Sudanese Resistance Grows
On June 30, 2012 almost 1000 Sudanese people including representatives from at least eight organisations walked from Lancaster Gate to Downing Street. There they delivered a letter asking the Prime Minister to take more assertive action towards the Government of Sudan to ensure humanitarian access into all areas affected by conflict.
The walk to Downing Street was supported by people from all regions of Sudan. It coincided with an international day of action following recent anti-government protests in Khartoum; the 30 June marks the 23rd anniversary of President al-Bashir taking power in Sudan.
The Sudan government has vowed to crack down on protests in the country and many activists have been detained. The protests began with students using the #SudanRevolts hashtag on Twitter.@Moodizz wrote on twitter: “The most beautiful thing about London protest is that everyone is united.”Many walked the 6km to Downing Street barefoot in a symbol of solidarity with the hundreds of people who are fleeing Sudan on foot every week. This event was also supported by presence of Baroness Cox.
Aerial bombardment and ground fighting in the last year have caused half a million people to be displaced from South Kordofan,Eastern Sudan (Nuba Mountains) and Blue Nile State with over 200,000 refugees fleeing to neighbouring countries. The conflict has also caused the loss of land, a failed harvest, and the destruction of properties.
Humanitarian access and assistance to the two areas has been denied by the Government of Sudan since the beginning of the conflict. Many of those displaced survive today by eating leaves and wild fruits, without clean water or medicine, hiding in caves and forests; an increasing number of them do not survive.
Meanwhile, 2.5 million people remain displaced from their homes in Darfur and 300,000 are living as refugees in Chad. An escalation in violence in Darfur, blocking of humanitarian aid and denial of visas to humanitarian organisations mean many civilian lives are at risk.
Check the column to the right for news and updates.
03/02/14: openDemocracy article: UK: life in limbo for Sudanese democracy activists
[ Original ]
OLIVIA WARHAM 3 February 2014
Britain remains blind to the reasons why threatened minorities and activists are forced to flee hostile regimes, treating those who seek asylum with hostility and disdain. We must recognise the bravery of those who want for their country the freedoms we take for granted.
Sudan is among the world’s most repressive nations, with one of the worst human rights records. The indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilians by the Sudanese Government continues in Darfur and along Sudan’s southern border in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile states. But Government repression is not limited to the war-zones on the periphery. Freedom House awards Sudan its worst ranking, with the detention and torture of journalists, lawyers and democracy activists commonplace. One such journalist is currently seeking asylum in the UK, having been arrested and tortured four times for his work highlighting human rights abuses across Sudan.
Women are targeted by the Islamist regime: each year thousands of young women on their way to and from college are harassed, detained and sometimes raped. Or they may be charged with indecent behaviour because they are wearing jeans. One 25-year-old, Safiya Ishaq, defied Sudan’s conservative social conventions when she posted a video describing her rape at the hands of the security services.
Two recent incipient Arab Spring movements have been crushed in Sudan with unhesitating brutality. As one protester, choosing to remain anonymous, told NBC News, ‘Some people were shot in the back as they ran’.
Sudanese dissidents escaping one of the world’s most brutal regimes have been among the victims of what has become known as the UK’s ‘hostile environment’. This environment is named after a Government Committee which explicitly sought to make circumstances more difficult for immigrants (including asylum seekers). Like other asylum seekers, Sudanese dissidents can face years of legal limbo once they reach the UK. They are denied the right to work, and many live in destitution, waiting for years for their cases to be reviewed by the Home Office. The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government’s immigration legislation, including the restriction of legal aid for judicial review, will make their future even more uncertain.
Persecution in Sudan: well-founded fear
For most of Sudan’s troubled history since its independence from Britain in 1956, individuals from ethnic minorities have been persecuted by Khartoum’s Islamist elite. Drawn from three Nilotic groups self-identifying as Arab, the elite have tried to create an Arab and Muslim state. In doing so, more than two million non-Arabs in what was the south of Sudan are thought to have died, as have hundreds of thousands in Darfur and the Nuba Mountains. The regime-sponsored violence continues to this day, with the systematic aerial bombardment of villages in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. Given the extent of intermarriage, attempts to create a homogeneous population are absurd. Yet, central to the regime’s aims is the elimination of dissent in areas which are marginalized from its centralizing power and lack the wealth of Khartoum.
