A steering committee on cattle rustling in the eastern Africa region wants member states to ratify the protocol on combating the vice.
The committee said ratification of the protocol on prevention, combating and eradication of cattle rustling in eastern Africa will add muscle to the fight against the vice.
The call was made on Monday as delegates from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Sudan began a two-day meeting of the Mifugo project, a partnership between the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs’ Cooperation and the Institute of Security Studies.
Established in 2008, Mifugo, a Swahili word for livestock, is tasked to implement the fight against cattle rustling.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Augusta Muchai, the Mifugo programme head, said the five member states had not ratified the protocol.
She said by not ratifying the protocol signed in 2008, the member states were slowing down the fight aginst the vice. “I request that members of the steering committee put pressure on the relevant authorities in their countries to make sure that they ratify the law,” Muchai said.
Representing Uganda’s Inspector General of Police as the guest of honour, Okoth Ochola, the assistant Inspector General of Police, said efforts were underway to have Uganda ratify the protocol.
“Even though Uganda is committed to ratifying the protocol, this has not yet happened due to various challenges.”
Ochola added that the First Lady, Janet Museveni, who is also the Karamoja affairs state minister, was paying personal attention to the ratification process and “with her push, we are optimistic that any remaining hurdles will be overcome.”
Earlier, Dr. Nicholas Kauta, the director of animal resources at the agriculture ministry, had said cattle rustling was responsible for the proliferation of livestock diseases (New Vision).
NAIROBI // Sudan is at a crossroads and perhaps no one knows this better than John Paguir. As the undersecretary for trade in the government of Southern Sudan, Mr Paguir’s job is to attract foreign investment in the aspiring nation.
But with tensions mounting between north and south Sudan, a shaky start to an independence referendum and continued conflict in the western Darfur region, this may not be the ideal time to invest anywhere in Sudan.
The unsure fate of Southern Sudan – whether it votes for independence or if the referendum even happens in January as scheduled – as well as that of the rest of Sudan makes Mr Paguir’s job difficult.
“It would be much better for investment if Southern Sudan becomes independent,” he said in a recent interview. “We have resources, yes, but we need to bring investors to develop our land. There is fear. Some say they will wait until after 2011.”
The next five months will be perhaps the most critical period in the recent history of Sudan, Africa’s largest country by land mass and home to 42 million people. The oil-producing south is careening towards a Jan 9 referendum on independence. This is the last step in a 2005 peace deal that ended the country’s 20-year civil war between the Muslim north and Christian south.
A member of the referendum committee said last week that the vote should be delayed, which sparked a backlash from southern leaders who have staked their political careers on delivering independence for the south.
“The time that is remaining is not enough to hold a referendum,” Tarek Osman al Taher said. “We at the commission will begin the necessary measures to try to hold the referendum on time but we must warn the partners that there is not enough time.”
Several issues need to be resolved before the vote including the demarcation of the border and division of oil revenues between the north and south. There is also the task of organising a free and fair referendum across an underdeveloped region that still sees flare-ups of tribal violence.
A presidential election in April was mostly peaceful but was plagued with technical problems in the south. Juba, the southern capital, has little infrastructure and is ill-prepared to be the capital of an independent nation, according to many westerners who live there.
A delay in the referendum would be a violation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the civil war, southern leaders warned.
“Any proposal to postpone the referendum will be considered a violation of the CPA and would be a threat to the entire peace process,” Pagan Amum, peace minister in the southern government, told reporters in Juba. He added that Southern Sudan would have “other mechanisms to exercise its right to self-determination in the event of any attempt to put off or create obstacles to this referendum”.
Leaders from the north and south began last week to meet to resolve issues of citizenship, currency and international treaties the south would join if it votes for independence.
“Action at the political level to resolve these outstanding questions without further delay is clearly now of the utmost importance,” said Derek Plumbly, head of the Assessment and Evaluation Commission, a Sudanese commission tasked with implementing the peace agreement.
Even if Southern Sudan votes for separation, as most analysts believe will happen, and the process goes smoothly, Khartoum will still be left with a lingering conflict in the western Darfur region. The war between Arab nomads and African tribes over scarce resources has killed about 300,000 people since 2003, according to the United Nations. The International Criminal Court has indicted Omar al Bashir, the Sudanese president, for genocide.
With most of the villages in the vast arid region razed, many Darfuris live in packed, squalid camps near big cities. Last week, Sudan barred aid groups from some of the largest Darfur camps because of clashes between groups in the camps that are divided over the peace process.
Khartoum has been accused using aid as a political tool and withholding the much-needed assistance in order to punish certain groups.
Advocacy groups warned that Southern Sudan’s referendum and the north-south issues are taking the international community’s attention away from the Darfur conflict, even as violence there surges.
“The US and other key countries have largely turned away from serious political engagement in Darfur in favour of the north-south issues,” said John Prendergast, co-founder of The Enough Project, an advocacy group. “By not focusing on an all-Sudan solution, they end up with no solution at all, and the crises bleed on.”
KHARTOUM (AFP) – Sudan's ruling National Congress Party said on Thursday its southern partners in government would commit "suicide" if they declared an independent state without a referendum.
The southern Sudan People's Liberation Movement threatened to opt for "alternative options" if a January referendum is delayed. A commission tasked with organising the referendum has not yet started work because of disagreements.
The NCP's deputy leader Nafie Ali Nafie told reporters that the SPLM wanted to divide Sudan, adding "if the movement decided on declaring south Sudan's independence by a parliamentary vote without a referendum it would be committing political suicide."
He insisted the NCP wanted to hold the referendum on schedule and resolve problems that could delay it.
The referendum was a key part of a 2005 peace agreement that ended more than 20 years of fighting between the north and the south.
The commission that is responsible for organising the referendum, which analysts say is likely to result in a win for the secessionists, has yet to appoint a secretary general to conduct its work.
On Wednesday, US envoy to Sudan Scott Gration arrived for talks, in an effort to address concerns over the schedule of the vote.
Southern Sudan on Friday called for a special Inter-Governmental Authority on Development to address alleged plans by their northern partners to scuttle or delay a referendum set for January.
Ambassador John Andruga Duku, who is chief coordinator of the International Campaign Countdown to Southern Referendum warned that any interference with the referendum could return the country to war.
Mr Duku was accompanied by his organisation's Chief Coordinator Information and Media Campaign, Mr Jervasio Okot
Addressing journalists in Nairobi, Mr Duku who is a former Government of Southern Sudan representative to Kenya said it is wrong for IGAD countries to watch as the referendum, which is crucial to peace and stability in the region was faced with huge obstacles.
“It is not late to salvage South Sudan from sliding back to war. IGAD should undertake an extra-ordinary step with Kenya being its chair of sub-committee on Sudan calling for a special Summit to avert the situation,” Mr Duku said.
He added: “It does not require a rocket scientist to realise the situation in Sudan is very serious and that IGAD has become a spectator instead of a guarantor of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).’
Signed in Kenya in January 2005, the CPA ended 21 years of war between former Southern rebels Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement\Army and Khartoum’s National Congress Party. The north and south Sudan have been at war for 39 out 54 years the country has been independent and the referendum was meant to enable the south decide whether they should continue under a united country or unite.
On Friday, Mr Duku said the fight, which started before independence was as a result of unit forced on south Sudan by the British, Egypt and Khartoum government.
“To us unity is equivalent to war which resulted loss of two million lives and slavery. In the CPA which calls for referendum we thus saw hope and opportunity for genuine peace and stability in the region,” Mr Duku said.
The official the timing of NCP deputy leader Nafie Ali Nafie remarks in Friday’s Nation that southern Sudan would commit suicide if they declared an independent state without a referendum showed the party was against the polls and wants to sabotage it.
Mr Duku said Southern Sudanese people will not accept unity to be imposed on them and warned that the whole region will suffer if instability returns in the country.
He also asked the government of South Sudan to close schools and freeze money meant for infrastructure development so that it could be used for civic education with the students as volunteers.
The monthly demonstrations by the civil society to push for the holding of the referendum on time, he said, would now also be held more frequently “to send a message to the international community that things are good.”
He said the IGAD meeting, if held, should find quick ways of providing financial and technical resources for a successful referendum.
Support is also required to facilitate civic education, registration of voters and other operations.
Mr Duku accused NCP of delaying full composition of the Commission to oversee the referendum and facilitating it to do its work.
He added that the African Union and United Nations should also “play their rightful role as guarantors of the CPA.”
There have been fears the referendum could delay due to little preparations so far done for the polls.
The delay has been occasioned by dispute over appointment of the Secretary General of the Referendum Commission with Chairman Mohamed Khalil being accused of wanting to impose a certain candidate with the southern Sudanese insisting the post should go to one of their own.
The SPLM had threatened to opt for “alternative options” if a January referendum is delayed.
Mr Nafie however accused SPLM of wanting to divide Sudan, adding if the movement decided on declaring south Sudan’s independence by a parliamentary vote without a referendum it would be committing political suicide.” - Daily Nation
China is “frightened” of what might happen if Southern Sudan secedes and must strengthen its ties with the region’s leaders to protect its oil assets, said a Southern Sudan official.
News wires 20 August 2010 17:40 GMT
Oil-rich Southern Sudan, which gained semi-autonomy in a 2005 peace deal that ended a 21-year civil war in which 2 million people died, is to vote in a January referendum on secession from the rest of Sudan to form a new country.
“A lot of wild rumours have been getting to them, that if the south separates, there will be insecurity, and if there is insecurity, their assets worth billions of dollars in the form of pipelines and so on will have been a waste,” Anne Itto, Southern Sudan’s minister of agriculture, told reporters today in the semi-autonomous capital, Juba, upon returning from China.
“I told China, the Chinese people, that if they want to protect their assets, the only way is to develop a very strong relationship with the government of Southern Sudan, respect the outcome of the referendum, and then we will be doing business,” said Itto, who is also deputy secretary-general of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, or SPLM.
Sudan is sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest oil producer, with output of 490,000 barrels per day, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.
Most of the oil is pumped in the south, and China is the main destination for exported Sudan crude.
China is interested in expanding oil exploration to more blocks, Itto said. A senior delegation from the Chinese Communist Party is expected as early as October to try to “bridge the gap,” she said in a Reuters report.
“Whether anybody likes it or not, China is providing leadership in the development of developing countries,” she said.
“They are stepping up. They are funding, particularly in the area of agriculture and exploration of natural resources.”
China National Petroleum Corporation is the operating partner in the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company, of which it owns 40%.
The majority of the GNPOC’s concession falls in Southern Sudan territory, though the oil contracts were signed with the Khartoum government in the north during the war.
JUBA Sudan, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Southern Sudan holds a referendum on Jan. 9 on independence from the north, and most analysts believe the south will secede.
But some question whether the region, which was devastated by decades of civil war but is rich in resources, can survive independently from the north, which it fought for so long.
Here are some questions and answers on an independent south Sudan.
WILL ANYTHING CHANGE?
Analysts who dismiss the doomsday scenarios for secession say that the semi-autonomous south has been effectively self-governing since a 2005 peace deal, and little will change after the vote.
After more than two decades of civil war with the north, the accord allowed the former rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) to govern Southern Sudan, securing billions of dollars in donor funding and oil revenues.
"Currently, the southern government has a lot of operational independence. It has its own legislature, its own security forces and control over an unprecedented amount of government wealth due to oil revenues," said Marc Gustafson, a Sudan scholar at Oxford University.
Many southern officials expect business-as-usual for their development projects and to continue coordination with their northern neighbour after secession.
Isaac Liabwel of the Ministry of Water Resources said a number of joint north-south funded agricultural development and hydro-electric projects in the south were under way, and could continue if funding issues were agreed.
There is general agreement that billions of dollars in aid will be needed to sustain development in the south. A U.N. peacekeeping mission is likely to remain to help with security issues in the south and along the disputed north-south border.
IS THE SOUTH ECONOMICALLY VIABLE?
The south gets 98 percent of its budget revenues from oil, but all the infrastructure and Sudan's ports are in the north, making the south highly vulnerable to any tension with its neighbour.
In the absence of a pipeline or refinery in the south, sharing of oil revenue is likely to continue after secession, but the two sides are debating whether it will remain at roughly 50-50.
The international community has spent billions of dollars to develop the south, and will continue to do so if it secedes.
But the establishment of new state institutions may mean new bureaucratic hurdles for donors already struggling to circumvent endemic corruption.
Since the peace deal, with donor help, the south has set up 29 ministries, built 6,000 km of rudimentary roads, quadrupled school attendance and stamped out outbreaks of polio and measles, according to Lisa Grande, U.N. humanitarian chief in the south.
But south Sudan starts off as one of the poorest parts of the world, which has been embroiled in conflict for all but a few years since 1955.
