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Subj:     HORN OF AFRICA: IRIN Update [2000912]
Date:     9/12/00 12:02:19 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: (IRIN)
HORN OF AFRICA: IRIN Update, 12 September
SUDAN: Sudanese opposition leader calls for unity
SUDAN: NGOs clarify position in Unity State
SUDAN: Sudanese opposition leader calls for unity
In a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) held last
week in Eritrea, John Garang, leader of the Sudan People's
Liberation Movement (SPLM), called the NDA "the greatest
achievement of the Sudanese people in their struggle for a just
peace and a qualified unity". 
In his speech, made available to IRIN, Garang spoke in depth on
the problems the country and his movement faced, saying: "Sudan
must evolve a commonality that gives effective expression to all its
diversities." Regarding the 17-year-old civil war that has ripped the
nation apart, Garang said the main problem of Sudan was that there
had never been a "national project" which included all the
parameters of Sudan and could unite the different groups and
nationalities. The successive governments only assumed unity and
tried to base that unity on two parameters, Arabism and Islamism,"
he said.
Highly critical of the National Islamic Front (NIF), Garang said
there could never be a lasting peace, as: "NIF is based on a strange
philosophy of self-destruction, of some Sudanese communites being
mobilised to fight other Sudanese communities," adding that "NIF
is pulling the country apart, while the NDA is bringing the
Sudanese together." 
Eritrean radio, monitored by the British Broadcasting Corporation
(BBC), reported on 9 September that some 350 NDA
representatives and renowned individuals from Sudan and abroad
were in attendence. The meeting marked the second time the NDA
had met since it first met in Asmara in 1995, the report said. 
SUDAN: NGOs clarify position in Sudan's Unity state
In response to statements made by the Canadian based Talisman
Energy Corporation concerning its relations with NGOs working in
the oilfields of Sudan's Unity State and in Khartoum, Gary Kenny,
coordinator for the Inter-Church on Africa, on behalf of the NGOs
working in the area, issued a clarification for what it termed
"misleading public inferences that these NGOs are working together
with the company in Unity State". 
The statement said, given the controversial nature of oil
development in Sudan, the NGOs wanted to clearly state that "in
the provision of humanitarian assistance to the vulnerable
populations in Unity State, there is no relationship between these
NGOs and any of the companies involved in the oil industry in
Sudan."  The statement went on to read "We strongly object to
Talisman Energy's allegations that they are working together as a
team with the international humanitarian community.  Talisman's
public statements infer a relationship that does not exist in Unity
Meanwhile, the Canadian newspaper, "Globe and Mail", reported
on Monday that Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy
was being criticised for "failing to crack down on Talisman Energy
Inc of Calgary". The company helps run an oil project that
human-rights groups say is funding atrocities committed by the
Sudanese government in a war against its own separatist rebels, the
report said. 
[IRIN-CEA: Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: ]
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Last modified: March 12, 2001