July 16: Dr Riak Machar, leader of the United Democratic Salvation Front and
aformer rebel leader now allied with the government, has claimed that his
fighters have captured five towns in southern Sudan from rebel forces. He also
warned Sudanese rebels that they are mistaken if they believe that they are in
"a better military position than we are". The comments were published in the
independent daily Akhbar al-Youm.
17: The Sudanese Parliament will next Monday begin a debate on a constitutional
decree to implement a peace agreement reached in April with a series of southern
rebel groups, officials said yesterday. Presidential legal adviser Ahmed
Ibrahim al Tahir said the decree provides for a redistribution of powers and
resources and for formation of a co-ordination council to run affairs in
southern Sudan during a four-year interim period at the end of which a
referendum will be conducted.
19: The pro-government South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF) of Dr Machar retook the
town of Ayod, Dr Machar told today's Akhbar al Youm daily.
21: A Sudanese pro-government militia killed 69 members of the SPLA in fighting
for the southern town of Ayod, the militia has claimed.
21: A former Sudanese minister has said that Islamic militias allied with the
Sudanese government are capturing children and selling them as slaves in the
south, charges which the Sudanese government denies. Mr Santino Deng's comments,
in an interview with Reuters last week, were the latest accusations of slavery
against Khartoum government which said it is "deeply concerned" about such
allegations. There was no independent confirmation of Mr Deng's allegations.
24: A four day Dialogue between representatives of the SPLA/M and of the New
Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) has come to an end today in Yei. The Yei
Declaration is reported as our second item.
25: Sudan's National Assembly yesterday unanimously endorsed the legal apparatus
for a peace deal with former southern rebels that would pave the way for a
self-determination referendum, the official SUNA news agency reported. The
constitutional decree creates a co-ordinating council to run affairs in south
Sudan during a four-year interim period preceding the referendum.
26: "Sudan is willing to overcome the obstacles standing on the way of improving
its relations with the United States," Sudan President el-Bashir told Mr Gare
Smith, the US assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and
labour on a visit yesterday, the official Al Anbaa daily reported today.
29: The official daily Al-Anbaa today quoted Mr Kerubino Kwanyin Bol, commander
of a break-away SPLA faction in Bahr al-Ghazal state, as saying that Akon town
was back in government hands.
30: A new planned constitution will give too much power to the government, a
prominent Sudanese opposition figure in Khartoum has said, calling for a
conference on the draft law. Mr Abdul Rasoul al Nour, a leading figure in the
banned Umma Party, quoted by the Al Rai al-Akher daily called for "a democratic
constitution that achieves aspirations of the majority and guarantees the rights
of the minority.
31: Sudanese newspapers today quoted officials as saying contacts with rebel
factions were in progress to try to persuade them to join in a peace agreement.
August 1: Sudan's National Democratic Alliance (NDA) today accused the Sudanese
authorities of abducting the youngest son of former prime minister Sadeq
al-Mahdi. "The Khartoum security authorities abducted on Wednesday afternoon the
youngest son of Al-Mahdi, Bushra Sadeq al-Mahdi (17)" and three other young boys
from a street, a statement from the opposition umbrella group said.
1: A Sudanese Member of Parliament, Mr Ibrahim Othman Abdul Qadir, said today he
has solid information showing some of Sudan's neighbours were trying "on
Washington's orders" to make rebel leader Garang join an April peace agreement
"to strengthen the prospects of separating the south". He did not identify the
2: Sudan's first vice-president General Al Zubair Mohammed Salih appealed
yesterday to the armed opposition to stop fighting the military government and
join in the peace process. "All those bearing arms are called upon to lay down
their weapons and return home and take part in national reconstruction," Mr
Zubair said during the first meeting of a committee drawing up a new
constitution for Sudan. The 60-member body is a sub-committee of the soon-to-be
created national Constitutional Commission that will be chaired by former chief
justice Mr Khalifallah Al Rashid.
4: Uganda has accused Sudan of arming the Allied Democratic Force rebels linked
to a spate of grenade blasts in Kampala last week. The rebels, who have launched
an armed campaign in western Uganda, have claimed responsibility for three
grenade attacks in the capital which left nine people dead.