Since the civil war in Sudan started in 1983, waves of refugees have left the country. The genocide in Darfur accentuated this trend, and now hundreds of Sudanese democracy activists and survivors of ethnic cleansing campaigns have sought asylum in the UK. In 2013, 635 Sudanese applied for asylum in the UK.
Often traumatized by torture in detention or suffering from painful experiences when militias attacked their communities, they come to the UK because they hold it in high regard for its human rights track record, its constitutional separation of powers, and its legal system. Together with Britain’s reputation for tolerance and diversity, Sudanese dissidents say they aspire to create a system based on the same values in their homeland. As one asylum seeker told me, ‘one thing, in the UK I am safe”.
This safety comes at a price.
Seeking safety in the UK
Many refugees want to play an active and useful role in UK society and provide for their families. However, as they wait for the Home Office to evaluate their claims for leave to remain in the UK, unable to work, they feel disorientated and powerless, aware that many regard them as ‘scroungers’. Article 1 is a charity that helps Sudanese asylum seekers navigate the UK’s complicated immigration system. It helps them to access good legal representation and to gather supporting evidence to prevent removals where that person would be in danger if returned. Article 1 also provides briefings to UK officials on the current human rights situation in Sudan.
As explained in an article by Sonal Ghelani this week, most asylum seekers in the UK receive just over £35 per week; others, nothing at all. Many dissidents who we work with sofa-surf, taxing the kindness of friends and strangers as they wait what can be years for their cases to be processed. Such is the scale of Home Office backlogs that it may be years before an applicant knows whether or not they will have a future in this country, or will have to return to Sudan and the dangers they face there.
One such Sudanese dissident is Waleed, who lives in the city of Plymouth. He organises a group of asylum seekers to help local elderly people with jobs in their homes, thereby integrating the asylum seekers and overcoming some of the prejudices held by local British residents. Waleed’s work was prompted by stories he heard from friends of unprovoked assaults, as well as his own experience when a woman in a restaurant threw a glass of water over him and told him to ‘go home’.
Opinion polls consistently indicate the public does not distinguish between economic migrants and asylum seekers, and hostility is often based on misconceptions about the level of benefits given to asylum seekers. An ICM poll found 71% questioned believed asylum seekers were given at least £100 a week in benefits.
Another Sudanese dissident is Ramy, a thirty-three year old opposition activist from East Sudan who still bears the scars from torture at the hands of the Sudanese authorities. He came to the UK in 2005, and although he is an accountant, he is unable to work and was reduced to sleeping rough. Ramy finds it difficult being unable to support himself and not being productive: ‘Every day I feel worse. I ask myself the same question; how long am I going to wait? How long will I be in this situation?’
Moaz, age 30, was also involved in opposition politics in East Sudan, and was detained by state security agents who made it clear he would not be safe in Sudan. He arrived in the UK in 2005, was put in detention for 25 months for reasons that were never made clear to him, and was subject to a failed removal by the Home Office. In Sudan, Moaz had run a business; now he sits and waits, frustrated by the enforced inactivity, and by the uncertainty each day brings.
Future prospects for Sudanese dissidents in the UK
The coalition government has restricted legal aid for asylum seekers, and plans to restrict access to judicial review. The Immigration Bill also targets the right to appeal government decisions, allowing for the removal of asylum seekers, even in situations where human rights questions are unresolved. The legislation has rightly been seen as a means to prevent the government from being held accountable.
In addition, UK politicians and media relentlessly portray the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights as a ‘scroungers’ charter’, perpetuating myths and exaggerations to feed the anti-EU debate and hostility toward immigrants. The coalition is now floating the idea of scrapping the Act. This would remove the final barrier for asylum seekers who are desperately fighting to halt removal back to Sudan, into the hands of the regime which they are trying to escape. On several occasions Sudanese dissidents have been at Heathrow airport, resigning themselves to the prospect of instant detention upon arrival at Khartoum airport, never to be seen again. A fax from the European Court has then arrived to put a last-minute delay on their removal, possibly saving their lives.
