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									     Five Years
of Sudan Focal Point
Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                            Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                            Published by: Sudan Focal Point - Africa

                                            November 2004

                                            Khanya House
                                            399 Paul Kruger Street
                                            PO Box 941
                                            South Africa

                                            Tel: +27 (0) 12 323 6458
                                            Fax: +27 (0) 12 326 6218
                                            Mobile: +27 (0) 82 853 3556

                                            ISBN: 1-874838-29-1

                                            Design & Layout: Hoge Presentations and Graphics

                                            Cover: Hoge Presentations and Graphics
by Dr Haruun L Ruun
                                   The current long-lasting conflict in Sudan is no tribute.
                                 It has led to terrible deaths, wide-spread fear, suffering,
                             losses, oppression, human rights abuses and inhuman grief,
                               distress and anguish for the peoples of Sudan, particularly
                                          those of southern and other marginalized areas.

The first civil war in Sudan started in 1955 and lasted until   In this situation the Church was one of, if not the only,
1972, when Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia and          institution that was functioning among the people and able
the World Council of Churches (WCC) brought peace.              to take information outside of Sudan, but they too were
This war was never given international attention, and           afraid lest they be accused of being traitors by both sides
there are several reasons the world community did not           in the conflict. Even when they had information, their sto-
take an interest e.g.                                           ries were “raw” and not well articulated, thus making it
                                                                difficult to verify and publicize as authoritative.
(1) The Arab interests and the “Middle East problem”
(2) The lack of proper organization or political expertise      In the 1990s, some prominent Church leaders (such as
    on the part of the resistance                               Roman Catholic Bishop Paride Taban and Episcopal Bish-
(3) The inability of the resistance to present their case       op Nathaniel Garang, and later quite a number of others)
    convincingly due to limited exposure to the outside         were able to get out of Southern Sudan into Europe, where
    world and lack of access to the necessary media             they were able to tell their stories. This information was
(4) The government’s monopoly on Sudanese communi-              very much appreciated, especially by the ecumenical body.
    cations media                                               However, lack of authenticating analysis again made it dif-
                                                                ficult for the partners to “sell” this information as worthy
Even when the peace agreement was reached in 1972,              of consideration by the international community since the
there was no international involvement as such and very         government they recognized in Khartoum was capable of
limited regional involvement. Because there was no guar-        giving out well-analyzed even if inaccurate data. Many in-
anteeing factor, war broke out again in South Sudan when        dividuals and groups were working on behalf of Sudan, but
the government of Numeiri introduced Sharia law and ab-         there was no united voice to advocate and lobby on behalf
rogated the Addis Ababa agreement, saying it was “not           of the suffering Sudanese in both North and South.
the Qur’an and not the Bible”—i.e., it could be broken.
                                                                Because of all these factors, the Sudanese church called on
Thus, the Sudanese infrastructure fell into chaos again es-     its partners (the ecumenical body in particular) to come
pecially for South Sudan and the marginalized areas when        together as a unified voice for Sudan. Thus the Sudan
the war began again in 1983, and this situation has contin-     Ecumenical Forum (SEF) was formed in 1994. The SEF,
ued until the present. Peace negotiations are, however,         which is an international Christian body under the WCC,
in process, and progress has been made. This period has         has played a vital role in presenting the case of the suffer-
been very destructive compared to the first civil war. This     ing Sudanese to the world. Because of the SEF’s involve-
again contributes to the inability of information about the     ment, issues like self-determination have been seriously
war to be disseminated abroad and the ensuing lack of           discussed in the referendum on unity vs. secession despite
proper scientific analysis. Both sides limited the outflow      the difficulties of overtly integrating it into peace negotia-
of information—the government through suppression               tions.
and the resistance through ineptness and the influence of
Mengistu’s Marxist variety of secretiveness. For security
reasons, both were afraid of being overexposed.

                                                            For the purpose of being able to feed correct information      John Ashworth has knowledge and understanding of not
                                                            to this group, it was decided that two information wings       just the war but of Sudan as a whole. He came there as a
                                                            would be formed to analyze and disseminate information.        “young Turk” and has lived in its conditions. At one time
                                                            These were called the Sudan Focal Point-Europe and the         he was abducted by one group of rebels and held captive
                                                            Sudan Focal Point-Africa. Marina Peter heads the Europe-       for some time. John has been one of the key figures in
                                                            an branch. John Ashworth, who has devoted his time and         advocacy and promoting truth, human rights, peace and
                                                            energy to Southern Sudan and marginalized areas such as        reconciliation for the peoples of Sudan. So he writes from
                                                            Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain, heads the African. Ms. Pe-        a wealth of experience.
                                                            ter deals with Europe and information as it comes from
                                                            the Northern Sudan. Although these sometimes overlap,          I believe this document will be of great benefit to both
                                                            there is a clear distinction of emphasis, so there is no du-   those already well versed on Sudan’s crisis and those who
                                                            plication.                                                     want to familiarize themselves with it for the first time.

                                                            This document is primarily the work of John Ashworth.          Dr Haruun L Ruun
                                                            Since he took over this responsibility in 1999, he has been    Executive Secretary,
                                                            able to collect raw materials both from inside and out-        New Sudan Council of Churches
                                                            side Sudan, from some foreign governments and people
                                                            well-versed on the Sudan, analyze it, and put it in a form
                                                            that enables supporters of our mission to better interpret
                                                            it to their own people and governments. This has made
                                                            a significant contribution to the strong influence by the
                                                            ecumenical body on the peace process. Thus, when the
                                                            September 11 turn of events came, the information was
                                                            already assembled as a critical mass to set in motion the
                                                            support that has finally come to our cause.
     Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                      the Author
                                     John Ashworth was born in the UK in 1954. He first
                                    came to Africa in 1976 as a young volunteer, teaching
                                             science for two years in Idi Amin’s Uganda.

After training as a Catholic priest back in the UK, he ar-   humanitarian aid organisation working in southern Sudan
rived in southern Sudan in April 1983, one month before      and the marginalised areas. In 1999 he moved from hu-
the war began. During the next nine rather nomadic           manitarian work into advocacy for peace, and opened the
years he lived and worked in Malakal, Bentiu, El Obeid,      office of Sudan Focal Point – Africa in Nairobi on behalf of
El Nahud, Omdurman and Khartoum, obtaining a love            the Sudan Ecumenical Forum, which brings together the
and respect for the people and culture of both south and     Sudanese churches and their international partners under
north Sudan. His pastoral ministry took him to churches,     the auspices of the World Council of Churches. In 2001,
mosques, schools, prisons, barracks and hospitals; he        Sudanese church leaders identified South Africa as a major
was the first headmaster of St Charles Lwanga school in      focus for advocacy and John relocated the SFP-A office to
Malakal; and he was involved in humanitarian aid work        Pretoria at their request. Since 1995 John has returned to
both in the south and amongst the displaced people in the    Sudan frequently, visiting most parts of SPLM/A-control-
shanty towns of Omdurman and Khartoum. In 1992 he            led southern Sudan and the marginalised areas, as well as
left Sudan, obtained an MA in Spirituality in the USA, and   Khartoum and Malakal in GoS territory. In his spare time
moved on from the institutional priesthood. He returned      John is a fireman (stoker) on heritage steam locomotives
to Sudan in 1995 as director of CEAS, a church-based         on the South African railway.


                                                                                           1999                                                                   2000

                                                                 The Media, the Donors and the Poor: .......................1          Briefing Paper: RASS and SPLM ................................11
                                                                 Reflections on the Sudan Emergency in 1998
                                                                                                                                       Briefing Paper:
                                                                 Monthly Briefing: November .......................................5   US involvement in southern Sudanese politics? ............12
                                             Table of Contents

                                                                 Monthly Briefing: December .......................................6   Briefing Paper: Upper Nile political situation .............13
                                                                                                                                       Monthly Briefing: January ..........................................14
                                                                                                                                       Briefing Paper:
                                                                                                                                       Upper Nile Political Developments..............................17
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                                                                                                       Briefing Paper:
                                                                                                                                       SRRA/NGO Memorandum of Understanding ..............18
                                                                                                                                       Briefing Paper:
                                                                                                                                       SRRA/NGO Memorandum of Understanding #2 ........18
                                                                                                                                       Monthly Briefing: February .......................................20
                                                                                                                                       Briefing Paper:
                                                                                                                                       SRRA/NGO Memorandum of Understanding #3 .......21
                                                                                                                                       Monthly Briefing: March.............................................22
                                                                                                                                       Briefing Paper: The IGAD Peace Process ..................24
                                                                                                                                       Monthly Briefing: April ..............................................26
                                                                                                                                       Monthly Briefing: May ...............................................27
                                                                                                                                       Monthly Briefing: June ...............................................29
                                                                                                                                       Monthly Briefing: July ................................................31
                                                                                                                                       Monthly Briefing: August ............................................34
                                                                                                                                       Monthly Briefing: September ....................................39
                                                                                                                                       Monthly Briefing: October ........................................42
                                                                                                                                       Monthly Briefing: November ....................................45
                                                                                                                                       Monthly Briefing: December .....................................48

                                 2001                                                                       2002

Monthly Briefing: January ..........................................51      Monthly Briefing: January ..........................................83
Monthly Briefing: February ........................................54       Monthly Briefing: February ........................................87
Monthly Briefing: March ............................................57      Monthly Briefing: March ............................................90
Monthly Briefing: April ..............................................59    Monthly Briefing: April ..............................................93
Monthly Briefing: May-June .......................................62        Monthly Briefing: May ...............................................96
Monthly Briefing: July ................................................66   Monthly Briefing: June .............................................101
Monthly Briefing: August ...........................................69      Monthly Briefing: July ..............................................105
Monthly Briefing: September ....................................73          Monthly Briefing: August .........................................111
Monthly Briefing: October ........................................76        Monthly Briefing: September ..................................115

Monthly Briefing: November-December ..................78                    Briefing Paper:
                                                                            Reflections on the Machakos Talks
                                                                            from the Perspective of the SPLM/A ..........................119
                                                                            Monthly Briefing: October ......................................121

                                                                            Monthly Briefing: November ...................................124
                                                                            Christmas Message: December ..............................128

                                                                                             2003                                                                         2004

                                                                 Monthly Briefing: January ........................................129      Monthly Briefing: January ........................................155
                                                                 Monthly Briefing: February-April .............................133          Monthly Briefing: February ......................................158
                                                                 Monthly Briefing: May-June ......................................137       Monthly Briefing: March...........................................163
                                             Table of Contents

                                                                 Monthly Briefing: July ..............................................141   Monthly Briefing: April .............................................166
                                                                 Monthly Briefing: August .........................................143      Monthly Briefing: May ..............................................169
                                                                 Monthly Briefing: September ..................................147          Report to Sudan Ecumenical
                                                                                                                                            Forum Assembly: June .............................................173
                                                                 Monthly Briefing: October ......................................150
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                                                                                                            Monthly Briefing: June-July ......................................173
                                                                 Monthly Briefing: November ...................................152
                                                                                                                                            Monthly Briefing: August .........................................178
                                                                                                                                            Monthly Briefing: September ..................................182
                                                                                                                                            Monthly Briefing: October ......................................184

      and Abbreviations
AACC       All-Africa Conference of Churches
ACT        Action by Churches Together
ADF        Allied Democratic Forces (Uganda)
AI         Amnesty International
ANC        African National Congress (South Africa)
AU         African Union

BBC        British Broadcasting Corporation

CEAS       Church Ecumenical Action in Sudan
CEAWC      Committee for the Eradication of Abduction of
           Woman and Children
CIA        Central Intelligence Agency (USA)
CNPC       Chinese National Petroleum Corporation
CPC        Chinese Petroleum Corporation
CPMT       Civilian Protection Monitoring Team
CRS        Catholic Relief Services (USA)
CSI        Christian Solidarity International

DOP        Declaration of Principles
DRC        Democratic Republic of Congo
DUP        Democratic Unionist Party

EAC        East African Community
ECOS       European Campaign on Oil in Sudan
ECS        Episcopal Church of Sudan
EDF        Equatoria Defence Force
EU         European Union

FAO        Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN)
FBI        Federal Bureau of Investigation (USA)
FECCLAHA   Fellowship of Christian Council’s and Churches in the Great Lakes
           and Horn of Africa
FEWS       Famine Early Warning System (USAID)
FGM        Female Genital Mutilation
FRRA       Fashoda Relief and Rehabilitation Association

                                                                           GNPOC           Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company
                                                                           GOS             Government of Sudan
                                                                           GOSS            Government of Southern Sudan

                                                                           HAC             Humanitarian Assistance Commission

                                                                           ICC             International Criminal Court
                                                                           ICG             International Crisis Group (Belgium)
                                                                           ICRC            International Committee of the Red Cross
                                                                           IDP             Internally Displaced Person
                                                                           IGAD            Inter-Governmental Authority on Development
                                                                           IMF             International Monetary Fund
                                                                           IPF             IGAD Partner Forum

                                                                           JELI            Joint Egyptian Libyan Initiative
                                                                           JEM             Justice and Equality Movement
                                                                           JMC             Joint Military Commission
                                              Acronyms and Abbreviations

                                                                           LEI             Libyan – Egyptian initiative
                                                                           LRA             Lord’s Resistance Army (Uganda)

                                                                           MOU             Memorandum of Understanding
                                                                           MSF             Medecin Sans Frontiers
  Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                                           NCA             Norwegian Church Aid
                                                                           NC (P)          National Congress (Party)
                                                                           NDA             National Democratic Alliance
                                                                           NEC             National Executive Council
                                                                           NEPAD           New Partnership for Africa’s Development
                                                                           NIF             National Islamic Front
                                                                           NLC             National Liberation Council
                                                                           NRM / A         National Resistance Movement / Army (Uganda)
                                                                           NRRDS / A / O   Nuba Relief, Rehabilitation and Development Society / Agency / Organisation
                                                                           NSCC            New Sudan Council of Churches
                                                                           NSR             National Salvation Revolution

                                                                           OAU             Organisation of African Unity
                                                                           OCHA            Office for Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN)
                                                                           OLF             Oromo Liberation Front (Ethiopia)
                                                                           OLS             Operation Lifeline Sudan (UN)
                                                                           ONCG            Oil and National Gas Corporation (India)
                                                                           OSIL            Operation Save Innocent Lives
                                                                           OVL             ONCG Videsh Ltd (India)

PCOS       Presbyterian Church of Sudan
PDF        Popular Defence Force
PNC        Popular National Congress
PRDA       Presbyterian Relief and Development Agency

RASS       Relief Association of Southern Sudan
ROOF       Relief Organisation of Fazugli

SACBC      Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference
SAF        Sudan Alliance Forces
SCBC       Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference
SCBRC      Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Regional Conference
SCC        Sudan Council of Churches
SEF        Sudan Ecumenical Forum
SFP – A    Sudan Focal Point – Africa
SFP – E    Sudan Focal Point – Europe
SLM / A    Sudan Liberation Movement / Army
SNA        Sudan National Alliance
SPDF       Sudan People’s Defence Force / Democratic front
SPLM / A   Sudan People’s Liberation Movement / Army
SRRA/C     Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association/Commission
SSDM       South Sudan Democratic Movement
SSIM / A   South Sudan Independence Movement / Army
SSLM / A   South Sudan Liberation Movement / Army
SUPRAID    Sudan Production Aid

TCHA       Technical Committee on Humanitarian Assistance

UDSF       United Democratic Salvation Front
UN         United Nations
UNDP       United Nations Development Programme
UNHCR      United Nations High Commission for Refugees
UNICEF     UN Children’s Fund
UNPMCC     Upper Nile Provisional Military Command Council
UPDF       Uganda People’s Defence Force
USAID      United States Agency for International Development

VMT        Verification and Monitoring Team
VOA        Voice of America

WCC        World Council of Churches
WFP        World Food Programme (UN)
WHO        World Health Organisation (UN)
WVI        World Vision International

    Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings
Thethe Donors and the Poor: Reflections
     Media,                                                                1999
                                on the Sudan Emergency in 1998
                                                                                                      June 1999
                               The invasion of Kosovo has begun. Not by NATO forces,
                                  nor by Serbian para-militaries, but by international aid
                              agencies and the media. They come with good intentions,
                                to relieve the suffering but they do so according to their
                                 own, often conflicting, agendas; the voice of those who
                              actually suffer is muted. As a new international emergency
                                      fills our TV screens, it might be helpful to reflect on
                                     another one, still ongoing, which has faded from the
                                      picture. Many of the lessons learnt are transferable.

Southern                        Sudan is not an easy place
                                to enter; over the years not
many journalists have bothered to try. Early in 1997 an
                                                                there are always health centres where babies are mal-
                                                                nourished due to disease, not famine. The only occasional
                                                                distractions from “northern Bahr el-Ghazal”, “famine”
attempt to entice journalists to cover important humani-        and “starving babies” were other negative stories such as
tarian, political and military developments in a region of      an unseemly dispute between British NGOs and unproven
northern Sudan captured by southern rebels failed; Kisan-       allegations of food diversion by a rebel movement.
gani was about to fall and that was deemed far more in-
teresting. But around March 1998 some journalists were          The media-driven emergency very quickly developed into
finally persuaded to visit northern Bahr el-Ghazal, the         a donor-driven emergency. The European and US public
epicentre of the famine in Sudan; perhaps it was a quiet        were now aware of the famine in Sudan and wanted to
week in the Monica Lewinsky story? Pictures of starving         give money; the donor agencies at best wanted to be in a
babies hit the world’s TV screens; literally hundreds of        position to channel that money promptly and effectively
other journalists followed; a media-driven emergency was        to where it was most needed; at worst to enhance their
born. A pattern soon emerged. Journalists were generally        own visibility and the administrative percentage that they
not interested in visiting other parts of southern Sudan,       take from all donations in order to ensure their contin-
even though the famine was also developing there; north-        ued existence. Either way, they were now competing for
ern Bahr el-Ghazal was the only destination. Neither were       the donations of the general public. Very large sums of
they interested in any of the other stories in Sudan, where     money were at stake. Two UK agencies raised one mil-
local communities were demonstrating a degree of self-          lion pounds each in just one week and the pattern was
sustainability in the face of severe odds; nor in Sudanese      gradually repeated across the world. Having solicited this
non-governmental organisations (NGOs) where there               money from the general public, it now had to be spent
were no white faces to speak to the camera; nor in areas        quickly on emergency relief. The donor agencies began
where the valiant efforts of local and international NGOs       to inundate their implementing partners with offers of
had stabilised the situation and the effects of the famine      ready cash. Despite years of fiscal restraint when project
were receding. Journalists generally lacked experience of       proposals were examined with a fine-tooth comb; despite
Sudan and knowledge or interest in contextual complexi-         those same donors’ previous insistence on credible needs
ties. As the situation stabilised in more and more regions,     assessments before any proposal; despite our own firm
it became increasingly difficult to find any starving babies,   belief in a participatory process for preparing a proposal,
but our intrepid press still managed, somehow, to do so;        and our conviction that we should only take on projects

                                                   that we are sure we can implement effectively; we were           of donor agencies. After I had patiently explained why it
                                                   suddenly being urged to prepare multi-million dollar             was neither cost-effective nor necessary for a church or-
                                                   project proposals within days. Donors did not seem wor-          ganisation to begin a large-scale airlift to northern Bahr
                                                   ried when we protested that credible proposals could not         el-Ghazal at that point in time, a European donor repre-
                                                   be produced to such a time-scale; they simply repeated           sentative replied, “But my director thinks it would be nice
                                                   the deadline. Some projects were fully funded before the         if the churches had an airbridge.” Nice. Coordination by
                                                   proposal had even been written! The mere promise of a            donor agencies should confine itself to fund-raising, not
                                                   project was enough to open the cheque books.                     operational matters.

                                                   All of us were grateful that Sudan was getting some atten-       Some donor agencies were also slow to recognise the
                                                   tion, and some increased funding, at last. But there was         wide geographical area covered by the emergency. In
                                                   a tangible sense of frustration and even resentment at the       short-term disasters or smaller countries it is possible for
                                                   attitude of the donor agencies. Their agenda had changed.        a single large agency to make a decisive contribution. In a
                                                   From financial restraint and responsible budgeting and           long-term complex emergency in Sudan, a country which
                                                   planning we were expected, almost overnight, to absorb           is approximately the same size as the whole of western
                                                   huge sums of money with little preparation, planning or          Europe, even the combined effort of forty-odd NGOs un-
                                                   even accountability. It may have been obvious to them that       der the umbrella of the UN OLS is struggling to make an
                                                   there were new rules to the funding game, but it was not         impact. An agency can often only work effectively in one
                                                   obvious to us. It was particularly galling for those of us who   or two locations and a combination of terrain, climate, lo-
                                                   have devoted many years of our life to humanitarian work         gistics and security usually limits the outreach; a project is
                                                   in Sudan, struggling to do what we can on low budgets,           often confined to the occupants of a single town or village
                                                   to suddenly face accusations of “not doing enough” from          plus those who can walk there from elsewhere.
                                                   the very same donors who had hamstrung us for so many
                                                   years. The representative of one agency berated me for           Visitors suddenly began to arrive. These were both donor
                                                   not asking immediately for more money for transport of           representatives and journalists. My own organisation han-
                                                   food relief; I was able to quote a letter from her own or-       dled dozens of visitors; the total across southern Sudan
                                                   ganisation in 1997 informing me that the sum I was asking        was hundreds. In head offices staff time was taken up
                                                   for then (much lower than the 1998 figure) was “immor-           briefing them and arranging their trips; in Sudan opera-
                                                   al”. To add insult to injury, the donors were late. The rains    tions often came to a standstill as staff, vehicles and fuel
                                                   were already beginning, making roads impassable, and             were dedicated to the visitors. Most knew little about

                                                   the cultivation season was upon us. By the time funding          Sudan. Some were very understanding and fitted flexibly
                                                   started to arrive, it was already too late for the integrated    into existing plans; others came on very tight schedules,
Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                   programme of food and seeds which we would have pre-             making it difficult to accommodate their itineraries given
                                                   ferred to implement to break the cycle of famine.                the shortage of aircraft and the unpredictable weather
                                                                                                                    which delayed, cancelled or diverted many flights. We had
                                                   As we began to understand what was happening in Ge-              to take on an extra clerical staff member to handle the
                                                   neva, London and other donor centres, we experienced             visitors; we called her our “Disaster Tourist Officer”. All
                                                   genuine surprise at the frenzy that the 1998 emergency           wanted to see the starving babies. Many declined to take
                                                   was generating. For us it was merely an extension, albeit        local advice. One TV crew refused to move out of a food-
                                                   quite a large extension, of the situation that we had been       drop zone, causing the C-130 aircraft to be ordered to
                                                   facing for years. Many of us had predicted the famine. But       abort. If it had returned to base without dropping, tens of
                                                   we could not understand why the donor agencies were              thousands of dollars would have been wasted and 16 tons
                                                   treating it as such a big event. Only much later did we un-      of food would not have reached the starving people of that
                                                   derstand the fund-raising competition which created such         area. Fortunately a Sudanese staff member threatened to
                                                   a frenzy amongst them.                                           have the offending film crew arrested and the aircraft was
                                                                                                                    able to drop the food on its second pass.
                                                   It soon became clear that the donor agencies were not
                                                   in touch with what was happening on the ground. There            Many new and inexperienced NGOs arrived in Sudan, while
                                                   were calls from some of them for more coordination. Co-          existing NGOs expanded rapidly. Some are to be com-
                                                   ordination mechanisms already exist in southern Sudan:           mended for their enthusiasm and sincerity; many should
                                                   the local authorities, the UN Operation Lifeline Sudan           be challenged for racial stereotypes, cultural arrogance
                                                   (OLS), church networks, and the informal coordination            and sheer inefficiency and ignorance in their programmes.
                                                   between agencies operating in the same geographical area         There was a rush to get started and spend money, par-
                                                   or sector of work. In principle and in practice coordination     ticularly as some funding had a time limit on it. Competi-
                                                   mechanisms need to stay as close as possible to the epi-         tion to work in key locations led to exaggerated claims of
                                                   centre of the emergency, where they are more likely to be        what an NGO could accomplish; competition for scarce
                                                   in touch with the actual needs of the beneficiary popula-        aircraft led to bribery of pilots and transmission of false
                                                   tion and less likely to be influenced by the internal agendas    weather reports; competition for visibility saw a European

who had been in the country for six weeks claiming on TV          The current emergency in Sudan began in 1983 with the
that his NGO was the “only one” operating in a particular         restarting of the civil war. As a result of political trends
area where a Sudanese NGO had been struggling bravely             in Sudan as well as the first civil war (1955-1972) the
for over a year and was still doing most of the real work.        south was already less developed than the north both in
The “culture of success” reigned supreme; there was lit-          infrastructure and trained human resources. From 1983 a
tle realistic evaluation or monitoring of results or cost-ef-     combination of war and politics contributed to the total
fectiveness. Expatriate staff were often young and inex-          devastation of the south. Hospitals, schools, transport and
perienced. They lacked not only appropriate professional          communications ceased to function; trade, governance
skills but the maturity to handle a stressful multi-cultural      and administration disappeared; millions of civilians died
situation. Qualified Sudanese personnel were rightly re-          or became internally displaced or international refugees;
sentful at the influx of highly-paid expatriates. Many NGOs       society was militarised and traditional values eroded.
are poor at coordination and particularly reluctant to re-        There were peaks (or troughs?) in this process. In 1985/86
ally engage with the local community. Church NGOs were            a severe famine struck northern Sudan; in 1988 and 1998
not exempt; the director of a small church NGO admitted           there were widespread floods; in 1991 the split in the
that after six months he still had not contacted the council      southern liberation movement resulted in great loss of life;
of churches nor the church leaders in the area in which his       in the mid-nineties certain warlords looted and devastated
organisation operates. Many international agencies under-         large regions of southern Sudan for several years, contrib-
estimate the moral authority, local knowledge and infra-          uting to the 1998 famine whose direct cause was a severe
structure which the churches could put at their disposal.         drought in 1997. There certainly was a real emergency in
                                                                  Sudan in 1998. It is good that Sudan finally attracted some
The disaster in Sudan is not a simple one-off event. In the       international attention and that more money became avail-
past year or so we have seen hurricanes in Latin America,         able for relief programmes. But the 1998 emergency was
bomb blasts at US embassies in East Africa and avalanches         only a part of a long-term complex emergency which had
sweeping away villages in Europe. These are disasters             been continuing for 15 years (with roots going back many
which rightly elicit an immediate emergency response              decades). 1998 was a bad year, but it was not unique.
from the international community. They are characterised
by their suddenness, unexpectedness and unpredictability.         Donors need a better understanding of the link between
In some cases there might, with hindsight, be clues (were         famine relief and famine mitigation. Famine relief, while
the effects of the hurricanes exacerbated by deforestation        sometimes necessary, is expensive and unsustainable. To
or over-farming? isn’t the USA aware that it has enemies          have to do it at all is already an admission of failure. Famine
everywhere? were villages built in an avalanche-prone             mitigation, which includes elements of food security, agri-
area?) but there is no direct or immediate warning. Lo-           culture, rehabilitation, development and capacity-building,
cal coping mechanisms come into play, external interven-          is relatively cheap and aims at sustainability. To do famine
tion arrives quickly, humanitarian aid is delivered, victims      relief without also doing famine mitigation is a total waste
buried, survivors assisted, counselling provided for those        of millions of dollars. Donors need to keep some of the
suffering from trauma, physical infrastructure rebuilt,           funds that they raised on the back of the famine for long-
early warning systems or other preventative measures in-          er-term interventions, otherwise the cycle of famine will
stalled… and eventually the emergency can be considered           just continue. While there are elements of the long-term
“over”.                                                           complex emergency, particularly military action, which
                                                                  can destroy any longer-term interventions, nevertheless
A different type of emergency exists in Sudan and a               a year of food relief must be followed by programmes
number of other countries such as Angola, Rwanda, the             aimed at self-sufficiency. These might include agricultural
Democratic Republic of Congo and, of course, the former           inputs, notably seeds and agricultural tools, but also train-
Yugoslavia. This is a long-term complex emergency. Each           ing in techniques to increase crop yield and food storage;
year there might be a different short-term emergency              development of income-generating projects, trade, etc
such as famine, flood, internal population displacement,          in recognition of the fact that famine is often not simply
refugees fleeing to neighbouring countries, massacres of          a shortage of food but a lack of the economic means to
civilians, disease, destruction of a town, ethnic cleansing,      acquire it; provision of clean water; education; health;
aerial bombing, or whatever, but these disasters are not          and, above all, the empowerment of local communities
unpredictable and never really come to an end. While              to enhance their own coping mechanisms and to cushion
they might have an immediate cause such as too much               themselves against future disasters by attaining a degree
or too little rainfall, the main negative effects of the disas-   of self-sufficiency. It is not possible in every situation in
ter, including the degradation of the affected population’s       every location, but it is certainly an aim to be pursued as
natural coping methods and the difficulties of outside in-        widely as possible. It is unrealistic and wasteful for donors
tervention, are the direct result of the political and mili-      to insist that “emergency funds” must be spent within six
tary situation. The international community is less willing       months or some other arbitrary time frame.
to respond year after year to the same basic emergency;
“donor fatigue” sets in.

                                                   Responsible NGOs are constantly exploring how to do                   There is an urgent need for a fundamental review of the
                                                   the least harm. The concept of the “independent humani-               manner in which the aid business operates and the basic
                                                   tarian imperative” is a myth; no action is politically neutral;       assumptions which underpin it. It is essential to explore
                                                   every action, including inaction, has some effect beyond              new ways forward.
                                                   what is intended. As well as any local environmental and
                                                   socio-economic effects, there are legitimate concerns that            The emergency in Sudan, as in Kosovo, is genuine; con-
                                                   relief activities might actually be sustaining the war. On the        structive publicity and funding is necessary. Many aid agen-
                                                   other hand starving people cannot simply be allowed to                cies are doing relatively well, within accepted parameters,
                                                   die, or be left without essential services, on the off-chance         in a difficult and essential area. Nevertheless, the philoso-
                                                   that those with vested interests will eventually tire of the          phy and operational effectiveness of some should be ques-
                                                   war. It is clear that withdrawing humanitarian aid will not,          tioned and higher standards set. A level of professionalism
                                                   by itself, stop the war; it is also clear that the civilians, rath-   in areas such as logistics or health service delivery must be
                                                   er than the military, would suffer most if that option were           complemented by the maturity, skill and flexibility needed
                                                   followed. A creative tension must exist between the two               to work in a complex and stressful situation and a willing-
                                                   different imperatives; the international community, includ-           ness to adapt to the specific historical and cultural reality.
                                                   ing the churches, must be fully engaged in the search for a           But a broad, more open and transparent, debate about the
                                                   just and lasting peace to the conflict.                               “NGO culture” and its underlying assumptions is needed.
                                                                                                                         Above all, empowerment of the indigenous peoples, and
                                                   Arms manufacturers and dealers, oil companies and gov-                respect for their values and priorities, must be an essential
                                                   ernments throughout the world, as well as political and               component of any relief intervention. NGOs cannot come
                                                   military leaders within Sudan, have an interest in the war.           with ready-made solutions. There must be local involve-
                                                   The massive food relief supplied by the USA and the Eu-               ment in planning and decision-making at all levels and the
                                                   ropean Community is not philanthropic in its roots; it is a           needs of the beneficiaries must take precedence over the
                                                   direct result of domestic agricultural policies which subsi-          internal agendas of the agencies.
                                                   dise farmers to produce a surplus; this surplus can then be
                                                   used to further the foreign policy objectives of the donor            Famine mitigation must go hand in hand with famine relief.
                                                   nation. At a more local level we find many others who                 There must be greater exploration of the phenomenon of
                                                   benefit from the emergency: traders, merchants, suppli-               the long-term complex emergency in general and on its
                                                   ers, consultants, transport contractors, air charter com-             manifestation in Sudan in particular. There must be strong
                                                   panies, hoteliers, owners of warehouses, landlords of the             Sudanese input into this process, assisted by those who

                                                   expensive houses favoured by expatriate staff, commodity              have long-term knowledge and experience of Sudan; it is
                                                   clearing and handling agents and, of course, the economies            strange to see NGO staff with a couple of years of com-
Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                   of neighbouring countries, which benefit greatly from the             muting between Kenya and Sudan described as “old-tim-
                                                   cash and commodities channelled through them.                         ers” and foreigners who have never lived in Sudan and
                                                                                                                         who do not speak any of its languages offering themselves
                                                   We must also note the vested interests of the aid agen-               as “expert consultants”.
                                                   cies, both donors and implementers. They must keep on
                                                   raising funds to finance their own existence; consequently            I object to the media concentrating on the “sexy” images
                                                   they need to be seen to be active in newsworthy areas.                rather than giving a fuller picture and setting stories in
                                                   Attempting to publicise an adult education project in                 context. What is eventually seen by the European public
                                                   Burkina Faso will not raise millions of dollars like a famine         may not quite be a lie but is definitely only a selective part
                                                   relief programme in Sudan. At the same time aid agency                of the truth. I have some concerns about the methods of
                                                   staff depend on the emergency for their salaries. Some                raising and disbursing funds and the internal agendas of
                                                   work from a sense of religious or humanitarian commit-                donor agencies. I would like to see more effort invested
                                                   ment; others do not. Few question the prevailing culture              in educating the donor public about the realities of the
                                                   of aid. It has to be admitted that generally the salaries of          situation.
                                                   expatriate aid workers and their colleagues in the donor
                                                   agencies back home are unrealistically high, often supple-            Finally I believe that church agencies should be setting a
                                                   mented by perks such as per diem allowances, housing,                 lead. While recognising the realities of the fund-raising
                                                   transport, health insurance and tax concessions which can             market, we ought also to be modelling a different ap-
                                                   double the actual value of the salary. For such high salaries         proach more in line with the spirituality of the humble
                                                   to be paid to those working to alleviate the suffering of the         carpenter whom we profess to follow.
                                                   poorest of the poor sends a very dubious message.

Monthly Briefing: November 1999                                Suspicions
                                                               It is widely felt that Dr. John and the SPLM will be suspi-
29th November 1999                                             cious of this new movement. While they are happy that
                                                               most Nuer commanders have now split from Dr. Riek and
                                                               GoS and are cooperating with SPLA, and while they wel-
Developments in Upper Nile                                     come a degree of Nuer unity, they may feel threatened by
Following the NSCC Wunlit Peace Conference, there was          an organised political movement.
a Nuer-Nuer conference for the Lou Nuer held in Waat
early in November 1999. By all accounts it was successful.     There is a serious concern that SPLM may be suspicious
Military and political leaders attended.                       of NSCC since it is widely perceived that this new move-
                                                               ment sprang directly from the NSCC peace conference.
A by-product of the meeting was the setting up of a joint      NSCC is briefing partners and others on 04/12/99 on the
military command for the Upper Nile area, the Provi-           results of the Waat peace conference. NSCC will make it
sional Military Command Council (PMCC) with effect             clear that it has no political or military agenda. Of course
from 04/11/99. In fact this was already in existence, at       once the process of empowerment and democratisation
least informally. SSDF forces in western Upper Nile un-        begins, nobody can predict where it will end!
der Tito Biel were already fighting against GoS forces, in
cooperation with, and receiving arms from, SPLA forces
in Bahr el-Ghazal; Tito recently met Salva Kir in Tonj to      Regionalisation
receive these. The PMCC is chaired by Peter Bol Kong           Many people feel that the war in southern Sudan could be-
and includes Tito Biel, John Duoth Nhial, Riek Malwal and,     come regionalised. SPLA soldiers want to fight to defend
significantly, Peter Gadet, who split from Paulino Matip       their own homelands, rather than some distant part of the
bringing with him virtually all of Paulino’s forces. Paulino   south (cf the defections from Equatoria in 1998 of soldiers
remains in Bentiu with GoS and with only one or two            wishing to return to northern Bahr el-Ghazal); there has
hundred troops. The only other significant commander           been a military stalemate in southern Sudan since 1997,
not yet formally with the PMCC is Gordon Kong in Nasir;        with most action taking place on the eastern front in Blue
PMCC is in communication with him. PMCC has repudi-            Nile and amongst the Beja, plus the Nuba Mountains;
ated the 1997 Peace Agreement, is cooperating fully with       some feel that the SPLM is more interested in defending
SPLA and is not under the command of Dr. Riek Machar.          its own leadership than in liberating the south; there is
All the members of the PMCC are Lou Nuer and other             tension between the “old guard” politicians and the “new
Nuer groups are not happy with this.                           generation” of leaders (SPLM) and a feeling that the south
                                                               needs broader representation than simply the SPLM. On
A mandate was given to also set up a political movement,       top of this there are the current ethnic tensions in Equa-
with Dr. Michael Wal Duany as interim Chair. John Luk and      toria. The conflict between the Bor Dinka and the Didinga
Peter Adwok are seen as important background figures.          has already spread to other tribes and is probably being
It is to be separate from UDSF. It claims not to oppose        fuelled by GoS following the SPLM’s appalling inability to
Dr. Riek per se, but as he is in Khartoum it is not appro-     solve the problem. However this is only the most obvious
priate for him to lead it. Of course Michael Wal Duany         and violent manifestation of Equatorian discontent with
is widely perceived as a lieutenant of Dr. Riek and many       the Dinka-dominated SPLA. There are also indications
would question the new movement’s true independence.           that the Bahr el-Ghazal Dinka leadership is not happy with
It claims not to be a Nuer movement and to be to ready to      Dr. John and feels that too much military hardware and
welcome all from Upper Nile into its ranks including SPLM      munitions are concentrated in Equatoria to the detriment
(United), Shilluk, Anwak, Dinka, etc; even Dr. John Garang     of Bahr el-Ghazal.
himself, as a son of Upper Nile! It plans to take over the
functions previously performed by UDSF and RASS in the         A number of people are presenting a scenario whereby
territories under its control. The name has not yet been       there will be three regional movements, each independ-
agreed; either South Sudan Liberation Movement or South        ent, but all cooperating in the fight against the common
Sudan Democratic Movement. The SSLM/SSDM was due               enemy. There might be some common command struc-
to be launched on 26/11/99 but apparently there are still      ture, common logistics and procurement and perhaps a
internal disagreements.                                        mobile reserve. In theory it looks good. In practice it could

                                                   well lead to more factional fighting and loss of confidence         Monthly Briefing: December 1999
                                                   by those who support SPLA both politically and militarily;
                                                   a return to the disastrous situation of 1991. Some Equato-          3rd January 2000
                                                   rians believe that Museveni will support them against the
                                                   Dinka but this is by no means certain. It also omits Blue
                                                   Nile and the Nuba Mountains; in practice they are already           Politics
                                                   acting fairly independently, with their own political and hu-       Rapprochement has been the order of the day. Various ini-
                                                   manitarian representation in Nairobi (ROOF and NRRDS                tiatives involving Libya, Egypt and Djibouti have attempted
                                                   respectively), although they still rely on SPLA for arms and        to bring Sadiq el-Mahdi back; he may well believe that his
                                                   munitions. This scenario would also have implications for           vested interests lie with the current regime rather than
                                                   NDA, the eastern front and IGAD.                                    with the “New Sudan” envisaged by his partners in NDA.
                                                                                                                       President Bashir has invited opposition parties back into
                                                                                                                       the fold; SPLM is not included. In any case it would be
                                                   Sadiq el-Mahdi                                                      very difficult for SPLM to join. It would be seen as a sell-
                                                   The recent announcement that Sadiq el-Mahdi may have                out as SPLM would not be an equal partner and it includes
                                                   reached agreement with GoS is no real surprise. GoS                 no specific concessions. The NDA communiqué from its
                                                   wishes to divide NDA; the recent Libyan intervention was            recent meeting in Kampala sets out a number of condi-
                                                   aimed at Sadiq; he himself is convinced that Dr. John is a          tions. If Bashir meets a significant number of these it will
                                                   separatist and the only way to prevent separation of the            be problematic for Umma, DUP and SPLM. How will they
                                                   south is for Sadiq to join GoS, join the already very suc-          respond?
                                                   cessful propaganda campaign and convince western gov-
                                                   ernments to abandon SPLA. NIF, Sadiq and other north-               European Community governments are believed to want
                                                   ern oppositions groups basically have the same vested               closer links with GoS, partly due to its successful PR cam-
                                                   interests. Dr. John believes that NDA is very important.            paign, but cynics would say mainly due to the opportuni-
                                                   Some in NDA would welcome Sadiq’s defection; at least               ties to invest in oil.
                                                   it clarifies his position. SPLA is still militarily strong enough
                                                   for the DUP, SAF and others to wish to be allied with it.           Only the USA continues to regard GoS as a pariah, a
                                                   Ethiopia is not likely to desert SPLA despite its closer links      harbourer of terrorists, etc. President Clinton recently
                                                   with GoS. NDA will intensify fighting on the eastern front.         signed into law a bill allowing the USA to give food aid
                                                   There are reports of a major SPLA offensive being pre-              directly to the SPLA military, a hardening of the USA’s

                                                   pared in Blue Nile; Pagan Amum is coordinating the east-            public stance. SPLA welcomes this move, as GoS opposes
                                                   ern front; elite SPLA troops are being airlifted to Eritrea         it; aid agencies and many observers are concerned that
Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                   (possibly by South Africa); a new military force is forming         it may escalate the war and blur the distinction between
                                                   with the Halib people by the Red Sea; only this weekend             humanitarian relief and military aid; a few voices hope that
                                                   GoS has admitted that another pipeline was bombed.                  it will improve human rights by providing basic material
                                                                                                                       sustenance to the SPLA soldiers; it is certainly complex
                                                                                                                       and demands informed debate. The slave trade and perse-
                                                   IGAD                                                                cution of Christians have received massive publicity in the
                                                   Two technical committees have been working on the Dec-              USA. Many would argue that these are not the key issues,
                                                   laration of Principles. The churches do not wish to make            and are certainly not as simplistic as portrayed in the USA,
                                                   any new input at this stage; the SCC/NSCC document                  but nevertheless they have generated huge interest and
                                                   “Together we remain united in action for peace” has been            churches should be prepared to use this opportunity to
                                                   sent to IGAD and represents the churches’ position.                 convey a more sophisticated understanding of the situa-
                                                                                                                       tion in Sudan to the US government and public.
                                                   However the churches would like to push for formal
                                                   observer status at the IGAD talks. GoS will certainly not           In Khartoum there has been a major split within the gov-
                                                   welcome this; SPLM has also expressed reservations, sug-            ernment and ruling party. In December President Bashir
                                                   gesting that this will open the floodgates and allow other          declared a state of emergency and dissolved parliament on
                                                   observers such as Muslims (NSCC would have no objec-                the eve of a vote aimed at reducing his powers. This is the
                                                   tion to Muslims, or any other groups representing civil             culmination (or at least, the latest step) in a long running
                                                   society, becoming observers). It is felt that IPF is the best       power struggle between Bashir and Dr. Hassan et-Turabi.
                                                   forum to lobby for church observer status. NSCC will                Generally Bashir’s “coup d’état” seems to have been well
                                                   write formally to IPF members. SFP-E is asked to lobby              received and there are indications that he is strengthening
                                                   informally; a paper written by Assefa on the democratisa-           his position; Turabi can never be written off, though!
                                                   tion of the IGAD process will be available as a resource;
                                                   the current interest in civil society can be capitalised on.

The IGAD talks stumble on. The latest round was can-            was now marginalised in Khartoum. Dr. Michael Wal Du-
celled but there are indications that they will take place      any was to be interim chair; John Luk was a key figure.
eventually. SPLM can continue to rely on IGAD as the of-        Both Dr. Riek Machar and Dr. John Garang are reported
ficial “only way” forward and insist on detailed negotia-       to have their doubts about the wisdom of forming a new
tions on the Declaration of Principles, particularly self-de-   movement at this time. In fact it seems to have foundered
termination and freedom of religion. This position should       before it was officially launched, with much disagreement
be credible with the international community. Churches          about it within the Nuer community.
want to sit as official observers at IGAD along with other
members of civil society (Muslims, women, youth, etc) and
are asking partners to lobby IPF governments to this end.       Regionalisation?
IGAD technical committees are beginning their work.             Some sources feel that the war in southern Sudan could
                                                                become regionalised. The attempt to form a new Up-
The SPLM held its NLC meeting in Sudan.                         per Nile political movement is seen as a symptom of this
                                                                trend. SPLA soldiers want to fight to defend their own
Presidents Bashir and Museveni negotiated an agreement          homelands, rather than some distant part of the south (cf
to cease supporting each others’ rebel movements and to         the defections from Equatoria in 1998 of soldiers wish-
normalise relations between Sudan and Uganda.                   ing to return to northern Bahr el-Ghazal); there has been
                                                                a military stalemate in southern Sudan since 1997, with
Dr. Riek Machar visited Nairobi and Kampala as well as          most action taking place on the eastern front in Blue Nile
Europe. It is believed that he plans to return to Khartoum.     and amongst the Beja, plus the Nuba Mountains; some
He states publicly that GoS has seriously breached the          feel that the SPLM is more interested in defending its own
1997 Peace Agreement but that it is nevertheless the best       leadership than in liberating the south; there is tension
vehicle to attain peace.                                        between the “old guard” politicians and the “new genera-
                                                                tion” of leaders (SPLM) and a feeling that the south needs
GoS released the twenty-two individuals, including two          broader representation than simply the SPLM. More than
Catholic priests, whom it had been holding for some             a year ago tensions within the Bahr el-Ghazal Dinka lead-
time.                                                           ership surfaced during Kerubino Kuanyin Bol’s stay in Nai-
                                                                robi. On top of this there are the current ethnic tensions
                                                                in Equatoria. The conflict between the Bor Dinka and the
Upper Nile                                                      Didinga has already spread to other tribes and is prob-
Early in November NSCC convened a “people to people”            ably being fuelled by GoS following the SPLM’s appalling
peace conference amongst the Lou Nuer in Waat, eastern          inability to deal with the problem. However this is only
Upper Nile. This was a follow-up to the very successful         the most obvious and violent manifestation of Equatorian
Dinka-Nuer conference held in Wunlit in March 1999.             discontent with what they perceive as a Dinka-dominated
The Waat conference too was remarkably successful but           SPLA.
also had unexpected results. A group of SSIA commanders
met and formed the Upper Nile Provisional Military Com-         A scenario has been suggested whereby there might be
mand Council (UNPMCC), chaired by Peter Bol Kong and            three regional movements, each independent, but all co-
including important figures such as Tito Biel and Peter         operating in the fight against the common enemy. There
Gadet. Virtually all major Nuer commanders joined, with         might be some common command structure, common
the exception of Paulino Matip who is currently isolated in     logistics and procurement and perhaps a mobile reserve.
Bentiu with few troops. UNPMCC is coordinating attacks          In theory it looks good. In practice it could well lead to
by SSIA against GoS forces and is working alongside SPLA;       more factional fighting and loss of confidence by those
indeed they have received arms from SPLA. Most peo-             who support SPLA both politically and militarily; a return
ple have welcomed the formation of UNPMCC; even Dr.             to the disastrous situation of 1991. Some Equatorians be-
Riek Machar has defended it in Khartoum as a reasonable         lieve that Museveni will support them against the Dinka
response to GoS’ breach of the 1997 Peace Agreement,            but this is by no means certain. It also omits southern Blue
although he considers it “unfortunate”.                         Nile and the Nuba Mountains; in practice they are already
                                                                acting fairly independently, with their own political and hu-
A further development was the attempt to form a new             manitarian representation in Nairobi (ROOF and NRRDS
Upper Nile political movement, to be called South Sudan         respectively), although they still rely on SPLA for arms and
Liberation (or possibly Democratic) Movement. It would          munitions. This scenario would also have implications for
effectively replace UDSF, or at least SSIM. It claimed not      NDA, the eastern front and IGAD.
to be against Dr. Riek Machar but to recognise that he

                                                   Oil and chemical weapons                                          Longer-term
                                                   Fighting continues in western Upper Nile in the vicinity          What happens after the war? What will peace look like?
                                                   of the Heglig and Unity oilfields, where it is widely be-         Will there be a united Sudan or two independent states?
                                                   lieved that GoS is pursuing a policy of “ethnic cleansing”        What are the pros and cons of the different scenarios?
                                                   to protect the oil assets. In November allegations began
                                                   to emerge of use of chemical weapons by GoS, in Wicok             Using NDA, SPLM is able to push its own medium-term
                                                   and possibly elsewhere. As usual it is difficult to investigate   agenda. Through NDA the agenda of the south has been
                                                   such reports but attempts will be made in January 2000.           accepted by northern opposition parties (eg the Asmara
                                                                                                                     declaration); much Arab support for GoS has been neu-
                                                   It should not be forgotten that oil also exists elsewhere.        tralised, as the struggle can no longer be portrayed as
                                                   The oilfield around Melut is the cause of much fighting in        Arab v. African (although strong US support for SPLA may
                                                   southern Blue Nile, and suspected oil deposits in Jonglei         rekindle Arab support for GoS); the concept of “New
                                                   province, explored by Total in the 1980s, may well cause          Sudan”, including the Nuba Mountains and southern Blue
                                                   future problems.                                                  Nile, has been introduced.

                                                   Neither should it be forgotten that there have been al-           A longer-term agenda may be for a combination of “unity”
                                                   legations of use of chemical weapons by GoS elsewhere             and “independence”, a form of confederation, perhaps.
                                                   during 1999, including western Equatoria and southern             Various examples could be considered: Cyprus and So-
                                                   Blue Nile. Truly independent investigations are required;         maliland, where independent states exist even though
                                                   the UN OLS cannot be regarded as a totally neutral party          the international community has not recognised them as
                                                   as it is a tri-partite agreement including GoS.                   such; Hong Kong and Macau, where the Chinese authori-
                                                                                                                     ties have allowed “one country, two systems”; the new
                                                                                                                     Russian federation of independent states which has re-
                                                   The immediate future                                              placed the old USSR. In this model there could be a
                                                   It is very dangerous to make predictions about Sudan,             number of independent states in north and south Sudan.
                                                   but:                                                              They would be truly independent, with their own armies
                                                                                                                     and foreign policies, but there would still be some form of
                                                   Relations between SPLA and President Museveni are un-             central government on which all would be strongly rep-
                                                   likely to change significantly as a result of the agreement       resented; thus there would still be some form of “united”
                                                   signed between Museveni and Bashir. Technically SPLA              Sudan.

                                                   is not “inside” Uganda as LRA is inside Sudan, therefore
                                                   SPLA is not affected by the agreement. It is also unlikely        The reasoning behind this model is persuasive. The 1973
Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                   that Eritrea or Ethiopia will abandon SPLA.                       Addis Ababa agreement failed, at least in part, because the
                                                                                                                     southern presence in central government was not strong
                                                   There may be an intensification of the IGAD talks as Ba-          enough to prevent the north from abrogating the agree-
                                                   shir will be anxious to demonstrate progress to bolster his       ment. The current war between Ethiopia and Eritrea is
                                                   own position in Khartoum.                                         another example of an agreement which was made in an
                                                                                                                     amicable atmosphere and yet failed a few years later. In any
                                                   The war will intensify in the coming dry season. There is         future agreement, there must be a strong mechanism to
                                                   activity by GoS troops on the road from Wau to Tonj and           ensure that the agreement is maintained. Total independ-
                                                   SPLA has been taking steps to meet this threat. Fighting          ence for southern Sudan without a continued relationship
                                                   is expected in southern Blue Nile and either Equatoria or         with the north will not work. Regional cooperation is again
                                                   the eastern front. Skirmishing will continue in the Nuba          on the increase in Africa (the East African Community,
                                                   Mountains, as will raiding by Arab militia in northern Bahr       ECOWAS); north and south Sudan should seek some for-
                                                   el-Ghazal; in 1999 SPLA showed itself able to deal with           mal partnership. There could be international guarantees
                                                   this threat fairly effectively.                                   for the first few years of the new arrangement but in the
                                                                                                                     long term it must be based on cooperation between north
                                                   SPLM is currently in a relatively strong diplomatic posi-         and south, taking into account the interests of both par-
                                                   tion in Africa. Egypt and Libya are shifting towards the          ties.
                                                   centre as they support Bashir rather than Turabi. Changes
                                                   in Nigeria are in SPLM’s favour. The USA is also taking           Many southern Sudanese intellectuals outside Sudan are
                                                   a stronger public position, but the Clinton administration        very hostile to this point of view. They, and probably the
                                                   only has one year left. SPLM will want to capitalise on all of    majority of southerners within Sudan, want total inde-
                                                   this. Conversely, GoS is in a stronger diplomatic position        pendence. We are not aware that any comprehensive risk
                                                   in Europe and may receive increased Arab backing as the           assessment of the different scenarios has been undertak-
                                                   USA strengthens its support for SPLA.                             en. Certainly an independent southern Sudan would face

many problems: the borders (even if the 1956 borders             Sudan Focal Point briefings
are accepted, who can be absolutely sure where those             The new expanded Sudan Focal Point (Europe and Africa)
borders are?; cf Eritrea and Ethiopia); the position of the      is considering ways of providing regular analysis (as op-
Nuba Mountains and southern Blue Nile; the possibility           posed to simply raw information) to its partners in Sudan
that it will be a “hostile” peace with well-armed Arab mili-     and the international community. Would a regular bulletin
tia on the border; the oil and other natural resources; the      in a similar format to this briefing paper be helpful? We
large number of southerners in northern Sudan; Egypt’s           eagerly await your response…
concerns about water; the total lack of infrastructure in
the south and its continued dependence on aid; conflict
between southerners (which they themselves play down,
but past and present experience is not encouraging); the
apparent reluctance of the educated Sudanese diaspora to
return to the south.

Living in peace must be better than living in war. However
leaders in a conflict situation are usually focused on the
day-to-day issues (including maintaining their own leader-
ship positions) and the ultimate goal is simply to win the
war. But what happens after the war? There is a contrast
here with leaders such as Jomo Kenyatta and Nelson Man-
dela. During long periods in prison they were able to re-
flect on the wider issues and on building the new society
when the armed struggle ends.

The church has a role to play here. There needs to be a
continuous dialogue between the church and the various
political and military players; given the difficulties faced
by church leaders in northern Sudan in meeting GoS, we
should concentrate in practice on NSCC and SPLM. This
does not mean simply meeting to discuss problems and
deal with particular cases. These regular meetings should
consider democracy, civil society, the shape of the future
government of southern Sudan, relationships with the EAC
and the Arab states, gender, culture, religion, economics,
the judiciary, traditional values, resources, oil, water, min-
erals, wildlife, tourism, disarmament and demobilisation,
the environment… a broad range of themes to prepare
for the future peace. The church should be in continuous
constructive dialogue with the movement. Do our church
leaders have this global vision? Most of them are probably
focused mainly on their own constituencies and don’t have
time or energy spare for such en-visioning. What can be
done to encourage this? This is part of the prophetic role
of the church.

Sudan Focal Point – Africa
Sudan Focal Point – Africa began its work by setting up
home and office facilities in Nairobi. The SFP-A Core
Group met in Nairobi and laid out guidelines for an annual
work plan. Networking and mapping the work done by
others are the priorities for the first three months. Ensur-
ing that information flows to Sudanese church leaders as
well as to international partners, and maintaining a sense
of ownership of SFP-A by the Sudanese churches, are key

     Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings
Briefing Paper                                                                    RASS and SPLM

                                                                                                        7th January 2000

                                  For the first time I have heard senior RASS officials state
                                     clearly (albeit privately) that now is the right time for
                               southern movements to come together. They believe that
                                 the three main issues that caused the Nasir split in 1991
                                   (self-determination, democracy within the movement,
                              human rights abuses) have now been adequately addressed
                                                                                    by SPLM.

They              are concerned about what they perceive
                  as regrouping by northerners (eg poten-
tial rapprochement between Bashir and Sadiq). They say
                                                                   RASS believes that the USA is in some way involved in
                                                                   this process. They believe it does not represent the core
                                                                   policy of the US administration and that those who inter-
that the recent statement on self-determination by UDSF,           preted Madeleine Albright’s statement that Upper Nile
USAP and other southern opposition parties in Khartoum             would be supported in this light are mistaken. However
is part of the move towards bringing SPLM and UDSF to-             they do believe that there are significant US figures who
gether and they hint that there have been private talks            have been influenced by certain southern Sudanese intel-
between the two movements.                                         lectuals in the USA. They also believe that John Luk and
                                                                   Michael Wal Duany are receiving funds from the USA,
If all of this is true it is a very significant development.       perhaps even from USAID.

RASS believes that the ill-fated attempt to form a new             RASS also believes that there are certain US interests
Nuer political movement, SSDM, was the ambition of                 which would like to remove Dr. John Garang and replace
three people: Michael Wal Duany, John Luk and Gabriel              him with Bona Malwal, with Joseph Lagu as vice-president,
Yoal Dok. It was certainly Dr. Riek Machar’s intention that        Francis Deng as foreign minister, Michael Wal Duany as fi-
the NSCC Waat conference should bring unity, including             nance minister and Peter Kok as attorney general. RASS
military unity, to the Nuer people, and the UNPMCC is              believes that whatever leadership may emerge in a future
thus welcomed by all. But the next step of forming a politi-       democratic and peaceful southern Sudan, at the moment
cal movement had very narrow support amongst the Lou               there are no credible alternatives to Dr. Riek Machar and
Nuer only. The Nuer military commanders were against               Dr. John Garang, and that to attempt to marginalise them
it, claiming that they wanted to regionalise military strat-       would be highly destabilising. SFP-A agrees.
egy but not to change movements, as were the rest of the
Nuer community as well as both Dr. Riek Machar and Dr.             RASS puts great stress on its own interpretation of the
John Garang. Incidentally NSCC terminated Michael Wal              history of the current war. The Nuer Anya Nya 2 went
Duany’s consultancy contract and PRDA has just dismissed           into the bush in the early 1980s, before Colonels John Ga-
Gabriel Yoal Dok, in both cases because the churches felt          rang and Kerubino Kuanyin Bol. When the SPLA began to
that this political activity represents a conflict of interests.   emerge after 1983, Anya Nya 2 joined up, but in the cold

                                                    war atmosphere they found the eastern bloc ideology of            The NLC meeting in Rumbek was basically self-assessment
                                                    SPLA uncomfortable. After the end of the cold war in 1989         five years after its formation in Chukudum in 1994. The
                                                    they were impatient with the lack of change within SPLA.          various organs were assessed: SPLM, NEC, civil structures
                                                    The 1991 split, over self- determination, democracy within        and the army. Basically it was felt that things were work-
                                                    the movement and human rights, was not intended to lead           ing relatively well up to county level but that regional and
                                                    to conflict with SPLA. The Nasir faction leaders envisaged        national structures were weak. Changes were suggested;
                                                    parallel movements coexisting, but the SPLA ideologues            these will be disseminated by SPLM in the near future.
                                                    could not handle this and hence the armed conflict began.
                                                    The move by Dr. Riek Machar to Khartoum was at least              The IGAD ambassadors and Daniel Mboya have just re-
                                                    in part forced on him by Dr. John Garang’s intransigence.         turned from Khartoum and are now travelling to Rumbek
                                                    Now that SPLM/A has, since 1994, addressed many of the            to meet Salva Kiir. The proposal is that IGAD should meet
                                                    issues which caused the split, this is the right time for rec-    mid-January; SPLM apparently has no objection to that.
                                                    onciliation. Of course this is a rather one-sided view, but
                                                    there is certainly a fair bit of truth within it and it does no   The humanitarian cease-fire in Bahr el-Ghazal finishes on
                                                    harm occasionally to consider a viewpoint different from          15th January 2000. It poses a dilemma for SPLA, which
                                                    the dominant one.                                                 would like to use Bahr el-Ghazal as a springboard for ma-
                                                                                                                      jor operations into western Upper Nile. If, as rumours sug-
                                                    RASS greatly commends the church for all its work for             gest, GoS is planning to attack Tonj from the direction of
                                                    reconciliation; the earlier unsuccessful attempts at leader-      Wau, this would be a godsend to SPLA which could then
                                                    ship-level and the more recent highly successful grassroots       legitimately begin operations without being blamed for
                                                    people-to-people process. RASS is very supportive of the          breaking the cease-fire.
                                                    planned NSCC East Bank Nilotic conference and hopes
                                                    that an expanded military command council will emerge to          SPLM repeated its version of the deaths of the four north-
                                                    unite the Bor Dinka, Murlai, Anuak and other Nuer clans in        ern Sudanese mentioned in the Human Rights Watch re-
                                                    the fight against the common enemy (although this might           port. There was a battle and the SPLA troops were on the
                                                    not be one of NSCC’s objectives!)                                 move (it may be surmised that they were retreating) and
                                                                                                                      thus they did not have custody of the bodies. Going back
                                                    RASS would like SFP-A to reinforce the NSCC people-to-            to retrieve them would not have been a high priority at the
                                                    people process; welcomes the increased opportunities for          time and is probably now impossible. SPLM wonders why
                                                    SFP-E and -A to represent the Sudanese struggle to the            no such fuss was made when five wounded SPLA soldiers

                                                    world; and would like SFP-E to provide feedback on other          were murdered by Kerubino when he took ICRC workers
                                                    models of peace- making throughout the world.                     captive.
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    SPLM                                                              Briefing Paper: US involvement in
                                                    SPLM confirms SFP-A’s view that the agreement between             southern Sudanese politics?
                                                    Museveni and Bashir will not significantly affect SPLA. They
                                                    repeat the legalistic argument that SPLA has no bases in          4th January 2000
                                                    Uganda (probably true). It is in Uganda’s international in-
                                                    terests to appear to make peace with its neighbours and
                                                    may also have the benefit of “knowing your enemy” better.         There have been hints of US involvement in southern Su-
                                                    This is not the first such agreement and it is very likely that   dan, particularly around the attempted formation of a new
                                                    GoS will breach it. LRA has launched new assaults already         Nuer political movement.
                                                    (possibly in anticipation of imminent loss of GoS support).
                                                                                                                      Now there is a strong rumour (but as yet it is only a ru-
                                                    At the NDA conference the smaller parties (SAF, Sudan             mour) from a European embassy source that the USA
                                                    Communist Party, Beja Congress, etc) wanted to expel              would like to replace both John Garang and Riek Machar.
                                                    Umma, but DUP and SPLM refused. DUP fears setting                 The USA considers it imperative to re-unite the Nuer and
                                                    a precedent which might backfire on itself in the future,         Dinka to form one strong movement and views these two
                                                    while SPLM is not ready to see the alliance broken and            as being too stubborn to do so. They would like to replace
                                                    recognises Umma’s important international links, particu-         Riek Machar with Michael Wal Duany; this tallies with his
                                                    larly with Libya. SPLM also recognises a split within Umma.       being named as the interim head of the putative Nuer po-
                                                    Those inside Sudan (led by Nugdallah Abdirahman Abdal-            litical movement and reports that he has now been recalled
                                                    lah) and the Umma armed forces (I wasn’t aware that they          to the USA for consultations and further moves. Bona Mal-
                                                    had any!) are firmly against rapprochement with GoS;              wal, Francis Deng and Peter Kok are among the names of
                                                    Sadiq is pursuing his personal ambitions. NDA settled for         the USA’s desired successors to John Garang, possibly as
                                                    giving Umma a three-month deadline to clarify its position        a junta rather than a single leader, with Salva Kiir as head
                                                    and reprimanding Mubarak al-Fadil.                                of the army. Two senior White House figures, [names sup-
                                                                                                                      plied], are supposed to be involved in this plan.

If there is any truth in this rumour it could prove very        Regional independence, in which the different movements
destabilising. Meddling in other countries’ affairs by the      work together to foster partnership, understanding and
USA should be strongly discouraged as it is usually inept       common objectives, leads to common organisation and
and ill-informed. The politicians from the diaspora may         eventually a healthy unity. He does not rule out some form
seem attractive to outsiders but are not in touch with the      of “national” leadership to unite the three movements.
reality on the ground and probably don’t have a support-        Neither does he completely rule out Dr. John Garang as
base in Sudan. For all their faults, it would be difficult to   that national leader, but the process would be all-impor-
imagine two figures with as wide a support base as John         tant.
Garang and Riek Machar and it would be unwise to see
their swift demise.                                             Dr, Wal Duany’s analysis of the power bases amongst the
                                                                Nuer gives SSLM an advantage in three major areas: the
                                                                central area of Waat and Akobo, the western area where
Briefing Paper: Upper Nile political                            Commander Peter Gadet is now dominant and the east-
situation                                                       ern Gajak Nuer around Maiwut. Dr. Riek Machar retains
                                                                support in his home area around Adok and Nhial; Com-
25th January 2000                                               mander Tito Biel is reportedly undecided but may ulti-
                                                                mately support Riek. The area around Nasir is not consid-
                                                                ered significant at the moment as it is still contested with
It now seems likely that Dr, Riek Machar will not retum to      GoS. Cynics suggest that the first leader to supply arms
Khartoum. He is attempting to consolidate his power base        to the commanders will have a decisive advantage. Even
in Nairobi and southem Sudan and will probably de-link          here, Wal Duany may score if SPLM is supporting him, as
himself from Khartoum and rejoin the armed struggle. The        SPLA has already supplied arms to the western Nuer. Riek
“new” SSIM which he will lead may be renamed South Su-          Machar obviously feels that SSLM is a real threat to his po-
dan Democratic Liberation Movement (SSDLM) or some              sition; it is believed that his decision to quit Khartoum was
variant on that theme. A number of commanders from the          not pre-planned but was forced on him by events.
east, led by Yie Biet, are reported to be with him.
                                                                There is now open rivalry between the two groups. They
On the other hand, Dr. Wal Duany believes that he has           met at the house of a church elder in Nairobi to try and
enough support to form a new movement, and that he is           convince each other; reportedly there was no agree-
carrying out a mandate from the Waat meeting. He believes       ment.
that Commanders Peter Bol Kong, Timothy Taban, Riek
Malwal and Peter Gadet will support him as well as other        This division has affected the ordinary people and the
non-Nuer forces. At the recent NLC in Rumbek, SPLM              PCOS and is causing disharmony. This is potentially dan-
removed its objections to a new movement (although Dr.          gerous not only for the Nuer community but for their im-
John Garang himself may still have some reservations). It       mediate neighbour such as the Dinka. However, church
is reported that some SPLA (United) commanders have             sources and Dr. Wal Duany believe that the Nuer people
joined the UNPMCC (although Dr. Lam Akol remains                are looking for peace and will no longer tolerate inter-
committed to Khartoum) and that the Bor Dinka favour a          nal fighting. Since Wunlit it is also felt that the ordinary
new political movement in Upper Nile.                           people will not support conflict between Nuer and Dinka.
                                                                Any leader who agitates for factional fighting will not be
The new movement will be called South Sudan Liberation          supported by the grassroots. For this reason Wal Duany
Movement (SSLM). According to Wal Duany, it has the po-         believes that there will be no return to the situation of
tential for uniting all the peoples of Upper Nile, not only     1991.
the Nuer, and giving them direction in the fight against the
common enemy. It will provide a new outlook and foster          It is believed that the USA wants to encourage new de-
partnership with SPLM, SPLM (United) and other groups.          velopments amongst the Nuer but will not support Riek
The formal declaration of SSLM was delayed in order to          Machar. Thus there are strong suspicions that the USA
have proper consultation, within Upper Nile but also with       is instrumental in the current political machinations. Wal
SPLM, Equatorians and others, but a document will be is-        Duany believes he will have strong international support
sued soon. SSLM supports self- determination but has no         but will not be drawn on the issue of the USA, saying only
preconceptions as to what the result will be; let the people    that the USA understands the situation.
choose unity, independence, federation, confederation,
etc. A prerequisite for this is education and empowerment       Meanwhile GoS is pressurising Riek Machar to return to
of the population.                                              Khartoum, as are UDSF members in Khartoum, who nat-
                                                                urally fear for their own position should Riek defect. GoS
Dr. Wal Duany is a strong proponent of the regional ap-         has also intensified its bombardment of Nuer targets, in-
proach. There would be three independent movements              cluding towns such as Mading and Akobo which are nomi-
fighting alongside each other against the common enemy.         nally under Riek Machar’s control.

