South Sudan worries neighbour’s troubles could threaten oil exports 19 May

South Sudan’s energy minister, Ezekiel Gatkuoth, attends the reopening of the first session of the transitional national legislature at parliament in Juba, South Sudan, May 14 2019. Picture: REUTERS/ANDREEA CAMPEANU

19 May 2019, 21:20  Paul Burkhardt

South Sudan, recovering from a civil war in which 400,000 people died and a quarter of the population was displaced, is concerned that an uprising in neighbouring Sudan could threaten its oil exports, choking off its economic lifeline.

Two pipelines deliver about 175,000 barrels of oil a day to a port in Sudan, the country from which South Sudan seceded in 2011 after a lengthy conflict, according to the nation’s oil minister Ezekiel Gatkuoth. While Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir was ousted after popular protests, the military, which is running the country, is at loggerheads with the opposition over who should rule.

“What is happening in Sudan now is concerning me,’’ Gatkuoth said in an interview in Bloomberg’s office in Johannesburg. South Sudan’s president has sent him to meet with officials “to make sure that the port where we are having our oil transported to the international market is secured”, he said.

Transport of drilling chemicals used for production could also potentially be interrupted.

The smooth flow of oil to Port Sudan, on the Red Sea, is key for the economies of both countries. South Sudan depends on oil for most of its foreign exchange and Sudan benefits from transport fees, which compensate it for losing 75% of its oil production when South Sudan seceded.

South Sudan pays its neighbour a commercial fee of $9 a barrel along with a so-called transitional financial arrangement of $15 per barrel, Gatkuoth said. The need to pay the latter fee will end in December, he said.

South Sudan has a production goal of 200,000 barrels a day by the end of 2019, a 14% increase on its current output, said Gatkuoth. The nation could potentially produce 350,000 barrels a day in 2020, returning to levels it hasn’t seen since its own civil war started.

South Sudan has agreed to participate in the Opec+ cuts deal, but Gatkuoth said it hasn’t yet curbed production since it is pumping below its full potential. The minister was to attend a meeting of the group’s joint technical committee in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, this weekend.

“We have to be sure we’re meeting the demand of the market instead of overflowing the market,” he said. “So we want to make sure we maintain the cut.”

The nation will consider applying to be a fully fledged member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) once it reaches its output potential, the minister said.



South Sudan’s Salva Kiir warns against revolt !

South Sudan President Salva Kiir (right) waves after attending a session at parliament in Juba, May 14 2019. Picture: CHOLMAY AKUOT / AFP

May 16, 2019. Juba — South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir said on Wednesday that any attempt to forcibly seize power in the country would be met with “violent resistance”, as calls for his ouster spread on social media.

In the past two weeks, a new group calling itself the Red Card Movement, has been circulating calls online for a protest on Thursday with the hashtags #KiirMustGo and #SouthSudanUprising, with organisers appearing to be based mostly in the diaspora.

The movement appears to be inspired by street protests in neighbouring Sudan which led to the toppling of veteran president Omar al-Bashir.

“Violent attempts to usurp power from the people would be met with violent resistance and the cycle of violence cannot end,” Kiir told a press briefing. “The way to stability in South Sudan is through democracy and democratic elections, and this is what we fought for and we will not compromise it.”

Since last week security on the streets of Juba has been beefed up. However, officials have said this was unrelated to the planned protests, but was in preparation for a public holiday on Thursday celebrating those who took up arms in the fight for independence from Sudan, achieved in 2011.

Army spokesperson Major-General Lul Ruai Koang said that the celebrations had been postponed by a week for “final touches” to preparations.

“The security deployment and all sorts of security arrangements [are] to provide maximum security and safety for the people during the celebrations,” he added.

Independent radio station Eye Radio reported on Wednesday that some Juba residents had woken up to security officers going house to house searching for guns.

South Sudanese activist Keluel Agok, now living in Kampala, Uganda, is among those calling for the protests. “If you want to end the impunity please come out on 16th May 2019 to restore liberty, justice and unity in South Sudan,” he wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.

South Sudan plunged into civil war in 2013 after Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup against him.

The war has left 380,000 people dead and forced more than 4-million South Sudanese — almost a third of the population — to flee their homes.

A peace deal signed in September 2018 has largely stopped fighting, but implementation has run aground and the planned formation of a unity government on May 12 was postponed for six months.


Sudan crisis: Military and opposition agree three-year transition.

May 15 , 2019

Sudan’s military leaders have announced an agreement with the opposition alliance for a three-year transition period to a civilian administration.

The Transitional Military Council (TMC) said the alliance would have two-thirds of the seats on a legislative council.

However, the two sides are yet to agree on a sovereign council – the top tier of power, where both want a majority.

Sudan has been ruled by the military council since last month’s toppling of President Omar al-Bashir.

Protests that led to his downfall have continued, with a huge sit-in outside the military headquarters to demand full civilian government.

Hours before the latest deal was announced, at least five protesters and a member of the security forces died in clashes in the capital, Khartoum.

There were reports of more gunshots on Wednesday in the area where demonstrations have been taking place. Activists have said that one person was killed and three were injured.

What has been agreed?

At a joint news conference on Tuesday night, Lt Gen Yasser al-Atta said a final agreement on power sharing would be signed with the opposition alliance – the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) – within 24 hours. That would include the forming of a sovereign council which will rule the country until elections.

“We vow to our people that the agreement will be completed fully within 24 hours in a way that meets the people’s aspirations,” he said.

Gen Atta said the DFCF would have two-thirds of the seats on a 300-member transitional legislative council, while the rest would be taken by parties not members of the alliance.

Earlier, protest movement spokesman Taha Osman said the sides had agreed on the structure of future authorities – a sovereign council, a cabinet and a legislative body.

DFCF member Satea al-Hajj expressed optimism that the final details on power-sharing would be agreed, adding: “The viewpoints are close and, God willing, we will reach an agreement soon.”

The military had originally wanted a two-year transition period while protest leaders had sought four years to give them more time to prepare.
However, Sadiq Yousuf, a member of the DFCF negotiating team, told the BBC Newsday programme that the composition of the 11-member supreme council was still being discussed.

“The issue has been on the number of members of the supreme council. We want eight civilians, three from the military, but they want seven military and four members.”


Sudan military rulers suspend talks with protesters for 72 hours!




(Photo credit: Sudan Tribune.  Sudanese demonstrators  hold Friday prayers at the protest camp outside Army headquarters in Khartoum on May 3rd )

May 16 , 2019

Negotiations over political transition put on ice as violence flares in Khartoum, leaving several demonstrators wounded.

At least 14 people have been wounded, some from gunfire, when Sudanese forces tried to remove demonstrators from central Khartoum, according to a group linked to the protest movement, while Sudan’s military rulers suspended talks with opposition leaders on the installation of civilian rule for at least 72 hours.

The violence has endangered negotiations between the two sides that had appeared to be on course to reaching a deal on forming a joint sovereign council designed to steer the country towards democracy for a three-year transition period until elections were called.

Both the military and the opposition blamed each other for Wednesday’s violence.

“We hold the military council responsible for attacking civilians,” said Amjad Farid, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA), which spearheaded months of protests that led to the military’s removal of President Omar al-Bashir last month.

“They are using the same methods as the previous regime in dealing with rebels,” he told Reuters news agency.

But the head of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC), Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, accused the demonstrators of breaking an understanding on the de-escalation process while talks were under way and said protesters were disrupting life in the capital by blocking roads outside a protest zone agreed upon with the military.

In a televised speech broadcast early on Thursday, al-Burhan read out a long list of what he described as violations of understandings that had been reached with protest leaders and said the TMC had decided to call off talks for three days “until a suitable atmosphere is created to complete an agreement”.

“We decided to suspend the negotiations over civilian rule for 72 hours to help prepare an atmosphere for completing the deal,” al-Burhan said, demanding that protesters dismantle roadblocks in Khartoum, open bridges connecting the capital and other regions and “stop provoking security forces”.

Al-Burhan, the chief of the TMC that took power after overthrowing and jailing al-Bashir on April 11, justified the decision to suspend the crucial and final phase of negotiations by indicating that the overall security situation in the capital had deteriorated.

He said bridges, roads and a railway line had been closed and there was an “infiltration of armed elements among demonstrators who were shooting at security forces”.

Tensions running high

The developments came hours after protesters said troops in military vehicles using the logo of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) fired extensively as they tried to clear demonstrators on al-Mek Nimir Avenue in central Khartoum, near the foreign ministry.

The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said at least 14 people were wounded.

“People were walking towards the barricades and they (security forces) were firing shots at them,” a 20-year-old demonstrator, who asked not to be named, told Reuters news agency, showing a handful of empty bullet casings and referring to roadblocks set up by protesters.

The RSF denied opening fire at demonstrators, state TV reported.

The violence took place hours before the TMC was due to meet representatives of the umbrella opposition group Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) to try to hammer out the final deal for the transition period.

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, called the suspension of the talks a “very significant development” that showed “the level of tension between the two sides”.

“Looking ahead, there is a lot of tension and many challenges between the two sides in trying to form a transitional government.”

Deadly violence

The violence came after the TMC announced earlier on Wednesday that after two days of talks it had brokered a deal with the DFCF alliance on the composition of a legislative council and a three-year transition period to a civilian administration.

Under the agreement the opposition alliance would have two-thirds of the seats on a legislative council, the TMC announced.

However, the two sides have yet to agree on the make-up of a sovereign council, the envisaged top tier of power during the planned transition period, with both wanting majority representation.

Amid the back-and-forth discussions, protesters pushing for a civilian-led transition have remained on the streets, including outside the army headquarters where a sit-in started on April 6.

Some roads in the centre of the capital have been blocked with stones, bricks, branches and slabs of concrete that security and paramilitary forces have occasionally tried to remove.


Sudan army and protesters agree on three-year transition period
On Monday, after security forces opened fire while trying to clear some protest sites, an outburst of violence left at least four people dead, including three protesters and a military police officer. They were the first deaths linked to the protests for several weeks.

Al Jazeera’s Morgan said the TMC denied responsibility for the violence.

“The military council came out and said the people who fired at protesters were not part of their forces or from the RSF,” she said, adding that the TMC said it would launch an independent investigation into the incident.

The United States blamed Sudan’s military rulers for the deaths, however.

“The tragic attacks on protesters … were clearly the result of the Transitional Military Council trying to impose its will on the protesters by attempting to remove roadblocks,” the US Embassy in Khartoum said in a statement on Facebook.

“The decision for security forces to escalate the use of force, including the unnecessary use of tear gas, led directly to the unacceptable violence later in the day that the TMC was unable to control.”

Al-Bashir charged

Separately on Monday, Sudan’s prosecutor general announced that al-Bashir had been charged “with inciting and participating” in the killing of protesters during the mass protests that led to the end of his decades-long rule.

There has been no comment from al-Bashir since his removal and arrest on April 11. The former president is reportedly being held at the maximum security Kobar prison in Khartoum.

Demonstrations against the 75-year-old were sparked by a government decision in December to slash bread and fuel subsidies but quickly escalated into wider calls for him to stand down.

Human Rights Watch, citing monitoring groups, said last month at least 70 protesters have been killed by government forces since the demonstrations began.

Last week, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors put the death toll at more than 90.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies.

Al Bashir charged with recent killing of demonstrators!

May 14 – 2019 KHARTOUM

The Public Prosecutor’s Office has charged the deposed President Omar Al Bashir and other former government leaders with incitement and involvement in the killing of demonstrators during the recent protests, according to the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA).

The former government leaders have been charged under article 177.2 of the Criminal Code. Investigations are conducted expeditiously in order to be able to arrest other former officials that are accused.


As reported previously by Radio Dabanga, a group of prominent Sudanese lawyers announced on Monday that the country’s Attorney-General has accepted criminal proceedings against those who planned and carried out the military coup of June 30 1989, led by ousted President Omar Al Bashir, under articles 78 with 96 and 96) (B) of the Criminal Penal Code of 1983. Attorney-General El Waleed Sayed has warned those trying to cover up crimes of the accused or helping them escape.

The chairman of the group of lawyers and head of the Broad National Front, Ali Hasanein, explained to a press conference at Teiba Press Hall in Khartoum on Monday afternoon that after the 1983 coup, the National Islamic Front split into six entities including the Islamic Movement, the National Congress Party, the Popular Congress Party, the Reform Now Movement, the Platform for a Just Peace, and the Justice Party.

He explained that the charge does not include the Parties concerned, but rather, individuals involved in the coup. “We want to say that the affiliation of these persons to new parties and entities does not exempt them from criminal responsibility and advocacy does not fall statute of limitations.”

Criminal proceedings

He pointed out that criminal proceedings have been initiated against all those who planned, participated in, and carried out the coup in 1989. This includes all the members of the military revolutionary council headed by Omar Al Bashir, namely: Bakri Hasan Saleh, Tijani Adam El Tahir Byoyo Kwan, Martin Arab Moy, Ibrahim Nayel Idam, Suleiman Mohamed Suleiman, Salaheldin Karrar, Feisal Madani, Mohamed El Amin Khalifa, Dominique Cassiano, Feisal Abu Saleh, Osman El Hassan, Tayeb Ibrahim Kheir, Abdelrahim Hussein, Yousef Abdelfattah, Younis Mahmoud, Salah Abdallah (aka Salah Gosh) and Hasan Dahawi.

The list of civilians includes Osman Mohamed Taha, Nafi Ali Nafi, Awad Ahmed El Jaz, Ali Karti, Ali El Haj, Ibrahim El Sanousi, Ghazi Salaheldin, Mahdi Ibrahim, Abdelrahman Ibrahim, Ahmed El Taher, Amin Hasan Omar, Hasan Abdallah El Hussein, Ibrahim Ahmed Omar, Haj Satour, El Tayeb Mustafa, Hussein Khojali, Abdelrahim Hamdi, Serajeldin Hamid, Osman Khalid Mudawi, and Amin Banani.

Lawyer Kamal El Jazouli stressed that once the charges have been filed and the prosecution accepts them, legal procedures will be in force including a travel ban, investigation will be initiated, and other proceedings will follow.
He added: “We hope that legal proceedings will be starting today.” He also announced further criminal charges against Al Bashir and the leaders of the former regime. He explained that the group of lawyers believe that this case is very important at this time because such trials establish a solid democracy.

Death of protesters in Sudan!

Sudanese protesters chant slogans as they gather for a sit-in outside the army headquarters in Khartoum on May 2, 2019. The military council and the Alliance for Freedom and Change (AFC) have agreed to form three organs – a sovereign council, a cabinet and a legislative body – to guide return to civilian rule. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The death of seven Sudanese protesters and an army major undermined a potential breakthrough on the formation of transition authorities to run the country.

Five of the eight were shot dead on Monday in Khartoum when “unidentified elements” fired shots at the sit in outside the military headquarters, prompting fears that the military council could be up to some mischief.

The latest developments came as the prosecutor general’s office said ousted president Omar al-Bashir had been charged over the killings of protesters during anti-regime demonstrations that led to the end of his rule last month.

The umbrella protest movement the Alliance for Freedom and Change said Monday’s violence was to “disturb the breakthrough in the negotiations” with army generals as it blamed the bloodshed on the former regime’s militias.

Earlier on Monday, the generals and the protest movement said they had agreed on a “structure of the authorities and their powers” that would transfer authority to a civilian administration.

“The authorities are as follows — the sovereign council, the cabinet and the legislative body,” Taha Osman, a spokesman for the protest movement said.
He added another meeting was planned for Tuesday “to discuss the period of transition and the composition of the authorities”.

The military council confirmed the agreement and the agenda of the meeting later on Tuesday.

“We will continue to discuss the percentage of participation… and the transitional period,” council spokesman Lieutenant General Shamseddine Kabbashi told reporters.

Sudan’s opposition declares ‘unity in spite of differences’.

Part  of the mural being produced by Sudanese artists on the periphery of the Khartoum sit-in that has been sustained since April 6.

May 8 – 2019 KHARTOUM
The opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) has confirmed its commitment to the revolt in the country and the sit-in in front of the General Command of the Sudanese army in Khartoum and the mass movement until the fulfilment of the demand of the phase.

SCP president Omar El Degeir played down the differences among the members of the Alliance for Freedom and Change (AFC) over the contents of the constitutional document and the mediation committee.

In a press conference in Khartoum on Tuesday he described the different positions of the components of the signatories of the Declaration of Freedom and Change as “normal”.

He has stressed the need to manage the different visions with the spirit of one team and common goal.

He stressed that the country-wide protests has only succeeded in the fall of the head of the regime, pointing out that “there are still cells living in the body of the [former] regime representing a deep state that must be removed”.

He said that the delay in the restoration of civil institutions of the state exacerbates the crisis of life, reflected in the queues in front of bakeries, fuel stations, and banks, noting that the relief programme is ready to reduce the crisis.


The deputy chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, Yasir Arman, has warned against ignoring the issues of war and peace during the current phase, saying that this has implications for the future of the country.

Arman said, “The issues of war and peace do not find the attention they deserve, which is detrimental to the future of the revolution and change”.
Arman stated that the strategic goal of the revolution is the establishment of a civil democratic state, based on citizenship without discrimination, without which the problems that have been facing Sudan since its independence will not be resolved.

He added, “Therefore, the strategy of the revolutionary forces to establish a democratic civilian government must not mean we should be absent in the performance of our daily duties and the programmes of the transitional period”.

African Union

Mohamed El Hasan Libat, the AU Special Envoy to Sudan, announced the intention of the AU Peace and Security Council to discuss a report on the developments in Sudan in two weeks, focusing on the process of the transition of power.

The envoy told reporters in Khartoum on Monday that the AU Peace and Security Council has requested the chair of the council’s commission to report about the situation in Sudan within three weeks.

He said that the AU encourages the ongoing negotiations between the military junta and the members of the Freedom and Change Alliance about the formation of a civilian government, but expressed concern about the difficulties facing the negotiations.

The African Union has appointed Libat, from Mauritania, as an intermediary in the dialogue between the Military Council and the political opposition forces, led by the coalition of the Declaration of Freedom and Change, after giving a maximum of sixty days for the formation of a civil government.


“Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small…” (Friedrich Von Logau)

(Picture credit: Reuters)

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is under house arrest in the wake of Thursday morning’s military coup which has forced him to step down after 30 years in power marked by a brutal and dictatorial leadership, according to reports.

Earlier, government sources confirmed Bashir had stepped down in the wake of country-wide anti-government protests that have engulfed the country since last December. The military has taken over national TV and radio and arrested a number of former and current top leaders. Khartoum Airport has been closed.

The headquarters of the notorious and feared National Intelligence Security Services (NISS) – which has been responsible for much of the killing of protesters, their arrest and torture in prison – has also come under attack from protesters, as well as some members of the military as they free the remaining protesters arrested by the NISS.

