SUDAN: IRIN News Briefs [19990527]

SUDAN: IRIN News Briefs [19990527]

SUDAN: IRIN News Briefs, 27 May

Umma denies "secret deal" in advance of NDA meeting

The opposition Umma Party on Tuesday denied a report in the London-based Arabic-language 'Al-Hayat' daily on Tuesday which said party leader Sadeq al-Mahdi, a pillar of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), had reached a secret deal with Speaker of Parliament Hassan al-Turabi. "The Umma Party completely denies the existence of such an agreement", a statement reported by Reuters said, adding that Umma "believes that national issues cannot be solved except through a comprehensive agreement that encompasses all parties and resolves all issues". NDA leaders are to meet in the Eritrean capital of Asmara in early June to discuss a political solution for Sudan, Umma's statement said.

Government claims Malakal-Juba water corridor now secure

The official spokesman of the armed forces, Staff Lt-Gen Mohamed Osman Yassin, on Wednesday reported on Sudanese radio that government troops were again in full control of the Adok area, between Malakal and Juba in southern Sudan, where last week's attack on a food aid barge took place. He added that troops had "secured the waterway for navigation."

A spokeswoman for WFP - which had two of its aid workers wounded in the attack - told IRIN on Thursday that it had halted one of its food barges at Boor and suspended barge convoys to southern Sudan, including the next scheduled convoy in early June, until it had completed a reassessment of the security situation. WFP has requested a government investigation of the incident, she added.

New move to resolve tribal clashes in Darfur

A conference is currently underway in the capital of Western Darfur state, al-Junaynah, to try and end years of conflict between the African Masalit people and Arab tribesmen, the BBC reported on Wednesday. Drought and desertification, which have made grazing land scarce, are blamed for the tribal clashes in Darfur, although the Masalit, who are farmers, claim the nomadic Arabs simply want to drive them from their lands. The conference, under the patronage of First Vice-president Ali Osman Mohamed Taha is expected to come up with recommendations on how the two communities could coexist peacefully.


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Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 1999

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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