June 16: Sudan and Eritrea have agreed on regular meetings to try to
resolve disputes between the Red Sea neighbours, Sudanese State Radio
Omdurman said. "The joint ministerial committee will hold its first
meeting in August," the radio quoted Sudanese foreign minister Mustafa
Osman Ismail as saying.
16: Sudanese opposition leaders will meet Egyptian and Libyan
officials next month as part of a bid to reach a settlement with the
Islamic -backed government in Khartoum, spokesman said. The decision
to seek Egyptian and Libyan support was contained in a resolution
adopted in Eritrea capital, Asmara, at the end of a five-day meeting
of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
18: An adviser to Sudan's president said in remarks published that the
government and rebels had agreed to defer peace talks aimed at ending
a conflict that has killed more than 1.5 million people. A fourth
round of negotiations was to have started between the Islamist
government and the SPLA.
19: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi begins a three-day visit to Sudan
during which he will have talks with president Omar el-Bashir,
Khartoum newspapers said. The privately-owned newspaper Al Rai Al-Aam
said Col Gaddafi's talks with Gen. Bashir will cover bilateral
relations and regional and international issues.
19: Sudanese army spokesman Mohamed Osman Yassin has denied
allegations that opposition forces had taken over Dinder national park
in Blue Nile. News organisations quoted him as saying the claim was "a
tactic to raise the morale of their fighters" who had "suffered great
losses" in the war in the eastern front.
19: The SPLA has confirmed that it had received official word from
Kenya's foreign ministry indicating that the next round of peace talks
mediated by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) was
scheduled for July 19-24 in Nairobi. President Bashir's advisor for
peace affairs Nafi Ali Nafi told the Sudanese News Agency (SUNA) that
the postponement of the peace talks with the rebel movement was
intended to allow for a broader opportunity for the attainment of
19: The UN World Food Programme (WFP) provided food to nearly 1.5
million beneficiaries throughout Sudan in May to prepare for the
beginning of the "most difficult" stretch of the "traditional hunger
gap" period, WFP's latest weekly emergency report said. The report
said June marked the beginning of the period when the food supply was
low and WFP-assisted beneficiaries were "most vulnerable."
June 20: A cholera outbreak has been reported in Nimule and Mogale
displaced camps in eastern Equatoria. Forty cases were reported on
June 16 but increased to 81 cases and four deaths on June 18.
20: Gaddafi held talks with Sudanese leaders in Khartoum and was due
to visit a pharmaceutical factory destroyed by US missiles last year,
state radio Omdurman said. Gaddafi said he had come to Sudan to "visit
the bunkers of confrontation", the radio said.
21: Gaddafi toured the ruins of El-Shifa pharmaceutical factory, which
was destroyed nearly a year ago by US missiles. Gaddafi walked through
paved lower areas of the destroyed factory beside President Bashir,
who explained what various pieces of debris once had been.
21: The SPLA has dismissed as "propaganda" a report in 'The Indian
Ocean Newsletter' that claimed a planned SPLA offensive against the
government had been "fine-tuned" by several Rwandan, Burundian and
Ugandan officers. The newsletter, dated June 12, also said some SPLA
troops were under the supervision of Rwandan, Burundian and Ugandan
21: WFP has provided food relief to more than 10,200
internally-displaced persons (IDPs) who were recently displaced again
as a result of the demolition of their shelters in four Khartoum
squatter areas, a recent WFP report said. The food was distributed
through the NGO, ADRA.
21: The Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and Sudan have
signed agreements that will provide US$ 9.5 million to help address
the effects of last year's serious floods in Sudan. SUNA said the IDB
will provide a US$ 8.5 million loan to help overcome the effects of
the floods while US$ 1 million will finance a project to rehabilitate
flood-affected schools, SUNA said.
22: Commuters, politicians and religious leaders in Khartoum are
protesting hefty increases in public transport fares, press reports
said. Workers and student unions have issued statements protesting the
50 to 75 per cent increases, while some members of parliament are
threatening to open debate on the issue in the national assembly if
the fare hikes are not dropped.
24: The UN has launched its first humanitarian mission to Sudan's Nuba
Mountains region in more than a decade, hoping to assess the needs of
people in the rebel-held territory. The team includes officials from
UNICEF, the WFP and the UN Humanitarian Co-odinator's Office.
25: A joint Sudanese-Eritrean committee on security is to meet the
first week of July in a first round of discussions on normalising
bilateral relations, a press report said. The two countries broke off
relations in 1994, with Khartoum and Asmara each sheltering the
other's opposition groups.
28: Sudan and Britain have agreed to partially restore diplomatic
relations after a 10-month hiatus caused by an American missile strike
on a Khartoum medical factory, a Sudanese newspaper reported. The
state-owned Al-Anbaa newspaper quoted foreign minister Mustafa Osman
Ismail as saying the two sides had agreed to re-open their embassies
at the level of charge d'affaires.
28: Sudanese political circles regard a recent US Congress report on
alleged genocide and ethnic cleansing in southern Sudan a prelude to
armed foreign intervention, a newspaper reported. The Al Rai Al-Aaam
daily said the ruling National Congress, the pro-government Political
Association (Tewali) and an opposition group agreed that the report
was "a preparation for a direct international intervention and
invasion like what has happened in Kosovo".
28: Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharazi has indefinitely postponed
a planned visit to Sudan.
29: Forces allied to government troops have recaptured a border town
in southern Sudan, the pro-government's Alwan newspaper said. "Forces
in Jonglei State allied to the armed forces recaptured the strategic
town of Akobo on the Ethiopian border."
29: The UN Committee on NGOs has withdrawn the accreditation of a
Swiss-based NGO, Christian Solidarity International (CSI), after
accusing it of hosting SPLM leader John Garang at the UN Human Rights
Commission's annual session in Geneva. CSI earlier this year announced
that it had bought the freedom of some 1,050-child slaves in southern
Sudan at US $50 per person.
29: The US House of Representatives has approved a resolution
condemning the Sudanese government for its "genocidal war in southern
Sudan." The resolution was passed by the full House by a vote of 416
to 1. "It is the first time in six years that the full House has
passed legislation exclusively on Sudan," a statement from the US
Committee for Refugees (USCR), said.
30: The NGO Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has said the
cease-fire in southern Sudan had been broken in a series of attacks
designed to gain control of the area's oil fields. The organisation
said that, in the last month, government forces swept through Ruweng
County in western Upper Nile region, killing scores of civilians,
abducting hundreds and burning over 6,000 homes.
30: Four bombs were dropped on Kajo Keji, of which one fell inside the
MSF-Switzerland compound and another on hospital grounds. The bombs,
which did not explode, were believed to have been cluster bombs, a
UNICEF/OLS report said. Another six bombs were dropped on Yei on the
same day, but no casualties were reported.
July 1: Kenya and Sudan are set for a major trade war if Kenya carries
out a threat not to allow a consignment of 3,000 metric tonnes of
Sudanese sugar into the country. Dr Ali Mansour, a business
development consultant for the importers, Sinnar Trading Company,
warned that should the consignment of white sugar be re-exported to
Sudan, it would initiate a chain of reactions that would lead to a
"definite" retaliatory action from the Sudanese government.
1: President Bashir, completing a troubled decade in power, has
offered a dialogue with his political opponents and renewed an amnesty
offer to rebels. In a televised address, President Bashir reversed the
government's previous refusal to summon a national conference on the
2: Northern Ugandan officials were planning to meet with the Sudanese
government over its support for rebels of the Lords' Resistance Army.
The semi-official New Vision newspaper of Uganda, quoted Gulu district
chairman Walter Ochola as saying his team would travel to Sudan to
meet National Assembly speaker Hassan al-Turabi "and tell him to stop
supporting rebel leader Joseph Kony's war which is killing innocent
people in Acholi".
5: Sudan's central bank, The Bank of Sudan, has stopped dealings in
the pound, saying the Dinar was the official currency, the
pro-government Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper said. Ten pounds equal one
Dinar. "The Bank of Sudan has announced the cancellation of the
Sudanese pound," the daily said.
7: Heavy fighting has raged between two pro-government factions in the
oil-richUnity State in southern Sudan, both sides have reported. The
fighting pits the South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF), led by Riek
Machar, chairman of a council ruling the south, against forces of
rival warlord Paulino Matip.
8: The Ugandan government and SPLA have denied accusations by Khartoum
that they were planning an offensive, along with "allies", against
Sudan. "These are the usual lies about Uganda," Uganda's Presidential
Press Secretary Hope Kivengere told IRIN. The SPLM termed the
accusations a "big propaganda network" and "pure lies".
8: The United Arab Emirates and Sudan have agreed to upgrade
diplomatic relations to ambassadorial level after a seven-year gap,
the official WAM News Agency reported. It quoted Sudan's foreign
minister Mustsafa Osman Ismail as saying that "meetings with officials
resulted in an agreement to return the level of diplomatic
representation between the two states to ambassadorial level."
10: Sudan said government troops had killed 30 rebels and repelled an
attack southeast of the capital of Khartoum, the state Akhbar al-Youm
newspaper reported. "At dawn the day before yesterday, outlaw forces
attacked the area of Um al-Kheir, west of the Dinder River, and the
armed forces repulsed them, forcing them to flee," the daily quoted
army spokesman Mohammed Osman Yassin as saying.
12: Sixteen civilians were injured when a group of soldiers attacked
customers at a club in Wadi Halfa Town in northern Sudan, a newspaper
reported. The Alwan daily said an army lieutenant had a quarrel with a
youth in the club, returned to his garrison just outside town and came
back with a group of soldiers, who blocked the club's entrance and
beat up customers at random with canes and belts.
12: A Sudanese rebel leader said the government wanted to torpedo the
opposition's unity as part of its strategy in the country's civil war.
"The regime's keenness to talk to several mediators at several fora
proves …a desperate attempt to break up our ranks," said Col. Garang.
14: Sudanese troops repulsed an attack by rebel fighters in eastern
Sudan killing 47 of them, an army spokesman claimed in published
remarks. The clashes took place in the eastern state of Gedaref, some
350 km east of Khartoum, the pro-government daily newspaper, Akhbar Al
Youm, quoted the spokesman, Gen. Mohammed Osman Yassin as saying. The
claim could not be confirmed independently.
Diocese of Rumbek establishes school at Wunlit
The Diocese of Rumbek has established a primary school in Wunlit, the
scene of the recent Dinka/ Nuer Peace Covenant.
The school, initiated in May, is now fully operational and is meant to
help boost the spirit of reconciliation set in motion by the covenant
signed in March between the two largest southern Sudanese communities.
The Wunlit Comboni School, says the Bishop of the Diocese of Rumbek,
Caesar Mazzolari, is one of the see's efforts in ensuring lasting
peace and reconciliation in the entire southern Sudan.
So far, says the Bishop, the school has only Dinka students but the
Nuer are most welcome as it is situated at a common border.
The Diocese of Rumbek's other contribution towards the initiative is
the admission of both the Dinka and the Nuer to it's Formation Centre
in Kitale, Kenya.
The Kitale institution (about 400 kilometres north-west of Nairobi),
christened Blessed Josephine Bakhita Formation Centre, is at the
exclusive service of the Sudanese. It trains prospective priests,
catechists and teachers. The Kitale centre also runs a secondary
school programme based on the Kenyan 8-4-4 system of education.
Bishop Mazzolari commended the New Sudan Council of Churches for
setting in motion the bold move to reconcile the Nuer and the Dinka.
The historic Wunlit peace deal was the culmination of a conference
held from February 28 to March 8.
A recent press release by the NSCC says the implementation of the
covenant "has been quick and extensive on the ground.''
"Thousands of Dinka and Nuer have welcomed each other into shared
grazing areas and fishing sites, re-established trade and commerce and
erased a no-man's land along their borders,'' adds the press release.
Another significant development since the signing of the covenant was
the recent NSCC Women's Peace workshop held on June 11-15 in
The symposium took the participants through the training of the
process of reconciliation and conflict resolution.
The women expressed their willingness to commit themselves to the
already agreed upon resolutions in Wunlit.
The Dinkas and Nuer, both of whom are cattle keepers, have since time
immemorial fought almost innumerable battles over grazing land and
The Nuers, like most other southern Sudanese communities, accuse the
Dinka of seeking to establish a tribal hegemony, courtesy of their
numerical advantage and "imagined cultural superiority''.
