SUDAN NEWS & VIEWS - 17
SUDAN NEWS & VIEWS
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
|'Sudan News & Views' is an independent electronic Newsletter
working to advocate peace, human rights and humanitarian aid
for the Sudan.
Editor: Dr. Yasin Miheisi
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In this issue:
SUDAN FACES UN SANCTIONS
The UN Security Council had unanimously voted for a resolution calling on Sudan to comply, without
further delay, with requests by the OAU to hand over three suspects sheltering in Sudan and wanted by
Ethiopia, in connection to the assassination attempt on President Mubarak in Addis Ababa in June last
The resolution, drafted by the non-aligned members of the council, also called on Sudan to 'desist
from engaging in activities of assisting, supporting and facilitating terrorist activities and from
giving shelter and sanctuaries to terrorist elements.'
The UN Secretary general was asked to seek Sudan's cooperation and to report back within 60 days. No
follow-up action was specified, but it is widely speculated that Sudan might face economic and
diplomatic sanctions if it failed to comply.
Sudan says it had done everything to cooperate, but could not find the suspects. The Sudanese Foreign
Minister, Ali Osman Taha, described the resolution as a plot aimed at imposing sanctions against
Sudan had also lodged a formal complaint with the Security Council accusing Ethiopia of launching
cross-border raids and occupying positions inside Sudan. Ethiopia denied Khartoum's accusations and
described it as a tactic to divert the international attention from the issue of terrorism leveled
The council ignored Sudan's complaint and said it was seeking more information through the UN
Secretariat and the OAU.
DISCONTENT AMONG ARMY OFFICERS
150 army officers had been dismissed from the Sudanese army this month. Those dismissed include 3
Major Generals, 30 Brigadiers, 25 Colonels, 14 Lieutenant Colonels and 78 Majors. It is speculated
that the officers were dismissed because of a growing discontent among the officers, many of whom
expressed their dissatisfaction with the way in which the war in the south is run, and the decision to
push a large number of troops into areas difficult to secure, thus causing huge human and material
losses over recent weeks.
The head of the army's Operations command, Major General Mamoun Hassan Mahjoub, had resigned his job a
few days earlier, in protest to sending under-prepared and under-equipped forces to the operations
zone in southern Sudan.
More than 6,000 officers had been dismissed from the army since 1989.
GADDAFI ANGERS KHARTOUM
Remarks by the Libyan leader, Mu'ammar Al-Gaddafi, in which he referred to Sudan's harbouring of
terrorism, had angered the authorities in Khartoum and strained relations between the two
At a news conference, after 3 hours of talks with the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the
Egyptian-Libyan border town of Sidi Barrani, Colonel Gaddafi said that there are groups in Sudan that
do not recognize the Khartoum regime. He said that this wave of terrorism may bring down Bashir and
Turabi. He noted that Libya's relations with Sudan are normal and they are trying to use these
relations to head the rift between Sudan and Egypt and to help Sudan itself, because he believes that
Sudan is pursuing a counter productive policy.
ERITREA PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR OPPOSITION
The Eritrean President, Isyas Afwerki, said in an interview with al-Hayat newspaper, that Eritrea is
ready to train and supply the Sudanese opposition with arms.
'If we are asked for military help or training and weapons, we will not hesitate to help' Afwerki
said. 'We do not intend showing any courtesy with regard to toppling the Sudanese regime, and we are
not working secretly in this context' he added.
Eritrea broke relations with Sudan in December 1994, and had since hosted several Sudanese opposition
WHO IS BENEFITING FROM THIS?
The state General Investment Corporation (GIC)had announced that an American car manufacturing company
had applied to build a car manufacturing plant in Khartoum. The General Manager of GIC, Mohamed
Fadlalla, said that the proposal was made by an agent of the company, a Pakistani who holds British
citizenship. He said a license had been granted and a large plot of land allocated for the project in
Ailafoon area of Khartoum. He added that two world-famous Japanese, and one Chinese car companies had
also applied to build car factories in Sudan. He said the auto industry will allow other industries,
such as plastic and tyre manufacturing, to flourish.
The GIC optimism is in complete contrast to the statement made by the Minister of Industry, Badr el-
Din Suliman, to the Council of Ministers in the same month. The Minister said that the rate of growth
of the industrial sector has decreased from 5.9% in 1989 to 1% in 1995, and that the contribution of
the textile industry has come down to 4.7% of the total industrial output from 26.1%. He outlined the
reasons for the marked deterioration in industrial output as lack of financing, lack of skilled
labour, unfair competition, lack of raw materials, high taxation and energy shortages.
The announcement by the GIC, therefore, raises many questions, namely, what is the purpose and who are
THE SPLA CAPTURES ASWA
The SPLA had announced that its forces had captured the town of Aswa in Eastern Equatoria, following a
fierce battle in which hundreds of the government soldiers were killed or wounded. The SPLA statement
said the battle for Aswa took place on the 17 and 18 of January. The government forces, comprising two
brigades of about 3,000 soldiers, are now either dead, wounded, on the retreat or have been taken
prisoners. The SPLA had captured 3 T-55 tanks, 17 armoured vehicles, 57 artillery guns, communication
equipment and many automatic rifles.
By capturing Aswa, the SPLA is now in control of most of eastern Equatoria, except for the town of
ISLAMIC MILITANT GROUP CLASHES WITH POLICE
An Islamic militant group clashed with police in central Sudan, leaving a policeman and eight
Members of al-Takfir wa'l-Hijra (Repudiation and Exodus) group were trying to forcibly convert
residents of Kambo Ashara village, near Wad Medani, 180 km south of Khartoum. When police was called
by the residents, about 20 extremists attacked them with knives, killing one policeman and capturing
their weapons. Another group of policemen then killed eight members of the group and wounded
The group, founded in Egypt in the 1970s, has a philosophy of separating itself from society, which it
considers infidel, with the aim of returning to pure Islam.
Takfir wa'l-Hijra began setting up branches in Sudan only in recent years. It is not known whether the
members involved were all Sudanese or included some foreigners.
 The following table shows the prices (in Sudanese Pounds) of some of the essential consumer
commodities during 1995. The data is self-explanatory:
 The price of petrol had been increased in January by 13% to 1,700 SP per gallon from 1,500 SP. The
price of gas was also increased by 20% and diesel was rationed to 5 gallons per week for private cars
and pickups. Fuel prices were last increased 3 months ago in October 95.
|Item ||Unit||Jan'95|| Apr'95
|US Dollar ||1$||530|| 680
|Beef || 1kg ||400|| 500
|Lamb ||1 kg ||600|| 700
|Milk ||1lb ||130|| 150
|Veg oil || 1lb||200|| 250
|Tea || 1lb ||800|| 850
|Gasoline ||1gal ||1,050|| 1,100
 The Sudanese government signed an agreement with a French consortium for the excavation of gold and
minerals in northern Sudan. The Director-General of the Sudanese Geological Research Corporation said
the excavation for gold and minerals will start in February and continue for three years. Gold
reserves and rates of production will be determined during this period.
 Sudan will receive $4.5m in aid from Australia for emergency health care and education. The package
includes $2m for primary health care in Tonj and Yambio regions in the south; $1m for emergency
improvements to primary education throughout Sudan and $650,000 for medical activities at Juba
 Khartoum's International Trade Fair has reopened in January after a gap of seven years. The
countries participating in the fair include Iran, Pakistan, Jordan and Kenya.
Speaking at the inauguration by President Omar al-Bashir, Finance Minister, Abdalla Hassan Ahmad, said
the fair was not only a commercial gathering but 'a reflection of the depth of relations between the
participating countries.' The minister said it showed Khartoum had broken out of the siege imposed by
Western countries opposed to Sudan's pro-Islamist government.
The fair will last until January 22.
SHORT NEWS ITEMS
- Police and residents clashed outside a church in Khartoum North. The clash occurred when a police
force tried to intervene to prevent attendants of a Christian festival from eating in public during
the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Stones and bricks were thrown at the police, who responded with
tear gas. A reinforcement from the Central Reserve Unit was sent in. A number of policemen and
residents were injured and several people arrested.
- The official Sudanese news agency (SUNA) said that Baroness Cox, a member of the British House of
Lords, had been refused entry to Sudan because she backed Sudanese opposition groups. The decision was
taken by the Consultative Council for Human Rights after a meeting under the chairmanship of Justice
Minister Abdel Aziz Shido. SUNA quoted Shido, who is also attorney general, as saying the Baroness
sponsored the Sudanese opposition and was known for her enmity of Islam and Sudan. Shido said that
Sudan considered Baroness Cox the mastermind behind all plots against the country.
The Sudanese Embassy in London had also issued a statement saying that Baroness Cox's application for
a visit visa to Sudan had been refused. Baroness Cox denied applying for a visit visa to Sudan. She
described the statement as 'shameful lying'.
Baroness Cox visited areas in southern Sudan, controlled by the SPLA, several times during the last
few years. She had also revealed that she had recently visited areas in eastern Sudan through the
- The UN High Commissioner for Refugees plans to begin repatriation of Sudanese refugees from the
Central African Republic to Sudan. The refugees will be flown back to Khartoum, and handed $100 each,
as repatriation grant.
Some 370,000 people fled Sudan in 1990 to seek political asylum in other African countries. About
27,000 Sudanese refugees live in CAR, with 15,000 in Ethiopia, 44,000 in Kenya and 250,000 in Uganda.
- The Egyptian police have found an ammunition depot in southern Egypt that was used by a group of
Muslim militants in connection with sabotage activities. A statement by the Interior Ministry said
that one of those arrested, Sudanese Awad Saleh, had smuggled the ammunition, which includes 8 boxes
containing 15,000 bullets, from Sudan.
- As part of the cooperation between the University of Khartoum and the Iranian Open Islamic
University, it was decided to introduce Farsi (Iranian language to be taught at the University of
Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar