Saturday, December 13, 2008

Abyei erupts again

These unfortunate incidents seems to recur again and again. Another deadly clash in Abyei leaves at least one person dead as fighting erupts between the SAF and the SPLA soldiers in the Joint police and military forces.

How can this be remidied? I believe these kinds of incidences are rooted in the animosity of the past 50 years of the Sudanese history. There is complete lack of trust in each other. A simple dispute can be blown out of proportion from both sides. This must end.

Once and agreemnt has been signed, it is a signal to all people that war is not and option in solving our problems anymore. It is time to try other avenues.

As the politicians and the UNAMIS say, "I urge the parties to exercise restrain . . ."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

'Arab World's Dirty Secret' Exposed.

Egyptians are racist. That is a fact that Muna Eltahawy only discovered recently in a metro in Cairo.

There are lots of South Sudanese in Egypt who go through the same abuse and racists taunts everyday. I once blogged about Egyptians are trying to woe the Southern Sudanese here. And last month Hosni Mubarak was in Juba, a visit that evryone knows was about the Nile water. I wonder what he will tell the South Sudanese if he read the story.

At least Muna spoke about it.

"The racism I saw on the Cairo Metro has an echo in the Arab world at large, where the suffering in Darfur goes ignored because its victims are black and because those who are creating the misery in Darfur are not Americans or Israelis and we only pay attention when America and Israel behave badly.

We love to cry "Islamophobia" when we talk about the way Muslim minorities are treated in the West and yet we never stop to consider how we treat minorities and the most vulnerable among us."

A beer factory for Southern Sudan

Juba is to have a new beer factory after 25 years of Sharia. Looking at what the booze is doing to the people here in Juba, I wonder whether there is any cause for celebration.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Waltz with Bashir . . . ?

I thought it was our Bashir until I read here

Monday, December 01, 2008

World Aids Day

SPLM Celebrates Obama victory

The celebration in Khartoum by the SPLM marking the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of The United States of America is a big wonder to many people.

Amidst the corruption and waste of public money that goes into individual pockets, there is still a lot to be desired in the Government of Southern Sudan under the SPLM. I just hope they understand the meaning of the Obama success. People comes first before individual interests.

Will we as Southern Sudanese be able to get there? I want to shout YES WE CAN, but it is held in my throat, for now.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

'Change has come to America'


Americans have chosen Barak Obama to be the next President of the United States.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Barak Obama for President


If I were an American, I would vote for Senator Barak Obama, like the many Sudanese youngsters polled.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Trousers down and out in Juba!

In Saudi Arabia, they are the moral police, who enforce a strict interpretation of Sharia Law, with decent dressing and separation of sexes and ban on alcohol etc . . .

Now they have surfaced in Juba in the form of moral police! Women were picked up in Juba and thrown into jail for wearing trousers last week. These created a havoc and raised fears among the young people.

It all resulted from a local order by the Juba County Commissioner that got loose. Anyway, he came out and apologized, the edict withdrawn and the madness stopped.

I think he better go back and rethink the issue, because it just brings bad memories. If he wants to promote good morals in the people, that was not the way to start it.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

An English lesson . . .

Etymology

compound: bail + out

Pronunciation

(US) IPA: /ˈbeɪlˌawt/

Noun

bailout (plural bailouts)

a rescue, especially a financial rescue

e.g. The government bailout of that corporation is going to cost the taxpayers a hundred million dollars.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Text 666 against Ocampo

A campaign to collect votes over the phone was active last week in Sudan. Mobile phone users were sent text messages that urged them to text an empty page to the the number 666 if they oppose Ocampo.

With such a number, do they know something we don't . . . ?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

When America sneezes . . .

. . . the rest of the world catches a cold.

The current global financial crisis which strated in America will surely bite everyone. The high oil prices have made travel really expensive in Sudan. Paradoxically, it is cheaper to fly to Egypt and back than to Juba from Khartoum one way . . . Add that to the hike in food prices.

The cold is spreading.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

ICC and Bashir: the Biritish and French Connection

So the French and the British are ready to support the deferral of the arrest warrant for the Sudanese President . . .

It had been a an issue thatan arrest warrant will put the peace in Southern Sudan in danger of collapse and wosrsen the plight of the Darfuris. And ofcourse put the UNAMID force under more danger.

Are we right? Are the possible threats real? It seems the world dont want to be on the trail and error side. To err may cause more lives than already been lost.

So better the caution.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What about Darfuri children?

Ismail Ahmed Ismail entered the record books as the first Sudanese to win a medal in an Olympic. Good for him.

What bothered me is this: he dedicated his medal to the children of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Where are the children from Darfur? Don't they deserve a medal?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Silver for Sudan in Beijing

Sudan's Ismail Ahmed has won silver in the men's final of the 800 m in Beijing.

Better than returning home empty handed. The other stars failed to shine.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Women in trousers being harassed in South Sudan

I found this incident ridiculous, to say the least: border guards in South Sudan are preventing women wearing trousers from entering the country through the Kenya_sudan border! How hilarious. Where did they get this notion from? Is it even constitutional? As the story points out when they get in the y found that women wear trousers without being harassed.

In the 80s and 90s, women were harassed in Khartoum, when trousers are seen as indecent. We considered it really part of the then "sharia" rulings etc. Fine.

But why is it cropping up in South Sudan? The GoSS must inverstigate and bring this malpractice to an end. There is no such law in the South. Everyone is free to wear what they want, as long as it is decent.

Even Khartoum with its sharia nowadays features all sorts of women with tight trousers and the most up to date designer jeans working around without a cop raising an eyebrow.

Stop the madness in South Sudan, people.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Between Riak Machar, Rebecca Garang and Corruption

The moment Rebecca Nyandeng voiced her accusations that Riak Machar is corrupt, the streets of South Sudan yawned. There is nothing new there. Everyone knows that the whole government machinery is corrupt. Taking kickbacks is the order of the day.

It is said more often that Riak Machar ask openly about his "cut" in every deal being done in the South. Everybody knows that.

And Rebecca herself is not beyond reproach. When she was minister of roads and construction, not a single tarmac was laid in the South. She gave contracts to shady companies that don't even own a grader, let alone have an office. Contracts were awarded for the same stretch of roads more than three times and advance monies paid. Will she be able to answer these claims?

No one who has been accused of corruption anywhere in the world immediately admit to it. Riak Machar is following the trend, only when the noose is tight will they sing. Rebecca Garang should also be investigated. She shouldn't hide behind the veil of her husband's fame.

It is just the case of the pot calling the kettle black . . .

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic dreams . . .




The hope for Sudanese olympic gold . . .

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Youtube working for me . . . (not anymore)

The Sudanese Thinker reports that Youtube has been blocked in Sudan. Just wanna let you know that I still have access to Youtube, through the Canar ISP. Maybe it has not yet been blocked.

Here is a screen shot.


Update:
Youtube has finaly been blocked on the canar ISP. What a shame . . .

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Arab League respond to ICC indictment

The Arab League has decided to stand by Sudan against the ICC decision. They have decided to show:

"solidarity with the Republic of Sudan in the face of any schemes aimed at undermining its sovereignty, unity and stability and not to accept the unbalanced position of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at the request contained in a case submitted to the ICC (pre-trial Chamber)."

Now the indictment is getting more interesting indeed. How will the international community react. JEM has already deplored the AL position.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ocampo vs Bashir: the SPLM position

SPLM, the junior partner of the NCP in the so called Government of National Unity found themselves between a rock and a very hard place.

How can they respond to the ICC accusations? It was the same people in the governemnt whom they fought for 20 years in the South. Now that they share the same government, it makes it more complicated.

The VP has been put in charge of the committee to challeneg the ICC and ministers are already scrambling around the Middle East and Africa to look for support for Sudan.

Here the SPLM official position on the ICC indictments:

The SPLM leadership was taken aback by the speed of recent developments in the case of ICC indictments of some Sudanese leaders including President of the Republic. This has understandably created a serious situation that could threaten peace and stability in the Sudan.

Over the past week, the SPLM leadership has been engaged in series of meetings in both Juba and Khartoum, discussing the matter. After wide consultations inside the SPLM and with the National Congress Party leadership, taking into account the declaration by the Prosecutor General of the ICC, the SPLM leadership resolve the following as a way to address the crisis:

1. That Darfur conflict is a political issue arising out of long and continuous political, economic and cultural marginalization since independence of the Sudan in 1956. Resolving this situation requires a negotiated and peaceful settlement of the conflict between the parties. Therefore the Government of National Unity is required to develop, within a week's time, a roadmap for resolution of Darfur conflict, in consultation with all the political forces and civil society groups in the country, specifically the groups in Darfur, in order to build national consensus for a fair and speedy resolution of the conflict.
2. The SPLM is ready to avail its resources and effort, and in particular its external relations, regionally and internationally for the purpose of achieving an understanding between the Government of National Unity and the international community. We believe that the solution to the crisis is for the Government of National Unity to forge an understanding with the international community and to cooperate with ICC on the legal processes.
3. The SPLM leadership, led by the First Vice President, will expedite efforts for a fair and comprehensive peaceful settlement of the Darfur crisis, which is a corner stone and correct entry point to deal with other consequences of the crisis.
4. Full implementation of the CPA and other peace agreements, furthering democratic transformation, promoting mutual understanding between the parties that constitute the government of national unity as well as other political forces is key to resolve the present crisis.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Americans are behind the ICC!


Source

Where are the Arab "friends"?

The Sudanese government must be feeling lonely indeed. The silence of the Arab governments over the indictment of Bashir is very noticeable.

The Arab leaders have decided to keep quiet. None has made any statements concerning the issue. The Arab league itself is yet to meet in an emergency meeting until Saturday and make an officila statement. If it were a Palestinian issue, an emergency meeting could have been convene within 72 hours!

And Sudan is said to be an Arab country. It must be real lonely up there for the president. I suggest he befriend Mugabe.

Where are the Egyptians, the Saudis, the Jordanians . . . The "loudest" silence of note is that of Mubarak.

Maybe each of the presidents are thinking that they maybe next on the list?

How about the Arab media? Except for the comments of the Saudi columnists critical of the regime before the indictment, there is non forth coming, unless ones am not familliar with. Arab News editorial could be the only commentary of note.

At least the Arab bloggers mentioned it: Black Iris of Jordan commented on "Who is your favourite war criminal?", the Mideast Youth on the Case for Sudan, not much has been mentioned. Even the Egyptian Sandmonkey didn't see it a topic worth discussing?

What about African Union? African Union are concerned about the losing the " gains that have been achieved so far" and creating a power vacuum in Sudan if the order is executed.

I thought it was gonna be a source of discussion for days on end. Maybe my expectations are beyond the reality.

Ocampo vs Bashir: the Chinese dilemma

The Chinese are worried about the ICC indictment of President Bashir, and rightly so . . .

The world had been blasting China over its relation with Khartoum because of the fighting and chaos in Darfur. China is seen as the stongest ally of Khartoum, supports it militarily and gets the bulk of the Sudanese oil. It is also complicated by the up coming olympic games in August.

Arguably, China wants to help Sudan, but also keep its friends in the West. It had waited afew days before making statements on the issue, a signed of the dilemma it finds itself in.

Even if the Chinese push for a Security Council vote to suspend the indictments, France and USA are sure to veto it. They also play tit for tat there. (China just vetoed a resolution against Zimbabwe!)

Whichever way it finally decides to act, Sudan risks losing its one friend and ally, and that will be the hardest thing to swallo in Khartoum

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ocampo vs Bashir: the fallout

SO Bashir has been indicted by the ICC. So what comes next now?

The ICC prosecutor has taken the boldest step ever. Charging a sitting head of state fo genocide can get him a round of applause,but that is leaving lots of people wary of the future.

So far the armageddon predicted has not happened, yet. No UN staff has been shot in the street and no car-jackings reported in Khartoum. Were the fears groundless?

Not at all. There are lots of people out there in the street who are stupid enough to start anything. It may not be the official response of the government, but some lunatics may take the lawlessness into their hands and rick havoc.

I personally think it was a wrong move on the part of the ICC. Now that he has made his point, I think UN Security Council should suspend the possible arrest warrant from being issued.

They now have a big leverage over Khartoum: you better cooperate now and end the chaos in Darfur or else . . .

Could that work? Possibly. Khartoum never really thought that the prosecutor could actually charge Bashir. Now they got the message loud and clear.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bashir charged with genocide

President Bashir has been charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity! Here are the charges:

  1. Genocide:
    Killing members of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups
    Causing these groups serious bodily or mental harm
    Inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about these groups' physical destruction

  2. Crimes against humanity:
    Murder
    Extermination
    Forcible transfer
    Rape
    Torture

  3. War crimes:
    Attacks on civilians in Darfur
    Pillaging towns and villages

Ocampo vs Bashir 2

What does the possible indictment mean? Here are some positive sides to it?

1) clear signal about impunity
2) strengthen international institutions to reign in impunity

3) provoke more moderate elements in Khartoum regime to at last oust General Bashir (a la 1985 coup of Suwar al Dahab)
4) give comfort to relatively powerless domestic legitimate civil society opposition in Sudan
5) stengthen bargaining position of SPLM and opposition parties vis a vis NCP
6) give some justice to the families and children beaten, killed and
displaced by the brutal counter-insurgency
7) give General Bashir a chance to clear his name in a court of law

Source

Ocampo vs Bashir

Here is a website that logs the ICC proescution of Bashir. The articles and comments are interesting to read.

