Sudan’s Government Is Using a Shady Hacking Group to Hunt ISIS

 

 

Democracy and Dictatorship

Sudan’s Government Is Using a Shady Hacking Group to Hunt ISIS

 

Austin Bodetti

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

Kidnapped, tortured and thrown in jail: my 70 days in Sudan

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

Inside Sudan’s War-Torn Darfur

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Members of the rebel group Sudan Liberation Army led by Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW) climb towards the front lines in Jebel Marra, Central Darfur, Sudan, on March 4, 2015. The mountainous area has been a stronghold of the SLA-AW since the conflict between the neglected population and the Sudanese government broke out in 2003

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An overhead view from the rebel territory that overlooks the town of Kroun in Jebel Marra, Central Darfur, Sudan, on March 4, 2015

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Adam Abdel, age 7, is seen on Feb. 27, 2015. He was badly burned after a bomb—said to be dropped by the Sudanese government on Feb. 12—landed next to his family's home in Burgu, Central Darfur, Sudan

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Women from the town of Golo wake up in the morning on the side of a mountain where they sleep outside of Kome in Central Darfur, Sudan, on Feb. 28, 2015

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After fleeing a ground attack on the town of Golo on Jan. 24, a woman carries a bowl of water up the mountain from where she lives under a tree outside of Kome in Central Darfur, Sudan, Feb. 28, 2015

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Hundreds of women and children seek shelter in a cave from the bombing by government forces outside of the town of Sarong in Central Darfur, Sudan, March 2, 2015

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In the early morning, sisters wake up in a cave where they sleep with hundreds of other people whose villages have been destroyed, or who are seeking shelter from bombardment, outside Sarong in Central Darfur, Sudan, March 2, 2015

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Rebel soldiers from the Sudan Liberation Army – Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW) keep warm by a fire outside their camp in North Darfur, Sudan, on Feb. 22, 2015

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Rebel soldiers from the Sudan Liberation Army – Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW) prepare the truck to go for water in the middle of a sand storm in North Darfur, Sudan, on Feb. 24, 2015

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Civilians flee their homes with the few belongings they could carry, while members of the SLA-AW walk toward the front lines in Central Darfur, Sudan, on March 4, 2015

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Rebels of the Sudan Liberation Army, led by Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW), defended the top of a mountain from government forces in Central Darfur, Sudan, on March 4, 2015

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A body decays out in the open above the abandoned town of Koi that was attacked and burned a week earlier by government forces in Central Darfur, Sudan, on March 2, 2015

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

Sudan activists call for mass boycott of presidential election

 A participant of a sit-in at the HQ of opposition party Umma, calling for an election boycott. Photograph: Mosa'ab Elshamy/AP

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

Sudan arrests opposition figures over new alliance

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

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

Obama extends emergency sanctions in Sudan

Mr Barak Obama President of the United States of America

Mr Barak Obama President of the United States of America

David Jackson

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

Female students from Darfur arrested and beaten in Sudan, says HRW

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

PROJECT EXILE: RUNNING FROM SUDAN’S AL-BASHIR

Abdel Moneim Suleiman

Abdel Moneim Suleiman

Bell Johnson

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

Darfur peace mission chaos is revealed

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

Payback time for the ‘de facto’ bank to pariah state

Photo:- BNP Paribas Cooperate Banking

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

BNP fine cheers Sudan human rights campaigners

Omar al-Bashir at the African Union summit

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

Sudan government bombing hospitals and schools, US says

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

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

Accused War Criminal May Not Come to New York, After All

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

Persona Non Grata – The United States should arrest Sudan’s genocidal president in New York

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

As Floods Ravage Sudan, Young Volunteers Revive a Tradition of Aid

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

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 worst floods for 25 years leave 500,000 facing destruction and disease

Sudan's floods have left many families homeless, particularly in the region around Khartoum, the capital. Photograph: Abd Raouf/AP

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

Mark Tran

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

Iran ‘steals surface-to-air missiles from Libya’

 Revolutionary Guards march in Tehran. Hundreds of Revolutionary Guards are based in Sudan Photo: AFP/GETTY


Revolutionary Guards march in Tehran. Hundreds of Revolutionary Guards are based in Sudan Photo: AFP/GETTY

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have stolen dozens of sophisticated Russian-made surface-to-air missiles from Libya and smuggled them across the border to neighbouring Sudan, according to Western intelligence reports.

By Con Coughlin

22 Sep 2011

The weapons were seized by units attached to the Guards’ elite Quds Force, which travelled to Libya from their base in southern Sudan.

Acting on orders received from Revolutionary Guards commanders in Iran, they took advantage of the chaos that engulfed Libya following the collapse of the regime of former dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to seize “significant quantities” of advanced weaponry, according to military intelligence officers in Libya. Continue reading

New Strife in Darfur Leaves Many Seeking Refuge

European Pressphoto Agency Valerie Amos, the top United Nations humanitarian official, during a news conference in Khartoum, Sudan, on Thursday

European Pressphoto Agency
Valerie Amos, the top United Nations humanitarian official, during a news conference in Khartoum, Sudan, on Thursday

By ISMA’IL KUSHKUSH

May 23, 2013

ZAM ZAM CAMP, Sudan — They are the new faces in a place they would rather not be, and the meager scraps sheltering them from the blazing desert sun are a testament to their sudden arrival: tents of scruffy tarpaulin propped up on crooked wood branches no higher than four feet tall.

Bosh Khamis, 75, strolled through the section for newcomers, supporting his hunched body with a thick wooden cane.

“I arrived here 12 days ago,” he said. “There was fighting between the government and rebels. I saw people get killed.”

A surge in fighting since the beginning of the year in the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur has led to an unnerving increase in civilian upheaval, displacing nearly 300,000 people, more than in the last two years combined, according to the United Nations. Continue reading

The case against Sudanese President Omar al Bashir

By John C. Bradshaw, executive director, Enough Project – 04/05/13

The tenth anniversary of the genocide in Darfur has focused renewed attention on the crimes that the Sudanese regime has committed against its people and the pending International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants for President Omar al Bashir and other Sudanese officials. But the fact that the regime’s crimes extend far beyond Darfur and continue to this day has remained under the radar.

Every day, the regime is brutally targeting its own civilians in its South Kordofan and Blue Nile states through regular aerial bombardment and the deliberate burning and destruction of civilian structures. Substantial evidence now exists proving that these tactics — honed in Darfur and the long civil war with the south — constitute atrocity crimes that meet the formal legal definitions of war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is time for the U.N. Security Council to fulfill its responsibility to protect victims of atrocity crimes and expand the ICC’s mandate to allow the prosecutor to investigate charges against Bashir and his henchman beyond the narrow Darfur authorization. Continue reading

Sudan group launches preemptive strike against possible special envoy pick

By Josh Rogin

The Obama administration is getting close to nominating a new special envoy to Sudan, but a major Sudan advocacy organization is asking Secretary of State John Kerry not to nominate former U.S. Ambassador to Sudan Tim Carney.

The advocacy group’s effort to squash the Carney nomination before it even exists is rare; NGOs usually wait until someone is nominated before they express public opposition. But in this case, Act for Sudan is hoping to head off the Carney pick before it materializes. Continue reading