Sudan says US reneged on sanctions promise
(AFP) Sudan on Thursday accused the United States of reneging on commitments to remove sanctions, after Washington extended the 15-year-old trade restrictions. Then-president Bill Clinton imposed the embargo in 1997 over Sudan’s support for international terrorism, efforts to destabilise neighbouring governments, and human rights violations. President Barack Obama approved the sanctions for another year on Thursday, saying the actions of the Sudanese government “continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” This year’s sanctions renewal came one week after Sudan accused Israel of sending four radar-evading aircraft to strike a military factory, which exploded and burned in the heart of Khartoum at midnight on October 23. The blast led to speculation that Iranian weapons were stored or manufactured there but Sudan’s foreign ministry denied Iran had any involvement. Israel refused all comment on Khartoum’s allegations about the factory blast but officials in the Jewish state have long accused Khartoum of serving as a base of support for militants from the Islamist Hamas movement that rules the Gaza Strip. Sudan’s foreign ministry called the US sanctions “basically political”, with the aim of hindering the country’s development. It said the embargo benefits armed rebel groups while violating international law. “Many times the American administration agreed that Sudan is meeting its commitments but they are always retreating from their promises to remove the sanctions,” the ministry said in a statement.
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Sudan Blocks UN Force From Investigating Deaths
(Associated Press) The international peacekeeping force in Sudan’s Darfur region said Saturday that its forces were blocked by the military from reaching the destination of an alleged attack that killed 10 people. The hybrid U.N. and African Union peacekeeping force, UNAMID, said in a statement that mourners brought 10 bodies reportedly killed in Friday’s attack to the gate of its headquarters in Darfur on Saturday. The Sudanese military blocked its convoy from reaching the area of the alleged attack to gather information on the incident, it added. Friday’s attack reportedly took place in Sigili village, located in the Shawa area in North Darfur state. Hundreds marched in a symbolic show of unity through North Darfur’s capital city of el-Fasher to protest the incident on Saturday. It is not clear who was behind the killings. Sudan’s government has been battling rebel groups in Darfur since 2003. More than 300,000 people have been killed in the conflict since rebels took up arms against the central government, accusing it of discrimination and neglect. Violence has tapered off, but clashes continue and peacekeepers remain a target.
Sudan rebels shell South Kordofan capital after major battle
(Middle East Online) Sudanese rebels on Friday said they shelled the capital of South Kordofan again after a major battle that killed 70 government troops and seven insurgents. Seventeen members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) were also wounded in the clashes northeast of the capital Kadugli, in what the rebel spokesman said was their worst casualty toll since fighting began in the oil-producing state in June 2011. “It is the biggest loss that happened to us since the war began,” the spokesman, Arnu Ngutulu Lodi, said. “In many cases we’ve lost two, three, four.” Last October, however, the South Kordofan governor said hundreds of rebels had died in an assault on one town. Analysts say casualty figures from either side in the war should be treated with caution. The rebels have cited a series of aerial bombings as justification for their periodic shelling of Kadugli over the past month. They say they have targeted military installations and killed a number of troops, but official media say several civilians have been killed by rebel mortar fire.
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Sudanese police clash with service protesters in central state
(All Africa, Sudan Tribune) Villagers in Sudan’s central state of Al-Jazeera have been protesting against water and electricity cuts, witnesses told Sudan Tribune as the unrest entered its fourth day on Friday. The protests began on Tuesday when residents of Wad Al-Hadad village in south of Al-Jazeera took to the streets in demonstrations against low level of water and electricity services, and blocked the high-way road between the state capital Madani and the federal capital Khartoum. Security forces arrested two protesters on charges of inciting the demonstration, prompting the villagers to stage a bigger protest on Wednesday, blocking the road again and setting tires on fire. The police interfered to break up Wednesday’s demonstration and fired teargas on the protesters, which led to the eruption of clashes that led to the injury of 17 citizens and 4 policemen after their patrol vehicle capsized. The police also arrested 15 protesters. The protests spread to nearby villages over the next two days. On Friday, residents of Wad Rabi’a village, which lies in the middle of the road between Al-Managil town and Madani, protested again against water cuts and erratic electricity supply which damaged domestic electric devices. The police chief of Al-Jazzera State, Lt-Gen Al-Tayyib Babikir, said in a press release issued on Friday that a group of citizens from the villages of Wad Al-Hadad in Al-Jazzera South locality, and Al-Mahas Al-Raqiba in East Al-Jazzera locality, blocked the roads between Madani and Khartoum and threw stones on the police which led to the injury of some of his men.
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Sudanese rebels claim killing 70 in battle with government troops
(Sudan Tribune) The rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army North said on Friday that it repulsed an advance by government troops on a village in South Kordofan state, killing “70 enemy combatants” in a lengthy battle. Fighting in South Kordofan between the SPLM/A-N and the government has intensified since Sudan and South Sudan signed a security deal on 27 September dictating cessation of support to rebel groups in each other’s territories. The rebels, who fought as part of South Sudan army in the past, forged a coalition in November last year with three rebel groups from Sudan’s western region of Darfur under the name Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), vowing joint military operations to topple the government. The Sudanese army did not comment on the rebels’ claims. Media access to South Kordofan is heavily restricted by the government therefore reports of battles are difficult to verify independently. In a related development, SPLM-N’s secretary-general Yasir Arman issued a statement on Friday demanding that Sudan’s President Omer Al-Bashir and his ruling National Congress Party resign and “return power to the people” after their failure to protect the country from the Israeli airstrike that destroyed Al-Yarmook military factory in Khartoum last month.
Khartoum Asks to Redeploy South Sudanese Troops From Contested Areas
(Sudan Tribune) Sudan demanded to hold a meeting of the joint security meeting because South Sudanese troops are still stationing in the disputed areas, said foreign minister Ali Karti on Friday. Since the signing of security agreements between Sudan and South Sudan in Addis Ababa on 27 September, Khartoum speaks about a meeting of the joint security committee headed by defense ministers of the two countries. The meeting which was delayed several times by the South Sudanese side has to discuss the redeployment of troops from areas claimed by both parties on the common border such as 14 mile and Kafia Kinji where SPLA forces are stationed. Speaking a Friday’s radio talk show, foreign minister disclosed that Juba did only pull out its troops partially from the areas where the buffer zone should be established. He said that the South Sudanese army explained that the rains prevented from evacuating troops and their heavy weapons. “Till now we are still waiting the withdrawal of troops that had to be done since the autumn,” Karti said. “We believe that security issues must be implemented now and this is what drove Sudan to invite South Sudan and mediator to meet in order to implement security agreements,” he further stressed. However it is not clear when the joint security committee will meet. Karti earlier this week said that the meeting would be held on Monday 5 November, but other sources in Khartoum say it would take place on Sunday.
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Karti: Foreign Ministry Corrects Europe’s View of Sudan
(Sudan Vision) Foreign Minister, Ali Karti has commended Sudanese-Austrian relations which were able change the general European attitude toward Khartoum. Karti, interviewed by Omdurman radio Friday, pointed out that Austria, though committed to EU policy, was open to friendship with Sudan. The friendship was enabled by the peace accomplished in Sudan prior to the South’s secession. Karti said Vienna understood Juba’s desire for secession, but it is sorry that its efforts with South Sudan did succeed. The foreign minister added that, in this spirit of compromise, he started talking with Austria on how to take advantage of South Sudan’s secession. The minister said that Sudan, through its good relations with Vienna, was able at the recent forum to get the attention of 12 European countries, many European organisations, and a representative of South Sudan, to review the funding of joint Sudan-South Sudan projects.
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