SUDAN NEWS & VIEWS - 15
SUDAN NEWS & VIEWS
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
|Issue No 15
|| November 1995
|'Sudan News & Views' is an independent electronic Newsletter
working to advocate peace, human rights and humanitarian aid
for the Sudan.
Editor: Dr. Yasin Miheisi
- Distribution is free of charge.
- Reposting and reproduction are allowed (with acknowledgement).
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In this issue:
FIGHTING INTENSIFIES IN SOUTHERN SUDAN
The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) has stepped up its offensive against government forces in
southern Sudan. The SPLA said its forces had now reached the town of Kit, 35 km from Juba, the largest
town in southern Sudan, and had besieged Kapoeta and advancing on the west Nile region towards the
towns of Kaya, Kajo Kaji and Yei. The SPLA is also reported to be shelling Torit and Aswa, inflicting
heavy casualties among the government army and the Popular Defence Forces (PDF) militia.
The SPLA has so far captured 13 government garrisons and key towns since it launched its surprise
early-dry-season offensive in late October. The military posts captured include Palotaka, Obbo, Magwi,
Panyikwara, Ame, Moli, Pageri and Loa. The SPLA captured many T-55 tanks, artillery guns, more than
3,000 German-made G3 rifles and large amounts of ammunition.
The SPLA also said in a statement, that 8 people were killed in Juba in a bomb attack on an army store
of ammunition and food rations.
In retaliation, government warplanes have dropped 28 bombs on the town of Yambio, killing two and
wounding seven people.
The Sudanese authorities declared mass mobilization and accused Egypt, Tanzania, Uganda and Eriteria
of involvement. The government also canceled all relief flights to southern Sudan due to the 'security
and military situation created by the Ugandan and SPLA attack in the south', according to a statement
by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
President Omer Al-Bashir also accused the US of inciting Sudan's neighbours to attack it. He said,
addressing a rally in Gedarif, 'The US and its allies have tempted these countries against Sudan
because of its Islamic orientation. These arrogant countries have realized they could not directly
attack Sudan because of the hard blows they received in Somalia. So they are now launching the war on
Sudan through its neighbours.'
On another occasion, President Bashir told army soldiers in Khartoum that 'our army is now advancing
towards the Ugandan border at a firm pace, watched over by God and helped by the angels, destroying
the bases of the rebellion one after another. With God's help and approval, we think the rebellion in
Sudan will be ended forever, God willing'.
Foreign Minister, Ali Osman Taha, visited Juba to boost the morale of government troops. He appeared
in state TV, wearing military uniform, and told government troops they are fighting a jihad (holy war)
in defence of Sudan territory.
Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, warned that Uganda would hit back hard if Sudan government troops
attacked his country.
SPLA HANDS OVER CAPTURED UGANDANS
The SPLA handed over to Uganda, 128 women and children captured from the Ugandan rebel Lord's
Resistance Army (LRA), which has bases in southern Sudan in areas controlled by the government. The
SPLA has overrun camps of LRA in Palotaka, killing 36 Ugandan rebels and are holding hundreds of LRA
Ugandan security officials also said that Sudanese bomber planes, Antonov 32's, had violated Ugandan
air space on November 9, for the third time this month. The planes flew over northwestern Uganda but
did not drop any bombs. Sudanese planes last dropped bombs in northern Uganda in January.
ABEL ALIER DEMANDS SELF-DETERMINATION FOR SOUTH
The former vice-president, Abel Alier, and four other prominent southern Sudan politicians had
presented a letter to President Omer Al-Bashir, demanding self-determination for southern Sudan and
the restoration of democracy and basic freedoms to the people of Sudan.
The letter said Bashir's government, by making Sudan a theocratic Islamic state, had excluded
southerners politically and constitutionally.
'The people of southern Sudan are entitled to exercise their fundamental rights of reviewing the
experience of the single sovereign state and in the light of that experience to decide either to
affirm the unity of that state based on one religion within a framework of a confederal or federal
structure, or take the second option for southern Sudan to become an independent sovereign entity',
the letter said.
They added 'And in recent years a war of religious Jihad was declared on southern Sudan and a new
civilization project was launched consisting of racial, religious, cultural, social and economic
components. Its aim and purpose being to marginalize and to assimilate the peoples of the south and
other related areas of Sudan.'
The letter was signed, in addition to Abel Alier, by Joseph Ukel, Ezekiel Kodi, Isaiah Kulang and
Henry Tong Chol, all are former members of the regional administration of the south during Numeiri's
They called for a transitional administration and an end to fighting in the south so that southerners
could exercise their right to self-determination fairly and fully.
They also pledged their full support to the principles of self-determination embodied in the Asmara
resolutions of the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
President Bashir later remarked that Mr. Alier had stepped over a red line and the authorities are
examining their options to deal with him and the other co-signatories of the letter.
UN HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT ON SUDAN
A report, by the UN special rapporteur for human rights for Sudan, Caspar Biro, released in November,
had painted a bleak picture of human rights conditions in Sudan. The report said slavery, abductions,
torture and rape, mainly by government security forces, have increased despite international protests.
It said most abuses occurred in Bahr Al-Gazal province and in the Nuba Mountains.
The report cited many examples of the systematic violation of human rights, among them:
Rebel groups in southern Sudan were also accused of grave abuses. Prisoners captured were often
tortured or executed by some commanders. Suspected civilian collaborators are also killed or tortured.
The report repeated calls for the Sudanese government to release all political prisoners, allow UN
monitors in and halt deliberate and indiscriminate air attacks against civilians in the south.
- In the town of Lobonok, the local population was forced to convert to Islam. Those who refused
were killed and one 12-year-old girl was raped by 12 soldiers in uniform.
- Prison conditions are appalling and many women prisoners are malnourished, ill and sometimes
- In August, a number of offices and homes of businessmen were raided and their fax machines
confiscated because they did not have government permission to use them.
- Five Khartoum University students were killed by security forces in September, who opened fire on
- Freedom of speech and of the press continue to be severely restricted by the government and
journalists, local and foreign, are harassed or arrested for anti-government reports.
- Political parties and all NGO's, not affiliated with the government, continue to be banned.
- Hundreds of people were arrested because they were suspected of opposing the government.
Biro was denied entry to Sudan because his previous report was claimed by the Sudanese government to
have attacked Islam.
HRW EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER DETENTIONS
The US-based organization, Human Rights Watch, sent a letter to President Bashir calling on the
government of Sudan to either charge, with a crime in a regular criminal court, those detained in
connection with September street demonstrations in Khartoum, or free them immediately. The letter also
urged the government to respect the physical and mental integrity of those under detention, and allow
them immediate access to their families and lawyers.
The letter listed the names of 19 students and others who are believed to be held in detention since
September 2, without charge or trial.
SUDAN AND LIBYA
Sudanese officials attacked Libya and accused it of violating an agreement reached between the two
countries to delay the expulsion of 300,000 Sudanese citizens till next year.
Already, 30,000 people had arrived home across the desert border and about 100,000 are now stranded on
the Libyan side of the border.
Some Sudanese deportees complained that Libyan security forces had beaten them and robbed them of
their possessions. Five people were reported to have died during the journey home. There were also
reports on clashes in Al-Kufra area between Libyan police and Sudanese deportees.
ARAKIS INSIDER TRADING EXPOSED
The British Columbia Securities Commission is continuing an inquiry into reports of inside trading by
Arakis Energy Corp. The President of Arakis, Terry Alexander, was reported to have sold, on August 3,
198,837 shares of the company's stock for C$9.00 a share. He bought the shares one day before, for
C$4.71. He made a profit of C$853,011. He also sold, for C$9 a share, 22,836 bonus shares he bought on
August 4 for C$7.05 a piece. Another Arakis Director was also reported to have made a short sale of
10,000 Arakis shares at C$25.82 and 14,600 shares at C$24.63 each.
Alexander was asked at a news conference, on August 24, if he had sold any Arakis shares since March.
He replied 'I haven't, because I believe in this project', referring to the Sudan oil project.
Arakis disappeared from the limelight after a highly-publicized $750m financing from a Saudi prince
fell apart, and its stock collapsed in September. Keeping a low profile this time, Arakis announced it
is negotiating a new deal with the help of a middleman, Walid Al-Omer, which involves hefty fees for
his services. One analyst estimated that the fees total about US$80 million.
 The newly-privatized telecommunication company, Sudatel, had awarded a $10 million contract to
California Microwave, to install a satellite communication network in Sudan. The first phase of the
network is said to provide voice and data communication between 37 cities and villages and would be
completed in 14 months. The second phase will expand the network to 72 earth stations.
 The general manager of Khartoum Stock Exchange, Mohamed Abdel Rahman Abu Shoura, had been replaced
by a new manager, Hamza Mohamed. Taj El-Sir Mustafa, the former Minister of Commerce, had been
appointed as advisor to the exchange's board of directors for privatization and investment.
Khartoum Stock Exchange was opened in January 1995. It opens just one hour every morning, has no
official index and averages less than $3,000 of business a day.
Eisa Abdin had also been appointed director general of the National Electricity Corporation, in place
of Amin Bushari, who had resigned.
SHORT NEWS ITEMS
- The Egyptian police have arrested a leading Islamic militant and seized a large cache of arms that
had been smuggled from Sudan. The Egyptian Interior Ministry said in a statement that Sudanese
security officers had helped the militants, al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, transport the weapons across the
border. Police had seized 100 hand generades, 5 RPG launchers, 11 kg of high-power explosives, 64
automatic rifles and 1,700 rounds of ammunition.
- A Higher State Security Court in Egypt had ruled to reduce the sentence of a Sudanese businessman
who hijacked a plane from Sudan to Egypt last year. Adil Mahjoub was originally tried and sentenced to
15 years in jail with hard labour, for hijacking the plane and demanding political asylum in Egypt,
after releasing all 100 passengers on board. The head judge of the High Court said the original court
did not show any mercy. He gave Mahjoub a one-year suspended sentence.
Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar