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A fire destroyed 25 homes in Malisah village in Saraf Umra, North Darfur on Thursday.
A villager told Radio Dabanga that the fire seems to have started at a rubbish dump set aloght by an unknown person, spreading to destroy 25 homes made of straw.
He said the wind helped the fire to spread quickly along with the absence of the villagers who were at their farms collecting food.
He appealed to authorities and organisations to provide relief to the villagers.
Fire destroys more homes in Mileh camp
Another fire broke out in Mileh refugee camp in eastern Chad on Thursday destroying eight homes.
A resident told Radio Dabanga that the fire started while a family were cooking and quickly spread, burning down eight homes before it was put out.
He said the affect families are now expose in the open with no shelter, along with 60 other families affected by last Tuesday’s fire.
The resident appealed to humanitarian organisations to provide urgent aid and support to the affected families.
Article source: http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/29559
April 26, 2012 (BOR) – Consultative community meetings began in Jonglei on Wednesday as part of the Presidential Peace Committee (PCC) efforts to find a lasting solution to the troubled state’s cattle-raiding and inter-ethnic violence.
Commissioner of Duk county, Mochnom Wuor by the remains of a home destroyed in inter-ethnic conflict in Padiet, Duk, Jonglei, January 18, 2012 (ST)
The PCC divided the state in four sections; Greater Akobo, Greater Bor, Greater Fangak and Greater Pibor.
The meetings seek to gather the grievances which each community believes to be the main causes of the inter-ethnic conflicts which have led to death and displacement of thousands of people in recent years.
In January the UN estimated that 120,000 people had been displaced by the conflict, which is predominantly between members of the Murle and Nuer ethnic groups.
National and state Members of Parliament and traditional leaders converged in Bor, Ayod, Pibor and Waat for the four-day meetings.
Jonglei State is home to pastoralist communities that have long engaged in cattle-rustling and allegedly child abduction. Of the six main ethnic groups in Jonglei, the Dinka Bor, Nuer and Murle have being fighting more intensively since the 2005 peace deal ended the Sudanese civil war (1983-2005) but left South Sudan awash with small arms.
The conflict reached a peak last year when over 6,000 armed Lou-Nuer youth carried out a revenge attack on the Murle of Pibor county. That fighting left an unconfirmed number of people dead and led to the displacement of over 10,000, according to the UN.
There has been scant information from the Murle Diaspora and the Murle in South Sudan on their perspective of the conflict, unlike the vocal Luo-Nuer who claim that the Murle have been driven to abducting their children as they are suffering from an infertility endemic; a view shared by the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir.
According to the UN Environmental Program the Murle were in Ethiopia until the 19th century. Some remained their until the 1990s while others were driven west by local Nilotes. They established an homeland in Pibor county, Jonglei State in the 1930s, since which, environmental pressures have impinged upon their pastoralist lifestyle.
Little evidence can be found to support the infertility claim. However, the motivation to rationalise the denigration of one of South Sudan’s pariah ethnic groups, in order to legitimise the attribution of blame, is self-evident.
Many peace initiatives have come and gone but ethnic feuds continue in Jonglei. Formed by Kiir in January, the peace committee is headed by Archbishop Daniel Deng, who remains optimistic that long-lasting peace can still be realised through dialogue.
“It is only when people come together and speak peacefully [that] peace can be restored in Jonglei State,” Deng told a gathering of Greater Bor leaders on Wednesday in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state.
However, incidents of cattle rustling have continued in areas of Bor, according to officials who say gunmen have taken up to 300 cattle in north Bor since March. Last week, ten cattle were looted in Twic East county.
John Penn de Ngong, the secretary for the Jonglei Peace Initiative admitted on Thursday that some “actors of peace indicates that the process may not have significant effects on improving security in villages.”
Bishop Ruben Akurdit Ngong, who heads Jonglei state churches, said the current approach could achieve peace in Jonglei “because everybody is being represented and people are speaking freely.”
Akurdit told reporters in Bor on Wednesday that peace initiatives in the state had “never been done this way before.”
The consultative meetings will investigate the causes of the inter-tribal conflicts and how to address them.
All communities will meet next month in Bor, the capital of Jonglei State, with each county sending seven representatives as well as members of parliament and various specialists.
April 27, 2012 (LONDON) – The Sudanese diplomat nominated to be the country’s first ambassador to South Sudan appeared to acknowledge that Sudan’s air force had bombed South Sudan’s Unity State on Thursday, as Sudan’s military spokesperson again denied the allegation.
The burnt body of a boy killed during an air strike by the Sudanese air force is covered with sheets in a market in Rubkona near Bentiu April 23, 2012 (Reuters/ Goran Tomasevic)
Violence over the last three weeks has been the worst since South Sudan seceded last year and comes shortly after the nine-month-old nation’s brief (April 10-20) occupation of the disputed Heglig oil region.
Mutrif Siddiq, who is yet to take up his post as Sudan’s Ambassador to Juba, said: “That was war during the last week [...] We have been using all that has been available to our hands.“
He added that “collateral damage” was “regrettable but inevitable”, accusing South Sudan’s army (SPLA) and rebels north of the border, which Khartoum says are backed by Juba, of taking refuge in villages indangering civilian populations.
Siddig, a former Undersecretary at Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and former Humanitarian Affairs Minister, was responding to a question posed by Baroness Cox, a peer in the UK parliament during a teleconference between Khartoum and London on Thursday.
Cox, who has recently returned from a visit to South Sudan, asked Siddig how his government justified bombing civilians with MiG 29 fighter jets and long-range shelling.
South Sudan’s representative to the UK, Wol Ariec, told the event at the Overseas Development Institute in London that Khartoum could no longer deny that they are “bombing our population”.
Juba has accused the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) of carrying out several bombing campaigns on South Sudanese territory since the country’s independence last year.
Khartoum has always denied the allegations and on Thursday SAF army spokesman al-Sawarmi Khalid repeated that denial as South Sudan made further claims.
South Sudanese army (SPLA) spokesman, Philip Aguer, told Reuters on Thursday that “Two MiGs, one Antonov and two gunships dropped four bombs near the cattle camps,” of Chotchara village the previous day.
The South Sudanese representative told the forum that his government had ordered the withdrawal from Heglig in order to bring about a cessation of hostilities, after immense pressure from the international community.
Sudan says that it forced the SPLA out of the area killing over 1,000 of its soldiers. Juba denies this but an AFP journalist has reported seeing “unaccountable” dead bodies wearing Southern military uniform when he visited the area.
However, Ariec maintained that the SPLA had pulled-out on its on volition, asserting that the lack of international pressure had given Khartoum a “licence” to kill civilians in South Sudan.
The diplomat said that his government and people reserved the “right to self defence” claiming that SAF had bombed South Sudan 60 times.
He said there was “no evidence” to say that Panthou – as Heglig is referred to by the Dinka tribe whom Juba insists the area belongs to – is not part of South Sudan.
But Siddig, replied from Khartoum that “regardless what you call it [Heglig or Panthou]. Its part of Sudan”.
He described as “ridiculous” South Sudan’s claim that the area had been annexed by President Jaffar Nimery (1969-1985) after oil was discovered there in the 1970s.
Juba could not have hit a more sensitive nerve when it took Heglig on 10 April in response, it says, to repeated incursions by the Sudanese army and aerial bombardments. Heglig’s oil fields account for around half of Sudan’s remaining 115,000 barrels-per-day oil-production.
However, the haste with which the SPLA stopped production in Heglig and damage – which both sides blame on the other – to the infrastructure in the area means that it will take some time before Khartoum can benefit again from one of its few remaining oil fields. South Sudan took with it 75% of the country’s production when it seceded.
Siddig described South Sudan’s claims over Heglig as a “non-starter”. Near-universal international condemnation met South Sudan’s ten-day occupation including the United States, European Union and African Union (AU), all of which supported South Sudan’s independence bid.
“Even your allies are telling you [you] have done wrong”, said the senior member of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party. Negotiations between the two sides in Addis Ababa were called off by Khartoum after the SPLA took Heglig.
As well as agreeing the fee landlocked South Sudan should pay Sudan to export its oil, the AU-mediated talks have also failed to bring the countries to sign deals on debt, borders and the status of South Sudanese in the North and Sudanese in the South.
“We are not killing southerners we are harbouring southerners” Siddig said.
There are estimated to be over half a million South Sudanese remaining in North Sudan despite their citizenship being revoked. South Sudan’s new embassy in Khartoum has been issuing documents to those classified as South Sudanese so that they can either leave the country or apply for a work permit.
“We are having more than 30,000 [South Sudanese students] in our universities” in Sudan, Siddig said. He denied that South Sudanese had been made stateless saying that the responsibility lies on government of South Sudan to issue ID cards and documents.
“Our problem is with the SPLM not the people”, he said.
On 20 April a church in Khartoum was set on fire by Islamic extremists, actions which Yassir Arman – a rebel leader in South Kordofan – has claimed were incited by “racist” comments made by Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir who has twice refered to South Sudan’s leaders as “insects” in the last two weeks.
Bashir’s emotive rhetoric, insistence that all talks were off while the SPLM remained in power, as well as vowing South Sudan would never be able to export its oil through his country, contrasts with other officials who have said talks could resume under certain conditions.
Tijani Sissi, a government official who was also on the panel in Khartoum said that Sudan has “no objection to going back to the negotiating table”, especially to address security issues.
“If security is not addressed, this will become a very hot spot over the next two years”, said the former Darfur rebel leader who joined the government last year.
The African Union has laid out a road map for future talks, demanding that they resume within two weeks and a deal on key issues is signed within three months.
Ariec told the event organised by ODI’s Humanitarian Policy Group that his country would not seek to resolve the issue over the border through violence.
“We are ready to go back to Addis [Ababa] to move things forward, peace is better than war”, he said.
Audio – downloads
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/Collateral-damage-from-Sudan-s,42417