                                                    NSCC and PCOS are being criticised in some circles.            Monthly Briefing: January 2000
                                                    The NSCC people-to-people peace conference in Waat
                                                    was the vehicle which facilitated the meeting of the Nuer      2nd February 2000
                                                    commanders who formed the UNPMCC and which led to
                                                    plans to form the SSLM. Of course this was not NSCC’s
                                                    intention, but once you begin the process of democratisa-      Khartoum
                                                    tion and empowerment you cannot control where it will          It was announced that Bashir and Turabi had settled their
                                                    lead. PRDA and PCOS were involved in the Waat confer-          differences. However Turabi is still pursuing legal action
                                                    ence as well. Two leading figures in SSLM, Wal Duany and       against Bashir over the appointment of state governors.
                                                    Gabriel Yoal Dok, were employed to different degrees by
                                                    NSCC and PRDA respectively, which has also implicated
                                                    the churches. PRDA’s rather hasty attempt to distance          Upper Nile
                                                    itself from Gabriel Yoal has caused divisions within the       Dr. Wal Duany believes that he has enough support to
                                                    church, and PCOS has found itself accused of support-          succeed with the newly-launched South Sudan Liberation
                                                    ing one side or the other. NSCC’s peace facilitator has        Movement (SSLM) and that he is carrying out a mandate
                                                    also come under suspicion because of the perceived US          from the Waat meeting. He believes that key Nuer com-
                                                    connection. Churches and their partners must take steps        manders and intellectuals support him, as well as other
                                                    to convince the movements and other observers of our           non-Nuer forces. At the recent NLC in Rumbek, SPLM
                                                    neutrality.                                                    removed its objections to the new movement and it is
                                                                                                                   reported that Dinka, Shilluk and Anuak will occupy key
                                                    A few weeks ago I expressed the opinion that SSLM was          positions in SSLM. According to Wal Duany, SSLM has the
                                                    a spent force before it even emerged. However now it is        potential for uniting all the peoples of Upper Nile, not only
                                                    far more difficult to predict the outcome. Currently Wal       the Nuer, and giving them direction in the fight against the
                                                    Duany probably has more options open to him than Riek          common enemy. It will provide a new outlook and foster
                                                    Machar. The possibility of two parallel movements can-         partnership with SPLM, SPLM (United) and other groups.
                                                    not be ruled out. In that case Wal Duany’s SSLM would          SSLM and UNPMCC are “without prejudice to the SPLM/
                                                    probably be more powerful and control more area and            A” and are “complementary forces… in the war of libera-
                                                    influence than Riek Machar’s SSDLM. SSLM is portrayed          tion and not competitors”. SSLM supports self-determina-
                                                    as having new ideas and vision, whereas SSDLM may be           tion but has no preconceptions as to what the result will
                                                    seen as the rearguard of old and tired policies; thus the      be; let the people choose. A prerequisite for this is educa-

                                                    former may attract popular support.                            tion and empowerment of the population.
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    International church partners probably should not at-          Dr. Riek Machar indicated that he will not return to Khar-
                                                    tempt to influence the direction of these deliberations; it    toum. He is currently in southern Sudan, attempting to
                                                    is not for us to interfere in the political decisions of the   consolidate his power base, and will probably de-link him-
                                                    Nuer community (which are probably more participa-             self from Khartoum and rejoin the armed struggle. The
                                                    tory than in some other communities in southern Sudan).        “new” SSIM which he will lead may be renamed South Su-
                                                    However we must insist strongly that a return to fighting      dan Democratic Liberation Movement (SSDLM) or some
                                                    within the Nuer community or to fighting with the SPLA is      variant on that theme. A number of commanders are re-
                                                    totally unacceptable. The steps made towards peace and         ported to be with him, as is the leadership of RASS.
                                                    reconciliation at Wunlit and Waat are too valuable to be
                                                    sacrificed.                                                    This division has affected the ordinary people and the
                                                                                                                   PCOS and is causing disharmony, which is potentially dan-
                                                    One piece of heartening news from Upper Nile: an air-          gerous not only for the Nuer community but for their im-
                                                    craft carrying church personnel to Mading to celebrate the     mediate neighbours such as the Dinka. However, church
                                                    launch of a new Nuer bible translation crashed on land-        sources and Dr. Wal Duany believe that the Nuer people
                                                    ing, somersaulted and finally came to rest upside down.        are looking for peace and will no longer tolerate inter-
                                                    Miraculously it did not catch fire and the twenty people       nal fighting. Since Wunlit it is also felt that the ordinary
                                                    on board, including children and a pregnant woman, were        people will not support conflict between Nuer and Dinka.
                                                    completely unscathed. A good omen for the new bible!           Any leader who agitates for factional fighting will not be
                                                                                                                   supported by the grassroots. For this reason Wal Duany
                                                                                                                   believes that there will be no return to the situation of
                                                                                                                   1991. But one of SSLM’s key claims, to unite all the peo-
                                                                                                                   ples of Upper Nile, will fall flat if the Nuer themselves are

It is believed that the USA wants to encourage new de-         Some even suggest that the LRA activity is a deliberate
velopments amongst the Nuer but will not support Riek          decoy. However it is also known that experienced troops
Machar. Thus there are strong suspicions that the USA is       from Juba have been transferred to Blue Nile. It is almost
instrumental in the current political machinations; certain-   impossible to predict military events.
ly there are clear indications of USAID funding for SSLM.
                                                               Tension continues between Didinga and Bor Dinka, with
The ongoing possibility of two parallel movements cannot       several thousand Didinga displaced to Uganda. SPLA is ex-
be ruled out. SSLM can claim to include other tribes and       pected to bring an integrated force to the area to defuse
to have new vision; SSIM/SSDLM is purely Nuer and may          the situation and improve security; a delay will only worsen
be perceived as fighting a rearguard action with old ideas.    the situation and increase the number of displaced.
Wal Duany seems to have more options open to him than
Riek Machar at the moment.                                     Aerial bombardment of civilian targets in Yei has resumed
                                                               after a respite of several months.
Meanwhile GoS is reportedly pressurising Riek Machar to
return to Khartoum, as are UDSF members in Khartoum,
who naturally fear for their own position should Riek de-      Southern Blue Nile
fect. One source, though, has an interesting theory that       I have just returned from a six-day visit to southern Blue
GoS would like Riek to defect as it will then be able to       Nile with the church consortium that has been operating a
blame him for the demise of the 1997 peace agreement.          humanitarian programme there for three years under very
Others suggest that Riek may have no option but to return      difficult conditions. An assessment of the food security
to Khartoum if he is unable to mobilise enough support in      situation was carried out by an independent consultant in
southern Sudan. The possibilities are endless…                 January 2000; we visited one or two areas that he was un-
                                                               able to reach. The consortium estimates that about 21,500
GoS has intensified its bombardment of Nuer targets,           people are currently at risk. Over 600 MT food will be
including Abwong, Mading and Akobo. Church leaders             needed this year; up to two-thirds of that will probably be
report that GoS has arrested church members in Adong,          purchased from farmers in Blue Nile and the rest obtained
killed a chief and a church member in Galacok and is           from other local sources. More than 60 MT seeds will be
shooting civilians fishing in the Sobat river.                 needed, of which about 25% will be purchased locally. The
                                                               consortium is under-funded this year; donors are encour-
NGOs were evacuated from Panyagor at the end of                aged to fund this unique programme which provides the
January. Nuer forces (possibly coming from Waat under          only humanitarian services in an area with a population of
Simon Gatwec and possibly supported by Murlai) appar-          over 300,000. The integrated programme includes food
ently staged a raid which in the end did not reach Pan-        security, agriculture, education, health, water, women’s
yagor itself. Local rumours from the area suggest that the     activities and building the capacity of local structures and
control of potential oilfields is being used to encourage      has successfully maintained these even during periods of
Nuer forces to stage such raids; they used to be promised      acute emergency.
cattle, but there are few of them left to loot. It should be
remembered that during the 1980s Total was prospecting         We saw many contrasts. In Wadega and Mayak the crops
for oil in this region.                                        have failed totally, due to pests and localised drought. In
                                                               Gerdan we saw a grain surplus. In Gerot we found a slight
                                                               tendency towards “dependency”, following an extended
Equatoria                                                      visit by a US evangelical organisation. In Anyile we encoun-
Eight humanitarian workers from NCA, AIC, ECS and              tered remarkable self-sufficiency amongst a group of several
SRRA were brutally killed when the Ugandan LRA am-             hundred families who had recently returned from the refu-
bushed an NCA vehicle 7 kms from Parajok on 13th Janu-         gee camp at Tsherkole in Ethiopia. Markets are improving,
ary. Three others were seriously injured. These LRA were       with goods from Ethiopia as well as local grain and fish.
returning to Sudan, which raises questions concerning Su-
dan’s seriousness over the pact signed between Bashir and      Military authorities in southern Blue Nile expect a GoS of-
Museveni. A small number of abducted Ugandans have             fensive on at least two fronts but believe they are well-pre-
been returned to Uganda; all Sudanese PoWs have been           pared and are not unduly worried. GoS still controls Boiny,
repatriated to Khartoum from Uganda. Museveni has now          recaptured in January 1999 in the only major setback that
accused Sudan of not fulfilling its part of the agreement.     SPLA has received since it took control of the area early
                                                               in 1997, but the GoS garrison is surrounded and can only
There are reports of EDF activity in eastern Equatoria,        be resupplied by air. Aerial bombardment continues near
sometimes operating with LRA, and of heavy military con-       the front lines. The recent defection to Khartoum of the
voys moving from Juba to Kapoeta. Many believe that GoS        Deputy Governor has apparently not caused any major se-
is preparing an offensive on several fronts. One thrust        curity problems. ICRC and a journalist recently visited the
might be westwards from Juba towards Mundri and Tali.          PoWs held by SPLA in Kurmuk.

                                                    Prospective tourists take note: large herds of elephants     Evangelical Groups
                                                    are reported in the forest south of Yabus!                   A number of small but well-funded evangelical groups are
                                                                                                                 operating in Sudan. Most of these come from the USA,
                                                                                                                 with the notable exception of the South African Frontline
                                                    Regionalisation                                              Fellowship and its offshoot, Love in Action. Many of their
                                                    Dr. Wal Duany is a strong proponent of the regional ap-      members are ex-military and they are generally very well-
                                                    proach. According to him, there would be three inde-         equipped. Often they lack experience, do not carry out
                                                    pendent movements fighting alongside each other against      thorough needs assessments and operate in a way that
                                                    the common enemy; regional independence, in which the        may encourage dependency. There is also a real danger
                                                    different movements work together to foster partnership,     of causing division, both in society as a whole and within
                                                    understanding and common objectives, leads to common         the churches themselves, in the way they channel com-
                                                    organisation and eventually a healthy unity. He does not     modities through certain church leaders. They blur the
                                                    rule out some form of “national” leadership to unite the     distinction between humanitarian aid and evangelism; on
                                                    three movements.                                             the other hand they assist local churches in the fields of
                                                                                                                 pastoral and evangelical ministry in a way that mainstream
                                                    Some sources within SPLM/A ridicule this as just loose       churches have failed to do. Mainstream churches will need
                                                    talk. Apart from any political considerations, the all-im-   to monitor the impact of these groups, particularly in Blue
                                                    portant problems of procurement and logistics are seen       Nile and the Nuba Mountains where there is potential for
                                                    as militating against individual movements.                  religious tension.

                                                    SRRA Memorandum of Understanding                             IGAD
                                                    For several months amicable negotiations had been tak-       IGAD peace talks took place in the second half of January.
                                                    ing place between SRRA and the OLS NGOs regarding            A document signed by both delegations indicates agree-
                                                    the technical details of a Memorandum of Understanding.      ment on some relatively non-contentious issues, but con-
                                                    OLS and most NGOs are generally in favour of it, as it       tinued disagreement over self-determination for southern
                                                    should offer them increased protection; some donors,         Kordofan and southern Blue Nile and on the separation
                                                    notably EU governments, seem to be opposed. Donors           of state and religion. SPLM documents are quite uncom-
                                                    apparently intervened in a heavy-handed manner recently,     promising. SPLM also disagrees with GoS on the status
                                                    and there was also a leak to the press; SRRA was angered     of any cease-fire, arguing that a comprehensive cease-fire

                                                    by this and has set a new deadline of 1st March by which     should come at the end of a process in which underlying
                                                    NGOs must sign or be expelled. The issue has now be-         problems have been dealt with, and also that GoS aerial
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    come polarised, with NGOs unwilling to negotiate in the      bombing contradicts the spirit of a cease-fire. Neverthe-
                                                    face of such a deadline. It remains to be seen whether       less a limited “humanitarian” cease-fire was extended.
                                                    SRRA will carry out its threat, but it is unfortunate that
                                                    a constructive process seems to have been damaged by         SSLM “appreciates the stage so far reached by the IGAD
                                                    donor insensitivity.                                         Peace Process and encourages the IGAD countries to
                                                                                                                 continue” but, while “recognising that the SPLM has been
                                                                                                                 the chief negotiator” so far, now claims that SSLM should
                                                    Oil                                                          be represented in future consultations.
                                                    A consultant is currently in Rumbek County collecting
                                                    eye-witness accounts of people displaced from western        We are committed to supporting IGAD as it is currently
                                                    Upper Nile. She hopes to visit a location near Mankien       the only ongoing peace negotiation. However, are we re-
                                                    during the first half of February.                           alistic in our expectations? Is it getting anywhere? Are both
                                                                                                                 sides really interested in peace at this moment? There are
                                                    SPLA reports that its forces operating out of southern       many who believe that, while there will not be an outright
                                                    Blue Nile have cut the flow of oil from Adar (near Melut).   military victory by either side, neither will there be any
                                                    Oil from Adar was transported northwards by barge. This      serious negotiations until changes in the balance of power
                                                    has not attracted public attention in the way that oil in    (military or otherwise) force it upon them.
                                                    western Upper Nile has.

Briefing Paper: Upper Nile Political                            SPDF and SSLM have not yet begun armed conflict with
Developments                                                    each other. Many believe that they will not do so, as peo-
                                                                ple on the ground are strongly opposed to this. However
17th February 2000                                              they have caused great political confusion. There are now
                                                                two mainstream Nuer movements as well as several GoS-
                                                                supported militias and even a new SSDM formed in Ad-
The situation is constantly changing. This briefing is (prob-   dis Ababa by David Koak, claiming a power-base in the
ably!) correct as of 17/02/00. Any predictions are made         Nasir area. Churches are also affected. The split in PCOS
on the basis of information available at this time and are      has deepened as political divisions enter the church and in
subject to change.                                              some quarters NSCC is still blamed for calling the meeting
                                                                at which SSLM was first mooted. Could the two move-
There is general agreement that the situation has changed       ments merge? Could leadership be decided by some par-
since Dr. Riek Machar resigned from Khartoum and re-            ticipatory forum in the future? What about the interim?
turned to southem Sudan to re-enter the armed strug-            Currently there seem to be great obstacles. One key
gle. He has formed a new movement, the Sudan People’s           player suggests a power-sharing with Dr. Wal as political
Democratic Front, with its military wing, the Sudan Peo-        leader and Dr. Riek as military leader. This seems rather
ple’s Defence Force (both are SPDF). RASS remains as the        unlikely. There is no obvious mediator, particularly since
humanitarian wing of SPDF. Some who were ready to sup-          PCOS has become embroiled in the political divisions.
port Dr. Wal Duany’s new SSLM while Dr. Riek remained
in Khartoum have now shifted back to Dr. Riek.                  The next NSCC people to people peace conference for
                                                                the east bank Nilotic community, scheduled to be held
It seems that SPDF has military support in Dr. Riek’s home      near Akobo in mid-March, is under threat. Insecurity
area around Leer and Adok as well as in the Mabaan re-          makes it virtually impossible to meet in Nuer territory;
gion of north-east Upper Nile. His followers claim that all     even if SPDF and SSLM could agree, the GoS- sponsored
major Nuer commanders are with him, but this is disput-         Nuer forces would pose a security risk. The conference
ed. SSLM claims the support of commanders in the Lou            may be held in Bor County, perhaps delayed a little, but
Nuer area. It admits that Peter Bol Kong himself is with        the important symbolism of the Dinka sacrificing bulls in
Dr. Riek, but claims that his troops, under Riek Malwal,        Nuer territory, just as the Nuer did in Dinka territory at
are loyal to Dr. Wal Duany. The area around Nasir is not        Wunlit, is lost. The Nuer, however much divided, may be
significant in this respect as GoS-supported Gordon Kong        afraid not to attend the conference. If the Dinka and the
is believed to have the upper hand. The central Nuer area       other Nilotic tribes reconcile with each other without
around Fangak is currently disputed between forces loyal        the Nuer, this would put the Nuer in a weaker position
to SPDF and those of GoS. A lot hinges on Peter Gadet           in the future. There will be further pressure on the Nuer
who commands the majority of the forces around Ben-             to unite as they will always be weaker while they are fac-
tiu. All admit that a meeting between Dr. Riek and Peter        tionalised. However some believe that there is no point in
Gadet is likely (or may even have taken place by now) but       the Nuer coming to the conference unless they can first
SPDF and SSLM both claim that Gadet is with them. He            unite themselves.
has recently returned from Bahr el-Ghazal, probably seek-
ing arms from SPLA.                                             Since his de-linking from GoS, Dr. Riek’s position is slightly
                                                                stronger. Some believe that SPDF is trying to move closer
SPDF claims that it has launched three military offensives      to SPLM/A. It has dropped the “southern” from its name,
against GoS in Leer, Torit and Mabaan. It is very likely that   which puts it ideologically closer to SPLM. Some com-
forces under Tito Biel have attacked Leer, particularly af-     manders from western Upper Nile have already forged
ter GoS attempted to resupply the garrison by parachute.        close links with SPLA in Bahr el-Ghazal, so SPDF would
The fighting between SPDF and GoS forces in the Mabaan          be able to court them. Dr. Riek has an advantage over Dr.
area is not unexpected as it is rumoured that SPLA forces       Wal in that he has always been and still is the Commander-
in Blue Nile have been in contact with local Nuer com-          in-Chief; he is simply returning to his forces after trying a
manders for some time. Around Juba and Torit the situ-          different tack with Khartoum which he now admits has
ation is more complex. Former SSDF forces in the area           failed. Peter Gadet’s position will be crucial, as Dr. Riek
are now split and confused. Some are with SPDF, others          would be quite isolated and vulnerable if he only control-
SSLM while still others remain with the rump UDSF under         led the Leer area (and perhaps Mabaan) but had Bentiu
Elijah Hon. It is possible that these forces have been fight-   against him.
ing each other, that GoS has been attempting to disarm
some factions, and that others are trying to escape from
GoS areas.

                                                    On the other hand, Dr. Wal can claim to be bringing fresh      which still want to negotiate over the small-print of the
                                                    ideas against the tired, failed policies of Dr. Riek. He is    MoU; they could conceivably be given extra time to do
                                                    widely perceived as having strong US backing. Hypotheti-       so. However those which refuse outright may well find
                                                    cally, some of the commanders currently supported by           themselves expelled on 1st March 2000.
                                                    GoS may be willing to join Dr. Wal but would be reluctant
                                                    to join Dr. Riek, from whom they split in the first place.     In the short-term this would be a public relations disaster
                                                    Nuer forces are battle-weary and short of supplies; cynics     for SPLM. Some NGOs have very effective public rela-
                                                    suggest that the first leader to provide them with arms        tions machines! This will be reduced if a large number of
                                                    and ammunition will win their loyalty.                         NGOs remain; it will then be more difficult for the few
                                                                                                                   who leave to justify their refusal to sign the MoU. How-
                                                                                                                   ever the NGOs themselves also have a lot to lose. Their
                                                    Briefing Paper: SRRA/NGO                                       own constituencies may find it difficult to understand why
                                                    Memorandum of Understanding                                    they feel the MoU issue is important enough to prevent
                                                                                                                   them from continuing to alleviate the suffering in southern
                                                    17th February 2000                                             Sudan. Sudan is good for fund-raising, and competition for
                                                                                                                   funds (including the “administrative percentage” that they
                                                                                                                   need to maintain their offices and activities in Europe or
                                                    SRRA had been negotiating with NGOs for some time              the USA) is a major force that drives NGOs (see paper
                                                    over the exact wording of the MoU in a constructive and        by John Ashworth entitled The Media, the Donors and
                                                    cordial atmosphere. OLS is on record as supporting an          the Poor, reflecting on the Sudan famine of 1998. Those
                                                    MoU. However certain donors (notably EU governments)           who withdraw from Sudan will see some of their fund-
                                                    and a small number of NGOs remained opposed in prin-           ing redirected to NGOs which remain. In the weeks and
                                                    ciple to an MoU. It is difficult to understand why. NGOs       months after the expulsion some NGOs may be forced to
                                                    working in northern Sudan are far more strictly regulated      re-enter Sudan; they will then be at a clear disadvantage
                                                    by GoS, and NGOs working in southern Sudan based in            compared to NGOs which remained.
                                                    Kenya must be registered with the Government of Kenya
                                                    and are subject to regulation and taxation. At least one       What of the humanitarian impact? Certainly there will be
                                                    major church agency signed an MoU with SRRA two years          a short-term reduction in humanitarian services offered to
                                                    ago, after negotiating some changes to the text.               the people of southern Sudan. The remaining NGOs will
                                                                                                                   not be able to scale up their operations easily, particularly

                                                    A number of donors and NGOs apparently by-passed the           if some donors refuse to cooperate. However the longer-
                                                    ongoing negotiation process by presenting a new draft let-     term efficacy of many NGOs is questionable anyway due
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    ter of understanding. At around the same time NLC was          to the short-term nature of their programming and their
                                                    particularly angered by NGOs publicly protesting US gov-       lack of engagement with local communities. New NGOs
                                                    ernment suggestions of giving food aid directly to SPLA.       will arrive, existing ones will scale up and adapt, funding
                                                    Questions were raised as to whether the NGOs were re-          will be redirected, local coping mechanisms will come to
                                                    ally beneficial to southern Sudan.                             the fore, major donors such as USAID will probably still
                                                                                                                   be involved… and life will go on at the same pace as it has
                                                    The perception of NGOs by the international commu-             done and will continue to do until the war stops.
                                                    nity may be very different from that of the Sudanese and
                                                    some of their long-term international partners (particularly
                                                    churches). Some NGOs are perceived as arrogant. NGOs           Briefing Paper: SRRA/NGO
                                                    and donors have their own agenda and priorities which          Memorandum of Understanding #2
                                                    may differ from those of the beneficiaries. Many are relief-
                                                    rather than development-orientated. Funding and there-         29th February 2000
                                                    fore programmes are short-term, to the detriment of long-
                                                    term sustainable rehabilitation. Few international NGOs
                                                    have seriously addressed issues of partnership, relation-      As of 29/02/00 it is reported that around 75% of NGOs
                                                    ships with local communities, capacity-building, enhancing     have signed the Memorandum of Understanding with
                                                    local human resources and respect for indigenous culture       SRRA. It is anticipated that around ten will choose to leave
                                                    and infrastructure. Many have been reluctant to deal with      Sudan. However, NGO sources suggest that, given the size
                                                    and to build the capacity of the fledgling civil society.      and importance of some of these, up to 75% of project
                                                                                                                   activities will be seriously affected. Major agencies which
                                                    Currently SPLM is sticking to its deadline for expulsion       have signed include Catholic Relief Services, Norwegian
                                                    of NGOs which will not sign the MoU. Given the nature          Church Aid, Norwegian Peoples’ Aid and International
                                                    of the NLC resolution, SPLM and SRRA really have very          Rescue Committee, while Care International, Worldvision
                                                    little room for manoeuvre. One small loophole might be         International, Oxfam (GB) and Save the Children Fund
                                                    for NGOs which indicate a genuine willingness to sign but      (UK) are amongst those which have declined.

The decision to set a deadline of 1st March 2000 for           The points at issue according to this source are: a ref-
NGOs to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)               erence to implementing the objectives of SRRA, which
with SRRA was taken by the National Liberation Council         NGOs believe compromises their impartiality and neu-
(NLC) during its December 1999 meeting in Rumbek. For          trality; no explicit mention of the fact that OLS NGOs
this reason it would be very difficult for the Nairobi lead-   operate under an access agreement with both GoS and
ership of SPLM or SRRA to reverse the decision taken by        SRRA and thus no distinction between OLS and non-OLS
this large forum. Some commentators fail to understand         NGOs, which operate under different access conditions;
how little room for manoeuvre the SPLM leadership has          ambiguity over who has the final say in security decisions,
in this regard.                                                particularly regarding evacuation of staff, which NGOs
                                                               rightly feel is their prerogative; and no explicit recogni-
SRRA had been negotiating with NGOs for several months         tion that NGOs are bound by the differing legal require-
over the exact wording of the MoU in a constructive and        ments of their different donors. Obviously not everyone
cordial atmosphere. Substantial concessions were made          sees these as problems. The “objectives” of SRRA as spelt
by SRRA. By August 1999 only a few minor points re-            out in the preamble of the MoU are “to render humani-
mained to be negotiated and NGO sources expected the           tarian relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction… without
matter to be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. At   discrimination” and many NGOs have no problem signing
that point donor representatives took over the negotia-        up to this. The OLS/non-OLS access issue seems rather
tions, which then broke down very quickly. Donors then         arcane. Although there is ambiguity in the statement that
unilaterally produced a draft Letter of Understanding          the NGO “shall abide by any security instructions which
which was immediately rejected by SRRA. The atmos-             the local authorities… may issue” (5.2), many would ar-
phere quickly became confrontational and SPLM’s resent-        gue that it does not prevent the NGO from making its
ment towards the donors should not be under-estimated;         own security decisions. Donor requirements seem to be
neither should the Sudanese sense of pride. Questions          explicitly recognised in 4.1: “All assets… shall be disposed
were raised as to whether the NGOs were really benefi-         of at the end of the project life in accordance with donor
cial to southern Sudan.                                        conditionalities…”

The perception of NGOs by the international commu-             It has also been reported at various times that some NGOs
nity is very different from that of the Sudanese and some      and/or donors are unhappy with clauses relating to trans-
of their long-term international partners (particularly        parency, employment of Sudanese staff, payment of fees
churches). Some NGOs are perceived as arrogant. NGOs           for services (but not taxation, from which NGOs are ex-
and donors have their own agenda and priorities which          empt), a prohibition on public gatherings without permis-
may differ from those of the beneficiaries. Many are re-       sion and the perception that they will be recognising “sov-
lief- rather than development-orientated. Funding and          ereignty” of SPLM if they sign an MoU. On close reading
therefore programmes are short-term, to the detriment          of the MoU most of these do not seem to be problems.
of long-term sustainable rehabilitation. Few international     On sovereignty, it should be noted that there is already an
NGOs have seriously addressed issues of partnership, re-       agreement signed with SPLM by the UN ten years ago,
lationships with local communities, capacity-building, en-     which does not imply sovereignty. SPLM does not appear
hancing local human resources and respect for indigenous       to be claiming sovereignty but simply points out that it is
culture and infrastructure. Many have been reluctant to        not unreasonable to expect international NGOs to have
deal with and to build the capacity of the fledgling civil     an agreement of some sort with the de facto authority in
society. International agencies demand transparency from       a war zone.
their local partners but are reluctant to share information
about their own plans and budgets. Expatriate staff are        The NGOs are left with a judgement call. Is it acceptable
often perceived as young, inexperienced and stressed. It       to sign an imperfect and “incomplete” MoU in order to
should be added that a number of responsible NGOs do           defuse the situation and continue giving humanitarian as-
recognise these shortcomings and are taking steps to re-       sistance? Many believe that the remaining points at issue
dress some of them.                                            could be renegotiated in a few months time once things
                                                               have cooled down. Or is it important to make a stand,
A respected source within the international NGO com-           protesting against the premature closure by SRRA of the
munity explains that they are not against an MoU per se;       good-faith negotiating process and insisting that only a
indeed they negotiated in good faith for many months and       mutually-agreed document be signed? A “third way”, in
much of the current MoU was actually drafted by them.          which NGOs would sign a “letter of intent” stating that
They can agree with 95% of the MoU, but they insist that       they are genuinely willing to sign the MoU once the nego-
it represents an incomplete process and that there re-         tiating process is complete, has been suggested but does
main three or four significant stumbling blocks (although      not seem to be acceptable at this moment.
they admit that even these are more a result of ambiguity
caused by imprecise language rather than explicitly unac-
ceptable conditions).

                                                    The problem is compounded by the attitude of certain             It is difficult to predict the more distant future. The long-
                                                    donors; indeed some would argue that the donors are the          term efficacy of many NGOs is questionable anyway due
                                                    source of the original problem and the stumbling block to        to the short-term nature of their programming and their
                                                    solving it even now. The perceived refusal by donors to          lack of engagement with local communities. If major for-
                                                    respect SPLM/SRRA, not just during this particular proc-         eign powers restrain their retaliation against SRRA, then
                                                    ess but over a long period, lies at the root of the stand-off.   new NGOs will arrive, existing ones will scale up and
                                                    It has to be said that SRRA, although provoked, has also         adapt, funding will be redirected, local coping mechanisms
                                                    behaved less than ideally during the course of this debacle,     will come to the fore… and eventually life will go on at
                                                    levelling abuse and threats at the NGOs. It seems to have        much the same pace as it has done and will continue to do
                                                    now become a test of strength between donors and SRRA.           until the war stops. If the major foreign powers decide to
                                                    The NGOs, many of whom would like to strike a compro-            maintain their test of strength, then once again the ordi-
                                                    mise, are caught between a rock and a hard place. If they        nary civilians will suffer.
                                                    don’t sign, they will be asked to leave southern Sudan. If
                                                    they do, they will have a major portion of their funding cut
                                                    and will thus have to close projects in Sudan anyway.            Monthly Briefing: February 2000

                                                    There are allegations that some donor governments will           7th March 2000
                                                    take even stronger measures to ensure that they “win”
                                                    (although of course humanitarianism will lose). SPLM is
                                                    not influenced solely by humanitarian aid but by complex         Upper Nile
                                                    regional political, economic and military factors. Power-        See briefing paper 17/02/00.
                                                    ful donors are able to interfere in these relationships.
                                                    There is certainly no agreement between donor govern-            Since then SPLM has reported that both Peter Gadet
                                                    ments, even within Europe. It is believed that Germany           (Bentiu area) and Reath Malwal (Waat area) have joined
                                                    and France are strongly against the MoU; that UK is bid-         SPLM/A and that Gadet has shot down two helicopter
                                                    ing its time; and that the Netherlands and some Scandi-          gunships. Gadet controls significant forces.
                                                    navian governments might be unwilling to use aid as a
                                                    weapon against SRRA. However it is alleged that donor            The humanitarian situation in western Upper Nile is re-
                                                    governments may put pressure on each other in an at-             ported to be very bad due to the fighting and aerial bom-
                                                    tempt to change policies. Clearly this issue has moved way       bardment. OLS has suspended flights in general but allows

                                                    beyond the MoU and humanitarianism and into the realms           access on a case by case basis according to the security
                                                    of international politics.                                       situation.
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    In the short-term, withdrawal of international NGOs will         The Fangak area is now reported to be under the control
                                                    produce adverse publicity for SPLM. Some NGOs have               of SPDF forces. It is suspected that GoS-supported Nuer
                                                    very effective public relations machines! A deep analysis        forces may be planning an offensive, perhaps towards
                                                    of the exact number leaving, the impact on aid and the           Akobo.
                                                    complex issues involved will probably not interest our be-
                                                    loved media. However the NGOs themselves also have               NSCC’s East Bank Nilotic Conference is scheduled to go
                                                    a lot to lose. Their own constituencies back home may            ahead in Dinka territory. Exact date is still uncertain but
                                                    find it difficult to understand why they feel the MoU is-        early April seems likely.
                                                    sue is important enough to prevent them from continuing
                                                    to alleviate the suffering in southern Sudan, particularly
                                                    as many NGOs have signed. Sudan is good for fund-rais-           SRRA/NGO MoU
                                                    ing, and competition for funds is a major force that drives      See briefing paper 29/02/00.
                                                    NGOs. Those who withdraw from Sudan will see some of
                                                    their funding redirected to NGOs which remain. If there          There are already signs that SRRA might be willing to dis-
                                                    is a new humanitarian disaster akin to the 1998 famine           cuss the small print with NGOs which signed, confirming
                                                    in Bahr el-Ghazal, there will be even greater pressure on        opinion that this problem had little to do with the MoU
                                                    NGOs to return; alternatively new (and possibly less-scru-       as such and was largely a political crisis created by certain
                                                    pulous) NGOs will arrive.                                        donors.

                                                    What of the humanitarian impact? Certainly there will be         Virtually all church-based NGOs, with the exception of
                                                    a significant short-term reduction in humanitarian services      Worldvision International, chose to stay in southern Su-
                                                    offered to the people of southern Sudan. The remaining           dan. However both NSCC and SCBRC confirmed with
                                                    NGOs will not be able to scale up their operations easily,       SRRA that churches themselves are not required to sign
                                                    particularly if some donors refuse to cooperate. Ordinary        an MoU and that aid projects which operate directly as
                                                    civilians, who have little direct influence on SPLM and          part of a diocesan or other church structure are also ex-
                                                    none on the international donors, may die.                       empt.

IGAD                                                                   Briefing Paper: SRRA/NGO
One of the IGAD technical committees, the Political                    Memorandum of Understanding #3
Committee, met in Nairobi. It ended in acrimony with-
out agreement. GoS negotiators reportedly reneged on a                 24th March 2000
decision from the previous meeting that Abyei could exer-
cise self-determination through a referendum. This is also
a disappointment for the IGAD Special Envoy, who had                   SPLM has appointed Nhial Deng to negotiate with the in-
hoped that negotiations could move forward step by step                ternational NGO community over the MoU. According to
without having to renegotiate each small point that had                a reliable NGO source, there are moves towards a solu-
already been agreed.                                                   tion with the following elements:
                                                                       • SPLM now has no problem with the NGOs as such;
According to the SPLM press release, the position of the                   the fundamental problem is with certain donors,
two parties on state and religion and on self-determina-                   notably the European Union. Hence SPLM may be
tion “has remained unbridgeable”. Thus “SPLM/SPLA is                       willing to de-politicise the MoU process and deal with
suggesting that the discussions be put to an end on these                  the NGOs at a technical level. A political dispute with
issues so that the parties can proceed to the next stage to                some donors may be handled in other ways.
discuss interim arrangements…” This appears to repre-                  • International NGOs which have left SPLM-controlled
sent a shift in SPLM’s position which brings it closer to that             areas may be invited to apply to re-enter. Their past
of Abel Alier and USAP, who want all southern political                    record could be evaluated on a case by case basis and
forces to rally around the one issue of self-determination                 some (but not necessarily all) may be eligible for re-
and to go immediately to interim arrangements.                             entry.
                                                                       • SPLM now has an MoU. Any NGOs re-entering Sudan
                                                                           must sign the existing MoU.
Equatoria                                                              • However, SRRA has already announced to the NGOs
SPLM reports that a force under Commander Mamur,                           which signed by 1st March that there will be a review
under the overall leadership of James Wani, is disarming                   of the MoU after 90 days (ie at the end of June 2000).
dissident elements around Chukudum with a view to re-                      A written statement to this effect will be attached to
ducing tension in the area.                                                the MoU which these re-entering NGOs will sign.
                                                                       • At the end of 90 days, many of the technical
A recent visitor to Juba reports that there are no obvious signs           imperfections in the MoU can be dealt with.
of military preparation. Juba is quiet and life seems fairly normal.   • These actions do not contradict the NLC resolution
There was a good harvest and people move freely to the sur-                of December 1999. The decisions could be taken
rounding countryside. NGO vehicles have recently moved freely              by the NEC and could remain in force until the next
as far as Torit without escort. There were apaprently no prob-             NLC meeting (December 2000?) when they would be
lems with UDSF forces in Juba itself following Dr. Riek Machar’s           presented to the NLC for ratification.
resignation, which was generally welcomed there. However
there was tension in Torit.                                            This compromise could provide a face-saving solution
                                                                       which satisfies both SPLM and the NGOs. SPLM has not
                                                                       backed down. NGOs have been forced to accept the prin-
Bahr el-Ghazal                                                         ciple of an MoU and sign the original MoU. By shifting the
A meeting of Bahr el-Ghazal elders took place in Nairobi               target to the donors rather than the NGOs, SPLM has ar-
to discuss the recent appointments in which both the gov-              guably given itself a little more room for manoeuvre. The
ernor (now called regional secretary) and military com-                NGOs have also achieved their basic demand, namely a
mander are from outside Bahr el-Ghazal.                                written confirmation that the incomplete MoU negotiat-
                                                                       ing process will continue and they will be able to address
There are some indications of military mobilisation and                the technical points at issue within the MoU.
recruitment in the region.
                                                                       There is probably still a need for our churches to lobby
                                                                       the EU to continue funding. According to the EC, aid will
                                                                       resume “once the conditions for delivery of humanitarian
                                                                       assistance as required by international humanitarian prin-
                                                                       ciples are fulfilled.” But since EU is apparently fundamen-
                                                                       tally opposed to an MoU in principle, will EU accept the
                                                                       NGO/SPLM compromise as fulfilling those conditions?

                                                    Monthly Briefing: March 2000                                   that of Abel Alier and southern parties based in Khartoum,
                                                                                                                   who reportedly want all southern political forces to rally
                                                    3rd April 2000                                                 around the one issue of self-determination and to go im-
                                                                                                                   mediately to negotiating the interim arrangements which
                                                                                                                   will lead to this.
                                                    GoS has reportedly launched a major offensive on four          Whilst moving to discussion of the interim arrangements
                                                    fronts in the Nuba Mountains. Closure of airstrips due to      is a clear sign of lack of agreement on certain key issues,
                                                    this assault is affecting humanitarian access to the area.     it may open some new doors and give the Special Envoy
                                                                                                                   increased room for manoeuvre.
                                                    Heavy fighting is taking place on the eastern front. SPLM/
                                                    A claims that NDA forces have attacked Kassala airport         The technical committee is to meet again early in April
                                                    and destroyed an Antonov bomber as well as fuel and am-        2000.
                                                    munition dumps; GoS acknowledges the attack but denies
                                                    the claims of damage. This raid represents a significant
                                                    new development in the war in northern Sudan.                  SRRA/NGO Memorandum of
                                                                                                                   Understanding (MoU)
                                                                                                                   After the deadline for signing the MoU, around 49 NGOs
                                                    Aerial bombardment of civilian targets has intensified de-     remained in SPLM-controlled Sudan. In addition, UN
                                                    spite GoS’ self-declared cease-fire in the south. Locations    agencies and ICRC continued working under their own
                                                    bombed repeatedly during the last month include Lui, Yi-       agreements with GoS and SPLM. Around 12 NGOs left
                                                    rol, Nimule, Kaya and Yomciir. SPLM has called for the es-     Sudan.
                                                    tablishment of a military “no-fly zone” in southern Sudan;
                                                    this has been rejected by the Arab League.                     There was a great deal of uncertainty and tension around
                                                                                                                   the end of February, due in large part to verbal threats re-
                                                    Intensification of aerial bombardment is often the precur-     portedly issued by one key individual in SRRA. NGOs un-
                                                    sor of a ground offensive.                                     derstandably took precautions and evacuated staff imme-
                                                                                                                   diately. These threats were subsequently disowned at all
                                                                                                                   levels of SPLM and SRRA, verbally and in writing, and the
                                                    IGAD                                                           relocation of NGO staff and assets proceeded smoothly

                                                    One of the technical committees, the Political Committee,      apart from one or two minor local incidents.
                                                    met in Kenya at the end of February 2000 to discuss points
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    2 and 3 of the Declaration of Principles, dealing with self-   There are widely diverging views on the impact of the
                                                    determination (focusing on Abyei, Southern Kordofan and        withdrawal, although most agree that it will be significant
                                                    Southern Blue Nile) and state and religion.                    at least in the short term. The longer-term impact is not
                                                                                                                   so clear.
                                                    In his report, the Special Envoy, Ambassador Daniel Mboya,
                                                    noted: “Though no clear resolutions were reached in the        Early in March SRRA informed those NGOs which had
                                                    meeting, potential avenues to resolutions were identified      signed the MoU that after 90 days there will be an op-
                                                    that will be further explored through shuttle diplomacies      portunity for re-examination of the text of the MoU in the
                                                    to try and bridge the divergent positions.” However both       light of practical experience. It had been widely predicted
                                                    parties were very negative in their own press releases.        that SRRA would be prepared to renegotiate the MoU in
                                                    Many would feel that the parties themselves should refrain     due course.
                                                    from making any press statements and that all comment
                                                    should come through the Special Envoy.                         ECHO is taking a very hard line and is apparently funda-
                                                                                                                   mentally opposed to any MoU. It has cut all funding to
                                                    GoS statements mention the disagreement over state and         SPLM-controlled areas of Sudan, even to OLS and to
                                                    religion and are very positive about the Egyptian and Lib-     agencies which have signed the MoU (although funding of
                                                    yan peace process, aimed at northern opposition parties.       OLS overheads, such as the Lokichoggio camp and secu-
                                                    According to the SPLM press release, the position of the       rity, continues). Aid will resume “once the conditions for
                                                    two parties on state and religion and on self-determina-       delivery of humanitarian assistance as required by inter-
                                                    tion “has remained unbridgeable”. Thus “SPLM/SPLA is           national humanitarian principles are fulfilled.” There is still
                                                    suggesting that the discussions be put to an end on these      an urgent need for church partners to lobby the European
                                                    issues so that the parties can proceed to the next stage       Union through member governments to insist that ECHO
                                                    to discuss interim arrangements…” This appears to rep-         immediately resumes its funding to agencies which have
                                                    resent a shift in SPLM’s position which brings it closer to    not withdrawn.

The whole issue of the MoU has become deeply polar-              There is no fighting on the ground between forces loyal
ised. It has proved difficult to maintain a constructive at-     to SPDF, SSLM and SPLA, but the perceived split within
mosphere, with widely differing positions and a tendency         the Upper Nile community is very damaging. It is hoped
for each organisation to publicly defend its own stance.         that Drs. Riek and Wal will meet soon to seek an end to
Emotive language is common: NGOs claim they were                 this division.
“expelled” under threat to their lives, SPLM claims they
“opted to leave” rather than sign the MoU. Some claim            A church worker who travelled to Western Upper Nile
that the “expulsion” of NGOs represents a denial of hu-          recently was asked by the local people, “Are you a ‘doc-
manitarian access by SPLM; others argue that if 49 NGOs          tor’?” When she replied in the negative they were pleased,
plus ICRC and UN remain, SPLM can hardly be accused              informing her that “all our problems come from ‘doctors’:
of this. Press coverage has been less than balanced, gener-      Dr. Riek, Dr. Wal, Dr. John, Dr. Lam, Dr. Turabi…”
ally presenting a one-sided picture favouring the NGOs
which refused to sign. Many NGOs which signed resent             A number of commanders, including Simon Gatwec,
the implication that they only did so under duress and that      Paulino Matip, Gabriel Tanginia and Gordon Kong, are still
the NGOs which refused to sign have somehow occupied             linked to GoS. Attacks from them are expected.
the higher moral ground. “We signed because we believe
it was the right thing to do,” one director emphatically         All Nuer forces (except those supported by GoS) are still
informed his own government. Some strongly resent the            short of ammunition. It is not clear whether significant
suspension of ECHO funding. “Has my NGO done some-               fighting is continuing in Western Upper Nile around the
thing wrong by continuing our programmes in Sudan?”              oilfields, but the humanitarian situation there remains very
is the plaintive plea of another director who signed the         bad.

Donor interventions, particularly by the European Union          Eastern Equatoria
and certain individual European governments, seem to             NSCC is taking new steps to address the situation around
have played a particularly negative role in this whole de-       Chukudum, but there is serious concern at SPLM/A’s fail-
bacle, which has been handled badly by everybody: SPLM,          ure to stabilise security in the area.
SRRA, NGOs and donors. Towards the end of 1999 this
ceased to be a negotiation about points of disagreement
within a technical document and became a political test of       People to People Peace Process
strength between SPLM and certain donor governments.             NSCC has again postponed its East Bank Nilotic Confer-
                                                                 ence, part of the People to People Peace Process. Some
NGOs which withdrew continue negotiations with SPLM              within the Nuer community still insist that it should be
and are confident that a mutually-acceptable solution will       held in Nuer territory while others admit that security
be reached that will allow most of them to return to Su-         cannot be guaranteed, particularly due to the GoS-sup-
dan. In order for this to happen the debate must be de-          ported forces. An SPLA guarantee of security for a meet-
polarised and de-politicised and balanced analyses must          ing to be held in Dinka territory is expected in time for the
be available.                                                    rescheduled meeting. NSCC is struggling to keep a bal-
                                                                 ance. The political and military leaders cannot be allowed
                                                                 to dictate the course of the grassroots peace process, but
Upper Nile                                                       at the same time it will be seriously disrupted if they are
It now appears that Dr. Riek Machar’s SPDF has the sup-          not kept on board. Wherever the meeting is held, there
port of most major commanders within Upper Nile, in-             are real fears of aerial bombardment by GoS.
cluding about 13 of those who formed the UNPMCC in
Waat in November 1999.                                           The “success” of the NSCC People to People Peace Proc-
                                                                 ess is that it is an indigenous church-led ongoing process.
A small number of commanders, most significantly Peter           Although there are short-term fruits (particularly on the
Gadet, have joined SPLA. However it is not clear whether         West Bank after Wunlit), its real impact will be long-term.
they have the full support of their troops and junior com-       Too much attention from international partners, donors
manders and there have been reports of defections.               and media is not helpful, particularly when it attempts to
                                                                 label stages of the process as “success” or “failure”.
Dr. Wal Duany’s SSLM can probably only count on the
support of one commander in the Akobo area. Most of his
support comes from intellectuals and some church leaders
in Nairobi. It is not clear whether he is still receiving sup-
port from interests within the USA.

                                                    Advocacy                                                        A Declaration of Principles (DoP) was produced to form
                                                    NSCC has re-instituted the monthly meeting of the Su-           the basis for negotiations. This was signed by SPLM/A in
                                                    dan Advocacy Resource Group in Nairobi. This is a forum         July 1994 but rejected by GoS in October 1994. GoS fi-
                                                    where church-related agencies and members of civil soci-        nally accepted the DoP in October 1997, which triggered
                                                    ety share information and informally coordinate activities.     the formal negotiations. It should be emphasised that the
                                                                                                                    DoP does not, in itself, represent an agreement. It is sim-
                                                    At a FECCLAHA conference the situation in Sudan was af-         ply an agreed framework for negotiation. The DoP deals
                                                    forded serious attention by the regional church councils.       with the conflict between GoS and SPLM/A and is not a
                                                                                                                    framework for all the different disputes within north and
                                                    A delegation of South African Catholic bishops visited          south Sudan. Key elements within the DoP are state and
                                                    Khartoum, southern Sudan and Nairobi at the invitation of       religion and the right of self-determination for the south.
                                                    SCBC and SCBRC. They stressed the need for advocacy
                                                    within Africa and expressed their willingness to follow up      A number of other countries wished to support the
                                                    on this in southern Africa. Their visit provided great inspi-   IGAD Peace Process without destroying the regional
                                                    ration to all who met them.                                     nature of the initiative. Hence they formed the Friends
                                                                                                                    of IGAD which later became the IGAD Partners’ Forum
                                                    The effect of oil on the conflict in Sudan continues to be      (IPF). Some suggest that there should also be an African
                                                    a major focus for advocacy. A report entitled “Unfinished       IGAD Partners’ Forum to bring together such countries
                                                    Business in Upper Nile” records eye-witness statements          as Egypt, Libya, Nigeria and South Africa which have a
                                                    from people displaced from around the oilfields in West-        national interest in Sudan or which may have useful in-
                                                    ern Upper Nile. NSCC and SCC hope to issue a joint              put to the peace process. It is important to involve these
                                                    statement on oil during their meeting in Geneva in early        countries as too many separate initiatives (such as those of
                                                    April.                                                          Libya and Egypt) may confuse the situation. Some formal
                                                                                                                    mechanism is needed so that, at the very least, these can
                                                                                                                    all be coordinated.
                                                    Briefing Paper: The IGAD Peace Process
                                                                                                                    Until recently, the IGAD process consisted of short meet-
                                                    1st April 2000                                                  ings between GoS and SPLM/A delegations once or twice
                                                                                                                    a year. There was, understandably, little progress. In
                                                                                                                    mid-1999 a secretariat was set up in Nairobi, with Ken-

                                                    Introduction                                                    yan Ambassador Daniel Mboya as Special Envoy. This is
                                                    The IGAD Peace Process for Sudan began in late 1993. It         intended to ensure that the peace initiative becomes an
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    cannot necessarily be assumed that everyone is familiar         ongoing process rather than a series of sporadic meetings.
                                                    with its background. This attempt to outline the process        Two technical committees have been formed, the Political
                                                    is based on a recent briefing in Nairobi in which the IGAD      Committee and the Interim Arrangements Committee. It
                                                    Special Envoy and representatives of SPLM/A, GoS and            is hoped that this will move the process forward. SPLM/
                                                    civil society all participated.                                 A and GoS also have a joint Transitional Committee for
                                                                                                                    Humanitarian Affairs chaired by the UN Special Envoy for
                                                                                                                    Humanitarian Affairs which usually meets in Europe.
                                                    IGAD is the Inter-Governmental Agency on Develop-
                                                    ment, with its headquarters in Djibouti. It is comprised of     Up-date
                                                    the regional governments and, as its name suggests, had         One of the technical committees, the Political Committee,
                                                    its origin in regional development issues.                      met in Kenya at the end of February 2000 to discuss points
                                                                                                                    2 and 3 of the Declaration of Principles, dealing with self-
                                                    At the time when IGAD began to take an interest in the          determination (focusing on Abyei, Southern Kordofan and
                                                    Sudan conflict, GoS and SPLM/A were the two main par-           Southern Blue Nile) and state and religion.
                                                    ties in the war. At the same time, GoS preferred to deal
                                                    with all conflicts as purely internal matters rather than in-   In his report, the Special Envoy noted: “Though no clear
                                                    ternationalising them; the conflict with SPLM/A was the         resolutions were reached in the meeting, potential av-
                                                    one which did not succumb to this approach. This explains       enues to resolutions were identified that will be further
                                                    why there are only two parties to the IGAD negotiations,        explored through shuttle diplomacies to try and bridge
                                                    even though there are now several warring factions in           the divergent positions.” However both parties were very
                                                    both north and south; it was not a deliberate policy of         negative in their own press releases.
                                                    excluding other parties. There may now be a need for a
                                                    more comprehensive approach to peace which includes
                                                    other parties to the conflict, whether through IGAD or
                                                    some other mechanism.

GoS statements mention the disagreement over state and        that of Abel Alier and southern parties based in Khartoum,
religion and are very positive about the Egyptian and Lib-    who reportedly want all southern political forces to rally
yan peace process, aimed at northern opposition parties.      around the one issue of self-determination and to go im-
According to the SPLM press release, the position of the      mediately to negotiating the interim arrangements which
two parties on state and religion and on self-determina-      will lead to this.
tion “has remained unbridgeable”. Thus “SPLM/SPLA is
suggesting that the discussions be put to an end on these     Whilst moving to discussion of the interim arrangements
issues so that the parties can proceed to the next stage      is a clear sign of disagreement on key issues, it may open
to discuss interim arrangements…” This appears to rep-        some new doors and give the Special Envoy increased
resent a shift in SPLM’s position which brings it closer to   room for manoeuvre.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the IGAD Process
                      Strengths                                                  Weaknesses
  The two main parties to the conflict are still talking
  around an agreed set of principles

  Each issue is being exhaustively examined                   Progress is slow

  Possibility of self-determination exists in DoP             DoP is biased towards giving unity a chance under
                                                              certain conditions

                                                              Fundamental disagreement on state/religion and

  Technical committees have the potential to move
  the process forward

  Attempt to “sign off” on agreed points and not              Failure of this attempt in February 2000 over
  return to them again in later meetings                      previously-agreed position on Abyei

  IGAD states have a strong incentive to encourage            Vested interests of IGAD states themselves,
  peace in Sudan                                              including conflict (eg Ethiopia-Eritrea war)

  Process is brainchild of IGAD member states
  themselves including Sudan

                                                              No formal mechanism to coordinate with other
                                                              regional peace initiatives (eg Egypt, Libya) and
                                                              African states

                                                              IGAD process only deals with basic north-south
                                                              conflict; the “internal domestic situation” in north
                                                              and south is not its concern

  Some northern opposition parties’ concerns can be           IGAD process only involves SPLM/A and GoS and
  introduced indirectly as SPLM/A speaks on behalf of         excludes all other northern and southern parties,
  NDA                                                         movements, factions and interests

  Positive influence of IGAD Secretariat and Special

  Positive influence of IPF                                   Vested interests of IPF states

  IPF-organised women’s conference planned for                No direct involvement of civil society (religious
  April 2000                                                  institutions, women, chiefs, etc)

  Grassroots initiatives such as NSCC people to               No direct grassroots involvement
  people peace process are putting indirect pressure
  on negotiating parties

                                                              Fundamental lack of trust between GoS and SPLM/A

  Shifts in the balance of economic, military or              Both parties actively seeking a shift in the balance
  political power may favour the negotiation process          of power by other means (including military) to
                                                              strengthen their negotiating position

                                                    Monthly Briefing: April 2000                                   IGAD
                                                                                                                   The Political Committee met in April in Nairobi. The con-
                                                    2nd May 2000                                                   tentious issues of self-determination and state and religion,
                                                                                                                   on which there is no agreement, were put aside and there
                                                                                                                   was detailed discussion on “self-administration” of the
                                                    Military                                                       south, including wealth-sharing, human rights, independ-
                                                    Heavy fighting has continued in the Nuba Mountains. SPLA       ence of the judiciary and confederation/federation. The
                                                    has probably not lost any significant territory and may have   Special Envoy believes some progress was made on these
                                                    captured equipment and supplies from GoS. Most airstrips       and that the atmosphere was more positive and construc-
                                                    are unusable due to proximity of GoS forces, which has         tive. In this spirit, both parties refrained from issuing press
                                                    serious humanitarian consequences. There has been fight-       statements. The next meeting of the Political Committee
                                                    ing in southern Blue Nile; again SPLA has apparently re-       in mid-May is expected to again concentrate on these less
                                                    pulsed GoS attacks. GoS militia have raided northern Bahr      controversial (and less emotive) issues.
                                                    el-Ghazal. The Murlai have stepped up raids in Bor county
                                                    and some observers report a change of tactics which may        The continuation of these discussions in the Political Com-
                                                    suggest greater GoS support for them. Fighting continues       mittee represents a concession by SPLM which had previ-
                                                    around the Upper Nile oilfields.                               ously insisted on immediately convening the Transitional
                                                                                                                   Committee and moving to discussion of the process lead-
                                                    Details of the heavy fighting on the eastern front around      ing to self-determination. However SPLM’s basic stance
                                                    Kassala and Hameshkoreib, and the attack on the oil pipe-      appears unchanged and it seems likely that there will be
                                                    line on 1st May, are beyond the scope of a report from         a move to discuss interim arrangements after the May
                                                    Nairobi but it is believed that this may ease pressure in      meeting.
                                                    the south as GoS concentrates forces in the north. It is
                                                    certainly a very significant new development and will be       A meeting of women was held in the Netherlands under
                                                    extremely worrying to GoS.                                     the auspices of IGAD to “engender the peace process”.
                                                                                                                   It brought together women representing factions from
                                                    On 19th April GoS announced a cessation of aerial bom-         north and south, although the official SPLM delegation
                                                    bardment in the south. This could be interpreted as a          declined to attend. There was moving testimony on the
                                                    concession in the face of intense international lobby-         human rights situation in Sudan, but some felt that discus-
                                                    ing. However there is ambiguity about the area covered         sion of key issues was avoided. A formal statement was

                                                    (Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile may not be included as           issued which included a call for a greater role for women
                                                    technically they are not “the south”) and conditions under     in the peace process. This meeting is significant not only
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    which bombing may resume (in “defence” and in “battle          for women but also for civil society as a whole, which also
                                                    fields”). Bombing continued until the very day of the an-      demands a voice in the peace process.
                                                    nouncement and there were some reports of a change of
                                                    tactics in which MiG fighter-bombers were used instead of
                                                    Antonovs. These fast jets have the advantage of surprise       SRRA/NGO Memorandum of
                                                    and people have less time to take cover; on the other hand     Understanding (MoU)
                                                    they attack at lower altitude and are more vulnerable to       Around six of the NGOs which left SPLM-controlled areas
                                                    SPLA anti-aircraft fire.                                       of Sudan after declining to sign the MoU have now applied
                                                                                                                   to re-enter, bringing to around 55 the number of NGOs
                                                                                                                   which have reached an accommodation of some form or
                                                    Famine                                                         other with SRRA (plus ICRC and the UN agencies). It is
                                                    Sudan will be affected by the current Horn of Africa fam-      understood that these six NGOs will sign the MoU in its
                                                    ine but not as badly as certain other countries (eg Ethio-     existing form but are satisfied with assurances given by
                                                    pia) and not on the same scale as 1998. Pockets of severe      SRRA that the details of the agreement can be discussed
                                                    famine are expected in Bahr el-Ghazal, Upper Nile and          after it has been tried and tested for a period of 90 days.
                                                    Eastern Equatoria. The famine is exacerbated by displace-      Only six NGOs have now failed to settle their differences
                                                    ment of people from Bentiu area by GoS activity around         with SRRA. Claims that SRRA is interfering with humani-
                                                    the oilfields. Some NGOs are already experiencing fund-        tarian access and neutrality seem hard to justify given
                                                    ing problems for 2000 (donor fatigue? Kosovo? Mozam-           these figures.
                                                    bique?) and the decision by ECHO to suspend funding
                                                    (see below) is not helpful. WFP has already warned of a        The withdrawal of these NGOs has had a negative impact
                                                    shortfall of over 40,000 MT of relief food. Existing stocks    on humanitarian services and also on the local economy,
                                                    will run out in June, during the peak of the hunger gap.       as Sudanese staff are laid off and cash ceases to circulate.
                                                    Donors are urged to take these warnings seriously.             Churches in the south have issued an appeal to ECHO to

immediately resume funding to those agencies which have          Eastern Equatoria
remained in southern Sudan. European partners are urged          NSCC’s new peace facilitator, a respected elder, has be-
to lobby their own governments to influence EU policy in         gun work. SPLA has reportedly begun to rotate military
this respect.                                                    personnel and to disarm some elements. There are con-
                                                                 crete plans to repatriate some of the displaced Dinka to
                                                                 their home areas in the near future, which should also
Upper Nile                                                       ease tension.
The situation in Upper Nile has probably not changed sig-
nificantly in the last month but has increased in complex-
ity and is extremely difficult to analyse. It can probably       Advocacy
still be said that a majority of commanders support Dr.          At a meeting of SCC and NSCC convened by WCC in Ge-
Riek Machar’s SPDF while a majority of intellectuals sup-        neva on 12th April 2000 the Sudanese churches, as “the
port Dr. Wal Duany’s SSLM, but this only gives part of the       shepherds of the population in Sudan and eye-witnesses
picture. If one looks at the actual territory controlled by      to the ongoing genocide”, issued a statement calling for
each of these two factions and also takes into account the       “the withdrawal of the oil companies helping the govern-
activities of Nuer commanders loyal to SPLA as well as           ment of the Sudan to confidently pursue the war” and the
the rump SSIM under Elijah Hon and the GoS-supported             establishment of a military no-fly zone.
militias, it becomes far less clear.

The Bentiu region is divided between SPDF and the forc-          Monthly Briefing: May 2000
es of Peter Gadet, who has joined SPLA and is receiving
support from them. Gadet has been fighting GoS forces            14th June 2000
around Bentiu and Mayom. SPDF has some degree of con-
trol around Fangak but it is believed that Elijah Hon and
Gabriel Tanginia may try to occupy the area. In the Nasir        Military
region SPDF has some territory and there has reportedly          Heavy fighting continues in southern Blue Nile where SPLA
been fighting around Mading between its forces and those         is reported to have repulsed GoS offensives and gained
of GoS-supported Gordon Kong. In the Akobo region                some territory, particularly around Guffa and Ulu, thus
SSLM has its main power base and SPDF has no presence.           threatening the Chinese-operated oilfield at Adar, east
There are reports that Lou commanders loyal to three dif-        of Melut. Skirmishing continues in the Nuba Mountains.
ferent groups (SPLA, GoS and SSLM) are communicating             SPLA forces are reported to have restricted GoS and oil
with each other and it is not clear where this might lead. It    company movements in the oilfields around Bentiu. This
is also thought that GoS would like the militia leaders that     is not a new SPLA offensive but is a result of fresh supplies
it supports to regroup under Elijah Hon’s leadership.            reaching Commander Peter Gadet since he joined SPLA.
                                                                 Heavy fighting is also reported on the eastern front.
Leaders and factions can claim the support of command-
ers and intellectuals and to some extent the areas that          Aerial bombardment of civilian targets resumed only days
they control militarily can be determined, but there is no       after GoS announced a cessation in April. However SPLA
mechanism for ascertaining the wishes of the ordinary            has no reports of bombing of civilian targets in southern
people on the ground. The NSCC people to people peace            Sudan since 8th May, when it suspended its involvement
conference for the East Bank Nilotic tribes may provide          in the IGAD peace process in protest (see below). Bomb-
some answers. It is believed that Lou and Gawar chiefs           ing of SPLA military targets by both MiGs and Antonovs
and women will attend this conference in May.                    continues in southern Blue Nile and on the eastern front;
                                                                 SPLA accepts this as legitimate warfare.
The one good omen is that there is still no fighting be-
tween commanders loyal to SPDF, SSLM and SPLA and
there is every indication that they will not fight each other.   Famine
However the intellectuals in Nairobi are still split, as are     Pockets of famine are developing in Upper Nile, Eastern
local church leaders. An attempt by the Nuer community           Equatoria and parts of Bahr el-Ghazal, exacerbated by
in Nairobi to meet in April failed due to disagreement           internal displacement and by GoS denial of humanitarian
over who should participate. Regional Nuer groups are            access to Western Upper Nile.
still meeting separately to try to solve this problem so that
a new meeting can be convened. Drs. Riek and Wal have
both said that they are willing to meet each other but have
made no serious attempts to do so.

                                                    IGAD                                                              a statement condemning ECHO. In May German churches
                                                    On 8th May 2000 SPLM announced that it was suspending             facilitated a meeting in Germany with a senior European
                                                    its participation in the IGAD peace process in protest at         Commission figure and there is some hope that the EU
                                                    bombardment of civilian targets, genocide, ethnic cleans-         may consider a more flexible approach.
                                                    ing and slavery practised by GoS and at the position taken
                                                    by the international community. However SPLM reiter-              The civil society group has also questioned the “misguided
                                                    ated its faith in and commitment to the IGAD process and          decision” of the NGOs which left after declining to sign
                                                    also the Egyptian-Libyan peace initiative, and its desire to      the MoU, highlighting the dubious impact of ten years of
                                                    merge the two so that there is only one mediation proc-           massive humanitarian intervention and the need for sus-
                                                    ess. It is widely predicted that, having made its strongly-       tainable development in which the beneficiaries are con-
                                                    felt protest about human rights violations, SPLM’s NEC            sulted. They see the MoU as a positive contribution to
                                                    will lift its suspension in mid-June before the IPF meeting       this.
                                                    in Oslo on 19th and 20th June.

                                                    Following the cancellation of the May meeting of the Po-          Upper Nile
                                                    litical Committee, it is expected that this committee will        The people-to-people East Bank Nilotic Peace and Recon-
                                                    meet again in July to wind up its work. The Transitional          ciliation Conference was held under the auspices of NSCC
                                                    Committee would then begin meeting to consider interim            from 9th to 15th May in Liliir, Bor County. A covenant was
                                                    arrangements leading to self-determination.                       signed between the Anyuak, Bor and Padang Dinka, Jie,
                                                                                                                      Kachipo, Boma Murle and Lou and Gawaar Nuer people
                                                    This will pose fresh challenges. SPLM’s official position still   who attended. “The spirit of the conference was reflected
                                                    favours unity but most southerners seem to favour total           at the opening by the ceremonial sacrifice of a ‘White Bull’,
                                                    independence for southern Sudan. It is unlikely that this         and concluded with the declaration of a joint covenant…
                                                    would attract instant enthusiasm from the international           sealed with the sacrifice of a ‘White Ox’, the offering of
                                                    community, including the USA, EU, OAU and Egypt. All              Christian worship, and the signatures of each of the par-
                                                    stakeholders need to engage in a wide-ranging discussion          ticipating delegates and observers, publicly recorded.”
                                                    on this. There also needs to be serious discussion on what
                                                    the post-self-determination society will be like.                 It is a credit to NSCC that this conference was organised
                                                                                                                      so successfully under such difficult circumstances, given
                                                                                                                      the divisions within the Nuer community and the uncer-

                                                    SRRA/NGO Memorandum of                                            tainty as to time and location. NSCC has taken note of
                                                    Understanding (MoU)                                               some of the shortcomings. For various reasons the Shilluk,
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    Following SRRA’s commitment to re-examine the text of             Pibor Murle, Mabaan, Jikany Nuer and many of the Lou
                                                    the MoU after it has been tried and tested for 90 days, the       and Gawaar Nuer representatives were unable to attend
                                                    NGOs which signed have prepared a list of about eight             (or were prevented from attending); another conference
                                                    points for discussion. These reportedly focus on three            will be needed some time in the future to bring together
                                                    main areas: SRRA objectives versus humanitarian objec-            all the Nilotic peoples of the East Bank. Once again it
                                                    tives; security, particularly the evacuation of NGO staff;        should be remembered that the people-to-people initia-
                                                    and issues relating to appropriate use of resources. The          tive is a process.
                                                    NEC meeting in mid-June will consider the cases of the
                                                    six or seven NGOs which have applied to re-enter SPLM-            It is very difficult to make any objective assessment of cur-
                                                    controlled areas of Sudan. It is widely predicted that all        rent political loyalties in Upper Nile. As mentioned often
                                                    will be approved, after which only around five NGOs (out          before, the bottom line for commanders in Upper Nile
                                                    of a total of about sixty) will have failed to find common        is “military logistics”, a polite term for ammunition. This
                                                    ground with SRRA.                                                 cannot be dismissed as opportunism on their part; when
                                                                                                                      almost every individual is armed and large and small forces
                                                    A quantity of relief food stored in Tonj County by one of         are vying for influence, it is a simple matter of survival. A
                                                    the NGOs which left after declining to sign the MoU has           number have joined SPLA, which can supply it. Unless Dr.
                                                    reportedly gone missing. The matter is being investigated         Riek Machar can supply his SPDF forces in western Upper
                                                    by SRRA in conjunction with agencies and donors. SRRA’s           Nile it is likely that more of his commanders will drift over
                                                    handling of this incident will be a crucial test of its commit-   to SPLA. The arrival of a Nuer as SPLM Secretary (former-
                                                    ment to transparency and accountability.                          ly Governor) of Upper Nile has prompted some to join
                                                                                                                      SPLA, and it is thought that he will soon be able to move
                                                    Following the Sudanese churches’ appeal to ECHO to lift           his HQ into Nuer territory. Southern Blue Nile has a Nuer
                                                    its suspension of funding to SPLM-controlled areas of Su-         as SPLA military commander, which may have an effect on
                                                    dan in April, elements of Sudanese civil society have issued      SPDF forces in the Mabaan area. SPLM/A might well be

wary of a strong Upper Nile regional movement, which             Monthly Briefing: June 2000
might encourage separatist tendencies in Bahr el-Ghazal
and Equatoria, and has made it clear that it will welcome        1st July 2000
all those who wish to join it, including Dr. Riek himself.
He is believed to have declined. Other Nuer commanders
may be waiting to see if Dr. Wal Duany can supply any mili-      Political
tary logistics following his current trip overseas. If he can,   Following his expulsion from the ruling National Con-
they may give his SSLM a chance; if not, they may remain         gress, Dr. Hassan et-Turabi has formed his own political
loyal to Dr. Riek as many are still opposed to what may be       party. It is probably too early to judge how this will affect
perceived as a “coup” against him, or join SPLA. It is also      the balance of power between him and President Omar
possible that some commanders may be driven back into            el-Bashir.
the arms of GoS, which can also supply the much-needed
military logistics. All parties still seem committed to pre-     SPLM/A has announced that it will re-enter the IGAD
vent fighting between Nuer forces (or with neighbouring          peace process. A meeting of the IGAD Political Commit-
Dinka forces) except those supported by GoS. Opposing            tee is expected in July. The IPF met in Oslo during June
factions (even GoS factions) often communicate with each         and there are indications that IPF members are becoming
other. The situation is still very confused and fluid – and      impatient with the slow pace of the negotiations; it could
dangerous for the stability of southern Sudan.                   be added that most southern Sudanese are also impatient,
                                                                 particularly as they are the ones suffering from the ongo-
The Nuer community in Nairobi is polarised. An attempt           ing war. Both GoS and SPLM/A have announced publicly
to meet in April to discuss the issue failed over disagree-      that they are in favour of the Libyan-Egyptian peace initia-
ments as to who should attend. Groups were supposed to           tive but there is speculation that both have private reser-
meet to choose representatives from each Nuer district           vations about it.
but as yet there has been no progress and some suggest
that there is no longer any interest in holding a meeting.       A new oil refinery has been opened about 70 kms from
The dispute over leadership has apparently eclipsed any          Khartoum. Already the price of fuel and butane gas has
discussion of programmes and policies. The PCOS is also          been significantly reduced.
divided, over politics and use of resources. Some would
argue that an emergency General Assembly is needed;              GoS is attempting to repair relations with the USA. It is
others suggest that even this would not heal the deep divi-      reported that a US anti-terrorist team is in Khartoum to
sions within the church.                                         examine its categorisation of Sudan as a state supporting
                                                                 terrorism and that GoS has agreed to postpone a UN vote
One key figure is still suggesting a fusion of SSLM and          on the lifting of international sanctions until at least No-
SPDF with Dr. Wal heading the political organisation and         vember in the hope that it can gain US support for this.
Dr. Riek the military, alternating as chair of a governing
council, but there does not seem to be any widespread
support for this and Drs. Wal and Riek have not met since        Military
January. Others suggest that the matter will be solved           Heavy fighting in northern Bahr el-Ghazal, in which SPLM/
eventually in traditional Nuer fashion by talking it through     A has captured the strategic town of Gogrial and is report-
endlessly… but that could take a very long time during           edly pursuing fleeing GoS troops towards Aweil, repre-
which the potentially powerful and influential Nuer com-         sents an escalation of the conflict. Both sides accuse the
munity is effectively paralysed politically and militarily.      other of being the first to breach the limited cease-fire
                                                                 that was in place in Bahr el-Ghazal.

Eastern Equatoria                                                Fighting has continued in southern Blue Nile. GoS militia
SPLM/A has made some leadership changes in the Chuku-            attacked and destroyed Gumriak in Upper Nile. Fight-
dum area. The repatriation of Dinka to Bor County has re-        ing has continued around the oilfields in Western Upper
portedly begun. There are reports that Didinga are begin-        Nile.
ning to come down from the hills, that some humanitarian
activities are resuming and that OSIL is seeking logistical      There are independent reports of aerial bombardment of
support to come and clear landmines. NSCC already has a          Walbet (north of Thiet) and KajoKeji towards the end of
respected Equatorian elder involved in the process; in the       June after a period of several weeks during which there
future it may be necessary to organise a people-to-people        were no reports of bombing of civilian targets in southern
reconciliation conference in the area.                           Sudan.

                                                    A Khartoum newspaper quoted President Bashir as saying          when cattle are allowed to graze on agricultural land. This
                                                    that GoS will begin to manufacture its own weapons to           is akin to sacrilege to some agricultural peoples; their
                                                    celebrate the eleventh anniversary of the coup d’état that      response of attacking the offending cows is sacrilege to
                                                    brought his military regime to power: “Sudan will celebrate     pastoralists. Many in Equatoria still view Dinka SPLM/A
                                                    the festival of the revolution this year with the production    forces as an occupying army and this situation needs to be
                                                    of tanks and heavy equipment by Sudanese hands”. A mili-        addressed. In at least one area of Western Equatoria it is
                                                    tary spokesman added that GoS “will this year reach self-       reported that a civilian police force, under a strong com-
                                                    sufficiency in light, medium and heavy weapons from its         missioner, has been able to arrest soldiers and give a feel-
                                                    local production,” including ammunition, mortars, tanks         ing of security and empowerment to the local population.
                                                    and armoured personnel carriers, and that this was made         Meanwhile, Upper Nile remains divided between numer-
                                                    possible by the “unprecedented economic boom, particu-          ous factions, big and small, and individual commanders.
                                                    larly in the field of oil exploration and exportation...”
                                                                                                                    NSCC’s people to people peace and reconciliation proc-
                                                                                                                    ess aims to empower local communities, giving them a say
                                                    Humanitarian Situation                                          in their destiny independently of military and political lead-
                                                    Oxfam, SCF(UK), Care International, VSF (Belgium) and           ers. NSCC is planning a conference for Chukudum as well
                                                    VSF (Germany) are now re-entering SPLM/A-controlled             as follow up “mini-conferences” for the East Bank. Other
                                                    areas of southern Sudan after signing the Memorandum            initiatives may surface during the course of the year in this
                                                    of Understanding (MoU). However their re-entry may be           dynamic ongoing process.
                                                    hampered by the continued suspension of ECHO funding,
                                                    which has been widely condemned. The Carter Centre              All of these issues are connected with civil governance.
                                                    has been recognised by SRRA as a donor working through          This is distinguished from civil society, which represents
                                                    local partners, rather than an operational NGO, and as          non-governmental parts of society (churches and other
                                                    such is exempt from signing the MoU. Of the sixty or so         religious institutions, indigenous NGOs, women, youth,
                                                    agencies in southern Sudan, it appears that only Worldvi-       traditional chiefs, etc). However both civil governance and
                                                    sion International, German Agro-Action, MSF (Holland),          civil society need to be strengthened in north and south
                                                    Healthnet and Medecins du Monde have still failed to            Sudan, in government-controlled areas and in territory
                                                    reach an accommodation with SRRA.                               controlled by the different liberation movements. In some
                                                                                                                    respects it is easier in southern Sudan because the libera-
                                                    An unexpected spin-off of the dispute has been the start        tion movements are open to these developments, unlike

                                                    of new projects in areas of southern Sudan controlled by        the oppressive Khartoum regime; on the other hand in
                                                    other liberation movements. However insecurity and GoS          northern Sudan there already exist better-developed
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    denial of access to these areas is hampering humanitarian       structures.
                                                                                                                    There are some concrete initiatives to build the capacity
                                                    There are reports that parts of Bor County are beginning        of both civil society and local authorities in liberated terri-
                                                    to suffer sever food shortages; there are pockets of fam-       tory, notably the USAID STAR programme which may be
                                                    ine throughout southern Sudan.                                  reviewed and expanded in the near future. But European
                                                                                                                    donor governments seem to be opposed to such initia-
                                                    There is a need for internationals NGOs to recognise and        tives and few NGOs are actively engaged. As an example,
                                                    respond to “national priorities” articulated by local author-   the MoU could be viewed as an instrument (an imperfect
                                                    ities and churches. One example of this is the Nuer and         one, but nevertheless a step on the way) strengthening
                                                    Dinka who are returning to their villages after the NSCC        civic structures; unfortunately some NGOs and European
                                                    people to people peace and reconciliation conferences.          donors chose to view it differently. Support for civic struc-
                                                    There is an urgent need for humanitarian services to be         tures does not imply political support for nor recognition
                                                    provided to these groups and for other practical follow-up      of any particular liberation movement; rather it is an effort
                                                    to support the peace covenants. Another example is the          to improve the situation of the ordinary people who, de
                                                    repatriation of Dinka from Equatoria to Bor County; who         facto, find themselves under the control of a movement
                                                    will provide humanitarian services to the returnees?            which is weak in civil governance.

                                                                                                                    A major aim of civil governance is to enhance respect for
                                                    Civil Governance                                                human rights. Not unconnected with this is the issue of law
                                                    The feeling by some in Bahr el-Ghazal that it has been ne-      enforcement in southern Sudan. Accepted wisdom seems
                                                    glected by SPLM/A over the years may to some extent be          to be that it is impossible for donors to consider support
                                                    calmed by the recent capture of Gogrial. Tensions in Equa-      for a trained police force during an ongoing civil war, as it
                                                    toria remain, however. Although there is some progress          could be viewed as a para-military asset. However some
                                                    around Chukudum, there is a need for greater cross-cul-         creative solution must be found to strengthen both human
                                                    tural sensitivity by SPLM/A troops. Tensions often surface      rights and law and order in southern Sudan. A programme

to train para-legals has been poorly supported by donors;         a full meeting of the Political Committee in mid-August.
a programme to provide human rights monitors and/or               This is now in doubt as GoS claims “the IGAD secretariat
chaplains within the SPLA has also struggled for resources;       and the outlaw’s movement aimed at preparing an atmos-
an institute for the promotion of civil structures is in the      phere for dialogue had failed” (sic) and the SPLM/A re-
pipeline with support from a European political founda-           sponds that GoS is exhibiting “bad faith” and dragging its
tion. Churches should challenge donor governments to              heels so as “to avoid the solution of the conflict”.
take an interest in this issue, and should use their own
privately-raised funds to support these initiatives. After all,   A conference took place in Kampala to discuss human
accepted wisdom was that civilian de-mining was impos-            rights, development and democracy in transition. It was
sible during an ongoing war; this has been proved wrong           convened by the “Committee for the Civil Project in Su-
by OSIL which is now expanding and receiving ever-more            dan” under the auspices of the “Pan African Movement”
support from large and credible donors. “Accepted wis-            as a follow-up to last year’s Kampala meeting which was
dom” in the humanitarian aid industry needs to be chal-           the brainchild of a UK-based human rights organisation.
lenged at very many levels; this is only one of them. Above       Representatives of more than 30 civil society organisations
all the voice of Sudanese civil society must be heard over        are reported to have attended. Reactions to the meeting
and above that of international NGOs and donor govern-            are mixed. All agree that the participation of northerners
ments.                                                            and southerners was useful. Some potentially contentious
                                                                  issues were apparently glossed over and there is concern
                                                                  about whether the conference resolutions will be fol-
Monthly Briefing: July 2000                                       lowed up; who has “ownership” of this process?

28th July 2000                                                    GoS continues to improve its relations with the interna-
                                                                  tional community, even the USA. This is a reality which
                                                                  churches and others who advocate on behalf of the south
Political                                                         must recognise. GoS is winning this particular battle.
Many observers would argue that since the military coup           Those who are being bombed daily (see below), those
d’état in 1989 which brought General Omar Hassan el-Ba-           who are suffering directly as a result of oil exploitation
shir to the presidency, he has served different political in-     and those who experience GoS’ abuse of human rights
terests. Initially he was the military strongman for Dr. Has-     find it difficult to understand why their voices are not be-
san et-Turabi’s National Islamic Front. The recent power          ing heard by European governments that apparently give
struggle which saw Dr. Turabi form his own political party        priority to their own domestic interests, particularly with
was not primarily a struggle between Turabi and Bashir            an eye to investment in Sudan. We are out of step with
but rather between Turabi on the one hand and Ali Osman           the current accepted wisdom of the international com-
Taha and his “group of ten” on the other, with Bashir the         munity; but then this will not be the first or last time that
front man for the latter. Now, in a new political reshuf-         the prophetic voice of the church is out of step with “the
fle, ten senior military officers have been appointed to the      world”!
cabinet. Ironically this may eventually present an opening
for peace. The army, demoralised by its successive defeats        The businessman who owns the Esh-Shifa pharmaceutical
by both northern and southern liberation movements, is            works bombed by the USA nearly two years ago is now
the one body in the north which might realise that there is       suing the US government for US$ 50 million compensa-
no military solution to the problems of Sudan, even with          tion.
the new weapons that the oil wealth is now providing. A
military-dominated government might be willing to take
peace negotiations more seriously than previous govern-           Military
ments. However it should be remembered that NIF re-               Following the capture of Gogrial in northern Bahr el-Ghaz-
tains economic and financial control independently of its         al, SPLM/A has pursued fleeing GoS troops and captured
position in government.                                           the strategic railway bridge over the Lol River, virtually
                                                                  cutting off Aweil and Wau. GoS claims that SPLM/A is in
Following the SPLM/A’s re-entry into the IGAD peace               breach of the limited ceasefire; SPLM/A maintains that this
process, GoS then threatened to withdraw, alleging that           operation was in direct response to repeated raids by GoS
SPLM/A had breached the limited ceasefire in Bahr el-             militia which constitute a prior breach of the ceasefire.
Ghazal (see below). For experienced negotiators this is           Whatever the legal niceties, SPLM/A and southerners in
not an uncommon pattern; when one party finds an ex-              general are genuinely frustrated that the continued aerial
cuse to suspend its participation in a peace process and          bombardment of civilian targets and raids on civilians by
then re-enter, the other party often follows suit. A pre-         GoS militia do not attract more condemnation from the
paratory meeting between GoS, SPLM/A and the IGAD                 international community.
mediators was expected around the end of July 2000 with

                                                    On the southern Blue Nile front, SPLM/A has captured the      commanding the Kenyan army detachment in Lokichoggio
                                                    town of Buony (often erroneously referred to as Mabaan;       was ambushed north of Lodwar; he and his security detail
                                                    sometimes also referred to as Doro, the location of the       returned fire. There has been shooting within Lokichoggio
                                                    airstrip and the old mission hospital a couple of kms out-    town again; two Kenyan GSU personnel were killed.
                                                    side Buony town) which is actually in Upper Nile. SPLM/A
                                                    was assisted by SPDF forces, although this was probably a     GoS aerial bombardment of civilian targets has intensified
                                                    local arrangement and does not signal a wider alliance be-    since it resumed in the second half of June 2000. Attacks
                                                    tween SPLM/A and SPDF. SPLM/A forces also reached the         have averaged almost one a day. Casualties have been rel-
                                                    White Nile river and overran a GoS garrison there. These      atively light, presumably because people are accustomed
                                                    developments threaten both GoS river traffic on the Nile      to seeking shelter, but there has been a great deal of de-
                                                    and the Khor Adar oilfield.                                   struction. Houses, airstrips and NGO clinics have been
                                                                                                                  damaged and cattle killed. On 15th July 2000 an ICRC air-
                                                    In western Upper Nile there have, for the first time, been    craft was bombed and slightly damaged at Chelkou and on
                                                    reports of SPDF units supported by GoS clashing with the      27th July eye-witnesses reported that a GoS Antonov ap-
                                                    forces of Commander Peter Gadet, now part of SPLM/A.          peared to follow an ICRC flight as it landed in Billing; once
                                                    There have also been conflicting reports from other parts     the aircraft was on the ground, the Antonov commenced
                                                    of Upper Nile, some suggesting that clashes between           bombing. This represents a disturbing new development.
                                                    Nuer forces have taken place, others that such clashes        ICRC is very conscientious about operating only with the
                                                    have been avoided only by last minute negotiations. It        permission of both parties to the conflict.
                                                    is clear that there is an increase in tension. Some Nuer
                                                    believe that the international community’s support for oil    The GoS Antonov bomber often flies over towns without
                                                    exploitation in Upper Nile is contributing to this tension    bombing, or circles overhead, by day and night. This caus-
                                                    by confusing Nuer commanders who on the one hand see          es a great deal of stress. During the night people lose sleep
                                                    their people being “ethnically cleansed” by GoS around        and during the day they are unable to work or cultivate as
                                                    the oilfields and on the other see “respectable” western      they are forced to remain in the bomb shelters. This is a
                                                    governments supporting that same GoS.                         form of economic and psychological warfare against the
                                                                                                                  civilian population. There have been some reports of the
                                                    The Nuer community is now fragmented and currently            GoS Antonov over-flying Lokichoggio at night; the Kenyan
                                                    there is not much realistic hope that either Dr. Riek Mach-   Directorate of Civil Aviation is reported to be investigat-
                                                    ar or Dr. Wal Duany can unite them and provide “national”     ing. People around Narus have also reported hearing jet

                                                    leadership. Unlike many other peoples, the Nuer do not        fighters.
                                                    have a strong tradition of secular governance. They were
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    governed by spiritual leaders and prophets. The British/      GoS has accused Eritrea of actively supporting the war on
                                                    Egyptian condominium introduced an artificial “modern”        the Eastern Front and has initiated a new general mobi-
                                                    system which detached secular from spiritual authority.       lisation programme. Repatriation of Eritrean refugees by
                                                    This has now broken down and the result is anarchy. The       UNHCR has begun.
                                                    GoS “divide and rule” policy is still working. However
                                                    Nuer intellectuals and church leaders warn against mar-
                                                    ginalising or demonising their community. Their current       Humanitarian Situation
                                                    disarray is a result of a complex process involving many      NGOs in Rumbek report erratic rains; there will be a food
                                                    other players, much of it beyond their control. The lib-      deficit. This is exacerbated by an influx of internally dis-
                                                    eration of the south will only come about when all stake-     placed people from the fighting in northern Bahr el-Ghaz-
                                                    holders are involved, when their interpretation of events     al. So far this is limited to a few thousand but many are
                                                    is incorporated and when their legitimate aspirations are     predicting a much greater number, particularly if fighting
                                                    recognised.                                                   reaches the towns of Aweil and Wau. Insecurity in north-
                                                                                                                  ern Bahr el-Ghazal is adversely affecting humanitarian op-
                                                    In Eastern Equatoria clashes have occurred between GoS        erations.
                                                    and SPLM/A forces around Bunno, near Kapoeta. GoS
                                                    forces may have been trying to advance along the road to      In northern Bor County NGOs report an average of 12
                                                    Narus. It is believed that SPLM/A repulsed these assaults.    deaths per week due to hunger. Rains have begun in some
                                                                                                                  places but generally it is dry and crops are very poor. Many
                                                    LRA forces are believed to be regrouping around Torit and     Bor Dinka are returning from Eastern Equatoria and even
                                                    are still active.                                             from Kakuma. Over 2,000 were flown in but others are
                                                                                                                  coming on foot. Unfortunately there are few humanitarian
                                                    Northern Kenya remains very insecure. Vehicles travel in      services available in the area and some of the returnees
                                                    convoy with Kenyan security forces between Lokichoggio        are beginning to leave again. Fear of the Murle is ham-
                                                    and the Sudanese border post at Nadapal. Even the officer     pering resettlement. Positive results of NSCC’s recent

people to people peace and reconciliation conference in        Small but well-funded Christian evangelical groups, mostly
Liliir are already apparent. Nuer are moving into the area     from the USA, continue to pose a challenge to mainstream
with their cattle. The milk that they provide is easing the    churches. In liberated territory they operate both aid and
food shortage. Used clothing and other items brought by        proselytisation programmes, often linked, and even in
the returnees are creating a local economy. Dinka from         Khartoum there have been preaching crusades. These
the Duks are also going to Nuer areas to trade or work         groups are often popular with local churches as they are
for food. Local Nuer commanders are positive about Liliir      perceived as not making a strong distinction between
and it is generally felt that the Nuer are being helpful. An   funding pastoral and evangelical activities on the one hand
anecdote concerns two Dinka boys who collapsed whilst          and humanitarian work on the other. However they often
searching for food in the toic; they were rescued and          lack the experience of more established agencies and their
cared for by Nuer at a nearby cattle camp.                     well-meaning but sometimes ill-coordinated interventions
                                                               in local church affairs can lead to division. They may in-
It is imperative that NGOs provide the necessary follow-       terpret situations differently to mainstream churches and
up to the peace and reconciliation conferences on both         more experienced agencies, which can be confusing for
the west and east banks, particularly the provision of hu-     donors, particularly as these groups often have very effec-
manitarian services to people who are returning to their       tive public relations machines.
home areas. NSCC expects to make a formal appeal to
international NGOs in the near future. NSCC is also seek-
ing funding for other aspects, including border courts.        Self-determination
                                                               All parties (including GoS, SPDF, NDA and SPLM/A) have
In Pochalla rains are reported to be good and a relatively     officially recognised the principle of self-determination for
good harvest is expected.                                      the south. The devil is in the details, particularly the status
                                                               of Abyei, southern Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains.
GoS’ denial of OLS flight access to various locations in
western Upper Nile and insecurity on the ground are af-        If self-determination ever comes about, what will the result
fecting humanitarian operations in an area where there is      be? SPLM/A officially supports a united Sudan with some
already tremendous suffering.                                  form of confederal system which gives a robust autono-
                                                               my to southern Sudan. However most observers would
In some parts of Eastern Equatoria there are now heavy         agree that the gut feeling of southerners (even within
rains but it is too early to forecast the harvest. The situ-   SPLM/A) is that the only solution is complete separation;
ation in Chukudum seems to be improving. Didinga have          an independent southern Sudan. The level of distrust that
come down from the hills; some Dinka have been reset-          most southerners feel towards the riverain northerners
tled to Bor County; roads are now safer; SPLM/A has con-       who dominate all major northern parties and all past and
tinued to rotate personnel to ease tension.                    present governments will be hard to overcome. It could
                                                               be argued that GoS has, whether deliberately or by de-
Sudanese NGOs have met to discuss setting up some sort         fault, failed to take any steps to address key issues such
of indigenous coordination body. There is a developing         as the relationship between state and religion in order to
self-confidence on the part of Sudanese NGOs and intel-        woo southerners to vote for unity; quite the opposite.
lectuals in their dealings not only with the international
NGOs, donors and OLS but also with the movements.              But how realistic is independence for southern Sudan?
                                                               Internally there would be huge problems. Ethnic and re-
President Bashir recently launched a strong attack on          gional tensions cannot be ignored, but southerners are
NGOs, which he claims are flying in arms to the SPLM/          confident that these can be dealt with successfully. A huge
A, and threatened to ban all flights. GoS spokesmen have       landlocked country with virtually no infrastructure will be
since been moderating that position. OLS flights have not      difficult to develop. Will donors come up with sufficient
been banned and are reportedly operating normally, but         funds? A return to the 1956 borders would place most
GoS is still condemning non-OLS NGOs, although it is not       of the oil in the south; if a means of exporting it could be
clear what, if anything, GoS can do about them. GoS is also    found it will be a major contribution to the economy. If
calling for a review of OLS and for the OLS hub to move        agreement on the borders is not reached, it will lead to
from Lokichoggio to El Obeid.                                  endless border wars. Agriculture, cattle and fishing could
                                                               be re-established once the threat of war and displacement
One well-known international NGO has recently with-            is removed; historically southern Sudan has never known
drawn from OLS and another is about to follow suit. The        famine. Southerners have barely begun to discern what
non-OLS sector is now a significant factor in humanitarian     type of society they want after independence. SPLM/A
work in southern Sudan, southern Blue Nile and the Nuba        has made a start with its “Peace Through Development”
Mountains. GoS may be frustrated that it cannot manipu-        document and currently IPF consultants are working on
late non-OLS NGOs, unlike NGOs operating under the             a framework document for development taking account
tripartite OLS agreement which guarantees GoS control.         of all stakeholders. NSCC’s people to people process is

                                                    an instrument of empowerment. A nascent civil society is         press report understates the case: “Egypt has been keen
                                                    beginning to emerge. So maybe an independent southern            on mediating between the Sudanese government and the
                                                    Sudan is a viable option.                                        opposition in a bid to safeguard the territorial integrity of
                                                                                                                     its southern neighbour, for fear that a possible disintegra-
                                                    The major stumbling block that southerners need to ad-           tion of Sudan may jeopardize its major water source, the
                                                    dress first, however, is international opinion. This is almost   Nile.” A senior government official has been quoted as say-
                                                    unanimously against independence for southern Sudan.             ing Egypt will use “any means” to protect its interests as far
                                                                                                                     as the Nile water is concerned; in diplomatic language this
                                                    The OAU has a long-standing policy of sticking to the co-        usually implies “including war”. The states through which
                                                    lonial boundaries throughout Africa. The OAU is terrified        the Nile runs have an agreement on dividing the water.
                                                    of setting a precedent which could lead to the break-up of       Egypt is already concerned at proposals to build new dams
                                                    many African states and the re-arrangement of borders;           on the Blue Nile and would not want yet another inde-
                                                    Eritrea, with a unique historical claim, is an exception. At     pendent state on the White Nile which might utilise more
                                                    the recent OAU conference in Lome, the Secretary Gen-            water (and which might well feel some hostility towards
                                                    eral, Salim Ahmed Salim, reiterated that a solution to the       Egypt). For this reason Egypt feels that it should have a
                                                    conflict in Sudan should be “based on respect for the unity      greater role in the peace process, hence the Libyan-Egyp-
                                                    and territorial integrity of the country”. It is true that he    tian peace initiative. This initiative is aimed more at uniting
                                                    also spoke of the “principles of tolerance and accommo-          the northern Sudanese parties than in accommodating the
                                                    dation” and “recognition of the ethnic, cultural and reli-       southern agenda. Egypt is opposed to the current regime
                                                    gious diversity of the country”, which many would argue          in Khartoum but does not wish any fundamental changes
                                                    are sadly lacking from the GoS agenda, but the bottom            to the political system in Sudan, which has generally served
                                                    line is unity.                                                   Egypt well enough. A new “moderate” regime in Khar-
                                                                                                                     toum, preferably led by Egypt’s old ally the DUP, or a more
                                                    Nations on the African continent are united in their fear of     pragmatic incarnation of the current regime, would suit
                                                    fragmentation of states, as mentioned above, but never-          Egypt. A radically new political system in a united confed-
                                                    theless many sub-Saharan African states are sympathetic          eral Sudan would probably seem threatening, but an inde-
                                                    to the southern cause. Some have provided military back-         pendent southern Sudan would be totally unacceptable.
                                                    ing; many provide moral support; some might even be
                                                    prepared to consider southern Sudan as a “special case”          These are realities which southerners and those who ad-
                                                    for independence. But support for southern Sudan in the          vocate on their behalf need to deal with. To vote for an

                                                    OAU is diluted by the presence of north African Arab             independent southern Sudan is a right which should be
                                                    states. These tend to support the “Arab” GoS position            upheld by the international community; but if southerners
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    against that of the “African” southerners. In that other re-     contemplate doing that, then a great deal of preparatory
                                                    gional body, the Arab League, there is no such contradic-        work is needed in the international political and diplomatic
                                                    tion and GoS can be sure of support.                             arena.

                                                    The UN and the “international community” also seem to
                                                    be reluctant to sanction the break-up of states and the          Monthly Briefing: August 2000
                                                    redrawing of boundaries. Even western countries that are
                                                    sympathetic to the southern Sudanese cause have indicat-         25th August 2000
                                                    ed privately that they do not favour independence. Within
                                                    the UN GoS has support from the Arab bloc and other
                                                    Muslim states, from self-interested nations (France, of          Politics
                                                    course; other European countries investing in oil; China,        The USA, responding to a Sudanese request for dialogue,
                                                    North Korea and former eastern bloc nations supplying            has said GoS must first take steps to end violence and ter-
                                                    arms) and from the non-aligned bloc, which one can only          rorism and make progress on human rights. A US State
                                                    suppose is supporting the sovereignty of GoS rather un-          Department spokesman noted that the USA does have
                                                    critically without examining Sudanese internal issues too        contact with GoS, through diplomats who visit Khartoum,
                                                    closely. Southern Sudan has few friends in the UN; even          special envoy Harry Johnston and teams of security and
                                                    Canada and the USA appear to be pulling back a little.           counter-terrorism experts, but added, “What we need to
                                                                                                                     see is that Sudan is ready to deal with the issues – the is-
                                                    The position of Egypt must be taken seriously. Egypt is the      sues of violence, the issues of human rights, the issues of
                                                    former colonial power. From 1898 to 1956 Sudan was a             terrorism that we’ve spoken about in the past – and I’m
                                                    condominium governed jointly by Great Britain and Egypt.         afraid we haven’t seen that.”
                                                    Before that there was Turko-Egyptian rule. In between
                                                    was the Mahdiyya, a brief spell of independence from the         The IGAD peace process has been stalled for months as a
                                                    various colonial masters. Egypt’s prime concern is the Nile      result of prevarication by both sides. There are plans for a
                                                    water, which is the very life of the country. One recent         resumption of talks early in September.

GoS has made a statement on one of the key points in the           a water problem and the showpiece multi-billion dollar
Declaration of Principles, that of self-determination for          project to pipe water from underground sources in south-
the south. The Minister of External Relations, Dr. Mustafa         ern Libya is progressing slowly and reportedly has a limit-
Osman Ismail, said GoS is opposed to separation of south-          ed shelf-life before those reservoirs are exhausted. Joining
ern Sudan, due to its belief that this separation will not end     with Egypt boosts Libya’s credibility as it seeks to increase
the war. “The government strongly opposes the secession            its prestige in Africa and with the international commu-
of the southern part of the country and is determined to           nity; Egypt benefits by isolating Sudan from the Horn of
keep Sudan a united state.” He indicated that separation           Africa and IGAD, and perhaps also in terms of economic
of the south is also not desired by the neighbouring coun-         agreements with Libya. Within Sudan this initiative seems
tries, adding that the charter of the OAU stipulates pres-         to aim at reconciling the NIF with the traditional religious
ervation of the inherited borders. The minister affirmed           sectarian parties, Umma and DUP, rather than addressing
GoS’ keenness to make the option of unity acceptable for           the concerns of all Sudanese parties. It apparently ignores
the southerners by consent, adding that this principle is          both the Asmara Declaration and the Declaration of Prin-
based on federalism and fair distribution of wealth and            ciples and fails to address key issues, particularly self-de-
power and democracy. SPLM/A condemned this move,                   termination, which are not in Egypt’s interest. Southern-
saying, “The government of Sudan has no right to give or           ers should be concerned about the steady improvement
deny secession.”                                                   in relations between GoS and Egypt.

Libya has said it considers the call for granting war-torn         Many would argue that the IGAD process needs to be ex-
southern Sudan the right to self-determination is wrong            panded to include not Egypt and Libya but rather other
and could destabilise the region. According to Ali el Te-          Sudanese voices, both from the opposition and from civil
raiki, secretary of the Libyan general popular committee           society as a whole. NDA has formed a Comprehensive
for African unity, “the adoption of the principle of self-de-      Political Settlement Committee which “recognized the
termination in southern Sudan could lead to insurmount-            unanimous endorsement of the IGAD-DoP by all par-
able chaos in the region.” Teraiki, who represents his             ties… but finds the exclusion of opposition parties other
country in the joint Libyan-Egyptian initiative, said the two      than SPLM/A regrettable.” It “believes that a lasting peace,
countries were pressing for a peaceful solution in Sudan           if at all possible, requires a comprehensive political settle-
that preserved the unity of the country’s territories. “We         ment through negotiations between the NDA and GoS.”
do not refuse to co-operate with the IGAD initiative. Our          An NDA delegation arrived in Nairobi recently to brief
only reservation about the IGAD initiative is the issue of         the IGAD Secretariat but the meeting was cancelled, ap-
self-determination for the south.”                                 parently due to pressure from Khartoum and Cairo. NDA
                                                                   brought concrete proposals to move the IGAD process
Whither IGAD? Many are beginning to question its effec-            forward and reportedly received a more sympathetic
tiveness. Even IPF has expressed impatience. Is either side        hearing from IPF and the governments of at least two of
really committed to this process? Is the process building          the IGAD member states.
trust or doing the opposite? What compromises are really
feasible for peace with justice? Who benefits, internally          There are press reports that GoS has signed a charter
and externally, from the continuation of the war? Who suf-         with Zainel-Abdeen Al-Hindi and Dr. Ahmed el-Belal of
fers? The Sudanese people are paying the price for war;            DUP. However sources indicate that these figures do not
are their leaders ready to pay the price for peace?                represent the mainstream DUP which remains in opposi-
                                                                   tion, committed to its membership of NDA. There are
On the other hand, is there any other mechanism on the             also reports that GoS is trying to attract key opinion-shap-
horizon that could replace the IGAD process? Apparently            ers from the southern diaspora to its internal reconcilia-
not. GoS and SPLM/A have expressed willingness to ex-              tion process.
plore the Libyan-Egyptian peace initiative and even to
somehow merge it with IGAD, but southerners and much               Vocal opposition to the SPLM/A leadership and policies
of the northern opposition are very dubious about who              has sprung up recently through the highly visible diaspora
really benefits from this. NDA reluctantly accepted it “on         figure, Mr. Bona Malwal.
condition that it is coordinated with IGAD” but is opposed
to “multiple initiatives… because they allow GoS to buy
time and engage in endless forum shopping.” Some would             Military
go as far as to say that this initiative is actually intended to   Ground fighting seems to have been concentrated in
sabotage real peace negotiations for the goal of a united          northern Bahr el-Ghazal, where SPLM/A is still threaten-
Sudan governed by an alliance of the traditional religious         ing Wau and Aweil, and in Western Upper Nile, where the
parties, favourable to Egypt. Egypt’s main concern is the          situation is confused. The SPLM/A forces of Commander
Nile water and thus it is firmly opposed not only to self-         Peter Gadet seem to be continuing and possibly intensify-
determination but also to a “New Sudan” which may wish             ing their assault on GoS forces around the oilfields in the
to re-negotiate earlier water treaties. But Libya also has         vicinity of Bentiu. At the same time SPDF forces, almost

                                                    certainly supported by the GoS militia of Major-Gen-            el-Ghazal were waiting impatiently for an excuse to launch
                                                    eral Paulino Matip if not by GoS itself, have clashed with      an offensive; fighting continued unabated in the rest of the
                                                    Gadet’s forces in the vicinity of Koch. Fighting in all these   war zone. Finding a way to bridge the gap between the
                                                    areas has displaced large numbers of civilians.                 two sides and create the necessary conditions for both a
                                                                                                                    properly-monitored ceasefire and a comprehensive peace
                                                    On the southern Blue Nile front fighting has continued in       process should be a priority.
                                                    the vicinity of Buony (Mabaan) in Upper Nile. The east-
                                                    ern front is currently quiet after GoS attempts to dislodge     For several months there have been very mixed signals
                                                    NDA forces failed. NDA gains reportedly include large ar-       about new weaponry reaching GoS. Statements by GoS
                                                    eas around the Dinder National Park.                            (highlighted in this report in June) admitted openly (nay,
                                                                                                                    boasted even) that due to the oil wealth GoS would soon
                                                    Aerial bombardment of civilians by GoS escalated during         become self-sufficient in weapons production. Since then
                                                    July with at least 250 bombs dropped in more than 33            there have been persistent rumours of deliveries of new
                                                    separate incidents and peaked at the end of the month           helicopter gunships and MiG jets, as well as military radar
                                                    with the bombing of five aircraft chartered by aid agen-        in Juba, but no proof. New Chinese T-55 tanks were re-
                                                    cies. A sixth such incident early in August prompted the        portedly captured by SPLM/A several months ago. If new
                                                    UN to suspend relief flights for about a week until the         weaponry, particularly air power, is about to come on line,
                                                    UN received security assurances from GoS (see below).           it will strengthen GoS’ military position. However weap-
                                                    Since then bombing of civilians has continued. Churches,        ons need troops to operate them and GoS seems to be
                                                    humanitarian agencies, the UN Secretary General, the            running out of manpower, recruiting school students and
                                                    EU and a small number of governments (notably Nor-              civil servants, while the morale of its troops seems to be
                                                    way, Canada and the USA) protested about the bombing.           fairly low.
                                                    Some of these statements seemed to concentrate only on
                                                    the bombing of relief agencies rather than GoS’ ongoing
                                                    bombing of its own civilians; most called on both parties       Upper Nile
                                                    to ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian aid. SPLM/A         It is virtually impossible to obtain an objective picture of
                                                    has recently accused GoS of stepping up bombing on the          events in Upper Nile. There are few independent observ-
                                                    eastern front but as yet there is no independent confirma-      ers, due partly to GoS’ ban on OLS flights and partly to
                                                    tion.                                                           insecurity on the ground. It is clear that heavy fighting is
                                                                                                                    causing large numbers of people to be displaced through-

                                                    It is not clear why GoS intensified its bombing campaign,       out western Upper Nile. Tens of thousands have fled to
                                                    which anyone might have predicted would attract wide-           GoS garrisons such as Bentiu and Rub Kona where WFP
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    spread condemnation at a time when it is trying (success-       has been able to reach them (Talisman has not failed to
                                                    fully) to improve its international image. It might have been   publicise its generous assistance in this) but most are in
                                                    a miscalculation based on the fact that the international       the countryside with no aid. There has been widespread
                                                    community has already turned a blind eye to so much. Or         destruction of houses and crops. It is clear that SPLM/A
                                                    it might be a simple military response to events on the         forces under Cdr. Peter Gadet are now fighting Dr. Riek
                                                    ground. It is believed that GoS is extremely worried by         Machar’s SPDF, although both sides blame the other for
                                                    SPLM/A successes in northern Bahr el-Ghazal and the po-         initiating the conflict. It is also widely believed that SPDF
                                                    tential threat to the oilfields in Upper Nile. GoS believes     forces are being supplied by Maj-Gen. Paulino Matip and
                                                    that humanitarian aid is directly or indirectly strengthening   probably directly by GoS itself; both GoS and Dr. Riek
                                                    SPLM/A; hence this all-out attack on humanitarian agen-         deny this but it has led to speculation in Nairobi that he is
                                                    cies. Some within GoS do not distinguish between the            ready to re-join GoS. In north-eastern Upper Nile SPDF
                                                    southern military forces and the civilians who support          forces are still cooperating with SPLM/A around Buony
                                                    them; all are considered “legitimate targets”.                  (Mabaan), apparently with Dr. Riek’s blessing.

                                                    GoS statements, even during the UN flight suspension,           Since the beginning of the year analysis of the situation in
                                                    did not dwell on the bombing but continued to demand a          Upper Nile as a contest between two parties, SPDF and
                                                    cease-fire. Militarily a cease-fire at this point would prob-   SSLM, or two leaders, Dr. Riek Machar and Dr. Wal Duany,
                                                    ably benefit GoS more than SPLM/A, which has continued          has often focused on how many commanders, intellectuals
                                                    to insist that a cease-fire must be part of a comprehen-        or church leaders supported each one and how much ter-
                                                    sive peace process which neither side can so far deliver.       ritory they controlled. The balance of power fluctuated.
                                                    The two parties accuse each other of breaking the limited       Such an analysis is complicated by various factors. Leaders
                                                    cease-fire which was in effect, and there is some truth on      who cannot supply “military logistics” may not actually be
                                                    both sides, but it is not a very useful debate. The partial     in control of their avowed supporters, as can be seen in
                                                    and un-monitored cease-fire has always been cosmetic.           reports that SPDF units are working with both GoS and
                                                    GoS was able to continue militia raids and aerial bomb-         SPLM/A in different areas. At the same time, even com-
                                                    ing of civilians with impunity; SPLM/A forces in Bahr           manders who are pro-GoS or who have joined SPLM/A

may still be in sympathy with SPDF or SSLM. Dr. Wal            internal peace agreement is generally considered to have
Duany recognises not only “absolute control” of an area        been a disastrous mistake, although many understand why
but also “relative control” and “influence”. It is important   he took that road in the face of SPLM/A intransigence.
to note that SPDF and SSLM are not the only two actors.        Many of the splits within the Nuer community are splits
There are also other significant forces and personalities to   away from him rather than towards some new position,
be reckoned with.                                              and personal bitterness militates against these command-
                                                               ers who are now with GoS coming back to him. It appears
Upper Nile forces are now totally fragmented. Rather           to be difficult for Dr. John Garang and Dr. Riek to achieve
than asking, “Which leader is in control of which area or      reconciliation; recent high-level meetings do not seem to
which supporters?” it might be more useful to ask, “Who        have produced any positive results. Dr. Wal Duany, on the
(or what) can unite the Nuer nation?” In many ways the         other hand, comes without any of this political baggage, al-
Nuer people probably have a common vision. Nuer politi-        though he was Dr. Riek’s close aide and in some eyes he is
cal factions have generally been in favour of independence     thus tainted. He believes that those who oppose Dr. Riek
for the south and have been willing to define the south        have no reason to oppose him. However what is “lack of
narrowly according to the 1956 borders. The Nuer people        baggage” to some might be seen as “lack of track record”
have no love for their northern neighbours. The words of       by others. He has no military experience, something
a young Anya-Nya 2 fighter near Mayom, when asked by           which is very important at the grassroots where almost
a church worker for his political philosophy in 1984, “We      every Nuer male is now armed, whether in a movement,
want to kill Arabs and get the Arabs out of our country,”      a militia or the nebulous White Army. Despite his visits
were echoed by a senior SSIM/A commander questioned            to Sudan over the years, he is seen as coming from US
by the same church worker in Leer in 1997, “If you think       academia rather than from the people. It would be easy
we’ve signed this agreement [the 1997 internal peace           to view his movement as ethnic, as most of his support
agreement] in order to let the Arabs into our land, you’re     comes from part of the Lou clan; however he believes
mistaken. We’ve signed it so that after four years we can      that his “relative control” and “influence” (see above) are
have a referendum and be independent. If Arab soldiers         much wider. Dr. Wal’s SSLM/A is not against anybody or
come here, we will kill them.” The latter gentleman was        any other movement, including SPLM/A, which gives it
true to his word when GoS troops were stationed in his         an advantage over Dr. Riek’s SPDF. Currently SSLM/A is
operational area in 1999.                                      probably not involved in any fighting. Neither SPDF nor
                                                               SSLM seems able to supply its supporters with arms and
Many believe that the divisions within the Nuer commu-         ammunition at the moment; if that were to happen we
nity are not caused by the people but by the leaders. Here     might see one movement beginning to dominate. Both Dr.
we see the importance of the NSCC People to People             Riek and Dr. Wal have indicated their willingness to meet
peace and reconciliation process which gives a voice to        but have not done so since January.
the grassroots: the chiefs, the elders, the women, the
youth. There has been a consistent message (and not only       So how will the Nuer unite? Traditionally they do not rec-
from the Nuer): “We do not want to fight each other; we        ognise centralised authority but (to vastly oversimplify a
have made peace; we have reconciled; now it is our sons        complex subject) have a very participatory form of de-
[the political and military leaders] who are the problem.”     centralised governance. It may be that no single leader
A new challenge for NSCC is to bring the voice of the          will unite them, not Dr. Riek nor Dr. Wal nor any other
elders to their “sons”, including the opinion-shapers in       as yet unidentified figure hovering in the wings, and that
the diaspora. It should be noted that, despite the avowed      they will find their own unique way of coming together.
hatred of northerners by many Nuer, before the war the         Outside observers may not understand this. Already it is
elders were able to agree with their Baggara neighbours        clear that most factions and movements within the Nuer
on water and grazing rights and to solve issues such as        community talk to each other either directly or through
theft of cattle and abduction of women and children. It is     intermediaries, even when they are at opposite ends of
the war, led by their “sons” in both north and south, which    the political and military spectrum. Many outsiders are
has destroyed traditional conflict-resolution mechanisms       amazed at the speed with which the southern Sudanese
and exacerbated age-old tensions.                              in general, not only the Nuer, can reconcile after the most
                                                               appalling splits and atrocities. Many Nuer insist that they
Dr. Riek Machar has stated that he would stand down if         will talk their way to peace and reconciliation, although
he thought his position alone was dividing the Nuer peo-       they don’t expect it to happen quickly. Any real and lasting
ple. His strength is that he is the Commander-in-Chief         solution will be a collective decision where all actors and
and many would not want to be part of any “coup d’état”        communities are involved on an equal basis.
against him. He has been a leader of national stature in
SPLM/A as well as within subsequent new movements and          We should probably use whatever leverage we have to
GoS. He has been with the liberation movement from its         neutralise outside interference. It is not only GoS which
very early days and has been in the field with his troops.     is dividing the Nuer community. International oil compa-
However he also carries a great deal of baggage. The 1997      nies and governments have played a key role too. SPLM/A

                                                    policy also takes its toll. In 1999 it supplied SSIM/A forces     Shilluk areas reportedly face a large food-gap this year fol-
                                                    of Cdr. Tito Biel in western Upper Nile with ammunition           lowing poor crops in 1999 due to floods and birds. This
                                                    without demanding that he join SPLM/A. More recently              year’s rains came late and are patchy. Leaders complain
                                                    that policy seems to have changed (except on the Blue             of a poor OLS response with only one NGO present and
                                                    Nile front). The subsequent public declaration by Cdrs.           no recent food deliveries by barge. However, in a further
                                                    Peter Gadet and David Reath Malwal of their member-               spin-off from the SRRA MoU dispute, at least two NGOs
                                                    ship of SPLM/A has probably not helped the cause of Nuer          are now negotiating with FRRA to begin working amongst
                                                    unity. If the SPLM/A leadership fears a united Nuer nation,       the Shilluk.
                                                    GoS has far more cause to fear it. It may be short-sighted
                                                    of SPLM/A not to do everything in its power to bring the          A large number of indigenous and international humanitar-
                                                    full strength of the Nuer back into the mainstream of the         ian agencies have taken a positive decision to work outside
                                                    liberation struggle.                                              the OLS umbrella. Some may have chosen to do so out of
                                                                                                                      solidarity with the southern people, others in order to be
                                                    Of course the Nuer are not the only people in Upper Nile.         faithful to their independent humanitarian mandate which
                                                    Few Shilluk believe that the 1997 internal peace agree-           they feel is compromised by the OLS agreement which
                                                    ment signed with GoS by Dr. Lam Akol’s SPLM/A (United)            gives GoS and the movements control over their activi-
                                                    is a solution to the problems of Sudan but it has brought         ties. They make a significant contribution to the overall
                                                    relative stability to their area of central Upper Nile and        aid package, not necessarily in terms of budgets and ton-
                                                    they will probably continue to support it at least for the        nages (which are both dominated by WFP’s huge food
                                                    time being. Dr. Lam remains Minister of Transport in GoS.         deliveries) but in the breadth of coverage in different geo-
                                                    Shilluk sources report that their failure to attend the Liliir    graphical areas and sectors of work, in their flexibility and
                                                    peace conference was due to poor communications rath-             ability to access areas denied to OLS, and often in their
                                                    er than policy and it is thought that both Dr. Lam and the        commitment to partnership and sustainable development
                                                    influential reth (king) are agreeable.                            rather than simply relief. Many are beginning to resent the
                                                                                                                      artificial distinction made by GoS and sometimes by OLS
                                                                                                                      itself between “OLS NGOs” and “non-OLS NGOs”; we
                                                    Humanitarian Access                                               should refer simply to “humanitarian agencies”. In practice
                                                    The eight-day suspension of UN flights showed how frag-           they share the same humanitarian mandate, they cooper-
                                                    ile the OLS system is. GoS has publicly stated that it is fully   ate and coordinate their activities in the same locations,
                                                    committed to OLS but has made demands for change, the             they are supported by the same governments and general

                                                    most extreme being that all flights should originate from         publics, they are funded by the same back-donors, they
                                                    northern Sudan. UN is opposed to this move, which would           share the same airstrips and shelter together from the
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    effectively strangle the southern sector of OLS, reported-        same GoS bombs. Efforts to divide them must be strenu-
                                                    ly citing cost-effectiveness. GoS has consistently called for     ously resisted.
                                                    “transparency” in delivery of aid. In a joint statement, GoS
                                                    emphasised the importance it attaches to the establish-           The recent bombing of aircraft on the ground has caused
                                                    ment of a GoS presence in Lokichoggio while Ambassador            problems for all humanitarian agencies. At the same time it
                                                    Tom Vraalsen, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy            has highlighted the dangers for inexperienced aid agencies
                                                    for Humanitarian Affairs for the Sudan, stated that the           and profit-oriented air charter companies. Two aircraft
                                                    UN had no objections to this proposal and encouraged              have crashed recently. In one incident a large and unsuit-
                                                    GoS to raise the matter directly with the government of           able aircraft was flown into a small and untested airstrip, in
                                                    Kenya. SPLM/A has rejected both proposals, which “will            a difficult and dangerous area close to a front line, during
                                                    be against the tripartite agreement.”                             the wet season… fortunately there were no casualties.

                                                    Apart from newsworthy events such as the recent UN                Rumours abound of a further threat to humanitarian ac-
                                                    flight suspension, humanitarian access is routinely denied        cess due to proposed new restrictions by the government
                                                    by GoS. Many locations in western Upper Nile have been            of Kenya on flights into Sudan. It is not clear yet whether
                                                    banned for months and there has been a blanket flight             there is any substance to these rumours or whether they
                                                    ban to much of Equatoria since 1997. Equatoria can be             are simply another shot in the cut-throat war between air
                                                    reached by land so aid programmes have continued, but             charter companies for the lucrative business of flying aid
                                                    road access through both northern Kenya and northern              into Sudan.
                                                    Uganda is dangerous, particularly due to the GoS-sup-
                                                    ported LRA. A number of aid workers have been killed              The time may have come to question the accepted
                                                    and LRA has recently attacked refugee camps in northern           wisdom that all agencies should operate from a single
                                                    Uganda. A new challenge for the international community           highly-visible UN-dominated base in Lokichoggio. The
                                                    is to access NDA-controlled parts of northern Blue Nile           phenomenal growth of this camp around an airstrip in
                                                    which are outside the OLS umbrella. There is virtually no         the northern Kenyan desert has been taken for granted.
                                                    humanitarian assistance and people are reportedly dying.          However, those agencies which have chosen to work

independently of the OLS umbrella might want to begin           expect rapid progress in the next round of talks which
to consider lower-visibility options elsewhere. Improved        are taking place in Kenya at the end of September. One
road access to much of Bahr el-Ghazal as well as Equatoria      SPLM/A participant told the press, “At the best, we hope
must now be exploited. In past years flights have occasion-     that we can reach an agreement to disagree” shortly be-
ally departed from other airstrips in Kenya, Uganda and         fore leaving Nairobi for the talks. Ironically that may not
even inside southern Sudan, usually for security reasons;       be as negative as it sounds. A clear statement of the differ-
this could become the norm. Individual agencies or small        ences, shorn of political rhetoric, could lay the foundation
consortia could base themselves in or near towns where          for fresh moves.
accommodation, shops, warehouses, fuel depots, public
transport, telephones, utilities, etc already exist, avoiding   GoS has accused the US government of supporting SPLM/
the need to set up their own camps and support infra-           A, saying Washington “openly sides with the rebel move-
structure. As well as a cost-benefit analysis it would be       ment and offers it political and military assistance” and
important to consider other less tangible factors, including    that “the US administration is one of the main reasons for
security. Avoiding the “hot-house” atmosphere of Loki-          the continuation of the war and the humanitarian situation
choggio may contribute to the good psychological health         in southern Sudan by encouraging the rebel movement
of aid workers. It may also reduce the rumour-mongering         to reject peace initiatives.” The USA had reportedly pro-
and the negative attitude towards Sudan and the Sudanese        posed a meeting of GoS with NDA leaders in Washington
which seems to be endemic within the aid industry which         in the presence of IGAD states, the EU and Egypt. This
purports to serve them.                                         was rejected by GoS. “Washington’s hostile acts against
                                                                Sudan do not qualify it for playing good offices for rec-
                                                                onciliation between the government and the opposition
Monthly Briefing: September 2000                                political groups,” Information Minister Ghazi Salah Eddin
                                                                Atabani said. However Foreign Minister Mustafa Uthman
25th September 2000                                             Isma’il conceded, “Everyone agrees that the American
                                                                role in the installation of peace in Sudan is important”,
                                                                adding, “We are currently working to improve the Ameri-
Politics                                                        can position so that it becomes more neutral.”
In an interview on Kenyan television on 3rd September
2000, Dr. John Garang defended the IGAD process, say-           The NDA held its second congress in Eritrea under the
ing that it “has been accused of being too slow - that it       theme “Stop the War and Build a New Sudan”. Abdul
is not moving. But that is an unfair criticism in my view.      Rahman Nugdalla of the Umma party participated in the
Things are not moving in terms of a solution to the Su-         meeting. There have been disagreements between Umma
danese conflict not because of the slowness of the IGAD,        party branches within Sudan and those outside. Umma
but rather because of the intractability of the issues.” He     eventually confirmed its total withdrawal from NDA but
called for a one-track peace initiative: “Whereas we rec-       Nugdalla himself is believed still to be opposed to rap-
ognise the Egyptian-Libyan initiative, we cannot negoti-        prochement with GoS.
ate on two tracks…. Until that one track is evolved we
will continue to negotiate in the IGAD initiative, because      NDA passed a resolution stating that a comprehensive po-
the IGAD initiative was primary - it came first, and it has     litical settlement “is the NDA’s preferred option”, based
an international dimension.” He called for the two peace        on the Asmara Declaration of 1995, the IGAD Declaration
initiatives to converge their efforts into one track “within    of Principles of 1994 and various NDA resolutions related
the context of the IGAD declaration of principles.” An          to a comprehensive political settlement; that negotiations
SPLM/A spokesman added that the two fundamental rea-            are conducted through one unified forum for all initiatives;
sons for the stalling of the peace talks were, firstly, the     that the negotiating parties are the NDA and the Khar-
government’s outright refusal to include religion on the        toum regime; that the Leadership Council develops a ne-
agenda by saying “Sudan is an Islamic country” and, sec-        gotiating strategy based on the above principles; and that
ondly, what he called the government’s “lack of serious-        the Leadership Council is authorised to pursue the neces-
ness on the issue of self-determination” for people living      sary steps for a negotiated comprehensive political settle-
in the south of the country. He reiterated that both these      ment including direct talks with the Khartoum regime.
issues were critical to the success of any future peaceful
solution to the conflict.                                       Some northern NDA sources are concerned at the ten-
                                                                dency by many southerners towards a geographical and
GoS has said that recent statements by Dr. John were en-        even ethnic interpretation of “New Sudan” to mean
couraging, indicating a “new language” which GoS hoped          “SPLM/A-controlled or liberated territory” rather than
expressed “a true desire for peace.” GoS also welcomed          denoting the proposed new political system in the whole
the release of PoWs (see below) as a “positive indica-          Sudan. The congress resolved that a New Sudan Charter
tor” for the peace process. Nevertheless, few observers         should be finalised.

                                                    A growing public debate about SPLM/A leadership and            Former Sudanese slaves demanded the arrest of Presi-
                                                    policy, most visible through outspoken diaspora figure         dent Omar Hassan al-Bashir, when he joined heads of
                                                    Mr. Bona Malwal, focuses attention on tensions within the      state from around the world at the UN Millennium Sum-
                                                    south and within the movement. There is no evidence of         mit. A spokeswoman said, “For over 10 years, General
                                                    any serious leadership challenge to Dr. John Garang, but       Bashir has presided over a regime that has enslaved tens
                                                    tensions between his Bor Dinka support base and other          of thousands of civilians. On behalf of those still silenced in
                                                    Dinka and Equatorians need to be addressed. There is a         slavery, I demand Bashir be brought to justice for crimes
                                                    call for more openness in debating issues, particularly re-    against humanity.” GoS denied the allegations. In a sepa-
                                                    garding the peace process in general and self-determina-       rate development a Sudanese diplomat in London was ac-
                                                    tion in particular; official SPLM/A preference for a united    cused by a UK newspaper of keeping a housemaid as a
                                                    confederal “New Sudan” is not shared by many southern-         slave.
                                                    ers, even inside the movement. Many feel there is a need
                                                    for a more inclusive dialogue involving all southern stake-    Sudanese Roman Catholic bishops issued two statements,
                                                    holders, not limited to the SPLM/A.                            one by SCBRC in Nairobi at the end of August and the
                                                                                                                   other by the entire SCBC during its meeting in Italy at
                                                    There has been a great deal of unrest in various parts of      the end of September. They deplored the bombing of ci-
                                                    northern Sudan with many arrests and some deaths. GoS          vilians and called for a strictly-monitored ceasefire. They
                                                    attributes it to elements with a “subversive” agenda and       reiterated calls made by SCC and NSCC for a military
                                                    has accused Dr. Hassan el-Turabi’s new party, the Popu-        “no-fly zone”, specifically mentioning southern Blue Nile
                                                    lar National Congress, of involvement. In Kosti, students      and the Nuba Mountains as well as southern Sudan, and
                                                    demonstrated against compulsory military service. In           that “all nations and multinational corporations terminate
                                                    Darfur, there were reportedly African-Arab clashes. In         immediately their involvement in production of oil in Su-
                                                    Khartoum, women demonstrated against the recent de-            dan.” They called for land corridors for humanitarian aid
                                                    cree on women and work (see below). Students in Nyala          and recognition of the legitimacy of humanitarian opera-
                                                    protested the arrest of opposition supporters and there        tions of churches and non-OLS NGOs (see below), say-
                                                    was also unrest in Gedaref. Doctors in northern Kordofan       ing, “We firmly believe that all the national borders and
                                                    have been on strike. In El Fasher students demonstrated        state-sovereignty cease to exist whenever a state commits
                                                    against the failure of schools to open as well as water and    wilful crimes against its own people.” They gave their firm
                                                    electricity shortages and in Port Sudan they protested the     support to the IGAD peace process, “confident that the
                                                    imposition of school fees and shortage of text books.          IGAD members will adhere to and enforce the implemen-

                                                                                                                   tation of the DOP”.
                                                    GoS still plans to hold parliamentary elections in October.
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    It is difficult to see how these can be viewed as free and     The bishops also stated that “Sudan’s nomination to the
                                                    fair. Large areas of the country, north and south, are out-    membership of the UN Security Council is unacceptable
                                                    side GoS control and will not be properly represented.         since the GoS itself is a major cause of insecurity to its own
                                                                                                                   people.” Meanwhile the USA is spearheading attempts to
                                                    The Governor of Khartoum State issued a decree pre-            prevent Sudan from obtaining a seat on the UN Security
                                                    venting women from working in public places where they         Council.
                                                    would come into contact with men, such as petrol sta-
                                                    tions, hotels and restaurants. The decree was later over-      The Sudan Studies Association held its fifth internation-
                                                    turned by the courts.                                          al conference in Durham, UK. As well as Sudanese and
                                                                                                                   foreign academics, the Sudanese Ambassador to UK and
                                                    The State of Khartoum is also apparently trying to con-        a large number of northern and southern exiles partici-
                                                    fiscate part of a Christian cemetery in el-Sahafa. SCC has     pated. For many it was interesting to hear the voice of
                                                    protested to the governor in writing. Attempts by the state    moderate Sudanese northerners; indeed, as one paper
                                                    government to confiscate land owned by ECS in Omdur-           suggested, this is the voice of indigenous Sudanese Islam
                                                    man earlier this year will be remembered by readers.           and the current NIF-sponsored variety is an alien import.
                                                                                                                   The martyred Mahmoud Mohamed Taha was honoured in
                                                    The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has            two papers. More than one northerner publicly acknowl-
                                                    earned US$ 320 million from crude oil sales and pipeline       edged racism and announced that, while they would pre-
                                                    oil transmission in southern Sudanese oil fields, according    fer a united Sudan, they would rather live at peace with
                                                    to the official Chinese news agency. “Since August 30 last     an independent south than keep on fighting. At the same
                                                    year, when the zone began to export the first tanker of oil,   time, other papers demonstrated that even “moderate”
                                                    it has produced 64 million barrels of crude oil and gained     northerners often have little understanding of the south
                                                    US$ 1.16 billion from oil sales and pipeline oil transmis-     and southerners. Virtually everyone present was appalled
                                                    sion.”                                                         at the position on Sudanese asylum-seekers taken by a
                                                                                                                   diplomat; Europe in general is not very understanding of
                                                                                                                   the plight of Sudanese refugees as governments scramble

to establish “good relations” with the Khartoum regime.         SPLM/A has handed a number of prisoners of war to GoS
Papers on aid and development could be interpreted as           under the supervision of ICRC. Independent observers
fairly challenging to the aid industry. Human rights issues     have had access to hundreds of PoWs held by SPLM/A,
were addressed, notably oil and conflict. A call by one         particularly in Yei and Kurmuk since 1997. GoS is yet to
speaker for an independent Shilluk nation may feed into         produce a single one, raising questions about its treatment
the debate on self-determination.                               of wounded and captured SPLM/A soldiers.

Military                                                        Upper Nile
GoS recaptured the town of Buony in north-eastern Up-           Presbyterian Church leaders are meeting in Nairobi to try
per Nile (on the southern Blue Nile front) after heavy aer-     to resolve tensions within the church, tensions which are
ial bombardment. Some reports suggest that they were            inextricably linked to the political divisions in Upper Nile.
assisted by units of the SPDF, but different ones to those
which had supported SPLM/A’s earlier capture of Buony.
This gives some idea of the confusion surrounding loyal-        Eastern Equatoria
ties within Upper Nile.                                         Tension is increasing as Didinga forces under Peter Lorot
                                                                regroup. It is feared that this may spark conflict with
Fighting has continued in and around the oil fields of west-    SPLM/A. Some NGO staff have been evacuated. NSCC is
ern Upper Nile. SPLM/A forces are reported to have              sending a team, including senior church leaders, to assess
captured the garrisons of Nhialdu, Mankien, Kerial and          the situation. It is believed that GoS militia may be in the
Rier. GoS militia under Maj-Gen Paulino Matip, with SPDF        area. LRA has been active around Kitgum and Labone.
units, were reported to be retreating towards Wankai.
SPLM/A has again warned oil workers that the oil instal-
lations are considered a legitimate military target as GoS      Humanitarian Aid
uses oil revenue to buy weapons. There has also been ten-       GoS has continued to deny OLS access to many locations.
sion in central Upper Nile where Simon Gatwec is report-        In September 2000 GoS denied flight access to 8 locations
edly threatening SPDF in Lankien, and fighting between          in western Upper Nile while about 8 others were inac-
SPDF and Gordon Kong’s Thaura Jikany in Longochok in            cessible due to insecurity. In Equatoria GoS continues to
the east. However, it is not always clear who is fighting       deny flight access to all areas south of a line Kapoeta-Torit-
whom or why. SSLM is probably not fighting anyone at            Juba-Yei.
the moment.
                                                                OLS and OCHA (which seems to be taking a leading role
Reports in a UK newspaper that 700,000 Chinese troops           in OLS) attempted to introduce a protocol regulating
are providing security for the oil exploitation seem to be      the relationship between OLS NGOs and those agencies
wildly exaggerated. Nevertheless US officials concede that      which have chosen to work outside the OLS umbrella.
China has a substantial economic interest and a large mili-     OLS NGOs strongly resisted this, pointing out, for exam-
tary sales programme in Sudan and that Chinese troops           ple, that a vaccination programme for people or animals is
have been deployed there, “But we can’t tell how many           meaningless unless there is full coverage; diseases do not
are involved in providing security”.                            respect OLS boundaries! Many OLS NGOs believe that
                                                                the tri-partite agreement itself is sufficient and there is no
Fighting has continued around Lumon in the Nuba Moun-           need to make changes or additions suggested by only one
tains.                                                          party to the agreement.

Fighting has continued in northern Bahr el-Ghazal. Two or       It is important to set the OLS agreement in context. All hu-
three GoS military trains are reported to be in the area,       manitarian agencies work in Sudan according to a humani-
trapped between the damaged bridges over the Lol and            tarian mandate. Different agencies have chosen different
Kiir rivers. GoS has attempted to repair the bridge over        means to facilitate access to Sudan; some (including, of
the Lol river. GoS troops, including PDF, are believed          course, the churches’ relief and development arms) have
to have sent out foraging and raiding parties. NGO staff        been there since long before OLS was invented in 1989.
were evacuated from many locations in northern Bahr el-         Some chose to accept the constraints of the OLS agree-
Ghazal.                                                         ment in return for guarantees of security; others chose to
                                                                negotiate directly with the de facto authorities in which-
In September GoS reduced but did not stop bombing               ever area they work. The international community must
its own civilians. Bombs have landed close to OLS NGO           insist that these different approaches be respected and
compounds. Church compounds have been hit. The GoS              supported. The assumption that OLS takes precedence
claim that SPLM/A uses “the sites of the civilian gatherings,   over other humanitarian approaches should be resisted.
including hospitals and schools, as human shields” does
not stand up to serious scrutiny.

                                                    NDA members, particularly SAF, have continued to draw           of this for military purposes close to the border may cause
                                                    attention to the lack of humanitarian aid reaching areas        Eritrea to have second thoughts.
                                                    under their control in eastern Sudan.
                                                                                                                    Uganda and GoS have reached yet another agreement in
                                                    NGOs and UN agencies working in GoS-controlled Ben-             which Uganda will cease to support SPLM/A while GoS
                                                    tiu have issued public denials of press reports that they       will disarm LRA and move them away from the Ugandan
                                                    are cooperating in any way with Talisman, although they         border. The border will be monitored by Libya and Egypt
                                                    concede that Talisman has provided some aid by itself.          to prevent violations. Will this agreement be any more suc-
                                                                                                                    cessful than previous ones, particularly as LRA claims that
                                                    A rabies epidemic has broken out in southern Darfur and         it has never been consulted during these negotiations?
                                                    northern Kordofan.
                                                                                                                    Elections are now scheduled for December. GoS has asked
                                                                                                                    a number of international bodies to monitor the elections.
                                                    Monthly Briefing: October 2000                                  One northern opposition party, the Democratic Forces
                                                                                                                    Front, has stated that it will propose Dr. John Garang as
                                                    31st October 2000                                               a candidate for presidency in the forthcoming elections,
                                                                                                                    whilst at the same time questioning the honesty of the
                                                                                                                    election commission. Another party, the Sudanese Central
                                                    Politics                                                        Movement For Development, Unity and Freedom (popu-
                                                    GoS suffered an embarrassing defeat in its attempt to gain      larly known by its Arabic initials, HASM) has dissolved
                                                    international respectability through a seat on the UN Se-       itself, saying it no longer believes in GoS’ promises for a
                                                    curity Council. Despite its public confidence that it would     return to democratic rule in the country. Events such as
                                                    succeed, it was defeated by Mauritius by 113 votes to 55.       these tarnish GoS’ claims that political life in GoS-control-
                                                    Such a wide margin cannot simply be explained away by           led areas of Sudan is normal and democratic. SPLM/A has
                                                    USA pressure on dissenting states. It is clear that a large     also criticised the forthcoming elections as “a negative sign
                                                    number of African states voted against Sudan, despite ear-      which is likely to widen the gap” between Khartoum and
                                                    lier indications from OAU (which is not a body truly rep-       the opposition. Dr. Hassan al-Turabi’s Popular National
                                                    resenting sub-saharan African interests as it is diluted by     Congress (PNC) announced it will boycott the elections,
                                                    Arab influence from the north African states). The US Am-       although arguably Dr. Turabi’s concerns have little to do
                                                    bassador to the UN, Richard Holbrooke, said that Sudan          with democracy.

                                                    had offered the USA a deal in which it would withdraw its
                                                    candidacy for the Security Council in return for the USA        The president dismissed his second deputy president,
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    lifting UN sanctions against Sudan; the offer was refused.      southerner George Kongor Arop.

                                                    Arab attitudes towards Africans were brought to the fore        Small-scale civil unrest has continued. Four policemen were
                                                    by a wave of attacks on Africans in Libya. Several hundred      reportedly injured in one incident in Khartoum following
                                                    Sudanese returned home, reportedly traumatised by the           a rally by PNC. Students protested in en-Nahud. It is re-
                                                    attacks. Several thousand more Africans from Sudan, Ni-         ported that many dissidents have been arrested. Two hand
                                                    geria, Chad, Ghana and Niger were reported to be trying         grenades exploded in Kassala, killing at least one person
                                                    to return home. Interestingly this received very little press   and injuring several others. However GoS has announced
                                                    coverage.                                                       the lifting of the state of emergency imposed in July.

                                                    Leonardo Franco, the UN Commission on Human Rights’             General Omar el-Bashir inaugurated the US$ 450 million
                                                    special investigator on Sudan, noted in an interim report       GIAD industrial complex. GIAD, in Gezira State, is report-
                                                    that although there had been progress in addressing the         edly owned by Sudan Master Technology Company in a
                                                    root cause of the conflict in Sudan, all sides were guilty of   partnership between the private sector, which owns about
                                                    “massive and systematic violations” of human rights and         75% of the shares, and the public sector. GIAD manufac-
                                                    international humanitarian law, mostly against innocent         tures steel, cars, trucks, electric wires, cables and pipe-
                                                    civilians.                                                      line products. Long-standing suspicions that it is a military
                                                                                                                    industrial complex were fuelled as Gen. Bashir, in a war-
                                                    There was a meeting in Eritrea between General Bashir           like speech, used the occasion to announce an increase in
                                                    and an NDA delegation led by Mohamed Osman el-                  weapons manufacture in addition to those it already pro-
                                                    Mirghani. However there are suggestions by some that            duces: “We will produce mortars and tanks and then we
                                                    this meeting was engineered to bring Mirghani together          will go to warplanes and rockets.” Finance and National
                                                    with the Sudanese and Eritrean presidents and to margin-        Economy Minister, Dr. Mohammed Khair Zubair, called the
                                                    alise the rest of the NDA delegation. Eritrea has moved         opening of GIAD a turning point in the Sudanese economy
                                                    closer to GoS (see report on the eastern front below),          which would lead to investment opportunities in chemicals
                                                    although some suggest that GoS’ immediate exploitation          and light industry as well as spare parts.

