UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
SUDAN: IRIN News Briefs, 24 September
Suspected oil pipeline bombers rounded up
The government on Thursday said it had rounded up a number of people in connection with the bombing of a newly-installed oil pipeline linking the loading terminal in Port Sudan with oil fields in the south. The Al-Rai Al-Aam daily newspaper quoted Interior Minister Abdel-Raheem Mohamed Hussein as saying the government was considering submitting extradition requests to "some Arab countries" to hand over "terrorists" in connection with the bombing, which took place on Sunday night near the northeast town of Atbara. "We will use all possible and legal means to reach those who committed the crime," Reuters quoted Public Prosecutor Abdel Nasser Wonan as saying. Canada-based investor Talisman Energy described it as a "minor incident". A Talisman statement said repairs were underway "and no disruptions to production operations or tanker liftings are anticipated." Sudan begun its first oil exports from the pipeline barely three weeks ago.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) - comprising northern opposition groups and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) - said a special force of its Joint Military Command had blown up a 2-km section of the pipeline, causing extensive damage, as part of its plan to stop the "plunder of our oil on which the [National Islamic Front] and their supporters have put their hopes to finance the war," an SPLM press release said. It said the NDA "has now shown its capability to strike at oil assets anytime and anywhere in the Sudan" and warned that oil operations and their workers remained "legitimate military targets."
UN mission to Nuba mountains "progressing well"
A UN mission that left Khartoum on 15 September for a month-long assessment of humanitarian needs in the Nuba mountains is "progressing well," an OCHA official in Khartoum told IRIN on Thursday. "The mission is on and there are no problems", she said. The mission follows a June visit to the area by a team of high-level UN officials who recommended a technical assessment to identify humanitarian needs in the area, a WFP statement said. The team, comprising experts from WFP, FAO, WHO, UNDP and OCHA as well as CARE and SCF-UK, is expected to "quantify" specific humanitarian needs in the fields of agriculture and food security, health and nutrition, water, sanitation and basic education to help agencies formulate assistance proposals for people in the area. It is also examining logistical aspects for the delivery of aid.
Egyptian relief plane arrives in northern flood-hit town
An Egyptian government plane loaded with medicines, pesticides, sprayers and water pumps arrived in the flood-affected town of Dunqulah in Northern State in northern Sudan, the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported on Sunday. It said a team of Egyptian doctors was also expected in the town to contribute to the medical efforts to ward off the flood's effects.
USAID report puts emphasis on rehabilitation over relief
The primary lesson from a recent analysis by USAID of activities it funded in southern Sudan in the past six years was that "there are often pockets of stability, and resulting potential for transition, even in a situation of ongoing conflict", and that these areas can benefit from rehabilitation rather than relief or emergency programmes. The assessment of USAID-funded operations in the 'West Bank' of southern Sudan - comprising all parts of Equatoria province lying west of the Nile - suggested that, even in a situation of conflict and humanitarian crisis as serious and sustained as that in Sudan, properly programmed assistance could go a long way to restoring people's coping mechanisms and ability to engage in economic activities. Ultimately, these types of rehabilitation programmes "foster the transition to resilient development and community self-sufficiency, preventing or mitigating the effects of current and future complex emergencies, and reducing the overall costs of relief interventions", the USAID report, 'Evolution of a Transition Strategy and Lessons Learned", concluded.
With the international community spending an estimated US $1 million a day in humanitarian assistance to Sudan, the report emphasised the need for donor analysis of the impact of humanitarian activities, positive and negative. Among its recommendations were: that sustainability should be built into all humanitarian activities; there should be greater inter-agency sharing of lessons learned and successes achieved; and there should be a flexible funding mechanism for new and innovative approaches to humanitarian assistance - particularly in the transition from relief to rehabilitation. High levels of need were likely to continue in Sudan, the Horn of Africa and other areas of conflict or crisis, and USAID's 'West Bank' transition strategy offered a model "to use assistance in ways that will increase the population's self-sufficiency and reduce its dependency on food aid", the report added.
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Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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