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 US Administration has invited the partners to the CPA for a meeting in Washington to discuss remaining issues in the implementation of the accord. Reports said the meeting will focus on referendum in South Sudan and Abyei area.
The State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Mutrif Siddiq, has revealed endeavors by Darfur Armed movements to shift military operations into the IDPs camps. Mutrif said in a meeting on Tuesday with several voluntary organizations operating in Darfur that the movement of Abdul Wahid wanted to foil Doha negotiations.
By Butrus Ajak, Australia: www.borglobe.com
JUBA (AFP) – South Sudan?s parliament on Tuesday named as official leader of the opposition a member of the breakaway Sudan People?s Liberation Movement-Democratic Change, an offshoot from the ruling SPLM party.
Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec was nominated as leader of the largest opposition party in the legislative assembly of the semi-autonomous south, which is preparing for a referendum due in January that many in the south believe will see Africa?s largest nation split in two.
"It is the first time in the history of southern Sudan to have the leader of the opposition in the parliament," said Nyikwec in his acceptance speech, one of four SPLM-DC parliamentarians in the 170-seat house.
"This is the real democracy which has been guiding the principles we fought for for so many years," he said.
SPLM-DC party leader Lam Akol, a former foreign minister, was the only challenger to south Sudanese President Salva Kiir in April's elections.
Akol defected during Sudan?s 22-year civil war between the southern rebels and the government in Khartoum, and formed the SPLM-DC last year.
His breakaway group has been accused of working to undermine the upcoming referendum, and many ruling party members had rejected the SPLM-DC as a legitimate party.
Following their election in April, the four SPLM-DC members had their parliamentary immunity temporarily suspended during investigations into alleged connections to militia groups and the murder of a tribal elder -- charges that were later dropped.
The new opposition leader said he backed independence, and called on southerners to work together to ensure the referendum happens smoothly.
"The referendum needs us to unite all our ranks together, so that we go to the referendum united as the people of southern Sudan for the independence of southern Sudan," Nyikwec said, to loud applause from the parliament.
The referendum is a key provision of the 2005 peace deal that ended the south's 22-year civil war with the north, during which about two million people were killed in a conflict fuelled by religion, ethnicity, ideology and natural resources, including oil.
The opposition position is the fourth highest in terms of protocol within the parliament, after the south?s president, vice-president and parliamentary speaker, said James Wani Igga, the assembly's speaker.
In July, southern soldiers killed seven people in the Upper Nile state -- a key support base for Akol -- who the military said were SPLM-DC militiamen. Several soldiers were wounded.
Shortly after key SPLM-DC figures including the deputy secretary general defected to the ruling SPLM party.
Akol has repeatedly denied accusations his party has a military wing.
Egypt's general prosecutor stated on Monday he had referred 11 officials from the Culture Ministry to a Cairo court to be charged with negligence that led to the theft of a Van Gogh painting worth an estimated $55 million. The painting, known as "Poppy Flower", was stolen last month from the Egyptian capital's Mahmoud Khalil Museum.
The prosecutor referred the officials to a court in Dokki, the central Cairo neighbourhood where the museum is located, he said, according to Reuters. The court's first session is scheduled for September 14.
An initial investigation of the theft indicated "flagrant shortcomings" in security, state media said. - albawaba
By Andrew Heavens
KHARTOUM, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Sudan plans to more than double its gold output in two years partly to help make up for a possible fall in oil revenues if its crude-producing south chooses to secede in a looming referendum, the minerals minister said on Monday.
Abdel Baqi al-Jailani told Reuters in an interview Sudan could raise annual production to more than 40 tonnes by 2012 by regulating tens of thousands of small-scale prospectors, many of whom currently smuggle out finds, and by licensing out new blocks to global mining firms.
His estimate of current annual production at around 20 tonnes -- far above some industry estimates of between 4 and 6 tonnes a year -- included new data he said showed small "artisanal" mining operations already registered with the government produced 10 tonnes of gold between January and June this year.
Sudan has been known as a source of gold since the time of the Pharaohs and its ancient Nubian kingdom. Jailani said large reserves had lain unexploited in modern times because the country had been too focused on marketing its agricultural and oil prospects.
"Historically speaking we know that Sudan is rich. But the reason we are so late to invest in this sector is that we had other easier options."
He added Khartoum now needed to diversify its economy in the build up to a referendum, due on Jan. 9, 2011, on whether south Sudan, the source of most of the state's oil reserves, should split off as an independent country.
NEW LICENCE DEALS
"Frankly ... we don't know if Sudan is going to be split or united. If the south does secede -- you know 60 percent of our budget comes from petrol -- we have to sit and think of another alternative," said Jailani.
"I would say current annual production is around 20 tonnes ... In two years time it will be double or triple."
Sudan's largest single gold mining operation is run by Ariab, a partnership between Sudan's government and Canada's La Mancha, in east Sudan's Red Sea state.
