Underdeveloped east Sudan "volcano to erupt"-report
Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:31pm GMT
KHARTOUM Dec 11 (Reuters) - Sudan's impoverished east is "a volcano waiting
to erupt" because anger is rising over a lack of economic development and an
abundance of arms, a U.N. agency quoted an official as saying in a report.
Sudan's government is fighting armed insurgents in the Western region of
Darfur and two southern border states which all complain of economic and
political marginalisation in the African country.
The east is crucial to Sudan's oil-driven economy as it contains the only
commercial port and miles of pipline. The Eastern Front, an east Sudanese
movement, signed a peace deal with Khartoum in 2006 ending a lingering
insurgency, but complaints of neglect continue. Small anti-government
protest have erupted in the city of Kassala near the Eritrean border in the
past few months.
The east is "a volcano waiting to erupt," an official working with the U.N.
Development Programme (UNDP) in Kassala said, according to a report by the
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) published on its website.
IRIN is a media agency affiliated with the United Nations Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs though their reports do not necessarily
reflect official U.N. policy.
The report quoted the UNDP official as saying Beja tribal fighters were
gathering in Hamid Mountains on the Eritrean side of the border to east
"Unofficial sources have already reported that they organised attacks in
Sudanese territory three months ago," said the UNDP source, according to the
IRIN quoted Beja community leader Mohamed Ali Adam as saying many in his
community "think that the situation hasn't improved for them even five years
after the war. They have still no access to facilities such as schools as
promised by the government."
Information Ministry official Rabie Abdelati dismissed the report as
inaccurate, saying a large development programme was underway in the east.
"There is a development programme ongoing in the east, much financial aid.
Leaders from the east are part of the new government," he said.
Events in east Sudan are hard to verify because journalists and diplomats
need travel permits to go there.
Sudan has been struggling with a severe economic crisis since South Sudan
took away much of the country's oil production when it became independent in
July. Oil is the lifeline of both economies.
(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Matthew Jones)
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's government approved on Sunday a $167 million
plan to try to stem the flow of African migrants who cross into the country
through its porous border with Egypt.
Announcing the government's intention to raise fines for employers who hire
illegal workers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "If necessary, we
will close businesses so that the enterprise called the State of Israel will
not shut down."
Netanyahu said he would visit Africa soon where among other issues he will
discuss the repatriation of migrants. Political sources said he was likely
to travel in February to Kenya, Uganda and possibly South Sudan.
Israeli government figures put the number of illegal workers in Israel at
more than 52,000.
Many of the migrants come from Eritrea and Sudan and cross into Israel from
Egypt's Sinai desert. Israel is building a fence along its frontier with
Egypt to try to block the migrants and prevent infiltration by Islamist
The plan, which includes the construction of detention facilities for
migrants, was first announced a year ago and Sunday's cabinet decision freed
up government funds to implement it.
"Without a plan to deal with illegal workers, the number of migrants will
rise to 100,000 a year," Netanyahu was quoted by a government statement as
telling the cabinet.
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Received on Sun Dec 11 2011 - 16:21:20 EST