Tuesday, July 21, 2009


UN may use force in Sudan’s Abyei to protect civilians
July 20, 2009 (KHARTOUM)
The UN peacekeepers present in Sudan’s disputed region of Abyei will use force if necessary to protect civilians, its top official said today.

On Wednesday the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague will deliver a highly anticipated ruling on the borders of Abyei and the fate of the oil fields in the region as either being part of North Sudan or the South.
Many inside and outside Sudan fear that the court’s decision may spark violence particularly for the side that feels the ruling is unfavorable.
“We do have in our mandate a Chapter VII paragraph….with regard to protection of civilians. We are mandated to protect civilians who are in imminent danger of physical harm within our capabilities and in accordance with our mandate without prejudice to the primary responsibility of the two governments, the GoSS [Government of Southern Sudan] and the government of Sudan,” said the UNSG Special Representative for Sudan Ashraf Qazi.
“That is Chapter VII obligation within our mandate and we will fulfill that. However, we must never loose sight of the fact where the primary responsibility lies. That was the case last year and will be the case this year also,” Qazi added.
However he added that reinforcements had been sent to beef up the existing peacekeeping force in the district as a precaution.
Last year, fighting erupted in the town between GoS and GoSS forces killing dozens and displacing 50,000 from their homes.
The former US special envoy to Sudan Richard Williamson, who visited Abyei after the fighting, accused UN peacekeepers of hiding in their barracks during the fighting instead of protecting Sudanese civilians in line with their mandate.
The UN initially rejected the charge but the world body later issued a report stating that “lessons” were learned from the way peacekeepers acted during the incident.
Qazi today stressed the importance of the commitment of both sides to peaceful implementation, which “they have reiterated in a number of occasions”.
The US special envoy Scott Gration, who is currently in Sudan, is scheduled to fly to Abyei the day before the decision by the PCA is rendered.


Q+A: What is behind Sudan's Abyei crisis
Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:09pm IST

By Andrew Heavens

KHARTOUM, July 20 (Reuters) - Political tensions are rising in Sudan ahead of a ruling on Wednesday on the borders of Abyei, an oil-producing area claimed by northerners and southerners.
Analysts have warned the decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague could reignite north-south fighting over Abyei, a development that would disrupt the country's oil industry and undermine a key peace deal.
Here are some questions and answers about Abyei.


Abyei is a central area straddling the undefined border between Sudan's Muslim north and mostly Christian south.
For many years, large parts of the territory have been shared by the Ngoc Dinka, part of south Sudan's Dinka group, and northern Arab Misseriya nomads.
Abyei is currently governed by a joint north-south administration. But residents have been promised a referendum in January 2011 on whether they want to join north or south Sudan.
On the same day, south Sudan as a whole has been promised another vote on whether to split off as an independent country.


Both sides differ over the ownership of Abyei and its boundaries. Southerners say Abyei covers a much larger area of land than the north is prepared to accept.
On one level, this is an argument about how much north Sudan stands to lose if Abyei joins the south, especially if southerners, as is widely expected, also choose secession.


The status and borders of Abyei were among the most sensitive issues left undecided in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended more than two decades of civil war between north and south Sudan.
Efforts to reach a settlement since 2005 have failed and northern and southern forces have already clashed over Abyei a number of times, forcing tens of thousands of civilians to flee.
Last year, both sides referred the issue to the Hague court and have promised they would accept its decision.


On the surface, the court's Abyei tribunal has been asked to rule on a technical issue. That is whether a panel of international experts, set up by the peace deal, went beyond its mandate when it outlined Abyei's borders in 2005.
The Hague tribunal could accept the panel's border, with its northern boundary about 90km (55 miles) north of Abyei town, taking in oilfields, a large section of pipeline, a railway town, grazing land and agricultural projects. This finding would please southerners, although some want even more territory.
If the tribunal decides the panel went too far, it can draw its own boundary.
In the past, northern leaders have argued Abyei makes up a small slice of land south of Abyei town, south of the river Kiir, as it is known by the Dinka or Bahr el-Arab to northerners. Under this definition, even Abyei town would fall outside Abyei area.


Both sides want control of oil installations north of Abyei town, run by the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC), a consortium led by CNPC of China, the main oil group operating in the Abyei area.
Both sides want to keep the loyalty of communities that supported them during the civil war -- for northerners the Misseriya, for southerners the Ngoc Dinka.
There are also emotional motivations. Abyei has become an emblem for the south and north after decades of fighting. Senior members of the south's dominant Sudan People's Liberation Movement come from the area.
Analysts see Abyei as a test of both sides' commitment to the 2005 peace deal, ahead of other flashpoints including elections due in April 2010, and the secession referendum.


Grazing and land rights are the key issue for the Dinka and the heavily armed Misseriya. Many feel this competition over resources could be managed through traditional settlements and earlier agreements, if it wasn't for the national clash.


