Kwesi Appiah has rued Al Khartoum?s preliminary round elimination from the 2015 CAF Confederation Cup.
The ex-Black Stars coach?s Confederation Cup campaign ended on a disappointing note with an early exit from the competition just two months after his appointment as Al Khartoum trainer.
Al Khartoum came into final leg match against Power Dynamos of Zambia armed with a 1-0 home win on February 14.
However, hosts? Power overturned that result with a 2-0 home win on March 1 at a packed Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe to advance to the first round 2-1 on aggregate.
?They have never played under such a crowd, but its good experience for the players to play a competitive team and I will build on it,? Appiah said in Kitwe prior to departure back to Sudan.
?But I have only been with this team for two months and when I joined they were never playing passing football on the ground, they used to just kick high balls, so I am still building the team tactically and technically.
?By May, I should be able to bring in new young players that will be able to play to my tactics and philosophy and we will be back much stronger in the competition.?
Ghanaian coach Kwesi Appiah thought his Sudanese side Al Khartoum were handed a raw deal in their Confederation Cup elimination by Power Dynamos.
Al Khartoum conceded late in stoppage time to lose 2-0 in Kitwe on Sunday to crash out 2-1 on aggregate.
The referee awarded penalty to the hosts after Nagm Abdelgabar handled the ball inside the box.
Appiah had replaced his goalkeeper Mohammed Abdalla in additional time introducing reserve goalkeeper Adil Eltahir whose first task was to pick the ball from the net after Ngonga won and converted his second from the penalty spot.
The 54-year-old said:? ?I am very upset; am not in a good mood to comment on this match. ?
Appiah was making his debut in CAF-inter clubs competition.
Ex-Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah is primed for the challenge to lead Al Khartoum to honours in his two-year spell.
The former Black Stars trainer left Accra on Monday to begin his journey of transforming the side into continental giants.
Appiah has inked a two-year deal with the ambitious Sudanese side after being sacked by Ghana following a wrecked World Cup campaign last year.
The 54-year-old says he?s ready for the challenge ahead.
?I consider this a welcomed challenge. I have had enough rest to reflect on a lot of things,? he told Ghana News Agency
?I am very ready for this challenge and I must admit I like the welcome I have received from the club thus far. I understand the challenge ahead; together it will be confronted well for the common success we seek.
?The dream is to work hard and break the monopoly in the Sudanese league. The players have responded well, we all agree to what must be done to achieve this and I am completely focused on getting results.?
He added: ?It is a whole new page in my career and one that I am completely ready for. This is normal in the kind of job I do and as a coach, you just want to do well; home or abroad.?
The immediate task of the former Kotoko defender is to steer the club in the CAF Confederation Cup campaign which starts next month.
He led Ghana to a fourth place finish at the last edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa before qualifying the team to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Augustine Okrah’s purported move to Sudanese side, Al-Marrikh has fallen through after failing his medicals.
A source in Sudan, told GNA Sports that the Bechem United striker failed his medials due to a knee injury.
The source said Merrikh cooled their interest in the last season’s top scorer after doctors said that he will need not less than six months to spring back into shape.
The former BK Hacken striker, voted the best player in the First Capital Plus Premier League last season is said to be heading back to Ghana after Merrikh called off the deal, insisting they were not keen to wait on him.
Okrah, 21 arrived in Khartoum, Sudan, last week in hope to seal a two-year switch.
The striker recently returned from Swedish side, BK Hacken after a four-month loan spell.
Berekum Chelsea?s CAF Champions League preliminary round return leg against FC Atlabara has been moved to Khartoum because of the political crises in South Sudan, GHANASoccernet.com can exclusively reveal.
The current political instability in the world?s new nation means the capital Juba will be unsafe to host the decider.
Neighbours North Sudan have jumped to their rescue and want to host the qualifier.
FC Atlabara suffered a 2-0 defeat in the first leg encounter played at the Berekum Golden City Park last Sunday.
The debutants have promised to overturn the result away from their favourite the 12,000 capacity Juba Stadium.
Chelsea reached the Group stage of the CAF Champions League two year ago.
More than 3,000 protesters took to the streets of the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Saturday to demand President Omar Hassan al-Bashir quit, witnesses said, after days of unrest in which dozens of people have been killed.
Daily demonstrations this week followed the government cutting fuel and cooking gas subsidies on Monday when pump prices doubled overnight, reports Reuters.
Four protesters were shot dead by unidentified gunmen on Friday, police said, bringing the official death toll to 33.
In Khartoum’s Burri district, home to a top government official, more than 1,000 people gathered for the funeral of one of the victims, Salah Sanhuri, a doctor from a prominent merchant family with strong ties to the government.
More than 2,000 people joined the funeral procession, shouting, “Freedom, freedom,” and “The people want to overthrow the regime”, blocking a main road, witnesses said.
On Friday, more than 5,000 people demonstrated in Khartoum, the biggest turnout in central Sudan for many years. Its borderlands have grappled with insurgencies for decades but the relatively wealthy heartland has seen little turmoil in the recent past.
Police said in a statement unknown gunmen had opened fire on a group of protesters on Friday, killing four people.
Khartoum has been brimming for days with armed civilians and security personnel carrying rifles, patrolling streets in broad daylight and manning rooftops. Opposition activists have accused Bashir’s National Congress Party of vandalism and of arming militias to turn the public against the protesters.
Bashir, who seized power in a 1989 coup, has not faced the sort of Arab Spring uprising that unseated autocratic rulers from Tunisia to Yemen since 2011, but anger has risen over corruption and rising inflation in the vast African country.
He has stayed in power despite rebellions, U.S. trade sanctions, an economic crisis, an attempted coup last year and an indictment from the International Criminal Court for war crimes. He still enjoys support from the army, his ruling party and many business men.
The subsidy cuts have been driven by a severe financial crunch since the secession of oil-producing South Sudan in 2011, which deprived Khartoum of three-quarters of the crude output it relied on for state revenues and food imports.
Amnesty International and the New York-based African Center for Justice and Peace Studies said at least 50 people had been killed by gunshots to the chest or head by Thursday night, citing witnesses, relatives, doctors and journalists.
?And this also,? said Marlow suddenly, ?has been one of the dark places of the earth.? from Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad on London as the epitome of Western Culture
Far from the headlines a fully fledged war is taking place between Sudan and Israel. For years now, reports on Israeli attacks on Sudan appears on the fringes of Israeli media, while certain Sudanese actions are perceived as hostile by Israel.
In the last week of October 2012, violence reached a new peak. If Netanyahu fails to start a war with Iran, which he desperately needs for the purpose of hiding the social problems plaguing the Israeli society, he may choose Sudan as an alternative target.
Explosions in Yarmouk, Khartoum
Explosion in Khartoum
An explosion took place in the night between the 23 and 24 of October 2012, in Yarmouk, a weapons factory in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. The installation was attacked by four planes and devastated by the subsequent fire.
Local sources reported on a crater and rockets shrapnel in the area of the factory. Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha and Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman blamed Israel after a short investigation.
Taha stated that Sudan will retaliate, saying ?Israel is a country of injustice that needs to be deterred.? Local media reported on protests of denizens, who shouted ?Death to Israel? and ?Remove Israel from the map.?
This was the last of a string of mysterious attacks on Sudan, which apparently originated in Israel. This assessment was strengthened by the Israeli reaction. The Prime Minister Bureau refused to react at all, while the IDF Spokeperson said: ?I will not comment on the report.? In Israeli jargon, such a refusal to deny the attack equals recognition of responsibility.
Explosions in Yarmouk, Khartoum
Reports on Israeli violence in Sudan abound. Sudanese newspapers claimed that Israel?s Air Force bombed vehicles twice this month, though Sudanese officials denied the report.
Foreign media linked Israel to two similar previous attacks. In May 2012, the Sudanese government claimed that one person was killed when a car exploded in the City of Port Sudan. It also claimed that the event was strikingly similar to a blast last year who killed two people and that it had been blamed on an Israeli missile strike. Before that, in 2009, another similar strike took place in Eastern Sudan.
On December 15, 2011, vehicles in South Sudan?which gained independence from Sudan in July 2011?were bombed, four passengers died in two cars. Three days later, another car was bombed; all its passengers died.
The Sudanese newspaper al-Intibaha blamed the Israeli Air Force in both cases, as well as reported on the landing of an Israeli Apache helicopter in a South Sudanese radar station.
All these events are dwarfed by an attack on a convoy in Sudan in January 2009, international media reported 119 dead people. On the first week of May 2012, Sudan?s al-Intibaha newspaper reported that Israel was transferring logistical and military equipment, including missiles, to South Sudan.
This was quoted with no denial by Hebrew media. This air-convoy was performed by daily flights, which landed in one of South Sudan?s airports every night at 3AM.
Israeli media reported all the violent events mentioned in these paragraphs, always adding to its articles ?foreign media blamed Israel.? The reports were neither denied nor confirmed. This formula of the Hebrew media fits events in which the Mossad is involved.
Khartoum | ?The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much.? Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
Israel and Sudan
Despite the lack of land borders between Israel and Sudan, the countries are closely related by three hot issues. The most innocent one is the constant flow of illegal workers from Sudan and South Sudan to Israel, via the Sinai Peninsula.
Their trip is facilitated by Bedouins, who de facto control that desert. In the African workers section of this website, I expand on the discrimination, inhuman deportations, and crimes faced by African workers in Israel, including the Sudanese. Israel discourages them, and is trying to hermetically close the border with a new fence; along the way, Bedouins badly exploit the travelers.
The second issue is closely related to the first. Israel claims that the land route from Sudan to Israel is used for the smuggling of weapons. These are aimed mainly to Gaza, but part of them helps the silent and slow uprising of the Bedouins in Sinai.
The new Egyptian government is seeking a way to integrate this minority into the Egyptian state. In several occasions, Hebrew media hinted that the attacks in Sudan were aimed at blocking this route.