Jailani said the ministry had already identified promising blocks for gold exploration elsewhere in the east, as well as in the central states of North and South Kordofan and one sensitive border area between the strife-torn Darfur region in northern Sudan and the southern state of Western Bahr El Ghazal.
La Mancha was due to start working on a new block in the Nuba Mountains area of South Kordofan in the autumn, said Jailani.
He said he had signed around 10 new licence arrangements with foreign mining firms since he became minerals minister in June and had another five deals "on the table" waiting for final approval from state authorities.
Jailani said he was currently in discussion with mining companies from Austria, Australia and the United States, despite heavy trade sanctions imposed by Washington, but declined to name the companies.
William Tankard, senior mining analyst at London's GFMS, said Jailani's estimates for current and future output were above his own figures. "We have 4 tonnes now and 5-6 tonnes on average over the last ten years ... Gauging volumes of output for artisanal output is quite difficult."
But he said there was room for growth in Sudan's largely unexplored gold sector. "There has been increasing interest, not only in Sudan but also in Ethiopia and Eritrea ... It is perfectly possible that exciting discoveries could be made particularly when (gold) prices are above of $1,000 a ounce." (Editing by James Jukwey)
MUNDRI, Sudan—Earlier this week, I flew to Mundri, in the fertile green state of Western Equatoria, to attend the United Nations Mission in Sudan’s unveiling of its first “county referendum base.” Per the request of the National Congress Party and the south’s ruling SPLM, the U.N. is upping its support and assistance to the referendum process. Part of this bigger effort is establishing a presence in each of the south’s 79 counties, a step that clearly shows the U.N. will be playing a bigger role in pulling off the southern vote—from a technical and logistical standpoint—than it did in supporting the nationwide elections in April.
The real takeaway, however, from the day trip to Mundri occurred during the speeches given by various southern government officials and by David Gressly, the top U.N. official in the south. Crammed into a sweltering hot white plastic tent, which will become one of the makeshift offices at the county base, these officials had strong messages about the referendum. The Governor of Western Equatoria State Joseph Bakosoro urged—more like ordered—the citizens of his state to “register and vote,” then emphasized that everyone must “vote wisely.” “Let us not repeat any mistakes,” the governor said. “The mistake we [could] repeat will be a final mistake that you will regret all of your life and for the life of your children,” the governor said, subtly recalling history. Meanwhile, the southern government’s minister of cabinet affairs Kosti Manibe said that if the referendum vote didn’t occur on time (on January 9 to be exact), then the south would have to opt for a “plan B.” The minister didn’t go into the details of what this plan would entail.
Finally, as if to reassure the crowd, the U.N.’s Gressly begin his address by announcing that “the referendum is real.” In other words, the U.N. is preparing for Plan A. Later, while speaking with reporters, Gressly conceded that "there are a lot of decisions pending," but argued that "it would be wrong to do anything but move ahead." The U.N. plans to pitch tents, build fences, and deploy staff to hastily constructed referendum bases in 63 entirely new locations across the south in the coming months.
Stay tuned for more on the U.N.’s expanded effort to help pull off the referendum in time.
By Vision reporters
TWO more Kenyans have been arrested in connection with the July11 twin bomb blasts in Kampala that left 76 people dead and scores injured.
One of the suspects identified as Habib Sulaiman Njoroge was arrested yesterday at the Kenya-Uganda border post of Malaba in eastern Uganda while trying to sneak into the country.
The other suspect, Habib Suleiman, is a Kenyan journalist working for an FM station in the Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa.
He was arrested over the weekend by the anti-terrorism police unit of Kenya. Njoroge, who is believed to be one of the chief architects bomb blasts, was transferred to Kampala under tight security.
He remains detained at an undisclosed location within Kampala.
“We got information that he was the one who aided the transfer of bombs to Uganda. He has links with al Shabaab,” a security source said.
The source added that Njoroge trained with the al Shabaab in Somalia in 2006 and 2008.Njoroge reportedly organised the transportation of the bombs and other items to Uganda using a pick-up truck.
The arrest of Njoroge and Suleiman now brings to 14 the total number of Kenyans arrested in connection to the bomb blasts.
Eleven of these were handed over to Uganda a couple of weeks after the attacks.The total number of suspects who have appeared in court now is 34. They include Ugandans, Kenyans, Somalis and one Pakistani.
The suspects are accused of causing the death of 60 people who died at Kyadondo Rugby Club and 15 others at Ethiopian Village Restaurant in Kabalagala.According to Kenyan sources, Habib, the Kenyan journalist arrested over the weekend, was held on suspicion of having facilitated and financed some of the July 11 bomb suspects.
He reportedly moved to Mombasa from Nairobi where he settled with his wife and child. He had been working at the station in the production department as a presenter, producer and voice artiste, with his work entailing voicing advertisements.
Coast Police chief Leo Nyongesa confirmed that the suspect who is in his late 20s was flown to Nairobi, where more investigations will be conducted.
The source also said at the station, he used to handle a special Islamic programme with Sheikhs, especially during this Ramadan period.