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They Robbed the world . Band Robbery on the name of the starving Millions…..

Who is right who is wrong  a smoking gun…

Master the arts of becoming rich and  famous  on the back of  th  starving African Dry bones, from Melese Zenawie and his intentional friends.”

They All Need to Return the Money Back  Both Sides to the international body…!!!



Paroles Michael Jackson We Are The World

There comes a time
When we hear a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it’s time to lend a hand to give
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on
Pretending day by day
That someone, somehow will soon make a change
We are all a part of
God’s great big family
And the truth, you know love is all we need

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==[Chorus]==
We Are The World
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

——
==
Send them your heart
So they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand

————–

———–
[Chorus]
We Are The World
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making


We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

When you’re down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There’s no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well, let us realize
That a change can only come
When we stand together as one

—————-

—————-
[Chorus]
We Are The World
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

Bob Geldof and the Dictator Meles Zenawie

2010 18:00
Addis Ababa – Bob Geldof said in Nairobi, Kenya that donor organizations involved in the distribution of relief in 19984/85 famine in Ethiopia at the time had condemned BBC’s recent allegation while discussing with Prime Minister Meles Zeanwi on Monday.
BBC’s allegation alleges that millions of pounds raised through Bob Geldof’s Live Aid concerts were diverted to fund TPLF rebel military operations in northern Ethiopia.

10 March 2010 11:22

Arrogant Bob Geldof, sponser of the Ethiopian Dictator attacks BBC

Bob Geldof upped the ante in the row between Band Aid and the BBC yesterday by calling for the director of the BBC World Service, Peter Horrocks – who is also the BBC’s director of global news – to be sacked.

The musician-turned-poverty campaigner also called for two other BBC journalists to be fired after various BBC news outlets claimed that 95 per cent of the $100m aid donated, by Live Aid and others, to fight famine in rebel-held northern Ethiopia in 1985 was diverted to be spent on weapons.

Geldof, who organised the Live Aid concerts that raised $250m to tackle famine Africa, also lamented the “intense systemic failure of the World Service”, which he said was once the jewel in the BBC’s journalistic crown.

He claimed there had been a “total collapse of standards and systems at the World Service which has a special and particular duty of care to the truth”.

The Band Aid Trust is preparing an official complaint to the broadcasting regulator Ofcom about the BBC story, which ran on all main BBC news outlets as well as the World Service.

Last night, the Live Aid organiser called for the sackings of Mr Horrocks, Andrew Whitehead, the World Service news and current affairs editor, and Martin Plaut, the originator of the story, which Geldof claimed was “thoroughly discredited and sexed up”.

Geldof said he was doubly disappointed because he had always been a great supporter of the World Service. He said it “beggared belief” that BBC journalists could take seriously a claim that 95 per cent of the aid to Tigray was spent on weapons. “Where were all the dead people then? If no one was getting food, why was nobody dying? That would have been one of the first questions I’d have asked,” he added. There were not many deaths in Tigray “because they were getting help – and massive amounts of it”, he insisted.

In an article in today’s Guardian newspaper, Geldof says the BBC World Service has a particular duty of care “because in thousands of small rooms in the many dark spots of our planet, people huddle secretly and in great danger [to listen to the World Service] to hear the reality and the truth behind their situation. And to tabloid all that away of an instant? Tragic beyond measure”.

He claims that the reporter, Mr Plaut, and his producers and editors, have, on the basis of unsubstantiated claims, compromised the neutrality of the Red Cross, which relies on its neutrality for access to war zones, dungeons and concentration camps.

“Just as the Ross-Brand affair exposed the systemic weaknesses of the BBC in the area of entertainment, so this now does in the news sector of the World Service – with far more drastic consequences,” Geldof adds. “Why did alarm bells not go off early on in this sorry tale? Where were the checks, balances, neutrality, even-handedness? They all failed at the World Service.”

Senior White House advisers, high-level United Nations delegates, senior British diplomats, many aid agencies, and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia who led the Tigray rebels at the time, had all refuted the BBC story, Geldof insisted, “and yet the World Service is so far off the rails it cannot recognise or acknowledge the truth”.

In addition to the sackings of the three journalists, he wants an immediate investigation into what he claims went wrong. “Steps should be taken to rectify the identified faults,” he says. “The World Service must work very hard to re-establish its hard-won and trusted reputation as the world broadcaster of excellence.”

The Independent asked for an interview with Mr Whitehead but a BBC spokesman said: “Sorry, we won’t be able to accommodate your request.Ethiopia.

===========================
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I Thursday 4th March, 2010

Irish singer Bob Geldof is said to have been left furious after claims broadcast on BBC said that the millions of dollars raised by Band Aid were diverted to Ethiopian rebels.

Band Aid was a charity featuring British and Irish musicians, founded by Geldof, 58, in 1984.

Allegations that 95 percent of aid money donated to help victims of the 1985 Ethiopian famine were siphoned off had been made in a BBC radio programme broadcast on March 3.

Two former senior commanders in the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) told the BBC that a vast majority of the money was stolen by rebels to buy weapons for their fight to overthrow the Ethiopian Government.

The claims sparked controversy, not least because one of the rebel leaders implicated was Meles Zenawi, now the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and still a leading recipient of Western aid.

Band Aid officials used networks of aid agencies to deliver relief through Sudan to the epicentre of the famine in rebel-held Tigray.

Aregawi Berhe, the former military commander of the TPLF, told the BBC that rebels put on a “drama” to get their hands on the relief money, posing as merchants and handing over bags of sand instead of grain in exchange for cash delivered by naive Western aid workers.

Gebremedhin Araya, another former rebel leader, told the BBC that he was “given clothes to make me look like a Muslim merchant”.

Nick Guttmann, Christian Aid’s director of emergency relief operations, fell short of denying the allegations but said that the story needed to be put into context.

“We were working in a major conflict, there was a massive famine and people on all sides were suffering. Both the rebels and the Government were using innocent civilians to further their political ends,” Times Online quoted him as saying.

Geldof dismissed the claims, saying, “the story and the figures just don’t add up”.

“If that percentage of money had been diverted, far more than a million people would have died,” he said.

“It’s possible that in one of the worst, longest-running conflicts on the continent some money was mislaid. But to suggest it was on this scale is just b******s,” he stated.

Geldof’s stance was supported in a letter to the BBC by former Band Aid officials, including their Ethiopia director, which said that all the money dispensed in Tigray had been accounted for by the organisation.

“The public should not think that the money they so generously contributed to one of the poorest countries in the world was misused or given in vain,” it said.

Max Peberdy, a Christian Aid worker whom the rebels claimed to have tricked into handing over 500,000 dollars, said he did not believe that the money was diverted.

“It’s 25 years since this happened and it’s the first time anybody has claimed such a thing,” he said.

Geldof blamed the story on the grievances nursed by the two former rebel commanders, who had since fallen out with their former compatriots and fled into exile in the Netherlands.

Jamie Drummond, executive director of One, the charity co-founded by Geldof and Bono, said that he had travelled to Tigray with Geldof six weeks ago to see agricultural projects that were funded by Band Aid and Live Aid – which he said could not have been achieved if the BBC’s allegations were true.

The BBC has stood by its report. (ANI)

Bob Geldof anger at BBC over Band Aid allegations

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 9 March 2010 23.00 GMT

Bob Geldof has launched a furious attack on the BBC World Service over its claim that 95% of the $100m aid raised to fight famine in northern Ethiopia was diverted by rebels and spent on weapons.

Writing in today’s Guardian, the musician and mastermind of the 1985 Live Aid concerts accuses the World Service of a “total collapse of standards and systems”, threatens it with legal action and calls for the sacking of the reporter behind the story, his editor and the head of the World Service, Peter Horrocks.

