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Posts tagged ‘Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (northern sector)’

Sudan, South Sudan set to resume border talks.


KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan will resume stalled talks on Thursday to set up a demilitarized border zone, Sudan’s state news agency SUNA said on Wednesday, in a new attempt to resolve a conflict over oil and land.

The African neighbors came close to war in April in the worst border clashes since South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 under a 2005 deal which ended decades of civil war.

After mediation from the African Union, both countries agreed in September to set up a buffer zone along their disputed border and resume oil exports from landlocked South Sudan through Sudan. Oil is vital to both economies.

But neither side has withdrawn its army from the almost 2,000-km (1,200-mile) border due to mistrust left from one of Africa’s longest civil wars.

Two meetings of Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and South Sudan’s Salva Kiir in Addia Ababa in January failed to break the deadlock.

In the first talks for more than six weeks, the joint political security committee, comprising defense officials from both countries tasked with setting up the buffer zone, will meet again in Ethiopia, SUNA said.

The meeting would prepare a session of the two defense ministers, SUNA said, without giving details.

South Sudan’s Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin could not be reached on his mobile phone.

At the last meeting on January 19, both sides traded accusations of making new demands for the border zone. Khartoum also accuses Juba of backing rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North) in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, two Sudan states bordering the South. Juba denies this.

The SPLM-North, made up of fighters who sided with the South during the civil war, controls part of the Sudan side of the border, which complicates setting up the buffer zone.

South Sudan, which says Sudan often bombs its territory, shut down its entire oil output of 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) in January 2012 after failing to agree export and transit fees with Khartoum.

Apart from oil and the buffer zone, the two countries must also agree on ownership of Abyei and other disputed areas.

(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Michael Roddy)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

Reuters

Clashes between rebels and army erupt in central Sudan


KHARTOUM/JUBA (Reuters) – Fighting has broken out between government forces and rebels in central Sudan, both sides said on Sunday, in a possible escalation of violence that has hitherto been concentrated closer to the African country’s borders.

Rebels of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) from the western region of Darfur said they had launched an attack on the army in North Kordofan state.

JEM and two other Darfur rebel groups formed an alliance with a rebel group from southern Sudan, the SPLM-North, in 2011 to try to topple veteran President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

Fighting with the army has been so far mainly limited to Darfur as well as South Kordofan and Blue Nile states bordering South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in 2011.

The state of North Kordofan is closer to the Sudanese capital Khartoum and a large producer of gum arabic, a substance extracted from acacia trees used by the food and drinks industry and an important sources earnings for cash-strapped Sudan.

JEM said it had seized the western area of Wad Bahr in North Kordofan from government forces on Saturday. “We beat the army and seized many weapons,” JEM spokesman Gibril Adam said.

Authorities confirmed the fighting but said the army and security forces had repelled the rebels who had been trying to “steal from citizens”, according to the state-linked Sudanese Media Center (SMC).

“They suffered heavy losses,” North Kordofan’s governor Muattasim Mirghani told SMC, adding that the army had destroyed 12 rebels vehicles.

Sudan accuses South Sudan of supporting the rebel alliance, a claim denied by Juba. Both countries are locked in a long list of conflicts over border territory and oil rights that almost led to war between the neighbors last year.

South Sudan’s army accused Sudan of having sent militias into the disputed region of Abyei, where peacekeepers monitor a ceasefire after fighting broke out in 2011.

“Villagers continued to be harassed and attacked by the pro-Khartoum government … militia,” South Sudan army spokesman Philip Aguer said late on Saturday.

“More than 200 cattle and more than that number of goats have been looted by the same militia,” he said.

There was no immediate comment from Sudan.

In September, the African neighbors agreed to end hostilities and restart cross-border oil flows, the lifeline for both of their battered economies.

But neither side has withdrawn their armies from the border as agreed, a legacy of decades of civil war which ended with a peace deal in 2005 and paved the way for southern secession.

Fighters of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North) used to side with the south during the civil war and now complain, like the Darfur rebels, of marginalization in Sudan.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz, Ulf Laessing and Hereward Holland; Editing by Jon Hemming)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Ulf Laessing and Hereward Holland | Reuters

Rebels Take Airport in Sudan.


Reports of rebel activities in Sudan have increased recently, according to Reuters , which reported that an airport had been occupied on Wednesday.

 

Clashes between rebels affiliated with South Sudan in Sudan come as another report from Reuters indicates that South Sudan’s government have detained opposition leaders without arrest warrants. The United Nation‘s top official in South Sudan also called for an end to fighting in Jonglei state, and eastern state in South Sudan where cattle raids led to 100 deaths, according to the United Nations News Center .

 

Here’s a closer look at the recent violence and rights violations in Sudan and South Sudan.

 

Airport seized by rebels .

 

South Sudanese-aligned members of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North

(SPLM-North) have reached Kurmuk, a place that had frequently seen different factions holding it over the course of the previous civil war.

 

SPLM-North leader Yasir Arman was said by Reuters to have claimed the airport in Kurmuk and to be fighting government forces in the city. “The Sudan air force is bombarding the whole southern Blue Nile every hour,” he said.

 

Sudanese government officials denied having lost the city.

 

South Sudan criticized by international groups

 

Amnesty International had said the government of Bahr El Ghazal state in South Sudan had detained 100 people, according to Reuters, in relation to violence in the region in December. Among those arrested were opposition figures, journalists, activists, and security officers.

 

The rights group said that although some of the arrests appeared to be legitimate, but also said that “evidence gathered by Amnesty International shows that many of the arrests were arbitrary and contravene provisions in national and international law,” according to Reuters.

 

The AFP reported earlier in the week that South Sudan’s president had retired 117 generals by decree, an effort to help restructure the country and demilitarize the country. Much of the government is made up of former fighters from the civil war with Sudan and had a guerrilla army of 200,000 troops.

 

U.N. envoy calls for end to violence

 

Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, Hilde F. Johnson decried attacks in Jonglei, calling for communities to hold back their anger with one another and allow the peace process a chance.

 

“We are very worried about this,” she said, after meeting with a group in the state capital of Bor according to the U.N. News Center.

 

Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and an amateur Africanist, focusing his personal studies on human rights and political issues on the continent.

Source. YAHOO NEWS.

By  | Yahoo! Contributor Network

Sudan rebels launch attack to retake border town.


JUBA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Rebels in a Sudanese border state say they have occupied an airport and are fighting with government troops to retake a town that became a flashpoint during the civil war, but the army denied it had lost any territory.

The SPLM-North, rebels from the south who were left in Sudan after South Sudan seceded, said their fighters had reached Kurmuk, which they lost to the Sudanese army in late 2011.

The clashes undermine African Union efforts secure a border still disputed nearly two years after South Sudan became independent, set up a military-free buffer zone and restart oil production, which the countries’ economies desperately need.

Kurmuk changed hands several times during two decades of north-south civil war and its capture would be a setback for Sudan, which has been trying to develop Blue Nile. The state is rich in chrome and also a production site for gum arabic, a gum gained from trees used as stabiliser in soft drinks.

“Now we are fighting inside Kurmuk now and we occupy the Kurmuk airport,” Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North) leader Yasir Arman told Reuters by phone on Wednesday.

“The Sudan air force is bombarding the whole southern Blue Nile every hour.”

Sudan’s military spokesman al-Sawarmi Khalid denied rebels had reached Kurmuk, which is also near the border with Ethiopia.

“It is not true at all that rebels are inside Kurmuk,” Khalid said. He said SPLM-North troops had launched an attack on Muffa, some 20 km (12 miles) from Kurmuk, but the army had repulsed the fighters.

Events are difficult to verify independently because of government restrictions on media, and the two sides often give conflicting versions of the fighting

The conflict in Blue Nile started in September 2011, a few months after South Sudan seceded under the 2005 peace deal that ended the civil war in which some 2 million people died.

More than 1 million people have been severely affected by the fighting, the United Nations said in a report last week. More than 200,000 have fled to Ethiopia and South Sudan.

Khartoum accuses South Sudan of backing the rebels in Blue Nile and another border state South Kordofan. Juba denies this.

Both countries agreed in September to defuse tension by setting up a demilitarised border zone after coming close to war in April. But neither side has withdrawn their army.

Arman said the SPLM-North was willing to help create the buffer zone in areas under its control but was first asking for a cessation of hostilities to allow in humanitarian relief.

“(The Sudanese army) are not welcome in our areas but we can find a formula that will achieve the directives of the demilitarised buffer zone,” he said.

Sudan signed a deal with the United Nations and Arab League in August to allow food into rebel-held areas but has not implemented it.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Hereward Holland and Khalid Abdelaziz | Reuters

New fighting in borderland between Sudan and South Sudan.


JUBA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – At least 24 people have been killed in fresh fighting in the volatile borderland between Sudan and South Sudan, the southern army and rebels said on Saturday.

South Sudan’s army spokesman Philip Aguer said his troops killed seven fighters from a militiasupported by Khartoum which had crossed the poorly-defined border.

The South’s army captured a Sudanese army truck used by the fighters during the skirmish in Obed in Upper Nile state in the northeast of the country, Aguer said.

Sudan’s army spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid could not be reached on his mobile phone.

In separate violence on Sudan’s side of the border, rebels from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North) accused a militia from South Sudan, supported by Khartoum, of having attacked a village and killed 17 people.

The militia also wounded 35 civilians during their attack in the area of Abujibeha in oil-producing South Kordofan state, SPLM-North spokesman Arnu Lodi said.

Sudan and South Sudan came close to war in April, their worst fighting since southern secession in 2011 under a peace deal which ended decades of civil war.

Both countries agreed in September to end hostilities by withdrawing their armies from the disputed border and to resume cross-border oil exports. But neither side has implemented the agreement and the two countries accuse each other of backing rebels in their respective territories.

The African Union is next week hosting another round of talks between the neighbours aiming to set up a buffer zone, a precondition for Sudan to restart oil exports.

South Sudan shut down its output of 350,000 barrels day a year ago in a row with Khartoum over pipeline fees. Oil is vital to both countries’ beleaguered economies.

The AU twice brought together Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir in Ethiopia last month but there has been no sign of progress.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

Reuters

New fighting in borderland between Sudan and South Sudan.


JUBA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – At least 24 people have been killed in fresh fighting in the volatile borderland between Sudan and South Sudan, the southern army and rebels said on Saturday.

South Sudan’s army spokesman Philip Aguer said his troops killed seven fighters from a militia supported by Khartoum which had crossed the poorly-defined border.

The South’s army captured a Sudanese army truck used by the fighters during the skirmish in Obed in Upper Nile state in the northeast of the country, Aguer said.

Sudan’s army spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid could not be reached on his mobile phone.

In separate violence on Sudan’s side of the border, rebels from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North) accused a militia from South Sudan, supported by Khartoum, of having attacked a village and killed 17 people.

The militia also wounded 35 civilians during their attack in the area of Abujibeha in oil-producing South Kordofan state, SPLM-North spokesman Arnu Lodi said.

Sudan and South Sudan came close to war in April, their worst fighting since southern secession in 2011 under a peace deal which ended decades of civil war.

Both countries agreed in September to end hostilities by withdrawing their armies from the disputed border and to resume cross-border oil exports. But neither side has implemented the agreement and the two countries accuse each other of backing rebels in their respective territories.

The African Union is next week hosting another round of talks between the neighbors aiming to set up a buffer zone, a precondition for Sudan to restart oil exports.

South Sudan shut down its output of 350,000 barrels day a year ago in a row with Khartoum over pipeline fees. Oil is vital to both countries’ beleaguered economies.

The AU twice brought together Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir in Ethiopia last month but there has been no sign of progress.

(Reporting by Hereward Holland in Juba and Khalid Abdelaziz in Khartoum; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Jason Webb)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

Reuters

U.S. chides Sudan, South Sudan for oil export delay.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States criticized Sudan and South Sudan on Tuesday for failing to resume oil exports that are vital for both economies, saying the delay undermines the peace process.

The two African neighbors last Saturday failed to agree on how to withdraw armies from their disputed border after a round of talks, holding back oil exports from landlocked South Sudan through Sudan.

Both countries had agreed in September to set up a demilitarized buffer zone and resume oil production, but neither side has withdrawn its army from the 1,200-mile border.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 under a deal that ended decades of civil war. A year ago, South Sudan shut down its entire oil output of 350,000 barrels per day after failing to agree on export and transit fees with Khartoum.

“The government of Sudan’s intent to postpone the restart of oil production until the implementation of security arrangements is complete runs counter to the fundamental principles of the (September) accord and continues to undermine the economic and security situation in both states,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

Sudan has accused its southern neighbor of backing a rebel group called the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North), which still controls part of the Sudan side of the border, complicating the creation of a buffer zone.

The SPLM-North is made up of fighters who sided with the South during the civil war.

Nuland said Sudan should begin direct talks with the SPLM-North in order to bring security to the region, rather than demanding that its security conditions be met prior to further talks.

“Security will only come if Sudan cooperates with South Sudan and begins direct talks with the SPLM-N to address the Two Areas conflict,” she said, referring to two disputed Sudan states that border South Sudan.

(Reporting by Anna Yukhananov, editing by Stacey Joyce)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

Reuters

Sudan rebels say shoot down govt plane in oil state.


KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Rebels fighting to overthrow Sudan‘s president Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Monday they had shot down a government military Antonov plane in the country’s main oil-producing state.

Sudan’s military was not immediately available to comment on the report, which could not be verified independently.

Fighting has raged in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states – which border newly-independentSouth Sudan – for more than a year. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes in the regions.

The rebels, known as SPLM-North, said in an emailed statement they hit the Antonov plane with anti-aircraft fire while it was bombing an area in South Kordofan on Tuesday last week.

A reconnaissance team had since confirmed the shooting brought the plane down, they added. The statement did not say why the report was a week late.

The insurgents said they would publish “photographs and details” of the plane soon.

Rebels and government forces often make conflicting claims about fighting in the region, where Sudan’s government restricts access by independent journalists and other observers.

The fighting in South Kordofan and Blue Nile has complicated relations between Sudan and South Sudan, which seceded last year under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war.

The insurgents of the SPLM-North were part of the southern insurgent army, but were left in Sudan at partition.

They now say they are fighting to protect their ethnic minorities from oppression by Khartoum. The Sudanese government in turn accuses them of trying to sow chaos in the region at the behest of their former comrades in South Sudan.

 Source: YAHOO NEWS.
Reuters

Sudan set to resume security talks with south.


ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan were set to resume security talks late on Sunday, with Khartoum demanding that its southern neighbor cut ties with rebels on its territory.

The two nations signed agreements in September to secure their disputed border and resume oil exports from the south after clashes brought them close to full-scale war in April.

It was the worst violence since the South seceded last year under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war.

But neither has yet withdrawn its army from the border and the oil vital to both economies is still not flowing from fields in the landlocked south through the north.

Officials from both sides told Reuters their respective defense ministers were in the Ethiopian capital alongside other senior officials and talks were due to begin late on Sunday.

South Sudan shut down its output of 350,000 barrels a day in January after failing to agree on an export fee with Sudan.

Earlier this month, Sudan’s Second Vice President al-Haj Adam Youssef told Reuters that Sudan would not allow South Sudanese oil exports to flow through its territory until Juba cuts links with insurgents and expels their leaders, dampening hopes of a quick restart after the September deals.

Khartoum has long accused South Sudan of supporting the SPLM-North – insurgents fighting in two Sudanese states bordering South Sudan – as well as other rebels in the western Darfur region. Juba denies the charges.

On Friday, the African Union urged Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir to meet his southern counterpart Salva Kiir “in the shortest possible time, in order to remove bottlenecks on all pending issues”.

The rivals are also at odds over Abyei, a contested area between Sudan and South Sudan prized for its fertile grazing land.

The U.S. special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Princeton Lyman said on Friday he was “troubled” by the delay in implementing the September deals, which he blamed on “new requests and demands” by Khartoum.

(Additional reporting by Hereward Holland in Juba; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Aaron Maasho | Reuters

Sudan urges South Sudan to expel rebels for oil restart.


  • Sudan's Vice President al-Haj Adam Youssef looks on after his oath-taking ceremony in Khartoum September 14, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

    Enlarge PhotoReuters/Reuters – Sudan‘s Vice President al-Haj Adam Youssef looks on after his oath-taking ceremony in Khartoum September 14, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan will not allow South Sudan’s oil exports to flow through its territory until Juba cuts ties with anti-Khartoum rebels and expels their leaders, a Sudanese vice president said on Wednesday, dampening hopes that bilateral tensions were over.

In a rare interview with foreign media, Sudan’s Second Vice President al-Haj Adam Youssef also dismissed rumours that President Omar Hassan al-Bashir was in poor health, and said senior officers arrested for planning a coup against the veteran leader last month would get a fair trial.

Sudan and South Sudan agreed in September to secure their disputed border and resume oil exports after clashes brought them close to an all-out war in April. It was the worst violence since the South seceded last year under a 2005 deal that ended decades of civil war.

The African neighbours have yet to withdraw their armies from the border, a step both said was necessary to resume oil flows from the south, a lifeline for both of their economies.

South Sudan shut down its entire output of 350,000 barrels a day in January after failing to agree on an export fee with Sudan for the crude to pass through pipelines in the north.

On Sunday, South Sudan’s negotiator Pagan Amum said exports could restart in two or three weeks, raising hopes lingering issues would be resolved at talks in Khartoum this week.

But Youssef rejected Amum’s assertion that security questions had been settled, and accused Juba of continuing to support and host rebels fighting the Khartoum government.

“We see that nothing has been done positively in this respect. We want action, of course, rather than talking,” Youssef told Reuters, sitting in his office in the Republican Palace on the banks of the Nile.

“We hope the next few days will reveal some positive steps,” he said, but added: “Unless the security is sorted out, nothing is going to be implemented (regarding oil) … We are waiting for concrete and positive steps.”

Juba denies Khartoum’s charges that it supports insurgents in Darfur and rebels of the SPLM-North fighting in the border states of South Kordafan and Blue Nile. But analysts say the allegations by Sudan are credible.

Journalists photographed Darfur rebels fighting alongside the South Sudanese army during the border clashes in April and have met some SPLM-North leaders in the South’s capital Juba.

“They shouldn’t be supported, of course, by any means of support, military support or political support. They have to be chased out,” Youssef said.

Sudan would not budge on security, he said, adding that the government had not included oil exports fees from the South in its budget for next year.

Youssef ruled out talks with the SPLM-North, made up mainly of fighters who sided with the South during the civil war, until it cut ties with Juba.

“They have to come to us as Sudanese but not representing the South Sudan army,” he said. “For example, if a Sudanese is working in the American marines and then he comes here to talk with us as a Sudanese, we are not going to accept it at all.”

A FOILED COUP

Youssef, who comes from an Arab tribe in Darfur, dismissed health rumours about Bashir. The president has undergone surgery twice since August in Qatar and in Saudi Arabia.

“He is in his office upstairs and working, you can see him,” he said, pointing in the direction of Bashir’s office in the historic palace, once the seat of British colonial rule in the country.

Bashir has appeared in public less often in recent months and did not attend a major Arab mining conference in Khartoum last week, fuelling speculation that he was in poor health.

The president, who seized power in a 1989 coup, has faced street protests over galloping inflation since Sudan lost three-quarters of its original oil output to South Sudan when the latter gained independence last year.

Youssef said Bashir could stand in the next election, expected in 2015, although officials in his ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said last year he would not run again.

“At the right time, the institution will resume its meeting and decide who is the nominee for the NCP for the presidency for the next round,” he said. “There is nothing that will hinder President Bashir to be nominated.”

Weak opposition parties have failed to mobilise mass anti-government protests but signs of a new threat emerged when authorities arrested ex-spy chief Salah Gosh and a group of officers last month for planning a plot to undermine security.

Confirming for the first time it was a coup attempt against Bashir, Youssef said those arrested would get a fair trial. He dismissed the plot as “normal in Sudan”, a country that has seen several governments overthrown since independence in 1956.

“They had prepared their weapons but not shouldered them yet,” he said. “It is normal, isn’t it? It’s normal in a country like Sudan. Haven’t you heard it in other countries?”

“The ambition of human beings cannot be suppressed. Everyone has ambitions to be president, even you probably think of that.”

Youssef said he was keen to repair relations with Germany after protesters stormed Berlin’s embassy in Khartoum in September during demonstrations against an anti-Islam film.

“We are sorry, of course, about what happened,” Youssef said in the highest-level reconciliatory comments to come out of Khartoum since the violence.

Germany closed the building and called off an economic coooperation conference it had planned in October which would have been a rare opportunity for Khartoum to meet Western firms that mostly shun the country due to U.S. sanctions.

(Additional reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Pascal Fletcher and David Stamp)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Ulf Laessing and Alexander Dziadosz | Reuters

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