Sudanese women flogged for “wearing trousers”

The BBC reported earlier today that 13 women were arrested for “wearing trousers” in a restaurant in Khartoum, Sudan.

Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein, says that she and twelve other women are facing 40 lashes.

“I was wearing trousers and a blouse and the 10 girls who were lashed were wearing like me, there was no difference,” she told the BBC’s Arabic service.

Khartoum, unlike South Sudan, is governed by Sharia law.  Under Sharia law in Khartoum, the normal punishment for “indecent” dressing is 40 lashes.

I am speechless.

Read the full article at BBC.

Men Dressed as Women Attack Darfur Female Students

Shocking occurrence in Khartoum…

A group of Darfur female students, discussing the International Criminal Court’s indictment of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, were attacked by male members of the National Congress Party (NCP) disguised in women’s clothes to “infiltrate” the setting.

Bashir, who has been indicted on war crimes and crimes against humanity, is a leader of the NCP.

Under Sudanese law, women are entitled to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly on campus.

Wow…that’s all I can say right now.

US Special Envoy Recommends Force

US special envoy to Sudan Richard Williamson reportedly recommended US president George Bush coerce the Sudanese government into ending the Darfur conflict.

Williamson’s recommended actions included military force against the Sudanese army, an embargo against oil sales, and temporary blockage of telephone, cell phone, and internet communications in Khartoum.

Providing missiles to South Sudan to protect against retaliation by Khartoum was also on Williamson’s list.

According to reports, Williamson’s action plan was blocked by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and US National Security advisor Stephen Hadley.

A Road to Darfur

_45311970_shock1The Sudanese government has announced that it will construct a road linking Darfur with Khartoum.

The decision to construct the Ingaz Western Road grew out of last month’s Forum of Sudan discussions aimed at finding a resolution to the five-year-strong Darfur conflict.

Will the road mean that the voices and needs of those living in Darfur gain greater access to Sudanese authority? Or is it simply nothing more than a public relations act?

Home Sweet Home?

67For many of us, home is a place of comfort, security, and belonging. However, for thousands of Sudanese refugees, home is now “makeshift shelters made of sticks and cloth”.

South of Khartoum, the Sudanese government has inexcusably destroyed thousands of homes in a reorganization effort to make camps for internally displaced persons more “habitable”.

The affected IDPs have been left to gather meager odds and ends in an attempt to construct some form of an adequate dwelling.

The words of one refugee say it all – “I had a house – with a door and key. Now, we are staying in the desert. We are worried about fires, sickness, criminals…If there is a fire, not one child will survive. The houses burn easily”.

Local officials continue to express their belief that the reorganization is in the best interests of residents. It would not surprise me if such statements were made in the confines of their own homes, safe and sound.