Afrique : histoire, economie, politique

1998-2001
ANNEE 2000
CE QUI S'EST PASSE EN 2000

JANVIER
The government of Sudan has resigned, amid a growing power struggle between the President and his rival.
President Omar al-Bashir announced the move in a television address to mark the 44th anniversary of Sudanese independence.

The President pledged to end Sudan's 16-year civil war

He said he had accepted the resignations, but asked the ministers to continue in office until a new administration was set up.
The news is being seen as a move by President Bashir to shore up his power, three weeks after he ousted his ally-turned-rival, veteran Islamist Hassan al-Turabi, as parliamentary speaker.

He had also called a state of emergency and dissolved parliament, on the eve of a Turabi-sponsored vote on measures to curb his powers.

Friday's resignations would allow Mr Bashir to install a cabinet that would consolidate his position.

Pledge to end civil war

In his speech, President Bashir pledged to work hard to end the country's 16-year civil war, and rebuild its international status.

"We appeal to all Sudanese in and outside the country to respond to the peace call and come home so that we can build our homeland together and raise its place among the nations," he said.

He pledged to implement a peace accord reached in 1997 in an attempt to achieve unity between the mainly black African animist and Christian south, and the Arab and Muslim north.

He said that in the past few weeks his government had managed to normalise ties with neighbouring states, such as Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia. and was engaged in the process of normalising relations with Eritrea and Uganda.

He reiterated his government's commitment to dialogue with the European Union.

And he said he was "much concerned" with normalising relations with the United States, which has kept Sudan on its list of countries that allegedly sponsor terrorism.

Qatar's foreign minister says he expects the rift between Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his rival, the veteran Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi, will soon be resolved.
Sheikh Hamad al-Jabr travelled to the Sundanese capital, Khartoum, at the weekend in an effort to mediate an end to the country's political crisis.

Speaking to the AFP news agency, Sheikh Hamad said that the coming days would "see an improvement on the Sudanese scene."

He said that his discussions with both men had been "marked by sincerity and clarity and permitted an exchange of views on the issues of concern for national agreement."

One of Mr Turabi's close aides, Mohammad al-Hassan al-Amin, said Mr Jabr's visit would now be followed by one from the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad al-Khalifa al-Thani.
 

The President pledged to end Sudan's 16-year civil war

"We appreciate the good offices of the Emir of Qatar and his concern with Sudan," Mr Amin said.
The dispute between Mr Bashir and Mr Turabi came to a head three weeks ago when the president dissolved parliament, of which Mr Turabi was speaker.

On Friday Mr Bashir also announced that he had accepted the resignations of his entire cabinet.

No reason was given for the resignations but correspondents say they seem to be aimed at paving the way for a new administration more acceptable to the non-Islamist opposition.

In his independence day speech, broadcast late on Friday, President Bashir pledged to work hard to end the country's 16-year civil war, and rebuild its international status.

"We appeal to all Sudanese in and outside the country to respond to the peace call and come home so that we can build our homeland together and raise its place among the nations," he said.

He pledged to implement a peace accord reached in 1997 in an attempt to achieve unity between the mainly black African animist and Christian south, and the Arab and Muslim north.

He said that in the past few weeks his government had managed to normalise ties with neighbouring states, such as Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia and was engaged in the process of normalising relations with Eritrea and Uganda.

He reiterated his government's commitment to dialogue with the European Union.

And he said he was "much concerned" with normalising relations with the United States, which has kept Sudan on its list of countries that allegedly sponsor terrorism.

ALWAYS WAR

War between the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and Sudanese Government forces has dominated southern Sudan for decades.
Southern Sudan is populated by Africans who follow mainly Christian or animist beliefs.

The Muslim Arab northerners form the support base for the succession of unstable military governments which have ruled Africa's largest country since independence from the United Kingdom in 1956.

The first civil war after independence ended with a peace agreement in 1972, and some moves were made towards federalism.

But the north-south conflict continued, and worsened following the imposition of Sharia (Islamic law) in 1983 under President Nimeri.

Coup

Negotiations between the government and the political wing of the SPLA - the Sudan People's Liberation Movement - occurred in 1988 and 1989, but they were overtaken by events, when General Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir took power in a military coup in June 1989, banning all political parties in the country.

In January 1991 his government gave the southern states a non-Sharia legal system, and considerable autonomy in internal affairs.

However, non-Muslims living in the north of the country were still subject to Sharia law.

Peace negotiations between the government and the SPLA broke down in September 1994 over this issue.

The government pulled out of the talks after accusing the non-Muslim regional states who were sponsoring the talks of bias against the Islamist regime.

Peace talks between the Sudanese regime and opposition groups in May 1998 led to agreement on the principle of self-determination for the south, which was to be achieved through a referendum overseen by the international community.

Boundary disputed

However, no date was set up for the referendum, and there was no agreement on which states should make up the referendum's constituency.

The government says the line between north and south should be along the boundary set by Britain when Sudan became independent in 1956.

But the SPLA says that the province of Abyei - taken away from the south four years before independence - should also be included in a future autonomous region.

The rebels also say the war will continue unless the government makes similar concessions to rebel allies in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile region in the north.

The question of the relationship between religion and the state remains unresolved, with the Khartoum government apparently unwilling to suspend Sharia.

Progress towards peace has been hindered by inter-factional fighting.

It is estimated that more than 1.5 million people have died in Sudan since 1983.

Famine danger

The World Food Programme says that up to 2.4 million people are severely affected by war in the south.

The Sudanese Government is restricting humanitarian flights into some rebel-held areas and aid agencies warn that this year could see a repeat of the 1998 famine in which an estimated 100,000 people are thought to have died.

The SPLA and the government have for several years agreed to temporary ceasefires in limited areas of the conflict zone, to allow the passage of food aid.

In November 1999, United States President Bill Clinton signed a bill which will allow the US to give food assistance to the rebels in the south.

The policy - which has not yet been put into practice - is controversial, because it puts the US squarely on one side of Sudan's civil war and means it has no influence over the other party.

The UN has criticised the bill because of the way it uses food aid, which is traditionally exempt from political manoeuvring.

The World Food Programme warns that the policy could risk the official UN food aid programme - Operation Lifeline Sudan, which has been distributing food around Sudan for the last ten years.

Operation Lifeline is dependent on the acquiescence of the Khartoum Government.

NEW CABINET

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has reshuffled his cabinet - just hours after an apparent reconciliation between him and his political rival, Hassan al-Turabi.
Some ten ministers lost their jobs, while a further 15 were retained in Monday's reshuffle.

The key foreign, interior, defence and mining portfolios were among those which did not change hands.

However the president dismissed all state governors and senior advisers.

New ministers
 Finance and National Economy: Mohamed al-Kheir al-Zubeir
 National Industry: Abdel Halim Islamil al-Mutaafi
 Social Planning: Gutbi Mahdi
 Higher Education: Al-Zubeir Bashir Taha
 Manpower: Allison Magaya
 External Trade: Mekki Ali Belail
 Aviation: Ibrahim Suleiman
 Urban Development: Joseph Malwal
The reshuffle comes six weeks after President Bashir dissolved parliament and declared a state of emergency during a dispute with Mr Turabi, the parliamentary speaker and the country's leading Islamist politician.

Reports from Khartoum earlier on Monday indicated that President Bashir and Mr Turabi had reached a reconciliation following a meeting of the ruling National Congress Party (NPC) consultative council on Sunday.

The president was shown on state television on Monday addressing the new cabinet as they were sworn in. He said they were taking over at a difficult time, with Sudan facing foreign threats and domestic political upheavals.

"God willing, with this team, we will guide Sudan towards peace," Mr Bashir said.

"You are expected to provide more with less resources," he told the cabinet members.

Agreement

Sunday's meeting of the NPC council was intended to determine the division of powers and responsibilities between President Bashir and Mr Turabi.

Under an agreement reached on Sunday, President Bashir will be in charge of running the government and party executive affairs, while Mr Turabi will be responsible for ideological, organisational and mass activities.

Mr Turabi was left without his job as parliamentary speaker when the president dissolved parliament on 12 December. Mr Bashir had accused him of trying to undermine the presidency.

The political infighting had led to a stalemate in the search for a political solution to the civil war in Sudan's south where rebels are fighting for autonomy for the largely Christian and animist region from the Muslim and Arab north.

FEVRIER

In the latest incident, 14 children were killed when government air force planes attacked a school in the rebel-held part of the remote Nuba Mountains.

A Sudanese student, using a battered camera with a broken microphone, captured the scene immediately after the bombing.