It is reported that Elijah Hon, who assumed command of          openness to accommodating all southern stakeholders
the rump UDSF/SSDF when Dr. Riek Machar defected                when the interim arrangements come into force.
from GoS early in 2000, has died of a heart attack in Khar-
toum.                                                           A third track would be to address the misunderstandings
                                                                and genuine fears of both parties within the current IGAD
                                                                process. At the last meeting the IGAD Special Envoy pre-
IGAD                                                            sented position papers for the parties to discuss; this is
The Political Committee met in Kenya as part of the IGAD        certainly a step forward. But both sides have a different
peace process. The mood was reported to be good. The            understanding of key terms in the DoP such as “self-de-
major sticking points are still self-determination and state    termination”. A symposium is planned before the next
and religion. Both sides have committed themselves to           substantive meeting to clarify some of these terms and to
negotiating on these points by their signing of the Declara-    try to reach a common understanding.
tion of Principles (DoP). However over the past months
GoS has made strong public statements insisting on a            A key difficulty concerns the concept of the “secular
united Sudan and on the retention of Islam and sharia at        state”. To many Muslims, not just the NIF, the word “sec-
the national level which would seem to pre-empt any ne-         ular” is anathema. But it is also doubtful whether many
gotiations. SPLM/A is apparently ready to move on to the        Sudanese Christians would really welcome a secular state,
next phase of the process, the Transitional Committee, to       particularly in its extreme form as found in the USA. The
discuss interim arrangements leading to self-determina-         Sudanese are a deeply religious people, whether Muslim,
tion but GoS is reluctant, presumably because they know         Christian or following traditional religions. What they are
it would lead inexorably towards a referendum in which          really demanding is a state where all people and religions
southerners would vote for independence. Ironically GoS         have equal rights and are equal in the face of the law and
is not prepared to concede anything which might just            the constitution and where Islam (or indeed any religion)
begin to make some form of unity acceptable to south-           does not have a pre-dominant position in national life.
erners. Incidentally this would also be the committee to        Could SPLM/A and southerners accept a different formula
discuss the comprehensive cease-fire for which so many          providing it met these criteria? Of course the Khartoum
voices are calling.                                             regime would have to reciprocate and abandon sharia and
                                                                the dominance of Islam at national level.
Whither the IGAD process? Firstly, more pressure could
be put on the two parties by regional governments. For
this reason a further meeting of the Political Committee        Military
is not expected before the IGAD summit in November.             Bombing of civilians by GoS has continued in flagrant vio-
Changing alliances within IGAD may play a positive or           lation of the temporary cease-fire to facilitate UNICEF’s
negative role. It is to be hoped (but not necessarily ex-       polio vaccination programme. The UN’s Leonardo Franco
pected) that Libya and Egypt will add their influence to        accused GoS of systematically bombing civilians, call-
that of the other regional states instead of pursuing a dif-    ing the policy a serious violation of international law. He
ferent initiative. The IPF will no doubt maintain its ongoing   was “profoundly shocked” by the bombings and rejects
pressure.                                                       GoS’ explanation that pilots had a standing order not to
                                                                bomb civilians. The explanation was “inconsistent with
Secondly, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the   the number and frequency of the aerial attacks against
NDA, particularly after the recent unprecedented meet-          civilian and humanitarian targets.” President Clinton has
ing in Eritrea. Can some formula be found to bring NDA          also publicly condemned the current wave of bombing. In
into the IGAD process in recognition that the political and     October 2000 bombing has been concentrated on eastern
military climate has changed dramatically since the bilat-      Equatoria.
eral negotiations began several years ago?
                                                                GoS has recaptured the town of Hameshkoreb on the
Widening the process to include more stakeholders would         eastern front. NDA confirmed that it has made a “tactical
inevitably raise the question of participation by the many      retreat”. This is an indication of Eritrea’s closer ties with
disparate groups of southerners, in north and south, in the     GoS (see above).
diaspora, armed and non-armed. SPDF, SPLM (United),
SSLM, USAP, diaspora figures and groupings, the various         There has been continued skirmishing and insecurity in
pro-GoS militia… the list seems endless. It would prob-         northern Bahr el-Ghazal. GoS may have succeeded in re-
ably not be helpful to pull the IGAD process in so many di-     pairing bridges on the railway line, reinforcing Aweil and
rections. The onus is on southerners in general to present      extricating one or more of its military trains (GoS’ descrip-
a more united front and on SPLM/A in particular to be           tion of them as “peace trains” is a fiction of Orwellian pro-
open to other voices. A conference or some other mech-          portions). Another train has probably reached Wau. PDF
anism to encourage this might be valuable, preferably           have raided cattle.
via a neutral body such as NSCC. SPLM/A has stated its

                                                    Both sides continue large-scale recruitment, leading to             There are some reports that a new spiritual leader has
                                                    fears that there might be an escalation of conflict in the          emerged amongst the Lou Nuer, possessed by the spirit
                                                    coming dry season. In the north there are reports of GoS            of Ngundeng. He has reportedly called the different com-
                                                    stopping buses and forcing the young men to join the army.          manders in the area for a meeting and looting and banditry
                                                    In Yambio, Yei and KajoKeji SPLM/A has set up screening             have decreased. The spirit of Ngundeng is of great signifi-
                                                    committees to prevent children, teachers, NGO work-                 cance to the Nuer and also to some of the neighbouring
                                                    ers and men aged over 45 from being inadvertently con-              peoples.
                                                    scripted and to try to balance conscription fairly between
                                                    families. SPLM/A has committed itself to a child-free army          Politically-related tensions within the Presbyterian church
                                                    and has demobilised over 400 child soldiers in Rumbek. It           have not yet been resolved.
                                                    is estimated that there are about 9,000 under-age soldiers
                                                    in southern Sudan, divided between the various move-
                                                    ments.                                                              Eastern Equatoria
                                                                                                                        As part of its programme to reduce ethnic tension in the
                                                    Fighting and insecurity continue in the Nuba Mountains.             area, SPLM/A has integrated different communities into its
                                                                                                                        forces around Chukudum and New Cush. Rather ironical-
                                                    Fighting continues in Western Upper Nile where SPLM/A’s             ly, a recent attack by Peter Lorot on SPLM/A thus resulted
                                                    Peter Gadet has occupied territory previously held by both          in Lorot’s Didinga attacking SPLM/A’s Didinga and Toposa
                                                    SPDF and GoS-supported Paulino Matip. Most of Central               with barely a Dinka in sight. There are strong indications
                                                    Upper Nile is reportedly held by Nuer forces which have             that Lorot is supported by GoS.
                                                    now aligned themselves with SPLM/A. These are probably
                                                    the “SPLM/A forces” that GoS-supported Gabriel Tanginia
                                                    claims to have overrun near Fanjak. There are also some             Humanitarian
                                                    SPDF units present. The Lou area is currently very quiet            GoS has continued to deny OLS flight access to many loca-
                                                    (see below), although Simon Gatwec has reportedly re-               tions.
                                                    ceived fresh supplies from GoS. In the far east there has
                                                    again been fighting between SPDF and Gordon Kong’s                  NSCC met with donors and NGOs to discuss the follow-
                                                    Thaura Jikany at Longochok, which could escalate. Some              up to the People to People Peace and Reconciliation Proc-
                                                    would link this to an abortive Jikany Nuer peace meeting            ess, particularly humanitarian intervention in the areas
                                                    organised by an international NGO and a diaspora figure             which are benefiting from the process so far. This presents

                                                    from the area. If this is true, it highlights the dangers of ill-   a real challenge to the donors and NGOs.
                                                    prepared and uncoordinated “peace initiatives”.
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                                                                                        Plans by OLS/UNICEF to operate in the Nuba Mountains
                                                    LRA has been active in Uganda near Gulu and Kitgum and              are progressing. There are concerns about conditions set
                                                    on the road to Nimule. A priest was killed.                         by GoS. Many also fear that the people of the Nuba Moun-
                                                                                                                        tains, long admired for their self-sufficiency, may now suc-
                                                                                                                        cumb to the international aid industry.
                                                    Upper Nile
                                                    Following the Liliir peace and reconciliation conference            OLS continues its recent attempts to emphasise the dif-
                                                    in May 2000, there has been an increase in peaceful in-             ference between those NGOs which have chosen to fulfil
                                                    teraction between Nuer and Dinka in north Bor county.               their impartial humanitarian mandate independently and
                                                    There is now a thriving cattle trade as Nuer bring their            those which chose to sacrifice some of their independ-
                                                    herds southwards. The increased availability of cattle has          ence in exchange for security guarantees by joining OLS
                                                    apparently also led to more inter-marriage between the              after its inception in 1989. This divisive trend should be
                                                    two communities. In a new development the Pibor Murle,              resisted. Increased usage by OLS of the term “legitimate”
                                                    who did not attend the conference and who are widely                for NGOs operating under the OLS agreement, implying
                                                    perceived as being one of the major sources of insecurity           that other humanitarian NGOs are somehow “illegiti-
                                                    on the east bank, have expressed an interest in becoming            mate”, should be noted and deplored. OLS political direc-
                                                    part of the Liliir covenant. Pastors from south Bor have            tion is now in the hands of OCHA, with UNICEF retaining
                                                    been following this up with them.                                   programme coordination. OCHA is arguably giving prior-
                                                                                                                        ity to the concerns of only one party to the tripartite OLS
                                                    Displaced people from the fighting in Western Upper Nile            agreement, namely GoS.
                                                    have gone in three directions; to GoS-controlled Bentiu,
                                                    to SPDF-controlled Nyal and Ganyial, and to Dinka terri-            Both GoS and SPLM/A declared cease-fires from 16th to
                                                    tory. There has been a great deal of looting by all sides and       27th October 2000 to allow UNICEF to carry out a po-
                                                    the humanitarian situation is grim.                                 lio vaccination campaign in Sudan; GoS has breached its

ceasefire by aerial bombing (see above). This campaign is        actors, and in many international fora, that it is changing its
one clear example of the need for OLS to cooperate with          behaviour, that it’s reforming its policies, that it is improv-
agencies working under different humanitarian access ar-         ing its human rights record. But I am afraid to say that I
rangements in order to achieve complete coverage.                saw precious little evidence of that over the last two days.
                                                                 On the contrary, I saw stories and people and evidence of
                                                                 abuse after abuse.” Many who are closely involved with Su-
Monthly Briefing: November 2000                                  dan would agree with this observation. Surprisingly, most
                                                                 European governments are apparently able to find ample
25th November 2000                                               evidence of improvements in GoS’ human rights record.

                                                                 Former prime minister Sadiq el-Mahdi has returned to
Politics                                                         Sudan after four years of self-imposed exile. He was wel-
General Omar al-Bashir has declared jihad and vowed that         comed by large crowds of his Ansar supporters but con-
GoS would conquer the armed opposition before under-             firmed that he will not take part in the forthcoming elec-
taking any negotiations. “There will be no negotiation with      tions in GoS-controlled parts of Sudan. However many in
the rebels before defeating them on the battlefield, only        the Sudanese opposition believe his return is premature
then will they be resigned to reconciliation…. The rebels        and is motivated largely by personal interests; some accuse
recognise nothing other than force and we will therefore         him of having a secret deal with GoS, which he denies.
speak to them through the muzzle of the gun,” he told            The elections have now been boycotted by all significant
a rally for 12,000 PDF militia men who had just finished         opposition parties, including Umma, DUP, USAP and PNC.
their combat training in South Darfur. GoS “will go on           “USAP does not recognise the present constitution and
with the jihad and with the militarisation of the people.”       the related political parties act and other laws because,
While one must recognise an element of rhetoric aimed            like other political forces, it has not participated in their
at a particular audience, it is nevertheless a worrying de-      promulgation and enactment”. It accused GoS of using the
velopment when the head of a government that claims              elections to create a situation which “will give the NIF an
to be committed to a negotiated peace process through            extended hegemony over power in the country.” USAP
IGAD then publicly declares that it is in fact first seeking a   said that ending the civil war “is a priority that should pre-
military victory.                                                cede elections.” The Umma Party said that the elections
                                                                 will fail to give “legitimacy” to institutions set up by the
US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Susan       current regime, which seized power from Umma’s Sadiq
Rice, visited a number of locations in southern Sudan.           el-Mahdi in a military coup d’état in June 1989. It called for
The USA claims it informed GoS in advance of her pro-            the postponement of the elections until a political solu-
gramme, but GoS has condemned her visit and, in retalia-         tion is reached for achieving security and stability. It added
tion, has cancelled the visas of US diplomats in Khartoum.       that it is opposed to partial elections for southern Sudan
In a statement in Nairobi after her visit, Rice said that GoS    due to the ongoing war there, saying vacant seats would
must immediately halt the “horrible, heinous, senseless          be filled by “handpicked southern members of the ruling
bombings of civilian targets” inside its borders. “There is      party”. Former dictator General Jaafar Nimeiri, who was
no excuse ... no reason” for such actions “except to hurt        deposed by intifada in 1985, and three other relatively
honest everyday people going about their business, and to        unknown candidates (Malik Hussein, Mahmoud Juha and
scare away those from outside who are brave enough to            Al-Samoual Hussein Monsour) will challenge General el-
come in and try to help those people.” She called on GoS         Bashir for the presidency. The UN is planning to send an
to “stop the heinous practice of slavery,” and she con-          assessment mission to Sudan in advance of the elections
demned the PDF, which has beaten, tortured and raped             on 11th December.
civilians and children and which operates “at the behest
and with the support of GoS.” Those responsible for such         Opposition forces in Khartoum are taking advantage
criminal actions, she stressed, must be prosecuted.              of some apparent political liberalisation, particularly in-
                                                                 creased freedom of the press. However freedom of as-
The USA maintains unilateral economic sanctions against          sociation is still limited. Civil unrest continues, with five
Sudan, and President Clinton formally renewed the US             policemen killed in Darfur. Police reportedly used teargas
national emergency declared in November 1997 “to deal            and shot and wounded 17 people demonstrating against
with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national        road accidents on a new Khartoum bridge.
security and foreign policy of the United States constituted
by the actions and policies of the Government of Sudan”.         There are reports that GoS has agreed to postpone discus-
Rice observed that GoS “has said on many occasions to            sions on the lifting of UN sanctions until April 2001.
the United States bilaterally, to many other international

                                                    Peace                                                           A number of foreign political foundations and agencies are
                                                    The IGAD summit took place in Khartoum at the end of            entering the field of peace initiatives in Sudan. Interest in
                                                    November. This would appear to contravene UN Secu-              Sudan’s “forgotten war” is to be welcomed, and there is
                                                    rity Council Resolution 1054 of 26th April 1996, which          the possibility that some of these new initiatives will bear
                                                    called on all international and regional organisations not      fruit by opening up unexplored channels. However there
                                                    to convene any conferences in Sudan. The IGAD ministe-          are dangers in the multiplication of initiatives and the in-
                                                    rial council urged all parties to show more seriousness in      experience of some players. Coordination is essential and,
                                                    efforts to bring peace and the summit itself urged them         at least in southern Sudan, NSCC is best placed in this
                                                    to “transcend their ethnic and cultural differences and re-     regard. Given the general shortage of funds for Sudan,
                                                    store peace to the country”. General el-Bashir affirmed         donors might wish to question the wisdom of spreading
                                                    GoS’ commitment to the IGAD process but also its ac-            resources so thinly across so many initiatives.
                                                    ceptance of the Libyan-Egyptian initiative, which he said
                                                    does not abolish the IGAD initiative. He did not explain
                                                    how this commitment to peace fitted his earlier commit-         Oil
                                                    ment to jihad and “defeating the rebels”. He accused the        Sudan’s oil production reached 210,000 barrels per day
                                                    USA of intervening in Sudan’s domestic affairs, providing       (compared with 138,000 barrels per day last year), of
                                                    “material, moral, logistical and political support” for rebel   which about 180,000 were being exported while 30,000
                                                    groups, and prolonging the war. OAU has restated its sup-       were used in local consumption, according to a US Energy
                                                    port for the IGAD peace process but also “welcomes” the         Department report. The raised production followed a
                                                    Libyan-Egyptian initiative.                                     new estimate of oil reserves of 3 billion barrels compared
                                                                                                                    with an estimated 1.2 billion barrels last January. GoS ex-
                                                    A Khartoum newspaper reported an Eritrean mediation             ports its oil through a 1,600-km-long pipeline linking the
                                                    plan calling for the establishment of a transitional govern-    oil fields to an export terminal on the Red Sea near Port
                                                    ment in order to restore confidence between the warring         Sudan. This terminal currently has a capacity of 250,000
                                                    sides; incumbent President Omar el-Bashir to be appoint-        barrels per day, but could be nearly doubled to 450,000
                                                    ed head of state and Dr. John Garang to serve as prime          barrels. GoS also plans to export oil to Ethiopia and Eri-
                                                    minister during the transitional period; the commitment         trea.
                                                    of the transitional government to observe the country’s
                                                    ethnic and religious diversity, democracy, political and        GoS and the Chinese government signed an agreement on
                                                    trade unionist freedoms, human rights and equal citizen-        the establishment of a 212 MW power station at el-Jaili to

                                                    ship; the cancellation of the constitution, which would be      produce electricity from natural gas and increase Sudan’s
                                                    replaced with a democratic transitional one drawn up by         generating capacity by 50%. Meanwhile an agreement has
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    all parties; the holding of a referendum on self-determi-       also been signed with the Chinese National Petroleum
                                                    nation in southern Sudan and a nationwide free and fair         Corporation and companies from the Gulf and Sudan cov-
                                                    election by the end of the transitional period; and the         ering prospecting, development and transportation of oil
                                                    two sides, upon agreement of the previous proposals, to         in a 75-square-km area on the western bank of the White
                                                    declare an end to fighting and conclude a comprehensive         Nile, south of Rabak (presumably connected with the Khor
                                                    peace accord. However there have been no official state-        Adar oil field, west of Melut). Talisman has announced that
                                                    ments from Khartoum or Eritrea and it is not clear how          it will drill three new wells in blocks 2a and 4 in the He-
                                                    this would impact the IGAD process. The newspaper re-           glig/Unity area, and will build new roads to service them;
                                                    ported that NDA had consented in principle to this plan.        this will raise red flags amongst those who are concerned
                                                    SPLM/A says it needs “something in writing” from GoS            about GoS military use of oil-related infrastructure.
                                                    “on a new constitution, democracy, human rights and a
                                                    transitional government”.                                       The US House of Representatives has passed legislation
                                                                                                                    that aims for the first time to restrict corporate access
                                                    A People to People Peace and Reconciliation Confer-             to US capital markets in order to influence the behaviour
                                                    ence with the theme “Strategic Linkages” is taking place        of a foreign government. The Sudan Peace Act contains
                                                    in southern Sudan at the end of November, facilitated by        measures that, if enacted, would effectively de-list from
                                                    NSCC.                                                           the New York Stock Exchange companies doing business
                                                                                                                    with the Khartoum regime. The House measure will not
                                                    GoS has accused Uganda of procrastination in implement-         become law this year but the next US administration is
                                                    ing a recent agreement to normalise relations. GoS has          expected to face growing congressional pressure to re-
                                                    also rejected a Canadian offer to mediate. “The Sudan           strict access to US capital markets in pursuit of US foreign
                                                    rejects dealing with more than one agency and prefers           policy goals. Some analysts believe that Talisman will be
                                                    the mechanism headed by the Carter Centre,” accord-             adversely affected by this, but Talisman itself claims to be
                                                    ing to Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail. This is in     in compliance with both the new law and the Sudanese
                                                    marked contrast to GoS’ attitude to multiple peace initia-      Sanctions Regulations.
                                                    tives in the internal civil war.

Talisman has hired PriceWaterhouseCoopers to under-             There are concerns that increased GoS air assets may be
take an ethical audit. However the terms of reference are       upsetting the balance of military power. SPLM/A and NDA
limited (to audit Talisman’s compliance with the Canadian       seem to be able to deal with GoS troops on the ground
Code of Business Ethics) and would not meet the require-        even when they are outnumbered by better-equipped
ments of human rights advocates to measure the true             GoS forces. However GoS air power was reportedly a
consequences of Talisman’s actions.                             significant factor in the capture in recent months of both
                                                                Buony in northern Upper Nile and Hameshkoreb on the
                                                                eastern front.
NDA forces overran the town of Kassala in eastern Sudan.
They occupied it for 24 hours, long enough to capture           Humanitarian
a great deal of equipment, destroy military infrastructure      GoS continues to deny humanitarian flight access to many
and obtain valuable intelligence, before withdrawing in         locations.
classic guerrilla style. After GoS reoccupied Kassala UN
agencies and NGOs apparently withdrew from the area;            The process has begun of resettling almost 4,000 young
UNHCR staff had been detained by GoS forces who also            Sudanese in the USA. These are the unaccompanied mi-
confiscated UNHCR radio equipment. There are reports            nors (or “lost boys”, although there are also a few girls)
of retaliatory human rights abuses by GoS against south-        who have spent 10 years or so in Kakuma refugee camp
erners and suspected opposition sympathisers.                   after walking to Kenya via Ethiopia.

This operation is significant in a number of ways. Firstly,     Despite the bombing, civil infrastructure in southern Su-
NDA has demonstrated that it can cut the key highway            dan continues to develop, albeit slowly. SPLM/A is gradu-
from Port Sudan to Khartoum. Secondly, soon after NDA’s         ally moving more institutions from Nairobi to locations in
withdrawal from Hameshkoreb, it has shown that it is still      Sudan, including the headquarters of its humanitarian re-
a viable fighting force, almost certainly without Eritrean      lief and rehabilitation wing, SRRA. It is hoped that an agri-
support. Thirdly, it is unlikely that GoS will believe that     cultural institute may eventually develop into a university.
NDA did this without some support from Eritrea; hence           An institute for the promotion of civil society is about to
the seeds of doubt have been planted in the new relation-       open. Susan Rice announced “new support for education,
ship between Khartoum and Eritrea.                              for the rule of law… and new resources for reconstruc-
                                                                tion and rehabilitation of roads…. We will continue our
Fighting has continued on the southern Blue Nile front and      efforts to rehabilitate schools, help infrastructure, and to
in Upper Nile in connection with the Khor Adar oil field.       build civil society.”
Local church leaders report that GoS aircraft pursued flee-
ing civilians and bombed them. PDF forces have continued        The Technical Committee on Humanitarian Assistance
to raid in northern Bahr el-Ghazal, where military trains       (TCHA) met in Geneva, chaired by Ambassador Tom Eric
were still moving. Fighting has continued in various parts      Vraalsen, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for
of Upper Nile. SPDF reportedly recaptured Maiwut from           Humanitarian Affairs for Sudan. This committee, which
GoS militia which had briefly occupied it, although at one      brings together GoS and SPLM/A, addressed issues re-
point SSLM also claimed to be in control. A GoS military        lating to humanitarian access and the implementation of
barge convoy was reportedly heading for Juba.                   TCHA protocols relating to security and beneficiaries of
                                                                humanitarian assistance. Despite re-affirmations of their
Bombing of civilians by GoS has continued. In the worst         commitment to humanitarian access corridors and an
case for some time 14 bombs were dropped on Yei on              agreement to “renew their combined efforts towards the
20th November. They landed in the market place at the           establishment of a cross-line road corridor from Lokichog-
busiest time of day, killing around 19 civilians and injuring   gio… to Kapoeta”, few expect any major changes.
more than 50. General el-Bashir has once again denied
that civilians are bombed; the market in Yei is apparently      SRRA and NGOs have been negotiating to amend some
“a rebel military position”. Recent bombing has concen-         aspects of the text of the Memorandum of Understanding
trated on Equatoria. However reports from church lead-          signed by virtually all of the 60 or so agencies operating
ers in Upper Nile remind us that bombing also continues         in SPLM/A-controlled areas of Sudan. SRRA would ap-
unreported in areas which lack radio communication.             parently prefer an addendum to the existing MoU while
We are often unaware of these incidents until long after-       NGOs want the changes to be incorporated into the text.
wards.                                                          There is no final agreement yet but the process is ongoing.

                                                    More interest is being generated by the schedule of taxes       Taban Deng, a signatory of the 1997 internal Peace Agree-
                                                    issued by SPLM/A. Implementation of most taxes has ap-          ment and GoS State Minister of Roads and Communica-
                                                    parently been delayed pending clarification. Many (includ-      tions, has resigned, citing GoS’ failure to implement the
                                                    ing Sudanese) would wish for more accountability from           peace agreement, its support for factional groups and its
                                                    SPLM/A as to how taxes are used to finance the emerging         diversion of oil revenue towards the army instead of re-
                                                    civilian infrastructure.                                        construction in the south. He has joined Dr. Riek Machar
                                                                                                                    in Nairobi where he has been appointed Secretary for
                                                    Efforts have been made to deal with the gap that was ap-        Governance in SPDF.
                                                    pearing between NGOs working under different humani-
                                                    tarian access arrangements in southern Sudan. OCHA,             GoS has arrested around 65 members of the Takfir wal-
                                                    OLS and NGOs, both those working independently and              Hijra group after at least 23 people were killed and 40
                                                    those working under the OLS negotiated access agree-            wounded in a gun attack on an Ansar al-Sunna sect
                                                    ment, are involved in this crucial process.                     mosque on the outskirts of Omdurman. One gunman was
                                                                                                                    killed by police.
                                                    Many are predicting a serious food shortfall in southern
                                                    Sudan in 2001 as a result of this year’s conflict and patchy    The Ugandan Parliament adopted a report in which the
                                                    rainfall.                                                       government has been asked to withdraw all support to
                                                                                                                    the SPLM/A. Members of the committee on Legal and
                                                                                                                    Parliamentary Affairs observed that Uganda’s assistance
                                                    Monthly Briefing: December 2000                                 to the SPLM/A encourages GoS to support rebellion in
                                                                                                                    Uganda and that the human rights of Ugandans living along
                                                    21st December 2000                                              the common border are violated. “Uganda must choose:
                                                                                                                    protection of the fundamental rights of Ugandans or sup-
                                                                                                                    port for the oppressed people of Southern Sudan. The
                                                    Politics                                                        committee is of the view that painful as it may be, time
                                                    Elections have begun in GoS-controlled areas of north           has come to cease support for SPLA.” However Ugandan
                                                    and south Sudan; at least 20 seats in southern Sudan will       State Minister for Regional Cooperation, Amama Mbaba-
                                                    be filled by appointment as elections cannot take place         zi, explained that the SPLM/A already holds territory more
                                                    there. Voter turn-out is generally low. All major opposi-       than three times the size of Uganda and would therefore
                                                    tion parties have boycotted the election. OAU and the           not need territorial support from Uganda. Mbabazi also

                                                    Arab League are monitoring the elections; the EU de-            submitted that “the Uganda government has done eve-
                                                    clined. Obviously General Omar el-Bashir will win by a          rything it can to try to normalise relations with the Sudan
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    large majority.                                                 but unfortunately the Sudan government is doing every-
                                                                                                                    thing not to normalise relations”. GoS has again accused
                                                    A number of opposition and human rights activists, in-          Uganda and NGOs of supplying arms to SPLM/A.
                                                    cluding the lawyer Ghazi Suleiman, have been arrested by
                                                    GoS, which claims they were plotting an armed uprising
                                                    with a US diplomat.                                             Peace
                                                                                                                    At the end of November 2000 NSCC facilitated a con-
                                                    The UN General Assembly told GoS it should stop the             ference in Wulu, Bahr el-Ghazal, to evaluate the people
                                                    indiscriminate bombing of civilians, torture of prisoners       to people peace and reconciliation process and to seek
                                                    and the abduction of women and children. The Khartoum           advice from the chiefs and elders on how to proceed.
                                                    regime was accused of the frequent use of torture, arbi-        Around 25 traditional and community leaders partici-
                                                    trary detentions, intimidation of the civilian population and   pated, from Upper Nile, Bahr el-Ghazal and the Nuba
                                                    an abusive military. “The security forces deem themselves       Mountains. Representatives from Equatoria and southern
                                                    to be above the law and act with virtual impunity,” re-         Blue Nile were invited but were unable to attend due to
                                                    ported Leonardo Franco, the UN Commission on Human              logistical difficulties; those present insisted that the proc-
                                                    Rights’ special investigator, who said he was “profoundly       ess should never be mistaken as “chiefly Dinka-Nuer” but
                                                    shocked” at the systematic bombing of civilians by GoS’         was “intended for and made available to all the peoples
                                                    military, a serious violation of international law. SPLM/A      of southern Sudan” including the Nuba Mountains and
                                                    did not escape criticism and was told to stop indiscrimi-       southern Blue Nile. It affirmed the process so far, but was
                                                    nate artillery shelling, the planting of landmines, arbitrary   concerned at the lack of follow-up in some areas; this re-
                                                    executions, the forced recruitment of children as soldiers,     inforces efforts made by NSCC to encourage NGOs to
                                                    the rape of women and to stop imposing conditions on aid        adjust their programmes to support the peace process. It
                                                    workers that “have seriously affected their safety and led      called on all southern leaders (traditional, religious, politi-
                                                    to the withdrawal of many of them.”                             cal, civil society) to promote unity, the spirit of reconcili-
                                                                                                                    ation, good governance and the rule of law. Finally, in an

exciting new development, it called on NSCC to urgently         Military
convene a meeting to bring together the community and           Bombing by GoS of its own civilians continues. There are
traditional leaders from all five regions, religious institu-   indications that incendiary bombs were used in Tali. In
tions, civil society organisations and groups, the military,    Equatoria and southern Blue Nile there are reports of a
the diaspora and former political leaders, “to create a         new type of “nail bomb”; doctors report that it is very dif-
platform for the people to express their desire for unity,      ficult to extract the barbed nails from victims.
justice and peace… and seek a consensus around how this
aspiration will be practically achieved.”                       PDF activity in northern Bahr el-Ghazal has continued.
                                                                There is apparently a build-up of GoS forces in Wau and
The Sudan Ecumenical Forum, bringing together the               PDF are also gathering in Abyei. This leads to fears that
Sudanese church with its international partners, met in         there will be a major offensive in northern Bahr el-Ghaz-
Geneva and identified three priority areas for advocacy         al.
in 2001: oil, bombing of civilians and self-determination.
Churches will continue to call for a halt to oil explora-       In the eastern Nuba Mountains PDF have shelled and ab-
tion and exploitation until there is a comprehensive peace      ducted civilians. Meanwhile there is a build-up of troops
agreement. Churches will name the bombing of civilians as       in the western part of the mountains. A GoS offensive has
a war crime and a crime against humanity, and will call for     begun amid conflicting claims of success by both sides.
a military no-fly zone in southern Sudan, the Nuba Moun-        There are reports that foreign military personnel have
tains and southern Blue Nile. Churches will continue to         been seen with GoS in the area.
affirm self-determination as an essential part of any peace
process and will insist that all options must be available,     Fighting between various factions has continued in eastern
without pre-conditions. A programme of civic education          and central Upper Nile. SPLM/A is apparently no longer in
will ensure that the population knows the options and can       control of Jiech and Ayod. There have also been raids by
choose freely.                                                  Murle and murahileen.

                                                                Fighting continues on the eastern front. General el-Ba-
Oil                                                             shir has accused Eritrea of supporting armed opposition
The Wulu conference (see above) specifically condemned          groups; Eritrea has denied this.
oil exploration, which it described as an “immense threat”,
and called for “an immediate halt to the extraction of this
natural resource which is prolonging the war, and bringing      Humanitarian
increased divisions, suffering and death.”                      GoS continues to deny humanitarian flight access to vari-
                                                                ous locations; in mid-December 2000 these included 8 in
There are reports of attacks by GoS against civilians in the    western Upper Nile, one in Bahr el-Ghazal and all loca-
Khor Adar oil field, northern Upper Nile, where a new           tions south of a line Kapoeta-Torit-Juba-Yei. In addition
agreement was recently signed with the Chinese National         OLS has declared around 10 locations “red no go” for
Petroleum Corporation. There are allegations of helicop-        security reasons.
ter gunships machine-gunning villagers in what appears
to be an attempt to remove the local population to leave        SRRA, OLS and NGOs have been negotiating for several
a clear field of operations for the oil companies, as hap-      months over the registration of communications equip-
pened in western Upper Nile. GoS is building up its forc-       ment and the payment of a fee. It has been agreed that
es, including helicopter gunships, in Renk and Melut. GoS       registration should be completed by the end of December
forces, including mujahideen, are believed to be massing        2000. The MoU allows “a reasonable fee for a service”
for a major offensive in southern Blue Nile in connection       (6.9) but the amount is yet to be agreed and SRRA has set
with this oil field.                                            no deadline, although it hopes to resolve this issue early in
                                                                2001. It is expected that OCHA will shortly present the
Meanwhile in western Upper Nile a new road is being             proposed revisions to the text of the MoU to SRRA.
built southwards from Bentiu towards Leer. Purportedly
for oil exploration, it will of course benefit the military.    EU has agreed in principle to provide 15 million Euros to
GoS troops have been seen on the road near Kuach air-           Sudan under its “Humanitarian Plus” programme. This
strip.                                                          was linked to progress by GoS in five areas: relations with
                                                                neighbouring countries, terrorism, peace, democratisa-
Malaysia’s participation in GoS’ economy is expected to         tion, and human rights. Unlike many other observers, the
widen beyond oil with plans to build a major hydro-elec-        EU has found that “there has been progress on some of
tric project on the Nile north of Khartoum, to invest in the    those areas, like freedom of speech and meeting.” Sourc-
mining sector which is rich with gold, diamond and cop-         es within EU suggest that, due to EU bureaucracy which
per, and to assist GoS in formulating its Industrial Master     has been heavily criticised for delays in releasing funds for
Plan for the next 20 years.                                     disasters in Latin America, this money might not actually

                                                    be available until 2002. It should be noted that this funding
                                                    is for all of Sudan, not only GoS areas, and it is to be hoped
                                                    that EU will not continue to withhold it from the civilian
                                                    population in SPLM/A-controlled areas as a result of its
                                                    disagreements with SRRA.

                                                    The UN intervention in the Nuba Mountains seems to be
                                                    on hold at the moment due to GoS insistence that it must
                                                    originate from El Obeid.

                                                    UNICEF said the campaign to eradicate polio in Sudan has
                                                    consistently been thwarted by the war.

                                                    WFP has signed an agreement to provide US$ 20 million of
                                                    food to schools in Kordofan, Darfur, Kassala and Red Sea
                                                    states. There are continuing allegations by church leaders
                                                    in northern Sudan that UN agencies working through GoS
                                                    and Islamic agencies fail to help church schools and other
                                                    projects. Meanwhile, GoS reports that 3,000 MT of food
                                                    has been distributed in the south in its garrison towns of
                                                    Mayom, Kapoeta, Malakal, Tonga, Pibor and Bor. In the
                                                    light of allegations of diversion of food aid by SPLM/A in
                                                    1998, serious questions should be raised about the moni-
                                                    toring of humanitarian aid in GoS-controlled areas.

                                                    Rains have been patchy throughout southern Sudan, food
                                                    prices are already increasing in northern Bahr el-Ghazal
                                                    and seasonal water sources are drying up. Serious food
                                                    shortages are widely predicted for 2001, particularly if
                                                    fighting causes further displacement and disruption. As

                                                    usual there is a large food surplus in Western Equatoria,
                                                    but so far only one international NGO has shown interest
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    in buying any of it. WFP hopes to deliver around US$ 100
                                                    million of food, saying, “This is due to a variety of fac-
                                                    tors occurring in 2000, ranging from insecurity resulting
                                                    in population displacement during the agricultural season,
                                                    the destruction of assets and looting of livestock, errat-
                                                    ic and late rains, drought and floods as well as the high
                                                    prevalence of disease.” The total UN Consolidated Inter-
                                                    Agency Appeal for Sudan in 2001 is US$ 194 million.

Monthly Briefing
                                                                                                     25th January 2001

                                General Omar Hassan el-Bashir was declared the winner
                                of the presidential election with 86.5% of the vote. In an
                                   election boycotted by all major opposition parties and
                                 confined only to GoS-controlled parts of Sudan, former
                                          dictator Jaafir Nimeiri came second with 9.6%.

Estimates                        of voter turn-out range
                                 from the official figure of
66% to opposition parties’ claims that it was as low as
                                                                 The state of emergency which has been in force since
                                                                 Gen. Bashir’s split with Dr. Hassan el-Turabi a year ago has
                                                                 been extended. There are rumours that former personnel
6%. OAU election monitors “commended” the election               from ex-president Nimeiri’s old state security service are
process. However they noted concerns including the han-          being drafted in to the current security organs, perhaps
dling of the voters’ rolls, the air-time accorded by GoS         to counterbalance any influence that Dr. Turabi might still
television and radio stations, the high proposing and insur-     have.
ance fees charged to the sponsors and their candidates,
inadequate time to prepare for the elections, and lack of        Another election which affects Sudan was that of the USA.
sufficient resources for the parties to participate effective-   It caused both amusement and amazement amongst Afri-
ly, as well as the boycott by opposition parties.                cans who are more used to their own electoral processes
                                                                 being held up to international criticism and ridicule. At-
Since the election General Bashir has made uncompro-             tempts to analyse the future Sudan policy of a new US
mising speeches and has, seemingly after a lull of several       administration using terms like “pro-oil”, “religious right”
years, brought to the fore the name of the National Salva-       and “never heard of Africa” may be over-simplistic given
tion Revolution. He vowed to press on with “liberating”          the complexity of political life in Washington and the bi-
rebel-held areas of the south and with imposing Islamic          partisan approach to Sudan which has developed over the
law nationwide, pledging national reconciliation but only        last few years. Gen. Bashir appealed to George W. Bush
on his terms. First Vice-President Ali Osman Mohammed            “to take a neutral and positive position toward the reali-
Taha stressed that realisation of national accord does not       sation of peace in Sudan…. We are unwilling to charge
mean suicide or issuing a death certificate for the National     the new American administration with the mistakes of the
Salvation Revolution. Taha said that the national accord         previous one…. Let us wait and see what the new one
means a genuine balance between the NSR, which he                would do...” GoS is looking for “objective and balanced
claimed received political support in the elections, and         relations of cooperation and respect.” Gen. Bashir also
recognition of others and dialogue with them. Thus GoS’          invited US companies “to participate in oil prospecting in
commitment to peace is once again called into question,          Sudan”.
despite other post-election speeches in which Gen. Ba-
shir said, “I will be a president for all the people of Sudan
and not for those who voted for me…. We will continue
the search for national reconciliation through peaceful dia-
logue with all the opposition forces.”

                                                    The death of President Kabila again draws attention to            Peace
                                                    neighbouring countries which have an effect on the situa-         At the IGAD summit meeting held in Khartoum in No-
                                                    tion in Sudan; the GoS Antonov was no stranger to Con-            vember 2000, Sudan took the chair of IGAD for a year.
                                                    golese air-space and Gen. Bashir, who attended the funer-         While this undoubtedly gives the Khartoum regime some
                                                    al, said, “Kabila was a faithful friend of mine and of Sudan”.    added leverage over the peace process, Kenya retains the
                                                    The importance of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda is well            chair of the Sudan sub-committee and will likely resist any
                                                    documented; Kenya is known as chair of the IGAD peace             overt attempts by GoS to interfere
                                                    process; Libya and Egypt have their own perspectives on
                                                    peace and Egypt is particularly concerned about the water         Everybody except GoS believes that the IGAD Political
                                                    of the Nile. Less often noted is the influence of Libya and       Committee is exhausted, deadlocked on the issues of
                                                    Chad in destabilising the Darfur region of western Sudan.         state and religion and self-determination, and would like
                                                                                                                      to move on to the Interim Arrangements Committee
                                                    Sudan has refused to sign the Convention of Eradication           to discuss the transition to self-determination; GoS ap-
                                                    of all forms of Discrimination against Women. UNICEF              parently opposes this move. It should be noted that this
                                                    reported that about 60 children who had been freed from           committee could discuss a comprehensive cease-fire; this
                                                    their abductors in northern Sudan under the auspices of           alone is a good reason to advocate for it. The IGAD and
                                                    the Committee for the Eradication of Abduction of Wom-            IPF meeting in Rome in February to discuss the way for-
                                                    en and Children were refused permission to return to the          ward may be postponed, and there may be a meeting of
                                                    south by GoS. Kenyan police have arrested a number of             the IGAD states before then. The parties themselves are
                                                    Sudanese for allegedly trafficking in slaves and narcotics        unlikely to meet in either committee until after the Rome
                                                    amidst newspaper reports of links to Osama bin Laden.             meeting. The working group on wealth-sharing was due
                                                                                                                      to meet in late January.
                                                    It has been announced that the seven opposition activists
                                                    arrested for meeting a US diplomat will be charged and            Egypt has again stated that it must be part of the peace
                                                    may face the death penalty. No charges have yet been              process. “Everyone should know that the Sudanese prob-
                                                    proposed against lawyer Ghazi Suleiman and the DUP’s              lem will not be solved via the IGAD initiative alone, or
                                                    Ali Mahmud Hassanain, who were also arrested. GoS has             IGAD’s partners in European and world capitals,” said
                                                    clarified its instructions to foreign diplomats about mak-        Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa. “The joint Egyp-
                                                    ing contact with opposition politicians and organisations.        tian-Libyan initiative for a comprehensive resolution in
                                                    A media report said that they had been told they should           Sudan is still correct… and there can be no solution…

                                                    not meet opposition representatives without prior per-            without the Egyptian role.” Egypt has often said it con-
                                                    mission from GoS. The Foreign Minister, Mustafa Osman             siders Sudan’s unity as vital to its own national security.
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    Ismail, confirmed that the instruction was sent out but said      Most observers believe that this initiative, which appears
                                                    it applied only to contacts with organisations engaged in         to focus mainly on the reconciliation of northern factions,
                                                    violence or terrorism.                                            is potentially detrimental to national peace. It had seemed
                                                                                                                      dead but Egypt is trying to revive it, with a meeting of
                                                    The much-vaunted freedom of the press in Khartoum                 the foreign ministers of the three countries in Tripoli. On
                                                    took a battering in December when the English-language            the other hand, many would agree that Egypt does have a
                                                    Khartoum Monitor was suspended briefly before return-             legitimate interest in Sudan, at least as much as the IGAD
                                                    ing with a milder tone. “Now every issue goes to the cen-         member states. Some have suggested that an African IPF
                                                    sor, so we are exercising self-censorship beforehand,” said       be set up, consisting mainly of South Africa, Nigeria and
                                                    editor-in-chief Albino Okeny. In January Khartoum’s only          Egypt. The first two are believed to be willing but Egypt
                                                    woman chief editor of a newspaper, Amal Abbas of al-Rai           seems to want nothing less than membership of IGAD it-
                                                    al-Akher, was briefly jailed over an article alleging financial   self; in the absence of that prize, the LEI will continue.
                                                    mismanagement and corruption by revolutionary security
                                                    courts.                                                           Dr. Lam Akol, currently Minister of Transport in Khartoum,
                                                                                                                      has accused GoS of reneging on the internal peace agree-
                                                    A number of new infrastructure projects have been moot-           ments which “remained largely on paper”. He said, “As
                                                    ed, including road, rail and pipeline links to Ethiopia. China    far as the military components are concerned, not a single
                                                    is offering a loan for rehabilitation of existing railways in     provision has been implemented…. Of course there are
                                                    Sudan. Eqipment for a 50 MW thermal power plant has               mistakes here and there committed by the other signa-
                                                    arrived in Sudan from Germany. GoS has concluded a deal           tories, but they are minor compared to the responsibility
                                                    with Alenia-Marconi, a British-Italian firm, to procure a         that should have been discharged by the government.”
                                                    US$ 21 million radar network. Primarily to enhance civil
                                                    aviation systems, there must nevertheless be fears of             Within Upper Nile the prophet, Manyuon Real, seems to
                                                    the military implications, particularly in the light of GoS’      be losing influence. In Nairobi there have been fresh at-
                                                    bombing of humanitarian relief flights.                           tempts to reconcile the Nuer. Over the Christmas period

the Nuer community in Nairobi prayed and discussed               In PDF raids near Marial Bai in northern Bahr el-Ghazal,
both the church and political divisions with the result that     murahaliin killed 11 people, wounded two and abducted
a peace committee has been set up. It is apparently sup-         more than 120 women and children and over 5,000 head
ported, albeit to differing degrees, by all the main Nuer        of cattle from Acuro, Ajok, Wunkir, Nyinameeth and Nyi-
factions. A series of meetings in Sudan is planned for the       naccor. In another PDF raid the ICRC clinic in Chelkou
different Nuer areas culminating in an all-Nuer conference       was looted and burned. Recent PDF activity around Pan-
which will include civil society, churches, and political and    thou, Nyamlell and Akuem may be connected with move-
military factions. However not all within the Nuer com-          ments of GoS military trains in northern Bahr el-Ghazal
munity agree that this is the best way to consolidate and        and could be the precursor of a large-scale offensive even-
strengthen existing peace initiatives.                           tually targeting Gogrial, Tonj and even Rumbek. The com-
                                                                 mander of the PDF, Brigadier Umar al-Amin Karar, said
What does seem clear is that the ordinary Nuer people            a new brigade, the Homeland Shield Brigade, would be
want peace and unity amongst themselves and that many            mobilised soon.
still want to respect and implement the Waat covenant.
There is still contact between different commanders in           Fighting continues in the western part of the Nuba Moun-
the field. Some of the GoS-supported militia would prob-         tains. There is little independent information but GoS
ably join a new Nuer movement if their military logistics        claims are probably exaggerated. It has been a difficult
could be guaranteed. Here might be a window of oppor-            year for SPLM/A in the Nuba Mountains, due in part to
tunity for SPLM/A to make a magnanimous and concrete             the long illness of Regional Secretary Yussuf Kuwa Mekki,
gesture of support without insisting that the Nuer com-          but the appointment of a new Secretary, Abdel Aziz Adam
manders join SPLM/A. However while it is acknowledged            Helu, fresh from military successes on the eastern front,
that GoS has played the key role in dividing the Nuer,           may mark a turning point.
there are also suspicions that SPLM/A is not unhappy with
this situation. If that is true, then it would seem rather       Once again oil rears its ugly head. The GoS offensive in the
short-sighted of SPLM/A. A united Nuer movement allied           Nuba Mountains is believed to be at least in part inspired
to (but not part of) SPLM/A would give the south a pow-          by the desire to clear the area to protect the new pipeline
erful bargaining position against its common enemy, the          which will pass west and then north of the Nuba Moun-
Khartoum regime.                                                 tains. Anticipated GoS offensives in both Bahr el-Ghazal
                                                                 and the Jonglei province of Upper Nile may be linked to
                                                                 Total/Fina oil concessions and fairly continuous fighting on
Military                                                         the southern Blue Nile front is clearly connected with the
Bombing of civilians has continued unabated, including           Khor Adar oil-field.
Christmas Day, when two people were killed in Jambo,
and the period of Id el Fitr. The destruction of the well-
known Episcopal cathedral in Lui on 29th December drew           Humanitarian
an impassioned statement from the bishop of Lui Diocese          On 20th December 2000 an NCA driver and an SRRA
and a strong protest from the Archbishop of Canterbury.          nurse were ambushed and killed about 28 km east of Iko-
In a new development, Kurmuk and Yabus in southern Blue          tos after delivering a casualty to the hospital in Chukudum.
Nile were bombed for the first time in the four years since      This brings to 11 the number of aid workers killed in east-
they were taken by SPLM/A. It had always been thought            ern Equatoria in the year 2000.
that they were safe from bombing due to their situation
right on the Ethiopian border; GoS was thought to be             With effect from 1st January 2001, Mapel, Tonj and Thiet
afraid of accidentally over-flying or bombing Ethiopia. This     (all in Bahr el-Ghazal) have been denied humanitarian flight
may signal an improvement in GoS’ relations with Ethio-          clearance by GoS. Mapel is an important aircraft refuelling
pia. Bombing of south Bor County might be connected              stop for OLS. In mid-January GoS denied flight clearance
with GoS military barges moving towards Bor. OLS NGO             to 8 locations in Upper Nile and 4 in Bahr el-Ghazal, as
compounds are again being targeted. GoS’ justification of        well as all locations south of a line Kapoeta-Torit-Juba-Yei.
its refusal to stop bombing, accusing the SPLM/A of using        Proposed UN access to the Nuba Mountains does not
civilians as human shields, has little credibility as very few   seem any closer. All such denials of humanitarian access
bombs land anywhere near military targets.                       should be condemned by the international community.

Upper Nile has been relatively quiet. There have been            The registration of NGO communications equipment was
raids by Murle. There was some fighting in western Upper         completed in December. NGOs have been meeting SRRA
Nile. Maiwut is now quiet and the area has been visited by       to discuss details of a fee to cover services connected with
Dr. Riek Machar.                                                 this. Negotiations are progressing well in a cordial atmos-

                                                    UN OCHA is presenting proposed NGO revisions to the           Omar al-Bashir and LRA leader Joseph Kony a last warn-
                                                    MoU to SRRA.                                                  ing to stop abducting and killing innocent Ugandans, saying,
                                                                                                                  “This is the last warning to Kony and his mentor, Bashir.
                                                    Warnings of a serious food shortage in north and south Su-    We are going to crush them if they don’t stop killing our
                                                    dan continue. GoS is a little ambivalent on the subject but   people… We will defeat them. We shall follow them into
                                                    has cancelled taxes on all cereal imports except wheat.       Sudan and deal with them like we killed Joseph Lagira and
                                                                                                                  others...” He said his government was not a war-monger
                                                                                                                  but peaceful means of dealing with the rebels had failed.
                                                    Monthly Briefing: February 2001                               While there is clearly an element of electioneering in this,
                                                                                                                  Uganda has already announced that it is withdrawing some
                                                    26th February 2001                                            forces from DRC as a result of positive developments
                                                                                                                  there; presumably troops are now available to concentrate
                                                                                                                  on Sudan. There were further abductions of children by
                                                    Political                                                     LRA in February. An agreement between Chad and Khar-
                                                    SPLM/A and Dr. Hassan al-Turabi’s PNC have signed an          toum to revitalise a joint ministerial committee to develop
                                                    agreement on a joint programme which includes the             bilateral relations should not pass unnoticed in the light of
                                                    “need for escalating peaceful popular resistance to force     instability in Darfur.
                                                    the regime to abandon its totalitarian policy,” but it does
                                                    not prevent SPLM/A from continuing to use armed force.        Human rights lawyers Ghazi Suleiman and Ali Mahmoud
                                                    The agreement manages to speak both of the right of           Hassanein have been released after 72 days without charge.
                                                    self-determination and the unification of Sudan. Dr. Turabi   Suleiman, who suffers from diabetes, had lost weight and
                                                    and many of his followers were subsequently arrested          appeared weak. Some reports say he was badly beaten at
                                                    in Khartoum for “conspiring with the southern rebels to       the beginning of his imprisonment.
                                                    topple the government.” Information Minister Ghazi Salah
                                                    el-Din Atabani once again demonstrated GoS’ apparent          GoS carried out five cross-amputations in Khartoum.
                                                    lack of commitment to the DoP that it has signed, warning
                                                    Dr. Turabi’s followers against conspiring to divide Sudan,    There were clashes between supporters of General al-Ba-
                                                    “a road full of dangers that leads to a tragic end.” Umma’s   shir and Dr. Hassan al-Turabi in el-Obeid. In Khartoum the
                                                    Sadiq al-Mahdi has reportedly welcomed the agreement.         regime ordered opposition parties to hand in weapons.
                                                    There is speculation that Dr. Turabi might have signed this

                                                    agreement specifically to provoke arrest, as a period of      President Olusegun Obasanjo spoke at the opening of a
                                                    political martyrdom might suit his agenda; SPLM/A may         conference in Nigeria addressing the growing problem of
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    have done so in order to increase division and unrest in      human trafficking in Africa. He urged a campaign against it
                                                    the north. The content is not of great importance as it is    as forceful as the old fight against slavery. Many Sudanese
                                                    unlikely to be implemented in any serious manner.             will be watching with interest.

                                                    Both Umma and DUP have been in negotiation with the           Sudan’s only female newspaper editor, Amal Abbas of al-Rai
                                                    ruling regime in Khartoum about sharing power, but there      al-Akher, was again imprisoned after refusing to pay a fine
                                                    has been no agreement on the terms and conditions.            because she maintained her innocence of the libel charges.
                                                    Umma is demanding fresh elections and solutions to the        She was later released again. Armed police were deployed
                                                    conflict in the south and east.                               around the offices of the Rai al-Shaab newspaper at the end
                                                                                                                  of February. Reporters without Borders named Sudan as
                                                    General al-Bashir has formed a new 31-member govern-          one of the 20 “real enemies” of internet freedom. Minister
                                                    ment mostly made up of his ruling National Congress           of State for Justice Amin Benani Neo, a junior cabinet min-
                                                    party. Sixteen members of the preceding administration        ister, was dismissed by General al-Bashir after criticising the
                                                    will stay. Gatluak Deng has been appointed President of       ruling regime. Alfred Taban and Albino Okeny, publisher
                                                    the Coordinating Council for the South, Moses Machar is       and editor respectively of the independent English-language
                                                    the new second vice-president and Angelo Beda holds the       Khartoum Monitor, were arrested and later released.
                                                    third token post for southerners, that of deputy-speaker
                                                    in parliament. Gen. Bashir has also appointed 26 southern-    Fifteen member states of the Community of Sahel-Saharan
                                                    ers to parliamentary seats for the constituencies where       States (COMESSA) attended a summit meeting in Khar-
                                                    elections were not held and, under emergency powers,          toum. This would appear to contravene UN Security Coun-
                                                    replaced the governors of 14 of the 26 states.                cil Resolution 1054 of 26th April 1996, which called on all
                                                                                                                  international and regional organisations not to convene any
                                                    In the rivalry between Eritrea and Ethiopia for good re-      conferences in Sudan. As well as trying to rehabilitate the
                                                    lations with Khartoum, Ethiopia is currently in the as-       Khartoum regime in the eyes of the international commu-
                                                    cendancy. However relations with Uganda appear to be          nity, some fear that this organisation has an Arabising and
                                                    deteriorating. President Yoweri Museveni gave General         Islamising agenda.

Peace                                                            legitimate target. However, SPLM/A faces a dilemma. If
SPLM/A and SPDF have set up a committee to examine               oil exploitation continues, thousands of southerners will
ways of cooperation but it is not clear how much progress        die. If the oil installations are attacked, there will also be
can be expected. Nevertheless there is increasing pres-          deaths, perhaps of Chinese, Malaysians or even Canadians.
sure on the movements to recognise that the south and            Given the attitude of the media towards deaths of north
other marginalised areas (notably Abyei, the Nuba Moun-          Americans compared to deaths of Africans, this could seri-
tains and southern Blue Nile) will only attain peace with        ously damage SPLM/A. This consideration should increase
justice when all voices are included in the debate and when      the pressure on the international community to halt by
southerners can unite behind a single political agenda.          peaceful means the exploitation of oil until there is a com-
                                                                 prehensive settlement to the conflict in Sudan, thus saving
An NSCC delegation visited South Africa at the invitation        the lives of both Sudanese and foreigners.
of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference
to increase the awareness of the South African people,           Meanwhile Gadet’s forces are also in combat with SPDF
church and government about the injustice in Sudan and to        under Peter Par. At the end of February Gadet overran
encourage them to play a role in the search for a just and       Nyal, which was burnt to the ground. Subsequently OLS
lasting solution to the conflict. The delegation was over-       declared virtually the whole of western Upper Nile “red no
whelmed by the warm and sympathetic welcome that it              go”. There seems to be little doubt that Par is being sup-
received at all levels and by the interest in and understand-    plied by GoS forces in Bentiu without Paulino Matip being
ing of the situation in Sudan. The Sudanese church will          used as a middle-man (an attempt by GoS to limit Matip’s
certainly follow up this visit and will step up its advocacy     influence?) However this does not necessarily mean that
work throughout Africa.                                          Par has defected from SPDF, nor that SPDF is now with
                                                                 GoS; in the complex situation in Upper Nile commanders
SCBRC held an Islamic consultation in Nairobi to examine         feel forced to accept supplies from any source.
the Christian response to Islamic fundamentalism. Church
leaders from east and southern Africa attended and there         It seems that neither Dr. Riek Machar nor Dr. Wal Duany is
was African Muslim representation. Sudanese churches             able to provide ammunition to their forces; Dr. Wal is cur-
will increasingly seek to engage with Muslims in Africa and      rently in USA seeking support. In his stronghold, Akobo,
elsewhere to explore how to build an authentic multi-            Lou forces of SPLM/A, SSLM and GoS militia all co-exist
religious society which is true to both faiths and which         peacefully, although many believe GoS is preparing to at-
challenges the distortion of religion for political, ethnic or   tack Akobo. Ayod is believed to be in the hands of SPDF,
economic domination.                                             who may have received supplies from GoS. In any future
                                                                 GoS attack on Bor, GoS troops may come from Malakal
                                                                 via Ayod.
Press reports suggest that Russian companies have been           Reports from northern Upper Nile are often slow to sur-
given the go-ahead in principle to look for oil in eastern       face as churches and indigenous NGOs working in the
Sudan.                                                           area do not have radio communications equipment. There
                                                                 are reports that in November and December 2000 a GoS
Sweden’s Lundin has begun testing of its Thar Jath well in       militia made up of Dinka Padang Dongjol under Thon
Block 5a, south of Bentiu.                                       Mum attacked SPLM/A and displaced people north east of
                                                                 Malakal; the displaced fled to Abwong. However around
First Vice-President Ali Osman Taha has denied that GoS          Abwong the Dinka Padang Ngok agreed on grazing rights
is using oil revenue to finance the war. This directly con-      with Lou Nuer, and in January 2001 local representatives
tradicts statements made by GoS in June 2000 as well as          of SPLM/A, SPDF, SSLM and Simon Gatwec’s GoS-militia
common sense based on available evidence.                        all agreed not to fight each other. Even Gordon Kong’s
                                                                 Thaura Jikany forces, which had been brought by GoS
                                                                 from around Nasir, refused to fight their southern broth-
Military                                                         ers on at least one occasion. It is reported that in this area
SPLM/A forces under Peter Gadet attacked oil installa-           unarmed civilians can move freely without harassment by
tions between Wangkai and Mayom, where they over-                any of the armed groups. However there are reports of
came GoS defenders and inflicted some damage on three            murahaliin mounted on camels as well as militia loyal to
oil wells. However the sort of damage that lightly armed         Gatluak Deng operating in the Khor Adar oil field area and
troops can inflict on oil installations can easily be repaired   of GoS providing cash as well as ammunition to foment
and it is likely that oil operations were not significantly      division amongst local leaders.
disrupted. Given that oil is arguably now the single most
important factor in the war, many are asking why SPLM/A          A guerrilla leader may find himself in the front line fighting
does not mount a serious assault on the more vulnerable          for his life alongside his troops and this appears to have
parts of the oil operation, which it has publicly declared a     happened to Dr. Riek Machar recently. In what may have

                                                    been an assassination attempt, GoS militia accompanied          zone. Our position on displacement around the oil fields
                                                    by SPDF defectors attacked Dr. Riek and a small force of        in Sudan is that we have witnessed an increasing number
                                                    SPDF between Maiwut and Buony (Mabaan). Fighting was            of internally displaced people who have required food as-
                                                    fierce and some of Dr. Riek’s bodyguards were reportedly        sistance in these areas. These are indeed people forcibly
                                                    killed before the attackers were repulsed and Dr. Riek          removed from their homes due to war…. it is entirely
                                                    was able to retire towards Maiwut. Some reports sug-            possible and feasible that oil interests in this area have ex-
                                                    gest that the SPDF defectors had received supplies from         acerbated the uprooting of people from their homes.”
                                                    a fellow clansman in SPLM/A, and that although SPLM/A is
                                                    not linked to this attack in any way it nevertheless made       The revised text of the MoU has now been accepted by
                                                    an opportunistic attack on other SPDF forces at Benichor        all parties. The 50 or so NGOs which continued working
                                                    around the same time. Sporadic fighting has continued in        in SPLM/A-controlled areas of Sudan will sign the revised
                                                    the area. There are also reports that Dr. Riek may have         MoU and it is believed that at least one of the five NGOs
                                                    had a brush with Ethiopian security forces.                     which left has applied to return. SRRA and NGOs are still
                                                                                                                    negotiating over work permits for expatriates and fees for
                                                    Bombing of civilians in southern Sudan decreased but did        registration of radios.
                                                    not cease during February. However in southern Blue Nile
                                                    it escalated; local observers described “daily bombing” in      It would seem now that whatever perceived reason EU
                                                    Keili, Keren-Keren and Fazuqli payams from 30th January         and ECHO once had for refusing to provide funds to
                                                    to 7th February. The GoS Antonov over-flew Uganda on            NGOs serving the suffering civilians in SPLM/A-control-
                                                    a number of occasions and reportedly bombed Adjumani            led territory is no longer applicable. However there are
                                                    in northern Uganda.                                             reports that funding will not be forthcoming because un-
                                                                                                                    specified “conditions” have not been met. NGO sources
                                                    Fierce fighting continues in the Nuba Mountains. GoS is         have apparently been unable to ascertain what these con-
                                                    apparently attempting to cut off the western part of the        ditions are. The behaviour of EU and ECHO over the last
                                                    mountains, which is most likely to have a food surplus,         few months is unacceptable and European partners are
                                                    from the rest of SPLM/A-controlled territory, thus forcing      urged to lobby their governments to remedy this situa-
                                                    more people to flee to GoS-controlled areas. The UN has         tion.
                                                    failed to gain access to the Nuba Mountains due to GoS’
                                                    condition that all flights must originate from el-Obeid. UN     Concern over the resettlement of the so-called “lost boys”
                                                    is playing into GoS’ hands; the civilian population will be     in the USA continues to mount. Many believe that if UNH-

                                                    squeezed until most of them flee to GoS-controlled areas,       CR and its donors would simply provide decent education
                                                    when UN will be invited to offer humanitarian services.         facilities (by building schools in southern Sudan or Kakuma
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    This is a cynical misuse of the aid industry for military and   Refugee Camp, or by providing scholarships to schools in
                                                    political ends; it is to be hoped that the UN will publicly     East Africa) most of those who seek resettlement would
                                                    denounce it as such. The current GoS offensive may also         not do so. This would almost certainly be cheaper than re-
                                                    be connected with the new oil pipeline being built to the       settlement. Ongoing investigations into corruption in the
                                                    west of the Nuba Mountains.                                     UNHCR office in Nairobi do not increase confidence in
                                                                                                                    the process. It is alleged that UNHCR officials demanded
                                                    Last month’s fighting around Akuem in northern Bahr al-         bribes for resettlement.
                                                    Ghazal was exceptionally heavy. SPLM/A apparently over-
                                                    came the attackers but at a crippling cost to both sides in
                                                    men and materiel. GoS military trains are still moving in       There is also increasing concern about the lack of legal
                                                    northern Bahr el-Ghazal.                                        protection for internally displaced persons (IDPs) who do
                                                                                                                    not even have the minimal protection that UNHCR af-
                                                    On the eastern front a police station on the main road          fords to refugees.
                                                    linking Khartoum with Port Sudan was attacked and there
                                                    was fighting around Temenya and Malawia.                        GoS has again denied humanitarian access to eight loca-
                                                                                                                    tions in western Upper Nile. OLS has also declared Koch
                                                                                                                    “red no go” specifically because of the oil road, which is
                                                    Humanitarian                                                    progressing fast. This road, which is being extensively used
                                                    Pro-GoS propagandists made much of a press report that          by GoS troops, is already adversely affecting the civilian
                                                    WFP is unaware of any forced displacement around Ben-           population and the humanitarian effort in western Upper
                                                    tiu. However WFP vigorously denies that this statement          Nile; when it is completed its effect will be devastating.
                                                    was ever made, saying in a letter to Reuters, “Currently
                                                    WFP provides food assistance to displaced people in a           There are reports that GoS-supported Simon Gatwec has
                                                    number of locations in Unity State including Bentiu and         reached agreement with RASS on the safety of humanitar-
                                                    Rub Kona in Government-controlled areas. These are lo-          ian operations in the part of eastern Upper Nile that he
                                                    cations in the general area described as the oil concessions    controls.

Warnings of impending famine continue. WFP says that             “Blood Oil”
2.9 million people are at risk and that it needs US$ 135 for     In some southern Sudanese circles the oil is now being
food aid. The UN’s OCHA agrees that the total number             referred to as “blood oil”. The oil companies’ claim that
of people at risk is around 3 million and adds that 600,000      oil will bring peace and development is almost universally
of those are threatened with starvation, with the end of         rejected . Most southerners believe in “peace first, oil
April expected to be the worst time. The UN states that          later”.
only 1% of the US$ 244 million needed for all types of aid
has arrived.                                                     Christian Aid launched its long-awaited and authoritative
                                                                 report on oil. Predictably it drew fierce criticism from the
General Omar al-Bashir again told the UN’s Tom Vraalsen          oil companies and from pro-GoS propagandists. A meet-
that relief operations should be run from within the coun-       ing in Brussels to develop a strategy for a European oil
try rather than through foreign relief bases.                    campaign, which will be launched shortly, included church-
                                                                 related and secular organisations. BP managed to block a
Heavily armed police raided the SCBC office in Khartoum          resolution by its shareholders using an archaic 19th cen-
and confiscated a number of vehicles used by the Catholic        tury law. Talisman’s annual shareholder meeting is sched-
Church for humanitarian operations.                              uled for May. There are reports that Germany is about to
                                                                 begin importing oil from Sudan. The position of Carl Bildt
                                                                 as both a member of Lundin’s board and also UN special
Monthly Briefing: March 2001                                     envoy to the Balkans is now being seriously questioned.
                                                                 Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh wants her govern-
30th March 2001                                                  ment to investigate Lundin’s activities in Sudan.

                                                                 Apparently confirming that GoS is using oil revenue to
Politics                                                         prosecute the war, Sayed al-Khateeb, director of the Cen-
Dr. Hassan al-Turabi continues to languish in jail amidst re-    tre for Strategic Studies in Khartoum, said: “People who
ports that he may face criminal charges. Many of his sup-        are talking about the escalation in the war are saying this
porters are also in prison. Dr. Turabi has stated that he will   only to deprive Sudan of the revenues from the oil, the lit-
resist attempts to force him into exile. Meanwhile eight         tle revenues that we get.” At the same time, the country
opposition politicians arrested in December while meet-          “would not and should not” swear off using oil proceeds
ing a US diplomat went on trial on charges ranging from          to fight the rebels, he said. “We are under constant at-
spying to plotting to overthrow the government by force.         tack.” There are press reports that GoS is about to begin
                                                                 assembling Russian T-72 tanks at its GIAD military-indus-
The new UN Special Rapporteur, Herr Gerhart Baum,                trial complex and to name the new tank after General al-
visited Khartoum and Nairobi but not southern Sudan. He          Bashir.
accused GoS of bombing civilians in the south and forcibly
uprooting local populations to allow oil exploitation, and
confirmed that oil exploitation exacerbates the conflict.        Peace
Continuing problems include media censorship and denial          The Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the
of freedom of religion and freedom of assembly. He also          Great Lakes and Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA) met in Kam-
criticised SPLM/A.                                               pala, along with representatives from west and southern
                                                                 Africa, and agreed to place Sudan more prominently on its
Senior officials from the Nile Basin countries are meet-         agenda. FECCLAHA hopes to initiate a year of prayer for
ing in Khartoum. The Nile Basin Initiative brings together       Sudan in the region, and individual church councils have
Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethi-          been asked to lobby their own governments which have
opia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. The             interests in Sudan, particularly Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia,
importance of the Nile water and its influence on Egypt’s        Eritrea and Congo.
involvement in Sudan should never be under-estimated.
                                                                 There are signs of hope in the ongoing peace committee
GoS First Vice-President Ali Osman Taha visited China.           between SPDF and SPLM/A.
The role of Asian countries in Sudan’s economy (and thus
its ability to wage war) is increasing.

                                                    There are fears that fighting in western Upper Nile (see         Most parties, including GoS, SPLM/A and NDA, have wel-
                                                    below) may threaten the Wunlit peace accord (and in-             comed some aspects of the analysis but have also been
                                                    deed that it may be deliberately intended to do so). Local       fairly critical. Perhaps its most fundamental flaw is the be-
                                                    people are firmly committed to the accord and it is to be        lief that the war is the root of the problems in Sudan. In
                                                    hoped that military and political opportunism will not be        fact the war is only a symptom of deep and long-stand-
                                                    allowed to destroy this grassroots achievement. Other            ing divisions. While all would welcome a comprehensive
                                                    challenges include cattle theft, particularly in Tonj County,    cease-fire, any attempt to end the war without first (or at
                                                    where local authorities seem reluctant to take action, lack      least simultaneously) addressing its root causes will pro-
                                                    of basic humanitarian services leading to competition for        duce only a short-term and superficial peace.
                                                    resources, and lack of civil authority structures such as
                                                    border courts and police. NSCC convened a meeting of
                                                    international and Sudanese partners in Nairobi to again          Military
                                                    stress the need for humanitarian services. One respected         SPLM/A forces under Peter Gadet burnt to the ground the
                                                    Sudanese aid official, in frustration at the apparent con-       town of Nyal, including the OLS compound, when they
                                                    centration on emergency relief rather than rehabilitation        overran it at the end of February. It is not clear whether
                                                    and development, said, “Peace is an emergency!” There            Gadet was acting under orders from SPLM/A or on his
                                                    will be an emergency meeting of the West Bank Peace              own initiative, perhaps in retaliation for the burning of
                                                    Council in Sudan in April to address other concerns with         Nhialdiu and Mankien, apparently by SPDF and Paulino
                                                    the people on the ground.                                        Matip’s GoS militia, or “punishing” OLS for not bringing
                                                                                                                     resources to his area. SPLM/A must take responsibility for
                                                    The IGAD working group on wealth-sharing met in Nai-             this and other human rights abuses carried out in west-
                                                    robi. Following an IPF report hinting at a lack of commit-       ern Upper Nile by forces nominally under its command.
                                                    ment by the parties, it was recommended that the IGAD            There has recently been fighting around Wangkai and the
                                                    secretariat be strengthened. However there was little re-        morale of Gadet’s forces is reported to be good. They are
                                                    sponse from the IGAD states until a last-minute statement        able to shell the oil fields and harass GoS forces from time
                                                    by President Moi of Kenya on the eve of the IPF meeting          to time but apparently are not yet in a position to mount
                                                    in Rome. Moi subsequently visited Khartoum.                      a decisive assault.

                                                    Signs that the USA is preparing to engage more robustly          PDF activity has continued in northern Bahr al-Ghazal. At
                                                    in the Sudan have been met with mixed feelings. Presi-           the end of March there were reports that PDF had ab-

                                                    dent George W. Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell             ducted large numbers of civilians within the GoS-control-
                                                    and other senior figures have alluded to Sudan in vari-          led town of Wau, despite the presence of a large garrison
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    ous speeches. Given the complicated political system in          of GoS regular forces, and were demanding US$ 150 per
                                                    Washington, it is not clear whether there will be a bal-         person from their relatives for their release. These mu-
                                                    anced bi-partisan approach or whether particular lobbies         rahaliin also carried out robberies and other attacks on
                                                    (right-wing Christian, oil, anti-terrorist) will triumph, and    civilians. There may be some truth in GoS’ claims that it
                                                    officials stress that there is as yet no decision. Suggestions   cannot fully control the PDF, but this is a monster of its
                                                    that some government funds may be channelled through             own making and GoS must be held accountable for atroci-
                                                    faith-based organisations rather than USAID may benefit          ties committed by its militias in the same way as SPLM/A
                                                    US Christian groups in Sudan. Talisman has offered to help       must for Peter Gadet’s actions. Movements of GoS mili-
                                                    the Bush administration consider peace initiatives!              tary trains in northern Bahr al-Ghazal continue.

                                                    An influential US think-tank, the Center for Strategic           Heavy fighting has continued in the Nuba Mountains. In
                                                    and International Studies (CSIS), has produced a report          the west GoS continues to have the upper hand, but in
                                                    which may influence future US policy. This report believes       the east SPLM/A overran Heiban, capturing or destroy-
                                                    “that the central problem on which virtually everything          ing large quantities of arms, ammunition and other sup-
                                                    else hinges is the devastating war that has raged in Su-         plies before withdrawing. SPLM/A morale has improved
                                                    dan since 1983” and wants to “[c]oncentrate US policy on         significantly.
                                                    the single overriding objective of ending Sudan’s war”, in
                                                    conjunction with UK, Norway and Sudan’s neighbouring             Aerial bombing of civilians by GoS was significantly re-
                                                    states. Agreement must be based on the DoP but “[s]eek           duced in OLS areas of Sudan (perhaps as a gesture to the
                                                    first to reach agreement on the creation of an interim ar-       new US administration or perhaps in honour of the visit of
                                                    rangement—a ‘One Sudan, Two Systems’ formula—that                the UN Special Rapporteur and the forthcoming meeting
                                                    preserves a single Sudan with two viable, self-governing         of the UN Human Rights Commission) but continued in
                                                    democratic regions, north and south.” It envisages con-          the Nuba Mountains and southern Blue Nile.
                                                    structive engagement between USA and GoS.

Humanitarian                                                    UNDP attempted to assess the situation in both GoS-
UNICEF air-lifted 3,400 demobilised under-age SPLM/A            and SPLM/A-controlled areas of the Nuba Mountains but
soldiers from northern Bahr al-Ghazal to Rumbek County;         GoS blocked access to the latter. In GoS-controlled areas,
this figure reportedly includes many boys who were not          particularly around Kadugli, there are a large number of
soldiers but came looking for education. UNICEF intends         IDPs, some of whom came voluntarily but many of whom
to return the majority to their families quickly but or-        alleged that their crops were burnt by GoS forces. Aid of-
phans and a minority who are severely traumatised will          ficials felt that their situation was not yet critical and were
need longer-term care. This operation is the result of a        reluctant to intervene on the GoS side unless they could
pledge made by Commander Salva Kiir, second in com-             also do so on the SPLM/A side, for fear of attracting more
mand of SPLM/A, to Carol Bellamy, the head of UNICEF.           people to cross the front line, thus exacerbating both the
The Khartoum government criticised the secrecy of the           conflict and the humanitarian crisis. GoS has consistently
move and the fact that these trained soldiers were moved        blocked humanitarian access to the civilian population in
to another area within SPLM/A control. NGOs, churches           the SPLM/A-controlled parts of the Nuba Mountains and
and other observers on the ground in Rumbek are con-            there is reason for concern about the food situation there,
cerned about the lack of adequate facilities, including wa-     particularly since SPLM/A has lost the food surplus area in
ter, sanitation, food, shelter, recreation, supervision and     the western part of the mountains.
trauma counselling, and are doubtful whether they can be
returned to their families as quickly as planned. There are     An OLS aircraft was detained by GoS forces in Mayom
reports that food prices in the area have risen, that local     when it landed there by mistake. The aircraft and crew
teachers are being attracted to UNICEF to the detriment         were subsequently freed. GoS militia under Gordon Kong
of local schools and that there is now increased insecu-        abducted two Kenyan and two Sudanese aid workers be-
rity in this otherwise peaceful area. Some have even de-        longing to an OLS NGO from Kiech Kuon and took them
scribed the operation as a “disaster”. UNICEF acknowl-          to Nasir. They were then taken to Khartoum where they
edges that the operation took place hurriedly and not all       are still being held by GoS; there is great concern over
facilities were ready, but felt that it had to act urgently     their safety. Several NCA personnel were assaulted and
as many of these young soldiers were in the front line in       detained in Ikotos by SPLM/A. They were subsequently
an area where heavy fighting is expected this dry season.       released after the intervention of OLS and senior SRRA
UNICEF is confident that it has the resources to rectify        officials, but NCA is now withdrawing from the area after
the problems swiftly. Both UNICEF and SPLM/A are to be          nearly 30 years due to frequent incidents which demon-
commended for their commitment to the demobilisation            strate the inability of the local authorities to provide secu-
of under-age soldiers but UNICEF needs to demonstrate           rity and support. NCA will continue to provide support to
quickly that it can bring this operation to a successful con-   local partners.
clusion while SPLM/A must ensure that the recruitment of
under-age soldiers ceases completely.                           Investigations continue into allegations that UNHCR staff
                                                                in Nairobi may have extorted up to US$ 2,500 per person
The Roman Catholic bishop of Rumbek issued an urgent            from refugees seeking resettlement. While this particular
appeal for aid for internally displaced persons in northern     revelation is new, there has for many years been concern
Bahr al-Ghazal. He suggested that around a million peo-         at the way UNHCR treats the very refugees who are its
ple are at risk and himself observed 50,000 IDPs around         raison d’être.
Malualkon, mostly displaced from around the railway line
by PDF activity. OLS acknowledges a serious problem
but believes the actual number of IDPs is smaller. WFP          Monthly Briefing: April 2001
has repeated its urgent warning that 3 million people in
northern and southern Sudan are at serious risk of famine,      26th April 2001
with thousands possibly dying of hunger by July if aid is not
forthcoming immediately. WFP expects to run out of food
by mid-April.                                                   Political
                                                                Yussuf Kuwa Makki died on 31st March after a long strug-
SPLM/A is negotiating with USAID to replace food divert-        gle with cancer. The death of this teacher, politician and
ed when WVI left Tonj County last year. It is a significant     leader is a great loss to the SPLM/A, the Nuba people and
step forward for SPLM/A to acknowledge a mistake made           the entire Sudanese nation. He was buried near his home
by its officials, and to take responsibility and make repara-   in the Nuba Mountains.

                                                    The UN Security Council debate on sanctions against Su-         senior leadership of both SPLM and SPLA in Bahr el-Ghaz-
                                                    dan has been postponed until August. GoS has rejected           al, representatives of SPDF from western Upper Nile and
                                                    proposals for a UN human rights observer for Sudan, while       Commanders Peter Gadet and Peter Par Jiek. It is to be
                                                    SPLM/A has welcomed the idea. The UN Commission for             hoped that all the parties will demonstrate their commit-
                                                    Human Rights adopted a resolution criticising both sides in     ment to peace by taking this recommendation seriously.
                                                    the war. The USA abstained, complaining that the resolu-        The meeting also stressed the importance of Nuer unity
                                                    tion was misleading, failed to draw attention to the Suda-      as a prerequisite both to southern unity and to a lasting
                                                    nese government’s “deplorable policies and overall poor         solution to the oil problem.
                                                    human rights record” and failed to condemn the practice
                                                    of slavery “which occurs in areas under government con-         Meanwhile NSCC continues its preparations to facilitate
                                                    trol and is practiced by militias allied to the government”.    the Strategic Linkages 2 conference called for by the chiefs
                                                    Many observers feel that the resolution is very unbalanced      and women. It will include traditional leaders and women
                                                    in favour of GoS.                                               from the grassroots as well as representatives from south-
                                                                                                                    ern movements and parties and other key politicians and
                                                    A German evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke, was invited by            opinion-shapers. The Nuba Mountains and southern Blue
                                                    Sudanese churches to preach in Khartoum around Easter           Nile will also be represented. This conference is of great
                                                    time, following the apparent success of his visit the previ-    importance to the south and all stake-holders stand to
                                                    ous year. It seems that the Khartoum authorities, who had       benefit from it.
                                                    given permission for the event, attempted to change the
                                                    venue at very short notice and this resulted in a riot. The     Preparations for the Chukudum peace conference also
                                                    next day a protest meeting in the cathedral was broken          continue, with NSCC waiting for SPLM/A to guarantee
                                                    up by riot police with tear gas. There were many arrests,       security. This conference is different to other parts of the
                                                    including BBC correspondent Alfred Taban. Around 50             people to people peace process as the Chukudum prob-
                                                    of those arrested, including women and children, were           lem is basically between the SPLM/A and the local com-
                                                    flogged after a summary trial with no legal representation.     munity rather than between ethnic groups as such.
                                                    Most of those arrested were subsequently released. In a
                                                    further worrying development there are reports that first       Members of the committee discussing peace between
                                                    vice president Ali Osman Mohammed Taha, in an address           SPDF and SPLM/A took the draft agreement to their re-
                                                    on national television, said, “the world now knows and          spective leaderships for approval. The outcome is not at
                                                    should know that Sudan is an Islamic country and we will        all clear and new obstacles may have arisen. Dr. Riek Ma-

                                                    not allow any prayers except Islamic prayers in our coun-       char apparently remains in Upper Nile.
                                                    try”. This incident raises serious questions about freedom
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    of religion, of the press and of assembly in northern Sudan,    The chairman of the rump UDSF in Khartoum, Peter Abd-
                                                    as well as the right to a fair trial and due process. However   al-Rahman Sule, has accused GoS of violating the Khartoum
                                                    some are also questioning the wisdom of inviting Bonnke,        Peace Agreement and causing conflict between southern-
                                                    whose preaching style and extravagant claims are well           ers. He specifically mentions appointments to the South-
                                                    known and who has been disowned by the mainstream               ern Coordinating Council; many observers would agree
                                                    German church.                                                  that the choice of ministers was aimed at division.

                                                    The GoS court of appeal has ordered the release of the          President Moi of Kenya visited Khartoum in an attempt
                                                    six people being held on espionage charges after meeting        to inject new life into the IGAD process following the IPF
                                                    a foreign diplomat last December, pending the outcome           meeting in Rome. However the statement that came out
                                                    of their trial.                                                 of the Khartoum meeting was flawed, particularly in its call
                                                                                                                    for a referendum at the end of the transitional period with
                                                                                                                    only two “major options”, federation and confederation.
                                                    The West Bank Peace Council met in Ganyiel (for the first       Sadiq al-Mahdi has claimed that the Nigerian president
                                                    time in Nuer territory, where it was made most welcome)         will begin intensive contacts to assist the peace process,
                                                    to address the recent fighting in western Upper Nile and        not starting a new initiative but, with South Africa, acting
                                                    other challenges to the Wunlit peace accord. There was          within the framework of ongoing efforts. It is to be hoped
                                                    a good attendance from Upper Nile but SPLM/A was                that this refers to IGAD; however al-Mahdi and the other
                                                    not represented at all and apparently SPLM commission-          northern religious parties may prefer the LEI.
                                                    ers had not mobilised many Dinka chiefs, although some
                                                    from Tonj, Rumbek and Yirol counties did come. As usual         The USA has not yet articulated a policy on Sudan but
                                                    women constituted around one third of the participants.         there are continued indications that it intends to engage
                                                    The meeting made a number of recommendations, the               more robustly. It is important that mainstream churches
                                                    most significant of which was for a meeting between the         have input into the policy discussion. A delegation of US

Catholic bishops visited north and south Sudan, mainly to       numerous credible sources (Amnesty International, Hu-
show solidarity with the suffering churches of Sudan but        man Rights Watch, Christian Aid, Harker, UN Special Rap-
also in order to inform the US church on the situation.         porteurs, international NGOs, churches, various inter-
The American Muslim Alliance (AMA) has launched an in-          national media) who made their observations at ground
tensive drive to motivate and encourage the Muslim com-         level. Perhaps now is the time to challenge Talisman and
munity in the USA to actively participate in the US political   other oil companies to nominate their own observers to
process. This could be an opportunity for mainstream US         enter southern Sudan with independent human rights
Muslims to distance themselves from the ideology and hu-        monitors and see the evidence for themselves?
man rights abuses of the current regime in Khartoum.
                                                                BP held its shareholder meeting in London and was put
There has so far been little focus on the potential for the     under pressure to divest its interest in PetroChina. Suda-
USA to apply leverage to Egypt. Egypt arguably has a le-        nese church representatives have been in dialogue with
gitimate interest in Sudan as both neighbour and former         Shell over its supply of aviation fuel to the Sudanese air
colonial power, as well as in the Nile water. So far it has     force. It was pointed out that Shell is directly complicit in
expressed that interest by ruling out secession for the         the crimes against humanity carried out by GoS when it
south (in a recent visit to Washington, President Hosni         bombs Sudanese civilians. The Swedish government has
Mubarak re-iterated Egypt’s insistence on the “unity of         reportedly promised to investigate Lundin’s human rights
all Sudanese territory” and that “partition of Sudan was        record. Lundin has suspended its Jarayan 1 exploration for
not an option”) and by-passing the IGAD negotiations with       commercial reasons but plans to continue with Thar Jath
its own Libyan-Egyptian Initiative aimed at preserving the      1 and 2 in western Upper Nile. The Russian oil company
status quo by uniting the traditional sectarian parties in      Slavneft has announced plans for major investment in vari-
the north. Many would argue that Egypt’s interests would        ous areas, including the oil fields east of Melut in northern
be better served by persuading the Khartoum regime to           Upper Nile.
make the concessions necessary to convince southerners
that unity might work. Failing that, if the south were to
become independent, it would be in Egypt’s interest to          Military
begin wooing southerners now in order to have a friendly        A number of senior GoS military officials, including dep-
south rather than a hostile one. Since Egypt is reputedly       uty defence minister Colonel Ibrahim Shams ul-Din, died
the second largest recipient of US aid after Israel, it would   when an Antonov aircraft crashed while visiting the Adar
seem that there is significant potential for the USA to ap-     Yel oil field. GoS attributed the crash to bad weather al-
ply pressure. Lobby groups within the USA might wish to         though there have been suggestions that it might have
include this on their agenda.                                   been caused by northern opposition elements. There are
                                                                no indications that the aircraft was shot down by SPLM/A,
                                                                which has denied any involvement. There are allegations
Oil                                                             that the pilot was Iraqi; it has long been suspected that
In the run-up to its shareholder meeting early in May,          some of the GoS Antonov bombers are flown by foreign-
Talisman produced a report on its ethical compliance. As        ers.
expected, the narrow terms of reference given to ethical
auditors PriceWaterhouseCoopers, based on the Cana-             There is speculation that the loss of so many senior army
dian Code of Business Ethics, led to a report which does        officers in an air crash may affect GoS’ immediate military
not address the real issues of the scorched earth policy of     plans. It is believed that GoS has three major military ob-
GoS and the escalation of the war due to the oil industry.      jectives before the end of the current dry season, namely
It does contain interesting snippets, including an admission    the capture of Gogrial and Kurmuk and the completion of
that Talisman airstrips were used by GoS military aircraft      its scorched earth policy in the Adar Yel oil field.
for “non-defensive” purposes (presumably this means
“offensive”?) on a few occasions. Since then there have         At the end of March and throughout April GoS carried out
been allegations that the airstrips have been used more         a major offensive in southern Blue Nile on several fronts in
extensively for military operations in 2001. The launch of      pursuit of the last two of those objectives. It was decisively
Talisman’s report coincided with the return to Canada of        repulsed by SPLM/A. GoS suffered heavy casualties and
an ecumenical church delegation which visited southern          SPLM/A captured large quantities of materiel.
Sudan (they were denied visas to GoS-controlled Sudan);
their findings contradict those of Talisman and PWC. Tal-
isman has also attempted to defend itself by using satel-       There has been some bombing of civilians in northern
lite photographs to demonstrate that there has been no          Bahr al-Ghazal, which may be a prelude to a GoS offen-
displacement from the oil concession area. However the          sive. Both sides have been building up their forces in the
findings of their hired expert contradict the evidence of       area.

                                                    In the Nuba Mountains an airstrip was bombed when one          capture by Commander Gordon Kong’s GoS militia near
                                                    relief aircraft was on the ground and a second was about       Nasir. However the remaining two (one Ugandan and one
                                                    to land. In Narus a school and market-place were bombed;       Sudanese) are still being detained and there is serious con-
                                                    one child was killed. In both cases Sudanese Catholic bish-    cern over their safety. It seems strange that, apart from
                                                    ops experienced the bombing first hand. These and other        a letter to GoS from the UN Secretary General, neither
                                                    incidents demonstrate that GoS has not ceased its cam-         OLS nor the international community is publicly agitating
                                                    paign of bombing civilians, despite a reduction in incidents   for their release.
                                                    during the months of February and March.
                                                                                                                   The issue of work permits for aid workers is currently
                                                    Insecurity continued in Upper Nile.                            exercising both GoS and SPLM/A. GoS is demanding that
                                                                                                                   all aid workers in Sudan, even in territory controlled by
                                                    There have been some reports that GoS has withdrawn its        other parties in the war, should have visas issued by the
                                                    support to LRA rebels. On the other hand, there have also      Khartoum regime. Given GoS’ past record on visas in its
                                                    been clashes near Kitgum between the LRA and Ugandan           own territory and its continued refusal to allow humani-
                                                    forces. There is speculation that GoS is attempting to use     tarian access to the Nuba Mountains (see last month’s
                                                    LRA as it does both northern and southern Sudanese mili-       briefing) this move would severely affect humanitarian ac-
                                                    tias, keeping them at an official distance and claiming that   cess. It could also represent the greatest threat yet to the
                                                    it has no links with nor control over them, while at the       OLS tri-partite agreement. At the same time SRRA is ne-
                                                    same time encouraging the spread of havoc and destruc-         gotiating with NGOs over the issuing of work permits by
                                                    tion.                                                          SPLM/A for foreigners working in its territory. After being
                                                                                                                   discussed by a committee which has reached agreement
                                                                                                                   on other issues such as radio permits, it has now been
                                                    Humanitarian                                                   proposed that this issue go to a mediation committee as
                                                    There has been fighting between Dinka from Bor and             provided for in the Memorandum of Understanding. NGO
                                                    Bahr el-Ghazal in the Kakuma refugee camp in northern          concerns seem to focus on principle, cost and transpar-
                                                    Kenya. At least ten deaths are reported. It is not yet clear   ency rather than fears that this would limit access.
                                                    whether this was a local problem or whether it mirrors
                                                    wider tensions between these two groups.                       In mid-April humanitarian access to Upper Nile was still
                                                                                                                   tenuous. Only around 25% of OLS locations in Upper
                                                    Controversy continues over UNICEF’s air-lifting of de-         Nile were “green” for normal OLS access, with 9 closed

                                                    mobilised child soldiers from northern Bahr el-Ghazal          by the GoS flight ban and the remainder affected by inse-
                                                    to Rumbek County (see last month’s briefing for details).      curity. GoS is still banning OLS flights to 4 locations in Bahr
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    There is increasing evidence that many of them were not        el-Ghazal and to all locations south of the line Kapoeta-
                                                    soldiers. International NGOs sent a letter to UNICEF ex-       Torit-Juba-Yei in Equatoria.
                                                    pressing their concern and drawing UNICEF’s attention
                                                    to lessons learned from demobilisation of children in other
                                                    conflicts. Meanwhile many have confused this operation         Monthly Briefing: May-June 2001
                                                    with the equally controversial resettlement of unaccom-
                                                    panied minors from Kakuma to the USA, to the extent            2nd July 2001
                                                    that the UN had to issue a statement clarifying that these
                                                    were two unconnected operations carried out by differ-
                                                    ent UN agencies (UNICEF and UNHCR respectively).               Peace 1: IGAD
                                                    Churches which had been ministering to these “lost boys”       Following IPF concerns about the slow progress of the
                                                    since long before they arrived in Kakuma are concerned at      IGAD peace process, IGAD heads of state met in Nairobi.
                                                    the apparent lack of screening and consultation, and there     It is thought that the leaders began to realise that there
                                                    is speculation that many of the boys who attached them-        is a lack of seriousness on the part of both parties, but
                                                    selves to the UNICEF demobilisation operation may have         particularly GoS, which appears unwilling to compromise.
                                                    done so in the false expectation that they too would be        Dr. John Garang explained his position clearly to the heads
                                                    resettled in the USA.                                          of state but it is believed that the GoS agenda was not so
                                                                                                                   clearly articulated. Dr. John agreed to meet General Omar
                                                    OLS NGO staff were evacuated from the Shilluk kingdom,         al-Bashir, but the general refused. While the GoS charm
                                                    controlled by SPLM/A (United) which has signed a peace         offensive seems to have fooled Europe, it may have had
                                                    agreement with GoS, after problems with local authori-         less impact on its neighbours in IGAD.
                                                    ties. They later returned.
                                                                                                                   While there was little dramatic progress, it was agreed
                                                    It is understood that President Moi secured the release        that sub-committees should continue to discuss wealth-
                                                    of the two Kenyan aid workers from the OLS NGO                 sharing, self-administration, a cease-fire, and state and
                                                    ADRA who were held by GoS in Khartoum following their          religion. More importantly it was agreed to set up a

permanent negotiating team in Nairobi, representing both       that NSCC has been too close to SPLM/A; indeed some
parties. The heads of state agreed to meet again in two        have even likened it to the spiritual wing of SPLM/A. This
months to monitor progress.                                    conference should finally clear up that misconception. The
                                                               church is with the people at the centre of any struggle for
As part of the IGAD summit meeting SPLM/A called for           liberation from oppression, but is not associated with any
a comprehensive cease-fire through an immediate move           one movement.
to the Interim Arrangements Committee, which has the
question of a cease-fire as part of its mandate. GoS has       The decision by any movement not to attend such a con-
consistently refused to move to this committee while dis-      ference, while regrettable, is nevertheless part of politi-
ingenuously calling for a cease-fire independently of the      cal life. However the conference criticised SPLM/A for
existing process and the DoP which it has signed. SPLM/A       blocking the attendance of some citizens in areas under its
has now called GoS’ bluff and stated that it will accept a     control. SPLM officials were present at some airstrips to
comprehensive cease-fire, even one that by-passes the In-      prevent participants from travelling to the conference and
terim Arrangements Committee, if certain conditions are        in one instance a Catholic priest was physically prevented
met. These include a move towards self-determination           from leaving aboard an OLS flight. The conference asked
after a period of preparation, an internationally-supervised   SPLM/A to clarify its position regarding freedom of assem-
disengagement of forces, a cessation of oil exploration and    bly and freedom of movement, particularly in the light of
exploitation to prevent GoS from strengthening itself mili-    its own written statutes.
tarily during the cease-fire, and an expansion of the cease-
fire to all zones of conflict including the eastern front.     However if opponents of SPLM/A had thought that this
                                                               conference would provide them with a platform, this was
                                                               not the case. The tone of the conference was very posi-
Peace 2: the Kisumu Declaration                                tive, seeking unity within the south rather than confronta-
Unity of purpose, unity of effort, unity of ideals; these      tion. Again and again Drs. John Garang and Riek Machar
words sum up the spirit of Strategic Linkages 2. This          were urged to unite. Nuer chiefs stated that they had no
conference, held in Kisumu, Kenya from 16th to 22nd            objection to Nuer joining SPLM/A to fight the common
June 2001 at the request of Sudanese traditional leaders,      enemy, but they condemned those who then turned their
was part of the people to people peace and reconcilia-         guns back on the Nuer people, a reference to Peter Gadet
tion process facilitated by NSCC. The objectives of this       amongst others. A conference resolution urged SPLM/A
conference, called at the request of traditional leaders in    to address this problem. Unity in the face of a common
Sudan, were to provide a forum for all actors to meet and      threat and clarification of the goal of liberation were con-
for all their voices to be heard, to promote dialogue and      stant themes.
look for consensus for a way forward, and to consolidate
the achievements of the people to people peace process.        The Kisumu Declaration affirmed that “liberation is the
There were over 200 participants from a broad range of         common and prime agenda” for the people of southern
backgrounds, regions, and organisations in Sudan and the       Sudan and other marginalised areas and that “it is the peo-
diaspora, including more than 50 traditional chiefs, elders    ple who are at the centre of the liberation struggle”. Self-
and women as well as representatives of civil society,         determination is “the central objective”. All movements
politicians and members of southern political movements.       should immediately cease hostilities amongst themselves.
Representatives of the Kenyan government, foreign em-          NSCC is affirmed and encouraged to continue and expand
bassies, donor partners and other international organi-        the people to people peace and reconciliation process,
sations attended the entire conference as observers and        particularly with regard to Upper Nile and Equatoria, to
witnessed the Kisumu Declaration. Despite ill-informed         maintain its neutrality and independence, and to continue
rumours circulating in Nairobi, one eminent person who         to engage with all parties including SPLM/A. A number of
definitely did not attend was General Joseph Lagu from         resolutions addressed the international community. Once
Khartoum!                                                      again southerners called for oil exploration and exploita-
                                                               tion to cease until there is a just and comprehensive peace,
NSCC invited all southern political movements to this im-      for a military no-fly zone, and for an end to slavery. Finally,
portant meeting. The SPLM/A declined the invitation, al-       the threat of HIV/AIDS was recognised.
though some SPLM members attended as private citizens.
It is believed that SPLM would have preferred to first fol-    Members of Kenya’s NDP, which has recently entered the
low up with NSCC some issues on which differences had          Kenyan government in coalition with KANU, stressed the
arisen after the 1997 SPLM/NSCC dialogue in Kijiko, and        ethnic links between Kenya’s Luos and the people of south-
that SPLM also felt that it should have been involved in       ern Sudan. They were remarkably supportive of southern
preparing the Strategic Linkages concept. However this         aspirations for self-determination and even secession. It
conference was convened at the request of the traditional      remains to be seen whether this represents mainstream
leaders in Sudan and no political movement was involved        Kenyan government policy and whether Kenya will be
in preparing the concept. In the past some have suggested      willing to champion this cause at the OAU.

                                                    Around 70 Nuer participants from 12 Nuer ethnic groups          From this viewpoint, Sudan already exercised its right to
                                                    remained in Kisumu for a further one-day meeting. They          self-determination when it became independent from
                                                    produced their own resolutions calling on SPDF and SSLM         Britain and Egypt in 1956. However southerners would
                                                    to implement “organic unity”, to cease all hostilities be-      argue that the south was never given a proper opportu-
                                                    tween themselves and to enter into dialogue with other          nity to exercise this right and thus the self-determination
                                                    liberation movements to achieve unity of purpose in the         process was flawed. Another approach is to demand the
                                                    liberation struggle.                                            approval of the sovereign government of Sudan for self-
                                                                                                                    determination. GoS has committed itself in writing to self-
                                                    Peace-making is a process and it is misleading to label any     determination by signing the DoP and GoS representa-
                                                    single stage a “success” or “failure”. Holding the Kisumu       tives at the conference publicly confirmed that, while they
                                                    Conference in the face of non-cooperation from SPLM/            would campaign for the continued unity of Sudan, they
                                                    A was a calculated risk and many doubted its wisdom             would nevertheless stand by the agreements that GoS has
                                                    right up to the very last minute. However there is a gen-       signed. Every significant party in Sudan, north and south,
                                                    eral feeling that this conference marked a significant step     has committed itself to self-determination in various
                                                    forward. The Kisumu Declaration has arguably set the            documents and instruments. The international community
                                                    stage for future engagement by all parties. The onus is         should hold them to this.
                                                    now on NSCC to demonstrate to the full the core Chris-
                                                    tian values of love and reconciliation in order to draw         Clearly southerners have some work to do to unravel
                                                    SPLM/A back into the process, while SPLM/A must pay             the legal complexities of self-determination and to lobby
                                                    heed to the voices of the wide range of southern civil so-      the international community. Increasingly the situation in
                                                    ciety represented in Kisumu.                                    Sudan is being recognised as a form of colonialism, even
                                                                                                                    apartheid. South Africa was the last bastion of white dom-
                                                                                                                    ination in Africa but there is a growing recognition that
                                                    Peace 3: Self-Determination                                     colonialism still exists in Africa in the form of the Arab
                                                    The German Sudan Forum held its 13th annual confer-             domination of Sudan.
                                                    ence at the beginning of May in Hermannsburg, bringing
                                                    together the Sudanese diaspora in northern Europe with          Views on self-determination were presented by a number
                                                    representatives from Khartoum and southern Sudan. Both          of southern figures, as well as the Popular National Con-
                                                    northerners and southerners were present at this prestig-       gress and GoS. GoS representatives angrily denied that
                                                    ious meeting and GoS was represented by its ambassador          slavery exists, despite the observations of a German gov-

                                                    to Germany and senior officials from Khartoum. The key-         ernment official who had recently visited southern Sudan,
                                                    note speech by Elder Abel Alier explored the historical         although they did admit that there are abductions and kid-
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    roots of the current situation when Sudan was first colo-       nappings. They also heatedly affirmed their African iden-
                                                    nised by the Turco-Egyptians around 1820, and when they         tity in response to a comment from the floor.
                                                    first turned their attention to the south in the 1840s.
                                                                                                                    “Self-determination” and “secession” are not the same
                                                    The topic of this year’s conference was self-determina-         thing. Secession is just one of several possible outcomes of
                                                    tion, one of the three priority advocacy issues identified      the self-determination exercise, and the Sudanese church
                                                    by the Sudan Ecumenical Forum (the other two being              advocates for self-determination without presupposing
                                                    oil and aerial bombing). A German constitutional expert         the outcome. However, although there does seem to be a
                                                    presented an overview of international law and precedent        convergence of southern views on the desired outcome,
                                                    regarding self-determination. It was suggested that the         SPLM/A’s cautiousness on this issue resurfaced as Dr. John
                                                    internationally-recognised right to self-determination is       Garang met President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo at the end
                                                    exercised only when a people obtains its freedom from           of June. While most southerners favour secession, press
                                                    colonisation; it can then choose a number of options,           reports state that Dr. John denied that SPLM/A is seeking
                                                    including independence, unity with the former colonial          secession from Sudan. Many find this confusing and hope
                                                    power, or merging with another entity. For this reason the      that southerners will soon be able to speak with more
                                                    UN supports East Timor’s right to self-determination be-        clarity and unity on their ultimate goals.
                                                    cause it was illegally occupied by Indonesia and its status
                                                    as a “non-self-governing nation” is effectively still that of
                                                    a Portuguese colony seeking decolonisation. The interna-        Peace 4: SPLM/A and SPDF
                                                    tional community has generally only recognised secession        For several months a committee comprising members of
                                                    for ethnic groups or geographical regions within an exist-      SPLM/A and SPDF has been meeting to discuss relations
                                                    ing sovereign state (ie not at the point of decolonisation)     between the two movements. On 28th May three mem-
                                                    when the sovereign government of that country has given         bers of the SPDF committee, led by Taban Deng, held a
                                                    its approval. Eritrea’s secession from Ethiopia is a recent     press conference in Nairobi and announced that organic
                                                    example of this.                                                unity had been achieved between the two movements
                                                                                                                    under the name of SPLM/A. Almost immediately SPDF

issued a second statement refuting this. It stated that,          countries have already refused to raise the level of Lake
while SPDF is committed to negotiations with SPLM/A,              Victoria, which would inundate large areas of Kenya,
the committee members moved too fast and were not                 Uganda and Tanzania, and there is no hope of more wa-
authorised to sign an agreement which Dr. Riek Machar             ter from Ethiopia’s Blue Nile. In the short term it may be
himself had not seen.                                             in Egypt’s interest to prolong the war, as Sudan will not
                                                                  develop and use more of its own water during the war. In
According to Dr. Riek, who returned to Nairobi from               the long term, Egypt would like a united Sudan, in which
Upper Nile shortly before the press conference but was            a friendly government would complete the Jonglei Canal.
unable to prevent it taking place, much of what is in the         Egypt could go to war if it felt that its water interests were
agreement is acceptable. The committee negotiated on              threatened, although that is not likely in the short term. At
political, military, governance and humanitarian policies         the end of June the 10 Nile basin countries (as one press
and there was significant convergence of views. How-              report states, “some of them at war with themselves or
ever he did not want to go ahead and sign until there was         each other”) met to discuss the Nile water.
some measure of ownership by the whole movement,
especially in the field. One sticking point was the name
of the movement. Dr. Riek himself is comfortable with             Military
the name SPLM/A as he feels that this name belongs to             May and June saw three large-scale military offensives,
all southerners involved in the liberation struggle and not       two by GoS and one by SPLM/A, all of which resulted in
just to Dr. John Garang’s movement. However many of his           heavy losses for GoS.
followers reject it, fearing that it will appear as if SPDF has
simply been swallowed by SPLM/A. There is also a feeling          A huge GoS offensive, the biggest in the Nuba Mountains
that content is more important than name; one cannot              for many years, began around the 17th May. Long-range
name a new united movement before there is agreement              shelling continued for 15 days. There were many civilian
on what it is to be.                                              deaths and reports that hundreds were abducted. Fight-
                                                                  ing was fierce but GoS forces suffered heavily before be-
Subsequently Taban Deng and his colleagues joined SPLM/           ing pushed back to their start positions. SPLM/A losses
A. However SPDF claims to have evidence that they had             were reportedly light, and at one point SPLM/A even
in fact already joined SPLM/A, and that at least as early as      staged a counter-offensive, overrunning a GoS garrison
11th May they were already planning to go ahead with the          near Heiban. It would seem that Abdel Aziz Adam Helu
press conference whether Dr. Riek agreed or not. This             has made a difference to the morale and effectiveness of
analyst has not yet been able to interview all the actors         SPLM/A forces. At the end of June GoS claimed to have
involved to shed more light. SPLM/A has not publicly in-          retaken the Um Surduba area but there is no independent
volved itself in SPDF’s problems.                                 confirmation of this.

From the outset, many observers doubted the SPLM-                 Southern Blue Nile had already seen a GoS offensive in
SPDF committee and were surprised at indications that             March in which GoS forces briefly overran Geissan (Gizan)
it was making such good progress. SPDF, as a smaller              before being pushed back with the loss of a helicopter
movement under pressure of military logistics, certainly          gunship. After that GoS forces reportedly regrouped and
has incentives to forge some agreement with its larger            brought fresh troops from Juba and elsewhere. Around
neighbour. However many Nuer feel that while SPLM/A               22nd May they launched a fresh offensive on three fronts,
wants Nuer soldiers, it generally encourages them to join         reportedly using over 7,000 troops supported by heli-
the movement piecemeal (as with Peter Gadet and oth-              copter gunships and Antonov bombers. The main attack
ers) rather than as an organised movement, and that some          was directed at Kurmuk. SPLM/A apparently allowed GoS
elements within SPLM/A fear Nuer unity. SSLM also says            troops to advance southwards to within 20 kms of Kur-
that it is not planning any hurried mergers, as there is still    muk before ambushing them from behind and bottling
much Nuer hostility to SPLM/A.                                    them up. The GoS forces were scattered, some escap-
                                                                  ing on foot and some wandering into Kurmuk by mistake.
                                                                  There are reports that they lost all their vehicles and that
Peace 5: Egypt and the Nile Water                                 senior officers were amongst the many GoS troops killed
The Hermannsburg conference also considered Egypt’s               in the fighting. SPLM/A losses were reportedly light. At-
involvement in Sudan, as a former colonial power but              tacks on the other two fronts were small and were ap-
more importantly because of its concern for the Nile              parently repulsed easily. Antonov bombers are reported
water. Egypt already has a shortfall of water and this will       to have dropped leaflets before the attack alleging US in-
increase dramatically as new irrigation schemes come on           volvement with SPLM/A and advising SPLM/A forces to
line. Therefore Egypt’s concern is not only to safeguard          surrender (holding their guns in their left hands and wav-
existing supplies but to increase the amount of water it          ing the leaflets in their right!) as they had no chance. The
receives from Sudan. The only possible source of more             rains have started and it would seem that southern Blue
water for Egypt is the Jonglei Canal, since East African          Nile is now relatively secure from any fresh ground of-

                                                    Around 26th May SPLM/A launched its own offensive in             NGO personnel was shelled on the ground. International
                                                    western Bahr el-Ghazal. After capturing Deim Zubeir they         agencies endorsed a statement by the local humanitarian
                                                    quickly moved to Sopo and by 2nd June were in control            organisation, NRRDO, calling for immediate intervention
                                                    of Raga. A few days later SPLM/A secured Boro. SPLM/A            to avert a humanitarian disaster. It accused GoS of denying
                                                    now controls virtually the whole of Bahr el-Ghazal except        humanitarian access and using hunger as a weapon of war.
                                                    the towns of Aweil and Wau. Shelling of Wau has begun.           Most observers agree that GoS is trying to force civilians
                                                    SPLM/A now has the potential to exploit trade with the           to leave SPLM/A areas and flee to GoS “peace villages” in
                                                    Central African Republic and to make contact with op-            order to obtain food.
                                                    position groups in Darfur, although the strength of the
                                                    latter is uncertain and this gain might not be as strategi-      Food security around Keili and Geissan (Gizan) has been
                                                    cally significant as some commentators suggest. Threats          adversely affected by the GoS offensive in southern Blue
                                                    of a large counter-offensive by GoS, using southern mi-          Nile. People were temporarily displaced to Ethiopia and
                                                    litia, have not yet materialised. There is speculation that      some villages were reportedly burnt by GoS forces.
                                                    SPLM/A was itself helped (or at least not hindered) by
                                                    Fertit forces which had become disillusioned with GoS.           Large numbers of civilian fled into barren areas of south-
                                                    It is not clear why the EU chose to condemn this SPLM/A          ern Darfur during the fighting in western Bahr el-Ghazal.
                                                    offensive without condemning the two larger and more             A number, including at least one church worker, have been
                                                    destructive GoS offensives.                                      arrested by GoS forces in ed-Daein and there is concern
                                                                                                                     for their safety. SPLM/A is encouraging them to return.
                                                    SPLM/A also successfully ambushed an oil-field resupply          The Catholic church issued an appeal for humanitarian as-
                                                    column near Wang Kai. Heavy military and oil-related             sistance and a number of international agencies have begun
                                                    equipment was reportedly destroyed. At the end of June           to assess the situation in and around Raga. GoS has not yet
                                                    SPLM/A claimed to have repulsed GoS attacks near Wang            given OLS permission to fly to Raga. The UN and interna-
                                                    Kai and Old Fangak.                                              tional NGOs evacuated their staff from Wau around 14th
                                                                                                                     June, during a cessation of shelling agreed with SPLM/A for
                                                    Bombing of civilians continued, despite a GoS claim that         this purpose, and there is now serious concern about the
                                                    it had ceased bombing between 24th May and 11th June.            humanitarian situation within Wau.
                                                    In one incident at Bararud on 6th June (ie during the “ces-
                                                    sation”) bombs narrowly missed a WFP aircraft as it was          On 9th May the Danish co-pilot of an ICRC aircraft was
                                                    dropping food. The GoS Antonov bombed from above                 killed when it was hit by small-arms fire over eastern Equa-

                                                    the WFP C-130.                                                   toria. All sides deny responsibility; this would appear to be
                                                                                                                     a tragic but isolated incident. The last of the four ADRA
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    Sporadic fighting between different Nuer factions has con-       workers abducted by militia near Nasir on 8th March and
                                                    tinued in other parts of Upper Nile. In May fighting was         held by GoS in Khartoum was finally released on 22nd
                                                    reported near Daga Post, Ganyiel, Nyal, Udier and Lank-          May. On 22nd June SPDF detained two passengers from
                                                    ien, and in June near Fangak and Lankien. At the end of          other factions on an OLS flight that made a refuelling stop
                                                    May SSLM accused SPLM/A of planning to attack its forces         in Mading.
                                                    in Akobo.

                                                    There was some fighting between SPLM/A and LRA near              Monthly Briefing: July 2001
                                                    Parajok in Equatoria. Ugandan forces confirm that they
                                                    entered Sudan to attack LRA at Lumarati on 20th June to          31st July 2001
                                                    prevent them from entering Uganda.

                                                    There have been reports of GoS helicopter gunships hov-          The African Union
                                                    ering over OLS NGO vehicles and compounds, apparently            At a summit meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, the Organisation
                                                    identifying markings on the vehicles and flags.                  of African Unity (OAU) gave way to the African Union
                                                                                                                     (AU). Primarily an economic union, there are many who
                                                                                                                     also want it to have a human rights and democratisation
                                                    Humanitarian                                                     focus, encouraging conflict management and resolution as
                                                    Food security in the Nuba Mountains is reportedly very           well as mutual accountability within Africa. These prin-
                                                    bad as a result of the GoS offensive. Thousands of civilians     ciples are enshrined in the New African Initiative, which
                                                    were displaced and hundreds kidnapped. Several villages,         effectively merges the Millennium African Recovery Pro-
                                                    churches and schools were burnt, and stocks of food              gramme (MAP) and the Omega Plan. In this regard Su-
                                                    were destroyed. Airstrips were temporarily closed by             dan will be a test case for the AU. Southern Sudanese are
                                                    the shelling and at least one relief flight with international   increasingly expressing their plight in terms of colonial

oppression. Using that argument, South Africa was not the         insensitive pursuit of oil interests in the Sudan might
last bastion of colonialism on the African continent; that        contribute to the escalation of the civil war.” This fol-
dubious honour lies with Sudan, where it is an Arab rather        lows indications from the South African Ministry of Min-
than a white regime which still denies the right of self-de-      eral and Energy Affairs that Soekor was about to sign an
termination to indigenous African peoples.                        agreement with GoS following a visit to Khartoum by the
                                                                  deputy minister. The South African Ministry of Foreign Af-
Southern Sudanese face an uphill struggle. It is by no means      fairs privately opposed the deal and the SACBC publicly
certain that the new AU will pay any more attention to            condemned it. The media took up the controversy and it
the needs of sub-Saharan Africans than did the OAU; the           would appear that Soekor has, at least for the time being,
new organisation will still contain the same Arabised north       backed down.
African states. Colonel Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi of Libya is
the force behind the creation of the AU, turning his atten-       The following week the Sudanese Foreign Minister, Mus-
tion to pan-Africanism after his attempts at pan-Arabism          tafa Osman Ismail, visited South Africa. He described
failed. His African credentials are dubious after the racist      his visit as “successful” but there are indications that the
violence against Africans in Libya in October 2000, despite       South African Foreign Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma,
recent populist speeches and promises of financial lar-           was uncompromising in her dealings with him.
gesse in Zimbabwe. GoS also has identity problems, hav-
ing just agreed with Saudi Arabia to explore the prospect         Kenya too became embroiled with Sudan’s oil. The new
of military cooperation, and to be assisted in re-entering        Energy Minister, Raila Odinga, announced that Kenya
the Arab community after years of isolation following GoS’        would purchase oil from Sudan via a little-known Ken-
support for Iraq during the Gulf War. Colonel al-Qadhafi          yan company, Bahriya Petroleum. The Kenyan Catho-
has stressed the need for the political discourse in Sudan        lic Church condemned the move and Sudanese women
to focus on the preservation of Sudan’s unity, but conced-        demonstrated against “blood oil”. The Finance Minister
ed that GoS’ call for jihad provoked Africans.                    publicly contradicted the Energy Minister. The USA inter-
                                                                  vened, reportedly promising investment in Kenya’s energy
On the other hand, there is potential for southern Sudan          industry if Kenya refrained from buying Sudanese oil. GoS
to find powerful allies within the AU, particularly South         also intervened, threatening retaliatory trade sanctions
Africa, which may find itself in competition with Libya for       against Kenyan tea and coffee. The national press took up
influence in Africa. Colonel al-Qadhafi was a close friend        the controversy.
of the ANC during the anti-apartheid struggle, but South
Africa’s recent assistance in solving his Lockerbie problem       Raila Odinga has only recently joined the government
may have paid off all debts to a former ally whom many            of Kenya after his NDP entered an alliance with the rul-
would increasingly see as a liability. South Africa’s strategic   ing KANU. Presumably he is anxious to make his mark.
partners include Algeria and Nigeria. It is thought that the      However those who attended the recent Kisumu peace
chair of the AU will be in southern Africa for the next four      conference will be surprised at this U-turn by the NDP,
years (Zambia, South Africa, Mozambique and possibly              whose spokesmen vigorously assured the participants of
Angola), which could represent a window of opportunity            their party’s support for the people of southern Sudan.
for southern Sudan. President Thabo Mbeki is known to             But Mr. Odinga may also find himself up against vested
have an interest in Sudan’s civil war, particularly due to its    interests within Kenya. Sudanese oil is zero-rated under
links to other conflicts stretching through central Africa.       COMESSA rules, which could make for cheaper fuel for
                                                                  Kenyans. However it is not universally welcomed, as it will
To capitalise on opportunities in Africa SPLM/A, as the           mean less tax revenue for the Kenyan government and
largest and most important liberation movement, needs             may also threaten the interests of establishment figures
to enhance its diplomatic skills, but all southern Sudanese       who own stakes in the Kenyan petroleum market.
movements need to demonstrate their commitment to
southern unity, human rights and good governance, and a           Ethiopia is already buying Sudanese oil, and reportedly
clear and unambiguous statement of the objective of the           plans to obtain 85% of its oil from Khartoum by 2002.
people’s liberation struggle.                                     The recent events in Kenya and South Africa show how
                                                                  the potential market is expanding. Sudan’s Kenana Sugar
                                                                  Company is also planning to invest in Kenya’s Miwani and
Oil and Africa                                                    Muhoroni sugar companies. With its expanding oil-driven
South Africa’s parastatal oil company, Soekor, has stated         economy, GoS may attempt to influence it’s poorer neigh-
that it “is not about to enter into any agreement with the        bours. African churches and civil society groups sympa-
Sudanese Government” to prospect for oil in southern              thetic to the plight of the southern Sudanese should be
Sudan and that it shares “the concerns of the Southern            alert to this threat and be ready to respond quickly, as has
African Catholic Bishops’ Conference [SACBC] that an              happened in South Africa and Kenya.

                                                    Water                                                          The degradation of civil society is also a problem in north-
                                                    A recent Kenyan newspaper article, whilst respecting           ern Sudan. In the past it was a potent force. Led by the
                                                    Egypt’s unique dependence on Nile water, has neverthe-         professional associations it toppled two regimes by in-
                                                    less questioned the apparent veto that Egypt and Sudan         tifada. However when the NIF came to power in 1989
                                                    have on the division of the water as a result of treaties      it created a highly effective state security apparatus and
                                                    signed during the colonial era. It argues that East African    embarked on a brutal policy of repression and torture to
                                                    countries and Ethiopia also have a right to make increasing    break the will of the people. There is little hope of an-
                                                    use of the Nile for the development of their own peo-          other intifada but northern Sudanese civil society still has
                                                    ples.                                                          potential.

                                                    Peace: Kisumu                                                  Peace? The Libyan-Egyptian Initiative
                                                    A number of Nuer-Nuer meetings have been held fol-             There was a great deal of media hype about the Libyan-
                                                    lowing the Kisumu peace conference, although even the          Egyptian Initiative (LEI). All northern parties have now
                                                    organisation of these meetings has led to some acrimony        accepted the initiative, which is hardly surprising, along
                                                    within the Nuer community.                                     with the NDA. However the NDA, in giving the initiative
                                                                                                                   a “cautious welcome”, set conditions which are unlikely to
                                                    Meanwhile the SPLM/A has issued a statement, through           be acceptable to northerners. SPLM/A expressed through
                                                    its representative to the Nordic countries and the EU,         NDA its desire to discuss self-determination and state
                                                    explaining its non-attendance at the Kisumu conference         and religion. These demands are part of the Declaration
                                                    and denying that it prevented any private individuals from     of Principles (DoP) which GoS and SPLM/A have signed,
                                                    attending. Unfortunately those who have followed the           and it is hard to see how any lasting peace can be attained
                                                    process do not find its arguments very convincing. SPLM/       without reference to the DoP. Even members of the GoS’
                                                    A is under pressure from its external supporters as well as    puppet southern administration have reservations about
                                                    from many of its members to re-engage with the people          the LEI because it ignores these two key issues. “I strongly
                                                    to people peace process. NSCC and SPLM/A must work             feel that any initiative aimed at resolving the Sudanese is-
                                                    together to break the apparent impasse and move for-           sue cannot succeed fully if the problem of the south is
                                                    ward.                                                          not addressed,” the Vice-Chairman of the South Sudan
                                                                                                                   Coordination Council, Theophilus Ochang, was quoted as
                                                    But perhaps the people to people process demonstrates a        saying. Shortly after the announcement of the LEI “break-

                                                    larger problem: the difficulty which the movements have        through”, General Omar Hassan al-Bashir repeated his
                                                    in coming to terms with the slowly emerging civil soci-        commitment to Islamic sharia and said that the National
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    ety in southern Sudan and the other marginalised areas.        Salvation Revolution government (ie the current military
                                                    The 1983 civil war began as a military struggle, and during    regime) will never change. His government welcomes
                                                    its formative years was heavily influenced by Mengistu’s       peace, but “without its price being separation of the state
                                                    brand of Marxist revolution. The political transformation      from religion or dismantling of the country or its cultural
                                                    of SPLM/A did not begin in earnest until 1994. While the       orientation.” Some opposition groups, including the DUP,
                                                    people of southern Sudan are firmly behind the struggle        reportedly accused General al-Bashir of publicly support-
                                                    against Arab oppression, they do not yet have ownership        ing the LEI whilst at the same time deliberately under-
                                                    of the movements. South Africa is perhaps an instruc-          mining it. The Vice-President, Ali Osman Taha, denied any
                                                    tive example here. The anti-apartheid struggle began as        differences between himself and the president over the
                                                    a popular struggle; the political and military components      LEI. It is difficult to see how anything has really changed
                                                    developed later. South Africa had a thriving civil society;    for the better.
                                                    southern Sudan didn’t. The people to people peace proc-
                                                    ess is not only a means of reconciling ethnic groups within    SPLM/A called for the LEI to be integrated with the IGAD
                                                    southern Sudan; it is also an empowerment of civil society.    process, while SSLM/A issued a press statement denounc-
                                                    Some within the movements welcome this as they are             ing the LEI as a “derailment” of the IGAD process, “violat-
                                                    aware that true liberation will never come without the         ing” the DoP and failing to recognise “the inalienable rights
                                                    involvement of civil society, and that their very legitimacy   of the people of South Sudan of self-determination.” This
                                                    depends on the people. Others are slower to adapt to this      intervention by one of the smaller southern factions also
                                                    new development, perhaps even seeing it as a threat to         serves to remind us that there is, as yet, no peace process
                                                    their own influence. Empowerment, by its very nature, is       which involves all parties to the conflict. It is also worth
                                                    the antithesis of control.                                     noting that neither the LEI nor the IGAD process involves
                                                                                                                   civil society; all negotiations for peace in Sudan are in the
                                                                                                                   hands of unelected parties, both northern and southern.

Military                                                          The LRA is understandably viewed by most southern Su-
Aerial attacks on civilians continued, with NGO com-              danese as an enemy, supported by GoS and committing
pounds hit and a number of deaths reported.                       atrocities against the local people and international NGOs.
                                                                  Stray LRA soldiers do not receive much sympathy. How-
Major military action seems to have declined with the             ever groups representing the parents of Ugandan children
onset of the rains. Many observers are questioning why            abducted by the LRA present a different view. The vast
SPLM/A did not follow up its successful offensive in north-       majority of LRA troops are children and should be viewed
ern Bahr el-Ghazal with an attempt to capture Aweil and           as hostages rather than belligerents. Many are trying to
thus spare the people the misery of GoS military trains and       escape from LRA and return home, but the hostility they
their accompanying PDF raiders.                                   meet in southern Sudan makes it even more difficult for
                                                                  them to do so. Perhaps it is time for churches and NGOs
SPLM/A destroyed a second oil convoy in western Upper             to begin spreading a more humanitarian message about
Nile. An independent journalist confirmed that there were         the treatment of these abused and traumatised children?
Chinese amongst the GoS dead. SPLM/A claimed to have
shot down a GoS helicopter gunship in western Upper
Nile; GoS claimed it crashed due to a mechanical fault.           Monthly Briefing: August 2001

There has been virtually no inter-factional fighting in Up-       1st September 2001
per Nile since the Kisumu conference in June.

                                                                  The Sudanese Church
Humanitarian                                                      The Episcopal (Anglican) and Roman Catholic bishops of
Geissan (Gizan), Keili and Keren-Keren are suffering se-          Sudan, north and south, from areas controlled by all the
vere food shortages as a result of the recent GoS offen-          warring factions, met for the first time ever in Nairobi in a
sive, but the rest of southern Blue Nile is reportedly not        meeting described by Catholic Archbishop Paulino Lokudu
too bad. The situation in the Nuba Mountains is also seri-        as “historic”. The bishops issued an appeal entitled “Let
ous, again mainly as a result of the GoS offensive. GoS           there be a just and durable peace in Sudan” which was
prevents humanitarian access by OLS to both areas. Else-          sent to General Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir and Dr.
where in southern Sudan there will be pockets of food             John Garang de Mabior. The appeal was also addressed
shortage. There will also be severe famine in parts of            to all Sudanese parties and factions, to various regional
northern Sudan.                                                   and international bodies, and to Pope John Paul II and the
                                                                  Archbishop of Canterbury. The bishops appealed for an
As of the end of June, funding for the UN consolidated            immediate end to hostilities. “A negotiated settlement,
inter-agency appeal for 2001 stood at 59%, according              rather than military means, is the only way to achieve a just
to OCHA. However, that statistic disguised a situation            and lasting peace.” However stopping the war, in itself, is
in which non-food requirements were just 30% funded,              “not sufficient for the establishment of a just and lasting
while the food sector was 75% funded. The total funding           peace. The root causes of the conflict must also be ad-
requirement for the year was US$ 244.6 million. Among             dressed.” The bishops called for “diversity in the national
the items proposed in the under-funded non-food sec-              identity”, power sharing and wealth sharing, and insisted
tor are interventions for emergency preparedness and              that the issues of state and religion and self-determination
response, health, nutrition, education, water and sanita-         be addressed. They affirmed the people to people peace
tion, protection and human rights promotion, reconcili-           and reconciliation process facilitated by NSCC, urged “all
ation, resettlement and rehabilitation, and reproductive          parties to the conflict to engage and support seriously this
health. The UN has belatedly realised the need for longer-        process and any similar process in the north” and called
term programmes of a more developmental nature, but it            for the grassroots efforts to “be linked to the higher na-
seems that its donors are not so enlightened.                     tional political level”. They also affirmed and supported
                                                                  “the ongoing initiatives for peace” of the Sudan Ecumenical
Human rights violations are on the rise in Sudan, marked          Forum (SEF), which links the Sudanese churches with the
by abductions, arbitrary arrests and the forced displace-         international church network, called for “genuine Chris-
ment of people, according to UN Special Rapporteur on             tian-Muslim dialogue” and strongly reaffirmed the position
Human Rights in the Sudan, Gerhart Baum. “The situa-              of church and civil society in southern Sudan regarding oil:
tion now is worse than one year ago…. It is a fact that           “Suspension of oil extraction until peace is achieved”.
oil is fuelling the war… It is not a religious war. Religion is
misused.... It is a power struggle.” Baum said many of the
human rights violations were happening under the cover
of war.

                                                    Kenyan Catholic Archbishop Raphael Ndingi Mwana                 sharing of national wealth as set out in the 1997 Khartoum
                                                    a’Nzeki led a prayer service for Sudan. The basilica in cen-    Peace Agreement. The officials, including ministers and
                                                    tral Nairobi was packed with members of the Sudanese            provincial governors, all members of the ruling National
                                                    community. Catholic and Episcopalian bishops from Sudan         Congress, reminded GoS of its commitments towards
                                                    took part. The service was organised by the Sudanese            the development of the south during a meeting chaired
                                                    women who had already taken a lead in alerting Kenyan           by former vice president George Kongor Arop. They ex-
                                                    civil society to moves by Kenyan companies to import            pressed their support for Sudanese unity, but underlined
                                                    Sudanese oil. Archbishop Ndingi prayed that God would           that it should be “voluntary” and decided upon by ref-
                                                    inspire the leadership to halt murder and displacement.         erendum. They also said the application of Islamic sharia
                                                    The resources of a country should be used for peace and         should be limited to the north, while the south should
                                                    reconciliation; oil should help end the conflict, not pro-      have the right to self-determination.
                                                    long it. He defended the right of self-determination and
                                                    called on his listeners never to give up; the worst enemy       Even Sadiq al-Mahdi has urged Egypt and Libyan to sup-
                                                    for those seeking their rights is despair. But he also called   port self-determination for southerners. He said refusing
                                                    for dialogue and insisted that there should be no revenge.      to allow the south to decide its future would only harden
                                                                                                                    opposition to unity and denying the right to self-determi-
                                                    NSCC held its General Assembly in Kericho, Kenya. The           nation would spark demands for immediate separation
                                                    Assembly affirmed the people to people peace and recon-         which would probably gain support on the international
                                                    ciliation process, called “on all movements to respect and      and regional levels. Egypt and Libya are opposed to self-
                                                    cooperate with the will of the people as expressed in the       determination, fearing it could result in separation of the
                                                    various people to people conferences, which culminated          south, but GoS and all significant northern and southern
                                                    in the Kisumu Declaration”, and affirmed both the IGAD          opposition groups as well as pro-government southerners
                                                    Declaration of Principles and the advocacy priorities of the    have formally accepted it in various documents and instru-
                                                    SEF (the right of self-determination, cessation of aerial at-   ments. However there is no general agreement on what
                                                    tacks on civilians and a halt to oil exploitation).             self-determination means.

                                                    Catholic bishops from north and south Sudan met with            GoS has again declared that it will negotiate “under any
                                                    representatives of Talisman, at Talisman’s request. The         forum that will achieve peace and halt the bloodshed.”
                                                    bishops listened but made it clear that their position on oil   However its commitment to meaningful compromise,
                                                    exploitation has not changed.                                   even under the LEI, is questionable. First Vice-President

                                                                                                                    Ali Osman Mohamed Taha stated that GoS would not ac-
                                                    The Presbyterian Church of Sudan (PCOS) held a General          cept any proposal that would loosen its grip on power. He
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    Assembly in Mading, Upper Nile, in May. A new adminis-          said that his government “would not issue its own death
                                                    tration was elected, representative of the church’s differ-     certificate’’, adding that the opposition cannot expect to
                                                    ent ethnic groups and regions, and many hoped that the          achieve more at the negotiating table than it did on the
                                                    split within the PCOS had finally been healed. However a        battle field. There are reports of tensions within GoS over
                                                    small group representing a previous interim administration      the LEI. General al-Bashir and the army are reportedly in
                                                    alleges intimidation by SPDF local authorities in Mading        favour of it, with First Vice-President Taha and the state
                                                    and still claims to be the only legitimate administration.      security apparatus opposed.

                                                                                                                    In the IGAD process, a joint Technical Committee meet-
                                                    Peace                                                           ing has developed modalities and a programme of work
                                                    SPLM/A has clarified its position regarding the Libyan-         for the permanent negotiating team which has now been
                                                    Egyptian Initiative (LEI). SPLM/A supports mediation ef-        established. SPLM/A hopes that the work of the Political
                                                    forts by any country and thus welcomes the LEI. However         Committee can be completed soon and then the Interim
                                                    SPLM/A “urges” that separation of state and religion, self-     Arrangements Committee can be initiated. However GoS
                                                    determination, an interim constitution and government,          has consistently refused to move to this committee, which
                                                    and unification of the different mediation fora (notably LEI    is the committee mandated to discuss a comprehensive
                                                    and IGAD) be incorporated into the LEI. “The SPLM/A             cease-fire. The IGAD Secretariat is expected to report to
                                                    will not be a party to any type of negotiations… that does      the IGAD Ministerial Committee by early October, and
                                                    not incorporate the above four points…” SPLM/A also             then to the IGAD summit. IPF funding has still not been
                                                    rejects as a “non-starter” the National Conference or Na-       resumed.
                                                    tional Gathering which GoS is calling for.
                                                                                                                    Following the Kisumu meeting a number of conferences
                                                    Southern Sudanese politicians affiliated with GoS have          between different Nuer ethnic groups were planned by
                                                    called on it to honour commitments to the south, in-            NSCC and the Nuer Peace Committee. However there
                                                    cluding a referendum on self-determination. They called         have been complaints that SPDF has dominated the proc-
                                                    for respect for the principles of self-determination and        ess and the committee side-lined. NSCC is investigating

these reports. An SPDF/SSLM committee met to discuss            There is apparently EU funding for this project but some
unity and agreed on all issues except leadership. Drs. Riek     fear that UNDP may attempt to hijack it.
Machar and Wal Duany were apparently unable to meet
to deal with this final hurdle. SPLM/A has set up two spe-      There are reports that Mr. Bona Malwal, a well-known di-
cial offices to administer the former SPDF territories now      aspora politician, has initiated a law-suit in Nairobi against
under its control following the defection of Taban Deng         Dr. John Garang seeking damages for defamation. Mr.
and his colleagues, including Commander Peter Gadet’s           Malwal also sought an injunction to restrain Dr. Garang
area.                                                           and others from threatening to kill, eliminate or cause him
                                                                harm. Mr. Malwal’s now-defunct newsletter, the Sudan
NSCC and SPLM/A are discussing a follow-up meeting              Democratic Gazette, has been known for its bitter per-
to the dialogue which they held in Kajiko in 1997. It is        sonal attacks on Dr. Garang. Most observers would con-
hoped that this represents a constructive re-engagement         cur that this current law-suit will not serve the cause of
between these two organisations following their disagree-       southern Sudanese unity nor liberation.
ment over the Kisumu conference.

Archbishop Ndingi’s insistence that there should be no          Resources
revenge (see above) reminds us that one day there will          The Kenyan purchase of Sudanese oil seems to become
be peace and Sudanese will need to deal with the atroci-        ever more complicated. Both the Ministries of Finance
ties which have undoubtedly been committed on all sides.        and Foreign Affairs have distanced themselves from the is-
South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission would        sue. Foreign Minister Chris Obure stated only that having
seem to be a more constructive model than the punitive          liberalised the oil industry, importation of oil had become
war crimes trials of Nuremberg, Rwanda and the former           a private sector affair and therefore all oil firms were at
Yugoslavia.                                                     liberty to import oil from Sudan under COMESA terms.
                                                                The Minister for Energy, Raila Odinga, whose NDP has
                                                                just merged with the ruling KANU, is apparently still an
Politics                                                        enthusiastic supporter. Mr. Obure’s statement now sets
The SPLM/A General Command Council and Leadership               the stage for a clash with Kenyan oil firms who argue that
Council met in Kapoeta County at the end of July. There         if imports of refined products were allowed, it would
are reports that it was a stormy meeting. Some observers        break the “white oil rule” which obliges all importers to
suggest that the frank and honest exchange of views was         use Kenya’s Mombasa oil refinery. Local oil industry ex-
healthy and demonstrates the openness of the SPLM/A             perts have expressed doubt as to whether the quality of
leadership. Others see it more as a “safety valve” and sug-     crude from Sudan meets Kenyan specifications. Sudan’s
gest that there will be little real change.                     crude is said to be similar to that from Yemen, banned
                                                                by the Mombasa refinery for its high wax content. The
The USA has reportedly persuaded Sudan to wait another          Kenyan government may be forced to scrap the white
month on its call for the UN Security Council to lift limited   oil rule, thereby setting the stage for major disruptions
sanctions. The two countries were to have come to an            of the refinery’s operations. Concern was also mounting
agreement on the embargoes, imposed in 1996 to force            among Kenyan tax authorities over the likely implications
GoS to hand over suspects in an assassination attempt           of tax-free oil imports from fellow COMESA member
against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in August. But        states, which would undercut prices from other suppli-
UN Security Council envoys said they were notified that         ers and deny much-needed tax revenue to the Kenyan
both Washington and Khartoum had agreed to put off any          government. Pressure from GoS has continued. Follow-
action until September.                                         ing threats against Kenyan tea and coffee, a Kenyan steel
                                                                exporter reported that GoS had denied entry to his goods
SPLM/A is preparing to sign a “Deed of Commitment               while awaiting resolution of the issue.
under the Geneva Call to for Adherence to a Total Ban
on Anti-Personnel Mines and for Cooperation in Mine             Meanwhile, there are reports that some 4,000 MT of die-
Action”. SPLM/A will apparently be the first guerrilla          sel imported by the Mombasa-based Bahriya Petroleum
movement to sign up to this Geneva Call, not only as a          Ltd has finally been released. The consignment had been
non-state actor in an internal armed conflict, but also as      held by Kenyan tax authorities on suspicion that it did not
an actor “in the practice and development of legal and          originate from Sudan. Local oil industry insiders also fear
normative standards for such conflicts…” The indige-            that COMESA’s duty-free rules will encourage the import
nous land-mine clearance NGO OSIL attended a meet-              of oil from other sources with fake documentation. Bahri-
ing in London, under the auspices of the UK Landmine            ya also faces a court case in which the shipper, Gulf Oil
Action and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund,          Company WLL from UAE, is demanding payment from
to discuss land-mine clearance on both sides of the front       Bahriya. The fuel is being stored at the East African Molas-
lines. A land-mine agency from GoS territory was present        ses Limited in Mbaraki.
and there was some agreement on “cross lines” action.

                                                    There is also controversy surrounding Kenyan sugar. Su-       International, the Harker Commission, the last three UN
                                                    dan already exports large quantities of sugar to Kenya and    Special Rapporteurs and the international agencies work-
                                                    recently announced its intention to invest in Kenyan sugar    ing in the area?
                                                    companies. But some within Kenya are arguing that sugar
                                                    duty should be re-imposed, even on sugar originating from
                                                    COMESA countries, to protect the Kenyan sugar industry        Military
                                                    from cheap foreign imports. Sudan’s Kenana Sugar Com-         SPLM/A has finally taken action on its repeated warnings
                                                    pany recently placed a beautiful colour advertisement in      that oil installations are legitimate targets. Following two
                                                    the Kenyan press extolling the virtues of cooperation be-     attacks on oil convoys, SPLM/A forces launched an attack
                                                    tween Sudan and Kenya.                                        on the heavily defended Heglig base, deep inside GoS ter-
                                                                                                                  ritory, at 0400 local time on 4th August. SPLM/A claims
                                                    In an interview at the end of July, SPLM/A Commander Pe-      to have fired modified battlefield missiles from a range of
                                                    ter Gadet spoke of foreign companies working with GoS         1.5 km, damaging an oil storage tank and a helicopter on
                                                    experts to prospect for uranium in western Upper Nile         the ground, and destroying the main gas chamber feeding
                                                    during the time that he was allied with GoS. “Large quan-     the natural gas fired power station, thus cutting electricity
                                                    tities were discovered in a place… 70 miles from Bentiu.      supplies to Bentiu, Rub Kona and much of the oil field, and
                                                    The militias were banned from entering that area and it       completely halting the pumping of oil. GoS has publicly
                                                    was surrounded by massive reinforcements of govern-           denied that there was any attack at all, although privately
                                                    ment troops. The exploration’s secret was exposed when        GoS sources suggest that SPLM/A forces were detected,
                                                    it started to extract the uranium in 1998. The number of      engaged and dispersed long before they could reach the
                                                    cargo planes landing there increased noticeably at that       oil installations. SPLM/A admits that its forces were at-
                                                    time. We were able to confirm that they made three or         tacked by helicopter gunships en route to Heglig, giving
                                                    four trips a week carrying this material outside the area….   enough warning time to evacuate expatriate staff before
                                                    We fear that the government is selling this material… so as   the base was attacked. Talisman has admitted that there
                                                    to use the revenue in the military effort against our peo-    was a small attack and a few mortar bombs landed near
                                                    ple. We also fear that it has reached an agreement with a     the base, but claims that pumping of oil was stopped for
                                                    friendly country such as Iran or China to use this uranium    a few hours only as a routine security precaution whilst
                                                    for making weapons that will be used against us...” There     engineers ascertained that there was no damage. There is
                                                    is no independent confirmation.                               as yet no independent evidence; surprisingly Talisman has
                                                                                                                  not invited journalists to verify its version of events.

