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Wednesday, Apr 01st, 2015

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Economic Woes Compel a Shift in Khartoum’s “Strategic Alliance with Iran”

By Eric Reeves

March 30, 2015 (SSNA) -- Sudan Tribune reports today a remarkable declaration by the Khartoum regime’s foreign minister, Ali Karti: “We were never allies with Iran: Sudan Foreign Minister”

The Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti vehemently denied that his country was ever an ally of Iran and described reports saying otherwise as baseless and stressed that relations between Khartoum and Tehran did not exceed the traditional diplomatic framework.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday following the return of president Omer Hassan al-Bashir from Sharm el-Sheikh where he participated in the Arab summit, Karti said that what links Sudan to Arab countries is neighbourhood and Arabism and that Khartoum is on board in its alliance with the Arabs away from Tehran.... Karti said that relations with Tehran were nothing more than "normal" explaining that when Iranian expanded their cultural presence in Sudan the government closed these centers last year.

"I have been in the foreign ministry for some time and never heard of an alliance [with Iran],” he said.

But Sudan Tribune concludes with what is surely the real explanation for the radical shift from Khartoum's well-documented “strategic alliance” with Iran:

[R]ecent visits by Bashir to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates appeared to signal a strategic shift by Khartoum from Iran in favour of oil-rich Arab Gulf states with the resources to support Sudan’s beleaguered economy.

That this “shift” has entailed a profound disavowal of previous assertions about Iran as a “strategic ally” is clear from any examination of the leaked minutes of a meeting of the most senior military and security officials, as well as two senior political officials, on 31 August 2014 (notably, Karti was not included in the meeting). The minutes for this meeting have been fully authenticated by a very wide range of sources (see http://wp.me/p45rOG-1w5); they reveal a relationship between Khartoum and Tehran of which Karti is either ignorant or about which he is lying. The latter is the more likely.

The minutes also reveal a painful ignorance of the state of the Sudanese economy on the part of nearly all in attendance—but a very clear understanding that there is money to be had from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. The crushing effects of an almost total lack of foreign exchange currency (Forex) has made imports impossible in a great many cases, including yet again imports of wheat to be ground into flour for bakeries to make into bread. There been numerous reports of bread lines and bread shortages going back almost two years.

As the excerpts below reveal, the economic pain caused by a lack of Forex, high inflation, high unemployment, low revenue generation, and overwhelming external debt (some US$48 billion) has forced Khartoum into a dramatic about-face in its relations with Iran on the one hand and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States on the other. This certainly extends to reversing what had previously been Khartoum’s support for the Houthi insurgents in Yemen: Sudan is one of the Arab countries providing military assistance to Saudi Arabia in its campaign against the Houthis as they march on to Aden.

Examples of statements about Khartoum’s relationship with Iran, and with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf State, from the 31 August 2014 meeting. These are brief excerpts; substantially fuller excerpts providing greater context for these statements may be found at | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1EY:

• Major General Bakri Hassan Salih, First Vice President (arguably the most powerful figure in the regime after al-Bashir):

A primary recommendation: Maintain and protect the relationship with Iran. Managing this relationship through the military and security agencies.

• General Abdalla al-Jaili, Popular Defense Forces General Coordinator:

We have been targeted for the last twenty-five years because of our relationship with Iran. Both revolutions are committed to Islam. There is no country, other than Iran, who has the courage to say no to the whole West. Iran is an essential partner to the National Salvation Revolution. It was Iran who provided us with free and unlimited support, whereas Saudi Arabia was supporting Garang and the National Democratic Alliance. We shall be testing the credibility of these Gulf States, despite my belief that they are pro-America.

• General Siddiq Amer, Director General of Intelligence and Security:

I think we should improve the relation with the Saudis and benefit from them, but it must be clear that they are not trustworthy. At the same time we maintain our strategic relationship with Iran.

• General Yehya Mohammed Kheir, Minister of State for Defense:

Our relationship with Iran is strategic. We will inform [Iran] of our intention to close down their cultural centers for security reasons; because there is a threat to these centers from some Sunni radical groups who may target them and cause conflict. But again we must take a similar step towards the Wahabi group, to avoid any misinterpretation by the Iranians of these measures as targeting only the Shiite group.

• Major General Mohammed Atta, Director General of National Intelligence and
Security Services:

As soon as the incident [attack on a Shi’ite proselytizer in Darfur] happened, I received a call from the Iranian Security Advisor and the Chief of Republican Guards. We agreed to separate between the two issues: The strategic military and security relationship on one side, and the cultural relationship on the other. After that they reported the agreement to their leadership.

I say that our relationship with Iran is strategic and should be above all other interests. Anyone who wants to sabotage it doesn’t understand the art of keeping balances and lacks the necessary information.

• General Abd al-Rahim Mohammed Hussein, Minister of Defense:

I shall start with our relationship with Iran and say it is a strategic and everlasting relationship. We cannot compromise or lose it. All the advancement in our military industry is from Iran. They opened the doors of their stores of weapons for us, at a time the Arabs stood against us. The Iranian support came when we were fighting a rebellion that spread in all directions including the National Democratic Alliance. The Iranians provided us with experts and they trained our Military Intelligence and security cadres. They also trained us in weapons production and transferred to us modern technology in the military production industry.