5: The Nuba people of central Sudan are facing genocide at the hands of the
government forces despite the signing of an April peace agreement, London-based
group African Rights warned yesterday. "Bomber aircraft and helicopter gunships
have attacked civilian targets, dozens of villages have been burnt, together
with all the foodstocks of their inhabitants and hundreds of civilians have been
5: A former rebel leader was quoted today as saying he expects Col. Garang to
open peace talks soon with the government. Mr Samuel Aru Bol, one of six former
Garang allies who have signed the treaty, was quoted by the official Sudan News
Agency today as saying he expects Garang to begin talks "in the upcoming few
6: Sudanese aid officials will resume food drops to inaccessible areas in
southern Sudan in late August, a report said today, quoting officials.
7: The Sudanese government would welcome mediation by the Democratic Republic of
Congo in the long-standing conflict between Khartoum and the SPLA, press reports
said today. Mr Haider Haj Siddek, Sudan's ambassador-designate to Kinshasa, was
quoted as saying that the Sudanese government "will keep the doors open to this
and all other efforts for achieving peace in Sudan. DRC Agriculture Minister
Paul Bondoma offered to play a mediating role in Sudan.
8: Sudan denied charges by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni that it was aiding
Ugandan rebels, Sudanese state television said today. The television quoted
Minister of Culture and Information al-Tayeb Ibrahim Mohammed Kheir, official
government spokesman, as saying that Sudan had never given any assistance to
Ugandan opposition forces and that President Museveni's charges were
11: Israeli intelligence chief Rani Baghum has made a secret visit to
rebel-controlled parts of eastern Sudan, the El Saree El Syasi newspaper
11: Riot police had to be sent to Omdurman prison in Khartoum on July 31 to
forcibly evict people whose prison terms had come to an end. About 1,200
convicts who were due for release that day, including 74 women granted amnesty
by President el-Bashir, refused to leave the prison. The Al Alwan daily quoted
some prisoners as saying they were unwilling to leave because they no longer
knew the whereabouts of their relatives, while others were afraid that they
would not be able to manage in the outside world.
12: Efforts to end Sudan's 14-year civil war will top talks between South
African President Nelson Mandela and visiting President el-Bahir. But President
Mandela's spokesmen have been at pains to downplay speculation that the South
African leader will offer his services as a mediator in another African
conflict, one which is already the subject of a regional peace initiative backed
by Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
12: President el-Bashir yesterday said the Khartoum Peace Agreement had been
transformed into a constitutional decree. He said his government was committed
to pursuing peace between the north and the southern Sudan. The Sudanese leader
was addressing the Press during a one-hour stopover at Jomo Kenyatta
International Airport in Nairobi.
13: A Sudanese member of parliament was killed in fighting between the
government and the SPLA, Sudanese state television has said. It said in a report
that Ibrahim Mohammed al-Amin Ibrahim, a Gezira state deputy in central Sudan,
was "martyred in the operations areas in the south of the country".
13: President el -Bashir began talks in Pretoria today with President Nelson
Mandela to discuss the civil war in his country, officials said. The two leaders
went into talks to be followed by a working lunch, attended by a special envoy
of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed, Tan Sri Ahmad Kamil Jaafar.
14: Torrential rain in northern Sudan has levelled hundreds of houses and caused
widespread damage to property, the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported
today. Reporting from Atbara, the capital of the River Nile state, SUNA said
the rains on Monday night left 400 families homeless in the Bawga area, 350
kilometres north of Khartoum. Farms and other property were damaged but there
were no deaths.
15: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said yesterday that he met John Garang in
1989 and that he told Garang of his concern for maintaining Sudan's unity.
Garang in turn told him that he too was concerned that Sudan remain united and
that he did not seek to divide it.
15: Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir left Malawi yesterday at the end of a
three -nation southern African tour to brief leaders of his country civil war.
He told a news conference that there were positive signs that peace initiatives
would bear fruits in Sudan. He had previously visited South Africa and
Mozambique, accompanied by Dr. Riek Mashar.
