Saturday, January 29, 2011


Peaceful Demonstrations To Take Place In Sudan 30 January 2011

A Call To Action For Peaceful Demonstrations In Sudan

Source: peaceful-demonstrations-to-take-place-in-sudan-30-january-2011

30 JANUARY 2011

Contact: Adil Abdel Aati, Liberal Democratic Party, abdelaati@gmail.com, +48 888524519


A group of young Sudanese activists proclaim January 30, 2011 to be the beginning of peaceful demonstrations to bring down the military regime in Sudan. This campaign is calling on all sectors of Sudanese to get out January 30th and demonstrate in the streets of Sudan's most populated cities. The largest assembly and demonstration will take place on Palace Street, which is located a few meters from the presidential palace of Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir. The invitation for the demonstration excludes the leaders omef the traditional opposition parties who are not willing to confront the Islamic military regime, which has been ruling Sudan since 1989.

The call for this action came one day after the leader of the Umma Party, Mr. Alsadiq Al-mahdi, announced that he would continue peaceful dialogue with the current government. His speech is widely regarded by most young Sudanese, including members of the Umma party, as disappointing and lacking insight into the systematic destruction of the country by Al-Bashir`s government. His political views show that he continues to disengage himself from the issues vital to Sudanese activists. This call for demonstrations coincides with the 116th anniversary of the liberation of Khartoum by Imam Mohammed Ahmed al-Mahdi on January 26, 1885, great grandfather of Mr. Alsadiq Al-Mahdi. Their intent is to peacefully express anger at the decades of corruption, violence, and human right violations, which led to the separation of the South and which could lead to the potential separation of the West.

It is no secret that the young people who have called for the demonstration have seen what has happened in Tunisia and Egypt, where young generations have loudly spoken against unemployment and political marginalization.

We would like to be clear that this is a call for removal of this government.

In a statement, on its Facebook page, the Liberal Democratic Party, represented by Mr. Adel Abd Atti and Ms. Noor Tour, invite all members to participate in the demonstration, planned for January 30th.

It is time to change the face of Sudan and to end decades of injustice, marginalization, and corruption.



ANALYSIS-Darfur: Africa's latest neglected conflict

Fri Jan 28, 2011
Source: reuters

* U.S., UN focus on south Sudan's independence

* Fighting between Darfur rebels, government escalates

* US envoy says UNAMID has been too timid in Darfur

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 28 (Reuters) - An eight-year struggle in Sudan's barren, remote western Darfur region has joined the ranks of Africa's neglected conflicts as the world shifts its attention to southern Sudan's independence drive.

Confirmation appeared to come last Tuesday, when U.S. President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address. He mentioned oil-rich south Sudan and its recent referendum on whether to secede from the Khartoum-led north and establish an independent state -- but not a word about Darfur.

U.S. officials officials deny that they are neglecting Darfur, where the United Nations believes that as many as 300,000 people died after mostly non-Arab rebels rose up against Khartoum in 2003, sparking a brutal counterinsurgency campaign by Sudan's army and Arab 'Janjaweed' militia.

But analysts and Darfur activists say the U.S. special envoy on Sudan, retired Air Force General Scott Gration, has largely ignored Darfur, where fighting between government and rebel forces has been escalating for months, while courting Khartoum with offers of incentives to let south Sudan secede.

This has not always been the case. For years Darfur got all the attention while the north-south conflict was ignored.

In 2004, the United States became the first to speak of "genocide" in Darfur, which became one of the most fashionable causes in Hollywood, pressuring Washington to get the U.N. Security Council in 2007 to approve a peacekeeping mission.

While actors like George Clooney and Mia Farrow have lobbied consistently for years for the United States and United Nations to get tougher on Khartoum over Darfur, most members of the Obama administration have said little about western Sudan over the last year as their interests shifted to the south.

Making matters worse, U.N. diplomats have complained privately for months that the U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID, has been far too timid, allowing Khartoum to bully it into submission and complacency.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, long one of Obama's closest foreign policy advisers, has pushed the administration to toughen its stance on Khartoum over Darfur, U.N. diplomats and U.S. officials told Reuters. But they said Gration's calls for "soft diplomacy" in Sudan won out.

Earlier this week, Rice went public with her misgivings about UNAMID's approach in Darfur, where government forces have been denying international peacekeepers and aid workers access to the camps where millions of displaced Darfuris face armed attacks, robbery, starvation, rape and disease.

"We expect UNAMID ... to be very active and, when necessary, aggressive in fulfilling its mandate to protect civilians," Rice said, adding that Washington has been "frustrated and dismayed by repeated instances of UNAMID being denied access and its freedom of movement restricted."


Rice said UNAMID must stop asking permission for access to refugee camps from Khartoum, which has tried to limit the force's freedom of movement since it began deploying in 2007.

UNAMID's mandate gives it the right to unfettered access across Darfur. The civilian head of UNAMID, Nigerian diplomat Ibrahim Gambari, said he ordered his top military and police officers this month to stop creating the impression of seeking Khartoum's permission for access to refugee camps.

But he virtually confirmed Rice's complaints when he told U.N. Security Council members that UNAMID had backed down when the army stopped it from entering a Darfur camp on Jan. 22.

"This issue has been raised with the government authorities and we are awaiting their response," Gambari said.

John Prendergast, a former U.S. State Department official and co-founder of the Enough Project, an anti-genocide group, said the world's approach to Darfur needs a complete overhaul.

"The entire policy construct on Darfur has to be wrecked and rebuilt," he told Reuters. "The peace process has failed, and out of the ashes a new approach needs to be forged, one in which the U.S. is much more directly involved."

John Bradshaw, head of the Enough Project, said he hoped the recent appointment of Dane Smith as senior U.S. adviser for Darfur was "a positive sign" of a much-needed policy change.

Analysts and diplomats say tougher sanctions on Khartoum might help, though China would likely veto any attempt to get the U.N. Security Council to take new steps against Sudan.

Violence in Darfur is down from the mass killings seen earlier in the conflict but has risen over the last year after rebels walked out of floundering peace talks in Doha. One rebel force that had signed a deal with Khartoum resumed fighting.

"The world should stop looking only to the south while the conflict in Darfur is reigniting," said Philippe Bolopion of Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group based in New York. He also echoed Rice's criticisms of UNAMID and Gambari.

After Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir surprised U.S. and U.N. officials by peacefully accepting that south Sudan will likely secede, U.N. diplomats expressed the hope that Khartoum would opt for a negotiated peace in Darfur.

But Bashir, who is wanted for genocide and other crimes in Darfur by the International Criminal Court, appears determined to crush the Darfur insurgency with force, the diplomats said.

Bashir's change of heart on south Sudan came after Gration held out the prospects of normalizing U.S. ties with Khartoum, U.S. officials say. Foreign Minister Ali Karti seemed eager to collect Khartoum's prize while in Washington this week.

"Normalization of relations should not be held hostage by Darfur," Karti told a think-tank audience in the U.S. capital. (Additional reporting by Andrew Heavens in Khartoum; editing by Jackie Frank)

Source: reuters

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