Southern Sudan walks out of talks on secession
14 Mar 2011
THE peaceful division of Sudan into two independent nations this summer appears in jeopardy after leaders of southern Sudan walked out of talks over what they say are plans by the northern government to install "a puppet government" in the oil-rich south.
The National Congress Party (NCP) dismissed the south's accusations as an attempt to deflect criticism over weeks of violence since a referendum in January that overwhelmingly approved separation.
The south's Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) has accused the NCP of fuelling conflicts in southern Sudan as it plans to overthrow the region's government.
Addressing the press on Sunday in Juba, the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) Minister of Peace and CPA Implementation Pagan Amum said the north has been supporting and financing militias to destabilise the region.
Full details below, followed by latest news from Sudan Radio Service (SRS). (Note: Click here to read Update Report No. 1 on Libya from the UN Security Council published Monday, 14 March 2011).
Southern Sudan walks out of talks on secession
From The Kansas City Star, USA - www.kansascity.com
By ALAN BOSWELL
Published online Monday, 14 March 2011, 06:44 PM. Copy in full:
The peaceful division of Sudan into two independent nations this summer appears in jeopardy after leaders of southern Sudan walked out of talks here over what they say are plans by the northern government to install "a puppet government" in the oil-rich south.
Citing documents as hard proof of the allegations, the southern leaders broke off talks Saturday aimed at setting formulas for dividing northern and southern Sudan into two independent nations in July after 50 years of civil war.
The documents, which were obtained by McClatchy Newspapers on Monday but whose authenticity could not be independently verified, appear to be official internal communications within Sudan's northern government from 2009 to late 2010.
Some pages indicate that northern military leaders provided arms to key southern rebels within the last year, including George Athor, a renegade former senior general in the southern army who killed 200 civilians in an attack last month on a remote village and who launched another against a major provincial capital on Saturday that killed dozens.
The south's Sudan People's Liberation Movement has long maintained that the northern government has continued its wartime policy of arming southern dissidents even after a 2005 peace deal between the two sides. The north's National Congress Party consistently denies such claims.
"The National Congress Party is not interested in peace, it is not interested in cooperation. They are only interested in destabilizing Southern Sudan," Pagan Amum, secretary-general of the south's Sudan People's Liberation Movement, said Monday.
The public row began Saturday, when Amum unexpectedly announced that the SPLM was suspending participation in negotiations with the north over such sticky issues as how to split Sudan's oil industry, how to divide the nation's national debt and where to draw the disputed border.
The NCP dismissed the south's accusations as an attempt to deflect criticism over weeks of violence since a referendum in January that overwhelmingly approved separation. But the NCP has not reacted to the documents specifically.
"They will come back," said Salah Gosh, a northern official and a former Sudanese intelligence chief. "They have no other way rather than to sit down and solve the problem."
One of the documents appears to be a letter dated May 18, 2010, and signed by a military commander in the northern city of Kosti that reports that a delivery of weapons and ammunition had just been given to an Athor agent.
Another, dated Sept. 22, 2010, is from the head of northern military intelligence requesting permission to arm Lam Akol, a senior opposition figure, and other "friendly forces." A corresponding reply the next day grants the request.
Amum said the documents prove that the north hopes to overthrow the southern government and is possibly preparing for genocide against southern people.
The hostile rhetoric has put an end to a brief honeymoon period following the north's decision to accept the rebellious south's choice to separate from northern rule.
One of the biggest drivers of ongoing tensions is the disputed border region of Abyei, where more than 100 people died in a week of fighting beginning Feb. 27. At least three southern villages were attacked and burned by northern fighters. Although small in size and population, Abyei has a strong lobby within the SPLM and its local tribe holds a number of senior positions.
Mediation efforts by the United States, the African Union, and the United Nations have failed to find a political solution on Abyei. A White House statement last week condemned both sides for deploying troops in the area in violation of the 2005 peace deal.
Monday was the final day for southern security forces to withdraw before northern cattle herders move south into southern-inhabited Abyei land, said Al Dirdiri Mohammed Ahmed, the lead NCP negotiator on Abyei. The official said he expected a "lot of skirmishes" and deterioration of the situation in the coming days.