• Major General Hashim Abdalla Mohammed, Chief of Joint General Staff:

We rule the people by power, not all the people support us and it is possible that some radicals can create problems like what happened in Western Sudan, when they killed a Shi’ite over religious differences. So let us separate between the two issues... the strategic relation [with Iran] and the Shi'ia Cultural Centers.

We have a problem with Saudi Arabia because they found out about the weapons we sent by way of the Red Sea to Abd al-Malik Al-Huthi’s Shiia group in Yemen [the Houthis are supported by Iran—and formerly by Khartoum].

• General Imad al-Din Adawy, Chief of Joint Operations:

Libya border is totally secured, especially after the victory of our allies (Libya Dawn Forces [Libya Dawn is a radical Islamist organization in Libya]) in Tripoli. We managed to deliver to them the weapons and military equipment donated by Qatar and Turkey and we formed a joint operations room with them under one of the colonels in order to coordinate and administer the military operations.

• General Abd al-Qadir Mohammed Zeen – National Service Coordinator:

The balance in our relationship with Iran on one side and the Gulf States on the other side is important, but my question is: Will Saudi Arabia change its position after it has classified the Muslim Brothers as terrorists? On the other hand, our relationship with Iran is linked to our relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood International Organization. Accordingly, we must consult with Iran and the rest of our Islamist group, before taking any step in this regard, specially that the relationship with the Saudi Arabia Kingdom is not guaranteed, despite their knowledge that we are in a position to threaten their rule.

• General Salah al-Tayeb, DDR Commissioner:

We should set our military and security relationships with Iran apart.

• Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail, Political Secretary of the regime’s National Congress Party (former foreign Minister in the regime):

In my personal view our relationship with Iran is strategic in the areas of defense and security... I suggest that we maintain good relations with the Gulf States in principle, yet work strategically with Iran, in total secrecy and on a limited scale, through Military Intelligence and security. Thus, diplomatic relationships remain the same.

We have security and political agreements with Iran and they might refuse the suggestion of fresh relationships with the Gulf States, especially that Saudi has concerns regarding the Iranian military presence in Sudan.

• Ibrahim Ghandour, Deputy Chairman of the regime’s National Congress Party:

The relationship with Iran is one of the best relationships in the history of the Sudan. Accordingly, the management of this relationship requires wisdom and knowledge of all its details. The assistance we received from Iran is immeasurable. The commonalities between us are many. People should not limit their concern to the aspect of converting to Shi'ism only. There are many infiltrators who are working to see us lose our relationship with Iran. We must note that Iran is a friend to all the Islamic movements worldwide. We need to conduct internal consultations first and then we put our Iranian partners in the picture about all the details.

Eric Reeves is the Author of Compromising With Evil: An archival history of greater Sudan, 2007-2012 www.CompromisingWithEvil.org

South Sudan: The Commander-in-Chief I want

By: Cde. Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut

March 30, 2015 (SSNA) -- My President must appreciate the fact that South Sudanese will never live up to their full potential until we heal the deep wounds of the past.

It is such a humongous and prodigious responsibility and honor to be called President of the Republic of South Sudan. Unfortunately, this title has been earned to date by a man who outfoxed and outplayed everyone, a man who ensured that none could compete with him for the position; a man who surrounded himself with yes men and insulated himself from the people; a man who sacrificed his life to be there and then sacrificed our well-being in order for him to stay there. That is not leadership.

My President will be of Godly fearing kind, humble, ambitious, flexible and generous to the minorities /small tribes in the young country. That will reflect Equality and togetherness for all in our young nation.

South Sudan needs a president who serves only the Constitution and puts the people first. A president who does not owe any favors to anyone, and has a high self-esteem not from what he has done or his material wealth, but from who he is and what he stands for.

Our president in the future must appreciate the fact that South Sudan will never live up to its full potential until we heal the wounds of the past.

Too many of us have been emotionally, psychologically, physically and financially harmed by this regime. Only recompense and healing will create a new door to a better a future. The past is gone and we cannot continue to blame our history, but we have to acknowledge those things that have gone wrong and correct them. We must look to the future, but only learn from our past. It will take courage and humanness to cross that bridge, but the ultimate benefits to our society are much higher than the costs.

The rot in our society, in general, must be arrested; our values as a society are repugnant. We shall need a man or woman at the Parliament [State house] who ensures that we change direction as a nation in what we value most. This I think will be the hardest thing to do. We shall need someone to begin to reengineer our society in all spheres so that we can start a new chapter centered on the respect and dignity of our people.

Our churches have deteriorated somewhat in giving spiritual and moral guidance to our citizens and this trend must be arrested. My president must play a significant role on this through leading by example, it is important.

The president I want must clean up the police from the top and also ensure that those in the army that are no longer of service to the future objectives of the country are retired. The struggle is over and inculcating this in the brains of the top echelons of our army will take some doing, but is important. A new ethos of service, honor and the respect of our Constitution must arise. God help us.

