Monday, July 14, 2008



By John Lemi Stephen
Khartoum, Sudan

July 12, 2008

Sudan seems to be in hot soup these days. That may be why for the last few days political events in the country have been so sensitive and pricking,making politicians nervous every now and then.

First was the issue of Mini Minawi who, as rumors had it, was said to have retreated to Darfur and rejoined his forces there; his absence for a while has made others suspect he might have defected.

Not long after there was a row between the NCP and Pagan Amum, the Minister for Cabinet Affairs in the Central government, who is also the Secretary General of the SPLM, after he accused the Government of National Unity GONU as being a 'failure and corrupt'. This remark angered members of the National Congress Party, NCP prompting them to ask President Omer Bashir, who is also the chairman of the NCP had to press for the resignation of Pagan from the positions he occupies in the North as well as in the South.

Following this fiasco, the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, ordered the top ten members of the SPLM to discuss the boiling issue and come up with tangible solutions.

Meanwhile on the military side, rumors continue to spread that Darfur rebels had appeared some where closer to the capital in Omdurman, a thing that on Thursday raised the temperatures of those who heard the news to some degree and sent warning signals to Khartoum citizens.

Meanwhile, in the East there are disturbances and fighting is taking place where some nineteen para-military police oficers lost their lives last week.

At the international level, the NCP members are so angry with the International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo who this week is seeking the arrest of President Omer Bahir on Monday at the United Nations Security Council Meeting.

About four years ago the same ICC produced a long list of fifty one suspects who were supposed to have been involved in the genocide against Darfurians. The President's name was the last in that list.

Some years later the list was reduced to two names including Harun who was formerly a minister and a Jangaweed commander. The president vowed not to hand over the two suspects even on pain of his death. He is now threatening that the latest move by ICC may jeopardize the peace process in troubled Sudan. Yet the very peace keepers in Darfur are being gunned down every other day.

Regional and international communities are busy tying to find ways and means of tackling the boiling issues in Sudan . The Arab world is already taking the lead and their foreign ministers may soon meet to see what they can do about the indictment of President of Omer Bashir.

On the other hand China is working hard on a resolution to deter the upcoming indictment by the International Criminal Court against Sudanese leaders. It is clear that China at the moment is the closest ally of the Khartoum government and has from time to time prevented the United Nation Security Council from taking measures against Sudan . It is also the chief supplier of weapons to Sudan .