Saturday, February 7, 2009

No news is bad news

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC Radio) - "Dispatches"
20 October 2008

Villagers in northern Sudan are far from the rebels fighting for development in the western Darfur region. But the conditions in which northerners live are not much better. In this dispatch, Heba Aly watches as they sit, sweat & wait for progress in the north.

Chinese Oil Workers Abducted in Sudan

Bloomberg News
20 October 2008

KHARTOUM - Nine Chinese oil workers were kidnapped in central Sudan on Oct. 18 by unidentified gunmen, the Chinese Embassy in Khartoum said. The Sudanese government blamed rebels in the area for the abductions.

The nine employees of China National Petroleum Corp., or CNPC, were seized while working at the Heglig oil field in South Kordofan state, an embassy official who identified himself only as Yu said by phone today from the capital.

Sudan's government said the rebel Justice and Equity Movement carried out the attack, the Sudanese Media Center news service reported today, citing Mohammed Al Dorak, commissioner of the Abyei locality. The group has been fighting government forces in the western region of Darfur for the past five years.

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Chinese Oil Workers Kidnapped

Q&A with Radio France Internationale
19 October 2008

Sudan: Darfur peace conference opens without rebels

UN Humanitarian News Service (IRIN - East Africa)
17 October 2008

Vice President Salva Kiir (left) and President Omar al-Bashir (right)

KHARTOUM - The United States, Darfuri rebels and Sudanese opposition parties have greeted a new initiative to solve the Darfur crisis with scepticism and boycotts, while Khartoum, the Arab League and the UN say it’s the region’s best hope.

Widespread doubts about the credibility of the process prevail ahead of deliberations expected to last three days. "The purpose is not to solve the problem of Darfur but to give sanctuary to [President Omar al-] Bashir from the International Criminal Court (ICC)," said Bashir Adam Rahma, of the opposition Popular Congress Party, led by Hassan al-Turabi.

In July, ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, called on the court’s judges to issue an arrest warrant against Bashir for allegedly orchestrating a campaign of genocide in Darfur, where an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million driven from their homes since 2003.

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Sudan makes case abroad while still bombing Darfur

Christian Science Monitor newspaper (US)
9 October 2008

President Omar al-Bashir says international interference will hamper peace. Darfuris ask: 'What peace?'

Women displaced by fighting in Darfur arrive at Zamzam camp for displaced people

TAWILA, DARFUR - During the US vice presidential debate last week, Sen. Joe Biden (D) and Gov. Sarah Palin (R) found common ground on at least one topic: Both support imposing a no-fly zone in Sudan's troubled Darfur region.

Some 6,000 miles away, Darfuris fleeing their homes welcome such talk, especially after a recent spate of indiscriminate government bombings.

"The government said it was only looking for rebels. It said it didn't want to harm the people," says villager Abdullah Isshac, who spent one week hiding in the countryside after a government attack on the village of Khazan Tungur. "But the rebels are out in the mountains, not in the village."

To the outside world, Sudan's government sings a different tune, claiming since July – when the International Criminal Court (ICC) sought an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide for his role in the Darfur conflict – that the prosecution of its leader would jeopardize the peace process. But as the situation on the ground here grows worse, Darfuris are asking: "What peace process are you talking about?"
Among the many symbols of war in Darfur – sprawling five-year-old camps for displaced people and an ever-growing African Union and United Nations peacekeeping mission – the bumpy road between Tabit and Tawila, two small villages in northern Darfur, offers a striking reminder that this conflict is still going strong.

The hour-long route passes through vast plains and mountain chains and is dotted with small villages – each telling its own story.

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Sudan: Fears of violence as land tensions increase

UN Humanitarian News Service (IRIN - East Africa)

NIMULE - Nimule, a Southern Sudanese town on the border with Uganda, has boomed since war ended three years ago, but tension is brewing over land between returnees who fled the area years ago and more recent settlers.

"They chased me away," said Cizarina Lindio, who returned after two decades only to find people from a different community living on her land. "They said, 'We liberated this place [Southern Sudan] with guns and I will use this gun on you if you don't go'," she said, sitting on a plastic bag outside a mud home built on a small patch of land given to her by relatives.

Ongoing violence in Darfur during Sudan's diplomacy

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC Radio) - "The World This Weekend"
4 October 2008

Still trying to figure out how to upload MP3s!

Sudan: IDPs out of reach as violence hinders agencies

UN Humanitarian News Service (IRIN - East Africa)
2 October 2008

A Darfurian points to his home, burned during fighting, in North Darfur.

EL-FASHER - Weeks after fighting between government and rebel forces in North Darfur, aid workers have yet to reach thousands of displaced civilians who sought refuge in nearby mountains and forests.

The clashes took place more three weeks ago, but violence has continued in North Darfur. Last week, there were four armed robberies and three hijackings targeting aid compounds and vehicles. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which sent a team to areas north and west of Disa and Birmaza, found that the majority of those displaced had gone to villages where they had access to some food and shelter.

"But there are some who are in the middle of nowhere - not a village, not a well, not a field, nothing," Giuliano Vascotto, head of the ICRC in North Darfur, told IRIN. "This is the worrying minority."

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