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.
By Justin Ambago Ramba, MD
No postponement of the referendum.
August 23, 2010 (SSNA) -- Many international observers including the Sudanese themselves have since long warned against the slow pace at which the Sudanese Presidency is moving around implementing the different parts of the CPA. Time and time again it has also been brought to the notice of the Khartoum NIF dominated government that the referendum cannot be delayed as the interim constitution has no room for any such extension, all to no avail.
However on the other hand it cannot be overstressed that the CPA has brought them much closer than ever before to their national dream of an independence south Sudan nation. At this particular moment in history as a struggling people, there is a need to stick together for the timely implementation of the remaining issues on the paper. There is also a need to show to the international community that we are doing our best until we reach the 9th of January 2011. The GoSS and the SSLA and the entire population of south Sudan are clearly against any postponement to the referendum, how little that maybe. Worrying though is the conceding pattern that has come to dominate Salva Kiir’s leadership records.
My sincere hope is that the SPLM and the NCP realise the fact that a delay to the referendum is not an option for the south, and that the hopes and expectations of the people of south Sudan are so pinned on that date that it would be dangerous to postpone it because the level of frustration and disappointment would be too high for anybody to manage. I also hope that the President Omer al Bashir appreciates the protection that he enjoys as a result of the CPA against his crimes committed in Darfur. However his recent behaviours may cause this protection to wean out faster, thus making him more vulnerable to appear before the ICC before long.
Today the panicky NIF/NCP gurus and ideologues can be seen crisscrossing the whole length and width of the Sudan as if it was only in the August of the year 2010 that lastly the Self Determination clauses in the CPA are beginning to sink into the bigoted northern mindset. It is all about keeping up appearances, which is well summarised in Ali Osman Taha’s speech to the members of the Ansar Al Sunna Islamic Sect in Khartoum when he said, “We are never going to surrender to the campaigns that portray the secession of the south as inevitable. We will continue to work to retain the unity of this country till the last minute”, (al Sharq al Awsat).
Somewhere in a report written Nurelddin Satti (ret) UNISCO consultant, he was quoted to have said that the NCP are will to cooperate more in avoiding any return to wars with the south should the result of the 2011 referendum come anything short of secession. (Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars –AFRICA, August 2010). In another similar development as if the south needs a reminding on how the north have thrived through the political bullying of the other Sudanese, Nafie Ali Nafie, a senior advisor to president Omer al Bashir, wasted no time in warning the SPLM against any unilateral declaration of independence by the South Sudan legislative Assembly (SSLA) as an alternative to the referendum. He emphasized that such an attempt by the SPLM would amount to "political suicide".
Considering the common background from which these bigoted and chauvinistic Islamists of the NIF/NCP crept into the mainstream of Sudan’s politics, the fate of this country will continue to exist on the balance. Anybody of average sensibility can never fail to see the apparent justification to conclude that these guys’ understanding of the rest of the country has been negatively prejudiced by a false sense of superiority which unfortunately is built of the evils of the gross Socio-economic disparities of the Sudan, which gave the Arab riveran’ elites their present day status quo.
In line with the aforementioned reasoning, the NCP Secretary for Organizations Qutbi Al-Mahdi, found it completely uncomfortable to accept the newly adopted position of the SANU chairman who changed from championing a campaign for unity barely two weeks ago to a new position that is supportive of the independence of the South per the press release signed by Dr. Toby Maduot Parek Machar personally (Sudan Tribune 20th august 2010).
"This party has lost the road since a long time ago and its current leadership is unable to continue to walk on the line adopted by the party founder, William Deng and his colleagues who argued that the federal system is the best solution." Qutbi AL-Mahdi said.
However Qutbi himself was quick to acknowledge the overwhelming support for secession and Independence that exists in the South, when he went on to say.
“SANU leaders could not walk on with the idea and finally gave in to the general atmosphere prevailing in the south”, Qutbi further stressed.