"(In 2005) there wasn't a functioning school system, there wasn't a functioning health system. So you are talking about constructing a system from the ground up," Grande said.
Private enterprise is severely limited by the lack of infrastructure -- the south has just 60 km of asphalted roads.
CAN THE SOUTH MAINTAIN SECURITY?
Tribal rivalries continue to dominate domestic politics, as groups freely arm themselves with guns left over from the war.
Renegade army generals and southern militias allied with the north clash sporadically with southern government forces.
In addition, the Ugandan rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has staged cross-border attacks from the Democratic Republic of Congo, displacing thousands and halting agricultural projects in the fertile belt.
But of most concern is the north-south conflict, which continues to bubble close to the surface. Clashes in Malakal and the still disputed oil-rich Abyei region have broken the ceasefire since 2005.
Diplomats and intelligence sources say the West and Africa cannot afford to have another Somalia in east Africa, and will spare no expense to prevent an independent southern Sudan becoming a failed state.
But Abyei is far from being resolved, and many believe it will remain a bone of contention and perhaps even spark a return to conflict.
A new war between two states might prove more devastating than the guerrilla insurgency of the civil war, which claimed 2 million lives, drove 4 million from their homes and destabilised much of east Africa.
"The south has a much more developed and conventional military than it did a decade ago, meaning that a new war would be much more destructive than previous ones. This is certainly a deterrent to both sides," said Gustafson.
The U.N. peacekeeping force has been helping to train south Sudan's police and army, but has so far not been able to prevent clashes. (Reporting by Jeremy Clarke, Editing by Opheera McDoom and Kevin Liffey)
SABMiller said on Friday it would double output at its brewing operations in southern Sudan by the end of the year, a sign of the economic boom taking root in the former war zone.
The decision to lift capacity to 350 000 hectolitres from 180 000 when the Juba-based brewery opened in May 2009 also suggests confidence in the stability of the south, which is likely to vote for independence in a January referendum.
"Many people questioned our logic in building not only the first brewery that southern Sudan had seen for 50 years but also the first manufacturing facility in Juba," said Ian Alsworth-Elvey, managing director of Southern Sudan Beverages Ltd (SSBL).
"However, the business has had a very warm welcome to the country and our beer, soft drinks and water brands have found real traction with consumers," he said.
With its $37 million investment, SABMiller is the largest non-oil investor in the southern part of Africa's biggest country, whose prolonged North-South civil war only ended in 2005. As many as 2 million people were killed.
The peace deal provided for the predominantly Christian and animist south to hold a referendum in Januray 2011 on seceding from the Arab-dominated north.
Mutual distrust is hampering negotiations on how to share Sudan's billions of dollars of external debt and the revenues from oil fields in the south.
The worst case scenario could see the two sides resuming hostilities, with disastrous consequences for east African countries such as Kenya and Uganda, which have benefited from Juba's oil-fuelled boom of the last five years.
The main competition for SSBL's distinctive White Bull lager comes from imported bottles of Tusker, brewed by neighbouring Kenya's East African Breweries, a unit of Diageo, the world's largest drinks group. - Reuters
By Deng Malual Jok
Sudan is planning to build a nuclear reactor and its first nuclear power plant by 2020, the state news agency SUNA has said. "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," Tayeb said. Tayeb said an IAEA delegation would visit Sudan to discuss the project this week. Sudan's economy has suffered under US sanctions since 1997 and from decades of warfare. The African country has close economic and political ties with Iran, which is locked in a dispute with the US and some of its allies over its nuclear programme. In defiance of the sanctions, Sudan has managed to hike oil production to 470,000 barrels per day, boosting growth. It has also built dams along the Blue and White Niles, which merge in Sudan, to generate power, however, large swathes of the country remain without regular electricity. According to calculations by the government, Sudan may experience an acute lack of power in about 25 years if other power sources are not developed. Earlier this year, Iran offered to transfer nuclear technology to Sudan. "Iran is prepared to transfer the experience, knowledge and technology of its scientists," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian leader, told visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in March.
Sudan has been an IAEA member since 1958 and can develop a peaceful nuclear energy programme with IAEA assistance.
The Khartoum government announced in March that Sudan needed to look for new energy sources, not excluding nuclear power.
"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," Tayeb said.
Tayeb said an IAEA delegation would visit Sudan to discuss the project this week.
Sudan's economy has suffered under US sanctions since 1997 and from decades of warfare.
The African country has close economic and political ties with Iran, which is locked in a dispute with the US and some of its allies over its nuclear programme.
In defiance of the sanctions, Sudan has managed to hike oil production to 470,000 barrels per day, boosting growth.
It has also built dams along the Blue and White Niles, which merge in Sudan, to generate power, however, large swathes of the country remain without regular electricity.
According to calculations by the government, Sudan may experience an acute lack of power in about 25 years if other power sources are not developed.
Earlier this year, Iran offered to transfer nuclear technology to Sudan.
"Iran is prepared to transfer the experience, knowledge and technology of its scientists," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian leader, told visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in March.
Mohamed Ahmed Hassan el-Tayeb, director-general of the Sudanese Atomic Energy Agency, said on Sunday that his government had begun the plan for the development of the nuclear reactor at the beginning of this year.
"Those Americans have strength and technology, so they can use that to catch Kony," said Anton Juma, another member of the village militia, now sheltering at Nzara. "Our arrows are no use against their guns."
Rebels from Lord’s Resistance Army shoot men, drag off others into forest to join their force.
By Peter Martell/Middle East - NZARA
When the dreadlocked gunmen burst out of the jungle at night firing AK-47 assault rifles, the men of the village took up bows and arrows to defend their families.
But the brave defence was futile. The rebels from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) simply shot the men and dragged off others into the forest to join their force.
"Two of us were killed, and three more wounded," said Vanetta Tamenda, who fled as the rebels began their work, torching his small farming village of Basukangbi, on south Sudan’s remote border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The village’s simple defence force -- calling themselves the ‘Arrow Boys’ -- were swiftly overrun.
"They are too strong," Tamenda said, pulling up a ripped shirt to show bullet wounds in his shoulder and back. "We need guns to defend ourselves."
Tens of thousands of people have been killed in two decades of fighting since LRA chief Joseph Kony took up arms -- initially against the Ugandan government.
Driven out of Uganda, the guerillas have carved out a vast region of control in the dense forests of northeastern DR Congo, south Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR).
The jungle allows easy movement across porous borders for the rebels, who abandoned faltering peace talks in 2008.
Their acts of startling brutality have forced more than 25,000 people to flee their homes in south Sudan since January, according to the United Nations.
"The attacks this year by the LRA seem to be on the increase," said Sapana Abuyi, deputy governor of Western Equatoria, the state in south Sudan hardest hit by the rebels.
"Not a week goes by without us receiving a message they have attacked a village."
They call the rebels here the "tong-tong" -- or "chop-chop" -- named after the machete attacks on their victims when they wish to save a bullet.
Its top leaders, wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, are accused of massacres, mutilation, forcibly enlisting boys as child soldiers, and taking girls as sex slaves.
Several hundred of those who most recently fled have gathered in the small settlement of Nzara, searching for security, shelter, food and medication.
"People left so quickly they could take little," said Daniel James Banjen, chief of the Sangwa area, which was attacked in early August.
"Some of us are staying with families, others under plastic sheeting, and all of us are living off the food that we are given."
The people here say an upsurge in attacks is linked to the ripe harvests currently in the fields.
"They leave us alone while we cultivate," said Terezina Mathew as a child clutched her skirt. "But when the crops are good they come, forcing us away so they can take all our food."
The United Nations and aid agencies are supporting the displaced, but prolonged attacks have weakened the population and officials worry there is little sign of finding a solution or ending the attacks.
"All along the border they have killed and abducted children for their evil army," said Lexson Wari Amozai, the head of the south Sudan government's humanitarian agency for Western Equatoria. "The peace that was ongoing has ended, and no one is talking about it."
Both southern Sudanese and Ugandan soldiers patrol the area, but the troops are stretched thin, with the guerrillas now experts in hit-and-run raids.
South Sudan is far from alone in being affected by the rebels.
Over 700 people have been abducted by the rebels in CAR in the past 18 months, according to a recent report by Human Rights Watch.
Meanwhile the rebels have carved out a kingdom in the Bas Uele of DR Congo by slaughtering over a hundred people and abducting at least 570 in the past 15 months, according to field research by the Washington-based Enough pressure group.
A new US law passed in May commits the Washington administration to develop a strategy that will ensure civilians are protected from the LRA, and to end the rebels’ campaign of carnage.
Those displaced said they would welcome any help, saying they have so little to defend themselves with now.