Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A sad day in Abyei

Within weeks of their deployment, four Ethiopian UN Peacekeepers had died in a landmine explosion in Abyei. It marked the beginning of a long struggle for the peacekeepers. This had occured in an area controlled by Khartoum armed forces.

In the world today where countries had signed to the Ottawa Protocol banning the use of landmines, Sudan has indescriminately planted thousands of mines in Abyei after their occupation. It was in complete desregard to international law.

Sudan had signed the treaty banning the use of landmines. The UN must summon the Sudanese Ambassador and condemn the use of these landmines. This has added more to the woes of Khartoum, and Bashir is going to pay one day . . .

Condolence to Ethiopia, president and people . . .

Friday, July 15, 2011

Peace in Darfur?

Darfur Peace Agreement signed? Why am I having this feeling that Sudan had been there before . . .

A deja vu . . .

How the Arab World lost Southern Sudan

This article by Lamis Andoni shed light on some of the most critical issues facing the Arab governement: their failures to embrace diversity in the region.

The division of Sudan into two states is a dangerous precedent. The Arab world has to draw the right lessons from if it wants to avoid the break-up of other Arab states into ethnic and sectarian enclaves.

The birth of South Sudan is first and foremost a testimony to the failure of the official Arab order, pan-Arabism, and especially the Islamic political projects to provide civic and equal rights to ethnic and religious minorities in the Arab world.

Read here from Al Jazeera

South Sudan flag raised at the UN HQs

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Security Council Recommends Recognition of South Sudan

Things are moving very fast for the new nation. The UN Security Council has recommended to the General Assembly the recognition of South Sudan as an Independent State.

World leaders queue to gree the South Sudan Vice President Dr Riak Machar at the Security Council Meeting.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Free at last: South Sudan is Independent!

9 July 2011 - In his inaugural speech as the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit today urged South Sudanese to make their cultural and ethnic diversities a source of pride and strength, not conflict.

Speaking after he swore an oath as president of Africa’s newest state, Mr. Kiir said the emerging republic would promote security, justice, liberty and prosperity.

“In order to develop our country and deliver on the important aspects of our national development plan, it is critical that we must wipe out corruption,” he said.

Government dignitaries present at the event included Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Legislative Assembly Speaker James Wani Igga, President of the Supreme Court Justice John Wol Makec and the widow of Dr John Garang de Mabior, Rebecca de Mabior.

Also attending the celebration were hundreds of foreign heads of state and regional organizations, including the European Union, League of Arab Nations, Inter- Governmental Authority on Development and African Union.

Other dignitaries included UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN General Assembly President Joseph Deiss.
“Today, we open a new chapter – a day when the people of South Sudan claim the freedom and dignity that are their birthright,” Mr. Ban told the gathering.
“Together, we welcome the Republic of South Sudan to the community of nations,” he added. “Together, we affirm our commitment to helping it meet its many responsibilities as a nation.”

Proclaiming the independence of South Sudan, Mr. Wani declared, “We, the democratically elected representatives of the people, based on the will of the people of South Sudan, and as confirmed by the outcome of the referendum of self-determination, hereby declare South Sudan to be an independent and sovereign nation.”

Emotions ran high as the Republic of Sudan’s flag was lowered and that of the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) was raised for the first time. The RoSS flag was the same one used during the liberation struggle by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army.

“My husband was the first person to raise this flag in Boma Mountain in 1990. I was really touched when this flag was lifted up,” said Bonguot Amum, government Chief Whip and Chairperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) Caucus in the South Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA).

“Though he is dead, I am very happy for the total freedom and liberation of South Sudanese. I want to see united South Sudanese, development, equality, transparency and accountability to our people,” said Ms. Amum.

As the country’s first President, Mr. Kiir signed the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan and then took his oath.

Calling on disputing Ethiopia and Eritrea and war-torn Somalia to find peace, President Kiir promised troubled states of Sudan that they would not be forgotten.

“I want to assure the people of Abyei, Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile that we have not forgotten you. When you cry, we cry; when you bleed, we also bleed,” he said.

The atmosphere of the event was punctuated by ululations and the sound of trumpets, with many eager participants pushing to reach the front to view visiting dignitaries.

People waved RoSS flags and many wore jackets bearing its colours, despite the intense heat. Several youth had even shaved their hair off and painted their heads with the flag’s colours.

As crowd members witnessed the new nation being born, their comments were various.

“I have waited … for this day to come” said 24-year-old University of Juba student Stephen Kuong. “Now that freedom is here I can celebrate … We have been deprived of freedom for long.”

Some, like 50-year-old Mary Keji, were purely interested in witnessing the event. “I came here at 6.00 this morning because I want to (see) the declaration of South Sudan as a nation. This is what I have been waiting to see in my life.”

Forty-five-year-old Thomas Obura was relieved to actually be present on Independence Day. “I was not sure if I would reach this day. I was born during the war and grew up during the war until the CPA was signed.”

The celebration concluded with a 21-gun salute and the South Sudan national anthem.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

NCP dirty politics continue . . .

I have been away for long time and many things have happened:

a) SPLA officers defecting
b) Elections in Kadugli rigged in favour of a wanted criminal
c) NCP blocking food supply to South Sudan

All these the work of the NCP. I wonder what else the NCP have up their dirty sleeves. The only thing we know is that they are angry that South Sudanese have rejected to be slaves forever.

If they are using it as bargaining tactics over Abyei, we shall see in the near future.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Bashir accepts referendum results . . .

The Sudanese President Omar el Bashir has accepted the final results of the Southern Sudan Referendum. Southern Sudanese have overwhelmingly voted for seccession in the January 9th - 15th plebiscite. That is one hurdle overcome, as the country comes face to face with a split.

What remains is the post seccession issues that must be dealth with as soon as possible.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Turabi in trouble, again

The Islamist leader of the Popular Congress Party, Hassan el Turabi is arrested in Khartoum, again.

Has the crack down on opposition started or it is a kneejerk response to his call for uprising. The next few weeks and months will say . .

Friday, January 14, 2011

Referendum on Al Jazeera TV Website

The Al Jazeera TV Website has a wide coverage of the Southern Sudan Referendum. The reports are generally good, comprehensive and balanced, although occasionally they tend to focused more on the underdevelopment and fear of violence, more than the dream of the Southern Sudanese quest for independence and freedom. I guess like most of the Arab World, Al Jazeera stands behind unity of the country.

Now that the threshold of 60% has been reached, there is no turning back. Southern Sudan has worked out of the Arab World. No more Arab League etc.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Black going its separate way

A separatist's voice in the North

As the world sees the likely break up of the country, a Party in the north is celebrating the vent, calling the South Sudan a "cancer that must be cut off". That is the .Justice and Peace Forum Party. That has always been their stand in the Al Intibaha newspaper.

However, some parties are criticising them for celebrating!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The birth of a nation

And the new country shall be called . . .

As the referendum for independence kicks off to a jubilant start, with thousands of people turning up to vote in the historic event, the search will soon start for the name of the soon to be born new Country.

Southern Sudan now has a flag and a national anthem. What is left is the name and that will complete the transformation from a region to a country, Africas' 53rd.

Name have been floated ever since the dream about an independent South Sudan started. Names like South Sudan, New Sudan, Kush, Juwama (formed from two letters of each main towns of Juba, Wau and malakal) and event Nile Republic, there is no definite consensus yet. The debate will definitely become intense in the coming months.

It would be good to stake claim to the name Sudan, by adding "New" or "South" to it. The name, meaning "Bilad as Sudan" or "Land of the Black". Many of the people of Northern Sudan are Arabs, not blacks. It suits the people of Southern Sudan more than them. That is, if the Darfurians and the Nubas will not raised hell as well!

The arguements for most of the proposed names are easy, but sometimes quite silly. I have read many articles that proposed many of the names above, but the most plausible arguement for Nile Republic or State of the Nile comes from this article. Some quotes are needed here.

At one point, he (Prof Ali Mazrui) pondered why there was no country in the Nile River basin that bears the name of this great river, best known as the longest river in the world.

He cited examples around the world and in Africa where countries got their names from the rivers that passed through them. Examples in Africa include: Zambia and Zimbabwe, from the Zambezi River; The Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo, from Congo River; the Republic of Senegal, from the Senegal River, Niger and Nigeria from the River Niger, etc. He reminded his audience that he expected to see a new country emerging on the Nile when Southern Sudanese vote in their referendum in January 2011, and wondered if that was an opportunity for the ancient river.I could not believe my ears because that is the deafening fact that Southern Sudanese need to hear.

This was quite an eye opener. Coul it be the answer?

President Kiir votes for freedom!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sudan: Post-Referendum Scenarios and the Way Forward”

The CSIS Africa Program cordially invites you to attend:

Sudan: Post-Referendum Scenarios and the Way Forward

With:Comfort Ero, Africa Program Director, International Crisis Group

Fouad Hikmat, African Union and Sudan Special Advisor, International Crisis Group

Moderated by:Jennifer Cooke, Director, CSIS Africa Program

Monday, January 10, 2011 8:30am - 10:00am
B1 Conference Room A/B
CSIS 1800 K St. NW, Washington, DC 20006

A day after the people of Southern Sudan begin voting on whether to remain in Sudan or become an independent nation, International Crisis Group's new Africa Program Director, Comfort Ero, and its AU and Sudan Special Advisor, Fouad Hikmat, will discuss the post-referendum challenges, the role of regional leaders, and expectations for the final six months of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Follow event live below.

Center for Strategic and International Studies - CSIS

D-Day: Vote for Separation is here!

The day and hour is finally here! Thousands of Southern Sudanese are flocking to polling stations to decide the fate of their region!

Independence oyee!