The United Nations, the United States and other interested countries, will be pressing both sides to avoid conflict. Senior U.N. and government officials have promised to be in Abyei town on Wednesday to quell any violence.
But it is unclear where the parties will find room for compromise -- one will probably emerge a winner, the other a loser. Over the weekend, the United Nations said there was a build-up of southern troops close to Abyei, an accusation denied by the south. U.N. peacekeepers in the town do not have the equipment or manpower to intervene in a full-blown clash.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Election Delayed For 2nd Time in Three Months

Elections delayed for second time in three months:

Change caused by late census results and rainy season (Adds detail, background, southern reaction)

By: Andrew Heavens

KHARTOUM, June 30 (Reuters) - Sudan will delay its national elections by two months to April 2010, said officials on Tuesday, the second postponement of the poll which will be the country's first democratic vote in two decades.
Sudan's National Elections Commission said delays in the release of census details and a decision to postpone voter registration until after the rainy season were reasons for changing the vote timetable for a second time in three months.
"The National Elections Commission has been deliberating and observing the circumstances relating to the national elections and has decided on the modification of the previous timeframe," said a statement signed by Commission chairman Abel Alier.
Africa's largest country was promised democratic presidential and parliamentary elections under a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war between north and south Sudan.
The main parties in both north and south Sudan have in the past said they would resist moves to delay the poll, but the independent commission has the power to set election timetables without the approval of politicians.
Southerners are particularly worried any lag could hit the timing of a long-awaited referendum, scheduled for January 2011, on whether their territory should split away as an independent state.
U.S. special envoy Scott Gration called on Sudan in May to ensure it carried out "credible" elections and pledged Washington's support for the southern independence referendum.
In his May visit to Sudan, seen as a sign the diplomatic detente between Washington and Khartoum may be thawing, he also called for the passage of legislation seen as pre-requisites for a free and fair election and referendum.
Current president Omar Hassan al-Bashir is expect to stand in the elections, despite a decision this year by the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant against him on charges of atrocities in Darfur.
No other candidates from the main parties have formally said they will run.
A spokeswoman for the south's dominant Sudan People's Liberation Party (SPLM) said she would need more information on the exact reasons for the delay before commenting.
"If they have postponed to help with rules and regulations for freer and fairer elections or to reach peace in Darfur then it is OK," Keji Jermolil told Reuters.
The north's dominant National Congress Party (NCP), led by Bashir, said members would accept the delay, which would give parties more time to prepare.
"We hope that this will be the last amendment for the timetable," the NCP's chief official for the elections Ibrahim Ghandour told Reuters.
A Commission timetable released on Tuesday pointed to Apr. 5-12, 2010 as the new period for polling, sorting and announcing the results. Voter registration is planned for November 2009 and campaigning will take place from February 4 to Apr.4, 2010.
The elections were previously due to take place in February 2010, and before that, July 2009.
A total of six elections will be held -- for the presidency and parliament, the south Sudanese presidency, state governors, the southern parliament and state assemblies.
Some analysts have raised concerns about the complexity of the planned voting process. (Reporting by Andrew Heavens; Additional reporting by Skye Wheeler in Juba; Editing by Sophie Hares)

Sudan Conference Communique

Sudan Conference
June 12-14 2009 in Hermannsburg, Germany
“Visions of Transition 3: Transformation from War to Peace or Protection of Prejudices and Privileges?
organised by Sudan Forum e.V., Church Development Service and Sudan Focal Point-Europe


We, 150 participants of the Sudan Conference from 19 countries, representing Sudanese civil society and political parties, Faith based Organisations from inside the Sudan and outside, International Non Governmental Organisations and Institutes, Governments and Government agencies, after lengthy and frank discussions of the current socio-political situation in the country, and particularly prerequisites for a process of nation building, make the following statement:

Regarding the challenge of nation building, we note with concern the serious challenges including prevailing armed conflict, endemic tribalism, entrenched prejudices, lack of visionary leadership and the lack of peace dividends. We see the urgent need for a people centred process that is focused on realising equality, through genuine public debate, involving women and youth as important agents of change. Genuine national reconciliation is a prerequisite for sustainable peace. It is a process requiring commitment from political leadership and further reform of the armed and security forces as well as the judiciary. We call on the government of National Unity at all levels to launch the national reconciliation and healing as stipulated by the CPA and enshrined in the Interim National Constitution as a prerequisite for ensuring “Unity in diversity”. Regarding transitional justice and building sustainable peace, we recommend that further consideration be given to deal with the crimes which were not granted amnesty by the CPA, in a way that would help to heal a society deeply divided by war.
Regarding the current social, political and economic situation, we note with concern and recommend that action is taken to end the violence, killings and displacement and to address the root causes. We note the destabilising effects of decreasing oil revenues, especially in Southern Sudan, and the inability of the Government, both national as well as in Southern Sudan, to provide vital services, such as security and education. We call for greater transparency and accountability in government administration.
Regarding the potential for change through elections, we note the difficulties in ensuring that the elections are free and fair, given the short timeframe available. We recommend broader discussion about the elections, and to allow for thorough preparations. We urge that the repressive national laws on security are repealed; much greater emphasis is put on civic education of the electorate and on capacity building of political parties.
. We ask the Government of Sudan and the armed groups in Darfur to enter into genuine peace dialogue. To lay the foundation for sustainable peace, a conducive environment for dialogue and reconciliation among the struggling Darfurian tribes must be guaranteed by the Government of Sudan. Civil society needs to be given a real chance to be politically active, to gather and to express itself. We ask the Government of Sudan to stop area bombardment and all forms of violence targeting civilians; to stop the settlement of people from outside in the villages and on the land of the displaced Darfurians, and to facilitate the return of displaced people to their villages so that they can regain their dignity. We want the government to allow the return of the expelled relief organizations and to facilitate their work in order to alleviate the suffering of the displaced Darfurians. For the common good of the people, we urge the armed groups in Darfur to overcome fragmentation and to avoid any harm to civilians. Finally, we call for the release of the prisoners of war, as already agreed upon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Youth are to BE Exemplary

S. Sudan church leader appeals to youth to be exemplary
Monday 23 February 2009 03:30.
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By Isaac Vuni
February 22, 2009 (JUBA) — The Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba, Fr. Lawrence Kose, today appealed to youth of Southern Sudan to be exemplary to each other and to avoid politicians’ exploitations and embracing so-called “nigger” behaviors brought from foreign countries.
The term “nigger” is currently used to describe a section of Sudanese youth, which has adopted certain foreign modes of dress and behaviour, and is anecdotally associated with criminal activities.
Fr. Kose urges youth of South Sudan to totally discredit “nigger” behaviour now derailing the rule-of-law system particularly in major towns.
The middle-aged spiritual leader stated that those involved in deadly activities are mostly children of senior government officials who previously were studying either in Egypt or America and who now are terrorizing major cities of Southern Sudan particularly metropolitan Juba and Eastern Equatoria. He added that when the youths are apprehended by police on patrol duty, their elders rush to order their release.
Celebrating the 23rd anniversary of Youth in the Archdiocese, the vicar general advised youth to reject being politically manipulated especially during the coming national election scheduled for July this year. He went on to say youth are the leaders of today rather than just tomorrow; therefore they have the full right to elect capable people among themselves.
Otherwise, when it is time for war the politicians rush to the youth to fight despite that they are marginalized from positions when war is over, Kose noted. The positions are occupied by the politicians claiming that youth are still young to rule, he cautioned.
The elected chairman of the youth is Emmanuel Nason, the secretary general is William Kalisto, the secretary for information is Elizabeth Musa and the financial secretary is Simon Alesio.
In the current government of Southern Sudan, only one youth holds a ministerial level position, in Commerce and Industry.

Religion , Nationalism, and Peace in Sudan

Religion, Ethics, and Human Rights Activities Index

Religion, Nationalism, and Peace in Sudan

Religion, Nationalism, and Peace in SudanA U.S. Institute of Peace Conference
September 16-17, 1997
David Little, Chester Crocker, Francis Deng and others welcome participants on the opening day.
The Institute of Peace hosted a two-day meeting on September 16-17, 1997 in Washington D.C. to examine the role of religion and ideology within the continuing civil war in Sudan. The first day of the September conference reviewed the larger issues of religious identity and intolerance in Sudan's civil war, with a particular emphasis on the policies of the National Islamic Front (NIF), while the second day focused more specifically on the requirements for resolving the civil war and the implications for U.S. policy. [Read the concept paper written for the conference.]
An overview of the conference agenda is provided below, including links to transcripts from each panel session. Several of the papers presented at the conference are also available below.

