Tag Archive: Lone Nile of Sudan


January 31, 2018

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have agreed to establish railways and roads to connect them to each other, Khartoum’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said yesterday.

The presidents of the three countries met on the sidelines of the 28th ordinary AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, yesterday where they “agreed to establish railways and roads connecting the three countries,” Ghandour said in a press statement.

They also agreed to establish a joint financial fund to support these projects, he added.

Remarking on the talks regarding Ethiopia’s dam, Ghandour said a joint political, security and technical committee which includes the ministers of foreign affairs and irrigation, as well as directors of the security and intelligence services from the three countries will be formed in order to provide technical studies for the heads of the three countries related to filling the dam’s lake and how it will operate in a way that does not affect Egypt and Sudan’s share of Nile water.

The Sudanese minister said that Khartoum and Cairo have also agreed to form a committee of foreign ministers and security and intelligence chiefs who will meet in Cairo during the next two weeks to discuss all outstanding issues.

“The presidents of the two countries stressed that the relationship between Egypt and Sudan is eternal and must be maintained,” he said.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180131-roads-trains-to-link-sudan-egypt-ethiopia/.

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January 16, 2018

Turkey’s Ambassador to Khartoum Irfan Neziroglu said yesterday that “the agreements signed between my country and Sudan have entered into force”.

Speaking to the Sudanese Media Center, the Turkish ambassador said as soon as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan left Sudan the agreements entered into force.

He stressed that his country “wants to rebuild and revitalize the island of Suakin”.

“We have already begun to do so by reconstructing four buildings on this island, including Al-Shafei Mosque, the customs building and other buildings,” he said.

He condemned statements which criticized Turkey’s role in Sudan saying: “I wonder when the presidents of other countries visit Sudan, why do they not get upset? Why were they upset when the Turkish president came?”

During his visit to Sudan in late December, Erdogan offered to reconstruct the island of Suakin. Egyptian and Gulf media have since said this is a threat to regional security.

The two countries signed 21 cooperation agreements in the fields of economy, tourism, infrastructure, military cooperation, agriculture and others during Erdogan’s visit.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180116-ambassador-turkey-sudan-agreements-enter-into-force/.

December 27, 2017

The two-day visit to Khartoum by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to meet his Sudanese counterpart Omar Al-Bashir this week, marks a new phase in the relationship between the two countries. It also appears to affirm that a consensus on the Palestinian issue may have been given a new lease of life.

The relationship between the two countries dates back 500 years when the Ottoman Emperor Sultan Selim I and his army — equipped with the latest technology of the day, bayonets of gunpowder — crushed the sword-wielding forces of the 300-year Mamluk dynasty, just outside the Syrian city of Aleppo on 24 August 1516. The victory marked the beginning of the Ottoman conquest of Arab lands and led to a period of Islamic world dominance. Inadvertently, it set the stage for yesterday’s historic meeting between the successor to the Ottomans and the inheritor of the ancient African Nilotic Kush civilization.

Clearly, the two men and nations have taken divergent paths when dealing with international and domestic issues, but today Sudan and Turkey appear to be more ideologically matched than at any time in the recent past, and their alliance may prove to be key in applying a new dimension to the Palestine-Israel crisis. More than one hundred years after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and almost 60 years after the independence of the Republic of Sudan, Erdogan and Al-Bashir shook hands firmly on the tarmac at Khartoum International Airport in the middle of guests and dignitaries eager to be part of the historic event.

Just two weeks-ago, the two men were also together in Istanbul with other heads of state at the extraordinary summit called by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to reject US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Fifty years ago, it was Omar Al-Bashir’s predecessors who presided over the Khartoum Summit convened by the Arab League in response to the crushing defeat of Arab armies at the hands of Israel in the Six-Day War. The 1967 summit passed a resolution proclaiming no to peace with the Zionists, no to recognizing the State of Israel and no to negotiations. Sudan’s official position since then has been in support of the Saudi-backed Arab Peace Initiative, which proposes normalized relations with Israel in return for the complete withdrawal of occupation forces from the West Bank, Gaza Strip and most of East Jerusalem, along the 1949 Armistice Line, which was the de facto border in 1967.

Much has also changed on the Arab stance with regard to Palestine, but at Sunday’s news conference the message from Erdogan and Al-Bashir was again another series of emphatic “noes” that seems to represent the view of most other countries around the world: No to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; no to the movement of embassies; and no to the effective takeover of Islam’s third holiest shrine, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City. Erdogan reflected — understandably with a sense of satisfaction — on last week’s non-binding UN General Assembly vote declaring Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel to be null and void; the vote was 128 in favor of the resolution, with 35 abstentions and only 9 countries voting against. The issue, he said, is one which affects humanity, not just Muslims.

Sources have told MEMO that the two leaders share the view that the issue of Jerusalem could result in a closing of the damaging Sunni and Shia divide. The two leaders have good relations with Tehran. MEMO has been informed that they are persuaded by President Hassan Rouhani’s offer of unity on the Palestinian issue and intend to work towards achieving regional and world peace. The two sides understand that having a unified stance with Iran on the Palestine issue would put them on a collision course with the US insistence that Sunni states should view Tehran as an enemy and a threat to Israel’s interests.

Many people regard Erdogan and Al-Bashir with respect for their pro-Palestine rhetoric and believe that they hold the key to galvanizing global support for the cause. Sudan’s Islamic movement controls up to 80 per cent of the government and regards the question of Jerusalem as a “red line”, as do others. Prominent Muslim scholars refer to Erdogan in religious terms as a “reformer”, the likes of which are promised to appear every hundred years according to some Islamic traditions.

For the moment, though, the priorities of Erdogan and Al-Bashir are to boost bilateral trade, help Turkey establish a foothold in Africa and continue to help each other on domestic issues. Erdogan’s arrival at Khartoum Airport was preceded by that of 200 Turkish businessmen who have signed deals expected to boost the value of bilateral trade to over US$ 10 billion in the next ten years. Sudan is seen as a gateway to Africa helping Turkey to increase its diplomatic, military and economic presence across the continent. The strategy seems to be working; in 2005, Turkey had 12 embassies in African states, whereas it now has 39 major diplomatic missions.

For its part, Turkey has supported Sudan politically over the years in the efforts to get US sanctions lifted. The Turkish President and his government praised Sudan’s defense of the state after the attempted coup on 15 July 2016. Under Ankara’s direction, Sudan has closed schools once run by the FETO Gülen movement and helped to secure the arrest of Turkish nationals suspected of financing the movement’s coup attempt.

The two-day visit ended on note of great optimism, not least for the economic future of the two nations. It also sent out signals of strong leadership that will be central to the direction taken by the Palestinian issue and the Muslim world in general.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171227-a-sudan-turkey-alliance-promises-a-new-direction-for-the-muslim-world/.

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.