The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir and his staff will officially move on Monday to the new presidential palace that was constructed by a Chinese company and funded by Beijing.
The date coincides with the anniversary Khartoum’s liberation from British occupation by forces loyal to religious figure Mohamed Ahmed al-Mahdi in 1885 and the killing of General Charles Gordon in what is now the presidential palace.
Bashir will inaugurate the new palace in the presence of 1st Vice-President General Bakri Hassan Saleh and 2nd VP Hassabo Abdel-Rahman along with other executive and parliamentary officials and foreign dignitaries and diplomats.
The presidential press secretary Emad Sid Ahmed said that the new palace “is a source of pride for Sudanese and affirmation of the continued process of development and construction” adding that it reflects the heritage and authenticity of the Sudanese people.
Sudan’s defence minister, Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, has renewed accusations that South Sudan continues to harbor and support Sudanese rebel groups.
ording to the official news agency (SUNA), Hussein discussed with the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) chairman, Thabo Mbeki, on Sunday the outstanding issues between Khartoum and Juba.
The meeting which was attended by the chief of staff of the ground forces, Emad al-Deen Mustafa Adawi, and the head of military intelligence Siddig Aamer, also discussed resumption of peace talks with the rebel groups.
According to SUNA, Hussein underscored that the AUHIP has understood Sudan’s refusal to include Darfur problem among other security issues, stressing that rebel groups continue to receive arms support for South Sudan.
Relations between Sudan and South Sudan have been shaky since the latter seceded from its northern neighbor on July 2011. Khartoum and Juba continue to trade accusations of support to rebel groups from both sides since South Sudan attained independence.
Last December, the director of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), Mohamed Atta, warned South Sudan against supporting and funding Sudanese rebels, particularly the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).
The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) warned that they will hold accountable any of its members who plan run independently in the upcoming general elections.
Mohamed Awad al-Baroodi, an NCP leading figure and ex-minister of culture in Khartoum state government, will run against the party’s candidate president Omer Hassan al-Bashir in the presidential elections.
The NCP Shura council secretary Mohamed Tahir Osham revealed that some party figures have been dispatched to the states to talk some members out of running as independents in legislative races.
He said that a disciplinary committee will take measures against those who disapproved of the party’s nominations in parliamentary elections.
Osham asserted that it is never too late for those members to pull out of the race to avoid punishment.
The National Elections Commission (NEC) will announce on Sunday the final list of candidates for the April elections at all levels.
North Darfur camp faces water shortages : IDPs
North Darfur internally displaced persons (IDPs) who fled their areas in east Jebel Marra following the recent fighting there are now facing water shortages and sanitation-related diseases in Zamzam camp where they reside.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Wednesday that more than 18,000 people have been newly verified as displaced in El Fasher, Shangil Tobaya, Tawila and Um Baru areas in North Darfur.
The spokesperson of Darfur IDPs and refugees association Hussein Abu Sharati, told Sudan Tribune Saturday that the residents of Zamzam camp, 10 km west of El Fasher, are affected by severe shortages after the flow of 10,000 IDPs this month.
Abu Sharati further warned that the situation would deteriorate during the upcoming summer season where the need for water consummation will increase.
On the other hand, he spoke about the need for sanitation facilities, adding that defecating in the open has serious health implications and puts the IDPs at risk of diseases and epidemics.
The hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) warned this week of the humanitarian impact of the clashes between the government forces and rebels.
“UNAMID is working in coordination with the UN country team and other humanitarian actors to provide protection and assist in the distribution of urgent aid to the affected populations,” the peacekeeping mission said in a statement issued on 22 January.