October 15 1996



September 19: A military court in Sudan is currently trying a group of soldiers and civilians accused of attempting a coup against the regime of General Omar El-Bashir, the Akhbar Al-Yom daily reported today. The suspects led by a colonel, Awad al-Karim, have been allowed a defence counsel headed by lawyer Dar Allah Al-Roudhi, the paper said.

September 20: Sudan has charged six of its nationals with helping Iraqis hijack a Sudanese airliner to Britain last month, the privately-owned Akhbar al-Youm reported today. Charges against the Sudanese, most of whom work with private tourism companies, include abetting a crime and possessing weapons without a license, the daily said.

September 22: A woman and two children were killed in floods that have swept the Nile State north of the Sudanese capital and more than 40,000 houses were destroyed, the newspaper Al-Alwan reported on Saturday. Thousands of acres of farmlands were also damaged.

September 22: A Sudanese military spokesman was quoted today as saying that some 40 people are on trial for alleged involvement in a failed coup against President Omar Hassan al-Bashir last March. "The trial began more than three week ago," spokesman of the armed forces, Lieutenant General Mohammed Senousi Ahmad, told the government-owned Al-Ingaz Al-Watani newspaper.

September 23: Sudanese fighter planes yesterday made three separate raids on Ugandan military positions near Moyo town, 16 Kms away from the common border, the independent The Monitor newspaper reported today. The raid by the Sudanese fighter planes comes two weeks after the September 9 peace agreement signed in Khartoum and brokered by the Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani.

September 24: Sudan denied today that its warplanes bombarded northern Uganda and said such claims harmed an agreement to normalise relations which both countries signed earlier this month. "This news- if really stated by the Ugandan state minister of defence - is untrue," the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) quoted General Mohammed el Sanousi, spokesman of the Sudanese armed forces, as saying.

September 25: Sudan has admitted its airforce attacked the rebels in southern Sudan, and promised to apologise to Uganda if it is proved that aircraft mistakenly raided the Ugandan territory. Iranian Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, quoted a Sudanese Foreign Ministry official, Mostafa Osman, as saying his government has responded to attacks initiated by southern Sudan rebels and attacked rebel positions within 13 kilometres (eight miles) from the border with Uganda.

September 26: Some 250 Ugandan rebels have entered the country from neighbouring Sudan with large amounts of arms and other military equipment, the state-owned New Vision newspaper reported today. The newspaper quoted an unidentified military officials saying rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) entered Uganda on Friday through Palabek in the northern Kitgum district, where they killed three people.

September 27: Sudan said today it will apologise to Uganda only after verifying the reported incident of its planes aerial bombings of Uganda territory last Sunday, the deputy ambassador in Nairobi told the Daily Nation today. Mr. Sadiq Osman said the Sudanese troops have the right to go upto the common border in the context of the prevailing war situation on there with rebels of the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLA). September 27: Sudan's oil production is expected to reach 38,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of next year, 25,000 bpd more than the current level, Energy and Mining Minister Award Ahmend al-jaz says. The newspaper, Al Hadith, quoted Jaz as telling Parliament that west Sudan and the northern part of southern Sudan were at present producing 13,000 bpd.

September 30: Fifteen Sudanese soldiers were killed and five others wounded in an attack by a northern opposition group in Sudan, the group, The Forces of the Alliance, said in a statement yesterday. "A group of The Forces of the Alliance led an operation in eastern Sudan near the border with Eritrea and killed 15 government troops and wounded 15 others," the statement in the Arab Al-Hayat said.

September 30: Rebels from a souther Sudanese group that signed deal with the Khartoum government this year have kidnapped two government relief workers, a Sudanese official said. Mr. Mohammed Ramatallah, commissioner general for humanitarian relief, was quoted by the official Sudanese news agency SUNA today as saying the rebels seized the two men on September 25.

October 3: A French national held by rebels in southern Sudan for up to two years was resting in Nairobi today after being released the day before, official said. Jean-Pierre Klem was being held by the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army.

October 3: Sudanese workers are appealing to President Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan el-Bahir to reduce electricity tariffs and are warning there will be trouble if their demands are ignored. Mr. Awad Osman Dira, member of the executive bureau of the Sudanese workers Federation was quoted today as saying that the electricity bill of many Sudanese exceeds their monthly salary.

October 8: The government of Western Equatoria state in south Sudan is planning to relocate to a town recently recaptured from the rebel Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLA), a senior official said today. The Western Equatoria governor, Major General Essais Bol, told the Akhbar al-Yom daily that his government which is currently operating from Juba, capital of Bahr al- Jebel, is planning to move to the Western Equatoria town of Lowe next month.

October 9: Sudan will put to trial a number of people who took part in an alleged plot to attack government targets in Port Sudan with Eritrean help and overthrow President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the Sudanese Defence Minister said. The official Sudan News Agency, (SUNA), quoted lieutenant General Hassan Abdel-Rahman Ali as telling the National Assembly (parliament) yesterday that Eritrean troops were set to help opposition party members with the take-over of the port.

October 9: Sudan's foreign minister sought to ward off a threatened United Nations air embargo and said attacks against his country's human rights record were often linked to criticism of Islam in general. Speaking to the UN General Assembly yesterday, Ali Osman Mohammed Taha said, "persistent attempts to impose sanctions on Sudan defy logic and justice and need to be reconsidered in order to alleviate the injustice inflicted on my country."

October 14: A senior UN envoy is expected here soon to see if Sudan has respected a Security Council resolution demanding he surrender of suspects implicated in a bid to kill Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a newspaper reported yesterday. Resolution 1070, which was voted by the Security Council in August calls for a ban on international flights of Sudan Airways unless Khartoum extradited to Addis Ababa two Egyptians implicated in the 1995 attempt.

October 15: Uganda President Yoweri Museveni said today he does not believe the regime in Khartoum is one anybody can do business with. "Anybody rational cannot do business with President Bashir or Hassan Al-Tourabi," President Museveni told reporters today at a news conference at State House, Kampala.


After nearly one-month hiatus prompted by invasion of Mapourdit mission station by the Sudanese Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLA) forces, the mission school and dispensary have finally resumed their full operations. The dispensary, says Monsignor Caesar Mazzolari, the Apostolic Administrator of Rumbek Diocese, resumed operations on September 19, 1996. The school which has an estimated population of 1,500 pupils re-opened on September 16.

Ninety per cent of all pupils were there on the very first day, says a confident Msgr Mazzolari, who, however, concedes that the invasion must have intimidated some of the pupils a great deal. He hopes that with time all the learners and the community in general will get over the negative impact of the incident. "We remain very optimistic about the future of these institutions as the local people have demonstrated tremendous solidarity amongst themselves and with their priests, Msgr Mazzolari says. "The people of Mapourdit are a very resilient community that has withstood several severe tests."

But the two institutions are still bearing the brunt of the August 17 invasion which culminated in the arrest and detention of six missionaries and the looting of the mission. The six victims of the unfortunate turn of events were three Australian sisters - Moira Lynch, 72, Mary Batchelor, 67, and Maureen Carey, 52, American Fr. Michael Barton, 48, Italian Brother Raniero Iacomella, 26, and Fr. Raphael Riel, 48, Sudanese and Vicar General of Rumbek Diocese.

The three elderly sisters, who like their fellow missionaries at the southern Sudanese village were actively involved in running both the dispensary and the school, have opted for a period of rest in their motherland in accordance with the expert advice. Consequently, the two vital institutions have been hit by a shortfall of relevant personnel. The school, Msgr. Mazzolari says, currently faces a shortfall of at least two teachers. The school runs 14 streams in the morning and eight in the afternoon. The mission dispensary is currently being taken care of by five Sudanese nurses.

