Sudanese Catholic Information Office
S C I O
P.O.Box 21102 - Nairobi - Kenya
Tel. 00254 - 2 - 562247
fax. 00254 - 2 - 566668
SCIO, January 15, 1999
Sudan Monthly Report
January 15, 1998
December 17, 1998: Sudan's political parties remain opposed to
legislation under which multi-party politics is to be allowed next year,
saying it will not bring about genuine democracy, press reports said. An
official of the Umma Party, which led a government coalition until a
1989 coup, dismissed the appearance of democracy as "the worst
totalitarian regime in Sudan's history".
23: Sudan's Islamist ideologue Hassan al-Turabi has resigned as
parliament speaker to focus on the running of the ruling party before
the country reinstates the multiparty system on January 1 after a
nine-year gap. Diplomats said the resignation, announced on state
television, was mostly cosmetic and that political life would continue
to be dominated by the ruling National Congress (NC) after opposition
parties rejected the new multi-party law.
23: Famine could threaten millions of southern Sudanese again next
year unless the government and rebels agree to extend a partial
cease-fire in the country's long and brutal civil war, the UN has said.
Although millions of dollars of aid helped to alleviate the effects of
famine in southern Sudan in 1998, the food situation remains fragile,
according to the UN Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS).
27: Sudan's defence minister has pardoned 163 military men who have
been serving various prison terms for non-political reasons, a newspaper
has reported. The independent daily Al-Rai Alaam said Lt. Gen. Ibrahim
Suleiman has dropped the remaining prison terms of those army men
following an "appeal by their families...on the occasion of the
Muslim holy month of Ramadhan".
29: The health of children in Bahr el Ghazal has been dramatically
improved by the OLS emergency programme, new figures demonstrate. World
Vision health staff have completed intensive nutritional surveys of Tonj
and Gogrial counties of Bahr el Ghazal, where the agency operates
therapeutic nutritional centres and clinics. It also distributes general
food rations provided by the World Food Programme (WFP).
30: Sudan's opposition was due to meet President Omar el-Bashir to
press the case for an end to his "single-party" government and
for other measures ahead of elections, media reports said.
Representatives of dissolved political parties, trade unionists and
other figures, led by a veteran politician from south Sudan, Mr Abel
Alier, were due to give Gen. Bashir a memorandum containing their views
January 1 1999: Exiled Sudanese opposition leaders have vowed to
increase resistance to Khartoum after it rejected their call for a new
constitution and government. "We commit ourselves to escalating
pressure on the regime in military, political, media and diplomatic
aspects," former Sudanese prime minister Sadeq al-Mahdi, who is
also leader of the UMMA opposition party, told a news conference.
3: The Sudanese government has rejected the call by opposition
leaders for a national conference to draft a constitution and system of
government representing all Sudanese, an official newspaper reported.
Al-Anbaa quoted a presidential source as saying the presidency had
refused to receive the opposition's memorandum because a new law on
political activity was the only permitted channel of political
3: Secret contacts are going on between Sudan and the United States
to improve ties cut after the US bombed a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant
last August, foreign minister Mustafa Osman Ismail was quoted as saying.
He told the privately-owned Al Rai Al-Aam newspaper that extensive
secret contacts were taking place between the two foreign ministries,
adding: "Sudan's foreign policy stands on the principle of dialogue
and listening to various viewpoints."
7: Three people who allegedly attempted to assassinate top Sudanese
rebel leader John Garang have been charged with murder. Justine Obute,
Kul Garang and Amat Malual were charged with murdering Mr James Monywir
Dogi Bol, a supporter of the SPLA but were not required to plead.
8: Sudan has imposed a new dress code on women requiring them to wear
Islamic attire and a headscarf and will deploy public order police to
ensure that it is observed, the official news agency SUNA said. It said
the decision was taken by the public order and appearance committee, set
up to ensure behaviour conforms with Islamic law which took effect in
Sudan in 1991.
8: Foreign minister Ismail denied the country would enforce a new
rule requiring women visitors to wear Islamic attire, the SUNA reported.
"This news was completely untrue and there is nothing new in the
procedure for entering Sudan,": it quoted him as saying. 8:
Sudanese diplomat and a compatriot were beaten in downtown Zagreb. Both
were briefly hospitalised with slight injuries, Vecerniji daily
reported. A group of young men approached the attaché, 35-year-old
Ahmed Ali Abdel, and Adil Mekki Amin, 36, as they left the car to buy
cigarettes at night. The men immediately started beating the two. The
Sudanese eventually managed to run to their car.
8: President El-Bashir has accused political opponents of "high
treason" for supporting forces bearing arms against his government.
General el-Bashir was quoted by Khartoum dailies as warning the
opposition against violating the new constitution.
9: A Sudanese rebel leader has defected to the government for a
second time and is trying to revive his militia in a move that could
threaten famine relief in south-western Sudan, rebels said. A senior
rebel leader said Mr Kerubino Kwanyin Bol had defected from the SPLA
just before Christmas and was preparing a return to his power base in
the vast south-western region of Bahr el-Ghazal.
12: A party representing the Nuba people has been registered under a
law that Sudan's Islamist rulers say will restore a multi-party system
to the country rent by war. The Sudanese National Party (SNP) of veteran
Nuba politician Reverend Philip Gabboush became the 11th political party
to register since the law took effect on January 1, state television
12: Fifteen people were killed and more than 40 injured when a bus
and a truck collided head-on in central Sudan, newspapers reported. The
privately-owned Alwan daily said the bus, travelling from Khartoum to
Port Sudan, was trying to overtake another vehicle when it smashed into
an oncoming truck at Al-Aribab, about 16 km east of Wad Medani.
13: Members of two armed factions backing the Khartoum government
were killed and wounded when they clashed in Juba, the Akhbar al-Youm
daily reported. The fighting broke out late on Sunday with the hurling
of a grenade into a gathering being held by one of the two factions,
killing an unspecified number of people, the paper said. The two
factions belong to the South Sudan Defence Forces.
13: Seven people were killed and 25 injured in a rail crash and eight
died in a traffic accident, Khartoum newspapers reported. Two passenger
trains collided near the town of Abu Zeid in Western Kordofan. about 550
km Southwest of Khartoum, the government-owned Al-Anbaa daily said. it
quoted Mr Omar Mohamad Nur, director general of the Railway Corporation,
as saying the accident took place at 5 am after one train broke down at
Darus, a small station.
14: Sudan has repeated a complaint to the UN Security Council over
the US bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, the Al-Anbaa daily
reported. Under-secretary of state for foreign affairs Mr Hassan Abdin
told the paper that Khartoum had asked the Security Council to condemn
the August 20 bombing raid and send a team to investigate US claims that
the Al Shifa factory was producing ingredients for chemical weapons.
14: Fearing new famine, the WFP urged Sudan's warring factions to
extend a cease-fire that expires in three days. The cease-fire in
Sudan's 15-year-old civil war covers the southern province of Bahr el-Ghazal,
where hundreds of thousands of people depend on what's become the
largest aid operation in the world.
15: Sudanese war planes have bombed a hospital run by an
international medical charity in southern town of Kajo Keji, completely
destroying the immunisation block, the organisation has said. Three
bombs, dropped on the hospital run by Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF-Doctors
without Borders), also caused extensive damage to the surgical theatre
and the outpatient department, an MSF statement said.
15: Sudan has charged neighbouring Eritrea with massing troops on the
frontier in preparation for an attack. "Information available to us
indicates an Eritrean troop build-up along the common border with the
objective of launching an attack on the country in the next few days in
the Red Sea sector," Lt Gen. Abdel Rahman Sir Al-Khatim said in a
For further information, please contact:
Fr. Kizito, SCIO, tel +254.2.562247 - fax
SUDAN CATHOLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
Bethany House, P. O. Box 21202, Nairobi, Kenya
tel. +254.2.562247 or 569130, fax 566668
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