An interview with the ambassador of Sudan in Spain.

IMG_7813

Mr. Mohamed Abdalla Abdelhameed Ahmed, Ambassador of Sudan in Spain.

On the 31st of May of 2017, I had the privilege to interview the ambassador of Sudan in Spain. Mohamed Abdalla Abdelhameed Ahmed, who has been ambassador of Iran, Canada, United Kingdom and now Spain. He studied Economics and Political Science. The reason I chose to interview Mr. Ahmed was to know more about how the diplomatic life is and have the opportunity to learn more about his country.

The ambassador didn’t know he wanted to be an ambassador as a career, when he finish his career in Economics and Political Science he had the opportunity to do the exams to entering the foreign ministry. He explained that there are a lot of exams, test and interviews you have to make in order to enter. Finally he was accepted, and was send to Iran. If he wouldn’t became an ambassador or studied Economics and Political Science, he would like to study law. Even though his father didn’t like so much the idea of him studying law.

The thing he like the most about his job is the opportunity to get to know different persons around the world and be able to work in so many fields concerning his country and the receiving country where he is working, as economics, politics or culture. I also asked what is one of the difficulties of his job, he thinks the stress that the job could generate. Also one of the difficult thigs about his job is the fact that he is traveling a lot and moving of country. He and his family has to adapt to the new culture of the receiving country, and if the language is different they would have to learn it, also his kids have to attend to international schools. Moreover, when he was ambassador in United Kingdom it was kind of difficult because Sudan was a colony of them, even though they have good relations sometimes they still have tensions.

I asked if Sudan and Spain have a special cultural agreement, he explain me that there are a lot of agreements between the two countries, but one that he could emphasize is one that was more active between the seventies and eighties, where a large amount of Sudanese students came to Spain to study their degrees.

He loves his country, even though as all countries it has their areas to improve. One of the things he miss the most is the hospitality of his people, he explained to me how Sudanese love to receive foreigners and treat them as their own people. Also the social life is one of the things he misses, because as difference as most European countries, Sudanese families tend to have large families. This makes the simple gathering of family be richer. Furthermore he loves the history of his country, which is one of the most ancient in the world, one of the oldest regions is Nubia, which is located at the south of Egypt and north of Sudan, in the Nile River.  Another thing the ambassador likes about his country is the multiculturality of this, even though the official languages are English and Arabic, there are approximately 70 different languages native of Sudan, and are very different between them.

Mr. Ahmed thinks that between Spain and Sudan are some similarities, especially in the personality of the people. As I have said, Sudanese families tend to be large and this is a peculiarity he has observed that is the same in Spain. Moreover he has noticed that Spanish people tend to raise their voice while speaking by phone, he says that Sudanese are tend to be loud. He really likes Spain because of how welcoming are, and reminds him back home.

The ambassador was pleased to explain to me how the relations are between Sudan and South Sudan. For me to understand it better he compared the countries with a family. Where the daughter marries therefore she starts living with the family of her husband. The two families are “different” but still have relations between them. South Sudan independence of Sudan on 2011, they still have good relations, also have economic and trade agreements, and cooperate to dissolve rebel groups in both countries.

Finally Mr. Ahmed encourage young students to work on this field, because is a privilege job, where you can learn a lot, also how interesting the job is because as he said before there are so different fields that you work when you are an ambassador. Furthermore how much the person can offer to the relations that their country is doing.

 

It was an honor to interview Mr. Ahmed.

Written by Emilse Pardo

United States Court of Appeals Denies Trump’s Travel Ban

The controversial decree signed by President Donald J. Trump banning refugees and restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter in the U.S. was declined by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

trumps-travel-ban

President of United States Donald J. Trump

Mr. Trump signed the Executive Order 13769 under the name of “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”resulting in the suspension of this decree on 3rd February. The U.S. Court of Appeals on 9th February unanimously rejected President Trump’s attempt to re-apply it

From this declarations, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

This victory should not lead to complacency. This and other Trump administration orders and policies still pose a threat to communities of color, religious minorities, women, and others.”  

Three judges supported arguments in order to keep the suspension of the traveling ban and Mr. Trump said he would take the case to the Supreme Court.

Trump defend his travel ban and accused the judiciary branch of becoming “political” during an address to the Washington, D.C.conference of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. He also made references to his current measures related to the electoral campaign:


“One of the reasons I was elected was because of law, order, and security.”

Mr. Trump talks directly to the American people, Courts of Appeal and to the Opposition:


“You are great men and women, and we have to allow you to do your jobs, and we have to give you the weapons that you need […] they are trying to taking away from you, because of politics, or political views.”


In those statements, he is calling for Americans to understand the travel ban as a tool for increment security and jobs. Then Trump alleged the possibility of the Courts of being influenced by the opposite party in its decisions. 

This article from The Guardian informs about Trump called for surveillance against mosques and support the idea of establishing a database for all Muslims living in the United States. This ideology has led Trump wants to the shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until he was able to figure out how to attack horrendous threats by people who believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life, in his own words.

Trump’s executive order of the travel ban restriction proposed (also applied to permanent US residents, like green-card holders and foreign visitors) the imposition of a 90-day ban on travelers from Syria, Iran, Sudan, Lybia, Somalia, Yemen, and Iraq, according to the Telegraph

However, the ban is not applied to Christians of these countries. 

Trump’s executive order has been strongly criticized by many people, as the Court of Appeals alleged that the travel ban has nothing to do with the reach of ‘national security’:

The decision to ban people from seven-Muslim majority countries to enter the United States will give further arguments to extremist groups, such as the Islamic State, and will not guarantee national security.”


By Alejandro Martínez, Marina Barberá and Alba Tissera.

Pregnant sudanese woman condemned to death for apostate.

Last week Sudan’s government condemned Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a 27 year old pregnant woman, for declaring herself a Christian while her government considers her a Muslim- following her father’s religion.

Islam fundamentalist asking for death sentence to the apostates.Photo from: http://ivarfjeld.com/2013/10/23/facebook-lets-islamic-beheading-clips-return/

Islam fundamentalist asking for death sentence to the apostates.Photo from: http://ivarfjeld.com/2013/10/23/facebook-lets-islamic-beheading-clips-return/

Unfortunately, even nowadays, this is not the first case in which religion choices leads to death sentences. In this case, she has been condemned under the crime of apostasy. In addition, she was sentenced to a 100 lashes due to her marriage with a Christian isn’t valid to Sudan and having two kids with him is consider adultery. Some interpretations of Muslim law in Sudan claim illegal the conversions out of Islam. Taking into a count the last events, the international community has been having an increasing interest over this issue, trying to abolish the judge’s decision. The sentence will be put in practice in two years from now, due to the article of the Sudanese constitution that reads that no pregnant woman shall be punished before waiting two years of lactancy.

Going back to Sudan’s constitution, it is to notice the first article:

“The Republic of the Sudan is an independent, sovereign State. It is a democratic, decentralized, multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-lingual country where such diversities co-exist.”

Having considered this point, it is reasonable to affirm that last week’s events and the court’s decision, surrounding Meriam’s case, is not following their own constitution.

Now the next question is: What can the international community do about it? A direct intervention is discarded as no one is willing to compromise human lives and resources for this issue. Another way of solving it could be  through legal means, but although a non-profit organization has found this punishment illegal – by the proper Sudanese constitution- prosecutors have decide not to take it into account.

Another difficulty is that despite the fact that this sentence goes against international treaties, signed by them in 1956, it is valid according to the Islam human rights law. As the article 10 reads: “Islam is the religion of unspoiled nature. It is prohibited to exercise any form of compulsion on man or to exploit his poverty or ignorance in order to convert him to another religion or to atheism”.

There is a big contradiction between national laws and international law and finally a summed up law depending the religion. Like some Imam said “the interpretation of Mahoma words can be controversial for the understanding of life.” The ranges of opinion can vary depending their education social clash and environment.

 

From the international point of view and the national constitution, the act of crime should be punished but the sentence shall follow the law.However, Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir, Sudan president, has been warned several times by its brutal national persecution to small ethnic groups of the country, making a division of its territory in 2011 done by the other religious group, Christians.

Sudanese cant life this type of systematic torture depending your cultural history or present, the international court should act in the word of the international community in which Sudanese president ratified all the conventions since 1956.

 

 

Joseph Kony

After the campaign that made Joseph Kony infamously worldwide known, not only haven’t he still been defeated, but also he is still being the leader of the war that has, under his command, the largest amount of child soldiers.

Not long ago, we were told that there were ‘only’ a few hundred of soldiers left, but this number of soldiers has not only not been proved but is also in a huge risk of increase in a short period of time and very rapidly. This is considered for him the quality of child soldiers, they can be recruited, prepared and armed in an alarming short term, another considerate ‘quality’ of child soldiers is that it is scarily easy to gain an access to control them, even brainwash them, as they won’t be aware of another reality but war.

Imagen

Joseph Kony, ABC.

In south Sudan the war and the quantity of children that are traumatized by this experience, converts into a perfect cultivation field for the recruits that have to be harvested, when they leave their homes due to the damages of the war.

Additionally the Sudan war turned into a contention wall for Kony, a conflict which covered his rearguard of possible offensives from the north allowing him to concentrate in specific fronts, and have an option and a way to escape.

Currently the South Sudan government have started to initiate ‘anti-Kony’ operations inside their territory with the support of international agent like the famous ‘white preacher’ that is well known as Sam Childers, a preacher from Minnessota that has since 1998 fought against the LRA (Lords Resistance Army), which is the name of Kony’s army.

Imagen

These actions that has been taken out by public and private organizations seems to have induced the exile of Kony toward the Central African Republic with another 200-500 soldiers who would exceed the number of soldiers that Kony had under his command in 2011 (around 300 soldiers max).

This collides with the anti-kony campaigns that had been realized between 2011 and 2012, for despite of them the number of troops and soldiers has increased.

Surprisingly the actions that have really made an impact has been those of the same character taken by Mr.Childers, thanks to his effort and collaboration with the army of South Sudan they have together managed to expel Kony out of this territory and later on also from Uganda. Recently other persons of the Western World have track and report to the world in more detail the brutal activities of Joseph Kony, a very good and extremely precise report is the one made by Lara Logan for the CBS.

The future of what will happen with Kony is uncertain but with all the information explained before we can see that the only effective action against him seems to be direct action and military, not an awareness campaign based on wristbands and messages on twitter.

Clooney arrested at protest for Sudan

Hollywood Superstar George Clooney, his father Nick Clooney, US Representative Jim Moran of Virginia, NAACP president Ben Jealous and dozens of others got arrested after blocking the entrance of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington D.C. while protesting against the Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

I am just trying to raise attention,” Clooney pointed out to reporters as the police led him away. A few days before the protest, Clooney returned from his trip throughout the Sudan. He confirms the fear of the Sudan conflict turning into a huge disaster and a retractable conflict in the South Kordofan state. After South Sudan’s independence from the Sudan last year the problems have grown. While the north is of Arabic origin, where a white Muslim influenced culture is predominate, the majority of the southern part is populated by African Christians.

Although mainly Southerners live in the South Kordofan state, especially in the region of the Nuba Mountains, this region wasn’t recognized as a part of the south after the voting of the independence of South Sudan in 2011. Now this border region suffers from the dominant Arab government, which is abusing and killing mostly black Christian inhabitants that lives there. According to Amnesty International and the UN, humanitarian aid is desperately needed but the government is still blocking the help. Due to the coming rain season, thousands of people will suffer from starvation and, moreover, it is estimated that about 250,000 people will face serious emergency by the end of the next month if the region does not get help from outside. Last Wednesday George Clooney talked to US President Barrack Obama and told him about the situation in the Sudan he had observed during his secret tour. “We found children filled with shrapnel, including a nine-year-old boy who had both of his hands blown off,“ he told the US officials.

Clooney also asked Obama to put more pressure on China to force the government of Sudan to open the southern region of the country and thereby relief efforts and find a resolution. To understand China’s position in this matter one need to look further back. China has invested heavily in the Sudanese oil industry by building a $20 billion oil infrastructure from south, where the oil resources are stationed, to north where they collect the raw material to sell to the world market. The profit of the oil negotiations goes into the Chinese, not Sudanese public treasury. The South Sudan now has shut off the oil supplies to the north region which leaves both the Sudanese government and China without this essential source of income. Furthermore this closed oil supply has come to affect countries worldwide as well. According to Clooney China now has to turn to the open oil market. This will costs the Chinese government a bigger deal of money and will raise the price of gas. Nevertheless this is obviously not the most important issue regarding this case, but it plays an important part and complexes the already seemingly hopeless situation that people are facing in South Kordofan.

Are we seeing another Darfur? Thanks to people like the blogger Nick Kristof, Ryan Boyette or even George Clooney, the world knows through pictures, videos and blogs what is going on in this country. To quote George Clooney again: “Listen, there’s an Arab Spring, there’s Iran, there’s a lot of stuff going on in the world. It’s hard to keep the focus for a long period of time on this, but that’s what our job is – to keep reminding people of this.”

By: Danira Milosevic,
Linn Andersson,
Angela Gutierrez Moreno
and Jesus Alcantara Landa

Sudán del Sur nuevo miembro de la ONU

Tras su independencia oficial el pasado sábado 9 de julio, y habiendo establecido ya su capital en Yuda, Sudán del Sur ha sido reconocido como un miembro más dentro de la ONU tras la aceptación de la Asamblea General, convitiéndose en el número 193 de la organización.

“Declaro a Sudán del Sur miembro de Naciones Unidas”, con estas palabras declaró Joseph Deiss, presidente de la Asamblea General, la incorporación del país en la ONU.

Salva Kiir Mayardit, presidente de Sudán del Sur, envió una carta el 9 de julio a la ONU pidiendo ser país miembro de ésta, con todos los derechos que le correspoderían por ello.El Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU ha dado su visto bueno para después haber sido votado por la Asamblea General. Esto se ha logrado gracias a un referéndum realizado en enero pasado en el que el 98% de la población estaba de acuerdo con la independencia del sur de Sudán como país independiente.

Leer más de esta entrada

La Policía Sudanesa anula la publicación de un diario secesionista.

Las fuerzas de seguridad sudanesas suspendieron este jueves la publicación de un periódico asociado con el principal partido de Sur de Sudán, lo que ha elevado tensiones entre los diferentes dirigentes políticos y la población. Los temores ahora se centran en una posible ola de censura, según informaros los responsables del diario, “Ajras al Huriya”, que remarcaron también la falta de información y explicaciones que justifiquen esta suspensión, pero sospechan que pueda deberse a que en el periódico, con sede en Jartum, se han publicado artículos destacados sobre la posible secesión de Sur de Sudán tras el referéndum y las protestas y revueltas callejeras por la inflación.

“Llegamos a nuestra redacción anoche (miércoles) y las fuerzas de seguridad vinieron a nosotros a detenernos”, indicó el subdirector, Fayez al Silaik. “Señalaron que no se podía imprimir hasta que no lo hubieran leído”, agregó Al Silaik. Lamentado ante los hechos, agregó que ahora estaban esperando a la posibilidad del cierre o suspensión definitiva del periódico, “estamos esperando lo peor”. También señaló que la mayoría de los editores del periódico son del norte y que están preocupados por cómo proyectará la información los diferentes medios de comunicación, si se declara la independencia de Sur de Sudán. Leer más de esta entrada