Sudanese president on his first visit to a member state of the ICC since it issued a warrant for his arrest in March 2009
Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, is in Chad on his first visit to a member state of the International Criminal Court, which last week issued a second warrant for his arrest on charges of genocide. Member states are legally obliged to arrest fugitives on their soil but Chad has refused.
Bashir arrived in N'djamena yesterday evening to attend a meeting of leaders of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States that is being held today.
Since the ICC first issued a warrant for his arrest in March 2009 for alleged war crimes in Darfur, Bashir has drastically cut his international travel, only visiting nearby states that have not signed up to the Hague-based court.
Ahead of the meeting, international human rights groups had called on Chad, which borders Sudan, to arrest Bashir. But this was always going to be unlikely, given the complicated history between the countries – and indeed their mutual role in the Darfur conflict.
Bashir was met at the airport in the Chadian capital by President Idriss Deby, and given a symbolic key to the city.
"We are not obliged to arrest Omar Hassan al-Bashir," Ahmat Mahamat Bachir, Chad's interior and security minister, told Reuters. "Bashir is a sitting president. I have never seen a sitting president arrested on his travels by the host country."
Chad's decision highlights the difficulty faced by the ICC in bringing Bashir to trial. All the court's arrest warrants to date – relating to Uganda, Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan – concern Africa, which has led to a perception in some parts of the continent that it is being unfairly targeted. The African Union itself has urged its members not to arrest Bashir.
But the ICC points out that in the first three cases the respective African governments requested its intervention, and only with Sudan, which is not a member of the court, was the matter referred by the UN Security Council. Yesterday a court spokesman stressed that, as a member state, Chad was under a legal obligation to arrest Bashir.
In recent years relations between the two countries have been extremely tense, with each sponsoring proxy militias operating in and alongside Darfur to destabilise the other. But in February Bashir and Deby agreed to stop supporting the cross-border rebel groups. Relations have since thawed considerably, and Deby, whose own human rights record is very poor, has since visited Khartoum.
"Chad and Sudan had a problem in the past," Bashir told reporters when he arrived in N'djamena. "Now this problem is solved. We are brothers."
It could be argued that Chad might have risked conflict with Sudan had it arrested Bashir. But human groups said this was no excuse for welcoming him to the country.
"A political deal between Chad and Sudan is no justification for shielding alleged war criminals," said Elise Keppler, of Human Rights Watch's international justice program. "Instead of protecting a fugitive from justice, Chad should urge Sudan to cooperate with the ICC."
Bashir was initially charged in 2009 with war crimes and crimes against humanity over his role in Darfur, where his government began a brutal counter-insurgency operation in 2003.
On 12 July, a second arrest warrant was issued to include genocide charges related to campaigns targeting the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups there. The ICC has also issued arrest warrants for a Sudanese government minister, a pro-government militia leader, and three Darfuri rebel leaders.
Authors: Xan Rice
Dave Eggers and Valentino Achak Deng are the driving force behind a new much-needed secondary school in south Sudan
Security forces' tactics only prove the weakness of governments and show the people's will has still not been suppressed
The Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) is carrying out "a brutal campaign of arbitrary detentions, torture and mental and physical intimidation against opponents and critics of the government", Amnesty International said in a report last month.
For anyone who imagines that the amn (security forces) – who were a ubiquitous part of life in Khartoum in the years after the 1989 military coup – have been scaled down now that the government has established itself more firmly, this report, with its harrowing details of kidnappings and incarcerations in "ghost houses", comes as a stark reminder that the campaign of intimidation continues.
The NISS, the report says:
"Retains the core functions it had in the first few years following the 1989 coup. More than 20 years later, the NISS still dominates many areas of life in Sudan and benefits from extensive powers of arrest and detention under the national security acts of 1999 and 2010."
Its activity peaks during times of political instability or turbulence. Arbitrary arrests are often more a litmus test of the government's sense of insecurity at the time, as opposed to a sign that there has been any increased activity (even of a non-political nature). In June, doctors in Khartoum were attacked during a peaceful gathering to protest over pay and work conditions. Public order laws are invoked to encompass everything from what is deemed to be socially inappropriate (see Lubna Hussein's trousers and recent arrests of fashion-show organisers) to what is perceived to be a security threat.
