August 16: Relief agencies working to feed millions of people in
war-torn southern Sudan will resume their activities following a
week-long suspension, called after facilities were bombed from the
air, allegedly by Sudanese government aircraft. Masoud Haider, a
representative for the World Food Programme in Khartoum, said Sudanese
officials had assured him relief planes would be able to fly safely
16: Routine bombing continues in the life of the peoples of Bahr el
Ghazal region in Southern Sudan. This province has been attacked for
weeks by the air force of the military government, escalating the
number of victims, the missionaries in the area reported. This has
gone on since 1983, causing over 2 million dead, and it cannot go on
any longer," stated Bishop Caesar Mazzolari of Rumbek in an
interview with the MISNA missionary information agency. "We appeal to
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to send a contingent of
blue helmets to Southern Sudan. This is the only way to guarantee a
truce in the confrontations and bombings," the Bishop said.
16: Minister of justice Ali Mohammed Osman Yassin has underlined that
the Sudanese-Chinese relations are witnessing tangible progress in all
fields, especially in the economic domain for realising common
benefits. Upon his return from a seven-day visit to China, the
minister said in a press statement that these common interests
necessitate cooperation in exchange of legal information in such
fields as investment, companies and trade, besides judicial
17: The UN's WFP has begun distributing food in two towns in Sudan's
oil-rich Unity state, where fighting has left thousands homeless, a
spokeswoman said. Makena Walker said the agency had begun distributing
240 tonnes of food in Bentiu and Rubkona, about 750-km (470 miles)
southwest of Khartoum, on August 12.
17: Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Egyptian
president Hosni Mubarak began talks on the Middle East peace process
and Sudan, presidential officials said. The two leaders are expected
to discuss the latest efforts to reach a peace settlement between
Israel and the Palestinians, Foreign Minister Amr Moussa told
21: Sudan marked the second anniversary of the US cruise missile raid
on a Khartoum pharmaceuticals factory, reviving its claim for
compensation and saying it "will never keep silent" over the incident.
A foreign ministry statement said Khartoum maintains its complaint to
the UN Security Council over the attack, which destroyed the Al Shifa
factory in the capital.
21: Relief operations in Sudan have been proceeding normally since the
decision to resume relief flights on 16 August, UN officials have
said. The UN suspended the flights on August 8 after bombing raids in
which the property of some humanitarian organisations was damaged.
22: Sudan's social planning minister Chol Deng has discussed the
"problems and obstacles" facing OLS with the ambassadors of donor
nations, according to a state television report. It said the
ambassadors had stressed the importance of the humanitarian operation
being able to operate normally and that he had asked them in turn to
redouble international efforts aimed at achieving a "comprehensive"
cease-fire between government forces and rebels in the south of the
22: WFP said it had started emergency food distributions to nearly
50,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who had started arriving in
the Bentiu, Upper Nile State, and in Rubkona in Unity State since the
beginning of the month. "Recent nutritional surveys showed global
malnutrition rates of 28.6 percent in Bentiu, and 30 percent in
Rubkona," the statement said.
22: The Sudanese government has said that it hoped diplomatic
relations with the United States would be fully restored. In a
statement released by its embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, it said: "The
government of Sudan hopes that reason will prevail in the US external
policy towards Sudan and that the current US-Sudan dialogue will
embrace all issues, including bilateral matters in order to pave the
way for the full restoration of diplomatic ties between Sudan and the
22: A Sudanese newspaper editor and supporter of the government's once
powerful Islamic ideologue has been fined 11 million Sudanese pounds
(US$5,500) for accusing another journalist of spying. Alwan daily
editor Hussein Khogali was found guilty by the Khartoum Criminal Court
of libeling Abdel-Gader Abdel-Hafez, a Sudanese journalist who works
for the Saudi daily Al-Jazeera.
