Sudanese Catholic Information Office
S C I O
P.O.Box 21102 - Nairobi - Kenya
Tel. 00254 - 2 - 577595
fax. 00254 - 2 - 577327
SCIO, July 15, 1999
Sudan monthly Report
July 15, 1999
2. Diocese of Rumbek establishes school at Wunlit
June 16: Sudan and Eritrea have agreed on regular meetings to try
to resolve disputes between the Red Sea neighbours, Sudanese
State Radio Omdurman said. "The joint ministerial committee will
hold its first meeting in August," the radio quoted Sudanese foreign
minister Mustafa Osman Ismail as saying.
16: Sudanese opposition leaders will meet Egyptian and Libyan
officials next month as part of a bid to reach a settlement with the
Islamic -backed government in Khartoum, spokesman said. The
decision to seek Egyptian and Libyan support was contained in a
resolution adopted in Eritrea capital, Asmara, at the end of a
five-day meeting of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
18: An adviser to Sudan's president said in remarks published that
the government and rebels had agreed to defer peace talks aimed at
ending a conflict that has killed more than 1.5 million people. A
fourth round of negotiations was to have started between the
Islamist government and the SPLA.
19: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi begins a three-day visit to
Sudan during which he will have talks with president Omar
el-Bashir, Khartoum newspapers said. The privately-owned
newspaper Al Rai Al-Aam said Col Gaddafi's talks with Gen. Bashir
will cover bilateral relations and regional and international issues.
19: Sudanese army spokesman Mohamed Osman Yassin has denied
allegations that opposition forces had taken over Dinder national
park in Blue Nile. News organisations quoted him as saying the
claim was "a tactic to raise the morale of their fighters" who had
"suffered great losses" in the war in the eastern front.
19: The SPLA has confirmed that it had received official word from
Kenya's foreign ministry indicating that the next round of peace
talks mediated by the Inter-Governmental Authority on
Development (IGAD) was scheduled for July 19-24 in Nairobi.
President Bashir's advisor for peace affairs Nafi Ali Nafi told the
Sudanese News Agency (SUNA) that the postponement of the
peace talks with the rebel movement was intended to allow for a
broader opportunity for the attainment of peace.
19: The UN World Food Programme (WFP) provided food to
nearly 1.5 million beneficiaries throughout Sudan in May to prepare
for the beginning of the "most difficult" stretch of the "traditional
hunger gap" period, WFP's latest weekly emergency report said.
The report said June marked the beginning of the period when the
food supply was low and WFP-assisted beneficiaries were "most
June 20: A cholera outbreak has been reported in Nimule and
Mogale displaced camps in eastern Equatoria. Forty cases were
reported on June 16 but increased to 81 cases and four deaths on
20: Gaddafi held talks with Sudanese leaders in Khartoum and was
due to visit a pharmaceutical factory destroyed by US missiles last
year, state radio Omdurman said. Gaddafi said he had come to
Sudan to "visit the bunkers of confrontation", the radio said.
21: Gaddafi toured the ruins of El-Shifa pharmaceutical factory,
which was destroyed nearly a year ago by US missiles. Gaddafi
walked through paved lower areas of the destroyed factory beside
President Bashir, who explained what various pieces of debris once
21: The SPLA has dismissed as "propaganda" a report in 'The
Indian Ocean Newsletter' that claimed a planned SPLA offensive
against the government had been "fine-tuned" by several Rwandan,
Burundian and Ugandan officers. The newsletter, dated June 12,
also said some SPLA troops were under the supervision of
Rwandan, Burundian and Ugandan commanders.
21: WFP has provided food relief to more than 10,200
internally-displaced persons (IDPs) who were recently displaced
again as a result of the demolition of their shelters in four Khartoum
squatter areas, a recent WFP report said. The food was distributed
through the NGO, ADRA.
21: The Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and Sudan
have signed agreements that will provide US$ 9.5 million to help
address the effects of last year's serious floods in Sudan. SUNA
said the IDB will provide a US$ 8.5 million loan to help overcome
the effects of the floods while US$ 1 million will finance a project
to rehabilitate flood-affected schools, SUNA said.
22: Commuters, politicians and religious leaders in Khartoum are
protesting hefty increases in public transport fares, press reports
said. Workers and student unions have issued statements protesting
the 50 to 75 per cent increases, while some members of parliament
are threatening to open debate on the issue in the national assembly
if the fare hikes are not dropped.
24: The UN has launched its first humanitarian mission to Sudan's
Nuba Mountains region in more than a decade, hoping to assess the
needs of people in the rebel-held territory. The team includes
officials from UNICEF, the WFP and the UN Humanitarian
25: A joint Sudanese-Eritrean committee on security is to meet the
first week of July in a first round of discussions on normalising
bilateral relations, a press report said. The two countries broke off
relations in 1994, with Khartoum and Asmara each sheltering the
other's opposition groups.
28: Sudan and Britain have agreed to partially restore diplomatic
relations after a 10-month hiatus caused by an American missile
strike on a Khartoum medical factory, a Sudanese newspaper
reported. The state-owned Al-Anbaa newspaper quoted foreign
minister Mustafa Osman Ismail as saying the two sides had agreed
to re-open their embassies at the level of charge d'affaires.
28: Sudanese political circles regard a recent US Congress report
on alleged genocide and ethnic cleansing in southern Sudan a
prelude to armed foreign intervention, a newspaper reported. The
Al Rai Al-Aaam daily said the ruling National Congress, the
pro-government Political Association (Tewali) and an opposition
group agreed that the report was "a preparation for a direct
international intervention and invasion like what has happened in
28: Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharazi has indefinitely
postponed a planned visit to Sudan.
29: Forces allied to government troops have recaptured a border
town in southern Sudan, the pro-government's Alwan newspaper
said. "Forces in Jonglei State allied to the armed forces recaptured
the strategic town of Akobo on the Ethiopian border."
29: The UN Committee on NGOs has withdrawn the accreditation
of a Swiss-based NGO, Christian Solidarity International (CSI),
after accusing it of hosting SPLM leader John Garang at the UN
Human Rights Commission's annual session in Geneva. CSI earlier
this year announced that it had bought the freedom of some
1,050-child slaves in southern Sudan at US $50 per person.
29: The US House of Representatives has approved a resolution
condemning the Sudanese government for its "genocidal war in
southern Sudan." The resolution was passed by the full House by a
vote of 416 to 1. "It is the first time in six years that the full House
has passed legislation exclusively on Sudan," a statement from the
US Committee for Refugees (USCR), said.
30: The NGO Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has said the
cease-fire in southern Sudan had been broken in a series of attacks
designed to gain control of the area's oil fields. The organisation
said that, in the last month, government forces swept through
Ruweng County in western Upper Nile region, killing scores of
civilians, abducting hundreds and burning over 6,000 homes.
30: Four bombs were dropped on Kajo Keji, of which one fell
inside the MSF-Switzerland compound and another on hospital
grounds. The bombs, which did not explode, were believed to have
been cluster bombs, a UNICEF/OLS report said. Another six
bombs were dropped on Yei on the same day, but no casualties
July 1: Kenya and Sudan are set for a major trade war if Kenya
carries out a threat not to allow a consignment of 3,000 metric
tonnes of Sudanese sugar into the country. Dr Ali Mansour, a
business development consultant for the importers, Sinnar Trading
Company, warned that should the consignment of white sugar be
re-exported to Sudan, it would initiate a chain of reactions that
would lead to a "definite" retaliatory action from the Sudanese
1: President Bashir, completing a troubled decade in power, has
offered a dialogue with his political opponents and renewed an
amnesty offer to rebels. In a televised address, President Bashir
reversed the government's previous refusal to summon a national
conference on the country's future.
2: Northern Ugandan officials were planning to meet with the
Sudanese government over its support for rebels of the Lords'
Resistance Army. The semi-official New Vision newspaper of
Uganda, quoted Gulu district chairman Walter Ochola as saying his
team would travel to Sudan to meet National Assembly speaker
Hassan al-Turabi "and tell him to stop supporting rebel leader
Joseph Kony's war which is killing innocent people in Acholi".
5: Sudan's central bank, The Bank of Sudan, has stopped dealings
in the pound, saying the Dinar was the official currency, the
pro-government Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper said. Ten pounds
equal one Dinar. "The Bank of Sudan has announced the
cancellation of the Sudanese pound," the daily said.
7: Heavy fighting has raged between two pro-government factions
in the oil-richUnity State in southern Sudan, both sides have
reported. The fighting pits the South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF),
led by Riek Machar, chairman of a council ruling the south, against
forces of rival warlord Paulino Matip.
8: The Ugandan government and SPLA have denied accusations by
Khartoum that they were planning an offensive, along with "allies",
against Sudan. "These are the usual lies about Uganda," Uganda's
Presidential Press Secretary Hope Kivengere told IRIN. The SPLM
termed the accusations a "big propaganda network" and "pure lies".
8: The United Arab Emirates and Sudan have agreed to upgrade
diplomatic relations to ambassadorial level after a seven-year gap,
the official WAM News Agency reported. It quoted Sudan's foreign
minister Mustsafa Osman Ismail as saying that "meetings with
officials resulted in an agreement to return the level of diplomatic
representation between the two states to ambassadorial level."