Social Science Research Council

The Ocampo Factor

The ICC chief prosecutor has entered into the long list of those people who were "black listed", if I may say so in Sudan. The history of the Sudan has seen losts of them, who were given all sorts of names before Ocampo. Here is a sample:

  • Casper Biro: He was appointed as a special UN Human Rights Commission Special Rapporteur for Sudan in 1993. He really pressed the government on the abysmal human rights records that Khartoum kept him out of the country
  • Baroness Cox: worked as a humanitarian worker and has raised the issues of the civil war int he south, including the worse humanitarian crisis during that time. She was of such high profile that kept the South conflict in the agenda of the world. Khartoum charged her for illegal entry and sentence her in absentia to 5 years in prison!
  • Jan Pronk: the last Head of the UN in Sudan who was kicked out in 2006 for posting in his weblog that the Sudanese Army was heavily defeated in a battle in Darfur.
  • Luis Moreno-Ocampo: is the latest to enter the Sudanese list.

Are there others I missed? WHat do you think?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The indictment of President Bashir is imminent!

The world is bracing itself for the possible indictment of President Bashir and VP Taha for war crimes and genocide in Darfur!


What a development. The ICC prosecutor is preparing his case, which may be as early as Monday.


I don't know whether I should be happy or sad. The atrocities in Darfur really deserve world attention, the failure of implementation of the CPA in South Sudan needs more attention. The issues of Eastern Sudan and other areas are all of equal concern.


But what will the indictment of Bashir mean for peace in Sudan? At worse the world is bracing itself for a backlash: renewed fighting in South Sudan; more suffering of Darfuris; expulsion of UNAMID and withdrwal of cooperation with th einternational community. Expuslsion of ambassadors of Western countries, etc


As the Sudanese UN ambassador said "all options are open . . . and sky is the limit".

I think the world is right to be concern. Do we seek justice for long term effect at the cost of short term suffering and more deaths?


The next few days will surely be the most stressing for the Sudanese government.


. . . unless if the Chinese pull another trick and delay the indictment.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A half-truth statement

What is Sudan?

"An uncertain country haphazardly cobbled together first by the Ottomans in the 19th century and later by the British during the 20th. It has no cultural coherence or geopolitical logic, even though its populations have become used to living together". Gerard Prunier

Kizzie

Sadly, they have NEVER become used to living together! The 4o years of civil war since independence says all.

Pagan Amun in the dock

The SPLM and NCP are gearing up for another crisis. Maybe Abyei is making little headway, but recents comments by the Minister of Cabinet Affairs Pagan Amun, whois also the SPLM Secretary General, has landed him in the bad books of the GoNU.

Amun's statements that Sudan is a failed State has not been taken lightly by the NCP. Now it is the president who suspended him as Minister, lifted his immunity and ordered an investigation.

How will the SPLM respond? The truth is, SPLM is part of the government, although a junior partner ignored in most issues.

What the Presidential Advisor said is actually very true: "The problem of Pagan and the triangle of secularism within the SPM is that they feel disappointed and miserable because the NCP is able to overcome their shrewdness and cunningness and even come out stronger"

The partners are playing a game of cat and mouse and who will out-shrewed the other: from the issues of Abyei, pulling out of the government etc.

Now, we wait and see who delivers the KO punches. SPLM has not yet responded.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sudan Census Crisis

I come out of hibernation just to ask one question. The SPLM suspended the Sudan National Census in the South because of issues of ethnicity and religion not featuring in the papers. My question is:

Why is the NCP afraid of including ethnicity and religion in the census data?

I have ideas, but let me here from you first . . .

Now it will go ahead again after one week

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Three years of CPA . . .

It is three years tomorrow January 9th since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement which brought an end to the twenty years civil war in South Sudan. It is three years that have yet to see results, and a lot more to be desired.

What has changed, and what SHOULD change? The CPA was at one stage at he verge of collapsing with the withdrawal of the peace partners from the Government of National Unity. Abyei remains a thorny issue as well as the presence of the SAF in the South. Will the CPA survive?

It has been known for a long time that there are people who will be happy to see the CPA scraped. There are northerners in Khartoum who see it as a sell out by the NCP, and couldn't stomach the fact that SPLM (or Southerners, for that matter) are part of the government and with some power.

It is true also that the bigger group are happy that the war has ended. For the Internally Displaced to Khartoum, returning to their homes in the South is a priority.

But what has the government done in three years? GOSS has always insisted that they are starting from scratch and change will take a long time to be noticed. It is unfortunate that corruption is rampant, even high up in the government.

South Sudan has a lot of money, but it is in the hands of a few corrupt elite. In the whole of the South, governors have been sacked, ministers dropped and some even facing prison for corruption. But is it enough?

For a long time, The president of South Sudan has turned a blind eye to this issues. It is like he left them to take what they can, a payment to the close friends for the years spent in the bush!

It is three years, but a lot still to be desired. The future is still bleak, sorry to say.

Been a long time!

How time flies! It is already 2008 and I couldn't believe it. My hands have been so tied I had almost no time working on the blog. Sorry about that.

I hope from now I will be able to update at least twice a week. If that is not working, I may consider other options like . . .

Thanks for understanding.