Most recent in GPANet.org

  • An extraordinary album of photographs of a deserted Khartoum, December 19, 2016

     
    Eric Reeves  | December 19, 2016  |  http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Zx
    There can be little doubt about the success of the civil disobedience strike of December 19, despite the mass arrests of human rights and civil society activists by the Khartoum yesterday and previously.  The streets of Khartoum and Omdurman are deserted, inactivity defines the day.  These are only a partial selection of the photographs that have come to me today from Sudanese following events closely; this "album" will expand as I receive more | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Zx ...
    -- 
    Eric Reeves, Senior Fellow at Harvard University's François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights
     
    ereeves@smith.edu
    www.sudanreeves.org
    Twitter@SudanReeves
    About Eric Reeves: http://sudanreeves.org/about-eric-reeves
    Philanthropy: goo.gl/Ii4buw
     
     

  • International Rapprochement with the Khartoum Regime = Complicity in Repression and Genocide in Sudan

    (Part VI of "Sudan's December 19 Civil Disobedience: Updated news," December 19, 2016 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Zq)

    Eric Reeves  |  December 19, 2016  |  http://wp.me/p45rOG-1ZO

    Under duress, the international community occasionally expresses "concern" over the rapidly escalating repression in Sudan, although we hear nothing about continuing genocide by attrition in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile. Nor do we hear of outrage at the continuing humanitarian embargoes in place in all three regions, as well as a de facto embargo on humanitarian assistance to the desperately poor, malnourished, and needy populations of the eastern States (Red Sea, Kassala, Gedaref), where virtually all international humanitarian assistance has been expelled or denied access.

    And when "concern" is expressed, it never attaches to any specification of consequences for Khartoum's continuation of the behavior that is cause for "concern." The inevitable effect is to entrench a sense of impunity-the regime concludes that the words of "concern" are pro forma, and that there is no real threat to NIF/NCP tyranny and obscene self-enrichment at the expense of the Sudanese people.

    What we are increasingly likely to see instead of a tough-minded attitude toward this brutal regime-especially from European countries-is a willingness to do business with it, engage in commercial transactions, and do whatever is necessary to enlist Khartoum's help in stanching the flow of African emigrants to Europe. Articles such as the following from yesterday (December 18 | Radio Dabanga) have become commonplace:

  • “Sudanese Disobedience Day” (December 19)--No warnings to Khartoum about excessively violent suppression from the international community

     

    "Sudanese Disobedience Day" (December 19): The international community must warn Khartoum not to use excessive force in response; to date there have been no words of consequence

    The Huffington Post, December 13, 2016  |  http://wp.me/s45rOG-7626

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-reeves/-sudanese-disobedience-da_b_13605130.html

    As Sudan approaches what has become a day of reckoning-

    #عصينا19ديسمبر

    #Dec19Disobedience

    -the international community, particularly those nations seeking rapprochement with the Khartoum regime, must put this survivalist cabal on notice that brutal repressive actions will not be tolerated and that there will be serious consequences if the regime again issues "shoot to kill" orders, as it did in September 2013. That bloody episode offered us all too full a sense of just how savage the regime is prepared to be in confronting civil society and political opposition (see "Sudan's Bloody Crackdown on Civilian Protestors: Does the U.S. have anything to say?" The Huffington Post, October 7, 2013).

    CzU6W6VW8AEQBtu

    A failure to warn Khartoum-now-against violently repressive actions will be, in effect, a countenancing of those actions. Unctuous expressions of "concern" or "condemnation" after the fact will be of little use to those in Sudanese civil society injured or killed by actions of the sort we have seen on too many occasions. Hundreds were killed and many times that number wounded in September 2013.

    German, France, Italy, and the UK are the countries that have most aggressively pursued improved relations with Khartoum; they bear a special responsibility to ensure that peaceful protestors and those engaged in principled civil disobedience are not victims of violence in their effort to secure the democratization of Sudan. The Obama administration also bears a similar responsibility, particularly given the arrests of those representing Darfuri civil society who met with U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan Donald Booth last August in Central Darfur.

    Why People Are Protesting

  • Omar al-Bashir, indicted génocidaire, threatens to issue "shoot to kill" orders

     

    Omar al-Bashir, indicted génocidaire, threatens to issue "shoot to kill" orders to police and security to end civil society actions on December 19:

    "If you want to overthrow the regime, why don't you criticise us in the streets? I will tell you why. We know that you will not come, as you know very well what happened in the past."(Kassala, December 12, 2016)

    54f109848b172

    President and former Field Marshal Omar al-Bashir; the International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants charging al-Bashir with multiple counts of genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur.  He will attempt to crush any effort to remove him from power; such a loss of power would put him at greatly heightened risk of arrest.

    This is a clear and unambiguous reference to the violence by police and security forces directed against protesters in September 2013; "shoot to kill" orders claimed hundreds of lives (see http://wp.me/p45rOG-18i )

    Eric Reeves  |  December 13, 2016  |  http://wp.me/s45rOG-7629

    #عصينا19ديسمبر

    #Dec19Disobedience

    "Sudanese govt. cannot be ousted by keyboard activists": Al Bashir | Radio Dabanga, December 12, 2016 | KASSALA

    https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/sudanese-govt-cannot-be-ousted-by-keyboard-activists-al-bashir

    In a first reaction to Sudan's second civil disobedience action planned for 19 December, President Omar Al Bashir said that the government is immune to civil disobedience actions and "Whatsapp activists."

    In a rally in Kassala town on Monday, the president stated in a speech -in the Sudanese colloquial- that a government cannot be ousted by social media."I will not hand over the country to activists who want to get at us with their keyboards and Whatsapp.

    "If you want to overthrow the regime, why don't you criticise us in the streets? I will tell you why. We know that you will not come, as you know very well what happened in the past."

    The president referred here to the reactions of the authorities to widespread protests in the country in September and October 2013 against subsidy cuts and austerity measures that led to soaring prices of most basic commodities. Security and police forces as well as paramilitaries were deployed to quell the street protests. An unknown number of people-estimated to be more than 200-were killed.

    Al Bashir further told his audience in Kassala that "Those who are after us should approach us directly. The Salvation (government) is not Omar Al Bashir, you are!"

    "If you want to overthrow the regime, why don't you criticise us in the streets? I will tell you why. We know that you will not come, as you know very well what happened in the past."

    No fear

    Pointing to his travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in end November, Al Bashir denied rumours that he fled from the three-day civil strike in Khartoum on 27 - 29 November. "When you called for the civil disobedience action, it happened that I was abroad on an official mission."

    He said that he represents "the pride and dignity of the Sudanese," and stressed that he will never resign.

    "The [Sudanese] land, drenched with blood of our martyrs, will never be sold for Dollars. We will never hand it to keyboard and Whatsapp activists."

    Al Bashir told the crowd in defiance of the indictments by the International Criminal Court that "I'm ready to travel to the New York today if the United States granted me a visa [..]. I would enter [..] the land of the enemy." He further emphasised that he does not know any fear.

    Activists

    In the Al Jazeera TV programme The Stream of last weekSudanese commentator Ahmed Kodouda explained that the current regime "has been extremely brutal" against popular uprisings.

    "The Sudanese people have recognised that they have to change their tactics and operate in a way that allows them to send a clear message to the government. [The current protest] has been very successful in that it showed that people are able to mobilise and to send a clear message, not only to the government but also to the opposition which has failed so far to create a viable alternative to this government."

    One of the "keyboard activists" told Radio Dabanga over the weekend that "We are using the social media in a highly organised manner. In this way, we are able to undermine the various attempts by the authorities to jam the upcoming disobedience action through the electronic jihad [holy war] brigades."

    The activists predict that the current regime will be overthrown by next April.

    -- 

    Eric Reeves, Senior Fellow at Harvard University's François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights

     

    ereeves@smith.edu

    www.sudanreeves.org

    Twitter@SudanReeves

    About Eric Reeves: http://sudanreeves.org/about-eric-reeves

    Philanthropy: goo.gl/Ii4buw

  • One Week from Tomorrow: “Sudanese Disobedience Day” (December 19)

     

    CzUgFldXUAAL7KB

    The international community must warn Khartoum not to use excessive force in response

    #عصينا19ديسمبر

    #Dec19Disobedience

    Eric Reeves  |  December 11, 2016  |  http://wp.me/s45rOG-7621

    The international community, particularly those nations seeking rapprochement with the Khartoum regime, must put this survivalist cabal on notice that brutal repressive actions will not be tolerated and that there will be serious consequences if the regime again issues "shoot to kill" orders, as it did in September 2013. That bloody episode offered us all too full a sense of just how savage the regime is prepared to be in confronting civil society and political opposition (see "Sudan's Bloody Crackdown on Civilian Protestors: Does the U.S. have anything to say?" The Huffington Post, October 7, 2013 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-18i/).

    CzU6W6VW8AEQBtu

    A failure to warn Khartoum-now-against violently repressive actions will be, in effect, a countenancing of those actions. Unctuous expressions of "concern" after the fact will be of little use to those in Sudanese civil society injured or killed by actions of the sort we have seen on too many occasions.

  • Time for the International Community to Support the People of Sudan

     

    Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 6.24.25 PM

    Time for the International Community to Support the People of Sudan:

     

    • Civil society throughout Sudan deserves unstinting support and attention
    • Western journalists need to take this more seriously than they have to date

     

    -- 

    Eric Reeves, Senior Fellow at Harvard University's François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights

     

    ereeves@smith.edu

    www.sudanreeves.org

    Twitter@SudanReeves

    About Eric Reeves: http://sudanreeves.org/about-eric-reeves

    Philanthropy: goo.gl/Ii4buw

     

     

  • “Genocide by Other Means”: Chemist warns that cyanide, mercury "catastrophic environmental risk" in South Kordofan

     

    "Dr [Yasser] Hamouda [a chemical researcher at the University of Chester in Britain] questions the government's motives for "moving government mining residues from various regions of Sudan to South Kordofan." (Radio Dabanga)

    In fact, the Khartoum regime's motives for using South Kordofan as a dumping ground for highly toxic chemicals are not in doubt: this is simply a particularly convenient extension of genocidal efforts that take many forms: denial of humanitarian access, relentless aerial bombardment of civilians and civilian targets, burning villages and foodstocks, forcibly displacing hundreds of thousands of the Nuba people of South Kordofan-ER

    Chemist: Cyanide, mercury ‘catastrophic environmental risk' in South Kordofan

    Radio Dabanga, December 7 - 2016 | SOUTH KORDOFAN

    https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/chemist-cyanide-mercury-catastrophic-environmental-risk-in-south-kordofan

    An expert has warned of "catastrophic environmental risks" of the use of cyanide in mining, and the serious effects on the population and the environment from processing factories in South Kordofan. In an interview with Radio Dabanga on Wednesday, Dr Yasser Hamouda, a chemical researcher at the University of Chester in Britain, expressed alarm that the Sudanese government allows the use of the highly toxic cyanide in mining. He highlighted the dangerous effects of cyanide on living organisms and the environment.

    Poaching

    How deadly is cynanide? Here are some of the scores of elephants killed by poachers using cyanide poisoning in Zimbabwe. African elephants can weigh up to 7,000 kg (15,400 lbs)---thousands of times the weight of a young human child.

    Dr Hamouda said that most countries in the world countries have prohibited its use because it is difficult to control. He pointed out that it takes less that two grams of cyanide to kill humans and animals. In the interview, Dr Hamouda referred to the serious impact of the use of cyanide through experiments in countries such as Romania, New Guinea, the Philippines, and Argentina.

    He also warned of the risks of traditional mining to human health as a result of the use of mercury: "The Sudanese government's allowing of this kind of mining without providing safety as irresponsible."

    Dr Hamouda questions the government's motives for "moving government mining residues from various regions of Sudan to South Kordofan. "The Government has begun establishing a Karta factory in Kadugli in South Kordofan where there are heavy rains."

    He warns of dangers of cyanide penetrating ground water, contaminating wells and valleys that are a source of drinking water for humans and animals. He has pointed to the broad popular rejection of establishing Karta factories in the Abu Gubeiha and Alleray areas.

    Kordofan

    The national committee for environmental advocacy and victims of mining in South Kordofan state have called upon the central government authorities to stop the mining companies from using cyanide. On Tuesday, the committee's spokesman Ahmad Mukhtar, told Radio Dabanga that various committees of the localities in the state called for a meeting on Sunday in Khartoum where they talked about the seriousness of these companies that operate without people's consent, and without control or respect for the environment.