The action of the military eventually siding with their fellow countrymen has helped bring Bashir’s government down.

Swarms of euphoric protesters are thronging the streets of the capital with some mounting military vehicles chanting “We have won, we have won”.

Sudan Uprising: Demonstrators express demands to local leaders

On April 25, multiple towns in Darfur witnessed massive marches in support of the demands of the revolution (File photo)


Delegations from various areas of Sudan continued to arrive to the main sit-in in front of the General Command of the Armed Forces in Khartoum over the weekend, including dozens of buses loaded with people from Singa, capital of Sennar, and from Halawin in El Gezira who arrived in Khartoum to support the protesters in front of the army command on Friday.

Relatives of detainees from Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile are scheduled to march from the Constitutional Court towards the General Command of the Armed Forces, as the sit-in calling for transition to civilian rule in Sudan carries on.

The march will demand the release of detainees of these areas “who are still in prisons of injustice and tyranny,” according to a statement made on Sunday. They are calling for fair treatment of all detainees, following an announcement by the military junta, that assumed power in Khartoum following the overthrow of former president Omar Al Bashir on April 11, which pledged to release all detainees of the previous regime.

Port Sudan

Four marches towards the headquarters of the sit-in, which has been running for three weeks in front of the command of the Navy Forces, took place on Sunday in Port Sudan, Red Sea state.

Journalist Amin Sinada told Radio Dabanga that the Sudanese Journalists Network (SJN), opposition parties, disabled people, and school students took part. The SJN called restructuring of media institutions, promotion of press freedom, re-establishment of former unions which were “kidnapped” by the regime, and removal of all elements of the former regime.


For the tenth day in a row, residents of El Nahud in West Kordofan continued to sit-in, in front of the locality building to demand a civil government.

Activist Ayman El Jeili told Radio Dabanga that they will continue their peaceful movement until their demands are fulfilled, namely the establishment of a civilian government that meets the aspirations of the Sudanese people.

On Sunday, people in Rashad locality in South Kordofan handed a memorandum to the command of the armed forces in the area calling on the Transitional Military Council to hand over power to civilians in accordance with the Declaration of Freedom and Change and dissolve all security organs of the deposed regime.

An activist at the demonstration told Radio Dabanga that the demonstration came after the military leadership had ignored the locality’s demands. Residents of Rashad had previously demanded the dismantling of the security apparatus, the Popular Police, and the Popular Security forces in the locality.


Sit-ins and demonstrations also continued in Nyala in South Darfur, Wad Madani in El Gezira, and in El Gedaref, which witnessed a continuous sit-in of the masses in front of the army headquarters buildings in the state.

Hungry North Darfur displaced march to WFP

May 2 – 2019 EL FASHER

World Food Programme staff load bags of food into lorries at a WFP warehouse based in El Fasher, North Darfur (File photo; Albert González Farran / Unamid)

Residents of Zamzam camp for the displaced, south of El Fasher in North Darfur, marched to the headquarters of the World Food Programme in El Fasher on Wednesday, in protest for not receiving food rations for five consecutive months.

Youths, women, and sheikhs went to the headquarters of the WFP in El Fasher where they carried out a sit-in and protested against the failure to get their food rations since December 2018.

They pointed to the handover of a memorandum to a representative of the WFP asking for rations to be distributed, and the dismissal of five WFP staff for disrupting the delivery of relief to displaced people.

In Nyala, acting governor of South Darfur, Maj Gen Hashim Mahmoud, pledged to transfer all institutions and bodies of the former regime that were received in the state to service facilities benefiting citizens, especially in the health aspect after consultation with the Transitional Military Council.

Institutions received in South Darfur include the National Congress Party headquarters, Islamic Movement headquarters, Women, Youth and Students Unions.

The governor confirmed the completion of the receipt of all these institutions, assets and furniture and the closure of the accounts in South Darfur.