Conference Concept Paper
Religion, Nationalism, and Peace in Sudan: A U.S. Institute of Peace Conference
In October 1991, the Religion, Ethics and Human Rights program of the U.S. Institute of Peace held a meeting to examine the role of religion, nationalism and intolerance as sources of conflict in Sudan's continuing civil war. That conference was part of a larger series investigating how and why certain religious and fundamental beliefs create or contribute to hostility and war. The series has sought to better understand the role of religion within conflict and to identify means for easing the tensions created by religious nationalism.
The Institute's 1991 conference highlighted the historical role of religious identity and intolerance in Sudan's civil war. While the war is not simply a matter of religious differences, it was argued that the various factors contributing to the conflict have found expression in religious terms. The struggle for political authority and economic resources has been closely tied to communal tensions between North and South. Since religion has been so significant in defining communal identity, issues such as racial discrimination and the disparity in wealth and power between North and South have been seen by many as inseparable from religion.
The potency of religion within this context is derived from both its influence on ethnic identity and the close link between nationalism and religious beliefs. These two issues come together in what Francis Deng has called the "war of visions" for the country. The predominantly Muslim North has historically perceived Sudan as a single country composed of one people divided by colonial powers. Northern policies have subsequently sought to "re-unite" the country through a process of Arabization and Islamization. Such policies, however, have generated antagonism among the southern population whose indigenous cultural values combined with Christianity to create a common identity, one defined largely in opposition to Northern attitudes and policies. Because government policy since independence has by and large disregarded Sudan's multi-religious character and the South's contrasting identity, conflict and civil war has remained endemic.
Southern opposition groups have consistently opposed the North's efforts of forced unity, and have argued for either complete separation from the North or a secular political structure coupled with a restructuring of Sudanese national identity. Significantly, freedom of religion and greater regional autonomy have been the foundations of several negotiated agreements reached between northern and southern parties (which were either abrogated or left unimplemented), most notably the Addis Ababa accords of 1972.
Before producing a report on this topic, we need to revisit the situation in Sudan and update our assessment. In the interim, the civil war has continued unabated, and numerous efforts at mediation have proven unsuccessful. Significant realignments, however, have blurred the traditional North-South character of the conflict. The dominant Northern opposition parties have joined together and allied themselves with John Garang and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), while Riak Machar's Southern Sudan Independence Army (SSIA) has joined forces with the Khartoum government. Involvement of other countries in Sudan's civil war has further complicated this latest stage of the conflict.
While these changes have undoubtedly affected the dynamics of the war, many of the underlying issues remain. First, it is unlikely that either side can resolve the long-standing conflict through force, and a negotiated settlement remains the best hope for ending the fighting. Second, the content of such an accord would still need to address the basic institutional requirements for a stable multi-ethnic society in a post-conflict period, including provision for freedom of religion and belief, and non-discrimination in regard to religion, race and language. Whether such an agreement is possible today-one that would include some form of power-sharing arrangement and a more inclusive legal framework with particular reference to religion and identity-remains in question. This is particularly relevant since the requirements for such an arrangement appear to be so at odds with the particular interpretation of shari'a and Islam advocated by the National Islamic Front. Finally, self-determination for the South remains a heated question, despite the political re-alignments.
The Institute's September conference will re-examine these issues in light of current changes, and focus particularly on the extent to which religion and ideology remain a part of the conflict today. Has the alignment of the SPLM with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) fundamentally altered the dynamic and requirements for resolution of the conflict, or do long-standing tensions over a secular state remain? Does the political will exist for adopting a pluralist framework among the northern Sudanese, either within the NIF or the NDA? What are the implications for U.S. foreign policy?
The conference will begin with introductory remarks from the Institute of Peace representatives and Francis Deng of the Brookings Institution. The first panel will then proceed with a review of the NIF's Islamic objectives in Sudan. This panel will explore competing interpretations of Islam in Sudan, and how Islam should and does relate to politics in that country. Particular attention will be paid to the Islamization program undertaken by the current regime since 1989, and what kind of impact this has had on the continuing civil war. The second panel will then review the issue of religion and identity in the South, and, again, how this relates to the civil war and the previous discussion of Northern identity and religious affiliation. This section will provide a southern perspective on the issues identified in the previous panel.
The first day will conclude with a panel exploring the "second-tier" conflicts, looking in turn at the conflict between the southern factions and the similar tensions between the northern opposition parties and the ruling regime. Should a resolution of the civil war be attained, what are the implications of the current split in the southern forces for a future Southern Sudan? Are Nuer-Dinka tensions likely to increase or decrease under such a scenario? In regard to the North, the Northern political parties have never differentiated themselves to any great extent in regard to the issue of shari'a. If the current military regime were to step down, would the Northern parties be willing to embrace an interpretation of Islam and Islamic law consistent with international human rights standards and with southern demands for a restructured national character or self-determination leading to a new state?
The first panel of the second day will provide differing perspectives from Western analysts and academics on these same issues. The panelists will be asked for their analysis of the NIF's policies, the significance of religion in the civil war today, and, finally, the implications for resolving the conflict in Sudan. While these first four panels will provide differing perspectives on the general issue of religion and politics in Sudan, the remainder of the conference will focus specifically on issues of reconciliation and public policy. To this end, the panelists will be asked how relevant the principles of the previous peace agreements are to the current situation-particularly in regard to freedom of religion and greater regional autonomy. Assuming some relevance, three further questions will be posed: (1) to what extent can religious pluralism -- a separation of religion from the state apparatus -- be accepted in Sudan? (2) Is reconciliation between North and South viable? Finally, (3) what are the legal and institutional requirements for religious tolerance and pluralism in a post-conflict situation, either in a unified state or as two separate states.
Finally, the meeting will conclude with a review of U.S. foreign policy towards Sudan, and, particularly, the implications of the NIF's Islamization program for Western policy makers. If issues of religious identity and pluralism are significant in the ongoing civil war, what can U.S. policy do to address these issues? Specifically, what options are available to U.S. policymakers to (a) mitigate religious persecution in the country and (b) promote inter-communal reconciliation? Finally, to what extent is the current regime's support for militant groups tied to the NIF's interpretation of Islam, and how can U.S. policy address this?

Tuesday, September 16, 1997
9:30 AM - Welcoming Remarks and Introduction
- Chester A. Crocker, U.S. Institute of Peace- David Little, U.S. Institute of Peace- Francis Deng, Brookings Institution
View the panel transcript
10:30 AM - Panel One:"Islam and Islamization in Sudan"
- Mohammed Mahmoud, Tufts University- Abdelwahab El-Affendi, University of Westminster- Respondent: Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, Rhode Island College
View the panel transcript
12:30 PM - Lunch
2:00 PM - Panel Two: "Religion and Identity in the South"
- Francis Deng, Brookings Institution- Marc Nikkel, Episcopal Church- Respondent: Bona Malwal, Sudan Democratic Gazette
View the panel transcript
3:45 PM - Break
4:00 PM - Panel Three: "Intra-Regional Conflicts and the Implications for North-South Reconciliation"
- Wal Duany, Indiana University- Steven Wondu, Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement- Taisier Mohamed Ahmed Ali, Univ. of Toronto- Ann Mosely Lesch, Villanova University- Respondent: David Smock, U.S. Institute of Peace
View the panel transcript
Wednesday, September 17, 1997
9:00 AM - Panel One: "Western Perspectives on Religion and Politics in Sudan"
- Kate Almquist, World Vision- John Voll, Georgetown University- Respondent: Jemera Rone, Human Rights Watch
View the panel transcript
10:45 AM - Break
11:00 AM - Panel Two: "Religious Pluralism, Constitutional Issues and Reconciliation in Sudan"
- Peter Nyot Kok, Max Planck Institute- Adam Abdelmoula, Georgetown University- Respondent: Ann Mayer, University of Pennsylvania
View the panel transcript
1:00 PM - Lunch
2:30 PM - Panel Three: Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy
- John Prendergast, National Security Council- Roger Winter, U.S. Committee for Refugees- Ted Dagne, Congressional Research Service- Respondent: William Lowrey, Presbyterian Church (USA)
View the panel transcript
4:30 PM Concluding discussion and remarks from Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki
View the panel transcript

