South Sudan: Another Ceasefire Agreement Signed in Rome!

South Sudanese government representative and SSOMA’s General Thomas Cirillo Swaka at Saint Egidio headquarters in Rome  (AFP or licensors) .

16OCTOBER, 2020

Rome — The Rome-based Community of Sant’Egidio on Wednesday October 14 announced a breakthrough in talks between South Sudan’s government and the Opposition Movement Alliance.

The two factions have agreed to a ceasefire, and to pursue dialogue and committed to promote peace in the country.

“Today it was possible to rebuild trust between the parties after the pause of the pandemic, which unfortunately resulted in the resumption of clashes,” Paolo Impagliazzo, the Secretary General of the community of Sant’Egidio said at a press conference to announce the ceasefire agreement.

The press briefing was attended by Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin representing Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), and General Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the leader of the South Sudan opposition movement (SSOMA).

The community of Sant’Egidio has since embarked on organizing meetings between military and political representatives of both sides to ensure the opposition is included in established mechanisms to monitor ceasefire violations. The meetings are scheduled to take place, in Rome, from November 9 to 12 and on 30 of the same month.

“I would like to inform the people of South Sudan, Sant’Egidio Community and International Community that the Revitalized Government of National Unity, together with South Sudan Opposition Alliance have concluded Third Round of Peace Talks with initialing of the commitment to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) that will ensure inclusion of SSOMA membership into CTSAMVM ( mechanism,” reads October 14 statement released by Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Deputy Head and Spokesperson of Government delegation in the Rome Peace Process.

Dr Barnaba said the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) commits parties of CoHA and deliver reports with regards to any violations.

“The Talks have successfully resulted in a positive manner by initialing the Declaration of Principles which shall serve as the basis for further negotiations. The next round of talks is scheduled for 30th November 2020,” he added.

He expressed “profound gratitude” to the Community of Sant’ Egidio represented by Dr. Mario Giro, Secretary General Paolo Impagliazzo, Dr. Mauro Garofalo and all their staff including Fathers for their efforts throughout the talks.

“The leadership and the government of the Republic of South Sudan will go all the way to listen and dialogue with all those opposition parties that have not signed the peace agreement. This is a fundamental policy encouraged by His Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit in order to have peace throughout our country,” Barnaba said.

He appreciated the presence of SSOMA and their Leadership Council Gen. Thomas Cirillo, Spokesperson Ambassador Emmanuel Ajawin, Dr. David Bassiuni asking them to maintain the momentum of dialogue and agreement.

Read the original article on CISA.

ICC prosecutor arrives in Sudan to discuss Darfur charges!

Sudan’s official news agency says the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor has arrived in the capital to discuss cooperation with local authorities over bringing to trial those internationally wanted for war crimes and genocide in the Darfur conflict.

By SAMY MAGDY Associated Press

18 October 2020, 00:49• 3 min read

ILE – In this Sept. 15, 2020 file photo, Sudan’s ousted president Omar al-Bashir sits at the defendant’s cage during his trial a courthouse in Khartoum, Sudan, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. The officer of Sudan’s prime minister says International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is arriving in Khartoum Saturday, Oct. 17, to discuss cooperation with local authorities over the trial of those internationally wanted over war crimes and genocide in the Darfur conflict. Among those wanted by the court is former President Omar al-Bashir. (AP Photo/Marwan Ali)

CAIRO — The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor arrived in Sudan late Saturday to discuss cooperation with local authorities over bringing to trial those internationally wanted for war crimes and genocide in the country’s Darfur conflict, the Sudanese official news agency said.

Prime Minister Abdallla Hamdok’s office said in a statement that ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and other court officials would stay in Sudan until Wednesday. It is the first announced visit for Bensouda to Sudan.

“The ICC delegation will discuss methods of cooperation between the Government of Sudan and the ICC with regard to the suspects against whom the ICC has issued arrest warrants,” read the statement, which did not name any of the suspects.

Among those wanted by the international court is former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been in jail in Khartoum since his ouster last year and is facing several trials in Sudanese courts related to his three decades of strongman rule and the uprising that helped oust him.

The conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region broke out when rebels from the territory’s ethnic central and sub-Saharan African community launched an insurgency in 2003, complaining of oppression by the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum.

Al-Bashir’s government responded with a scorched-earth campaign of aerial bombings and unleashed militias known as Janjaweed, who are accused of mass killings and rapes. Up to 300,000 people were killed and 2.7 million were driven from their homes.

The ICC charged al-Bashir, 76, with war crimes and genocide for allegedly masterminding the campaign of attacks in Darfur. Sudanese prosecutors started last week their own investigation into the Darfur conflict.

Also indicted by the court are two other senior figures of al-Bashir’s rule: Abdel-Rahim Muhammad Hussein, interior and defense minister during much of the conflict, and Ahmed Haroun, a senior security chief at the time and later the leader of al-Bashir’s ruling party. Both, Hussein and Haroun, have been under arrest in Khartoum since the Sudanese military, under pressure from protesters, ousted al-Bashir in April 2019.

The court also indicted rebel leader Abdulla Banda, whose whereabouts are not known, and Janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb, who surrendered to authorities in the Central African Republic, Sudan’s neighbor, in June before being flown to The Hague to face justice more than 13 years after ICC judges issued an arrest warrant against him.

Sudan’s transitional government, which has promised democratic reforms and is led by a mix of civilian and military leaders, has previously said that war crime suspects including al-Bashir would be tried before the ICC, but the trial venue is a matter for negotiations with The Hague-based court.

Sudan discusses war crimes case against ex-leader !

© AFP Omar al-Bashir took power in a 1989 coup and was toppled by the military in 2019

An International Criminal Court (ICC) delegation has arrived Sudan to discuss the prosecution of former President Omar al-Bashir.

Bashir is wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Sudan’s prime minister said the delegation would be in the country until 21 October, to discuss “co-operation” in the case.

Sudan’s government has agreed that he can stand trial in the Hague.

But under a peace deal with rebels in the Western region of Darfur, the government has agreed to set up a special court on war crimes that would include Bashir.

The ICC team currently in Khartoum includes chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. The UN estimates that 300,000 people were killed in the conflict, which began after a revolt in Darfur 2003.

The ICC has also charged two other former officials, Ahmed Haroun and Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein, with war crimes and crimes against humanity, allegedly committed in the region.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok told the Financial Times that newspaper he had spoken with the ICC about the option of trying Bashir in a “hybrid court” in Sudan.

Bashir, 76, was toppled last year after mass protests. A transitional government is currently ruling Sudan under a three-year deal with top civilian and military leaders.

The former leader has already been convicted for corruption. He and 27 other officials are currently on trial in Khartoum over charges relating to the 1989 coup that brought him to power. If found guilty, they could all face the death penalty.

Bashir has denied the charges against him. Earlier this year one of his lawyers said Bashir and other defendants were facing “a political trial” being held “in a hostile environment”.

Sudan inflation hits new record in September as prices spike.

Sudan’s annual inflation has hit a new record peak as prices of bread and other staples keep surging

By The Associated Press14 October 2020, 14:45• 2 min read

CAIRO — Sudan’s annual inflation has hit a new record peak as prices of bread and other staples keep surging, according to official figures released on Tuesday.

The country’s Central Agency for Statistics said the annual inflation in September rose to 212.29% from 166.83% in August. The high record was driven by hikes in prices of bread and vegetables, and the jump in transportation fares, it said.

Inflation has been rising in Sudan since before the military’s overthrow of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April 2019 amid a popular uprising. The economy has suffered from decades of U.S. sanctions and mismanagement under al-Bashir who had ruled the country since the 1989 Islamist-backed military coup.

The transitional government is struggling to revive the economy amid a huge budget deficit and widespread shortages of essential goods, including fuel, bread and medicine.

Sudan has close to $60 billion in foreign debt, and debt relief and access to foreign loans are widely seen as its gateway to economic recovery. But access to foreign loans is linked to the removal of sanctions related to the country’s listing by the U.S. as a state sponsor of terror. President Donald Trump‘s administration has linked the removal from the list to normalizing relations with Israel, an issue that has divided the county’s fragile interim government.

The International Monetary Fund last month signed off on the government’s economic reform program, which could eventually allow Sudan to get debt relief and move ahead with rebuilding the battered economy. The reform program includes a gradual lifting of energy subsidies, which eat up 36% of the government’s budget.

The national currency has plunged dramatically. The Sudanese pound has been selling for more than 250 to the dollar on the black market, with the official rate remaining at 57 Sudanese pounds to $1.

The coronavirus pandemic and recent seasonal flash floods have added to the calamity. Authorities in September declared an economic emergency, said the country was a natural disaster area and imposed a three-month state of emergency.

