June 10, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The head of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), Eltigani Seisi said today that the international and regional communities as well as the local community is beginning to feel fatigue stemming from from the situation in the region due to continued deterioration of security caused by armed groups and tribal conflicts.
Sudan’s Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) leader Eltigani Seisi, speaks to the AFP during an interview in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, on August 7, 2012 (ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/GettyImages)
Seisi called for a halt to all forms of violence so that DRA could start implementing development projects and warned if they do not start in two months time, “we will not be able to answer for that”.
The Darfur official appealed to non-signatory armed groups to join the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) signed in May 2011.
Seisi, who was addressing the opening session of first annual conference of civil society organizations in Darfur and the follow-up mechanism on strategic planning in Al-Fashir yesterday, called for unity among the people of Darfur who suffered from civil war and tribal conflicts.
He noted that donors have raised considerable amounts of money for the development and reconstruction projects through the International Donor Conference for Reconstruction and Development in Darfur (IDCRDD) which was held in Doha last April in addition to financial allocations from Sudan’s government which amounted to 800 million pound (SDG).
He disclosed that donors’ money will be allocated through the World Bank and the United Nations as well as the donor nations, while a committee comprised of the central government, the DRA, and Darfur states would oversee allocation of the 800 million SDG in reconstruction projects and voluntary repatriation.
The former rebel leader also spoke about the implementation of the DDPD as well as the implementation of the voluntary return programs for the internally displaced persons and refugees, pointing that Qatar allocated $560 million for that.
Darfur has been a flashpoint for lawlessness and violence since rebel movements took up arms against the Khartoum government in 2003.
The United Nations estimates as many as 300,000 people have been killed and almost 3 million people have been displaced during the ongoing conflict.
According to the UN Human Rights Council, 400,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced.
The Sudanese government, however, put the number of dead at only 10,000.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article46899
April 28, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The state’s minister in Sudan’s cabinet and the official spokesperson for the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), Ahmed Fadul, disclosed on Sunday that they had reached an agreement with Khartoum on outstanding issues that led to the group suspending their participation in the government.
Sudan’s Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) leader Tijani Al-Sissi, speaks to the AFP during an interview in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, on August 7, 2012. (ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/GettyImages)
Fadul said in a statement to Al-Khartoum daily that the memo containing their demands, which was presented to the 1st vice-president, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, fell on a weekend and thus was mistakenly understood to mean they had frozen their membership in the government.
The LJM spokesperson said measures have been taken by Khartoum regarding political issues at the national level, as well as procedures and decrees concerning Darfur states.
He stressed that LJM’s members in the legislative and executive branches are carrying out their work as normal, citing the participation of the chairman of Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), Dr Tijani Al-Sissi, in a political event yesterday, who was also quoted as saying “now I am in my office”.
On Thursday, Sudan Tribune learned that LJM had decided to temporarily pull out of the government, warning of further measures should it not respond to their grievances within 24 hours.
A source familiar with the matter told Sudan Tribune that LJM feels that Khartoum is dragging its feet on implementing the security portion of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) signed in mid-2011.
The government also did not fulfil its obligation of integrating LJM members into the civil service, the source said.
Furthermore, the LJM is furious over Khartoum’s move to close the International Republican Institute (IRI) and expelling its staff without consulting the DRA.
In the same context, sources confirmed to Al-Khartoum that the LJM has formed three committees to follow up on all outstanding issues with the government, including security arrangements, civil service, and other matters.
According to the same source, the director of the IRI will arrive in Khartoum today to sign a joint cooperation agreement with Sudan’s ministry of foreign affairs allowing IRI to continue its activities in Sudan.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article46391
April 8, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s government-run press council has accused state security services of interfering in its work, issuing an ultimatum to authorities to disband the media body or allow it to fulfil its proper functions.
The council, which licenses newspapers and registers journalists, made the highly unusual call after the powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) suspended the editor-in-chief of respected Arabic-language daily Al-Sahafa.
“The council views what happened as direct intervention by the security service,” the media body said in a statement quoted by AFP, also citing censorship and suspension of newspapers by the NISS.
“The council sees all this as against its role and its duty to monitor press work in the country”.
In a surprisingly strong stance, the council said it planned to send a memorandum to Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir asking authorities to let it carry out its duty “or end the job of the press council”, AFP reported.
Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) ordered Al-Nur Mohamed Al-Nur to resign his position from Al-Sahafa on 3 April, threatening to confiscate copies of the paper unless management complied with the directive. Authorities also ordered that his name be removed from the paper’s masthead.
On the same day, Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Khartoum Al-Masalami Kabbashi and photographer Ali Mustapha were also summoned by the NISS for questioning, after being accused of unbalanced coverage and reporting “false information.”
Security authorities gave no reason for Al-Nur’s suspension, but it’s believed the newspaper had come under increasing pressure not to publish articles critical of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) or the government.
Media organisations in Sudan say the NISS imposes strict controls, routinely ordering them not to report on certain subjects, while news reports and articles are also regularly censored prior to publication or broadcast.
Security agents continue to suspend and confiscate newspapers by way of retaliation if media report on issues considered sensitive.
Press freedom groups say they are appalled by the actions of Sudan’s security services, saying repressive policies against the country’s media are intensifying.
Ranked 170 out of 179 countries in the 2013 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, Sudan is accordingly classified among the world’s 10 worst countries in regards to respect for freedom of information.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article46135