There are regular clashes between rebels and government forces

One bomb fell close to a tree where a class was having an English lesson. Many of the pupils died along with the teacher.

The cameraman, Stephen Amin, said all he could hear was screams.

It was "a very harrowing experience ... because the amount of people on the ground and then also the voices of horror and so on was very sad", he said.

Planes return

Three bombs are said to have fallen within the school compound and, afterwards, people had to flee because the aircraft apparently came back, perhaps to take a look.

The wounded were taken to a hospital run by a German medical group. The dead were buried immediately.

 The young in Nuba have known only war

Father Tom Tiscornia - a Catholic missionary who came on the illegal flight to the area - expressed his anger after speaking to survivors.

"To purposely drop bombs on an area where there's known to be children and a school, that is just evil."

He told me there were no military targets nearby.

"Oh, no, no military target. It was just a civilian target."

Remote battleground

Nuba is a remote area where rebels and government soldiers fight regularly. The young adults have known only war, and many lives have been lost out of sight.

The government of Sudan is currently on a "charm offensive" with the West.

Among other things, it wants investors for its potentially lucrative oil industry and it would rather people didn't know about what happens in places like this and the crimes that are committed.

Fighting between the Muslim government in the north and forces in the mainly Christian south has already cost around two million lives.

Nearly two-million go hungry in Sudan

The UN World Food Programme has appealed for fifty-eight million dollars of international aid to help people in war-ravaged southern Sudan.

It said nearly two-million people are at risk of malnutrition because of drought and flooding, but most particularly because of insecurity caused by the war, which has hindered cultivation.

The worst-affected areas are the northern part of Bar el-Ghazal province, where fighting is heaviest, and western Upper Nile province.

A WFP official Lyndsey Harker said that many people who fled the fighting are living in swampy land where the risk of malaria is very high. She said the problem was aggravated by the Sudanese government's refusal to allow aid planes to reach many areas.

SPLA rebels say agencies accept accord

The main rebel organisation in southern Sudan has said that twenty-nine of the forty aid organisations operating there have signed a controversial new agreement.

The list was compiled by the humanitarian wing of the Sudan People's Liberation Army, the SPLA, which had demanded that aid workers sign what it called a memorandum of understanding by March the first, or leave the country.

Earlier reports said most of the one-hundred-and-fifty aid workers in southern Sudan had begun moving out, arguing that signing would compromise their independence.

Negotiations between the SPLA, the United Nations and aid agencies began more than a year ago on the agreement which required the agencies to submit their annual budgets to the SPLA, contribute to the cost of services such as maintaining airstrips and abide by local security instructions.

A correspondent for the BBC says that now the crisis has been defused, many wonder what all the fuss was about.

The Ummah Party, led by former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi, has withdrawn from the exiled Sudanese opposition coalition which has been campaigning to remove the government in Khartoum.

The NDA is doing nothing, they are unaware of the changes in the region and they are not for negotiations
The split happened during a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders in the Eritrean capital, Asmara.

The secretary-general of the NDA, Mubarak al-Mahdi, who is also a very senior official of the Ummah Party, resigned his position and walked out of the meeting.

The Ummah Party, which a leading northern-based group, wants to return to Sudan, as part of a reconciliation with the Khartoum government.

The party argues that changes in recent months in the political situation in Sudan - which have seen the ousting of Islamist speaker of parliament Hassan al-Turabi - had given the opposition a chance to reform the system from within.

"Our friends in the NDA think they can operate business as usual, but they are not responding to the changes in Sudan," said Ummah Party Secretary-General Umar Nur al-Da'im.

The Ummah Party now intends to return to Khartoum to resume its political activities.

The split appears to bring to an end a crisis which has been brewing since last December, when the Umaah party leader, Sadiq al-Mahdi began independent talks with Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir.

The NDA includes the Sudan People's Liberation Army, which has been the main force waging war against Khartoum in the south for 17 years.

The rest of the NDA - including several several smaller parties - are putting on a brave face.

They say they do not believe that there has been any real change in the political system in Sudan, and that negotiations and armed struggle must continue to achieve a real settlement.

Commander Pagan Amun of the SPLA told the BBC that the whole organisation would emerge stronger and with a clearer vision of policy from the split.

He said that the NDA would continue to use "all means necessary" to bring about a comprehensive solution to the civil war in Sudan.

Correspondents say the departure is a blow to the NDA, especially to its position and importance as a unified opposition group.

One observer has described the Ummah Party's decision to return to Sudan as giving the Sudanese government "a kiss of life".

Sudanese villagers caught in crossfire

In the town of Mankien in Sudan's Western Upper Nile province, the bombs have left behind small craters.

They are dotted around the airstrip, one next to a partially-destroyed thatched home.

The rebels of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) accuse the government of carrying out bombing raids in the area, saying a school was hit by bombs.

There has been no independent confirmation of this incident, but earlier this month the US State Department condemned what it said was an intensification of aerial bombardments of civilian targets in southern Sudan.
No-one was killed in the attack which took place in January, but the upheaval for the people has been immense.

Terror

When the government Antonovs flew over, the population of the town ran in terror into the bush.

They had no warning that an attack was pending, nor did they know when Mankien would be targetted again.

The result is that they are living in a state of constant uncertainty.
Although they are preparing for the planting season, which should begin when the rains come in a few weeks time, they do not know when their lives will be disrupted again, or whether they will still be in Mankien when their harvest is ready.

Short-lived peace

Mankien was just beginning to experience some relative calm when the bombing happened.

Seven months ago the area was in turbulence as the local military commander, Peter Gadet, took Mankien from under the wing of the government back to the rebel side.

The tactic of aligning oneself with the government and then rejoining the rebels - effectively swapping sides - has been used by several of the southern rebel commanders when they have fought among themselves.

Peter Gadet has now joined his forces to those of the SPLA.
The local officials in Mankien remain the same, but have swapped their allegiance along with their military commander.

And the people of Mankien say they have to be prepared to be targetted by the Government planes at any time.

Counter-claims

The Sudanese Government now says that it has repulsed attacks by rebels after five days of fighting in the east of the country.

The fighting is reported to have broken out on Saturday 400km east of Khartoum, near the Eritrean border.

But an SPLA spokesman contradicted the government statement, saying that rebels had regained two border positions.
 

Aid withdrawal hits Sudanese

It is one month since donor countries suspended aid to projects in southern Sudan because of a dispute with the main rebel group, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

Many international relief organisations withdrew their workers after the SPLA demanded that they sign a memorandum of understanding in order to continue working in the region.

The donor community said it had concerns with the implications for the independence of relief workers and their security.
The argument has not affected the delivery of food relief by the United Nations umbrella organisation, Operation Lifeline Sudan, but health and education projects run by non-governmental organisations have been disrupted.
Hospital without medicines

The hospital in the town of Mankien consists of a semi-circle of mud and thatched huts.

Inside are 23 patients, including a woman with severe burns suffered when her home caught fire, and another with a serious disfigurement to her face.

But the local health workers have no antibiotics or even painkillers to treat them.

They had hoped that a relief plane chartered by the organisation, Christian Aid, would bring medicines among its consignment of mosquito nets and blankets, but none were forthcoming.

Paul Savage, Christian Aid's representative, said that the dispute over the memorandum of understanding had prevented him from bringing in medical supplies, and as a consequence the people of Mankien were suffering.

A rebel ultimatum prompted agencies to pull out

"It directly impacts on the people because we hoped to bring in half a tonne of human drugs," he says.
"It doesn't take you long to be here to see the medical needs of the people - lots of malaria, lots of stomach problems, lots of all kinds of diseases that people have, and yet there are very few resources to treat those things."

Even before the present dispute, Mankien received little outside help.

Last year, fighting between rival military commanders forced doctors from the organisation, Medicins du Monde, to withdraw because of the instability.

Then the Sudanese Government added Mankien to its list of banned places for the United Nations, meaning that UN relief planes could not fly there.

Organisations like Christian Aid continue to operate only because they work through a local partner.

Donor bodies such as the European Community Humanitarian Office are adamant that their concerns over the memorandum must be settled before more help is forthcoming.

Sudanese rebels attack Kassala airport

Sudanese rebels have attacked the airport in the strategic northeastern city of Kassala.

The Sudanese army admitted that the airport tower was attacked at dawn, but made no mention of any damage.

However the rebel leader, John Garang, who says that his forces carried out the raid, claims that they destroyed an Antonov bomber, the airport's fuel depot and the main ammunition stores.

He says the rebel forces, aided by some elements within the Sudanese army, then withdrew. A correspondent for the BBC in Khartoum says the attack is very serious because Kassala is situated on the main road to Port Sudan, along which all the country's imports and exports pass.

