Dec.17: The US ambassador to Sudan has had a first meeting with members of
the Sudanese opposition based in exile in Asmara, the capital of neighbouring
Eritrea, opposition sources said today. The National Democratic Alliance
(NDA), which groups political opposition parties with rebels fighting in south
Sudan, said the envoy, Mr Timothy Carney, had talked to its deputy leader,
General Fethi Amed Ali, in his office in the former Sudanese embassy in
Dec.18: Uganda has okayed talks with Sudan
due to take place in Kampala in a few days time. December 18 The wife of
Sudanese opposition leader Sadek al-Mahdi said today that she had encouraged
her husband to flee Sudan for Eritrea to escape "harassment" by the
Islamic-led regime. "You cannot imagine how much he was being harassed," said
Mrs Sara al- Fadil al-Mahdi to the independent daily Alwan.
Dec. 19: Seven students
were injured, including two seriously, in factional clashes at a Sudanese
university, the independent Alwan newspaper reported today. A male student
suffering from a fractured skull and a female student suffering from an eye
injury were still in hospital today, two days after fighting rocked Al- Azhari
University in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman. The fighting broke out over
student election results which were ultimately won by an Islamic group.
Dec. 20: Iranian-mediated talks between
Uganda and Sudan were postponed to January because Iran's Foreign Minister
cannot travel to Uganda in December, an official said today. Uganda President
Yoweri Museveni said on Tuesday talks between Sudan and Uganda would resume in
Kampala this week.
Dec. 23: Security has been stepped up in Khartoum
after a large amount of weapons disappeared from an army depot in the Sudanese
capital, the Sudanese opposition said today. "According to information at our
disposal, large paramilitary forces have been deployed in the main streets of
the capital after the disappearance of these weapons," said a spokesman for
the NDA in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, contacted by telephone from Cairo.
Dec. 23: Farouk Saleh Mohammed Abdalla quit the
Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) earlier this month after six years in
the bush aiding its rebellion against the Islamic regime in Khartoum. A top
member of the SPLA ally, the banned Sudan Communist Party, Mr Abdalla, 49,
left the SPLA citing racial discrimination, a scourge which has pitted Sudan's
Arab majority in the north against the African minority in the south, since
independence from Britain in January 1956.
Dec. 23: A
pro-government faction has seized control of an area in southern Sudan's Bahr-
al-Ghazal state after fierce fighting with the rebel SPLA, the independent
Alwan daily newspaper reported today. The daily said the Bahr al- Ghazal group
captured the area after heavy clashes last week in the north of the state. The
group, led by Mr Kerbino Kuanyin Bol split from Col. John Garang's SPLA
earlier in 1996 and signed an accord with Khartoum.
Dec. 28: Egypt opposes an arms embargo on the Sudanese
government because it would benefit secessionist rebels in southern Sudan, a
senior Egyptian official was reported yesterday as saying. "In spite of our
opposition to the policies of the Sudanese regime, we reject the imposition of
an arms embargo on Sudan because such an embargo would deprive the government
of arms but would not block the provision of arms to southern secessionists,"
Mr Osama al-Baz, advisor to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, was quoted by
the MENA news agency as saying.
Dec. 30: Sudan's charge d'affairs in Somalia Ali Hassan
Ali has urged Somalis to take up arms and fight Ethiopia in jihad (holy war)
to counter Ethiopia's recent invasion of the southern Somali region of Gedo,
the Mogadishu Times newspaper reported here today. The paper said the Sudanese
diplomat made the call during a meeting at his house in south Mogadishu with
many Somalis, most of them supporters of the fundamentalist Al- Ithad-Al_Islam
Dec. 31: Sudan has protested at
former prime minister Sadek al-Mahdi's visit to Egypt, saying Cairo's welcome
for the exiled opposition leader did not show "good intentions" towards
Khartoum. Mr Mahdi visited Cairo on Friday for the first time since 1987 on
the opening leg of a three-month tour of Arab and European countries.
Dec. 31: Former
Sudanese president Mohammed Osman al- Mirghani, who leads one of the country's
main opposition parties, the Democratic Unionist Party, arrived in Cairo on
Sunday from Saudi Arabia. Relations between Cairo and Khartoum are strained
with Egypt earlier this month accusing Sudan of failing to take any steps to
meet UN demands to hand over three Egyptians sought in connection with the
attempted assassination of President Hosni Mubarak in 1995.
Dec.31: A Sudanese air force helicopter has been shot down and
its three- member crew killed on the border with Eritrea, the armed forces
announced on Monday. General Mohammed al-Sanousi Ahmed, a Sudanese armed
forces spokesman, said the helicopter was on a "security mission" when it was
shot down by "intensive fire". Eritrea has given shelter to Sudanese
Dec. 31: Ugandan state minister for defence Amana Mbabazi
accused Sudan of working to destabilise Uganda by supporting different rebel
groups fighting President Yoweri Museveni's government. Mbabazi said the
insurgency in western Uganda, where the government's Uganda People's Defence
Force (UPDF) is battling rebels in the Allied Democratic Front (ADF), "is one
of the many rebel groups Khartoum is supporting to destabilise Uganda."
