President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan along with former head-of-state Thabo Mbeki of the Republic of South Africa. Both nations have sought an independent foreign policy towards Africa and the rest of the world., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Sunday 29 April 2012
South Sudan official calls for removal of Mbeki from mediation process
April 28, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudanese officials and senior figures of the ruling party in Juba on Saturday added to calls for the removal of Thabo Mbeki, the chair of the African Union High Implementation Panel which has been mediating conflict resolution talks between Juba and Khartoum.
AU High-Level Implementation Panel chair and ex-South African president Thabo Mbeki (FP)Juba accused the African Union last January of attempting to force the new nation to pay cash and oil to Khartoum. Also following the capture of Heglig, South Sudan criticized the African Union for calling to pull out its troops while Abyei is under the control of Sudanese army since May 2011.
Earlier this month, the spokesperson of South Sudanese government, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, travelled to Nairobi asking Kenya to support Juba effort to bring the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to mediate their disputes with Khartoum instead of the AU panel.
He further voiced openly frustration with the current mediation saying his government was unhappy not only with the AU report to the UN Security Council about the recent border clashes but also with the overall mediating process.
The issue of Mbeki panel was discussed at a public debate hosted by Radio Bakhita in Juba where all the participants agreed on the need to remove Mbeki’s panel. They further expressed doubts about its credibility and backed the idea of calling on IGAD to mediate the process.
Chargé d’Affairs in the South Sudanese embassy in Kenya, John Andruga, on Friday was the first to direct his criticism against the former South African president saying that Mbeki is "partisan and not credible" and described the African Union as incompetent.
He said that one should "never put new wine in an old bottle"; that new talks should begin with a new mediator as the current one has "lost credibility" and has been "blocking" progress in the negotiations.
Lual Diing Wol, senior member of South Sudan’s governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) also expressed his concern about Mbeki’s credibility and impartiality, suggesting the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) take over the mediation.
Biel Jok, deputy-chair of South Sudan Human Rights Commission also recommended IGAD replace the AU as mediator. He underscored that it is the IGAD which brokered the 2005 peace deal.
In a press conference he held at the premises of human right commission on Thursday 26 April Jok said the issues to be discussed by Juba and Khartoum are stipulations of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended Sudan’s civil war in 2005, and remain unimplemented by Khartoum’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP).
Hendry Ukec, a member of the South Sudan National Assembly from Upper Nile State questioned Mbeki’s neutrality, and accused him in statement to Sudan Tribune on Saturday of being selling arms to Khartoum.
He said the parliament discussed this issue in January 2012 and it was resolved that Speaker James Wani Igga brings the issue of arms deal between Sudan and South Africa to president Jacob Zuma.
Mbeki was "mediating in order to promote commercial relations between South Africa and Sudan," claimed Ukec.
During the clashes between the two parties over Heglig, Thabo Mbeki on 18 April urged the U.N. Security Council to intervene to stop hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan. He warned that Khartoum and Juba are locked in a "logic of war" with hardliners increasingly in control.
Last week, the African Union Peace and Security Council endorsed a seven point road map calling on the two sides to resume talks within two weeks and to conclude the negotiations in three months. The AU body further asked the UN Security Council to support its detailed plan and to endorse it under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Sudan rejects UNSC role in border dispute
* South Sudanese army says repells attack by rebels backed by Sudan
* Rebels claim to have surrounded Malakal
KHARTOUM: Sudan on Saturday rejected UN Security Council involvement in efforts to end weeks of border clashes with South Sudan, which said it repelled an attack by Khartoum-backed rebels.
“Sudan confirms that it rejects any efforts to disturb the African Union role and take the situation between Sudan and South Sudan to the UN Security Council,” Foreign Minister Ali Karti said after a month of deadly clashes which have raised fears of a wider war. The African Union itself, in a decision last Tuesday, asked the Security Council to endorse its demand that the two Sudans halt hostilities in 48 hours, start talks within two weeks and complete a peace accord in three months.
But Karti -- while expressing full confidence in the AU’s role -- said involvement by the Security Council would “give priority to a political position which was announced before and has a hidden agenda”. He did not elaborate.
The South Sudanese army said on Saturday it repelled an attack by rebels backed by Sudan outside Malakal, capital of the South’s Upper Nile State. “It was Sudan-supported militias that attacked SPLA (South Sudan army) positions” on Friday, Colonel Philip Aguer told. He said his forces repulsed the attack, with an unknown number of casualties.
But the rebels claimed to have surrounded Malakal, saying in a statement: “The magnanimous forces of South Sudan Democratic Army (SSDA) launched Operation Ending Corruption and surrounded Malakal ... and captured its surroundings.” Aguer said South Sudan’s forces had detained three rebel fighters and one vehicle.
The Security Council on Thursday started talks on a resolution that could allow sanctions against Sudan and South Sudan if they do not meet the AU demands to end their fighting. A US-drafted resolution backs the AU demands and calls for the two sides to “immediately” halt hostilities and pull their forces back into their own territory.
The text says the Security Council would review the rivals’ implementation of AU demands and could “take appropriate additional measures” under article 41 of Chapter VII of the UN charter that allows for sanctions but not military force.
After its meeting on Tuesday, the AU’s security body adopted a roadmap calling for an end to fighting, “including aerial bombardments, with the parties formally conveying their commitment in this respect to the chairperson of the Commission within 48 hours,” said the body’s security commissioner Ramtane Lamamra. The roadmap also urged both sides to withdraw troops from the other’s territory, stop supporting rebel groups and refrain from making “inflammatory” public statements. Despite the AU’s demand, Sudanese warplanes staged a cross-border raid on Unity State on Wednesday, the South’s army alleged.
Khartoum says the South’s continued support for rebels inside Sudan undermines the north’s stability, despite international appeals for it to stop. There have also been repeated international demands for an end to Sudan’s air strikes on the South. Both nations have denied backing rebels on each other’s territory. afp
Posted on Thu, Apr. 26, 2012
Arab League condemns South Sudan 'aggression'
By MAGGIE MICHAEL and MICHAEL ONYIEGO
The Arab League on Thursday condemned South Sudan's "military aggression" against an oil-rich border region claimed by Sudan while also supporting Sudan's right to defend itself. The statement came as some fear growing disputes between the two countries may soon lead to an all-out war.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan last year after a referendum held as part of a 2005 peace deal that ended more than 20 years of civil war, but unresolved issues such as the sharing of oil revenues and demarcation of the border have led to tensions and clashes.
Earlier this month, South Sudanese troops attacked and captured the oil-rich Heglig area. Sudan says it has since recaptured it. Earlier this week, after South Sudan said it was withdrawing its troops from Heglig, Sudan dropped bombs on the South. The U.N. said the bombs killed 16 civilians.
Sudan is a member of the Arab League, whose foreign ministers were meeting in Cairo. Their statement called on South Sudan to respect the borders between the two nations and to stop supporting rebel movements in Sudan's western Darfur region, south Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The meeting, said the statement, "rejects any claims that the Heglig area is disputed," meaning it belongs to Sudan.
The Arab League also called for an international fact-finding mission to assess the damage caused by the attack on Heglig. It said the two nations must resolve their differences through negotiations and called on League members to offer immediate financial aid to Sudan to rebuild oil installations in Heglig.
South Sudan is mainly animist and Christian, and its people are linguistically and ethnically linked to sub-Saharan Africa. The north is overwhelmingly Muslim, and many members of the government consider themselves Arabs.
Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir gave a fiery speech last week in which he said there will be no negotiations with the "poisonous insects" who are challenging Sudan's claim to disputed territory near the border. He also threatened to topple the South Sudan government in Juba.
U.S. and U.N. leaders have pushed both sides to end fighting and resume negotiations.
A South Sudan official said Sudan bowed to international pressure and didn't resume attacks on the south Thursday after the violence ebbed earlier in the week.
"They have realized that what they are doing, nobody is happy about it," South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said. "It has dawned on them, they are the ones who declared war, they are the ones calling us insects. I think they are beginning to feel the pressure."
The African Union also has said both countries should cease hostilities. The AU's Peace and Security Council issued a seven-point roadmap calling for a halt to the fighting and giving Sudan and South Sudan two weeks to restart negotiations, which broke down earlier this month.
The AU also warned the two countries against making inflammatory statements and propaganda against each other, which could fuel the conflict.
COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE 10TH EXTRAORDINARY SUMMIT OF EAC HEADS OF STATE
ARUSHA, Tanzania, April 28, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- NGURDOTO MOUNTAIN LODGE,...
ARUSHA, Tanzania, April 28, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- NGURDOTO MOUNTAIN LODGE, ARUSHA, TANZANIA
28TH APRIL 2012
10TH EXTRAORDINARY SUMMIT OF HEADS OF STATE OF THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY
1 THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY HEADS OF STATE, THEIR EXCELLENCIES PRESIDENT MWAI KIBAKI OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA AND CHAIRPERSON OF THE SUMMIT, PRESIDENT PAUL KAGAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF RWANDA, PRESIDENT JAKAYA MRISHO KIKWETE OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA, PRESIDENT YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA AND FIRST VICE PRESIDENT HE THÉRENCE SINUNGURUZA OF THE REPUBLIC OF BURUNDI HELD THE 10TH EXTRAORDINARY SUMMIT OF THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY HEADS OF STATE AT THE NGURDOTO MOUNTAIN LODGE IN ARUSHA, TANZANIA ON 28TH APRIL 2012.
2 THE HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT MET IN A WARM AND CORDIAL ATMOSPHERE.
3 THE SUMMIT COMMENDED THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS FOR TAKING THE LEAD IN THE ELIMINATION OF NON TARIFF BARRIERS TO ENHANCE FREE CIRCULATION OF GOODS AND SERVICES IN THE COMMUNITY AND DIRECTED THAT DECISIONS TAKEN TO THIS EFFECT BE IMPLEMENTED EXPEDITIOUSLY.
4 THE SUMMIT COMMENDED HON. BEATRICE B. KIRASO WHO WAS COMPLETING HER TERM OF OFFICE AS DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY IN CHARGE OF POLITICAL FEDERATION FOR HER EXEMPLARY SERVICE DURING THE PAST SIX YEARS. THE SUMMIT WISHED HON. KIRASO WELL IN HER FUTURE ENDEAVOURS.
5 THE SUMMIT NOTED THAT THE CONTRACT FOR THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CIVIL AVIATION SAFETY AND SECURITY OVERSIGHT AGENCY (CASSOA), MR. MTESIGWA MAUGO WAS DUE TO EXPIRE IN MAY 2012.
6 THE SUMMIT COMMENDED MR. MTESIGWA MAUGO FOR HIS OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY AND WISHED HIM WELL IN HIS FUTURE ENDEAVOURS.
7 THE SUMMIT APPOINTED HON. JESCA ERIYO FROM THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA NEW DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY WITH EFFECT FROM 30TH APRIL 2012.
8 THE SUMMIT RENEWED THE CONTRACT OF MR. JEAN CLAUDE NSENGIYUMVA AS DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL FOR A FINAL TERM OF THREE YEARS WITH EFFECT FROM 30TH APRIL 2012.
9 THE SUMMIT DIRECTED THE SECRETARY GENERAL TO DEPLOY THE DEPUTY SECRETARIES GENERAL TO DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS.
10 THE SUMMIT RECEIVED A PROGRESS REPORT OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS ON THE ATTAINMENT OF A SINGLE CUSTOMS TERRITORY.
11 THE SUMMIT ADOPTED IN PRINCIPLE THE DESTINATION MODEL OF CLEARANCE OF GOODS WHERE ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION OF REVENUE IS AT THE FIRST POINT OF ENTRY AND REVENUES ARE REMITTED TO THE DESTINATION PARTNER STATES SUBJECT TO THE FULFILMENT OF KEY PRE-CONDITIONS TO BE DEVELOPED BY THE HIGH LEVEL TASK FORCE.
12 THE SUMMIT DIRECTED THE COUNCIL TO INITIATE ITS OPERATIONALIZATION AND REPORT PROGRESS AT THE 14TH ORDINARY SUMMIT IN NOVEMBER 2012.
13 THE SUMMIT CONSIDERED THE REPORT OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS ON THE APPLICATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN TO JOIN THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY. THE SUMMIT NOTED THAT THE COUNCIL HAS INITIATED THE VERIFICATION PROCESS OF THE APPLICATION. THE SUMMIT DIRECTED THE COUNCIL TO EXPEDITE THIS PROCESS AND REPORT AT THE 14TH ORDINARY SUMMIT IN NOVEMBER 2012.
14 THE HEADS OF STATE SIGNED THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY PROTOCOL ON CO-OPERATION IN DEFENCE. THE SUMMIT DIRECTED THAT THE PROTOCOL BE RATIFIED AND INSTRUMENTS OF RATIFICATION DEPOSITED WITH THE SECRETARY GENERAL BY 30TH NOVEMBER 2012 AND THAT THE NEGOTIATIONS ON THE MUTUAL DEFENCE PACT COMMENCE IMMEDIATELY THEREAFTER.
15 THE SUMMIT APPROVED THE PROPOSED REMUNERATION OF THE JUDGE PRESIDENT AND THE PRINCIPAL JUDGE FOR THE EAST AFRICAN COURT OF JUSTICE.
16 THE SUMMIT REVIEWED THE SECURITY SITUATION IN THE EAST AFRICAN REGION.
17 THE SUMMIT EXPRESSED CONCERN ON THE ONGOING CONFLICT BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF SUDAN AND THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN AND APRECIATED THE ROLE PARTNER STATES HAVE PLAYED IN RESOLVING THE CONFLICT IN THE SUDAN AND EXPRESSED ITS DETERMINATION TO CONTINUE TO PLAY THIS POSITIVE ROLE IN RESOLVING THE CONFLICTS IN COUNTRIES THAT BORDER THE EAC.
18 THE SUMMIT URGED THE LEADERS OF THE REPUBLICS OF THE SUDAN AND SOUTH SUDAN TO RETURN TO THE NEGOTIATING TABLE AND FIND PEACEFUL MEANS OF RESOLVING ALL THE OUTSTANDING ISSUES IN THE COMPREHENSIVE PEACE AGREEMENT.
19 THE SUMMIT WELCOMED THE LONDON CONFERENCE ON SOMALIA OF FEBRUARY 2012 AND NOTED THAT IT MARKED A TURNING POINT IN THE COUNTRY'S QUEST FOR PEACE AND STABILITY. THE SUMMIT FURTHER COMMENDED THE AFRICAN UNION MISSION IN SOMALIA (AMISOM) WORKING WITH THE TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT OF SOMALIA FOR RETURNING PEACE TO LARGE AREAS OF SOMALIA AND CALLS ON THE TRANSITIONAL NATIONAL GOVERNMENT OF SOMALIA TO CONSOLIDATE THE BENEFITS OF PEACE TO THE BENEFIT OF THE PEOPLE OF SOMALIA.
20 THE SUMMIT WELCOMED THE RESOLUTION BY THE EAST AFRICAN LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY FOR EXPEDITING AMENDMENT OF THE TREATY FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY TO EXTEND JURISDICTION OF THE EAST AFRICAN COURT OF JUSTICE OR THE CONCLUSION OF THE PROTOCOL ON THIS MATTER. THE SUMMIT NOTED THE NEED TO LOOK INTO THE MATTER OF EXTENDING THIS JURISDICTION TO COVER, AMONG OTHERS CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. THE SUMMIT DIRECTED THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS TO CONSIDER THIS MATTER BY END OF MAY 2012 AND REPORT TO AN EXTRAORDINARY SUMMIT TO BE CONVENED IMMEDIATELY THEREAFTER.
21 THE SUMMIT RESOLVED TO HOLD A DEDICATED SESSION ON INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT AND FINANCING IN THE REGION AT THE 14TH ORDINARY SUMMIT IN NOVEMBER 2012.
22 THEIR EXCELLENCIES, PRESIDENT MWAI KIBAKI OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA AND CHAIRPERSON OF THE SUMMIT, PRESIDENT PAUL KAGAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF RWANDA, PRESIDENT YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA, AND FIRST VICE PRESIDENT RT. HON. THERENCE SINUNGURUZA OF THE REPUBLIC OF BURUNDI THANKED THEIR HOST, HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT JAKAYA MRISHO KIKWETE OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA, FOR THE WARM AND CORDIAL HOSPITALITY EXTENDED TO THEM AND THEIR RESPECTIVE DELEGATIONS DURING THEIR STAY IN ARUSHA.
DONE AT ARUSHA, THIS 28TH DAY OF APRIL 2012