Category: Sudan

This is a trip with an estimated departure of early February 2009.

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Southern Sudan Referendum Rules for Out-of-Country Registration & Voting

[Montréal, Québec, Canada -7°C] Registration for Southern Sudan’s self-determination referendum begins today and continues until December 1, 2010. According to the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) website, registration and voting centers have been established in 8 countries “with the largest numbers of Southern Sudanese living outside Sudan.” The countries are Australia, Canada (Toronto and Calgary), Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA). The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will be assisting the SSRC at its request in organizing the OCV.” To be eligible to participate in the January 9, 2011 referendum, voters...

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Voting Begins in Sudan Despite Rigging Accusations and Boycott

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 10°C] Today is election day in Sudan, the first of three days of polling. It is the first multi-party elections in Sudan since 1986, three years before the 1989 coup-d’état that brought Omar al-Bashir’s National Islamic Front – NIF (later renamed the National Congress Party – NCP) party to power. It has been five years since the end of a 21-year civil war between the government of Sudan and the southern SPLM rebels that killed two million people and displaced more than four million others in Africa’s largest country. According to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the people...

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Election Ballots Printed by Sudan’s Currency Printer Controversial

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 6°C] Sudan’s first elections in 24 years are set to begin in less than 22 days. And not without major controversy. The logistical challenges faced by Sudan’s National Election Commission (NEC) and organizations providing support toward the elections are staggering. According to the a UNifeed report, “The first batch of ballot papers was airlifted to Sudan’s southern capital city Juba, on Friday [March 12, 2010].” The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is providing logistical support to the National Elections Commission for printing and distributing the estimated 180 million ballot papers to the “close to 15,000 polling centers...

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Lost Boys Hopeful to Rebuild South Sudan

[Montréal, Québec, Canada -2°C] I can imagine the emotional depth and confused sense of belonging/alienation that must come from a return visit to one’s homeland ofter a very long and forced exile. At least I think I can. The documentary film by Jen Marlowe, Rebuilding Hope, offers a glimpse of estrangement as it collides with the nostalgia from a childhood torn appart by a 21-year civil war. Chris Koor Garang, Gabriel Bol Deng and Garang Mayuol, the film’s three characters, return home to Southern Sudan to find themselves, to look for their families and to help rebuild their communities now...

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Perspective: Sudan – Land of Water and Thirst; War and Peace

[Montréal, Québec, Canada -9°C] Below is a first post that was not written in-house. It was taken from another source. It is the first article I read that discusses so eloquently the water conundrum in Sudan. —- Perspective: Sudan – Land of Water and Thirst; War and Peace by Dr. Paul J. Sullivan as a Special to the Circle of Blue Water News. As we approach the January 2011 date for the referendum on the south, and as we see Darfur seemingly in an eerily, but uncertain, peaceful period, we need to look at the water situation in Sudan. Water...

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Southern Sudan: Oil Exploitation vs Wildlife Protection

[Montréal, Québec, Canada -2°C] Before the last civil war started in Sudan in 1983, the country’s protected areas, according to the Wildlife Conservaton Society, “supported some of the most spectacular and important wildlife populations in Africa, and hosted the second largest wildlife migration in the world.” According to their website, “During an aerial survey, more than 1.3 million white-eared kob, tiang (African antelope), and mongalla gazelle are thriving in Southern Sudan.” And apparently, an estimated 8,000 elephants are located within the Jonglei region and particularly in Boma National Park. This seems like such good news considering that all other information...

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Logistical Challenges Facing Sudan Elections

[Juba, Southern Sudan  26ºC] The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed by the Khartoum regime in the north and rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), based in the south of Sudan, is approaching a decisive and possibly its most difficult-to-implement phase so far: the April 2010 elections. The National Election Commission (NEC) and United Nations (UN) kicked off the largest ever registration of voters in Sudan ahead of April elections, one year later than the what the CPA had proposed. Over 5,000 registration personnel throughout all of Sudan will be registering voters in over 700 election constituencies. Sudan is Africa’s largest...

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Video Portrait #2 from Southern Sudan : Alberto Kuol Kuol Makuach

This is Alberto Kuol Kuol Makuach’s story. During a 7-week visit to Southern Sudan, I interviewed over a dozen Southern Sudanese men and women. Each person offers an intimate view of their lives during the 21-year civil war and since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005. We get a glimpse into their family lives and their hope for a country with an uncertain future. Alberto, tells about his education first in a Minor Seminary in Kenya, then in a Major Seminary in Khartoum toward his vocation of becoming a priest. He offers a glimpse into the family...

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Sudanese-Canadian, Abousfian Abdelrazik’s Story Reads Like Spy Novel

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 13°C]  Everyone has an intriguing life story to tell. We have all experienced significant moments that alter the course of our lives. For the better or the worse. But some stories are more compelling than others by the sheer intensity of the intrigue. Every so often, I come across an individual with a riveting story to tell. The past six years of Abousfian Abdelrazik’s life, as he described for one and a half hours on September 24 in a Montréal community centre, comes right out of a spy novel. In all spy novels, there are always the...

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Al Jazeera & American Military Command in Africa (Africom)

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 22°C] Yesterday, a very good friend lead me to the article, Why I Love Al Jazeera by Robert D. Kaplan. The title reminded me of why I, too, loved the English-language edition of the Qatar-based Arab TV channel. I first started watching it every evening while staying with friends in Juba, Southern Sudan. I remember watching Riz Khan talking with Mogadishu rapper K’naan about Somalia (part 1, part 2). K’naan lives in Toronto now but I don’t I recall any Canadian media produce this kind of serious political analysis, an in-depth interview with an insightful rapper, including...