Mr Garang told the BBC that the plane had been targeted because it was one of those which had been bombing civilians in rebel-held territory, and because it was being used to ferry troops from bases in the south to Kassala in preparation for an offensive in the east.

He said that four battalions were being brought up from Juba and two from Waw.

Sudan's rebels unite MAI 2000

Guerrilla groups have joined forces to overthrow the Islamist government of General Omar al-Bashir
THE ground at Makit is torn up by the treads of two T-54 tanks. There was a pitched battle here a few hours ago, but soldiers are nowhere in sight now. Government troops penetrated guerrilla-held positions for several hours, but left when the rebels attacked their unprotected rear. It was the kind of cat-and-mouse encounter typical of Sudan's quickly spreading revolt.
At the same time as the fighting here, opposition forces captured the town of Hameshkoreb, 100km to the north-west, in a show of force that seemed to catch Khartoum off-guard.

Sudan's barren north-eastern corner, bounded on one side by Eritrea and on the other by the Red Sea, is the latest battlefield in Sudan's civil war, which was once confined to the south.

Because of this area's strategic importance -- threatening the country's vital road and rail links to the coast, its new oil pipeline and other key economic installations -- the outcome of this protracted war may eventually be decided here.

Both sides are gearing up for heavy fighting during the coming months, while they manoeuvre for political leverage in competing peace initiatives. The government's goal is to push the rebels across the border into Eritrea and then seal off the frontier.

Opposition forces are hoping to carve out an enclave from which to launch attacks throughout the north. A tour of their mountain bases suggests that they will be hard to dislodge.

The rebels are building a network of camouflaged supply depots, training facilities and military camps in a warren of volcanic hills where the government's superior armour and aircraft are ineffective. They also have mobile units of their own, using captured military vehicles and converted pick-up trucks.

This is changing a regional contest between north and south into a national revolt that could threaten the Islamist regime that seized power in Sudan in 1989.

Intermittent civil war has racked Sudan almost from the moment it gained its independence from Britain and Egypt in 1956. Much of its southern third is now under the control of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), which also holds pockets of territory in central and eastern Sudan, in the Nuba mountains and the Inghessina hills.

But in the north-east, the SPLM is only one of seven opposition armies. The others run the political gamut: from the traditional Islamic sect-based movements shouldered aside by the ruling National Islamic Front to the Communist Party and a new group led by disaffected military officers, the Sudan Alliance Forces.

Until recently these disparate forces had managed little more than sporadic ambushes and small surprise attacks, often fleeing east into Eritrea when pursued. Today they are fighting for the first time under a single command, and their increased effectiveness is readily apparent.

This was accomplished after two events which, at first, appeared to be setbacks. Last year, following Eritrea's border war with Ethiopia, relations between Asmara and Khartoum thawed. As a result the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) -- a coalition of Sudanese opposition groups -- was ordered to close its bases in Eritrea and move into Sudan.

This led rebel leaders to agree to combine their forces in one division under a unified command structure. The SPLM augmented these forces by redeploying about 8 000 soldiers from the south to what it calls the "eastern front".

Also, in March, the largest northern group in the NDA coalition, the Umma party of the ousted former prime minister, Sadiq al-Mahdi, left the coalition, saying that it would challenge the Islamist government of General Omar al-Bashir from within.

Many here view the defection as a blessing after years of internal wrangling that paralysed the NDA. A spurt of armed actions has doubled the size of "liberated" territory in recent weeks.

Now what started as a conflict between the Arabised, Islamic north and the non-Muslim, African south is becoming a fight between a fundamentalist Islamic movement at the centre and a diverse alliance challenging it from the periphery.

Up to two million people have died from causes related to war and famine since the fighting resumed in 1983 after a decade-long truce. What is at stake is the country's identity: whether it is to be strictly Arab-Islamic or loosely multi-ethnic and secular -- and whether it can exist as one or the other within a single national boundary.

The potential for the fighting to spill over into a wider regional conflict has triggered a flurry of diplomatic activity. Two initiatives -- one promoted by Libya and Egypt, the other by members of the East Africa-based Intergovernmental Authority for Development -- are on the table. Neither one has reached the stage of serious negotiations. The SPLM's leader, John Garang, is calling for the consolidation of the two initiatives. So far the government has declined to do so, preferring to deal with the opposition parties one at a time.

