Khartoum is preparing to lose most of its state revenue if Sudan’s restive south votes to secede in an independence referendum early next year, taking with it most of the country’s oil resources.
“Frankly … we don’t know if Sudan is going to be split or united,” Abdel al Jailani, the Sudanese minerals minister, told Reuters. “If the south does secede – you know 60 per cent of our budget comes from [oil] – we have to sit and think of another alternative.”
John Duku, the former Sudanese mission chief to Kenya, said a secession was likely after the referendum, which is scheduled for January 9.
“The unity between north and south Sudan has died,” Mr Duku said last week in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. “There is no more unity.”
If the referendum were delayed, southern Sudan’s parliament would vote to secede because “key parts” of a 2005 peace deal between the north and south had been “violated”, he added.
Mr Duku, who is working on the referendum campaign but does not represent the southern Sudanese government, said Khartoum had reneged on an agreement not to apply Islamic law in the Sudanese capital.
Unlike the northerners, most southern Sudanese are not Muslim, counting themselves either Christian or animist.
Cirino Ofuho, the southern Sudanese minister of presidential affairs, said Mr Duku’s views did not represent those of his government. Officials were not supposed to comment on the referendum, Mr Ofuho said. Sudan, which produces about 490,000 barrels per day of crude from 6.7 billion barrels of proved reserves, mostly located in its south, is sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest oil producer after the OPEC members Nigeria and Angola.
Mr al Jailani said Khartoum planned to expand gold production from the north of the country to make up for lost oil-export revenue.
By Joel Brinkley - GlobalPost
PALO ALTO, Calif. — Shortly after taking office, President Barack Obama named a host of special envoys to regions, organizations and trouble spots around the world.
Some were of the appointments were high-profile, like former Sen. George Mitchell, who is now special envoy to the Middle East. Others were practically invisible, like Rashad Hussain, now special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
But as tenuous Middle East peace talks begin in Washington, and as the situation in Afghanistan, the province of special envoy Richard Holbrooke, plummets from bad to worse, now is a good time to ask: Are these special envoys doing much good?
The evidence suggests that many are causing more problems than they are solving.
Holbrooke, a former senior State Department official, has a long, laudable history as a diplomat. But it’s hard to see what he has accomplished in the Afghan cauldron. The truth is, he is best known for getting in the way. Afghanistan already has two high-profile representatives of Washington, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and Gen. David Petraeus, the military commander.
Holbrooke stops by now and then, demanding attention — and leaving Afghan officials totally confused about who really speaks for the president. Show me the benefit in that.
Mitchell performed yeoman’s work shuttling between Jerusalem and Ramallah, moderating the indirect, so-called proximity talks since last May. But by all accounts, he made little if any progress. A problem this large, this old, requires the attention of the president, or at least the secretary of state. That’s what is underway now.
Stephen Bosworth, special envoy for North Korea, has presided over a second nuclear weapons test, the sinking of a South Korean warship and continued threats and bluster from Pyongyang. Mr. Bosworth, tell me what you have accomplished?
Part of the problem is that every one of these countries already has an American ambassador, or at least a charges d’affaires. Aren’t they supposed to be the ones who work with government leaders? Who, exactly, is speaking for Washington — the ambassador who lives there, or the special envoy who makes irregular visits? For the leader of any government, all of that is bound to be confusing.
All of these problems come together in Sudan, where special envoy Scott Gration is quite obviously making things worse. He’s the one who declared in July that the International Criminal Court’s genocide indictment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir “will make my mission more difficult.”
Oh, I’m so sorry, Mr. Gration, that the indictment of a man with the blood of 2.3 million people on his hands has inconvenienced you. Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, rebuked Gration the next day.
“The United States stands firmly behind justice and accountability for war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, in Darfur and elsewhere,” she said.
Gration is a villain in the eyes of many non-governmental organizations and others. On Sept. 1, the Sudan Tribune newspaper called him “disastrously incompetent.”
The genocide indictment upset him because he successfully pushed the idea that the best way to solve the manifold human-rights problems in Sudan is to work with Bashir and his government. He convinced Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of this — against the adamant opposition of Rice, whose knowledge of Sudan far surpasses Gration’s or Clinton’s.
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Sudan, Haile Menkerios, has called both government of Southern Kordofan and the Administration of Abyei Area to continue dialogue on post referendum arrangements so that the peaceful co-existence of the two areas is maintained.
The National Congress Party says recent US administration reports are raising skepticim on how positive the US strategy towards Sudan truly is. The Head of the External Affairs of the National Congress Party, Mustafa Osman Ismail, attributed the doubts to what he described as "the falling of President Obama into the trap of the old guards of the US administration".
The Coordinator of Southern Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Commission in Jonglei State, Michael Malual, has called on the community to cooperate with the commission for the realization of the DDR strategies in the State. Speaking to Radio Miraya, Malual urged people to identify ex-combatants amidst them so that they can be given training.
The Representative of the Government of Southern Sudan in Egypt, Farmina Makwet, has said that preparations to receive the first batch of students at Alexandria University-Tonj branch, in Alexandria town, are nearly completed.
The British Government through its embassy in Khartoum has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sudanese Interior Ministry on Monday.The agreement stipulates that the British government will allocate about 300,000 sterling pounds as grant to help Sudan managing and controlling its borders with Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, and Uganda.
The Chairman of Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau, Chan Rec Madut, disclosed to Miraya in an exclusive interview that registration of voters for the coming referendum begins in October.
The Ministry of Health in South Darfur State has closed down a Chinese hospital in Nyala Tuesday amid allegation it has violated agreement with the state government on medical practices. South Darfur Minister of Health, Ahmed Mohammed Al Safi, told Miraya that the hospital has been prescribing expired medicines to patients.