The root of the problem
If the UK was serious about reducing asylum applications from Sudan, it would use its leverage to address the root of the problem, which is the human rights abuse conducted by the Sudanese government. The UK should work with its UN partners to apply smart sanctions, targeted against the architects of Sudan’s misery. To date such sanctions have been approved by the UN, but not enforced. The UK should also stop negotiations to cancel Sudan’s $45 billion debt, and insist that it fulfils its obligations under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Failing that, let’s recognise the integrity of brave Sudanese dissidents and oppressed minorities who want for their country the freedoms we take for granted.
It is widely believed that the British are proud of their history of helping persecuted people find sanctuary. When told the circumstances which specific groups and individuals are escaping, the public is often sympathetic, as seen of late in relation to popular support for the resettlement of Syrian refugees. However, politicians still lack the courage to disaggregate asylum seekers who have arrived in Britain fleeing torture or oppression from the emotive yet misunderstood category of ‘illegal immigrants’. And the media are usually more than happy to muddy the waters. It is up to us to provide positive narratives about the importance of offering sanctuary to threatened minorities and democracy activists, explaining why individuals are forced to leave hostile regimes. Unless xenophobic rhetoric is challenged through such narratives, valuable elements of the UK’s human rights architecture, such as the European Convention on Human Rights, will be eroded, if not lost. And this will affect us all.
Surely history has taught us that appeasing isolationists is never to our long term advantage – we must challenge them in every way we can.
10/08/13 - Sudan says eight family members killed in heavy rains, Khartoum state calls in Swiss experts
August 10, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – Ten people were killed including eight family members as a result of the heavy rains in Sudan’s twin capital of Omdurman and thousands of homes were damaged, according to local officials.
"More than 10 people were killed at Ombadda locality due to heavy rain that lasted for more than eight hours, while over 3,000 houses have been damaged, completely or partially", Omdurman’s Ombadda locality said in a statement.
The locality also warned of more floods headed from high-level areas west of Omdurman and urged the citizens to remain cautious. It called upon philanthropists and civil society organisations to provide support for the affected population.
The executive director of Ombadda locality Ahmed Osman Hamza announced that a 24-hour emergency room was set up alongside another main one which oversees the administrative units that is constantly feeding reports to Khartoum state government.
Hamza said that efforts are underway to evaluate the damage caused by the heavy rains and floods adding that humanitarian aid including food, clothing and shelter were dispatched on Saturday to the western suburb of Ombadda.
He told the official news agency (SUNA) that a bridge will be built soon to protect the western suburb from floods adding that several projects including water harvest schemes, dams and water reservoirs will be launched by the Ministry of Urban Planning and the Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity.
The head of the main emergency room in Ombadda Al-Hassan Khalid stressed that the room is comprised of health officers, administrative officers and heavy machinery drivers who track the performance of the 10 administrative teams.
Khalid confirmed that 10 people in the locality were killed including 8 from one household and a 9-year-old girl, as well as a student in a Khalwa (Quranic School) who is suspected to have drowned but his body is still missing.
The Sudanese Red Crescent Society and the Commission for Voluntary and Humanitarian Work estimated that 98,500 people have been affected by heavy rain and flash floods in Khartoum, River Nile, Blue Nile, North Darfur, South Darfur, Northern and Red Sea states between 1 and 4 August.
The states in Sudan that were most affected included Khartoum (56,000), River Nile (33,000), West Kordofan (12,000), North Darfur (8,000), Blue Nile (6,000), Red Sea (3,000), Northern (1,000) and South Darfur (1,000).
Drainage is poor in the capital of Sudan, where even a little rain can cause flooding, but this year’s water surge was unusually severe.
Young Sudanese have started an online fundraising campaign called Al-Nafeer, Arabic for ’rushing to work’, to provide aid for those affected through a large network of volunteers.
Many ordinary citizens voiced rage over poor preparations by the government and inadequate response to the floods.
SWISS EXPERTS RUSHED TO KHARTOUM
Meanwhile the media office of Khartoum’s state governor Abdel Rahman Al-Khidir announced that a team from a Swiss consultancy firm have arrived in the country on Friday to propose recommendations on addressing the issue of preventing and dealing with floods.
The team started its work on Saturday jointly with a Sudanese team comprised of Khartoum’s survey department, military survey corporation, Khartoum Roads and Bridges Authority and Al-Miraaj company.
The Swiss experts conducted an aerial survey of areas swept by floods in East Nile locality and flood source areas on the borders with the eastern states, collecting useful information from the elderly people with knowledge of the geography of the area.
The head of the team and head of Khartoum survey department, Mohamed Musa Salih, pointed out that the Swiss team has filmed the topography of the area using specific coordinates which will be applied to aerial photographs.
He went on to say that the team will analyse the aerial photographs to determine the flood sources and find a radical solution for the floods problem, adding that residential compounds will be removed from the floodplain.
Salih said that Khartoum state will also develop a plan based on the Swiss team’s findings to build several dams to harvest rain and flood water in order to use it for agriculture, cattle herding and raising groundwater levels.
01/08/13 - Open letter from the Beja Congress to the UN Secretary General
Open letter to: The Right Honorable Mr. Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General, Security Council
Appeal to solve problems of Beja Ex-fighters of Eastern Sudan
Dear Mr. Ban,
Eastern Sudan is one of the most marginalized regions in the country. Rates of malnutrition, anemia, tuberculosis, infant mortality rates are by far the highest in the world according to data from unicef and NGOs. The Beja Congress (BC), the political party of the people, entered in 1994 an open armed struggle against the regime in Khartoum.
In 2006 a peace agreement, called Eastern Sudan Peace agreement (ESPA), has been signed between the Beja Congress and the government of Sudan under the mediation of the Eritrean government.
The government promised to grant the Beja people proper share of power at the central and regional levels, to carry out development and reconstruction schemes, and to absorb the ex-combatants into civil military services.
None of these obligations has been fulfilled. The humanitarian situation in Eastern Sudan is very grave. The people are suffering from a famine right now. Even drinking water is very scarce. Rates of malnutrition went still higher.
As their problems have not been solved, the demobilized Beja Congress fighters entered a sitting strike in front of the Office of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration in Port Sudan. The strike entered its fourth week and the government is just neglecting it totally. It forgot its obligations for reintegration and absorbing them in the society.
The ESPA did not help the Beja people. The ex fighters feel betrayed and they do not conceal their desire to resume their struggle to fulfill the anticipation of the people. They have overwhelming sympathy with the struggle carried out by the Sudanese Revolutionary Front in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions. They are eager for an eastern front to open.
The Beja Congress would like to request you to:
1. To support the demands of the eastern Sudan ex fighters
2. find ways to deliver urgent humanitarian aid to the starving civilians in eastern Sudan, the Nuba mountains, Darfur and Blue Nile.
3. return of the expelled foreign aid groups to these regions and to eastern Sudan.
4. push the government of Sudan to respect the UN human rights declarations.
With best regards
The Beja Congress Leadership
Dr. Abu Amna
Copy to: African Union; European Union; United Nations Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Centre
16/07/13 - Diplomat: Sudan Leader Has Fled Nigeria
From Time World
By AP / Bashir Adigun and Michelle Faul July 16, 2013
(ABUJA, Nigeria) — Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir has left Nigeria, a diplomat at his embassy said Tuesday, following demands from human rights activists for the arrest of the man indicted for genocide and war crimes in Darfur.
Human rights lawyers filed a suit in the Federal High Court on Monday to try to compel Nigeria’s government to arrest al-Bashir. And a civil rights group urgently appealed to the International Criminal Court to refer the government to the U.N. Security Council for allowing the visit.
Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati told The Associated Press that al-Bashir had come to attend the African Union summit, and not at Nigeria’s invitation. He said Nigeria’s action in allowing him to come was in line with instructions from the African Union, which has told its 53 member states not to cooperate with the European-based court that some accuse of targeting Africans
Nigeria was forced in the past to hand over an internationally wanted criminal — former Liberian President Charles Taylor, the warlord who began that country’s devastating civil war in 1989.
In 2003, Taylor resigned under pressure and a promise from Nigeria’s government to give him a safe haven. When democratically elected leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf demanded his extradition in 2006, Nigeria came under huge international pressure and was forced to go back on its word and hand him over.
Taylor was sentenced to 50 years in prison by the International Criminal Court in May, not for crimes committed in his own country but for his responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in neighboring Sierra Leone.
A diplomat at the Sudanese embassy in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, told The Associated Press that al-Bashir left at 3 p.m. Monday, less than 24 hours after he arrived and in the middle of a two-day summit ending Tuesday. The diplomat, who refused to give his name, said his hasty departure had nothing to do with the pressure for his arrest.
Leaders from eight other African countries are attending the summit, including Kenya, which has shunned al-Bashir.
South Africa, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, and Central Africa Republic “have specifically made clear Bashir will be arrested on their territory, seen to it that other Sudanese officials visit instead of Bashir, relocated conferences or otherwise avoided his visits,” said human rights lawyer Chino Obiagwu, who heads the Nigerian Coalition on the ICC.
02/07/13 - demo videos
Videos of Sunday's demonstration >>>
(see news item below for details about the demonstration)
14/06/13 - Don't Forget Sudan!
The despotic military regime of Khartoum, Sudan, headed by, General Bashir (indicted by the International Criminal Court for crime against humanity) is waging new wars on the people of the Nuba Mountains, the people of the Blue Nile and the Bija people of Eastern Sudan. All are marginalized and impoverished peoples but, known for their pride of their African character and love for freedom.
Though admitting to killing “only ten thousand” the regime’s crimes in Darfur have in fact been callously inflicted on over six million people, who suffered death, displacement, destruction and systematic rape in the hands of the regime and its notorious militia known as Janjaweed.
In Khartoum and the North the regime is pursuing policies typical to the region’s military dictatorships comparable only to Gaddafi, Al Asad of Syria and Ali of Tunisia. Arrest and torture of political opponents, suppression of social and political liberties and persecution of women, are the policies of choice to the regime. The regime is desperately attempting to stand in the way of the wave of freedom and democracy that is sweeping the region.
The regime is currently preventing food aid and humanitarian assistance from reaching Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions in a blatant attempt to punish people in those areas for their alleged support to the rebels. Millions of lives of innocent people including women and children are currently in danger. This regime must be stopped from replicating genocidal acts committed against the people Darfur. It must be stopped from using food as a weapon for war.
Support the people of Sudan
Support the people of Sudan in the North and in Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and Bija peoples of Eastern Sudan
Voice your objection to the gross violation of violation human rights in Sudan.
Write to your MP, the Foreign Office (FCO), the PM and the UN in support of democracy and human rights in Sudan.
22/05/13 - 50th anniversary of African unity a chance to make history on Sudan
A coalition of over 120 civil society organisations from across Africa and the Middle East today issued a stark warning about the conflict in Sudan, currently affecting over 4.4m people, calling on the African Union to ‘make history’ by supporting a new, bolder and comprehensive approach to peace.
Click here to read more.
10/05/13 - Sudanese activist held incommunicado at risk of torture
From Amnesty International, here
The detention of a female lawyer in Sudan, whose whereabouts are still unknown, is the latest in the authorities’ brutal campaign against human rights activists in the context of the conflict in the Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, Amnesty International said.
Asma Ahmed, a lawyer and member of the banned opposition party the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), was arrested on 4 May when she reported to the office of the Sudanese National Security Services (NSS) in Khartoum.
Two days earlier, NSS officers had gone to her house demanding that she report to them.
Asma Ahmed has been held incommunicado since her arrest, without charge, placing her at high risk of torture or other forms of ill-treatment. She is diabetic and requires medical care and a special diet.
Read the full press release here
22/10/12 - STUDENTS LEAD PROTESTS AGAINST BLACKOUTS AND CUTS
Students at the University of West Kordofan in Al-Nohood City mobilised protests on 14 October, against electricity blackouts in the city, cuts in public services and the rising cost of living. Sudanese activists told MENA Solidarity Network that the demonstration was suppressed violently by the security forces and police, assisted by students of the National Conference, the ruling party in Sudan and a number of people were arrested from inside the hospital. By Wednesday 17 October protests had spread across the city with slogans being raised calling for the downfall of the regime.
What you can do:
05/10/12 - Statement on Sudan
RAPAR is also currently campaigning around the issue of the right of Sudanese people to asylum. Please see here for RAPAR's statement on Sudan and deportation.
16/09/12 - EXPULSION OF NGOs IS A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY
by Dr. Abu Amna, Human Rights Activist
In June 2012the government of Sudan has expelled four foreign aid groups working in the country's east, a source at the government's Humanitarian Affairs Commission( HAC ) told Agence France Presse on Friday.
The HAC issued on the 16.09.2012 strong warnings to the international NGOs operating in Sudan, and threatened to expel any organization it finds, that it goes beyond the red lines.
While the humanitarian sufferings in Sudan are deteriorating, the government decided in March 2012 to expel many international agencies from the marginalized regions in the country: Darfur, Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan and Eastern Sudan States.
Already in 2009 Sudan has expelled 10 humanitarian agencies as a reaction to the International Criminal Court arrest warrant for the President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir. These included: Oxfam, CARE, MSF-Holland, Mercy Corps, Save the Children, the Norwegian Refugee Council, the International Rescue Committee, Action Contre la Faim, Solidarites, and CHF International.
Sudan has witnessed major humanitarian crises since its independence in 1956.These include continuous civil wars, famines, destruction of the infrastructure of the state, roaring food prices, unemployment, as examples.
The Humanitarian sufferings are increasing immensely. The need for international humanitarian intervention in many marginalized region are rising constantly, in spite of this the government in Khartoum expels and denies access of aid agencies.
Kurt Tjossem, International Rescue Committee (IRC) regional director for the Horn and East Africa region, told IRIN: “The expulsion means we can no longer support 56 health clinics that we’ve helped to build or rehabilitate since the peace agreement in 2005. We can no longer provide these clinics with essential medicines, staff training or support for community health education.
"The expulsions have left large parts of the three Areas of south Kordofan, Darfur, Blue Nile and eastern Sudan states without humanitarian assistance or recovery and reintegration support," writes Sara Pantuliano, research fellow with the Humanitarian Policy Group of the Overseas Development Institute. She adds: "Unlike in Darfur, there is very little additional capacity beyond the expelled agencies to even attempt to fill these gaps."
Fergus Thomas, IRC coordinator for north-east Sudan found said about the conditions in Eastern Sudan: "It is the most under-served, most remote area that I have ever worked in, with huge humanitarian needs―even in basic issues of nutrition and safe water, up to more complex health and education needs.
Aklilu Lijam, Country Director for Dutch Interchurch Aid, after analysing the situation in the east, reported that food aid intervention has the priority along the border to the east.
UNICEF and governmental data confirm that child mortality rates in the east are the highest in the country. Severe anaemia is endemic especially among women and children. Tuberculosis and malaria have their highest morbidity rate here.
Statistics of the ministry of Health reveal, that the mortality rates of children surpass the international community's crisis threshold, classifying the Beja's situation as "a humanitarian emergency."
Hannah Reed, an aid worker with GOAL, described the severe living conditions in parts of Kassala state where the now-expelled Irish NGO worked "As I travel from Kassala town in eastern Sudan, to the rural areas in which GOAL works, there is nothing that would suggest it’s possible for people -- entire villages, in fact -- to survive," she wrote.
Eastern Sudan must be understood as suffering most from the same grievances as South Kordofan, Darfur and Blue Nile States: longstanding neglect, marginalization, disenfranchisement, and political exclusion.
Annette LaRocco posted an article in Jun 05, 2012 stating that though rarely in the international news headlines, the East has been plagued by similar patterns of discrimination and disenfranchisement as the other peripheral areas of Sudan. The East has shockingly poor humanitarian indicators, largely the result of Khartoum’s sustained neglect.
Eastern Sudan has been badly affected by the expulsion of the IRC, Oxfam GB and Save the Children UK. These were among the very few international agencies working in Red Sea and Kassala states, and the expulsion hits some of the poorest and most marginalised communities in the country.
Before its expulsion, Oxfam GB was working in Red Sea State, eastern Sudan. "We have been working with very remote, marginalized communities who have very little support from anywhere else," Alun McDonald, Oxfam GB regional media and communications officer for Horn, East and Central Africa, told IRIN.
In Eastern Sudan Kassala and Red Sea states have the highest malnutrition rates in Sudan, according to ODI. The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates that the expulsions of the NGOs will leave more than 100,000 vulnerable children without support.
He adds: “After a 10-hour trek into the desert, following dirt roads through an area pitted with land mines, the researchers came upon the first Beja settlement—a small community of tented huts and people with little food or water. Medical assistance was not available. Precious water came from a few wells in riverbeds that filled once or twice a year”.
Reports from the international humanitarian agencies and institutions agree that Beja are in grave danger. But the international response to the sufferings of the Beja has been slow, compared to other parts in the world, where cameras of the satillite TV are present. Doocy says: "The level of response in Africa is just not there
When people rise up to improve their condition, the government starts its military jets to bombard them. This results in a continuous flow of tens of thousands of refugees – up to 4,000 per day according to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), as reported by by Eric Reeves in August 3, 2012 in The Christian Science Monitor.
The vast humanitarian crisis that is growing fast, the international community must intervene, and exert more pressure on the government to allow urgently the return of the aid agencies to carry out their humanitarian activities and deliver their services to the most needed.
The government should immediately stop bombardment of innocent civilian people and never use food as a weapon. The international community should press the regime in Khartoum to settle long standing political problems by conducting peaceful negotiations with all marginalized people in their different organizations, all opposition parties, and civil society groups and thus restores peace and end the intensive sufferings of the people.
While the need for urgent international aid is rising steadily, the government expels the NGOs operating in the country.
This is a crime against humanity.
SUDANESE ONLINE ARTICLE
01/08/12 - Darfur witnesses another crime against humanity by the NCP
Nyala- South Darfur - 31st July 2012
Peaceful protesters were brutally attacked by NCP forces, killing at least 12 with an average age of 17 years old- high school students; as well as severely injuring dozens of protesters by firing live bullets. Statements from medical sources revealed today that most of the injuries were in the upper parts of the body, which reveals that the shooting was the intent to kill. This is yet another heinous crime against humanity, especially in the conflict ridden region of Darfur.
On the second day of protests, protestors in Nyala took to the streets against the major increase in prices, as well as the scarcity of fuel in the city in addition to rejecting the continuous failures of the government in ...running the country. The protesters raised banners stating their legitimate demands calling for an end to corruption and mismanagement of the government; which has led to the systematic violation of citizens' rights to dignity and a protected life. The oppressive and brutal strategy of the national security services based attempts to instill fear among peaceful protesters with the assumption that this will prolong the rule of the NCP. However, this is only an addition to the long list of crimes by AlBashir’s regime.
Sudan Change Now calls upon all the people of Sudan, youth, men, women and children to join us in putting an end to these crimes. We strongly condemn the continued deliberate killing of innocent civilians by the NCP and their methods of waging war on the Sudanese people, in particular the people of Darfur and other marginalized conflict ridden regions.
On the 12th day of the holy month of Ramadan, this is the list of names of those killed:
1. Mohammed Abakar - 17-year old high school student,
2. Tahani Hassan-17 year old female high school student shot in the head
3. Jamal Ibrahim: 17 years old,
4. Mujahid Mohammed- 18 years old,
5. Muhammad Ali - 16 years old,
6. Noureddine Gedo-17 years old,
7. Ibrahim Muhammad Abdul Qadir
8. El Hadi Hussein -was killed in his house with an artillery shot
9. Ali Altayeb
10. Abdallatef Adam
11. Hassaballa Mohamed
12. Hawa Abdalllah
Sudan Change Now stands firm against allowing the NCP to use the divide and rule approach with the 12th Ramadan martyrs of Darfur; which is a day that will always be marked as the day that these brave students gave their life in their plight for justice and equality. SCN will not stop until this country wakes up to a new dawn where freedom, peace, justice and equality will prevail; to a Sudan that leaves no room for corruption, unaccountability, racism and atrocities.
