Monday, March 07, 2016

No Date Fixed for Arrival of SPLM-IO Forces in Juba: Official
March 6, 2016

(ADDIS ABABA) – Units of the joint police and military forces from the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) may be transported to the South Sudanese capital, Juba, soon, but no date has been fixed for their arrival, said opposition official.

In implementation of the security arrangements provided for in the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) signed in August 2015 by President Salva Kiir’s government and the SPLM-IO led by the first vice president designate, Riek Machar, a joint police and military force from the two sides were supposed to be deployed prior to formation of a transitional government of national unity (TGoNU).

The joint force of over 8,000 would deploy in the national capital after Juba is demilitarized and government’s forces withdrawn to 25km outside the town.

A first phase of 1,370 elements of the joint forces from the SPLM-IO will be transported to Juba before the top leader of the opposition can return to the capital and take oath of office as first vice president.

However, the official spokesman of the SPLM-IO chairman and commander-in-chief said preparations were ongoing before the forces could arrive.

“Our forces will be transported to Juba any time soon. However, some necessary preparations have been taking place. They will be transported to Juba once the arrangements to do with their basic needs and services are completed,” James Gatdet Dak, opposition leader’s press secretary, told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

He said among the ongoing preparations include arrangements for shelter, food, water and medical care for the incoming SPLA-IO forces to Juba.

“Only raw sites have been identified. But there is need to plan and provide shelter, food, water as well as medical care service for the forces,” he said.

He said representatives of the Joint Military Ceasefire Committee (JMCC) from all the parties in the peace agreement are scheduled to meet in Juba on Monday, 7 March, to review the status of the arrangements.

Dak said once the force arrives in Juba, the first vice president designate, Machar, will thereafter return to Juba.

The first phase of the opposition’s joint forces will be airlifted to Juba from various locations in the country while the rest of the force which also comprise part of the joint force will follow by river.


Machar Describes Late Turabi a ‘Great Thinker’

March 5, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – South Sudanese first vice president designate, Riek Machar, said the people of the two Sudan have lost a “great thinker” and renowned political leader in the history of Sudan.

Machar made the remark on Saturday in a statement of condolences for the passing on of Sheikh Hassan El Turabi, former Sudanese national parliament speaker and leader of the opposition party, the Popular Congress Party (PCP).

Turabi, a chief Islamic ideologue, died on Saturday in the national capital, Khartoum, at the age of 84.

“We have heard with great sadness the news of the passing on of El Sheikh Dr. Hassen Abdellah El Turabi this afternoon over the international media, El Gezira. May God rest his soul in eternal peace. Sheikh Turabi was a great Islamic scholar and a renowned political leader,” said the South Sudanese armed opposition leader, Machar, in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

“The two Sudan are fortunate to have had this great man as one of their leaders. His leadership was exemplary and his works contributed to bringing about peace and stability in both countries. He supported the quest of the people of South Sudan for right of self-determination. He will be greatly missed,” he said.

“Please accept, on behalf of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) and South Sudanese people our deepest condolences to your Excellency, the people of the Republic of Sudan and especially to the family of Sheikh Turabi for this loss. We join your Excellency, the family of Sheikh Turabi and the people of Sudan in mourning this great thinker.”

Machar also dispatched a high level delegation of the SPLM-IO to Khartoum to participate in the burial of late Turabi. The team led by the SPLM-IO’s secretary general, Dhieu Mathokk Diing Wol, includes Dak Duop Bichiok, representative to Sudan as well as Murtada Jalaladin and Bol Gatkuoth Chuol Kol.

The South Sudanese opposition leader in 1997 signed a peace agreement with President Omer Hassan Al Bashir, duped as the Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA), when Turabi was the speaker of parliament. The peace deal was the first in the history of the Sudan to be signed between north and south Sudan based on the right of self-determination for the people of South Sudan, and with a referendum to be conducted for a vote on unity of the country or independence of South Sudan.

Turabi was born in 1932 in Kassala, eastern Sudan. He received an Islamic education before coming to Khartoum in 1951 to study law and joined the Muslim Brotherhood as a student.

He graduated from Khartoum University School of Law and also studied in London and at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he gained a doctorate. He became a leader of the Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1960s.

Turabi, who is fluent in English, French, is generally considered to be the mastermind of the 1989 coup by Islamist army officers that brought President Bashir to power.

He played a crucial role in designing the new government’s Islamic policies, was elected speaker of the National Assembly in 1996 and in 1998, was elected secretary-general of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

However, in 1999, he was ousted from these positions over differences with President Bashir and his followers. He and his supporters subsequently founded the PCP.

Turabi had been in the opposition ever since. He was also jailed by Bashir’s government on a number of occasions.


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