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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 3rd, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

The UPDATE comes in the form of a letter from an organization that helps people who seek asylum in the US and we thought to attach it here:
Hi,I wanted to shoot you an e-mail thanking you for compiling so much great information and links on your website www.sustainabilitank.info/category/africa/sudan/darfur/.  I did find couple of broken links though!  If you are still
updating your page, the company I work for has a  great link that is related to your site!  The site is:

www.us-immigration.com/uscis-guide-being-granted-asylum-u-s/

Adding this resource will make your page even more helpful for  future visitors.Thank you for your time and consideration.Thank You,
Cooper Brimm

American Immigration Center.
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As published March 14, 2012:
Mr. George Clooney, accompanied by John Prendergast of the Satellite Sentinel Project, Audu Adam Elnail, Anglican Bishop at Kadugli, Southern Kordofam, Sudan, and Omer Ismail an activist from Darfur, Sudan formed at the Council on Foreign Relations, New York City, a panel   chaired by Ann Curry of NBC News.
The four arrived directly from Sudan where they looked at the ways Sudan is scaring the Nuba of South Kordofam into leaving their villages and hiding in caves. They used to farm the arid land where they live, but now there is no agriculture and no food, and they just live in those Nuba mountain caves.
This happens like it did earlier in Darfur – the Arab Sudanese want to clear the land from the somewhat darker African Nuba people.
We were told this was not a problem of religion – both sides are mainly Muslim and there are some Christians present as well. The problem is rather one of heritage intermixed with a longer war of Non-Arab regions against the Central Government.  The rebels believe they are Sudanese but want some autonomy for their area.  The Government reacts by trying to undercut from the regions any hope, cause starvation in an effort to get them to leave. Left to themselves – this just becomes another Darfur. The four speak about South Kordofam;s Kadugli.

The troops come in daylight, ask the Arabs among the population to operate noisy radios in order to signal that they are Arab Somalis, while the quieter homes are being destroyed. John Prendergast has satellite photos to show the bombings and the prople heading for the caves.

The bishop says that the dark Nuba are the Biblical people of Kush. South Sudan does not support the Nuba, people from among the Nuba that fled to South Sudan come back to fight, but the villagers do not fight – they are just plain victims according to the four witnesses.

The Bishop does not find religion as a cause to the trouble – it is heritage – cultural and oil. South Sudan has decided to stop sending oil to the pipeline to refining in the North. The Chinese have invested $20 Billion in producing this oil and when they are forced to buy oil somewhere else this increases the cost of oil to everybody. This impacts the economy, including here in the US, and has political repercussions. Cloony thus says that what is needed is peace in Sudan and this can be achieved only after the present government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has been removed. In the present mess, the Government of Sudan has bombed some Chinese oil wells which turned also China away from Sudan. Nevertheless, Arab governments and Africans still let Criminally indicted al-Bashir come for visits and business as if his deeds do not count. The four cry foul and want to make sure that the world knows – they put the fame of George Clooney and John Prendergast on this public relations line. They will testify in Congress and visit with President Obama. Will the people listen and understand that what is here that confronts them are not just the activities in Sudan, but the US economy and the price of gasoline at the pump. Is that what it takes to save poor people from Arab manipulations?

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By 
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES: IN SUDAN’S NUBA MOUNTAINS, GOVERNMENT ROCKET ATTACKS SOW FEAR, WITNESSES SAY.
www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/world/africa/in-sudans-nuba-mountains-rocket-attacks-spread-fear.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120314

NAIROBI, Kenya — Ryan Boyette, an American aid worker living in one of the most active war zones in Africa — Sudan’s Nuba Mountains — was in a thatch-roof office on a clear January day when he heard two thunderous blasts.

The explosions were not preceded by the usual growl of aging Antonov aircraft. The Sudanese military has been relentlessly bombing the Nuba Mountains since June, killing hundreds of civilians, trying to quash a dug-in rebel movement. At the faintest sound of approaching aircraft, many Nuban people scramble up the steep, stony mountainsides to take cover in caves. But that day, silence preceded the two loud bangs that jolted Mr. Boyette, giving no time to run.

When Mr. Boyette, 30, dashed out to the blast site, he found his wife, Jazira, stunned, and many children crying.

“Rockets,” the locals told him. “That was the rockets.”

The Sudanese Army, according to aid workers such as Mr. Boyette and weapons experts in East Africa, has begun using long-range, Chinese-made rockets to bombard the Nuba Mountains, adding a new weapon to an increasingly unsparing counterinsurgency strategy.

The rockets, fired from more than 25 miles away, travel at 3,000 miles per hour and pack a 330-pound warhead often loaded with steel ball bearings to increase lethality, experts say. Where they land is random, witnesses say, and they often slam into villages instead of legitimate military targets.

“They arrive without any warning,” said Helen Hughes, an arms control researcher at Amnesty International. “And they are being used indiscriminately, which is violation of international humanitarian law.”

According to Mr. Boyette, more than 70 rockets have been fired into the Nuba Mountains since December, killing 18 people, including several children.

From photographs of bomb sites and remains of the rocket motors, Western experts have identified the rockets as Chinese-manufactured Weishi truck-launched rockets. China is one of Sudan’s closest strategic allies, buying billions of dollars of Sudanese oil and selling Sudan advanced weaponry.

The Sudanese government does not deny using rockets in the Nuba Mountains, insisting that they are a legitimate weapon.

“Rockets are part of combat,” said Al-Sawarmi Khalid, a Sudanese military spokesman. “And the armed groups also use the same rockets and weapons we use.”

Witnesses in the Nuba Mountains said the rebels used a much smaller, shorter-range rocket, and only during battles.

The government rockets are the latest twist in one of Africa’s more intractable conflicts. Tens of thousands of rebel fighters in the Nuba Mountains refuse to disarm, saying that they are fighting for more autonomy from a government that has marginalized and persecuted them. The Sudanese government’s response has been to lay siege to the area: bombarding it, cutting off the roads, blocking emergency supplies and most aid workers and outside observers.

Some analysts see similarities between the brutal tactics used in Nuba and those employed in Darfur, in Sudan’s west, during the height of the violence there several years ago.

The Nuba conflict is complicated by the separation of South Sudan from Sudan in July. The Nuban fighters were historically allied to the south but after South Sudan’s independence found themselves just north of the new border, in hostile territory.

Mr. Boyette, the aid worker, is one of the only Westerners providing battlefield updates. He came to the area several years ago to work for an American aid organization, married a local woman and refused to leave once the conflict began.

Sudan and South Sudan are divided over oil, having not yet come up with an agreement of how to share oil profits. While 75 percent of the oil is in the south, the pipeline to export it runs through the north. On Tuesday, Reuters reported that in the coming weeks Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, would make his first visit to South Sudan since the country gained independence to meet with South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir.

Isma’il Kushkush contributed reporting from Khartoum, Sudan.

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