Sudanese Catholic Information Office
S C I O
P.O.Box 21102 - Nairobi - Kenya
Tel. 00254 - 2 - 562247
fax. 00254 - 2 - 566668
SCIO, December 15, 1998
Sudan Monthly Report
December 15, 1998
November: 16: Sudan will host a ministerial meeting of the
Commission on Refugees, and Displaced Persons in Africa, a
statement from Embassy in Nairobi said. The Sudanese
government, working in liaison with the Organisation of African
Unity (OAU) general secretariat, have set three days next month for
the ministerial conference in Khartoum from December 13-15.
17: An attempted assassination of top SPLA leader John Garang in
Nairobi left one man dead and several wounded. The SPLA leader's
Nairobi residence was attacked by supporters of his rival, Major
General Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, it was revealed.
18: Kenya police officers fuelled the battle between Garang and
Major-General Kerubino, it has been claimed. It was revealed that
the weekend fight was sparked by the arrest of Kerubino, his
deputy Dr Amon Wantok , and his three top aides at the Jomo
Kenyatta International Airport.
18: A fight between supporters of Garang and Kerubino took place
at a Muthangari Police Station in Nairobi. And Garang has gone
18: A Sudan government war plane bombed a hospital run by the
Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) agency in a rebel-held town in
south Sudan killing two people including a child and injuring 11,
rebels and the aid group reported. "A Sudan government Anotonov
plane dropped six bombs on Yei town," said a statement by the aid
19: The SPLA has accused Kerubino of trying to assassinate Col
Garang, in Nairobi. A "hit squad" raided Col. Garang's house but
the attack was foiled by the "alertness of the Kenyan police," an
SPLA statement said.
19: Kenya parliament will be told the cause of the fight between
Sudanese rebels at a police station in Nairobi. Minister of state
Major (Rtd) Marsden Madoka made the pledge after Dagoretti MP
Beth Mugo sought a ministerial statement from office of the
president on the fight.
20: General Kerubino has said he will not be returning to the side of
the Sudanese government, despite accusations by the SPLA that he
tried to assassinate Col. Garang. "This is ridiculous. Going back to
Khartoum would not be good for our people. Our people are
fighting for self-determination," Gen Kerubino said.
20: The Deputy speaker of the Sudanese ruling National Congress,
Mr Ali al Haj Mohammed, has denied any link between the
Sudanese government and bloody conflict in Nairobi between Col
Garang and Gen. Kerubino. Mr Haj was quoted by the daily
newspaper Al Usbu, denying government involvement in the
assassination bid and asserted that in fact Col Garang had sought to
have Gen Kerubino murdered.
21: Sudanese officials and rebels signed a pact guaranteeing better
security to aid workers, including a promise not to lay land mines in
areas where they provide help, a UN official said. The accord,
signed in Rome, was forged to allow food to reach people caught in
a 15-year civil war in the south.
22: President Hassan Omar el-Bashir has warned opposition groups
based in neighbouring Eritrea and Ethiopia that Sudan was about to
mend fences with the two Horn of Africa nations. Relations
between Sudan and its two neighbours have been fraught with
tension for several years. Khartoum accuses them of aiding
Sudanese rebels while Ethiopia and Eritrea level similar charges.
23: Civil strife in Africa has escalated because of the continued
manufacture of arms by some states in the West, the Kitale Catholic
bishop, Maurice Crowley, has said. He was speaking at the Blessed
Josephine Bakhita Formation Centre, Kitale, Kenya, during the
graduation ceremony for 23 Sudanese catechists.
23: A gun-fight in Nairobi between two factions of the SPLA, in
which one man was killed and several wounded, exposed the sharp
divisions in the main opposition fighting to oust the Khartoum
government. Col. Garang, who reportedly escaped an assassination
attempt by supporters of Major-General Kerubino, 10 days ago,
was said to have gone underground.
23: The head of the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II, has
appointed Father Caesar Mazzolari the bishop of the Diocese of
Rumbek in Southern Sudan. Fr. Mazzolari, a Comboni missionary,
has for the past eight years (1990-98) been the apostolic
administrator of the Sudanese see.
23: Sudanese authorities have completed the seizure of weapons
from the pro-government militia leaders in Khartoum in a bid to end
factional fighting, the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA)
reported. "The campaign of collection of arms from the southern
factions, which was implemented recently in Khartoum state, was
completed with success, "SUNA quoted Major-General Oman
Jaafar Osman, police commander of Khartoum state, as saying.
25: Sudan's parliament has passed a controversial bill allowing
organised political activity amid protests that the legislation was
rushed through with insufficient debate, press reports said. Some
Members of Parliament walked out of the assembly to protest the
way the bill was debated.
25: Sudan has asked the UN to stop the US and other countries
from "obstructing" the peace process with southern rebels, the
official SUNA reported. President el-Bashir made the request
during a meeting with Sir Kieran Prendergast, the UN
under-secretary general for political affairs.
25: A Sudanese newspaper said Egypt had sentenced a number of
Sudanese citizens to jail on spying charges after they were
"kidnapped" by Egyptian authorities last month in the disputed
Halaib border area on the Red Sea Coast. "The kidnapped were
tried by the Egyptian state security court on charges of spying for
Sudan and the court passed harsh verdicts ranging from 15-25 years
in prison," the independent Al-Usbua newspaper said without
giving a source.
25: Major-General Kerubino has called for reconciliation and unity
in the liberation struggle. In a statement, Kerubino said
reconciliation was necessary if the struggle was to succeed in the
face of "determined policy of prosecution, domination, exploitation,
cultural and religious imposition by the government of Sudan''.
25: A rebel group has attacked a convoy of commercial trucks,
killing 34 northern Sudanese merchants in a southern town, a
pro-government newspaper reported. The daily Alwan quoted
government sources in the Upper Nile state as saying the attack
took place in the Khor Donglawi area near the town of Renk, 450
kilometres south of Khartoum
27: The SPLA has accused agents of the Sudanese government of
being behind an attack on Col. Garang's Nairobi residence in
Nairobi. The director in the office of the chairman, Mr Edward
Lino, said the SPLA held the Khartoum government responsible for
the 9.30 p.m. attack which was foiled by Kenyan security detail.
30: Sudanese parliament speaker Hassan Abdallah al-Turabi is
expected to tender his resignation as leader of the national
assembly, a post he has held since 1996, press reports said. The
Al-Rai al-Akher daily said Turabi, seen as the eminence grise of the
Moslem fundamentalist-backed military junta that seized power in
1989, was said to be giving up the post to devote his time to the
organisation of the National Congress.
December 1: Several outlawed political parties in Sudan have
rejected a new law on party formation, saying they considered
themselves legal all along, press reports said. Representatives of the
Democratic Unionist (DUP), Umma Communist and Moslem
Brotherhood parties argued that they do not need a licence to
operate because they do not recognise the new legislation.
1. The famine which affected hundreds of thousands of people in
southern Sudan in the summer is under control, but aid agencies
fear a new crisis without a settlement of the 15-year civil war in the
area. "There is a considerable improvement, the number of people
admitted to the feeding centres is diminishing," said Gillian Wilcox
of Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) set up by the UN to organise
2: Sudanese rebels said they were still fighting government forces in
the Nuba mountains of the south-central Sudan after the army
launched an offensive there last month. Officials of the SPLA said
the government had embarked on a dry season offensive in the
Nuba Mountains of the Southern Kordofan Province on November
11, attacking on four fronts with around 2, 000 troops.
2: Sudanese foreign minister Mr Mustafa Osman Ismail has
criticised Sir Prendergast, the UN under-secretary-general for
political affairs, for meeting secretly with the opposition in
Khartoum, press reports said. Khartoum newspapers quoted Mr
Ismail as saying that the government "would not have refused
arranging a meeting of the UN envoy with internal opposition
representatives ...but he preferred to ignore diplomatic norms and
hold an unscheduled meeting with the opposition without
permission or knowledge of the government.
2: In a response to the increase in attacks against its staff members,
World Food Programme has launched a new security initiative for
its employees. A new WFP task force is examining current security
practices in field offices and a special training programme for staff
will be implemented next year. The agency said in a statement. In
1998 alone, nine WFP staff members have been murdered.
3: The Sudanese army claimed to have recaptured areas on the
eastern border from opposition forces. The armed forces general
command said in a communiqué that its troops, supported by the
popular defence forces, recaptured the border areas of Telik and
Toqan near Kassala town from "the traitors and outlaws'' who "ran
away, leaving numbers of dead bodies behind".
3: The WFP has sent about 2,500 tons of relief aid for hungry
civilians in war-torn southern Sudan, a UN official said. A convoy
of seven river barges carrying relief material left the river port of
Kosti, 300 kilometres south of Khartoum, to distribute the aid. to
people along the Nile River, the WFP representative in Khartoum,
Mr Mohammed Saleheen, said in a statement.
4: Sudanese parliamentary speaker and the junta's helsman of
political reform Hassan Abdallah al-Turabi has confirmed to MPs
that he will resign in January, state television has announced. Mr
Turabi, an Islamic law expert, said he would stand down once the
ruling National Congress was confirmed into a political
organisation and that he would then concentrate on his leadership
of the movement.
4: Christian Solidarity International (CSI), an anti-slavery
organisation has voiced concern over alleged trafficking of slaves in
Sudan. CSI, which has "bought back" more than 4,000 slaves in the
past three years, called for a UN probe into slavery in Sudan.
9: A Sudanese government plane bombed an NPA hospital and
medical training school at Chukudum in southern Sudan, but caused
no casualties or damage, the NPA said. The NPA said in a
statement that the government Antonov plane appeared at 9.30 am
and dropped six bombs aimed at the hospital but there were no
10: Famine devastated Sudan in 1998, with skin-and-bone survivors
sacrificing the weakest members of their families, but the civil war
went inexorably into its 16th year. International peace bids resulted
in limited cease-fires in Africa's largest country, but did nothing to
resolve the fundamental split between the Arabised, Islamic north
and the black, largely Christian south despite an agreement to hold
a referendum at some stage on the "unity of outright secession" for
10: President el-Bashir has signed a law to restore a multi-party
system nine years after his military coup dismantled democracy,
state radio Omdurman reported. Opposition parties have dismissed
the Islamist government's moves to reinstate democracy as a sham.
10: The UN Security Council is considering requests for UN
officials to be allowed to take part in a refugee conference in
Khartoum, despite sanctions that bar such meetings in the Sudan,
council members said. The ministerial-level conference being
organised by the OAU is a three-day session of experts, to which
the UN was also invited.
11: Africa must face up to the problem of its eight million refugees
and bear the responsibility, the organisation of OAU said in
Khartoum. Opening a pan-African conference on refugees, the
assistant secretary-general of OAU, Mr Daniel Anotonio, said host
countries were experiencing "fatigue and donors were suffering
11: The US special envoy to the horn of Africa met with Sudanese
rebels and dissidents during his six-day mission in the region to deal
with the Ethiopian-Eritrean border conflict stay, according to a
rebel spokesman,. Mr Yasir Arman, spokesman in Eritrea for the
SPLA, Mr Anthony Lake met with representatives of the National
Democratic Alliance in the Eritrean capital.
12: Ethiopian troops have left the Sudanese border town of
Kurmuk, leaving it in the hands of Sudanese rebels who have held it
since 1996, a senior political source told a Sudanese daily. Al-Rai
al-Aam daily did not name the source but said the Ethiopian
withdrawal marked the "new step" in the improvement of relations
between the neighbouring countries.
12: Two senior Sudanese military officers were killed when a
government vehicle struck a landmine near the north-eastern border
town of Kassala, Sudanese rebels said. The chief government
operational officer in Kassala and an intelligence unit officer were
killed in the incident near the border with Eritrea, according to a
statement issued by the NDA, the umbrella group for Sudanese
dissidents and rebel groups.
14: The OAU defied the UN Security Council by failing to seek
permission for a refugee conference in Sudan, UN officials said.
The officials said that OAU ambassadors to the UN had met to
discuss a US demand and that the OAU - which is sponsoring the
conference in violation of a UN resolution- request UN permission
for the event.
14: When Pope John Paul II visited Khartoum five years ago, he
likened the treatment Christians sometimes undergo in Sudan to
Christ's crucifixion at Calvary. Now the Sudanese government is
threatening a pair of Roman Catholic priests and 18 co-defendants
with the crucifixion for allegedly setting off almost a dozen bombs
around Khartoum on June 30 to mar official celebrations marking
the anniversary of the 1989 coup that brought the National Islamic
Front to power.
14: Sudan's ruling party has reshuffled its leadership ahead of what
the Islamist government bills as a return to a multi-party system
after a nine-year gap. President Omar Hassan al-Bashir banned all
political organisations in Sudan after seizing power in a 1989 coup.
15: African leaders attending a ministerial conference on refugees in
Khartoum have called on the international community to increase
assistance to millions of displaced people throughout Africa.
President el-Bashir, in his opening speech, warned of "an imminent
catastrophe" in Africa with the refugee problem "getting worse and
international assistance diminishing.
For further information, please contact:
Fr. Kizito, SCIO, tel +254.2.562247 - fax +254.2.566668 -
SUDAN CATHOLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
Bethany House, P. O. Box 21202, Nairobi, Kenya
tel. +254.2.562247 or 569130, fax 566668
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12/17/98 3:02 PM