10: Sudan said government troops had killed 30 rebels and repelled
an attack southeast of the capital of Khartoum, the state Akhbar
al-Youm newspaper reported. "At dawn the day before yesterday,
outlaw forces attacked the area of Um al-Kheir, west of the Dinder
River, and the armed forces repulsed them, forcing them to flee,"
the daily quoted army spokesman Mohammed Osman Yassin as
12: Sixteen civilians were injured when a group of soldiers attacked
customers at a club in Wadi Halfa Town in northern Sudan, a
newspaper reported. The Alwan daily said an army lieutenant had a
quarrel with a youth in the club, returned to his garrison just
outside town and came back with a group of soldiers, who blocked
the club's entrance and beat up customers at random with canes and
12: A Sudanese rebel leader said the government wanted to torpedo
the opposition's unity as part of its strategy in the country's civil
war. "The regime's keenness to talk to several mediators at several
fora proves …a desperate attempt to break up our ranks," said Col.
14: Sudanese troops repulsed an attack by rebel fighters in eastern
Sudan killing 47 of them, an army spokesman claimed in published
remarks. The clashes took place in the eastern state of Gedaref,
some 350 km east of Khartoum, the pro-government daily
newspaper, Akhbar Al Youm, quoted the spokesman, Gen.
Mohammed Osman Yassin as saying. The claim could not be
2. Diocese of Rumbek establishes school at Wunlit
The Diocese of Rumbek has established a primary school in Wunlit,
the scene of the recent Dinka/ Nuer Peace Covenant. The school,
initiated in May, is now fully operational and is meant to help boost
the spirit of reconciliation set in motion by the covenant signed in
March between the two largest southern Sudanese communities.
The Wunlit Comboni School, says the Bishop of the Diocese of
Rumbek, Caesar Mazzolari, is one of the see's efforts in ensuring
lasting peace and reconciliation in the entire southern Sudan. So far,
says the Bishop, the school has only Dinka students but the Nuer
are most welcome as it is situated at a common border. The
Diocese of Rumbek's other contribution towards the initiative is the
admission of both the Dinka and the Nuer to it's Formation Centre
in Kitale, Kenya.
The Kitale institution (about 400 kilometres north-west of Nairobi),
christened Blessed Josephine Bakhita Formation Centre, is at the
exclusive service of the Sudanese. It trains prospective priests,
catechists and teachers. The Kitale centre also runs a secondary
school programme based on the Kenyan 8-4-4 system of education.
Bishop Mazzolari commended the New Sudan Council of Churches
for setting in motion the bold move to reconcile the Nuer and the
The historic Wunlit peace deal was the culmination of a conference
held from February 28 to March 8. A recent press release by the
NSCC says the implementation of the covenant "has been quick and
extensive on the ground.'' "Thousands of Dinka and Nuer have
welcomed each other into shared grazing areas and fishing sites,
re-established trade and commerce and erased a no-man's land
along their borders,'' adds the press release.
Another significant development since the signing of the covenant
was the recent NSCC Women's Peace workshop held on June
11-15 in Lokichoggio, Kenya. The symposium took the participants
through the training of the process of reconciliation and conflict
resolution. The women expressed their willingness to commit
themselves to the already agreed upon resolutions in Wunlit.
The Dinkas and Nuer, both of whom are cattle keepers, have since
time immemorial fought almost innumerable battles over grazing
land and other grievances.
The Nuers, like most other southern Sudanese communities, accuse
the Dinka of seeking to establish a tribal hegemony, courtesy of
their numerical advantage and "imagined cultural superiority''.
Other ethnic groups in the south include the Didinga, Shilluk,
Lotuko, Alur, Azande, Toposa, Mudu, Kakwa, Jur and Bakaa.
Since the outbreak of the current phase of the Sudanese civil war in
1983, the tribal animosity between the Dinka and the Nuer has
assumed a political angle, with Khartoum tacitly fuelling it to make
the southerners perpetually vulnerable pawns.
Besides other consequences, the Khartoum intrigue has occasioned
splits and counter-splits in the SPLA since 1992. It is in the same
seven-and-a-half years' period that the Dinka-Nuer animosity has
been most vicious.
Two years ago, a top SPLA leader, Dr Riak Machar (a Nuer) led a
host of disenchanted SPLA factions in re-joining Khartoum. Dr
Machar, who now heads the South Sudan Independent Movement,
has since been declared the president of southern Sudan by
Khartoum. Dr Machar also holds the portfolio of Sudan's second
vice-president. He remains an avowed enemy of SPLA supremo
For further information, please contact:
Fr. Kizito, SCIO, tel +254.2.577595 - fax +254.2.577327 -
SUDAN CATHOLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
Bethany House, P. O. Box 21202, Nairobi, Kenya
tel. +254.2.577595 or 577949, fax 577327