From what can be gathered so far, it is clear that the SPLM and its slippery partners in the NCP are so much getting consumed most of the time in keeping up appearances. Many things are already happening which are primarily intended to compromise the outcome of the referendum if not straight away deny the people of south Sudan they constitutional right to Self Determination as stipulated in the 2005 CPA.
On August 23, 2010 the online Sudan Tribune Daily runs this report: — “The Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) has agreed to let a Northerner hold the post of the Secretary General of the referendum commission, multiple sources told Sudan Tribune”. This though is a disappointment to the southern masses, however it serves as a reminder first as to what SPLM can and cannot do. Secondly it also teaches us a lesson to vividly see what unity with the Arab north entails. They get the top positions and the rest are forever resigned to lower jobs.
Every peace loving nation of the world and their silent citizens may be held accountable as they stand by while the NCP and their fellow Arab allies are allowed to openly conspire using the states’ manipulative machinery with the sole intent of rigging the will of the people of south Sudan. It is nowhere more apparent that the NCP is working to pre-fix the results of the referendum more than when it resorts to engage in psychological warfare with the SPLM over the latter’s position on unity.
However the realities of things are beginning to surface one by one proving that the North – South confrontations were wrongly assumed to have been brought under control by the power and wealth sharing agreements between the two traditional foes. The more we approach the end of the CPA period; the more the truth about the truce is undoubting beginning to reveal every bit that was taken for granted while the two sides were hurried up in 2005 to seal a deal.
The CPA remains threatened and vulnerable given the worrying fact that President Omer al Bashir and his dominant NCP are beginning to feel uneasy towards the anticipated pro- secession victory in the coming referendum. Even more disturbing is their irritating attitude in engaging with the citizens of the south in what clearly says that unless the north is sure of maintaining the unity of the Sudan, otherwise it won’t allow the conduct of the referendum to proceed. This confirms the scepticism of many who never trusted the NCP to live to honour the CPA especially that it declares in the most an unequivocal terms the Right of the people of south Sudan to Self Determination.
‘Political Suicide’, or not, it is imperative for Nafie Ali Nafie to realise that the real suicide about to be committed by his NCP is if the Presidency fails to secure an on time referendum. This is equally important for his boss president al Bashir and his several aides that any return to north-south war will see an all out war in the whole Sudan. With the different people of the South, the Nuba Mountains, the Southern Blue Nile and the Beja Eastern Front, all confronting Khartoum, the northern Arab riverans should be prepared to fight in the four geographical directions if they are to retain power in Khartoum. Never again will Khartoum thrive in the luxury of killing two birds with one stone when it used the people of Darfur, Kordofan and Eastern Sudan as war fodders in its Holy War against the South.
By Deng Riak Khoryoam, South Sudan
Quote: “It’s not the strongest, neither the most intelligent species that survive the possibility of extinction over the history; but the species that is responsive to change” (Charles Darwin, 1809-1882)
August 23, 2010 (SSNA) -- At the outset of this piece of writing, I would like to make it crystal clear that I am not out there to criticize for the sake of it. My aim is to criticize constructively by offering suggestions/solutions to the problems facing our government in the south, and I do so objectively. I have got no ulterior motives too. I am not out to crucify personalities but challenging them (the leaders) to change their behaviors, which could have negative effects on people. Above all, I am advocating for a policy change to be more accommodative and subject to public scrutiny. We have to be honest to ourselves before we can demand from our northern brothers to show honesty on issues of concern. Although I know that sometimes honesty is not synonymous with the truth, but at least, we can set it as the one that should never get compromised.
In the past couple of months after the general elections, the focus of Sudanese politics shifted immediately to the referendum by Southerners for self-determination of the new status of South Sudan. This is generating lot of public debate about the two choices (unity and separation), especially when the compass tend to indicate that southern independence is inevitable. I have been following closely the events as they unfolded, and continue to unfold. I read a lot of nonsensical comments made by different northern figures denouncing southerners opting for secession as it’s practically the case now because southerners are fed up with northerner’s unwillingness to abolish Islamic laws, which are discriminative in nature and coupled with other countless undesirable things. They’ve blown things out of proportion and now it is dawning on them either to respect and accept the outcome of the forthcoming referendum or prepare for an eventuality that they might not enjoy.
But now in addition to this, there is something much more disturbing; is that the regional parliament in the south. This parliament has not really been up to the duty expected from law-makers. The members there are not speedingly doing their business in the August house in light with this upcoming referenda in the south and Abyei. Some reports were obtained that the MPs are going up to three months without sessions or sittings because apparently there are no agendas that have been set to deliberate on, and that the acting speaker (who is the deputy speaker) is unable to do the job since the speaker is on long holidays.
But here comes the questions: why are there no agendas in parliament to discuss when there are a lot of things that are supposed to happen as a prerequisite for the referendum to happen on time and to avoid the worst case scenario of like what happened to the previous population census and general elections? Is it because there are no agendas or it’s because the MPs are incapable of carrying out their duties as expected by the electorates? Were these MPs really voted in by their constituents or were just rigged in by SPLM on people’s behalf as a kind of political patronage?
You will certainly agree with me that most of the 171 MPs currently in the Juba parliament are just masquerading as people’s representatives, yet in actual sense, they are not. They are either there to represent and protect the interest of their appointing authority or their own selfish- interests. The wise ones had managed to woo their constituents to vote them in using unrealistic promises, which they knew will never be fulfilled except in ideal circumstances. A government institutions where there are no checks and balances, is as dangerous as a car on high speed without a brake. The implications are dire. This is the case in our parliament as well as the GOSS. With this, the South could be emerging into troubles as we watch it scaringly!!!
The issue of national anthem being drafted or handled by army personnel instead of parliamentarians shows how dysfunctional and empty the parliament is in its dealings, especially on public affairs. In my view, just like any other southerners who have expressed their opinions and bitterness on this, the work of military personnel in the likes of Kuol Deim Kuol and Malaak Ayuen is not supposed to be in direct interference into the civilian politics. They can only be invited to give a helping hand to the civilian executive or legislative branch of GoSS if at all they are proven to be having useful experience in composition of national anthems, but not doing the other-way-round as if they are above those powers.
In my opinion, a special committee should have been formed by parliament to draft and handle the national anthem and try to get the views from the masses to see whether it represents the conscience as well as the diversity of all southerners. This brings me these questions: when did the MPs declare themselves as obsolete in their duties so that other could do them on their behalf? When did the constitution legalize army generals to get involved in civilian politics or is it because they know that the Southern Sudan parliament is not able to do its duties? Which system of government do we want to have or adapt; is it parliamentary and presidential or military one? Now the Juba parliament is just quiet and reluctant even after the thing came to light a couple of months ago.
In conclusion, the South Sudan parliament should reconsider its position again or be educated on what they are supposed to do if they think they represent people in that August house. Otherwise, I hold an opinion that majority of the SSLA MPs don’t know their responsibilities and duties as the people’s representatives; they only know to cause havocs and intimidations like stripping off the SPLM-DC members of their immunities on no substantial grounds. The committee that was tasked to look into this found no reason to implicate the four innocent SPLM-DC MPs in the murder of the Shilluk Paramount Chief and those accompanying him in the GoSS donated new brand Toyota Double Cabin Hilux last May. But funny enough, some malicious SPLM's MPs insisted that they were involved in whatever circumstances surrounding the incidence even if there are no legal evidences found? It is like saying "whether it flies it is still a goat."
What kind of a parliament is this in the whole world that does not respect the rule of law when its members are supposed to be law-makers!!!. I am tempted to say here that I can only have confident on those MPs who went to the parliament either as independent candidates or from other political parties' tickets, because they really have the real mandate from the people. Change will happen one day.
South Sudan Youth Association in Ethiopia
August 23rd, 2010
August 25, 2010 (SSNA) -- We, a group of Southern Sudan Youth, have come together in Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa to organize ourselves to consider the contribution of youth in the upcoming referendum and to have a brainstorming on difficulties and issues faced by the GOSS to deal with post-referendum situation. We have come to realize that massive diplomatic campaign is required to promote the separation of South Sudan should the people vote for separation.
Despite our volunteer contribution to promote the cause of South Sudan people, the youth have decided not to work under the GOSS Liaison Office in Addis Ababa due to the following points:
1. The Southern Sudanese in Ethiopia have come to conclusion to work with the Bureau of South Sudan Referendum Commission in Juba to organize eligible voters in Ethiopia to exercise their right of self-determination. Refugees in Gambella, Addis Ababa, Jima and various refugee camps have gladly welcomed the position of the youth to work directly with Justice Chan Ariic in order to mobilize South Sudan refugees to vote in the upcoming referendum as stipulated in the South Sudan Referendum Act.
2. To demonstrate the seriousness of our campaign to let the people of South Sudan vote for separation, we protested and matched at the African Union building to show to Africa that South Sudanese in Ethiopia want to vote in the upcoming referendum as stipulated in the South Sudan Referendum Act. We appreciate the support from the Ethiopian people during our protest at Africa Union building to condemn the attempts of the NCP to postpone the referendum.
3. The youth have concluded that referendum must be exercised on time as per the provisions of the CPA. We call upon the SPLM Political Bureau not to waver in this to promote complete implementation of the CPA. We congratulate the SPLM Political Bureau, which met from August 13-16, for taking a firm position that referendum shall not be postponed.
4. We call upon the people of South Sudan to vote for separation in the upcoming referendum to maintain the human dignity of the upcoming generations. Voting for separation is reasonable given the failure of the NCP to transform the country from its current racist status to a more inclusive country for all.
5. We call upon the international community to condemn the ongoing genocide in Darfur and should prevent the NCP from turning the South into another Darfur in the making in January, 2011, as signs of the NCPs refusal to implement the CPA have become visible.
6. We call upon the African Union to allow the International Criminal Court to establish an office in Addis Ababa to bring to justice the perpetrators of Darfur genocide and to become a witness to NCPs activities of destabilizing South Sudan to create genocide.
For contact: South Sudan Youth Association
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
August 26, 2010 (Khartoum) -- Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir will attend the ceremony of Kenya’s new constitution, Sudan state run media SUNA reports on Thursday.
SUNA initially broke the news saying al-Bashir will head to Kenya on Friday at the invitation from his Kenyan counterpart president Mwai Kibaki to attend the celebrations of the declaration of the new Kenyan constitution.
However, during a briefing to the media, Kenya's secretary to the Cabinet Amb Francis Muthaura indicated that presidents of Tanzania, Rwanda, Comoros, Somalia and Government of Southern Sudan as among those who would attend the occasion, according to the Daily Nation-Kenya.
“President Al-Bashir will be accompanied during the visit by the Minister at the Presidency of the Republic, Gen. Bakri Hassan Salih, the Presidential Advisor, Dr Mustafa Osman Ismail, the Foreign Minister, Ali Karti, and the Director of the National Security and Intelligence, Gen. Mohamed Atta”, SUNA further explained.
It is not clear as to why the president would only choose top government figures who are from his ruling National Congress party (NCP) without including anyone from his main peace partner, the SPLM.
Khartoum has increasingly becomes furious after al-Bashir was charged in June by the Hague-based court with three counts of genocide.
Omar al-Bashir who consistently refused to recognize court rulings went to Chad in June to attend three days summit of the Sahel-Saharan states – a move seen by many analysts as collective effort by Khartoum the defy the court.
The Sudanese president is wanted by International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
Kenya is a member of Rome Statue and can implement the warrant if it chooses to do so.
The South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) has not independently confirmed the report whether or not president al-Bashsir flown to Nairobi to attend the ceremony.