Resident Coordinator's Office
Joint Weekly Report
9 - 15 March 2007
On 5th March a hand grenade exploded in the market place of Abu Gubeiha that resulted in four dead and many injured. The national press reported that as many as forty-three had been hurt. It is thought that the man threw the grenade whilst fleeing the security services after being told to surrender his weapons. After the incident a joint statement from tribal leaders, representatives of local political parties and trade unions was released expressing the view that the federal authorities should be invited to take over the responsibility for law and order in the area, to reverse the alleged ‘security chaos’ that had spread across town. The statement also called for the removal of the locality commissioner, Mr Musa Kajo (SPLM). A State Security Committee was deployed to Abu Gubeiha on Saturday 10th March to address the underlying issues and try to reduce tension in the area. It has been reported that the SPLM has increased its guard force around the locality headquarters.
On 11th March a private lorry travelling on the road between Kurgol and Dilling was stopped by bandits and the Sudanese occupants were beaten and robbed at gunpoint. This, and previous robberies, in the area have not so far involved UN or NGO staff.
Tension continues to build in Kwalib and Tungoli (Kauda area) following the robbery of a truck on 16th February when three passengers died and eleven were hospitalised from gunshot wounds. Although two of the three people that died were SPLA soldiers it appears that the likely motive for the hold-up was simple robbery rather than an attack on SPLA personnel. During an UNMO patrol to the same area on 8th March the local commander stated that if the UN did not resolve the local nomad problem then the SPLA would be obliged to step in.
On 21st February HAC/SRRC in Kadugli stood down due to a lack of salaries and money for equipment. On 13th March the RCO was called to a meeting by the Chief of HAC/SRRC to discuss the structure of coordination meetings. Throughout the meeting the Chief of HAC/SRRC made no reference to the previous letter stating that HAC/SRRC had stood down and it appeared to be business as usual. During the meeting HAC/SRRC criticised the SK Planning Forum stating that the Director Generals (DGs) had not managed to pull together and the concept, whilst being good in theory, had failed to deliver anything in practice. It was suggested that SRRC/HAC/RCO chaired interagency meeting should be re-established with a clear objective. An interagency meeting with the NGOs was to be a mechanism for reporting only and that more ambitious planning considerations linked to the UN and Partners work Plan and the State’s Five Year plan could not be addressed by the RCO and SRRC/HAC in the absence of the DGs. It was agreed that an event involving the DGs was still necessary in addition to that requested by SRRC/HAC, perhaps quarterly.
On the same topic, RCO met with the DG of Economy and Investment who said that the Planning Forum was still viewed as an important step for SK’s recovery and set a date for the next Planning Forum for the first week of April. The DG also viewed the return to a HAC/SRRC/RCO interagency meeting negatively claiming that NGO time would be better spent working with the DGs on medium term planning than simply reporting.
It is worth noting that within the Government SRRC/HAC is viewed as a federal mechanism that reports to Khartoum whilst the DG network is a state mechanism that reports to the Governor.
Key forthcoming Events/Meetings/Missions
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