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Republic of Sudan

SSOA- Cirilo denounces govt’s plan to declare them terrorist groups



November 8, 2018 (JUBA) – South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) led by Thomas Cirilo Wednesday denounced “government’s sinister plans” to label holdout opposition groups as terrorist organisations.

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South Sudan’s vice-president, James Wani Igga (Photo: Larco Lomayat)

Speaking in a public meeting at the Freedom Square in Yei town, Vice President James Wani Igga announced his government plan to declare the non-signatory factions as terror groups after the end of the pre-transitional period of eight (8) months.

“South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) condemns this irresponsible utterance from Mr Wani Igga,” said the SSOA-Cirilo spokesperson Kwaje Lasu in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday evening.

Lasu further said it is the ruling SPLM led by President Salva Kiir which “rightfully” deserves this categorization as a terrorist organization.

“The Government of Kiir and those of Wani Igga have committed heinous crimes against humanity, war crimes, rape and displacement of 2.4 million South Sudanese since the start of the man-made infernal civil war in the country,” he added.

The factions of the SSOA- Cirilo were part of the revitalized peace forum but rejected the IGAD brokered agreement saying it does not help to achieve their aspiration for a genuine federal system and freedoms.

However, the other faction led by Gabriel Changson signed the peace agreement and expressed hope to achieve the desired goals through the mechanisms set up by the revitalized peace pact.

Lasu pointed that the statement made by Wani Igga actually revealed the “mindset and sinister intentions” of the regime towards the holdout opposition.

He stressed that this threat will not deter their struggle for “a genuine sustainable peace and true democracy to our country”.

“We will continue to advocate for equality, freedom and justice. We strive to be the vehicle of change and beacon of hope to the people of this great nation despite the flapping wings of the dictatorial regime in Juba,” he emphasized.

President Kiir and SPLM-IO leader said they want to initiate a dialogue with the non-signatories and to include them in the peace implementation process but no concrete measure has been taken yet.


Eastern Africa

S. Sudan peace monitor urges parties to expedite troop movements to cantonment sites



August 21, 2019 (JUBA) – The Interim Chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluating Commission (R-JMEC), Augostino Njoroge has urged parties to South Sudan’s peace deal to expedite the process of troop movements to verified cantonment sites and in barracks.

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JMEC Deputy Chairperson Lt. Gen. Amb. Augostino Njoroge (File Photo JMEC)

He made the appeal during a one-day meeting organized by the regional bloc (IGAD) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s on Wednesday to find solutions to the stalemate in the implementation of the revitalized accord on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan.

“Accordingly, the parties should give direction and timelines on operationalization of several cantonment sites across the country and in respective states as a start and within the remaining Pre-Transitional Period”, said Njoroge.

“Parties must also give direction and timelines on commencement of training centers across the country and in the respective regions, including training of officers identified for VIP protection”, he added.

A unified force of at least 83,000 South Sudanese army troops has been earmarked to support implementation of the 2018 peace deal.

Meanwhile, Njoroge observed that the permanent ceasefire had continued to hold, and this has resulted in an overall improvement in the general security situation across the war-torn East African nation.

“I commend all the parties for observing the permanent ceasefire. The security situation has contributed to improved access to humanitarian activities, including decisions by some refugees and IDPs to spontaneously return to their areas”, he stressed.

The official urged the National Pre-Transition Committee (NPTC) to organize more joint confidence building measures among the Parties as well as joint dissemination of the peace accord to enhance better understanding, ownership, healing and reconciliation in the country.

“ The government must fulfill its pledge of funding the implementation of the R-ARCSS in a timely and predictable manner”, he added.

The commission further urged the parties to expedite “the reconstitution of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Commission and make it respective to the needs of those who shall not qualify for selection into the Necessary Unified Forces.”

Last week, the body monitoring South Sudan’s ceasefire (CTSAMVM) expressed strong fears over the slow progress in the implementation of the security arrangements in the September 2018 peace accord.

The CTSAMVM is mandated by IGAD to monitor and verify the implementation of the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities as per the 2018 peace agreement.

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup.

In September 2018, Kiir, Machar and a handful of other opposition groups signed a peace deal to end the country’s civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.


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Eastern Africa

S. Sudan’s Kiir vows to strengthen relations with Sudan



August 21, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has vowed to strengthen relations with the new regime in Khartoum.

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President Kiir waves hand to greet the Sudanese during the signing ceremony of Sudan democratic transition deal on 17 August 2019 (Reuters Photo)

Kiir on Wednesday held a telephone conversation with the President of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

A statement from the Presidential Press Unit (PPU) said Kiir outlined his priorities, top of which would involve improving relations with Sudan.

“President Kiir reiterated that the support of South Sudan to the Republic of the Sudan is driven by a genuine desire to live and prosper peacefully together as brothers and sisters,” it added.

Sudan’s main opposition coalition and the ruling military council have formally signed a final power-sharing deal on Saturday, paving the way for a transition to a civilian-led government.

On his part, however, the President of Sudan’s Sovereign Council thanked Kiir for his continuous support to the people of Sudan.

Sudan had earlier accepted to facilitate a meeting between the South Sudan leader and armed opposition chief, Riek Machar as part of efforts to implement the peace deal, an official said Tuesday.

On August 17, Kiir and al-Burhan met on the sidelines of the signing ceremony of a power sharing deal between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and protestors in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

In May, the South Sudanese rival parties agreed on a six-month extension to implement next steps in the fragile peace agreement. The latest extension came after the main opposition group threatened to boycott formation of a unity government on May 12.

Last week, the body monitoring South Sudan’s ceasefire (CTSAMVM) expressed strong fears over the slow progress in the implementation of the security arrangements in the September 2018 peace accord.

South Sudan descended into civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of attempting a coup.


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Eastern Africa

Troika welcome appointment of Sudan’s PM, pledge to support his government



Abdallah Hamdok

August 21, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – The United Kingdom, United States and Norway, Troika countries welcomed in a joint statement the appointment of Abdallah Hamdok as Sudan’s prime minister who will lead the country efforts to bring peace and achieve democratic reforms.

Hamdok, a former UN economist who was nominated by the Forces for Freedom and Change was appointed by the head of Sovereign Council as prime minister on Wednesday.

We “congratulate Dr Abdalla Hamdok on his appointment as prime minister by the Sovereign Council and welcome the extensive professional experience he brings to the role,” said the Troika before to say “We look forward to working with Sudan’s new institutions”.

We welcome this step in creating a civilian-led government. As Prime Minister Hamdok begins the process of selecting ministers and identifying the government’s priorities,

The statement recalled that the regime change in Sudan has created a “unique opportunity” to achieve peace, drafting a constitution establishing a democratic rule where human rights are protected, and women rights are observed and to create the necessary conditions for free and fair elections.

The three countries called on the Sudanese to engage in good faith to deliver these goals, “in particular urging the armed movements to engage constructively” with the new Government to achieve peace”.

“The appointment of a civilian-led government presents an opportunity to rebuild a stable economy and create a government that respects human rights and personal freedoms. Prime Minister Hamdok will have the Troika’s support in achieving these objectives,” stressed the statement.

Sudan’s new prime minister vowed Wednesday to work hard to make peace and economic reforms the top priorities of his technocrats cabinet.

Also, he said he will be very strict in the choice of his minister adding he may return the nominees to the Forces for Freedom and Change if he did not find the right person among the candidates.


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Eastern Africa

Sudan’s new PM vows to make peace, economy top priorities of transition



Sudan's Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok speaks to the media after the swearing-in ceremony on 21 August 2019 (AFP Photo)

August 21, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – Abdallah Hamdok swore in Wednesday night as prime minister of Sudan’s transitional government, vowing in his first statement to put peace and economy issues on the top of his priorities.

The Forces for Freedom and Change (CCF) that led the 4-month protests in Sudan and the military council that deposed al-Bashir agreed to appoint as prime minister for the transitional government the Sudanese economist who has served as Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

In a press conference after the swearing-in ceremony, the 15th Prime Minister of Sudan described the revolution that toppled the former regime last April as “the greatest revolution” and added that his program will be based on the realization of the slogan of the December Revolution “Freedom, Peace and Justice.”

He stressed that the priority during the 39-month transitional period will be to “end the war, build sustainable peace and stop the suffering of the war-affected displaced people as well as to build a national economy based on production.”

Also, he pointed to the need of reforming state institutions, fighting corruption, building a state of transparency and justice, developing moderate external relations, and fair representation of women.

Hamdok expressed his conviction of the tremendous capabilities that characterize the Sudanese economy, paving the way for dealing with its economic crisis.

“The Sudanese economy is strong in size and I believe that with the right vision and policies we will be able to address this economic crisis and we will have a reform plan to address the issues of inflation, the provision of fuel and medicine and in the long term we hope to address the issues of productivity,” he said.

He pointed out that the banking sector in Sudan is on the verge of collapse, and this situation implies the search for solutions to restore confidence in it, adding, “There are many ways to achieve this goal.”

On the political level, Hamdok said he intends to be a prime minister for all Sudanese, although his nomination was made by the Forces for Freedom and Change.

Further, he pointed to the existence of large areas of convergence with all Sudanese forces that reject the Constitutional Declaration, in the Sudanese Revolutionary Front or other groups, alike.

“Now there is a favourable climate. If we manage it well, we can cross the country to safety,” he said.

Last July, he met with the armed groups of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front and SPLM-N of Abdel Aziz al-Hilu in Addis Ababa to explore their point of view on how to achieve peace during the first six months of the transitional period.

On the formation of his cabinet of technocrats, Hamdok pointed out that the criterion of efficiency will guide his choice of the government members.

He stressed that he will deal strictly with the list established by the FFC, which includes three candidates for each ministerial portfolio.

“If I don’t find the (required) criteria I will return (the list) to them,” he said.

In line with the matrix established by the parties, Hamdo has to form his cabinet before 28 August as the first cabinet meeting should take place on the first of September.


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Eastern Africa

Sudan’s Sovereign Council members sworn in



Members of Sudan's Sovereign Council swear-in before al-Burhan and and chief justice on 21 October 2019 (AFP Photo)

August 21, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – The members of Sudan’s Sovereign Council took the oath of office before the head of the collegial presidency Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on Wednesday, ahead of the launch of the transitional authority in Sudan.

The historical move comes in line with the implementation of the agreement on the transition in Sudan signed by the military council and the Forces for Freedom and Change on 17 August, four months after the ouster of the former president Omer al-Bashir.

As scheduled, five military and five civilians were sworn in at the presidential palace before the head of the Sovereign Council as the 11th member Mohamed Hassan Osman al-Ta’aishi did not take part in the ceremony as he is not in the country.

The event was welcomed by the Sudanese who hope that the process will bear soon some positive changes in their daily life.

In statements to the official news agency SUNA, Raja Nicola pointed to the need to achieve peace and to allocate the country resources for development.

“We want peace to prevail and justice to be done,” Nicola said before to add “We want to raise Sudan, develop our country, improve its economy, and take the rights of Christian citizens”.

The other female member of the Sovereign Council Aicha Musa pledged they would work tirelessly to implement the programme of the Forces for Freedom and Change.

The December Revolution “will not fade and will not lose its slogans until it reaches its desired goals in achieving democratic transformation and achieving slogans of freedom, peace and full justice,” she emphasized.

The British Ambassador to Sudan Irfan Siddiq welcomed the dissolution of the Transitional Military Council, swearing-in of the Sovereign Council as well as the appointment of the Prime Minister.

“Slowly, but surely, Sudan is moving towards making “madaniya” (civilian) a reality!” he said in a tweet on Wednesday.


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Eastern Africa

UN human rights experts begins mission to S. Sudan, Ethiopia



August 19, 2019(JUBA) – Members of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan on Monday started their seventh field mission to South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia.

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A general view of participants during the 29th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 3 July 2015 – (UN Photo)

The mission, the UN said, will take place from 19 to 29 August 2019.

The experts, led by Yasmin Sooka, will be in South Sudan from August 19-24. The other members are Andrew Clapham and Barney Afako.

The commissioners are expected to meet government officials, including key ministers, members of civil society, religious leaders, diplomats and UN agencies and staff of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), including the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UN mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, to discuss the current human rights situation in the country.

“The commissioners also intend to visit camps and settlements for internally displaced persons across the country, including UNMISS Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites, to meet the people living there, community leaders and civil society organizations, including women organizations,” partly reads a UN statement issued Monday.

The UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan is an independent body mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to determine and report the facts and circumstances of, collect and preserve evidence of, and clarify responsibility for alleged gross violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes, including sexual and gender-based violence and ethnic violence, with a view to ending impunity and providing accountability, among others.

Meanwhile, the Commission is expected to present an oral update on the human rights situation in South Sudan to the Human Rights Council on 16 September 2019 and a comprehensive written report in March 2020.


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Eastern Africa

Sudan’s rebel leaders in Juba to discuss with President Kiir



SLM Minni Minnawi, SPLM-N Malik Agar and JEM Gibril Ibrahim speak to reporters in Addis Ababa on 17 July 2019 (ST photo)

August 19, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – Several leaders of Sudan’s armed groups arrived in Juba to discuss with President Salva Kiir issues of democratic transition and peace.

The spokesperson of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) Mohamed Zakaria said that the leaders of the two SPLM-N factions Malik Agar, and Abdel Aziz al-Hilu, Minni Minnawi Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) arrived in Juba upon the invitation of President Kiir.

Also, the South Sudanese leader, according to Zakaria, extended an invitation to Abdel Wahid al-Nur leader of SLM/AW and Tahir Hajer, the head of the Sudan Liberation Forces Alliance (SLFA).

The meeting comes within the efforts of the South Sudanese President to broker a peace agreement between Khartoum and the armed groups, as he said in his remarks at the signing ceremony of the agreement on Sudan’s transitional authority on 17 Agust.

However, a spokesman for the SLFA, Nur al-Din Shammu, denied that Hajer had been invited by the South Sudanese government.

“The SLFA has announced its position earlier that they are not part of any agreement that does not address the root causes of crisis even if this leads to the resumption of war again.”

Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) leader Gibril Ibrahim has just ended a visit to Juba where he met with President Kiir to discuss ways to achieve peace in Sudan.

But Ibrahim did not issue a statement about the outcome of the meeting neither the South Sudanese presidency.

Egypt recently informed Sudan armed groups about its plan to host a peace process between them and the transitional government.

President Kiir says peace in Sudan is necessary for the good relations between the two country and crucial for political stability in his country.

Cairo says they want to repair the neglected relations with Sudan and reestablish the close relationship between the two countries as it was before the al-Bashir’s regime.


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Eastern Africa

South Sudan’s Kiir appoints new Foreign Affairs minister



August 19, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has, in a mini reshuffle, appointed Awut Deng Achuil as the country’s new Foreign Affairs minister, replacing Nhial Deng Nhial.

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South Sudan’s new Foreign Affairs minister, Awut Deng Achuil (Gurtong)

Awut was the Gender, Child and Social Welfare minister.

The president, in a decree issued on Monday, appointed Jemma Nunu Kumba, the acting secretary general of the ruling party (SPLM) as the new minister of Gender and Social Welfare.

The decree was announced on the state-owned television (SSBC).

Kiir also appointed Alfred Akuoch Omoli as the minister of Wildlife while Simon Mijok Mijak was appointed Roads and Bridges minister.

No reasons were given on why the president made the new changes.

In separate decrees, Kiir also relieved Atem Madut Yak as Governor of Twic State and appointed Jacob Madhol Lang as his immediate successor.

The South Sudanese leader also appointed Timothy Taban Juch as the new governor of Akobo State, replacing the late General Gony Biliu.


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Eastern Africa

FFC finally agree on nominees for Sudan’s Sovereign Council



FFC delegates at the meeting with the TMC on the political and constitutional documents on 16 July 2019 (AFP Photo)

August 20, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – The Leadership Council of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and its nomination committee, in a meeting that ended on Tuesday morning, finally agreed on five nominees to represent them at the Sovereign Council.

The meeting which started at 01:00 PM on Monday witnessed a heated debate between the FFC’s groups over the nomination of some opposition members in the Sovereign Council.

Mariam al-Mahdi in a short statement extended to Sudan Tribune in the early hours of Tuesday at about 03:00 AM (local time) said the five nominees of the FFC are Aisha Musa, Hassan Sheikh Idriss, Mohamed al-Faki Suleiman, Siddiq Tawer and Mohamed Hassan al-Ta’aishi.

The return of al-Ta’aishi who had been previously rejected by some opposition forces was seen as the only solution to the difference over an independent nominee to represent Darfur region.

The selection of the lawyer Taha Osman who is a member of the Sudanese Communist Party was largely contested by professional groups which called for an independent personality to represent the western Sudan region.

The Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) which had the difficult task to pick a representative of Darfur has indicated they did not take part in Taha’s selection after failing to find an independent national figure from the divided region.

Before agreeing on al-Ta’aish, the meeting discussed the nomination of Mohamed Tahir Tarjouk, a former prosecutor, but reservations also emerged against him.

It should be noted that Taha on Sunday declined the nomination after his rejection faced by the professional groups.

Crowds of FFC youths, opposed to the political nominations, rallied outside the premises of the National Umma Party in Omdurman, chanting slogans condemning the selection of Baath Party leading member Siddiq Tawer to represent the Nuba Mountains as one of the FFC nominees for the Sovereign Council.

Sudan Tribune learned that the FFC’s leadership meeting too was very tense as divergences emerged over Tawer’s nomination. It was supported by the bloc of the National Consensus Forces ’NCF) except the Communist Party, and opposed by the Sudan Call Bloc led by Sadiq al-Mahdi.

The chairman of the Transitional Military Council ’TMC) Abdel Fattah al-Burhan is expected to announce on Tuesday the formation of the Sovereign Council and the appointment of Abdallah Hamdok as prime minister. Also, the military council will be dissolved after the swearing-in ceremony.

On the other hand, Hamdok will begin consultations to form his government based on the nominations made by FFC committees.

Hamdok’s mission seemingly would be full of pitfalls after the stormy disputes over the nomination of the FFC candidates for the Sovereign Council, which revealed a divergence in the interpretation of the principle of non-participation of political forces in the executive organs during the transitional period.

During a heated debate between youth and FFC leading members over the non-participation in executive posts, it appeared that there is a big gap in how the opposition leaders perceive the non-political participation in the executive organs.

In her discussion with the youth, the deputy leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi reaffirmed the need to abide by the principle of non-quotas in the selection of members of the collective presidency.

While Mohamed Diaa al-Din, a leading member of the Ba’ath Party and representative of the National Consensus Force (NCF), said that the principle of non-participation is not absolute but relative.

“A politician may be chosen for the Sovereign Council or any executive post when the required qualification conditions are met,” he asserted.

Dia went further to accuse both the NUP and the Communist Party of adopting the line of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front against the nomination of Siddiq Tawer. Also, he accused of racist the youth who contested the selection of his comrade Tawer.

The crowd included some youth from the Nuba Mountains who came to express their rejection of Tawer’s nomination saying he does not represent their vision for Sudan. Some described them as sympathizers of the SPLM-N.

The TMC spokesperson, Shams al-Din al-Kabbashi, said Monday that the FFC had withdrawn some of its nominees to the Sovereign Council, and requested a 48-hour deadline to complete the list.

On Sunday, the joint meeting between the TMC and the FFC chose Raja Nicola as the 11th member. She was chosen as a representative of the Coptic community and Sudanese Christians in general.

The Sovereignty Council is composed of 11 members, five civilians nominated by the FFC, five militaries nominated by the junta, and another civilian member agreed by both parties.


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Eastern Africa

Sudan’s SPA distances themselves from Osman’s nomination to Sovereign Council



Tens of Thousands protest in Khartoum in support of civilian-led rule on 30 June 2019 (Photo Reuters)

August 19, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) said in a statement on Monday morning that they did not nominate to the Sovereign Council Taha Osman, who was rejected by professional associations because his choice violates the principle of non-participation in the transitional executive organs.

Several professional associations issued statements rejecting the nomination of Taha Othman, a lawyer member of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC)’s negotiating team representing the Communist Party.

Osman had been nominated in a seat to be filled by an independent candidate from Darfur region the SPA had to choose.

The SPA said in its statement that they decided to refrain from submitting a candidate to the presidential council after their candidate Mohamed Ahmed Youssef declined and left the matter the FFC nominations committee.

To better explain the situation, the SPA said that the nomination committee selected Musa Adam Abdel-Jalil and Taha Osman. However, when Abdel Jalil declined the nomination the FFC committee decided to endorse the only remaining candidate: Taha Osman.

The professionals further asserted they didn’t take part in the vote and they recalled the principle of the FFC non-participation in the executive bodies.

The statement hailed Osman’s decision to decline his nomination, in line with the FFC rules.

Further, the SPA, which was the spearhead of the protest movement avoided pointing an accusing finger to any side but stressed that the nomination process and the objections reflect a democratic spirit in the large coalition.

Shams al-Din Kabbashi, the spokesman for the military council, in the early morning of Monday, announced the postponement of the appointment of the Sovereign Council for 48 hours at the request of the FFC.


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Eastern Africa

South Sudanese refugees secretly returning home: officials



August 18, 2019 (LAMWO) – Several South Sudanese refugees in Palabek settlement camp in Uganda’s northern district of Lamwo are reportedly sneaking back to their country illegally.

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South Sudanese refugees at Nyumanzi settlement camp in Adjumani (Getty Image)

The LC 3 chairperson of Lokung East sub county, David Ocan Kasisi was quoted saying some refugees sneak through the porous border points at Waligo and Ngomoromo to do farming in South Sudan.

“The refugees are also reportedly collaborating with Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in opposition who sometimes threaten peace, stability and security of Lamwo households along the boundary,” he told URN.

The return of refugees is to be guided by a Tripartite Agreement, a legal bilateral framework setting out the modalities for the voluntary return of refugees to their country of origin in safety and dignity.

Separately, the Palabek camp chairperson, Robert Ochan reportedly confirmed that some refugees indeed sneak back home for fear of having their status revoked to maintain their homes and do farming since the land allocated to them is not enough.

In line with the 2006 Refugee Act, refugees in Uganda continue to enjoy freedom of movement, the right to work and establish businesses, the right to documentation and equal access to national services.

Uganda is the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, with over a million refugees, most of them from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi and Somalia.

Over 40,000 South Sudanese refugees have sought safety in Uganda since 2017 citing fears of fresh armed insurgence, hunger, sexual and physical violence and forced recruitment of children, among others.

In March this year, South Sudan’s Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management said over 140,000 South Sudan refugees who fled the country to Uganda, Ethiopia, Central African Republic and Sudan at the height of the civil war had returned home.


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Eastern Africa

Sudan’s Sovereign Council delayed for 48 hours: spokesperson



August 19, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – The Transitional Military Council (TMC), in the first hours of Monday, announced the postponement of the formation of the sovereign council for 48 hours at the request of the Forces for Freedom and Change.

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Shams al-Din Kabbashi spokesperosn of the military council briefs the media together with Taha Osman an spokesperson of the Freedom and Change forces on 13 May 2019 (ST Photo)

This delay was announced in a statement read by TMC spokesman Shams al-Din Kabbashi at 02.30 AM after the withdrawal of the FFC of some names that had already been submitted to the military council.

“The Forces for Freedom and Change have withdrawn some nominees submitted to the Sovereign Council and requested a 48-hour deadline for handing over their final list of candidates to the Sovereign Council,” said Kabbashi.

A large number of professional groups issued statements protesting the nomination of Taha Othman, a member of the FFC negotiating committee, to the Sovereign Council, stressing that his choice is against the principle of FFC non-participation agreed between the coalition forces.

Osman who is a lawyer, on Sunday night, declined to take part in the Sovereign Council, pointing to the objection raised by the different groups.

Disagreements over the Sovereign Council began after the rejection of the nomination of Mohamed Hassan al-Ta’ayeshi by some FFC forces on the grounds that he did not represent Darfur.

Al-Ta’ayeshi’s rejection led Fadwa Abdul Rahman Ali Taha, another nominee to decline to take part in the collegial presidency, stressing that the choice of nominees should not be based on the representation of a particular region.

Both Ta’ayshi and Osman are from the Darfur region.


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Eastern Africa

S. Sudan opposition party lauds Sudan’s power sharing deal



August 18, 2019 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese opposition party has congratulated the people of Sudan on the “historic” signing of the country’s political agreement and the constitutional declaration.

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TMC head Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan andAhmed Rabie of the FFC makes the V for victory at the signing ceremony of the agreement on the transitional authority on 17 August 2019 Reuters.jpg

In a statement issued Sunday, South Sudan National Democratic Alliance (SSNDA), said the historic moment is a testimony to the heroic struggle for freedom, peace, and justice that led the Sudanese people against dictatorship and human rights abuses.

“We salute you for your determination and commitment to restore democracy, and marking a new chapter for freedom, peace, and justice in the Sudan,” partly reads SSNDA’s statement.

Sudan’s main opposition coalition and the ruling military council have formally signed a final power-sharing deal, paving the way for a transition to a civilian-led government.

The landmark agreement signed on Saturday in the capital Khartoum came after a long period of negotiations following the overthrow of longtime leader President Omar al-Bashir in the wake of mass protests.

The deal was inked between Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy chief of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), and Ahmed al-Rabie, who represented the Alliance for Freedom and Change umbrella group.

The power-sharing deal creates a joint military and civilian sovereign council to rule for a little over three years until elections can be held.

According to provisions of the deal, a military leader would head the 11-member council for the first 21 months, followed by a civilian leader for the next 18 months.

The ceremony was attended by heads of states, prime ministers and dignitaries Kham several countries, including Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.


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Eastern Africa

FFC leadership council needed to achieve democratic transition in Sudan: Arman



Arman speaking at UN HRC in Geneva on 9 July 2019 (ST Photo)

August 19, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – Yasir Arman, deputy chairman of the SPLM-N (Agar), reiterated calls for forming a leadership body for the Forces for Freedom and Change capable of accomplishing the tasks of the democratic change and providing support to its government during the next three years.

“What has been achieved is half a victory that needs to be completed to become a complete victory,” Arman told Sudan Tribune in statements after signing the transitional authority’s agreements that pave the way for the formation of a civilian government and an FFC-controlled parliament.

“The forces of freedom and change need to form a leadership capable of making decisions, organizing the masses, supporting the government, controlling its actions, and building a popular front for three years or more,” he added.

The FFC leading member pointed out that the revolution to complete its project needs to achieve peace, link it to democracy and build citizenship state without discrimination by recognizing the Sudanese diversity and reflect it in the system of governance.

“This revolution must not end to the outcome of the October 1964 revolution and the revolution in April 1985 without a decisive change in the structure of the Sudanese state and build a new Sudan,” he stressed.

The FFC agreed during meetings held in Addis Ababa last July to form a unified leadership council, but this body has not yet been established following the disagreements over the demand of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) for cabinet seats in the transitional government and the Sovereign Council.

Leaders of the political forces that led the protest movement that overthrew the al-Bashir’s regime acknowledge the need for a broad and orderly alliance that will help the transitional government to come up with plans that ensure the implementation of the Freedom and Change Forces platform, support the government and control its policies through the parliament.

Some analysts say that if the FFC fail to form this leadership body, the transitional government will be criticized by the opposition and may fail to carry out the tasks of democratic change or to prepare the country for free elections at the end of the transitional period.

Also, the peace process is one of the government’s top priorities during the interim period.

Arman further appealed to the “new forces”, women and the margin forces to work on building a new Sudan and a new national democratic project that eradicate isolation and exclusion.

He also emphasized on the need for a national and professional army to reflect the diversity and composition of Sudan.


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Eastern Africa

Sudan moves towards forming Sovereign Council



Sudanese celebrate the signing of the agreement on power transfer to civilians on 17 August 2019 (AFP Photo)

August 18, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – The Freedom and Change Forces (FFC) Sunday have nominated their five candidates for the Sovereign Council and agreed on the 11the member of the collegial presidency.

In statements to the official Sudanese News Agency (SUNA), Sattah al-Haj, an FFC negotiator, said that they handed over the list of their five nominees to the head of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) Abdel Fattah al-Burhan who should issue a decree appointing the 11 members in the upcoming hours.

The five members are Aicha Musa, Sidiq Tawir, Hassan Sheikh Idris, Mohamed al-Faki Suleiman and Taha Osman.

Also, the joint meeting between the FFC and the TMC agreed on the 11th member of the Sovereign Council and chose Raja Nicola.

Nicola is a member of the Sudanese Copt minority. His choice meant to address a message of tolerance and peaceful coexistence to the Sudanese Christians who were persecuted during the former Islamist regime.

Al-Haj, further said that the TMC will be dissolved immediately after the swearing-in of the Sovereign Council to avoid a constitutional vacuum, as he said.

Some voices within the FFC protested the nomination of Taha Osman, a Darfuri lawyer member of the Sudanese Communist Party.

They said his nomination was against the charter agreed by the FFC to not participate in the transitional executive institutions.

Until Wednesday evening, the TMC did not disclose the list of its five nominees. But, different sources say al-Burhan and his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, Yasir al-Atta, Shams al-Din Khabbashi and Salah Abdel Khaliq will be in the Sovereign Council.

According to the signed agreement, the head of the Sovereign Council should also appoint the prime minister with the members of his council.


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Eastern Africa

Jubek State governor petitioned over land allocation



August 18, 2019 (JUBA) – A group of citizens hailing from South Sudan’s Jubek State have petitioned Governor General Augustino Jadalla Wani over his recent decision to distribute land to South Sudanese army heroes, heroines as well as the country’s martyrs.

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Jubek State governor Augustino Jadalla Wani (L) meets President Salva Kiir in Juba, July 18, 2019 (PPU photo)

In an August 15, 2018 letter which was addressed to Jadalla, the group said it would have been more appropriate if the heroes, heroines and martyrs were awarded land in their respective States.

“Juba should not exclusively have the honour of having the homes of all the esteemed and distinguished people in South Sudan. Each State should have the honour of having the homes of its heroes, heroines and martyrs,” reads the letter signed by nine people.

The group, in their petition, also reminded the governor of previous demands from the community capital city be relocated elsewhere.

“The Bari community remained steadfast behind its demand for the capital to be moved out of Juba. A resolution was passed on 04/02/2011, in a meeting of the Council of Ministers chaired by President [Salva] Kiir, to relocate the capital from Juba to Ramchiel,” further reads the citizens’ petition to the Jubek State governor.

It added, “The Bari community position hasn’t changed regarding this matter. Hence, the heroes, heroines and martyrs should be allocated plots in Ramchiel, which is the new capital of South Sudan”.

The concerned citizens, according to the petition, are currently living in the United Kingdom, Uganda, United States, Sudan, among others.

The group also assured the governor he has no mandate to make decisions on land distribution on behalf of the people who own land.

“It’s only the Bari community that has got the right of dealing with issues related to their God-given land,” further stressed the letter.

Meanwhile, the group appealed the governor to listen to their advice and rescind his decision or whatever he had intended to do.

“We stand ready to work with you and render our help in any endeavour set for the betterment of lives of our people,” it stated.

The governor is yet to officially react to the group’s petition letter.


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Eastern Africa

Wau State assembly legislators begin recess period



August 17, 2019 (WAU) – The acting speaker of South Sudan’s Wau State legislative assembly, Viola Umeli said lawmakers started recess.

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Recess, she said, will run from August 14 to September 13.

“We were supposed to close on August 12, but it was postponed to August 14 due to Eid al-Adha holiday,” said Umeli.

Lawmakers, according to acting speaker, will disseminate the revitalized peace agreement of 2018, hold public rallies as well as conduct meetings with citizens during their one month recess period.

The official lauded citizens in the state for putting trust in their lawmakers.

South Sudan plunged into civil war in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused the country’s former vice-president, Riek Machar, of plotting a coup.

In September last year, South Sudan’s arch-rivals signed a revitalized peace deal to end the country’s civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.

The country’s rival parties, in May, agreed on a six-month extension to implement next steps in the fragile peace agreement. The latest extension came after the main opposition group threatened to boycott formation of a unity government on May 12.


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Eastern Africa

Sudanese reserve warm welcome to Ethiopia’s Abiy



Ethiopia's PM Abiy Ahmed speaks during the signing ceremony of democratic transition in Sudan on 17 August 2019 (ST photo)

August 17, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese gave Egyptian prime minister a distinctly lukewarm reception during the signing ceremony of the transitional authority on Saturday in total contrast of the warm welcome to his Ethiopian counterpart.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who chairs the African Union during this year dispatched his Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to represent him during the signing ceremony of the agreement on the transitional institutions between The military council and the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC).

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who helped broker the deal was warmly applauded by the Sudanese when he took the floor to speak.

In his speech, Abiy praised the martyrs of the Sudanese revolution before to say that the Ethiopian people and government are celebrating this agreement with them.

“Your victory is ours and your hopes are ours,” he said before to reiterate Ethiopia’s commitment to supporting the peaceful power transition in Sudan.

Abiy who took power in April 2018, was not a close friend of President Omer al-Bashir and sought to reconcile his country with all the neighbouring countries including Eritrea.

For his part, Madbouly despite the lack of enthusiasm to his speech by the Sudanese audience hailed the Sudanese revolution and voiced Egypt’s support to the aspirations of Sudanese for democracy and peace.

“We reaffirm the determination that future relations between the two countries will constitute an unprecedented breakthrough,” he said pointing to the bonds between Egypt and Sudan that rarely bring together two peoples on earth, as he asserted.

After the revolution, and collapse of the al-Bashir regime, Egypt was suspected by the democratic forces of backing the military council when President al-Sisi backed the military council demand for more time to hand over power to civilians last April.

Also, Egypt’s ban to enter into its territory on the former Sudanese Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi and opposition leader in July 2018 besides the arrest and extradition of several opposition activists to the Sudanese government, all these actions make that Cairo is badly perceived in Khartoum today.


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Eastern Africa

Sudan’s FFC send message of love to Juba as Kiir says ready for close relationship



President Kiir waves hand to greet the Sudanese during the signing ceremony of Sudan democratic transition deal on 17 August 2019 (Reuters Photo)

August 17, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese democratic forces on Saturday sent a special message of love to South Sudanese people and called to build a strong relationship for the interest of the two peoples.

While President Salva Kiir reiterated his offer for mediation with the armed groups to establish strong and solid relations between the two Sudan.

President Salva Kiir was warmly welcomed on Saturday in Khartoum as he attended the signing ceremony of the agreement on the transitional authority between the army and the Forces for Freedom and Changes (FFC).

In a speech delivered on behalf of the FFC, Mohamed Nagy Alasam was keen to send a strong message for the South Sudanese recalling the ancestral relationship between the two people and called to build the best relationship between the two countries.

“We greet you with longing and love, and our pleasure is only with you, you are part of us and we are part of you. We are only reunited with you (…) and we will strive to get back as we agree,” Alasam said

“Our separation was harsh, but reunification is possible. You are our half sweet,” he stressed.

The separation of South Sudan in January 2011 is seen in Khartoum as a betrayal by the Sudanese Islamist who refused a secular Sudan as it was demanded by South Sudanese to remain in power under the pretext of establishing an Islamic state.

Sudan and South Sudan still have to define borders and to settle the future of the disputed Abyei area. Also, despite the separation number of Sudanese in Juba or the South Sudanese in Khartoum remained similar to the time before the separation despite the repatriation of South Sudanese during the two first years after the independence.


For his part, President Kiir in his speech hailed the struggle of Sudanese for “a peaceful, diverse, and prosperous nation governed by democratic principles”.

He further pointed to the strong relationship and the blood bond between the two people.

“We have a common historical bond over the hundreds of years we have spent as one people within a single country,” Kiir said.

He further underlined that South Sudan’s support to the people of Sudan “is not driven by political, ideological, or economic calculations.

“Our support is driven by a genuine desire to live and prosper peacefully together with our brothers and sisters in Sudan,” he further said.

“It is on the basis of this understanding that the people of and government of South Sudan avails itself of the opportunity to mediate a settlement between the Sovereign Council and the armed groups,” he proposed.

Kiir in the past said that stability in South Sudan cannot be achieved without settling the armed conflict in the South Kordofan, and the Blue Nile. Khartoum, in the past years, accused Juba of allowing the SPLM-N rebels to bring arms and ammunition through its territory.

However, Juba leverage on the armed groups particularly the SPLM-N of Abdel Aziz al-Hilu is seen as weak because he failed to reunite the two SPLM-N factions.

However, several opposition figures say willing to accept the offer made by Juba in the upcoming period to narrow the gaps between them and al-Hilu group. The other SPLM-N faction led by Malik Agar is part of the opposition FFC.

“South Sudan will play an important role in ensuring that the armed groups come home and be part of this transition,” Kiir said.


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Eastern Africa

TMC’s al-Burhan praises Sudan Revolution, calls to work together for democratic rule



TMC head Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan andAhmed Rabie of the FFC makes the V for victory at the signing ceremony of the agreement on the transitional authority on 17 August 2019 Reuters.jpg

August 17, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – The head of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) praised the revolution that toppled the former regime and called on the Sudanese to work together for the re-establishment of democracy and prosperity.

In his speech during the signing ceremony of the documents of the transition to civil authority Saturday, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan called on the Sudanese to move beyond the past towards a new era in Sudan.

“I invite everyone to make this day a new stage of getting over the bitterness of the past and looking towards the future,” al-Burhan said.

“We are now moving towards a new phase of nation-building,” he further said.

He pointed out that the armed forces proved to be a partner and a bridge to the regime change without losing their professionalism.

Al-Burhan pledged that the military would play its full role in preserving the gains of the Sudanese revolution.

The Sudanese general who will take the chairmanship of the Sovereign Council on Sunday thanked the Sudanese people for their peaceful revolution, before asking the young people to go to work after they had completed the revolution.

Thousands of Sudanese went out in the streets to celebrate the signing of the agreement on the transitional authority which paves the way for the formation of a civilian government to lead the country during the next three years.

Mohamed Nagy Alasam delivered a long speech on behalf of the Forces for Freedom and Change where he recalled that the issue of war and peace remain on the top priorities of the opposition coalition which will lead the country after the formation of the transitional government.

“We have worked to link the issues of peace with the democratic transformation,” he said before to add that the FFC believe that they should work to achieve an inclusive, just and a lasting peace agreement.

In the same vein, he stressed on the need to hold accountable those who perpetrated crimes against civilians in the country and pointed to the arrest warrants by the war crimes court against the head of the former regime saying it shows the scale of the crimes committed by the al-Bashir regime during the past 30 years.

“We affirm the commitment of the FFC to conduct a national, transparent, fair and objective investigation into the massacre of the Army General Command,”

“We assert that we will work diligently so that anyone who has committed a crime against the Sudanese people since June 30, 1989, will be punished,” he added.

In a message posted on the social media after the celebration, Alasam said his long speech was written by a committee formed by the opposition coalition to deliver their joint message to the Sudanese people.

Sadiq al-Mahdi the last elected prime minister and head of the National Umma Party was the only opposition leader who was allowed to address the signing ceremony.

The opposition leader stressed that Saturday, is the day of the transition to civil rule, to achieve peace as a priority, and also achieve democratic transformation through free and fair elections.

“The next stage will be a test for (the whole Sudanese), no one will be excluded,” he said before to add “We will open the door to everyone to participate in Sudan’s celebration.”

The ceremony was attended by several heads of states from the region and representatives of the international community.

Also, the big hall of the meeting was full of guests including the families of the Revolution Martyrs and the FFC officials who chanted slogans calling for justice.

At the end of the signing ceremony, the crowd chanted slogan calling for justice when the deputy head of the transitional council Mohamed Hamdan Daglo Hemetti went out of the Friendship Hall. His bodyguards escorted him to his car before to leave.


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