Posts tagged sudan
Posts tagged sudan
Sudanese leaders Bashir and Kiir commit to buffer zone
The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan have reaffirmed their commitment to setting up a buffer zone on their shared border and resuming oil exports.
African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki said both sides had agreed “unconditionally” to implement a deal first struck in September.
Presidents Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and Salva Kiir of South Sudan smiled and shook hands, but made no comment.
The neighbours came close to war after the South’s independence in 2011.
The talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, followed reports of renewed clashes on the disputed border.
African Union mediators will now lay out a timetable for the implementation of all outstanding agreements, according to an official document seen by the BBC.
This is expected to be in place by the end of next week, and if the timetable is respected, a demilitarised buffer zone between the two countries will be set up.
That would allow the resumption of oil exports from the south and of cross-border trade.
Pictured: South Sudan’s Salva Kiir (right) was greeted by Ethiopia’s prime minister as he arrived for talks
‘Dozens killed’ as Sudan’s army and rebels clash
Sudan’s army and rebels say they have clashed on two fronts, reportedly leaving dozens of people dead.
The army says it killed 32 insurgents who attacked a village in the western Darfur region. The rebels claim they drove government troops out.
Separately, Khartoum says 45 rebels were killed in a village in South Kordofan, near South Sudan’s border.
The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebels said they liberated the village, killing at least one soldier.
Casualty claims in the fighting, which happened on Thursday, have not been independently verified because of restricted access to both Darfur and South Kordofan.
Last year, rebel groups in the two states and also in Blue Nile state formed an alliance with the aim of toppling the government of President Omar al-Bashir.
Khartoum accuses South Sudan of backing the insurgents.
The government in Juba denies the charge, in turn blaming its northern neighbour of backing rebel groups in the South.
The latest fighting comes as the US has warned of an “outright conflict” between Sudan and South Sudan over a prolonged border dispute.
The comments were made on by the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, following a meeting of the Security Council to discuss the issue.
South Sudan has accepted a border roadmap proposed by the African Union, but Sudan is refusing to do so.
The original 2 August deadline set by the UN failed to produce an agreement. However, both sides are being kept under pressure to clinch a deal by a new deadline - 22 September.
Pictured: Darfur rebels say they forced Sudan’s army out of a village
Six people have been killed in violent protests against high transport prices in the Darfur region of western Sudan, local officials say.
Police in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, fired tear gas at protesters throwing stones and burning tyres in the streets, witnesses said.
Several protesters chanted slogans calling for the government’s downfall.
Since June, Sudan has seen sporadic protests against government austerity measures, including fuel subsidy cuts.
The country’s authorities have been trying to cut spending since Sudan lost three-quarters of its oil revenue when South Sudan seceded last year.
Demonstrators in Nyala chanted “No to high prices” and “People want to change the regime”, according to witnesses.
Bothina Mohmed Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the state of South Darfur, said it was not known how the six deaths had happened, and that an investigation had been launched.
Opposition activists and media accused the police of using live ammunition.
More than 100 Sudanese journalists have protested in Khartoum against censorship and other media restrictions, activists have said, amid a government crackdown on unprecedented anti-government demonstrations.
“It was a very big crowd compared to other events we organised before,” veteran journalist Faisal Mohammed Salih said on Wednesday.
He said scores of his colleagues gathered in front of Sudan’s Human Rights Commission but others, blocked by state security agents, clustered nearby in three or four groups.
Security agents told the journalists not to hoist banners, Salih added.
The journalists submitted a written memo to the rights commission, “complaining about censorship and continued harassment of journalists”, he said.
“We know that they are going to do nothing but anyway they welcomed us,” and said they are working to improve freedom of expression.
Salih said there were “small clashes” with security forces and two journalists were briefly detained.
Sudanese police have fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters outside a mosque belonging to an opposition party in the capital Khartoum, a witness has said.
The witness said on Friday that demonstrators carried Sudanese flags and banners reading “The people want the regime to fall”, a slogan used by protesters during the Arab Spring uprisings over the past year.
The protesters had gathered in the capital’s Hijra Square beside the mosque of the opposition Umma party. After the tear gas and an unknown number of arrests, demonstrators burned tyres and threw stones at police before running for cover, the witness told the AFP news agency.
Sudan Revolts Mini-Round-Up. Sudan has seen ten (going on eleven) consecutive days of mass anti-austerity protests, which have continued despite (or perhaps, at this point, spurred on by) brutal crackdown. Expect continued coverage.
- “Sudanese Protests Rage On Despite Wide-Scale Crackdown.” Al-Ahram. June 25.
- “Wishful Spring Thinking or the Beginning of the End for Bashir?“ Time. June 25.
- “Sudan offers no fuel concessions to angry protesters.” Al-Akhbar. June 25.
- “Bashir says Sudan protests are no Arab Spring.” Al Jazeera. June 25.
(Reuters) - Anti-government protests erupted across Khartoum as Sudanese took to the streets after Friday prayers in the most widespread demonstrations yet against spending cuts unveiled this week.
The demonstrations, now in their sixth day, expanded beyond the core of student activists and spread into several neighborhoods that had been quiet.
The smell of teargas hung in the air and broken rocks covered streets as riot police and demonstrators faced off throughout the city, witnesses said. Demonstrators burned tires and security forces used batons to disperse them.
Large demonstrations have been relatively rare in Sudan, which avoided the “Arab Spring” protest movements which swept through neighboring Egypt and Libya. Security forces usually quickly disperse protests.
But government measures to cut spending to plug a budget gap - including the highly unpopular move of scaling back fuel subsidies - unleashed the protests.
Abyei crisis: UN confirms Sudan troop pullout
Sudan has pulled its troops out of the disputed border region of Abyei, according to the UN.
The UN peacekeeping mission in Abyei confirmed the withdrawal took place late on Tuesday evening.
The pullout comes as negotiators from Sudan and South Sudan meet in Ethiopia to begin talks over several disputes.
Abyei is claimed by both Sudan and the South, which became independent in 2011 after a long civil war. Sudan’s forces seized Abyei last May.
But a source has told the BBC that the number of police in the area has been increased to about 200, raising fears that some Sudanese soldiers may have simply changed into police uniforms in order to stay.
Either way, the BBC’s James Copnall in Khartoum says the presence of Sudanese police is likely to worry the tens of thousands of displaced people who are now considering moving back to Abyei.
Its status was left undecided in the 2005 peace deal between the two sides, and a referendum on the issue has been postponed indefinitely.
Sudanese officials had said the pullout was designed to aid the progress of the peace talks.
Pictured: The Abyei region has been a flashpoint area in the months since South Sudan’s independence
South Sudanese refugees begin journey to Juba
The first group of South Sudanese refugees stranded for months in a camp in Sudan is on its way to the south.
About 400 people - out of a total of up to 15,000 - are being taken by bus to Khartoum from where they will be flown to the South Sudanese capital Juba.
The camp residents were last month declared a security threat by the authorities, who gave them a deadline to leave Sudan. This was later dropped.
They lost rights to Sudan nationality when the south seceded last year.
The airlift comes a day after UN human rights chief Navi Pillay condemned Sudan’s bombing of bombing of South Sudan, carried out despite a UN resolution demanding an end to hostilities.
South Sudan seceded last July as part of a deal to end years of civil war.
But disputes stemming from the secession, especially over oil, led to clashes last month and fears of a return to all-out war.
On Wednesday, South Sudan accused its neighbour of continued bombing raids. Khartoum said it had the right to respond to acts of aggression.
Pictured: Border fighting led Sudanese officials to declare the refugees a security risk
The two-day UN ultimatum given to Sudan and South Sudan to end fighting or face sanctions expires later on Friday.
But South Sudan’s military spokesman said there were fresh bombings by the Khartoum government’s forces.
Sudan has promised to cease hostilities and comply with a UN Security Council resolution.
However, it also said Khartoum reserved the right to respond to “aggression” from South Sudan, which seceded last year following a long civil war.
The UN resolution on Wednesday backed an African Union plan demanding both sides cease hostilities, amid fears of an all-out war between the neighbours.
The Security Council called for a written commitment by both governments within 48 hours, and threatened sanctions, such as asset freezes and travel bans, if its terms were not met.
Pictured: Under the roadmap, the two countries have until next Tuesday to restart negotiations
UN passes resolution threatening sanctions on Sudans
The UN Security Council has threatened to impose sanctions on Sudan and South Sudan if the two nations fail to halt the recent violence.
The unanimously backed resolution calls on Khartoum and Juba to resume negotiations on disputed issues within two weeks.
Fighting in recent weeks has raised fears of a return to all-out war.
South Sudan became independent last year, but disputes with the north over territorial issues remained unresolved.
Earlier, Sudan said it has restarted pumping oil from Heglig, following the recent withdrawal of Southern Sudanese troops.
‘On the brink’
The US-drafted resolution backs an African Union roadmap which aims to settle the conflict and bring the two countries back to the negotiating table.
It calls for both countries to unconditionally withdraw troops to their own territory and “immediately cease all hostilities”. Both nations must give a written commitment to halt fighting within 48 hours.
It also demands a resumption of talks over outstanding issues within two weeks, with an agreement to be reached within three months.
If either side fails to abide by the terms, then “additional measures” under Article 41 of the UN Charter - which allows for non-military sanctions - will be considered, the resolution says.
Pictured: Recent cross-border fighting between Sudan and South Sudan has raised fears of war
South Sudan president says attacks amount to declaration war
Salva Kiir’s appeal to Beijing follows Sudan’s bombing of market and oilfield
The president of newly independent South Sudan has told China’s president that attacks by rival Sudan amount to a declaration of war on his country.
There has yet to be a formal declaration of war by either of the Sudans, and Salva Kiir’s remark, made in Beijing during talks with Hu Jintaoon Tuesday, signals a ratcheting up of rhetoric between the rival nations, which have been teetering on the brink of war.
Kiir told Hu his visit comes at “a very critical moment for the Republic of South Sudan because our neighbour in Khartoum has declared war on the Republic of South Sudan”.
South Sudan became independent last year. The countries have since been unable to resolve disputes over sharing oil revenue and determining a border. Talks broke down this month.
On Monday, Sudanese warplanes bombed a market and an oilfield in South Sudan, killing at least two people after Sudanese ground forces had reportedly crossed into South Sudan with tanks and artillery. South Sudan reported on Tuesday that eight more bombs had dropped overnight.
The Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, has vowed to press ahead with his military campaign until all southern troops or affiliated forces are chased out of the north.
China’s energy needs make it deeply interested in the future of the two Sudans, with Beijing uniquely positioned to exert influence in the conflict given its trade ties with the resource-rich south and decades-long diplomatic ties with Sudan’s government in the north.
Pictured: South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir with China’s President Hu Jintao at a welcoming ceremony in Beijing, China. Photograph: Adrian Bradshaw/EPA
South Sudan ‘to withdraw troops’ from Heglig oil field
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has ordered the withdrawal of his troops from the Heglig oil field in Sudan.
But Sudan’s leader Omar al-Bashir later said his forces had retaken Heglig town.
South Sudanese forces captured the area last week, accusing Khartoum of using it as a base to launch attacks.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon had described the occupation as illegal and also called on Sudan to stop bombing the South.
Mr Bashir on Friday told supporters at a victory rally in Khartoum: “We thank God that he made successful your sons; and the security forces and the police force and the defence forces - he has made them victorious on this Friday.”
On state TV, his defence minister said Sudan’s armed forces had entered Heglig 11:20 GMT.
South Sudan has so far made no public comments on Khartoum’s claim.
Pictured: South Sudan had said it wanted UN monitors deployed before its troops left Heglig
Sudan president seeks to ‘liberate’ South Sudan
Sudan President Omar al-Bashir has said his main goal is now to “liberate” the people of South Sudan from its rulers following recent border clashes.
The former rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement has ruled South Sudan since it seceded from Sudan in July 2011.
President Bashir was addressing a rally at his party’s headquarters.
Fighting between the two countries has now spread to another area, further adding to fears of all-out war.
South Sudan seized the Heglig oil field - generally recognised as Sudanese territory - eight days ago. On Tuesday fighting broke out north of Aweil in South Sudan, about 100 miles (160km) west of Heglig.
The South Sudanese military said 22 soldiers had been killed, with casualties on both sides.
Pictured: President Bashir’s government fought a civil war against the SPLM for two decades
Sudan’s armed forces are on the outskirts of Heglig town and are advancing toward the settlement, which was occupied by South Sudan this week, a Sudanese military spokesman said.
“We are now on the outskirts of Heglig town,” Al-Sawarmi Khalid Saad told reporters in Khartoum. “The armed forces are advancing toward Heglig town … the situation in Heglig will be resolved within hours.”
He added that South Sudan had tried but failed to control “all of South Kordofan state”.
Al Jazeera’s Nazanine Moshiri, reporting from Juba, the capital of South Sudan, said that the army from Khartoum is advancing on Heglig town. “The South Sudanese military spokesperson told us that the Sudanese are around 30 km from Heglig, and if they do try and take it the South Sudanese have said they will defend themselves.”
“This could end up becoming a full-blown conflict.”