Tut Gatluak tightens his grip on power, blocking Kuol, Awet from meeting Kiir

News—The Presidential Advisor on Security Affairs, Tut Gatluak Manime has barred senior members of the SPLM Politburo, Kuol Manyang Juuk, and Daniel Awet Akot from meeting President Kiir in his office.

Juuk, who was a freedom fighter, accused Tut Kew and other former members of the NCP of hijacking the SPLM, which they hated and betrayed to the Sudanese government.

“Now they have taken the country and the presidency. They are in the states as governors. They are here in the cabinet as ministers. They are in the secretariat of the SPLM. They are in parliament. They are in the army. They are in the security (service). They are in police. They are in all the institutions holding key positions,” said the senior Presidential Advisor, Kuol Manyang Juuk during an interview.

After the independence of South Sudan in July 2011, several former NCP members from South Sudan joined the SPLM and expressed their desire to serve their country.

With a spirit of national reconciliation, they were integrated into the party, also former militia leaders were merged into the liberation army, the SPLA.

The civil war of 2013 contributed to form new circles around the president and paved the way for the emergence of new faces in the government institutions.

However, Juuk remained loyal to Salva Kiir and he even took the defence ministry in 2013 when the civil war broke out. Juuk was blacklisted and sanctioned by the U.S. in December 2019 for “his role in perpetuating South Sudan‘s years-long conflict by obstructing the country’s stalled peace process.”

Kuol said Kiir appointed him as the Senior Presidential Adviser but it is not easy for him to meet the president.

“I was appointed by President Salva as Senior Presidential Adviser which means I am the head of advisers. But I am not being allowed to even meet the President by Tut Kew and this is for several months,” he said naming the Presidential Adviser for Security Affairs.

The influential Tut Kew or Tut Gatluak Manime who is the Bul-Nuer ethnic group is often criticized and described as an adoptive son of the former Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir.

The senior presidential aide went further to say he now meets the president outside official channels.

“Yes I meet the president, but this is outside official channels. We meet sometimes when there is a meeting at the level of the Political Bureau at the SPLM Secretariat. We meet sometimes when comrade (Vice President) James Wani wants us to meet and discuss something related to the work of the SPLM in which the President will participate. These are the occasions in which I meet the President. But in my capacity as the Senior Presidential Adviser, it takes time,” said Juuk.

Daniel Awet Akot, a senior SPLM member and former presidential Adviser, former minister and former governor, recently called on President Kiir to step down and hand over power to presidential affairs minister Nhial Deng Nhial.

“I have always reiterated in our SPLM PB [Political Bureau] meetings that we are mentally incapacitated and exhausted; Let’s hand over the remaining part of our vision to Nhial Deng to clean our image internationally,” he said during a meeting with elders on Sunday.

UN urges immediate withdrawal of Sudanese rebel forces from foreign countries

The UN Security Council Committee on Sudan has called on the Sudanese rebel groups that are not part of the Juba Peace Agreement to withdraw from foreign countries, or else they will be classified as terrorists.

“The Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan considered the final report of the Panel of Experts, submitted in accordance with paragraph 2 of resolution 2508 (2020) (S/2021/40).”

The Committee is urging the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) signatory movements to stop recruiting fighters, in violation of the JPA, including in internally displaced persons’ camps.

The United Nations urged the Darfurian rebel factions to join the ongoing peace process or face tough measures, should they fail to comply with the orders.

“The Committee is also urging the Darfurian major non-signatory groups to engage in peace talks with the Government of Sudan as soon as possible. If they fail to comply, and therefore constitute an impediment to peace, the Committee would consider listing those individuals or entities on the 1591 Sanctions List.”

The United Nations accused the Sudanese rebel forces of being a source of instability in the whole region.

“Furthermore, the Committee is urging the JPA signatory movements to withdraw their forces from foreign countries completely, in line with the JPA. If they fail to comply, and therefore continue to pose a threat to regional stability, the Committee would consider listing those individuals or entities on the 1591 Sanctions List,” the UN threatened.

Last year, the Sudanese transitional government and opposition groups signed a peace agreement under auspices of the South Sudanese government.

According to the terms of the agreement, the parties agree to abide by international law by refraining from recruiting refugees and pulling out their forces from foreign countries.

Newsflash: Ethiopia declares war on Sudan as tensions reach boiling point

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed / File

The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a strongly-worded statement, condemning the incursion of the Sudanese armed forces into Ethiopian territory and accused an unnamed third party of being behind this border-conflict between the two countries.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia condemns in the strongest possible terms the escalation and provocative behavior of the Government of the Sudan regarding the boundary issue between Ethiopia and the Sudan. Ethiopia believes that any conflict between our two countries would only result in a colossal collateral damage and jeopardizes the well- being of the two nations,” the Ethiopian government said on Thursday.

The Ethiopian government underscored that an all-out conflict between Sudan and Ethiopia could have detrimental impact on the region and jeopardize ongoing efforts to bring the two countries to the negotiating table.

“Therefore, the Ethiopian government strongly believes that the conflict being trumpeted by the Sudanese government’s military wing could only serve the interests of a third party at the expense of the Sudanese people. It is to be noted that the two governments have sufficient mechanisms to deal with any claims and counter-claims of the border or any territorial claims. However, the Sudanese National Army violated the basic principles of international law and peaceful settlements of disputes by unceremoniously invading Ethiopia in carly November 2020.”

“In doing so, Sudan has violated the bilateral boundary agreements, which stipulate non-displacement of nationals of either nation from their farms jointly registered by the two Governments, the status quo of which shall be maintained until the disposition of the case by an agreement.

“The Sudanese side has also overturned and undermined the efforts of the joint boundary committees that have been making tireless efforts to finalize the re-demarcation process of the common boundary. Contrary to the spirit of friendship and cooperation existing between our two brotherly countries, the Sudanese Army looted properties, burned camps, attacked and displaced thousands of Ethiopians and controlled vacated Ethiopian Military Camps.”

“What is more deplorable is, in an apparent misrepresentation of the facts on the ground, Sudan is deliberately engaged in misinformation campaigns against Ethiopia by accusing the victim as an aggressor, evading accountability by shifting blame and camouflaging its belligerence and continue its provocation in an attempt to control more lands.”

“Amidst of all these escalatory and provocative behaviour of the Sudan, Ethiopia has shown a great deal of patience, remained restrained from exercising its legitimate right of self-defence and time and again expressed its commitment to a peaceful settlement of differences regarding the boundary through existing bilateral agreements and joint border mechanisms. What is needed is a political will of the two governments, which would enable them reach at an amicable solution.”

“Ethiopia firmly believes in the long standing fraternal relations between the people of Ethiopia and Sudan regardless of the nature of their respective governments. The attempt being made by the Sudanese Amy to push the friendly pcoples of Ethiopia and Sudan to unwarranted war is a serious blunder that will undermine their peace, stability and development of the two nations in particular and the region in general. Ethiopia while reiterating its commitment for a peaceful settlement of the boundary issue, once again calls upon the government of the Sudan to reverse the aggression, desist from provocation and resort to a peaceful settlement of the boundary issue.”

“Therefore, the Ethiopian government would like to call upon the people of the Sudan to check on its government from serving a third party interest which only would result in the determent of the two nations. Furthermore, Ethiopia calls upon brotherly African countries to advice the Sudanese government to finalize the border issues through available mechanisms in peaceful manner. The government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia also thanks the people of Ethiopia for showing maximum patience and profound understanding.”

S. Sudan, Sudan, & UNHCR convene follow-up meeting on refugee situation

Representatives from South Sudan and Sudan during a follow-up meeting held in the capital, Juba / Photo: UNHCR-South Sudan

South Sudan, Sudan, IGAD and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees held a follow-up meeting on the situation of forcibly displaced persons from January 13 to 15 in the South Sudanese capital of South Sudan, Juba.

“Governments of South Sudan and Sudan, IGAD, UNHCR and partners met from January 13th-15th in Juba to follow up on the IGAD Initiative on Solutions for the Sudan and South Sudan displacement situations,” the UN Refugee Agency said on its Twitter handle.

South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, remains home to thousands of Sudanese refugees who had fled violence in Khartoum during the regime of Omar al-Bashir — an authoritarian ruler overthrown in a military coup a few years ago.

Likewise, Sudan hosts a large number of South Sudanese refugees who sought refuge in the region after the outbreak of violence in 2013.

In December last year, the two countries agreed on a roadmap that outlines the next steps toward medium to long-term solutions for forcibly displaced persons.

“It is a historic moment, for the two governments to come together in search for solutions for their populations” noted Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Affey, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa. ‘We have recently seen impressive developments towards solutions. We have a practical and cordial working relationship between the two governments. We have a roadmap. Now we must work together to show the world that to invest in this process is to light a candle for enduring peace, sustainable return and a hopeful future for the people of South Sudan and Sudan.”

Sudan, Kenya, and Ethiopia confirm first COVID-19 cases today

(Thessherald)–Three east African countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sudan – have confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic virus in 2019.

In Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Public Health Institute confirmed on Friday that a 48-year-old Japanese citizen who came from Burkina Faso had been tested positive and quarantined in a health facility to control the transmission of the virus.

“The person found positive is a 48 year old Japanese citizen who came to Ethiopia on March 4, 2020 from Burkina Faso,” confirmed the Ministry of Health.

“Ethiopia has put in place a disease surveillance program since the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, and it has now identified the first positive case in the country. The patient is currently isolated at our facility.”

The Ethiopian government stated that the case is being addressed and that those who may have been in close contact with the patient are being tracked and quarantined when they are found as part of preventive measures against the transmission of the virus.

“He is undergoing medical follow up and is in a stable condition. Those who have been in contact with this person are being traced and quarantined. Since fear and panic are as dangerous as the disease itself, this first positive case in the country should not let us lower our guard but should propel us to redouble our effort to control the disease.”

In Kenya

On Friday, The Ministry of Health confirmed a case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nairobi and was the first of its kind to be reported in Kenya since the outbreak in China in late 2019.

“The case is a Kenyan citizen who travelled back to Nairobi returning from the United States of America via London, United Kingdom on the 5th March 2020. She was confirmed positive by the National Influenza Centre Laboratory at the National Public Health Laboratories of the Ministry of Health. The patient is clinically stable, and is being managed at the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital,” the Ministry of Health explained in a statement obtained by The South Sudan Herald.

“The Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Health, continues to strengthen measures to ensure no further transmission of the disease in Kenya. The National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus preparedness and response will continue to provide strategic leadership working through whole Government approach to respond to this case in the implementation of mitigation measures. I wish to assure all Kenyans that we have been beefing up our preparedness capacities since the first confirmed cases in China. The Government will use all the available resources to respond to this case,” the statement added.

The Government traced all the contacts of the patient since her arrival in Kenya.

–In Sudan

The Sudanese Ministry of Health reported the country’s first confirmed COVID-19 of a man who died on Thursday after traveling to the United Arab Emirates earlier this month, bringing the number of COVID-19 cases to 170 in African countries.

IGAD strongly condemns terrorist assassination attempt on Hamdok

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok speaks during an official meeting in Sudan/ Photo: File

(Thessherald)–The IGAD Executive Secretary has strongly condemned, in a statement, an assassination attempt on His Excellency Aballa Hamdock, Prime Minister of the Republic of Sudan and the Chair of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

“The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, condemns in the strongest terms the assassination attempt on H.E Aballa Hamdock, Prime Minister of the Republic of Sudan and the Chair of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government, following a car bomb attack on his official convoy at the Cooper Bridge in capital Khartoum today.”

The statement further added that: “The Executive Secretary conveys his relief that Prime Minister Hamdok was unharmed in this appalling incident and calls for an immediate and speedy investigation in order to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice.”

The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) stated that the recent terrorist attack on Hamdok was aimed at destabilizing and jeopardizing ongoing efforts to bring about reforms and democracy in the country.

“This incident seeks to reverse the people-driven democratic gains that have been witnessed in the Republic of Sudan. The IGAD Executive Secretary emphasises that the “interests and the aspiration of the people of Sudan will reign over all acts of terror.”

He further adds that all parties must adhere to the continuation of open, comprehensive and inclusive political dialogue as the only avenue to ensuring long-term stability, peace and prosperity.

“IGAD calls upon the international community to stand with the people and the government of the Republic of Sudan by extending the requisite political, diplomatic and material support during this transitional period to ensure that the foundations of peace, security and stability are firmly established as the people of Sudan chart the path to their future.”

Sudan PM Abdullah Hamdok survives assassination attempt in Khartoum

(Thessherald)–Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok has survived an assassination attempt targeting his convoy in the capital Khartoum, state television and a source in the cabinet said on Monday.

The report said Hamdok survived car bomb explosion, and has been moved to a safe location.

Note: This is a developing story, We’ll give you more updates on the situation as we learn more

Sudan, US-based Visa Inc enter into agreement for the first time

(Thessherald)–For the first time in decades, the Sudanese government and a Washington-based technology company, Visa Inc have entered into an agreement that will see the United States provide an electronic payment system in Sudan.

“We are working closely with select financial institutions in Sudan to progress the introduction of Visa payment solutions in the country,” said the company in a statement.

The step taken by the two countries is seen as a milestone toward rebuilding shaky diplomatic relations between the United States and Sudan.

“Visa is pleased to be building new partnerships that will bring the benefit of Visa’s world-class payment technology to help support financial inclusion and economic growth in Sudan” said the world’s largest payments technology company.

US urged to lift sanctions on Sudan

Authorities in Sudan have been pleading with the Trump administration to remove Sudan from its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, noting such long-term sanctions have caused so much suffering to the Sudanese people as international companies are not allowed to do business in Sudan. .

Compensation demanded for a 1998-attack allegedly sponsored by Al-Bashiir’s former regime.

Scene after the Al Qaeda bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, which killed 213 people (August 7, 1998) (Photo: Not Known)

Last month, American victims filed a lawsuit from the US Supreme Court, demanding a huge sum of money of about $ 4.3 billion, in compensation for the heavy losses incurred during the terrorist attacks.

Resolution of the case is a key requirement for Sudan’s removal from the U.S. list of State Sponsors of Terrorism and part of its efforts to rejoin the international community following a grass-roots revolution in the country.

The petition was backed by the United States authorities. “This is important because it sends a strong signal to the people that the U.S. government hires all over the world – the staff of embassies – that your families are going to be protected if you’re killed or injured in service to the United States,” said Steven Perles, co-counsel for the plaintiff and one of the foremost litigators in holding foreign governments accountable for sponsoring terrorism.

US Court demands $4.3 billion from Sudan in compensation for 1998 al Qaeda bombings

Scene after the Al Qaeda bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, which killed 213 people (August 7, 1998) (Photo: Not Known)

(Thessherald)–The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday appeared open to reinstating $4.3 billion in punitive damages against Sudan in lawsuits accusing it of complicity in the 1998 al Qaeda bombings of two U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people.

The nine justices heard about an hour of arguments in an appeal – filed by people injured and relatives of people killed in the attacks – of a 2017 lower court ruling that blocked the plaintiffs from collecting the punitive damages imposed against Sudan alongside about $6 billion in compensatory damages.

The justices directed the bulk of their questioning toward an attorney representing Sudan as opposed to the plaintiffs. Conservative and liberal justices raised doubts over Sudan’s argument that it could not be hit with punitive damages.

Sudan, riven by civil war and unrest, has been trying to reduce its exposure in the litigation.
Twelve Americans were among the dead in the Aug. 7, 1998, attacks, with thousands of other people wounded. The lawsuits involve 567 people, most of whom are non-U.S. citizens who were employees of the U.S. government and their relatives.

Doreen Oport, 58, who was working as an immigration assistant in the embassy in Kenya’s capital Nairobi during the attack and suffered burns and other injuries, expressed optimism following the arguments.
“We are waiting for justice,” Oport said.
President Donald Trump’s administration urged the justices to side with the plaintiffs.

The damages were imposed by default because for most of the litigation Sudan did not appear before a lower court to counter accusations that it harbored and provided support to the Islamist militant group al Qaeda, which led to the bombings. Sudan denies the allegations.

The truck bombs that detonated outside the embassies in Nairobi as well as Dar es Salaam, Tanzania marked the first large-scale al Qaeda attack. Three years later, on Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda operatives carried out attacks in the United States, killing nearly 3,000 people.

Starting in 2001, several groups of plaintiffs sued in federal court in Washington under the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which generally bars claims against foreign countries except those designated by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism, as Sudan has been since 1993. Other claims were made under local District of Columbia law.

A federal judge found Sudan liable and awarded the plaintiffs $10.2 billion, including $4.3 in punitive damages.

In 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld Sudan’s liability, but ruled that a 2008 change in the law allowing for punitive damages was enacted after the bombings occurred and cannot be applied retroactively.

Originally published by Reuters.

Sudanese official says optimistic about reforms in labour ministry

File photo: Sudan’s state minister for labour, Stephen Amin

File photo: Sudan’s state minister for labour, Stephen Amin

Sudan’s newly appointed state minister for Labour and Social Development, Stephen Amin Arnu has vowed to fight corruption to achieve success in the ministry.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Thursday, Amin said the ministry’s new policies are focused on empowerment, civil service reforms and social welfare, adding that concerted efforts are needed to reform the labour sector in Sudan.

“There were a lot of malpractices in this sector during the former regime and we are now working hard to reform it,” he explained.

The government official further said policies of the Labour ministry are currently focused on reforming the country’s civil service, social welfare to realize social justice and reinstating the dismissed civil servants.

Amin, who hails from South Kordofan State, said he was appointed on the basis of being a professional and competent technocrat, not due to his political affiliation. He pointed out that the current transitional government is composed of technocrats.

Last month, Sudan’s government appointed three state ministers including a state minister for foreign affairs. The transitional government appointed Omar Gamar Eldin Ismail as state minister for the foreign affairs, Stephen Amin Arnu as state minister for labour and Hazim Diab as state minister for physical infrastructure.

The transitional cabinet headed by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was formed months after the ouster of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir amid nationwide protests in April last year.

Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan heads the ruling sovereign council, a joint civilian and military body tasked with overseeing the country’s transition to civilian rule within three years.