By Megan R. Wilson – 07/28/17
A federal appeals court on Friday ordered Sudan to pay more than $7 billion in damages to American families of victims of the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that Sudan was liability for the bombings at U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
However, it threw out the $4.3 billion in punitive damages and is seeking to clarify whether the non-American victims’ families qualify for a chunk of the more than $7.3 billion in damages. Continue reading
Photo: Omer Albashir President of Sudan, wanted by the ICC for genocide and war crimes and crimes against humanity
Divisions in Trump administration may halt permanent revocation of boycott
Donald Trump is due to revoke sweeping economic sanctions on Sudan permanently on Wednesday, but divisions running through his administration, a bipartisan political backlash and the US president’s own unpredictability have put the decision in doubt.
The Obama administration relieved sanctions on Sudan temporarily as one of its parting shots in January, citing recent “positive actions” from stemming conflict to counterterrorism. Continue reading
Prendergast, left, and Clooney meet with Sudanese elders Matt Brown/Enough Project
George Clooney and John Prendergast
Clooney and Prendergast are co-founders of The Sentry
Earlier this summer, K Street law and lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs inked a contract with the Sudanese government aimed at removing U.S. sanctions on that regime. The firm will be paid $40,000 a month by a government that’s on the U.S. state sponsors of terror list, with a head of state, Omar al-Bashir, wanted for genocide by the International Criminal Court. Continue reading
Thousands of people from the Nuba Mountains have been living in caves to escape airstrikes. Photograph: Adriane Ohanesian/AFP
Countries that should be at the forefront of trying to prevent catastrophes are turning a blind eye
28 May 2017
My heart sank last week when President Trump announced proposed cuts in the diplomatic and foreign aid budget. The budget suggests cuts in aid to international organisations by 44%, humanitarian assistance funding would drop by 31% and global health programmes would be cut by 25%. While many people think the budget has little chance of passing in Congress, it does, however, provide an alarming sense of the Trump administration’s priorities. Continue reading
Democracy and Dictatorship
Sudan’s Government Is Using a Shady Hacking Group to Hunt ISIS
Apr 27 2017, 11:00am
But the government has been cracking down on freedom of expression and dissent too.
Intelligence officers in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, have a unique capability that could help them fight against ISIS: reportedly, they can hack WhatsApp chats, and identify ISIS sympathizers on social media. Continue reading
Phil Cox and Daoud Hari on the Chad-Sudan border in December 2016. Photograph: Native Voice Films
Twelve years after reporting on the conflict in Darfur, film-maker Phil Cox returned. But this time, the Sudanese government put a price on his head
Wednesday 5 April 2017
In the early morning of 24 December 2016, my friend Daoud and I lay side by side on a blanket, our legs chained at the ankles, secured with heavy padlocks. The sun beat down on the desert. We pleaded with our captors to be moved to the shade, but they ignored us. It was not how I had imagined spending Christmas Eve. Continue reading
Andrew Katz @katz
April 27, 2015
Photographer Adriane Ohanesian followed refugees hiding in the Marra Mountains
The outcome had been all but certain. On April 27, two weeks after polls opened in Sudan, election organizers announced that President Omar al-Bashir, the 71-year-old incumbent, had won 94% of the vote.
With his quarter-century reign extended—the opposition boycotted the ballot and polling stations in Khartoum, the capital, were said to be largely deserted—Bashir will continue to avoid the International Criminal Court, where he faces charges of war crimes over his role in the conflict in Darfur. Continue reading
A participant of a sit-in at the HQ of opposition party Umma, calling for an election boycott. Photograph: Mosa’ab Elshamy/AP
David Smith, Africa correspondent
Sunday 12 April 2015
President Omar al-Bashir seeks re-election in poll that opposition parties will sit out and EU says cannot produce credible result
Young political activists in Sudan are campaigning for an unprecedented mass boycott of Monday’s general election, denouncing it as “a political charade”.
