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