A simple Sudanese meal – bread, salad and Sudanese Ful Medames – ful beans
(Image: Trip

Sudan: Healthcare on Donkeys!

Bullets, Rains Hamper Healthcare workers in Sudan.

14 OCTOBER 2020

The MSF team rides by donkeys from Rokero town to Umo, a four-hour ride.

Darfur located in Western Sudan, has suffered the consequences of more than a decade long conflict. Although much has changed following the ousting of former president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir and the installation of the new transitional government, the overall security situation remains fragile and violent clashes continue.

To bring to light the plight of people living in the Darfur region, MSF share with you a perspective piece by Nasteh Shukri Mahamud, our Doctors Without Borders (MSF) nurse and medical team leader in Rokero, Central Darfur.

Nasteh’s personal account from the remote Jebel Marra area where people have lived through a decade of conflict, isolation, displacement and violence. Nasteh explains the difficulties our patients face and how our team works in a volatile region trying to overcome challenges.

In early September, I began work as MSF’s medical team leader in Rokero, an area with around 200,000 people. Our project provides medical services across two areas, Rokero and Umo, in the mountainous region of Darfur state called Jebel Marra. Darfur has suffered through over a decade of conflict. Even though much has changed following the ousting of Omar al-Bashir and the installation of the new transitional government, the overall security situation remains fragile and violent clashes continue.
In February, MSF teams started providing medical services at a state-run health centre (called a ‘rural hospital’) in Rokero.

We manage the inpatient department, the emergency room, the maternity and delivery wards and the observation room where we keep patients under surveillance for 24 hours until they can either be safely discharged or are admitted as inpatients. We also run an inpatient therapeutic feeding centre for malnourished children suffering from complications like diarrhoea or a respiratory tract infection. Patients with complicated injuries or health conditions are taken to a larger hospital in Al-Fasher town, the capital of North Dafur, six hours away by car.

The situation in both Rokero and Umo remains volatile

Umo is a remote area nestled between two mountains in the Jebel Marra mountain range. It is controlled by an armed rebel group that continues to fight government forces and other armed groups in the region over power and control of resources. Around 50,000 people live there in dozens of villages scattered over the vast rocky terrain. The area has been cut off from outside assistance since 2008. The only means of transport in and out of Umo is by donkey or camel. There are no roads, and no access for cars or busses. It is a four hour ride from Rokero to Umo. It is a very tiring, difficult and dangerous journey along rocky, slippery ground.

The situation in both Rokero and Umo remains volatile. Many families that were displaced by previous conflicts found refuge around Rokero town and still live here. People continue to flee from violence from their villages to safer areas near bigger towns. Clashes continue to erupt, and we continue to treat injuries caused by the fighting. At night we can often hear gunfire.

Many communities in Rokero and Umo depend heavily on humanitarian assistance. Approximately 60 per cent of the population have no access to basic healthcare services. Out of 20 health facilities in the area only eight are functional, including the two MSF health centres.

Our plans for 2020 were slowed down by the spread of COVID-19, but in early September we were able to open a small basic healthcare centre in Umo. When the team arrived for the first time the whole village, including elders, women and many children, welcomed us with excitement and anticipation. Since then, we have served this community six days a week, with a team of 20 experienced and dedicated Sudanese MSF staff, some from Umo, some from other parts of Darfur. We can treat as many as 70 patients in a day.

People in Umo often suffer injuries from falls or riding accidents, and it is still an active conflict area, so gunshot wounds are also quite common. Now, at the end of the rainy season, we are treating more upper respiratory tract infections and skin diseases caused by the poor living conditions.

On my first trip to Umo, we met with community elders to better understand the lives they lead, their expectation of MSF and their health needs. Our meeting was warm and very welcoming. The villages have been working hard to improve their living conditions. They have built some infrastructure, like stone pathways, but they have not had a functioning health centre in over a decade.

It is a difficult journey to Umo, especially now during the rainy season when tracks become muddy and untrustworthy. I was glad I had learned to ride a horse with MSF in Ethiopia in 2012, when I worked in a nutrition project that could only be reached with a one-hour ride. But on that day in Darfur, I sat on a donkey for eight hours. Back in Rokero, I had to walk around for 10 minutes just to feel my legs again.

I have enormous admiration for our drug dispenser Najmadin Aden Mahamed, who does the trip at least once a week to bring supplies and drugs. It is difficult to imagine what that journey would be like for a woman from Umo experiencing complications while giving birth.

The number of deaths among pregnant women and new mother is high in Dafur. When we met with the community leader, they told us that some women lose their babies in the first trimester of their pregnancy because they ride donkeys and work too hard. The number of women giving birth in the MSF delivery room is still low, but we have started to do more community outreach activities, speaking with community elders and engaging with traditional birth attendants. The antenatal check-ups, however, are already much frequented by pregnant women.

Most people here are farmers, growing sorghum and millet, but years of conflict have frequently disrupted farming activities, leaving families without their crops or with only a poor harvest. Furthermore, an economic crisis in Sudan means that many families cannot afford the escalating prices for staple products. Most can barely afford two basic meals a day. Women have to work especially hard, tending to both the fields and their children.

Some are cautiously optimistic about a recently signed peace agreement

Our team are very concerned about malnutrition among Umo’s children. During our first month in Umo the outpatient therapeutic feeding centre treated 60 severely malnourished children. In MSF’s inpatient therapeutic feeding centre in Rokero town, we always have five or six children who are severely malnourished and suffering from complications like diarrhoea or respiratory tract infections. There is a two-year-old girl currently being treated at the feeding centre. Her mother brought her in seven days ago. She had severe acute malnutrition; she was weak and much too small for her age. She has changed so much in just a week. She is active and enjoys eating again. Her mother could hardly believe how quick she has improved. She was also surprised that our medical services are free of charge.

Distances in this isolated region can be overwhelming and life-threatening. They make it nearly impossible to access timely emergency care. People die on the way to our health centre or reach Rokero too late for their condition to be treated. In our first month in Umo we lost two patients on the way to Rokero. As a medical professional this is hard to accept. We also hear of sick people that live in rebel-held areas and are too afraid to seek healthcare in Ministry of Health facilities.

It is rewarding to work with such an experienced and dedicated team. We have 52 members of staff in Rokero and 20 in Umo, most from Darfur. Ali Mohamed Doud is an emergency doctor and our medical activity manager. He has worked with MSF in many different emergencies in Sudan.

Ali and our other colleagues know from their own experiences the hopes and worries of people in Darfur. They know too well that many communities in Jebel Marra struggle to access the basics, like primary healthcare, clean and safe water, education and protection.

Some are cautiously optimistic about a recently signed peace agreement between the Sudanese transitional government and some rebel groups. There is hope it could be a first step toward peace, reconciliation and stability in Darfur, and a chance for the many hundreds of thousand displaced people to return home.I am proud to be a member of a team that directly responds to acute health needs and helps save lives in a place that has long been neglected and where access of healthcare is still very limited.

Nasteh Shukri Mahamud, Nurse and Medical Team Leader in Rokero, Central Darfur, Sudan

South Africa’s acting ambassador to Sudan accused in assassination and murder plot !

By Peter Fabricius• 13 October 2020

Khartoum at night .

The acting ambassador’s husband allegedly hired hitmen to kill the embassy’s intelligence officer — and to murder two local women as ‘training’!

When two young Sudanese women were murdered in Khartoum in December 2019, police thought they might have been victims of a satanic ritual killing. One had been dismembered, her body dumped in separate plastic bags outside the city. The other’s corpse was found wrapped in a shroud on a city rubbish dump. 

Then police arrested two local men for the murders and heard an even stranger story. The men claimed they had lured the women into the apartment of South Africa’s deputy ambassador to Sudan and murdered them as a “training” exercise. The murders were a test to prepare them for their real assignment — to assassinate the intelligence officer at the South African embassy. 

South Africa’s deputy ambassador to Sudan, Zabantu Ngcobo, and her partner are now being investigated for allegedly hiring the embassy driver and his accomplice to kill the intelligence officer because he was sending home damaging reports about Ngcobo.

The two men were arrested for these murders before they could kill the intelligence officer.

Ngcobo was acting ambassador at the time as the ambassador’s post was vacant. 

The driver, a 25-year-old Eritrean national, identified in a Sudan newspaper only as “MF”, told Sudanese police when he was arrested for the murder of the two young Sudanese women in Ngcobo’s apartment in the Riyadh diplomatic block last December, that Ngcobo’s partner had told him to kill the women to prove he was capable of assassinating the intelligence officer.

The swift arrest of MF for the murder of the two women — identified in Sudan media only as Nisreen and Marwa — and his confession, prevented the assassination of the intelligence officer, according to a report in Khartoum’s Al-Sudani newspaper last week. 

Sudanese authorities contacted South African authorities who exercised the right of Ngcobo and her partner to diplomatic immunity against arrest and prosecution abroad and took them back home, promising to cooperate with the Sudanese authorities in investigating the allegations against them.

All I can say about this issue is that Dirco is aware of it and our police are investigating it and cooperating with the Sudanese police. Unfortunately, we are unable to say beyond until the investigations are finalised…

Al-Sudani’s report of its investigation into the saga suggests that the Sudan police believe MF’s explanation that Ngcobo’s partner instigated the murder of Nisreen and Marwa — though, on face value, that might seem like a rather far-fetched excuse for plain murder. 

The Al-Sudani story says that there had been initial speculation in Khartoum that the women had been killed as part of a satanic ritual because one of the perpetrators was known as a devil worshipper.

Lunga Ngqengelele, spokesperson for South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco), told Daily Maverick: “All I can say about this issue is that Dirco is aware of it and our police are investigating it and cooperating with the Sudanese police. Unfortunately, we are unable to say beyond until the investigations are finalised…”

However, other official sources in Pretoria have confirmed the bare outline of the story as related in Al-Sudani. They said that when Ngcobo and her spouse were away in South Africa, the driver MF had thrown a party in her residence where the two young Sudanese women were killed. The Al-Sudani report refers to Ngcobo’s partner as her husband and as a diplomat, though South African officials have told Daily Maverick they are not married and he does not work for the embassy. 

The saga began on 19 December 2019, when police found “Marwa’s” dismembered body in plastic bags in the Mayo area south of Khartoum, according to Al-Sudani. The crime remained unsolved. Then, 21 days later, on 10 January 2020, a citizen found the body of “Nisreen” wrapped in a shroud in a garbage dump in the Nasser neighbourhood, east of Khartoum. 

Nisreen was then identified through a missing person report that her family had filed. 

Five days after Nisreen’s body was found, the investigators arrested MF, the Eritrean embassy driver and his accomplice MI, a medical student. 

The two suspects confessed to killing Nisreen and Marwa in Ngcobo’s apartment. 

The news report says the apparent absence of a plausible motive — “other than the pleasure of killing or devil worship, as one of them claimed in the initial investigation” — at first puzzled the investigators. 

Then the driver MF had told investigators that Ngcobo’s “husband” , “a young man called ‘Q’”, had confided in him, because they were close friends, that the newly appointed intelligence officer was harassing his wife, the acting ambassador. His security reports about her were causing problems.

Q supposedly asked MF to search for professionals to kill the intelligence officer in exchange for $50,000. MF immediately agreed.
MF approached his friend, the medical student MI, who told him he had already killed a family outside the country and a woman in the Jabal Awliya village and both crimes remained unsolved. MF took him to meet Q to discuss the alleged assassination.

Al-Sudani reports that Q then showed the driver MF the house of the intelligence officer in Al-Mashtal Street in the Riyadh neighbourhood. The next day MF took his friend MI to show him the house. The conspirators approached the guard of a famous hotel to purchase a pistol, which he did, from someone else, for 15,000 Sudanese pounds. But it malfunctioned when they tested it and so they returned it to its owner. 

The report says that before they carried out the assassination, the Christmas holidays arrived. Ngcobo and her partner planned to travel to London on holiday. But before leaving, the partner Q stipulated that MF and MI had to carry out at least two crimes before they returned from London to reassure him (about their ability to kill).

Al-Sudani said the investigators ‘were astonished by MF’s serious and dangerous confessions, but they realised that it was the real motive of the crime’.

Ngcobo’s partner left them the key to the couple’s apartment and the keys to the car. 

MF chose “Marwa” as the first victim, whom he had met five years before in a youth centre in Khartoum and had taught to play the guitar. He lured her to the apartment, killed her and disposed of her body in a plastic bag in the Mayo neighbourhood. He met the second victim, “Nisreen”, through another woman who had since been arrested as an accomplice. 

Al-Sudani said the investigators “were astonished by MF’s serious and dangerous confessions, but they realised that it was the real motive of the crime”. They corroborated MF’s confessions with the medical student MI. Police also arrested the hotel guard and the person he bought the pistol from. They both confessed to their complicity and were made prosecution witnesses. 

The detectives then contacted the South African embassy and met the intelligence officer.

The Sudanese foreign ministry advised them that Ngcobo and her partner enjoyed absolute diplomatic immunity and so could not be arrested without the permission of the South African government.

The investigators sent a comprehensive report of the case to the South African authorities, who sent a team to withdraw Ngcobo and her partner from Khartoum to question them about the case back in South Africa. They thanked the Sudanese police for exposing the plot and saving the intelligence officer’s life, and promised their full cooperation with the Sudanese authorities until the end of the case.

The report points out that under the Vienna Convention of 1961, which regulates diplomatic relations, diplomats accused of crimes in other countries may either be prosecuted in those countries with the permission of their own government or may be prosecuted in their own countries for their crimes. 

“Sudanese authorities are currently detaining the two suspects in the murders of ‘Marwa’ and ‘Nisreen’, pending the response of the South African authorities and the extent of their seriousness in deciding on their diplomats accused of inciting the murder of the two girls as training for assassinating the intelligence officer/security attaché in their embassy in Khartoum,” the Al-Sudani report concludes. 

Ngcobo and her partner remain in South Africa. DM

Floods leave ‘nine million Sudanese in need of aid’!

7:32 12 Oct

The floods were the worst in decades [ Getty Images]

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation says more than nine million people in Sudan are in need of assistance because of flooding.

The agency told the BBC that millions of hectares of farmland had been affected.

Much of Sudan has been suffering the worst floods in decades, with historically high levels of rainfall since July.

The rain has finally begun to ease and the floodwaters are receding, but a huge humanitarian problem now looms.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation said a million tonnes of grain has been lost. There are also growing fears about the risk of disease caused by contaminated water supplies and stagnant surface water. Cases of malaria have increased sharply.

The UN has warned that emergency relief efforts are suffering from a low level of funding, compounded by high inflation in Sudan and severe fuel shortages.

Malong official urges government to end culture of bribery!

OCTOBER 12, 2020

NAIROBI – A senior opposition official of South Sudan United Front (SSUF/A) led by General Paul Malong Awan has urged the government of South Sudan to end what he said is a culture of bribery which he said may jeopardize the ongoing peace process.

This comes days after an opposition commander loyal to Malong in Unity state said he has defected along 2500 forces to South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) saying such moves were crucial in peace-building in the country.

Speaking to Sudans Post this morning, Dickson Gatluak Joak, a senior opposition official loyal to Malong, denied the claims that 2500 forces previously loyal to Malong have defected to the government in Unity state saying the whole division has less forces than the those said to have defected.

“This is not true – those who defected to the government are individuals and you don’t need to exaggerate the number,” Gatluak said.

“SSUF/A still having presence in Unity State despite its few individuals being bribed by government. Myself and the rest of many Nuer General from Upper Nile are still with General Paul Malong. So the movement still intact,” Gatluak said.

Gatluak further urged the government to bribery because it may jeopardize the ongoing peace process.

“The government need to end the culture of bribery because you shouldn’t practice such activities when people are busy on peace process,” he added.

Senior opposition official of South Sudan United Front Colonel Dickson Gatluak Joak [Photo via Radio Tamazuj]
Senior opposition official of South Sudan United Front Colonel Dickson Gatluak Joak [Photo via Radio Tamazuj]

South Sudan families displaced by fighting forced out again by floods.

Andreea Campeanu,ReutersOctober 10, 2020

Women wade through flood waters after the River Nile broke the dykes in Pibor
Women wade through flood waters after the River Nile broke the dykes in Pibo

LANYARIS, South Sudan (Reuters) – By the time the waters started rising, ethnic violence had already forced South Sudanese mother Vorgol Poulo, her husband, and their seven children to flee their home twice this year.

They were desperate to stay home when the rains began in July but ten days of heavy rainfall destroyed most of their possessions, forcing them out for a third time.

“The cows are sick. We have lost so many, we don’t know the number,” said Pulo, who sold charcoal before flooding put most of the market under water.

She spoke to Reuters on a patch of grass poking above standing water, near the remote town of Pibor as thin cows limped by.

The family cannot afford plastic sheeting for shelter or firewood, she said. Like most people in the area, they now eat once a day.

The worst rains in living memory have forced nearly 370,000 people to flee their homes since July, and roughly half of South Sudan’s 78 counties have large swathes of land underwater, the U.N. says.

Scientists attribute the unusual rains to cyclical weather pattern that has been exacerbated by climate change.

