Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Uganda blames South Sudan officials for President Salva Kiir's plane crash scare

The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, has finally returned home several hours after the plane he was traveling in narrowly escaped a crash.

Salva Kiir, Wednesday morning survived a plane crash, as he was returning home to Sudan from Uganda, after one of the tyres of the plane in which he was travelling burst.

Report from Sudan Tribune, Wednesday, November 25, 2009 12:51:
Sudan 1st VP safe after plane accident in Uganda
November 25, 2009 (WASHINGTON) – The Sudanese first vice president Salva Kiir survived an accident today that was caused by the rupture in one of the tires on the plane he and his delegations were boarding, Ugandan media reported.

However the foul play was ruled out. The incident brings back bitter memory on the death later SPLM leader John Garang who was killed after his helicopter crashed en route from Uganda.

The pilot managed to steer the plane away from hitting the trees which was almost certain to cause harm to the passengers.

The government of Southern Sudan sent another plane to instead of the Antonov 74 cargo plane.

Kiir was in Uganda to discuss the border tensions with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
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From Bor Globe Network, Wed, November 25, 2009 15:54 by Geof Magga:
Uganda blames South Sudan officials for President’s plane crash scare
The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, has finally returned home several hours after the plane he was traveling in narrowly escaped a crash.

Salva Kiir, Wednesday morning survived a plane crash, as he was returning home to Sudan from Uganda, after one of the tyres of the plane in which he was travelling burst.

The pilot managed to control the plane and stopped it on the runway.

Salva Kiir yesterday met with Ugandan President, Museveni, over a border dispute. The meeting took place at Moyo town at the boarder of the two countries.

After the plane’s mishap, Salva Kiir was quickly evacuated and rushed back to Acholi Inn Hotel in Gulu town where he had spent the night.

Early this afternoon, Kiir and his entourage were escorted under tight security by the Ugandan soldiers back to Gulu Airfield. They took off at 2:30 p.m aboard a Uganda-registered charter plane.

The Antonov plane that was involved in the accident is grounded at Gulu Airfield. Engineers from southern Sudan are expected in Gula to repair the damaged plane.

Uganda says it is in no way responsible for what happened to the plane.

Uganda put the blame on southern Sudan government officials for chartering a plane with worn out tyres for their president.
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From en.afrik.com by Geof Magga, Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - excerpt:
Southern Sudan: No sabotage involved in President’s plane crash
According to one of the Airfield workers, John Okello, who witenessed the accident, the plane developed a mechanical problem as it was taxiing out of the airfield.

Okello said, ’’It is a big Antonov 74 cargo plane. Salva Kiir and other Southern Sudan officials boarded it at around 9.00 am today morning. As it was taxiing out of the airfield one of the tyres burst. The plane swung sideways sevearl times but the pilot later brought it under control. No one was injured."

No Sabotage

The area police commander, Aziku Zata confirmed the incident. Zata said, "It was a mechanical problem. There was no sabotage whatsoever."

He said that another plane from southern Sudan was on its way to Gulu airfield to collect the president and his group.

Southern Sudan is prone to plane crashes due to old planes. The airworthiness of some of the planes operating in the southern Sudanese region have often been questioned.

Last year a minister and several army senoir officers died when a plane crashed 300 kms north of the southern Sudanese city of Juba.
Click into Sudan Tribune's article to view comments.

Gen. Kiir safely returns to Sudan

Daily Monitor - ‎1 hour ago‎
The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir who earlier today survived a plane mishap in Gulu, has safely returned home. Gen Kiir, who was in Uganda for a ...

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ICC's Outreach Programme is active in Uganda, DR Congo, CAR and Darfur (Sudan)

Currently, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Outreach Programme is active in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and Darfur (Sudan).

The programme promotes access to and understanding of judicial proceedings and fosters realistic expectations about the court's work.

This in turn has engendered greater local community participation by addressing their concerns and countering misperceptions.

Full story at Congo Watch, Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - ICC's Outreach Programme is active in Uganda, DR Congo, CAR and Darfur (Sudan).

Cross-posted at Sudan Watch.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Ugandan security forces kill senior LRA commander Okello Ukuti in CAR?

From Sudan Tribune by Richard Ruati, Sunday, November 22, 2009:
Ugandan security forces kill senior LRA commander in CAR
November 22, 2009 (Kampala) — The Ugandan security forces in Central Africa Republic have killed a senior LRA rebels Commander near Obo town in CAR, an Army spokesperson has confirmed.

Speaking by telephone hookup from Kampala the UPDF Spokesperson Lt Col Felix Kulayigye told Sudan Tribune that, “Senior LRA Commander Col Okello Ukuti was shot dead around Obo town last Tuesday, he was found alone in hiding.”

Asked whether Col Ukuti was killed with other LRA rebels/bodyguards, Felix said that, “LRA commanders don’t have soldiers or bodyguards anymore, most of their soldiers have been killed by UPDF,” adding that, “many others have surrendered to UPDF of recent.”

He cited the killing of Col Ukuti as a very big blow to the central command of LRA rebels.”

“Col Okello Ukuti commanded the LRA gruesome attacks in Eastern Padeya Region in Northern Uganda,” Felix added.

The lamented that, “the Ugandan Army has intensified attacks on the rebels, blocking their escape to South Sudan and Chad.”

In south Sudan’s town of Nzara a week ago attacks attributed to the LRA killed seven innocent civilians who had converged to take part in the ongoing voter registration. The attack resumed reign of fear among the residents of Western Equatoria State.

Lt Felix further said, “there are less than 100 LRA fighters left, denying the recent media report that, 3,000 LRA fighters that crossed into DRC and he stressed that, the Ugandan Army is close to capture the “big fish, General Joseph Kony who is on the run in the fertile jungles of CAR.

As pressure is mounting on the fugitive rebels, over hundred LRA rebels and their top commanders have surrendered to SPLA, UPDF and Congolese soldiers. In southern Sudan over 60 rebels and their families have surrendered.

Reports emerging from Kampala say 34 rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have surrendered to the UPDF intelligence squad in Faradje in eastern Congo, according to military sources.

"They turned themselves in at 11:00am on Thursday with their commander, Capt. Obale," Brig. James Mugira, the Chief of Military Intelligence, told Saturday Vision in Kampala.

Of the 34, he said, 10 were Ugandans, 2 Sudanese and 22 Congolese. "They returned with 12 sub-machine guns, two walkie-talkies, 11 mobile phones and two solar panels."

This was the last group that surrendered from the Faradje area, according to the army. "That area has now been cleared," said Mugira.

The group’s over-all commander, Col. Charles Arop, turned himself in to the UPDF earlier this month after most of him men had either defected or been killed.

The unit of originally 71 rebels had been operating around the Faradje area since late last year and was responsible for the Christmas massacres that left at least 143 people dead.

Military sources estimate the total number of LRA rebels left in the Democratic Republic of Congo at 80. The rest is in the Central African Republic, together with LRA leader Joseph Kony.

In the past year LRA rebels have abducted close to a thousand children in the regions to use them kill their own people.

The UN Security Council on Tuesday strongly condemned the increasingly recent attacks by the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Southern Sudan and CAR respectively.

As the clock is ticking on man who has brought horror to people he self-proclaims to liberate, the simple question one will ask is: Are the days of Lord’s Resistance Army numbered. (ST)
Further reading

Sudan Watch, November 06, 2009 - Leading LRA rebel commander Charles Arop surrenders to Ugandan army?

Sudan Watch, November 23, 2009 - LRA leader Joseph Kony has instructed his troops to move into Darfur?

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Uganda: Cabinet approves new bill on kings

The law includes a clause that not only bars kings and chiefs from engaging in politics but also prohibits politicians from riding on kingdoms.

The kings and chiefs under the Forum for Kings and Cultural Leaders pledged loyalty to the sovereign state of Uganda and work as peers.

They asked the Government to increase payment to the traditional leaders, fund their activities, give them budgetary allocations and grant them royalties to natural resources, including oil...

Here is a copy of the full story by New Vision (Uganda) Thursday, November 19, 2009 - via afrika.no - Uganda: Cabinet approves new bill on kings
Kampala (Uganda) — President Yoweri Museveni told cultural leaders yesterday that the Cabinet has approved the draft Bill on traditional leaders. The law includes a clause that not only bars kings and chiefs from engaging in politics but also prohibits politicians from riding on kingdoms, he noted.
He was addressing kings and chiefs at a three-day Forum for Kings and Cultural Leaders at Masindi Hotel. Only the Kabaka of Buganda was absent.

"We have enough politicians. Kings should not interfere in politics but also politicians should not interfere with cultural institutions. It's both ways," Museveni said.

Citing outspoken leaders Ken Lukyamuzi, Geoffrey Ekanya and Kabakumba Matsiko, the President said each region had a sufficient stock of strong politicians. "Kings becoming politicians? This would be over-supply."

The President said politicians have enough work to pre-occupy them, such as building roads and fighting corruption, and do not need to get involved in cultural affairs.

Museveni seemed to be preaching to the converted. The traditional leaders, under the chairmanship of the Omukama (king) of Bunyoro, Solomon Solomon Iguru, in a memorandum pledged to distance themselves from politics.

"We call upon the Government to put in place measures to stop the interference of politicians with the affairs of cultural institutions and also to stop cultural leaders meddling in partisan politics or being used as platforms for disgruntled politicians," said the memorandum.

The kings and chiefs under the Forum for Kings and Cultural Leaders pledged loyalty to the sovereign state of Uganda and work as peers.

They asked the Government to increase payment to the traditional leaders, fund their activities, give them budgetary allocations and grant them royalties to natural resources, including oil.


They also asked the Government to implement the regional tier and correct the past historical injustices. "We in particular support the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara to secure justice, including rights to land denied to his subjects in Kibale," the memo said.

The kings also navigated the sticky issue of the restoration and coronation of Prince John Barigye as the king of Ankole.

"We request the Government to reconsider recognition of the Omugabe of Ankole. The kingdom of Ankole having existed for over 600 years is a wealth of cultural assets that we cannot afford to see going to waste and neglect as it is currently happening."

The leaders condemned ritual killings, rampant corruption and high power tariffs. In response, Museveni said he would ask the NRM Caucus to amend the law so that murderers, rapists, defilers and people charged with corruption can only be given bail after 180 days.

"Then the fight against corruption will be easy. Now it's like a game. A person is charged and he applies for bail and he is released."

He promised institutions that missed out on money for bonna bagaggawale that they would be catered for in the next budget, and that support to cultural leaders would increase on a monthly basis. On the Ankole king, Museveni said the traditional institutions were restored only in areas where people cherished them. He said none of the six districts of Ankole made a resolution demanding for Obugabe.

Asked to introduce himself, Banyala head Baker Kimeze caused unease when he thanked Museveni for the way he handled the Kayunga issue.

"Allow me to thank you for the true spirit of statesmanship you exhibited while handling the issue of Kayunga. My people are grateful for the protection given to them when Mengo organised thugs to loot and possibly erase the Banyala," Kimeze said.

Earlier, Bunyoro prime minister Kiiza told the president that all cultural institutions had sent representatives apart from the "notable absence" of the one "who cannot come where the Ssabanyala and Sabaruli are".

Apart from the king of Bunyoro, present were also the kings of Bunyala, Buruli, Jopadhola and Bamasaba, and the Rwot of Lango. The other cultural leaders had sent representatives.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

UK DFID Uganda: New contract opportunity in Uganda

From the website of UK Department for International Development (DFID)
Framework Arrangement for Governance Advisory Consultancy Services, DFID Uganda

The UK Department for International Development (DFID), as the chair of the development partner Accountability Working Group (AWG) is looking to establish a Framework Arrangement with consultancy firms/individuals to provide efficient and effective governance advisory consultancy services.
LAST UPDATED: 17 NOV 2009

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ICC Trust Fund for Victims: Elisabeth Rehn elected to the Board of Directors

From the Finnish Government's Ministry for Foreign Affairs
November 18, 2009 14.24
Elisabeth Rehn elected to the Board of Directors of the ICC Trust Fund for Victims
Elisabeth Rehn has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims within the International Criminal Court. The Board members were elected at the session of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court on 18 November in the Hague.

States Parties have been grouped into geographical areas, each of which has a representative on the Board of the Trust Fund for Victims. Elisabeth Rehn represents the group of Western European countries and Australia, Canada and New Zealand. A distinguished and internationally recognised human rights expert, she has previously served as a Member of the Finnish Parliament, Minister of Defence, Minister of Equality Affairs, a Member of the European Parliament, as UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, and as Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the former Yugoslavia. In recent years, she has dedicated herself to international tasks. In particular, the impact of war on women and their role in peace building have figured prominently on Rehn’s agenda.

Besides Elisabeth Rehn, the following persons were elected to the five-seat Board of Directors: Betty Kaari Murungi, human rights lawyer from Kenya; Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, former President of Latvia; Eduardo Pizarro Leongómez, President of the National Reparation and Reconciliation Commission o Colombia; and Ambassador Bulgaa Altangerel of Mongolia. The Board’s principal task is to guide the Trust Fund’s activities and allocation of resources and to coordinate and oversee assistance projects. The Board reports to the Assembly of States Parties. The new Board will start its three-year term on 1 December 2009.

The Trust Fund for Victims was established in 2002. Its objective is to assist victims of crime and their families in cases being processed by the International Criminal Court. The crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC are genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Trust Fund and its mandate are unique when compared against other international tribunals.

The special target groups of the Trust Fund’s assistance efforts are victims of sexual violence, former child soldiers and abducted children, the families of murder victims and victims of other brutal crimes, and victimised villages. The Fund’s assets are mainly used for the physical and psychological rehabilitation of victims and for material support. The Fund may also pay victims damages or other reparations by virtue of a decision given by the ICC during a trial. Initiatives for assistance projects come directly from target areas approved by the ICC. At present, a total of 29 projects are under way in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Uganda. The intention is to expand the scope of activities to the Central African Republic and to Sudan/Darfur.

The bulk of the funds used for assistance come as voluntary donations from states. Donations can also be made, for instance, by corporations, private individuals and organisations. The Court may also order that fines or other assets obtained be transferred to the Trust Fund. Finland has consistently supported the Trust Fund’s activities. In terms of the total contribution, Finland is one of the Fund’s biggest donors.

Additional information: Legislative Counsellor Sari Mäkelä, Unit for Public International Law, mobile tel. +358 40 739 2853, First Secretary Miia Aro-Sanchez, Embassy of Finland in the Hague, tel. +31 70 3110143
Crossposted on Sudan Watch and Congo Watch.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Moments before dying, LRA leader's mother said: "Tell Joseph Kony to make peace"

Commentary by Peter Eichstaedt from his blog post - The good, the bad, the ugly - Saturday, November 14, 2009. Excerpts:
This past week, Norah Anek, the 86-year-old mother of Joseph Kony, the leader of the militia-cult Lord's Resistance Army, passed away. She was buried not far from where she gave birth to Kony in the town of Adek, about an hour's drive southeast of Gulu in northern Uganda.

According to the nurse who was present at her death, "Moments before dying she said, 'Tell Joseph Kony to make peace,'"

She earlier had said that Kony's problem, the thing that drives him, was that he is possesed by evil spirits.

One can only hope that she was able to find some peace, having been saddled with the unenviable fame of having given birth to perhaps one the world's most notorious and deadly cult leaders.

Norah Anek's explanation for her son's behavior, possession by spirits, contains a nugget of wisdom that apparently cannot be grasped by those who continue to think and advocate appeasement as a way to deal with Kony and his vicious militia.

The latest of these statements surfaced on November 6, titled, "Elements of a New Strategy to Disarm the LRA," written by François Grignon, Africa Program Director of the International Crisis Group.

[...]

As I wrote in First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army, I was in Nabanga, South Sudan, in July 2006 when the first convoy of supplies was delivered to Kony and his LRA.

The gesture had doubtful merit even back then. Feed Kony as long as he stayed at the peace talks? It worked for a while, but it wasn't long before Kony and the LRA were back to killing, looting and abducting, even as food supplies were being delivered.

This aiding and abetting of an indicted war criminal, which was illegal, reached a depressing height in the spring of 2008 when Kony rounded up some 500 abductees from the Central African Republic, the DR Congo, and South Sudan. Yet, it continued.

It was done while Kony's opportunistic cheerleader, David Matsanga, proclaimed that Kony was going to sign the negotiated peace deal, which he did not, in April or May, and then again at the end of November.

The UN, meanwhile, was actively attempting to keep it all quiet because they were afraid that Kony would abandon the peace talks because of the logical outrage that would be generated. This was immoral.

The December 14 attack on Kony's camps in Garamba National Park failed, we all know.

It is clear that the LRA's capacity to intercept information about the pending attack, flee from it, and then go on an extended killing rampage had been enabled by the international community's "feed the lion" approach.

[...]

Kony, afterall, is an Africa problem, not one that needs to be dealt with by either the US or any European countries. Where are the leaders of the DR Congo and South Sudan? Why should the US have to call them up and hand them a pot of money so they will do their jobs?

Where are the African leaders who are so quick to condemn western nations who dole out aid with strings attached, such as insuring that aid money is spend for the purpose it was intended. Why do they shrink into the shadows when there is work to be done?

The citizens of the DRC and South Sudan are dying at the hands of the LRA. Why does the US or EU need to bribe these leaders into action?

[...] 

Forget more peace talks. Kony has more than humiliated the international community already with his lies, with his looting and killing.

Kony's mother had it right when she said her son was possessed. She knew, unlike some people, that we're not dealing with a rational person. Kony needs to be treated like the psychopathic killer that he is.

Maybe just once, finally, countries in the region (with EU and US support) can do the right thing: find and capture Kony, send him to The Hague, and end the madness.

See Grigin's posting at: http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=6381&l=1
--
Posted By Peter Eichstaedt to Peter Eichstaedt at 11/14/2009 07:41:00 AM

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NEW PUBLICATION: Peace and Security Council Report - November 2009

Here is a copy of an email received
From: Security Council Report
Subject: Peace & Security Council Report
12 November 2009

Readers of Security Council Report may be interested to know of the recent launch in Addis Ababa of a similar publication designed to provide monthly information about the work of the AU Peace and Security Council. It is called the "Peace and Security Council Report" (To access the November 2009 edition you can click here).

Peace and Security Council Report is produced and published by the Addis Ababa office of the Institute for Security Studies of South Africa. Security Council Report has assisted ISS with the development of this concept and it is pleased that ISS has taken SCR's Monthly Forecast as a model. We are pleased to have been able to help.

You are able to subscribe to regularly receive the Peace and Securty Council Report by clicking here.

Further details may be obtained from the programme directly at:
Peace and Security Council Report Programme
Institute for Security Studies
PO Box 2329
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251-11-372-11-54
Fax: +251-11-372-59-54

_______________________________________________

Security Council Report
One Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza
885 Second Avenue at 48th Street, 31st Floor
New York NY 10017

Tel: 212.759.9429 • Fax: 212.759.4038

contact@securitycouncilreport.org
www.securitycouncilreport.org
Cross-posted to Ethiopia Watch and Congo Watch and Sudan Watch and Here is a copy of an email received
From: Security Council Report
Subject: Peace & Security Council Report
12 November 2009

Readers of Security Council Report may be interested to know of the recent launch in Addis Ababa of a similar publication designed to provide monthly information about the work of the AU Peace and Security Council. It is called the "Peace and Security Council Report" (To access the November 2009 edition you can click here).

Peace and Security Council Report is produced and published by the Addis Ababa office of the Institute for Security Studies of South Africa. Security Council Report has assisted ISS with the development of this concept and it is pleased that ISS has taken SCR's Monthly Forecast as a model. We are pleased to have been able to help.

You are able to subscribe to regularly receive the Peace and Securty Council Report by clicking here.

Further details may be obtained from the programme directly at:
Peace and Security Council Report Programme
Institute for Security Studies
PO Box 2329
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251-11-372-11-54
Fax: +251-11-372-59-54

_______________________________________________

Security Council Report
One Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza
885 Second Avenue at 48th Street, 31st Floor
New York NY 10017

Tel: 212.759.9429 • Fax: 212.759.4038

contact@securitycouncilreport.org
www.securitycouncilreport.org
Cross-posted to Ethiopia Watch and Congo Watch and Sudan Watch and Kenya Watch.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

IMPORTANT NEWS: Some Sudanese living abroad may vote in elections - Ten arrested for impersonating registration officials in Rumbek, Southern Sudan

Report by Sudan Radio Service, Thursday, November 12, 2009:
Some Sudanese Living Abroad May Vote in Elections
(Nairobi) - Sudanese living in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Malaysia will now be able to register for the elections scheduled for 2010.

The National Election Commission had earlier exempted some countries from participating in the voter registration exercise which started on November 1.

The Sudanese Ambassador to Kenya, Majok Guandong, told Sudan Radio Service in Nairobi on Thursday that he had received a circular from the NEC instructing him to start the voter registration. exercise in Kenya.

[Majok Guandong]: “Yes it is true, the news came yesterday morning (Wednesday) that the NEC has allowed us to establish voter registration centers in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Malaysia. So since yesterday we have been informing the Sudanese who are residing here, starting from tomorrow (Friday). The registration process will start at the Embassy and the GOSS liaison office. This is good news, because it is a constitutional right for the Sudanese to vote in the elections.”

Majok Guandong said that the registration period will be extended to compensate for the late start. He emphasized that the exercise will take 30 days, as required by NEC.

[Guandong]: “If we start tomorrow (Friday), we will be counting the days we have missed since the official start day, because it should be 30 days as scheduled. Secondly, all the documents are available at the Sudanese Embassy, and all Sudanese have the right. Since 1997, more than 5000 Sudanese have managed to get official documents, the passport, identity cards etc. The process is still on. So they have the right, if they need any official documents, there is no problem at all.”

Earlier, the deputy chairman of the NEC, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, told Sudan Radio Service that NEC was only concentrating on the countries with large Sudanese populations.

The countrywide voter registration exercise is scheduled to finish at the end of November.
- - -

Report by Sudan Radio Service, Thursday, November 12, 2009:
Ten Arrested for Impersonating Registration Officials in Rumbek
(Rumbek) - Ten people posing as registration officers have been arrested in Rumbek, Lakes state.

The 10 are under police custody as investigations are going on. They are being held for registering voters, collecting people’s identification and convincing people not to register at the official registration centers set up by the state High Elections Commission.

Our correspondent in Rumbek, Mageng Wade, sent this report.

[Mageng Wade]: “These people said that they were being sent and given money by the NCP to come and register people locally in order to prevent them from registering for the elections next year. So that is the agenda behind the registration of people in their houses.”

Rumbek Central county commissioner Abraham Akol Bol also spoke to Sudan Radio Service.

[Abraham Akol] “They have been arrested by the police and they are now under police investigation and we have not yet received information from the police whether this group belongs to a political party. They were trying to register people and were telling them not to go to the registration centers because they had already been registered. They also took ID cards from the citizens, those who tried to register but the culprits were found by police and they are now under investigation.”

The deputy governor of Lakes state, David Ngok, said that the people are trying to sabotage both the voter registration exercise and the elections.

[David Ngok]: “If there are some people who are trying to sabotage the voter registration process then they are also sabotaging the elections. We will not tolerate this as the government because this is government policy and it’s part of the CPA and the constitution so we will not allow them to do it.”

The deputy governor of Lakes state, David Ngok, spoke to Sudan Radio Service on Thursday
Click on 'Election' label (here below at Sudan Watch) to read news report Nov. 10, 2009, entitled "SSDF to sue NEC for denying Sudanese in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia a chance to register as voters in the general elections"

Cross-posted to Sudan Watch and Kenya Watch and Ethiopia Watch and Egypt Watch and Congo Watch.
- - -

UPDATE: From Sudan Tribune by Ngor Arol Garang, Friday, Nov. 13, 2009:
National election board accepts additional countries for Sudanese Diasporas
November 12, 2009 (MALAKAL) — The National Election Commission (NEC) of Sudan today confirmed acceptance of additional countries to the previous list for registration and voting to enable Sudanese abroad to participate in the upcoming elections next year.

Following the publication of a list of countries comprised mostly the Golf countries where the members of the Sudanese Diaspora are from northern Sudan, the SPLM asked to take in consideration African countries where Southerners reside massively.

The initial list includes Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Sultanate of Oman, Bahrain, the UK, Belgium (for all Western Europe) and Washington, New York, Los Angles for the USA.

"We have allocated more registration and voting centers in Africa and Asia, said Abel Alier, NEC chairman at Malakal airport as he was en route to Khartoum after inspecting southern states voter registration centers.

Countries newly agreed upon for inclusion by the two parties in Africa includes Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa as well as and Malaysia, he said adding discussions are underway to add other neighboring countries.

Therefore, as commission, "we request Sudanese people residing in those countries to immediately establish contacts with the Sudanese embassies and other designated offices for registration," he emphasized.

Asked why being selective with countries hosting number of Sudanese people abroad to participate in the ongoing voter registration, he said, national election commission gets approval of countries to be included in the registration process from the presidency.

"The Presidency is the highest authority which decides on issues pertaining to country affairs such as voter registration," he commented expressing wishes all Sudanese people abroad open registration centers.

However, he was quick to say the Commission tries its best to ensure inclusion of more centers so that every Sudanese participates in the upcoming elections.

He said constitution allows participation of legally registered citizens to elect their leaders in the upcoming April 2010 elections.

"If you are not registered, it will be hard to vote for the person one sees as leader," he said adding voter registration remains opened to the last day of November 2009.

Alier also requested local authorities to give logistical supports to voter registration teams. He also acknowledged assistance being rendered by United Nation Mission in Sudan in transportation of voter registration materials and teams in where government supports is required.

"UNMIS is greatly supporting registration process in water zones and areas without good roads mostly in the southern part of the country and transitional areas," he stressed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

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Joe Trippi, one of America's greatest bloggers, has launched Eleven Eleven Campaign. The objective of the Eleven Eleven Campaign is simple: to get 11 million Americans to donate $11 to support America’s Veterans. Here is a copy of Joe's latest tweet on Twitter:
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SSDF to sue NEC for denying Sudanese in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia a chance to register as voters in the general elections

From Sudan Radio Service, Tuesday, 10 November 2009:
SSDF to Sue NEC over Foreign Voters
(Khartoum) - The South Sudan Democratic Front Party says it will mobilize other political parties in southern Sudan to sue the National Elections Commission for denying Sudanese in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia a chance to register as voters in the general elections.

In an interview with Sudan Radio Service in Khartoum on Monday, the Chairman of SSDF Party, David de Chand, said it is against the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the National Elections Act to deny Sudanese living abroad a chance to exercise their rights to vote.

[David de Chand]: “Nowhere it is mentioned in the CPA that those in Nairobi, Kenya or Uganda and Ethiopia should not be allowed to vote. I think the right to vote is a democratic right guaranteed to every citizen by the constitution and it is an unalienable right to all people. We the political party leaders would also go to the NEC to challenge such a statement and they will have to prove to us beyond reasonable doubt. If not, we can file a case before the Constitutional Court to challenge such a statement. Why should southern Sudanese refugees in Kenya, Uganda and in Ethiopia be denied their legitimate right to be registered?”

De Chand said that if the National Elections Commission fears that non-Sudanese may register to vote as southern Sudanese, it should allow the United Nations to undertake the exercise abroad.

He urged southern Sudanese to register to vote in the elections next year because it is a step towards the possibility of self-determination offered by the 2011 referendum.
Cross-posted to Sudan Watch and Kenya Watch and Ethiopia Watch

Friday, November 06, 2009

Leading LRA rebel commander Charles Arop surrenders to Ugandan army?

Report from Sudan Tribune by Richard Ruati Friday 6 November 2009:
Leading LRA rebel commander surrenders to Ugandan army
November 5, 2009 (KAMPALA) — Lt Col Charles Arop, a leading Ugandan LRA rebels (the Army of the Lord’s Resistance), has decided to surrender himself to the Ugandan army. Arop is responsible for a bloodbath perpetrated on Christmas Day last year in Faradje in the DRC during which at least 143 people have died.

He was left with only one rebel fighter, so he had little choice," a spokesman of the UPDF, LT Col Felix Kulayigye has said on Thursday. The Army spokesperson spoke to Sudan Tribune via telephone hookup from Kampala. Not a long time ago, Arop commanded an army of 100 rebel fighters, most of them having been decimated after actions from the UPDF.

Kulayigye revealed that “the surrender of Arop took place near Faradje, adding that his surrender is very significant given the fact he was Commander within Kony units, however this has degenerated and declined the commanding chain of LRA.”

He added that, “the surrender of Arop is fortunately making the arrest of Kony the next target of UPDF.”

Asked whether how many Kony fighters are still in the jungles, he said at moment the Ugandan Army doesn’t know, however Kony is believed to be in isolation in Central Africa Republic.”

Lt Col Felix dismissed future peace negotiations with LRA, saying that, “the only options left for Kony are to capture or kill him, except if Kony signs the negotiated agreement.

He dismissed the media reports that, “the Operation Light Thunder is a failure,” he tabled the rescue of 450 abductees and the capture of 20 LRA officers as a success, he also said there are no LRA rebels in DR Congo anymore.

Speaking to local journalist of Yambio FM in Western Equatoria, Lt Col Charles Arop said that, he was arrested in 1994 from Northern Uganda; he has been the immediate operation commander of Joseph Kony.

Arop appealed to his former LRA colleagues those still close to Joseph Kony to put down their guns and come out of the jungles, he directed his appeal mainly to his former closed commanders like Dominic Okello and Smart, that by the mercy of God they should come back home “the children of Acholi have finished in the bush.”

He advised the remaining LRA soldiers in the bush not to fear to hand themselves in to the UPDF.

He further appealed to Joseph Kony himself to come out open, as the war has claimed the lives of innocent civilians and displaced many others.

The Ugandan Army spokesperson said that, Arop may decide to remain as civilian or politician, however if at all he committed any crime against humanity, legal actions shall be taken against him by a competent law institution.

He also revealed that, since the Light Thunder Operations started last December only 12 Ugandans armies have lost their lives. The Ugandan army hunts down LRA fighters in the DRC, Central African Republic and Southern Sudan. Since the attacks of the army on the LRA at the end of last year, this movement has dispersed in small units.
Cross-posted to Congo Watch and Sudan Watch

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FOCA: China, Africa hold summit to reinforce bilateral trade

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao can expect a warm welcome from Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak and finance and foreign ministers from 50 countries when the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCA) starts in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh on Sunday.

Ever-eager for raw materials and markets to sell its products, China has said the new meeting will lay down a “road map” to further boost cooperation between 2010 and 2012.

Direct Chinese investment in Africa leapt from $491 million in 2003 to $7.8 billion in 2008. Trade between the two has increased tenfold since the start of the decade.

Last year, China-Africa trade reached $106.8 billion - a rise of 45 percent in one year and on a par with with the United States, which estimated its two-way trade with sub-Saharan Africa at $104 billion for 2008.

Chinese imports from Africa last year were worth $56 billion, dominated by oil ($39 billion) and raw materials.

Its $56 billion of exports in 2008 consisted mainly of machinery, electrical goods, cars, motorbikes and bicycles.

FOCAC is held every three years and this will be the fourth since it started in 2000.

Source: AFP report via Saudi GazetteFriday 06 November 2009. Copy:
China, Africa hold summit to reinforce bilateral trade
CAIRO - Leaders from China and Africa start a three day summit on Sunday that will again throw the spotlight on Beijing’s strategic sweep for energy, minerals and political influence in the continent.

China has over the past decade paid for dams, power stations, football stadiums across Africa and scooped up copper, oil and other fuel for its breakneck economic expansion from Algeria to Zimbabwe.

It has invested billions of dollars while raising eyebrows in the United States and its allies by pursuing the hunt for oil and other resources in Sudan, Somalia and other nations that the West has shunned.

Many African leaders praise China however for not preaching about rights and corruption. So despite neo-colonialist qualms, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao can expect a warm welcome from Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak and finance and foreign ministers from 50 countries when the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation starts in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh on Sunday.

FOCAC is held every three years and this will be the fourth since it started in 2000.

Ever-eager for raw materials and markets to sell its products, China has said the new meeting will lay down a “road map” to further boost cooperation between 2010 and 2012.

Direct Chinese investment in Africa leapt from $491 million in 2003 to $7.8 billion in 2008. Trade between the two has increased tenfold since the start of the decade.

Last year, China-Africa trade reached $106.8 billion - a rise of 45 percent in one year and on a par with with the United States, which estimated its two-way trade with sub-Saharan Africa at $104 billion for 2008.

Chinese imports from Africa last year were worth $56 billion, dominated by oil ($39 billion) and raw materials.

Its $56 billion of exports in 2008 consisted mainly of machinery, electrical goods, cars, motorbikes and bicycles.

Some in the West have accuse China of worsening repression and human rights abuses in Africa by supporting countries such as Sudan and Zimbabwe.

US intelligence director Dennis Blair told a Congress committee in March that US agencies are keeping close tabs on China’s expanding influence in Africa, especially in oil-producing countries like Nigeria.
Cross-posted to:
China Tibet Watch
Congo Watch
Egypt Watch
Ethiopia Watch
Kenya Watch
Niger Watch
Sudan Watch
Africa Oil Watch

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AGI: Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative

AGI:  Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative

From The Office of Tony Blair
November 05, 2009
Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative to create development through good governance becomes charity
The Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative has become a registered UK charity after creating a unique 'hands-on' approach to development and poverty eradication over the past eighteen months.

The Charity Commission approved the application from this relatively new organisation, which is underpinned by the belief that good governance and sustainable development are key to poverty eradication in the long term.

Tony Blair, founder of the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI), said:

"I'm extremely proud of our excellent project teams who are working in partnership with the governments of Rwanda and Sierra Leone to reduce poverty and develop new opportunities for growth.

"It is a privilege to work with leaders as talented and as committed to their people as President Koroma and President Kagame who represent a new generation of leaders in Africa with a commitment to building a new future for their people.

"The developed world needs to keep up its commitment to Africa expressed at the 2005 G8 Summit in Gleneagles. But lasting change in Africa will only come in the end from African solutions. By building the capacity to create sustainable long-term development through good governance and providing high level advice, we have already started to help deliver that change.

"And it won't stop here. Whilst developing our work in Sierra Leone and Rwanda, we want to launch new projects with other countries, sharing our knowledge, experience and expertise. We want more countries to develop sustainably, paving the way to a prosperous future.

"This work has reinforced my optimism about Africa's future, as well as my conviction that governance and growth are the key ingredients to effectively reduce poverty across the continent."

Commenting on Tony Blair and the work of the Africa Governance Initiative, Ernest Koroma, President of Sierra Leone, said:

"Mr. Blair has demonstrated an enduring commitment to Sierra Leone and its people. The work comes at a critical stage in Sierra Leone's development. I believe together we have an opportunity to ensure that Sierra Leone puts in place the policies, people and institutions to achieve real and lasting change."

Commenting on the work of AGI, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda said:

"What I would like people to know is that the type of partnership we have with Tony Blair is totally different from the type of consultancy people are used to. We work in very strong partnerships whereby not only gaps are filled where they exist, but there's also the notion of transfer of skills, mentoring, actually doing things that are measurable such that over a period of time, we will be able to know what kind of impact was made."
Cross-posted to:
China Tibet Watch
Congo Watch
Egypt Watch
Ethiopia Watch
Kenya Watch
Niger Watch
Sudan Watch
Africa Oil Watch

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Al-Shabab: Somali group with Al-Qaeda ties threatens Israel, Ethiopia, Ghana, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya

A militant Islamic group associated with al Qaeda has threatened to attack Israel, far from its normal base of operations in Somalia. CNN writes that Al-Shabab, which is fighting to control the east African country, accused Israel of “starting to destroy” the Al Aqsa mosque, where standoffs have recently been taking place between Israeli police and Palestinians.

The mosque is part of the complex that Jews called the Temple Mount and Muslims call Haram al-Sharif. The group also threatened other African nations on Friday, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya.

Source: Afrik.com Monday 2 November 2009 - Somalia: Somali group with Al-Qaeda ties threatens Israel, Ethiopia, Ghana, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya

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Uganda tightens security following Al-Shabab threat

Ugandan forces say they are keeping a close eye on the Somali community in Kampala, following threats by Somalia's al-Shabab militants to attack the Ugandan capital. A nationwide registration drive has begun in Uganda, aimed at keeping track of Somali refugees and new arrivals.

Full report from Voice of America
By Alisha Ryu (Nairobi) 27 October 2009
Uganda Tightens Security Following Al-Shabab Threat
Abu Mansur al-Amriki

This still image provided by SITE, an organization which monitors Islamist websites, from a video entitled 'At Your Service Osama' released 20 Sep 2009, shows Abu Mansur al-Amriki (R) teaching mujahedeen small unit tactics

The Ugandan government has reportedly deployed elite security forces, including the country's paramilitary anti-terrorism unit, in and around the suburb of Kisenyi, home for many Somalis living in Kampala.

Uganda's Foreign Affairs Minister Okello Oryem says the government's military intelligence service agents are also on the lookout for suspects and guarding potential targets throughout the capital.

"Amongst the communities, they might be able to live and mix in," he said. "So, our intelligence services are working around the clock to determine whether the threats are real, practical in Uganda."

The heightened security is in response to threats made on Friday by al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-linked insurgent group that is fighting to overthrow Somalia's U.N.-backed government in Mogadishu.

Troops from Uganda and Burundi make up the roughly 5,000-member peacekeeping force in Somalia known as AMISOM.  The troops are responsible for protecting the government and key sites in Mogadishu from insurgent attacks. Al-Shabab vowed to destroy the capitals of Uganda and Burundi in revenge for more than two dozen civilian deaths last week, allegedly caused by AMISOM troops indiscriminately targeting insurgents in Mogadishu.

Somali leaders and clan elders in Kampala say they are taking al-Shabab's threat seriously and they have volunteered to help authorities identify people who may pose a security threat.

A senior Somali community leader, Abdullahi Hassan Roble, tells VOA that many people in his community of about 8,000 are deeply concerned that an al-Shabab attack on Ugandan soil will bring years of unwanted attention and harassment.

"We do not want this problem to happen here in Uganda," he explained. "We are very worried about it. So, we support the government and work with the government. [If] we see those people, we [will] report them."

With the help of Ugandan security agencies, community leaders have begun registering all Somali visitors and refugees in Kampala and elsewhere. Identity cards are also being issued, and Roble warns those moving about the country without identity cards may be arrested and detained.

Al-Shabab has already issued several threats against Uganda's neighbor, Kenya. The latest was issued earlier this month amid reports that the Kenyan government was recruiting soldiers to fight on the side of the Somali government.

Al-Shabab, which began about six years ago as a homegrown radical Islamist movement, has been growing in power and influence in recent years. The group has claimed responsibility for carrying out numerous car and roadside bombings, as well as assassinations throughout Somalia.

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