History repeats as war pushes Sudanese to Kenya
Fri May 18, 2012 3:35pm GMT
(Refiles to add TV, pix availability)
* Some 1,200 S.Sudanese refugees arrive each month
* Swampy conditions bad for health, U.N. says
* Refugee matters "not popular" among locals - U.N.
By Katy Migiro
NAIROBI, May 18 (AlertNet) - When Nyajany Kutil left Kenya's Kakuma refugee
camp to return home to South Sudan in 2008, she did not imagine that war
would force her back across the border again so soon.
But the exodus is repeating itself less than a year after South Sudan
celebrated its independence from Sudan, dashing hopes of an end to five
decades of war.
About 1,200 South Sudanese refugees are arriving in Kakuma camp each month,
fleeing conflict and hunger in the world's newest nation.
"When I came here in 2005, we had a lot of war," Kutil, 20, said, seated on
a wooden bench with her five-year-old daughter, waiting to register with
Kenya's Department of Refugee Affairs.
Kutil's parents were killed in a night-time raid on their village, forcing
the teenage girl to seek sanctuary in Kakuma, 120 km (75 miles) south of the
In 2008, she and her two young daughters were among the 50,000 South
Sudanese refugees repatriated from Kenya, keen to rebuild their lives
following a 2005 peace deal which led to a referendum on southern
independence last July.
"When I returned to Sudan, I got the same war. So I am here. I don't have
any other place to go," Kutil said.
Last month, her husband and four-year-old daughter were killed when raiders
burned down their village in South Sudan's troubled Jonglei State.
"I don't have any hope to return back to South Sudan. I would like to stay
in Kenya because I do not see any war here," she said.
HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF
Many of those who are coming back have been here before, said Guy Avognon,
the United Nations (U.N.) refugee agency's head of office in Kakuma. "It's
history repeating itself."
Like Kutil, the majority of new arrivals come from Jonglei where 170,000
people have been affected by interethnic conflict since late 2011.
"The journey was very hard. We suffered. There was no food and no water. We
were scared so we used to run at night," said Nyibol Mariar, 40, sitting on
a mat in the camp's reception centre with her eight surviving children.
Her first born son and husband were killed in a night-time raid on their
village in Jonglei.
Kakuma receives 100 new arrivals each day. With a population approaching
97,000, the camp is likely to reach its 100,000 capacity in the next few
"We have never reached that number even at the peak of the Sudan crisis
prior to the referendum," Avognon said.
"The only place to accommodate these new arrivals is swampy," he added,
warning that such unsanitary conditions were likely to make people sick.
Some 60 percent of new arrivals are from South Sudan, 16 percent from Sudan
and the remainder from neighbouring states like Somalia and Ethiopia.
Most Sudanese are coming from South Kordofan on the oil-rich, disputed
border between the two Sudans. Rebels who fought on the side of South Sudan
during the 1983-2005 war are fighting the Khartoum government once again,
causing widespread displacement and hunger.
The United Nations and the local community have identified a new site called
Kalobeyey with capacity for 80,000 people, 25 km from Kakuma.
But Kenya's ministry of internal security has yet to authorise the U.N. to
start building an access road to the site.
"Refugee matters are not very popular here. People immediately see the
security side of it. The government is very cautious," Avognon said.
The U.N. predicts that Kakuma will receive between 30,000 and 50,000 new
arrivals in the next 12 months, largely because of interethnic feuds.
"If Kakuma remains the main destination of new arrivals, I don't see how we
are going to cope in the next dry season," said Avognon, adding that water
shortages could lead to conflict with the host community in Kenya's arid
north-west. (AlertNet is a humanitarian news service run by Thomson Reuters
Foundation. Visit <http://www.trust.org/alertnet
(Editing by James Macharia and Michael Roddy)
C Thomson Reuters 2012 All rights reserved
INTERVIEW-South Sudan calls for U.N. sanctions on Khartoum
Fri May 18, 2012 11:16am GMT
* Negotiator says Sudan in violation of U.N. resolution
* Faults UN, AU for not being firm enough with Khartoum
* Juba ready for "fair" oil deal, wants U.N. guarantees
By Pascal Fletcher
JUBA, May 18 (Reuters) - The United Nations should impose sanctions on Sudan
for failing to obey a Security Council resolution calling for an end to
hostilities and renewed negotiations with South Sudan over oil and border
disputes, South Sudan's negotiator said on Friday.
Pagan Amum told Reuters Khartoum had not complied with the May 2 resolution
giving neighbours Sudan and South Sudan, under threat of sanctions, two
weeks to resume talks over their differences, which boiled over into border
clashes last month.
He said while South Sudan, which became the world's newest independent
nation last year, had signalled its readiness to restart talks immediately,
its neighbour had carried out air attacks after May 2 and had not moved to
"They have violated the timeline," Amum, Secretary-General of South Sudan's
ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), said in an interview in
the South Sudanese capital Juba.
He urged the U.N. Security Council to "impose sanctions now and take
measures against Khartoum".
A spokesman for Sudan's Foreign Ministry said Amum's remarks were
"unfortunate" and accused the south of violating the Security Council
resolution by continuing its "aggression" in Sudan's territory.
While insisting the South wanted to live in peace with Sudan, Amum
criticised both the United Nations and the African Union for failing to deal
firmly with Sudan, which he said routinely defied the international
"If the U.N. fails to take action, they will be judged by humanity and the
people of South Sudan will lose trust and confidence in them," the South
Sudanese negotiator said.
"We are going to ask them, 'What are you going to do?'"
He said he had written to former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who is
in Khartoum as head of the AU panel tasked with resolving the north-south
disputes, asking when the negotiations with Khartoum would restart but had
not so far received a response.
El-Obeid Morawah, Sudan's Foreign Ministry spokesman, said: "The Security
Council and the AU have their own monitoring mechanisms and it is they who
will say which side violates the decisions. I think it is better for them
(South Sudan) and for us to put the negotiations first."
On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council demanded that Sudan immediately
withdraw troops from the disputed Abyei border region but Khartoum pledged
only to do so after a joint military observer body for the area was created.
Amum said South Sudan had withdrawn its police forces from Abyei in
compliance with the U.N. demands and said Khartoum's failure to pull out its
military was a violation that should be punished by the Security Council.
'FAIR' OIL DEAL
Juba accuses Khartoum of launching bombing raids on South Sudanese territory
after May 2. U.N. peacekeepers have verified damage and casualties from at
least one raid and the U.N.'s top human rights official said last week she
was outraged by "indiscriminate" aerial attacks by Sudan that she said were
killing and injuring civilians.
Sudan denies Juba's accusations of air raids and independent verification of
rival claims are often difficult because of limited access to remote
Amum chastised the U.N. and the AU for what he said was inaction over
repeated Sudanese attacks.
"The U.N. sees it as normal for (Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-) Bashir
to bomb and kill the people of South Sudan. The conscience of the
international community is not pricked ... they are used to it, it has
become normal," he complained.
He said the international community only reacted when South Sudanese forces,
in what he called self-defence, occupied the disputed Heglig oil region, as
the two armies clashed on their border last month. Under international
pressure, South Sudan withdrew from Heglig.
The two Sudans, which fought a civil war for more than two decades before a
2005 peace deal that eventually led to South Sudan's independence, sit on
significant oil reserves.
The South's independence gave it about three quarters of the oil output of
the previously unified nation. A dispute over the fees South Sudan should
pay to Sudan to export its crude through the north prompted Juba to shut off
its oil production earlier this year, straining the two economies.
Bashir said this week Khartoum would not allow South Sudan to export any oil
through its territory unless the two settle all border security disputes.
Amum said Juba was ready to strike a "fair commercial agreement" with
Khartoum on oil transit fees but South Sudan would demand international
guarantees for such a deal to prevent Sudan from "stealing or diverting" its
"The U.N. Security Council must be the guarantor," with the involvement of
China, India and Malaysia - the three largest investors in the Sudans' now
separate oil industries - he said.
"They are interested parties ... they must guarantee that if Sudan takes one
single barrel from South Sudan they will pay the value of that barrel," Amum
He rejected predictions from some experts that South Sudan would collapse in
months without oil revenue after the production shutdown, saying his
government was introducing austerity measures and moving to acquire bridging
loans and financing from friendly government and willing investors.
Amum said South Sudan had foreign exchange reserves to last "more than a
year" and was negotiating "future and forward sales of oil in the ground" to
obtain financing. (Additional reporting by Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by
C Thomson Reuters 2012 All rights reserved
------------[ Sent via the dehai-wn mailing list by dehai.org]--------------
Received on Fri May 18 2012 - 17:37:50 EDT