October 15 1996



October 16: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni today launched a broad attack on his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir accusing him of failing to honour peace efforts and warning of possible conflict. Museveni told journalist that he had no faith in the current negotiations in which the Ugandan government "unwillingly agreed to participate out of respect for Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani."

October 17: Sudan today denied accusations by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni that it was supporting the armed opposition in northern Uganda. Sudanese Information Minister Al-Tayeb Ibrahim Mohammed Khair expressed "astonishment'' over accusations and said that the normalisation agreement mediated by Iran was "progressing as agreed upon," the Sudanese news agency ,SUNA , reported. October 18: Fighting has broken out between two tribes in western Sudan less than a month after another two tribes signed a truce to end bloody clashes there, a newspaper reported today. The privately-owned al-Rai al-Aam said there were fierce clashes and repeated attacks on villages in several areas in West Darfur state. Mr Gamar Hassan al-Tahir, a parliamentarian from the area, told the paper the current clashes were between the Masalit tribe and Arab tribes that had migrated from neighbouring Chad.

October 21: The authorities in east Sudan have appealed to the federal government in Khartoum to intervene amid reports of food shortages and malnutrition in the region, Alwan independent daily reported today. The state Parliament in Port Sudan, capital of the Red Seat State, made the appeal yesterday after hearing a report by a parliamentary committee indicating a deteriorating food situation in Sinkat, about 120 kilometres south-west of Port Sudan, and malnutrition among children, women and the elderly in other provinces, the newspaper said.

October 25: Sudan said today it was abiding by its border agreement with Uganda and that a monitoring group would soon start work ensuring that neither government helps rebels operating in the area. The Minister of Culture and Information, Brigadier al-Tayeb Ibrahim Mohammed Khair, told state radio: "Sudan is keen to implement the agreement on normalisation of relations." "Sudan has not contravened any of the articles in the agreement... It has not allowed its territory or border to be used by any fronts hostile to Uganda," he added.

October 28: The Sudanese authorities foiled a coup attempt earlier this week and arrested at least 10 officers, according to the Egyptian news agency MENA, cited by the government Press here. The officers are accused of plotting to overthrow the government and are undergoing questioning by the army's General Command in Khartoum, MENA reported.

October 29: A Sudanese military spokesman denied yesterday reports that Sudan had foiled a military coup this week and arrested several officers.

October 29: Uganda will not sign the Tehran Pact meant to set out a framework for the peace process between Kampala and Sudan "unless we get an appropriate action from Sudan over the recent incidents even after the September 9 peace agreement in Khartoum", President Museveni told a news conference in Kampala yesterday. President Museveni said Uganda does not want to disappoint its Iranian friends and will afterall, send its Foreign Minister, Mr Eriya Kategaya, to Tehran for another round of talks on November 3.

October 30: Some 160 000 people are facing famine in northern Sudan because of a two-year drought in the region, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent said yesterday. It has launched an appeal for $3.25 million to help over 300 000 Beja people facing starvation.

October 31: The Sudanese government yesterday denied accusations by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni that it was backing rebels in northern Uganda.

November 2: A Sudanese human rights activist will receive the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, but the identities of the recipient and the groups the laureate works with are being kept secret amid fears Khartoum will seek out and punish them. "The very fact that we cannot identify the 1996 laureate reflects just how serious the human rights situation in Sudan remains today," said Rose Styron, who chaired the panel of judges.

November 2: Sudan is secretly negotiating for a mercenary army to protect its vital southern oil fields which have so far not been exploited because of the continuing war in the south. According to the latest edition of the London- based newsletter, Africa Confidential, the National Islamic Front government "is negotiating for a private army to help guard southern oilfields".

November 5: The Foreign Ministers of Uganda and Sudan in Tehran, Iran, today to meet in Kampala in December to continue peace talks. The decision was announced at the end of two days of talks in the Iranian capital between the two African countries and attended by Iran and Malawi as observers.

November 7: Sudan accused the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) of helping rebels fighting the Khartoum government and said today it has stopped all activities of the relief group inside its borders. State radio said the decision was effective from Tuesday. It quoted a Sudan Ministry of Social Planning statement accusing ICRC of "violating humanitarian principles and its own mandate." There was no immediate ICRC comment.

November 7: Politicians who had opposed the regime of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir since he seized power in 1989 have now decided to join his government, giving it its second major political victory this year. The group includes the Rev Philip Abbas Gaboush, a leader of Sudan National Party, Federal Party chairman Joshua Dei Wal, a leading politician from southern Sudan, and Ahmed Bala and Margani Sulieman, both of the Democratic Union Party (DUP). In April, the rebel Southern Sudan Independence Movement (SSIM) signed a political charter with Al-Bashir's regime in which the two sides agreed to ceasefire and to seek ways to resolve the armed conflict in the south.

November 12: Probes by Sudanese groups into slavery and other human rights abuses glossed over available data and shed little light on the alleged horrors, according to a UN report released over the weekend. Gasper Biro of Hungary, the special UN human rights rappoteur of the Sudan, said he found it encouraging that the government had appointed committees to investigate abuses and had opened a centre for traumatised children in Khartoum.

November 12: Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Osman Mohammed Taha has urged Egypt to play a "positive role " to stop the United Nations from imposing an air embargo on Sudanese planes later this month. "What is needed from Egypt now is a clearer and more positive role aimed at stopping sanctions against Sudan," Mr Taha said in statements published today by the Saudi daily Ashraq al-Aswat.

Sudanese churches state their stand

Churches in Sudan last month released a document in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, detailing their position regarding the protracted civil strife in their country.

The four-page document, was accompanied by a covering letter dated October 7, and signed by the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) vice chairman Rev Sirisio Oromo. The covering letter is copied to Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi, in his capacity as the chairman of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the chairman of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and Pierce Garitty of the United Nations Children's Fund/Operation Lifeline Sudan (UNICEF/OLS).

Entitled, Here We Stand United In Action For Peace, the peace and reconciliation paper is jointly signed by Rev Oromo and Rev John Gatluok on behalf of the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC).

The NSCC which was founded in 1990 has five member churches - Catholic, Sudan Interior Church, Anglican, Presbyterian and African Inland Church. The SCC was established in 1965 and is made up of eight member churches.
The October document was formulated by Sudanese church leaders when they met in Oslo, Norway, in February this year. Another meeting was held in Morges, Switzerland, in September to discuss the same subject.

Points out the document:: "Most of the efforts made to resolve the conflict in Sudan have little or no participation of the churches in the country. Peace- making, however, remains a matter of faith for all Christians and an important mission of the church. It is therefore imperative that the churches in Sudan actively participate in peace-making efforts. The common position paper now titled Here We Stand United In Action For Peace will be the basis for the churches' ministry on peace and reconciliation in Sudan.

It notes with a lot of concern that Sudan has suffered 40 years of destructive internal conflict with only a brief period of calm, adding that, "we feel it is our responsibility to speak for all the people of Sudan and to suggest ways forward out of the present deadlock".

Among the suggestions for the attainment of lasting peace contained in the document are: "A recognition that all human beings are created by God and are precious and equal in his sight, acceptance that cultural, linguistic and social diversity are gifts of God's creation and should not be suppressed and a recognition of freedom of religious expression, worship and witness."

Others are: "A recognition that a lasting and true peace must be based on justice and full and equal rights for all citizens, participation in political, social and economic life should be open to all irrespective of racial, ethnic, social and religious background and a resolve to steadily widen the effective participation of all the people in political processes and decision-making.' "As leaders of the Sudanese church," states the peace and reconciliation paper, "we commit ourselves to defend and promote these principles and to work for reconciliation at all levels. We commit ourselves to pray for peace, for reconciliation, for those who suffer, for the oppressed and for the oppressors."

Peace Caravan to Sudan

The Sudanese National Democratic Alliance Youth Organisations (Sudanese Youth Union, Democratic Unionist Party Youth Section, Beja Congress and Sudanese Women's Voice for Peace) in collaboration with the Society for Threatened Peoples, Sudan Forum, Frauennetwerk and South Sudan Student's Association in Germany, have organised a peace caravan in the Sudan to be held from December 10-17.

Titled International Peace Caravan to Sudan, the mission will be restricted to New Kush in southern Sudan. It will focus on political dialogue in form of workshop on the Sudanese civil strife, fact finding and cultural performances. Registration fee is $100 per participant. Participants are expected to arrive in Nairobi, Kenya, on December 8-9 from where they will travel to New Kush by air-conditioned buses.

Results of the discussion and fact finding mission will be submitted to UN bodies, Organisation of African Unity (OAU), Inter-Governmental Agreement on Drought and Desertification, (IGADD), Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Conference and the All African Council of Churches (AACC).

For further information, interested parties can contact Dr. Samson Kwaje on telephone number 254 2 502165, Nairobi, or Faysal Mustafa on 254 2 7155241, Nairobi. More information can also be obtained from Arkangelo Modesto of telephone Number 49 30 29449706, Berlin, Germany.

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


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