Other ethnic groups in the south include the Didinga, Shilluk, Lotuko,
Alur, Azande, Toposa, Mudu, Kakwa, Jur and Bakaa.
Since the outbreak of the current phase of the Sudanese civil war in
1983, the tribal animosity between the Dinka and the Nuer has assumed
a political angle, with Khartoum tacitly fuelling it to make the
southerners perpetually vulnerable pawns.
Besides other consequences, the Khartoum intrigue has occasioned
splits and counter-splits in the SPLA since 1992. It is in the same
seven-and-a-half years' period that the Dinka-Nuer animosity has been
Two years ago, a top SPLA leader, Dr Riak Machar (a Nuer) led a host
of disenchanted SPLA factions in re-joining Khartoum. Dr Machar, who
now heads the South Sudan Independent Movement, has since been
declared the president of southern Sudan by Khartoum. Dr Machar also
holds the portfolio of Sudan's second vice-president. He remains an
avowed enemy of SPLA supremo John Garang.
Famine still rampant in southern Sudan
Though not as grave as last year, the hunger situation is still prevalent in most parts of southern Sudan, the Bishop of the Diocese of Rumbek Caesar Mazzolari says.
Speaking in Nairobi on return from an extensive tour of the Sudanese Catholic see, Bishop Mazzolari said rainfall has been scanty this year, leading to crop failure in the Bahr el Ghazal region. The situation, he added, has further been compounded by the invasion of army worms.
The army worms are a type of caterpillars, which travel in vast hordes and are a serious pest of cereal crops. They thrive best in dry conditions and have this year affected several parts of Eastern Africa.
The Bishop said the UN relief organisations in the region were doing a commendable job trying to keep hunger at bay.
About the army worms, the Comboni clergy said he was not aware of any organisation that was involved in stemming their invasion but hoped that soon action would be taken.
Last year, famine in Sudan put about 2.6 million people at risk of starvation. Though largely blamed on a two-year drought caused by the El-Nino phenomenon, analysts hold that the famine had a lot to do with human action.
The Bishop observed that the Diocese had on the whole experienced tremendous growth. The school at Rumbek for instance, now has a population of 750 from an initial number of 250.He said arrangements have had to be made to accommodate learners from more distant locations.
This, Bishop Mazzolari attributed to the closing down of several public schools.
“At Marial Lou, we have had to stop any further admissions, as our school can no longer cope,'' he said.
Other places with the diocesan schools include Yirol, Majak and Wunlit.
The diocese has also expanded its health provision facilities. At Rumbek, the Malteser Camp hospital is operational, leprosy and TB patients are now being attended to at Marial Lou, two dispensaries have been opened at Yirol while plans are underway to open another centre at Angagrial.
The Diocese of Rumbek has opened a new base at Malwal Kon where it hopes to open a school soon.
Between June 14-18, Bishop Mazzolari confirmed 1,500 children in western Bahr el-Ghazal. He says his journey was of immense enrichment for the church as he was accompanied by the representatives of two congregation- Salesian of Don Bosco and Our Lady of the Trinity.
A member of the Salesian, Fr. James Pulickal, is expected to establish a mission at Tonj.
Our lady of the Trinity group sent a sister, a priest and a lay woman to assess the needs at Malwal Kon. They are expected to send one member of the congregation to work in the diocese.
The Bishop was full of praise for the spirit of co-operation that now exists between the church and the civil authority. “Everywhere I visited, I was warmly welcomed by the civil authority who spent much time to discuss with me the hopes and the problems in their respective areas.
The governor of Bahr el Ghazal Cdr. Abraham Nhial Deng and commissioner for Rumbek Paul Mayom, for instance, attended the dedication of the Malteser Camp hospital.''
July 13, 1999
SUDAN CATHOLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
Bethany House, P. O. Box 21202, Nairobi, Kenya
tel. +254.2.577595 or 577949, fax 577327
For further information, please contact:
Fr. Kizito, SCIO, tel +254.2.577595 - fax +254.2.577327 - e-mail: SCIO@MAF.Org