Category: Lone Nile of Sudan


October 12, 2016

Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir has promised his supporters what he called a “new Sudan without tribalism,” Anadolu has reported. He made the promise in a speech to thousands of his supporters in Green Square, Khartoum. They had gathered to declare their support for the recommendations of the National Dialogue, which was approved on Monday.

Removing the tribal checkbox on official papers is one of the highlights of the recommendations. The dialogue was boycotted by the main opposition factions. According to the president, “From now on, our identity is just Sudanese, with no tribal references as part of it.” He repeated his call to opponents to sign up to the National Dialogue.

Identity is one of the six themes covered by the dialogue sessions. Many Sudanese associate it with the country’s civil wars since its independence from British rule in 1956.

South Sudan, made up mainly of African groups with a majority of Christian and local religions in addition to a Muslim minority, was separated from the north — dominated by Muslim Arabs — in 2011. A national referendum agreed to a peace agreement signed in 2005 to bring an end to decades of devastating civil war.

Bashir launched an initiative for dialogue in early 2014, but its sessions only started this month. Opposition factions boycotted the initiative after Bashir rejected their conditions, especially the release of political detainees and convicts, the abolition of laws restricting freedoms, and an independent mechanism to manage the process, which was held under the president’s chairmanship.

Foreign mediation saw the signing of a road map resulting in negotiations between the government and rebel movements last August, before the talks were suspended for an indefinite period. In the past few days, government officials asserted that they would not get engaged in a new dialogue, and the opposition factions should sign-up only for the recommendations in order to be part of the implementation process. The opposition announced that it does not care about the recommendations and threatened to resort to a popular uprising.

On Tuesday, Sadiq Al-Mahdi, the leader of the National Party, the largest opposition party in the country, said that the opposition factions are “united in their position, and refuse to engage in the regime and its allies’ dialogue.” He stressed that the opposition is committed to a comprehensive dialogue through the road map and the supervision of the African Mechanism, led by the former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20161012-bashir-promises-supporters-a-new-tribe-free-sudan/.

By Michel Arseneault

13-10-2011

President Omar al-Bashir says Sudan will go ahead with plans to adopt an entirely Islamic constitution. Bashir had already said that Sudan would adopt an Islamic constitution if the south seceded. But many southerners had hoped he would not go ahead.

Bashir says that 98 per cent of the Sudanese population is Muslim, and that the new constitution should reflect this.

Speaking to students in Khartoum, he said the official religion would be Islam and that Islamic law would be the constitutional source of future legislation.

Under the comprehensive peace agreement signed between north and south, Sudan’s constitution recognizes “the cultural and social diversity of the Sudanese people”.

But many southerners say they no longer feel welcome in the north since the two separated in July.

The General Secretary of the Sudan Council of Churches, says Sudan must recognize religious diversity. Reverend Ramadan Chan Liol adds that it should explicitly protect the non-Muslim minority in the north.

Reverend Chan Liol adds he was surprised to hear Bashir claim that 98 per cent of the population is Muslim because the Sudanese census does not ask citizens to state their religion.

Source: RFI.

Link: http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20111013-sudan-islam.

July 16, 2016

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir arrived in Rwanda on Saturday to attend a summit of African leaders, defying an international warrant for his arrest after public assurances from Rwandan leaders that he would not be arrested.

The African Union summit on Sunday is expected to discuss the continent’s uneasy relationship with the International Criminal Court, which some say unfairly targets Africans. Ahead of the summit, some African countries renewed efforts to quit the ICC en masse despite the opposition of some countries like Botswana. Nigeria, Senegal and Ivory Coast have been pushing back as well in recent days.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has led growing criticism of the ICC, calling it “useless” during his inauguration in May, an event that al-Bashir attended. Some countries want a separate African court with jurisdiction over rights abuses.

“Withdrawal from ICC is entirely within the sovereignty of a particular state,” Joseph Chilengi, an AU official, told reporters Saturday. Al-Bashir is wanted by the ICC for alleged atrocities in the country’s Darfur region.

He should be at the ICC answering to charges that include genocide, “not persisting in this game of cat-and-mouse with the court,” Elise Keppler of Human Rights Watch said Saturday night. Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said this week that Rwanda would not arrest al-Bashir.

“Africa doesn’t support criminals, but when justice is involved with a lot of politics we take a pause to separate the two,” Mushikiwabo told reporters. The African Union summit also will discuss South Sudan, where clashing army factions raised concerns of a return to civil war. The chaos threatens a peace deal signed last August between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar.

United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon, who is attending the summit, has called for an arms embargo.

Muhumuza reported from Kampala, Uganda.

June 11, 2016

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour has called on the UN to persuade armed opposition and political movements to accept a national agreement roadmap ahead of achieving comprehensive peace in the country, Quds Press reported on Friday.

“Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,” said the minister, “renewed the UN’s support to the African roadmap which was signed by the Sudanese government and the African mediation and praised Sudan’s role in achieving peace in South Sudan.”

Ghandour met with Ban in New York on Thursday, where he briefed the UN chief on the details of the national dialogue and the efforts being conducted to include the opposition. He thanked the UN for welcoming the acceptance by the Sudanese government of the African roadmap.

Meanwhile, Ban announced his support for the roadmap to achieve peace in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile, and expressed his hope that all parties will take part in the national dialogue. The secretary general also called on the Sudanese government to remove all obstacles which face the joint peacekeeping mission – UNAMID – operating in Darfur.

However, Ghandour called on the UN to withdraw UNAMID based on the exit strategy for the international force, the meetings of the team tasked to follow up this issue and the prevailing peace in the area.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20160611-khartoum-calls-on-un-to-bring-opposition-to-negotiating-table/.

10 May 2016

Khartoum / Kosti — Unrest at the University of Khartoum continued at the weekend as students torched a building where others were staying after they were forced to move out their dormitories. Protesting students in White Nile state were dispersed by police and security agents.

On Sunday evening, student supporters of Sudan’s ruling party burned the mosque of the Faculty of Education in the university in Omdurman. The property of students who were staying there after expulsion from the university’s boarding houses was destroyed.

A witness told Radio Dabanga that the attacking students were backed by security agents, and beat the other students with sticks and machetes.

“The security service continued to lay siege on the buildings of the Faculty of Education until Monday morning,” the witness said, adding that the university administration has decided to close the faculty indefinitely.

The University of Khartoum has been the scene of widespread student unrest for several weeks, and classes have been suspended. One of the main student grievances is a decision by the university administration to sell-off faculty buildings and move university facilities to the outskirts of Khartoum ‘to make way for tourist attractions’.

Arrests

Mohamed El Tayeb El Gurashi is the father of one of the students who has been dismissed by the University of Khartoum and is now detained with eight other students. From the office of lawyer Nabil Adeeb’s in Khartoum, he told Radio Dabanga that he holds the President and Chancellor of the University of Khartoum responsible for the students’ safety.

“The arrest and dismissal of students is illegal,” El Gurashi said, demanding the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) to immediately release them. “All liberal students, political, civil and legal organisations have to put pressure on the regime in order to release them.”

Last week, Nabil Adeeb’s office was raided by NISS agents, who arrested several students who were suspended from Khartoum University as they consulted with their lawyer. The NISS has stressed that it “will not allow the transfer of conflict and violence to the capital Khartoum”.

Two students were killed in separate incidents in April, at Omdurman’s Ahlia University and at the University of Kordofan, in which government security forces and armed students used live ammunition to break up protests at the university campuses.

White Nile

A student strike at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Imam El Mahdi in Kosti, White Nile state, resulted in the serious injury of five students and detention of dozens of others on Sunday.

A student at the faculty told Radio Dabanga that NISS and police forces entered the campus to confront student protesters with beatings and teargas, which caused the injuries to five students. They were transferred to the hospital.

Some 40 others were detained by the NISS, and released on Monday. The agents chased students to their boarding houses and detained a number of them, several protesters told this station.

They said that the protesters will continue their strike from studying until all their demands are met. Since the beginning of April, the students have been demanding amendments to the regulations prepared by the university administration earlier last year.

Source: allAfrica.

Link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201605101378.html.

21 April 2016

Khartoum — Students at universities across Sudan have taken to the streets and campuses in protest against the murder of a student at the University of Kordofan on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, protests and demonstrations broke out at the universities of Khartoum, as well as several other universities including Port Sudan in Red Sea state, the University of Kordofan in El Obeyed, and the University of Dongola in the Northern State.

As reported by Radio Dabanga this week, Abu Bakr Hashim, who studied in the first level at the University of Kordofan Faculty of Engineering in El Obeid, was shot dead when students who support the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) fired at members of the United Students Opposition, who were on their way to deliver their student council election list to the university center.

Kordofan

A demonstration by Kordofan University students toured the streets of El Obeid City, monitored closely by agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and police.

On Wednesday the Red Sea University students in Port Sudan condemned the killing of student Hashim of the University of Kordofan, and demanded the return of their own students union that has been stopped for years.

Red sea

A student from the Red Sea University told Radio Dabanga that the police broke up a peaceful demonstration at the city market by using batons and tear gas.

One student was seriously injured and taken to Port Sudan hospital for treatment. The police and NISS forces chased the students back to the university campus.

Also on Wednesday, the NISS detained four students from the front of a building complex at the University of Khartoum after beating them; thus bringing the number of student detainees to nine.

Khartoum

A student from the University of Khartoum told Radio Dabanga that the NISS gents attacked the students with batons after they held a vigil at University Avenue and the medical complex demanding the release of the detainees and refusing the sale or transfer of the university headquarters.

He explained that the NISS closed all entrances leading from dormitories to the university and have besieged the university buildings. The four new detainees include Saiyed Mohamed Zain and three other students whose names have not been identified.

White Nile State

A sit-in by sit -in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Imam El Mahdi in Kosti in White Nile State has entered its third week. The students are demanding amendments to the regulations prepared by the university administration earlier last year.

A student told Radio Dabanga the Governor of White Nile state visited the Faculty and asked them to end the sit-in, promising to resolve the problem.

He added that the students are demanding a timetable for the amendments to the regulations and the need to involve students in drafting the new regulations as stipulated in the Constitution of the university.

Source: allAfrica.

Link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201604220407.html.

20 April 2016

Khartoum — The strike by the students of the University of Khartoum, in protest against a government decision to move faculties to the outskirts of the city, is now into its third consecutive day. All classes have been suspended as lecturers and professors have joined in solidarity with the students.

The strikers demand the release of the students who were detained during the demonstrations over the past week. They also continue to protest the sale of university premises, ostensibly “to make way for tourist attractions”.

A student from the University of Khartoum told Radio Dabanga that classes have been halted at all the faculties because of the sit-in and explained that university professors have taken-up the strike in solidarity with the students.

The student added that on Tuesday, in the medical complex, students carried out a sit-in inside the compound buildings demanding the release of the detained students.

He said that on Monday, the security forces arrested students Sharafuldin Adam and Mohammed Saleh Abdul Raheem and took them to an unknown destination.

He added that the arrest of the students came against the backdrop of the Darfuri students association organizing of political gathering at the University of El Nilain to speak out about the current political situation in Darfur.

The Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) in Khartoum announced that the head of the party in Khartoum North Locality, Abdul Rahman Mahdi, was subjected to an attempted attack by an unidentified vehicle in Shambat on Monday evening. In a statement on Tuesday. The SCP explained that the attempted attack was by a truck without plates. The Party considered that as “representing a new phase in the authorities’ confrontation with the opposition in the country”.

Source: allAfrica.

Link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201604210467.html.

Wed Oct 12, 2011

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Hundreds of Sudanese took to the streets of central Khartoum on Tuesday to demonstrate against high food prices and to demand better public transport, witnesses said.

Protests are rare in Sudan but anger has been building over an economic crisis and spiraling inflation after the country lost most of its oil reserves to newly-independent South Sudan.

About 300 people protested in the main bus and taxi station in Khartoum to demand better public transport, witnesses said. Students from the university faculties joined the crowd to protest against food inflation.

“The students shouted: ‘No to high prices. Bread, bread for the poor,” a witness said, declining to be identified. Police arrived at the scene but did not interfere, he said.

Hundreds of people also protested at a bus station in the suburb of Omdurman, another witness said. The protesters then marched on a Nile bridge linking Omdurman with Khartoum and started throwing stones at private cars and police vehicles, the witness said.

Police said in a statement that a group of citizens had thrown stones at cars crossing the bridge, adding that it had prevented “acts of sabotage.”

Sudan has a poor public transport system with commuters mostly relying on private taxis and mini-buses which struggle to meet demand and often get accused of overcharging.

Many Sudanese have been hit hard by inflation which reached 20.7 percent in September due to high food prices, while the Sudanese pound has dived on the black market in past weeks.

The government has reacted with a package of measures, including temporarily waiving duties on basic food imports.

But economists doubt inflation will ease much as Sudan lost most of its oil reserves when South Sudan became independent, reducing the inflow of foreign currency needed to pay for imports, leading to scarcities.

The economy is dependent on oil and small-scale gold exports. The government wants to diversify the economy but progress has been slow, which experts blame on U.S. trade sanctions and poor planning.

© Thomson Reuters 2016 All rights reserved

Source: Reuters.

Link: http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE79B00420111012.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

As European countries close their doors and neighboring countries struggle to cope, an increasing number of Syrian refugees are seeking refuge in an unlikely destination – Sudan.

Battling with an economic crisis and rebellions in its own far-flung hinterlands, the African country has nevertheless opened its doors, offering Syrians safety and citizen status, with its allure of access to public healthcare and schools, Reuters reported.

A survey conducted by the Syrian Support Committee in July 2015 found more than 100,000 Syrians living in the country as a direct result of the war, a number that has since grown.

Anas Khalid, a Syrian who arrived in Khartoum in 2007, long before the Syrian war, opened a restaurant to cater for the influx of his countrymen in Sudan.

“All the young men that work with me have fled the war. I employ around 40 Syrians between two branches and house them all,” Khalid explained.

“Before the Syrians began migrating here in masses I worked at a Syrian restaurant and a factory. I started up the restaurant as a way of helping the young men coming in who I knew would struggle to find work and pay rent.”

“He’s my relative and he’s my relative,” he said, pointing towards men carving a rotating slab of chicken and exchanging money with customers. “I know most of them from back home and knew they were coming. Any man over the age of 18 has no choice but to leave or join the military and face certain death.”

A shared language and the promise of help from old friends and relatives already in Sudan has encouraged more Syrians to make a life there. The streets of Khartoum are now lined with Syrian restaurants.

Every week, two flights arrive from Damascus. Syrian families effortlessly pass through passport control with no need for visas, in stark contrast to the strict border controls they face around the world.

“We began pushing to accommodate Syrian refugees just over a year ago,” says Ahmed Gizouli, Commissioner of Refugees for Sudan. “Initially, there was a small number but this eventually increased, following the orders of the president to allow Syrian refugees entry without a visa.”

While Syrians are thankful to escape dangers and psychological stress of the war back home, they face economic challenges in Khartoum.

Housing shortages and foreign demand have driven up the price of land and rent, leaving newcomers with little time to get on their feet.

Abdelkareem Abuzamar, a 28-year-old working in Khalid’s kitchen, arrived in Sudan from Turkey in the summer of 2015 after struggling to find work in the saturated job market there.

“I got in touch with a Sudanese family on Facebook and told them about my plans to move to Sudan. They met me at the airport and welcomed me into their home,” he said.

“I stayed with them for a month before getting in touch with Anas, my neighbor back home in Syria, and started work with him.”

Though he works 12-hour shifts, Abuzamar still struggles to make ends meet.

“I’m engaged to a Syrian girl I met here but my wages won’t cover the cost of rent. It’s stressful because the cost of living is going up and the wages are staying the same,” he said.

In July, an initiative called Shukran Sudan, Arabic for “thank you Sudan”, was launched by a group of Syrians who handed out sweets and water to passing cars.

“If Sudan closes its doors, Syrians have two options: Turkey or the sea,” said Mazin Abu El-Kheir, founder of the Syrian Support Committee and a dual Syrian-Sudanese citizen from before the war. “And everyone has seen the tragedies that happen at sea.”

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/africa/23608-syrians-fleeing-war-find-unlikely-refuge-in-sudan.

Oct. 10, 2011

KHARTOUM, Sudan, Oct. 10 (UPI) — Sudan is making necessary preparations that would allow displaced refugees to return to their homes in Darfur, a government official said.

Amin Hassan Omar Abdullah, Sudan’s minster of state for culture, said during multilateral talks in Khartoum that his government had discussed arrangements for displaced refugees to return.

He told the official Sudan News Agency that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said a technical committee was set up to document a trilateral agreement between Chad, the UNHCR and Sudan for refugees.

The refugee issue from Darfur follows orders submitted by the breakaway Sudan Liberation Army’s Historical Leadership that prohibit the use of child soldiers within its regional ranks.

Usman Musa, the group’s leader, in August issued orders to his soldiers to end “all behavior” that leads to the abuse of children and banned “recruiting and using children in the ranks of the movement.”

Other armed movements in Darfur are moving toward similar action, said the U.N. mission there.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1593 in 2005 referred Sudan to the International Criminal Court after evidence emerged of serious rights violations in Darfur.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Khartoum isn’t party to the Rome Statute that created the international court.

Source: United Press International (UPI).

Link: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2011/10/10/Sudan-prepares-for-returning-refugees/UPI-76261318263304/.