Sudan

USAID Field Report Sudan May 2005

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Program Description

The OTI program aims to foster conditions necessary for the development of a democratic peace in Sudan. The five objectives of the OTI Sudan program are to: support the emergence of responsive, effective, and inclusive civil authorities; restore the conditions of peace within and among communities through support of opportunities for peaceful dialogue; assist in the emergence of an empowered and active civil society; increase access to quality, independent information; and protect vulnerable populations from abuse.

OTI's implementing partners are PACT, Educational Development Center (EDC), and Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI). PACT manages the Southern Sudan Transition Initiative, which is a two-year small-grants program promoting and supporting good governance, local-level peace initiatives, the development of civil society, and an informative and balanced media. EDC has established the Sudan Radio Service, which is a short-wave radio station that transmits six hours of programming daily on current events, civic education, health, and culture in nine languages. DAI is implementing Phase II of the small grants program that will focus on critical transition needs in the aftermath of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the Government of Sudan.

Country Situation

U.N. Chief Travels to Sudan – Secretary-General Kofi Annan traveled to Rumbek to meet with SPLM leader John Garang on issues surrounding the implementation of the January peace agreement. Garang informed Annan that more than a quarter of a million refugees have returned to southern Sudan since the signing of the agreement. He warned that the influx of returnees coupled with a poor harvest and the inability of humanitarian agencies to provide adequate food had caused a potential humanitarian disaster.

National Constitution Committee Meets in Rumbek – The National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC), composed of members of the Sudanese government and the SPLM, traveled to Rumbek to bring the constitutional review process to the south. The delegation of 160 NCRC members arrived to a lavish ceremony that included the ritual slaughtering of a bull. From Rumbek, Garang made an appearance on Sudanese television to discuss the deliberations on the constitution and the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The NCRC is scheduled to hold a forum at which the public will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the constitutional review process.

Garang Suspends County Officials Over Ethnic Clashes – SPLM leader John Garang suspended three county officials in Bahr al-Ghazal for allegedly fueling ethnic clashes. In the past month, more than 100 people have been killed as a result of inter-ethnic conflict in the counties of Yirol West, Yirol East and Awerial. The clashes, between the Dinka sub-sections of the Atwot and Aliab, were related most often to cattle-rustling. The suspended officials will be investigated for their role in the conflict.

Northern Media Sector Developments – The National Intelligence and Security Bureau lifted its 2.5 year ban on the daily Arabic language newspaper, Al Watan. In May, the government of Sudan banned publication of the English-language daily newspaper, Khartoum Monitor, for a day. The stop-press was prompted by a proposed Monitor editorial on the disturbances at the Soba Aradi IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) settlements in Khartoum state. This stop-press was the first government intervention with the Khartoum Monitor in 20 months.

USAID/OTI Highlights

A. Narrative Summary

In May, the OTI program focused on revising its strategic approach given the initiation of a new small-grants program under DAI and the continuation of peace-building activities under PACT. Senior field advisor Eleanor Bedford and technology sector specialist Dan Henry provided valuable training sessions for DAI staff in Rumbek on OTI principles in grant development, optimal use of the database, and roles and responsibilities of each position.

A major team-building workshop took place in Nairobi in mid-May that brought together OTI staff from Washington, implementing partners and members of the Sudan Field Office. Participants in the three-day meetings reviewed OTI's evolving mandate given the current political realities in southern Sudan and proposed strategic adjustments to the program. Enhancement of lines of communication and opportunities for collaboration with other USAID programs were also explored.

With an additional $500,000 in funding secured in May, PACT's small-grants program will continue to operate until the end of this calendar year. Given the increased insecurity and conflict in southern Sudan, much of the focus of the program will be in support of conflict-mitigation processes. DAI's activities will complement the initiatives of PACT by providing follow-up support to peace process' outcomes. Both programs will work in synergy to provide stabilizing influences in this critical transition period.

In May, the new OTI Sudan programming capacity now being established in Khartoum generated the first two of an intended series of initial small grants under the DAI mechanism. The key themes being targeted in these first two grants concern citizen protection. The first OTI small grant issued in Darfur supported a combined union of women's groups in the Otash and Kalma IDP camps in South Darfur, near Nyala. The activity will enable 600 IDP women to engage in grass-mat weaving, with the mats to be sold to humanitarian agencies supporting IDPs in South Darfur. This quick impact income-generating project will enable women to purchase their firewood, reducing their exposure to violence when they go far from the camp to secure firewood in the bush.

OTI also provided a small grant to the Khartoum Center for Human Rights to promote respect for human rights, specifically the right to physical integrity. The center will provide education to the public and human rights practitioners on key issues and will suggest approaches that Sudan might consider to improve protection of civilians.

B. Grants Activity Summary *

Objective
May Total No
Total Funding
Program Total No.
Program Total Funding
Promote emergence of responsive, effective and inclusive civil authorities.


46
$1,714,846
Provide opportunities for peaceful dialogue within and among communities.


93
$2,577,436
Promote the emergence of an empowered and an active civil society.


43
$ 940,899
Increase availability of quality, independent information.
1

47
$4,892,497
Protect vulnerable populations from abuse.
2
$86,480
6
$1,583,602
TOTAL
3
$86,480
235
$11,709,280

C. Indicators of Success

The Sudan Radio Service has been able to successfully position itself as an excellent avenue to reach the southern Sudanese population. Over the past few months, SRS's programming and advertising revenue has increased considerably. At a recent trade and investment fair for southern Sudan, SRS delivered a presentation to several hundred participants on how the short-wave radio station could help businesses advertise their goods and services. According to the SRS marketing team at the trade fair, they received numerous inquiries and expect a substantial increase in the amount of advertising. As the profile of SRS continues to grow, the ability of the station to develop a steady stream of revenue will go a long way to ensuring its sustainability.

NEXT STEPS/IMMEDIATE PRIORITIES

Finalize outcomes of the May Team-Building Session.

Work with DAI in hiring of new staff and procurement of essential items.

Assist PACT in developing priority focus areas for new monies.

For further information, please contact:

In Washington, D.C: Nhelly Saleh, Sudan Program Manager, Tel: (202) 712-0795, nsaleh@usaid.gov