We need an open-minded individual in in the Bush or in the State house who does not fear change and recognizes that open societies develop better and faster. This will demand a new paradigm and leadership style based on persuasion and vision, not on threats or violence.

I want a president who recognizes that as more citizens participate in creating the future, the more exciting and sustainable it will be. We can only create better solutions through an inclusive agenda that acknowledges that all of us in our diversity have something to contribute.

An open media, universal access to new information, freedom of association and speech all create empowered societies and everyone wins. My president must promote this.

I want a president who is not a Nepotistic or tribalist; a president who understands that all South Sudanese, regardless of their backgrounds have certain inalienable rights that he or she must protect at all costs. He or she must not blame others for our problems, but take full responsibility for them.

My president must truly believe that we indeed have the capabilities and resources to come up with solutions to whatever challenges we may face in our country. That is the patriotism I expect.

South Sudan has fallen behind so much in the last 10 years in all spheres. As a result, our quality of life has suffered despite us having the resources. As long as we have someone in State House who does not understand future trends, we will continue to regress. We, therefore, must expedite the use of new technologies, IT to accelerate development. We need a grand vision and strategy on how we can catch up. The future is no longer what it used to be.

I want a president who embraces South Sudanese in the diaspora who offer our country impressive talents and have a critical role to play in creating a developed state.

So, whoever is there in the Bush, Diaspora or at State House, must not only be technologically literate, but must acknowledge that our country will remain underdeveloped as long as we remain internally focused and ignore the reality that the world out there is moving on, faster than we can imagine.

I want a president who is not arrogant or self-important. My President must know that he or she will not have all the solutions.

My president must put South Sudan first!

I have spoken my words and may gods of the land hear my voice……………….

Cde. Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut is a writer and He is the Chairman of SPLM Youth League Chapter in Egypt he can be simply reach through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Kapoeta North Prison Massacre: A sign that demonstrate SPLM's poor governance

By: Cde. Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut

March 28, 2015 (SSNA) -- Thursday, 26/03/ 2015 was a tragic day at the sprawling Kapoita North Prison Massacre in the Eastern Equatoria. More than hundreds underfed and hungry prison inmates staged a demonstration against the deteriorating food situation at the prison.

On the rage for their peaceful protest which aim to call for their administration's attention to see their problem which was obviously the starvation and lack of small basic needs that any Prisoner in this world would ask from their Authorities, The unlucky Prisoners of the 21 century were murdered in cold blood by the today date regime who is well known of letting the innocent bloods pour helplessly leaving 10 of them dead and more others injured.

I personally condemn this unjust killing of Kapoeta North Prisoners.

This chronic style of Killing unarms souls in South Sudan must stop. The government must learn to instruct their security personals on how to keep Laws and orders properly.

It is a fact that prisoners at Kapoeta North, indeed, at all of the country’s limited correctional facilities, are on the verge of starvation largely due to insufficient food supplies. Coupled with the lack of adequate food provisions is the other problem of crumbling infrastructure at the country’s prisons, most of which are no longer fit for human habitation.

Torit Prison one of the oldest prison in South Sudan, built in 1946 has since been condemned as unfit to house human beings. However, prisoners are still being kept at old, dilapidated and crumbling prison complexes such as those at Kapoeta North and Rumbek.

In terms of a statutory instrument that any country do have, all prisoners are entitled to a minimum diet that will ensure that they will not succumb to malnutrition and other diseases associated with poor nutrition such as pellagra.

The unfortunate incident that took place at Kapoeta North two days ago is clearly symptomatic of a failed State. Any government that is unable to feed its prisoners is not fit to govern. Prisoners might have committed criminal offences, some of which are quite heinous, but they still have a constitutional right not to be treated in a cruel and degrading manner.

Denial of adequate food provisions to our prisoners is tantamount to cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. Confirmed reports point to a situation whereby at least 10 inmates were shot dead in cold blood at Kapoeta North, Eastern Equatoria State last Thursday as they demonstrated against the perennial poor diet.

This indicate that the SPLM-Juba Regime has totally lost the plot. The regime continues to bury its head in the sand and pretend that everything in the country is fine and working.

To the contrary, the whole State apparatus has virtually collapsed as the antagonistic faction in the beleaguered ruling party, SPLM-Juba, continue to fight for power and control. The citizens and the Weevil faction are at each other’s throat. Things have fallen apart and the center can no longer hold.

The country is at a crossroads. We cannot fold our arms and pretend that everything is in order. Under this man’s [Salva Kiir] watch, the conditions at all the country’s correctional facilities have steadily declined over the years.

Prisoners are terribly under-threat, mismanaged and rampant abuse continues to afflict the entire administration of the South Sudan National Prison Service (SSNPS).

The SPLM-IO shall continue to clamor for the respect of the constitutional rights of all the people of South Sudan, including the rights of all incarcerated people.

All human beings should be treated with dignity whether they are in or out of prison.

I have spoken my words and may gods of the land hear my voice...

Cde. Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut is a writer and He is the Chairman of SPLM Youth League Chapter in Egypt he can be simply reach through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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