And Ten Thousand United State Dollars ). Meanwhile, all the whole arrangement and directives needed to put claim over this fund as the next of kin to the deceased, Upon your acceptance all the information will be forward to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist me and also benefit your self to this great business opportunity,In fact, I could have done this deal alone but because of my position in this country as a civil servant,we are not allowed to operate a foriegn account and would eventually raise an eye brow on my side during the time of transfer because I work in this bank, this is the actual reason why it will require a second party or fellow who will forward claims as the next of kin with affidavit of trust of Oath to the bank and also present a foriegn account where you will need the said fund to be transferred into, after due verification and clarification to designated bank account,I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free,

On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 40% of the total sum as ratification, while 10% will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of transfer such as telephone bills etc,While 50% will be for me.Please you have been adviced to keep top secret as I am still in service and intend to retire from service after I conclude this deal with you, I will be monitoring the whole situation here in the bank until you confirm the money in your account and ask me to come down there for subsequent shearing of the fund according to percentages previously indicated and further investment,either in your country or any other country you may advice me to invest in. All other necessary information will be sent to you when I hear from you, I suggest you get back to me as soon as possible, stating your wish in this deal.

Yours Sincerely

IBRAHIM RASHEED


There is nothing authentic about in the letter. With all the ramblings in poorly punctuated, spelt and composed English, I wonder how they catch their prey. But it happens. Be warned.

UN envoy barred from Darfur camp

The Sudanese government don't cease to amaze at every opportunity. This latest move barring the top UN envoy from visiting the refugee camps in Darfur will do nothing to ease the tension.

I just could not understand the political move. They could just have refused him visa from the start.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Darfurian women sentenced to death by stoning for adultery

This is the worse barbaric act being done in the name of Islam. Stoning women for adultery and letting the men go Scot-free just beats the mind. It takes two to tango, the saying goes. If you cannot prove that the men commit adultery, how can you convict the women?

It is just mind boggling. Let us campaign for the release of these poor women from Darfur.

Get more information from Drima. Let us spread the word.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Darfur peace talks in Juba?

VP Salva Kiir has apparently convinced the rebels to come to Juba and mend their fences before meeting Khartoum.

Fingers crossed, though.

Sink or swim

When I read the story of the Ugandan school children getting , swimming lessons it brought tears to my eyes. The fact that children get drown in the lake they grew around is a sad one.

I grew up near the Nile river, and taught myself how to swim. I have known of many children who drowned in the river. Some are neighbours, or school friends. I took it for granted that you teach yourself how to swim, not someone else. Our only protection used to be strick rules not to go to the river. But ofcourse we do secretly.

I wish more could be done for our children living along the Nile. Instead of a blanket ban, parents should make sure their kids learn how to swim.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Salva Kiir and graft

Salva Kiir is having a test case at his hands and all are waiting to see how he is going to fair. With the South Sudanese still very tribalistic, he is in for a tough ride.

Whenever someone is accused of corruption, all the tribe rise in his support, suggesting that their man is being targeted, their tribe is being fingered for dstruction etc.

There are many examples: the recent accusation against the FM Lam Akol saw the whole Shilluk community crying foul; removal of the former governor of West Equatoria send the Zande seething; when Riak Machar was named as having millions of dollars stashed away, the Nuer were up in arms!

Now it is the Dinka. The GOSS finance minister Arthur Akuien has his immunity lifted in the investigation of corruption. Now the Dinka from Bahr el Ghazal are up in arms too. Don't touch our man or you will be playing with fire. His hench men include Bona Malwal Madut Ring, Ambrose Barac Atem, Aldo Ajou Deng, among others.

We still have a long way to go . . . (sigh)

Sudanese family in limbo in Israel

This is what is referred to as being caught between a rock and a hard place. . .

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sudan and the ICC: the story continues

Sudan has categorically ruled out challenging the admissibility of the Darfur report. Its point: being non-state member, there is no point in doing so. Period.

But will it get away? Let us just shade some light here. Put the nature or gravity of the case aside and let us look at ICC. The ICC has no jurisdiction over Sudan because it is a non-signatory of the Rome Statute. The statute said non-signatories can be referred for prosecution to the ICC if the conditions are deemed "a threat to international peace and security". The UN had referred Sudan on these grounds.

Now the question: why should any government sign the Rome statute if either way you will be prosecuted with it? Signing or not signing makes no difference. Now if Sudan does not cooperate, the arrest warrants go to Interpol for execution. I feel that Sudan is being tried as a test case and they want to succeed whatever way. Too bad.

The case is not going to end soon. And mind you, America is pushing Sudan to cooperate with the ICC, when it is no signatory itself! It is wary about Americans being dragged into the ICC! Call it double standards at global scale.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

VP Salva Kiir to meet Darfur rebels

Atlast VP Salva Kiir is trying to throw his weight on the Darfur crisis. Where was he all this time. The SPLM hands off approach was ot acceptable. His party is part of the government and will certainly be equally blamed.

Hope his peace efforts bear fruit.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A limerick . . .

There was a man called Hassan
Who was accused of genocide in Sudan.
He did not sleep
Even in his jeep
As he ran and said, "catch me if you can!"

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Guilty!

The judge in the USA ruled against Sudan in the case concerning the bombing of USS Cole. Bashir now have lot more to worry about.

Why don't they learn from Libya? Libya had abandoned terrorism, nuclear weapons and support to extremist groups and has become American ally! Qaddafi can be cunning. If Bashir thinks he can get away with Qaddafi-like tactics of the 80's and 90's he got the script all wrong. This is the 21st century.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

LRA conditions for talks

The elusive Ugandan Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebels are at it again. After avoiding the Juba talks out of fear, they now have conditions to be fulfilled before they could return. Yeah, rebels too, have conditions. With ICC indictments hanging over their heads, they have all the reasons to be wary.

Including expansion of observers in the talks and increased security at collection camps, the LRA want the following:
  • an allowance increase for the negotiation team
  • the deployment of 1,000 peacekeeping troops to areas where the rebels are to assemble in south Sudan
  • Ugandan soldiers to withdraw from south Sudan
  • to be treated with respect by the mediation team
  • a guarantee of security for their delegation in Juba.

People just gotta to be patient with the rebels, cajoling and persuading. But time may run out . . .

US to build largest CIA Center in Sudan

The CIA will build the largest operative center in East Africa in Sudan? These guys never cease to amaze!

Monday, March 12, 2007

China seeks explanation of Sudan

The Chinese are now listening. Asking Sudan for an explanation for the descreptancy in the agreements between the UN is a welcome move.

Now we just gotta wait and see how Bashir will reply. The plot thickens.

Two South Sudan officials arrested on corruption charges

That is a bold move by the Government of South Sudan on corruption. Martin Malwal became one of the richest South Sudanese men in Khartoum these days and his wealth has been the issue of debate among the people. The other guy seems to be a scapegoat and there are definitely many heads going to role. It is about time, anyway.

Martin Malwal is known to be corrupt ever since he was in the army, siphoning army food for South Sudan into the black market. And for your information, he is a member of Normeca Sudan Board . (Previous post) A coincidence?

Raping to shame . . .

. . . in Darfur. Until when?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Normeca: Project Southern Sudan

Normeca AS , the Norwegian company specializing in mobile hospitals is embarking on a major health project that will dwarf anything that had ever been done in South Sudan.

Normeca AS signed its largest contract ever with the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), Ministry of health, to dramatically improve the health care situation for the people of Southern Sudan. The contracts were signed by the Minister of Health in the presence of the President’s Advisor, State Secretaries from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development. The Signing Ceremony was covered by leading media in Southern Sudan; TV, radio and the largest newspapers.


Under the contracts, Normeca AS shall build 10 semi-permanent state hospitals in Southern Sudan each with 80 to 150 beds and accommodation for approximately 150 people. Each hospital will have 5 mobile clinics, a total of 50. In addition, Normeca AS will provide 2 floating hospitals for the river Nile.


In addition, Normeca AS signed a 5 year management and operations agreement covering all hospitals and clinics. Consequently, Normeca AS is in need of a considerable number of new employees in Southern Sudan over the next years.



Great ambition. I wish them great success. I hope they succeed. I want them to succeed for the sake of the people dying everyday from preventable conditions. But could anyone tell me how much it is costing South Sudan?

UN opens repatriation corridors from Ethiopia to Sudan

Refugees are returning home to South Sudan. To what are they returning? Many have not seen their homeland for more than twenty years. Some were born in refugee camps and knew nothing except life on the run. Many never saw what life in South Sudan is like.

Welcome home, nevertheless. There is much to be done that requires every citizen to participate. There are many who expect a lot at home and get disappointed when they find no water and food waiting for them.

Home could not be what they expected, but home is home. There is nothing like home. As the former SPLM leader used to say, South Sudan is going to be built from zero. Let everyone come home and put a brick.

Mr. Lonely

I feel like Akon here . . . :( I hope the feeling will pass.

Bush vs Chavez

The score: Bush 1 1 Chavez?


Friday, March 09, 2007

Long time...

It has been all quiet on the Western front... Although much is happening on the Sudanese scene, I got loads of stuff in my hands. Couldn't help it. Stick around, though. Will be back.