Conference Papers
"Islam and Islamization in Sudan: The Islamic National Front"(A Paper by Mohamed Mahmoud)
"The Limits and Dilemmas of 'Secular' Re-Islamisation Programmes: The Case of the Sudan"(A Paper by Abdelwahab El-Affendi)
"Sudan: The Authentic Portrait"(An Address by Ambassador Mahdi Ibraahim Mohamed, Embassy of Sudan)
"Religion and Politics in Sudan: A Humanitarian Agency's Perspective"(A Paper by Kate Almquist)
"An Ideology of Domination and the Domination of Ideology: Islamism, Politics and the Constitution in the Sudan"(A Paper by Adam M. Abdelmoula)
"The Challenges of Peace"(A Paper by Steven Wondu)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Finally, the Sudanese government announced the Census Result

Finally, the Sudanese government announced the census results yesterday. Population number is announced to be 39.154,490, out of which 21 percent are said to live in the south (8.260,490). Although the SPLM chairman Salwa Kiir announced the endorsement of the results before he went to attend the inauguration of South African President Zuma last week, this number is highly contested by other SPLM members, and even by the chairman himself in a meeting in Bentiu 2 days ago, as all percentages in the CPA (for power sharing etc) are based on the estimation, that Southerners are 1/3 of the population. The census of course is also most relevant for the upcoming elections, and boarder demarcations...
Reservations against the census results have been also expressed by the Beja congress and voices from Darfur.
more soon

Sudan announces details of contested census results
Friday 22 May 2009.
May 21, 2009 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government announced today the detailed results of the fifth national census that SPLM former rebels have threatened to reject. Counting the results was considered crucial to prepare next year’s elections.
The total of Sudan’s population is 39,154,490, with 8,260,490 living in the south, 21 percent of the national population, Central Bureau of Statistics head Yassin Al-Haj Abdin announced today in a press conference.
Khartoum’s population is estimated at 5,074,321 followed by South Darfur state at 4,039,594; Al Jazeera state is in the third place with 3,575,280 followed by North Kordofan with 2,920,992.
According to the announced census result, some 520,000 southern Sudanese are living in the north.
Sudan conducted its fifth Population and Housing Census, a milestone in the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), from April 22 to May 6, 2008. It was the first all-inclusive census for people of southern Sudan since Sudan became independent in January 1956.
The conduct of the census-taking had been hindered by many problems in southern Sudan and South Kordofan. Moreover, political forces and rebels in Darfur called on the government to postpone it until the settlement of the armed conflict in western Sudan.
In southern Sudan, Jonglei State has the highest population with 1,358,602, followed by Central Equatoria State with 1,103,592, Warrap State 972,928, Upper Nile State 964,353, Eastern Equatoria State 906,126, Northern Bahr El-Ghazal state 720,898, Lakes state 695,730, Western Equatoria State 619,029, Unity State 588,801 and Western Bahr El-Ghazal State with 333,431.
Abidin told reporters that the reservations held by the Office of the Census for Southern Sudan on the results of the census had no basis and that these had been superseded by the approval of the presidency.
Southern Sudanese officials say they account for one third of the total population.
The Sudanese presidency in a meeting held on May 6 approved the result of the fifth census. However, the First Vice-President and head of the semi-autonomous government in southern Sudan Salva Kiir Mayadrit said he is unhappy with the results of the census conducted last year and called for it to be excluded from wealth- and power-sharing formulas articulated in the 2005 peace agreement.
The SPLM chairman, speaking on May 18 to the Southern Sudan Sultans conference in Bentiu, the capital of Unity State, said he is "unhappy and unsatisfied with the census results." He also suggested reverting back to the old constituency system in the elections to avoid controversy.
The head of the Southern Sudan Commission for Census, Statistics and Evaluation Isaiah Chol had complained that the numbers of Southerners in the North turned out less than expected. He also expressed surprise regarding the increase in the population of Darfur since the 1993 census.
Chol said that the Southern commission did not get the chance to document the information on the North due to lack of cooperation with the central office.
The fifth census was conducted under the supervision of an independent multiparty stakeholder body that included foreign monitors. Pali Lehohla, from South Africa and chief adviser of the Monitoring and Observation Committee assessed the census operation as a "success."
In a letter obtained by Sudan Tribune dated April 11, he suggested that Sudan’s census was a "unique experience that is worth replicating in other census undertakings especially for countries that are in conflict or emerging out of conflict."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


TRT: 2:33



1. Wide shot, exterior, National Elections Commission offices in Sudan
2. Med shot, sign showing the National Elections Commission
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Deputy Chairman and Spokesperson, National Elections Commission, Professor Abdullah Ahamed Abdalla:
“It is historic because it paves the way for the Sudan for the transition to democracy and real democracy – the tool for real democracy is elections. So this is a situation emanating from the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) providing an opportunity for the people of Sudan at the end of the fourth year after the CPA to exercise their right in elections for the coming governance.”
4. Cutaway,
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Deputy Chairman and Spokesperson, National Elections Commission, Professor Abdalla Ahamed Abdalla:
“It must be fair and free and correct – and second – it is measured by the level of participation by people in this election – so in preparing these elections, the National Elections Commission takes this very seriously.”
6. Wide shot, Deputy Chairman of the National Elections Commission
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Deputy Chairman and Spokesperson, National Elections Commission, Professor Abdalla Ahamed Abdalla:
“If there is a certain problem in a certain area that will prohibit a certain process – a certain part of the process of the elections, then the national committee can look into that and can decide about what is needed to do to the extent of postponing that particular problem - not all the elections.”
8. Med shot, Chairperson of the National Elections Commission, Abel Alier
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Chairperson of the National Elections Commission, Abel Alier:
“We know in the game, there will be losers and there will be gainers – and one of the rules of the game is to take it well – take it in a sports-man-like spirit. Accept the defeat if you are defeated and promise to win next time. And greet your opponent and wish him well.”
10. Med shot, sign showing name of the Chairperson of the National Elections Commission, Abel Alier


Sudan's National Elections Commission (NEC) has announced a time frame for an election which was initially expected to happen in July 2009. The proposed time frame indicates that polling will now happen for 16 days in February 2010.

Speaking in an interview nearly a week after the announcement, top officials within the independent NEC based in Khartoum said the elections would pave way for democracy and winners and losers should take it in stride.

SOUNDBITE (English) Deputy Chairman and Spokesperson, National Elections Commission, Professor Abdalla Ahamed Abdalla:
“It is historic because it paves the way for the Sudan for the transition to democracy and real democracy – the tool for real democracy is elections. So this is a situation emanating from the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) providing an opportunity for the people of Sudan at the end of the fourth year after the CPA to exercise their right in elections for the coming governance.”

Voters will be asked to cast ballots in six elections for the presidency of Sudan, the presidency of Southern Sudan, the national assembly, the Southern Sudan legislative assembly and governors and legislative assemblies in all of the country's 25 states. The final results will be announced on February 27.

SOUNDBITE (English) Deputy Chairman and Spokesperson, National Elections Commission, Professor Abdalla Ahamed Abdalla:
“It must be fair and free and correct – and second – it is measured by the level of participation by people in this elections – so in preparing these elections, the National Elections Commission takes this very seriously.”

Sudan's NEC was sworn in last year on November 25th, ushering in a much needed election with the hope that it will be conducted in a free and fair manner.

The commission says that it will freely allow elections observers at different stages of the process.

Speaking in reference to problems in Sudan’s vast Darfur region which has been plagued by conflict in which over 200,000 people have died and thousands others displaced, the Deputy Chairman said the NEC was at liberty to make decisions.

SOUNDBITE (English) Deputy Chairman and Spokesperson, National Elections Commission, Professor Abdalla Ahamed Abdalla:
“If there is a certain problem in a certain area that will prohibit a certain process – a certain part of the process of the elections, then the national committee can look into that and can decide about what is needed to do to the extent of postponing that particular problem - not all the elections.”

The chairman of the Commission had some advice for those expecting to participate in the elections:

SOUNDBITE (English) Chairperson of the National Elections Commission, Abel Alier
“We know in the game, there will be losers and there will be gainers – and one of the rules of the game is to take it well – take it in a sports-man-like spirit. Accept the defeat if you are defeated and promise to win next time. And greet your opponent and wish him well.”

The National Elections Commission (NEC) is an independent body responsible for organizing and conducting the elections, which represent an important cornerstone of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

It is expected that there will be many first-time voters, in a national election which will see the participation of both the north and the south.

The electoral law was adopted by the National Assembly on 7 July, and ratified by Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir on 14 July.

Observers say that the electoral process will be one of the most important, delicate and sensitive political developments for Sudan, whose current president came into power through a military coup in 1989.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Women's Workshop Photos, April 2009

Women's Workshop, April 2009

45 Women leaders gather to discuss gender, women’s rights, reconciliation, and the role of women in peace-building in a workshop organized by the Sudan Council of Churches.

Women leaders say:

“We have a role to play [in peace-making]—not only to eat, give birth and die.”

“We have been trained and we need to go and build the capacity of women in our homes and churches. Who will come and bring that change? Time has come for us to have that change in the south or the north, wherever we go. Money is not everything. If we are determined, we can do anything.”

Appeal from Archbishop Deng

Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS)
4th May 2009


I, Daniel Deng Bul, Archbishop and Primate of the Province of theEpiscopal Church of the Sudan and Bishop of the Diocese of Juba, am personally appealing to the international donor and diplomatic communities, on behalf of the entire Church and the entire country,for increased support and action in safeguarding the ComprehensivePeace Agreement (CPA).

Over the past year I have undertaken major tours of Southern Sudan, covering almost all of Equatoria, Lakes State and Jonglei State.During these visits I have witnessed first hand the suffering of mypeople and the increasing fear of communities on the ground because ofa situation of ever-increasing insecurity. In the Church’s opinion,this is the biggest problem in Sudan today, and prevents any further material or economic development, as well as the free and fair elections desperately needed in February 2010 and the referendum on Southern secession scheduled for 2011.

Peoples in Western and Central Equatoria are being attacked, murdered and displaced by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), rumoured to be supplied by people within Sudan. A large number of civilians in Eastern Equatoria, Lakes and Jonglei states are armed. The proliferation of modern weapons has caused traditional tribal conflicts over cattle ownership and grazing rights to increase and escalate into far bloodier warfare all over Southern Sudan – warfare that is now damaging the unity of the people and the CPA process as a whole. Last week a large weapons cache was apprehended in Lakes State and there are rumours of trucks loaded with weaponry heading north out of Juba to fuel tribal violence in Central Equatoria State.

The only conclusion one can draw is that these are ancient disputes that are being deliberately stirred up into something much more damaging for the local people and the stability of our country as a whole. Who is doing this is still largely unknown, but it is evident from local reports received through the Church network that the arms smuggling, re-armament and incitement of tribal violence is being carried out by enemies of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

During Easter 2009, I visited Jonglei State, travelling from Bor right up to Ayod in the Nuer lands. Although I and the vast majority of the party I was travelling with are Dinka, we were welcomed, and I as a Church leader spoke about love and peace between tribes. On my return to Juba I was informed that following the visit all cattle raiding and violence in the Ayod area has ceased. I take this as proof that the Church is one of the most effective ground-level players in the peace process and as proof that our message of love and reconciliation is one that is most effective in peace building amongst the tribes of Southern Sudan.

The Church has a presence in almost all small villages in the South,coverage unmatched by any organisation, including the Government of Southern Sudan and the SPLA, which in most cases are no longer able to keep the peace on the ground. The army is largely absent from effected areas, the police are too few to provide adequate security to even the County Commissioners, let alone the people, and therefore the government is in danger. As evidence of this I cite the fact that the police in Twic East County of Jonglei State were not able to contain local violence even during my visit to the area.

I am therefore making a passionate and heartfelt appeal to those governments and organisations that form Sudan’s diplomatic and donor community, in particular the United Nations agencies and the governments of the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Netherlands, all of which have a major presence in Southern Sudan and are guarantor signatories of the CPA.

As guarantors you have a duty to prevent this nation from returning to war, and I urge you to consider very seriously the churches as key partners in the work of peace-building on the ground. This is a problem that requires an ecumenical approach – all churches need to be supported by international stakeholders in the CPA to be tools of peace building on the ground. With our community-level network that surpasses any other, we need to be empowered to spread peace in this land as I have been doing in Jonglei State last month. We must teach our people that they are part of much bigger politics of which they are unaware, but which they are destabilising. They must also be empowered to make free and fair democratic choices in the upcoming elections and referendum.

My worry, and the fear of many thousands of people I have spoken to across Southern Sudan in the past year, is that the current escalating violence will add to the current disputes between the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)over the North-South border and the Abyei Protocol, that are already threatening to cause the CPA to collapse. If the CPA is not guaranteed now, war can start again all too quickly, during which a return to peace will be incredibly difficult, the Sudanese people will be further devastated and the whole region will be destabilised.

If you are guarantors of the CPA, then why is the international community allowing this violence to continue? I beseech you to act now to prevent it and protect the peace of my people.

Yours in the love and peace of Christ,

The Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul Yak
Archbishop and Primate of the Province of the Episcopal Church of theSudan

Youth Workshop Photos, May 2009

Youth Workshop Photos, May 2009

Youth Workshop, May 2009

Sudan Council of Churches holds Workshop for Peace:
25 Youth Leaders Seek Peace in Sudan

Khartoum, Sudan, 30 April 2009-2 May 2009: 25 Youth Leaders representing 8 Christian denominations in Khartoum attended a peace workshop organized by the Sudan Council of Churches. The leaders discussed steps forward in creating a culture of peace and advocating for human rights in Sudan.

The youth leaders envision a Sudan where all citizens share equal rights before the law, enjoy the right to participate freely in a representative government, and an end to discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, tribe or age. Through teaching nonviolent conflict resolution and reconciliation, the youth leaders would like to move Sudan away from a culture of war, and towards the vision of a culture of peace. The leaders learned ways to plant seeds of peace in the hearts of youth in Khartoum.

The Sudan Council of Churches is dedicated to the creation of a peaceful Sudan and the promotion of a culture of peace through providing workshops and trainings to community leaders regardless of race or religion.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Civic Education Fact Sheet

Civic Education is the process through which citizens will learn how to participate effectively in the governing of their nation democratically.

Terms to know:

Democracy is a system of government where the ultimate authority rests with the citizens of the nation. It is a system of government of the people, for the people, and by the people.

Citizen Participation in government is the right and responsibility of each individual.
In order for citizens to participate in the electoral process, they must be registered to vote.
Voter registration is a system used to identify eligible voters and ensure each voter votes only once to maintain the fairness of the election.
You are eligible to vote in Sudan if you are:
(a) Sudanese,
(b) eighteen years of age or older
(C) Registered in the Electoral Register,
(d) Enjoying all his or her civil and Political Rights, and
(e) Of sound mind.

Personal Identification!!

Every citizen registering to vote will need to be in possession of a personal identification document OR a certificate authenticated from the People’s Committee at the Locality or the native or traditional administrative authority. It will not be possible to register to vote or to vote without proper identification! Please encourage all community members to obtain their identification today!

What You Should Know:

Your vote is your voice.
You have the right and power to shape your country through your vote.
Your vote is a secret.
No one can purchase your vote.
Your vote, your future!