A senior southern official in Abyei, Charles Abyei, said that the remarks proved that the NCP is directing the northern attacks.
(Boswell is a McClatchy Newspapers special correspondent. His reporting is supported in part by a grant from Humanity United, a California-based human rights foundation.)
Note from Sudan Watch Editor
How to split Sudan's oil industry, how to divide the nation's national debt and where to draw the disputed border? I say, imagine this: Sudanese elders and youth organising the pooling of monetary wealth generated from contested area of Abyei to pay off Sudan's debts, pay for peacekeepers and pay for welfare, education and water systems for ALL residents of ALL age groups in Sudan (not forgetting the animals, birds, wildlife, plants, etc.) You may say that I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one...
P.S. There are two sides to every story and probably neither one is the truth. There's an information war and cyber war going on at the moment. Don't believe much of what's reported, except for here :-) This note is disjointed as I'm over-exhausted while staying up late to post this (now 2:53 AM). Friends of Sudan Watch would not believe what I've been going through here over past six months. Sorry if I owe you an email, it may take a few months or more.
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LATEST NEWS FROM SRS - SUDAN RADIO SERVICE - www.sudanradio.org
14 March 2011 – (Juba) – The SPLM has accused the National Congress Party of fuelling conflicts in southern Sudan as it plans to overthrow the region's government.
Addressing the press on Sunday in Juba, the GOSS Minister of Peace and CPA Implementation Pagan Amum said the north has been supporting and financing militias to destabilize the region.
[Pagan Amum]: "Khartoum has become the headquarters of all the militia groups that are working to destabilized southern Sudan. You have followed what happened in Jonglei, Unity states, and a few days ago it happened in Malakal, Upper Nile state. All these are taking place and are happening as part of plans by the National Congress Party and its leadership to overthrow the government of southern Sudan before July and install a puppet government in southern Sudan that will be under the control of National Congress Party and this is to deny independence of southern Sudan."
Amum further accused the NCP of arming border communities to carry out genocide in southern Sudan.
[Pagan Amum]: "The other plan is arming Janjaweed forces along the border from Umda–Fok up to the border with Sennar. They have been arming Arab tribes and creating Janjaweed along the border between the south and the north, especially from the Misseriya. Their plan is to make these tribes to confront southern Sudan so that they carry out genocide and destroy the south and the people of southern Sudan like what they have done in Darfur."
Amum added that the SPLM leadership calls on the UN Security Council to investigate the alleged involvement of the NCP in destabilizing peace and security in southern Sudan.
Following these claims, the SPLM leadership suspended talks on preparations for southern independence with the NCP.
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14 March 2011 – (Khartoum) – Responding to the SPLM allegations, the advisor to the federal minister of information Dr. Rabie Abdullaati said the NCP has no hand in what is happening in southern Sudan.
He spoke to SRS on Monday from Khartoum.
[Rabie Abdullaati]: "This is a biased accusation. First President al-Bashir announced worldwide that we accepted the referendum results. We have implemented the agreements and we are discussing post-referendum issues. This coupled with the accusations by Pagan Amum; one can only conclude that it is only illusion or failure to meet the needs of southern Sudanese while preparing for an independent country."
Abdullaati said southern leaders have failed to solve many internal problems and that is why they blame the north.
[Rabie Abdullaati]: "There are a lot of problems in the south that the Government of Southern Sudan has failed to solve. There is a problem between the SPLM and the rest of the opposition parties and there is tribalism. So Pagan Amum and the SPLM find themselves in a dilemma and there is no way-out unless they hung it to the north. This issue has no basis and such accusations come out of failure to accept responsibility."
That was the advisor to the federal minister of information Dr. Rabie Abdullaati speaking to SRS on Sunday.
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14 March 2011 – (Juba) – Latest reports indicate that more than 30 people were killed and many others wounded in the recent clashes in Malakal Upper Nile state on Saturday.
A militia group led by commander Olony, said to be loyal to renegade General George Athor clashed with the SPLA in Malakal town on Saturday morning.
The SPLA spokesperson, Colonel Phillip Aguer Panyang confirmed the incident to SRS from Juba on Monday.
[Philip Aguer Panyang]: "The casualty on the side of the attackers in accordance with our first information was 23, but after some search, inside and around the town, the casualties of the rebels stood at 26. Also, one police soldier and one SPLA soldier were killed. 6 more SPLA soldiers were wounded 2 civilians were this morning reported to have died from the attack while 15 more civilians are wounded. Now the SPLA is in control of Malakal town and the situation is normal in Malakal."
The Upper Nile state minister of information and communication, Peter Lam Both also told SRS on Monday from Malakal that there was no displacement of civilians following the attack.
[Peter Lam Both]: "No, people have not been displaced in Malakal. It was an incident that happened near the airport and in an area called Ray al Masri. What we have done as the government of the state is to put a very strong security in place. We have a curfew in place now and we want to make sure that anyone coming to Malakal is a civilian. We have introduced check points so that people who are armed will not enter the capital of Upper Nile state."
That was the minister for Information and Communication in Upper Nile state, Peter Lam Both speaking to SRS from Malakal on Monday.
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14 March 2011 – (Wau) – More than three thousand Sudan Armed Forces elements in the Joint Integrated Units this week will leave Western Bahr el Ghazal state back to the north.
This is part of an agreement by the Joint Defense Council that all SAF-JIU forces should withdraw from the region by mid-April.
Our reporter Christina Jambo reports from Wau.
[Christina Jambo]: "Yes I visited the JIU headquarters known as Girinte in Wau. According to the management, three thousand soldiers will be transported today (Monday) using eight vehicles and the rest will travel on Wednesday by train to El Obeid in Northern Kordofan state. From there they will wait for orders for the next move. I have seen the trains ready to take the soldiers. The southerners in the JIU said they are not taking their families because they don't know what is going to happen on their way to the north and also others said that they are just going for a short time to hand over and get their dues and they will be back so some are happy and others are really confused."
The Council agreed that by 9th of April all the SAF-JIU forces should have withdrawn back to the north.
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14 March 2011 – (Kadugli) – The National Election Commission is conducting a two-day workshop on election laws in Kadugli, Southern Kordofan state starting on Monday.
The chairperson of the Southern Kordofan High Election Committee Mohamed Idris Mousa spoke to SRS on Monday from Kadugli.
[Mohamed Idris]: "The workshop in the parliament was organized by the Southern Kordofan High Election commission and it will discuss the election law, screening and appeals. The officials who came from Khartoum include General Abdulla Al Hardulo and the legal Adviser Joseph. The two-day' workshop started today at 10:00 AM and will end tomorrow at 4:00 PM. About a hundred people are attending including the judiciary, security personnel, including police, the political parties and UNIMIS election department."
Idris said that so far the election body has only received to applications for the post of governorship in the region; SPLM's Abul Aziz Al Hilu and NCP's Mohammed Haroun Run.
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14 March 2011 – (Kadugli) – The SPLM has presented it's nominees for both gubernatorial and parliamentary elections in Southern Kordofan State on Saturday.
Elections in the region are scheduled for May 2011.
The S-P-L-M spokesperson in Southern Kordofan State, Mohamadain Ibrahim Omar spoke to SRS from Kadugli on Saturday.
[Mohamadain Ibrahim]: "The S-P-L-M has submitted names of all its candidates for the legislative and executive elections in Southern Kordofan state, and submitted the candidature of Lieutenant-General Abdul-Aziz Adam Al-Hilu for the position of governorship in Southern Kordofan state. Also we have submitted the candidature of thirty-two members for geographical constituencies and eight candidates for party list and fourteen members for women list. The total number of S-P-L-M candidates is fifty-five candidates for various positions. The total number of supporters for Abdul-Aziz Adam Al-Hilu the only S-P-L-M candidate for the governorship is more than twelve thousand. They collected signatures and presented them to the election commission."
The S-P-L-M chairman in Gezira State Anwar Mohamed Al-Hajj expressed his support for the candidature of Abdul Aziz Adam Al Hilu who is currently the deputy chairman of the SPLM Northern Sector.
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