SUDAN NEWS & VIEWS - 16
SUDAN NEWS & VIEWS
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
|Issue No 16
|| December 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:
LONDON CONFERENCE RESOLUTIONS
A conference, under the title of 'Peace and Democracy in Sudan', was organized by Christian Solidarity
International organization and Baroness Cox, a member of the British House of Lords. Representatives
of all Sudanese opposition political parties, trade unions and southern armed factions participated in
the meeting, which was held on 29-30 November, 1995 in the House of Lords, London. Representatives of
some European and African countries also attended the meeting. At the end of the two-day discussion,
the following statement was issued:
This conference reaffirms the resolutions of Bonn Conference of June 1994.
- This conference endorses the IGADD Declaration of Principles (DOP) as a viable basis for
resolving the Sudanese problem, and in that respect finds that the NDA Asmara Agreement of June 1995
provides a comprehensive solution to the Sudanese crisis as it translates the DOP into a comprehensive
programme for the establishment of peace, democracy and human rights in the Sudan.
Recognising the Sudan democratic opposition's united commitment to the IGADD Declaration of
Principles, this Conference requests the IGADD states to invite the leaders of the democratic
opposition to participate in dialogue with IGADD
- This conference asks the Friends of IGADD to request, as a matter of urgency, the UN Security
Council to condemn the Government of Sudan as a terrorist regime and for its sponsorship of terrorist
actions within and outside Sudan, with particular reference to:
- the attempted assassination of president Mubarak of Egypt
- its support of the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda, the Eritrean Islamic Jihad organisation and
other terrorist organisations in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and other countries of the region
- Its threats to invade Uganda.
This Conference urges the UN Security Council to initiate an arms and oil embargo to prevent the
escalation of domestic and international terrorist and military activities by Government of Sudan.
- This Conference condemns the GOS for denying access for humanitarians relief to people in need in
Southern Sudan, the Nuba Mountains and camps for the displaced in the North, and requests the
international community to require the GOS to cease any restrictions on access to war zones by the UN-
OLS and non-governmental humanitarian organisations for the purposes of taking aid or evacuating
- This Conference condemns the sustained, systematic and grave violations of human rights committed
or encouraged by the Government of the Sudan, especially the kidnapping of children, the practice of
slavery and the forcible conscription of minors as reported by Dr. Gaspar Biro, the United Nations
Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to Sudan, and other independent human rights organisations.
This Conference requests the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the General Assembly again
to urge the Government of Sudan to cooperate with the commission of Human Rights and to take necessary
measures to try to ensure access by the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to Sudan, Dr. Gaspar Biro,
and international Human rights monitors to all areas within the Sudan.
- This Conference requests the Inter-Parliamentary Union to suspend the membership of the Sudan as
long as it is represented by the appointed Transitional National Assembly.
- In the struggle for the overthrow of the NIF regime and the struggle for the restoration of
democracy and rule of law, the opposition forces need unity and solidarity. The Conference resolves
that the unity of all the political groups opposed to the fundamentalist National Islamic Front (NIF)
regime is of paramount importance and measures should be undertaken to promote this unity.
The Conference welcomes and supports the Lafon Declaration of APR 27, 1995, and the on-going process
of reconciliation, reunification and reintegration of the SPLM/SPLA.
- This Conference condemns the NIF government for the recent use of napalm and other chemical
weapons in the Nuba Mountains and other parts of the war zone, and urges the United Nation's Security
Council to institute an independent investigation with a view to preventing the manufacture and use of
- This Conference calls upon all Arab and Islamic countries to condemn the NIF for its terrorist
activities that deface and misuse Islam.
- This Conference thanks Alan Cadman and Laurence Ferguson, Australian Members of Parliament for
drafting a resolution on the crisis in the Sudan and urges it to be approved by Australian parliament
- This Conference thanks the House of Lords for allowing its premises to be used for this meeting,
and to Lady Cox for making this meeting possible.
- This Conference thanks and commends the efforts of CSI for convening this conference and the 1994
Bonn Conference, as well as its continuing support for the needy in Sudan and cause of human rights.
