This eighteenth installment of Darfur: Radio Dabanga News Digest has as its primary concerns the growing water crisis throughout Sudan, but hitting Darfur especially hard, and the relentless deterioration of security and humanitarian conditions in Darfur. There are also a number of significant political developments reported, as well as growing civil unrest. The consequences of economic implosion in Sudan are also evident in many dispatches. Sudan Tribune has again been the source of several key reportson Darfur and the growing political crisis.
[For previous (weekly) Radio Dabanga Digests, see:
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 1 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1CD
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 2 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1De
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 3 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Dt
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 4 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Ei
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 5 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1EL
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 6 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Fp
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 7 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1FL
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 8 | http://wp.me/s45rOG-6452
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 9 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Gi
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 10 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Gt
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 11 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Hq
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 12 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1HY
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 13 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Ia
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 14 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1II
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 15 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Ji
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 16 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1JU
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 17 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Kp
Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 18 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1L7 —and below
The reports are organized under the following headings:
 THREE REPORTS OF NOTE—these are highlighted not because they are related to one another, but because they are of particular note in understanding the security crisis in Darfur and the growing political crisis throughout Sudan.
 CONTINUTING WATER CRISIS
 HUMANITARIAN THREATS
 SECURITY BREAKDOWNS AND THREATS
 POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS
[All emphases in all quoted material (in bold) have been added; all editorial comments are in italics, in blue, with my initials following; a useful and quite recent administrative map of Darfur appears here.)—ER]
Eric Reeves, 28 June 2015
 THREE TELLING REPORTS
• Air raid kills girl near Fanga in Darfur’s Jebel Marra | June 23, 2015 | Fanga
In an aerial bombardment north of Fanga in East Jebel Marra on Tuesday afternoon, one girl was killed. One of the relatives of Nemat Musa Yahya, 12 years old, said that the Antonov plane of the Sudanese Air Force dropped nine bombs at about 2:30pm in the area north of Fanga. The explosions led to the death of Nemat… The fire that resulted from the explosions spread and burned parts of the land. The residents, the relative explained, panicked and many have fled their houses. The Sudanese army is in control of Fanga… More than a dozen civilians were reportedly killed by shelling from the military forces in Fanga.
[It is important to remember that the barbarism of killing twelve-year-old girls by means of indiscriminate aerial bombardment is not confined to Darfur. Nicholas Kristof filed a powerful dispatch from the Nuba Mountains, describing in graphic detail the bombing he witnessed while in the Nuba. Children again seem to be the primary victims of Khartoum’s campaign of extermination | http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-a-rain-of-bombs-in-the-nuba-mountains.html?_r=0 ]
• Radical Sudanese imam of president Bashir fully supports Islamic State | June 26, 2015 | Khartoum
A leading imam of Sudan, Mohamed El Gizouli, has repeated his support for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Two days after being released from eight months detention, the leader of the El Jereif Mosques of President Omar Al Bashir in Khartoum, repeated his support for Islamic State forces fighting the “coalition of Arab Crusaders.” El Gizouli had been in prison for expressing his support for Al Qaida and Daesh (Islamic State, IS). In his Facebook posting on Friday (link): “I was honoured by God when I was arrested for 240 days for my stance, calling for the resistance of the American intervention in our Islamic region. My stances are not changed as well as my way of thinking”, he writes. “I am not afraid of an assassination or kidnapping, for I am already a martyr, God willing. I am waiting for their [Americans’] execution.”
El Gizouli is … a teacher at the Omdurman Islamic University and the African International University for Muslim students in Africa. He is the supervisor of a NGO for students coming from other countries to follow Islamic studies in Sudan, and general-secretary of the United Muslim Council.
Mohamed El Gizouli
[The release of el-Gizouli is significant: either the regime is attempting to win political favor from the radical Islamists if once counted on, or the regime has already seen the financial futility of rapprochement with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and is willing to again to have radical Islam exported from Sudan—or both. The failure of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to make significant financial commitments has left the regime without any prospect for a short-term remedy to its critical shortage of Forex, and consequent inability to import wheat for bread and cooking fuel—ER]
• “Use Shoot to Kill principle to end rebellion”: Sudanese security committee | June 26, 2015 | Khartoum
The Chairman of the Security and Defence subcommittee in the Sudanese parliament has called for adhering to the military principle of “Shoot to kill” against the armed rebel movements in Sudan, to end their insurgency, and seems to be criticising the government-backed militias in Darfur and other areas. Chairman Ahmed Imam El Tuhami lambasted rebels in the country during a meeting in Khartoum on Wednesday, warning that a weakened resolution [to confront] the insurgency will push people to leave the country. The military principle of “Shoot to kill” is used in the United States and Europe, he claimed, when faced with similar situations. [It is not clear what is being referred to here—ER]
It seems that the outcome of the deliberations will lead to an attempt of Sudan to regain control over the government-supported militias, which have been heavily criticised over the crimes they have committed against civilians in Darfur. Member of Parliament Lt. Col. Adam Hamid Musa said that the deteriorating economic conditions of the armed forces and the unwillingness of young people to get recruited have prompted the government to use the militias in Sudan, to deter the conflict and fighting in Darfur. Musa, also head of the council of states, stressed that the use of the militias comes at a high cost.
[The logic of justification for “shoot to kill” orders is unclear here: in most military confrontations, the governing assumption is “shoot to kill”: real firefights don’t offer the opportunity for selective wounding of enemy combatants. Inevitably, one wonders whether the heated rhetoric here is really in response to growing civil unrest in Khartoum and elsewhere in Sudan. Members of the regime and their supporters find it easy to conflate peaceful protestors and rebels; the coalitions between those committed to overthrowing the regime by any means, and those committed to peaceful regime change makes this all the easier. On the other hand, two other apparently unrelated issues are raised here: the brutality of civilian destruction at the hands of regime-backed militia forces (primarily the Rapid Support Forces) and the demoralized state of the regular military, a phenomenon that has long been developing. Perhaps there will be further clarification of the relevance of “shoot to kill” orders—of the sort given to security forces during the demonstrations of September 2013 in Khartoum, Omdurman, and a number of major towns across Sudan—ER]
 CONTINUING WATER CRISIS
• Khartoum governor relieves general director of water corporation | Sudan Tribune, June 22, 2015 | Khartoum
The director general of Khartoum State Water Corporation has been relieved of his post following recent protests over water cuts in various parts of the Sudanese capital. Water supply has been recently disrupted in large parts of the state leading to several protests the latest being in Al-Fitaihab and Abu Si’id neighbourhoods in Khartoum twin city of Omdurman. Also, Halfayat al-Molok neighbourhood in Khartoum North saw similar protests last week. The newly appointed governor of Khartoum state, Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, issued on Sunday a decision replacing the KSWC director general, Mahgoub Mohamed Suleiman, by Khaled Ali Khaled according to a recommendation submitted by the minister of infrastructure and transportation… Hussein declared short and long-term plans to achieve a radical solution for the water problems in the state within two years.
[Hussein, former Minister of Defense and Minister of the Interior, is a brutish thug, with no intelligence and no understanding of economics. His “plans” are merely rhetorical efforts to diminish growing anger at the water shortages—ER]
The KSWC has more than once called for increasing water rates due to high operating costs. A source within Khartoum state disclosed in June 2014 that several proposals were made to raise the water rate by 33% (20 pounds SDG) for the third degree consumers, 40% (35 pounds) for the second-degree consumers and 33% (60 pounds) for the first-degree consumers.
[This gets to the heart of the delusion that still guides the regime’s response to the ongoing economic implosion, which is characterized inter alia by extremely high inflation. “Operating costs” are certainly growing rapidly at the KSWC, and because many of the factors producing increased costs—particularly equipment, parts, and transport materials—are beyond control, they will continue to rise. This makes most repairs of a decaying water distribution system prohibitively expensive—and still the request is for a 33 – 40 percent increase in rates. If allowed, this will add significantly to the inflation experienced by lower-incomes citizens; if denied, the entire system will continue what appears to be a relentless deterioration. Inflation has taken deep hold in the economy, but the regime has no wish or ability to confront the problem—ER]
• Water crisis demonstrators block road in Khartoum | June 26, 2015 | Khartoum
Protests against the water supply disruptions in the Sudanese capital continue. A group of women from two southern neighbourhoods managed to block the main road leading to the centre of Khartoum, from Thursday morning until the afternoon. The women from El Azhari and El Salama positioned themselves in front of the vehicles, and chanted anti-government slogans, calling for the resumption of the water services. Traffic was jammed from 8am to 1pm. Police forces prevented people from taking photos. Yousef Hussein, a leader in the Sudanese Communist Party, criticised the way the state treats the field of services, especially the water services. “The government lets its citizens pay for expensive water that they should have received in a normal way,” he stressed. “The price of a barrel of water in remote neighbourhoods has risen to 100 Sudanese pounds.” Khartoum state announced the allocation of SDG9.5 million ($1.57 million) to solve the potable water crisis in the city on Thursday.
[The notion that US$1.57 million will do anything to address the larger problems revealed by the current widespread water crisis is ludicrous, and revealing of the regime’s inability to confront the problems it faces in a serious way. This sum of money is a mere sop to increasingly angry demonstrators—ER]
• Sudan’s capital assigns 9.5 mln pounds to solve water crisis | June 26, 2015 | Khartoum
Khartoum state announced the allocation of SDG9.5 million ($1.57 million) to solve the potable water crisis in the city on Thursday. Residents in the capital city took to the streets this week to protest the water disruptions in their neighbourhoods. The emergency budget will be used to provide treatment and new power generators to water stations, to avoid a negative impact by the electricity shortage. Also, considerations were made to strategically plan a stable supply of drinking water from the Nile River, and to abandon the ground water production in the state altogether. The announcement was made following a meeting of the new Governor, Abdelrahim Hussein, with the Khartoum State Water Corporation (KSWC), in the presence of the state Minister for Infrastructure, the Minister of Finance and commissioners of the state localities.
[These are all long-term and capital-intensive projects; the amount of money allocated can’t even begin them in a meaningful way—ER]
Diesoline shortage in El Gedaref
In El Gedaref state, the mechanised farmers’ union revealed the renewed crisis of diesoline, and queues in front of fuel stations. Omar Hassan Fadel, the deputy-head of the union, told Radio Dabanga that the state suffers from the scarcity of diesoline, as the preparation for the agricultural season is about to start.
[The lack of foreign exchange reserves (Forex) has made the importing of refined petroleum projects—including cooking fuel and diesel fuel for farm equipment—increasingly difficult. The major shortages that have been consistently reported for well over a year are a clear indication that the Central Bank of Sudan is broke—ER]
• Khartoum expands water protests, North Darfur electricity corp. criticised | June 24, 2015 | Khartoum / El Fasher
The demonstrations in several neighbourhoods in Khartoum against the continuous water supply disruptions have expanded. On Monday evening, people in El Fitehab in Omdurman went out on the streets again. In El Kalakla, southern Khartoum, angry demonstrators closed off the main street before the police intervened and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. Other protests took place in Sangat, El Gatiya, El Wehda and El Gubba. Meanwhile, Khartoum faces problematic public transportation: bus tariffs have increased to more than double the prices, which forces some residents to use various transports to reach their destination. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a bus driver pointed for the exacerbation of the crisis to the difficult economic situation, the increased cost of maintenance, more expensive spare parts, and fines on traffic violations which are daily imposed on the buses.
Electricity disruptions in North Darfur
In the capital of North Darfur, people told Radio Dabanga that they threaten the El Fasher Electricity Corporation with a lawsuit. “The electricity outages started on the first day of Ramadan. We ask the corporation’s management to respect their customers and refrain from their recklessness,” a El Fasher inhabitant said. The issues of the water shortage and electricity disruptions have become a chronic problem that needs to be resolved with very bold solutions coming from innovative solutions, says journalist Faisal Mohamed Saleh. Saleh, who is the director of the Taiba Press Services Centre, revealed that the problems occur in spite of advance payments to the corporations. “People in El Fasher were forced to pay the price of water and electricity connection together in one bill.” “The officials have no replies to the citizens’ complaints, nor listen to them,” he said.
On the payments in advance, Saleh said that the people of El Fasher were “forced” to pay the price of water and electricity connection together in one bill—meaning that some were forced to buy electricity. “But there is no relationship between the two companies,” the journalist said.
[A telling portrait of callousness, incompetence, and a lack of resources from Khartoum; the situation described here, in one of Darfur’s two largest cities, will only get worse with time amidst a collapsing economy—ER]
• Water crisis affects Khartoum and Darfur cities amid Ramadan, heat | June 23, 2015 | Nyala / Khartoum
Darfur’s largest cities, El Fasher and Nyala, suffer from a shortage in drinking water and interruptions of the electricity supply on the sixth day of Ramadan and amid the heat. At least thirteen neighbourhoods in Khartoum are out of water, too, while the director of the city’s water corporation is fired by the Governor. Camp residents in the Otash camp for internally displaced people, near Nyala in South Darfur, informed Radio Dabanga about the situation there. There is an acute crisis of drinking water, as a result of the stalling of a number of pumps and water stations, and fuel shortages.
[Inevitably, it will be the camps for the displaced that suffer most, that will experience the greatest shortages, including the fuel necessary to run water pumps. This problem is already acute, and will worsen rapidly as fuel imports continue to decline and Khartoum takes what it wishes before allowing distribution to other parts of the country—Darfur is far down the list—ER]
• Minister of Water to explain water crisis | June 23, 2015 | Khartoum
Legislators urgently want to question the Minister of Water Resources and Electricity for the nationwide crisis in potable water supply. Besides the main suburbs of Khartoum and Omdurman, also the cities of El Fasher and Nyala face a water crisis during the Ramadan. On the fifth day of Ramadan, the Member of Parliament, Hammad Ghareeb, announced that he and some other MP’s will summon the Minister of Water Resources and Electricity, Moataz Moussa, to explain the parliament how the crisis could have been prevented. They want a quick solution for the problems.
[Yet another chapter in a vast and worsening crisis. And the demand for a “quick solution for the problems” reveals a fundamental ignorance about the causes of the “problems”: they are systemic, and ultimately all derive from the implosion of the economy, something that few Sudanese seem to be willing so say publicly, even if they know it to be true. This is especially true of grandstanding politicians—ER]
• South Darfur water crisis: Displaced queue for drinking water | June 21, 2015 | Gireida, South Darfur
The displaced people living in camps in Gireida locality, South Darfur, have complained about the scarcity of drinking water that results in long queues around the camps’ water sources. One of the affected camps residents informed Radio Dabanga that this crisis started last April and is still ongoing. He appealed to the local and state authorities, and the organisations working in the water field, to speed up solving their problem. Throughout Darfur and Sudan, crises of drinking water have emerged in the past weeks. Several areas in the capital of South Darfur, Nyala, have been without water owing to a number of broken pumps since mid-May. The water supply to El Fasher city, North Darfur, has decreased by more than half of the usual, the water management announced this week.
A revealing image of the water shortage stalking all of Sudan, but especially Darfur
[Prices for all commodities will continue to increase, and likely in excess of the rate of real inflation (over 50 percent). And the absence of Forex ultimately results in a shortage of spare parts of the sort needed to repair broken pumps. The ripple effects of a currency that is rapidly being debased, a lack of Forex, and high real inflation are creating a perfect storm of discontent—ER]
• People face water crisis in suburbs of Khartoum | June 22, 2015 | Khartoum
In several areas of Khartoum citizens complain about severe water shortage. Citizens of Al Fitehab area in Omdurman went demonstrating on Sunday to protest the scarcity of water. The crowd of over hundred people blocked the roads leading to El Shigla and Fatasha areas. Radio Dabanga interviewed a number of residents from El Fitihab and Umbaddah. The mostly women from the districts 13, 14, 15 went out chanting slogans. Since last May the water price increased rapidly up from 60 to 75 SDG. Citizens of some areas had even to pay even up to 100 SDG per barrel, they complained. The water crisis is urgent as the temperature had gone up to 40 degrees Celsius [104º Fahrenheit].
 HUMANITARIAN ISSUES
• North Darfur medics strike against militia assault in hospital | June 26, 2015 | Kabkabiya
Medical staff in the civilian hospital of Kabkabiya in North Darfur have laid down their work for four days now, to protest an assault by militia members against their colleagues on Tuesday night. Patients fled the scene in fear. A source in the hospital informed Radio Dabanga that members of a pro-government militia entered the hospital on Tuesday evening, and asked the medical staff on the night shift to accompany them to Khor C neighbourhood, south of the hospital. They wanted the staff to come to treat one of their comrades who had gotten ill. “The attending staff told the militiamen that the law does not allow them to give treatment outside of the hospital,” the source said. They asked the militiamen to bring their comrade instead. Subsequently, “they were beaten with rifle butts, punched, and kicked.” The staff, about five workers that night, sustained various injuries. During the assault, patients fled the hospital in fear. “Therefore the medical staff has decided to not carry out their work before an end is made to the violations by militiamen.”
[Such actions by pro-regime militiamen show the complete impunity felt by these increasingly brutal and ruthless men—ER]
• Three children, one adult succumb to scorpion bites in North Darfur’s El Kuma | June 24, 2015 | El Kuma
Three children and one adult died of scorpion bites in El Kuma locality, North Darfur. A medical assistant claimed that bites of scorpions and snakes are widespread in the area.
Medical assistant Ahmed Nway in Sari village revealed to Radio Dabanga that one 2-year-old was killed on Sunday, and three others—including two children—on Friday. Nway also revealed there is a lack of vaccines against scorpion and snakebites. “The people resort to traditional and herbal treatments then.” He appealed to the authorities to provide enough vaccines and medical cadres, in order to combat the widespread scorpion and snakebites in the area.
[More evidence of the economic marginalization of Darfur, here taking the form of failing to provide vaccines to protect children and others from this dangerous threat—ER]
• Measles vaccinations start in Mellit, North Darfur | June 24, 2015 | Mellit
The locality of Mellit in North Darfur has launched the measles vaccination campaign, which will continue until next Tuesday. The campaign will target 87,783 boys and girls in villages, nomadic settlements and camps in the two areas of Mellit and Sayah. More than two hundred health and technical cadres and volunteers will take part in the vaccination campaign. The campaign’s targeted age group is all children between six months up to fifteen years old. The under-15-years age group has the highest percentage of reported cases, according to Sudan’s Ministry of Health. [Children in rebel-held areas of Darfur—and in South Kordofan and Blue Nile—will not be able to receive vaccinations. Given the wildly contagious nature of measles, the vaccination rate will not be high enough to prevent a re-emergence of the disease in epidemic form in the future—ER]
It reported that as of 24 May, the total number of deaths from measles in 2015 has risen to 38. In last week’s news bulletin by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Ministry of Health confirmed 2,511 cases in Sudan.
• “Cook collective iftar for displaced during Ramadan”: North Darfur activist | June 22, 2015 | Zamzam
The population of newly internally displaced people in a camp near El Fasher, who have not received any food rations since their arrival this year, is facing a lean month of Ramadan. Residents in the capital of North Darfur state are asked to lend a hand and help these camp residents, who live in a difficult humanitarian situation. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, one of the displaced people, who is an activist in Zamzam camp, said that about 35,000 people have arrived in the camp since the beginning of 2015. “They have not received any food aid from organisations in the camp. “They are facing a very difficult humanitarian situation right now, with the coming of fasting for Ramadan,” the activist stressed. Through the radio, he called on citizens in El Fasher to come and do their part as good Muslims, and help the newly displaced people to make it through the holy month. He suggested that people can bring food and cook collective meals to break the fast together, where everyone is able to receive a portion of food.
The fasting during Ramadan makes it difficult for poor, displaced people to obtain food in the normal ways, which is buying it from the little money they receive from their jobs. Another way is to beg for food in daytime. During Ramadan, people are fasting during the day and have no leftover food to give away, while working for money is heavy on an empty stomach. Another complicating factor is the fact that villagers in Darfur would normally gather for iftar—to break the fast—collectively. But in the camps, families do not receive enough food in general from distributing organisations, to share it with others.
Newly displaced persons in Darfur have a particularly difficult time obtaining adequate food
The newest inhabitants of Zamzam camp became displaced as a result of the fighting between Sudanese paramilitary forces and rebels, and aerial bombardments in North Darfur. Some of them were registered by the humanitarian organisations in Zamzam, while others were not. “The problem is that none of them have been receiving any of the food that is distributed in the camp,” according to an activist, claiming that a number of displaced people has started to beg for food in the neighbourhoods and markets of El Fasher.
[An ominous sign of the continuing breakdown of humanitarian food relief in Darfur—ER]
 SECURITY ISSUES AND THREATS
• Rebel killed in Sudanese air strike in East Jebel Marra | June 21, 2015 | Rokoro
The Sudanese Air Force struck Ruvata in East Jebel Marra on Saturday. Reportedly one rebel fighter was killed and four were wounded. Several hundred of livestock were killed in the explosions. The military spokesman of the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement, led by Abdel Wahid El Nur (SLM-AW) told Radio Dabanga that the air raids caused widespread displacement in Ruvata, an area under the control of the rebels east of Fanga. The bombing resulted in the killing of one SLM-AW fighter, and the injury of four others.
The Sudanese army is in control of Fanga, and managed to regain control of Rokoro, southwest of Ruvata, one week ago. More than a dozen civilians were reportedly killed by shelling from the military forces in Fanga.
[One rebel killed; dozens of civilians reported killed, along with hundreds of livestock: in the minds of those conducting genocidal counter-insurgency, this is all of a piece—ER]
• People of Kutum, North Darfur, demand return of police | June 28, 2015 | Omdurman
The people of Kutum have called on the Sudanese Presidency to restore law and order to the locality. The Presidency should “immediately intervene to restore security to the locality,” an activist told Radio Dabanga from Omdurman, “and prevent the continuous assaults on the people.
“The population is terrorised day and night by gunmen, who beat, rob, and abduct people as they like, in the absence of the police and the judiciary.” The activist said that they hold the government of North Darfur responsible for “the injustice done to the population of Kutum. The locality is devoid of police and the judiciary for more than three years.”
[The absence of a functional judiciary and police force was one of the causes of the Darfur uprising more than a decade ago; Khartoum shows no sign of responding in a meaningful way—ER]
• UNAMID recovers ambushed NGO staff in North Darfur | June 27, 2015 | Kutum, North Darfur
UNAMID released a press statement on Friday in which it reports that South African peacekeepers have rescued a NGO employee three weeks ago, in North Darfur. As the statement reads, on 5 June, UNAMID peacekeepers from South Africa rescued the driver of a World Food Programme (WFP) truck, which was ambushed by unknown armed men. He was aboard a gun-mounted vehicle, 55 km southwest of the mission’s team site in Kutum, North Darfur, a day earlier. The truck was part of a UNAMID and WFP convoy which traveled in two groups. One of the groups pursued the assailants immediately but was unable to apprehend them at the time.
[It is, for reasons made clear in this dispatch, increasingly difficult to find drivers to deliver WFP food supplies to a great many locations in Darfur. If this trend continues, already severe food shortage will become deadly—ER]
• Militiaman kills senior on farm in Central Darfur | June 26, 2015 | Nierteti, formerly West Darfur
A senior was shot dead in Nierteti [formerly West Darfur] on Friday by a member of a pro-government militia. A relative told Radio Dabanga about the incident. A militiaman, wearing a military uniform, opened fire on Abdallah Mohamed Abakr (75 years). He was working on a farm, together with a group of women, north of Nierteti town. He died on the spot. “We have informed the local police,” the relative said. The body of Mohamed Abakr was buried the same day.
[This episode happened to be reported by Radio Dabanga; countless such acts of brutal, callous violence are not reported anywhere—ER]
• Gunmen assassinate sheikh in El Geneina, West Darfur | June 25, 2015 | El Geneina
Gunmen have killed Sheikh Adam Arbab, the imam of El Geneina Grand Mosque, inside his house in West Darfur. His son informed Radio Dabanga that he knows the gunmen, claiming they were believed to be signatories to the Doha peace agreement.
[Khartoum’s determination to have the worthless “Doha Document for Peace in Darfur” considered seriously by Darfuris takes many forms—ER]
• Militiamen assault and rob displaced men in North Darfur | June 25, 2015 | Tawila, North Darfur
Pro-government militiamen shot and seriously wounded a displaced man in Tawila locality, North Darfur, along with robbing eighteen sheep in another incident. Omda Mukthar Bosh told Radio Dabanga that the militiamen opened fire on Eldin Ismail Osman of Rwanda camp, while he was returning from Shamshako. He sustained wounds in the chest and leg.
• Militiamen beat, extort displaced people in South Darfur | June 24, 2015 | Mershing, South Darfur
Pro-government militiamen beat seven displaced people on Sunday, near their camp in Mershing, South Darfur. They were not released by the militiamen until they paid them money, the next day. A witness told Radio Dabanga that the militiamen, driving in vehicles, attacked the group of displaced people who were cutting wood in Hashaba area, south of the camp. They were tortured and held, forced to each pay SDG 200 ($33) to be released, which they were on Monday evening.
[The two dispatches above suggest what is now the norm for people living in many regions of North Darfur—ER]
• Militia take carts and donkeys from firewood collectors Darfur | June 22, 2015 | Nyala
Uniformed militiamen assaulted internal displaced people from Kalma camp while seeking firewood in Bilel locality in South Darfur. After beating the men and women, they stripped them from all their possessions including donkey carts, the donkeys and other possessions. Radio Dabanga spoke with the victims, being Halima Mohammed, Zahra Abdul Rasoul Adam and Abdul Rahim Mousa Haroun. Saleh Eissa Mohammed, secretary general for the IDP community in Kalma camp, told Radio Dabanga that they have notified the police and the Human Rights section of UNAMID.
In a separate incident at Abu Udam agricultural area east of Kalma camp, similar militiamen have robbed eight displaced people from their mobiles and their money.
Civilians throughout Darfur remain terribly vulnerable to attack and dispossession
[Although North Darfur is currently the epicenter of violence against civilians, they face relentless attacks in other parts of Darfur as well—ER]
• Protest in Salam camp, South Darfur after RSF car overruns child | June 23, 2015 | Nyala, South Darfur
A group of internally displaced persons of El Salam in Nyala protested in front of the police after the death of a child that had been killed by military cars passing the camp. Sunday at seven in the evening, several cars of the Rapid Support Forces moved with high speed through the streets killing the nine-year-old Raabi Abdullah Moussa. Sheikh Mahjoub Tabeldiya told Radio Dabanga that after the incident the military cars did not even stop to provide immediate aid.
[This image seems all too powerfully symbolic of the fate of all of Darfur—ER]
• New Darfur governors to address security and development issues | June 26, 2015 | Abu Karinka / Adila / Nyala
The native administration, notables, and factions of the women and youth in East Darfur state have demanded from the new Governor to impose the state’s prestige, and provide them with of the necessary services to Adila and Abu Karinka localities. Governor Anas Omar toured the localities on Wednesday…
In a statement to SUNA news agency, the [Education] minister promised that in the days ahead, textbooks and seating materials would arrive to Abu Karinka and Adila, in preparation for the beginning of the school year. Meanwhile in South Darfur, new Governor Adam El Faki stressed that there is deterioration in education and health, saying that many students have become school drop-outs. This reflects negatively on the state’s social peace and security, the governor claimed this week. He further announced that security, stability, peace, and development for the citizens of the state as his top priorities in the coming period.
[Yet again, a substitution of words for meaningful action. East Darfur (formerly part of South Darfur) has, with the rest of Darfur, been marginalized by Khartoum for decades, denied any reasonable share of national wealth and power, and victimized by the brutal destruction that came in the earlier years of the regime’s genocidal counter-insurgency in Darfur. Violence more recently has been inter-Arab tribal conflict, and has been deadly, without apparent resolution—ER]
 POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS
• Germany restricts Dutch export after providing army trucks to Sudan | June 25, 2015 | Berlin / Hilversum
The German Ministry of Economy is restricting companies to re-export German trucks without prior approval after a Dutch company exported German army trucks to Sudan in 2011 and 2012. The Khartoum government used the trucks in the civil war in the Nuba Mountains. The German ministry has notified the decision on Wednesday 23 June to a German parliamentarian of Die Linke, after the party received information based on investigations by Dutch radio programme, VPRO Buitenland. The German ministry writes that German army trucks will only be sold to foreign companies with an “End-users declaration,” that requires an explicit additional approval by the German government. Even if the company is allowed by its own government to export the army of German origin, the re-export of trucks needs from now onwards a German permission. Over the past few years Germany exported 3,662 army trucks to the Netherlands.
German military trucks re-exported by a Dutch company to Khartoum’s military
The German trucks were seized by rebels in South Kordofan between June 2011 and April 2012, together with significant quantities of small calibre ammunition, mortar bombs, anti-tank rockets, and shells, as well as weapons, including grenade launchers, mortars, canons, and T-55 tanks. Weapon experts of the Small Arms Survey counted tens of trucks captured from the Sudan Armed Forces 14th division. In its report “New war, old enemies: Conflict dynamics in South Kordofan,” the investigators describe how they found the German-manufactured MAN military trucks in May 2012. These trucks were shipped to Port Sudan from Antwerp in Belgium, on 26 June 2010 (4×4 type 461) and from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 27 October 2011 (6×6 KAT1 G1-type). The export was confirmed and approved by the Dutch authorities…
The Dutch-registered private company, Van Vliet Trucks Holland BV, exported and repainted the trucks. According to information from Van Vliet and the Dutch authorities, the special military features were removed. The recipients of the trucks, a Sudanese company registered in Khartoum called “Concept Development Co.,” an unidentified company at the very same address of GIAD Services and Investment Co., directly controlled by the Government of Sudan. GIAD factories are also manufacturing army trucks for the Sudan Armed Forces.
The exporting company did not apply for an export license for the trucks, saying “the vehicles are non-military goods,” so “no export license is required.” [This is monumentally disingenuous: the Dutch firm knew perfectly well that the trucks had military potential and that they were being sent to a non-entity that was merely a cover for the GIAD complex, which is a major arms manufacturing center for the regime—ER] After the trucks had arrived in Port Sudan, they were speedily deployed to South Kordofan to fight the rebels, but soon became in the rebels’ possession, according to the report…
The German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) said the trucks were “specially designed for military use” and “the transfer or export of these vehicles requires a licence, according to foreign trade regulations,” including after “repainting and removal of certain military features.” The Dutch authorities responsible for export control and strategic goods nevertheless considered that “no export license was required” as “vehicles of these make and type are not classified as a ML6 item of the EU Common Military List.”
[Someone is lying—and this is not the first time that European manufacturers of dual-use equipment have profited from sales to Khartoum…ER]
• AU extends UNAMID mandate while supporting exit strategy | Sudan Tribune, June 24, 2015 | Addis Ababa
The mandate for the joint African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is extended for another year by the AU council [responsible for the decision], while the council supports the steps being taken for the mission’s exit strategy from Darfur. The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AUPSC) in its 516th meeting on Monday adopted new decisions on the situation in the Sudanese Darfur region. A large part of the communiqué regarded the activities of UNAMID. While stressing the “critical importance” of the continued presence of the UNAMID for peace and stability, the council is satisfied with the developments on the mission’s exit strategy planning from Sudan—ordered by the government in December 2014.
[“Satisfied” with what, and on what conceivable basis? There is no justification for contemplating an exit by an already shrunken UNAMID as violence expands in Darfur. UNAMID has already been drawn down by more than 10,000 of the originally mandated force, this with the premise that improved security on the ground justified such a move—this according to Hervé Ladsous, the incompetent head of UN peacekeeping operations. For its part, the AUPSC is on record as having declared UNAMID an “exemplar” for future African peacekeeping missions, despite the massive and continuing failure of the Mission in fulfilling its primary mandate of civilian and humanitarian protection. The failures of the African Union mount year in, year out; its capacity to reform itself is extremely doubtful—ER]
The AUPSC expects the Sudanese government to remove all restrictions that have been imposed on the UNAMID. [This expectation comes after more than seven years of Khartoum’s openly flouting the Status of Forces agreement (February 2008) giving UNAMID complete freedom of movement—ER] It strongly condemns all hostile actions against the UNAMID, and other humanitarian organisations, and calls on Khartoum to prosecute the perpetrators of these criminal acts.
[This is typical AU disingenuousness: the PSC knows perfectly well, or should, the deadliest attacks on UNAMID are the responsibility of Khartoum-backed militia forces—see http://wp.me/p45rOG-11Saa — ER]
The AU Council continues to support the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, signed between the government and several rebel groups in 2011, to bring peace to the country. The conducted implementations of the document have satisfied the council.
This is simply disgraceful: the “Doha Document for Peace in Darfur” is a complete failure and a diplomatic dead letter. It is not supported by Darfuri civil society and has been rejected by all rebel groups of consequence. But by perpetuating it as a viable vehicle for peace in Darfur, the African Union knowingly plays directly into the hands of Khartoum, which wants the DDPD to have continued legitimacy so as to forestall any truly meaningful peace negotiations on Darfur. By refusing to speak honestly about the DDPD or characterize accurately its present state of abject failure, the AU betrays the people of Darfur in deepest consequence—ER]
• Sudan’s NCP discusses power-sharing again with Darfur party | Sudan Tribune | June 24, 2015 | Khartoum
The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) is conducting discussions with the National Liberation and Justice Party (NLJP) former Darfurian rebel faction to reintegrate in the government, after it suspended its participation on 17 June. Leader Dr El Tijani Sese has announced the suspension of its political partnership with the ruling party and to withdraw from the government. The former rebel group accused the NCP of not honouring a political agreement to power-sharing between the two parties. NCP political secretary Mustafa Osman Ismail told the semi-official Sudan Media Centre that the NCP deputy chairman, Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, recently met with Sese to discuss the issues.
[Sese has lost the support of all Darfuris, including his own Fur tribes-people—ER]
• Fur tribe elects new Sultan in Darfur | June 23, 2015 | Darfur
The Shura and Notables’ councils of the Sudanese Fur tribe have chosen Ahmed Hussein Ayoub Ali Dinar as the Sultan for the whole tribe. The elected Sultan Ali Dinar has renewed his commitment to communicate with—besides the large Fur tribe—all the tribes in Darfur, to resolve all social issues. At the event on Sunday, he announced that he wants to work with various native administrations to achieve security and stability in all parts of Darfur.
For his part, the head of the Darfur Regional Authority, El Tijani Sese has pointed out the importance of concerted efforts to unify all the Darfuris, and “heal the wounds caused by wars and conflicts in those regions.” Sese stressed to the new Sultan the importance of communicating with all the Darfuri tribes in order to achieve security, stability and peaceful coexistence.
[Sese has in effect set himself up against the authority of the Fur Sultan, a fact not lost on Darfuris, Fur and from other tribal groups. His voice carries no weight—ER]
• Sudanese newspaper El Akhbar ceases publication | June 23, 2015 | Khartoum
The management of El Akhbar newspaper has announced that it will cease publication indefinitely from Sunday onwards, over what it called “a financial crisis.” For unknown reasons, its print runs were confiscated by the Sudanese security service twice this month. Last Sunday, the announcement took the journalists working for the daily newspaper by surprise…
Besides high printing costs and low revenue from advertising, Sudanese newspapers suffer from frequent punitive measures by the authorities. The print runs of El Akhbar were confiscated by the security service on 18 June and 8 June… El Akhbar was established by Rahmi Mohamed Suleiman in 1955 before suspending its work for decades. It was re-launched by Mohamed Lateef who sold it later to Wad’a.
[The Khartoum regime is well aware of its ability to impose unsustainable costs on newspapers; by confiscating print runs, fines, and other measures, the regime has let it be known that newspapers crossing various “red lines” will be shut down by financial means, or more directly—ER]
• Sudan’s RNM warns against major security problem if dialogue fails | Sudan Tribune, June 22, 2015 | KHARTOUM
The leader of the Reform Now Movement (RNM), Ghazi Salah al-Din Attabani, warned against a major security problem if the government refuses to engage in a serious dialogue with the opposition. In press statements released on Monday, Attabani said the government doesn’t have the right to define the dialogue according to its own perspective.
“There was a fundamental mistake with the previous dialogue. The government played the role of the judge and jury simultaneously and it is imperative to correct the error. If the government did not forfeit that role, dialogue would be useless,” he said. He said the failure of the dialogue would mean continuation of the war in some parts of the country along with the economic and foreign relations crises, noting that a successful dialogue would unify the internal front and resolve those crises with one national will. The former presidential adviser pointed to what he called the “embarrassing event” which took place in South Africa as well as the ongoing dispute with the United Nations over the exit strategy of the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID). [The RNM split from the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in late 2013 over calls for reforms, transparency and democratic changes—ER]
The rebel groups and the opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) refused to join the process from the beginning while the National Umma Party (NUP) led by al-Sadiq al-Mahdi withdrew from the process in protest of al-Mahdi’s arrest in May 2014. Later on, several political parties including the RNM, JPF the Alliance of the Peoples’ Working Forces (APWF) announced they had decided to suspend participation in the national dialogue until the requirements of a conducive environment are met.
[This represents a resounding repudiation of the regime’s transparently expedient “National Dialogue”—ER]
Meanwhile, the secretary of the women affairs at the opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) led by Hassan al-Turabi, Suhair Ahmed Salah expected that president Bashir will make positive statements on the dialogue particularly regarding pardon of political prisoners… She called upon all political forces to be keen on creating conducive climate for holding the national dialogue. The PCP was among the first political forces to approve Bashir’s call for the national dialogue. Also, the lslamist party is the only significant political force that didn’t suspend its participation in the internal process.
[Turabi is as wily as ever, and even in his advanced years seems determined to play a significant role in Sudan’s political future. No doubt more worrisome to the regime is Ghazi Salah al-Din Attabani’s Reform Now Movement, given Ghazi’s formerly prominent role in the regime. He knows a great deal that the regime certainly wishes he did not—ER]
• Bus tickets Khartoum-Darfur increase sharply | June 23, 2015 | Khartoum
Ticket prices for travel buses to Sudan’s western states have increased by more than half, owing to fuel shortages. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a number of travelers complained about the prices which were installed by the brokers. The price of a bus ticket from Khartoum to El Fasher in North Darfur has risen from SDG 300 to 400 ($50-67). From Khartoum-Nyala (South Darfur), people have to pay SDG 420 instead of 380 ($70-63). Travelling from Khartoum to El Obeid in Kordofan now costs SDG 180 instead of SDG 120 ($30-20).
[Inflation in transportation costs—ranging here up to 50 percent—are yet another reflection of the state of the economy: an almost complete lack of Forex translates into an inability to import diesel fuel, bus parts, and other key products necessary for efficient transportation. The Sudanese economy will continue to play an increasingly large part in future reports, from all sources. Although still little reported, Sudan’s impending economic catastrophe will have major political implications and may lead to desperate security measures—ER]
“The victims [of the Holocaust] perished not only because of the killers, but also because of the apathy of the bystanders. What astonished us after the torment, after the tempest, was not that so many killers killed so many victims, but that so few cared about us at all.”
[Elie Wiesel, “Why were there so few?”]