-Khartoum,Sudan- (Photo credit: Vít Hassan)
Sudan and South Sudan have signed a “non-aggression” pact over their disputed border following talks in Addis Ababa, where the African Union is leading negotiations.
The deal was signed by Thomas Douth, the head of South Sudan’s intelligence bureau, and Mohammed Atta, Sudan’s director of national intelligence and security.
The two sides agreed “respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and to “refrain from launching any attack, including bombardment”.
There is no expectation of immediate change on the ground, but the agreement is a “means of calling [both countries] to account because they have signed up to the deal”.
The memorandum of understanding covers five principles; the clauses referring to ”no cross-border operations” and “no supporting of proxies” are the most important.
Border tensions between the two countries have mounted since South Sudan split from Sudan in July, becoming the world’s newest nation.
Negotiations between the two former civil war foes have been marred by eruptions of violence along the border, including in the contested Abyei and Blue Nile states.
South Sudan took three-quarters of Sudan’s oil when it gained independence, but the north controls all pipeline and export facilities.
Via Al Jazeera.
Filed under Cheers!, World
Image by Vít Hassan via Flickr
The fate of twenty-nine Chinese construction workers kidnapped in Sudan is unclear after Chinese officials cast doubts on reports that some were freed.
Chinese state news agency Xinhua quoted embassy officials in Khartoum as saying all the workers were still missing.
Earlier, Sudan’s army said that fourteen had been “liberated”.
Rebels seized the group in South Kordofan state, near the border with South Sudan on Saturday.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) rebels told the AFP news agency on Sunday that the workers were caught in crossfire with the army.
He said they were captured together with nine Sudanese soldiers after the SPLM-N attacked and destroyed a Sudanese military convoy in the area.
Via the BBC.
Thousands of people, mostly children, have died because the international community did not respond to warnings of an impending famine in East Africa.
Photo Courtesy of CNN
A food shortage was predicted in August 2010, but donors did not respond until a famine was declared in July 2011.
The British government estimates that between 50,000 and 100,000 people have died from the famine, mostly in Somalia.
On Friday, it will be six months since the United Nations declared famine in Somalia. Tens of thousands will have died of starvation by the time the famine ends. A quarter of a million Somalis are still at risk of starvation, and more than 13 million people need aid.
Via Impunity Watch.
Image via Wikipedia
Senior Sudanese officials indicted by the International Criminal Court continue to commit genocide in western Sudan, the court’s prosecutor said on Thursday.
The ICC issued arrest warrants against President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Ahmed Haroun, and militia leader Ali Kushayb for war crimes in the Darfur region.
ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo recently asked the court’s judges to issue a warrant for Defense Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein about Darfur.
Speaking to the fifteen-nation U.N. Security Council, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said it was essential that the indicted men be arrested as they are still committing grave crimes. He also reported to the council that ICC member Malawi failed to live up to its statutory obligations by failing to arrest Bashir when he visited the country.
Kenya also failed to arrest Bashir when he visited it last year, but a Nairobi court ruled recently that the government must arrest Bashir if he visits the country again.
Image via Wikipedia
It’s not the Rome Statute, but it’s a start…
President Barack Obama has signed a proclamation that will strictly bar human rights violators from entering the United States. Pres. Obama will also set up an Atrocities Prevention Board as a warning system for future human rights violations.
The proclamation will not change the country’s policy regarding human rights violators, as they are already barred from entry into the United States. However, it will strengthen the laws already in place to fill in gaps that might have previously allowed such criminals into the country.
The Atrocities Prevention Board will consist of officials from the Pentagon, State Department, and White House. The board was created to avoid situations where the President has only two options: to intervene militarily or do nothing.
The initiative comes in the middle of the worsening situation in Syria, where the government has taken a violent stand against pro-democracy protesters, and in Sudan, where officials fear ethnic cleansing is taking place.
The Board will be set up within 120 days of Thursday, August 4, 2011.
Filed under Law, Politics, World
Soon, the world might have one more country.
In the next week, several million people will vote whether to declare independence for South Sudan. Nearly four million people have registered to vote, and few of them doubt that, come summer, South Sudan will be an independent nation.
South Sudan has been ravaged by war and famine for generations. More people have been displaced from South Sudan as a result of war than anywhere else in the world.
For more information, head over to CNN.
Filed under Politics, World