We call upon CSI to stay the Course with the Sudanese people until peace, democracy and respect for
human rights are returned to Sudan.
Gafar Ahmed Abdalla, Adil S. A. Abdel-Hadi, Peter Adwok Nyaba, Lam Akol, Hashim Mohamed
Ahmed, General Fathi Ahmed Ali, El Tigani El Tayeb Babiker, Mohamed Tahir Abo Bakr, Omer Nur El Dayem,
Aldo Ajou Deng, Ahmed Ibrahim Diraige, Farouk Abu Eissa, Mansour Yousif Elagab, Brig. Gen. Abdel Aziz
Khalid, Koul Deim Koul, Kuni Jwok G. A. Kwawang, Riek Machar, Mubarak El Fadil El Mahdi, Bona Malwal,
Gordon Murorat-Mayen, Pagan Amun Okiech, Suleiman Musa Rahhal, Eliaba James Surur
ETHIOPIA ACCUSES SUDAN OF MISTREATING REFUGEES
Ethiopia had accused Sudan of mistreating, torturing and murdering Ethiopian refugees in Sudan. In a
letter to the UN High Commission for Refugees, the Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Seyoum Mesfin, said
Sudanese authorities have arrested and imprisoned hundreds of Ethiopian refugees, and committed brutal
and sinister acts of beating, torturing and killing refugees.
The letter named refugee Tesfay Fasil, who was harshly beaten and hanged in prison on December 14, by
Sudanese security men. Abraha Adem was also tortured to death and his body thrown into the river. The
Minister went on to say that more than 250 Ethiopian refugees had been detained in Khartoum, Gadaref
and Damazin prisons, and the whereabouts of 53 of them are unknown. He urged the UNHCR to provide
legal protection to Ethiopian refugees who live under serious threat in Sudan.
The UNHCR said it is taking these accusations 'very seriously ' and is looking into the matter. The
deterioration in relations between Sudan and both Ethiopia and Eriterea had halted the UN repatriation
program. About 60,000 refugees had returned home last year. On the other hand, the UN World Food
Program announced a $19m food aid for Ethiopian and Eriterean refugees in Sudan.
Sudan denied the Ethiopian charges and said that Ethiopia had tortured and expelled 13 Sudanese
detained after the assassination attempt on the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, in Addis Ababa in
June 95, and had kicked out 32 Sudanese including students and relief workers over the last two
months. It also accused Ethiopia of assassinating its opponents in exile. Sudan's Commissioner for
Refugees, Ihsan El-Ghabshawi, said that 'a number of refugees have been found involved in activities
which violate their refugee status, including possession of explosives'.
President Omer Al-Bashir told a rally in eastern Sudan that the Ethiopian and Eriterean leaders had
betrayed Sudan, because Sudan brought them to power and they had turned against it. He said that Sudan
will respond to their treachery by teaching them a lesson they will never forget.
SUDAN 1996 BUDGET
Both the Council of Ministers and the government-appointed Transitional National Assembly (TNA) had
approved, in December, the 1996 budget presented by the Finance Minister, Abdalla Hassan Ahmed.
The Minister said that inflation rate had shot up from 54% to 89% during 1995, despite his
government's efforts to contain it. In an interview with Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, the Minister had said his
government 'is trying to bring inflation to a single figure in 1996'.
However, the Minister anticipated, in his new budget, an economic growth rate of 7% next year, up from
4.9% in 1995. The budget shows that trade deficit would increase to $618m from $589 in 1995.
Government revenue is estimated at 770 billion Sudanese Pounds (SP), expenditure at 952 billion SP,
leaving a budget deficit of 182 billion SP.
The Minister said exports would rise 23% to $678m, while imports would increase 14% to $1,296m.
The Finance Minster also announced a 53% increase in wages as of January 1996, to meet price hikes and
increase in rate of inflation. He said the minimum wage will rise to 15,000 SP ($18) per month.
The Minister attributed the increase in the dollar exchange rate to the factors of supply and demand,
but he said speculations have also led to exaggerated increase in the dollar value.
