October 16: The government of Sudan's Popular Defence Forces (PDF)
have raided villages in Aweil West County of Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal.
In one village alone, Goc Machar, they enslaved at least 21 black
African women and children on October 7, 2000, according to the Civil
Commissioner of Aweil West County, Simon Wol.
16: Former Sudanese president Jaafar al-Numeiri, who is the chairman
of the people's forces, has announced his nomination for the next
Sudanese presidential elections. In his electoral programme,
al-Numeiri said that the period after the elections will be for
revisions and construction aiming at eliminating poverty, building the
homeland and rehabilitation of the individual in Sudan.
17: The SPLA has declared a 10-day ceasefire to enable immunisation of
children against polio to proceed smoothly. The SPLA leadership has
ordered all the SPLA forces to strictly observe the ceasefire from
midnight of October 16 to midnight to October 27 so that Unicef carry
out this immunisation and noble campaign for the interest of our
children," the statement said.
18: Fresh from the canonisation of Sudan's first saint earlier this
month at the Vatican, Roman Catholic Bishop Macram Max Gassis of El
Obeid Diocese in Sudan, planned a month-long coast-to-coast tour of
the US and Canada to garner support for the needs of the war-torn
populations of central and southern Sudan. 'It is wonderful to have
our own saint canonised in this time of religious persecution,' Bishop
Gassis said in a recent interview on the canonisation of St. Josephine
Bakhita, herself a victim of slavery and racism in Sudan, who died as
a Canossian Sister in Italy in the late 1940s.
18: A UN human rights investigator has accused Sudan's military of
systematically bombing civilians in its war with rebels in the south,
calling the policy a serious violation of international law. Leonardo
Franco said he was "profoundly shocked" by bombings that have killed
an estimated 45 people and injured some 230 this year, rejecting the
government's explanation that pilots had a standing order not to bomb
18: Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) ministers
of transport and communication will meet in Sudan to implement the
full liberalisation of transport and communication in the region.
Comesa director of infrastructure development Jerome Ntibarekerwa said
in Lusaka that before the actual meeting of ministers on October
25-26, a committee on infrastructure will meet to review progress made
among member countries in the infrastructure sector.
18: Sudanese government planes bombed two relief centres in the south
of the country, killing several people and wounding 32, the SPLA said.
SPLA spokesman George Garang said the attacks violated a 10-day
ceasefire agreed to allow the Unicef to carry out anti-polio
immunisation drive. The raid had targeted two relief centres run by
international organisations at Tali and Terekeka in the southern
region of Eastern Equatoria.
18: Deputy chairman of the Sudanese Hizbul Ummah Party Omar Nour
al-Dayem has stressed that his party is serious to continue its march
to achieve reconciliation and peace in Sudan regardless to sacrifices.
In a statement to the Sudanese daily al-Anbaa, Nour al-Dayem described
the statements made by the Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir,
the chairman of the preliminary forum of the national reconciliation
Abdul Rahman Sewar al-Dahab and member of the forum Ahmad Abdul Halim
as valued and excellent.
18: Malaysia's national oil and gas corporation Petronas has said
that one of its subsidiaries was awarded a contract to service more
oil fields in Sudan. OGP Technical Services was appointed project
manager for the second phase of the Muglad Basin Oil Development
project in the African nation, it said.
18: Little attention has been paid to the development needs of the
people of southern Sudan, where chronic conflict has "systematically
destroyed the social fabric of institutions sustaining food security,
education and health care". In a joint statement, Christian Aid and
Oxfam said despite humanitarian efforts in the war-affected south,
underdevelopment had become institutionalised.
19: South Korean car manufacturers Hyundai are to open an assembly
line in Khartoum. According to an agreement made public in Khartoum,
Hafiz Barbari Incorporated will assemble and market the Hyundai
1,500cc and 2,000cc limousines in Sudan.
19: OGP Technical Services Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Petroliam Nasional
Bhd (Petronas), has been appointed project management consultant by
Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Co Ltd (GNPOC) for the second phase
of the Muglad Basin oil development project in Sudan. Under the
contract, OGP will provide the management of engineering and
construction of facilities for the development of two new oil fields,
Munga and Bamboo, in the basin.
19: Ambassadors of the 15 European Union countries discussed means of
finding a peaceful solution to the Sudanese crisis during their
meeting in the headquarters of the European Union chairmanship in
Cairo in a response to the invitation of El-Sadek El-Mahdi - the
former Sudanese prime minister and chief of Umma Party. The meeting
tackled the democracy issue in Sudan, the south, the raised peace
initiatives to solve the crisis in addition to Sudan's regional and
international relations in addition to human rights and terrorism. 20:
The Ebola outbreak now unfolding in Uganda is caused by a strain of
the virus previously seen in neighbouring Sudan, health officials
said. This would seem to confirm the leading theory that the outbreak
began in Sudan. Dr. Robert Swanepoel of the Institute of Virology
outside Johannesburg, South Africa, confirmed that the virus involved
in the current outbreak in Gulu, Uganda, matches the virus that caused
outbreaks in 1976 and 1979 in Maridi, Sudan, about 200 kilometers
north of Gulu.
20: The United States will lift sanctions on a key source of income
for Sudan's radical Islamic regime if a trade bill passed unanimously
by the House of Representatives becomes law. In July the House passed
the Miscellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act of 2000, which
would suspend sanctions on gum arabic, an important ingredient in
products such as soft drinks, candies, printing ink, and
20: The United States has condemned the renewed bombing of civilian
targets and international relief centres by Sudanese government
warplanes. Analysts described the latest Sudanese action as a sign of
frustration at its recent failure to be elected to the UN Security
Council by a majority of General Assembly members.
23: Aid agencies working in southern Sudan said that warplanes of the
country's Islamist government attacked a rebel-held southern town and
dropped bombs on a pre-school and several houses. Dan Effie of
Norwegian People's Aid said 23 bombs were dropped on the town of
Nimule in two separate attacks, but there were no casualties.
23: The Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak convened a meeting with the
Sudanese President Omar Hassan El Bashir. The Sudanese president
informed his Egyptian counterpart with the results of his meetings
with head of the opposition Sudanese National Alliance Mohammed Osman
El Merghany and the communications held by the government with the
opposition leadership to achieve the rapport in Sudan.
24: The executive director of UNICEF, Carol Bellamy, visiting Sudan to
launch the countrywide polio immunisation campaign, received "the
fullest assurance yet" from the SPLA/M that no children under the age
of 18 would be recruited, or allowed to stay in the ranks if already
recruited, a press release from the agency stated. At the
UNICEF-supported Deng Nhial School for demobilised child soldiers in
the central southern Sudanese town of Rumbek, Bellamy received the
renewed commitment from Commander Salva Kiir Mayardit, deputy chairman
of the SPLA.
24: The government ignored its commitment to having 'days of
tranquility' in Sudan's civil war during a polio vaccination campaign,
and dropped 24 bombs on Nimule town in Eastern Equatoria, SPLA
spokesman George Garang Deng stated. This was the second time the
government had bombed civilian targets during the current polio
campaign, a statement from Garang said.
24: Officials of the Sudanese and Ugandan governments were in
continuing contact to arrange for the deployment of Egyptian and
Libyan monitors to prevent border violations by opposition rebels, the
semi-official Ugandan 'New Vision' newspaper reported. The monitors
were expected to assure that no support reached the SPLA from Uganda,
and to help relocate the Ugandan rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)
away from the Ugandan border, deeper into Sudan, the paper quoted
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Abdel Rahman Nimeiri as saying.
24: Conflict, more than any other issue, poses the biggest problem to
relief projects such as the anti-polio campaign launched in Kenya and
Sudan, the executive director of UNICEF, Carol Bellamy, said. Speaking
in Nairobi at the end of a four-day visit to the two countries where
she helped launch polio immunisation efforts, Bellamy said the
obstacles were man-made, rather than problems associated with
logistics or equipment.
24: The Ugandan army - the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) -
were on high alert at strategic border areas in Adjumani, Pakelle and
refugee settlements for fear of a possible attack by the LRA,
humanitarian sources in northern Uganda said. The alert followed a
report that the rebels had crossed from their Sudanese bases, and were
probably heading towards Adjumani or Pakelle, they said.
25: The Sudanese minister of justice has admitted before the
constitutional court that the decision of the Wali (governor) of the
capital Khartoum Majzoub al-Khaleifa to prevent women from working in
hotels, restaurants and tourism area is not comprehensible and needed
to be dealt with.
In his statements before the court, the justice minister added that
the decision of the Wali embarrassed the president of Sudan who was
then at the UN to attend the third Millennium Summit and that the Wali
did not consult the ministry of justice to this effect.
27: Sudan's armed forces have regained control of a town after
clashing with the country's main rebel group, an army statement said.
The army entered Hamash Koraib, about 250 miles east of Khartoum,
after battles with the SPLA, which had controlled the town since
27: Sudan soon will be producing its own tanks and heavy artillery,
president Bashir said at the recent inauguration of a US$450 million
industrial complex. Sudan, which buys most of its weapons from Arab
and Asian countries, already produces rocket-propelled grenades,
machine-guns and mortars, Bashir said at the ceremony 50 kilometres
(30 miles) south of Khartoum.
27: US president Bill Clinton sharply criticised the government of
Sudan after aid agencies reported that government planes bombed a
village while aid workers were distributing food. "I am deeply
concerned by reports that the government of Sudan is bombing innocent
civilians in the southern part of the country,' Clinton said in a
statement released by the White House.
28: Pro-government militia killed 53 rebels in an assault on three
camps in southern Sudan, the government-owned al-Anbaa newspaper said.
The daily said the militia destroyed the SPLA camps in attacks that
lasted three days in the Fanjak area in the Upper Nile State.
28: Sudanese Islamist opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi said his
party will boycott the coming elections, saying they are both
illegitimate and unconstitutional and will not be free and fair.
Turabi said his party would continue exposing "all unconstitutional
shortcomings and corruption", and would not resort to force but
warned: "If all avenues are blocked before us, there will be an
29: The Khartoum government has decided to sell its 45-percent share
in the Sudanese Telecommunication Company (Sudatel). "The government
has decided to sell its share in Sudatel in keeping with the declared
policy of privatisation," Hafiz Atta, chair of the technical
commission assigned to privatise some public utilities, told reporters
30: Sudan will join its neighbours in tarrif-scrapping agreement to be
launched by Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).
The independent Sahafial-Douli daily said that president Bashir has
decreed the move, which puts Sudan among nine of 20 Comesa member
states to implement the first stage of a planned Free Trade Area
31: El-Sadek El-Mahdi, the former Sudanese prime minister and chief of
Umma Party said that the date of his return to Sudan will be on the
23rd of the coming month. This came during his meeting with the
Eritrean President Asias Afeworki in Asmara. Afeworki assured during
his meeting with El-Mahdi that he will continue his communications
with the Sudanese government and all the Sudanese political forces to
support a comprehensive political solution.
31: Sudan's foreign relations minister Mustafa Othman Ismael has held
the US responsible for the continued war in Southern Sudan, through
its continued backing to the rebellion movement in southern Sudan led
by John Garang. In press statements issued by the Sudanese dailies,
Ismael called on the UN to reconsider its relations with the rebel
movement and instead to invest these relations for establishing peace
and reconciliation in Sudan.
31: Sudan is forging ahead with plans to hold simultaneous legislative
and presidential elections in December despite civil war and threats
of a boycott by almost the entire opposition. The General Electoral
Commission (GEC) has began publishing preliminary lists of the names
of eligible voters -- men and women aged 17 or older -- in Africa's
largest country and one of its poorest.
November 1: The US House of Representatives has quietly passed
legislation that aims for the
first time to restrict corporate access to US capital markets in order
to influence the behaviour of a foreign government. The House has
approved the Sudan Peace Act, which contains measures that, if
enacted, would effectively de-list from the New York Stock Exchange
companies doing business with the Sudanese regime.
2: Eritrea is proposing that Sudan accept a transitional government as
part of a six-point plan to end a 17-year civil war with its mainly
Eritrea-based opposition, a newspaper said. The independent As-Sahafi
Ad-Dawli reported the plan, which it said, was being conveyed by a
high-level Eritrean delegation.
2: President Bashir lashed out at Mauritius for ignoring an African
consensus and successfully running for a UN Security council seat at
the behest of Washington. "The United States has always been against
us. That behaviour is not justifiable, but they have maintained it. In
the case of the UN Security Council seat, they found a tool to bar us
from getting what was rightfully ours," Bashir said in an interview at
6: USA author, minister, and Christian broadcaster, Dr. D. James
Kennedy, is launching a campaign in November to liberate women and
children held under brutal conditions as slaves in Sudan. The "Free
the Slaves" drive will be announced on The Coral Ridge Hour, Dr.
Kennedy's weekly nationwide television programme, on Sunday, November
12, 2000-also designated as the International Day of Prayer for the
7: The United Nations is planning to send a needs assessment mission
to Sudan in advance of the country's upcoming parliamentary elections
on December 11, a UN spokesman announced in New York. A UN spokesman
said at a press briefing that the mission by the UN's Electoral
Assistance Division follows a request from the government of the Sudan
for international observers during the elections.
7: Sudan's Islmamist government must put its peace proposals in
writing if an Eritrean effort to mediate between Khartoum and
opposition groups is to succeed, a Sudanese opposition spokesman said.
Eritrean foreign minister Ali Said Abdella left Khartoum after talks
with the government aimed at brokering an agreement with the umbrella
NDA, Mohammed al-Mutasim Haakim said in Cairo.
7: Ambassador Tom Eric Vraalsen, UN secretary-general Kofi Annan's
Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs in Sudan, has criticised "the
collapse of the unilateral humanitarian ceasefires" in Sudan which had
been in effect since July 1998. Vraalsen, who chaired a meeting of the
Technical Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (TCHA) in Geneva,
expressed displeasure during the meeting at the cessation of the
ceasefires, and noted the loss of life and damage to property from
war-related ground and air offensives.
8: The UN has offered the Sudanese government the right to deal with
any air, land or river conveyer working in the humanitarian field
areas inside Sudan, illegally. The Sudanese minister of state and
social planning Shoul Denq unveiled tough measures agreed upon by the
Sudanese government and the UN as well as the rebel movement led by
John Garang in meetings held in Geneva during the past few days.
8: An agreement for the encouragement and protection of investment has
been signed between the OPEC Fund for International Development and
the Republic of Sudan, in Beirut. Drawn up within the framework of the
Fund's Private Sector Facility, the convention was initialed by
Mohamed Kheir al-Zubeir, Minister of Finance and Saleh Al-Omair,
chairman of the Governing Board of the OPEC Fund, said a press
8: A bill passed by the United States House of Representatives would
ban companies that do business with the Sudanese government from
raising capital on US stock exchanges. The measure, if it becomes law,
could affect Talisman Energy Inc. of Calgary, which is one of three
partners with Sudan's state oil company, and also trades on the New
York Stock Exchange.
9: The Sudanese government will urge the UN Security Council to lift
diplomatic and economic sanctions against it after more than four
years, despite the threat of the US blocking any such move with its
veto in the Council, Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said in
Khartoum. He said the US had sent Sudan a message threatening to use
its veto on November 15 if Khartoum requested a lifting of the
sanctions, imposed in 1996 in the wake of Sudan's refusal to hand over
suspects in an assassination attempt on Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak in Ethiopia, and its alleged assistance and support for
9: Sudan's main opposition alliance said it had captured the major
eastern town of Kassala after a day of heavy fighting. A spokesman for
the NDA said the town of some 300,000 people close to the Eritrea
border was overrun by rebel soldiers before dawn.
9: Pope John Paul II's October 1, 2000 canonisation of Josephine
Bakhita, a former Sudanese slave, has been the first news on Christian
life to appear in a national newspaper in Sudan in
recent years. The news was reported by Khartoum sources of the Vatican
missionary agency Fides. The Catholics in this capital city, who for years
have suffered the government's Islamisation programmes, were surprised to
see that the Al Ra'I Al Akher newspaper dedicated a page to the new saint.
11: More than 130 people were killed in fighting between government
forces and rebels for the control of the eastern border town of
Kassala, a Sudanese official has said. Kassala province commissioner
Mohammed Yousif told state television that 52 civilians and soldiers
had been killed in the fighting. The station said 80 SPLA rebels were
11: A spokesman for NDA has confirmed that the government was in
control of Kassala. "We completed our withdrawal from Kassala this
morning around 5 am. Our plan was to destroy the enemy and we did so,"
Mr. Yousif Arman said.
11: The Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has stressed that the
Sudanese army will continue to fight the rebels led by John Garang
until the matter is ultimately settled because the " call advocated by
the government for peace and reconciliation is considered by some as a
weakness." In a statement issued by the Sudanese dailies on Friday
al-Bashir added that "instructions were given to the armed forces not
to stop the fighting until an end is put to the rebels."
13: Some 3,800 young Sudanese refugees who have been living in Kenya's
Kakuma camp for nearly 10 years will be resettled in the US over the
next several months in the largest-ever population transfer of its
kind. Many of the immigrants are orphaned male teenagers, leading US
officials to refer to the group as the "Lost Boys", a designation
derived from the story Peter Pan by Scottish author James M. Barrie,
in which young orphans are helped to find a home.
14: Sudan has signed an oil exploration agreement with several local
and international companies for an area in central Sudan. The
government-owned Al Anbaa newspaper said "Sudan has signed a
production agreement _covering prospecting, development and
transportation of oil with Gulf oil companies, the Chinese National
Petroleum Corp, Al Than Sudapet.
14: Thousands of parcels and letters have formed a heap at Khartoum
airport, as the strike by postal workers entered its second day. The
Sudanese Post and Telegraph trade union declared a three-day strike to
press demands for the payment of salary arrears and increments.
14: Chinese vice premier Wu Bangguo has arrived in Khartoum for
three-day official visits to Sudan. The visit came at the invitation
of Sudanese first vice president Ali Osman Taha.
"I'm very pleased to visit this great country at the invitation from
the Sudanese government," Wu told reporters upon his arrival at the
Khartoum International Airport.
Raids trigger psychological trauma
Continued bombardment of civilian targets in Sudan's Eastern Equatoria
is inflicting devastating psychological trauma on the civilian
The worst affected, eyewitnesses say, are the children who now flee at
the sight or on detecting the slightest sound of an aircraft.
A lot of people in the area, now believe that the last days mentioned
in the Bible have come, says Fr. Maurice Loguti, the Pastoral
Coordinator for the Catholic Diocese of Torit. Fr Loguti, who has
ministered in the area for eight months and has witnessed most of the
aerial raids, says the way they are conducted would leave even the
most daring soldier stupefied with fear. He recalls how on October
25, the dreaded Antonov bomber dropped 12 bombs in Ikotos, near the
Uganda border, in a span of about two hours.
"It first appeared at 5 pm (East Africa time), dropped two bombs then
flew away. When people who had sought cover in every direction thought
that they were now safe, the monster reappeared and dropped two more
bombs.'' This, he said, was re-enacted until a total of 12 bombs were
dropped. Some of the bombs hit the Ngaluma refugee camp, reduced three
huts (tukuls) to rubble and left two women and a boy with serious
coughs from the polluted air.
The following day, said the 40-year-old priest, the bomber was back
employing the same techniques to wreak havoc on the defenceless
civilians. "The Antonov made three rounds without dropping any bomb.
On the fourth round, it bombed Ngaluma, hit cassava and banana
plantations at Logirekaka on the fifth round, and then struck the area
between Logirekaka and Ngaluma on the sixth round. A total of eight
bombs were dropped that day in a span of 21/2 hours."
Fr Martin Vuni, 32, witnessed the bombardment of Nimule on October 22.
"The Antonov came twice at 11 am and at 2.30 pm, each time dropping
12," he said.
The psychological impact of the incident was particularly great
considering that it happened at a time when Khartoum and the SPLA had
declared a cease-fire to facilitate the UN-sponsored polio
A day after the bombardment that reduced a kindergarten to rumble,
said the Catholic clergy, everything in Nimule came to a standstill.
"Both pupils and their teachers refused to report to school fearing
for their lives." He said that the majority of the people are now
convinced that the government is out to annihilate them since it has
continued to attack them despite the fact that there are no rebel
military activities in the area.
Besides the kindergarten, the bombs destroyed at least five huts and
the kitchen of a hospital run by the Norwegian People's Aid. The bombs
further shattered most windows of the local Catholic Church and the
windscreen of a car belonging to the Church.
Mr. Caudio Opwonya, 47, still recalls vividly the grisly sight of a
65-year-old man cut into two pieces at Narus on September 18. On that
day, a church-run clinic was hit at a time when about 120 patients were
waiting patiently for most basic medication available at the
institution. Four huts were destroyed in a raid that left two people
with serious injuries. The injured were taken to the Lopiding hospital
at Kenya's border town of Lokichoggio.
A day later, the aerial raider was back, this time round hitting
cattle fields away from the villages.
Mr. Opwonya says it has become virtually impossible to conduct lessons
at the Blessed Comboni and Saint Bakhita schools in Narus near the
Kenya border. Every time the pupils detect the sound of an aircraft,
they take to their heels, he says. The trouble, adds the diocesan
coordinator of education, is compounded by the fact that most of the
aircrafts on humanitarian mission overfly Narus. He suggests that the
aircrafts use an alternative route especially on their way from Sudan
to save the children further psychological torture. However, he points
out, the best solution would be to declare southern Sudan a no-fly zone
for all military aircrafts. The two schools have a population of 870
pupils, majority of whom are children of the displaced.
Hospital poised to perform better
Gordhim Hospital, the only medical facility with a laboratory in
Sudan's vast northern Bahr el Ghazal region, is poised to offer better
services to the Sudanese, thanks to US$30000 worth drugs and materials
from a German NGO, Sign of Hope.
The Catholic Diocese of Rumbek runs the hospital, with a hinterland
extending upto 300 kilometres radius. It was revived late last year
after over a decade of non-operation occasioned by Sudan's 17-year-old
Presenting the drugs to the hospital on November 8, 2000, the
executive director of Sign or Hope, Mr. Reimund Reubelt, said his
organisation was committed to continuing its crusade for the dignity
and well being of the victims of the long running civil war. He said
that in extending any assistance to the Sudanese, Sign of Hope would
work closely with their partners on the ground to ensure that they
provide only what is most needed. Mr. Reubelt was accompanied by his
assistant Anke Lieby.
Sign of Hope is a relief and human rights organisation with operations
in different parts of the world, especially where Christians are
suffering persecution. They first ventured in Sudan 1994 and have since
worked closely with the churches in the southern part of the country.
As part of their advocacy for the African state, every issue of their
monthly publication carries an article on Sudan. Other countries in
which the German NGO is present include Chad, Rwanda, Kosovo, Peru and
Among the drugs donated were anti-malarial medicines to combat the
scourge that threatens thousands of lives in the region especially
during the rainy seasons. The non-drug items donated by the German
organisation were, mosquito nets, cooking pans, water jerricans,
sorghum and rice, which were presented to the displaced populations.
The intensive military activities in Gogrial and the surrounding areas
since mid this year, have seen many people reduced to internal
refugees in the SPLA-controlled Aweil East County. A local
administrator with the Diocese of Rumbek, Mr. Kongor Deng Kongor, said
most of the displaced had either lost all their belongings while
fleeing the war or had been forced to barter whatever little they
possessed for food.
Their lack of shelter and adequate clothing has aggravated the
incidents of malaria in the region.
According to statistics provided by a nurse at the hospital, Ms
Margaret Wanjiru, it handled 2,446 malaria cases in August and 2,132
in the subsequent month. In October, 1,537 malaria cases were treated
at the hospital.
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