Explosions in Yarmouk, Khartoum
The third topic linking the countries is the most disturbing of all. In September 2010, Israel?s Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman visited various countries in Africa, namely Ethiopia, Angola, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya. ?The purpose of my visit is to demonstrate the Israeli presence in Africa,? Lieberman said. ?I want to tell the leaders I meet that Africa is important to Israel. We must not neglect them, especially in view of the efforts by countries like Iran to influence them and establish themselves there.?
At the time of his visit, almost all Israeli activity in Africa was related to weapons trafficking. Moreover, seven Israelis, all ex-military men, were then behind bars in four countries on gunrunning charges. All had been licensed by Israel?s Defense Ministry. I reviewed this in Israeli Crimes in Africa and Western Media.
Sudan fits this troubling business of Israel. Despite Sudan having agreed to give independence to South Sudan, both countries are fighting over the border between them. Israel chose a side in the conflict. It is helping South Sudan against Sudan, due to the oil reserves of the first.
This is the reason for the air-convoy abovementioned. Following so many years of violent war between these famished people, it is difficult to understand why Israel is promoting violence and another generation of war.
Doesn?t Israel have enough money? Does it need to exploit the poor?
Explosions in Yarmouk, Khartoum
I often analyze the inner characteristics of the Israeli Administration. Invariably, I reject its self-definition as a democracy. Its systematic violation of human rights denies any possibility of recognizing this regime as a democracy, or even as legitimate.
Violence towards one?s own citizens is unacceptable. This article puts the spotlight on the Israeli Administration?s attitude towards others. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was recognized as international law by the UN already in 1994. These rights are independent of geographical and any other considerations.
No country can violate a human claiming that this is allowed because the victim is not its citizen. These rights are absolute. In this case?as in many others?Israel allows itself to ignore the rights of Sudanese people and bomb them in their own home country basing itself on unproven allegations.
Israel knows that courts invariably serve the rich; no Sudanese can approach the International Court of Justice and sue Israel.
Attacking Sudan, Israel follows the Western Blueprint. While reading Western mainstream media, one gets the eternal impression that regardless what reality is, Goliath was the victim, where Goliath represents the West.
Reality is different, the blueprint is clear. For 500 years, we are watching a well consolidated club of enslavers running amok around the world and pillaging every attractive corner and person, enriching themselves by robbing the world?s poorest.
They perform these acts of violence claiming that they act in the name of Freedom and Democracy.
The actual War on Terror and the future War on Iran are modern variations on the theme. If these wars fail?blocking further expansion of the Western military industry?Sudan will be a handy victim.
Israel is already making sure its newest enemy is portrayed as a terrorist by the media. Regardless this propaganda, on Judgment Day, the entire world will know that the victim?s blood is on Israel hands, and not for the first time.
Bombing of factory in Khartoum is neither confirmed nor denied by Israel, but there are precedents for this sort of attack
No one in Israel is admitting that its pilots carried out a long-range raid against a munitions factory in Sudan, said to be supplying weapons to the Palestinian movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
But no one is denying it either. Amos Gilad, a senior defence ministry official, ducked a direct question, praising the capabilities of Israel?s air force and calling Sudan ?a dangerous terrorist state?.
This is one of those episodes where motive, capability and precedent all matter. Sudan?s angry accusation that Israel bombed the Yarmouk factory in Khartoum is highly plausible. The attack appears to offer a rare glimpse of a secret war that has been going on for years.
Israel could mount a raid like this using F-16 fighters, flying south along the Red Sea coast, under Saudi and Egyptian radar and with aerial refuelling. It would take about two and a half hours each way.
Experts say drones could also be used. The same long-range capability could allow it to strike nuclear facilities in Iran.
Another tantalising glimpse of this clandestine war came in January 2010, when suspected Mossad agents assassinated Mohammed Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel. Mabhouh was described as the link man between Hamas and Iran.
The following year a mysterious missile strike on a car near Port Sudan airport killed his replacement.
Hamas denied the story while Sudan called the attack a ?desperate Israeli attempt? to smear the country?s image and scupper its bid to be removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Sudan has denied allowing weapons-smuggling through its territory.
Detailed evidence of Israel?s efforts to block arms shipments to Hamas (and to Hezbollah in Lebanon) surfaced in WikiLeaks documents published by the Guardian.
They demonstrated that Sudan was warned by the US in January 2009 not to allow the delivery of unspecified Iranian arms that were expected to be passed to Hamas in Gaza around the time of Israel?s Cast Lead offensive, in which 1,400 Palestinians were killed.
Israeli media has reported that the Israeli air force carried out at least two secret operations in Sudan in January and February 2009. The first involved the bombing of a convoy carrying arms through Sudan to Gaza, in which 119 people were killed.
And a ship at a Sudanese port was bombed from the air. Sudan accused the US of carrying out these attacks. In June that year Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel?s prime minister, told US officials there was ?a steady flow of Iranian weapons to Gaza through Sudan or Syria and then by sea?.
Only rarely did the US cables show evidence of direct Israeli requests to the US to block arms deliveries. But in one meeting in 2009 a senior US state department official noted: ?Most requests to third countries to deny arms transfer overflights are based on Israeli intelligence. Additional information/intelligence from the government of Israel would ensure greater co-operation.?
By Ian Black Middle East editor October 26, 2012 ?The Guardian?
The African Union condemns the attack on the Al-Yarmook arms and ammunition factory in Khartoum
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 26, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ ? The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma,today, received the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Sudan to the AU. The Permanent Representative informed the Chairperson that Israeli war planes attacked the Al-Yarmook arms and ammunition factory, located in the suburbs of Khartoum, late in the evening of 23 October 2012. The attack resulted in the death of two civilians.
The Chairperson is deeply concerned by this development, and expresses her dismay at the tragic loss of innocent human lives and property. She strongly condemns this attack against Sudan, a founding member of the AU, in violation of international law, and calls for the full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Sudan. She further stresses the need for the international community as a whole to be mindful of the magnitude of the tasks and challenges that face the Republic of Sudan in the context of the aftermath of the Independence of the Republic of South Sudan, as well as other pressing national issues, including Darfur. On behalf of the AU, the Chairperson offers her condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims.
Regional Multi-stakeholder Workshop on Food Security and Nutrition to be Held in Khartoum
CAIRO, Egypt, September 6, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ ? FAO Regional Office for the Near East in collaboration with the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is organizing a Regional Multi-Stakeholder workshop on Food Security and Nutrition, in Khartoum, Sudan during 17 ? 18 September 2012.
The workshop is organised as a follow-up to a recommendation made by the 31st Session of the FAO Regional Conference for the Near East (NERC31) held in Rome, Italy from 14 to 18 May, 2012, which called for identifying food security and nutrition priorities in the region to be presented at the 39th Session of CFS from 15 ? 20 October 2012.
The Multi-Stakeholder workshop aims to bring together experts and policy makers from 20 countries in the region as well as representatives from UN agencies, donor countries, regional organizations, civil society organizations, research institutions and the private sector. The food security and nutrition challenges facing the region will be discussed and actionable recommendations will be identified.
The workshop will include four policy round tables on the following topics: (i) Regional priorities for food security and nutrition in the context of on-going social and political transition in the region; (ii) Social protection for food security; (iii) Food security and climate change and (iv) Food waste and losses.
?????Define regional priority issues for food security and nutrition in the context of the ongoing social and political transition;
?????Assess policy options related to the two policy round table topics of the CFS 39th Session (Social protection for food security and Food Security and Climate Change);
?????Discuss issues of food losses and food waste and their impact on the food security and nutrition situation in the region;
?????Recommend actions agreed at regional level towards the implementation of improved policies.
About 80 delegates will participate with 40 representatives from 20 countries (Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, occupied Palestinian territories, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen). UN agencies, NGOs, farmers organizations, representatives of international financial institutions, regional institutions, agricultural research institutions, private sector and philanthropic foundations will also participate.
The workshop is open for media.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Independent Expert on Human Rights to hold a press conference in Khartoum
KHARTOUM, Sudan, June 12, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Independent Expert on the Human Rights Situation in Sudan Professor Mashood Baderin will hold a press conference on Thursday 14 June 2012 at 14:30 hours at the Ministry of Justice in Khartoum. The Independent Expert will brief the media on the outcome of his current mission to Sudan.
Mr. Mashood Baderin was appointed on 21 March 2012 by the Human Rights Council as Independent Experts in replacement of Justice Mohamed Chande Osman. Nigerian by nationality, he has performed academic and research activities in the area of International, Human Rights and Islamic laws.
Human Rights Council Resolution 18/16 tasked the Independent Expert with an overall technical assistance and capacity building mandate. The former Independent Expert engaged with key stakeholders during his visit in January 2012 to explore ways to undertake a comprehensive and participatory need assessment for technical cooperation and capacity building in Sudan.
The Independent Expert intends to continue his engagement with Government officials including Judicial and Security institutions, diplomatic community and civil society organizations.
United Nations – Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
First mission to Khartoum by the new UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan
GENEVA, Switzerland, June 8, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The newly appointed Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, Mashood Adebayo Baderin, will conduct his first mission to the Sudan from 10 to 14 June 2012, to identifying areas of technical assistance and capacity building that will help the country to fulfill its human rights obligations.
During his five-day mission, Mr. Baderin will meet in Khartoum with Government officials, civil society representatives, members of the diplomatic Corps and UN agencies.
At the conclusion of his mission, on Thursday 14 June, the Independent Expert will hold a press conference, with further details to follow.
The UN Independent Expert on Sudan will present his findings and recommendations at the UN Human Rights Council 21st session in in September 2012.
United Nations – Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
IOM Completes Airlift of Stranded South Sudanese from Khartoum to Juba
GENEVA, Switzerland, June 6, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A 24-day IOM airbridge of 79 flights carrying 11,840 stranded South Sudanese from the Sudanese capital Khartoum to Juba in South Sudan ended today.
The South Sudanese, who had spent months in the Kosti way station 300 kms south of Khartoum waiting for transport from Sudan to South Sudan, joined the airlift voluntarily, after the Governor of White Nile State ordered them to leave the site by May 5th. As a condition of organizing the airlift, IOM insisted that the deadline be lifted.
IOM staff responsible for registration, drawing up flight manifests and pre-travel medical screening will leave Kosti way station shortly, as the site is now being dismantled by White Nile State officials.
The final flight, which left Khartoum at 13.00 today (6/6/12), was seen off by senior representatives of the Sudanese Ministry of Welfare and Social Security and the Ministry of Interior, the National IDP Center, the Civil Aviation authority, the South Sudan Embassy and key partner agencies.
The operation, which was funded by the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF), the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) cost some USD 5.5 million and moved on average 550 people a day using IOM-chartered aircraft.
“The success of this one-off operation, despite the challenges of extreme heat, dust storms and technical challenges posed by excess baggage was due to excellent cooperation between IOM staff, government and aid agency partners, and service providers every step of the way,” said IOM Sudan Chief of Mission Jill Helke.
IOM registered and medically screened passengers in Kosti before bussing them to Khartoum. In order to allow two flight rotations a day, passengers for the first flight of each day spent the night in Khartoum’s National Camping Centre.
On arrival in Juba, passengers were met by IOM staff and moved to a transit site established and managed by IOM and UNHCR, in coordination with South Sudan’s Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission.
The facility, which can accommodate up to 7,000 people, is currently assisting 3,500 South Sudanese from Kosti who returned with the airlift.
In addition to registering new arrivals and sharing information on the most vulnerable with humanitarian partners, IOM is providing shelter, water and sanitation, lighting and non food emergency relief items in the transit site.
IOM is also organizing onward transportation for returning South Sudanese arriving in Juba. To date it has organized three road convoys – two to Eastern Equatoria and one to Western Equatoria – to help a total of nearly 1,600 people to reach their final destinations.
South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in July 2011.
IOM Airlifts 6,000 South Sudanese from Khartoum, Establishes Camp for 7,500 Returnees in Juba
GENEVA, Switzerland, May 25, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Some 11 days into the airlift, IOM has completed 40 flights transporting a total of 5,972 people from the Sudanese capital to the capital of newly independent South Sudan. IOM is now operating four flights daily between Khartoum and Juba.
Today, Friday, there will be no air movements to allow routine maintenance and checks on the planes to be carried out. Morning and afternoon flights will resume on Saturday and are likely to last a further 10 days, according to IOM Khartoum Operations Officer Salah Osman.
The passengers are among some 12,000 South Sudanese previously stranded in Kosti, 300 kms south of Khartoum. Until IOM intervened in early May to move them by bus to Khartoum and by air to Juba, many had spent months in makeshift camps in the town waiting for onward transport to South Sudan.
After arriving in Juba, returnees are housed in a new transit site 13 km from Juba established by IOM and its humanitarian partners. The site, which sees on average 500 new arrivals every day, can provide shelter, basic water and sanitation, medical care and cooking areas for some 7,500 people.
“IOM worked in close collaboration with government and our partners to set up the site in a matter of days. IOM manages camps and transit facilities worldwide and we have brought in experienced camp planners and managers to ensure that sufficient shelter is erected and services are expanded to meet the needs of the new arrivals,” says IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission Vincent Houver.
At the transit site, IOM is providing lighting, tents for protection agencies and shelter for 5,150 returnees. It has also brought in water and sanitation equipment and heavy machinery for site preparation and latrine excavation. As the lead agency for non food relief items (NFI) and emergency shelter in South Sudan, it has also distributed over 1,400 NFI kits and plastic sheets to water-proof family tents.
IOM is funding national and international NGOs providing health, water and sanitation services. The International Medical Corps operated clinic has an average of 150 patients per day. Most patients are treated for upper-respiratory infections and infections from water-borne viruses.
Few incidences of malaria have been reported among the returnees and IOM teams are providing instruction on the proper use of mosquito nets. IOM in coordination with its partners is closely monitoring the health of the returnees in the transit site to ensure adequate standards of proper hydration, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation are met.
The majority of returnees previously stranded in Kosti have indicated Juba as their final destination. But many do not have any family or community support in Juba and are likely to remain at the site until the government allocates land to them.
Returnees face significant challenges including access to land in urban centres and a lack of economic opportunities. But despite challenges to sustainable return and quick reintegration, returnees from Kosti are generally optimistic about their future,
“I left South Sudan in 1951 when I was just a boy, I return as an old man, but I am strong and I am willing to work,” says Amol Jok Ajak Deng.
“I have never been in this country but it is my home and I have been made to feel welcome here. While I don’t know anyone in Juba, I hope that soon I will be able to start a new life here for myself and my children,’ says Teresa, who was born in Khartoum.
Regional Conference on Small Arms and Light Weapons Control convenes in Khartoum
KHARTOUM, Sudan, May 17, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — All media are invited to the following sessions of the Regional Conference on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Control that will take place in Khartoum on 22 and 23 May 2012:
•? ? ? ? Tuesday, 22 May 2012, opening remarks at 09:00 hours, at the Corinthia (Burj Al-Fateh) Hotel, Khartoum.
•? ? ? ? Wednesday, 23 May 2012, opening remarks at 12:00 hours, and closing session followed by a press conference at 17:00 hours, at the Friendship Hall, Khartoum.
The main objective of the conference is to enhance coordination efforts on SALW control among Sudan’s neighboring countries including Libya, the Central African Republic, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and to strengthen security and stability in border areas, and promote sustainable peace and social and economic development in the region.
The cycles of conflict in the region due to long, porous borders have compromised the possibility of sustainable peace, security and development and weakened neighborly coordination. As long as these intra-country borders remain open and un-patrolled jointly, cross-border movement of armed groups, criminal activity and the proliferation of SALW will continue unabated across the region, engendering opportunities for insurgencies and further conflict.
The forum will foster a communique, a regional executive mechanism to enhance cooperation and coordination of arms control approaches among the participating countries.
The conference is organized by the Sudan Ministry of Interior and Sudan Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (SDDRC) in collaboration with the Embassy of Germany, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
The conference will be attended by the Ministers of Interior of the participant countries accompanied by officials from the diplomatic community, international organizations on SALW control, national officials, security and law enforcement agencies, governors of neighboring districts and academics.
United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
An airlift of up to 15,000 ethnic South Sudanese began on Monday from Khartoum, an AFP correspondent said.The first plane chartered by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) took off at 0615 GMT carrying around 160 South Sudanese, some of whom have spent their entire lives in the north. They are among a group of 12,000-15,000 South Sudanese who have been waiting for transport South from the Kosti way-station 300 kilometres (190 miles) from Khartoum.
Kosti became home to the biggest single concentration of South Sudanese awaiting transport South, with many living in makeshift shelters or barn-like buildings for up to a year. The governor of the Kosti area declared the migrants a security threat and initially gave them a May 5 deadline to leave, sparking concern from the United Nations and the IOM which has already helped thousands of South Sudanese to head South.
Officials extended the deadline to May 20 but then told the IOM to disregard the time limit after plans for the airlift were devised. “It is my first time to the South. I was born here,” Cecilia Peter, 27, said through a translator as she lined up for a boarding pass with her five tiny children. Peter said the family had spent 13 months in Kosti, after losing her job as a teacher.
All ethnic Southerners were dismissed from Sudan’s civil service ahead of South Sudan’s independence last July under a peace deal that ended 22 years of civil war which killed two million people and drove many more to the north. The South Sudanese in Kosti are among about 350,000 ethnic Southerners who the South Sudanese embassy estimates remain in the north after an April 8 deadline for them to either formalise their status or leave Sudan.
Under the roadmap, the two countries must sort out their outstanding disagreements within three months
South Sudan has accused Sudan of bombing within its territory, in violation of a UN Security Council resolution to end hostilities.
Juba’s information minister told the BBC several areas had been targeted in air raids in the last 48 hours.
But Khartoum said it had the right to respond to acts of aggression.
Disputes over oil stemming from South Sudan’s secession in July led to clashes last month and fears of a return to all-out war.
The UN has threatened sanctions if both sides fail to negotiate.
Following the UN Security Council’s resolution a week ago, the neighbours agreed to follow a African Union roadmap under which they must restart negotiations and reach an agreement on outstanding disagreements within three months.
‘Orders to respond’
Mr Benjamin said the new attacks were launched on Tuesday and Wednesday in the states of Upper Nile and Western Bahr al-Ghazal.
He said the bombing was in violation of the UN Security Council which called for an end to hostilities by last Friday.
“Khartoum is bombing civilian targets, killing women and children and destroying the property of very simple people in these areas,” Mr Benjamin told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme.
According to Reuters news agency, Sudan used using MiG jet fighters, Antonov bombers and ground shelling in its attacks.
Mr Benjamin said his country had never left the negotiating table and did not believe that the outstanding issues between them could be resolved militarily.
But he said South Sudan had the “the right of self-defence”.
“We will ask the Security Council to hold accountable the belligerent party and that is Republic of Sudan,” the minister said.
However, Sudan’s media spokesman in London, Khalid al-Mubarak, told the BBC he believed the attacks were related to attacks on Sudanese territory backed by Juba.
Both sides accuse the other of backing proxy armies – and it was reported earlier on Wednesday that Darfari rebels claimed to have captured a garrison town, Girayda, from government forces.
“Where ever there is an aggression against our Republic of the Sudan our forces have got orders to respond,” Mr Mubarak told Focus on Africa.
The BBC’s Nyambura Mwambugu, in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, says the violence is a massive step backwards because it had appeared that the two sides were on the verge of respecting the UN request for an end to hostilities.
There are warnings the approaching rainy season will worsen the situation for refugees
It comes on the very day that both sides were supposed to pull back their troops from the border areas and activate a joint monitoring mission, she says.
Meanwhile aid agencies working in the border regions are warning of a deteriorating situation – with the number of those fleeing bombings increasing.
There is also a surge in the number of refugees crossing over the border from South Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan, our reporter says.
Conflicts have erupted in these states over the last year where communities traditionally allied to the South found themselves north of the border after Juba’s independence.
The Security Council has backed an African Union plan which called for a written commitment by both governments to stop fighting, and threatened sanctions, such as asset freezes and travel bans, if its terms were not met.
Last year, Southern Sudanese voted overwhelming in favour of independence from Sudan in a referendum promised as part of a peace deal in 2005 which put an end to the 22-year civil war in which some 1.5m people died.
UN / AU Joint Special Representative to hold Press Conference in Khartoum
KHARTOUM, Sudan, April 10, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Joint Special Representative (JSR) of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Ibrahim Gambari, will hold a press conference at the Al Salam Rotana Hotel in Khartoum on Thursday 12 April 2012 at 11:00 a.m.
JSR Gambari will brief the press on the current developments in relation to UNAMID’s mandate and activities as well as the Darfur Peace Process.
United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
UNAMID Joint Special Representative to hold Press Conference in Khartoum
KHARTOUM, Sudan, April 4, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Joint Special Representative (JSR) of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Ibrahim Gambari, will hold a press conference at the Al Salam Rotana Hotel in Khartoum on Thursday 12 April 2012 at 11:00 a.m.
JSR Gambari will brief the press on the current developments in relation to UNAMID’s mandate and activities as well as the Darfur Peace Process.
United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
IOM Begins Major Airlift of Vulnerable South Sudanese from Khartoum
GENEVA, Switzerland, March 21, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM today (21/3) began an airlift of a group of 2,200 elderly, disabled and other vulnerable South Sudanese, escorting family members and IOM medical staff from the Sudanese capital Khartoum to Wau, Juba and Aweil in South Sudan.
The operation, which will consist of some 50 charter flights over the next ten days, follows two earlier IOM airlifts in December and January of nearly 400 vulnerable people also unable to make the grueling two-week overland journey from Khartoum to South Sudan by rail.
Today’s flights, carrying a total of 241 people, included one to the South Sudanese capital of Juba, two to Wau and two to Aweil.
The return operation, funded by the UN Central Emergency Fund, was organized in close cooperation with the National IDP Center and other agencies working with Southern Sudanese in Sudan.
The Sudanese authorities agreed in December to allow South Sudanese to travel home on IOM-supported flights without travel or identity documents.
The vulnerable returnees were selected from thousands of South Sudanese who have been waiting for months for return assistance in so-called ‘open areas’ in Khartoum and at the Kosti way-station in White Nile State, a four-hour drive south of the capital.
Every return flight is met by IOM staff in Wau, Juba and Aweil, where the returnees are offered temporary accommodation in transit centers, as well as health and social services in cooperation with other humanitarian agencies, including WHO and UNHCR.
IOM also distributes essential non-food relief items and arranges the returnees’ transportation to their final destinations in South Sudan.
South Sudanese Leave Khartoum By Train; First Aid Reaches Abyei
GENEVA, Switzerland, March 2, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — An IOM-assisted 60-carriage train carrying 1,400 South Sudanese returnees left Khartoum yesterday, Thursday 1 March, on a 10-day journey to Aweil and Wau in the Republic of South Sudan.
This is the first train to leave Khartoum since the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan signed a memorandum of understanding in early February, which outlined a voluntary, safe and dignified return process.
There are more than half a million South Sudanese residing in the Republic of Sudan, who are required to leave the country by early next month or seek to regularise their residence status. The majority are expected to opt for eventual return to South Sudan, following the country’s declaration of independence in July last year.
Most of the 1,400 passengers on the train have been living in open areas across Khartoum for more than a year, waiting for a government-assisted transportation to South Sudan.
En route, 500 South Sudanese will be picked up from Kosti railway station, where they had been living in the open for the past 6 months. IOM has been working with the stranded returnees at Kosti, providing them with limited support in the form of shelter, transport and essential non-food items. The returnees will be provided with food, water and medical care during their entire journey.
In November 2011, IOM and the Government of Sudan each organised a train to South Sudan, carrying a total of 2,400 returnees.
IOM has been supporting both governments by facilitating the voluntary movement of stranded and vulnerable South Sudanese. In 2011, it helped some 23,000 South Sudanese residing in Sudan to return home by barge, train and air. The Organization also assisted 16, 500 other returnees reach their final destinations after being stranded inside South Sudan.
Once in South Sudan, the returnees will receive food, water, medical attention and shelter at the IOM transit centres in Aweil and Wau. They will also be provided with onward transportation assistance to their final destination if required.
A major challenge in the movement of the returnees is the huge amount of luggage that they are taking with them, including building materials, household items and personal effects- all needed to help them rebuild their lives in the South.
During the month of March, IOM will continue airlift operations to Wau, Aweil and Juba, for extremely vulnerable individuals. These include elderly and disabled people, pregnant women and people with serious medical conditions, who are not fit to travel on the trains.
IOM is also working with the two governments and partners on an operational plan to manage the large-scale returns and is advocating for the extension of the April 8th deadline which is rapidly approaching. It says it is important to have enough time to organise such a large scale flow, given the logistical and infrastructure challenges.
As a means of speeding up voluntary returns movement, IOM is suggesting the opening up of secure corridors between the two countries to enable spontaneous individual returns, and is calling for a documentation process to be started, to regularise the residency of those wishing to remain in the Republic of Sudan.