Extra-military bodies of this kind also abound in other Arab countries in different guises. Their legal standing is always ambiguous, since they are not necessarily a part of the local or national police force, nor the military, but a hybrid that has fewer restrictions and more impunity. The amn, or mukhabarat (intelligence), cover everything from public order to national security.
Like Napoleon's dogs in Animal Farm, the glorified thugs that form the lower ranks patrol neighbourhoods and arbitrarily persecute and impound sometimes on a whim, and other times with strict instructions from above. Their mandate is so generous, their remit so unregulated that incidents of abuse are common, with members acting out their own personal agenda.
Not only ambiguous in nature, they are abundant in number, with only slightly varying job descriptions. The state is so bloated, and there are so many different types of security concerns, that these bodies develop to handle them on an ad hoc basis and then flourish. It's a scattergun approach. Anything from the publication of a book of poems to student union elections can be seen as a threat to the government.
They range from the official formal outfits such as the powerful and omnipresent mukhabarat in Egypt and Jordan, to the more makeshift organisations such as the mutawwa (the "volunteers" of the religious police in Saudi Arabia) who haul errant members of the public into trucks for misdemeanours as minor as flamboyant haircuts.
In Egypt, in a resourceful example of security outsourcing, local men masquerading as concerned citizens in inner city neighbourhoods are recruited to snoop, spy and sometimes aggressively quash agitators.
It is no wonder then that confusion reigns. In Yemen last month, a journalist was abducted in the street by armed men and the police began an investigation. Amid speculation that he had been kidnapped by a local tribe with al-Qaida connections, it emerged that he had, in fact, been snatched by the government's political security organisation, who had not bothered to inform the police.
Due to the huge gulf between government and citizens, these security services play a vital role in maintaining the status quo. Indeed, during the few times of political transition in the Arab world (usually due to the death of a monarch or president), where there has been a fleeting vacuum of power, they have stepped in to ensure that the fabric of governance is not rent asunder.
Their role in the meantime is not only to suppress rebellion, but to pre-empt it, by identifying and stifling any intellectual or social activity that, on appearance, may be benign but in a climate of totalitarian control might be the spark that lights the flame of change. By default, anything could open the floodgates: the tiniest crack in the security stronghold might compromise the whole structure as the magnitude of repressed tensions and grievances comes crashing down.
If anything, the omnipresence of security forces in the Arab world does not prove the might of governments, but their weakness. Far from being a depressing phenomenon, it is an indication that the will of the people, even after all these years of targeted crackdowns, is still not suppressed. As long as an uneasy "security" is imposed from above, the agents of fear cannot afford to rest easy.
Authors: Nesrine Malik
As proven by his article on Omar al-Bashir, Luis Moreno-Ocampo fails to understand that prosecutors are there to prosecute – not judge
After more than seven years as prosecutor at the international criminal court – with no convictions, or even completed trials – Luis Moreno-Ocampo still does not understand that it is the job of a prosecutor to bring charges, and the job of a court to decide whether or not the defendant is guilty.
We saw this from Moreno-Ocampo's article for the Guardian last month about the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir. Although the prosecutor said that Bashir had "officially denied the genocide, the rapes, the camp conditions and his responsibility for them", Moreno-Ocampo alleged that "Bashir's forces continue to use different weapons to commit genocide". Except that "alleged" was not a word he used.
Moreno-Ocampo really ought to know better. In May, judges at the court expressed "the strongest disapproval" of a "misleading and inaccurate" media interview given by one of his three deputies. Béatrice Le Fraper du Hellen was found to have spoken about another case "in a manner that is prejudicial to the ongoing proceedings". The judges deprecated remarks that "seriously intruded" on their own role. Within three weeks she had left the court and her post remains vacant.
Le Fraper du Hellen had given an interview to a website devoted to the trial of the alleged Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga. In it, Moreno-Ocampo's deputy described her boss as "a very accurate and fair prosecutor" and said of the defendant: "Mr Lubanga is going away for a long time."
