Connect with us

South Sudan Mired in War Declares Independence As World’s Newest Country



In August 2010 Tanya Domi spent a few weeks in Sudan advising the Government of Southern Sudan in preparation for its long-anticipated independence that was overwhelmingly approved by voters on January 9. This past weekend Southern Sudan celebrated its independence and America, a key partner in the effort, gave its blessing and pledged its continued support for the fledgling democracy that faces a difficult journey in the months and years ahead.

The Republic of South Sudan this past weekend became Africa’s 54th newest nation and the world’s 195th country, declaring its independence from the Republic of the Sudan, forged by more than 50 years of war, two million dead, and millions of refugees dispersed throughout the world.

The United States has played a key role in supporting Southern Sudan’s quest for freedom, with significant support by the Bush Administration who brokered a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 between the North Arabic speaking and Muslim region of the Republic of the Sudan, led by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and the Christian and animist African south, led by  President Salvaa Kiir, a former general in the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA).

Al-Bashir is an indicted war criminal who is wanted for war crimes committed in Darfur by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Consequently, Sudan has been isolated by most of the world community, although al-Bashir has visited China and the Islamic Republic of Iran in recent months.

South Sudanese citizens overwhelmingly voted for independence in a Janurary 9 referendum that was stipulated to by the CPA. Ironically, the Republic of the Sudan became the first nation to recognize South Sudan yesterday.

Other nations who joined in recognizing the world’s newest country include Britain, China and Russia, according to Voice of America. China has a major presence in Sudan as it is the majority consumer of Sudan’s crude oil commodities. A testament to its growing influence in the region, was an appeal issued by the U.S. to China, exhorting it to assist in pressuring al-Bashir to recall his Army out of the border states, which has caused a major humanitarian disaster resulting in more than 70,000 internally displaced persons who have fled violence.

President Barack Obama “welcomed the birth of a new nation” on Saturday and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered her congratulations. Clinton said in her remarks that the South Sudanese people had overcome many obstacles, with remaining issues to address:

The realization of this historic day is a testament to the tireless efforts of the people of South Sudan in their search for peace. We commend South Sudan’s  current leaders, including President Salva Kiir Mayardit, for helping guide Southern Sudan to this moment. And we recognize the determination and courage of the many southern Sudanese who never abandoned their hope that peace was possible and who stood in long lines on January 9 to cast their votes.

…The challenges are many, but the South Sudanese people have demonstrated their capacity to overcome great odds. The United States will remain a steadfast partner as South Sudan seeks to peacefully meet these challenges and build a free, democratic and inclusive society. The strong ties between our peoples go back many decades, and we are committed to continuing to build on the partnership we have already established in the years ahead.

War continues on South Sudan’s northern border in Abyei, a disputed region between South Sudan and the Republic of the Sudan, where a majority of Sudan’s oil deposits are located that provides hard currency to both governments.

The other area of dispute between the North and the South is the Nuba Mountains located in the  Southern Kordofan State, which borders South Sudan and is presently experiencing calculated violence instigated by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) according to the UN and other Sudan experts tracking the situation,  such as highly regarded expert human rights lawyer and journalist Bec Hamilton.

Advocates have documented troop movements by the SAF through satellite photo imagery resulting in countless murders of civilians who have been senselessly slaughtered in an ongoing campaign that has been actively prosecuted under the leadership of ICC indicted war criminal Ahmad Muhammad Harun . This military campaign by the North has been underway since at least late May, although the situation has been fraught with tension for many months, which began with Harun’s ominous reassignment from Darfur in March 2009.

The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) is believed to have evacuated its international staff in the Southern Kordofan State on June 12, due to an escalation of violence by the SAF, which also resulted in the displacement of more than 70,000 civilians.  The Sudan Army has been reinforcing its presence in the area documented by satellite photography by governments, NGOs and  activists, published here by Voice of America.

On June 27 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1990 that called for the deployment of 4,200 peacekeepers to address the escalating violence in the Abyei region, but not in South Kordofan.

Khartoum relies on the hard currency generated by oil sales and has disputed South Sudan’s territorial claims.  These unresolved issues have demanded the attention of U.S. Special Envoy Ambassador Princeton Lyman who was sent out to the region by Secretary Clinton in August 2010 to bolster referendum preparation a and replaced Special Envoy Scott Gration in March.

Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the UN and head of the U.S. delegation that traveled to Juba for its inaugural celebration, spoke about the challenges ahead.  She remarked:

Yet even on this day of jubilee, we remain mindful of the challenges that await us tomorrow. No true friend would offer false comfort. The path ahead will be steep and pitted. But the Republic of South Sudan is being born amid great hopes—the hope that you will guarantee the rights of all citizens, shelter the vulnerable, and bring prosperity to all corners of your land; the hope that you will be able to live in peace and justice with your neighbors, bind up the wounds of war, and work with the Government of Sudan to resolve swiftly and peacefully all outstanding issues in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

South Sudan has some of the worst human development indicators in the world, where it is estimated that 90 percent of its population lives on less than $1 a day.  It also has one of highest illiteracy rates in the world estimated at 78 percent of the population with only eight percent of women reported to be literate. Vastly underdeveloped, with little infrastructure and dependent on oil revenues shared by its difficult relationship with Khartoum, virtually all of its food is imported into the country.  Last year the U.S. spent nearly $700 million on food aid to the region alone.


Tanya L. Domi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, who teaches about human rights in Eurasia and is a Harriman Institute affiliated faculty member. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi worked internationally for more than a decade on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights, gender issues, sex trafficking, and media freedom.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


‘Trying to Have It Both Ways’: Ivanka ‘Flailing’ as Trump Indictment Slams Family



While Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump have taken to their social media platforms to viciously lash out at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for indicting their father on a reported 30 charges, Ivanka Trump posted a rather muted statement on her Instagram account which simply said, “I love my father, and I love my country. Today, I am pained for both. I appreciate the voices across the political spectrum expressing support and concern.”

According to Daily Beast conservative columnist Matt Lewis, the so-called “First Daughter,” who served in the White House with her father, is trying to stay true to her former president dad, while distancing herself from his legal problems — and it is not going to work for her.

As Lewis put it, Ivanka is “flailing” in her attempts to shed the memory of her participation in the Trump administration that reached its lowest point on Jan. 6 when supporters of Trump stormed the Capitol and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives.

“It’s hard to argue with anything Ivanka says here, but it is not a statement of moral clarity. Nor is it (conversely) a statement of strong support for her father. She’s flailing and trying to have it both ways,” Lewis wrote before adding, “Now, it’s understandable that a daughter might not want to utterly condemn her father. Further, children are not responsible for their parents’ sins. Except, of course, if you consider the fact that Ivanka served as the primary weapon in the ‘Trump’s not such a belligerent pig as his four decades as a public figure would make you think’ propaganda push.”

RELATED: Trump is so ‘unmoored from reality’ he can’t act as a defense witness: ‘Art of the Deal’ ghostwriter

Noting that Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner — who has baggage of his own — both stuck with Trump in the White House for all four years, Lewis added, “As far as the former first daughter goes, she and her husband might be done with politics, but once you’ve been a party to an administration like Trump’s, it’s going to be a long time before politics is done with them.”

“So, Ivanka, you want to have a seat at the cool apolitical kids’ table? You want to be once again accepted by the socially liberal billionaires’ children you used to go to the Hamptons with and now have Miami Beach playdates with? You want to enjoy the privileges of being a Trump with none of the shame? Good luck with that,” he concluded.

You can read more here.


Continue Reading


Dominion Wins ‘Blockbuster Victories’ Against Fox News – Last Legal Issue Will Be Decided by a Jury: Report



Dominion Voting Systems won what are being called “blockbuster victories” Friday afternoon when a judge ruled the company suing Fox News for $1.6 billion in a major defamation lawsuit had met its burden of proof that Rupert Murdoch‘s far-right wing cable channel had repeatedly made false statements.

The final, and likely greatest legal issue Dominion will have to prove will be actual malice. That issue will be decided in a jury trial, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis ruled Friday, according to Law & Crime.

Unlike previous cases, Fox News will reportedly not be able to argue the on-air statements its personalities made were opinion.

CNN legal analyst and Brookings senior fellow Norm Eisen calls Friday’s decision a “huge win for Dominion on their summary judgment motion against Fox News.”

READ MORE: Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’

“Dominion won partial summary judgement that what Fox said about them was false! Now they just have to prove actual malice and damages,” Eisen says. “Meanwhile Fox’s motion was totally denied.”

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, an MSNBC contributor adds: “Dominion’s evidence Fox made false statements with reckless disregard  is as strong as any I’ve seen.”

The judge was very clear in his ruling.

“While the Court must view the record in the light most favorable to Fox, the record does not show a genuine issue of material fact as to falsity,” Judge Davis wrote. “Through its extensive proof, Dominion has met its burden of showing there is no genuine issue of material fact as to falsity. Fox therefore had the burden to show an issue of material fact existed in turn. Fox failed to meet its burden.”

READ MORE: ‘Propaganda Network’: Media Reporter Says Dominion Filing Exposes Fox News as ‘Void of the Most Basic Journalistic Ethics’

Attorney and MSNBC host and legal analyst Katie Phang points to this key passage in Judge Davis’ ruling.

Court watchers and news junkies are familiar at this point with the massive legal filings Dominion has made in which it exposed how Fox News knowingly made false statements regarding the 2020 presidential election. Those filings, each hundreds of pages, also detail internal Fox News communications and bombshell conversations between the company’s top personalities, executives, and even Chairman Rupert Murdoch.


Image of Rupert Murdoch via Shutterstock

Continue Reading


Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’



The U.S. Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant at Arms on Friday jointly issued a statement warning they “anticipate” Trump protests across the country. The statement is not time-specific, and it states it has no information on “credible threats,” but some Democratic offices are allowing staffers to work from home Friday and Tuesday.

“The Sergeant at Arms and United States Capitol Police (USCP) anticipate demonstration activity across the country related to the indictment of former President Trump. While law enforcement is not tracking any specific, credible threats against the Capitol or state offices, there is potential for demonstration activity. USCP is working with law enforcement partners, so you may observe a greater law enforcement presence on Capitol Hill,” the statement reads.

“The SAA and USCP are monitoring the potential nationwide impacts to Senate state offices,” it adds.

The House Sergeant at Arms was conspicuously absent from the statement. Speaker Kevin McCarthy has control over that office.

READ MORE: Trump Trial Could Go Well Into the 2024 Election – Or Possibly Even Past It: Former Prosecutor

Additionally, Axios is reporting, “several House Democrats are allowing staffers to work from home as a safety precaution,” noting that “the memory of Trump supporters ransacking the Capitol on Jan. 6 is still fresh on the mind.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) is allowing staff to work from home for safety reasons. She told Axios, “I don’t ever want to see a Jan. 6 again.”

“I’ve been in the Trump hate tunnel, Donald Trump has gone after me, and quite frankly I don’t have security. I don’t have entourages.”

She’s not the only Democrat to raise concerns.

“Much of the language from the former President and his devotees is similar to what inspired Jan. 6th,” U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips said. “I’m concerned about safety for my colleagues and my staff.”

READ MORE: ‘Lighting the Match’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Blasted for Off the Rails Rant Defending Trump

Meanwhile, House Republicans are issuing full-throated support for Trump and calling for protests.

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who was called out by name in a six-page letter Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sent to Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan Friday morning, announced she will be in New York on Tuesday to support Trump when he is arraigned. She has posted several tweets since Trump was indicted.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy issued a statement Thursday seemingly designed to gin up rage and action in the MAGA base.

“Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election. As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump. The American people will not tolerate this injustice, and the House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account.”


Image by Elvert Barnes via Flickr and a CC license

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.