22: Sudan has urged the USA to engage in dialogue, pay compensation
for the 1998 bombing of a medicine factory and help end UN sanctions
on Khartoum, a newspaper reported. "Sudan calls on the US to be
rational, to retreat from its stubborn positions and respond to the
wishes of the international community to remedy the injustice and
damage our country suffered," the government-owned al-Anbaa quoted a
foreign ministry statement as saying.
23: The United States, responding to a Sudanese request for dialogue,
said the government in Khartoum must first take steps to end violence
and terrorism and make progress on human rights. State Department
spokesman Richard Boucher noted that the United States does have
contact with the Sudanese government, through diplomats who visit
Khartoum, special envoy Harry Johnston and teams of security and
23: A Sudanese air force plane dropped 15 bombs near a relief agency
compound in southeastern Sudan, destroying five buildings, an aid
official said. No casualties were reported in the morning raid, but
several head of cattle were killed, said Kristen Flogstad of the
Norwegian Church Aid.
24: Responding to government concerns that UN relief may be helping
rebels, a UN official signed onto a joint statement calling for
Sudanese monitoring of aid operations staged in neighbouring Kenya.
"The government of Sudan emphasised the importance it attaches to the
establishment of a presence in Lokichoggio in northern Kenya," read
the statement signed by Sudanese foreign minister Mustafa Osman Ismail
and UN special envoy Tom Eric Vraalsen.
24: Sudanese opposition leader and former prime minister Sadeq
al-Mahdi, in a fresh attack on his former allies, said in remarks
published in Cairo that southern rebels were blocking peace in Sudan.
"The SPLA is the only obstacle on the road to comprehensive political
solution," he told London-based Arabic-language daily al-Hayat.
25: The rebel movement in the Sudan has rejected a proposal, accepted
by the UN that would allow Khartoum to monitor relief flights entering
Sudan from Kenya. "We will not accept the proposal because it will be
against the tripartite agreement," Dr. Samson Kwaje, spokesman for the
SPLA said referring to a 1989 arrangement between the UN, Khartoum and
the SPLA, which spawned the multi-agency relief effort OLS.
26: Fifty people, many of them schoolchildren, are now known to have
drowned when a boat taking them across the River Nile capsized in
central Sudan, a senior provincial official said. Younis el-Sharif
el-Hassan, governor of the Sennar State where the accident happened,
said that a total of 67 people were on the boat when it capsized in
the Blue Nile outside Sinja, a town that is 700 km (477 miles) south
26: UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) chief Jacques Diouf
arrived in Sudan for a one-day visit that will include discussion on
the food situation in Africa. Addressing reporters at the Khartoum
airport, Mr. Diouf said he would talk to Sudanese officials about ways
to cooperate with Sudan and about "issues related to food security in
28: Sudan has accused the US of fanning the flames of the civil war in
south Sudan by supporting and assisting the SPLA. The US "openly
sides with the rebel movement and offers it political and military
assistance", foreign minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said in remarks
published by the independent Al-Sahafi Al-Dawli newspaper.
28: The Communist Chinese government has sent tens of thousands of
soldiers to the African country of Sudan in the past year as
preparation for an offensive against rebels, according to the London
Telegraph newspaper. The report said the soldiers acting as security
guards and prisoners forced to work at oil fields operated by the
state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, are being prepared
to enter a big offensive against the rebels to bring to an end a war
that threatens their access to oil.
29: Beijing rejected reports that hundreds of thousands of Chinese
soldiers were helping Sudan defend oil fields in which a major Chinese
petroleum company has a financial interest. Chinese officials told CNN
in a faxed statement that recent reports that approximately 700,000
People's Liberation Army soldiers had been placed on alert in Sudan to
protect the fields -- in which China National Petroleum Corporation
had a stake -- were false.
30: State Department and military intelligence sources are disputing
reports that China has deployed "tens of thousands" of troops to Sudan
to help guard oil fields in which a Chinese corporation is a key
partner. "The figure of tens of thousands of troops is just not
credible based on the information available to us," a State Department
official said, on the condition his name was not be used.
