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Date: Wed, 22 Jul 98 12:45:30 CDT
From: rich@pencil.math.missouri.edu (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: SUDAN: Sudanese Catholic Information Office Chronology
Article: 39573
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.9330.19980724001507@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

/** headlines: 162.0 **/
** Topic: SUDAN: Sudanese Catholic Information Office Chronology **
** Written 9:03 AM Jul 21, 1998 by newsdesk in cdp:headlines **
/* Written 10:26 AM Jul 17, 1998 by SudanInfonet@compuserve.com in africa.horn */
/* ---------- SCIO Sudan Chronology ---------- */

FROM: Enrico Marcandalli, INTERNET:ramalkandy@iol.it


Sudan Monthly Report, 15 July 1998

June 16: Sudan’s Islamic government has urged the United Nations to press the SPLA to end the war in the south for the sake of the children. First vice-president Ali Osman Mohammed Taha made the appeal in a meeting in Khartoum with Mr Olara Otunnu, the UN envoy for childrenin war zones, Radio Omdurman said.

17: US representative Tony Hall, one of Congress’ most outspoken advocates for the hungry, has called for an internationally monitored cease-fire in Sudan to prevent more people from dying of starvation.

18: The Sudanese government has shown willingness to cooperate for the release of Ugandan children believed to be held inside Sudan by the Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a UN envoy has announced. Mr Otunnu told a press conference in Khartoum he had asked the Sudanese government to use its influence with the LRA for the release of Ugandan children who, he said, maybe inside Sudan.

18: Sudanese government forces have killed 100 rebels and wounded 180 in south-eastern Blue Nile state near the border with Ethiopia, the pro-government daily Alwan has reported. Backed by the popular defence militiamen, the government soldiers inflicted a heavy defeat on the rebels...on the way to Kurmuk, a spokesman for the Blue Nile state government was quoted as saying, implying that the government was planning an offensive to retake Kurmuk.

20: The Sudanese opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) said today its forces had launched two attacks on government-held areas near Sudan’s eastern border with Eritrea, killing at least five army soldiers. Lieutenant-General Abdel Rahman Saeed, spokesman for the NDA’s armed forces said combatants from the Fatah wing had killed five government soldiers in an ambush which took place nine kilometres east of Kassala town.

24: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak called on Khartoum today to keep its promises and work to normalise relations with Cairo. I hope that relations with Sudan are good, I hope that (the Sudanese keep their promises, minister of information Safuat al-Sherif quoted President Mubarak as saying during a meeting with MPs from his National Democratic Party.

26: Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin will fly to Egypt on June 29 for medical tests before heading to Gaza, a Sudanese newspaper has reported. The militant group leader has been in Khartoum since May 29.

26: A Sudanese official has said that the draft constitution was approved by a majority of 96.7 per cent of voters in a referendum that took place last month. Mr Fatah Alraham Nasas, head of the Sudanese National Election Commission, told the official news agency Suna that of the 11.9 million registered voters, more than 10.9 million voted, or a turnout of 91.9 per cent.

27: A leader of Sudan’s ruling party has said the country’s new constitution, endorsed in a referendum by more than 96 per cent voters, has cancelled almost all previous constitutional decrees. The official daily al-Gamhoria quoted Mr Ali al-Hajji, deputy secretary general of the National Congress, Sudan’s only legal political party, as saying the only exception was Decree 14, incorporated as an annexe in the new constitution.

27: Two members of the Southern Sudan Defence Forces (SSDF) were killed and three wounded in a shootout among rival groups within the SSDF in Khartoum. Mr Lawrence Lual, deputy secretary of the National Congress and representative of the SSDF within the ruling party, announced the casualties.

29: Faced with growing food shortages in Sudan, a UN agency said it planned to double its aid deliveries to the area. The Rome-based World Food Programme said the Sudanese government, which has been fighting rebels since 1983, had recently given permission to fly over virtually the entire country for air drops. The government had been enforcing several no-fly zones.

29: Hassan Al Turabi, has resigned as speaker of the national assembly to play a more active role in politics. According to a report in Al Rai Akhbar, quoting an official government source, Al Turabi resigned to enable him to spend more time as secretary-general of the newNational Congress, which will replace the National Islamic Front.

30: A heated debate on forming political parties is dominating Sudanese politics after the approval by referendum of a new constitution providing, in ambiguous terms, for the right to establish political organisations. The new constitution, approved by 96.7 per cent of voters according to the official results, comes into effect on July 1, 1998. It automatically invalidates earlier presidential decrees, including a ban on political parties.

30: The Sudanese government says its forces have defeated an armed opposition group in a battle in Kassala state, in eastern Sudan bordering Eritrea. The official Al Anbaa daily, reporting from Kassala said the government army and popular defence militia resisted an attack on the Khandaq locality by a group of outlaws who had infiltrated from across the border.

July 2: President el-Bashir has signed a new constitution into law, after calling on opposition members in exile to return home and participate in national construction. Gen Bashir signed the constitution at a ceremony on the Republican palace lawn on the ninth anniversary of his seizure of power in a coup d’etatthat ousted an elected civilian government.

2: A regional official under Sudan’s military junta has blamed the opposition Umma Party for a series of armed raids targeting civilians in eastern Kassala State bordering on Eritrea. State governor Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid charged that the outlawed Umma Party is responsible for all of the sporadic incursions which are aimed at intimidating innocent civilians, according to Al-Usbu daily.

2: Army spokesman Gen Abdel Rahman Siral Khetim has stated that planes of an unknown identity had been dropping food and other supplies to rebels in the Nuba Mountains in Kordofan, central Sudan. General Khetim said his forces had managed to besiege and isolate rebel elements that infiltrated the Nuba Mountains by disconnecting their supply routes from Bahr el-Ghazal and Upper Nile in the south.

3: Sudan’s Islamist government has accused its opponents of planting bombs in Khartoum to disrupt the anniversary of the coup d’etat that brought it to power. An interior ministry statement said opposition elements backed by quarters outside Sudan had placed bombs in key installations in and around the capital. Targets included the Friendship Hall in central Khartoum, power stations in and around the city and oil reservoirs in its southern suburbs, the statement said.

3: Sudanese security forces have detained several opposition politicians and trade unionists, apparently for suspected links with bomb blasts this week in Khartoum, press reports said. An official in the Islamic backed regime’s national congress, Mr Mohammed Adam Haqwab, said that an unspecified number of opponents had been arrested but did not say precisely why, the Akhbar al-Youm daily reported.

3: An oil depot was damaged in one of the Sudanese bomb incidents in Khartoum, timed to coincide with the ninth anniversary of the present regime, the interior minister said. The bomb at the Alshajarah oil depot in the southern part of the Sudanese capital was the only one that exploded, causing limited damage that was contained, the ministry said.

3: A Sudanese official was quoted as saying Egyptian forces were harassing Sudanese citizens and beating up tribal chiefs in the disputed Halaib border triangle on the Red Sea coast. The independent Khartoum daily Al-Usbou quoted Mr Nafie Ali Nafie, commissioner of Halaib Province as saying Egypt’s actions in the area were a form of pressure on Khartoum.

6: Famine in Sudan’s southern Bahr el Ghazal region has worsened, according to a press release by Monsignor Caesar Mazzolari, Apostolic Administrator of Rumbek, who has just come to Nairobi after a two-week stay in Rumbek Diocese in Bahr el Ghazal.

6: Sudan has tightened security in Khartoum after 15 people were arrested for allegedly planting bombs in the capital, residents and a Sudanese newspaper said today. The privately-owned al-Rai al-Aam newspaper said ministers met on Saturday to discuss the security situation in Khartoum after explosives in and around the capital.

8: Relief agencies pulled out southern Sudan’s Western Upper Nile region on June 29, leaving more than 750 children without vital food, Medecins sans Frontiers (MSF) has disclosed. An MSF statement said the withdrawal came as a result of fighting in the region, and that in the town of Leer, buildings had been burned down and agency compounds looted, including its own.

8: Sudan’s Islamist government has shown on state television the alleged perpetrators of a bombing campaign last week in and around Khartoum. On Monday, the television showed about 20 people it said were involved in planting bombs. A Khartoum newspaper said seven of 16 bombs had exploded causing little damages and no casualties.

9: The SPLA has reportedly agreed to a cease-fire with the government as proposed by the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) which has been sponsoring a peace initiative for south Sudan . press reports in Khartoum quoting an informed south Sudanese source said the rebel movement had expressed acceptance in principle of a cease-fire at a meeting with IGAD delegation in Nairobi,Kenya last week.

10: Sudan government will start criminal proceedings for the extradition of foes abroad, considered as terrorists behind recent bomb attacks in Khartoum, press reports said. Information minister Ghazi Salah Eddin Atabani pointed out that Sudan is a signatory to international anti-terrorism conventions and can therefore seek assistance by International Police (Interpol) for extradition of those involved in incidents from countries offering them haven, the Al-Anbaa said.

11: United Nations aid agencies have expressed deep concern over fighting in southern Sudan which is hampering efforts to bring food and other life-saving supplies to 2.4 million people. The UNICEF said a nutritional survey recently conducted among 4,000 children under age five in Bahr El-Ghazal showed that 50 per cent were malnourished.

14: Sudan’s President has vowed to crush a strong 15-year-old uprising by force, arguing that his new constitution gives southern people the rights they fought for. In an unannounced six-hour visit to Juba, President el-Bashir told a rally of army officers and troops that his government planned to wipe out the rebels this year.

15: Sudan’s southern rebels have been fighting for a week against the pro-junta South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF) in the east of the country, the SSDF leader has said. SSDF chief Riek Machar, a former ally of rebel leader Colonel John Garang, who now sides with the Islamic-backed Khartoum junta, reported fierce battles in Upper Nile State near the Ethiopian border.

15: The SPLA said today it had repulsed a big government offensive on the town of Ulu in Blue Nile province. SPLA representative in Nairobi Mr Justin Yaac said the SPLA had killed 273 government soldiers and lost 40 of its own forces during the three-day battle, south-west of the strategic government-held town of Damazin.