The court let Le Fraper du Hellen off with a caution, adding that "if objectionable public statements of this kind are repeated" it would "not hesitate to take appropriate action against the party responsible".
That ruling was cited at the end of last month in a submission by lawyers for two Sudanese groups opposed to Bashir's arrest. Sir Geoffrey Nice QC and Rodney Dixon asked the court to review Moreno-Ocampo's remarks, arguing that the Guardian article might make it more difficult for the court to "render dispassionate adjudication".
This submission was rejected as inadmissible by a judge on 6 August. But there has been no ruling yet on a separate complaint filed by a Quebec-based lawyer appointed by the court to represent Bashir's interests.
Michelyne St-Laurent argued that Moreno-Ocampo's comments were even more serious than those his deputy had made in the Lubanga case. St-Laurent was "shocked by their falsity, both in fact and law". They made a fair trial impossible.
Moreno-Ocampo had led people to believe that Bashir was guilty of genocide, the lawyer said, denying the defendant's presumption of innocence. In her view, the prosecutor had stirred up hatred and invited the Sudanese people to stage a revolt against their head of state.
St-Laurent also accused Moreno-Ocampo of breaching his oath of impartiality, threatening peace efforts in Sudan and undermining the credibility of the court. She asked the court to condemn the prosecutor's article and take "all appropriate measures" against him.
If Moreno-Ocampo had spent less time grandstanding and more time in court, he might have concluded his first case by now. Instead, three judges ordered an immediate halt to Lubanga's trial on 8 July, declaring it an abuse of the process of the court and deciding on 15 July that the defendant had to be released. The order was suspended pending the prosecutor's inevitable appeal.
What persuaded the judges, headed by Sir Adrian Fulford, to take this radical step? It was because the prosecutor had failed to comply with repeated orders to give defence lawyers the name of an intermediary who had assisted the prosecution by liaising with witnesses. Some intermediaries are alleged to have helped witnesses fabricate statements.
Protective measures for the intermediary were a matter for the judges, they said. "The prosecutor now claims a separate authority which can defeat the orders of the court, and which thereby involves a profound, unacceptable and unjustified intrusion into the role of the judiciary."
Even if the prosecutor's appeal is successful, he faces a fine or suspension for non-compliance with the court's orders. Swapping places with Lubanga in the dock might finally help Moreno-Ocampo to understand that it's for prosecutors to prosecute and judges to judge.
Authors: Joshua Rozenberg
Ugandan parliament member David Bahati thinks so. The author of the East African country's anti-gay bill told Harper’s contributing editor Jeff Sharlet that "'If you come here [to Uganda], you'll see homosexuals from Europe and America are luring our children into homosexuality by distributing cell phones and iPods and things like this,'" Sharlet recounts in an interview on yesterday's "Fresh Air."
How iPods lead to same-sex relationships is beyond me save maybe constant replays of Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl." As Sharlet points out, it's actually anti-gay hysteria that's getting exported to Uganda, and the exporters are evangelicals from the US of A. An Advocate cover story penned by Sharlet sheds light on various anti-gay laws gaining traction throughout Africa, and the Americans that are funding them.
But let's go back to Bahati's suggestion that Europeans and Americans are exporting homosexuality: It's a claim I’ve heard before from some black people, my own family included. The rumor has it that being gay is a white inclination that’s seeped its way into the black experience via colonialization. It's largely based on the misconception that gay people don't exist in African history. And it's comparable to the claims made by some conservatives that gay rights, specifically gay marriage, is a fad not rooted in "traditional values" or espoused by any society in history. Which is just plain false.
After some online sleuthing, I discovered a whole lot of gayness, and gay marriages, in various cultures around the world going back centuries. (I know, I know. Appealing to tradition is a weak way to prove a point, but it is educational and pretty darn fascinating). So from the Bronze Age in China, to the eunuchs of the Roman empire, and even to the cross-dressing mugawe in Kenya, here's a brief (but handy) timeline:
2nd Century: Roman emperor Elagabalus sends out a request for an out-of-town male athlete named Aurelius Zoticus, whom he later marries in a lavish ceremony.