15: According to a report published in Khartoum, more than 300 teachers sent
abroad for graduate studies by the University of Khartoum have refused to return
home. This represents a loss of more than 80 per cent of the staff sent for
Delegates to the NSCC - SPLM/A consultationre-affirmed their common commitment
to the struggle for the liberation of the people of Southern Sudan and the
marginalized areas. They emphasised that genuine progress towards sustainable
human security depends upon the establishment of a secular, democratic
government in the New Sudan.
The meeting was conducted in a spirit of mutual trust and cooperation. It
recommended the establishment of an on-going nechanism through which the NSCC
and the SPLM/A can continue to address mutual concerns, to promote their common
objectives and to provide effective and timely means of addressing
misunderstandings and resolving conflicts. The delegates expressed that this
dialogue mechanism would continue after the end of the war and become an
on-going forum for church/state consultation in the New Sudan.
The meeting recommitted the NSCC and the SPLM/A to recognizing and respecting
the roles and contributions of the Church and the Movement in building a new
society. They noted that Church in Sudan has an essential part to play in
nurturing the vision of a New Sudan. The Church is commissioned to care for the
spiritual welfare of the people, to contribute to the social and political
formation of Sudan and to be a prophetic voice on behalf of the poor and the
dispossessed. The Movement is mandated to guide the political development of the
New Sudan. While the people of the New Sudan remain oppressed, the Movement is
above all mandated to mobilize the political will and the military action
necessary for liberation.
The NSCC/SPLM/A dialogue meeting came to this common understanding in the
context of a frank and thorough airing of a wide range of concerns and
grievances that had developed between the Church and the Movement. In their
opening statements to the delegates, both the Chairman of the SPLM/A and C-in-C
Dr John Garang de Mabior and the Chairman of the NSCC, Rt Rev Bishop Joseph
Marona urged the delegates not to hold back, but to air their concerns fully in
a spirit of openness and mutual respect. The result was a wide range of
recommendations and ideas that delegates agreed were fruits of a creative
The NSCC and SPLM/A groups agreed that their respective organizations would
explore the implementation of a wide range of recommendations including:
The consultation included guests from the local communities, fromneighbouring
countries and the region and from the world. Delegates expressed appreciation
for the support to the people of Sudan that has come from neighbouring States,
the international community, NGOs and the international Ecumenical Movement.
- Exploring the feasibility of establishing within the SPLM a liason office, or
Secretariat for Religious Affairs.
- To develop ways and means through which the Church can pursue reconciliation
efforts and unity among the political/military groups struggling for the
liberation of Southern Sudan.
- Explore the assigning of chaplains for service to the soldiers of the SPLA.
- The establishment of programmes of education for the soldiers and general
population concerning humanitarian principles and human rights.
- The exploration of ways in which the Churches can be regularly consulted in
relation to the IGAD Peace Process.
- Explore ways in which the Church and Movement can intensify efforts towards
reconstruction and the building of basic infrastructure including demobilization
Peace be with us.
In the last two months the German Emergency Doctors (Cap Anamur) under the
direction of Dr. Reupert Neudeck - a long standing friend of the Comboni's and
of the Sudanese Church - have done an assessment of the needs in Rumbek Diocese.
As a result on August 5, 1997, two certified German nurses, Katrin and Andreas,
have arrived in Agangrial accompanied by Msgr. Caesar Mazzolari and Bro. Mariano
of the Comboni Missionaries.
Agangrial people could not believe that these two young and active young nurses
were at there service and would stay there for the next few months. The nursed
themselves immediately began interacting with the school children and adults
present at the mission.
Cap Anamur is the first agency to react to the appeal of Rumbek Diocese to make
relief and transport available for the people of Rumbek town. On July 31, 1997,
the first plane landed in the vicinity of Rumbek and brought food and relief
items for the displaced people, the second flight took place on August 8, and
took 8 more tonnes of food and relief items.
Msgr. Mazzolari said "as we thank Cap Anamur we encourage others big and not so
big agencies to follow this example, and to assist the displaced and returnees
scattered over the whole of Bahr el Ghazal."
SUDAN CATHOLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
Bethany House, P. O. Box 21202, Nairobi, Kenya
tel. +254.2.562247 or 569130, fax 566668
For further information, please contact:
Fr. Kizito, SCIO, tel +254.2.562247 - fax +254.2.566668 - e-mail: SCIO@MAF.Org