                                                    There are reports that Ethiopia has started importing
                                                    and exporting goods through Port Sudan, in an appar-          But even if SPLM/A did not cause as much damage as it
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    ent response to curbs on its use of the Red Sea outlet of     claims, the psychological effect of this attack is far-reach-
                                                    Djibouti. There are economic advantages to this arrange-      ing. This is the first time that SPLM/A forces have pen-
                                                    ment, but Ethiopia is unlikely to view GoS as a trustworthy   etrated deeply into the heavily defended oil fields, and
                                                    strategic partner in the long term.                           the oil companies and GoS must assume that they can do
                                                                                                                  so again. SPLM/A’s better relationship with certain Nuer
                                                    Significantly, South Africa’s Soekor is the first major oil   communities following the defection of Taban Deng from
                                                    company to publicly admit that oil is fuelling the war in     SPDF has created new opportunities (reminding us, per-
                                                    Sudan. In its recent statement that it is “not about to en-   haps, of the key role that has been played by the Nuer
                                                    ter into any agreement with the Sudanese Government           community in providing security for the building of the
                                                    allowing the company to conduct oil prospecting…” it          pipeline which led to the extraction of oil). The wet sea-
                                                    adds, “We share the concerns of the Southern African          son will also provide SPLM/A guerrillas with an advantage
                                                    Catholic Bishops Conference that an insensitive pursuit of    over the mechanised GoS forces. SPLM/A followed up
                                                    oil interests in the Sudan might contribute to the escala-    with attacks on another GoS convoy in western Upper
                                                    tion of the civil war...” Talisman, Lundin and other major    Nile and boats on the Bahr al-Jebel. SPLM/A may now be
                                                    players have so far denied this. The UK’s Weir Pumps,         able to close the river south of Lake No.
                                                    which provides key pumping equipment, has refused to
                                                    pull out of Sudan and has even secured a second contract.     There is compelling evidence that GoS has used surface
                                                    Sir Ron Garrick, Weir’s chairman, admitted that “If the op-   to surface missiles. SPLM/A has made public a video cap-
                                                    portunity arises, we will be bidding for more work there.     tured during GoS’ abortive southern Blue Nile offensive
                                                    The British government is not recommending us to with-        in May. Prior to tragic scenes showing GoS troops pinned
                                                    draw.” Sir Ron conceded that oil revenues could be used       down under relentless fire and refusing to advance de-
                                                    by the GoS to buy arms. He said he was unsure whether         spite being kicked and beaten, and the eventual death of
                                                    there were widespread human rights abuses in Sudan, as        the military camera-man, the video shows a missile being
                                                    he had never been there. Perhaps he has not read the          launched, apparently from the headquarters of the GoS
                                                    reports by Christian Aid, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty         17th Division at Dindro. SPLM/A sources confirm that

eight missiles were fired; although they produced craters          Humanitarian
7m deep, they caused no damage. The missile has been               Sudan and Mauritania were singled out for practising slav-
identified as an Iranian Nazeat 10, a short range tactical         ery and racial discrimination in a study of countries on the
ballistic missile with a range of about 150 km. “A very in-        Afro-Arab borderlands by the UN Research Institute for
discriminate weapon,” according to UK defence analyst              Social Development (UNRISD) entitled “Race, discrimi-
Paul Beaver, who estimated that a single missile would cost        nation, slavery and citizenship in the Afro- Arab border-
in the region of US$100-200 thousand. People in north-             lands”, timed to coincide with the UN conference on
ern Sudan report seeing the missiles, shrouded in canvas,          racism in Durban, South Africa. “Possibly nowhere in the
being moved towards the operational area at night, and             Afro-Arab borderlands is the problem of race, class, and
removed again after the failure of the offensive. There is         citizenship in such a high state of tension between Arabs
speculation that oil revenue has made it possible for GoS          and Africans (or possibly Arabised Africans and Africans)
to obtain these missiles. GoS has denied possessing and            as in the Sudan and Mauritania”. The war in Sudan has
using such weapons.                                                led to “growing and persistent reports of enslavement of
                                                                   Africans by Arabs, genocide in the Nuba Mountains area,
Sudan now joins Egypt, Libya, and possibly Congo, as the           and ethnic cleansing in the Blue Nile area…. Fundamen-
only countries in the region known to possess ballistic mis-       talist Islam and Arab fanaticism play a very important role
siles, with consequent implications for regional stability.        in this.” Many will find it ironic that GoS, in the person of
Despite this, the Charge d’Affaires at the Sudan Embassy           Minister of Justice Ali Mohammed Osman Yasin, will at-
in UK claimed that GoS is committed to the international           tend the UN conference. SPLM/A described GoS as an
agreements and charters on non-proliferation of weapons            “apartheid” regime.
of mass destruction. The Nazeat 10, with an accuracy of
only one to two kms, is of little military value against guer-     There have been repeated pleas for HF radios for isolated
rillas but will be a significant new asset in GoS’ campaign        churches in southern Sudan and other marginalised areas.
against civilian and humanitarian targets.                         These churches operate where there are few if any inter-
                                                                   national NGOs and are often the only source of reliable
The captured video shows GoS troops with a great deal              information on the humanitarian and human rights situa-
of brand new equipment, presumably also a result of oil            tion in these areas. Donors may wish to consider the great
revenues. SPLM/A was happy to capture so much new kit,             potential return on a fairly small financial investment.
reinforcing the oft-repeated claim that GoS is their main
quartermaster.                                                     The Blue Nile river is causing serious flooding in parts of
                                                                   northern Sudan. River Nile State and Sennar State are
There is concern in the Nuba Mountains about GoS long-             worst affected.
range shelling of airstrips from 25 kms away, causing tem-
porary cessations of humanitarian flights. While SPLM/A            As expected, GoS cancelled the UN assessment mission
may be able to push back the 130 mm artillery, humanitar-          to the Nuba Mountains which was scheduled for early Au-
ian operations will be further at risk if the Nazeat 10 mis-       gust. GoS continues to deny humanitarian access to this
siles are deployed there. Skirmishing has continued with           area, as well as to southern Blue Nile and to large areas of
both sides claiming small-scale successes.                         Upper Nile. The targeting of airstrips in the Nuba Moun-
                                                                   tains with long-range artillery (see above) constitutes a
There have been reports of fighting between GoS security           further denial of humanitarian access. Shells have landed
forces in Wau town. Police were called to a disturbance            within 40m of aircraft on humanitarian missions, putting
involving soldiers, who allegedly opened fire; the police          NGO workers at great risk.
returned fire, killing one soldier. Soldiers later retaliated by
ambushing and killing a police officer on his way to work.
Fighting broke out, with the prison warders and wildlife           Monthly Briefing: September 2001
rangers siding with the police. Unlike previous stand-offs
between armed forces in Wau, the current situation does            26th September 2001
not appear to be ethnic; northerners in the police are
ranged against northern army units.
Bombing of civilians by GoS Antonovs seems to have de-             If a former resident of Khartoum were to return after many
creased somewhat in August but there are more reports              years absence, he or she would probably be surprised at
of helicopter gunship activity.                                    what hasn’t changed rather than what has. Khartoum still
                                                                   resembles a vast construction site, although some parts
Following the ending of GoS support for the LRA, there             look a little more finished. The telephones now work but
are reports of exchanges of fire between GoS and LRA               electricity is still a little shaky. Mobile ‘phones and internet
forces.                                                            cafés are everywhere. New tarmac roads abound, but the

                                                    old ones haven’t been repaired. A new bridge crosses the        liberation. It could well provide a powerful affirmation of
                                                    White Nile but some of the old roundabouts have been            southerners’ demand for self-determination. Nigeria’s re-
                                                    removed; landmarks such as the “coffee pot” roundabout          engagement in Sudan’s problems is seen as a positive step
                                                    and the one with a jet fighter-bomber perched atop it have      and Nigeria is viewed as well-qualified in this regard. How-
                                                    gone. There is more traffic and the cars are newer, many        ever there are also many concerns. Both SPLM/A and GoS
                                                    bearing the GIAD brand. But the yellow taxis don’t seem         are lukewarm about the conference. It seems to be the
                                                    to have changed in decades, despite facing competition          brainchild of a small diaspora group in London made up
                                                    from the three-wheeled Indian imports, and old Bedford          mainly of politicians opposed to SPLM/A (although some
                                                    suq lorries can still be seen. Petrol queues no longer exist    would argue that its genesis lies in the Morges meeting)
                                                    and the shops are full of commodities, although in a future     and many are concerned that this group will apparently be
                                                    visit one might wish to travel and see whether this eco-        responsible for selecting the majority of participants. Un-
                                                    nomic boom extends beyond the capital. Getting in and           like the Strategic Linkages conference facilitated by NSCC
                                                    out of the airport has never been so quick and easy, with       in Kisumu, the Abuja conference does not appear to be
                                                    only perfunctory checks on passport and luggage. The            part of any participatory or grassroots process and it is
                                                    friendliness and hospitality of the Sudanese people remains     not clear whom the delegates will be representing. There
                                                    unchanged.                                                      were fears that it might get bogged down in personal dif-
                                                                                                                    ferences between leaders rather than issues owned by
                                                    Freedom of the press in Khartoum continues to be ran-           all southerners, but there are now reports that President
                                                    dom and partisan. The English language Khartoum Moni-           Obasanjo has already facilitated a reconciliation between
                                                    tor was closed down again (this time by the National Press      Dr. John Garang and his arch-critic Mr. Bona Malwal.
                                                    Council rather than state security, which might represent a     There are also concerns that the advent of yet another
                                                    small step forward) over articles deemed to be inflamma-        peace initiative might simply allow the warring parties to
                                                    tory, anti-Arab and anti-Islamic. However Arabic newspa-        further delay meaningful peace negotiations. The hope is
                                                    pers which have published anti-Christian material are not       that President Obasanjo will enable the conference to rise
                                                    similarly punished. Churches are considering suing two          above these challenges.
                                                    newspapers for defamation.
                                                                                                                    Uganda has reportedly re-opened its embassy in Khar-
                                                    Politics and Peace
                                                    South Africa and other African states are particularly un-

                                                    happy at the refusal of western countries to call the trans-    Oil
                                                    atlantic slave trade a crime against humanity. Britain, which   It seems that virtually all southerners, in both GoS- and op-
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    led months of negotiations with the South Africans on           position-controlled areas as well as the diaspora, believe
                                                    behalf of the EU, continues to rule out using the phrase        that the exploitation of Sudanese oil should be suspended
                                                    “crime against humanity” to describe the historic slave         until there is a just peace. All believe that it fuels the war
                                                    trade, because of legal implications. However, significantly    and deny that southerners obtain any significant benefits
                                                    for Sudan, Britain says it is prepared to use those words to    from either the oil revenue or the “development” which
                                                    describe contemporary slavery in countries such as Sudan,       the oil companies proclaim. The majority of southerners
                                                    and says that the focus should be on modern day problems        on all sides also believe that the western companies should
                                                    such as ethnic oppression in Africa and elsewhere. Ironi-       pull out even if Chinese, Malaysian and Arab oil companies
                                                    cally, GoS Minister of Justice Ali Mohammed Osman Yassin        continue their operations. For many it is a moral issue,
                                                    spoke of the “appalling barbarism” of slavery and contin-       particularly for companies from countries such as Canada
                                                    ued, “Justice and fairness necessitate that those responsi-     and Sweden which have democratic values and a respect
                                                    ble for these injustices should bear the responsibility and     for human rights. A handful of southerners tend towards
                                                    assist in rectifying this unfortunate situation.” His words     the view that things could get worse without the west-
                                                    may return to haunt GoS.                                        ern companies, suggesting that even the small benefits
                                                                                                                    which do trickle down would dry up, and that the remain-
                                                    The IGAD meeting was postponed until the end of Sep-            ing companies would have an even worse human rights
                                                    tember. The UN Security Council discussion on the lifting       record than the western companies. However this is defi-
                                                    of sanctions against Sudan was also postponed.                  nitely a minority view and virtually all southerners seem to
                                                                                                                    agree that the best outcome would be for SPLM/A to halt
                                                    President Obasanjo of Nigeria has called for a conference       the flow of oil by decisive military action.
                                                    of southern Sudanese intellectuals and politicians to be
                                                    held in Abuja, originally at the end of October but there       There is still no independent evidence to resolve the
                                                    are signs that it will be postponed a little. Most people       widely conflicting accounts of the attack on Heglig by
                                                    have welcomed any fresh attempt to bring southerners            SPLM/A at the beginning of August, but all are agreed that
                                                    together and recognise this event as another opportunity        a helicopter was damaged. There are now reports that
                                                    for southerners to agree on a single political agenda for       the contractor operating the helicopter has withdrawn.

Those with a sense of history will recall the tension be-        war against its own people ... this must stop.” The recent
tween Chevron and its contractors after the SPLM/A at-           events in the USA have now delayed Danforth’s work. It
tack on Rub Kona in 1984, in which 3 expatriate workers          is likely that peace in Sudan has slipped down the list of
were killed and 6 wounded, effectively closing down the          priorities.
entire oil operation for almost 15 years. Many contractors
felt that Chevron had not been open with them about the          GoS was one of the first governments to condemn the
known risks.                                                     attacks in the USA and ordinary Sudanese were shocked
                                                                 and appalled at the tragedy. General Omar Hassan al-Ba-
Sudanese Roman Catholic Archbishop Paulino Lokudu                shir confirmed that GoS will cooperate in the hunt for
Loro urged Kenya not to import petroleum from Sudan,             those responsible for the attacks, but cautioned against
saying Khartoum was using revenue from oil to sustain its        retaliatory military action. US Secretary of State Colin
war effort against the people of southern Sudan. “Oil is         Powell reportedly called Sudanese Foreign Minister Os-
killing our people. Our plea to you is: Do not buy cheap         man Ismail Mustafa and took note of Sudan’s offer of
oil…. As a regional peace-maker, Kenya’s decision to im-         cooperation in combating terrorism. Khartoum remained
port oil products from [Sudan] smacks of insincerity.” The       calm. Few Sudanese expect their country to be a target
Kenyan Archbishop of Mombasa, John Njenga, has called            for US military retaliation, as it expelled Osama Bin Laden
on the Kenyan government to ban the importation of oil           several years ago. “He came here as an investor. When he
from Sudan, saying that Kenyan companies who bought oil          became a problem, we kicked him out,’’ said Chol Deng
from Sudan would be “supporting the ongoing atrocities           Alak, state minister in the Foreign Ministry. “There is no
there…. Until peace is guaranteed and achieved in Sudan,         way he could come back here.” There are conflicting re-
let no country in the world use its friendly factor to exploit   ports as to whether he still has commercial interests in
or buy the country’s natural resources.”                         Sudan. US security officials have been in Sudan during the
                                                                 last year reviewing the possibility of removing Sudan from
The Gulf Company, Chinese National Petroleum Com-                the USA’s list of countries sponsoring terrorism. The latest
pany, Al-Thani Corporation of the United Arab Emirates           US State Department report on global terrorism says that
and Sudan’s SUDAPET signed an agreement to form a                GoS has come close to getting off that list. A report from
company known as PETRODAR to exploit blocks 3 and                the Congressional Research Service, dated 10th Septem-
7 around Adar Yel.                                               ber 2001, said, “Sudan appears closest of any of the Near
                                                                 Eastern countries on the terrorism list to being removed,”
Lawyers in the Netherlands (where Talisman is a regis-           in large part because of its joint anti-terror cooperation
tered company) are looking for suitable test cases to sue        with the USA. However diplomatic and financial retalia-
Talisman.                                                        tion against Sudan remains a possibility.

                                                                 Expatriates in Khartoum were rather more jittery, but
The United States of America                                     then they usually are. Petronas withdrew the families of
It is not clear what the final version of the Sudan Peace        its expatriate employees as a “precaution” in case of US
Act will contain, nor even whether it will be passed at all.     attacks on Sudan. More surprisingly, some international
Before the recent attack on the USA, it was thought likely       church partners cancelled planned trips to Khartoum.
that the clause to de-list companies trading with Sudan
from the New York stock exchange would fail. This sanc-
tion would seriously damage not only Talisman but also           Military
the Chinese companies which raise capital in the USA. A          It appears that GoS has attempted unsuccessfully to re-
watered-down version demanding full disclosure was ex-           take Raja. There are reports that SPLM/A captured large
pected to pass, giving human rights groups some informa-         quantities of materiel from GoS during the fighting. Raja
tion about the companies. In the new climate in the USA          town is probably not of great strategic importance to
the outcome is by no means clear, with some suggesting           SPLM/A and it would not be a military disaster if GoS did
that the bill will be strengthened and others that it could      recapture it. As long as SPLM/A can retain control of the
be sacrificed by the US administration in return for full        surrounding countryside it can probably still maintain con-
cooperation from Khartoum in the US campaign against             tact with northern opposition forces in Darfur and also
terrorism.                                                       prevent the Raja road being used to reinforce Wau. GoS
                                                                 forces in Raja would be virtually cut off and SPLM/A would
The USA announced John (“Jack”) C. Danforth as its spe-          revert to guerrilla tactics, aided by the apparent alienation
cial envoy to Sudan. Although not an African specialist he       from GoS of local Fertit forces.
is apparently a widely-respected and capable figure. His
appointment was welcomed by all sides and it was hoped           SPLM/A claims to have inflicted heavy losses on a convoy
that he would begin work quickly. President Bush hoped           of GoS military steamers and barges on the Bahr al-Jebel
to “bring some sanity” but was under “no illusions” of           between Tonga and Barboy.
success, saying that GoS “has waged a brutal and shameful

                                                    Humanitarian                                                       these young men (and a few young women) in the hope
                                                    On 1st September a CRS vehicle was ambushed by un-                 that they will maintain some links with their own country
                                                    known assassins on the Nimule-Adjumani road in north-              rather than being culturally assimilated in the USA.
                                                    ern Uganda. The CRS driver and five passengers were
                                                    killed and six others injured. CRS and other NGOs are              Church sources in Khartoum have called attention to the
                                                    forced to travel by road in this dangerous area as a result        risk of flooding in Juba as well as parts of northern Sudan.
                                                    of the GoS ban on humanitarian flights operating south of
                                                    the line Yei-Juba-Torit-Kapoeta. NGOs and churches wish
                                                    to raise this denial of flight access and consequent danger        Monthly Briefing: October 2001
                                                    to humanitarian personnel as a major advocacy issue.
                                                                                                                       5th November 2001
                                                    At the end of August UNICEF reported that it had com-
                                                    pleted its controversial operation to return over 3,000
                                                    child soldiers and other boys whom it airlifted from north-        Peace
                                                    ern Bahr el-Ghazal in February to their homes. “The chil-          “The jihad is our way and we will not abandon it and will
                                                    dren were absorbed right back into their communities,”             keep its banner high.” Thus spoke the First Vice-President
                                                    UNICEF Child Protection officer Ushari Mahmoud said.               Ali Osman Taha to a brigade of mujahideen fighters who
                                                    “We worked closely with community leaders, and it paid             were heading for the war front at the beginning of Octo-
                                                    off. This part of southern Sudan has an ordered social hi-         ber. It again calls into question GoS’ commitment to the
                                                    erarchy where every family is known, and we’ve worked              peace process.
                                                    within this system to make sure the children get home as
                                                    quickly as possible.” Approximately 200 of the returnees           Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher reiterated his
                                                    have not gone back to their immediate families, either be-         government’s long-held position that the unity of Sudan
                                                    cause they were orphans with no close living relative, or          must be preserved in any plan for peace.
                                                    because their families have been displaced, according to
                                                    UNICEF. Those children have been taken in by communi-              GoS said it had “lost faith” in the IGAD process but would
                                                    ties and allocated to families by chiefs, as is usual under        give it “one last chance”. It is reported that there will be a
                                                    traditional provisions for the care of vulnerable children.        fresh round of negotiations in Nairobi in November. Both
                                                    According to UNICEF, this “community fostering” reflects           sides blamed each other for the cancellation of planned
                                                    the Dinka saying: “A child is a child of everyone.”                talks in September.

                                                    Without commenting on the accuracy of these claims,                A conference bringing together many southern intellectu-
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    UNICEF’s apparently enlightened attitude stands in                 als under the auspices of President Obasanjo of Nigeria
                                                    marked contrast to that of its sister agency, UNHCR.               is scheduled to take place in Abuja in November. It is re-
                                                    There is still concern amongst the southern Sudanese               ported that Dr. John Garang and his UK-based critic, Mr.
                                                    community and churches about the so-called “lost boys”             Bona Malwal, have reconciled. If President Obasanjo can
                                                    who are being resettled from Kakuma Refugee Camp to                facilitate southern politicians and military leaders to speak
                                                    the USA by UNHCR. Many believe that they were not                  with a common voice, it will indeed be a great step for-
                                                    “lost” before but certainly will be once they are separated        ward. However there are still some concerns about this
                                                    from their own community and shipped to the USA. One               conference; see September briefing for analysis.
                                                    of the key criticisms is that UNHCR has consulted only
                                                    with individual boys but not with the community at large;
                                                    even when resettlement may offer some advantages to                Human Rights
                                                    individuals, it does not take into account the needs of the        Following yet another two-day closure of the English lan-
                                                    community. It also appears that UNHCR, because of its              guage Khartoum Monitor, GoS then arrested its editor, Al-
                                                    mandate, is unable to explore other options such as im-            fred Tabaan. Eventually he was released but was ordered
                                                    proving education facilities within southern Sudan, nor to         to report to the Anti-state Crimes Prosecution office each
                                                    work with other UN agencies to encourage this. At the              day along with another senior journalist. Crimes of inciting
                                                    same time donors are apparently unwilling to improve               “religious and racial conflict” and “hatred for the state” are
                                                    schools in Kakuma Refugee Camp itself. There are good              reportedly being investigated.
                                                    educational opportunities available in East Africa, and this
                                                    would certainly be a better (and cheaper) option than re-          There are unconfirmed reports that a church festival in
                                                    settlement, but again neither the funding nor the political        Khartoum featuring a US preacher was cancelled by GoS
                                                    will seems to be available. Since there is little hope of influ-   security officials, on the grounds that there was a credible
                                                    encing this donor-driven operation, there is concern that          threat of violence against Christians by religious extremists
                                                    steps should at least be taken to maintain contact with            and that it would be unsafe to allow the event to continue.

Terrorism                                                           This waiver has been granted without exception for the
After strongly condemning terrorism, GoS has joined                 import of Sudan’s gum arabic, which is a necessary ingre-
a growing number of states and individuals around the               dient in numerous US products such as soft drinks and
world who are uneasy about the current US-led war on                medicine capsules. The sanctions block all non-agricultural
Afghanistan. There were peaceful protests against the war           assets from GoS inside the USA and prohibit all US citizens
in Khartoum. The National Assembly said the military ac-            from financial dealings with GoS, a restriction that has kept
tion was “unjustified and lacking legitimacy, except the le-        US oil companies from entering the Sudanese oil industry.
gitimacy of force and hegemony” and called for it to end            GoS Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail described this deci-
immediately. Foreign Minister Mustafa Othman Ismail reaf-           sion as “unjustified and erroneous”
firmed his country’s firm position that the fight against ter-
rorism should come under an international umbrella under            For those interested in seeing a just and lasting peace in Su-
the auspices of the UN, reiterating that terrorism should not       dan, the debate as to whether GoS sponsors international
be linked to a religion, race or nation. The Political Secretari-   terrorism may prove to be something of a red herring.
at of Sudan’s ruling National Congress party rejected the kill-     The important point is that GoS practices state terrorism
ing of civilians and expressed support for any coordinated in-      against its own citizens, even according to the definition
ternational action to combat terrorism by effecting just laws       (above) of its own National Congress party. The issues
that receive the support of the international community, but        mentioned by Richard Boucher (above) are acts of state
pointed out that its firm stance towards combating terror-          terrorism. The USA, UK and other international players
ism does not mean approval of the principle of attacking any        must be constantly reminded that, in their zeal to address
state which is not proved to have committed a crime. In             a form of terrorism which directly affects their own civil-
words that might well come back to haunt it, the secretariat        ian populations and economic and political interests, they
called for a comprehensive definition of terrorism to include       should not forget nor abandon other victims of terrorist
state terrorism directed against peoples under occupation,          acts, notably the suffering civilians of southern Sudan and
particularly Israeli actions against the Palestinians.              other marginalised areas of Sudan.

There has been a great deal of public debate as to whether
the Khartoum regime is still a state sponsoring internation-        Oil
al terrorism. It is clear that US security authorities have         International oil companies in Sudan are “knowingly or un-
been working with GoS for at least a year, and that since           knowingly” involved in a government counterinsurgency
the 11th September attack in the USA GoS has continued              strategy in the country, according to the report of an in-
to cooperate with the USA. The USA abstained in the UN              dependent British and Canadian fact-finding mission. The
Security Council vote at the end of September, thus al-             UN Special Rapporteur, Gerhard Baum, also released a
lowing UN sanctions against Sudan to be lifted, and the             report in which he stated that exploitation of Sudan’s oil
US administration shelved the US Sudan Peace Act, which             reserves “has led to a worsening of the conflict, which has
would have targeted companies investing in Sudan.                   also turned into a war for oil…. No matter what oil com-
                                                                    panies do in terms of providing such social services as hos-
However the USA still has serious issues with Khartoum.             pitals, schools and roads in the area where they operate,
According to US State Department spokesman Richard                  their doing business in a war-torn country... will continue
Boucher, “Part of our search for a just peace in Sudan              to face international criticism until military warfare ends.”
includes the profound concern that we have expressed
before over the senseless bombing of civilian targets, the          There have been persistent rumours that Talisman is about
practice of slavery, denial of humanitarian access, religious       to sell its Sudan operations to Lundin. There is already a
discrimination and the need for a just peace”. He denied            close financial link between Talisman and Lundin. It is not
that any indication had been given that if Khartoum was             yet clear what effect the current international climate is
with the US on the terrorism issue, it could go ahead and           having on oil operations in Sudan, but it seems to be a time
do whatever it wanted in the Sudanese civil war. At the             of great volatility. Other international oil companies have
same time, the USA was not going to say, “We won’t ac-              announced an interest in Sudan. Indonesia’s Pertamina is
cept your information on terrorism unless you stop bomb-            touting a joint “speculative survey” with Malaysia’s Pet-
ing civilians,” Boucher said.                                       ronas. Japan’s Nippon Mitsubishi has agreed to refine oil,
                                                                    most probably from Sudan, for CNPC. Tatarstan’s Tatneft
The USA has now renewed its own bilateral sanctions                 has expressed interest. There are reports that at least two
against Sudan for another year, saying that “the actions and        British companies are also interested.
policies of the government of Sudan continue to pose an
unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security           Staff from NSCC recently interviewed surviving victims of
and foreign policy of the USA.” The current sanctions re-           GoS activity in the oil fields of western Upper Nile who
strict all goods and services of Sudanese origin from en-           had just arrived in Rumbek County. A transcript is avail-
tering the USA unless a presidential waiver is granted.             able on request.

                                                    Military                                                        Humanitarian operations have been affected by aerial
                                                    The SPLM/A, stating that its aim is to close down the oil       bombing, PDF activity and the threat of long-range artil-
                                                    fields, reportedly attacked Bentiu, Pariang and Fam al-         lery (see above).
                                                    Zaraf. There is no independent confirmation of the re-
                                                    sults.                                                          A large NGO, ACROSS, has withdrawn from the UN’s
                                                                                                                    Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), because it was “no longer
                                                    GoS forces have now recaptured Raga; see September              able to maintain a satisfactory level of compliance with the
                                                    briefing for analysis.                                          flight restrictions placed on OLS consortium members.”
                                                                                                                    ACROSS has worked in southern Sudan since 1972 and
                                                    GoS has stepped up its bombing of civilians, with a number      will continue to do so, still working closely with OLS. This
                                                    of attacks on humanitarian operations. Antonovs bombed          highlights once again the problems faced by OLS NGOs
                                                    Mangayath on several occasions during WFP food distri-          due to restrictions on humanitarian access imposed by
                                                    butions. A relief flight on the ground in the Nuba Moun-        GoS. According to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, “It
                                                    tains was also bombed.                                          is paramount to ensure the respect by all signatories of the
                                                                                                                    OLS agreements for unrestricted humanitarian access….
                                                    There are reports that a GoS military train which arrived       Given the limited humanitarian access and volatile security
                                                    recently in Aweil brought long-range artillery which is         conditions – especially in southern Sudan – all efforts must
                                                    now threatening aid operations (as well as Sudanese civil-      be continued to implement these accords fully.”
                                                    ians) in the area.

                                                    A GoS delegation led by external trade minister, Abdel          Monthly Briefing: November-December
                                                    Hamid Mussa Kasha, visited the former Soviet republic           2001
                                                    of Tatarstan, reportedly checking out Mi-17 helicopters,
                                                    optical sighting devices from the Kazan Optic Mechanical        18th December 2001
                                                    Factory, trucks and TU-214 aircraft as well as discussing
                                                    oil. No deals were signed. Meanwhile Slovak arms ex-
                                                    porter Hermes has never had dealings in Sudan, according        Advocacy
                                                    to the company’s director. Clearly further investigation        A delegation from the Sudanese churches visited Australia
                                                    is needed as to where the Khartoum regime obtains its           and New Zealand to raise awareness about the situation
                                                    arms.                                                           in Sudan. The delegation met government officials, spoke

                                                                                                                    at functions across the two countries, met Sudanese refu-
                                                    General Omar al-Bashir has reportedly charged the inte-         gees and obtained extensive local media coverage. The
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    rior ministry with all internal security duties to enable the   three priorities agreed by the Sudan Ecumenical Forum
                                                    army to concentrate on the civil war. The ministry, which       (SEF) were stressed: an end to the bombing of civilians,
                                                    commands the police force, will now be responsible for          the cessation of oil production and exploration until there
                                                    “safeguarding highways and national resources as well as        is a just and lasting peace, and the right of self-determi-
                                                    public and private installations and utilities,” according to   nation for southern Sudan and the other marginalised ar-
                                                    Interior Minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein. It is            eas. It was suggested that although Australia itself is not
                                                    not clear if Hussein was referring to the task of guarding      involved in oil production in Sudan, it could use its posi-
                                                    Sudan’s oil fields and pipelines which have hitherto been       tion in the region to influence China and Malaysia in this
                                                    protected by the army.                                          regard. It was also hoped that Australia, as the nation that
                                                                                                                    took the lead in securing self-determination for the people
                                                                                                                    of East Timor, might be sympathetic to the Sudanese cry
                                                    Humanitarian                                                    for justice.
                                                    GoS PDF abducted one Kenyan and two Sudanese NGO
                                                    workers in an ambush about 10 kms from Nyamlel at the           This trip was part of a concerted drive by the SEF which
                                                    beginning of November. They are reportedly being held           includes oil campaigns in Canada and Europe and a new
                                                    in Wedweil. The international community should immedi-          concentration on advocacy on the African continent, and
                                                    ately seek to assure their safety and swift release.            in South Africa in particular. The latter has already contrib-
                                                                                                                    uted to the South African parastatal oil company Soekor
                                                    USAID and WFP have expressed cautious optimism about            reversing its decision to invest in Sudanese oil. The New
                                                    the general food security situation in southern Sudan.          Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), which
                                                    However there are serious concerns about the humani-            South Africa is championing, will pose particular challenges
                                                    tarian situation in Bahr el-Ghazal following the recent GoS     for GoS as it demands democratisation and accountability
                                                    offensive to recapture Raga and the activities of GoS mili-     on the part of African governments.
                                                    tia. There are also concerns about possible GoS reprisals
                                                    against civilians in and around Raja.

Southern Sudanese political movements, parties, politi-           quick fixes. It is thought that GoS is lukewarm about Dan-
cians and leaders in Sudan and the diaspora have generally        forth’s proposals, seen as biased towards the SPLM/A, but
been poor at advocacy. The weakness of civil society has          is not in a position to publicly rebuff any peace initiative.
not helped matters. Over the last two to three years the          Subsequently GoS and SPLM/A announced that they have
Sudanese churches, through SEF, have developed a more             agreed to negotiate an internationally-monitored humani-
coherent strategy for advocacy and are now playing a lead-        tarian cease-fire in the Nuba Mountains. There was some
ing role in bringing to the international community’s atten-      confusion within the US State Department when a senior
tion the human rights abuses and basic injustices in Sudan.       spokesman, Richard Boucher, seemed unaware that Dan-
Recently Human Rights Watch in the USA honoured Dr.               forth was in Sudan.
Haruun Ruun, the Executive Secretary of NSCC, as one of
the leading human rights monitors in the world.                   Dr. Riek Machar, leader of SPDF, has denounced the
                                                                  Egyptian-Libyan peace initiative. Like virtually all other
                                                                  southerners, even those allied with GoS, he criticises
Peace                                                             it for failing to address the demand of southerners for
A new IGAD special envoy has been appointed. Kenya’s              self-determination. “It is an attempt to sabotage the IGAD
Lt. Gen. Lazarus Sumbeiywo replaces Ambassador Daniel             process. Why waste resources on an initiative that will not
Mboya. Sumbeiywo is said to have a stronger position in           work?”
Kenya than his predecessor, with direct access to Presi-
dent Daniel Arap Moi. As a general himself he might be
able to communicate with the military mindsets of Gener-          The US-led “War on Terrorism”
al Omar al-Bashir and Dr. John Garang. The IGAD summit            The USA appears to be keeping everyone guessing (in-
has been set for 11th January 2002 in Khartoum.                   cluding itself?) on its policy towards Sudan in the wake
                                                                  of the September 11th attacks. On the one hand the US
The conference of southern Sudanese politicians and intel-        administration has “rewarded” Khartoum for its coopera-
lectuals which was to have taken place in Abuja under the         tion by allowing UN sanctions to be lifted and by shelving
auspices of President Obasanjo has been indefinitely post-        the Sudan Peace Act (although Congress is now trying to
poned. Both GoS and the SPLM/A leadership were luke-              move this bill forwards again). On the other hand the USA
warm towards it: Khartoum did not want to see southern-           has renewed its own sanctions and accused Khartoum of
ers united, but some elements within SPLM/A also feared           expressing a “growing interest” in developing biological
a southern consensus. However a Nigerian briefing paper           weapons. A number of commentators in the USA are now
has emerged suggesting a workshop to bring together all           questioning the real value of Sudanese “cooperation”.
parties, northern and southern, to consider the three ba-
sic positions held by different groups in Sudan: unity within     The USA has named Sudan, along with Yemen and So-
a national framework with which all Sudanese can identify         malia, as one of the states where further action might be
as citizens on an equal basis; co-existence through some          taken. According to a British newspaper, the UK is also
form of confederation or a loose federation; or peaceful          likely to train units of its forces for short, sharp attacks
partitioning of the country. It aims to build on past peace       into these countries which the USA and UK suspect of
initiatives. It is intended to be a workshop, not a new me-       harbouring al-Qa’ida cells. There is speculation that assets
diation effort, so there is no anticipated conflict with IGAD     associated with Dr. Hassan al-Turabi might be the target
or the joint Egyptian-Libyan initiative. It is to be hoped that   of any US or British action. However during his stay in
this initiative will eventually move ahead.                       Sudan Osama bin Laden was reportedly also close to first
                                                                  vice president Ali Osman Taha. According to Taha, GoS
US Special Envoy Senator John “Jack” Danforth, after visit-       is not worried that it might be a target in the next stage
ing Sudan, rightly identified a deep mistrust among combat-       of the US-led campaign. “We have nothing that makes us
ants as a major obstacle to a peace agreement. “The thing         fear an American strike and we cannot see any reason for
that is absolutely clear is that nobody believes anybody.”        such a strike.” National Congress secretary general Ibra-
Danforth is seeking four confidence-building measures:            him Ahmed Omar stated, “There are no terrorist bases
an end to fighting in the region of the Nuba mountains;           in Sudan and therefore there is no justification for a strike
an end to attacks on civilians; the creation of “zones of         against Sudan.” Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Os-
tranquillity” to allow relief work; and an end to the abduc-      man Ismail told his Russian counterpart of his fears that
tion of persons into slavery. However he set a two-month          the US war would spread to other countries and asked
deadline, saying that the USA will not spend “month af-           Russia “to tell Western governments that this operation
ter month” trying to end Sudan’s civil war and will drop          should not widen.” NSCC has expressed concern for the
its bid if the warring parties act against peace. While this      safety of internally displaced people in the north if there
sense of urgency is commendable, it is to be hoped that           is a widening of the US war to include Sudan. In a press
the USA will demonstrate a long-term commitment to                release in Australia Dr. Haruun Ruun said, “Whatever hap-
the Sudan peace process, recognising that there are no            pens, one hopes that America and its allies would take into

                                                    consideration ways of protecting these people and mini-        GoS is using the process to improve its international stand-
                                                    mising their suffering.” Of course US action might not be      ing. GoS has already succeeded in breaking its isolation by
                                                    military; the USA has already frozen assets of the Somali      hosting regional meetings, the latest being a mini-summit
                                                    al-Barakaat financial organisation.                            on the Central African Republic.

                                                    Ethiopia has warned Sudan and Somalia that “it might cross     New Zealand has lifted its own sanctions on Sudan follow-
                                                    the borders of both countries in a bid to flush out terror-    ing the lifting of UN sanctions.
                                                    ists”. Ethiopia has suffered in the past from attacks on its
                                                    territory (such as the attempted assassination of Egyptian
                                                    President Hosni Mubarak as well as bombings) and is prob-      Trade and Oil
                                                    ably receiving assistance from the USA in return for acting    Southern Sudanese victims of oil production in western
                                                    as a proxy in the region. The prime minister of Somalia’s      Upper Nile are suing Talisman in a US court. The lawsuit
                                                    transitional government, Ali Khalif Galaydh, has warned        has been filed in New York with the help of a US anti-slav-
                                                    the UN Security Council that his country could disinte-        ery group. The complaint, brought on behalf of a larger
                                                    grate and become a home for terrorist organisations if it      class of plaintiffs, asks for US$1 billion in relief under the
                                                    is not given more international assistance. US personnel       Alien Tort Claims Act. Speculation continues that Talisman
                                                    have visited Somalia in the company of Ethiopian military      is trying to sell its share in GNPOC but there seem to be
                                                    officers, apparently at the invitation of the opposition       few takers. Sweden’s Lundin has apparently pulled out but
                                                    RRA, and there are reports of US aircraft and helicopters      there are reports that Austria’s OMV is still interested.
                                                    over-flying the country. There have been discussions be-       Talisman has announced a huge oil find off the coast of
                                                    tween the USA and Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti centring        Trinidad, which may take some pressure off its Sudan op-
                                                    on cooperative security arrangements. The possibility of       erations.
                                                    Kenya becoming a staging post for US forces, arms and
                                                    equipment increased following recent meetings between          Gerhart Baum, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights
                                                    President Moi and UK defence secretary Geoffrey Hoon.          situation in Sudan, called for documentation to verify how
                                                    Kenyan support for any US-led strike might well result         GoS uses its oil revenues in a report discussed at the UN
                                                    in an easing of aid conditions to Nairobi. Kenyan MPs in       General Assembly. “Oil exploitation has continued to have
                                                    the Defence, Foreign and Administration Affairs Com-           a negative impact on the human rights situation…. There
                                                    mittee fear that allowing the use of Kenyan bases could        is no concrete evidence of oil revenues being spent for the
                                                    open the country to retaliatory attacks by terrorists and      development of the south, in spite of the fact that 40%

                                                    could also produce a flood of refugees from Somalia and        of the national budget comes from oil.” Sudanese ambas-
                                                    Sudan. Meanwhile Kenya has arrested a number of people         sador to the UN Elfatih Mohamed Ahmed Erwa rejected
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    over possible links with Osama bin Laden, sparking riots       these claims.
                                                    in Mandera.
                                                                                                                   China has announced its latest trade figures with major
                                                    The Voice of America radio station stated that it would not    African partners from January to September 2001. Sudan
                                                    air interviews “with any official from nations that sponsor    is second, with a total of US$ 864.315 million, up 36.6
                                                    terrorism,” a move that prompted claims of censorship          %. Exports are US$ 163.814 million, up 50.9 %; imports,
                                                    from its employees. This appears to conflict with VOA’s        US$700.501 million, up 33.7 %. South Africa is China’s
                                                    charter which calls for the presentation of news in an “ac-    largest African trading partner, and Sudan is followed by
                                                    curate, objective and comprehensive” way, although VOA         Nigeria, Egypt and Angola.
                                                    also broadcasts clearly defined US government positions
                                                    on issues. It could result in VOA refusing to broadcast any    Malaysia, Bahrain, Brunei, Indonesia, Sudan and the Islamic
                                                    interviews with GoS officials.                                 Development Bank have reportedly signed a pact to es-
                                                                                                                   tablish an International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM).

                                                    Politics                                                       Taiwan’s state-owned Chinese Petroleum Corporation
                                                    GoS has extended the state of emergency for a further          (CPC) is reportedly considering refining Sudanese crude
                                                    year. However there are reports that it has lifted censor-     oil produced by mainland China’s CNPC. CNPC agreed
                                                    ship restrictions on a number of newspapers, including the     in October to provide crude oil from its overseas fields
                                                    English language Khartoum Monitor, following a period of       to CPC for processing. Oil products are expected to be
                                                    intense harassment.                                            shipped back to the Chinese mainland for marketing.

                                                    The EU and GoS have agreed to continue their “critical         Kenya’s Mabati Rolling Mills is considering seeking legal re-
                                                    engagement” for another year. This process links progress      dress from the COMESA court against GoS over a 500 ton
                                                    in areas of peace, democracy and human rights to Euro-         consignment of corrugated iron roofing material held up
                                                    pean aid and the normalising of relations. Many observers      since July. MRM alleges that Sudan is using retrogressive
                                                    feel that no substantial progress is being made but that       policies to deny entry into its territory.

Sudanese envoy to Uganda Mohammed Sirajuddin was                A Sudanese Catholic priest, Fr. Peter Obure, was killed by
quoted as saying that GoS “is ready to build an oil pipe-       Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) forces in northern Uganda.
line from Khartoum to northern Uganda to supply oil to          SPLM/A has accused Khartoum of re-arming both the LRA
Uganda.” In rather an understatement, he added, “But the        and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The USA has
project can not take off when southern Sudan and north-         placed the LRA and ADF on its “Terrorist Exclusion List”
ern Uganda are still insecure.” Sudan Airways is due to         under its new US Patriot Act. Meanwhile Karamajong
resume flights from Khartoum to Entebbe after a seven           leaders have said that Sudan is their greatest source of
year break.                                                     firearms.

Sudan has signed further trade cooperation agreements           There are reports of heavy fighting in the Nuba Moun-
with both Eritrea and Ethiopia. Ethiopia is reportedly los-     tains, west of Kadugli.
ing about US$100 million annually to illegal trading in live
animals, hides and skins across the border with neighbour-      GoS military barges have been seen moving near Bor.
ing countries, including Sudan.

One of South Africa’s large oil companies, Engen, has           Humanitarian
been implicated in Sudanese oil. Engen is 80% owned             A cease-fire was negotiated, apparently with help from
by Malaysia’s Petronas. GoS State Minister for Aviation,        Senator Danforth, to allow WFP to airlift food to the Nuba
Mohamed Al-Hassan Al-Bahi, announced that Sudan and             Mountains. It began badly with GoS shelling two WFP air-
South Africa have agreed on cooperation in various fields       craft on the ground, and ended in recrimination as SPLM/
of aviation. This has not yet been confirmed by South Af-       A accused GoS of breaking the one-month cease-fire and
rican sources.                                                  assassinating Nuba judge Augustino El Nur Shimela. How-
                                                                ever around 2,000 tonnes of food was delivered and this
                                                                was a breakthrough in that it was the first negotiated ac-
Military                                                        cess to this area. WFP believes that additional food deliv-
GoS forces have recaptured Deim Zubeir in northern              eries will probably be needed before April of next year.
Bahr el-Ghazal. Military trains have been moving on the
railway line near Aweil, with their associated murahiliin       A Kenyan aid worker abducted by GoS militia near Nyam-
militia, and helicopter gun ships are reportedly being used     lel is now safely back in Kenya. She was well treated by
for reconnaissance. GoS claims that SPLM/A committed            her captors and was released in Khartoum following rep-
atrocities against civilians whilst it occupied Raga and sur-   resentations by the Kenyan government. The fate of two
rounding areas. However international church personnel          southern Sudanese civilians abducted with her is uncer-
were present when SPLM/A first occupied Raga, and at            tain; they were separated from her on the train travelling
least one bishop who visited the area soon afterwards           northwards. The GoS position that she was arrested and
praised SPLM/A for the humane way in which it carried           deported for being in Sudan illegally raises concerns about
out the military operation.                                     humanitarian access in areas of Sudan not controlled by
Bombing of civilians continued during November but has
apparently declined in December. International attention,       The UN has issued its 2002 Consolidated Inter-Agency
including that of Senator Danforth, has clearly worried the     Appeal for US$194.5 million. The continuing imbalance
Khartoum regime as one of their best-known apologists           between funding of the food and non-food sectors was
has produced a missive justifying the bombing by likening       identified by OCHA as “a fundamental constraint” to a
it to civilian casualties caused by the USA in Afghanistan      balanced humanitarian programme. Despite this, food
and Kosovo. However independent observers in southern           aid remains an important intervention and is budgeted
Sudan and the Nuba Mountains are agreed that the bomb-          for 47.9% of the total. The 2001 appeal was only 61%
ing campaign by GoS cannot be explained as “collateral          funded.
damage”. The targets selected are clearly civilian in nature
and, with rare exceptions, are usually far from any recog-      The UN reports that the current food security situation
nisable military assets.                                        is good in many areas of Sudan following favourable ce-
                                                                real harvests and the improved availability of other food
SPLM/A has attacked more targets within the western             options. However, food insecurity remains a major con-
Upper Nile oil fields. There has also been fierce fighting      cern in parts of Bahr al-Ghazal and Upper Nile which are
around Nhialdiu. There are reports that former SPDF             experiencing insecurity and population displacement. This
commanders Peter Par and James Liah have joined Maj.            includes Raga and Aweil West counties, where fighting and
Gen. Paulino Matip’s GoS militia and attacked SPLM/A’s          murahiliin activity continue to preclude or limit access to
Commander Peter Gadet. It is understood that Gadet in-          available food sources.
flicted a heavy defeat on his attackers, although his forces
also suffered casualties. It should be noted that Peter Par
has effectively been with GoS for many months.

     Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings
Monthly Briefing
                                                                                                    21st January 2002

                                “I have told a government delegation... if separation can
                                end this war, we go for it, if unity of the Sudan can bring
                               peace, let us go for it, and if exercising self-determination
                                  can bring peace, let us implement it,” said Archbishop
                               Paulino Lukudu Loro, the president of the Sudan Catholic
                                                                       Bishops’ Conference.

“We            told them that ending the war should be
               by deeds and not by words…. The Suda-
nese people are tired of war and they want this bloody
                                                                He reiterated SPLM/A’s opposition to oil exploration in
                                                                the south, saying the oil companies operating in the region
                                                                were doing so at their own risk. “We are determined to
war to end…. We cannot continue fighting one another            close down the oil field using whatever means we have at
and we do not know when this war will come to an end.           our disposal.”
There must be a way.” He delivered his message to GoS
Labour Minister Gen. Alison Manani Magaya, who visited          In his address to the nation on the 46th anniversary of
Juba over the Christmas holidays as an envoy of President       independence on 1st January 2002, General Omar al-Ba-
Omar al-Bashir. The leader of the Episcopal Church of the       shir praised the National Salvation Revolution, blamed the
Sudan, Archbishop Joseph Marona, made an appeal to the          “blood-letting” on “external forces of aggression” as well
warring parties to “resort to a political solution to end the   as “elements of evil and betrayal from inside the country”,
country’s problem.”                                             and welcomed the various peace initiatives from IGAD,
                                                                Libya and Egypt, the USA, and various African, Arab and
Shortly before Christmas SPLM/A Chairman and Com-               European countries. He noted the improvement in Su-
mander in Chief Dr. John Garang de Mabior told a news           dan’s international relations.
conference that peace with the government could only
come through an independent arbitrator, possibly through        Drs. John Garang and Riek Machar signed a peace agree-
the USA or IGAD. He saw little hope of progress from            ment between SPLM/A and SPDF on 6th January 2002,
mediation. “Whether there can be a breakthrough in the          apparently ending the bitter and costly division which had
peace process depends on arbitration rather than me-            endured since the 1991 split. Negotiations had been on-
diation because we have mediated and used the most              going for some time. A premature announcement several
beautiful words you can think of since 1989…. It is re-         months ago led to a number of key SPDF leaders defect-
ally for somebody somewhere to come up with what                ing to SPLM/A, and many were taken by surprise when a
would be considered a fair and just political settlement        final agreement was announced by the two leaders at a
that can lead to a breakthrough.” Dr. John complained that      press conference in Nairobi. SPLM/A interests enshrined
GoS had continued to violate the ceasefire in the Nuba          in the agreement include “an immediate merger of the
Mountains in central Sudan and called on the USA and            two Movements under the historical name SPLM/SPLA”, a
the world to put pressure on Khartoum to stop what he           united secular democratic “New Sudan” during an interim
termed “terrorist” acts on its people in the south. “There      period, leading to self-determination for the other mar-
is no difference between international terrorism and do-        ginalised areas as well as the south, and a continuation of
mestic terrorism, international jihad and domestic jihad.”      SPLM/A’s strong role within NDA. SPDF will find comfort

                                                    in references to participatory democracy, collective lead-           region are in agreement on fighting terrorism…. Yet we
                                                    ership, and decentralisation. Churches, NGOs and the                 should loudly demand the international community lay
                                                    ordinary people will be happy with the commitments to                down a clear definition of terrorism and fight it within an
                                                    create “an enabling environment for the growth of civil so-          international context.” He added that the US-led “war on
                                                    ciety”, “freedom of delivery of relief and humanitarian as-          terrorism,” currently waged in Afghanistan, should not be
                                                    sistance” and “free movements of people”. Human rights               used as a pretext to harm the security and sovereignty
                                                    groups have noted references to human rights and the rule            of IGAD member states Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia,
                                                    of law. The agreement calls for an “immediate cessation of           Eritrea, Uganda, and Djibouti. The meeting issued a state-
                                                    hostilities and coalescence of previously antagonistic mili-         ment wholeheartedly condemning terrorism but appar-
                                                    tary units into a single entity to engage enemy forces” and          ently failed to agree on the definition thereof. Of more im-
                                                    “to conduct military operations against forces of the NIF            portance it appears that the meeting mandated President
                                                    regime” to “intensify” the struggle. Technical committees            Daniel arap Moi to merge the IGAD process with the Joint
                                                    will be set up to integrate military forces, political struc-        Egyptian-Libyan Initiative (JELI). While most would dismiss
                                                    tures and governance systems. GoS attacked the merger                the substance of the JELI as a sham which does not ad-
                                                    for stressing that the aim was to fight Khartoum instead of          dress southern concerns, nevertheless it exists and must
                                                    seeking peace. “We expected that the merger agreement                be dealt with. Egyptian interests must be factored into the
                                                    would talk about reaching peace in Sudan instead of show-            overall peace process; merging JELI with the IGAD proc-
                                                    ing an intention for escalating the military operations,” said       ess might be one way of doing that. It is essential, though,
                                                    GoS Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail.                                 that the Declaration of Principles, agreed by all parties to
                                                                                                                         the conflict, should be at the centre of any new merged
                                                    It is probably too early to assess all the implications of           peace process.
                                                    this merger. It is a major blow to GoS’ “divide and rule”
                                                    strategy (at least if one discounts the rather far-fetched           The UK’s Minister for International Development, Ms.
                                                    conspiracy theory that this is part of a long-term GoS               Clare Short, was in Khartoum before the meeting as part
                                                    strategy to destabilise SPLM/A from within by inserting its          of her visit to both north and south Sudan. She identified
                                                    erstwhile ally Dr. Riek). It is good news for the people of          the UK, USA and Norway as key players who might assist
                                                    Upper Nile and surrounding areas, as there should now                in moving the IGAD process forward. The USA’s Senator
                                                    be a decrease in inter-factional fighting. On the ground             John Danforth also returned to the region, but left saying
                                                    SPDF had already lost much of its territory and some of              he was discouraged by the prospects for reconciliation.
                                                    its key figures through defections, but nevertheless it will         He appeared to rule out separation for the south. How-

                                                    strengthen SPLM/A’s hand militarily, and in particular will          ever when a journalist put that point to Dr. John Garang,
                                                    increase its ability to strike at the oil installations. It should   he replied that Danforth “never said that to me.”
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    be helpful for peace within the south through the people
                                                    to people process facilitated by NSCC, but also at the na-           Southern Sudanese Muslim leaders in Juba complained
                                                    tional level. As Dr. Riek said in a BBC interview, the new           that, unlike Christian leaders, they are not allowed by
                                                    movement will be a powerful military force which should              GoS to visit neighbouring countries to discuss the peace
                                                    encourage GoS to negotiate seriously. It will also improve           process with Sudanese refugees and opposition lead-
                                                    the image of the south, which is widely perceived as be-             ers. “We want to participate equally with our Christian
                                                    ing hopelessly divided (although it should be remembered             counterparts in the search for genuine peace,” said Sheikh
                                                    that there is still a plethora of different parties and factions,    Khamis Morgan Manea of the High Council of al-Dawa in
                                                    including SPLM/A-United, SSLM, USAP, pro-GoS southern                the Equatorial states.
                                                    militia, southerners who are in government, and diaspora
                                                    politicians). Leadership issues will be worth watching. In           In a joint initiative with the USA, the Swiss government
                                                    a BBC interview Dr. John pointed out that the SPLM/A                 hosted GoS and SPLM/A for negotiations in which a limit-
                                                    leadership will be elected democratically at a national con-         ed-term, but renewable, internationally-supervised cease
                                                    vention during 2002. It is unlikely that Dr. Riek will mount         fire in the Nuba Mountains was agreed.
                                                    a serious challenge for the top position. However the
                                                    need to integrate senior SPDF figures, including Dr. Riek            There is always the danger that a proliferation of peace
                                                    himself, into the second-level leadership of SPLM/A may              initiatives will merely give the warring factions an oppor-
                                                    exacerbate existing tensions. On the other hand it could             tunity to “shop around” and give the appearance of nego-
                                                    provide an opportunity for a major shake-up of SPLM/A’s              tiating seriously whilst in reality procrastinating. However
                                                    leadership structure which might prove beneficial.                   increased international focus on Sudan (IGAD, JELI, the
                                                                                                                         USA, Switzerland, UK, Norway, Nigeria, oil, “terrorism”)
                                                    The IGAD summit took place in Khartoum in January.                   suggests that the “forgotten war” might finally be remem-
                                                    Representatives of both the UN Secretary General and                 bered. Providing the different players coordinate their ef-
                                                    the Arab league stressed the need for conflict resolution            forts and keep the IGAD Declaration of Principles at the
                                                    in the region. Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha                centre of the search for peace, one can hope that this re-
                                                    told the foreign ministers of IGAD, “All countries of the            newed interest will lead to progress.

Politics                                                          Africa
Journalist Nhial Bol has been fined and imprisoned in             A peace agreement has been signed between the govern-
Khartoum, and the English language Khartoum Monitor               ment and rebels in Chad. Tension is escalating between
has also been fined, for printing allegations that slave trad-    Chad and the Central African Republic. It is not yet clear
ers transport abductees on government trains.                     what effect these developments will have on instability in
                                                                  Darfur. “Banditry” was cited, in addition to the civil war,
GoS has asked the USA to cancel US$ 10 million funding            as one of the reasons for the extension of Sudan’s state
which the US Congress has allocated to the opposition             of emergency for another year, and emergency tribunals
NDA, saying it casts doubt on the neutrality of the USA.          have been established in the west to try armed banditry
Regarding the US “war against terrorism”, critics of GoS          cases. Amnesty International has expressed concern about
claim Khartoum still supports terrorists and say the USA          executions and hudud punishments in Darfur.
is being tricked. “Nothing has changed here for the bet-
ter,” says human rights lawyer Ghazi Suliman, pointing to         Sudan and Ethiopia have agreed to open new consulates
restrictions on basic civil liberties, the ongoing war against    to facilitate cross border travel and trade between them,
the south, and the alleged connections between high-              and to demarcate their common border starting in March
ranking GoS ministers and fundamentalist Islamic “terror-         2002. GoS state minister of foreign affairs, Chol Deng, said
ist” groups. “The government simply wants to survive,”            the two countries had also decided to step up bilateral co-
agrees Alfred Taban, publisher of the Khartoum Monitor.           operation in road construction and that Sudan will permit
“They don’t want the southern rebels to be suddenly               landlocked Ethiopia to use its Red Sea ports and free trade
turned into America’s next Northern Alliance, and as such         zones.
are trying to improve their image…. The government’s
power base is the fundamentalist Islamicists, and there           Uganda is to permanently deploy troops on its borders
is no doubt in my mind that terrorists have simply gone           with Kenya and Sudan to stop arms trafficking and cross-
under cover – and are receiving cover from the govern-            border attacks on its north eastern nomadic community.
ment.... When all this dies down, they will come out of the       President Museveni is expected to demand the extradi-
woodwork.” Ghazi Suliman adds, “America is under the              tion of LRA leader Joseph Kony from Sudan.
false illusion that it can fight terrorism by working with this
government…. In truth the only way to really get rid of           President Daniel arap Moi has rejected Britain’s attempt
terrorists is to deal with the root problems, and put pres-       to link his support for the US “war on terrorism” to the
sure on the government to move towards democracy and              resumption of IMF lending. Kenya had helped as a mat-
allow for transparency and multipartyism.” Otherwise, he          ter of principle and was not begging the USA and UK to
warns, when it is no longer in GoS’ interest, it will start       help obtain a resumption of the aid suspended in 1991,
actively backing terrorists as it did before, and there will      he said.
be no opposition to do anything about it.
                                                                  The Council of East and Central African Football Associa-
Ahmad Abd al-Qadir Arbab, a former governor of Dar-               tions (CECAFA) has suspended Sudan indefinitely for not
fur region, has expressed his dismay over the successive          participating in its competitions or paying subscriptions for
northern-dominated governments in Sudan. He said that             the last three years.
the 46 years of northern rule in the country was heavily
characterised by nepotism and oppression. Arbab pointed
out that northern misrule had earned them the scorn and           Oil and Trade
hatred of the marginalised people from the rest of the            There was some confusion within the Kenyan Energy Min-
country, and noted that national unity will only be realised      istry following a government attempt to clarify the duties
when equality and justice apply to all Sudanese without           of its two heads, ministers Raila Odinga and Chris Okemo.
discrimination. He said that the National Salvation Revo-         A new schedule of duties gives Mr. Odinga responsibility
lution government followed the same development poli-             for Petroleum and leaves Mr. Okemo in charge of Renew-
cies as its predecessors, concentrating its efforts on the        able Energy, Production and Development, raising ques-
development of northern Sudan while neglecting the rest           tions as to which of the two ministers controls the key
of the country. Arbab’s voice adds fuel to the argument           electricity portfolio. Mr. Odinga intends to go ahead with
that successive governments of Sudan since independence           the controversial purchase of Sudanese oil. During a visit
have been dominated by a small riverain elite. This view          to Khartoum he brushed aside arguments that it is mor-
was put forward in detail in the “black book”, probably           ally wrong to purchase “blood oil” from Sudan, or that it
published by supporters of Dr. Hassan al-Turabi, in March         will affect Kenya’s neutrality in the IGAD process, and said
2000.                                                             that the decision would be made on price alone. Bishop

                                                    John Njue, Chairman of the Kenya Episcopal Conference,             There are reports that GoS has purchased at least 12 MiG
                                                    reacted by stating that the Kenyan church is opposed to            29 fighters from Russia in a deal financed by oil revenue.
                                                    the importation of oil from Sudan. Opposition MPs in               Since there is no conceivable external military threat to
                                                    Kenya called for a ban on imports of Sudanese sugar as             Sudan (except perhaps the USA in its “war against terror-
                                                    well as oil. Sugar is a particularly sensitive issue in Kenya as   ism”, and in that scenario 12 MiG 29s would presumably
                                                    the local sugar industry has collapsed in the face of cheap        not last long against US air power) it must be assumed that
                                                    foreign imports. Mr. Odinga later tried to distance himself        these aircraft have been obtained for internal use against
                                                    from the controversy, claiming that the government itself          the people of Sudan. Opinions vary as to the effective-
                                                    will not import oil from Sudan and has no plans to do so,          ness of these fast and sophisticated jet fighters against
                                                    as such plans are reserved for the private sector. Private         low-tech ground targets. On past experience the most
                                                    companies, he said, are at liberty to source oil from any          effective terror weapon against southern Sudanese civil-
                                                    part of the world, not only Sudan, and the government              ians has been the lumbering old Antonov cargo aircraft
                                                    has no powers to stop private enterprises importing oil            converted into a high-level bomber. When jets have been
                                                    from Sudan. There is unease within the Kenyan oil indus-           used they have proved vulnerable to ground anti-aircraft
                                                    try about the economic effects of cheap oil imports from           fire. There have been a number of incidents where MiGs
                                                    Sudan.                                                             have crashed after running out of fuel, or with technical
                                                                                                                       problems. Perhaps the most ignominious was the one that
                                                    Recent talks between representatives of the Sudanese               crashed whilst doing a victory roll over Juba in the 1980s.
                                                    Ministry of Energy and Mining and the Russian Slavneft Oil         SPLM/A has condemned the purchase. GoS Minister of
                                                    Company led to the signing of a deal for oil exploration in        Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail, defended it,
                                                    Block 9, which is in central Sudan.                                saying there is no ban on Sudan importing weapons from
                                                                                                                       any country.
                                                    Sudan expects to export sheep worth US$ 40 million be-
                                                    tween December 2001 and March 2002. The shipments                  On 20th December 2001 a foreign helicopter operated by
                                                    would meet Saudi Arabia’s demand for sheep during the              an oil or geological survey company was hit by (at least)
                                                    feast of Korban Bairam (‘Id al-Adha) in February 2002.             small arms fire approximately 100 km south of Rub Kona.
                                                                                                                       The pilot was wounded and evacuated to South Africa for
                                                    Iran’s Minister of Agricultural Jihad Mahmoud Hojjati              treatment.
                                                    stressed to the Sudanese ambassador, Ali Mohamed al-
                                                    Tani, the expansion of economic and agricultural coopera-          Early in December 2001 GoS militia leader Gabriel

                                                    tion between the two countries. Iran’s Judiciary Chief Aya-        Tanginia was injured in an attack on his base in New Fan-
                                                    tollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, while meeting with               jak. Around the same time commercial barges were at-
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    Ms. Badirieh Soleiman, General Omar al-Bashir’s legal ad-          tacked between Balliet and Abuong. Also around the same
                                                    visor, said that an international Islamic court would soon         time aid workers report that two GoS Hind helicopters
                                                    be established. He said that preliminary measures had al-          chased a relief flight as it took off near Bentiu. Early in
                                                    ready been taken in setting up this tribunal and hoped that        January 2002 there were reports of large GoS troop and
                                                    Sudan would play a major role in its formation. In light of        barge movements near Old Fanjak. This GoS offensive
                                                    the common characteristics shared by Iran and Sudan, he            was repulsed but Zaraf and Old Fanjak (including an NGO
                                                    called for further cooperation between the judicial bod-           compound) were burnt to the ground.
                                                    ies of the two Islamic countries and invited his Sudanese
                                                    counterpart to visit Iran’s judicial organizations.                There has been fighting in the Nuba Mountains, around 45
                                                                                                                       kms south west of Dilling, which has affected the humani-
                                                                                                                       tarian assessment mission (see below).
                                                    Allegations have emerged that a South African security             There was heavy fighting around Ajiep shortly before
                                                    company, NFD, comprising former Executive Outcomes                 Christmas and Achongchong was attacked by PDF early in
                                                    operatives, has been involved in training Sudanese army of-        January 2002. GoS military trains are still thought to be in
                                                    ficers in counter-insurgency measures connected with the           the vicinity of Aweil and there are fresh fears of insecurity
                                                    oil fields. This may include use of helicopter gun ships with      in Gogrial county.
                                                    infra-red equipment for “search and destroy” operations,
                                                    and “special forces” training. This is probably illegal under      There were no confirmed incidents of aerial attacks on
                                                    South Africa’s Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance           civilians in December 2001 but bombing resumed in Bahr
                                                    Act, and South African authorities are apparently aware of         el-Ghazal and Equatoria in January 2002. Senator Danforth
                                                    the allegations, but the act seems to be loose enough for          stated that the USA has been unable to convince GoS to
                                                    the suspects to escape prosecution. NFD has denied the             stop bombing civilians. “The direct, intentional and egre-
                                                    allegations. There are also indications that NFD might be          gious attacks on civilians is the key to our proposal…. I
                                                    involved in Angola. If any of this proves true it will be very     am sorry to say we have made no real progress on these
                                                    embarrassing for the South African government.                     issues.” GoS apparently offered a four-week halt to aerial

bombardments in return for an unconditional cease-fire,         The UN-coordinated relief and rehabilitation needs as-
a step which SPLM/A felt unable to take. Dr. John Garang        sessment in the Nuba Mountains took place in territory
responded, “In the first place nobody should bomb civilian      controlled by both sides. However the teams had to be
targets; it’s an insult to human rights…. For a member of       evacuated due to fighting in the area.
the UN and the OAU to present this as a concession from
the bottom of their heart is laughable.”                        Despite forecasts of an overall increase in food production
                                                                this year, severe food deficits are anticipated in parts of
GoS forces in Torit shelled the village of Hiyala in early      southern Sudan, mainly due to population displacements,
January.                                                        and in parts of Darfur, Kordofan and Red Sea States, ac-
                                                                cording to the UN. FAO and WFP estimate that 155,000
The ongoing war is apparently taking its toll on GoS            MT of food aid will be required to assist about 2 million
manpower. University graduates who have been evad-              displaced, drought-affected or otherwise vulnerable peo-
ing compulsory military service for fear of being sent to       ple.
fight in the south will now be liable to three years in jail
before being sent to do 12 months in the army anyway,
according to National Military Service (NMS) spokesman          Monthly Briefing: February 2002
Ibrahim Yassin Shaqlawi. NMS will take legal action against
all graduates who have failed to report to draft notices        26th February 2002
issued since 1997. A university graduate, according to the
law, cannot obtain his certificate or get a job before doing
national military service, which is supposed to consist of      Self-determination
three months of military training and nine months in civil-     A united secular democratic Sudan; this has long been the
ian employment but often involves being sent to the front       SPLM/A’s ambition. It implies a unitary state with a single
line. Conscripts without university degrees spend longer        constitution. However it appears that SPLM/A has begun
in the service, and are more likely to be sent to the front.    to accept that this might be an unattainable goal. The cur-
In January a GoS military aircraft crashed near Juba, killing   rent regime in Khartoum is unlikely to compromise on
four people on board.                                           the issue of state and religion, and the stance taken by
                                                                both the Transitional Military Council and Sadiq al-Mah-
                                                                di’s democratic government after the fall of President Ni-
Humanitarian                                                    meiri’s regime in 1985 suggest that other northern-domi-
Several thousand internally displaced people are report-        nated governments might be unwilling to take such a step.
edly living in appalling conditions in Aweil west and north     It is also clear that southern opinion is not interested in a
counties. They are largely the product of GoS military op-      unitary state nor in any other manifestations of unity; most
erations in northern and western Bahr el-Ghazal.                southerners would vote for secession tomorrow if given
                                                                the opportunity.
Swiss CSI reports that it has liberated over 14,000 slaves
in the last six months, and 78,000 over the last six years.     At the same time international pressure militates against
While most of these were “redeemed”, ie bought for cash,        secession for southern Sudan. The USA and most west-
CSI states that more recently slaves have been released         ern countries do not see it as a viable option. The OAU
without compensation as a result of local peace accords.        strongly endorses the colonial boundaries throughout Af-
There is no independent confirmation of these figures.          rica. Egypt could conceivably go to war rather than see
There have been calls for a “register of abducted persons”      another independent state astride the Nile. International
to be set up, with independent international monitors in-       law and precedent are not hopeful for southern Sudanese
terviewing local chiefs and other key informants in north-      secessionists (cf Hermannsburg conference, May 2001),
ern Bahr el-Ghazal, the Nuba Mountains and western Up-          although some southern intellectuals make the case that
per Nile to build up a data-base of missing persons. This       southern Sudan was not given the opportunity truly to ex-
would be a useful tool for those trying to persuade GoS         ercise its right of self-determination in the process leading
to take the issue of abduction/slavery seriously and also a     to independence from the Anglo-Egyptian condominium
means of verifying the claims of foreign organisations rais-    in 1956. And GoS itself, while accepting in principle the
ing funds for slave redemption.                                 right of self-determination, has defined it so as to exclude
                                                                secession as an option. While it is quite clear that south-
It is thought that the Rizig/Wilseri airstrip and food drop-    erners are strongly in favour of secession at this moment,
zone on the road between Deim Zubeir and Tambura                it is also clear that they face a long uphill struggle if they
have been mined and are unsafe for NGOs to use.                 are to win the support of the international community.

                                                    In a possible attempt to bridge the gap between those              members of the NDA, northerners against northerners,
                                                    who want unity and those who want secession, SPLM/A                particularly in eastern Sudan. Unrest is also increasing
                                                    appears to be shifting its position. In place of a unitary state   in Darfur in the west. Even the war between the major
                                                    SPLM/A will now apparently accept a confederal arrange-            players, GoS and SPLM/A, is not limited to the south, as
                                                    ment (the “one country, two systems” of the CSIS report)           during the last couple of years the heaviest fighting has
                                                    in which there are two separate states each with its own           been in the north (in the Nuba Mountains and southern
                                                    constitution, Islamic in the north, secular and democratic         Blue Nile), and most of the troops in the NDA forces on
                                                    in the south. This arrangement would cover the interim             the eastern front were southerners. Any comprehensive
                                                    period of four to five years, during which the rehabilita-         peace proposal must address the identity of all Sudanese;
                                                    tion of the south would begin. Southerners would be re-            any proposed solution must find some creative way of
                                                    settled in their home areas (from internal displacement in         dealing with the Nuba Mountains and southern Blue Nile
                                                    north and south, from neighbouring countries where they            as well as the northern opposition groups in the NDA; at
                                                    are refugees, and from the far-flung diaspora) where they          the same time any solution which does not address seri-
                                                    could receive civic education prior to voting in the refer-        ously the historic oppression of southerners will simply
                                                    endum. It would satisfy the IGAD Declaration of Principles         lead to a new war later, as happened 11 years after the
                                                    by giving unity a chance, and would provide GoS with an            Addis Ababa Agreement was signed.
                                                    opportunity to persuade southerners that they would be
                                                    better off in a united country (something which succes-            Meanwhile the South Sudan Coordination Council has
                                                    sive northern regimes have demonstrably failed to do so            adopted a proposal extending for two more years the
                                                    far, giving exactly the opposite impression). At the end           interim period of the discredited 1997 Khartoum Peace
                                                    of the interim period there would be a referendum on               Agreement that was due to expire in March 2002, thereby
                                                    all options, including secession. SPLM/A would probably            postponing the referendum until 8th March 2004. Council
                                                    campaign for unity but as a continuation of the interim            members felt that the present circumstances are not suit-
                                                    “one country, two constitutions” confederal arrangement,           able for the referendum, as no preparations have been
                                                    despite pressure from the USA, UK and others for it to             made during the last 4 years.
                                                    support a unitary state after the interim period.

                                                    However the process is not without pitfalls and the Nuba           Oil
                                                    Mountains cease-fire is one of them. All would presum-             The merger between SPLM/A and SPDF will have pro-
                                                    ably welcome the cease-fire and the respite that it brings         found implications for the oil industry in Sudan. Petronas,

                                                    to the embattled people of the Nuba Mountains. It could            Lundin and ONV have already temporarily suspended
                                                    be the fore-runner of further cease-fires in other areas, or       their operations in Block 5a in western Upper Nile. SPLM/
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    even a comprehensive cease-fire across the entire coun-            A attacks have increased and are likely to increase further.
                                                    try. It is a confidence-building measure which, if successful,     A meeting in Koch brought together most of the factions
                                                    could impinge positively on the peace process. However,            operating in western Upper Nile and there seems to be
                                                    it could also be a step in the GoS’ strategy to isolate the        broad agreement between the commanders and the peo-
                                                    Nuba Mountains (and later southern Blue Nile too) from             ple that stopping the oil is their absolute priority. Some
                                                    the mainstream SPLM/A struggle. At the behest of GoS               are predicting that the western Upper Nile oil fields will
                                                    (and with the apparent collusion of the USA) the agree-            be closed by the end of the dry season and that during
                                                    ment was signed in the name of “SPLM/Nuba” rather than             the coming wet season Heglig itself will be closed down.
                                                    simply “SPLM”. While SPLM/A has conceded in IGAD                   Commander Tito Biel has apparently defected to Khar-
                                                    negotiations that the Nuba Mountains and southern Blue             toum.
                                                    Nile could have their own referenda, separate from that
                                                    of the south, this is the first time that the SPLM/A in these      Aerial survey companies from South Africa and elsewhere
                                                    areas has been given a separate identity. It is understood         are involved in oil operations. There are different ac-
                                                    that SPLM/A is aware of the implications of these moves            counts of the incident in which a Lundin helicopter was hit
                                                    and is seeking to limit the political damage.                      near Leer before Christmas 2001, one saying it was on a
                                                                                                                       mission to evacuate wounded GoS soldiers, another that
                                                    Although the political, religious and cultural identity of         it was shot at by Paulino Matip’s pro-GoS forces when the
                                                    southerners is the main issue, and has been since Turco-           pilot refused to give them a ride.
                                                    Egyptian colonists first penetrated the south in 1841, this is
                                                    not simply a war between “north” and “south”. The Nuba             Possible US military action against Sudan poses a threat to
                                                    Mountains and southern Blue Nile are clearly in the north          China’s energy security in 2002, according to a Chinese
                                                    according to the 1956 boundaries but have thrown in their          government-funded think tank. China’s imports of crude
                                                    lot with the SPLM/A. At the same time a number of north-           oil from Sudan rose 50% in 2001 to 4.97 million tons.
                                                    ern opposition groups are fighting the current regime as

Africa                                                          British Prime Minister Tony Blair has expressed his sup-
The South African government sometimes gives mixed              port for the New Partnership for African Development
signals in its dealings with Sudan. The Ministry of Foreign     (NEPAD). Mr. Blair’s announcement that the UK will ap-
Affairs is firm in its stance towards GoS, but the Ministry     point a special envoy for Sudan was generally welcomed,
of Mineral and Energy Affairs seems to take a different         but the choice of a former British Ambassador to Khar-
view, as evidenced by its support for the abortive Soe-         toum, Alan Goulty, has raised concern in many circles
kor oil deal in July 2001. Now it seems that GoS is mak-        where he is perceived as a supporter of the Khartoum re-
ing overtures to the Ministry of Defence. The National          gime. Mr. Goulty is dismissive of the Sudanese opposition
Conventional Arms Controlling Committee (NCACC)                 and promoted the Sudanese oil pipeline as a “tremendous
has reportedly launched a formal investigation into the al-     opportunity for British business”.
leged activities of former Executive Outcomes mercenar-
ies, operating as Nicholas, Frederik and Duncan (NFD),
in Sudan. If the allegations are true, NFD is contravening      Military
the Foreign Military Assistance Act of 1998 which makes         Despite SPLM/A accusations that GoS has violated the
it illegal for South Africans to “offer to render any foreign   cease-fire in the Nuba Mountains, it does seem to be hold-
military assistance to any state or organ of state, group       ing in general. GoS has stated that no country with an “ag-
of persons or other entity or person unless he or she has       gressive record towards Sudan” will be allowed to provide
been granted authorisation to offer such assistance by the      observers to monitor the cease-fire. It is understood that
NCACC” and they will be prosecuted. The South African           South Africa has been approached. It is not clear whether
government has also moved to prevent the state-owned            the cease-fire will hold for its full term nor whether it will
company Petro SA (the product of the merger of Mossgas          be renewed.
and Soekor) from becoming involved with oil extraction in
Sudan. The Petro SA CEO said: “The government direc-            Front lines in southern Sudan can be rather porous and
tive is quite clear that we don’t do business in Sudan.”        ordinary people are often able to move backwards and
                                                                forwards. Reports are reaching churches in eastern Equa-
GoS made good use of the African National Congress              toria of large numbers of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)
(ANC) 90th anniversary celebrations in January 2002             fighters in an abandoned NGO compound in GoS-con-
to establish links with the ANC, which plans to send a          trolled Hilliu, near Torit, casting doubt on GoS’ claim to
number of delegations to GoS-controlled parts of Sudan in       have cut its links with LRA. More intriguing are reports of
the coming months. ANC has apparently not committed             a number of foreign mujahidiin in Hilliu. These reports are
itself to anything beyond these fact-finding missions, but in   unconfirmed. GoS is still pursuing a divide and rule policy,
the interest of balance many would like to see ANC also         arming various small groups in eastern Equatoria.
exploring closer links with SPLM/A. The two liberation
movements may find they have a lot in common in terms           Fighting has escalated in Upper Nile. Nimne has been
of their struggles against oppressive governments, one          burnt and NGO compounds have been totally looted
the inventor of apartheid and the other a practitioner of       and destroyed by GoS militia. GoS militia were defeated
something which looks very much like apartheid to those         during fighting around Jeich. GoS claims to have overrun
who suffer under it. SPLM/A could learn from ANC’s suc-         Nhialdiu.
cesses in international diplomacy and advocacy during the
apartheid struggle.                                             Aerial attacks on civilians by GoS Antonovs and helicop-
                                                                ter gun ships have continued in Upper Nile and Bahr el-
Kenya’s Energy Minister Raila Odinga has called for the         Ghazal. After bombing a WFP food distribution in Akuem,
renegotiation of the 1929 colonial treaty which gave Egypt      GoS expressed “its profound regrets for this deplorable
the right to veto construction projects of countries which      incident which was the result of a technical error and was
sought to use the headwaters of the Nile. Ethiopia, which       not a premeditated act,” and said it will “take all neces-
accounts for the bulk of the Nile’s catchment area, has         sary measures to prevent a repetition of such regret-
already made similar demands asking for the scrapping of        table incidents.” Less than two weeks later a helicopter
the 1959 treaty between Egypt and Sudan on sharing out          gunship attacked another WFP food distribution in Bieh
the Nile waters.                                                with rockets and machine guns, killing 17 civilians. The
                                                                US State Department said it was suspending its partici-
Congolese president Joseph Kabila visited Khartoum. GoS         pation in the Sudanese peace process because of this at-
enjoys good relations with DRC, partly because they are         tack, which it described as “senseless and brutal”, raising
both opposed to Uganda.                                         questions about Sudan’s commitment to ending the war.

                                                    “We’ve asked for an explanation of how one part of the            local staff by quoting the OLS Ground Rules to officials, in
                                                    government can negotiate with the US an agreement                 another demonstration of the utility of formal agreements
                                                    to end attacks against civilians while another part of the        between agencies and SPLM/A.
                                                    government is deliberately targeting civilians.” The USA,
                                                    France, Britain, Norway and South Africa are amongst              The Khartoum regime is giving conflicting signals over
                                                    countries which have condemned the attack; GoS has                human rights in the areas under its control. A Sudanese
                                                    promised to form “a high-ranking committee to investi-            convert to Christianity was forced into hiding after se-
                                                    gate”.                                                            vere beatings and torture by state security police, who
                                                                                                                      have refused to allow the former Muslim to leave Sudan.
                                                    The military train seems to have returned to Babanusa             But during the ordination of the new Episcopal (Anglican)
                                                    but murahiliin are still active around Wau and are regu-          bishop of Kadugli, police protected the cathedral in Khar-
                                                    larly seen with loot gleaned from pillaging the surrounding       toum from potential disruption by followers of his rival.
                                                    areas.                                                            The death sentence on a woman in Darfur has been over-
                                                                                                                      turned by an appeal court, but hudud penalties are being
                                                    In renewed fighting on the eastern front NDA forces ap-           carried out in Khartoum.
                                                    parently failed to capture Shalaloub.
                                                                                                                      Cardinal Roberto Tucci, president of Vatican Radio’s ad-
                                                                                                                      ministration committee, has suggested that the time may
                                                    Humanitarian                                                      be right for the launch of an international campaign of
                                                    For the second year in a row the “Twic Olympics” were             protest against GoS for violating human rights. This may
                                                    held in Twic county, northern Bahr el-Ghazal. Of the six          represent a change of direction by the Vatican, which has
                                                    payams (sub-counties), Wunrok came first, winning a               often disappointed Catholics within Sudan by its failure to
                                                    grinding mill, followed by Turalei. Asunta Achol dominated        take a robust stance against the actions of GoS.
                                                    the sporting events. This event, organised by an indige-
                                                    nous NGO, SUPRAID, in an area ravaged by famine and               Following an international investigation, UNHCR has ad-
                                                    war, is one sign of hope amidst the suffering.                    mitted publicly that corruption had crept into its opera-
                                                                                                                      tions in Kenya, with UNHCR staff demanding huge bribes
                                                    The EU has announced the resumption of its funding to             from refugees for resettlement overseas. The corruption
                                                    SPLM/A-controlled areas of southern Sudan, in a tacit ad-         uncovered so far probably represents but the tip of the
                                                    mission that the Memorandum of Understanding is not               iceberg and it is to be hoped that UNHCR will carry out

                                                    an obstacle to humanitarian access and in fact provides a         further investigations.
                                                    framework for resolving potentially difficult issues. Many
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    in the OLS and NGO community felt that EU govern-                 The Committee for the Eradication of Abduction of Wom-
                                                    ments and officials were not up-to-date on what had been          en and Children (CEAWC) has been transferred from the
                                                    happening in southern Sudan and had thus been labouring           GoS justice ministry to the president’s office.
                                                    under a number of false assumptions, presumably fostered
                                                    by advisors who are remote (both physically and sympa-
                                                    thetically) from southern Sudan. Visits by ministers such         Monthly Briefing: March 2002
                                                    as Britain’s Clare Short give the opportunity for those on
                                                    the ground to refute these misapprehensions. More con-            27th March 2002
                                                    troversially, and in apparent betrayal of its policy of “criti-
                                                    cal engagement” in which resumption of aid was linked to
                                                    real progress in various areas of peace, human rights and         Sudanese Churches
                                                    democratisation, the EU will also resume aid to northern          The Sudanese churches met with their international part-
                                                    Sudan. This “reduces the political leverage the interna-          ners under the auspices of the World Council of Churches
                                                    tional community has in supporting the peace process,”            in London at the beginning of March. This Assembly of
                                                    according to John Prendergast, of the International Crisis        the Sudan Ecumenical Forum (SEF) heard from Rt. Rev.
                                                    Group, who added, “The announcement was very badly                George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Ms. Clare
                                                    timed.”                                                           Short, the British Minister for Overseas development, and
                                                                                                                      Mr. Alan Goulty, the UK special representative for Sudan.
                                                    There are reports that demobilisation of under-age sol-           The Sudanese church leaders were able to express their
                                                    diers is continuing in northern Bahr el-Ghazal. At the same       views to these visitors. The SEF reaffirmed its three advo-
                                                    time NGOs have expressed concern at forcible recruit-             cacy priorities: the need for genuine self-determination,
                                                    ment of adults by SPLM/A in various parts of southern             an end to the suffering caused by bombing and other war-
                                                    Sudan. Sources within SPLM/A admit that there is some-            related human rights abuses against civilians, and a sus-
                                                    times over-zealous recruitment by local officials in some         pension of oil exploitation until there is a just and lasting
                                                    areas. In some cases NGOs have secured the release of             peace.

Peace and Politics                                               that there must be engagement with all sides in order to
The SEF affirmed the right of the people of southern Sudan       end a conflict, foreign mediators seem quick to overlook
and other marginalised areas to exercise the right of self-      the record of the current regime (which came to power
determination, choosing between a united Sudan (which            in 1989 with the express intention of preventing the key
may include different options) and secession. They noted         parliamentary vote on peace which was to take place just
that all parties to the conflict have agreed to this right.      a few days later) and to ignore the fact that the recent heli-
Sudanese churches called on the international community          copter gunship attack in Bieh was not an isolated incident
to prevent the parties from reneging on this. They pointed       of “collateral damage”, for which GoS later apologised,
out that a just and lasting peace will only come when the        but part of a concerted military campaign against civilians
root causes of the war are addressed. The imposition of          in western Upper Nile (see below). Some would also like
a solution which does not allow the people the right to          to ignore the fundamental cause of the war: that since
determine their own future will lead only to a rerun of the      1956 successive governments have sought to impose the
1972 Addis Ababa agreement, which lasted for only a few          dominant culture of the northern Sudan (including its lan-
years before the war began again. Church leaders empha-          guage and religion) on the entire country.
sised that the people must choose and not have another
agreement foisted on them by political leaders.                  International monitors have now arrived for the Nuba
                                                                 Mountains cease-fire, and officers from both SPLM/A and
There are real concerns that IGAD and other interna-             GoS have received training in the UK. The cease-fire is
tionally-brokered moves towards “peace” are attempt-             generally holding, despite accusations by SPLM/A of some
ing to side-line the right of self-determination. Following      breaches by GoS. The people of the Nuba Mountains are
the IGAD Special Envoy’s visit to Khartoum it seems as           definitely benefiting from it. However it is a limited hu-
if IGAD is trying to redefine self-determination as “self-       manitarian cease-fire and hopes should not be raised too
administration”. There is a trend to marginalise other           high that it might be a step towards a wider comprehensive
IGAD countries, including Uganda and Ethiopia, leaving           cease-fire. There are indications that GoS moved troops
the whole process in Kenya’s hands. Not only are there           from the Nuba Mountains to western Upper Nile before
doubts about Kenya’s ability to direct the process in an         international monitors arrived, and there are reports of
election year, but there are also fears that Kenya might be      serious manipulation of food aid by GoS in the areas of
acting as a tool for US policy. German and British military      the Nuba Mountains under its control. For SPLM/A, this
aircraft are already operating maritime reconnaissance pa-       cease-fire was probably the best that Senator Danforth
trols from Kenyan territory as part of the USA’s “war on         could get but fell far short of their demands for an end to
terrorism”, and it is thought that the UK and USA might          GoS attacks on civilians throughout the war zone.
be offering concessions on foreign aid in exchange for
Kenyan support. IGAD policy seems to be focusing on the          Dr. John Garang has visited London and Washington,
top level leadership of SPLM/A and GoS, thus ignoring the        where again he came under pressure to renounce any
people, civil society and other warring parties.                 meaningful exercise of self-determination. In London Dr.
                                                                 John spelt out SPLM/A’s policy (see February briefing for
There are also concerns about international engagement.          details). It was also reported that Dr. John met with his
While all welcome the interest of the USA, UK, Norway            arch-critic, diaspora politician Bona Malwal, in London and
and Switzerland, there are fears that the USA’s interest is      they signed a reconciliation document.
linked only to its “war on terrorism”. Senator Danforth is
due to step down as soon as he delivers his report at the        The SPLM/A and the Sudan Alliance Forces/Sudan Nation-
end of March and it is believed that the State Department        al Alliance (SAF/SNA) have signed an agreement to “unify
will regain control of the USA’s Sudan policy. European          their political, organisational and military structures”, with
countries are either naïve in believing that GoS is making       the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as “the unifying
real progress in any but the last of the five areas of “criti-   body for the peoples of Sudan, and… the guarantor of
cal dialogue” (peace, human rights, democracy, terrorism         national consensus and the future stability of Sudanese
and relations with neighbouring states), or else they are        politics.” It recognises the right of self-determination, but
deliberately accepting GoS claims at face value in order to      hopes for “voluntary unity” of Sudan. This agreement
justify closer relations with this oil-producing state. The      brings closer together groups opposed to the current re-
proposal to resume EU development funding came in for            gime in Khartoum. Militarily SAF will benefit more than
widespread criticism and EU seems to be backing off a            SPLM/A. SPLM/A has also reaffirmed its Memorandum
little in its public statements.                                 of Understanding with Dr. Hassan al-Turabi’s Popular Na-
                                                                 tional Congress party. Southerners on the whole are not
The situation in Sudan is extremely complex and is not           very interested in agreements with northern opposition
open to “quick fix” solutions; one enlightened US official       groups (including NDA) and some fear that these moves
is quoted as saying, “Peace at any cost is neither dura-         might weaken SPLM/A’s commitment to self-determina-
ble nor acceptable. Peace has to be based on the equality        tion.
of human beings.” While virtually everyone would agree

                                                    Yet another Sudanese opposition group has been formed,            Egypt’s interest in Sudan is based almost entirely on the
                                                    in London. The South Sudan Democratic Movement                    Nile water. Noting this, the SEF Assembly called for a
                                                    (SSDM) seems to have sprung from the London-based                 greater debate on this issue. Can southerners find ways
                                                    Civic Forum, although the signatories include Dr. Wal             of assuring Egypt that whatever the future political status
                                                    Duany of SSLM. Southern Sudanese civil society has con-           of southern Sudan, whether as a confederal or independ-
                                                    stantly urged political leaders to unite and it is difficult to   ent state, they will not be hostile to Egypt’s water needs?
                                                    see how yet another new movement will contribute to               Given the recent calls from both Kenya and Ethiopia for
                                                    peace.                                                            the renegotiation of the colonial-era water treaties, could
                                                                                                                      southern Sudan actually become an ally of Egypt? Can in-
                                                    First Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha appears to            ternational players (and particularly the USA, which gives
                                                    have recovered from his recent heart attack but there is          large amounts of aid to Egypt) help to get that message
                                                    speculation that political manoeuvring to replace him has         across to Egypt?
                                                    already begun.
                                                                                                                      Zimbabwe is far from Sudan but Africa’s response to the
                                                                                                                      political turmoil there may have implications for Sudan.
                                                    Oil and Trade                                                     Most African governments preferred quiet diplomacy to
                                                    Lundin, which recently suspended its operations in Sudan          public criticism and international sanctions. Many of their
                                                    due to insecurity, announced that it could not return be-         observer missions were cautious in the language they
                                                    fore December 2002 and needs a “sustainable peaceful              used, with a pragmatic eye on regional political and eco-
                                                    environment” to continue its work. Meanwhile Talisman             nomic stability. But there is general agreement that the
                                                    is still seeking to sell its stake in Sudan’s oil. Lawyers rep-   election process was deeply flawed, that the ordinary
                                                    resenting victims of Talisman’s activities have uncovered         people of Zimbabwe are suffering intimidation and hunger,
                                                    a damning GoS document, dated 7th May 1999, which                 and that President Robert Mugabe is not about to change.
                                                    ordered the armed forces to “conduct cleaning up op-              Archbishop Desmond Tutu was one elder who felt able to
                                                    erations” in all villages in the area “in accordance with the     criticise President Mugabe openly, speaking of “the slip-
                                                    directive of the minister of energy and mines and fulfilling      pery slope towards a dictatorship with the trimmings of
                                                    the request of the Canadian company”, two days before             a multi-party democracy.” President Thabo Mbeki was
                                                    the Khartoum regime launched one of the largest military          criticised within South Africa and overseas for not taking
                                                    offensives of the war. Talisman has denied any wrongdo-           a stronger line (one caller to a popular radio ‘phone-in
                                                    ing.                                                              show noted wryly that “African solidarity” usually means

                                                                                                                      solidarity between leaders rather than people). However
                                                    Marconi has recently won a contract for surveillance radar        when it came to the crunch it seems that President Mbeki
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    and air traffic control equipment in El Obeid, Port Sudan         agreed to the suspension of Zimbabwe from the Com-
                                                    and Juba and secondary radar in El Fasher, Dongola and            monwealth, and there is speculation that he did so in order
                                                    Malakal. Most of these airports handle military traffic and       to safeguard foreign (and particularly British) support for
                                                    some are used for offensive military operations. Other            the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD),
                                                    companies which have recently obtained contracts include          which calls, amongst other things, for transparent and ac-
                                                    Russia’s Slavneft, Germany’s Siemens, Australia’s Tornado         countable government. To some extent the credibility of
                                                    Air Boats, South Africa’s Spoornet and the Swiss-Swedish          NEPAD and the African Union (and South Africa as a key
                                                    company Asea Brown Boveri (ABB).                                  player in both) will depend on their response to the lack
                                                                                                                      of transparent and accountable government in some parts
                                                                                                                      of Africa. Zimbabwe represents a shaky start; will Africa’s
                                                    Africa                                                            response to Sudan be more robust?
                                                    A number of Kenyan MPs recently visited southern Sudan.
                                                    They affirmed the IGAD Declaration of Principles (DoP)
                                                    and particularly the right of self-determination, and con-        Military
                                                    demned the exploitation of oil in Sudan and the import of         Over the last few weeks GoS has mounted its most brutal
                                                    Sudanese oil into Kenya. In a strongly worded statement           military campaign yet against civilians in western Upper
                                                    they called “upon all African governments to totally isolate      Nile. Helicopter gunships are roving freely, attacking civil-
                                                    the Khartoum regime until it ceases its aggression…. In           ians from low altitude. There are credible reports of civil-
                                                    that regard, the Khartoum regime does not qualify to be           ians, including pregnant women, being “herded” by the
                                                    a member of the African Union since it is at war with its         gunships into rivers where they subsequently drowned.
                                                    own people, survives by the politics of exclusion and en-         Antonov bombers and ground forces which include
                                                    courages religious intolerance.”                                  horsemen have also been used. It has proved impossible

to obtain accurate statistics and generally the situation is       first time that key figures have been willing to speak on
under-reported, but at least ten villages were confirmed           the record. A small number of southern Sudanese poli-
as totally destroyed in January and February, with another         ticians and church leaders have denounced the reports,
four in March. The attack on a WFP food distribution in            but generally there is a feeling of relief that this is out in
Bieh, which the GoS, under intense international pressure,         the open and the debate can now focus on the horrors of
later described as a mistake, is totally consistent with GoS       slavery and credible means to end it. The SEF Assembly
activities in the rest of the area. This GoS military cam-         reaffirmed the Sudanese churches’ official position “that
paign is in response to increased SPLM/A military pres-            slavery is the result of the ongoing conflict and… must be
sure on the oil companies. There are reports that SPLM/A           ended through a political settlement of the conflict. Slave
has closed the “oil road” south of Bentiu. Dr. John Garang         redemption is not an appropriate means to end this inhu-
has confirmed that attacks on oil installations, which are         man practice.” A US-led team is expected to visit Sudan in
regarded as legitimate military targets, will continue irre-       April to investigate slavery and abductions.
spective of any agreements to safeguard civilians.

GoS is mobilising its military forces on a large scale. It         Monthly Briefing: April 2002
is thought that offensives will target southern Blue Nile
and possibly the NDA forces on the Eritrean border. The            2nd May 2002
target of SPLM/A’s dry season offensive may be eastern
Equatoria, although such military predictions are usually
proved wrong!                                                      Peace and Politics
                                                                   While there seems to be no immediate end in sight to
Ugandan troops are currently undertaking offensive op-             the war, Dr. John Garang says he still believes peace can
erations against Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) forces in            be negotiated with the central government in Khartoum,
southern Sudan with the consent of GoS. GoS may also               led by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Negotiating with
retaliate against LRA for a recent attack on its troops near       the Khartoum regime is “a risky venture,” Dr. John said
Juba.                                                              during a visit to the USA, “but we are willing to confer
                                                                   with them” to bring an end to the conflict. Dr. John said
                                                                   he favored a confederation arrangement in Sudan, but ac-
Humanitarian                                                       knowledged that Islamic shari’a is still a sticking point. “We
In western Upper Nile one of the largest humanitarian              are not for abolishing it,” he explained, but the SPLM/A
tragedies yet seen is now unfolding (see above), one that          believes adherence to it should be “personal” and not
will prove extremely difficult for the UN and NGOs to ad-          backed by the state.
dress adequately. NGOs and churches fear that between
150 and 300 thousand people are now roaming in the                 US Senator John Danforth has ruled out secession as one of
bush without food or humanitarian services. GoS banned             the options in a self-determination exercise. He concludes
all flight access to the area for some time; that ban has          that GoS would strongly resist a break-up and that the
now been partially lifted but access is still difficult and dan-   people of Sudan would be better served by guarantees of
gerous. Non-OLS NGOs report the bombing of airstrips,              political, religious and civil rights within a unified country.
and there is a fear that the ever-present gunships and An-         “They [southerners] view the promise of self-determina-
tonovs will catch an aircraft on the ground. Some NGOs             tion as their guarantor of rights,” Danforth said. “What I’m
believe that even if food can be dropped the people are            saying is that if self-determination means secession, that’s
now afraid to congregate to receive the food, as they have         just unlikely to happen. So how does insisting on that solve
learned the lesson that this is where attacks take place.          anything?” Others would argue however, that while self-
Some of the displaced people are beginning to reach Bahr           determination does not automatically lead to secession, it
el-Ghazal.                                                         is a meaningless exercise if one option is omitted, particu-
                                                                   larly when that option clearly has a great deal of popular
In the light of continued GoS attacks on civilians, southern       support. While it is true that GoS does appear to be re-
Sudanese civil society groups have called for the creation         neging on its prior commitment to self-determination and
of safe havens south of the 12th parallel.                         will indeed “strongly resist a break-up”, it is also true that
                                                                   many in the south would equally strongly resist a flawed
Press reports finally exposed the fraud involved in “slave         self-determination exercise. It is not clear why foreign
redemption”, in which foreign agencies raise large sums            mediators feel that making such a major concession to one
of money to buy back slaves. Although it was common                party in the conflict will bring a just and lasting peace (as
knowledge in Nairobi and southern Sudan, this was the              opposed to a “quick fix” peace) any closer.

                                                    Just as SPLM/A clarified its stance on self-determination to       and genocide….[SSDM] reiterated and reaffirmed its
                                                    the satisfaction of many in the south (see February briefing       principled and continuing support for the armed struggle
                                                    for details), a new ambiguity has crept in as a result of the      and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) under the
                                                    merger of the northern opposition Sudan Alliance Forces            leadership of its Commander-in-Chief, Dr. John Garang
                                                    (SAF) with SPLM/A. A press statement denounces the                 de Mabior. Both parties have also reiterated their princi-
                                                    “one country, two systems” approach as a step towards              pled commitments to the armed struggle and the need to
                                                    dividing the country (in surprising contrast to the generally      intensifying the war even more, as one of the legitimate
                                                    held view that it is a step towards uniting the country!),         means for achieving a lasting and a just peace.” However
                                                    and “rejects the politics of division and the carving up of        there were no apparent moves towards organic unity.
                                                    Sudan, and instead embraces the politics of strength and
                                                    prosperity through a unified Sudan – a national unity that         The NSCC people to people peace conference planned
                                                    can only be achieved by installing a democratic govern-            for Chukudum at the end of March was again postponed,
                                                    mental system committed to the rule of law and respect             apparently due to SPLM/A.
                                                    for the equal rights of every Sudanese citizen regardless
                                                    of race, religion, gender or tribal affiliation.” It continues,    The ruling National Congress (NC) party has reportedly
                                                    “The SPLM remains dedicated to the principle of self-de-           passed internally amendments that would allow President
                                                    termination for the southern areas of Sudan. But with              al-Bashir to run for more than two terms in office. These
                                                    equal firmness the SPLM believes that such a principle             still need to be passed into law by Sudan’s parliament and
                                                    cannot be legitimately exercised under the barrel of the           to be approved by Bashir, according to Dr. Ismail al-Haj
                                                    gun of a military dictatorship in Khartoum. Only when a            Mussa, who chaired the committee that submitted the
                                                    unified Sudan has been achieved and the Sudanese living            amendments to the NC Shura council.
                                                    in the southern regions have the opportunity to accept
                                                    or reject the economic and political benefits of a unified         The USA said it had been assured by GoS that it would not
                                                    Sudan in a free and peaceful expression of their will can          set up camps to train Palestinian militants, after President
                                                    the right of self-determination be said to be properly ex-         al-Bashir apparently called for such a move in a speech.
                                                    ercised.” This may prove controversial in the south and in         “The training camps are ready to receive volunteer fight-
                                                    the movement.                                                      ers as from today,” Major General Ahmed Abbas, the
                                                                                                                       commander of the Popular Defence Force (PDF), had an-
                                                    Dr. John Garang was very well received during a recent             nounced on 6th April on Sudanese television.
                                                    visit to Washington. He and his delegation reportedly met

                                                    with Secretary of State Colin Powell and his chief Africa          The US Senate moved to bar visitors from countries for-
                                                    deputy, Walter Kansteiner, Deputy National Security Advi-          mally declared sponsors of terrorism, and tighten control
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    sor Stephen Hadley, U.S. Agency for International Devel-           over foreign students coming to the USA. The Enhanced
                                                    opment (USAID) chief Andrew Natsios, and Deputy De-                Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act prohibits ad-
                                                    fence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, as well as an inter-agency         mission of people from Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Su-
                                                    team with representatives from the intelligence commu-             dan and North Korea unless they are coming to the USA
                                                    nity and sympathetic lawmakers.                                    as immigrants. However, the US secretary of state will
                                                                                                                       have the ability to grant a waiver to those deemed not a
                                                    In March SPLM/A and GoS signed an agreement on the                 risk to US national security.
                                                    protection of civilians, brokered by the USA. There is still
                                                    controversy as to whether it precludes attacks on oil as-          A recent visit to Sudan by British MPs drew attention to
                                                    sets, which SPLM/A maintains are legitimate military tar-          what one MP described as the “traffic jam of peace initia-
                                                    gets while GoS claims they are civilian installations uncon-       tives… which have not necessarily been helpful.”
                                                    nected with the war. However a US official confirmed to
                                                    Reuters that civilians killed in attacks directed at oil instal-
                                                    lations could be considered “collateral damage”, accord-           Oil
                                                    ing to the usual rules of war.                                     India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation con-
                                                                                                                       firmed that it is in negotiations with Talisman Energy to
                                                    SPLM/A and the newly formed South Sudan Democratic                 acquire its 25% stake in the Greater Nile oil project in Su-
                                                    Front (SSDM) held talks in London during April. According          dan. Rather confusingly, Nigel Hares, Talisman’s vice-pres-
                                                    to a press statement, “The talks firmly established the fact       ident for frontier and international operations, confirmed
                                                    that unity within and between the peoples and groups of            that “It is our intention to sell it, but at the right price”,
                                                    South Sudan remains the surest, safest and fastest route           but also (whilst touring the oil concession area recently)
                                                    towards achieving liberation, self-determination and free-         asserted that Talisman will not end operations in Sudan
                                                    dom from the shackles of colonialism, double-apartheid             despite criticism by human rights groups.

Swedish oil company Lundin Petroleum AB has reportedly           A border trade agreement has been signed between
had talks to buy the French company Coparex in a deal            Western Darfur State, Libya, Chad and Central African
worth more than US$150 million. Lundin is on the look-           Republic.
out for an acquisition that would generate cash flow to
offset costs from early-stage exploration in Sudan, where        GoS has accused Eritrea of assisting the armed opposition.
operations are currently at a standstill due to the war.         Eritrea has denied that there is any Sudanese armed op-
A Chinese National Petroleum Company representative              position in Eritrea.
in Khartoum said CNPC would halt further operations in
southern Sudan if its staff felt threatened by rebel activity.
However Chinese personnel have already been killed in            Military
the war and there is no sign of a halt.                          GoS has launched a major military offensive in northern
                                                                 Bahr el-Ghazal, apparently with the intention of captur-
GoS Minister for Mining and Energy, Dr. Awad Ahmed El            ing Warrap and Gogrial. There is heavy fighting around
Jazz, said both the Kenya and Sudan governments were             Kuajok.
working out the logistics for the construction of an oil
pipeline linking Sudanese oil fields with the Port of Mom-       The GoS offensive against civilians has continued in west-
basa. In his recent visit to Sudan Kenyan Energy Minister        ern and northern Upper Nile. SPLM/A has apparently
Raila Odinga said the pipeline was in the interest of both       recaptured Nhialdiu, while GoS militia appear to be in
countries since Mombasa is strategically placed to assist        control of Waat. Aerial attacks on civilians by Antonovs
Sudan market its oil products to other Common Mar-               and helicopter gunships continue, often supported by
kets for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) countries.         ground forces including militia on horseback. While there
Apart from the war, the technical obstacles to such a pipe-      are many credible eye-witness reports from the survivors,
line would be enormous.                                          it has been difficult to establish the exact details in the ab-
                                                                 sence of international observers. In northern Upper Nile
An independent group, Oilwatch Africa, meeting in Cam-           at least 21 villages were destroyed recently. In this war
eroon, called “upon the oil companies engaged in the             superlatives abound, but many agree that the current GoS
harmful business…their respective home governments,              military action against civilians in Upper Nile represents a
the international financial institutions that support them       significant escalation in human rights abuses and has led to
and the Sudanese government to stop this destructive             one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes yet seen.
and inhuman oil business in the Sudan until a just peace
is achieved.”                                                    GoS forces were in place for an offensive in southern Blue
                                                                 Nile. However following their heavy defeat last year it
It is thought that Senator Danforth’s report will propose        is thought that their new tactic was to lure SPLM/A into
that oil can be used as an incentive for peace.                  attacking first. SPLM/A refused to be drawn and there are
                                                                 indications that some GoS assets have now been relocat-
                                                                 ed further south.
GoS has effectively blocked from its market Kenyan               Fighting has continued between Lord’s Resistance Army
duty-free tyre products. Recently the Kenya government           (LRA), and GoS and Ugandan People’s Defence Force
slapped 100 per cent duty on sugar imported outside the          (UPDF), causing population displacement. There are fears
200,000 tonnes quota it allows from the Comesa bloc.             for the safety of abducted children.
The move is contentious with Sudan – the largest of the
five sugar producers in the region – and Egypt. Sudan has        GoS is reportedly going ahead with plans to purchase
already signalled its intention to retaliate on tea, which       from Russia MiG-29 aircraft as well as Mi-17 and Mi-35
makes up the bulk of Kenya’s exports.                            helicopters and BTR80A armoured personnel carriers
                                                                 worth between US$200 and 300 million.
A press report recently drew attention to the plight of
25,000 Sudanese refugees in the Central African Republic.        There has been further insecurity in Darfur. GoS helicop-
They fled from Raga when it was recaptured by GoS.               ter gunships have been used to push the “bandits” back
                                                                 towards Chad.
Uganda’s Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala has expressed the
church’s concern about the Sudanese refugees living in
Uganda. “You should know that we are concerned about
the conditions you face. But you are always welcome to
the church,” he said.

                                                    Humanitarian                                                          the only African country to vote in favour of the resolu-
                                                    GoS military activity in northern Bahr el-Ghazal and Up-              tion, adopted by a vote of 25 in favour and 24 opposed,
                                                    per Nile has caused massive displacement of civilian popu-            with four abstentions. It is thought that the African bloc
                                                    lations. It is difficult to estimate the numbers; WFP is tar-         was generally opposed to criticisms of African nations by
                                                    geting 150,00+ people in western Upper Nile but many                  the western bloc rather than being particularly supportive
                                                    think the true figure is much higher.                                 of Sudan.

                                                    GoS has stepped up its flight bans, denying humanitar-                Sudan’s justice minister Ali Mohamed Osman Yassin de-
                                                    ian access to much of Upper Nile (including Bieh, Boaw,               fended the regime’s application of Islamic punishments
                                                    Buoth, Duar, Ganyiel, Kuey, Leer, Mankien, Nhialdu, Nyal,             such as death by stoning and flogging, but said that mis-
                                                    Toy, Wicok, Biem, Gumriak, Padit and Tajiel, although                 takes in their implementation will be avoided in the future.
                                                    there have also been blanket flight bans at times) and parts          Yassin said Islamic criminal penalties shall be applied to
                                                    of Bahr el-Ghazal (including Akop and Thiet). Even Rum-               Christians and Muslims alike wherever they are in place.
                                                    bek was banned for a week at the beginning of April, a ban            Exemption from Islamic laws is subject to geographical
                                                    which had no conceivable “security” basis and can only                basis, so a Christian living in a state where Islamic laws
                                                    be assumed to be a deliberate disruption of humanitarian              are observed is subject to their enforcement, he said. This
                                                    access. In addition OLS has declared a number of locations            adds fuel to the argument that southerners’ rights will not
                                                    “red no go” due to insecurity. These include Keriel, Koch,            be respected in a united Sudan.
                                                    Mayendit, Kiech Kuon, Lankien, Motot, Waat and Jiech.

                                                    The UN secretary-general’s special envoy to Sudan, Tom                Monthly Briefing: May 2002
                                                    Eric Vraalsen, has said, “We should mobilize the interna-
                                                    tional community to exercise pressure [on GoS] to allow               29th May 2002
                                                    flow of humanitarian aid. This is a very vital issue. The
                                                    obstacles to aid mainly come from the government… In-
                                                    creased restrictions on aviation trips carrying humanitarian          Peace and Politics
                                                    aid threatens directly the lives of about 1.7m people who             It may be worth remembering the 19th anniversary of the
                                                    are deprived of this aid, of which they are in dire need.”            war. Although elements of Anya Nya 2 were fighting the
                                                                                                                          Government of Sudan (GoS) earlier, the mutiny by bat-
                                                    One particular problem in western Upper Nile is kala azar             talions 105 and 106 in Bor on 16th May 1983 is gener-

                                                    (visceral leishmaniasis), a parasitic disease that is fatal if left   ally acknowledged as the start of the second civil war. 25
                                                    untreated. MSF, which specialises in this, estimates that at          students were arrested in Khartoum for celebrating this
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    its peak in the late-80s, at least 100,000 people in western          event. They have been charged with several offences
                                                    Upper Nile died of this disease – more than one third of              ranging from “war against the State” to sedition, breach-
                                                    the then population of the area. Kala azar continues to af-           ing public peace and causing injuries under the Sudanese
                                                    fect hundreds every year, and every time MSF is forced to             Penal Code of 1991. Amnesty International has issued an
                                                    evacuate it means that patients infected with the disease             urgent appeal for their safety.
                                                    are left untreated.
                                                                                                                          On paper at least the Inter-Governmental Authority on
                                                    In his report Gerhart Baum, UN Special Rapporteur on                  Development (IGAD) peace process made progress dur-
                                                    the Situation of Human Rights in Sudan, has again ex-                 ing its consultative meeting at the beginning of May, agree-
                                                    pressed concern over the situation and said a long-term,              ing a work plan for 2002. Meetings in June/July, August/
                                                    unified initiative for peace in Sudan is the only approach            September and October will discuss a variety of issues
                                                    that will succeed. The root causes of the war must be ad-             before the summit of the IGAD sub-committee on Sudan
                                                    dressed. Despite some encouraging developments, the                   in November. While the work plan affirms the Declara-
                                                    human rights situation has not yet changed, and no tan-               tion of Principles (DoP), rather ominously the only part
                                                    gible improvement can really be noted. Baum was par-                  of the DoP which it chooses to quote in its preamble is:
                                                    ticularly critical of the oil exploitation. GoS considered his        “Unity of Sudan must be given priority by all the parties”
                                                    request for a breakdown of oil revenues spent on people               (article 3). It fails to complete this sentence, which reads
                                                    in the south “violated sovereignty” and was “an unaccept-             “provided that the following principles are established in
                                                    able interference in matters within the jurisdiction of the           the political, legal, economic and social framework of the
                                                    government”.                                                          country” (3); these are then listed in 3.1-3.7 and include
                                                                                                                          “A secular and democratic state must be established in the
                                                    In April the United Nations Commission on Human Rights                Sudan…. State and religion shall be separated” (3.4). In ar-
                                                    narrowly adopted a resolution expressing concern over                 ticle 4, the DoP then continues: “In the absence of agree-
                                                    human rights abuses in Sudan, including the use of children           ment on the above principles referred to in 3.1 to 3.7, the
                                                    as soldiers, forced displacement, arbitrary detention, tor-           respective people will have the option to determine their
                                                    ture, and summary and arbitrary executions. Uganda was                future including independence, through a referendum.”

Both self-determination and state and religion are due         guaranteed option of secession is contained in the IGAD
to be discussed in the June/July meeting. The DoP is very      Declaration of Principles, and is supported by many Suda-
clear: if there is no agreement on state and religion (as      nese.” But in a short and poorly-argued section he rejects
well as a number of other issues, most of which are less       this option because “secession would be strongly resisted
controversial) then discussion of the self-determination       by the Government of Sudan, and would be exceedingly
process, including independence, should be automatically       difficult to achieve”. Danforth highlights the religious as-
triggered. It remains to be seen how the IGAD mediators        pect of the conflict, the southerners’ feeling of persecu-
will tackle GoS’ apparent attempts to renege on this im-       tion and the lack of understanding and engagement be-
portant commitment.                                            tween the different faiths. He also touches on issues of
                                                               decentralised governance, as well as the need for internal
Senator John Danforth’s long-awaited report to the presi-      and external guarantees of any agreements. Surprisingly
dent of the USA turned out to be rather unexciting. Dan-       the report makes no mention of the National Democratic
forth notes that Sudan’s history has been dogged by failed     Alliance (NDA), the umbrella group that brings together
and unimplemented agreements and correctly identifies          northern and southern opposition forces.
the need for international guarantees of any settlement
to the current conflict. He appears over-optimistic about      Ultimately this report does not provide any real guidance
the success of his four confidence-building measures.          as to how to proceed, apart from support for IGAD/JELI,
Only the Nuba cease-fire has been implemented, but it          continuation of the four confidence-building measures, and
has done anything but build confidence (see analysis be-       the need for external guarantees. It does not explain how
low). Attacks on civilians by GoS have actually escalated      the warring factions can be persuaded to move towards
(especially in Upper Nile); investigations have not in any     peace in general, nor does it offer practical suggestions on
way halted the ongoing abduction of civilians by north-        particular sticking points such as oil, religion and self-de-
ern militia (again Upper Nile is currently the focus); and     termination. To some extent it downplays the importance
Danforth himself admits that there has been “a great           of these very real issues in pursuit of rather vague com-
deal of confusion” over the “days of tranquillity” for hu-     promises. Danforth’s “principal conclusion… is that the
manitarian programmes. Clearly humanitarian access in          war is not winnable by either side in terms of achieving
Upper Nile and Bahr el-Ghazal has deteriorated rather          their present objectives. Therefore this is the time for a
than improved. Danforth argues correctly that while the        major push for a compromise settlement.” However this
USA should be a “catalyst”, a new US initiative would not      begs the question “which compromises?” and raises fears
be helpful. The USA (in collaboration with the UK, Nor-        that the USA is seeking a “quick fix” rather than a just and
way and others) should strengthen existing mechanisms.         lasting peace. While his analysis is very sympathetic to the
His observation that the Joint Egyptian-Libyan Initiative      south, his recommendations (particularly on oil and self-
(JELI) and the IGAD process should be “complementary           determination) appear to strongly favour GoS. Senator
rather than competitive” and that Egypt’s role cannot          Danforth will continue as US Special Envoy.
be ignored are well taken, and Kenya has already ac-
cepted in principle the “harmonisation” of JELI and IGAD.      The US State Department has again identified Cuba, Iran,
However southerners will remain suspicious that JELI,          Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria as “state spon-
which excludes self-determination, is aimed at strength-       sors of terrorism,” and formally renewed US weapons
ening the status quo by uniting traditional northern parties   sanctions against these countries. Sudan was one of two
to the exclusion of southern concerns.                         countries which seemed “closest to understanding what
                                                               they must do to get out of the terrorism business”, and
On specific issues, Danforth recognises that “No enduring      had “taken measures pointing in the right direction”, but
settlement to Sudan’s war can be achieved unless the oil       had not made sufficient progress to be removed from the
dimension is effectively addressed” as it is “a major cause    blacklist. It could be argued that the international com-
of conflict”. However his suggestion that the oil revenues     munity should focus on GoS’ state-sponsored terrorism
be shared fairly between GoS and the Sudan People’s            against its own people instead of the rather nebulous “in-
Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) would appear to              ternational terrorism”.
be unworkable. Southerners are demanding nothing less
than a complete cessation of oil exploration and exploita-
tion until there is peace; only then can revenue-sharing       Africa
between north and south become a live issue. On self-          The African Union (AU) will be officially launched in Dur-
determination, Danforth notes that “Southern Sudanese          ban, South Africa, on 9th-10th July 2002. However the
have consistently experienced mistreatment at the hands        actual transformation of the Organisation of African Unity
of governments in the north, including racial, cultural and    (OAU) into the AU has reportedly been postponed. Sen-
religious intolerance and restricted access to the nation’s    ior figures believe more time is needed to complete the
resources. Any peace agreement must address the injus-         process of setting up the 17 key components of the new
tices suffered by the southern Sudanese people.” He ac-        body, which include a Pan-African parliament, a court of
cepts that “The view that self-determination includes the      justice, a central bank and a body equating to the UN

                                                    Security Council, which will seek to resolve conflicts on        he had not been able to refuse Eritrean President Issayas
                                                    the continent. No time frame within which this process           Afeworki this favour, as the SPLM/A needs the support of
                                                    will be completed has been given.                                the Eritrean president to put pressure on Khartoum on
                                                                                                                     the eastern front (despite denials by all concerned there is
                                                    African states are apparently unwilling to allow the devel-      still speculation that new military activity might be immi-
                                                    oped world to continue to use human rights as a politi-          nent on this front). However Zenawi is unlikely to break
                                                    cal weapon against them, arguing that Africa has its own         with SPLM/A as he wishes to maintain a good relationship
                                                    contribution to make to the human rights debate. This is         in order to keep pressure on Khartoum, should the need
                                                    understandable, but leads to unfortunate anomalies such          arise. Outwardly, diplomatic relations between Sudan
                                                    as the 19th April vote at the UN Commission for Human            and Ethiopia seem to have improved, but they are not as
                                                    Rights where Uganda was the only member of the Afri-             warm as is being said officially. On the trade level Ethiopi-
                                                    can bloc to support a resolution criticising human rights        ans have run into a number of setbacks. Even if officially
                                                    abuses by GoS. In this respect many are eagerly awaiting         Addis Ababa puts on an optimistic face in its relationship
                                                    the setting up of an African Peer Review Mechanism by            with Khartoum, in the hope of avoiding a rapprochement
                                                    the AU.                                                          between Sudan and Eritrea, Ethiopian officials remain less
                                                                                                                     enthusiastic in private.
                                                    It is generally agreed that the greatest threat to the stabil-
                                                    ity of the whole of Africa lies in the Great Lakes and Horn
                                                    of Africa region, particularly now that the Angolan con-         Oil and Trade
                                                    flict has apparently been resolved. This region is broadly       GoS has blamed Kenya for failing to address barriers
                                                    characterised by undemocratic regimes, collapsed or col-         which have hindered free trade between the two coun-
                                                    lapsing states, a poor human rights record, poverty, wars,       tries. A Sudanese trade delegation on a fact-finding mis-
                                                    famines, refugees, and the proliferation of small arms and       sion in Kenya said there was insufficient information on
                                                    light weapons. Sudan is part of this, and it is to be hoped      goods destined for its markets from Kenya, while red
                                                    that the AU will address the Sudan conflict seriously. Su-       tape from the Kenyan side had bogged down efforts to
                                                    dan is scheduled to be discussed in the Secretary Gener-         improve links. The leader of the delegation, Mr Abdalla
                                                    al’s report at the Council of Ministers meeting from 4th-        Idris Habani, said Sudan will “not bend rules to suit Kenyan
                                                    6th July. It should be remembered that it was the OAU            goods” and that issues which must be addressed urgently
                                                    that recognised the Inter-Governmental Authority on              by Kenya include provision of sufficient data on the na-
                                                    Drought and Development (IGADD, the predecessor of               ture of goods, their validity under the Comesa terms and

                                                    the current IGAD, which subsequently dropped the word            the issuance of certificates of origins. Habani also said the
                                                    “drought”) in March 1992 as the body to conduct peace            Kenyan Embassy in Khartoum was “frustrating” efforts to
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    talks in Sudan. Ten years on, the time is now overdue for        enhance trade through stringent visa requirements.
                                                    the AU, as the successor of the OAU, to ask IGAD to
                                                    report on progress, to ensure that IGAD is accountable           Sudan was China’s second-largest African trading partner
                                                    to the AU, to direct the process more closely, and to find       in the first quarter of 2002. Total trade was US$ 281.463
                                                    ways for African states to apply leverage to all the parties     million (up 2.2%), exports were US$ 55.762 million (up
                                                    to the conflict.                                                 33.7%), and imports were US$ 225.701 million (down
                                                                                                                     3.4%). South Africa was China’s largest trade partner,
                                                    South Africa will be a key player, both as incoming chair        with Nigeria and Egypt third and fourth respectively.
                                                    of the AU and as the driving force behind the New Part-
                                                    nership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). It should be           Austrian oil and gas company OMV said that it was deeply
                                                    noted, however, that South Africa is becoming increasingly       concerned about reports that GoS was using violence to
                                                    isolated within the southern African region. There have          depopulate villages in oil areas, following the release of
                                                    been differences with regard to Zimbabwe and the peace           yet another authoritative report, this time by the Euro-
                                                    processes in Angola (before the death of Jonas Savimbi)          pean Campaign on Oil in Sudan (ECOS). “OMV expresses
                                                    and the Democratic Republic of Congo.                            its deepest concern regarding the latest ECOS report on
                                                                                                                     the situation in Sudan,” OMV said in a written statement
                                                    Ethiopia’s prime minister, Meles Zenawi, queried Dr. John        to Reuters. “On any occasion and regardless of who the
                                                    Garang concerning SPLM/A’s complicity in the ferrying of         aggressors may be, we regard the situation as alarm-
                                                    Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) forces supported by Eri-            ing…. We firmly agree with ECOS that the war in Ruweng
                                                    trea into the Ethiopian region of Wollega several weeks          County and Western Upper Nile is poorly reported, that
                                                    ago. The OLF were transported in light aircraft from As-         there is little reliable information, and that the situation is
                                                    mara to an area under the control of the SPLM/A adjoin-          extremely difficult to judge from the outside.” OMV said
                                                    ing the Ethiopian border. From there, they passed into           it has invited a group of independent experts to evaluate
                                                    southwest Ethiopia to carry out guerrilla operations. Ex-        the situation in Sudan, and reiterated that all of its activi-
                                                    cusing himself, Dr. John reportedly replied to Zenawi that       ties in Sudan have been suspended since January 2002 for

security reasons and it was unclear when they would be            At around midday on 14th May a UN aircraft flying over
resumed. It is significant that oil companies are gradually       western Upper Nile came under anti-aircraft fire. There
breaking ranks and admitting that there might indeed be a         were no casualties nor damage.
problem with their operations in Sudan.
                                                                  Aerial attacks by GoS on its own civilians have continued.
The UK’s Co-operative Bank, which prides itself on its            The most deadly was the bombing of Rier in western Up-
environmental credentials, turned down 2.5 million UK             per Nile early in the morning of 22nd May when at least
pounds of business last year on ethical grounds. These in-        18 civilians were killed and around 100 injured, many re-
cluded finance for an engineering group to build a pipeline       portedly having their legs and arms blown off. GoS has
in Sudan. As many as a third of its customers moved to            denied the incident. SPLM/A has derided calls for a cease-
the bank because of its ethical and eco-friendly policies,        fire by GoS Peace Advisor Ghazi Salah El Din Atabani in
and the bank believes that its ethical stance contributed to      the light of these attacks on civilians.
almost 20% of its pre-tax profits in 2001. Paul Monaghan,
partnership development manager, said, “It shows that it          At the end of April, militia attacked the village of Shoba
is possible to be profitable and have ethics.”                    in Darfur, 15 kms from Kabkabia, a provincial capital to
                                                                  the east of Jebel Mara. At least 17 civilians were killed and
On 1st July 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC)          many injured. It is thought to be part of an ongoing cam-
will become a reality. A Canadian human rights organisa-          paign against the Fur, Massaliit and Zagawa. Incidents of
tion has expressed the opinion that, while there are no           insecurity continue throughout Darfur and have recently
provisions explicitly covering the actions of transnational       spread to the Central African Republic.
corporations, under article 25(3)(c) of the Rome Statute,
officers and employees of private companies who facili-           GoS Minister of National Defence, Major-General Bakri
tate, aid or abet a crime covered by the ICC are crimi-           Hassan Saleh, visited Russia to prepare the contents of the
nally liable. Canada has ratified this treaty and all Canadian    framework agreement on military and military-technical
nationals are covered by its provisions, no matter where          cooperation between Moscow and Khartoum. His Rus-
the acts are committed. This represents another potential         sian counterpart, Sergey Ivanov, stated, “in the past we
legal challenge to the beleaguered Canadian oil company           had close military and military-technical ties and I hope
Talisman, already being sued in US courts.                        that they will be restored, and not just in the military
                                                                  realm, but also on the whole in our interstate relations.”
                                                                  In Saleh’s opinion, GoS is psychologically ready for the
Military                                                          restoration of past cooperation. The Sudanese army has
Heavy fighting continues in northern Bahr al-Ghazal but           in its arsenal T-62 and T-72 tanks, BMP-1 combat infan-
it appears that SPLM/A has managed to contain the GoS             try vehicles, BTR-60PB and BTR-70 armoured transport
offensive.                                                        vehicles, Mi-4 and Mi-8 helicopters, and MiG-21 aircraft;
                                                                  however, they do not have enough spare parts or am-
Fighting has also continued in eastern Equatoria, between         munition. Moscow is ready to modernise the entire pool,
Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) and the Lord’s              in Ivanov’s words, “quite cheaply,” and is also ready to
Resistance Army (LRA). GoS has agreed to UPDF opera-              deliver to Sudan the most modern models of MiG-29 air-
tions in Sudan and there were some clashes between GoS            craft, Mi-17 and Mi-28 helicopters, T-80 tanks, BMP-3s
and LRA forces, but it is still not clear whether GoS has         and BTR-90s. Saleh assured Moscow that GoS is fighting
severed all links with LRA. UPDF forces were initially            against international terrorism and supports the just war
ill-prepared for this operation and were assisted (some           against separatism that Russia is waging in Chechnya, thus
would even say “rescued”) by SPLM/A at a local level.             unambiguously drawing a parallel between the actions of
Hundreds of Sudanese civilians have been killed, many in          the Chechen and southern Sudanese movements. Russia
massacres rather than as “collateral damage”, and there           expects to benefit from Sudanese oil contracts; Slavneft
are reports of horrific LRA atrocities against civilians. It is   already has operations there.
thought that this UPDF operation has frustrated any in-
tentions that SPLM/A may have had to attack Torit.

SPLM/A accused GoS of plotting to assassinate Dr. John
Garang, citing recent remarks by the minister of external
relations, Dr Mustafa Uthman Isma’il, who said the SPLM/
A and its leader would suffer the same fate as that of Jo-
nas Savimbi, the UNITA leader who was killed by Angolan
government forces.

                                                    Human Rights and Humanitarian                                     (or “hostage-taking”) that is endemic among many pasto-
                                                    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)               ral peoples in East and North-East Africa. The pattern of
                                                    hospital in Lopiding, northern Kenya, has reported an “un-        slave taking that has developed since the start of the civil
                                                    precedented influx” of casualties in early April, the great-      war is, to a substantial degree, the product of a counter-
                                                    est number since it opened in 1987. At times there were           insurgency strategy pursued by successive governments
                                                    more than 680 patients, with up to 29 operations being            in Khartoum. This strategy involves arming local militias
                                                    performed each day.                                               from northern Sudan. These militias attack villages in
                                                                                                                      SPLA-controlled areas, principally along the boundary be-
                                                    Major humanitarian tragedies are unfolding in northern            tween northern and southern Sudan. They burn villages,
                                                    Bahr al-Ghazal and eastern Equatoria as a result of heavy         loot cattle, rape and kill civilians, and abduct and enslave
                                                    fighting, as well as the ongoing crisis in western Upper          men, women and children.” GoS has always admitted that
                                                    Nile. At least 120,000 civilians are reported displaced in        there were some abductions but denied the existence of
                                                    northern Bahr al-Ghazal and OLS has had to evacuate a             slavery. The international commission noted that “Bring-
                                                    number of locations due to random movement of sol-                ing about an end to the practices of slavery, abduction and
                                                    diers. GoS flight denials to all three areas are exacerbat-       forced servitude will require Sudan’s national political and
                                                    ing the problem. NGOs say they see conditions similar to          military leaders to speak out forcefully and to act vigor-
                                                    those that led to the 1998 crisis.                                ously against these practices. Denials of the existence of
                                                                                                                      slavery and rationalizations for its existence may be inter-
                                                    The village of Tuhubak (50 km east of Torit) was burnt            preted by some as indifference or, worse, license to con-
                                                    down on 13th March by a group of SPLM/A soldiers, ap-             tinue these abuses.” Amongst its recommendations the
                                                    parently acting without orders, possibly over a cattle-rus-       commission joins most analysts and mainstream church
                                                    tling dispute. 24 civilians were killed and others injured.       leaders in expressing concern about the “redemption” of
                                                    SPLM/A is investigating the incident and says the culprits        slaves for cash, saying “As a matter of principle, no per-
                                                    will face the law. This will be a test of accountability within   son holding another who has been abducted or enslaved
                                                    SPLM/A. During 2002 GoS has systematically destroyed              should be paid to secure that person’s release. We accept
                                                    at least 42 villages in Upper Nile and massacred a large          the humanitarian motives of those who have supported
                                                    number of civilians. A declaration from GoS that those in-        and promoted the practice of offering payment for the re-
                                                    volved will “face the law” would also be welcome.                 lease and return of persons who have been abducted and
                                                                                                                      enslaved. However, we believe that some legitimate con-
                                                    Pope John Paul II encouraged the Catholic Church in Ni-           cerns about this practice have been raised.” In response to

                                                    geria to defend religious liberty “courageously and force-        the report, GoS’ Committee for the Elimination of Abduc-
                                                    fully” in the face of fundamentalism, and to promote dia-         tions of Women and Children (CEAWC) has stated “that
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    logue with Muslims. “Proponents of Islam are... imposing          it will deal with the report with objectivity, an open heart”
                                                    their understanding of Islamic Law on entire states within        but also that it prefers to operate without international
                                                    the Nigerian Federation, denying other believers freedom          observers monitoring its activities.
                                                    of religious expression,” the pope said. “Government
                                                    leaders as well as people of good will must be reminded           The European Union has allocated 2.6 million euros to
                                                    to ensure equality of all citizens before the law is never        support peace initiatives in Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea and
                                                    violated for religious reasons.” It is to be hoped that the       Ethiopia under its Rapid Reaction Mechanism (RRM).
                                                    pope will extend the same sentiments to Sudan.                    The Sudanese component is to finance emergency mine-
                                                                                                                      clearing operations to support the cease-fire in the Nuba
                                                    Human rights advocate Ghazi Suleiman was arrested from            Mountains.
                                                    his home in Khartoum by fifteen armed security men on
                                                    9th May.                                                          The Nuba cease-fire is holding but it would appear that
                                                                                                                      there are few benefits to the people in SPLM/A-controlled
                                                    The international group investigating slavery, abductions         territory except for the very welcome cessation of aerial
                                                    and forced servitude in Sudan, with members from the              attacks. Two thirds of the way through the 6-month cease-
                                                    USA, Britain, Italy, Norway and France, “concluded that in        fire there has been no significant increase in the amount of
                                                    a significant number of cases, abduction is the first stage in    aid reaching them. More than 2,500 families are reported
                                                    a pattern of abuse that falls under the definition of slavery     to have returned, and while people are happy to see them,
                                                    in the International Slavery Convention of 1926 and the           the returnees will soon become a burden on the commu-
                                                    Supplementary Convention of 1956. The Group was un-               nity if promised WFP food does not materialise. A menin-
                                                    able, however, to establish the scale of abduction and en-        gitis epidemic is raging. Perhaps most importantly the lack
                                                    slavement.” It lays the blame squarely on GoS, noting that        of timely aid has prevented people from planting crops,
                                                    “The resurgence of slavery in contemporary Sudan differs          so there is unlikely to be a good harvest. GoS appears to
                                                    both from the historical slave trade of the nineteenth-           have benefited in a number of ways, not least the reloca-
                                                    century and from the small-scale inter-tribal abduction           tion of a significant number of its troops from the Nuba

theatre to western Upper Nile, but also in its manipulation      Delegations from GoS and SPLM/A are meeting in Macha-
of aid resources. The Joint Military Commission (JMC) is         kos, Kenya, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental
reportedly totally ineffective, without transport or logisti-    Authority on Development (IGAD). GoS withdrew its
cal support (partly due to delays by GoS), and unable to         threat to boycott the meeting as a result of the SPLM/A
fully monitor any area in the Nuba Mountains let alone           capture of Kapoeta (see below). The IGAD Special Envoy
verify the extent to which GoS military assets have indeed       faces a difficult task. On the one hand southerners insist
been redeployed elsewhere. It is probably in GoS’ interest       on the right to self-determination, as defined in the Decla-
to maintain and renew the cease-fire. Apart from the mili-       ration of Principles (DoP) which has been agreed by both
tary benefits and the unequal access to aid, it also has a po-   parties (and indeed in various documents by all significant
litical component, an attempt to separate the Nuba from          parties, factions and movements within north and south
the southern-led struggle (see February 2002 briefing for        Sudan) and which includes the two options of unity and
analysis). While SPLM/A may wish to renew the cease-fire         secession. On the other hand GoS (strongly supported by
to protect its civilians from GoS attacks, ironically military   Egypt and now apparently USA) does not even want to
imperatives may force them to reopen hostilities on the          contemplate secession as an option (thus reneging on its
Nuba front as a result of the GoS offensives in the south        signed agreement). The Special Envoy may therefore be
which have been enhanced by the redeployment of GoS              looking for a creative way out of this impasse. Since the
troops from the Nuba theatre; in effect the un-monitored         DoP gives unity priority, he may try to shelve discussion
cease-fire contained the seeds of its own demise.                of the self-determination referendum and concentrate in-
                                                                 stead on an “agreement and implementation period” (aka
                                                                 “interim period”) during which GoS will have the oppor-
Monthly Briefing: June 2002                                      tunity to deliver progress on the issues in articles 3.1-3.7
                                                                 of the DoP under a confederal or “one country, two sys-
25th June 2002                                                   tems” arrangement. However self-determination will not
                                                                 go away and southerners would demand strong interna-
                                                                 tional guarantees that the referendum would be automati-
Peace and Politics                                               cally triggered in the event of failure by GoS to deliver the
US President George W. Bush said that the Government             necessary real and permanent (rather than cosmetic and
of Sudan (GoS) “must understand that ending its sponsor-         transitory) changes which are demanded by the DoP.
ship of terror outside Sudan is no substitute for efforts to
stop war inside Sudan. Sudan’s government cannot con-            For the first four months of its six-month term, the Nuba
tinue to talk peace but make war, must not continue to           cease-fire was described at best as “disappointing” and at
block and manipulate UN food deliveries and must not             worst as “disastrous” (see May briefing for details), de-
allow slavery to persist.” President Omar Hassan al-Bashir       spite efforts by the US government to paint it in a positive
vowed that 2002 would be the “year of peace,” but that           light. However in the second half of May the GoS Ministry
the “military option” would not be ruled out if negotia-         of Foreign Affairs finally overruled its Humanitarian Affairs
tions could not end the war. The Sudan People’s Libera-          Commission which was obstructing humanitarian flights
tion Movement/Army (SPLM/A) has rejected a renewed               into the mountains. From then on, with the Joint Military
GoS offer of a comprehensive cease-fire. “We doubt the           Commission (JMC) taking responsibility for flight authori-
commitment of the other side which has been ambivalent           sations, aid began to arrive. The UN believes that seeds
on the issue of peace,” said Commander Salva Kiir Ma-            and agricultural tools were distributed just in time for the
yar Dit, second in command of SPLM/A and leader of the           planting season, and food has also arrived. The JMC is ap-
SPLM/A delegation to IGAD. “You can’t go for a cease-fire        parently now in a position to begin to fulfil its mandate (al-
unless you have a political agreement, a ceasefire is the        though unfortunately not to address the greatest breach
last stage to allow for implementation of a political pro-       of the cease-fire, which took place when GoS relocated
gramme.... You can still fight and talk at the same time,”       military assets to other war fronts). Both GoS and SPLM/A
SPLM/A spokesman Dr. Samson Kwaje said. Khartoum’s               have now indicated their willingness to extend the cease-
cease-fire offer, a longstanding feature of Sudanese peace       fire, the latter somewhat reluctantly.
talks, is habitually spurned by the SPLM/A on the not
unreasonable grounds that it would give GoS a military           The commander of the military forces of the National
advantage. A senior SPLM/A commander, Edward Abyel               Democratic Alliance (NDA), Brig-Gen Abd al-Aziz Khalid,
Lino, confirmed that SPLM/A forces have stepped up their         has noted that Sudan is now effectively divided into two.
operations against GoS forces to protect areas under their       GoS has lost control of one third of the country (an area
control. “We are definitely stepping up our operations. If       of around 800 thousand square kms).
the Khartoum government goes ahead with war we are
going to fight them to the end”.