We have suffereed a real loss, but by no means a permanent one, Msgr Mazzolari says about the absence of the three Australian sisters. "We are shopping around for relevant replacement."

In an earlier interview with the three sisters in Nairobi, they had expressed their willingness to continue with their missionary work in the Sudan, so long as SPLA which controls most of the region, guarantees their safety. However, one cannot rule out a possiblity of pressure from back home on the elderly nuns to keep off "the needy people who are brazen enough to slap humanitarian aid workers in the face".

In the meantime, Msgr Mazzolari has received several written appeals from the pupils and members of the wider Sudanese community requesting him to intercede for them in facilitating the return of the Australian sisters. If it is possible, kindly make the sisters come back, says one of the letters in part. "The reason why we want them is that we have no teacher to teach us and no doctors to help us. Sr. Moira was our only hope in Mathematics," it adds.

Prior to the re-opening of the institutions, a delegation of Comboni Missionaries comprising of Father Kizito Sesana of Sudan Catholic Information Office (SCIO), Nairobi, and Bishop Joseph Gasi of Tambura Yambio in southern Sudan, held talks with top SPLA leaders in Nairobi. The missionaries sought to know the movement's position regarding missionary activities in the SPLA-controlled areas.

That the re-opening of the school and the dispensary at Mapourdit came hot on the heels of the Nairobi talks, leaves no doubt that SPLA must have accepted most, if not all conditions laid down by the missionaries for their continued support to the southern Sudanese poeple.

During the talks, the SPLA leaders expressed displeasure at the August incident and promised to consider restitution for the looting of the mission. They reaffirmed that the invasion, largely blamed on a local rogue commander, Major Marial Nuor, was conducted without the blessings of the movement's top leadership.

It was also decided that church leaders in southern Sudan and top SPLA officlas meet regularly to exchange ideas on the latest developments and on how to continue co-existing peaceful. Without mincing their words, the church leaders expressed their concern about some SPLA asctivities such as forced recruitment of catechists and teachers. "But above all we are disturbed by the recent imprisonment of six church workers in Mapourdit," said the clergy.

"Obviously these facts have negative repercussion on the world public opinion about the SPLA and the image of the movement has been tarnished. After you apparently successful recent campaign in the Western world, the Mapourdit facts have caused a serious loss of credibilty in the movement."

The John Garang-led SPLA is the main rebel group fighting for the liberation of southern Sudan from the Islamic regime of Khartoum. Internal squabbles within it's ranks have seen splits and counter splits within the movement and the latest showdown with the missionaries could just be a pointer to imminent further disintegration within the SPLA. To have embarked on such a potentially explosive mission without the express authority of his top-most boss, Major Nuor either sought to prove that he was no longer answerable to Colonel Garang, or that he was disenchanted with his leadership.- Charles Omondi.

Sudanese begin training in Kenya

Thirty two Sudanese trainees, all males, have began classes at the new-opened Blessed Josephine Bakhita Formation Centre in the Kenyan town of Kitale, about 407 kilometres north-west of Nairobi.

Sixteen of the Sudanese, who will be trained in the fields of teaching and catechism, came from Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya, while the rest were selected directly from their respective missions in the Sudan. The group from Kakuma reported at the Kitale institution on October 4, while those from Sudan reported at the Kitale institution two days later.

Eight morte students are expected from the Nuba Mountains. Their arrival has been delayed because of the disturbances in the Nuba Mountains which have made it impossible for planes to land their to pick them.

The Ksh28.5 milliom ($500, 000) Formation Centre, built by the Comboni Missionaries, lies on a 26-acre plot. It is intended to serve the Sudanese dioceses of Rumbek, Tambura Yambio, El Obeid and Torit. It can host 80 students.

Upon the completion of their courses, the Sudanese, whose training will be fully funded by donors, will be expected to commit themselves to work in their different capacities for their people. -Charles Omondi.

For further information, please contact:
Fr. Kizito, SCIO, tel +254.2.562247 - fax +254.2.566668 - e-mail:


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