Geldof also uses the Guardian’s Comment is Free website to lash out at the journalist Rageh Omaar for penning a “ridiculous” opinion piece for the site on Monday in which the former BBC correspondent defended the corporation’s story and its right to investigate the fate of millions of pounds of aid money.

The row began last week when the World Service broadcast an Assignment programme in which a former Ethiopian rebel commander claimed that in 1985, only 5% of the $100m destined for famine relief in the northern province of Tigray reached the hungry.

The report, by the World Service’s Africa editor, Martin Plaut, also carried an allegation from another former rebel that the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front had tricked aid workers into giving them money meant to buy food for the starving.

Geldof and the Band Aid Trust are talking to some of the world’s biggest charities – including Oxfam, Unicef, the Red Cross, Christian Aid and Save the Children – about reporting the BBC to the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom and the corporation’s governing body, the BBC Trust.

But Geldof has now announced his intention to go further.

“We will also take a view on what, if any, legal action we may take both against the journalist in question and the World Service in general,” he writes. “Martin Plaut, [the BBC World Service news and current affairs editor] Andrew Whitehead and Peter Horrocks should be fired. There should be an immediate investigation into what went wrong, steps should be taken to rectify the identified faults and the World Service must work very, very hard to re-establish its trust and hard-won reputation as the world broadcaster of excellence.”

In his article, Omaar had argued that while the interplay of politics and aid was complicated, the BBC felt it had uncovered “credible evidence” during a nine-month investigation and was entitled to broadcast its findings.

He added: “As a Somali, looking at what happened in my country during the US-led humanitarian intervention in 1992 and what is happening today, what I find unacceptable is that a humanitarian operation can be elevated to the status of being above criticism.”

Geldof, however, has hit back at Omaar – and the media as a whole – for continuing to cover the allegations, which he insists are baseless.

“How can you deign to lecture on being above criticism, prompted by the criticism I meted out last weekend to your incompetent mate and his associates at the Beeb, while falling back on the implied assumption that you and by extension all journalists, are above the criticism yourselves? Get it straight, pal – you are not. Either as individuals or an organisation. It’s about time a little more humility was allowed into your closed, self-regarding media world. But like the bankers and the MPs these days, you lot just don’t get it, do you?

He also asks Omaar why Plaut’s allegations have only now surfaced.

“Band Aid has been under the most intensive scrutiny since and most particularly during the mid-80s. Quite rightly too. Pretty weird, however, that not a single one of the dozens of journalists who have travelled with me or covered Band Aid ‘discovered’ Martin Plaut’s ‘story’.”

A BBC spokesman said the World Service would continue to defend its report.

“This was a well-researched programme and the BBC stands by its journalism,” he said. “We are happy to repeat that there is no suggestion that any relief agency was complicit in any diversion of funds”.

However, a senior BBC source told the Guardian that there was concern about the amount of criticism that “a relatively obscure documentary [which] didn’t even mention Band Aid” had attracted. He said: “We are concerned we are going to come under fire. We hear from sensible people in the aid business that ‘of course money went missing – we are just concerned about the 95% figure’ [but] Bob Geldof’s exaggeration that ‘not a penny went missing’ looks ridiculous to us”

Bob Geldof: My rage at this World Service calumny

Rageh Omaar’s defence of the discredited BBC report on Band Aid beggars belief. He ignores the total collapse of standards at the World Service

Rageh Omaar’s piece “Even Band Aid is not above criticism” is ridiculous. It is of course not about me, or Band Aid, but rather a defence of journalistic exceptionalism, and the now thoroughly discredited BBC World Service programme that “sexed up” a claim that nigh-on the entire humanitarian relief effort by all aid agencies was diverted to arms in Tigray province in 1985.

He allies himself with the programme’s dubious technique of using a “star” name to attract attention to an otherwise unexceptional or dubious point of view in the hope that it will gather attention.

So let me first say that far from being above criticism, should Rageh or the World Service colleague he seeks to protect have done the basic journalistic gig of doing a teensy bit of research before they write their stories by, say, doing something basic like maybe Googling my name, he would immediately be overwhelmed by a 35-year torrent of vituperation and condemnation of everything about me – from my suspiciously foreign-sounding name to my shaving and bathing habits, hairstyle (fair enough!), my partners, children, domestic life, temperament, driving habits, political views, attitudes, clothing, style, music, driving and on and on. No, Rageh, rest assured, I am definitely not above criticism – but again, please, for the sake of veracity, and again, I extend this to the wretched Martin Plaut, your fellow journalist, stop venturing palpably untrue statements dressed up as fact.

And how arrogant you are, how self-important, that you should deign to lecture on the implied assumption that you, and by extension all journalists – and specifically in this case the BBC World Service – are above the criticism that you are so busily wagging your finger at me for, and which I (clearly getting above my station) have last weekend meted out to your incompetent mate and his associates at the Beeb. Get it straight, pal – you are not. Either as individuals or organisations. It’s about time a little humility was allowed into your closed self-regarding little media world. But like the bankers and the MPs these days, you lot just don’t get it, do you?

As for Band Aid, well, as a trustee said to me, sickened upon seeing the shameful Times cartoon which accepted the BBC story as gospel (of course) without asking any questions: “We’ve taken it on the chin for 25 years and never said anything. Not this time.” Definitely not this time. The Band Aid Trust is reporting BBC World Service to Ofcom and the BBC board of directors, and we have requested transcripts of all interviews from the show in question from the deputy chairman of the BBC. We will also take a view on what legal action we may take both against the journalist in question and World Service in general. Criticism, no problem, Rageh. Calumny, no.

Band Aid, too, Mr Omaar, has been a constant target over the years, had you but had the decency to bother checking before uttering your pathetic interpretation of press freedom as allowing any clown carte blanche to interpret reporting as an excuse for half-truth, distortion, and innuendo and unsubstantiated claims. The journalism of “making it up”.

As you probably know anyway, but it just doesn’t fit into your pompous guff this time, Band Aid has been under the most intensive scrutiny since and most particularly during the mid-80s. Quite rightly, too. We have an obligation to all those who entrusted us with their money and more particularly to those in whose name it was given. That is what I and my fellow trustees have been doing for the last 26 years. Same guys, same trust. And we ain’t stopping now. Pretty weird, however, that not one, not a single one of the dozens of journalists of record and others who have travelled with me or covered Band Aid “discovered” Martin Plaut’s “story” (and story is indeed what it is). Some feel the press has a right to lie. Rageh, no such right exists.

The real story of this sorry saga is the intense systemic failure of the World Service, that cherry on the cake of the BBC’s reputation. It’s a rotten old cherry these days. And I am as bereft as a jilted lover. Of all the taxes I pay, I pay only one gladly – my licence fee. I am Mr World Service. I have done ads promoting the BBC, I have written and spoken in its defence, it is indeed the BBC who started me and others on this African journey; I believe it must, at all costs, be retained very similar to what it is now, albeit cutting away the deadwood and slack. But basically: “I Want My BBC!”

But this BBC story was neither about me nor Band Aid. By disingenuously posturing as “serious” reporting, it pretended the total failure and negligence of all the great humanitarian workers and their organisations in the worst famine in modern times, and how miraculously not one of them spotted that no one was getting food despite everyone supplying it!

It beggars belief that anyone would take that seriously. Where were all the dead people then? If no one was getting food, why was nobody dying? That would have been one of the first questions I’d have asked. But they weren’t dying because they were getting help, and massive amounts of it. But of course no one did ask where the bodies were at the World Service. That and many, many, other unasked questions.

No, this story here is of the total collapse of standards and systems at the World Service, which has a special and particular duty of care to the truth. Why? Because in hundreds – perhaps thousands – of small rooms in the many dark spots of our planet people huddle secretly and in great danger to hear the reality and the truth behind their situation. Because in deserts and jungles, I have listened to the world tell its story to me through this miraculous brave station. And to tabloid all that away of an instant? Tragic beyond measure.

Where were the producers and editors and seniors? Why was Plaut allowed to go mad on his pre- and post- media interview circus around the world with bonkers wild accusations? Just to get an audience? Did he and the World Service for one second comprehend the enormous damage and danger he immediately put every humanitarian worker in? Particularly the huge, brave and brilliant Red Cross? Did he not consider, for one microsecond, the consequences of accusing them, with absolutely no evidence whatsoever, that they had handed over 95% of their cash to purchase arms?

It literally beggars belief at the enormity of the consequence had his lie not been nailed immediately and with as much vehemence as could be mustered. How appalling the utter and total disregard or incomprehension of the result of his actions. What if the Red Cross, now compromised in their neutrality, were ordered away from war zones, or forbidden access to the deepest dungeons, or concentration camps? What then, Rageh Omaar and Martin Plaut? What then of your smug certitudes and thin pieties? Then you could report on the blood on your own hands rather than falsely smear it over the hands of others. How dare you, Rageh Omaar, attempt to defend the awful indefensible. Just for that alone, Plaut should be fired. You people, you self-important mediators of “news”, should wise up and accept a little humility rather than attack the aid agencies and their workers for being above criticism and ask yourself, as I do, who the hell are you to lecture?

Just as the Ross-Brand affair exposed the systemic weaknesses of the BBC in the area of entertainment, so this now does in the news sector of the World Service – albeit with far more drastic consequences. Where were the editors, subs and producers? As the Independent rightly asked, “Did the bells not go off” early on in this sorry tale? Where were the checks, balances, neutrality, even-handedness? They all failed at the World Service. Worse, they inconsistently and continuously contradicted themselves in their ludicrously pompous Rorke’s Drift-type face-saving insistence on “sticking by their story”. Well, they were right in the use of the word “story”.

Despite the on-the record refutation of everything in Plaut’s report by very senior White House advisers, high-level UN delegates, senior British ex-ambassadors and diplomats, all the aid agencies, the leader of rest the Tigrayan relief group at the time, the prime minister of Ethiopia and rebel leader at the time, and me, and without a single shred of evidence, not one iota of evidence, they cannot bear to acknowledge the grim reality, the actual truth – that they were wrong. The BBC World Service is so far off the rails it quite literally cannot recognise or acknowledge truth when it encounters it.

Martin Plaut, Andrew Whitehead and Peter Horrocks should be fired. There should be an immediate investigation into what went wrong; steps should be taken to rectify the identified faults; and the World Service must work very, very hard to re-establish its glorious trust and hard-won reputation as the world broadcaster of excellence.

Southern Sudan From Slavery towords National Unity” at What Price ?

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Sudan referendum law endorsed in cabinet, 51% ‘Yes’ vote & 60% turnout required

Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) secretary general Pagan Amum (R) and Nafie Ali Nafie, presidential advisor and member of the northern ruling National Congress Party, address a news conference in the capital Khartoum December 13, 2009 (Reuters)

Monday 14 December 2009 03:35. Printer-Friendly version Comments… December 13, 2009 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese cabinet today headed by president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir unanimously approved in its extraordinary meeting Sunday evening the draft bill of the Act on Referendum in South Sudan, the Act on Referendum in Abyei and the Act of People’s Consultation in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile. Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) secretary general Pagan Amum (R) and Nafie Ali Nafie, presidential advisor and member of the northern ruling National Congress Party, address a news conference in the capital Khartoum December 13, 2009 (Reuters) Sudan official news agency (SUNA) said that the law package will be tabled Monday before the National Assembly for ratification. The development followed announcement by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the NCP that they have reached an agreement on a number of disputed issues after days of marathonic talks between senior figures on both sides. “We announce an agreement between the two partners on all points, which had been a source of disagreement on the referendum law in south Sudan,” said Nafie Ali Nafie, deputy head of Khartoum’s NCP. The two parties also agreed to “look into the national security and intelligence law in order to reach an agreement,” Nafie said, without elaborating. Under the referendum deal struck, a 60% turnout of registered voters and a 51% yes vote will declare the independence of South Sudan valid. Initially the NCP wanted between 75%-90% yes vote and a two thirds turnout arguing that the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) says that the secession choice should be made difficult. The full details of the agreement will be announced after consultation with all political forces in Sudan, Amum said, adding that the SPLM MP’s who have boycotted parliament for over a month would start attending sessions “within 24 hours”. The SPLM and a coalition of Northern opposition parties have attempted to stage a demonstration last Monday that was curbed by Sudanese authorities leading to the arrest of senior SPLM figures. The agreement throws into doubt the fate of another demonstration planned for tomorrow by the same political parties which was made for the purpose of protesting the failure to agree on a package of democratic reforms bills ahead of next April’s elections and on a procedural law for the south’s referendum scheduled for January 2011. Ibrahim Ghandour, a senior figure in the NCP, warned the SPLM that any attempt to stage a demonstration on Monday will nullify the agreements that were made. He added that the agreement stipulated that the SPLM will not be part of any protest as long as the outstanding issues have been resolved. An unidentified SPLM official told the London based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that they “got what they wanted” adding that the protests plans will be likely be suspended. On Friday the NCP warned that they are prepared to go to war if all fails with SPLM. “We have offered 40,000 martyrs and are prepared to offer 100,000 martyrs,” Nafi said at a rally in the Sudanese capital. ———————- ——————-

SPLM supporters take part in a pro-democracy rally in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman on Monday Dec 14, 2009 (AFP

SPLM official slams use of tear gas against demonstrators

Tuesday 15 December 2009 03:30. Printer-Friendly version Comments… December 14, 2009 (KHARTOUM) – Khartoum state minister Mayen Dut who participated in the opposition led demonstration today strongly condemned use of tear gas to disperse peaceful demonstration in the national capital Khartoum today. SPLM supporters take part in a pro-democracy rally in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman on Monday Dec 14, 2009 (AFP) The use of tear gas to disperse non violent demonstration is unconstitutional, brutal and indeed an act that violates not only provisions of constitution as supreme law of the country but, portrays government intentions to cling to authoritarian kind of leadership, Mayen said. “Where in the world can a responsible and law abiding government use chemicals and other concentrated gases to disassemble peaceful march,” he posed. The official who represents SPLM as minister of local government in Khartoum State government added that police showed lack of respect by beating individual indiscriminately even bystanders. They did not bother to ask, they thought anybody either passing or standing was a protester, he said. Asked why he took part in the demonstration as SPLM already reached an agreement with the National Congress Party (NCP) on southern referendum on Sunday 13, he said “first and foremost he did not take part in the demonstration as southerner but as a Sudanese and SPLM official because SPLM is not a regional party.” He further said he took part in the demonstration because the agreement does not stop SPLM from demanding settlement to security act and democratic reform laws adding “these are crucial elements in the forthcoming elections as required by the peace deal.” Today’s protest was organized by Sudanese opposition parties and the SPLM. Opposition Umma leading member Miriam Al-Mahdi said Sudanese police briefly detained over 100 protesters for five hours. Mariam was among the detained people. Security situation remains tense as there was a heavy presence of security personnel in the capital while all streets leading to the parliament building where the demonstration was planned were closed The Sudanese police was deployed in the capital and all the premises of the opposition parties, including the SPLM headquarters, were surrounded by the well equipped security forces. The Sudanese Human Rights Organisation condemned today the use of prohibited tear gas by the police. (ST) ———————–   ————-

SPLM and opposition planned demonstration

Sunday 6 December 2009 05:30. Printer-Friendly version Comments… By Justin Ambago Ramba December 5, 2009 — Judging by the turn of events, it is clear that the Sudanese politics has no doubt entered its crucial stages. While the peace agreement between the north and the south still holds, it is no longer true to continue to hold any one of the peace partners responsible for the present chaos without the other. However as it stands right now whatsoever camp you stand in, you just have to shift your mind to the evolving tripartite negations that is about to replace the current bilateral talks between the National Congress Party (NCP) of the fugitive president al Bashir and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) who are both beginning to doubt the very comprehensiveness of the agreement they signed 5 years ago. It is true that the implementation of the CPA wasn’t taken seriously and so much as the NIF/NCP is the only northern political party in the Sudan to ever come this far in addressing the Sudanese problem which has its root cause in the chronic marginalization policies adopted by the successive governments that alternated in Khartoum, but unfortunately due to its intrinsic evilness, it was the first to start relegating the whole peace settlement. The NCP is no longer a credible party to make sound and binding decisions in the Sudan after the kind of showdown that it continues to experience in the world arena over the Darfur crisis, culminating in the indictment of its leader, the incumbent Sudanese president Omer al Bashir, now wanted by the internal Criminal Court for his roles in the crimes committed there. The indictment of President Al Bashir was a missed opportunity that was not well exploited by the leading political party in southern Sudan, the SPLM. Had the SPLM played its cards wisely by diversifying the way it did business with the NIF/NCP, they would have walked away with more gains from a system that was too ready to make consensus as it was shook down its toes, when the ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo was tying his noose on the Sudanese president. Anyway all those are now history and the latest evidence shows beyond doubt that any bilateral talks between the CPA partners are doomed to fail since the SPLM is now in the lead of the political forces that are working to change the present regime though of course officially it remains the second biggest partner in the so-called government of unity (GoNU). As a proof that it is all over between the two, the SPLM with the support of the other Sudanese opposition parties have planned to carry out a rally, which is meant to be “a peaceful demonstration” in the Sudanese capital city Khartoum, and they intend to march to the national parliament building in Omdurman and present their protest to the speaker of the parliament demanding the adoption of the laws related to democratic transition which are embodied in the National Security Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, the Trade Unions Act, the law of immunities, the law of personal status, press and publications law, the laws of public order as a condition for taking part in the coming elections. Otherwise…………………… Of course before even going any further in this, it is necessary to shade light on the position of the dominant NCP to which the Speaker belongs. And as should be expected, any moves by the SPLM following the Juba Conference remain to be very disturbing to the NCP and views it with much scepticism. And though the SPLM’s initial motives might have been to pressurize the NCP into living to the spirit and letters of the CPA and implementing the agreement in its timely manner without the current foot dragging, only that sooner than expected it (SPLM) has found itself working side by side with the Sudanese opposition in a broad policy of regime change, something naturally disturbing to the NCP. But as the date for the peaceful demonstrations closes in, the SPLM and the Opposition supporters are going to be faced with the fact that the very laws that they are about to demonstrate against are still in action, and accordingly for the demonstration to go ahead they need to get an approval from the security organs………..which is controlled by the NCP. This would be the first time since the NIC/NCP came to power to allow such an opposition move should the SPLM and the opposition take to the streets to protest the NCP’s foot dragging over the CPA implementation, reviewing of the census results and the contested undemocratic laws. However all depends on whether the Sudanese Security organs will approve the demonstrations or not and this will be the first test for this newly forged alliance in confronting the NCP. The second important issue to consider would be how peaceful the so-called peaceful demonstration would turn out to be in an atmosphere loaded with much popular resentments due to the prevailing soar prices of basic essential commodities like sugar, bread and sorghum (Dura ……the Sudanese staple food) . It can not also be ignored that the voter’s registration process as reported by the local and the international observers, have been much flowed, adding yet another discontent. Now putting all these together with the new dissident group that calls itself “We are Disgusted”, which emerged in Khartoum during the registration process, things can easily be pushed off limits. While on the other hand, the security organs on their side are much concerned about protecting the regime, especially so after the indictment of president Omer al Bashir by the ICC which means that the slightest match stroke can send the whole country ablaze. However as I have already stated somewhere else in this article, the coming few days would real mark one of the most crucial moments in every concerned Sudanese’s’ life, as we are to face yet an exceptional test in as to how much the Sudan is prepared to embrace democracy. But should things be allowed to slip into a purely partisan political confrontation, a thing more likely to happen, and then the legacy it might leave may remain to be recalled with much bitter memories throughout our coming history. Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, MB, BCh, DRH, MD. Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). The party that stands for the independence of South Sudan. Can be reached at either justinramba@doctors.org.uk or justinramba@aol.co.uk ————-   ————

Slavery

FLASHPOINT FOR CONFLICT
Slavery in the Sahel region of Africa is hundreds of years old, and Sudan was a very active participant in the slave trade until early this century. The south-western region of Bahr al-Ghazal was one of the most prominent centres of slave trading on the African continent in the late 19th century.

South-western Sudan, on the border with the Central African Republic, is divided by the Bahr-al-Arab and Bahr-al-Ghazal rivers into two zones. With followers of Islam in the north and of Christianity and traditional religions in the south, it is a microcosm of the way the country itself is divided. It has long been a flashpoint for conflicts, often spurred by competition for resources, and compounded by racial, religious and cultural differences.

For centuries northern Sudanese and Turco-Egyptian traders raided along the Nile, deep into Upper Nile, Equatoria and into the vast lands of Bahr al-Ghazal. Here African villagers were caught, beaten and roped together. Then they were walked and shipped great distances to be sold on as domestic servants, farm hands or concubines, in Northern Sudan, neighbouring countries like Egypt and Libya, or across the Red Sea.Top

ENCOURAGING HOSTILITY
Raiding and hostage-taking, slave-like conditions and child trafficking among rival Sudanese tribes existed before the arrival of invaders from the north. From the niid-1800s, however, foreign traders encouraged hostile tribal groups to raid each other for booty including ivory and slaves. The Baggara, Muslim cattle-herders who regard them- selves as Arabs, penetrated south into Bahr al-Ghazal, the land of the Dinka and other African, non-Arabised tribes.Top

RISE OF THE JALLABA
In the early 19th century, the “Jallaba”, a group of northern Muslirn traders mostly from the Ja’aliyyin and Danagla tribes of the Nile valley, came in increasing numbers to southern Sudan, especially northern Bahr al-Ghazal, which became an important source of slaves. The Jallaba made their fortunes in the slave trade, although some also worked as boatmen and soldiers. They sent the slaves overland to markets in the north, and kept them in enclosures with thorny fences, called zaribas, en route. The Jailaba prospered, and became a powerful and wealthy community – with vested interests in slavery. To this day, Southerners sometimes refer to Northerners as “Jallaba” as if, to them, the merchant class represents the entire society. Top

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Slavery in Sudan

“The most comprehensive account of the practice of slavery in contemporary Sudan.”—Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“A distressing account of the tragic phenomenon of slavery and forced labor emerging from the civil war in Sudan.”—Anthropos

“A shocking account of Sudanese slavery.”—Crime and Justice International

Slavery has been endemic in Sudan for thousands of years. Today the Sudanese slave trade persists as a complex network of buyers, sellers, and middlemen that operates most actively when times are favorable to the practice. As Jok Madut Jok argues, the present day is one such time, as the Sudanese civil war that resumed in 1983 rages on between the Arab north and the black south. Permitted and even encouraged by the Arab-dominated Khartoum government, the state military has captured countless women and children from the south and sold them into slavery in the north to become concubines, domestic servants, farm laborers, or even soldiers trained to fight against their own people. Also instigated by the Khartoum government, Arab herding groups routinely take and sell the Nilotic peoples of Dinka and Nuer.