Sudan Change Now calls on all the brave women and men of this country to join the resistance and peacefully protest against the NCP regime bringing justice to those who have committed crimes against the people of Sudan.
The Resistance Continues and Shall Overcome
Sudan Change Now Movement
05/08/12 - ESCALATION OF TORTURE OF POLITICAL DETAINEES IN KASSALA
Reports leaked recently from the town of Kassala in eastern Sudan reveal grave health deterioration of the political detainees following the escalation of torture since the beginning of Ramadan. The security was compelled to transfer them to hospital. Doctors found signs of torture, like bruises and bleeding. Photographs were taken by human rights activists, which would be published later.
Human rights activists in Eastern Sudan appeal to the sudanese and to the international opinion to express their solidarity with the detainees, uncover the atrocities of the regime and put intense pressure on it to put an end to the atrocities.
It is well known that the security force in eastern Sudan is very cruel especially towards the indigenous people and takes harsh measures towards them on suspect of deeds like smuggling food material or peaceful demonstrations. In the last two years several people were shot dead in kassala, many in Gadaref. The massacre of Port Sudan in 2006 is another example, where more than 20 Beja demonstrators were shot dead by the security force during a peaceful demonstration.
01/08/12 - PEACEFUL PROTESTORS FACE DEATH PENALTY
The Haj Yousif non-violent protests of July 3 ended in the arrest of 14 people. The Sudanese pro-government newspapers had a field day with this. The main organizers, Rudwan Dawoud and Widad Darwish, both Girifna members, were called “terrorists” and “CIA operatives”.
July 23, Widad Darwish behind bars before her release on bail after 20 days of detention.
The first trial was scheduled for July 5, but the Judge postponed the trial because Rudwan was severely beaten and tutored. On the next court date, July 9, the Judge said he is not qualified to hear such a case because the maximum sentence is the death penalty.
This went on until July 23, when another Judge released all the defendants on bail except Rudwan; also postponing the sentencing (until today, July 25) because he is not qualified.
Today, the judge announced the innocence of all defendants in the case, except for Rauwan and Ahmad Kawarti. Kawarti was released on bail while Radwan is still in prison, and their trial is postponed one more time to July 29.
The biggest dilemma for the regime is: if Rudwan is released and becomes a de-facto hero, it would be a big defeat for the National Intelligence and Security Forces (NISS)– who are spearheading this trial. This might translate to other activists not fearing detention, and an increase in street protests that have continued since June 16.
On the other hand, the longer the case drags the more momentum it is gathering nationally and internationally. Every session draws a crowd of at least 200 people, and is transmitted live via twitter and facebook from the courtroom.
With the Sudanese government suffering from an unprecedented economic crisis and lack of funds, it is avidly looking for international loans. An ongoing human rights case with such high visibility is not what Sudanese politicians want to explain during a meeting with any international body.
For one thing, it is an admission that there are protests in Sudan. Which means the situation is not stable. Which means the loan will not be repaid.
It is widely believed that the main reason the current protests are not growing in number is because of the fear of the NISS and the massive arrests and detentions since June 16. There has been more than 2000 arrests since the protests started in mid-June.
If it is not for the NISS’s brutal retaliation and numerous arrests, more people would be in the streets today. The NISS lack respect in the Sudanese street and are seen as thugs.
For many years, NISS staff have been using their badge for personal gains. They run secret torture houses. And under the security law they have immunity against any crimes they commit, which range from assaults, rapes, murders to kidnapping and theft.
All of this is to say that NISS lacks respect in the streets of Sudan, and rely totally on fear. If this fear is broken, then there is nothing left to keep the current military dictatorship standing.
13/07/12: The Sudanese people are revolting against a religious military dictatorship with an abominable human rights record. Come and give support. A Vigil/Gathering: Saturday 14th July, 12.00 - 16:00, All Saints, Oxford Road, Manchester. (See here for map.) Music/Food/Shows