UPCOMING PRAYER SUMMIT–and you’re presence is most wanted!
Link to the program. For more information and to participate, click here.
As shared by one of our prayer partners:
“It’s as if all this weekly prayer (plus daily prayer during Ramadan) has been leading us to this moment! Sudan Support Network and Sudan4Jesus will be co-hosting a 3-day prayer event for Sudan from August 6th-8th, 2020.
This is the
eighteenth year of the prayer summit, and HOW WONDERFUL it is that we are now
connected! Though people have gathered in-person for this event historically,
COVID has opened doors for expansion to an online summit–which means there can
be a global presence! Don’t you love when God turns what Satan meant for evil
You can join all or part of this global prayer gathering for Sudan. There will be a focus each hour. Jump in when you can, but be sure to be intentional and commit time on your calendar! We know that prayer opens the doors of God’s power, and Sudan needs your prayers RIGHT NOW! Be sure to join us next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday as often as possible.
Khartoum: Ousted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir appeared in court on Tuesday at the opening of his trial for leading the military coup that brought him to power in 1989, before the hearing was adjourned to find a bigger venue amid chaotic scenes outside.
Hundreds of lawyers, supporters, family members and journalists jostled outside, complaining to security officials that they were unable to get into the court, a Reuters journalist said.
Sudanese people, ringed by police, also chanted slogans outside the court, some in support of Bashir, who has been jailed since he was toppled in April last year following mass protests against his 30-year rule.
The trial, which includes some of Bashir’s former allies, was adjourned until August 11 when it will be moved to a larger venue.
Bashir could be sentenced to death if convicted, a lawyer and SUNA, the state news agency, said.
State TV footage showed scores of security members inside the packed but otherwise calm courtroom but did not show Bashir himself. Two witnesses who attended the session told Reuters they saw Bashir inside the defendants’ cage in a white prison uniform.
In December, his lawyer told reporters it was a “political trial par excellence” more than 30 years after the event. Judge Essam Eddin Mohamed Ibrahim promised a fair trial.
Another Sudanese court has already handed down a two-year sentence in December on corruption charges. Bashir also faces trials and investigations over the killing of protesters.
Bashir is also wanted by the International Criminal Court, which issued arrest warrants against him in 2009 and 2010 on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s restive Darfur region.
Before any statements or evidence could be given, the judge postponed the hearing. “We will end this court session (and adjourn trial proceedings) to take better measures (to have a bigger hall to include all lawyers),” he said.
Some lawyers had complained their colleagues had not been able to get into Tuesday’s session. Others asked for more precautionary measures due to the risk from the coronavirus.
Other defendants include former allies of Bashir such as former Vice President Ali Osman Taha and Ali al-Haj, secretary-general of the Islamist Popular Congress Party, judicial officials said.
The judge refused defence lawyers’ requests to release some of the defendants before the resumption of the trial, SUNA said.
A civilian transition government took over from Bashir under a three-year power-sharing deal with the military deal who helped remove Bashir but it has struggled to make fix an economy in crisis.
A new trial began on Tuesday against Omar al-Bashir and some of his former allies. They are charged with leading the 1989 military coup that put Bashir in power.
If found guilty, the 76-year-old Bashir could face the death penalty.
State TV showed footage of the proceedings opening on Tuesday, but did not show images of Bashir himself. Dozens of people, mostly Bashir supporters, gathered outside the courthouse in Khartoum.
The Islamist-backed coup that established Bashir’s reign overthrew the democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Sadek al-Mahdi in 1989.
Other defendants on trial Tuesday include former Bashir allies such as military officers and Islamists.
Jailed since ouster
Bashir himself was toppled in April of 2019 following mass protests against his three decades in power and has remained in jail ever since. He was given a two-year sentence on corruption charges by a Sudanese court last year, and faces additional trials and investigations over the killing of protesters. He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide relating to the Darfur conflict in the 2000s.
In the months after Bashir’s ouster, the military and the democracy movement behind the protests established a transitional government. Authorities from the new government announced in February they would hand Bashir over to the ICC.
WASHINGTON – Sudan is facing the worst food security crisis in its recent history according to the United Nations. Nearly a quarter of Sudan’s 45 million population is severely food insecure, including those living in the capital, Khartoum.
This month 10 humanitarian partners in Sudan, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Food Program and the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization released an report that indicates 9.6 million Sudanese are in “high acute food insecurity” due to conflict, high inflation, and COVID-19.
“These numbers are the highest ever recorded in the history of the [Integrated] Food Security Phase Classification analysis in Sudan,” said United Nations Secretary General spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, speaking at a U.N. briefing in New York Thursday.
The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a highly technical report that details levels of food insecurity in countries like Sudan. The latest IPC report covers June through September and says 15.9 million people have been classified as under stress.
“Food insecurity is especially concerning in some states such as North Kordofan, where the number of people facing severe food insecurity has increased by 335 percent,” said Dujarric.
The U.N., and its humanitarian partners have provided food assistance to an estimated 2.3 million people in the first quarter of 2020, but Dujarric said “more has to be done and more funding is urgently needed.”
The current food crisis in Sudan is caused by protracted displacement, economic decline and inflation, and soaring food price hikes exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, said the report.
Khartoum alone is estimated to have 1.4 million people who are severely food insecure according to Arshad Malik, Save the Children Sudan Country Director in Sudan.
Malik told South Sudan in Focus that during the fasting month of Ramadan two months ago, many families could not find food to eat at the end of the day.
“We heard from families that some of the families actually used water to break the fast because they had nothing to eat. In that economic situation, families are forced to get their children married earlier, especially girls are more vulnerable, and then otherwise children are more vulnerable to child labor, sexual abuse, physical abuse,” said Malik.
Aside from children, 1.3 million internally displaced persons are affected by food insecurity especially in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states according to Malik.
“They are already deprived of basic services. They had less access to health, to food, to education and with this complicated situation where the government is facing a big economic downfall because of a lack of support from the international community, they are even more vulnerable,” Malik told VOA.
Sudan’s annual inflation rate surged to 136 percent in June, compared to 114 percent in May, according to Sudan’s Central Bureau of Statistics.
The latest IPC report on South Sudan found the country was also facing unprecedented levels of food insecurity. In May, the IPC report said 6.5 million people, or just over half of the country’s population, faced severe acute food insecurity.
While the IPC report said famine had been contained since it was declared in some areas of Unity state in February 2017, it warned the situation remains critical and the risk of famine persists, especially in isolated areas where conflict can quickly increase.
Some 1.7 million South Sudanese were estimated to be in the emergency level (IPC Phase 4) of food insecurity in May.
Food shortages, climate shocks, a deepening economic crisis, insecurity, and insufficient agricultural production kept levels of hunger and acute malnutrition alarmingly high according to the report.
Dozens of pro-Sharia supporters have protested in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, over recent government reforms that allow non-Muslims to drink alcohol, and scrap the apostasy law and public flogging. The reforms come after long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir was ousted last year following massive street protests.
The protesters, who oppose any easing of Islamic laws, shouted: “God’s laws shall not be replaced” – and had banners saying: “No to secularism”, according to the AFP news agency.
Addressing Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who leads the transitional government, the agency quoted some as saying: “Hamdok, Khartoum is not New York.”
Some held up photographs of Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari, who had announced the reforms last weekend.
Under the new laws, women also no longer need permission from a male relative to travel with their children.
Non-Muslims are now allowed to consume alcohol in private, however the ban on Muslim drinking remains.
And anyone convicted of renouncing Islam, or apostasy, will no longer face the death penalty.
The imposition of strict Islamist laws in the 1980s was a key factor in the long-running civil war which eventually led to independence for South Sudan, where the majority of people are Christian or follow traditional religions.
Sudan’s annual inflation rate surged to 136.36 per cent in June, compared to 114.33 in May, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported on Tuesday. Almost a quarter of the Sudanese population is severely food insecure.
