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Posted by abduhu, Mon Jul-23-01 03:26 AM
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Newsweek magazine (18 May 1998) also reported that: "Aid workers blame much of the south's recent anguish on one man: the mercurial Dinka warlord Kerubino Kuanyin Bol". Humanitarian relief to the war affected parts of Sudan is provided by Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS). Operation Lifeline Sudan began in 1989 under the auspices of the United Nations, and with the approval and cooperation of the government of Sudan and the SPLA. Operational Lifeline Sudan is a consortium of aid agencies bringing together the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Children's Fund and 35 other non- governmental organisations. It seeks to bring food and humanitarian aid to those communities in southern Sudan most affected by the fighting and drought, communities within both government and rebel-held areas of the south. Operation Lifeline Sudan was unprecedented in as much as it was the first time that a sovereign government had agreed to the delivery of assistance by outside agencies to rebel-controlled parts of its own country. As the London 'Guardian' newspaper observed: "Most of the people affected live in areas controlled by anti-government rebels and...they were reached by flights from Kenya. Governments involved in civil wars usually refuse to authorise cross-border feeding." (42)

The Sudanese model, developed during the tenure of the present Sudanese government, has subsequently been used in several other areas of civil conflict. It is a matter of record that the number of Khartoum-approved Operation Lifeline Sudan feeding sites in southern Sudan has grown from twenty in the early 1990s to well over one hundred by 1998. During the 1998 famine, the number increased to more than 180 locations. (43)

So, far from diminishing access to humanitarian relief, Khartoum would appear to have greatly increased access. These increases in food delivery sites were agreed by the Khartoum authorities despite it being widely known that the SPLA were diverting very sizeable amounts of this aid for its own uses, something which itself serves to prolong the conflict. Washington's claims about Sudanese non-cooperation with humanitarian relief are also undermined by the fact that unanimous United Nations resolutions have acknowledged "with appreciation" the cooperation of the Sudanese government with agreements and arrangements facilitating "relief operations". (44)

The strength of Operation Lifeline Sudan is that international relief aid is delivered by a neutral United Nations structure in keeping with international humanitarian law. The often questionable nature of previous non-OLS "humanitarian" assistance to Sudan has been documented. The American government, for example, has given millions of dollars in funding to Norwegian People's Aid (NPA), a non-governmental organisation active in southern Sudan. A November 1999 Norwegian television documentary, entitled 'Weapons Smuggling in Sudan', has highlighted the role played by NPA in logistically and politically perpetuating the Sudanese civil war. (45)

There had always been considerable speculation as to whether NPA was militarily involved with the SPLA. This documentary confirmed that the NPA has for several years organised an air-bridge for the supply of weapons to battle zones within Sudan. One of the NPA pilots involved in the gun running stated that on one occasion his plane had landed at SPLA bases with some 2.5 tonnes of weapons. It was stated that Norwegian People's Aid had flown between 80 - 100 tonnes of weapons into Sudan in aeroplanes supposedly carrying humanitarian assistance. Among the tonnes of weapons flown into Sudan were landmines. The documentary also placed on record other clear evidence of NPA military involvement with the SPLA. Given that Norwegian People's Aid openly states that " major contributor to our programme in Sudan, is the USAID" (46)

Two questions must be asked. The first is how much American taxpayers money has been used to provide the Sudan People's Liberation Army with weapons of war, ncluding landmines? And secondly, was the Administration and Congress aware that it was in effect funding such operations? The activities of Norwegian People's Aid have long been of considerable concern to some of its donors. The Norwegian government had previously commissioned an independent investigation into NPA. The subsequent report documented NPA complicity in the diversion of food aid to the SPLA. It stated that: "NPA's intervention is that of a solidarity group. It has taken a clear side in the war. It supports the causes of SPLA/M...NPA's solidarity approach means that in practice the activities of NPA are closely related to the political and military strategies of the rebel movement." (47)

This is the sort of organisation that the 'Sudan Peace Act' envisages channelling "relief" in southern Sudan rather than the neutral and accountable UN mechanisms. The United States Congress cannot be unaware of the SPLA's systematic theft of humanitarian aid and its diversion for its own purposes. In July 1998, at the height of the devastating 1998 famine, the Roman Catholic Bishop of the starvation-affected diocese of Rumbek, Monsignor Caesar Mazzolari, stated that the SPLA were stealing 65 percent of the food aid going into rebel-held areas of southern Sudan. Agence France Presse also reported that: Much of the relief food going to more than a million famine victims in rebel-held areas of southern Sudan is ending up in the hands of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), relief workers said. (48)

There is also a direct link between the supply of food aid to the SPLA and the war in southern Sudan. The SPLA has been documented as having clearly engaged in the systematic theft and diversion of emergency food aid intended for famine victims and refugees. The SPLA has repeatedly used food aid, and its denial, as a weapon in their war against the Sudanese government. In so doing it has been at least partly responsible for the famines that have resulted in the deaths of so many Sudanese civilians. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of SPLA food aid diversion is that there is evidence that the SPLA sells diverted humanitarian aid, either stolen from civilians or directly from aid agencies, in order to purchase weapons and munitions with which to carry on the war. (49)

The 'Sudan Peace Act' seeks to make it even easier for the SPLA to divert relief aid, directly affecting famine-stricken communities and indirectly prolonging the war. What then would be the sort of non-OLS "relief" situation in southern Sudan? We already have a clear indication of what this would entail. In February 2000, because of unacceptable demands made upon them by the SPLA, eleven international non-governmental aid organisations were forced to leave southern Sudan. These NGOs included CARE, Oxfam, Save the Children and Medecins Sans Frontieres. The SPLA had demanded that all aid agencies active in southern Sudan sign a memorandum which dictated SPLA control over their activities, and aid distribution, as well as which Sudanese nationals the agencies employed, and which stipulated a swath of "taxes" and charges for working in southern Sudan. The NGOs involved handled about 75 percent of the humanitarian aid entering southern Sudan. (50)

The withdrawal of these NGOS directly affected US$ 40 million worth of aid programs. (51)

The expelled aid agencies stated that one million southern Sudanese were at risk as a result of the SPLA's decision to expel the NGOs. (52)

The European Union described the SPLA demands as a serious violation of humanitarian law and suspended its substantial aid program to rebel-controlled areas. (53)

One can only imagine the uproar within Congress had the Sudanese government cut the provision of humanitarian aid to southern Sudan by 75 percent. Such behaviour by the SPLA does not even rate a mention by Congress. Not only has the SPLA severely restricted humanitarian outreach within southern Sudan for political reasons, but the 'Sudan Peace Act' would make it even easier for the SPLA to engage in massive food aid diversion.

Conclusion

The flaws of the 'Sudan Peace Act' are there for all to see. The Act is characterised by cynicism, misinformation and double standards. While professing deep concern about relief delivery in southern Sudan, forexample, the Act ignores the fact that the group it is sponsoring has been guilty of diverting two-thirds of all relief going into the areas it controls, was responsible for a suspension of 75 percent of humanitarian projects in southern Sudan by insisting on SPLA control of the relief aid, and has repeatedly launched offensives within areas that are already seriously famine and drought affected. The Act claims to be concerned about war crimes and yet actively seeks to sustain some of the conflict's worst abusers of human rights. The most constructive role that the U.S. Congress could play with regard to the Sudanese conflict would be to bring the SPLA to the negotiating table. Far from doing this, however, Congress has sought to encourage the SPLA, a group without an identifiable political objective, with millions of dollars in support - in effect encouraging further conflict. When one has the respected former American president Jimmy Carter,former Sudanese prime minister and opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi and the Sudanese government all agreeing that the United States has been the biggest single obstacle to peace in Sudan it isa concern that must be recognised. The Bush Administration's Sudan policy can only be described as confused and uncoordinated. It would appear that a group of legislators who are at best na´ve and at worst dogmatic religious fanatics, are at present driving America's Sudan policy. In so doing they are damaging the reputation of the United States within the international community. The simple fact is that Sudan has moved on politically, domestically, economically, regionally and within the international community. The sooner American policy reflects these changes and works towards a peaceful solution to Sudanese problems the sooner Sudan will be at peace.
Notes

1'Carter Says Wrong Time for Mideast Talks', News Article by Reuters on 24 April 2001.

2 'Carter, Others Say US Has Faltered in Africa', 'The Boston Globe', 8 December 1999. For more details of American support to the SPLA see 'Ex-President Opposes Policy of Aiding Khartoum's Foes', 'The Washington Times', 25 September 1997; 'Sudan's American-aided guerrillas', 'The Economist', 25 January 1997; 'Sudan Accuses US of Supplying Rebels with Mines', News Article by Xinhua, 21 January 1999, at 12:53:58; 'US flies in howitzers to subdue Sudan', 'Africa Analysis', No 290, 6 February 1998; 'Albright Meets Sudan Rebels, Pledges US Support', News Article by Reuters on 10 December 1997, at 09:05 EST; 'U.S. said to promise aid to Sudanese rebel areas', News Article by Reuters on 2 June 1998, at 11:37:57.

3 See, for example, amongst many overtures: 'Interview - Sudan Wants to Bury Hatchet with US', News Article by Reuters on 20 May 1999 at 09:19:23, 'Sudan Wants Dialogue With US, Bashir Tells Envoy', News Article by Reuters on 7 March 2000 at 06:40:53, 'Sudan Wants Better Ties with US's Bush', News Article by Agence France Presse on 2 February 2001 and 'Sudan Welcomes U.S. Peace Involvement but Urges Neutrality', News Article by Associated Press on 28 May 2001.

4 See, 'Sudanese rebel leader wants "united" Sudan with "equality"', News Article by Agence France Presse on 12 August 1999 at 08:12:59; 'SPLA committed to Sudan unity', News Article by ArabicNews.com on 29 November 1997; 'Separatist leader wants Sudan to split into two', News Article by BBC on 22 March 1999 at 18:21 GMT; 'Sudanese rebels accused of planning separate state', News Article by Agence France Presse on 2 August 1999 at 11:49:08.

5 See, 'Sudan offers South secession', News Article by BBC on 22 February 1999 at 00:16:14 GMT; 'Southern secession better than more war: Sudan's president', News Article by Agence France Presse on 22 February 1999, at 10:04:31;; 'Sudan Says Happy for South to secede', News Article by Reuters on 7 May 1998.

6 'Khartoum Urges Rebels to "Stop Fighting and Talk"', News Article by Agence France Presse on 5 June 2001

7 See, 'Referendum agreed at Sudan peace talks', News Article by BBC World on 7 May 1998, at 11:06 GMT and 'SPLA plays down deal on referendum in southern Sudan', News Article by BBC, on 7 May 1998, at 13:24 GMT.

8 See, 'Sudanese government declares ceasefire', News Article by BBC World on 5 August 1999 at 16:24 GMT, at 11:58:37; 'Sudanese government declares comprehensive cease-fire', News Article by Associated Press on 5 August 1999 at 17:36:10; "Sudan Government to Observe Ceasefire Despite SPLA Rejection", News Article by Agence France Presse on 7 August 1999 at 14:33:50;'EU Welcomes Cease-Fire in Sudan', News Article by Xinhua on 20 August 1999 at 10:36:48; 'Annan welcomes ceasefire', News Article by UN Integrated Regional Information Network, 11 August 1999; 'Annan hails Sudan cease-fire allowing aid to flow', News Article by Reuters on 6 August 1999 at 17:07:39; 'Annan calls on Sudan's SPLM leader to sign ceasefire', News Article by Agence France Presse on 7 August 1999, at 02:37:52; 'Sudanese rebels reject peace plan', News Article by BBC World on 30 August 1999 at 14:33 GMT; 'Sudanese Rebels Reject Government Cease-Fire', News Article by Reuters on 5 August 1999 at 12:03:55.

9 See, for example, 'Sudan's Government in Favour of Ceasefire in 18-year Civil War', News Article by Agence France Presse on 22 April 2001 and 'Government "Ready for a Ceasefire', News Article by United Nations Integrated Regional Information Network, 15 May 2001.

10 "Sudan Backs Combination of Arab and African Peace Drives", News Article by Agence France Presse on 24 October 1999 at 13:51:08

11 See, for example, 'Sudan calls for Western Pressure on southern Rebels to Accept Ceasefire', News Article by Agence France Presse on 26 April 2000; 'US Catholic Clerics Urged to Pressurise Garang into Accepting Cease-Fire', News Article by Sudan News Agency on 27 March 2001; 'Britain Can Pressurize Rebels to Realize Cease-Fire, Sudanese Diplomat', News Article by SUNA, 26 February 2001; 'Sudanese Government Welcomes Carter's Initiative to End the War in southern Sudan', News Article by ArabicNews.com on 26 April 2001.

12 See, "Sudanese Rebels Reject Peace Plan", News Article by BBC News Online Network on 30 August 1999 at 14.33 GMT; "Sudanese Rebels Snub Libyan-Egyptian Mediation Effort", News Article by Agence France Presse on 30 August 1999 at 21:01:12; and then "Sudanese Rebel Leader Supports Peace Plan: Egypt", News Article by Agence France Presse on 31 August 1999, at 23:20:41 and then Sudanese Rebels Say They Can't Commit to Egyptian-Libyan Peace Drive', News Article by Agence France Presse on 14 May 2001; "Sudanese Rebels Reject Reconciliation Accord", News Article by Associated Press on 29 November 1999 at 15:23:09.

13 'Sudanese Rebels to Receive Dlrs 3 Million in Assistance', News Article by Associated Press on 25 May 2001.

14 'U.S. Slates $3 Million for Sudan's Opposition', 'The Washington Post', 25 May 2001.

15 'U.S. Slates $3 Million for Sudan's Opposition', 'The Washington Post', 25 May 2001.

16 See, for example, 'Khartoum Urges Rebels to "Stop Fighting and Talk"', News Article by Agence France Presse on 5 June 2001 and 'Sudan's Government Calls on International Community to Push for Cease-Fire', News Article by Associated Press on 5 June 2001.

17 'An Act To Facilitate Famine Relief Efforts and a Comprehensive Solution to the War in Sudan', 107th Congress, 1st Session, Washington D-C, 13 June 2001.

18 'Civilians Flee Town Under Siege', News Article by Sudanese Catholic Information Office, Nairobi, 8 June 2001.

19 'Tens of Thousands Displaced by Bahr al-Ghazal Fighting', U.N. Integrated Regional Information Network, 11 June 2001.

20 'Fighting in Sudan's Bahr el Ghazal Leaves 57,000 Displaced: Bishop', News Article by Agence France Presse on 13 June 2001.

21 'Ex-President Opposes Policy of Aiding Khartoum's Foes', 'The Washington Times', 25 September 1997.

22 "Interview - Sudan Says US Harming Peace Prospects", New Article by Reuters on 25 October 1999 at 14:58:29

23 'Developments in Sudan Favour National Reconciliation: Mahdi', News Article by Agence France Presse on 25 December 1999 at 12:38:20.

24 'Humanitarian Organizations Oppose Plan Providing Food to Sudanese Rebels', Press Release by InterAction, the American Council for Voluntary International Action, Washington-DC, 30 November, 1999.

25 'Rights Group Warns US Against Feeding Sudan Rebels', News Article by Reuters on 14 December, 1999 at 11:34:40.

26 'Misguided Relief to Sudan', 'The New York Times', 6 December 1999.

27 'Misguided Relief to Sudan', Editorial, 'The New York Times', 6 December, 1999.

28 John Prendergast, 'Crisis Response: Humanitarian Band-Aids in Sudan and Somalia', Pluto Press, London, 1997, p.77.

29 Ibid, p.72.

30 Ibid, p.57.

31 Ibid, p.28.

32 Ibid, p.46.

33 See, for example, 'Growing Friction in Rebel-Held Southern Sudan', News Article by BBC Online on 9 June 1999 at 16:36 GMT.

34 Ibid, p.57.

35 Alex de Waal (Editor), 'Food and Power in Sudan', African Rights, London, 1997, pp.5,7.

36 'UN and other Agencies Warmly Welcome Temporary Cease-Fire over part of southern Sudan', United Nations Department of Public Information, 16 July 1998.

37 'Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the Civil War in Sudan', European Union, 30 June 2000.

38 'Drought Situation "Fast Approaching Critical" - Unicef', News Article by United Nations Integrated Regional Information Network, Nairobi, 11 May 2001.

39 'Food Supply Precarious and Likely to Worsen', News Article by United Nations IRIN, Nairobi, 15 May 2001.

40 See, 'Acute Hunger Set to Hit Sudan as War Continues and Drought Unfolds', News Release by World Food Programme, Nairobi, 13 February 2001; 'Major Food Crisis Looms in Sudan', News Release by World Food Programme, Nairobi, 29 March 2001, and 'Sudan Food Crisis - On the Brink', News Release by World Food Programme, Nairobi, 15 June 2001.

41 '1 million people face famine in Sudan, Ethiopia', News Article by CNN on April 10, 1998: Web posted at 6:04 p.m. EDT (22:04 GMT).

42 'Millions Still in Need in Sudan', 'The Guardian', London, 25 April 1998.

43 'The Guardian', London, 25 April 1998.

44 'Emergency Assistance to the Sudan', UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/53/1 O, 17 December 1998.

45 'Vapensmuglerne I Sudan', 'Brennpunkt', NRK Television, Norway, 17 November 1999.

46 See, for example, the Norwegian People's Aid website at http://www.npaid.org/about_npa/funding.html

47 'Evaluation of Norwegian Humanitarian Assistance to the Sudan', a report submitted to the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, COWI, Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo, November 1997, p.27.

48 'Aid for Sudan Ending Up With SPLA: Relief Workers', News Article by Agence France Presse on 21 July, 1998 at 08:23:48.

49 'Aid Money Supported Rebellion in Sudan', 'Aktuelt', Denmark, 20 May, 1998.

50 'Rights Group Urges More Talks on Sudan Relief', News Article by Associated Press on 8 March, 2000 at 05:30:49 EST.

51 'Seven Aid Agencies Urge Renewed Negotiations for Relief to Southern Sudan', News Article by Associated Press on 1 March, 2000.

52 'Expelled Aid Agencies Say Million at Risk in Sudan', News Article by Reuters on 1 March, 2000.

53 'European Commission Statement on Southern Sudan', European Union, 29 February, 2000.

end quote.

The Glorious Qur'an - Surah 6, Al-An'am:

75. So also did We show Abraham the power and the laws of the heavens and the earth, that he might (with understanding) have certitude.
76. When the night covered him over, He saw a star: He said: "This is my Lord." But when it set, He said: "I love not those that set."
77. When he saw the moon rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord." But when the moon set, He said: "unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray."
78. When he saw the sun rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord; this is the greatest (of all)." But when the sun set, he said: "O my people! I am indeed free from your (guilt) of giving partners to Allah.
79. "For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah."


the biography of Prophet Muhammad (saws):
http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/SM_tsn/

subhaanakallahumma (Glory be to you, Oh Allah), wabihamdika (and I praise You). ashhadu anla ilaha illa anta (I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except You). astaghfiruka (I seek Your forgiveness), wa attuubu ilaika (and I turn to You in Repentance).