    He says that there are more than 11 companies mining gold using cyanide in various areas of the state. He said that these companies do not enjoy consent from the local people, but are granted licenses with the approval of the state government headed by Governor Eisa Abakar.

    Divide and rule

    Mukhtar accuses the state government of pursuing divide and rule policies by tempting some native administrations to pass its agenda and decisions which are rejected by the people of the state.

    -- 

    Eric Reeves, Senior Fellow at Harvard University's François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights

     

    ereeves@smith.edu

    www.sudanreeves.org

    Twitter@SudanReeves

    About Eric Reeves: http://sudanreeves.org/about-eric-reeves

    Philanthropy: goo.gl/Ii4buw

     

     

  • Assad Henchman: Here’s How We Built ISIS

    DARK ALLIES

    The Syrian regime's collusion with the terrorists of the so-called Islamic State goes back a decade.

    ROY GUTMAN

    12.01.16 5:13 PM ET

    In his first interview after winning the presidency, Donald Trump hinted that he will shift policy in the Syria conflict from one of support for the moderate opposition to collaboration with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. "Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS," Trump said. As for the rebels that the U.S. has backed fitfully for the past three years, he said: "We have no idea who these people are."

    But the president-elect appears to be ill-informed about Assad's key role in the rise of the so-called Islamic State.

    This three-part series documents the Syrian dictator's sinister contributions to this tale of terrorism and horror. First, he tried to ingratiate himself with Western leaders by portraying the national uprising against him as a terrorist-led revolt. When that failed, he released jailed Islamic extremists who'd fought against U.S. troops in Iraq, then staged phony attacks on government facilities, which he blamed on terrorists. Far from fighting ISIS, Assad looked the other way when it set up a state-within-a-state with its capital in Raqqa, and left it to the U.S. and others to counter the Islamic extremists.

     

    Photo Illustration By Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast

  • How Assad Staged al Qaeda Bombings

    OWN GOALS

    The Syrian regime's collusion with the terrorists it says it is fighting goes back a decade, and it wasn't above killing its own people to make a point.

    ROY GUTMAN

    12.02.16 5:00 PM ET

    In his first interview after winning the presidency, Donald Trump hinted that he will shift policy in the Syria conflict from one of support for the moderate opposition to collaboration with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. "Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS," Trump said. As for the rebels that the U.S. has backed fitfully for the past three years, he said: "We have no idea who these people are."

    But the president-elect appears to be ill informed about Assad's key role in the rise of the so-called Islamic State.

    In this three-part series, Pulitzer-Prize-winning investigative reporter Roy Gutman documents the Syrian dictator's sinister contributions to this tale of terrorism and horror.

    First, Assad tried to ingratiate himself with Western leaders by portraying the national uprising against him as a terrorist-led revolt. When that failed, he released jailed Islamic extremists who'd fought against U.S. troops in Iraq, then staged phony attacks on government facilities, which he blamed on terrorists. Far from fighting ISIS, Assad looked the other way when it set up a state-within-a-state with its capital in Raqqa, and left it to the U.S. and others to take the battle to the Islamic extremists.

     

    Photo Illustration By Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast

  • How ISIS Returned to Syria

    PROXY WAR

    After nearly a decade of sponsoring jihad in next-door Iraq, Assad lost a third of his country to the same proxies.

    ROY GUTMAN

    12.05.16 5:03 PM ET

    This is the final chapter in a groundbreaking investigation by Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter Roy Gutman that documents Bashar al-Assad's sinister contributions to the creation of the so-called Islamic State. It demonstrates the dictator's complicity in the horrors that ISIS has imposed inside Syria while plotting and inspiring terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States. These are all facts that President-elect Donald Trump should take into account when he talks glibly about working with Russia and Assad to fight against ISIS.

    As we saw in the previous two chapters, Assad first tried to ingratiate himself with Western leaders by portraying the national uprising against him in 2011 as a terrorist-led revolt. When that failed, he released jailed Islamic extremists who'd fought against U.S. troops in Iraq, then staged phony attacks on government facilities, which he blamed on terrorists. Far from fighting ISIS, Assad looked the other way when it set up a state-within-a-state with its capital in Raqqa, and then left it to the U.S. and others to try to take the battle to the Islamic extremists.

     

    Photo Illustration By Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast