September 16: The SPLA said its forces had captured a garrison in
southern Sudan and killed 40 government troops in fierce fighting in
the trouble region. An SPLA spokesman said by telephone from the
Eritrean capital, Asmara, that al Gabalein garrison, 62 kilometres
east of the main southern city of Juba, had fallen .
17: Sudan's army said it had killed 50 Ugandan and Sudanese rebel
troops after a fierce battle in the war-ravaged south. State radio
read out a statement from army spokesman Abdel Rahman Sir Al-Khatim,
who said three government soldiers had died while repulsing the attack
on al-Gabalein, Torit and Liria.
17: Flooding and torrential rains in northern and central Sudan have
driven 30,000 people from their homes and left 25 people dead, a
newspaper reported. Colonel Wagie All el-Tayeb, a government civil
defence official, was quoted in the daily Akhbar al-Sa'a as saying 455
villages have been wiped out by the Nile River flooding in recent
18: Sudanese rebels have said they had captured the garrison town of
Liria, 72 kilometres south-east of the government-held southern
capital Juba. The SPLA claimed it had also captured Ngolere and
Rodondo, two smaller garrisons on the road between Juba and Torit in
Eastern Equatoria Province.
18: The Riyadh-based Arab Gulf Programme (AG-FUND) said it had
allocated $50,000 to help flood victims in Sudan. AG-FUND, headed by
Saudi Prince Tala bin Abdul-Aziz, said in a statement the assistance
would be given to two UN agencies operating in Khartoum to "support
needed humanitarian efforts".
19: Former US president Jimmy Carter has called for an investigation
into whether a Sudanese factory destroyed by US missiles in August
actually manufactured possible chemical weapons materials. A technical
team should visit Khartoum to inspect the plant and to take samples of
soil and building materials, Carter said in a statement.
22: Sudan has said an unspecified number of people, including a
child, were killed when a south-eastern village was shelled. The
official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) quoted Lt.Gen. Sir al-Khatim as
saying mortars and artillery hit several villages in Eastern Equatoria
state, which lies on the borders with Ethiopia and Ugandan.
23: Sudanese soldiers clashed with Uganda forces supporting rebels in
southern Sudan and destroyed several tanks and vehicles, the Sudanese
army spokesman said. The clashes erupted in Eastern Equatoria
province, where fierce battles have taken place since last week, said
Gen. Sir al-Khatim.
23: Ugandan forces backed by Eritrea and Rwanda were involved in
fighting against Sudanese troops in southern Sudan, a Sudan army
spokesman said. Sir al-Khatim told a news conference that Khartoum's
army had destroyed 11 tanks, as well as trucks and arms from the
Ugandan forces he said had invaded Sudan's Eastern Equatoria state.
24: A Sudan army spokesman said Khartoum's forces had killed more than
70 Ugandan troops in recent fighting in southern Sudan, a newspaper
reported. "Seventy-five tanks, three armoured vehicles and a number of
trucks have been destroyed and over 70 killed, ''the official Al-Anbaa
newspaper quoted army spokesman Lt. Gen.Sir al-Khatim as saying.
24: Former US attorney general Ramsey Clark has said the US government
had wanted an excuse to strike at Sudan and the decision to bomb a
pharmaceutical plant there was strictly political. Clark made the
accusations to reporters after returning from Sudan, where he led a
delegation from the International Action Centre on a fact-finding
mission to the El-Shifa pharmaceutical factory, which was destroyed by
US cruise missiles.
26: Representative Barney Frank, one of President Bill Clinton's most
outspoken supporters on Capitol Hill, said he believes President
Clinton made a mistake in ordering the bombing of a Sudanese factory
suspected of manufacturing chemical weapons agents. Rep Frank said in
a letter to President Clinton he initially supported the bombing of
sites in both Sudan and Afghanistan but now believes the
administration went too far in Sudan attack.
26: The United Nations has appealed for nearly US$9 million to provide
shelter, clean water and medicine to 100,000 Sudanese left homeless by
the worst flooding of the Nile in decades.
27: The Sudanese army killed 400 rebels and 50 Ugandan troops in
near a strategic garrison town over the past two weeks, a military
commander in southern Sudan said. The claim was the latest by Sudan
Uganda had sent troops to fight with southern Sudanese rebels involved
in a 15-year civil war- an accusation Uganda has repeatedly denied.
28: Sudan's president Lt. Gen. Omar el-Bashir, paid a surprise visit
the strategic town of Juba in Equatoria province and warned of a major
battle to keep the town in government hands. The visit came 10 days
after Sudanese rebels claimed they had captured the garrison town of
Liria, 72 kilometres Southeast of Juba, and two smaller army outposts.
28: Two children were killed and 132 injured when the Wad Shaarifai
refugee camp, 20 km from Kassala, was shelled , the International
Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies said. Since
January, at least 55,000 people are thought to have moved from their
villages in the area along Sudan's eastern border with Eritrea due to
28: Albert Navarro, director of the European Community Humanitarian
Office (ECHO) said representatives of the Khartoum government and the
SPLA would meet in Nairobi on October 5 to discuss and extend a
ceasefire they agreed earlier in the year to allow food deliveries to
reach hungry people in Bahr el-Ghazal. The truce expires on October
28: Heavy floods have now affected 132 of Sudan's 26 states and in
terms of people affected and damage to households and infrastructure,
the situation is worse than in 1988 when the flooding was considered
have been of unprecedented dimension. Reports have said one million
people were suffering from the impact of the floods, some 500 villages
had been destroyed and agricultural sector ravaged.
29: Sudan has put the country on a mobilisation footing to confront
what it called an attack by Uganda and Eritrea, southern Sudan, state
radio said. "The cabinet, meeting yesterday...declared a state of
general mobilisation to confront various other plots that target the
country currently," it said.
29: The UNICEF has appealed for the extension of a three-month
ceasefire between the government of Sudan and the SPLA which expires
October 15. It must be extended in time and broadened in scope, said
UNICEF in a statement.
29: Sudanese air force planes have dropped cluster bombs on a hospital
in a rebel-controlled town in southern Sudan, a humanitarian
organisation said. A patient was seriously wounded and a ward was
damaged in the bombing of the hospital in Yei, about 120 kilometres
south-west of Juba, said Dan Effie of Norwegian People's Aid, which
runs the hospital.
30: The Security Council held preliminary discussions on an
Arab-sponsored draft resolution demanding a UN Investigation into US
claims that a Sudanese factory it bombed in August was making chemical
weapons. Council president Hans Dahlgreen of Sweden said he had
received a letter from Lebanese Ambassador Samir Moubarak, the current
head of the informal group of Arab states, known as Arab Group, with a
copy of the draft resolution in it.
30: Thousands of Sudan's civilians are headed south to join the
government's war against Sudanese rebels and Ugandan troops, the
official media reported. The mobilisation follows an appeal by the
government for retired army officers to help the military's defence
against expected rebel assaults.
October 1: President Hosni Mubarak says a Sudanese pharmaceutical
factory bombed by the US last month could have been used to make
chemical weapons agents. President Mubarak's comments were published
in the government-run Al-Ahram newspaper and are the first by an Arab
leader endorsing the Clinton administration's claim that Sudan was
using the plant for military purposes.
2: The Sudan government has imposed a blanket ban on aid flights to
the south of the country, according to the UN's Operation Lifeline
Sudan. The government gave no reason for the decision and OLS said it
hoped the ban was an administrative matter that would be quickly
resolved through negotiation with Khartoum government.
2: Sudan rebels are attempting to break the government's grip on the
southern garrison town of Torit in their biggest offensive for 18
months, aid workers and other sources said. "The rebels are certainly
going to attack Torit," said one senior Nairobi-based aid worker in
contact with the area.
3: Sudan's army has killed more than 500 Ugandan soldiers who Khartoum
says were invading the southern part of the country, the Sudanese news
Agency reported, quoting a military spokesman. "the armed forces have
managed up to now to kill over 500 of the invading troops, destroy or
seize 17 tanks and five armoured vehicles," Lt. Col. General Sir
al-Khatim was quoted by SUNA as saying.
5: A top Ugandan intelligence official said that a Sudanese plane
dropped bombs in north-western Uganda, but no casualties had been
reported. The senior official, who declined to be identified, said the
bombs were dropped at around 1630 GMT in Adjumani district, about 550
kilometres northwest of the Ugandan capital Kampala.
5: The latest round of talks to seek ways of ending southern Sudan
civil war were cancelled because the Sudanese government declined to
send representatives, a rebel official said. "As far as we know, there
are no talks tomorrow because Khartoum is not sending anybody," said
Mr. Justin Arop Yaac, a spokesman for the SPLA.
6: Aid flights resumed to southern Sudan after the Khartoum government
had refused clearance for a day because of an "administrative glitch,"
an OLS official said: "All planes are flying today. Permission for
flights on Thursday was denied due to a misunderstanding over
procedure," said Elizabeth Kramer.
6: A cousin of president el-Bashir was killed fighting rebels in
southern Sudan, state-run television announced. The broadcast did not
say when the cousin, Abu Baker el-Tayeb Mustafa, was killed.
6: International efforts are underway to reschedule the postponed
meeting of the IGAD technical committee on humanitarian affairs to
discuss the extension and broadening of the Bahr al-Ghazal ceasefire.
The meeting was due to have brought together representatives of the
Khartoum government and the SPLA.
6: In the SPLA-held Ajiep, hunger-related deaths have fallen from 60
per 10,000 per day to three per 10, 000, OLS spokesman Gillain Wilcox
has said. There has been a comparable improvement in
6: Tension between the Sudanese and local communities has increased
following the reported arrival of SPLA troops in the Dungu area, about
100 km from the DRC-Congo border.
7: The Uganda army has deployed troops to two northwestern Uganda
towns near the border with Sudan after they were bombed by a Sudanese
aircraft, a radio station said. The troops were deployed to Adjumani
and Pakele, about 350 kilometres northwest of Kampala, where the
bombing injured six people, the private Central Broadcasting Service
7: Sudan has denied that it launched bombing raids in northern Uganda
in which six people were injured, newspapers reported. The Sudan
foreign ministry "denied its planes bombed the towns of Adjumani and
Pakele in northern Uganda on Saturday".
8: Uganda has dismissed a threat by president el-Bashir that Sudan may
launch attacks on Uganda, the minister of state for foreign affairs,
Mr. Amama Mbabazi has said. The minister said Sudan was no major
threat to Uganda. "We are a no threat and he has no capacity to do it.
He is not a real military threat to Uganda," Mr. Mbabazi added.
8: Some 50 rebels of SPLA have been killed in FNT forces in the
Central Mendi area of South Kordofan Province, a Khartoum daily Alwan
newspaper reported from the Sudanese capital. The report was not
8: Khartoum is to demand an official explanation of a newspaper
interview given by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak late last month in
which he sought to justify August's US raid on a Sudanese
pharmaceutical plant, officials said. "The Sudanese government wants
an explanation of this statement," information minister Mr. Ghazi
Salaheddin Atabani said.
9: Sudan has agreed to discuss its complaint over an American missile
strike on a Khartoum factory directly with the US as well as pursuing
it in the UN Security Council, newspapers said. "The Sudanese
government agreed officially to open the door of direct bilateral
dialogue with the US administration through the foreign ministries in
Khartoum and Washington," the private Al-Rai Al-Aam newspaper said.
9: Sudanese defence minister Ibrahim Suleiman has said the government
needed 50,000 volunteer fighters to crush southern rebels and their
alleged foreign backers, newspapers reported. They quoted Suleiman as
telling the National Assembly that a general mobilisation declared
last week must continue until the government had enough men and money
to crush what he called attacks by Uganda and Eritrea in Eastern
9: An SPLA communique issued in Nairobi, Kenya, said the SPLA were
extending and expanding their ceasefire in response to an appeal by
Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi and because of widespread famine in
10: Sudanese forces have fended off rebel attacks on a key town in
southern Sudan and control the road linking it to a nearby army camp,
state-run Omdurman radio has reported. The SPLA sustained heavy loses
in the clashes near Juba, said an army communiqué read on the radio.
It did not provide casualty figures for either side.
12: The SPLA has confirmed that its troops had withdrawn from the town
of Liria in eastern Equatoria. A communiqué issued in Nairobi said the
SPLA had withdrawn "for tactical reasons" but it gave no further
12: Sudan has declared it wanted a full ceasefire with southern rebels,
but stopped short of agreeing to adhere to the partial truce that
have declared. The SPLA had earlier said it would extend by another
three months a ceasefire set to end on October 15 in southern Bahr
12: Although flooding has receded in northeastern Sudan, the flood
emergency has now entered a "critical public health phase" as large
areas remain under stagnant water, according to latest reports. There
is concern that the emergency situation could worsen in the coming
months due to outbreaks of waterborne diseases, lack of shelter and
poor food security conditions.
12: Sudanese opposition parties have criticised draft legislation on
the formation of political parties in Sudan, charging that it favours
the Khartoum regime, press reports said. The Al Rai al Akher daily
reported that critics have said the bill was "tailored to the interest
of the national Congress," which will become a political party once
bill becomes law.
12: Al Rai al Akher newspaper has reported that senior National
Congress official Mr. Mohammed al Hassan al Amin, commenting whether
exiled opposition leaders Mr. Mohammed Osman al Mirghani and Sadeq al
Mahdi might return home to lead their parties, said: "Mirghhani and
Mahdi have committed acts that call for their trial on their return
14: A WFP barge started delivering 1,244mts of food to over 100,000
people in some locations along Sobat River in Upper Nile state. A WFP
statement said the three-barge convoy left the port of Kosti to
deliver food along the Sobat.
14: Sudanese foreign minister Mustafa Osman Ismail has said his
government extended a ceasefire in the southwestern Bahr el-Ghazal
region by three months for "humanitarian" purposes. "We have decided
to extend the ceasefire, which expires on October 15, to another
three months in Bahr el-Ghazal region to allow humanitarian relief
assistance to reach safely the needy people in that region," Mr.
14: Mr. Carl Tintsman, the co-ordinator of southern Sudan for OLS has
said the organisation welcomed the extensions of the ceasefire because
they would allow the agencies to continue to deal with a devastating
famine in Bahr el-Ghazal.
The family of God the Father on a journey towards justice, peace and reconciliation
This year's Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference was held in the Kenyan
capital , Nairobi, from September 14-31. In attendance were Gabriel
Zubeir Wako, the Arch-bishop of Khartoum, Arch-bishop of Juba Paolino
Lukudo Loro, Bishop Joseph Gasi Abangite of Tambura-Yambio, Paride
Taban of Torit, Vincent Mojwok Nyiker of Malakal, Bishop Macram Max
Gassis of El-Obeid, Auxiliary Bishop of Khartoum Daniel Adwok Kur,
Bishop of Wau Rudolph Deng Majak, Erkolano Lodu Tombe of Yei,
Administrator, Apostolic of El Obeid Antonio Menegazzo and the
Administrator, Apostolic of Rumbek, Monsignor Caesar Mazzolari. At
the end of their deliberations, the bishops came up with the following
We, the Bishops of Sudan, gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, for our Plenary
Assembly, send our greetings of peace and love in the name of Christ,
In preparation for the Jubilee 2000 and for the Centenary of
Evangelisation in Sudan, we are launching the following pastoral
programme for all Christians in the Sudan. It is a programme that is
intended to deepen the understanding and the implementation of the
"Vision, Mission and Values" published by the Bishops of Sudan in
September of 1997 in Rome.
The Current situation in the Sudan:
We, the Catholic Bishops of the Sudan, being critically aware of the
devastating civil war in our country, and mindful of our
responsibilities as Bishops, have discussed, among other things, the
question of war and peace in the Sudan. We also reflected on the
situation of human rights in general as well as on famine currently
affecting various parts of the country, especially the hardest hit
areas such as Bahr al Ghazal.
We noted with the greatest concern the devastating consequences of the
on-going civil war on civilian population and property as represented
by the continuing loss of innocent lives (this amounts to ethnic
cleansing) and destruction of property; rampant sense of frustration
and hopelessness; broken families; spread of crime and immorality
including rape; dislocation and displacement of whole populations
resulting in unprecedented suffering, impoverishment and
dehumanisation. The influx of refugees into the neighbouring
countries, no doubt, relates to the agonising effects of this war.
We also noted with regret certain practices which undermine the
dignity and worth of the human person. In particular, we deplore
extra-judicial punishment, mysterious disappearance of people, slavery
and slavery-related practices, torture, restrictions on freedom of
worship, lack of freedom of expression, discriminative laws, practices
and attitudes, manipulation of the media and lack of genuine dialogue
between Christians and Moslems.
We disapprove of the use of food for faith or as a weapon.
Furthermore, we express our concern for civilian population in
crossfire especially in situations involving aerial bombardment.
Finally, we deplore the slow, almost cynical response to the famine
situation and the denial of food aid to some areas including the Nuba
Mountains. By way of warning, we express our fears that another more
devastating famine is looming and may most likely hit again in 1999
because of this year's insufficient rains and other reasons. The
situation will demand timely concerted effort both at the national and
We cite the situation of war to express our total rejection of it.
This conflict, in fact, should challenge and disturb the conscience of
any believer in God or any person of goodwill. This situation is
unacceptable and we call upon the principle parties to the conflict to
seriously work for a negotiated settlement and to stop the
perpetration of the heinous crimes.
As we reflected on the war situation, we could see that there are
signs of hope and some light at the end of the tunnel. The
Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) involvement in the
peace process, although slow, is commendable and encouraging. We also
praise and encourage the role of friends of IGAD in the peace process.
In addition, we commend the parties to the conflict for courageously
coming to the negotiation table last August. This effort and spirit
should continue. Equally, praiseworthy is the acceptance of a limited
cease-fire by both parties
As far as the people are concerned, there are also signs of hope. The
people are becoming increasingly aware of their destiny and are
closing their ranks in unity and are more supportive of each other.
They are more conscious than ever of their dignity and rights and of
their duties and obligations towards the community and the Church.
Many young people and intellectuals are more prepared now than ever,
to get involved in community and Church affairs. They are involved in
educational, cultural and religious programmes. For example, the Bible
is presently being translated into many indigenous languages. The
youth and women, in collaboration with the Church, are working
whole-heartedly for a better understanding of the scriptures and for
the spread of literacy. The Gospel has now reached areas previously
untouched and the spirit of the people, both young and old, to learn
the good news, is at once genuine and determined.
We thank the selfless efforts and commitment of the youth, women and
Signs of hope are spreading in other communities. We note with
appreciation that people outside the Christian community are fostering
our same values and are sharing with the larger community in its
efforts and concern. We encourage this to continue for the good of
our nation, the Sudan.
Cancellation of talks does not augur well for Sudan
The news about the cancellation of the next round of Sudanese peace
talks has not taken many by surprise.
With the latest developments on the battle field and the strong
pronouncements by the leaders of the parties to the Sudanese conflict,
it would have taken something akin to a miracle to bring the
combatants to the negotiation table.
The talks, under the auspices of the regional Inter-Governmental
Authority on Development, (IGAD), were scheduled to begin in the
Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on October 5.
The principle concern of the warring parties now seems to be the
control of Juba, the largest town in southern Sudan, still under the
control of President Omar Hassan el-Bashir's government. Sudanese
People's Liberation Army (SPLA) leader Colonel John Garang is reported
to have personally taken charge of the offensive.
Naturally, the government is not resting on its laurel. It is taking
every precaution to ensure its continued stranglehold on the strategic
garrison town. The fall of Juba to the rebels, could mark a major
turning point in the 15-year-old conflict. It could as well mean the
stamping out of the Islamic government's authority in the entire
On a recent visit to Juba, President Bashir predicted that the
impending battle would be "decisive and final"
Among other things, the government has embarked on massive military
recruitment that has seen university education suspended in Khartoum.
Expenditure by various ministries has also been reduced drastically to
help finance the war.
The likely consequences of the current dimension in the protracted
conflict, especially on the civilian population, are not hard to
Southern Sudan continues bearing the brunt of a devastating famine
that has claimed thousands of lives despite concerted international
relief efforts. Floods have also set in, restricting accessibility to
the thousands of people desperate for aid while playing havoc with
whatever little has taken roots in the farms.
Is it the right time then for the war to intensify? The obvious answer
is no. The ordinary Sudanese are definitely tired of this war, which
together with its consequences, have claimed an estimated 1.5 million
lives. What they need is peace to enable them go about their
day-to-day activities and regain their dignity among the world's
Though the previous talks cannot be said to have achieved much, the
mere fact that the bitter foes could give dialogue a chance is
As all people of goodwill wait with bated breadth for the impending
offensive, one can only hope that Col. Garang and Gen. Bashir will
finally realise that dialogue is the best way forward.
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