Oil-rich South Sudan was already reeling from five years of civil war, which ended in 2018 with a fragile peace deal. Attacks by bandits, ethnic militias and hold out groups are still common.

Nurse Regina Ngachan cannot say which is worse: the rainy season, which floods her home, or the dry season, which brings violence.

Standing barefoot in a half metre of water outside her thatched roof hut in Pibor this week, she said she is struggling to help her sister and her five children, who fled the nearby village of Gumuruk after fighting broke out.

“They came with empty hands,” she said.

Twelve months of cycling between flooding and violence have left communities desperately needing food, shelter, and water, said Joshua Rosenstein, Pibor field coordinator for the aid group Doctors Without Borders. The town is also seeing a spike in measles and malaria cases, he said.

A displaced child wades through floodwaters after the River Nile broke the dykes in Pibor
A displaced child wades through floodwaters after the River Nile broke the dykes in Pibor

The Juba peace plan authorizes genocide in Sudan!

Hemeti is looking to the Israeli government and US administration as enablers of normalization to give him cover for his crimes committed against the Darfur people.


LT.-GEN. MOHAMED Hamdan Dagalo signs a peace agreement between Sudan’s power-sharing government and five key rebel groups, in Juba, South Sudan, on August 31, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS)
LT.-GEN. MOHAMED Hamdan Dagalo signs a peace agreement between Sudan’s power-sharing government and five key rebel groups, in Juba, South Sudan, on August 31, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS)

On the cusp of the signing a peace accord in Juba, South Sudan, with the Sudan Revolutionary Council, General Mohamed Hamdan Dogolo (Hemeti) issued a statement circulating in Sudanese media calling for normalization with Israel. Hemeti is looking to the Israeli government and US administration as enablers of normalization to give him cover for his crimes committed against the Darfur people and protesters in both Darfur and Khartoum. The problem is not limited to Hemeti, but also includes those in the Transitional Military Council, who abetted the ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing to further their personal interests and the goal of Islamist supremacy over indigenous people of Sudan through jihad.

We note that holdouts among Sudan resistance groups who did not sign the Juba Peace Treaty are the Sudan Liberation Movement, lead by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW), and the Sudan People Liberation Movement – North of South Kordofan and the Blue Nile state, led by Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N). El Hilu rejected the Juba peace agreement because of the involvement of Hemeti. Moreover, leader of the displaced North Darfur community, Mohammed Abdallah, was cited in the same Dabanga Radio news report that the Juba Peace Agreement “does not differ much from previous agreements (of the Bashir Regime) and does not include all armed struggle movements. He demanded that this agreement “include the real stakeholders those really affected by the war”. 

The Juba peace agreement is nothing more than thinly disguised attempt to neutralize the resistance movements using a carefully planned disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process. First, they disarm resistance fighters of their heavy weapons and trucks, leaving them with small arms that will be stored in a designated compound supervised by the Security Arrangements Team.

Not surprisingly, the disarmament process neither includes the RSF/Janjaweed militias or demands for their removal from indigenous villages. The militias will remain with their weapons, occupying seized farms and villages. These militias cannot be disarmed because they are members of RSF/Janjaweed militias bearing Sudan’s Armed Forces Identification Cards. Additionally, the agreement gives the RSF/Janjaweed militias legal claims to properties that they illegally expropriated from the villagers in Darfur under a bizarre form of peaceful coexistence. How could the villagers return from IDP camps and live in their villages occupied by well-organized and armed militias supported by the state when there is no neutral monitoring force present to hold the rampaging RSF/Janjaweed militias responsible for their actions? The militias are known to have authorization from the TMC to shoot to kill innocent civilians. 

Based on these facts, the Juba peace agreement is simply shielding Generals Hemeti and Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and their militias, from prosecution for crimes of genocide and ethnic cleansing under outstanding International Criminal Court indictments while dismantling the thin line of resistance forces protecting indigenous people, their farms and villages from jihadist rapine.

Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdullah is chairman of the Sudan United Movement, a native of Kutum, Darfur and a former Chadian senior intelligence Officer. He is co-author of Genocide in Sudan: Caliphate Threatens Africa and the World, JAD Publishing, 2017. Jerome B. Gordon is co-author of Genocide in Sudan, a senior editor at the New English Review and producer and co-host at Israel News Talk Radio – Beyond the Matrix. Deborah Martin is co-author of Genocide in Sudan, a long term linguistic and cultural expert in Sudan affairs.