For more information on election protection and good governance work in Sudan, please visit the Peace, Justice, & Advocacy Desk website at www.sccpeacedesk.blogspot.com

Civic Educaction Fact Sheet

Kiir warns of regional conflict

Dear all,

SPLM registered as a party at the weekend. During a visit to Kisumu, where he was given a honourable doctorate, first vice president of Sudan, presidident GOSS, chair SPLM Salwa Kiir, warned of the danger that the entire region will be effected, shall the CPA fail.
At the same time, although Chad and Sudan once again signed an agreement to normalise ties (difficult to keep track, as so many were signed over the last years and never implemented), UNSG Ban Ki Moon warns of troop building in the Sudan -Chad boarder area.
In South Sudan, the armed conflicts go on. LRA is coming closer to the cities like Yambio, and apparently they are equipped with a number of new arms The same is reported from the Murle in Jonglei, eg.
US special envoy Scott Gration is expected for his second visit to Sudan on Tuesday, after he talked to Darfur armed groups. The US also appointed a new charge d'affaires, Robert Whitehead, who, among many other appointments, served as US rep in Juba right after the signing of the CPA.
For those of you who are interested to hear what exactly was said during the recent hearings on Abyei at the court in The Hague, please follow this link: http://www.pca-cpa.org/showpage.asp?pag_id=1318.

Communique from Yambio

Antwort an: yambio2002@yahoo.com

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, this communique has delayed due to some difficulties in getting to internent in Yambio State, we are sorry for the delayments.

The ECS Diocese of Yambio convened its Diocesan Standing Committee Meeting from Thursday 16- Sunday 19th April, 2009 with a big Sunday service. The meetings listened to and discussed reports from all the Archdeaconaries and Parishes, under Yambio Diocese. More attention was drawn to the insecurity and atrocities caused by the LRA which have resulted to displacement of many of the parishes special those along the Sudan Congo and Sudan Central Africa Republic boarders.
Such atrocities include looting, destroying of property and abducting women and Children and recruiting them against their will into their forces carrying out brutal killings.
The displacement of citizen has happened during rainy season, when the citizens are supposed to cultivate and produce enough food and save people from hunger. As all the food crops produced by the people last year and other properties have been destroyed, the displaced citizens
have become miserable victims of poverty and starvation.
Not only have the L.R.A. atrocities affected Yambio Diocese, but also caused the inlux of refugees from from ther Democratic Republic of Congo into Yambio Diocese and other parts of Western Equatoria State.
The influx of the refugees has greatly increased the population in Yambio Diocese and also other parts of Western Equatoria State as well. Consequently essential services have become inadequate.
The Ambororo (Arab normads from Chad) are other source of insecurity in the northern part of the Diocese, which indicates that the Diocese is being squeezed by the two enemies from both sides. Besides insecurity Ambororo pose a great danger to environment their cattle
destroys crops as well as the fertility of the land. These Arab nomads are armed to the teeth and killing the citizen when they complain about their crops or when they go hunting or collecting honey from the forest.
The Church feels great concern and alarm about this precarious security situation which is continuing unattended to, therefore the Church appeals to Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) to address the situatuion. The Church and the citizen of Western Equatoria appeals
to the President of Southern Sudan to come and vist Western Equatoria state to see for himself the suffering of the people caused these foreign elements. If part of the body develops a desease, the whole body is affected because it can not carry out its full fucntions.
Therefore, as Yambio Diocese in the integral part of Western Equatoria State, in particular and of Southern Sudan general, it means that the insecurity affects the whole Southern Sudan.
It is quite a blessing that the Government of Southern Sudan has gigantic, gallant forces, the SPLA at its disposal. The Church is acknowledgeable that our gallant forces has been put in place to repulse any foreign aggression in order to protect its citizen and
resources, but unfortunately this is not happening as it could be, as
a result this has compelled the youth to take bows, arrows and spears to defend themselves their land and citizen against the L.R.A. who are armed with morden Automatic Weapons. However, these forces are comparable to the huge and sophisticated Sudan Armed Forces against whom the SPLA successfully defended their people during the 21 years
of civil war.
It is the hope and confidence of the Church that the Government will expedite response to the cry of the Church on behalf of our people.
The church also appeals to the International Community to intervene and support the displaced as well as the refugees in Western Equatoria State by providing urgent relief to rescue the situation.

The Rt. Peter Munde Yacoub
Bishop of Yambio Diocese
Episcopal Church of the Sudan

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sudan Election Calendar

15/04-15/05/09: Demarcation of geographical constituencies
01/06: Publication of geographical constituencies
02/06: Beginning of registration
02/07-02/08: Revision and preparation of register
03-31/08: First publication of register for appeals and outcome
01/09: Starting date for nominations
03/09: Acceptance of nominations at all election levels:
1. Presidency of the Republic
2. President of Southern Sudan
3. Governors
4. Legislative assemblies: National - South Sudan - States
06/11: Last day for nomination applications
07/11: Publication of nominations lists for appeals
10-27/11: Final publication of nominations lists
31/11/09-05/02/10: Electoral Campaign
06/02/10: Start of polling
21/02/10: End of polling
27/02/10: Announcement of final results

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Peace Initiative in Motion

This program focuses on conflict transformation and peace-building in addition to advocacy and civic issues, communication and research.
Peoples' Forums
The Sudan Council of Churches works to bring parties in conflict together in a
space to share openly in dialogue and transform conflict for peaceful co-existence in the Sudan.
Good Governance
The Sudanese Church Leaders speak with one unified voice on the electoral process in Sudan, calling for free, fair and transparent elections in 2009 and 2011.

Interfaith Dialogue
Sudan is a large, diverse country. The Sudan Council of Churches works towards religious tolerance and interfaith dialogue.
National and International Advocacy
Advocacy efforts target the national and international communities for a more just and sustainable peace in the Sudan.