Darfur: Radio Dabanga News Digest Number 19 | 5 July 2015

 

This is the nineteenth installment of Darfur: Radio Dabanga News Digest and 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-including increasing censorship of news reporting-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 reports on 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

Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 19 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Lm -and below

The reports are organized under the following headings:

[1] THREE REPORTS OF PARTICULAR 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

[2] RENEWAL OF UNAMID'S AUTHORIZATION, AND THE THREATS THAT CAN BE EXPECTED

[4] SECURITY BREAKDOWNS AND THREATS TO CIVILIANS IN DARFUR

[3] HUMANITARIAN THREATS, INCLUDING THE CONTINUING WATER SHORTAGE

[5] POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS THROUGHOUT SUDAN, INCLUDING:

Increasingly harsh news media crackdown

Growing signs of economic desperation

The growing number of radicalized Sudanese departing for Turkey and ultimately the ranks of ISIS in Syria

The continuing failure of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, and the Darfur

Regional Authority that emerged from the DDPD

[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, 5 July 2015

(Darfur: Radio Dabanga Digest, Number 20 will appear on 19 July 2015)

THREE REPORTS OF PARTICULAR NOTE:

[a] Radical Sudanese Islamist re-arrested in Khartoum | July 1, 2015 | Khartoum

Mohamed Ali El Jazouli, Secretary-General of the Sudanese Tayar El Umma El Wahida radical Islamist group has reportedly been arrested again by security agents on Tuesday morning. The group is well-known in Sudan for its support of the Islamic State (IS). El Jazouli's arrest came some days after he was released from a previous detention, according to a statement released by the group on social media without giving further details. The Islamist leader had been in prison for eight months for expressing his support for El Qaida and IS (El Daesh in Arabic). Directly after being released, the leader of the El Jereif Mosques founded by President Al Bashir in Khartoum, repeated his support for Islamic State forces fighting the "coalition of Arab crusaders." He was arrested a few days after a number of medical students secretly left Khartoum to join ISIS in Syria.

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Mohamed Ali El Jazouli

[As the Khartoum itself recognized in confidential discussions (see, for examplethe leaked minutes of an August 31, 2014 meeting of senior military and security officials), radical Islam is a two-edged sword. This is especially true now that ISIS is a major concern of the U.S. and the Europeans, as well as African and Arab countries that have experienced violence at the hands of ISIS. We can't be sure of why El Jazouli (also el-Gazouli) was released, although his continued imprisonment created tensions between the regime and the more outspoken Islamic radicals that are still a powerful political force in Sudan. But given Sudan's extensive and deep relations with the world of radical Islam and indeed terrorists, boasted of in the August 31 meeting, El Jazouli's immediate and unrepentant declaration of support for ISIS made for a voice that the regime did not want to have associated with Sudan, if only for appearance's sake. For a Sudanese take on recent developments involving Khartoum and ISIS, see here-ER]

The sensitivities of the regime were on prominent display in another dispatch in which the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry accused officials in the regime of facilitating the travel of young Sudanese to Turkey and on to Syria (they have mainly been young medical students to date):

Spokesman: Top officials Sudan involved in sending IS-fighters | June 29, 2015 | Khartoum

Top officials within the Sudanese government are involved in recruiting young fighters for the Islamic State, says the spokesman for the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ali El Sadig. His daughter is among at least 18 students who left Sudan for Syria last week. Five of them are carrying a British passport, two are Canadians, and others hold the American nationality. El Sadig was accused of supporting recruitment for the Islamic State (IS), called "El Daesh" in Arabic, but he fiercely denies any involvement.

El Jareeda newspaper quoting the spokesman was prevented from distribution after security officers confiscated its print-run this (Monday) morning.

Radio Dabanga reported that most of the 18 students travelling to Syria through Turkey are coming from the University of Medical Sciences and Technology in Khartoum's El Riyad district. According to El Sadig the travel was an organised event with high officials involved, otherwise it would have been impossible for them to travel without being caught. Speaking to reporters at Khartoum Airport, the government official could not believe his daughter was among the IS-recruits. He went to the airport to see the exit documents and registration, but he could not find a single trace of his daughter on any registration paper. He explained that his daughter had no exit stamp as is needed for Sudanese to leave the country. She neither had a visa for Turkey or any other country. She had not been checked by the customs and immigration officers prior to boarding the aircraft.

When he had asked for evidence he was allowed to see the camera-recordings. He indeed saw his offspring entering the aircraft without anyone checking her. Ambassador Ali El Sadig expressed his anger saying he was sure that some high ranked people were involved, having paid bribes. He travelled on Sunday to Turkey to trace his daughter and to convince her to return to Sudan.

[This account-by someone from within the NIF/NCP-provides powerful evidence that despite a wish to keep firebrands like Mohamed Ali El Jazouli from speaking publicly, behind the scenes powerful officials within the regime are facilitating the exit of recruits to ISIS-ER]

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The Khartoum regime materially supports the radical Islamist group New Dawn in Libya; here Islamic terrorists of unknown origin in Libya lead some twenty Egyptian Coptic Christians to be beheaded

[b] Foreign settlers continue to torch Darfur villages | July 3, 2015 | East Jebel Marra

More witnesses have reported newcomers from African countries torching abandoned villages in Darfur, to settle and take plots in the deserted areas. New settlers, "mostly foreign Arabs from Chad, Mali and Niger," burned the entire village of Dalma, only leaving four houses standing, on Wednesday at 8pm. A witness in East Jebel Marra told Radio Dabanga that the settlers also continued to occupy Wadi Marra, Tayarat and Tabeldiyat villages in the region this week. People in East Jebel Marra have appealed to the state government in North Darfur, and the new Governor, to immediately take action to solve this problem.

Darfur

An Arab militiaman watches a village go up in flames

On 19 June, Radio Dabanga reported that up to ten thousand settlers have taken plots in deserted areas in East Jebel Marra. The newcomers were identified by local pastoralists as members of Arab militias and migrants from Chad, Mali and Niger.

[Khartoum has for several years been allowing Arab settlers from other African countries to occupy the lands of displaced African farmers. This has disastrous implications for Darfur's future, and as the displaced farmers well recognize, this makes nonsense of Khartoum's purported policy of "voluntary resettlement" as a means to shut down camps for displaced persons. This policy is, in turn, driven by the regime's desire to remove the rationale for an international humanitarian presence in Darfur-ER]

The Sudanese government said it considers a policy of voluntary resettlement of internally displaced people by shutting down their camps. The occupation of their home areas by foreigners contradicts does not guarantee for a safe return, displaced farmers told Radio Dabanga in a radio report.

[And yet there is nothing from the international community, including UNAMID and the Secretary General, about the deeply threatening nature of these occupations-ER]

[c] Lack of fuel in eastern Sudan's El Gedaref puts harvest at risk | June 30, 2015 | El Gedaref

Farmers in El Gedaref state are complaining about a lack of fuel. They are concerned that the shortage of diesoline will lead to the failure of the current agricultural season.  Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a farmer said that the price of a barrel of diesoline at the black market has risen to SDG750 ($124). "We are forced to buy the fuel for this price, as we need it to irrigate our crops. Yet, we fear that the agricultural season will not yield much this year." The parliamentary caucus of El Gedaref will question the federal Ministers of Finance and Agriculture about the difficulties facing the farmers in the state. Independent MP Mubarak El Nur Abdallah, accused the government for not providing diesoline to the farmers so far. [The lack of diesel fuel at affordable prices is the direct result of an absence of foreign exchange currency (Forex) in the Central Bank of Sudan: the Sudanese economy is collapsing. Refined petroleum products (including not only diesel but cooking fuel) and wheat for bread, two of the most critical imports, are no longer available in adequate supplies, hence the growing number of shortages, breadlines, and exorbitant prices, a prelude to hyper-inflation-ER]

He further condemned the Shikan Insurance Company for demanding the amount of SDG24,000 ($4,000) from the farmers for the insurance of their crops. [This insurance demand is extortion in the face of hard times by farmers; few can afford such expense-ER]

The director of El Gezira Agricultural Scheme dismissed six "highly qualified engineers" earlier this month. "No reasons were given," an angry farmer reported to Radio Dabanga. He said that the dismissal will "certainly affect the agricultural season."

[It is highly likely that the Khartoum regime, which has nearly destroyed the agricultural sector in Sudan, has replaced these qualified engineers with political cronies or members of their families. That this further compromises agricultural production in a country with one of the highest malnutrition rates in Africa is of little concern to the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party-ER]

​Full text available at:    http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Lm 
​ 

 

Eric Reeves 
Smith College
Northampton, MA  01063
       413-585-3326
       ereeves@smith.edu

       Skype: ReevesSudan 

 

 

 

       Website:   www.sudanreeves.org