30: As the Sunday Telegraph reported, China may have as many as
700,000 troops in Sudan and is preparing to enter that country's civil
war. Some of these Chinese are to serve as guards at oil fields and
facilities controlled by China's oil companies. But mostly these
Chinese in Sudan are officially considered "cheap labourers," working
in Sudan according to special contracts and agreement between Beijing
30: Persecuted Christian Concern, a voice for the voiceless in Sudan,
is organising a memorial service for the millions of Christians who
have been martyred, tortured and enslaved because of their faith in
Jesus Christ. The service, planned to coincide with the United
Nations' Millennium Summit, will take place in front of the UN (47th
street and First Avenue) from 2-4 p.m. on September 9, 2000.
September 3: The foreign ministers of Egypt and Sudan have met for the
first session in 10 years of the joint Egyptian-Sudanese committee.
Sudanese foreign minister Mustafa Osman Ismail told reporters that the
meeting was the "crowning" of the process of normalisation between the
two Nile Valley countries and said he hoped it would boost exchanges.
4: A pro-Khartoum government militia said it had killed 250 rebels and
seized 150 in an oil-rich state in southern Sudan. The Southern Sudan
United Army (SSUA) claimed to have captured the area of Mankien, 900
km southwest of Khartoum, in Unity State from the SPLA.
11: Sudan's Constitutional Court has suspended a controversial decree
by the Khartoum state governor banning women from working in some
public places. "Women in the private and public sectors who were
prevented by the governor's decree from working should continue to
work in their places until a final decision is taken on the case," the
court said in a ruling, according to the official Sudan News agency
11: The SPLA said they had seized three strategic areas in oil-rich
Unity State. "The forces of the SPLA repulsed a government offensive
in Unity State and took control of the three strategic zones of Boudh,
Rier and Mankien," SPLA spokesman Yasser Ermane said on the telephone
12: A woman student was killed and 19 people were wounded, including
five policemen, in clashes between police and anti-government
demonstrators in the western Sudanese town of al-Fasher, newspapers
reported. The independent Al-Sahafi al-Douli said the demonstrators
took to the streets of al-Fasher, 750-km (470 miles) west of
Khartoum, to protest at water and electricity shortages and delays in
the payment of teachers' salaries.
13: The United States has launched a lobbying campaign to stop Sudan
from getting Africa seat on the UN Security Council next year, arguing
that it is "an unsuitable candidate," a State Department spokesman
said. The United State is telling other UN members, especially African
countries, that the Sudanese government should not be eligible because
it is under UN sanctions and because the Sudanese air force has bombed
airfields in the south while the UN relief planes are on the ground,
State Department spokesman 14: Sudan has reiterated its claim to a
seat at the United Nations Security Council, despite United States
efforts to prevent it from succeeding Namibia next month. Addressing
the UN general assembly, the Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustapha Osman
Ismail said his country was confident of getting the endorsement of
all the UN members.
14: The Arab foreign ministers reiterated their support to the
nomination of Sudan to the membership of the UN Security Council,
affirming that the permanent Arab representatives to the UN are to
extend all the necessary support to the Sudan with respect to Sudan's
efforts and contacts with the other geographical groups to back the
nomination. This came in the annual meeting of foreign ministers of
the Arab states in New York on the fringes of the 55th session of the
UN general assembly.
14: Sudanese minister of energy and mining Dr Awad Ahmed Al-Jaz, has
affirmed his ministry's readiness for cooperation and providing
Sudanese expertise and technical assistance in the petroleum field to
Ethiopia. This came when Dr Al-Jaz received in his office the visiting
Ethiopian deputy minister of energy and minerals, Ms Sinkesh Egiju.
Bishops in plea to IGAD
The Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference (SCBC), meeting in Pesaro,
Italy, for their Annual Plenary Assembly (September 11-21, 2000) and
in anticipation of the canonisation of the first Sudanese Saint ,
Blessed Josephine Bakhita, to take place in Rome on October 1, 2000,
send to IGAD and all its members the following message.
We the undersigned, send our sincere thanks for all the achievements
of IGAD since its inception and for its tenacity in sustaining the
dialogue between the conflicting parties of Sudan in order to resolve
the civil war and to bring to an end the ever-more inhuman condition
of suffering for the people of Sudan.
The SCBC has in the past and continues in the present to support the
IGAD process. In a particular way, we affirm the stand taken by IGAD
to adopt a clear "DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES"(DOP), which truly
embodies the key issues towards the attainment of peace in Sudan.
If the fighting parties could abide by the objectives of the DOP there
would be a sound guarantee towards a just and lasting peace. In order
to achieve peace and stability, the SCBC asks the IGAD members not to
put aside or neglect any article contained in the DOP. Any deviation
from the DOP would jeopardise any effort towards reconciliation and
In our meeting in Pesaro, we have exchanged information and
experiences gained from all sectors of both North and South Sudan. We
are indeed horrified by the deteriorating condition of life of the
people and the state of affairs prevailing in our land. In this
context, we would like to submit the following for your consideration:
Since several countries have rushed to show interest in the trading of
oil with Khartoum, the GOS has lost interest in pursuing a peaceful
solution to the war. Khartoum is now interested in a military
settlement aided by new allies who covet the oil wealth. Moreover some
foreign countries are assisting the GOS to drive people from their
ancestral land to facilitate the exploitation of the oil wells. We are
convinced that the oil revenues will not be used for the welfare of
the Sudanese. The fact that numberless government employees have gone
without pay for several months attests to this.
- We have reliable reports about several events that are continually
occurring at debilitating rhythm. The bombing of Kauda Primary School
in the Nuba Mountains on February 8, 2000 in which 20 pupils and their
teacher were killed and 17 others maimed is one such incident. The
bombing of the Catholic compound in Tonj, in Bahr El Ghazal, August 9,
2000 is another. One of the three bombs fell only two-and-a half
metres from two priests and a dozen youth gathered under mango trees.
By God's protection, none of them was injured in spite of the 5-metre
wide crater caused by the explosion and dirt and debris scattered all
We could report many such events that give evidence of
indiscriminate and premeditated attacks on civilian targets, which have happened with total disregard to a bilaterally agreed upon cease-fire (see appendix attached.)
- Similarly, after the fall of Gogrial on June 24, 2000, all the
properties of the civilians displaced by the fighting, were looted.
The ground fighting and the bombing have caused 442, 000 displaced
people in Bhar El Ghazal and nearly 220, 000 in the Unity Zone, Blue
Nile and Upper Nile regions in the last five months.
These events have increased tremendously the already high
number of internally displaced Sudanese, i.e. 2.3 million.
- To the above, we must add a large number of cases of human rights
abuses. In this category, we can list several acts of oppression:
- (a) In the border areas between North and South Sudan, we have seen
many individuals maimed and physically handicapped, hundreds of
unaccompanied orphans and numberless psychologically traumatised
victims of slavery.
- (b) We have watched young girls of 13 or 14 years of age carrying
babies born from cruel and humiliating acts or rape and abduction that
will traumatise them for the rest of their lives.
- (c) A common example of social violation of human rights is to deny
starving people their share of relief. A woman in Bahr El Ghazal had
to sell the poles from her hut under construction to have enough money
to buy her rightful share for herself and her family.
- (d) At an increasing pace, the government of Sudan (GOS), deliberately
vetoes the international community and the NGOs from reaching areas
that are in need of relief assistance. At present, it is estimated
that 1.2 million Sudanese in Bahr el Ghazal , Nuba Mountains, Blue
Nile , Upper Nile, Ingessena Hills and Eastern Equatoria are at risk
of starvation and insecurity. As we write, the GOS is the only policy
maker designating where and when humanitarian goods can be taken by
OLS, the aid agencies and the Church and it has interfered repeatedly
by bombing relief flights indiscriminately.
- (e) With regards to religious freedom, it is a known fact that
building permits are not granted to construct churches, schools and
chapels while more and more church structures are being destroyed or
confiscated by the government, e.g The Catholic Action Club in
Khartoum and the trespassing and harassment of church personnel in the
Comboni College in Khartoum by the police.
- We are dismayed by the forced conscription of adolescents , who,
without adequate military training, are placed on the frontline where
they are senselessly mowed down in a brutal genocidal confrontation in
the name of "JIHAD" (holy war) or presumed but false patriotism.
This dreadful situation has been going on for some years and we
fail to notice any evident move towards ending the conflict. In fact, everyday that passes many more innocent lives are lost. We do not see any sign of a decisive effort towards a just prompt peace by the warring parties.
- We are under the impression that there is either lack of political
will to restore peace or there is an ulterior motivation for the
continuation of war.
We have the impression that the UN and the OAU are indifferent
about the situation of Sudan as if
there were no plausible solutions or as if Sudan is not
considered part of the family of nations.
The Sudan conflict is more than just a national issue. It is
destabilising the neighbouring countries, and
soon may take a regional and international dimensions.
Sudan conflict does not differ from those in Kosovo, Sarajevo,
East Timor and Sierra Leone, where
violations of human rights have prompted massive international
- We foresee that the production and sale of oil will fuel the war
rather than expedite its termination.
Indeed, Christ was sold for 30 pieces of silver and our people are
being sacrificed in exchange for barrels of oil. The prolongation of
the war will increase the fragmentation of the Sudan, tribal divisions
and the instinctive personal quest for food, money and security and
will engender additional internal displacement. this situation is
allegedly exploited and perpetuated by those who have opted for a
From the above analysis, we the Catholic Bishops of Sudan, submit to
the members of the IGAD countries the following:
I- Cease-fire be adopted and implemented immediately as a just and
peaceful solution is sought under the auspices of IGAD.
II- That all relief aid be channeled by the UN, NGOs and Churches
through non-military flight zones and designated corridors strictly
monitored by the UN.
III- That all the warring parties abide by the principle of respect
for human dignity of all citizens.
IV- That in order to guarantee No I,II, III, it is of paramount
importance to have the UN monitoring teams on the ground.
V- We want to assure all IGAD members that we, the Church leaders of
the Sudan, fully support their initiative in the quest for justice and
peace in Sudan. Above all, we fully support the DOP in its entirety as
the only vehicle towards a just and lasting peace. Finally, we are
fully confident that the IGAD members will adhere to and enforce the
implementation of the DOP. We consider it a very wise and far-reaching
benefit for Sudan.
VI- We firmly believe that all the national borders and
state-sovereignty cease to exist whenever a state commits willful
crimes against its own people.
VII- In this case, we request that UN, OAU, the USA, European
Community and the international NGOs should come to the rescue of the
people from an impending genocide.
VIII- We are convinced that the benefits from the oil production are
not shared for the development of the South and other marginalised
areas. In fact we fear that this wealth will cause escalation of the
We, the members of the SCBC, while thanking the IGAD members for their
endeavours, request you to resume the negotiations as soon as possible
in a conclusive way. Any other co-opted solution, which does not
honour the DOP, is only wasted time.
God bless you,
H. G. Paolino Lukudu Loro President SCBC
H. G. Gabriel Zubeir Wako Archbishop of Khartoum
H. L. Joseph Gasi Abangite Diocese of Tombura-Yambio
H.L.Vincent Mojwok Nyiker Diocese of Malakal
H.L Paride Taban Diocese of Torit
H.L.Macram Max Gassis Diocese of El Obeid
H.L.Erkolano Lodu Tombe Diocese of Yei
H.L.Rudolf Deng Majak Diocese of Wau
H.L. Caesar Mazzolari Diocese of Rumbek
H. L.Antonio Menegazzo Apostolic Administrator El Obeid
H.L. Daniel Adwok KurAuxiliary Bishop of Khartoum
H. L.Johnson Akio Mutek Auxiliary Bishop of Torit absent
SUDAN CATHOLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
Bethany House, P. O. Box 21102, 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