March 12-17, 2015
Compiled by Kitty Shepard
1. Rebels start violent campaign to cancel scheduled April election.
2. Machar counters details in UN human rights report.
3. Escalating violence in Darfur increases the refugee crisis.
4. Human rights activist call on Sudanese government to stop recruiting youth soldiers.
5. Commissioners of Uror County encourage face to face peace talks between warring tribes.
6. Contracting Parties of Sudan Appeal targeted by Sudanese Police.
7. Asia Africa summit invites Al-Bashir despite ICC appeal for help in his arrest.
8. UN revises objective and withdrawal mission of peacekeeping forces in Darfur.
9. UNOCHA releases Sudan Humanitarian Snapshot.
Sudan rebels say they have begun armed campaign to derail elections 12th March 2015, Reuters
- Sudanese rebel group declared on Friday that a military campaign is underway to disrupt the upcoming elections.
- The SPLM-N has expressed, for the first time, that they will explicitly use force to cancel the governments planned elections.
- The campaign will target regions controlled by the National Congress Party (NCP) in an attempt to create a democratic election.
- The rebels explained that South Kordofan and Jebel Marra in the Darfur region, would be the concentrated areas to target the government forces.
- Sudanese army spokesman, Colonel Al-Sawarmi Khalid, expressed that the rebel group’s campaign does not exist and is for media appeal, despite the ongoing conflict since 2003.
- The national dialogue had been pushed by opposition parties in an attempt to expel president Al-Bashir of his 25 year rule.
- The president’s press campaign in the run up to the elections has been widespread. Internationally al-Bashir was present at the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Cairo.
- SPLM-N has joined forces with Darfuri rebels and oppositional political parties in a loose union to use different methods of disobedience to expel Al-Bashir of his presidency.
Machar contradicts UN human rights reports 15th March 2015, Radio Tamazuj
- Two human rights report which offered a key insight into the violations committed by the South Sudanese government have been challenged in their accuracy.
- Riek Machar claims that Sudanese rebel forces made up the majority of the victims of the Bentiu mosque massacre, April 2014.
- Machar expressed that his administration had investigated the attack through their own technology and determined that the majority of victims were not civilians.
- The UNMISS report from May 2014 concluded that there was no signs in a final struggle inside the mosque and the victims had been identified as civilians.
- The May report emphasized the town has many foreign traders who reside there or travel through. The traders sort refuge in the mosque after the Sudanese government refused to let them leave the Laibalik area.
- The report was revised in January 2015 and specified that 287 civilians were killed at the mosque in an ongoing offense by the SPLA/IO forces against domestic populations. A secret mass burial took place during the night at a location outside of the city.
- Eye witnesses reported 250 bodies were transported to the mass grave with 37 being left in the haste of the burial.
- The UN report further explained that the military forces conducting the killings paused to racially evaluate the hostages in the mosque. Ethiopian and Eritrean traders were removed from the scene and provided eyewitness accounts for the report.
- Machars statement concerning the UN report does not answer remaining questions about the massacre in April 2014.
- Human Rights officers in Bentiu notified 81 dead bodies, 79 in civilian clothes and 2 in military dress. Located in 21 different locations the bodies were still unburied by 24th April 2014.
- Machar's statement directly contradicts the concrete details offered in the UN report convicting the state of human rights violations.
Sudan: 3,000 New Displaced in Rebel-Controlled areas in Darfur’s Jebel Marra 15th March 2015, allAfrica
- The Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) has seen an additional 3,000 displaced people in Jebel Marra.
- The refugees have fled villages in Golo due to government attacks this January.
- Leader of the SLM, Amer Yousef Adam has expressed that the humanitarian conditions are extreme with little humanitarian aid accessible.
- Adam appealed to the UN to address these issues and intervene in the escalating situation in Darfur.
Call for Sudan to stop recruiting minors in South Kordofan 15th March 2015, Dabanga radio
- Jalila Kharmis appealed to the Sudanese government this week to stop the recruiting of youths in the South Kordofan region.
- Kharmis spoke with Dabanga radio and expressed her plea for the government to recognize these individuals human rights and let the children be involved in education rather than become victims on the battlefield.
- The legal rights activist further elaborated that the displacement and aerial bombings in the area had created destitute conditions.
- Dabanga has previously bought attention to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces recruiting of minors including 3,000 males between 15 and 17 years old.
- Specific military camps have been designed to train these youths in Khartoum.
- Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) Brig. Gen. Kuku Idris has made several mentions of child soldiers being used with photos to prove it to Nuba Reports last year.
Jonglei initiates consultations between Nuer and Dinka 14th March 2015, Sudan Tribune
- South Sudan's provincial governments have started micro level peace negotiations between warring parties. The first consultation is taking place with the Lou Nuer and Dinka Bor tribes who live in the Jonglei state.
- The commissioners of Uror have cooperatively organized peace negotiations between the parties. Commissioner Akech Deng (Duk) administration is holding the peace talks.
- Commissioner Deng expressed the necessity of cooperation between the provinces to create peace. Deng has been an influential figure in creating peace talks since the conflict began. He referenced to the recent failed peace talks in Addis Ababa, expressing his belief that a peace negotiation would profit from being held internally in Sudan.
- The guarantee of a peaceful negotiation has encouraged the cooperation of the two tribes.
- The commissioners expressed their want for peace to rebuild their society which is still devastated from the 2014 conflict.
- With peace negotiations progressing cooperatively, several rebel officers have deflected and surrendered with their families. The deputy governor of Jongeli expressed support for the revised peace talks to rebuild society.
Security agents arrest dozens of opposition members in El Obedid 16th March 2015, Radio Tamazuj
- In the run up to the April elections, the Sudan Appeal movement have organized multiple anti-election rallies. In El Obeid security forces arrested dozens of members of the opposition parties this week.
- Two keys members were detained: secretary general of the National Umma Party Sarah Nugud Allah and Mohamed Abdel Rahim Shadad of the Unionist Movement along with 34 others. This included two opposition leaders from Khartoum who were to address the rally.
- The NUP's headquarters have been cordoned of since the arrests on Saturday. The crowd was dispersed at the rally by tear gas and shots being fired into the air.
- The attack detained major figure of the Sudan Appeal whose support is growing to boycott the April elections and detain Al-Bashir from presidency.
Bashir invited to Asia-Africa summit in Indonesia next month. 15th March 2015, Sudan Tribune
- Al-Bashir has been invited to the upcoming Asia-Africa summit which will take place next month in Jakarta, Indonesia.
- The Conference is to acknowledge the 60th anniversary of the summit and the 10th anniversary of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP). Al-Bashir has not confirmed his presence at the summit but was present this week at the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Cairo.
- Indonesia is not a member of the International Criminal Court, who have expressed their frustration at the lack of help provide to convict Al Bashir for crimes and genocide.
- Since the ICC's 2009 warrant for his arrest only in 2011 did his presence in Malaysia create controversy as they believed it would be a shameful visit from a war criminal.
UN Moves Closer to Pulling Peacekeepers from Darfur 17th March 2015, Voice of America
- President Al-Bashir's presence at Egypt’s economic summit this week has questioned the international community’s seriousness to prosecute him for war crimes and genocide.
- US Secretary of State John Kerry, was standing in close proximity to President al-Bashir during a group photo to commemorate the event.
- The conference was held several days after the ICC handed over the al-Bashir case to the UN Security Council this week. The ICC expressed their frustration at the UN's lack of involvement or seriousness in holding Al-Bashir accountable for war crimes and genocide in Darfur, Sudan.
- The UN Security Council had a meeting this week to discuss removing a large peacekeeping force from Sudan.
- The idea has alarmed NGO's and observers of the situation in the country, where government forces have been oppressing civilian populations and rebel groups. This has resulted in 300,000 people being killed in the conflict and half a million displaced.
- Al-Bashir's position to peacekeeping had fluctuated. The president in 2014 ordered the top UN officials working in Sudan to be fired along with the closure of the human rights office in Khartoum. The UN and AU have a 20,000 strong force on an annual $1.3 billion peacekeeping mission which comes with multiple benefits.
- Along with increased violence the report of mass rape by government forces has caused doubts in the UN's ability to effectively deal with the situation in Sudan. Human Rights Watch has pushed their detailed report as example of the UN's ineffectiveness in investigating these claims and disconnect from the situation.
- The peacekeeping force under UNAMID has been the third deadliest in history. The mission started in 2007, has resulted in 215 members deaths.
- The UN security general of peacekeeping has confirmed a downsizing of the force in Sudan, with 770 posts to be cut by April. The posts which will be cut are to be focused in units which failed to respond effectively to rebel forces.
- The Security Council’s interests and power to intervene in Sudan can be abstained by Russia and China’s veto power due to their commercial interests in the country.
- Activist internally and internationally have expressed their frustration with UNAMID and the lack of response to the warrant for al-Bashir’s arrest.
- The situation in Sudan has become increasingly recognized on an international platform. Several meetings this week at the Security Council included Sudan and the crisis in Darfur in the agenda. UNOCHA releases Sudan Humanitarian Snapshot.
- The UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has released an updated report of the relief needed in the country.
- The report estimates at 5.4 million are vulnerable in the country. 3.1 million of this total are internally displaced. 0.7 Million people are refugees from neighbouring countries.
- Humanitarian organizations has set an aim of 1.6 million food insecure populations for non-displaced people.
- 1.2 million Children who suffer from malnourishment under five will be a high priority for food aid.