UNAMID Joint Mission Analysis Centre’s “Monthly Incident Statistics” report for September shows 98 victims consisting of one international, 63 civilians and 34 combatants. Forty one were in North Darfur, 43 in South Darfur and 14 in West Darfur states respectively. Of the 63 civilians, 53 were IDPs, of whom 52 were victims of criminal acts (murder). Of the combatants, 30 were killed in inter-tribal clashes and four were members of SAF or the Armed Movements. Other incidents on the JMAC list include 40 IDP issues, 58 cases of banditry, 8 cases (with 11 victims) of sexual and gender based violence and exploitation, 35 cases of GoS activity, 8 instances of restrictions, 18 incidents of livestock theft, seven tribal issues, two cases of factions/armed movement incidents, and four cases of carjacking (two attempted and two successful).
I apologize for crowding the blog with my postings, but I believe that all interested persons should do what they can to try to make positive suggestions and contributions to the sharing of information that may be used by the decision makers in the SPLM and the NCP during the upcoming months moving towards the Referendum. I do not want to be accused of complaining that “something needs to be done” without offering possible courses of actions. I would like to make a suggestion to those individuals who have some ability to offer assistance to South and North Sudan with regard to infrastructure development. It is my understanding that Juba University is in the process of relocating from Khartoum to Juba; and it is possibly the case that the University could use some assistance in developing programs within its various colleges. One of the eleven colleges within the University is the College of Natural Resources & Environmental Studies. However, I was unable to find within that college a Department of Petroleum Geology or Petroleum Engineering, such as they have at the Sudan University of Science and Technology. Given the fact that Southern Sudan has oil deposits, it might be a […]
Review of: Eliza Griswold, The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line between Christianity and Islam, New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010. Beginning in 2003 Eliza Griswold visited Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines and wrote articles for several American magazines. But despite its title, The Tenth Parallel does not consist of dispatches, or of edited versions of already published pieces, but is a collection of anecdotal encounters loosely organized around the idea that the “fault line” between two culture zones is at or near the tenth parallel of latitude. This is really a travel book, rich in local color and authorial presence, poor in its command of sources and as a guide to the history and cultures of the countries it surveys. In introducing readers to Islam the author favors a few popular sources over standard works. As a result pre-Islamic Mecca, we are told, was a “capital city” (p. 79) that grew rich from trade, not with the farther east but with sub-Saharan Africa (p. 78); Yathrib was re-named “Medina” by the Prophet Muhammad (p. 79); “Muslim horsemen sailed from” Arabia “to Africa and landed in Egypt” (p. 79), which had been “substantially weakened by […]
The ruling parties in northern and southern Sudan, as well as international actors in Sudan currently are almost exclusively focussed on the referendum on southern independence. Given the delays to the referendum timetable and the ongoing war of words between the NCP and SPLM, this is not surprising. Nevertheless, the almost exclusive focus on the January vote threatens to divert attention away from the negotiations underway between the NCP and SPLM on post-referendum arrangements. Whether the parties are able to progress and strike viable deals in these negotiations is of crucial importance for the referendum and the associated potential for conflict. In my briefing, Negotiating Southern Independence: High stakes in the talks on post-referendum arrangements, I argue that deals could be based on existing interdependencies between north and south. Regardless of the referendum’s outcome, an expansion of north-south relations based on these interdependencies would provide the best options for stability – but close and stable relations between the two states are particularly important if (as is most likely) the south becomes independent. North-south negotiations began in July and have since been taking place behind closed doors, excluding external observers or mediators. The parties may resort to the mediation of the […]
Three months and one week remain until the people of Southern Sudan have the opportunity to vote for independence. Apprehension is growing that an oil war is in the making. But such fears should be tempered. War between northern and southern armies over the country’s oil-rich border region is unlikely. Instead, a messy mix of intraparty struggles in the South and local armed resistance in oil-bearing regions pose serious threats. Oil had previously fuelled an over two-decade civil war between the North and South, leaving two million dead until the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005. Since peace was established, the North’s ruling National Congress Party and its southern counterpart, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement have no interest in disrupting their yearly windfalls of oil revenue by returning to war. Even with southern separation almost assured, when it comes to oil, the North and South will be attached to one another for years to come. It would be an act of economic suicide for either side to make a move to capture oil fields by force. Over 80% of Sudan’s oil production and reserves lie beneath landlocked southern soil. But the only means of exporting the crude oil, extracted […]
Twenty-one questions relating to the new Strategy were sent to Dr. Ghazi as basis for a pre-agreed Executive Interview over the phone. He will look into the questions and detailed replies, and where and when possible, his responses will be shared in a second interview. The first interview on Wednesday September 22nd, 2010 dealt with several generalities and explanations and with some critical issues of the backbone of the New Strategy. The following is a summary of the views and positions of Dr. Ghazi (Edited and confirmed by him): 1- The claim that there is nothing new in the Strategy is unfair. The Strategy has reoriented priorities in a meaningful and implementable manner. It has put emphasis on critical issues to be dealt with. The concept of “Partnership” is new and is gaining momentum. It focuses on building confidence with the various players. The confrontational attitudes that existed in dealing with UNAMID for instance are changing to better understanding and cooperation. The Strategy is meant to be dynamic and as dynamic as the situation on the ground dictates. 2- As a Government, GOS now feel that they are setting the agenda and leading the initiative and not the External Stakeholders […]