The inflation rate in urban areas increased to 112.41 per cent in June, compared to 96.93 per cent in May. The rural inflation rose to 1. 155 per cent in June, while it was 127.38 per cent in May 2020.
The Central Bureau of Statistics attributed the rise to the increase in the prices of all components of the Food and Beverages group, especially the prices of bread and grains, meat, fats, oils and legumes, fresh milk and other dairy goods.
The prices in the Transportation and Fuel group and the Housing group increased as well, because of the soaring prices of fuel, cooking gas, charcoal, firewood, and cement.
The figure, the highest ever recorded in the history of the IPC analysis in the country, represents an increase of 65 per cent compared with the same period (June to September) last year.
Almost all 18 Sudanese states registered dramatically increased gaps in food consumption compared with 2019 – IPC
Around 2.2 million people are facing emergency levels of acute food insecurity and around 7.4 million people are classified under crisis acute food insecurity. Another 15.9 million people are estimated to be under stress phase, and any additional shock could push them to severe levels of hunger.
Almost all 18 Sudanese states registered dramatically increased gaps in food consumption compared with 2019. The situation is especially concerning in North Kordofan, with an increase of 335 per cent of the number of severe food-insecure people, and El Gezira, with an increase of more than 200 per cent.
According to IPC, increased and protracted displacement, the ongoing economic crisis and high inflation that result in significant food price hikes, exacerbated by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, are the main causes of the food insecurity in Sudan.
The UN and partners provided relief food assistance to approximately 2.3 million people in the first quarter of 2020. The 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan however received only 40 per cent of the 1.4 billion required.
The head of the South Sudanese mediation team, Dhieu Mathok announced that the signing of the final peace agreement by the government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance has been postponed.
The peace agreement will be signed “in the coming days in Juba, after an accord on security arrangements has been reached”, Mathok said at a press conference in Khartoum
A government security delegation will accompany the mediation team to Juba today to negotiate security arrangements.
He said that the government and the SRF agreed on six major issues, so that the negotiations between the government and the SRF will actually end. Only the security protocol remains to be discussed.
Mathok said that the mediation team is preparing a matrix for implementing the agreement, including a time table. The final peace agreement will also be translated into English, for the benefit of partner countries and international organisations.
The Sudan Revolutionary Front attributed the postponement of the signing of the peace agreement, called “national pivotal issues paper” by the SRF, to the violent break-up of the sit-in in Fata Borno in North Darfur by militiamen.
In a statement, the SRF announced that it accepts the draft agreement with its six articles, provided that the peace agreement is signed in Juba, where the negotiations took place, and only after agreeing on the implementation matrix, the security arrangements, and other remaining outstanding issues.
Sudanese women started a campaign yesterday against the exclusion of women in the nominations of civilian governors. The campaign is headed by the No to Oppression against Women Initiative, the Sudanese Women’s Union, and southern Khartoum Kandakat.
The Civil Forces Association called in a statement issued yesterday on all the forces of the revolution, including the Forces for Freedom and Change and the government, to support the participation of women, “not as a decorative grant but as an acquired right”.
The statement, entitled “No to the Exclusion of Women”, stresses that the current list of proposed civilian governors “does not do justice to women”. It brings to mind that active participation of women in political decision-making and implementation of policies “is one of the demands of the glorious December revolution, in which the best sons and daughters of our country fought, and were tortured and killed”.
The Sudanese Women’s Peace and Security Initiative called on the government to comply with the United Nations Security Council’s decision on the need to protect women from being affected by conflict.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Initiative said that women in Darfur and Sudan are affected by wars and prolongation of conflicts. Solving the conflicts and addressing the consequences of war can only take place if women actively participate in the peace process and decision-making, the statement says.
The Women’s Peace and Security Initiative added that is absolutely necessary to hold the perpetrators of violence accountable, and show fairness to the victims, especially women. It calls for positive discrimination of women at all levels of peacebuilding.
July 16, 2020 (KHARTOUM) – The National Umma Party (NUP) led by Sadiq al-Mahdi, announced its participation in the institutions of the Transitional Authority ahead of an imminent cabinet reshuffle pointing to the poor performance of the technocrat government.
The NUP criticized the performance of Hamdok’s government in several areas but also froze its activities in the ruling coalition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) requesting to restructure it.
However, the largest party according to April 1986 elections said they would participate in the transitional legislative council and requested the lion’s share of the state governors.
However, in a statement to the official news agency SUNA on Thursday, the party of Sadiq al-Mahdi followed in the footsteps of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) which decided also to take part in the upcoming cabinet.
“During the past experience of the transition period, we saw the apparent poor performance and even sometimes a total lack of experience. Also, the national decision-making process had been subjected to certain political forces or partisan perspectives. Accordingly, we decided to take part (in the transitional government) within our commitment to support and strengthen the transitional period and its institutions,” said Siddig Mohamed Ismail, the NUP deputy head in statements to SUNA on Thursday.
Ismail indicated that his party has reached out the Sovereign Council, the Council of Ministers and other institutions to offer their visions and ideas on the issues raised.
The transitional government, according to the Constitutional Declaration, is designed to be a technocrat cabinet to achieve needed reforms paving the way for democratic rule within three years.
The SCoP said they decided to join the second cabinet because they realized they have to support some decisions without necessarily taking part in it or approving its content.
They also pointed to the upcoming participation of the armed groups in the transitional institutions.
The heavy participation of the political forces in the second cabinet may change the technocrat nature into a political one.
Also, the military next year has to leave the chairmanship of the Sovereign Council for a civilian leader.
Addis Ababa has refuted claims it has begun filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), just days after talks with Sudan and Egypt failed to reach agreement on how to regulate the flow of the Nile waters from the reservoir.
In a statement on Thursday, Addis Ababa said the amount of water flowing downstream, to Sudan and Egypt, had predictably reduced after the dam structure was raised, absorbing more of the incoming water.
The Ethiopian Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister, Dr Seleshi Bekele, the said his country had not blocked the flow of water as earlier claimed.
“The GERD construction has reached level 560m compared to level 525m last year this time. The inflow into the reservoir due to heavy rainfall and runoff exceeded the outflow and created natural pooling. This continues until overflow is triggered soon,” Dr Seleshi said.
“The dam is yet to be constructed to level 640m in the following years. In fact, predicted heavy rain this year is expected to cause huge flooding in the region.”
The apostasy law stipulated that any Muslim leaving the Islamic faith was guilty of a serious criminal offence. As a result, the law has greatly restricted Christian evangelism in Sudan over the years, with ministry workers often warned to refrain from trying to reach the majority-Muslim population with the gospel. Violence against Christians is common across Sudan, with Open Doors ranking the country at number seven on its World Watch List.
In addition to the apostasy repeal, the new reformist government also announced that public flogging will come to an end and consumption of alcohol by non-Muslims will be permitted.
Paul Robinson, the CEO of Release International, said: “This is excellent news and a significant move towards religious freedom in a country where Christians were routinely persecuted.
“When the regime was overthrown we saw a window of opportunity – a moment for change. Release called for full religious freedom to be restored to Sudan.”
Under the leadership of former President Omar al-Bashir, Muslims who renounced their faith could face the death penalty. In 2014, Sudanese authorities sentenced Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag to death for marrying a Christian man. Ishag was eventually released on appeal after repeatedly refusing to turn her back on the Christian faith.
Robinson said that the recent change of heart amongst Sudanese legislators was was nothing short of miraculous.
“The direction of travel in Sudan was towards ever-tighter Islamic law and restrictions on religious freedom,” he said. “Today that direction of travel is being reversed. There is freedom in the air.”
Robinson added: “Opposition is to be expected and there is the risk of a backlash by hard-liners. Pray that freedom will win the day and that Christians will have a stronger voice under the new administration. Please pray also that the government will return the many Christian and Church-owned properties that have been seized.”
Noha Kassa, a deaconess at Khartoum’s Bahry Presbyterian Church, said: “I am very pleased, God has answered our prayers.
“I am excited for our ministry amid such changes.”