The current train movement has been organized in partnership with Sudan’s IDP Centre, the Commission for Voluntary and Humanitarian Works (CVHW), Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC), UNHCR and UNICEF. Transportation of South Sudanese from Sudan is being funded by the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
Meanwhile, IOM is scaling up its community assistance to the disputed region of Abyei through the distribution of hygiene kits, awareness raising campaigns and rehabilitation of water sources.
An initial 200 hygiene kits were distributed to beneficiaries in the villages of Diffra and Goli in late February to help prevent an outbreak of water borne diseases such as diarrhoea, one of the most common health hazards in rural Sudan. The affected area North of Abyei town has not been accessible for international aid organizations since violence broke out in the region in May 2011.
The distribution was supported by an awareness raising campaign to educate people about improving their hygiene and sanitation practices. The materials cover such topics as the importance of hand washing with soap and the need to boil water meant for consumption. The IOM initiative is the first assistance to reach this part of Abyei, benefitting up to 2,000 people.
The disputed region of Abyei, claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan, has repeatedly been the scene of deadly clashes. The latest outbreak of violence in May 2011 has driven more than 100,000 people from their homes, who are currently gathered in South Abyei and South Sudan.
Victims came from the Dinka tribe (AFP/File, Tony Karumba)
South Sudan on Monday accused its former foes in the Khartoum government of arming gunmen who killed over 40 people in a cattle raid, as the UN warned tensions between the two sides risks regional peace.
“A militia group from Unity state penetrated into Warrap state… and attacked people in a cattle camp, killing over 40,” said Interior Minister Alison Manani Magaya, the latest wave of violence in the world’s newest nation.
“This militia group was armed by the government of Khartoum,” he added.
South Sudan seceded peacefully from Sudan in July after decades of war, but both countries have since repeatedly exchanged mutual allegations that each side backs proxy rebel forces against the other.
Oil-rich but grossly impoverished South Sudan was left awash with guns after years of conflict, and brutal tit-for-tat raids by rival ethnic groups to steal cattle from each other are common.
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said Sunday tensions and a furious row over oil between the former enemies has become a major threat to regional peace and security.
“The situation in Sudan and South Sudan has reached a critical point. It has become a major threat to peace and security across the region,” Ban told an African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital.
Oil-producing Unity state is a base for a number of rebel groups that Juba claims are backed by Khartoum to destabilize South Sudan by attacking civilians and laying landmines.
Magaya could not name the specific group responsible for the attack, which took place over the weekend, but claimed that rebel groups in Unity state were collaborating with one another.
“The number of wounded is still not clear, but they took a lot of cattle with them,” he added.
He said government teams had been sent to investigate and that the death toll could rise as local officials “were still counting the bodies.”
Key issues unresolved at independence have escalated into bitter arguments, including a row over pipeline transit fees to transport the South’s oil to port in the rump state of Sudan.
In addition, tensions have been raised by their still undemarcated border, parts of which cut through oil fields. (AFP)
IOM Airlift Returns Vulnerable South Sudanese From Khartoum
GENEVA, Switzerland, January 27, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM yesterday began a series of 12 flights to help 165 very vulnerable people stranded in Khartoum, together with 226 family members and escorts, to return home to South Sudan.
The airlift, which is scheduled to continue for a week, will include 11 charter flights and one commercial flight to Wau, Aweil and Juba, and will be completed by the end of the month. It will be funded by the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) and UNHCR.
On arrival the returnees will be met by IOM South Sudan officials and given help to travel on to their final destinations.
The returnees are part of a bigger group of South Sudanese who have been stranded at locations in and around Khartoum known as ‘departure points’ since late 2010, when the government of newly-independent South Sudan called upon its people to return home.
They include elderly and disabled people, pregnant women and people with serious medical conditions. Nine unaccompanied minors, identified by UNICEF, will also travel with the group to be reunited with their families in South Sudan.
IOM is supporting the governments of Sudan and South Sudan by facilitating the voluntary return home of South Sudanese citizens. In 2011, it helped some 23,000 South Sudanese to return by barge, train and air.
Conflict in border areas between the two countries and few commercial transport links mean that it is now difficult for people to return to South Sudan without help from the two governments or the international community.
Major IOM return routes include barge movements from the Kosti Way Station – a camp where more than 10,000 South Sudanese are still waiting for transport south. IOM has also helped to return people from Khartoum departure points by train. IOM air transport has been restricted to vulnerable people deemed unfit to take the journey by train or barge, both of which can take up to two weeks.
In December, IOM organized an airlift of 65 vulnerable people who were stranded at the Kosti Way Station. The returnees were transported from Kosti by road to Khartoum, where they boarded a flight to Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
Since South Sudan declared independence in July 2010, over 350,000 South Sudanese living in the north have returned to South Sudan through spontaneously or with help from the governments and the international community.
An estimated that 700,000 South Sudanese remain in the north. The Sudanese government has earmarked April as the final date for all South Sudanese wishing to return home. People staying in the north will subsequently have to regularize their stay.