Torit1955’s Weblog

Just another weblog

Archive for the ‘Activists Forum’ Category

Huge Peace Rallies for Sudan Tomorow

leave a comment »

In light of an escalating crisis in Sudan, US based advocacy organization Voices for Sudan would like to inform you that there will be a rally in front of The White House.
On Sunday, December 20, 09 starting at 1:30 till 3:30 PM.
All peace loving Sudanese are urged to join us to gather along our American friends to support the March for justices, implementation of the CPA, and demand accountability for the ongoing atrocities in Darfur region.

For more information call White@ (202)276-0769
Gafar @ 571-331-2835 or Jimmy @(202)360-9324
lly for Peace, Justices, And Democratic Transformation in Sudan


Written by torit1955

December 19, 2009 at 9:51 am

In Their Own Words: What South leaders say and do!

with one comment

By: Theresa Angua, Denmark.

JAN. 11/2009, SSN; South Sudan’s self-imposed leaders have two main
annual rituals: (1) to come to the United States and make good to any
sitting president, and (2) to visit their families that are scattered
across all continents of the world. Last week they did just that. And as
usual, at the nation’s expense.

GOSS President Salva Kiir and a large entourage to America

GOSS President Salva Kiir and a large entourage to America

Salva Kiir for his part, flew in an army of 33 “delegates”, ostensibly
on an official visit. How much it cost South Sudan is anyone’s guess.
And all for a trip that didn’t even get airtime on any network except
for a single sneaked-out photo of him and President Bush. He then went
on to urge South Sudanese in the U.S. to consider returning home and
rebuilding the nation. Easier said than done…

Meanwhile in the Southern Hemisphere, Pagan Amum was busy admitting
[half-heartedly] to the South Sudanese community in Victoria, Australia,
that, “we’ve been a failed state since independence,” and that GOSS is
“like a 3-year old child sitting for university exams”. Let’s take a
look at what these two gentlemen say and what they do.

Salva Kirr may have been in North America to thank President Bush for
what he had done to South Sudan in terms of the CPA (even though he
(Kiir) and his cohorts are miserably failing at keeping it alive) and to
boost the morale of those in exile and garner support.

But he may have also been aware, in his heart of hearts, that
Southerners weren’t going to take his words at face value. Who can blame
them? For there’s a difference between what GOSS wants for South Sudan
and what it can deliver.

The events that have been unfolding in the country post-CPA speak
volumes about what ordinary S. Sudanese can expect from this
tribally-centered, self-serving government.  If GOSS cannot even provide
basic security (let alone basic services and infrastructure), who can be
foolhardy enough to quit a job in the West, go to S. Sudan and find
him/herself without any kind of protection (physical or property) or a
piece of land to build on?

I’m a graduate student from Equatoria (Madi) and our land is perhaps the
most devastated in terms of this GOSS/SPLA-backed lawlessness that has
spiraled out of control. Yet we’re some of the most educated,
highly-skilled, and hardworking Sudanese in Equatoria. If Salva Kirr
were serious about tapping into the expertise of S. Sudanese in exile,
why would he allow this barbaric culture to flourish there?

I’m talking about Madi, Bari, Acholi, Kakwa, and other lands in Greater
Equatoria that have become every criminal’s Mecca. In short, GOSS cannot
allow these unwanted exports [illiterate marauders] from Jonglei State
to continue terrorizing those who genuinely want to develop their land
while preaching “return” overseas. These people are nothing more than an
impediment to development in S. Sudan and GOSS knows that.

So President Kiir, please do some reality check and make sure that what
is happening on the ground is in synch with what you want for S. Sudan.
Otherwise I only see us vying with Somalia for the title of “the most
failed state” in the near future. You have what it takes to become one
and that choice is yours.

Coming back to Pagam Amum, I appreciate his courage for saying that we
have been a failed state since independence. However, he failed to
acknowledge that the very fact that he was in Australia on a personal
trip paid out of the nation’s coffers was itself a contribution to the
failure of Sudan in general and S. Sudan in particular.

There is a strange predilection to blame all of GOSS’s woes on NCP the
same way Mugabe blames all of  Zimbabwe’s on U.K. Mr. Amum can only
convince Southerners that NCP is the problem if and only if he and his
cohort in GOSS can prove that they have dutifully/ethically carried out
all their responsibilities to Southerners. So far, we have not seen
anything tangible post CPA despite the shared oil revenue.

We seem to be going backwards, not forwards. Southern Sudanese are left
to suffer from buyer’s remorse in regards to GOSS/SPLA. We’re no longer
sure which one is better: War-time or peace-time? GOSS or NCP?

In the light of this situation, I would like Mr. Amum to account for
GOSS’s own contribution(s) to the failure of S. Sudan before bashing
Khartoum. Charity begins at home…

As for the “3-year old” analogy that he threw out, Mr. Amum was again
right to admit that GOSS is an entity that is trying to perform duties
it is not qualified for.

Kudos for that; but the truth is, Southern Sudan is not a nation of
3-year olds. So how about make way for qualified individuals to take
over? Because clearly, GOSS has proven that you cannot impose a jungle
administration on a civilized nation. We are a better country than this
and it’s about time a competent administration took over.

Otherwise we are on the verge of becoming the latest laughing stock on
the African continent.

Written by torit1955

January 11, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Posted in Activists Forum

Tagged with , ,

Juba Prison Relaxes Prison Women laws

leave a comment »

Juba December 21st 2008

By Isaac Vuni

“We are surprised to be allowed in women prison for the first time to conduct prayer together with our separated dear mothers along with twelve innocent children in Juba central prison”, remarks Young Christian Students.

“Today is our first time to enter Juba central prison of women to share encouragement words of Jesus Christ with our dear mothers whose innocent twelve children are wrongly   imprisoned with their mothers”.

There are fifty one women in Juba prison including one condemned, 28 convicted, three foreigners from Uganda and Kenya while 22 awaiting sentences some are pregnant either during their stay in prison or they came with prior to their detention.

The women have no prison uniforms on themselves;  one of them who asked not to be named complained that  they are being overworked by prison authority.

The  men sections and cells  of the prison  are overcrowding  with about  three hundred prisoners,  including 37 juveniles

Scopas Taban Lolabang, former combatant SPLA engineer, who lost right arms in the field urged prioners to have faith in God for all their needs.

Earlier prison  Chaplin, pastor  Alex Loboka Wota from Episcopal Church of the Sudan complaint that Juba  prison lack reading material such as bible while the televisions has no power  including lack of ambulance for transporting sick prisoners. He appeals to well-wishers to donate motorbike for Chaplin mobility including visitation of hospitalized prisoner’s ant encouragement of their families.

Pastor Wota also appeals to well-wishers to help in releasing a disable person now detained for the last three years without trial.

He also registered appreciation to government of southern Sudan for allowing religious community to daily preach the words of God without hindrance.

St. Teresa Arabic choir brought gave six bags of sugar to prisoners while holy mass was celebrated by Fr. Julious Oling Wani, former Juba prisoners convict who urged prisoners to become change urgent to others while out of prison.

Prisoners Ebale Simon Ohuro, 32 years, father of four children, sentenced to five years on man slaughter allegedly instigation by Commissioner Massimino Alam relative of the victims now demanding payment of  three thousand Sudanese pounds  dia  before his release and now left with a year.

While John Juma Tadeyo, 45 years, father of ten children and two wives, sentenced to five years since 2006 together with his three sisters, one died on 19th December 2007and they were ordered to pays 3000 SDG dia, appeal to well-wishers to rescue them especially children now neglected by government.

Juba central prison constructed in 1947 has a maximum capacity of 300 inmates but now hold 807 including orphans juveniles ranging from seven to twelve years who are detained on alleged traffic offences as prison officers took over their reformatory centre for officers training while accused Goss of failing to release funds for renovation and construction of juveniles centre.

Currently Juba central prison that accommodate prisoners from ten states of Southern Sudan has 33 condemned, 317 convicted, 50 foreigners, 34 Juveniles, 339 awaiting trial on various alleged crimes including murders and detained 34 mentally unbalance persons.
There will be ecumenical prayer on 26th December

Written by torit1955

December 22, 2008 at 7:41 am

Posted in Activists Forum, Religion

Tagged with

Uganda: How Assault on LRA Was Executed

leave a comment »

How the attack was planned, executed

Grace Matsiko, Risdel Kasasira & Paul Amoru


Sunday’s lightning raid by a joint force of Ugandan, Congolese and South Sudanese forces on Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army rebel camps was the culmination of months of preparation by the UPDF as a Plan B in case the Juba peace talks failed, Daily Monitor can reveal.

UPDF Attack of LRA Bases in Garamba National Park - 15 December 2008

UPDF Attack of LRA Bases in Garamba National Park - 15 December 2008

Many of the military drills for the exercise were done in Barlege in Lira, in Kitgum, in Gulu and Singo military training camp in Mubende, according to officers who participated in the preparations spanning over six months.

The crack unit now deployed in the jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo to hunt for Kony comprised several elements of the UPDF. The combat troops were picked from the air force, armoured brigade, intelligence, commando unit, marines and paratroopers.

Military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, told Daily Monitor that preparations for ‘Plan B’ began in June when President Museveni issued an order recalling Brig. Patrick Kankiriho from the UPDF 3rd Division in Moroto, where he was a division commander, to camp in Pader.

He was later followed by Lt. Col. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the First son who is also the commander of the Special Forces after he was discharged from the Presidential Guard Brigade to join the regular forces. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Col. Moses Rwakitarate, an equally young and energetic officer was drafted onto the team.

Meanwhile, the troops on the border regions, including those inside Sudan, were put under a new group in the UPDF that has come to be called the “new generation”. Most of the commanders in this group are said to be in their 40s and fairly better trained and educated than the older generation of army officers.

The military preparations were boosted by defections from the LRA ranks and bloody internal purges among its officers which saw the execution of Kony’s erstwhile deputy, Vincent Otti.

Under pressure from the international community, especially the United States, Kampala, Juba and Kinshasa then signed an agreement that would allow joint cross-border operations against rebel groups in the region.

This meant that the UPDF could follow the LRA across the border into DR Congo where the rebels had set up camp in the jungles of Garamba National Park, protected by the harsh terrain, the several thousand kilometres from Uganda’s borders, and the incompetence of the poorly armed, trained and paid DR Congo army.

At a meeting of regional security chiefs earlier in the year, different tasks were given to different actors and other countries in the Great Lakes region affected by activities of the LRA. Monuc forces pledged medical, food and other logistics for the foot soldiers of the United Front against Kony and his commanders, sources told Daily Monitor, while the UPDF and SPLA were tasked to provide intelligence for the mission. The Congolese forces were to take part in combat operations against the rebels.

With the pieces of the puzzle finally coming together, only one piece remained elusive; a peace deal had been agreed and a date – November 30 – pencilled in for Kony to sign. The more pacifist countries among the international community involved in the talks insisted on giving peace one more chance.

The United States had already shown its impatience with the stop-go nature of the talks earlier in the year when its top diplomat on Africa, Ms Jendayi Frazer said Washington would not sit by and watch while Kony re-armed in Garamba.

After one of his numerous no-shows at a signing ceremony in South Sudan, the US ambassador to Kampala, Mr Steven Browning said: “This latest failure to sign, combined with recent atrocities committed by the LRA in eastern Congo, indicate that the LRA leadership is not committed to peace. This in turn calls into question the value of continuing the efforts of regional and international facilitators to advance the Juba peace process.”

After Kony failed to turn up, yet again, on November 30 the pin finally dropped.
Early on Sunday, months of military preparation gave way to action when UPDF fighter jets took off from Yambio in the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA)-controlled territory of South Sudan and attacked LRA bases in Suke, Pilipili, Nyere, Garamba park and Bayoute, all in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Other attack helicopters swooned in from Dungu, where a DR Congo army brigade under the command of Col. Muhindo Mundosi has a base. As the air raids pounded rebel bases, infantry units closed in from Dungu, Yambio, Iba, Yei and Maridi, military sources said.

The rebel camps that came under lightning attacks were covering a distance of close to 100km.
Capt Chris Magezi, the operation’s spokesman, said Central African Republic was supportive of the UPDF operations in the area but could not commit forces because of internal problems.

Details of casualties on either side were not available by press time yesterday but this latest offensive, with its regional support and international backing, albeit covert, offers countries in the region the best chance to defeat one of the most notorious armed groups in the Great Lakes region. If successful, it could offer a working model for joint cross-border operations against other armed groups in the region.

Poverty Reduction? A long Way to Go for Sudan

leave a comment »

By Alesio Clement Pwong

Poverty Reduction? A Long Way to Go for Sudan

By Alesio Clement Pwong

Poverty Reduction, a Long Way to Go for Sudan

Apart from clashing with the simmering internal political tensions and pleasures contentious issues such as Dar Fur crisis, sharing of oil and non-oil revenues between Khartoum and the semi-autonomous Southern Sudan, prices of basic communities shot up to about 200%.

The government in its early days in 1989, had promised bring peace in the war-torn Sudan; reduce the growing gaps between the poor and rich; enlarge access to social services such as health care, education, water and shelter; and invest in developing agriculture and non-agricultural sectors is either unable to answer why prices of goods and services are no longer affordable, or are giving unsatisfactory answers.

Revenue from oil export has increased tremendously in the last 2-3 years, following the ending of the North-South war in January 2005; but this increase did not translate into any change in the budget priorities of the government in Khartoum, neither in the South which is struggling to recover from years of devastating wars. This year, the central government, otherwise known as Government of National Unity, set aside US $ billion as its 2008 budget, about 17 times more than 1989 budget allocated by the government it deposed that same year.

But the government of national unity did not change its priorities even after the signing of the peace deal three years ago. Budget allocations in the last three years followed the war time patterns. For instance this year, budget allocation was as follows: 78% for security,defense, police, and sovereignty sector i.e under the discretion of the president. This huge lump sum of public resources are not liable to public audit by the Auditor General.

17% went to meet the wage bill of all state institutions and social services; only 5% is set aside for dept repayments (Sudan is currently US$30.1 billion in dept).

Government of the semi-autonomous South Sudan followed the trend, in spite of its general policies which are hinged on the poverty reduction,sold to it by the World Bank which is now controlling policy development in the South through its resident officials in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

Over the last three years, Government of South Sudan allocated about40% of its budget to its army, Sudan People’s Liberation Army. of the remaining 60%, up to 80% spent on salaries, wages and allowances of ever-bloated public service sector,the largest employer in South Sudan. The president of the autonomous region make civil service reform as his top agenda aimed at trimming that body and reducing public expenditure etc. But is very much likely this policy agenda shall be challenged by many interests and groups.

This trend in government priorities explains part of the causes of price hikes and worsening living conditions of the majority of Sudanese. Taxation and multiple levies exacted by the government is another cause. for example, Price of Sugar, a strategic commodity in Sudan, have gone down recently at Kenana Suger Co. the largest producing most of Sugar in Sudan. But the decline in the price of Sugar there did not lead to lowering of consumer price because taxes collected along the supply line increased the prices at the retail shops by 60%, consumer groups maintained recently. The same goes to wheat and other essential goods.

But official government line of reasoning attributes maddening price hikes of basic foodstuffs to international increase in the prices of these goods. But analyst believe there is more to this than meets the eye:

For the last three years, new class of entrepreneurs with strong clientelist links with the political power-holders in the system constitute the main cause. Through complex association, they managed to control state organs and all the banking systems including government owned, private or foreign as their source to enrich themselves fast. Methods and mechanisms illicit as they are, include: The establishment of companies targeting public resources through those banks. Some 20,000 companies, according to a 2007 Auditor General’s report, were not operational at all. Other companies are either not registered or just fictitious, aimed at fleecing pubic coffers with gross impunity. Accordingly, persons close to power but without established business credentials or links with business fraternity use loopholes in the government fiscal rules and regulations to rob the banks of billions of Sudanese pounds loaned from the banks.
The much lauded poverty reduction will hardly occur by 2015, the deadline specified in the MDG.

Written by torit1955

October 12, 2008 at 7:36 am

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir: The Record Speaks for Itself

leave a comment »

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir: The Record Speaks for Itself

Date: 07/14/2008
by David Sullivan

“I gave the army a free hand to move out in all directions, to use all of its weapons, with no restraints, no restrictions, whatsoever” – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, in Agence France-Presse, September 3, 2002

With indications that the International Criminal Court will move against Sudanese President Bashir for crimes against humanity, we here at the ENOUGH Project thought you might like to be reminded of some of his past comments and behavior:

  • On June 30, 1989, led fellow officers in a mutiny against the democratically elected Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi. General Bashir announced “Your armed forces have come to carry out a tremendous revolution for the sake of change after suffering” and said in a televised communiqué that the coup was “to save the country from rotten political parties.”
  • From 1991 through 1996, hosted Osama bin Laden and turned Sudan into the world headquarters for international terrorism. Bashir later said of bin Laden, “He is a very normal person and he is very religious.”
  • In 1992, declared jihad against the people of the Nuba Mountains, launching a massive offensive targeting civilian populations. During this genocidal campaign, the government forced conversions to Islam, displaced populations into government controlled ‘peace villages,’ and denied access to humanitarian aid.
  • Beginning in 1994, became the only government sponsor of the Lord’s Resistance Army, as it abducted thousands of children in its campaign of terror in northern Uganda. According to a 13-year old child who spent two years in LRA captivity in Sudanese government-controlled territory: “I saw Sudanese Arab soldiers deliver weapons to the commanders of the LRA. The guns were brought to the LRA camp by airplane, and the soldiers unloading the guns were Arabs. They were big guns, machine guns.”
  • Continually used arbitrary detention, disappearances, and torture to stifle political opposition. In 1995, a notorious “ghost house” located near a Citibank branch in Khartoum was used to torture dissidents. On civil liberties, Bashir has said: “When we talk of handing power to the people, we mean the people will be within certain limits but no one will cross the red lines which are aimed at the interest of the nation.”
  • In the 1990s, revived the practice of slave raids against the people of southern Sudan. NGOs have suggested that as many as 200,000 southern Sudanese have been enslaved, and a UN report stated slavery there was “deeply rooted in Arab and Muslim supremacism.”
  • In 1998, engineered a famine in the Bahr el-Ghazal region of southern Sudan that killed hundreds of thousands of people. The lethal combination of militia attacks on civilians and systematic denial of humanitarian aid transformed a drought into a crime against humanity.
  • From 2000-01, systematically depopulated the oil fields of western Upper Nile. According to the United Nations: “government bombers, helicopter gunships, tanks and artillery were used against unarmed civilians to clear a 100-kilometer area around the oils fields. Witnesses reported that over 1,000 government soldiers swept through Ruweng county, wreaking human and material destruction, including destroying 17 churches.”
  • Continually used aerial bombing of women and children, aid workers, and hospitals. Among the hundreds of air strikes from 2000-01 were a World Food Program airlift, a church school, a hospital, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
  • In 2003, organized the creation of the Janjaweed militias to commit genocide in Darfur. On the Today Show, Bashir claimed: “I would confirm that we have never targeted civilian citizens and we can never target citizens.” Of Musa Hilal, the notorious Janjaweed commander, Bashir said: “He has contributed to peace and stability.” Also: “The so-called Darfur conflict is an invention by foreign interests.”
  • Orchestrated insecurity, rape, and malnutrition against displaced Darfuris. In August 2006, more than 200 women were sexually assaulted in five weeks in Kalma camp, South Darfur. But according to Bashir: “It is not in the Sudanese culture or people of Darfur to rape. It doesn’t exist. We don’t have it.” On the humanitarian conditions: “The food and health situation in Darfur is acceptable for me, because it is comparable to situation in the rest of the country” and “any talk of a humanitarian crisis is not true.”

Watch Bashir assert “all figures about the deaths in Darfur are fabricated” on Al Jazeera on YouTube here.

Written by torit1955

July 14, 2008 at 7:26 pm

Posted in Activists Forum