1552: Francisco Lopez de Gomara reports in History of the Indies that men are marrying other men.
1569: Friar Gaspar de Cruz claims natural disasters in China are God’s punishment for its people's acceptance of sodomy and same-sex marriages. (De Cruz calls this scene "a filthy abomination," an annoyingly popular evangelical meme that's still used today.) Turns out, homosexuality had been going on in China since the Bronze Age.
1576: History of the Province of Santa Cruz describes indigenous women in Brazil who follow the "berdache" tradition of mixing gender roles: "each has a woman to serve her, to whom she says she is married, and they treat each other and speak to each other as man and wife." Male berdaches can also marry other men.
1937: Melville Herskovits, later the seminal author behind The Myth of the Negro Past, discovers that the Nuer society in Sudan recognizes woman-woman marriages, where an infertile woman divorces her husband, finds another woman to be her wife, and then finds a man to impregnate her wife. The wife's kids consider the "female-husband" to be their father, a tradition that's practiced by the Kikuyu and Nandi in Kenya, some Ibo and Yoruba in Nigeria, and dozens of other tribes.
1973: A British anthropologist discovers the mugawe—a religious leader of the Meru in Kenya—who cross dresses, is usually gay, and sometimes marries other men.
For more juicy info, check out this historian's affidavit about the roots of gay marriage here (PDF).
Khartoum, Aug. 23 (SUNA) - The government has assigned a sum of 1.9 billion dollars for implementing developmental projects in the three Darfur states
Meanwhile, a meeting of the higher committee for implementation of Darfur peace strategy, chaired by the Vice - President of the Republic, Ali Osman
August 15, 2010 (Washington) -- The United States special envoy to Sudan Major General (Ret.) Scott Gration may soon be nominated to replace Michael Ranneberger as US ambassador to Kenya, a Washington based blogger reports.
Josh Rogin, who owns the Washington insider blog, “The Cable”, cited “multiple administration sources” in his report as having provided him with credible information.
“The news comes in the wake of a contentious principals-level meeting at the White House last week, in which Gration clashed openly with U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice over the direction of Sudan policy”, Mr. Rogin wrote in his report.
Ragin added that “at the meeting, Rice was said to be "furious" when Gration proposed a plan that makes the January referendum a priority, deemphasizes the ongoing crisis in Darfur, and is devoid of any additional pressures on the government in Khartoum”.
The plan was later endorsed by all cabinet members including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
One Washington Observer believes that Gration may have fallout with some influential figures within the administration.
"The fact that he's being rotated out of this position suggests that he may have won a number of battles but lost the war. If people were overwhelmingly happy with his performance, it seems odd you would move him out to be ambassador of a neighboring country," said John Norris, executive director of the Enough Project, a leading Sudan anti-genocide advocacy organization, was quoted by “The Cable” as saying.
In June, Gration expressed his disappointment over violence in Darfur; he calls upon the government of Sudan and Darfur rebel forces to refrain from violence, and urged the African Union/United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to protect the people of Darfur.
“The recent spike in casualties caused by increased fighting between the Government of Sudan and JEM is deeply troubling. I'm also gravely concerned about reports of continued banditry, assaults, and gender-based violence targeting civilians, as well as recent kidnappings of peacekeepers and humanitarian workers”, Gration said in June.
The American special envoy also said that the international community is planning for January 9, 2011 – a reference to referendum on South Sudan independence.
The US special envoy to Sudan is a son of missionary parents, grew up in Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, and is fluent in Kiswahili, according to “The Cable”.
By Justin Ambago Ramba, MD
August 16, 2010 (SSNA) -- The more things change in the Sudan, the more they remain the same. This is typical of the post CPA era, where policies were supposed to have been changed to accommodate a diversified citizenry for a country already at the verge of collapse and disintegration due to imbalanced policies, marred by racial and cultural prejudices.
Within the Sudan’s socioeconomic and political power house in Khartoum, still exists the mindsets of the 20th century and it continues to dictate the pace of the changes taking place in the country. It will be a sheer naivety should we look at the Sudan only in terms of SPLM, Umma, DUP, NDA, JEM, SLM or NIF/NCP. The country remains polarised to the four geographical directions and nobody knows whether this set up will ever give way to any other module where a better Sudan for all can be envisaged.
Preferring not to talk about how the 5th Population census was intentional manipulated to give the world a false impression of the 21st century Sudan, nor will I waste the readers valuable time in talking about the sham election of April 2010, however there is already a new danger ahead for any peace loving Sudanese, be them from the south or the north. Thanks to the fact that the CPA is never expected to exist forever and as such the people of Sudan must start taking the unfolding events more seriously especially as the peace agreement nears its end.
At this particular juncture president Omer al Bashir himself or his deputy, Ali Osman Taha and the rest of the leadership in the NCP need to cope up with the fact that for them to continue to have a say on south Sudan, they must allow for a timely referendum to take place. It is only when the people of south Sudan have majority so chosen to remain in a united Sudan through that referendum which must be free, fair, transparent and credible then al Bashir and his regime can continue to rule over the south. While they must be reminded that anything else outside this set scenario will only promote secession even if the whole Nile has to run red.
Nevertheless most Sudanese are already aware of the fact that the country can no longer be kept united without risking going back to war, although the minority northern elites who are historically detached from the realities of the Sudan continue to displaying behaviours that only suit those who are hooked up in the world of fantasies away from the facts of life. Nowhere is this malignant mindset well manifested than in the way the northern NCP/NIF has so far gone around putting hurdles in the implantation of the CPA. Foot dragging, intentional delays, lack of urgency to outright reluctance have come to form a typical pattern of NCP’s approach to crucial national issues far from realising that by so doing it has even done more damage to any chance of unity in the Sudan, than if it were to have implemented the agreement to the word and spirit.
To date the referendum to determine the fate of south Sudan is right at the fore front of international politics with dozens of stake-holders absorbed in finding ways on how best the imminent political divorce between the two parts of the country can be achieved and possibly averting any return to war. Unfortunately this same sensitivity in handling this stage of the peace agreement is not in any way shared by the country’s President, Omer al Bashir nor did his hardliners of the Islamic fanatics who continue to dominate the politics of the Khartoum based Islamic regime.
The whole of the international community as represented by the US administration, EU, UN, AU, and the IGAD have all declared their readiness to see that a fair, transparent, timely and credible referendum takes place on the 9th of January 2011. To back up their words, they have all come forwards donating in total 80% of the whole cost for the polling exercise and are still ready to do more should the peace partners request for it. This is totally incomparable to the pathetic situation on the Sudanese side where outstanding issues like the border between the north and the south remain unsolved.
However the failure of the two partners to name a secretary general for the National Referendum Commission (NRC) is one main point that blows the whole drama out of proportions. The NRC is the body entrusted with running the referendum barely four months from now, and for it to remain non functioning up till now signifies a sinister intent especially so from the northern NCP of president Omer al Bashir.
The bizarre position of the dominant Islamist party of Omer Bashir has nothing to do with unity of the Sudan as they would what to mislead the public opinion into believing. The NIF/NCP‘s only interest is to retain their tight grip on power in the centre. The referendum and eventually the secession of the south is bent to deprive them not only of a traditional sphere of influence but may also set a precedent where the volatile Darfur may go to become uncontrollable and possibly opt for a state of its own. Voices are already coming up from the Nuba Mountains and other parts of the country where the people are seriously considering some forms of greater autonomy, if not an outright secession.
It will also be a gross mistake to think that it is only the northerners or even the Islamists for that matter who are seriously concerned with maintaining the Sudan as a united country. The naked fact is that it is the racially Arab oriented and Islamic galvanised policies being vertically imposed by the northern riveran elites throughout the decades following the so-called independence of the Sudan that has directly trigger waves of discontent and disunity the nationwide.
The Southern dominated SPLM was initially a unionist movement, per the confessions of its founders and senior leaders. However their view of a united Sudan is never shared by the northern and to some extend the other parts of the country. While SPLM continues to stand by its vision of a secular united Sudan, the NIF/NCP and the other religiously oriented political groups in the northern parts of the country are not only keen to maintain the currently Islamic structure, but are ready to use State apparatus to promote Arabism and Islamism, leaving the dream of a secular Sudan impossible to achieve.
It is indeed quite unfortunate for those who stand by the unity of the Sudan that the version of unity to be contested in January 9th referendum is the unity existing today in the country. it is the unity under Omer al Bashir and his Islamic NCP which obviously leaves a non Arab , non Muslim south Sudanese not only totally disadvantaged, but in an extremely inferior position within his/her own country. Anybody in their right state of mind will never miss an opportunity to liberate themselves from this type of a setting whenever an opportunity avails itself. It is an answer to many struggles, prayers and dreams and it will be extremely stupid for people of south Sudan to squander such an opportunity.
On the other hand the ruling NCP is aware that the unity that it is offering to the southerners is a unity that is not attractive in any way and that the momentum picked up by the call for Independence of south Sudan has reached an unstoppable stage. But as one of the party’s senior figure, Speaker at the National Assembly in Omdurman once put it, they (NCP), are going to make it extremely difficult for the south to secede. This is different from making unity attractive, and it is a point I would like Professor Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil, the chairperson for the National Referendum Commission (NRC), to understand. He has to know that the ill intentions of his fellow northerners are already made abundantly clear to the people of the South. This already makes his duty extremely difficult if he is to find even a single southerner to fool so that the north gets both the chair position as well as the secretary general on the referendum commission.
Professor Khalil is quick to blame the southern members of the NCR for the fact that they are bent to vote as a block. This begs me to have reservations on the way the Professor intends to tackle the referendum issues. He talks of lack of trust between the southern and northern members of his commission which to him is unhealthy because it would deny a northerner from becoming the secretary general of the commission. Is this the Professor’s main concern? A point well made and Mr. Chairman wants his secretary general to be a fellow northerner, which unfortunately is not going to happen. And as he threatens to quit, I think with his kind of mindset, he better does so. How do we rate a Professor who doesn’t see “lack of trust” being the actually reason that the South is insisting to go to the referendum?
The SPLM secretary general on his side has already declared to the media that unless the deadlock in the NRC is settled within two weeks and a secretary general in named, there is a fear that the referendum will face demise. This is also a point well made and must be taken seriously by the members of the international community. More pressure need to be exerted on the Sudanese Presidency to approve of a southerner for the post of the NRC secretary general, otherwise it wouldn’t go well in the south where a commission to determine their political fate is unfairly dominated by the northerners. Whether it is the Professor’s personal assessment or it is what the President requests of him, the trust between the north and the south can only work both ways. A northerner as the NRC chairperson and southerner as its secretary general is a good compromise.
We will continue to engage the North through the CPA until the agreement finally runs out. What we are not ready for is the renegotiation of the truce. How short a time we are left with, still efforts can be doubled to secure that the referendum is carried out as scheduled and on time. It is understandable that confrontations with our traditional foes in the North will never stop and the possibility of going back to war is all rife; however we will not be dragged into a premature venture. But when we will finally fight, we will do so solely to protect our declared Independent and sovereign state.
Our word to the international community should be clear, brief and to the point. We are not warmongers, but we believe that our Independence and sovereignty are our utmost goals. Although negotiating with the fanatic NIF/NCP Islamists and the North in general can be a nightmare, but as long as we have the International community on our side together with a viable CPA, we will continue to pursue peaceful settlements for the benefit of all. However should we be forced to fight again, we will do so as a people with pride and dignity.
“A hero is born among a hundred, a wise man is found among a thousand, but an accomplished one might not be found even among a hundred thousand.” –Plato.
By Luk Kuth Dak
August 16, 2010 (SSNA) -- Have you ever asked yourself the question, why there’re some great leaders and some who aren’t? The answer is, great leaders are those individual politicians who have an informed passion for politics and serving others. And passion is essential because it plays a major role in making tough decisions that might never be popular, but that must be made for the greater good.
Meanwhile, those leaders who aren’t great, are virtually the ones who have an uninformed passion for politics or serving others. They become politicians purely for individualistic purposes- mostly- in search of fame and wealth. Thus, an uninformed passion is as dangerous as any other form of ignorance.
Certainly, those kinds of selfish individualistic politicians not only are they toxic to their own societies, but they are dangerous to their nations, in that they wouldn’t hesitate or have a second thought, to destroy their people and nation, if it fulfills their personal wants and needs. Therefore culling them should be the duty of everyone in South Sudan.
To prove my point, you shouldn’t look further than the “Jallaba golden boys” Dr. Lam Akol, and most certainly, the purported Professor, David De Chand.
However, the sad truth is, we are all being presumed guilty by association with those individuals. And in David’s case, I’m twice as guilty. Firstly, by both of us being South Sudanese. And secondly, by both being Nuer, even though he doesn’t speak a word of the Nuer language, nor he behaves as a Nuer should behave. Not to mention, of course, that his name “David De Chand” sounds more French than the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy.
Besides, in a recent interview with Al Rayaam, a pro government Arabic daily newspaper, the congenital liar, David De Chand was quoted as saying, “ The time is not right for the South Sudan to secede; We shall not accept to be cut off from Sudan.” Then he was asked about the imposition of the Islamic faith on none Muslims, especially in the so-called Sudan’s national capital, Khartoum. De Chand wasted no time. “There’s no such a thing as Islam’s imposition taking place; And by the way, the majority of South Sudanese are now Muslims; Mosques exist along Churches because there is freedom of worship; Our problem in the Sudan is political. It’s neither racial nor religious,” he disgorged.
Now, that’s as treacherous as it gets. And it had to hurt, especially for some of us, who identify themselves as Nuer. I can go on and on again, but, I think you got the message.
In essence, as an anchorman and a reporter, I was privileged enough to get the sense of what great leaders are all about, and what they all have in common. Based on that exposure, there no is shadow of a doubt in my humble opinion, and that of many other South Sudanese people that, Honorable, Ustaz Pagam Amum, the distinguished Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) is indeed one of the greatest leaders in South Sudan and a true patriot, who always has the best interest of the people of South Sudan at heart, and stands up for what is the right thing to do.
Indeed, I’m livid. Instead of thanking the man and extolling him for all he has done, and for waking up every morning, and going to bed every night, thinking about the welfare of South Sudan, he has now become the target of cheap shots bashing, name-calling and character assassination, by the sellout flunkies and NCP Southern accomplices in the so-called SPLM-DC; who are engaging in the king-making of Dr. Lam Akol.
Like most Southerners, I can fully understand the reasons behind the relentless assault and the savage campaign waged by the NCP/NIF bigots, against Ustaz Pagan Amum. That’s their prerogative. But, when the assault comes from some wicket South Sudanese, it can’t be anything less than a treason. And those who commit treason belong behind bars.
Pagan Amum is a hero, indeed.
August 22, 2010 (Khartoum) -- Sudan is planning to build a nuclear reactor for electricity purpose, Sudan’s state run media SUNA reports.
“The government had begun to plan in early 2010 to develop nuclear energy”, Mohamed Ahmed Hassan el-Tayeb, director-general of the Sudanese Atomic Energy Agency, was quoted by SUNA as saying.
The director of SAEA said that officials from IAEA are expected to arrive in Sudan this week for further discussion.
SUNA said that Sudan will build its first nuclear power plant by 2010 with assistance from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
"The Ministry of Electricity and Dams has already started preparing for the project to produce power from nuclear energy in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and is expected to build the first nuclear power plant in the year 2020," SUNA reported.
Iran is thought to be helping the Sudanese government build its first nuclear power plant.
However, some global experts on security believe that Iran may be using Sudan as a “scapegoat” to funnel weapons to Iran-sponsored terrorist organizations in Africa and the Middle East.
In May, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, was accused of operating a secret weapons factory in Sudan. But Sudan dismissed the charges as a “smear tactic” by the west.
Sudan is a member of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since 1958.