Sudan's war-torn S. Kordofan to be divided

Updated 20 December 2012
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Sudan's war-torn S. Kordofan to be divided

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s war-torn South Kordofan state is to be divided, giving separate status to the western part dominated by nomadic Arab Misseriya tribesmen, the government said yesterday.
Vice President Ali Osman Taha “announces the establishment of West Kordofan state,” the official SUNA news agency said in a brief dispatch.
The move recreates the state of West Kordofan which was eliminated in 2005 following a peace agreement between Khartoum and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement that ended a 23-year civil war.
At that time Khartoum agreed to unite West and South Kordofan in line with calls from the SPLM, which was supported by ethnic fighters based in the Nuba Mountains that straddle South and West Kordofan.
The boundary between the two states fell just west of Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan where Nuba rebels formerly allied to the southern insurgents have been fighting since June last year, shortly before the South separated after an overwhelming “yes” vote in a referendum.
The rebellion by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North — which Khartoum alleges is backed by South Sudan — is concentrated in the eastern half of the state.
West Kordofan is home to most of cash-strapped Sudan’s oilfields as well as to the territory of Abyei, whose final status was the most sensitive issue left unresolved when South Sudan became independent.
Sudan and South Sudan failed to settle the Abyei issue by a Dec. 5 African Union deadline.
The AU has proposed that a referendum be held next October on whether the territory joins Sudan or South Sudan.
Under that plan, members of the Dinka, a dominant South Sudanese tribe who live in the Abyei area, would have the right to vote along with Sudanese with “permanent abode”.
The Misseriya, who regularly graze their animals and move through Abyei, strongly object to the plan.


Egypt court orders one month YouTube block over Islam film

Updated 26 May 2018
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Egypt court orders one month YouTube block over Islam film

  • A lower court had ordered the video sharing site be blocked in 2013 after it carried the video "Innocence of Muslims"

CAIRO: Egypt’s top administrative court ordered authorities Saturday to block video-sharing website YouTube in the country for a month, after a years-long appeals process over a film denigrating Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, a judicial official said.
A lower court had ordered the video sharing site be blocked in 2013 after it carried the video “Innocence of Muslims,” but the case was appealed by Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and its ruling was stayed.
The 2012 amateurish film depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a buffoon and a paedophile, and sparked a wave of angry anti-American protests across the Middle East in which more than 30 people were killed.
Washington sought to keep a lid on the demonstrations by saying the controversial film was made privately with no official backing.
US officials said freedom of speech laws prevented them from stopping the production of inflammatory material.
The ruling is considered final and cannot be appealed.
As of Saturday afternoon, YouTube was still accessible in Cairo.