Under these circumstances it is likely that fighting will intensify in one of the worst drought-affected areas of Sudan. Many civilians are trekking to refugee camps in Eritrea, which are taking the place of the opposition military bases dismantled just months ago.

Sudan rebels offered amnesty

President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan has declared a general, unconditional amnesty to all government opponents.
The statement carried by the official Sudanese news agency, Suna, said the decree covers people who committed what was termed as "acts of rebellion" from the time President Bashir took power in 1989 up to the middle of this year.

The main rebel group, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), have rejected the amnesty.

The government adds that anyone wishing to benefit from the amnesty should return to Sudan willingly and commit themselves to the law and the constitution.

It is also reported that political prisoners in Sudan are to be released.

The statement gave no figures or the reason behind the amnesty.

SPLA rejoins talks

Last week, the SPLA said it would rejoin talks aimed at ending the 17 years of civil war.

They pulled out of the talks in May in protest at what it said was the indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets in southern Sudan by government forces.

Last month Sudan said women jailed for public order offences were to be freed in what many Sudanese believed was an attempt by the president to win support ahead of elections promised for later this year.

Student demo

Meanwhile, police in Sudan have fired tear gas to break up a student demonstration in the capital, Khartoum.

The students were protesting against the mysterious death of a student leader in the central town of Sennar.

Large-scale demonstrations broke out on Sunday in Sennar when the student leader, Mirghani Mahmoud al-Numan, was found shot dead outside the town.

One student was reportedly killed and four others wounded in the weekend clashes.

The trouble started when the authorities refused the students permission to go ahead with a political meeting to which opposition politicians were invited.

Sudan strongman forms rival party

The former speaker of the Sudanese parliament, Hassan al-Turabi, has formed a new political party, to be called the Popular National Congress.
Mr Turabi made the announcement at a fully-packed press conference in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

Many more people waited outside the press conference to show their support for Mr Turabi.

At least one cabinet minister is known to have resigned from the ruling party and joined Mr Turabi's new party.
Mr Turabi has a large and powerful Islamist following

The former speaker's action followed his formal expulsion on Monday from the ruling National Congress Party, which he helped form and in which he served as secretary-general.

A new secretary-general of the party, Professor Ibrahim Ahmad Umar was also appointed during the weekend conference of the NCP, which was boycotted by Mr Turabi and more than 200 of his supporters.

President Bashir announced last month that the influential Dr Turabi was to be removed from his party post, in a deepening rivalry between the two most powerful persons in the Sudan.

Dr Turabi, an Islamist hardliner who helped the then General Bashir to assume power in 1989, has always been considered the real power behind the throne in Khartoum.

He was also considered the political and spiritual mentor of the president and the party.

Friends turned foes

Cracks in their relationship begun to become public in December last year when President Bashir declared a state of emergency and dissolved parliament which Dr Turabi headed.

The president accused his one-time mentor of trying to run a parallel administration and inciting elements in the Sudanese military to organise a coup against him.

The president's supporters also say Dr Turabi has been trying to mobilise students against the government.

Since the power struggle began, the Sudan Government has toned down its hardline Islamist stance and improved relations with many moderate Arab countries, notably its northern neighbour Egypt.

A BBC reporter in Khartoum, Alfred Taban, says that although the current power struggle with President Bashir has weakened Dr Turabi, he is far from a spent force because he attracts a considerable following - especially among Muslim fundamentalists - and his group of supporters includes some wealthy individuals.

Rebels claim capture of Sudanese town JUIN 2000

Rebels in southern Sudan say they've captured a key military base in Upper Blue Nile province after heavy fighting.

In an interview with the BBC, the rebel leader Riek Machar, of the SPDF, said his forces had captured the garrison at Mabaan from government forces late on Tuesday.

Mabaan lies on a strategically-important junction, more than five-hundred kilometres south of Khartoum.

Mr Machar said his forces had received some help from their former rivals, the Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA.

But a spokesman for the SPLA said that ITS forces had captured Mabaan.

Sudan's president reshuffles cabinet JUILLET 2000

The president of Sudan, Omar el-Bashir, has reshuffled his cabinet, replacing the key defence and interior ministers.

The announcement, on state television, said the presidential affairs minister, Major General Bekri Hassan Salih, will now hold the defence portfolio while that of interior will be held by a new comer, Lieutenant General el-Hadi Abdullah.

Also joining the cabinet for the first time are the minister for aviation, Shambul Adlan and agriculture minister, Abdel-Hamid Kasha. Another change is in the ministry of federal affairs.

No reasons has been given for the reshuffle which follow the decision of two ministers to resign from el-Bashir's government and join the new political party formed last month by the former secretary-general of the ruling party Hassan al-Turabi.

Thousands flee fighting in Sudan

The United Nations says that at least four-thousand people have fled their homes in Sudan because of the fighting in the Upper Nile province.

The exodus follows continued fighting in the region between the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army -- the SPLA -- and government forces.

A six-month ceasefire between the two sides is scheduled to expire in just under a week and the UN's emergency relief coordinator, Carolyn McAskie, has urged an extension of the agreement.

Fighting flared between the government and SPLA forces earlier in the month with the SPLA reporting several key victories in the region. The SPLA leader, John Garang, said the writing was on the wall for the government.

Sudan accuses Uganda of impending invasion

A senior Sudanese minister has accused Uganda of preparing troops to invade Sudan -- along with members of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army, the SPLA.

The minister, General Abdelrahman Sir Al Jitm, said the Ugandan military were directly involved in Sudan's southern conflict and accused Uganda of collaborating with SPLA rebels.

His comments are the latest in a series of complaints about Uganda's presence on Sudan's southern border.

Last week the two sides took part in talks at the US Carter Centre aimed at restoring ties.

SOUDAN : Suspension des vols humanitaires AOUT 2000

Tous les vols humanitaires d'Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) ont été
suspendus en raison de la récente campagne de bombardement lancée par le
gouvernement dans le sud du pays, apprenait-on dans un communiqué émanant du
bureau du Secrétaire général de l'ONU et publié mardi. 'Le Secrétaire
général est extrêmement préoccupé par la sécurité du personnel humanitaire
et des installations appartenant à Operation Lifeline Sudan ... tous les
vols humanitaires d'OLS ont été suspendus temporairement, jusqu'à la
conclusion d'une évaluation des conditions de sécurité,' a indiqué le
communiqué. La suspension des vols a été décidée après le lancement de 18
bombes lundi 'dans le voisinage des installations de l'ONU à Mapel', en
dépit des garanties du gouvernement selon lesquelles les sites utilisés par
l'ONU/OLS ne seraient plus bombardés.

SOUDAN : Evacuation du personnel humanitaire

Le PAM  a évacué, mercredi après-midi, son personnel humanitaire de Mapel, à
Bahr el-Ghazal au sud, après un autre raid aérien. L'agence alimentaire de
l'ONU a indiqué que neuf bombes avaient été lancées à proximité
d'installations humanitaires. Dans un communiqué émanant de Rome mercredi,
la directrice générale du PAM, Catherine Bertini a fortement condamné ces
bombardements continus. 'Ces attaques violentes sont totalement
inacceptables et nous les condamnons fortement. Elles témoignent d'un manque
de respect pour les travailleurs humanitaires qui s'efforcent d'aider des
Soudanais innocents.'

SOUDAN : Le Soudan dément attaquer les opérations humanitaires

Parallèlement, le gouvernement soudanais a déclaré mercredi qu'il regrettait
la décision de l'ONU de suspendre ses vols humanitaires dans le sud du
Soudan, et a accusé le mouvement rebelle de rompre le cessez-le-feu
humanitaire à Bahr el-Ghazal. Le commissaire de l'aide humanitaire, Sulaf
Eddin Saleh, a indiqué à l'AFP que 'le gouvernement avait le droit légitime
de se défendre après l'échec des Nations Unies et de la communauté
internationale à faire cesser les violations de la trêve en vigueur commises
par le mouvement rebelle à Bahr el-Ghazal'. Il a déclaré que les rebelles de
l'Armée de libération du peuple soudanais (SPLA) ' violent continuellement
le cessez-le-feu et bien qu'ils fassent publiquement état de leurs
opérations militaires quotidiennes à Bahr el-Ghazal, l'ONU ne bouge pas', a
rapporté l'AFP. Le commissaire de l'aide humanitaire a également démenti les
attaques d'avions ou de locaux humanitaires, indiquait la BBC.

Source :
BBC Africa
Daily mail and Guardian


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Afrique : histoire, economie, politique

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