Tag: Khartoum

WFP races against time to send food aid to South Sudan

With the beginning of the rainy season and accompanying difficulties caused by unpaved roads, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is racing with time to deliver food aid via Sudanese humanitarian corridors to thousands of people affected by war and famine in South Sudan.

The WFP is using three humanitarian corridors opened by the Sudanese government to send food to the people of South Sudan facing the risk of famine.

“The rainy season constitutes the major challenge for us,” Lemma Bayissa, WFP director in Sudan’s North Kordofan State, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on Sunday.

“That is why we are speeding up, day and night. The rainy season comes with other issues such as road conditions, besides that trucks sometimes take more than their capacity and technical problems might be there in the area,” he noted.

“During this time the challenge is represented in fewer trucks, sometimes fewer commercials and less inaccessibility because of the rainy season to areas such as West Kordofan, South Kordofan and other target areas,” the director added.

He further explained that WFP resorts to “prepositioning process” before the rainy season begins to secure food supplies at the target areas.

“Before the rainy season we are sending the food to areas like South Kordofan, i.e we pump the food before the rainy season. We are doing the same thing in areas like South Kordofan, like Kharasan and Al Meram,” Bayissa said.

He reiterated that there was enough amount of food at the WFP warehouses in EL Obied, the capital city of North Kordofan State.

“Two days ago, we added 15, 600 metric tons of food. That means we have food in Kosti; we have food in Port-Sudan. Food is coming,” he said.

According to Bayissa, the WFP has so far steered 12 convoys through two Sudanese humanitarian corridors and carried more than 25,000 metric tons of food to the needy in South Sudan.

“For Bentiu corridor, we sent ten convoys, with the total cereals sent reaching 12,000 metric tons,” he said.

The UN official also expressed appreciation for the facilities provided by the Sudanese government, which contributed to WFP’s success in delivering food to thousands of the needy in South Sudan.

“We really appreciate what the Sudanese government is doing. There is a proper coordination. We have a joint technical committee established at Khartoum level, and a joint technical committee established at El Obied level for which every week, may be sometimes two times, a meeting is going on,” he noted.

He added that government security bodies would assist by escorting UN convoys to South Sudan.

Thanks to the memorandum of understanding signed between Sudan and South Sudan in 2014, the WFP has so far transported more than 57,420 tons of food through Sudan’s humanitarian corridors to the new-born country.

The WFP is also providing food aid to the South Sudanese refugees who live in Sudan after fleeing the violence and food insecurity in their country.

The UN agency is currently assisting over 250,000 South Sudanese refugees across Sudan, with the majority in the White Nile State.

In 2017, the WFP plans to assist 4.6 million people inside Sudan, including the displaced, refugees, people affected by climate change and host communities.

According to UN statistics, about 1.5 million South Sudanese have fled their country since mid-December 2013, when fighting broke out between supporters of President Salva Kiir Mayardit and defectors loyal to his former deputy Riek Machar.

Earlier, Khartoum opened three humanitarian corridors to deliver humanitarian aid to the citizens of South Sudan at a time when international efforts are increasing to lessen the famine in the new-born state.

The first land corridor extends from El Obied in North Kordofan to Heglig in South Kordofan, and then to Rubkona town in South Sudan’s Unity State and Bentiu in Bahr el Ghazal State which is the area most affected by famine.

The second corridor extends from Sudan’s White Nile State to the northeastern areas of South Sudan, while the third corridor links El Obeid in Sudan’s North Kordofan with Aweil town in South Sudan’s Bahr el Ghazal.

These humanitarian corridors help reduce reliance on air operations, which cost six to seven times in moving food by river and road.

In addition to the land corridors, Khartoum has also promised to open a river corridor linking Kosti town in central Sudan with South Sudanese ports.

At least 7.5 million people across South Sudan, almost two thirds of the total population, need humanitarian assistance, according to UN statistics.

South Sudan announced earlier that nearly five million people were at risk of famine which has already hit areas in Unity State and is threatening Bahr el Ghazal State.

The famine is attributed to many reasons including the civil war and collapse of the economy in the new-born state. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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Sudan’s inflation rate hits 35 percent due to hike of energy prices

Sudan’s inflation rate rose to 35.52 percent in May, compared to 34.81 percent in April, an official report said Monday.

The report by Sudan’s Central Bureau of Statistics attributed the inflation rise to the continued hike in the prices of food and energy following the removal of subsidies on these commodities in November last year.

In November last year, the Sudanese government announced an increase in the prices of fuel and electricity to control the inflation hike and stop the decline of the national currency.

The measures mainly aimed to optimize the budget of 2017, achieve a growth rate of around 5.5 percent in the Gross Domestic Product, reduce the inflation rates, reform the currency’s exchange rate and arrange a new foreign exchange market and reduce the imports bill by avoiding importation of unnecessary commodities.

However, such measures have not yet achieved any positive effect.

The Sudanese economy has been suffering from the secession of South Sudan in 2011, which caused the country to lose three quarters of its oil wealth. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudan’s al-Bashir to attend summit over peace efforts in S. Sudan

Sudanese Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that President Omar al-Bashir will attend the extraordinary summit of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Monday.

The summit, to be attended by IGAD heads of states or governments, is to try to tackle the security and humanitarian conditions in South Sudan and the barriers to the implementation of the peace deal signed in August 2015.

“President al-Bashir will take part in the IGAD summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa Monday,” Abul-Ghani Al-Naeem, the undersecretary of Sudan’s Foreign Ministry, said in a statement.

“The president’s participation in the summit comes as part of his personal concern with the situation in the Republic of South Sudan, and as part of his continued endeavors to stop the war and achieve peace and stability in the south,” he added.

According to the statement, Al-Naeem met with U.S. Charge d’Affairs in Khartoum Steven Koutsis on Monday to discuss the ongoing efforts to restore security, stability and peace in South Sudan as part of the IGAD’s extraordinary summit.

Both sides agreed to support the peace efforts to reach a cease-fire in South Sudan as well as the IGAD efforts to restore security and stability in the new-born country.

The IGAD, a eight-country trade bloc in Africa, was established in 1996 with its headquarters in Djibouti. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

10 UN peacekeepers injured in Sudan’s Darfur region

Ten peacekeepers of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) have been injured when their vehicle drove over an unexploded ordnance in Sudan’s West Darfur, according to the mission spokesman Wednesday.

“This incident took place Friday when a patrol of the mission was on its way back to the mission base in al-Tina town, where some 35 km from the base the vehicle exploded,” Ashraf Issa, UNAMID Spokesman, told Xinhua Wednesday.

“Primary information indicated that the vehicle drove over unexploded ordnance. Ten peacekeepers were injured, one of them was seriously injured,” he noted.

He said the injured peacekeepers were first moved to the mission base in Al-Tina and then transported to the mission hospital in El Fasher, the capital city of North Darfur State.

He said UNAMID has informed the official authorities, pointing out that an investigation is underway.

UNAMID was deployed in Darfur in 2008, with about 24,000 personnel, to keep peace in the region which has been suffering from a civil war since 2003.

Since its deployment, peacekeepers in the mission have experienced several attacks by unidentified groups, with more than 53 of them killed.

Since 2014, the Sudanese government has been demanding the exit of UNAMID from Darfur, citing improvement of security situations in the region, but its negotiations with the UN and AU are still underway. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

UN seeks to raise over US$800 million for refugees, displaced people in Sudan in 2017

The United Nations asked the international community on Wednesday to donate 804 million U.S. dollars in 2017 for the displaced people and South Sudanese refugees in Sudan.

The humanitarian community in Sudan launched on Wednesday the Multi-Year Humanitarian Strategy (MYHS) for 2017-2019 and the Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) 2017 to address humanitarian needs in Sudan, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Sudan (OCHA).

“In 2017, the total funding sought for humanitarian projects through HRP is 804 million dollars, to benefit some 4 million people,” OCHA said.

“Developed in close consultation with the government of Sudan, MYHS is the first of its kind in Sudan and recognizes that Sudan has both new and long-term humanitarian needs which require different types of interventions,” it noted.

It further said the strategy represents a commitment by the humanitarian community to better address the long-term needs and strive toward a sustainable reduction in needs, vulnerabilities and risk.

“While there has been limited new internal displacement in 2017, humanitarian needs in Sudan remain significant, with 4.8 million people in need of assistance, including 2.3 million internally displaced persons,” it said.

It added that millions of people are facing food insecurity, acute malnutrition and are in need of access to health, improved water and sanitation services.

The Sudanese government estimates that Sudan is hosting about 600,000 South Sudanese refugees fleeing the war and famine in their country. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Gold registered 37% of Sudan’s exports in 2016

Sudan’s Minerals Ministry on Sunday said gold registered 37 percent of the country’s exports with revenues amounting to 1.2 billion U.S Dollars.

“The minerals ministry will be the main way to pull out the Sudanese economy from its current crisis,” said Sudan’s new Minerals Minister Hashim Ali Salem Sunday.

He reiterated that he would complete what the former minister has started, saying “we will continue the projects which he (the former minister) has started and work to develop them.”

Former minister Ahmed Mohamed Sadiq Al-Karuri, for his part, said that “Minerals have become one of the most important sectors, and the concern of the World Bank with the sector in its current report early this week is evidence of such importance.”

The World Bank said in its most recent report that Sudan has ranked third in African regarding gold production after South Africa and Ghana respectively.

Sudan government is seeking to increase its gold production to reach 100 tons to rank second in Africa in terms of gold production and ninth at the world level. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

British pledges to peaceful settlement in Sudan

The British ambassador said here on Monday that his country would work with the international community to achieve comprehensive peace in Sudan.

“We are committed to work with the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP), led by Thabo Mbeki, the Troika, the U.S. and Qatar to achieve peace in Sudan, particularly Darfur,” British Ambassador in Khartoum Michael Aron told reporters after a meeting with leaders of the external relations committee in Sudan’s parliament.

The British diplomat commended the ongoing efforts to implement the national document of the Sudanese national dialogue conference which concluded in October last year. He said what concerns Britain is the way to combine the document of the national dialogue with the AU road map and find an encouraging climate to enhance peace in Sudan.

In March 2016, the Sudanese government unilaterally signed the AU road map related to the cease-fire in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur regions in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. Five months later, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)/northern sector, the Justice and Equality Movement and the opposition National Umma Party, led by Saddiq al-Mahdi, also signed the road map.

In October 2016, Sudan’s national dialogue conference approved the national document after a year of deliberations. The final document, covering principles of rule, public freedoms, identity, peace, unity, economy and external relations, will serve as the basis of the country’s permanent constitution.

In January 2014, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir declared an initiative calling on the opposition parties and the armed groups to join a national dialogue to end the country’s crises. However, major political parties and armed movements, including the Revolutionary Front Alliance which brings together the SPLM/northern sector and the major Darfur armed movements, refused to participate in the conference.

The Darfur armed groups and the SPLM/northern sector, citing decisions of the AU Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council, insisted that a preparatory conference should be held first to make all the Sudanese political forces agree on procedures to initiate an equitable dialogue, a demand that the Sudanese government rejected.

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudan receives bodies of 5 soldiers killed in Yemen

Sudan on Wednesday received bodies of its five army soldiers killed during battles in Yemen, where the Sudanese army is fighting within the forces of the Arab alliance.

The army’s Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Yahya Mohamed Khair was at the reception at an air base in Khartoum before the deceased were laid to rest at al-Sahafa cemetery south of the city, according to a Sudanese army statement.

The Sudanese army announced earlier Wednesday that five of its soldiers were killed and 22 others injured in battles in Yemen.

Sudan has been taking part in the operations of the Saudi-led Arab coalition against the Houthi Group in Yemen since March 26, 2015. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudan offers condolences to victims of Egyptian church bombings

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Tuesday offered condolences by phone to his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on victims of the church bombings in Egypt, official SUNA news agency reported.

He reiterated Sudan’s solidarity with and support for Egypt together with condemnation of such criminal acts which tend to undermine Egypt’s unity and stability.

Sudan’s foreign ministry has condemned on Sunday the terrorist bombings, which targeted two churches in Tanta and Alexandria.

The attacks left at least 45 people dead and 125 others injured. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudan imposes entry-visa on Egyptians seeking to enter its territories

Sudan has issued a decision obliging Egyptian citizens seeking to enter its territories to obtain entry-visas, namely the ones aged between 16 to 50 years old.

VISA
VISA
“The decision stipulates that Egyptian nationals aged between 16 and 50 years old must obtain entry-visas to Sudan. The decision excludes women, children and those above 50 years old,” Gen. Omer al-Mukhtar, Spokesman of Sudan Police, told Xinhua.

It is to be noted that the Egyptian authorities apply the same condition for entry of the Sudanese nationals to Egypt.

In 2004, Sudan and Egypt signed an agreement of the four freedoms, which avails the citizens of the two countries freedoms of work, movement, residence and ownership.

Khartoum said it has fully implemented the agreement since it was signed, while Cairo imposes entry-visa on Sudanese aged between 18 and 50 years old.

Recently Khartoum complained over an Egyptian decision increasing the stay fees on foreigners, including the Sudanese.

Khartoum’s decision imposing entry-visas on Egyptians came two days ahead of convocation of the joint political consultations committee between Sudan and Egypt at level of foreign ministers, scheduled for coming Sunday in Khartoum. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Intelligence chiefs in Africa confer over mercenary, foreign terrorists

Sudanese capital Khartoum on Monday hosted a regional workshop, organized by the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services in Africa (CISSA) to discuss the “Phenomenon of Mercenary, Foreign Terrorists Fighters and Negative NGOs and its Implications on Security and Stability in Africa.”

Africa map
Africa
Sudan’s Vice-President Hassabo Mohamed Abdul-Rahman, 27 representatives of CISSA countries as well as representatives of regional and international organizations, African Union Commission and African research and studies centers attended the opening session of the workshop. “Terrorism, negative non-governmental organizations, extremism and mercenary are issues that need to be strongly confronted as they have become standing and expected security threats in our countries and the world,” said the Sudanese vice-president when addressing the workshop. “The issue of mercenary, terrorism and negative NGOs came due to security tensions and need further cooperation among the security organs in the African countries, exchange of experiences and coordination with the security bodies in the CISSA Member States,” he noted. He further urged importance of uniting the efforts of the African continent to find solutions for the issue of mercenary and foreign fighters, saying “terrorists do not work for national issues, but they target civilians, prisoners of war and paramedics. They commit the various crimes for money together with crimes prohibited by international laws and conventions.” He accused the armed movements in Sudan’s Darfur region of being mercenaries who are fighting in other countries such as Libya and South Sudan.

Chief of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), Mohamed Atta al-Moula Abbas, for his part, said that “the growing phenomena of mercenary and activities of extremism, terrorism and Negative NGOs have crippled the development and stability in many African countries.” “Negative phenomena constitutes one of the main reasons behind the suffering of our African peoples and crippling of economic and social development. It is time to transform our decisions and words into actions to combat these phenomena,” he noted. He reiterated the importance of convening the workshop at a time when many African countries are facing very complicated security circumstances and developments, calling for regional and international cooperation to face these threats which are growing everyday.

Meanwhile, CISSA’s Executive Secretary, Shimelis Woldesemayat, addressing the workshop, urged for importance of working out plans and strategies to confront the phenomenon of mercenary and terrorism which has become a nagging issue for the African continent. He stressed the need for regional and international cooperation and coordination to curb up these phenomena and threats, urging the security bodies in CISSA countries and the international community to work together to face terrorist phenomena via enacting laws, raising the awareness with the danger of terrorists and promoting for dissemination of security and stability in the countries of the African Continent. “CISSA meetings and workshops have become important platforms for members of the region to discuss and share prospective and experiences on common security threats confronting the region and strategizing on ways of combating such threats,” noted Woldesemayat.

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudan signs deal with Russian company for gold exploration

Sudan’s Minerals Ministry signed an agreement with a Russian company on Monday for gold and minerals exploration at the Red Sea State in eastern Sudan.

The signing ceremony was held in Khartoum between Sudan’s Minerals Ministry and Russia’s Esimath Company, which is an affiliate of Acropol Group Russia.

“Sudan has now become a center of attraction for investors in the mining sector for its huge and documented reserves of minerals of different types,” Mohamed Abu-Fatma, general director of Sudan’s General Geological Research Corporation, told reporters following the signing of the deal.

He added that he expected the company to achieve remarkable success in this filed.

Sudan’s gold production jumped to 93.4 tons in 2016, an average increase of 13.9 percent, compared with 82 tons in 2015.

According to the ministry, there are over two million Sudanese employees in the traditional mining industry, generating 80 percent of the country’s gold.

Currently, Sudan ranks third after Ghana and South Africa in gold production in Africa, but observers expect it to rank first by 2018.

Sudan depends on gold revenues to compensate the loss of two thirds of its oil production following the separation of Suth Sudan in 2011. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

4.8-magnitude earthquake hits western Sudan

A 4.8-magnitude earthquake hit western Sudan on Thursday, with no reports of casualty or damage to properties.

“The quake hit an area south of El Obied in North Kordofan State, some 520 km west of the Sudanese capital Khartoum,” said Mohamed Abu Fatma Abdalla, director of Sudan’s General Authority for Geological Research in a statement.

He added that the quake was at depth of 10.1 km at 12:39 p.m. local time (0939 GMT).

Sudan’s General Authority for Geological Research has seven quake monitoring stations operating around the clock to follow up quake activities, with other 15 stations under construction to cover all areas of Sudan. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Would prisoner swap between government, rebels bring peace in Sudan?

As the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)/northern sector released 107 government military personnel, Khartoum responded by pardoning 259 rebels, which prompted a question on whether the transformation would lead to a peace deal between the two sides.

prisoners
prisoner
On the eve of receiving its war prisoners released by the SPLM/northern sector on Saturday, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir issued a decision to absolve 259 members of rebel groups, who were earlier sentenced to death or imprisonment, with the majority coming from the SPLM/northern sector.

Mohamed Hassan Saeed, a Sudanese political analyst, believed that there is too much water under the bridge in Khartoum’s relationship with the rebels of the SPLM/northern sector, which has been fighting the government in South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions.

“It is apparent that there are transformations taking place now that can result in unexpected results,” Saeed told Xinhua.

“The SPLM/northern sector would not initiate releasing of such a big number of government soldiers without receiving guarantees that it would receive a reward from the other party,” he added.

Saeed pointed to the role played by Uganda and South Sudan in facilitating the release of the Sudan’s war prisoners and their transport from the rebel areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile to Uganda through South Sudan’s territories.

“This indicates a growing regional role which is really willing to end the conflict at South Kordofan and Blue Nile. This role is adopted by Uganda, South Sudan and other regional countries,” he noted.

Besides, Amer Abdalla, another Sudanese political analyst, stressed the international role contributing to ending the conflict in Sudan.

“It is clear that the United States is leading international endeavors to narrow the view points between Khartoum and the SPLM/northern sector rebels,” Abdalla said.

“Washington presented an initiative in November last year on delivery of humanitarian aid to the needy at the movement’s controlled areas,” he said.

“It is known that the humanitarian assistance issue was the main barrier that led to the failure of the recent rounds of peace talks between Khartoum and the SPLM/northern sector. If this issue is resolved, it would constitute a positive breakthrough,” the analyst explained.

In November, the U.S. administration under former President Barack Obama offered an initiative to airlift medical and humanitarian assistance to the affected areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas after the Sudanese government carried out an inspection in the two areas.

The initiative, however, was later rejected by the SPLM/northern sector despite the nod given by Khartoum.

During the peace talks in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa in Aug. 2016, the SPLM/northern sector demanded transport of 20 percent of the humanitarian assistance through Ethiopia’s Asosa airport, which was rejected by Khartoum. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudan indicates “lament and frighten” at U.S. travel ban

Sudan on Tuesday expressed regret and dismay over decision by U.S. President Donald Trump restricting Sudanese nationals traveling to America.

 People gather to pray in baggage claim during a protest against the travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order, at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas, Texas, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Laura Buckman
People gather to pray in baggage claim during a protest against the travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order, at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas, Texas, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Laura Buckman
“Sudan’s Foreign Ministry expresses its deep regret and dismay over the Executive Order, issued by U.S. President Donald Trump, renewing restriction on traveling of Sudanese citizens to the United State,” Gariballah Al Khidir, Sudanese Foreign Ministry spokesman, told Xinhua.”The decision came at a time when the Sudanese government is combating terrorism,” he noted, disclosing that diplomatic contacts by the Sudanese government are ongoing with the U.S. to remove Sudan’s name from the U.S. list of countries sponsoring terrorism.

He said Sudan has shown during the past months a high degree of seriousness and credibility via the deliberations of the five tracks plan which proved importance of the role being played by Sudan as a partner in fighting the threat of terrorism.He reiterated that terrorism is not associated with a specific religion or race, pointing out that combating terrorism needs cooperation of all parties not barriers and restrictions.

The Sudanese Foreign Ministry spokesman further urged the U.S. administration to reconsider its decision regarding the Sudanese citizens, saying “the Sudanese are known for their good characteristics, where no crimes or terrorist incidents have been monitored for them in the United State.”On Monday U.S. President Trump issued a new Executive Order banning travel of citizens of six Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, to the United States.However, the executive order excluded Iraq, which was included in the previous order, which at the time prompted worldwide controversy, before a federal U.S. court issued a verdict suspending it.

The new U.S. travel ban executive order is set to go into effect as of current March 16.Trump signed the first executive order one week after his inauguration, but a federal judge in Seattle, Washington state, ruled that President Donald Trump’s executive order on the travel ban would be suspended nationwide, a move denounced by Trump who said the travel ban was for the security of the American people.

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudanese president vows to provide attractive investment climate in Sudan

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Monday pledged to provide attractive atmosphere for investment in Sudan.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir
“We reiterate that Sudan government has set up necessary plans to achieve objectives of the Arab food security initiative via a number of constitutional amendments together with removing all investment barriers, providing tax and custom exemptions, freedom of cash transfers and establishing special courts to resolve disputes,” said al-Bashir when addressing the opening session of the Third Arab Conference for Agricultural Investment in Khartoum Monday.

“The purpose behind all these is to prepare the appropriate investment climate and make Sudan a center of attraction for the investors, particularly the Arabs,” he noted.

The two day conference is organized by the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development (AAAID) under the theme “Our Food Our Responsibility.”

AAAID President Mohammed Bin Obaid Al-Mazrooei said that “the importance of the conference emanates from the fact that it provides an opportunity for deliberations on the issue of the Arab food security to narrow the Arab food gap.”

In the meantime, Chief Agronomist in China’s Ministry of Agriculture Sun Zhonghua, addressing the conference, said that “China’s Ministry of Agriculture has remained committed to enhancing the agricultural cooperation with Arab countries, particularly Sudan.”

Senior officials from Arab countries, businessmen and investors from all parts of the world are participating in the conference besides a number of world and Arab organizations, representatives of farmers unions, economists, researchers and others concerned with the agricultural sector. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudanese president frees jailed Czech journalist

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir pardoned Czech journalist Petr Jasek on Sunday after a Sudanese court sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment over espionage charges against Sudan.

jail
jail
“In honor of the historical ties between Sudan and the Czech Republic, President al-Bashir released the Czech journalist on Sunday,” said Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour during a joint press conference with his Czech counterpart Lubomir Zaoralek who arrived in Khartoum on Sunday.

“The president has carefully considered bilateral relations between both countries, based on which the tolerant president issued this pardon. The Czech foreign minister will receive the journalist who will then be returning to his country today,” declared Ghandour.

Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek expressed his “content” over the case’s happy ending.

Zaoralek said his visit to Sudan is the start of a new page in bilateral ties between the two countries, remarking that during his talks with Sudanese officials, he reiterated his country’s readiness to augment relations with Sudan in all sectors.

Last January, a Sudanese court sentenced Czech journalist Petr Jasek to a 20-year life sentence over espionage charges against Sudan.

Furthermore, it was discovered that Jasek disseminated reports through an American organisation antagonistic toward Sudan, implying that Sudan allegedly persecuted Christians in Sudan and attacked civilian areas in South Kordofan State’s Nuba Mountains.

In October 2015, Sudanese authorities arrested the Czech journalist four days after his entry into the country. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudanese NGO encourages homeless children to join school

Official Sudanese statistics indicate that the number of homeless children in the capital Khartoum alone tops 6,000, while some organizations set the number at 13,000.

The homeless or street children are suffering from miserable conditions and they are living in streets, abandoned buildings, tunnels and sewers, besides that they are exposed to physical and psychological abuse, not to mention that they do not have access to education.

Mujaddidon Organization, a Sudanese NGO, established an open street school on the Nile Avenue in the Sudanese capital Khartoum targeting mainly street children or homeless children. The organization attracts these children to join the open school in return for provision of meals for them.

“The project tends to rehabilitate the category of street children, educate them, reintegrate them in the society and find them job opportunities,” Faris Alnur Ibrahim, chairman of Mujaddidon Organization, told Xinhua on Wednesday.

“We started with this category using different means to attract them, where we first adopted the policy of motivation by food, and when we received response from them, we established the open school,” he explained.

He went on saying that “the school is formed of a black board and chairs in the open on the side of the street. We have successfully attracted the homeless children to join the school via the food for education strategy.”

He said the majority of the homeless children who joined the open school were addictive to sniffing glue, a petrochemical material used in fixing bicycle wheel tubes. These children sniff the glue as a substitute for drugs because it is inexpensive and easier to obtain.

“The majority of these homeless children are addicted to glue sniffing and they live in tunnels. We are seeking to establish a camp for accommodating around 400 children. The purpose is to keep them with us for the longest possible period so that we can help them quit addiction of glue sniffing,” he noted.

Kauthar Bakry Siddiq, a teacher at the open school, told Xinhua that “when we began teaching these homeless children we faced difficulties at the beginning as they were street children and addicts. We used to be afraid of them, not to mention the nasty smell of the sniffing glue which emits from them.”

“Gradually we have learned how to deal with them and managed to convince them to stop glue sniffing during the classes period. Presently there is a wide response and we have become part of them. In fact we have managed to change much negative behavior,” she added.

Meanwhile, Mahmoud, one of the homeless children who joined the open school, believes that great change has taken place in his life since he joined the open school.

“I have learned much here. I have learned mathematics. I have learned how to write and read, and some English language,” he told Xinhua.

“We used to live in the street, but now we receive education at the open school. We used to live in the sewers, but now we will move to a camp near the Nile bank. We thank Mujaddidon Organization for the services it provides to us,” he added.

The open school started two months ago and presently it is accommodating 110 students from the street children across the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

Despite the efforts been exerted by the official Sudanese concerned authorities, the phenomenon of homeless children in Sudan is still continuing, which pushed many trends to demand finding a different methodology to address it together with its causes and to limit its negative consequences.

Experts attribute the phenomenon of homeless children to the ongoing wars in Sudan, particularly at Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions in addition to the economic conditions in the country. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudan visual artist uses arts as therapy for patients

Sudanese visual artist Rashid Diab does not regard fine arts as something exercised by artists, but also as a lifestyle, a tool to change the community and a therapy for diseases, especially for children.

Diab, founder of Rashid Diab Arts Center in Khartoum, in cooperation with a group of Sudanese artists, initiated the idea of using arts for treatment of children’s diseases like autism.

“We have big projects relating to the category of children including training via arts, civilizational behavior, raising kids through arts and treating children of mental and physical disabilities by arts,” Diab said.

Diab said that many children are being influenced by arts training, particularly those suffering from autism.

“They could communicate through arts such as drawing and painting with their peers,” he said.

The center, with the concerned specialists, has contributed to the treatment of many children through arts, which became a useful therapy once used in a scientific and systematic manner, he added.

Musa’b, a seven year old child, said that the center has availed him the opportunity to learn important drawing skills.

“I have learned much at the center. Now I can draw many shapes and I have become competent in using the colors to express a specific idea,” Musa’b said.

Shaima Abbas, a thirteen year old child, said that drawing, which was just a hobby before she came to the center, might become a career as she grow more professional.

“Drawing is an expression of things inside the human being and that colors are kinds of expression. I have also learned that the shapes represent a real reflection of a set of feelings,” she said.

Rashid Diab Arts Center in Khartoum was established in 2007 as the first arts center in Sudan. It organizes regular activities such as an eight years old weekly forum.

The center is also concerned with documentation of the visual arts activities in Sudan, where it has collected many works for generations of Sudanese visual artists that have been published in a book about fine arts in the country and was printed by the Arab League.

“The center tends to upgrade the artistic taste of the Sudanese audience and inform with the Sudanese arts,” Diab concluded. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

One soldier killed, 10 injured as Sudan army repels attack by rebels

Sudan’s army announced on Tuesday that it repelled an attack by rebels against the Al-Mashayesh region, which killed a government soldier and injured 10 others.

South Sudan“A force belonging the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)/northern sector attacked one of our posts in Al-Mashayesh region, and our forces managed to repel them,” Sudanese army spokesman Ahmed Khalifa Al-Shami told Xinhua.

“One of our soldiers was martyred and 10 others were injured,” Al-Shami said, adding ” there is definitely a substantial loss of human lives among the perpetrators, but we have no exact figures yet.”

He deemed the attack a violation of the ceasefire declared by the Sudanese government, saying “rebels of the SPLM/northern sector are attempting to pressure the State to launch a widescale attack against them in order to condemn the government and accuse it of violating the cease-fire.”

“We are committed to the declared cease-fire, but the SPLM/northern sector has continued to violate it,” added Al-Shami.

Last January Sudanese authorities decided to extend the cease-fire in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions.

In October 2016, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir declared a cease-fire in all conflict areas in the country until the end of 2016 before extending it for another month by the end of last December.

The Sudanese government has been fighting the SPLM/northern sector in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile state since 2011, and armed groups in Darfur since 2003. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

WFP plans to deliver food assistance to 4.6 million people in Sudan

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has announced that it is planning to deliver food assistance to around 4.6 people across Sudan.

food aid
food aid
“In 2017, the WFP plans to assist 4.6 million people across Sudan, including 3.4 million in Darfur and 1.2 million in Central and Eastern Sudan as well as in Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Abyei,” said the WFP in a release, a copy of which was obtained by Xinhua on Sunday.

It noted that access to food in Sudan is affected by several factors, including conflict, macroeconomic instability and climate change, pointing out that these shocks and stressors caused recurrent emergencies and exacerbated the existing protracted IDP and refugee crises.

“Unfavorable macroeconomic conditions and climate-related shocks have caused inflation, negatively affecting food prices, with sorghum prices reaching record levels in 2016, 53 percent above the five-year average,” it said.

The WFP provided assistance to 3.9 million people in Sudan during the course of 2016.

Additionally, since the onset of the South Sudan crisis in December 2013, the WFP has provided emergency food and nutrition assistance to 240,000 South Sudanese refugees in Sudan. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Armed group attacks market in Sudan’s North Darfur State

An armed group on Thursday attacked a market in El Fashir, the capital city of Sudan’s North Darfur State, according to a statement by the state government.

UN
UN

“Fire exchange is still continuing between the government forces and the armed group,” said North Darfur State government in a statement.

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses reportedly said an armed group aboard seven vehicles attacked the grand market in El Fasher and looted some of the market shops.

The government statement did not give any statistics on human or material loss due to the attack.

Three Darfur armed groups, including the rebel Justice and Equality Movement, the Sudan Liberation Army and the Sudan Liberation Movement are fighting the central government in Darfur region since 2003. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudan reiterates commitment to cessation of hostilities at South Kordofan, Blue Nile

The Sudanese government on Tuesday reiterated commitment to cessation of hostilities and cease-fire at South Kordofan and Blue Nile state besides its agreement on delivery of humanitarian assistance to the two areas.

“We reiterate once again Sudan’s full commitment and readiness to sign cessation of hostilities and comprehensive cease-fire together with delivery of humanitarian assistance according to the proposal agreed on with the U.S. administration,” Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, Sudanese Presidential Assistant, told reporters.

“We are waiting for the rebel forces to resort to the voice of reason and work to avoid assaults and killing against the citizens,” he noted.

Hamid further lashed out at the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)/northern sector.

“The SPLM/northern sector has repeatedly attacked the innocent civilians at the two areas. The government will not allow such brutal attacks against the citizens,” said Hamid.

Last Saturday, Khartoum accused the (SPLM)/northern sector of committing a massacre at an area in South Kordofan which resulted in killing of seven herdsmen.

It also urged the international community to regard the SPLM/northern sector as a terrorist movement.

Last Friday, seven cattle herdsmen were killed and another injured near Al-Hujairat area, some 30 km west of Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan State.

The SPLM/northern sector is fighting Khartoum government at South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudanese police downplays explosion inside apartment in Khartoum

The Sudanese police on Sunday downplayed an explosion that earlier took place inside an apartment at a neighborhood of the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

“A simple explosion took place inside an apartment due to a home-made bomb that a particular defendant started to build before it explodes,” said Sudanese police in a statement.

“The materials seized are not considered highly explosives as appeared in the light effects left at the scene of the incident,” it added.

The police further said it found inside the apartment local materials used in making home-made explosives along with foreign passports.

It reiterated that it would resolve the crime and arrest the defendants within hours.

The Sudanese police raided on Sunday an apartment inhabited by foreigners in the neighborhood of Arkaweet, east of Sudan’s capital Khartoum.

According to eyewitnesses, the police arrested foreigners with a mass of weapons and explosives and is still surrounding the area after hearing a sound of explosion.

“This morning we heard a powerful explosion in a nearby apartment, and then the police forces arrived at the area,” a resident told Xinhua near the site of the raid.

“We saw the police taking a number of foreigners who were residing in the place, and I think Syrians, Somalis and other Arab nationals were among them,” he said.

According to Xinhua correspondent in Khartoum, the police are still imposing a security cordon around the area of the incident and preventing traffic around it. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudanese police raids suspected weapon cache, arrests foreigners

Local residents said the Sudanese police raided on Sunday an apartment inhabited by foreigners in the neighborhood of Arkaweet, east of Sudan’s capital Khartoum.

The police arrested foreigners with a mass of weapons and explosives and is still surrounding the area, the sources said.

“This morning we heard a powerful explosion in a nearby apartment, and then the police forces arrived at the area,” a resident told Xinhua near the site of the raid.

“We saw the police taking a number of foreigners who were residing in the place, and I think Syrians, Somalis and other Arab nationals were among them,” he said.

The Sudanese police has not yet released any official statement on the incident. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudan renews support for restoration of legitimacy in Yemen

The Sudanese government renewed on Monday its support for the restoration of legitimacy in Yemen.

Yemeni fighters loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi wait in their pick-up trucks on a road in the Sirwah area, in Marib province on April 9, 2016. [Xinhua]
Yemeni fighters loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi wait in their pick-up trucks on a road in the Sirwah area, in Marib province on April 9, 2016. [Xinhua]
The remarks came at a meeting between Sudanese Oil Minister Mohamed Zayed Awad and his Yemeni counterpart visiting Saif Al-Sharif.

“Sudan has renewed its stand with Yemen and support for the restoration of legitimacy,” al-Sharif told reporters after the meeting.

He also commended Sudan’s continued support for Yemen in all political, military and diplomatic fields.

Sudan is taking part in the operations of a Saudi-led Arab coalition against the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

UNAMID welcomes Sudanese rebel movement’s renewed order prohibiting child soldier recruitment

The United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) on Wednesday welcomed a renewed order by the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) prohibiting recruitment of children as its fighters.

Child Soldiers
Child Soldiers
“The UNAMID welcomes the renewed Command Order issued by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) on Jan. 25, 2017, prohibiting the recruitment and use of children in its ranks, along with other violations against children,” said the mission in a statement Wednesday.

“The order instructs all members of JEM to continue to fully adhere to the international and local laws governing the protection of children in armed conflict and not to recruit or use child soldiers, not to associate with children, or allow children to voluntarily join,” it added.

Meanwhile, the UNAMID Acting Joint Special Representative Jeremiah Mamabolo said in the statement that “it is encouraging to see this latest commitment to the protection of children.”

“The UNAMID will continue to engage with all parties to the conflict in Darfur about their responsibility to protect children and for an end to all forms of violations against children,” he said.

On March 27, 2016, the Sudanese government and the UN signed a joint work plan for protection of children against violations at conflict zones.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), there are around 10,000 children associated with the Sudanese armed forces and armed groups, most of them in Darfur.

Sudan has been fighting the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)/northern sector at South Kordofan and Blue Nile states since 2011. It has also been fighting armed groups in Darfur since 2003. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudan summons U.S. diplomat over Trump’s entry restriction order

Sudan summoned the U.S. Charge d’Affaires in Khartoum Steven Koutsis on Sunday to protest a decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to restrict the entry of Sudanese citizens into the United States.

The U.S. Charge d’Affaires has been summoned where he met with Foreign Ministry’s Under-Secretary Abdul-Ghani Al-Naeem regarding the executive order issued by U.S. President Donald Trump to restrict the entry of Sudanese citizens, among nationals of seven countries, into the United States,” said Sudan’s Foreign Ministry in a statement.

“The under-secretary expressed the Sudanese government’s dismay over the procedures taken against the Sudanese citizens,” the statement said.

“The Sudanese government regards it as a negative message under the positive developments of bilateral ties, particularly after the lifting of economic sanctions on Sudan and under the long-standing cooperation between the two countries in combating terrorism.”

The ministry reiterated Sudan’s keenness to continue dialogue and cooperation with the U.S. on regional issues of mutual concern.

“Sudan is waiting for the U.S. government to lift Sudan’s name from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism and reconsider the executive order which restricted the entry of the Sudanese citizens into the United States,” said the statement.

On Saturday, Sudan expressed regret over a decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to restrict the access of the Sudanese into the United States.

On Jan. 13, former U.S. President Barack Obama issued a decision to cancel two executive orders imposing economic sanctions on Sudan.

The United States has been imposing sanctions on Sudan since 1997 and putting it on its list of countries sponsoring terrorism since 1993.

Since then, Washington has been renewing its sanctions on Sudan due to the continuing war in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions in addition to a number of outstanding issues with South Sudan, such as the territorial dispute over the oil-rich Abyei area. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

Sudan security forces abort smuggling of 64 foreigners

Sudan’s security forces announced on Tuesday the abortion of an attempt to smuggle 64 foreigners across North Darfur State to Libya, Sudan’s Ashorooq Net reported.

The arrested 64 foreigners included Ethiopians, Somalis, Eritreans and Yemenis, with six children among them, Mohamed Braima Hassab el-Nabi, deputy governor of North Darfur State, was quoted as saying.

Primary investigation indicated that they were planning to head to Europe from Libya, he added.

Those who were refugees in Khartoum would return to their camps, while those who entered illegally would be handed to the interior ministry, he said.

He praised the role of the Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces, who are roaming the desert to secure the border and arrest human traffickers, and reiterated the country’s determination in combating terrorism and human trafficking.

Sudan is considered one of the thoroughfares for human trafficking and illegal immigration, as the country has witnessed an increase in such activities.

European countries had previously vowed to support Sudan in this issue after Khartoum asked for logistical air and maritime support to pursue the multinational human smugglers. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

SPLM/northern sector denies presence in South Sudan

Rebels from Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)/northern sector denied on Sunday any presence in South Sudan.

“There is no presence for the movement inside South Sudan territories at all,” said Mubarak Ardol, the peace spokesman of SPLM/northern sector, in a statement.

“The movement is running liberated areas inside Sudanese territories. Our presence extends for five km from Kadogli and 24 km from Damazin,” he said.

According to Ardol, there are more than one million people in the areas under the control of the SPLM/northern sector inside Sudan.

South Sudan’s Defence Minister Kuol Manyang said earlier that the African Union would verify next month that there are no more Sudanese rebels in Juba.

The SPLM/northern sector has moved its forces outside Raja in Western Bahr el Ghazal, the minister added.

The Sudanese government has been fighting the rebels from SPLM/northern sector in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states since 2011.

In Oct. 2016, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who accuses Juba of supporting the SPLM/northern sector rebels and Darfur armed groups, demanded that the South Sudan’s government expel the Sudanese armed groups from its territories by year end. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh