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Sudanese president sworn in to another term

Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, has been sworn in to another term after winning the country’s recent polls, which were largely boycotted by the opposition.

The inauguration ceremony, attended by multiple African leaders and two diplomats from the United Nations, was held earlier today. A reporter for the Al Jazeera news agency described the event as being primarily “a gathering of African leaders”.

In his inauguration speech, al-Bashir said that there would be “no return to war” with southern Sudan, and said a referendum on southern independence would be held on time. Southern Sudan is to hold a ballot in January of next year on whether to secede from the rest of the country. The referendum is a key part of the 2005 peace deal that ended Sudan’s north-south civil war. Read More…

Sudan president wins re-election

The Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, has been declared the winner of this month’s elections, after the first multiparty polls in 24 years.

Omar al-Bashir

Salva Kiir, a former rebel leader, meanwhile, was also declared president of the semi-autonomous southern Sudan in separate elections.

According to the Sudanese election commission, al-Bashir won 68% of the vote, while Salva Kiir obtained 93% of the vote out of slightly more than 2.5 million total votes.

“The first [was] Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir. He was the candidate and won,” said Abel Alier, the chairman for Sudan’s National Elections Commission.

Observers and the opposition complained of fraud in the elections; two of al-Bashir’s main opponents withdrew before the voting began, accusing the polling process of being rigged. Al-Bashir is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, which issued a warrant for his arrest, although al-Bashir denies the allegations.

Sudan clashes kill dozens

Clashes in South Darfur kills 58 and raises tensions along the internal border involving a Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) company and another party.

Sudan People's Liberation Army flag

The clash happened in Balballa near to the border with the Bahr al-Ghazal province.

The identity of the other combatant is disputed with the SPLA claiming it to be the North Sudanese Sudan People’s Armed Forces (SPAF) whilst the SPAF and tribal sources say that it was Rezeigat nomadic Arab tribesmen that were involved.

A Rezeigat tribal leader has said that 58 tribesmen were killed in the clash and 85 were wounded. The governor of Bahr al-Ghazal has stated that both sides suffered casualties but no figures for SPLA losses are known. Read More…

Scores killed in Sudan tribal clash

According to local government reports, at least 139 people were killed in Sudan recently after clashes between tribes.

Sudan Location

The violence started when armed men from the Nuer group reportedly attacked herders from the Dinka tribe in Tonj, a remote region in the south of the country, and took about 5,000 cattle.

“They killed 139 people and wounded 54. Nobody knows how many attackers were killed. But it may be many as a lot of people came to fight,” commented a local deputy governor, Sabino Makana. Read More…

Tribal clash kills about 100 in Sudan

The army of southern Sudan says more than 100 people were killed when a local tribe attacked a rival group in the southern state of Jonglei.

Gunmen from the Lou Nuer tribe attacked a village of the Dinka Hol tribe on Sunday, driving away security forces who were guarding the remote settlement of Duk Padiet. Southern Sudan army spokesman Kuol Diem Kuol said Monday that the dead include 23 attackers, 28 security forces, and more than 50 villagers, with 46 more injured.

“From the attackers 23 bodies were found on the ground. These attackers were found in uniform with arms and organized in a military organisation in platoons with G3 rifles,” Kuol said. Read More…

Boundary Dispute in Sudan’s Abyei Region

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague issues a decision on the borders of Abyei, a region subject to violent contention in Sudan.

The PCA ordered the redrawing of the eastern and western boundaries, thus decreasing the size of Abyei. However, the implications for the northern boundary were not immediately clear. The size of Abyei is crucial to the political dispute, as its residents will be able to vote in a referendum on whether to become part of northern or southern Sudan, and are expected to merge with the south. Read More…

African Union refuses to act on Sudan war crimes

The African Union (AU) has decided it will not act on an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly perpetrating war crimes in Darfur.

Jean Ping, the AU’s current chairperson, said of the decision by the 53 member states “They are showing to the world community that if you don’t want to listen to the continent, if you don’t want to take into account our proposals… if you don’t want to listen to the continent, as usual, we also are going to act unilaterally.”

Thirty African states have ratified the ICC treaty. Libya in particular had pressed for the decision, with leader Moamer Kadhafi, who hosted the summit, going so far as to invite controversial Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to address the summit; the Iranians agreed but later canceled the visit. Read More…

Gunmen abduct humanitarian workers

Two foreign aid workers have been reported kidnapped in the western Darfur region of Sudan. United Nations (UN) and African Union officials in Sudan stated that the two women were abducted at gunpoint from their camp in the town of Kutum.

A Sudanese national was also abducted but released a short time later, according to officials.

The aid workers were identified as Sharon Commins, 32, of Ireland and Hilda Kawuki, 42, of Uganda. Both work for the Irish humanitarian organization, GOAL. John O’Shea, a GOAL executive, indicated that the women were abducted by as many as six assailants. “We don’t know who took them,” O’Shea told Reuters. “There are so many splinter groups in the area you’d only be guessing.” He added that GOAL had not previously experienced a kidnapping.

The kidnappers have not been identified and there have been no claims of responsibility reported thus far. There have been two other incidents of kidnapping of aid workers in Darfur since March of this year, but all victims were released within days to a few weeks.