Jan. 2: A Sudanese Islamic leader has urged the country
to prepare to fight off what he termed foreign aggression in its eastern
territory, newspapers said today. Mr Hassan Abdallah al-Turabi, the Speaker of
Parliament, called on the Sudanese people to work toward "deterring foreign
aggression on the country's eastern front." Mr Turabi told a parliamentary
committee that the aggression was planned by Israel and the US, in Eritrea.
Jan. 3: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak held talks
with Sudanese opposition chief Sadek al-Mahdi in Cairo today, their first
meeting in a decade amid strained ties between Cairo and Khartoum, officials
said. No statements were released at the end of the meeting. A visit to Cairo
by Mr Mahdi in 1989 was scrapped amid criticism by President Mubarak himself.
The Sudan opposition Umma Party said today that police yesterday used gunfire
to disperse demonstrations in Khartoum in which people chanted for the
downfall of the Islamic-backed government and a return to democracy. The
statement, which could not be independently verified, also said six Umma
members had been arrested in the past few days and appealed to human rights
organisations to work to guarantee their safety.
Jan. 7: The US
denied today it was seeking a change in the Sudan government by providing
military aid to the African country's neighbours. The Chairman of the US joint
Chiefs of Staff Army General John Shalikashvili was speaking to reporters
after a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo.
Jan. 14: Sudanese
President Omar el-Bashir today called for a mobilisation of the army and
civilian militia after rebel forces attacked towns on the Sudan-Ethiopia
border. A statement issued by the palace early in the morning said the forces
must "defend ...the homeland and deter the enemies of Islam and humanity".
The two wings of the military opposition to the Sudanese Government have
joined forces close to the Ethiopian border in a significant stepping up of
the struggle for power in Africa's largest country. The SPLA and the forces of
the NDA made co-ordinated attacks on Sunday in Blue Nile Province about 600
kilometres Southeast of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.
Khartoum University has closed so that students can join the forces and go to
eastern Sudan to counter what Sudan says are Ethiopian attacks. State radio
quoted a university official today as saying classes had been suspended "to
allow students to join popular defence forces on their way to eastern Sudan to
fight Ethiopian aggression".
Jan. 15: The SPLA said today a
joint rebel force had captured key Sudanese government army garrisons at
Al-Kali, Damonsour and Shali al-Fil in the southern Blue Nile region. It's
spokesman in Eritrea, Mr Yassir Arman, told Reuters the operation was carried
out on Monday by a joint force of the umbrella opposition group, the NDA.
POLICY PAPER ON THE SUDAN
The Policy Committee of
the Sudan Working Group (SWG), a coalition
of NGOs based in Washington DC, has issued a Policy Paper on Sudan.
The Paper will be used as a framework for advocacy work
in the US and meetings will be held for this purpose beginning
later this month. Key policy leaders will receive a packet of
materials on Sudan and have the Policy Paper explained in
personal meetings with representatives of the supporting groups.
Endorsements of the Paper are being solicited from all interested
groups. To have
your group added to the list of endorsers, send a reply to:
202-832-33412, by February 1, 1997.
WHAT THE PAPER SAYS
The crisis in Sudan is escalating on a number of fronts:
Despite the efforts of concerned governments and
multilateral organizations, the crisis in Sudan continues to
deepen. A network of NGOs, religious organizations and
individuals has constituted the SWG to discuss
policy options and develop this Strategy Paper for the US
Government, other donor governments, the Organization of African
Unity (OAU), regional governments and NGOs.
- The civil war continues to deepen:
- Human rights violations continue unabated;
- Reports of slavery are proliferating;
- The government maintains its regional destabilization agenda;
- Terrorists are housed and trained in Sudan;
- Instability and repression are increasing in the north; and
- Food and livelihood crises remain chronic in the south.
The following recommendations are meant to be specific to the
Sudan, given the protracted nature of the internal war and the
regionalization of the conflict. They result from months of
consultations in Washington. The policy suggestions also
aim to coincide with the US Government's Greater Horn of Africa
Initiative, which seeks to prevent the escalation of violent
1.1 The US must increase the pressure
on the Government of Sudan (GOS) through the UN Security Council.
Multilateral sanctions should be targeted at the regime and its
supporters. The limited air embargo and other previously
approved sanctions should be fully implemented.
1.2 The UN should co-ordinate with the OAU on any further
1.3 The Arakis Corporation oil project in Sudan, if fully funded
and developed, would supply the GOS with the funds to fuel the
war, prop up a government labeled by the US as a terrorist
nation, and undercut other international economic pressures.
Therefore, the US government should insist, in so far as it is
applied to Sudan, on strict enforcement of Section 321 of the
Antiterrorism Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-132) which makes it a
crime for US persons or corporations to engage in financial
transactions with the government of a country officially labeled
as terrorist state. The US government should rescind the
8/23/96 Treasury Department regulations, 31 CFR 596 Final Rule,
which provide an easy loophole for getting around the law and
providing financing for oil development and other GOS development
projects in Sudan.
2. PEACE NEGOTIATIONS
2.1 The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
Declaration of Principles -- which clearly define the future
options in Sudan -- should be the basis and starting point of any
negotiations process for peace in Sudan. US policy should
remain focused on a comprehensive peace based on the DOP that
incorporates all parties. Efforts to resolve the internal war
must not lose sight of the larger regional conflict.
2.2 Because of the GOS' divide and rule tactics, there remains a
potential for increased fighting between the dominant rebel
movement in the south (the SPLM/A) and the principal splinter
faction which holds much of the territory in Upper Nile province
(the SSIM/A). Further violence against civilian populations will
be caused by other GOS-supported militia throughout the south.
International pressure and diplomatic effort should be expended
to prevent the escalation of intra-south fighting.
2.3 To reduce military conflict and
intercommunal raiding between southern factions and communities,
local-level negotiations and meetings between chiefs in areas
with the largest potential for violence, such as the Dinka-Nuer
borders, should be encouraged, facilitated and funded. The
initiatives of other civil society organizations which might contribute to
peace-building should also be supported.
3. CIVIL STRUCTURES
3.1 Aid should consciously support fledgling civil
administration structures and increase its support for the
civilian institutional capacity within the south. Aid should
particularly expand for the structures at the lowest unit of
social organization, whether village liberation councils or
community organizations. Aid should include support for local
justice systems and ensure that civil structures in the Nuba
Mountains also receive assistance.
3.2 Aid agencies should build on their important support for
capacity building efforts in the south. The process of
developing a political alternative in northern Sudan should be
assisted by political and civic organizations in
4. LONG TERM DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHERN SUDAN
4.1 US development aid to Sudan is currently prohibited by a
number of laws. These restrictions should be waived for areas outside the
control of the GOS. Capacity building and development assistance to such areas
should be used as incentives to increase accountability, enhance local
management of crisis response, and reduce intra-south conflict.
5. MULTILATERAL BANKS
5.1 The US Government should oppose all loans and credits to
Sudan from the IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank.
6. ENSURING HUMANITARIAN ACCESS
6.1 The GOS is attempting to effectively restructure and control
Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) by routing all aid through
Government-controlled areas and closing the southern sector of
OLS. Donor governments and agencies should resist all these
efforts. Reforms should focus on reducing the ability of any
party to restrict humanitarian access for Sudanese civilians.
6.2 When humanitarian access is threatened or continuously
denied to certain areas, the UN
Security Council should act to ensure that relief is not held
hostage to GOS consent processes.
6.3 Emergency preparedness in the east should be enhanced as a
contingency in case of increased conflict along the Sudan-Eritrea
and Sudan-Ethiopia borders.
6.4 The absence of conditions on humanitarian aid has promoted
the abuse of aid and left international donors with little
leverage. The OLS Ground Rules -- a mechanism to require
adherence to international humanitarian principles by the SPLM/A
and SSIM/A -- should be expanded to the GOS.
6.5 One of the great failures of OLS and the donors has been
the inadequacy of the response to the needs of internally
displaced persons in northern Sudan. More forceful advocacy
should be expended on behalf of these forgotten populations.
7. HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCACY
7.1 Although the GOS is clearly the largest violator of human rights in
Sudan, all parties to the conflict should be held accountable for abuses.
Therefore, the US should continue to consistently and strongly advocate for
access for human rights monitors to all areas. The US should support the
efforts of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the
7.2 The US should call for an international
commission of investigation to address slavery in Sudan.
7.3 At its April 1996 conference on civil structures, the SPLM/A
invited NGOs and others to help them establish a local
mechanism for protecting and monitoring human rights. This
initiative and similar ones should be supported.
We envision a future Sudan which is not destabilizing its
neighbors, exporting terrorism, and repressing segments of its
own population. The pre-requisites for such a future include:
co-ordinating a more comprehensive strategy with multilateral
actors, donor governments, IGAD, aid agencies, religious
institutions, and Sudanese organizations.
Signed: The Sudan Working Group Policy Committee
Africa Faith and Justice Network
Center of Concern
Church of the Brethren
Missionaries of Africa
Presbyterian Church (USA)
For further information, please contact:
Fr. Kizito, SCIO, tel +254.2.562247 - fax +254.2.566668 - e-mail: email@example.com