President Omar al-Bashir is set to extend his 26-year rule in polls which rebels are threatening to sabotage, major opposition parties intend to sit out and the European Union warns will lack credibility. Continue reading
Farouk Abu Issa, spokesman for Sudan’s coalition of opposition groups the National Concensus Forces (NCF), briefs reporters in Khartoum late on April 17, 2010 ©Ashraf Shazly – AFP/File
7 December 2014
Sudanese security forces have arrested two opposition figures who joined an alliance aimed at uniting opposition to the government, a member of one group that signed the document said Sunday.
The National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) detained Farouk Abu Issa, head of the opposition National Consensus Forces (NCF), and civil activist Amin Makki Madani late Saturday, NCF official Siddig Youssif told AFP by telephone.
“We have had no communications with them and we do not know where they are,” Youssif said. Continue reading
Mr Barak Obama President of the United States of America
24 October 2014
The emergency in Sudan goes on.
President Obama notified Congress on Friday he is extending a 1997 emergency declaration with respect to Sudan, the legal maneuver needed to extend sanctions on that government for its alleged connections to terrorist networks and human rights abuses.
In 2006, during the George W. Bush administration, the government re-affirmed the emergency declaration and strengthened sanctions over what officials called genocide in Darfur. Continue reading
The detention of young Darfuri women studying in Khartoum has sparked outrage among activists who point to systematic discrimination
Zeinab Mohammed Salih
Friday 17 October 2014
Sixteen female students are being held without charge in Sudan amid fears that they could face the death penalty after the government accused them of supporting Darfur rebel groups.
The students, all from Darfur, were arrested in a police raid on their dormitory earlier this month.
Government security forces evicted about 70 students from the Zahra dormitory complex 10 days ago. Nineteen were beaten and arrested, three of whom were released after five days. Continue reading
Abdel Moneim Suleiman
6 October 2014
I told them: “How? I’m writing in a local newspaper. How could I be a spy? To whom?” They started beating me again and again.
Abdel Moneim Suleiman knows what it’s like to work as a reporter in hostile territory. As a journalist in Sudan during the country’s 1983-2005 civil war, he worked for newspapers based in the capital Khartoum that were sympathetic to the southern rebels and critical of the government of President Omar al-Bashir. Continue reading
Sunday 14 September 2014
The violence that once consumed Darfur has returned with renewed savagery, forcing a new generation into exile.
In a country long beset by conflict, the continuing fighting in Sudan’s west has driven two million people from their homes and killed more than 200,000.
Now the 20,000-strong joint African Union-UN peacekeeping force, the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid), is facing increasingly vehement demands to answer for its performance in protecting the hundreds of thousands of civilians targeted by rebels and government forces alike.
In a leaked report, published by US magazine Foreign Policy in April, former Unamid spokeswoman Aicha Elbasri gave accounts of several alleged transgressions where the joint mission failed in its primary mandate to protect civilians and humanitarian workers.
By July this year the allegations published in Foreign Policy had come to the attention of the United Nations in New York. “The Secretary General is concerned about the recent serious allegations against the African Union-United Nations [Hybrid Operation] in Darfur,” said a UN spokesman at the time. Continue reading
Photo:- BNP Paribas Cooperate Banking
1 July 2014
By Kara Scannell in New York
In May 2007, a compliance officer at BNP Paribas’s Paris headquarters sent a stark warning to colleagues across the globe.
“In a context where the international community puts pressure to bring an end to the dramatic situation in Darfur, no one would understand why BNP Paribas persists [in Sudan] which could be interpreted as supporting the leaders in place.”
Over the five previous years, BNP processed more than $6bn in transactions on behalf of Sudan’s government and banks through a series of illegal means. Employees stripped the identities of entities under US sanctions from transactions, labelling some “ATTENTION: US EMBARGO” and routing others through accounts at “satellite banks” that had no other business purpose, according to court filings by US state and federal authorities. Continue reading
Omar al-Bashir at the African Union summit – photo by Reuters
30 June 2014
By Katrina Manson in Nairobi
On the day the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for Sudan president Omar al-Bashir’s arrest for genocide in 2009, human rights lawyer Ali Agab fled the country. Security forces first closed down his organisation; then they came looking for him.
Today, as BNP Paribas pays a record $8.9bn penalty for conducting business with Sudan and other countries subject to sanctions, he is celebrating.
“I am so happy to know about this fine,” says Mr Agab, now living in asylum in the UK. Continue reading
Women and children sit outside tents at the Zam Zam refugee camp in north Darfur, Sudan, after fleeing militia attacks on their villages. Photograph: Albert Gonzalez Farran/AP
Ambassador to UN Samantha Power accuses Sudan of dropping hundreds of barrel bombs on own civilians
David Smith, Africa correspondent
The Guardian, Friday 13 June 2014
The US has accused Sudan of bombing hospitals and schools in an intensifying military campaign against its own people in a largely hidden war.
Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, condemned “in the strongest possible terms” bombardments of civilians that she claimed were being carried out by the Sudanese government and its rapid support forces. Continue reading
By Ty McCormick, Colum Lynch
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
After stirring up a firestorm of controversy by announcing his intention to attend the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Sudanese President and accused war criminal Omar al-Bashir may be getting cold feet. As recently as Sunday, Bashir confirmed his travel plans, claiming to have booked a flight through Morocco and even a hotel in New York. But senior U.N. diplomats are nonetheless beginning to wonder if the accused genocidaire will risk arrest and extradition to the International Criminal Court by setting foot in Manhattan.
“That’s my assumption [that he’s not coming], but we’re planning on anything,” a senior U.N. official told Foreign Policy. “Would he want to see the [General Assembly] hall clear out?”
As the host country for the United Nations, the United States is obligated to grant visas to foreign leaders and their representatives, regardless of the status of bilateral relations with the U.S. government (though it can deny diplomats entry on national security grounds). But Bashir, who has been twice indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes committed in the country’s Darfur region, would be the first leader to attend the General Assembly with a warrant out for his arrest. Continue reading
BY JOHN PRENDERGAST, OMER ISMAIL | SEPTEMBER 23, 2013
For the first time ever, attendees at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) this week may include a sitting head of state who is the subject of an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant for genocide and crimes against humanity. That head of state is Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who, clearly undeterred by the ICC warrant, has said he plans to make the trip to New York. To make matters worse, Bashir intends to visit the UNGA after unleashing new violence in 2013 that has led to levels of human displacement second only to Syria, in global terms, since the beginning of the year.
Indeed, Darfur, the scene of Bashir’s earlier crimes for which he was indicted by the ICC, is burning again. Janjaweed militia forces, backed by the Sudanese government, are once more torching villages, terrorizing civilians, and systematically clearing prime land and resource-rich areas of their inhabitants. The latest ethnic-cleansing campaign has already displaced over half a million Darfuri civilians this year, the largest population movement since the height of the genocide eight years ago. Amid this horror, it is unconscionable that the U.N. and United States would welcome Bashir to New York — unless there are plans to arrest him and try him on a global stage. Continue reading
Men built a barrier to protect their houses from rising water in Khartoum, Sudan, this week. More than 300,000 people have been directly affected by the flooding, and dozens have died – Reuters
By ISMA’IL KUSHKUSH
August 29, 2013
KHARTOUM, Sudan — Their temporary headquarters are a beehive of young volunteers buzzing in and out of rooms, up and down stairs, carrying bags of donated food, medicine and large packets of plastic sheets
“What happened to your house?” one volunteer asks on the phone, as others load aid on trucks or create maps and charts on laptops. “And where do you say you are? We’ll have a team out there soon.”
They are the members of Nafeer, a volunteer, youth-led initiative that responded swiftly to the humanitarian crisis caused by heavy rains and flash floods that struck Sudan this month. Continue reading
Sudan’s floods have left many families homeless, particularly in the region around Khartoum, the capital. Photograph: Abd Raouf/AP
• 48 people die as property and infrastructure is wrecked
• Clashes in South Sudan raise fears over healthcare access
23 August 2013
Forty-eight people have been killed and more than 500,000 affected by the worst floods in Sudan in quarter of a century.
The region around the capital, Khartoum, was particularly badly hit, with at least 15,000 homes destroyed and thousands of others damaged. Across Sudan, at least 25,000 homes are no longer habitable. A UN official described the situation as a disaster. Continue reading