                                                    The merger between SPLM/A and the Sudan People’s                According to GoS presidential peace adviser Ghazi Salah
                                                    Democratic Front (SPDF) is progressing slower than many         al-Din, “all Africa must be warned…. Without a break-
                                                    in SPDF would have hoped. There may be a difference             through, the conflict could degenerate rapidly, spilling over
                                                    of emphasis, with SPLM/A stressing high-level organisa-         Sudan’s borders and threatening the whole region with an
                                                    tional integration while SPDF prefers a more grassroots         ever-widening cycle of death and destruction.” Ending the
                                                    approach. Some in SPLM/A may simply wish to assimilate          Sudan conflict should be a priority for the whole of Africa.
                                                    SPDF into SPLM/A, whereas SPDF has a vision of a com-
                                                    pletely renewed movement. However the top leadership            Victims of apartheid have filed a legal claim in a US court
                                                    of SPDF feels that there is an unstoppable momentum and         for compensation from Swiss and US banks which sup-
                                                    the merger process is not under threat.                         ported the South African apartheid state. German, Brit-
                                                                                                                    ish, French, and South African banks and businesses will
                                                    New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) Peace Mobiliser            be similarly challenged. It is not yet clear what implica-
                                                    Ms. Awut Deng Acuil was presented with the InterAction          tions this will have for financial institutions supporting the
                                                    Humanitarian of the Year Award for 2002 at a ceremony           regime in Khartoum; the Talisman oil company is already
                                                    in Washington DC, USA, in honour of her “extraordinary          being sued in the USA. However it reflects the increasing
                                                    leadership” in promoting peace and development.                 success of interest groups in bringing to US courts claims
                                                                                                                    that corporations have committed human rights violations
                                                    On 5th June the full US House Committee on International        in third countries. Several parties have won key decisions
                                                    Relations held a hearing on Sudan entitled “Defining the        from courts to grant jurisdiction in suits under the Alien
                                                    Next Step on the Path to Peace in Sudan.” Much of the           Tort Claims Act of 1789, which was originally enacted to
                                                    hearing reportedly involved Walter Kansteiner, Assistant        give jurisdiction against pirates on the high seas, and which
                                                    Secretary of State for African Affairs, defending the US        allows courts to hear “any civil action by an alien for a tort
                                                    administration’s positions on capital market sanctions and      only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a trea-
                                                    the right of self-determination as expressed in the Dan-        ty of the United States”.
                                                    forth report (see May briefing). The USA has now sent a
                                                    more experienced diplomat, Jeff Millington, as its chargé       East African Assembly MPs want the region to petition
                                                    d’affaires in Khartoum, but he will not be residing in Khar-    the International Court of Justice to revoke Anglo-Egyp-
                                                    toum permanently.                                               tian agreements that impose restrictions on the use of the
                                                                                                                    Nile waters, and to seek compensation for agreements
                                                                                                                    that prevent East African countries from utilising the Nile

                                                    Africa                                                          for irrigation and other development projects without the
                                                    As Africans prepare for the launch of the African Union         prior consent of their northern neighbours. “Uganda was
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    (AU) in Durban in July 2002, it is significant that the AU,     not party to that contract. We can rescind it…” Egypt’s
                                                    unlike its predecessor the Organisation of African Unity        concern about the Nile is a key factor in its resistance to
                                                    (OAU), should have the political leverage to intervene in       southern Sudanese aspirations and the accepted wisdom is
                                                    member states where there is evidence of serious human          that this is non-negotiable. However increasing pressure
                                                    rights violations, such as genocide and war crimes. Howev-      from East African countries may present an opportunity
                                                    er, as one senior African researcher notes, “It is one thing    for a fresh approach to the issue that can satisfy all stake-
                                                    to have it down on paper, but the real test is the implemen-    holders rather than just Egypt.
                                                    tation in practical terms. How much power will leaders
                                                    have to rope in countries such as Zimbabwe, which seems         Experts from various African countries adopted a draft
                                                    to have gone off the rails, remains to be seen.” According      code of conduct for military and armed forces at a work-
                                                    to South Africa’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, South Africa     shop organised by the UN Regional Centre for Peace and
                                                    believes that “quiet diplomacy and political persuasion is      Disarmament in Africa, in collaboration with the OAU and
                                                    still the preferred option” and “does not support the view      the Togolese government.
                                                    that the isolation of Zimbabwe by its regional and conti-
                                                    nental neighbours will be helpful in resolving that country’s   Ethiopia is determined to strengthen its ties with the
                                                    problems”. As to whether Zimbabwe would jeopardise              Arab world, according to the Ethiopian information min-
                                                    the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD),           istry. The Sudanese ambassador in Addis Ababa, Uthman
                                                    the government said that it “does not subscribe to the          al-Sayyid, said the Ethiopian leadership informed GoS
                                                    argument that the perceived lack of firmness with regard        it had completed rehabilitating the road linking Asosa
                                                    to Zimbabwe should jeopardise NEPAD…. At this time it           in western Ethiopia with Kurmuk in southern Blue Nile.
                                                    is premature, if not unfair, to judge the success or failure    He also said that the two sides had started studying the
                                                    of NEPAD on the manner in which the Zimbabwe situa-             Asosa-Damazin-Kurmuk railway line. Since Kurmuk is
                                                    tion is being handled.” Sudan presents the AU and NEPAD         firmly in the hands of SPLM/A, GoS will have some hard
                                                    with a challenge no less daunting than that of Zimbabwe.        fighting to do before it can benefit from these new roads

and railways. Ethiopia is to be the headquarters for the        When GoS militia under Simon Gatwec approached Waat
newly formed IGAD Conflict Early Warning and Response           in February, other forces withdrew peacefully to Yuai. Lo-
Mechanism, which will reportedly focus on Somalia and           cal civilians persuaded many of Gatwec’s troops to leave
Sudan.                                                          him and only a small force remains. There are intriguing
                                                                reports that he brought drilling rigs with him; for water
The Secretary General of the Libyan People’s Commit-            or for oil exploration? The area around Waat is reportedly
tee for African Unity, Dr Ali Abd-al-Salam al-Turayki, was      controlled by Bol Kong of SPDF. Gabriel Tanginia does not
briefed by officials on the progress of the integration pro-    seem to be playing a major role at the moment; his forces
gramme between Libya and Sudan.                                 control a small area around Fangak. In the east Gordon
                                                                Kong’s forces control only Nasir town and its immedi-
Egyptian police in Aswan arrested three people for try-         ate surroundings. Akobo is still controlled by Timothy
ing to smuggle weapons, including machine-guns and au-          Taban, loyal to Michael Wal Duany’s South Sudan Libera-
tomatic rifles, from Sudan into Egypt. There have been          tion Movement (SSLM), but other forces are present in
reports of racist attacks on Sudanese and other Africans        the town, where all, even the White Army, are report-
in Egypt.                                                       edly calling for unity within the south. When the prophet
                                                                was killed in January his forces disbanded. No Nuer sec-
The governments of the Central African Republic (CAR)           tions are fighting each other in western Upper Nile. The
and Sudan have agreed to establish a commission of in-          few remaining GoS militia in the area are not deemed to
quiry into the killing of about 100 Sudanese cattle herders     represent Nuer sections as such. There are reports that
in the region of Gordil and Birao in the Vakaga Province of     Paulino Matip is now abducting any southerners (not just
the CAR in May.                                                 Bul Nuer) from northern Sudan into his declining militia.

                                                                Although SPLM/A’s Peter Gadet has a reputation for being
Oil and Trade                                                   tough with the people, he nevertheless enjoys widespread
There is continued speculation that beleaguered Talisman        support as a result of his success against GoS. The people
will sell its Sudan operations to India’s Oil and Natural Gas   of western Upper Nile are apparently willing to defend
Corporation. GoS has not yet been officially notified that      their area against GoS under his leadership. Peter Par’s
Talisman plans to offload its stake, according to mining and    forces are reportedly near Leer and these two command-
energy minister Dr Awad Ahmed al-Jaz.                           ers appear to be working together. There is a noticeable
                                                                increase in the number of Nuer women bearing arms in
Canada’s SR Telecom has signed a contract with the Su-          the front line. During the 1990s when southerners were
dan Telecommunication Company (Sudatel) worth € 15.5            divided, women were unwilling to fight against their fel-
million to extend the telecom network into rural areas in       low Nuer and Dinka; now they are apparently ready to
central Sudan.                                                  defend themselves and their people against the “common
                                                                enemy”, particularly as many of their men folk are dead.
Dr Awad Ahmed al-Jaz has signed an agreement with Rolls         GoS mujahidaat have appeared on Omdurman television
Royce in the UK for the construction of an electric power       but this is thought to be propaganda and these northern
station in Port Sudan and participation in the construction     women have not yet been seen in front line action.
of another in al-Jaili. The Sudanese Ambassador in Lon-
don, Dr Hassan Abdin, revealed that a British company           Church leaders confirm that people in western Upper
has expressed interest in investing in the extraction of gold   Nile are avoiding relief centres following the experience
in Sudan.                                                       of Bieh, attacked by GoS helicopter gunships during a
                                                                WFP food distribution in February. There is a perception
                                                                that GoS is hunting down the civilians. There are reports
Upper Nile Update                                               that northerners from Kordofan are being settled around
As a result of the SPLM-SPDF merger and various peace           GoS-controlled Nhial Diu while the indigenous people
conferences, the people of Upper Nile are now relatively        are displaced. There are also reports that the villages of
more united and there is less inter-factional fighting. Gen-    Yawaji, Kawaji and Dengaji in eastern Upper Nile were
erally the Nuer appear ready to be governed by a larger         attacked by GoS ground forces on 5th May. At least 27 ci-
entity (the new SPLM-SPDF) as they realise that division        vilians were killed while homes, crops and livestock were
spells defeat. Splits within the Presbyterian Church of Su-     destroyed. There were no military targets in the area.
dan also appear to have healed. Even the opposing militias
are talking to each other regularly, often by radio. There is
a readiness to reconcile; in the words of one Nuer church
leader, “Mistakes are the price of peace…. Anyone who
has died [in inter-factional fighting], his blood contributes
to peace.”

                                                    Military                                                       Iran’s Fath Vehicle Producing Industry, affiliated to De-
                                                    At the end of May GoS launched a large military offensive      fence Industries Organisation, is providing at least 115
                                                    in southern Blue Nile on at least two fronts. Qeissan (Gi-     military vehicles to Sudan.
                                                    zan), north of Kurmuk, was captured but GoS forces were
                                                    held at Ulu to the west. It is reported that some SPLM/A
                                                    troops retreated into Ethiopia, where they were disarmed       Humanitarian and Human Rights
                                                    and sent to refugee camps. Aerial bombing around Qeis-         The issue of humanitarian access (or rather, the lack of it)
                                                    san prior to the attack caused displacement of civilians.      has again been in focus. GoS has continued to deny access
                                                                                                                   to many locations and introduced a new system with dif-
                                                    The GoS offensive in northern Bahr el-Ghazal has contin-       ferent categories of flight denial.
                                                    ued. SPLM/A has again held the GoS forces at Kuajok. GoS
                                                    militia have been active.                                      GoS also demanded that flights to western Upper Nile
                                                                                                                   should originate from El Obeid rather than Lokichoggio.
                                                    The GoS offensive in western Upper Nile, largely against       The UN made a major blunder by negotiating bilaterally
                                                    civilians, has continued. SPLM/A claims to have shot down      with GoS, ignoring the fact that the Operation Lifeline Su-
                                                    a helicopter gunship; GoS denies the claims. GoS forces        dan (OLS) agreement is a tripartite agreement between
                                                    have captured Mankien.                                         the UN, GoS and SPLM/A. SPLM/A in turn threatened
                                                                                                                   to ban flights to all GoS locations. It is unlikely that they
                                                    GoS attacks on its own civilians by high-altitude Antonov      would ever have put this ban into effect, as they recognise
                                                    bombers and low-flying helicopter gunships have contin-        that southerners would suffer in these GoS towns, but it
                                                    ued.                                                           effectively reminded the international community that the
                                                                                                                   OLS agreement is tri-partite and that, unlike GoS, SPLM/A
                                                    In a swift surprise assault, SPLM/A captured Kapoeta in        has never abused the agreement by banning humanitar-
                                                    eastern Equatoria. Somewhat disingenuously, GoS ex-            ian flights. It was eventually agreed that flights to air-drop
                                                    pressed indignation that this was in breach of the cease-      food should originate from El Obeid, at least for a limited
                                                    fire. SPLM/A pointed out that the cease-fire is 800 kms        period, but that other flights should continue from Loki-
                                                    away in the Nuba Mountains and there have been no              choggio. However on 20th June it appeared that GoS was
                                                    agreed “periods of tranquillity”. Prior to SPLM/A’s cap-       again refusing to allow interventions into western Upper
                                                    ture of Kapoeta GoS had itself launched huge offensives in     Nile from Lokichoggio.
                                                    northern Bahr el-Ghazal, western Upper Nile and south-

                                                    ern Blue Nile, and had captured the town of Qeissan.           A Joint Donor Meeting in Nairobi issued a statement con-
                                                    There is now GoS military barge activity around Mongala        cluding “that the principle of unimpeded access to those
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    and troop movements around Lafon which might be in             in need should be pursued vigorously and persistently by
                                                    preparation for an attempt to retake Kapoeta.                  donors, UN agencies and NGOs.” It called for access to
                                                                                                                   7 persistently denied locations in eastern Equatoria, for a
                                                    There are reports of some fighting between Dinka sec-          number of locations banned under “advisory” to be vis-
                                                    tions in Tonj county, with tensions also continuing in Cuei-   ited by OLS security to determine whether conditions al-
                                                    bet, Rumbek and Yirol.                                         low aid flights to those places, and for a map showing all
                                                                                                                   OLS airstrips to be prepared and made available to the
                                                    Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) operations               GoS and SPLM/A. There was some resistance amongst
                                                    against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have continued.       NGOs to giving GPS coordinates to GoS because of fear
                                                    LRA forces retreated into the Imatong Mountains where          of bombing. There was also a call for these issues to be
                                                    it is thought that they are short of food. Small groups con-   discussed by the Technical Committee on Humanitarian
                                                    tinue to raid in Sudan but one larger group broke through      Assistance.
                                                    into Uganda. Humanitarian agencies are finding it diffi-
                                                    cult to work amidst such insecurity. There are reports of      Non-OLS NGOs and pilots in Nairobi are worried by re-
                                                    forced recruitment of Acholi minors by UPDF in northern        ports that GoS is to obtain a new radar system which could
                                                    Uganda. Meanwhile the government of Uganda has signed          be operational within 12 months. The Sudanese Civil Avia-
                                                    a formal ceasefire agreement with another rebel group          tion Authority has placed a contract valued at UK£ 15 mil-
                                                    in north western Uganda, the Uganda National Rescue            lion with Alenia Marconi Systems. The contract is for the
                                                    Front (UNRF-II), which is an offshoot of the West Bank         “Phase II Civil Radar Implementation Programme for the
                                                    Nile Front.                                                    Republic of Sudan” which aims to provide increased use
                                                                                                                   of Sudanese airspace through the supply and installation
                                                    There are reports that a division of Eritrea’s armed forces,   of Primary and Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar
                                                    “Kifleserawit 32” (32nd division), has been deployed in        equipment and sophisticated Air Traffic Control comput-
                                                    the Hambok area near the Sudanese border.                      ers and displays. However coupled with the purchase
                                                                                                                   of MiG-29 jet fighters and newer helicopter gunships
                                                                                                                   from Russia, there is a fear that non-OLS flights could be

identified and either intercepted in the air by MiGs or at-         Dr. Toby Madut, a prominent opposition figure and human
tacked on the ground by Antonovs or gunships. Despite               rights activist from southern Sudan, has been arrested in
the influx of eastern European pilots and the financial in-         Khartoum “for no obvious reason,” according to his law-
centives for NGOs to retain a high visibility in the lucrative      yer. In an address at a funeral the previous week, Dr Toby
Sudan emergency, one must presume that many pilots and              had commented on the relation between religion and
aid agencies would not be prepared to take that risk. Since         state, sharing of resources and power, secularism, and the
this radar system almost certainly has a dual civilian/mili-        identity of the Sudanese people. Amnesty International
tary capability, its sale is presumably in breach of the EU         has issued an “urgent action” on his behalf.
embargo on arms to Sudan and it is difficult to understand
why the British government is allowing it to go ahead.              The head of Vatican Radio, Cardinal Roberto Tucci, broad-
                                                                    cast a highly critical attack on Sudan, saying, “In Sudan
This issue highlights the importance of the non-OLS sec-            there have developed the worst aspects of fundamental-
tor, which has done so much in areas such as western                ism. Sudan is a country where there are deplorable viola-
Upper Nile, the Nuba Mountains and southern Blue Nile               tions of human rights and the freedom to worship.”
where there has been no (or severely limited) OLS ac-
cess. The “principle of unimpeded access” is not confined           The GoS Ministry of Federal Health has ruled out the ex-
to OLS and it is hoped that the UN Office for Coordina-             istence of radioactive waste in Northern and Greater Dar-
tion of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the international           fur States which are claimed to have led to an increase in
community at large will defend this principle on behalf of          cancer cases. The Minister of Health, Dr Ahmad Bilal, said
the Sudanese communities served so effectively by the               “it has not yet been proved that radioactive wastes were
non-OLS agencies.                                                   buried in those regions.” It should be remembered that in
                                                                    the early 1980s Khartoum was renowned internationally
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that a sig-              as a centre for the illegal trade in radioactive substances.
nificant shortfall in funding for this year is “seriously hinder-
ing” its ability to undertake planned, regular humanitarian         Recent development of a treatment for leishmaniasis of-
activities, as well as its capacity for emergency response.         fers some hope to the southern Sudanese who suffer from
The annual appeal for US$ 24.6 million for emergency                this disease. The UN World Health Organisation (WHO)
programme interventions in the southern sector of Sudan             said that scientists have developed a new treatment found
was only 37% funded as of the end of April, and the short-          to be at least 95% effective in patients who developed the
fall will have a negative impact on nutrition, primary health       more lethal “visceral” form of leishmaniasis, also known
care, education and human rights promotion activities. For          as kala azar.
the northern sector, UNICEF requested US$ 27.6 million
for emergency interventions in GoS-controlled areas, and
had received only US$ 2.4 million. The funding situation            Monthly Briefing: July 2002
was “pretty chronic” and typified the situation for many
aid agencies involved in Sudan, including NGOs, according           23rd July 2002

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that                   Peace, Politics and Self-Determination
over 200 thousand refugees in Dadaab and Kakuma refu-               Delegations of the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the
gee camps in northern Kenya face severe food shortages,             Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A)
and appealed to the international community to “come                took part in peace negotiations under the auspices of the
forward” with contributions in order to avert a further             Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
deterioration of the situation. Most of the 68,000 refugees         in Machakos, Kenya. As the talks were breaking up on
in Kakuma are Sudanese. WFP has already reduced the                 19th July, insiders were predicting failure. On 20th July a
food ration to well below the recommended daily level of            surprising communiqué was issued stating that the parties
2,100 kcal per day.                                                 had made substantial progress and reached agreement on
                                                                    the two most contentious issues, namely the right to self-
The people of Sudan have been traumatised by decades of             determination for the people of south Sudan, and state
war and this is one of the factors which limits the develop-        and religion. IGAD talks will resume on 12th August, as
ment of human resources. The Sudanese Catholic church               already planned. There is no immediate cease-fire and in
has begun a programme called “Healing the Healers”,                 fact ground combat and aerial bombing escalated during
concentrating first on leaders rather than the grassroots.          the talks.
It began with bishops and has gradually spread to other
church leaders, civil society, NGOs, and even military and
political leaders. There are plans to offer this innovative
programme to other parts of Africa.

                                                    The media has hailed this as a breakthrough, and the par-         Period there will be a form of devolved government for
                                                    ties themselves have put a positive spin on it, but it is too     the south, and Islamic shari’a will remain in the north but
                                                    early to be certain. There is still deep distrust, and many       will not be applied in the south. Sections 4 and 5 are miss-
                                                    deals signed in the past have been violated. Southern Suda-       ing from the widely-circulated copies of the Protocol and
                                                    nese have reacted with caution rather than euphoria. Su-          may still be under negotiation.
                                                    danese churches welcomed it as a meaningful initiative but
                                                    noted that there are still areas to be clarified and hoped        Many questions remain. Six years is a long time, and while
                                                    that the August meeting would deal with those concerns.           all would agree that a long interim period is essential, the
                                                    Reaction in the north has been mixed. A leading official          agreement could be manipulated and undermined during
                                                    of the Popular National Congress (PNC), which broke               this period. GoS has consistently attempted to renege on
                                                    from the ruling National Congress party, complained that          prior commitments to self-determination (notably in the
                                                    “the popular national will was absent” in the talks and that      IGAD Declaration of Principles [DoP]), and GoS presi-
                                                    western powers “used their influence to pressure the two          dential adviser Qatbi al-Mahdi appeared to contradict the
                                                    sides” into reaching the agreement.The Umma partly has            Protocol when he said on 22nd July that “what is utterly
                                                    broadly welcomed the deal. The Democratic Unionist                rejected is separation from national sovereignty”. He indi-
                                                    Party (DUP) complained that the dialogue was restricted           cated that “We are talking now about encouraging the vol-
                                                    to just two parties, GoS and SPLM/A. Both PNC and DUP             untary unification of the southerners…. A political solution
                                                    criticised the complicated constitutional arrangements.           for the Sudanese government implies securing the rights
                                                    Ghazi Suliman of the National Alliance for the Restoration        of the southerners and guaranteeing Sudan’s unity. If the
                                                    of Democracy (NARD) said, “The deal cements a repres-             southerners agreed to such solution, it will be endorsed;
                                                    sive theocratic regime in the north and provides the op-          otherwise, negotiations would resume.” Concerns have
                                                    portunity for the Sudan to disintegrate…. It is now evident       been expressed about the independence of the Assess-
                                                    that the United States is not concerned about democracy.”         ment and Evaluation Commission, as civil society is not
                                                    A Sudanese Communist Party leader called the agreement            represented. It is acknowledged that more negotiation
                                                    “partial and imposed from abroad...” It is understood that        is required on the issue of state and religion. What guar-
                                                    the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has reservations           antees are there of equality and freedom of religion for
                                                    about it. Both the details of the agreement itself and the        all Sudanese wherever they are in their country? At least
                                                    process leading up to it must be carefully scrutinised over       two northern parties noted that shari’a is unpopular in the
                                                    the coming weeks.                                                 north as well as the south. Abyei, the Nuba Mountains
                                                                                                                      and southern Blue Nile are not mentioned in the Proto-

                                                    The Machakos Protocol of 20th July affirms “the unity of          col. Northern opposition parties have also questioned the
                                                    Sudan, based on the free will of its people, democratic           lack of democracy in Sudan (international observers often
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    governance, accountability, equality, respect, and justice        forget that GoS is a military regime with no popular power
                                                    for all citizens… and that it is possible to redress the griev-   base, which overthrew a democratically elected govern-
                                                    ances of the people of South Sudan and to meet their aspi-        ment in a move timed to pre-empt peace negotiations in
                                                    rations within such a framework” (1.1). However it states         1989). The Protocol does not include all warring parties
                                                    very clearly that at the end of a six-year Interim Period         (although the small South Sudan Liberation Movement has
                                                    there will be “an internationally monitored referendum…           signed a separate agreement with GoS) and is unlikely to
                                                    for the people of South Sudan to: confirm the unity of the        satisfy the northern armed opposition within the NDA.
                                                    Sudan by voting to adopt the system of government estab-          While everyone welcomes any genuine step forward, not
                                                    lished under the Peace Agreement; or to vote for seces-           least the war-weary people of southern Sudan and the oth-
                                                    sion” (2.5). In this regard it appears to satisfy the aspira-     er marginalised areas, a “quick fix” approach which does
                                                    tions of southerners. The Interim Period will begin after         not adequately address the root causes of the conflict will
                                                    a six-month Pre-Interim Period (2). An Assessment and             bring neither justice nor genuine and enduring peace.
                                                    Evaluation Commission shall be formed (2.4), made up of
                                                    GoS, SPLM/A, IGAD states, international observers (USA,           Just a few days before the talks ended, the second in com-
                                                    UK, Norway) and “any other country or regional or inter-          mand of SPLM/A, Commander Salva Kiir Mayadit, told
                                                    national bodies to be agreed by the parties” (2.4.1). Rec-        World Council of Churches Secretary General Rev Dr
                                                    ognising that “Religions, customs and beliefs are a source        Konrad Raiser that the IGAD meeting was a “non-start-
                                                    of moral strength and inspiration” (6.1), and thus agreeing       er” as the delegation from Khartoum lacked authority to
                                                    with many Sudanese Christians who preferred to talk of            make the necessary concessions. What caused the sudden
                                                    religious equality rather than a secular state, the Protocol      change of heart by both parties? Evidently the international
                                                    affirms religious freedom (6.2) and that “Eligibility for pub-    “observers” present at the talks exerted intense pressure,
                                                    lic office, including the presidency… and enjoyment of all        but at this stage it is not clear what pressure they exerted
                                                    rights and duties shall be based on citizenship and not on        nor what was their motivation.
                                                    religion…” (6.3). It is understood that during the Interim

Earlier in the meeting a draft agreement was leaked to the       it is clear that the mediators underestimate the depth of
public and provoked an outcry from southern Sudanese all         southern Sudanese sentiment in support of an independ-
over the world. In essence it proposed a type of regional        ence referendum.”
autonomy, broadly similar to the failed 1972 Addis Ababa
Agreement. Whatever the status of this heavily-criticised        There is a common misconception that “self-determina-
document and the intentions of those who prepared it,            tion” automatically means “secession”. In recent docu-
it had one very positive outcome: it galvanised Sudanese         ments the Sudanese church has sought to clarify this. In
public opinion. Meetings were held and statements issued         fact self-determination simply means the right of the peo-
by individuals, faith-based communities, media, political        ple to choose their own political future; in other words,
parties and civil society groups all over the world. A major     the exercise of democracy. When phrased in this way it
weakness of the IGAD process is that neither civil soci-         is difficult to understand why great democracies such as
ety nor the other warring parties are represented. This          the USA have reservations about the process. The church
leaked document provided a focus for many of these to            champions the people’s right to choose without in any
express their opinions forcefully while the talks were tak-      way presupposing the outcome. All parties would have
ing place. Civil society groups demanded a meeting with          the opportunity to campaign for their preferred result.
senior members of the SPLM/A delegation, who assured             GoS would prefer organic unity, and during the transi-
them that SPLM/A would not sign an agreement that does           tion period would have ample opportunity to make real
not satisfy the aspirations of the southern Sudanese peo-        and lasting changes in order to convince southerners that
ple. Kenyan police had to provide extra security at the          unity is the better option. SPLM/A might also campaign
conference venue.                                                for some form of unity, possibly a confederal system. Oth-
                                                                 ers within the south would campaign for secession. But
The next IGAD meeting in August will be crucial in clarify-      the people should not be denied the right to choose their
ing some of the details as well as negotiating a cease-fire.     political future in a genuine self-determination exercise,
It is certainly high time to expand the process to include       whatever the outcome.
both civil society and other parties. As one senior Suda-
nese church leader has said, “Peace is too important to          Referring to the belief of many southern Sudanese that
be left to politicians”. Since neither of the negotiating par-   they serve as a buffer against the spread of radical Islam
ties has a democratic mandate, and in view of significant        into the rest of Africa, Cdr Salva told Rev Raiser, “If we are
interventions by international “observers” quite naturally       defeated today, then tomorrow it will be someone else’s
influenced by their own countries’ interests, it is crucial      war. The whole of Sudan will become the training cen-
for the Sudanese people to have a strong voice at every          tre for radical Muslims, determined to Islamise the rest
stage. The DoP, already signed and agreed by all signifi-        of Africa…. We are not merely fighting a Sudanese war, it
cant parties and factions in north and south Sudan, and          is an African war…. Khartoum will not abandon radical Is-
the Machakos Protocol would remain at the centre of an           lam…. it is radical Islam which founded Khartoum author-
expanded process. The African Union might be asked to            ity”. Rev Raiser acknowledged this “food for thought”. In
take a more direct role and to provide leverage on all the       Khartoum Rev Raiser told GoS to end its policy of political
warring parties as well as on those neighbouring countries       exclusion and social injustice. He described the conflict in
which have vested interests. However it should be clear          Sudan as a deceptive facade used by GoS while actively
that this would not be a “new” peace initiative and there        engaged in exacerbating all kinds of inequalities, and also
should be no opportunity for the parties to exploit it for       told the Minister of Guidance and Endowments, Dr Issam
further delays.                                                  Al-Bashir, that unfair distribution of wealth was yet anoth-
                                                                 er factor which must be addressed.
John Prendergast of the Brussels-based think-tank Inter-
national Crisis Group (ICG) made a very pertinent com-           The Umma Party has split over cooperation with GoS.
ment in his recent testimony to the US Senate Commit-            Sadiq al-Mahdi ruled out participation in government, but
tee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs:        a breakaway faction led by his cousin Mubarak al-Fadil al-
“There are indications from the ongoing talks in Kenya           Mahdi has agreed to join GoS and secured promises that it
that mediators and observers are pulling back from sup-          would have a presence in all ministries.
port for self-determination in the form of a referendum
with the full complement of options, including independ-         Two cabinet ministers and a senior party official have quit
ence. It cannot be emphasised enough that southern Su-           the National Congress Party. Dr Lam Akol, Minister for
danese will continue the war, no matter what the cost or         Transport, Makki Ali, Presidential Advisor on Peace, and
the outlook, if this fundamental element of any potential        Mr Amin Banani, a former Minister for Justice, alleged the
solution is not part of the deal in some form. Modalities        ruling party was “so deformed that it is incapable of effect-
can certainly be negotiated, but the essential principle ap-     ing reforms for change towards peace in Sudan” and was
pears to be under assault, and this guarantees the failure       run by a power-hungry minority clique. The three are all
of the negotiations…. At present, mixed signals from the         from marginalised areas (Upper Nile, the Nuba Mountains
US and others have undercut this point of leverage, and          and western Sudan respectively).

                                                    Foreign ministers and senior officials from the 57 nations        Nigeria’s ambassador in Khartoum, Usman Bello, believes
                                                    of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference met in              that the war is not fundamentally about religion. “There is
                                                    Khartoum.                                                         the question of domination, marginalisation and the desire
                                                                                                                      of the south for self-determination. The fact is that most
                                                                                                                      people of the north are Arabs and Muslims, and most
                                                    Africa                                                            people in the south are blacks.” He contends that reli-
                                                    The African Union (AU) officially came into being at the          gion became a major issue only after 1983. Interestingly
                                                    beginning of July 2002. The African Peer Review mecha-            he praises Sudan for having “the most stable and efficient
                                                    nism allows for sanctions should countries fail to meet cri-      civil service in the developing world, not just in Africa, but
                                                    teria under the New Partnership for Africa’s Development          in the third world. The civil service is very stable, efficient
                                                    (NEPAD). Even countries that choose to remain outside             and responsive” having “been able to keep the tradition
                                                    the mechanism would still be subjected to the Peace and           left behind by the British”. But he suggests that Nigeria has
                                                    Security Council, a key organ of the AU. The council will         a lot to teach Sudan about democracy.
                                                    be able to intervene in the affairs of member states to
                                                    assist and monitor human rights abuses and help prevent
                                                    conflict. Many hope that Sudan will be a priority for such        Oil
                                                    intervention.                                                     “Sudan is the oil industry’s best kept secret and holds
                                                                                                                      enormous potential for those currently operating there
                                                    Kenyan Members of Parliament who visited southern                 and for any new entrants looking for exciting new explo-
                                                    Sudan have become the first significant African figures to        ration and development prospects” according to a recent
                                                    speak publicly in favour of independence for southern Su-         oil industry analysis.
                                                    dan, thus challenging one of the sacred cows of post-co-
                                                    lonial Africa, namely that the colonial boundaries, no mat-       Speculation continues that ONCG Videsh Ltd (OVL), the
                                                    ter how artificial and problematic, are sacrosanct. Wanyiri       overseas arm of India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation
                                                    Kihoro typifies their view. “People in South Sudan are            (ONCG), will soon buy Talisman’s share of the Sudan
                                                    very clear about what they want…. It is time the talking          oil business. However oil analysts say that GoS has not
                                                    stopped. Let the people themselves speak through a ref-           been properly informed and could delay finalisation of
                                                    erendum…. The people of south Sudan are a black people            any agreement. SPLM/A has warned that India is making a
                                                    of the Christian faith. They are people with a history and        “fateful mistake”. “Let them do what they can with Khar-
                                                    culture, totally independent of the north…. Basically they        toum, whatever deal they can make, but they stand to

                                                    are a different nation and that is why they should them-          lose at the end.” Malaysia’s Petronas has said, “We aren’t
                                                    selves decide whether they want a federated state within          interested in buying Talisman’s stake in the Sudan although
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    one Sudan or whether they want to become independ-                we hope to expand our acreage and increase production
                                                    ent. Nationhood is not virginity that you must keep it. The       there.”
                                                    north should concede that the right to self-determination
                                                    is sacred and cannot be adulterated.”                             Southern Sudanese have demanded that oil exploration
                                                                                                                      and exploitation should cease until there is a just and last-
                                                    Arguably the African Charter on Human and Peoples’                ing peace. If Talisman is forced to leave, it will represent a
                                                    Rights, which came into being in June 1981, is more               partial victory, just as the temporary withdrawal of Lundin
                                                    comprehensive and wholistic than the so-called univer-            and OMV due to SPLM/A military action is also a partial
                                                    sal charter, as it addresses the rights of communities and        victory. However Talisman’s CEO Jim Buckee does not
                                                    the duties of individuals as well as the rights of individuals.   see the sale as an admission of guilt. Not only will Talis-
                                                    In the Sudan context, articles 19 and 20 are of particular        man clean up its image in the eyes of morally conscious
                                                    interest. They guarantee that “All peoples shall be equal;        observers, but it also stands to make a tidy profit. Buckee
                                                    they shall enjoy the same respect and shall have the same         describes the deal as “a very good exercise for our share-
                                                    rights. Nothing shall justify the domination of a people by       holders.” Talisman’s claim that human rights will deterio-
                                                    another” and “All peoples shall have the right to existence.      rate if it is replaced by non-western companies is some-
                                                    They shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right          what disingenuous, as Talisman itself has made no credible
                                                    to self-determination. They shall freely determine their          impact in this area. However statements by India’s oil min-
                                                    political status and shall pursue their economic and so-          ister, Ram Naik, are not encouraging and are certainly not
                                                    cial development according to the policy they have freely         what one would expect from a leading democratic nation
                                                    chosen…. Colonised or oppressed peoples shall have the            in the developing and non-aligned world. Asked about the
                                                    right to free themselves from the bonds of domination by          effect of oil on the war, he replied, “I know in the USA
                                                    resorting to any means recognised by the international            or Canada these feelings are there. But we in India don’t
                                                    community.” Sudan is not only a signatory but also a mem-         have such feelings on this issue. We feel the investments
                                                    ber of the commission for this charter.                           there are safe and, since it’s a producing field, we are keen

to have it.” OVL Chairman and Managing Director Subir          Petrel Resources plc, an oil exploration company based in
Raha acknowledged that the “question of negative per-          Dublin, Ireland, announced that, together with a partner,
ception would always be there, but we have to take up          it has presented a proposal to the GoS to explore a gas/oil
challenges to earn profits”.                                   block in the Red Sea.

Sweden’s Lundin has again confirmed that it will not re-
turn to block 5a during 2002. The CEO of Austria’s OMV,        Military
Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, said, “We are awaiting the results     At the end of June, GoS forces captured Gogrial in north-
of our impact study, and on the basis of that we will de-      ern Bahr el-Ghazal. SPLM/A reportedly suffered from lo-
cide how to proceed…. For us, it is important that human       gistics problems, as so often happens. It is thought that
rights are respected and this is very much in the fore-        GoS will now try to overrun Warrap and Twic County.
ground”. Many oil companies will be watching the new           Neither the military nor humanitarian situation in north-
peace agreement with interest. A Talisman spokesman            ern Bahr el-Ghazal is encouraging at the moment.
said, “It’s an encouraging development and an important
development, but we’re still cautious because we don’t         In eastern Equatoria, SPLM/A claims to have captured the
have a final deal yet,” but refused to comment on what         strategic crossroads at Lafon, vital to any GoS attempt to
effect the peace talks would have on Talisman’s potential      retake Kapoeta. Christians have complained about the
exit from Sudan.                                               desecration of the church in Kapoeta during GoS occupa-
                                                               tion. GoS claims to have captured Loronyo.
Kenyan MP Wanyiri Kihoro also had a message for the oil
companies which “come from some countries which are            The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has continued to evade
supposed to be very respectable, most pacific countries        Ugandan forces in Sudan and northern Uganda. The
in the world. We are talking about countries like Canada,      Ugandan army denied it was “running away” from LRA at-
Sweden, Austria and the People’s Republic of China, a          tacks, while MPs from northern Uganda said that “Opera-
country one would have hoped would live up to the great        tion Iron Fist” has made the security situation there even
reputation she had for liberation over colonised people        worse than before, and NGOs and the UN World Food
after liberating herself in 1949 through a very bloody revo-   Programme (WFP) warned of a serious humanitarian and
lution. There is also a Malaysian company. My message to       food security crisis. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni
them is to stop mining the blood oil in southern Sudan.        has agreed to talks with the LRA, but stressed his govern-
And they should know that when south Sudan becomes             ment was keen to continue to pursue the group and root
free, and it will eventually, she will want to deal with in-   it out of its bases in Sudan. It has been reported that GoS
ternational oil mining companies. The companies should         aircraft bombed LRA locations south east of Juba at the
not alienate themselves from the government that is soon       end of June.
coming up in Juba.”
                                                               Around 60 people died in clashes between Anyuak and
The Romanian group RomPetrol, Algeria’s Sonatrach, the         Nuer near Itang in Gambela Regional State (western Ethi-
Belarus company Slavneft, and the Japanese firms Japan         opia).
National Oil Corporation (JNOC) and Impex, are report-
edly trying to win new concessions in Sudan. Block 8           Aerial attacks on its own civilians by GoS escalated during
(RomPetrol) lies south of Khartoum and covers 65,856 sq        the month of June, with more than 100 bombs dropped
km stretching from Rabak up to the Eritrean border. Block      in 34 reported attacks. This is the greatest number of in-
9 (Slavneft) covers 128,088 sq km from Khartoum to At-         cidents in a single month since the international church
bara. Block 15 (Sonatrach) covers 28,100 sq km off Port        network began collecting detailed statistics in July 2000.
Sudan. Block 12 (JNOC and Impex) runs along the Chad
frontier from Kordofan in the south to the Libyan bor-         GoS has paraded T72 tanks in Khartoum, claiming that
der in the north. The two Japanese firms are particularly      these were made in Sudan. The most modern tank so far
interested in potential oil-fields that straddle the border    encountered on the battlefield is the T62. The Yemeni
with Chad and Libya. They are already present in Chad,         president, Ali Abdallah Salih, has expressed his apprecia-
having signed a memorandum of understanding with the           tion of the achievements realised by GoS in the field of
British company Cliveden, which owns a 430,000 sq km           military industrialisation.
concession in the Erdi region of Chad, along the Libyan
and Sudanese borders.

                                                    An authoritative report by ICG confirms that oil revenues       A conference on small arms and light weapons held in Nai-
                                                    have allowed GoS to purchase increasingly lethal weapons        robi heard that, “Nowhere in Africa is the concentration
                                                    and expand its use of air power. Khartoum’s “battlefield        and effect of illicit small arms felt more than in the Horn
                                                    edge will be heightened by [GoS’] purchase from Australia       of Africa...”
                                                    of airboats designed to travel in swamp environments and
                                                    especially useful in the oilfield areas of Upper Nile”. GoS
                                                    “superiority will be further enhanced when newly ac-            Humanitarian and Human Rights
                                                    quired MiG-29s and search and acquisition radar become          On 1st July the International Criminal Court came into be-
                                                    operational…. with Russian or Ukrainian pilots as part of       ing. It can try crimes against humanity committed from
                                                    the package, these MiGs will provide an integrated system       this date onwards. Kenyan MP Gor Sungu has already
                                                    that will be able to ‘shut the airspace down’.”                 suggested that the court should look into the situation in
                                                    Concern is now being expressed at the proposed deliv-
                                                    ery of this new radar system to GoS by Alenia Marconi           A human rights lawsuit against Unocal Corporation will go
                                                    Systems. Although designed and marketed as a civilian air       ahead in California’s Superior Court, following a judge’s
                                                    traffic control system, it has the potential for military use   decision rejecting the oil company’s attempt to dismiss
                                                    and, coupled with the new MiG-29s, will pose a significant      the case. The suit challenges human rights abuses com-
                                                    threat to humanitarian aid operations. Partners in the UK       mitted by the Burmese military on behalf of Unocal’s
                                                    need urgently to increase pressure on the British govern-       Yadana Pipeline. The plaintiffs are villagers who lived near
                                                    ment to ban the export of this system in view of the Eu-        the pipeline. Some were forced to work on pipeline in-
                                                    ropean Union embargo on arms for Sudan, which covers            frastructure by the military, Unocal’s project partner. The
                                                    dual-use equipment. Given the UK’s role in the Machakos         remainder suffered other human rights abuses during the
                                                    Protocol, it would be unfortunate if the British govern-        military’s provision of “security” for the project. A lawyer
                                                    ment were now to destabilise the process by introducing         for the plaintiffs said, “This is an important decision, not
                                                    new weapons systems into the theatre.                           only because it allows Unocal to be held liable for abuses
                                                                                                                    committed overseas, but also because it tells other multi-
                                                    The MiG Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation is preparing         national corporations that go into business with repressive
                                                    to supply MiG-29 fighters to GoS. The requisite article on      dictatorships that they are responsible for their partner’s
                                                    aircraft deliveries has already been written into the draft     human rights violations.” It may have implications for oil
                                                    agreement on military-technical cooperation which is now        companies benefiting from GoS “security”.

                                                    being finalised by the defence departments of Russia and
                                                    Sudan. GoS will reportedly pay US$ 120 million for the          GoS has continued to hamper humanitarian operations.
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    fighters, for the training of flight and technical personnel,   65 locations were banned at the beginning of July. During
                                                    and the creation of the service base. This is a welcome         Kofi Annan’s visit to Khartoum he pressured GoS to end
                                                    boost to the Russian arms industry at a time when the de-       the “monthly drama of obtaining permission for flying over
                                                    mand for Russian aircraft on the world market has begun         Sudan” and apparently secured an agreement. In view of
                                                    to fall. GoS will acquire a dozen modern fighters, but also     GoS’ past record on humanitarian access, the implemen-
                                                    full-fledged military-technical cooperation with Russia.        tation of this agreement should be closely monitored. By
                                                    Arms analysts describe it as “a promising partnership”. It      21st July 46 locations were still denied. Many would have
                                                    is thought that Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus have pre-       liked Annan to visit the south but the UN Office for Co-
                                                    viously sold ammunition and other military hardware, in-        ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) apparently felt
                                                    cluding tanks, armoured personnel carriers, Grad rockets,       that this “would ultimately work against the mission.”
                                                    and helicopters, to GoS.
                                                                                                                    A shortage of firewood due to a dispute with Kenyan sup-
                                                    The head of the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation, Ma-    pliers has increased the suffering of Sudanese refugees in
                                                    jdi Hatatah, has confirmed that the organisation continues      Kakuma camp in northern Kenya. Their food ration had
                                                    in the manufacturing of Arab armament arrays and that its       already been reduced to well below the recommended
                                                    door is open for any Arab state to join it. Countries which     daily minimum, and now they are unable to cook what
                                                    have acquired weapons systems from the organisation in-         meagre food they have.
                                                    clude Syria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates,
                                                    Kuwait, Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain and Zaire/DRC. Some ci-         The Nuba Mountains cease-fire has been extended for
                                                    vilian products manufactured by the organisation are also       a further six months from 19th July. Local relief agencies
                                                    exported, especially train parts. Brakes and rail-mounting      fear that, although some tools and seeds have been deliv-
                                                    tools are produced and some of these are exported to Su-        ered ahead of the rainy season, delays meant many people
                                                    dan. GoS military trains are a significant and deadly feature   had not had time to clear land in preparation for plant-
                                                    of the war and thus both this Arab organisation and South       ing. According to a local official, the cease-fire “has been
                                                    Africa’s national railway company, Spoornet, are complicit      extended, but it doesn’t mean people are happy…. Not
                                                    in the war through their support to Sudan Railways.             enough has been done up until now.” International NGOs

working in the Nuba Mountains criticised the Joint Military       Protocol. Abdel Rahman Ibrahim al-Khalif – a member of
Commission (JMC), led by Norwegian Brigadier-General              the GoS delegation to the Machakos talks, former pros-
Jan Erik Wilhelmsen, effectively accusing it of being incom-      ecutor general and Professor of Law at Khartoum Uni-
petent, ineffective, not impartial, lacking in sensitivity, and   versity – said, “There is nothing in international law that
unable to protect civilians and humanitarian agencies. The        points to the right of secession as part of self-determina-
NGOs made a number of concrete recommendations.                   tion. Self-determination as enshrined in international law
                                                                  was practiced by Sudan in 1956 achieving independence
An international military team headed by retired US Briga-        and the law does not give ethnic and religious minorities
dier-General Herb Lloyd has arrived in Khartoum to begin          the right of secession. International experts confirmed to
its mission to monitor the protection of civilians in other       us during the round of talks that this right is not provided
parts of the war zone. It is hoped that it will deploy more       by international law, and the government accepted it to
quickly and effectively than the JMC.                             avoid political embarrassments because it was part of the
                                                                  [1997] Khartoum Peace Agreement and became part of
The Sudanese Catholic church is to offer its innovative           the constitution. We accepted self-determination within
“Healing the Healers” trauma counselling programme to             the framework of a united Sudan”. In contrast, southern
Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) in Lokichoggio.                    lawyers argue that the people of southern Sudan and oth-
                                                                  er marginalised areas were never given the opportunity
There is renewed concern about killings, arrests, unfair          to exercise their right of self-determination in 1956. GoS
trials and death sentences in Darfur. There are fresh re-         information minister Mahdi Ibrahim said in Cairo that the
ports of the killing of Massaleit people by GoS militias.         Machakos Protocol was an attempt to freeze de facto se-
                                                                  cession, as it “cancelled anything existing on the ground
There is still concern for the safety of Mr Salah Moham-          that represents a form of separation…. John Garang was
med Abdel Raham and Dr Toby Madut, both detained by               carrying out activities to bring about separation on the
GoS security. The former is not in good health, suffering         ground in areas that he controls”. However President
the effects of earlier torture by security forces in 1997.        Omar Hassan al-Bashir has admitted that GoS cannot
There have also been arbitrary arrests in Juba.                   guarantee that the separation of the south will not occur.
                                                                  The Protocol is unlikely to receive wholehearted support
Human-rights organisations allege that GoS intelligence           from all members of his administration, notably Vice Presi-
agents pursue refugees to resettlement camps in northern          dent Ali Osman Mohamed Taha and others in his camp,
Uganda from where they are abducted and taken back to             including former head of security Nafi Ali Nafi.
Sudan. A Sudanese refugee in South Africa has alleged as-
sassination attempts against him. South African police re-        The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army’s (SPLM/
portedly link the attacks to a Sudanese organisation called       A) major concessions are the concept of giving unity a
Jihad al-Islam which has a cell operating in Cape Town.           chance and the length of the Interim Period. The assump-
                                                                  tion of unity was already part of the Inter-Governmental
                                                                  Authority on Development (IGAD) Declaration of Prin-
Monthly Briefing: August 2002                                     ciples but is deeply unpopular with southerners. Dr John
                                                                  Garang said in a television interview that he supported
28th August 2002                                                  national unity and that southerners would vote for it at
                                                                  the end of the interim period if it was made attractive to
                                                                  them. A statement issued by southern civil society groups
The Machakos Protocol                                             calls for a focus on decolonisation of the south rather than
With the second round of talks currently underway in              unity, and the Sudanese church leaders meeting in Enteb-
Machakos, reaction to the Machakos Protocol of 20th July          be (see below) pointed out that “It is misleading to assume
has been prolific. Southerners are cautious and even suspi-       that all the peoples of Sudan share a common heritage and
cious.                                                            aspirations. In fact the lack of commonality is apparent in
                                                                  the underlying root causes of the current conflict which
Northerners and Arab states complain that the Protocol            itself is a manifestation of the absence of consensus and
allows for the disintegration of Sudan. Northern opposi-          shared values for the people of the Sudan. In reality, there
tion parties are also worried that the Protocol does not          is an extensive and painful history of oppression, exploita-
enhance democracy and appears to ensconce the ruling              tion, slavery and aggression experienced by southern and
military regime in power.                                         other marginalised Sudanese peoples which is extremely
                                                                  different from that experienced by other peoples in the
On paper, the Government of Sudan (GoS) has made                  country.” There is a general feeling that GoS will use the
major concessions, but it has continued to backtrack on           Interim Period to manipulate and undermine the agree-
the right of self-determination agreed in the Machakos            ment.

                                                    A statement by Nuba civil society groups says, “Our main          on charges of embezzlement, receiving foreign funds and
                                                    concern relates to the political future of the Nuba people        damaging Egypt’s reputation. The US position is that Ib-
                                                    and the people of Southern Blue Nile and Abyei which              rahim, a university professor who holds a US passport,
                                                    has become inextricably linked to international percep-           was imprisoned because of his human rights activities. The
                                                    tions as to what are, or are not, the legitimate bounda-          decision does not affect the US$ 2 billion in annual military
                                                    ries between ‘North’ and ‘South’ Sudan. In particular we          and economic aid that Egypt already receives from the
                                                    are worried by what appears to be a growing assumption            USA, but it does limit any new funding. GoS has revived
                                                    that the boundaries drawn at the time of independence             a long-standing territorial dispute with Egypt, saying that
                                                    in 1956 are still relevant to the current negotiations. It is     the mineral-rich Halaib triangle belongs to Sudan despite
                                                    essential that all stake-holders realise that any proposals       being under Egypt’s control. The issue was believed re-
                                                    which leave the people of the Nuba Mountains, Southern            solved in 2000, when Sudan withdrew troops from the
                                                    Blue Nile and Abyei under the administrative jurisdiction         area and the Egyptian army took it over. But President al-
                                                    of the current National Islamic Front regime (or any fu-          Bashir said recently that Sudan had “never relinquished”
                                                    ture unrepresentative government) in Khartoum cannot              the town of Halaib and surrounding areas, and GoS has
                                                    hope to succeed in generating a durable peace or cessa-           written to the UN Security Council to renew its complaint
                                                    tion of conflict.” The veteran Nuba politician and leader         over the Egyptian presence there.
                                                    of the Free Sudanese National Party, Father Philip Abbas
                                                    Ghabbush, said in Khartoum, “We will ask for making the           Sudanese church leaders met in Entebbe, Uganda, to re-
                                                    Nuba Mountains an independent entity, under the respon-           flect on the Machakos Protocol. They issued a statement
                                                    sibility of the United Nations. It was not stated during the      welcoming the agreement but listing a number of gaps,
                                                    talks that the Nuba Mountains belong to the north or the          contradictions and ambiguities which they felt could under-
                                                    south.”                                                           mine the intended purpose of the agreement. They called
                                                                                                                      for the voice of civil society to be heard at the subsequent
                                                    Evidently the Protocol was signed under intense pressure          peace talks, and to this end hope to facilitate a civil society
                                                    from international mediators, but it is still not clear exactly   forum at the end of September. The church leaders also
                                                    what was the nature of that pressure. GoS is seeking in-          criticised the escalation in the conflict since the signing of the
                                                    ternational respectability, financial aid, the lifting of sanc-   agreement (see below). Not everybody would agree with
                                                    tions, and removal from the US list of states sponsoring          an influential international commentator who suggests that
                                                    terrorism; it is not so obvious what the USA can offer the        the escalation is a good sign, saying, “Any government, any
                                                    SPLM/A. Nor is it clear exactly what were the motives.            rebel group, will negotiate as if it is not fighting, and it will

                                                    Oil, the US “war on terrorism”, US regional interests in          fight as if it is not negotiating.” The recent fighting “just
                                                    Israel and Iraq, and the beleaguered Bush administration’s        signals that these guys are positioning themselves, that
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                    need for at least one foreign policy success have all been        they’re taking the situation in Machakos seriously.”
                                                    suggested. But any international guarantees given now will
                                                    be of little value in 6 years time, as by then there will be a    The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is not happy
                                                    new US administration, the US war with Iraq will be over          with the Machakos process. It’s secretary-general, Pagan
                                                    one way or the other, the situation in Palestine/Israel may       Amum, has said that the NDA will continue its armed
                                                    be very different, and transnational corporations will have       struggle in the event that GoS continued to exclude it
                                                    made a lot of money out of Sudanese oil.                          from peace negotiations.

                                                    President Omar al-Bashir said he was uncomfortable with           The African Union (AU) hailed the Machakos agreement
                                                    Egyptian objections to the peace agreement. “The emer-            as a “breakthrough,” and said it hoped the parties would
                                                    gence of a third country, which will ask for a share of the       push ahead to a comprehensive settlement. “The AU re-
                                                    Nile, might increase the problems, therefore I say Egypt’s        mains committed to contribute to the search for peace in
                                                    worry is legitimate, but what worries us is the Egyptian          the Sudan and will continue to provide its full support to
                                                    objection to the will of Sudan.” Egypt fears not only that        the ongoing efforts”. If the south does vote for secession,
                                                    southern secession might lead to increased competition            this will prove a major challenge to the AU if it insists on
                                                    for the Nile waters, but also to a more extreme Islamist          following the policy of its predecessor, the Organisation of
                                                    government in the north. There are signs that Egypt felt          African Unity, which regarded the colonial boundaries as
                                                    excluded from the Machakos talks, believing that the USA          unchangeable.
                                                    has pushed it out of an area that is properly in Egypt’s
                                                    sphere of influence. It is not clear why the USA has risked
                                                    alienating one of its closest allies in the Middle East by sup-   Peace and Politics
                                                    porting the right of self-determination for the south. But        President al-Bashir and Dr John Garang met for the first
                                                    the USA has also announced that it is withholding new aid         time in Kampala, Uganda, and endorsed the Machakos
                                                    to Egypt to protest the conviction of Saad Eddin Ibrahim          Protocol.

The Secretary General of the ruling National Congress          estimates the project in Sudan has big domestic risks and
(NC) party, Ibrahim Ahmed Omar, said that the party has        does not meet our profitability targets. So we have de-
no official slogan, but “Jihad, Victory, Martyrdom” remains    cided to pull out of Sudan.” Slavneft’s previous managers
the slogan of the paramilitary Popular Defence Forces,         in January signed a production-sharing deal to develop an
while the slogan “Peace, Unity, Development” has been          oil and gas block in central Sudan, saying they would invest
adopted by Sudan’s political leadership to rally popular       US$ 126 million in the project.
support for the current peace process.
                                                               Jim Buckee, CEO of Talisman Energy, has reportedly said
The South Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM) has ap-             plans are under way to increase oil production from Su-
parently split, with one faction “dismissing” the leader, Dr   dan, a possible signal he is in no hurry to leave the country
Michael Wal Duany.                                             after the signing of the Machakos Protocol. Mr Buckee
                                                               said a decision on what to do about the controversial Su-
The New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) facilitated           dan interests will be made by the end of the year. “We
a peace conference at Nakwatom in eastern Equatoria to         will do what we perceive to be in the best interest of our
heal the Chukudum conflict between the Didinga people          shareholders,” he said, adding that the recent peace ac-
and the SPLM/A. This long-awaited conference was gen-          cord “has clearly enhanced the value of this asset.” The
erally hailed as a major step forward.                         project’s value has also been enhanced by higher pro-
                                                               duction and recent discoveries, he said. There has been
President al-Bashir has extended the house arrest of Dr        speculation that Talisman would sell its Sudan operations
Hassan Abdullah al-Turabi for one year on the basis of Ar-     to ONCG Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of India’s
ticle 132 of the Constitution and Article 15 of the Law on     Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.
Emergency and Public Security of 1998. No trial has taken
place after 19 months in detention. The Minister of Jus-       Ian Lundin, chairman of Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum,
tice, Ali Muhammad Uthman Yasin, has said that the state       which suspended activity in Sudan in January due to fight-
of emergency will be lifted when a cease-fire agreement is     ing, said, “We have made it clear that we need a cessa-
reached between GoS and SPLM/A.                                tion of hostilities for us to go back in there. That has to
                                                               be established and we have to be able to show that it is
Family members of more than 600 victims of the 11th            permanent”. Lundin is unlikely to return before February
September attacks in the USA filed a lawsuit against three     2003. Austria’s OMV, which has said it is not willing to
Saudi princes, several foreign banks and GoS for allegedly     return if human rights were being violated, said it would
funding Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.                          welcome a peace deal but would wait for the results of its
                                                               own assessment of the situation before deciding whether
The Umma party has split, with members of the breaka-          to resume operations.
way faction accepting government posts.
                                                               China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has re-
Dr Lam Akol and two other senior figures who resigned          portedly been awarded a US$ 230 million contract to
from the ruling NC have formed their own Justice Party.        build twin 520 km oil and gas pipelines in Libya.
Dr Lam has now been dismissed from his post as Trans-
port Minister.                                                 GoS and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have re-
                                                               portedly agreed to continue with the programme previ-
                                                               ously agreed between them for the period 2002 to 2004.
Oil and Trade
Sudanese exports totalled US$ 168.1 million in February        Despite its continued opposition to the current regime
2002, up from US$ 120.5 m in January 2002, according           in Sudan, a US coalition which includes evangelical move-
to the central bank. This figure included US$ 86 m worth       ments, black lawmakers, and social conservatives, has said
of crude oil, US$ 1.4 m of sugar, US$ 41.6 m of sheep,         it no longer backs the Sudan Peace Act, a proposed law
US $2.5 m of camels, and US$ 3.8 m of gold. The largest        barring foreign companies that do business with Khar-
importer of Sudanese products was China with US$ 86 m          toum from raising money in US capital markets. They re-
worth of imports, followed by Saudi Arabia with US$ 46.1       portedly agreed to drop their support for capital market
m, Egypt with US$ 7.4 m and the UK with US$ 4.8 m.             sanctions “in light of the Machakos Protocol.”

State-owned Russian oil firm Slavneft said it was pulling      Shell has reported that it has ended 95% of its deliveries
out of Sudan, its new management team citing high risks        of aircraft fuel to the Sudanese air force. The business has
and poor prospects for profit. A spokesman for Slavneft        been taken over by Nile, a GoS-owned company. The last
said the new team, which joined Slavneft in June, would        5% is located in Port Sudan airport, where the transfer
focus on the company’s most profitable projects ahead of       to Nile is expected to be completed by the end of August
the firm’s privatisation later this year. “According to our    2002.

                                                    Military                                                        Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) for security reasons. Con-
                                                    Less than one week after signing the Machakos Protocol,         cern is growing that the new radar to be supplied to GoS
                                                    GoS launched a large offensive in western Upper Nile,           by the British/Italian company Alenia Marconi Systems,
                                                    presumably as part of its scorched earth campaign aimed         coupled with the new MiG-29s and helicopter gunships
                                                    at clearing civilians from block 5a to encourage Lundin and     to be supplied by Russia, will further reduce humanitar-
                                                    OMV to return. Ground forces, Antonov bombers and               ian access by preventing non-OLS NGOs from reaching
                                                    helicopter gunships were used. The villages of Tam, Keriel      these denied locations and other non-OLS areas such as
                                                    and Rier were amongst those reportedly overrun. Initial         southern Blue Nile.
                                                    claims that 1,500 civilians were killed proved false, but the
                                                    probable civilian death toll in the low hundreds is still un-
                                                    acceptably high. There are reliable reports of the gunships     Human Rights and Humanitarian
                                                    “herding” civilians on the ground, and tens of thousands        Fighting in Upper Nile has caused large-scale population
                                                    were displaced. This offensive began soon after GoS had         displacement. The latest report by the US Agency for In-
                                                    granted a 5-day window for the UN to bring relief sup-          ternational Development-funded Famine Early Warning
                                                    plies into the area, thus encouraging civilians to return to    System Networks (USAID FEWS) has painted a gloomy
                                                    the area, and also ensuring plenty of relief supplies for the   picture of food prospects, stating that the situation was
                                                    attacking forces to loot. Sudanese church leaders meeting       particularly bad in the Jonglei and Upper Nile regions due
                                                    in Entebbe called for an immediate investigation into this      to continuing conflict, and was not expected to improve
                                                    attack which clearly breaches the agreement on protec-          before the September/October harvests.
                                                    tion of civilians brokered by Senator Danforth, but there
                                                    was no sign of action by the international verification team    66 Fur people were detained during July and August in
                                                    based in Khartoum.                                              Jebel Mara province in Darfur. None have been formally
                                                                                                                    charged, but GoS stated that they are suspected of work-
                                                    At around the same time GoS militia in eastern Upper            ing to form an opposition group calling themselves the
                                                    Nile under Commander Simon Gatwec attacked the Su-              “Darfur Liberation Front”. GoS has rejected pleas to over-
                                                    dan People’s Defence Force (SPDF) in Yuai and killed an         turn death sentences on 88 people convicted of involve-
                                                    international aid worker. Two others were abducted and          ment in a clash between the al-Muaalia and Reizagat in
                                                    released about a week later. A fourth evaded capture and        May which left more than 50 dead.
                                                    was rescued by SPDF. There are reports that some ele-
                                                    ments of SSLM joined Cdr Gatwec in this operation. Gat-         The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cres-

                                                    wec was subsequently flown to Malakal in a GoS military         cent Societies has urgently appealed for funding to assist
                                                    helicopter.                                                     victims of heavy rains which hit parts of northern Sudan
 Five Years of Sudan Focal Point Briefings

                                                                                                                    at the beginning of August, causing severe flooding and
                                                    GoS forces reportedly reoccupied Lafon in eastern Equa-         rendering thousands homeless. Floods caused extensive
                                                    toria.                                                          damage in the states of Western Kordofan, White Nile, Al-
                                                                                                                    Jazirah and Khartoum, with the town of al-Nahud worst
                                                    On 8th August fighting broke out within the town of Juba        hit.
                                                    between GoS and South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF), a
                                                    militia aligned with GoS. Fighting involved small arms and      The Khartoum Monitor is receiving a Hellman/Hammett
                                                    large calibre machine guns. GoS deployed tanks.                 grant in recognition of the courage with which it has faced
                                                                                                                    political persecution. Each year, Human Rights Watch
                                                    Attempts by the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF)           presents these grants to writers around the world who
                                                    to destroy the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) appear to           have been targets of political persecution. Three of the
                                                    have failed. The LRA has continued its attacks against civil-   Monitor’s reporters have just been fined by a court in
                                                    ians in both Sudan and Uganda, recently killing more than       Khartoum. Another Khartoum newspaper, al-Ayam, was
                                                    30 people and displacing 24,000 Sudanese from Acholpii          ordered to close for one day as punishment for an article
                                                    refugee camp in northern Uganda. A number of interna-           on female genital mutilation (“female circumcision”). The
                                                    tional aid workers were abducted by LRA but were re-            National Press Council deemed the explicit sexual refer-
                                                    leased unharmed. LRA offered a conditional cease-fire at        ences to be “a slur on public decency”.
                                                    the end of August, and the Ugandan government has indi-
                                                    cated its willingness to negotiate, but there are doubts as     The UN World Food Programme’s (WFP) aid opera-
                                                    to the seriousness of both parties.                             tions in nine countries of eastern Africa, affecting a total
                                                                                                                    of 10 million people, are being threatened due to funding
                                                    Aerial attacks on civilians by GoS have decreased but           shortages. The UN listed the affected countries as Sudan,
                                                    not stopped. At the beginning of August GoS continued           Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Bu-
                                                    to deny humanitarian access to around 40 locations, and         rundi and Rwanda. Emergency operations in Sudan were
                                                    over 30 more were declared “red no go” by the UN                described as “living hand-to-mouth”, with pledges often

being made at the last moment. “In Sudan there is the           It is very likely that the Machakos talks will resume in the
problem of a shortage of funds, combined with the issue         near future. This is partly due to pressure from the “ob-
of security and flight denials,” according to a WFP spokes-     servers” who are effectively driving the process, particu-
woman, who said that last month 355,000 people were             larly the USA. But, despite all the problems that the parties
affected by GoS flight denials.                                 have with the terms of the peace framework, arguably they
                                                                also have their own vested interest in pursuing it. It has
                                                                long been recognised that a major objective of the current
Monthly Briefing: September 2002                                regime in Khartoum, a military dictatorship with virtually
                                                                no popular support base, is to stay in power at almost any
26th September 2002                                             cost. But the SPLM/A, while enjoying a degree of popu-
                                                                lar support, is also an unelected and largely unaccountable
                                                                movement. The Machakos Protocol is an opportunity for
The Machakos Talks                                              both parties to entrench themselves in power during the
At the beginning of September the Government of Sudan           next 6 years. The IGAD process has always excluded other
(GoS) withdrew from the Machakos peace negotiations,            parties, and it is no accident that GoS, SPLM/A and the in-
“because of the atmosphere created by the military op-          ternational “observers” all agree on the continued exclu-
erations and the occupation of Torit town” by the Sudan         sion of civil society from the Machakos talks. The sharing of
People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), accord-             power between SPLM/A and GoS during the Interim Period
ing to GoS Foreign Minister Mustafa Uthman Isma’il. This        with no reference to other parties nor civil society seems
is somewhat disingenuous. Since the signing of the Mach-        to militate against the emergence of democracy. It would
akos Protocol on 20th July, GoS forces have launched a          be foolish not to welcome any peace deal, no matter how
major offensive in western Upper Nile in which hundreds         flawed, but the challenge for churches, civil society, and any
of civilians died, have killed and abducted international aid   remaining international observers without vested interests,
workers in eastern Upper Nile, and have escalated their         is to turn it from a “quick fix” solution (which so many have
aerial bombardment of civilians. Even the fighting in Torit     warned against), with little prospect of enduring peace and
was apparently initiated by GoS forces which moved out          democracy, into the just and lasting peace which churches
to attack SPLM/A positions. GoS is demanding a cease-fire       and many others have always demanded.
as a pre-condition for resuming talks; SPLM/A has always
maintained that this should be the last step in the process.    Arab foreign ministers have formed a special committee
A cease-fire would be to the military advantage of GoS          charged with “following developments in Sudan and coop-
should fighting resume, as it would be difficult for SPLM/A     erating with its government to affirm its unity and realise
to maintain an unpaid “popular army” during a period of         a complete peace.” Arab League Secretary General Amr
peace, whereas GoS would be able to use the oil revenue         Mussa said that the Machakos Protocol “does not consti-
to strengthen its own regular armed forces.                     tute a danger to Arab national security, seeing as the gov-
                                                                ernment of Sudan, which is a [League] member, is a party
It is not surprising that one side or the other manufactured    to the agreement”. However, Mussa said the League had a
an excuse to break off talks. The Machakos Protocol,            “duty to protect the unity of Sudan, and prevent all factors
signed under intense international pressure, was not really     and developments which might lead to the secession of the
owned by either party. Indeed the National Democratic           south.”
Alliance (NDA) has called for the exclusion of foreign me-
diators, charging that foreigners were just running after       Samir Ragab, the