ARAKIS CHAIRMAN RESIGNS
The founder of Arakis Energy, Terry Alexander, has resigned as chairman, chief executive officer and a
director of the company, effective December 1. The reason for his resignation was given as 'negative
publicity'. John Mc Leod was appointed as chief executive and a director of the company. Lutf Al-
Rahman Khan, a Pakistani who had been acting as a liaison between Arakis and the government of Sudan
(his son is married to the daughter of the former Finance Minister, Abdel Rahim Hamdi), was appointed
as chairman. Arman Aziz, a business associate of Mr. Khan and a former Pakistani government official,
was also appointed as a director.
Arakis also said it is moving its head office to Calgary from Vancouver, which will make it no longer
under the jurisdiction of the British Columbia regulator, which is investigating irregularities and
insider trading by Arakis directors.
Arakis shares which, last summer, peaked to $26.6 in the Stock Exchange, had dropped to $3.25 a share,
after its widely-publicized $750m financing deal had collapsed.
Despite Arakis wide publicity for its Sudan project, the Sudanese government does not seem to share
Arakis enthusiasm, and is looking elsewhere for alternative investors. The Russian
Zarubezhneftegazstroy association signed a contract in Moscow with Sudan this month to build the
first section, 510 kilometers long, of the Heglig-Khartoum-Port Sudan oil pipeline. The construction
costs for the first section is estimated at $400 million. The total length of the pipeline will be
1,900 km. China also announced that it aims to produce 20m tons of crude oil by the year 2000, through
overseas production in Sudan and Iraq.
 The Minister of Trade had announced a significant increase in the price of sugar. The new price for
the government-allocated quota will be 100 SP per pound instead of 50 SP per pound. Extra quantities
(termed commercial rate) will cost 380 SP instead of 200 SP per pound. The Minister said the increase
is due to large increases in production costs.
SHORT NEWS ITEMS
- Dr. Hassan El-Turabi, leader of the National Islamic Front (NIF), in an interview with the Iranian
News Agency (IRNA), had asserted the strong ties linking the Sudanese and Iranian people. He pointed
out that the enemies of Sudan and Iran are fearing Islamic awareness. Turabi attributed the strained
relations between Sudan and Egypt to the jealousy of the Egyptian regime to Sudan, particularly
following the achievements and progress scored by the Sudan, not only in the field of national
aspirations, but also in political and economic fields.
- The TNA has approved the 13th Constitutional Decree, which sets the procedure for electing the
president, the powers of the president and the duties of Ministers. A proposal by southern Sudanese in
the assembly that the decree be amended to reserve the post of first vice president for someone from
the south, was not adopted.
- The Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, had canceled a visit he was due to make to Sudan this month.
The reason given for the cancellation was that Gaddafi is busy with developments in relations within
the Maghreb region.
- Iraq, North Korea and Sudan were cited as the 'worst of the worst' nations with regard to freedom
and human rights. The annual rating by the New York-based human rights group 'Freedom House'
characterized the three nations as completely lacking in civil liberties and political rights. They
were among 18 nations at the bottom of the Freedom House list.
- A Khartoum court had sentenced 15 young men, including two foreigners, to 40 lashes each and a
fine of 50,000 SP, for drinking alcohol. The police raided a house in Khartoum on Christmas eve where
a party was being held. Foreign diplomats were arrested, but released afterwards without trial. The
court also ruled that the 13 Sudanese found guilty be sent to compulsory military service.
- A Sudanese, Imad El-Mubarak, was among nine terrorist suspects arrested in the Philippines during
a police raid in Manila. The authorities seized pistols, explosives, a map of Manila and 49 Philippine
passports. The nine men face charges of illegal possession of arms.
- Three one-month old tiger cubs starved to death in Khartoum's new zoo. The zoo was moved earlier
this year to a new site, after the authorities decided to sell the old site to a foreign investor. The
new site is surrounded by busy streets and workshops. The tigers' mother, apparently upset by the high
noise levels, refused to feed the cubs or allow zoo workers to feed them.
Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar