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Archive for April 5th, 2013

Colostrum contains super health benefits

Posted by African Press International on April 5, 2013

* Transported here for educational purposes from Food NewsNatural HealingNutrition News

Published on July 20, 2012 by Blanche Levine

Republished here without alterations:

(NaturalHealth365) Colostrum is the first food of life – naturally designed to maintain health and prevent disease. This is a baby’s first food and as such is incredibly effective at keeping a baby healthy while providing the foundation for growth. Sadly, most people (including health professionals) have never been taught its health benefits.

Colostrum is the secretion from the mammary glands before a mothers milk starts to flow. It is provided in the first 24 to 48 hours, and provides essential nutrients for the immune system. Bovine colostrum is biologically transferable to all mammals – including man. It even has identical factors to those of human colostrum and is actually many times richer in immune factors.

How to bring your body back to life

One of the primary functions of colostrum is gut health. The health of our gastrointestinal tract which consists of the mouth, esophagus, stomach and the intestines is essential to preventing disease. The gut has also been called our “second brain” and digestive issues are usually the source of most physical dis-eases.

We don’t need to look further than the gut when looking to alleviate most illnesses. Gut health is thought of in terms of diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, heartburn, and other GI problems. Unfortunately, we tend to ignore intestinal health when looking at conditions that seem unrelated such as: food allergies, autoimmune disorders, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

A healthy digestive system is your first line of (disease) defense

When the bacteria in the gut are out of balance, dysbiosis is one of the consequences. In other words, the proportion of beneficial bacteria is out numbered by harmful bacteria – which leads the way to a “leaky gut”. Don’t ignore digestive disorders – look for a qualified, naturopathic physician to help you heal the gut.

Leaky gut is when the permeability of the gut lining increases so that toxins and pathogens (normally held in check) pass though the gut lining – moving freely throughout the body. The intestines now become the gateway to freedom for every type of bacteria, fungus and toxin – causing fatigue, brain fog plus many other chronic health problems.

Boost immunity with nature’s first food

Leaky gut can be devastating and the effects can last a lifetime. Colostrum has a cornucopia of essential immune boosting substances known to help heal leaky gut. There is a reason it’s the first feeding for a human being. Thankfully, breast feeding is making a popular comeback and will certainly help future generation – providing mothers keep their body healthy and strong.

In the book Colostrum, Life’s First Food, Dr. Daniel G. Clark’s message is loud and clear – bovine colostrum “rebuilds the immune system, destroys viruses, bacteria, and fungi, and accelerates healing of all body tissue, while helping with weight loss and builds lean muscle, while slowing down and reversing aging.”

According to Clark and the well-known naturopathic physician Dr. Bernard Jensen, colostrum plays a therapeutic role in AIDS, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, allergies, herpes, bacterial, viral and parasitic infections, gingivitis, colds and flu.

Is your diet filled with “superfood” nutrition?

Bovine colostrum is not for everyone – especially vegans. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to choose what’s best for them. And, naturally, there are many other ways to rebuild the health of the colon such as, eating fermented foods; supplementing with prebiotics or probiotics and minimizing the use of antibiotics.

Keep in mind, the best quality colostrum comes from healthy cows that roam on chemical-free pastures without hormones or antibiotics. The processing has to be done without the use of high temperatures and pasteurization. And, powdered colostrum is more concentrated than its liquid form with a longer shelf life.

Did you know that conventional doctors once used colostrum for its antibiotic effects before the introduction of penicillin? Are you using colostrum? Post your health recovery story below.

About the author: Blanche Levine has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people.


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22 Comments on “Colostrum contains super health benefits”

  • swarnmittal on Sun, 22nd Jul 2012 4:13 am 

    i got this really big information, on clostrum n i would like to keep my own cow n tt. my son,s constipaion and one my question is can it tt. my osteoarthritis of knee jts. n psoriasis.if possible plz. ans. to me. thankks.

  • Jack Perham on Sun, 22nd Jul 2012 7:51 am 

    Hey Guys great article and a topic i have really been digging into since i joined the WAPF and became a HLC. Just a question… does bovine colostrum occur also in Raw Goats milk? to the same degree..

    Kind Regards

  • Geoffrey Franklin of the Finn clan on Sun, 22nd Jul 2012 8:03 am 

    Where can I get some Bovine colostrum?

  • Megan on Sun, 22nd Jul 2012 9:14 am 

    I started using probiotics 5 years ago and dont get exeama anymore

  • Patricia on Sun, 22nd Jul 2012 9:21 am 

    Is there a particular colostrum brand you might suggest?



  • leslie on Sun, 22nd Jul 2012 10:20 am 

    great info and article but the link given as a source ( out of date/ not available for ordering product. I would suggest Transfer Factor.

  • leslie on Sun, 22nd Jul 2012 10:26 am 

    I have used the transfer factor plus “Tri-Factor” by 4Life to rescue my cat from intermediate-grade lymphoma of the intestines…19 months (equivalent to about 10 years in human life!) later the cancer seems to be returning and I will try it on him again. I shouldn’t have stopped the treatment at all but he has had a great remission even still.

  • leslie on Sun, 22nd Jul 2012 10:39 am 

    I have used the transfer factor plus “Tri-Factor” by 4Life to rescue my cat from intermediate-grade lymphoma of the intestines…19 months (equivalent to about 10 years in human life!) later the cancer seems to be returning and I will try it on him again. I shouldn’t have stopped the treatment at all but he has had a great extension of life.

  • Sandy on Sun, 22nd Jul 2012 11:23 am 

    I would suggest listening to Robert Scott Bell’s show on Natural News Radio. He has, not only a colostrum product advertised on there, but also raw whey protein and a very superior probiotic formula. I have found the products he advertises on his show to be far superior to anything I have found anywhere else.

    Robert talks about healing the gut all the time on his show, so if you listen on almost any day, you should be able to pick up more information about this.

  • Robin on Sun, 22nd Jul 2012 1:33 pm 

    I’ve been researching colostrum for a while now and I’ve found it must be 6 hours colostrum, that is colostrum that has been collected within the 6 hours window or it is not considered colostrum. It’s also important to come form grass fed cows. The Surthrival brand looks good.

    Robin @

  • BARBARA HORNER on Sun, 22nd Jul 2012 3:42 pm 




  • Mrs Rosetta Liset on Sun, 22nd Jul 2012 3:56 pm 

    Hi I live in England I have a 11 year old doughter who has a servere Nurological Disorder, please can you tell me where can I get Boviene Colestrum, is the HEALTH SHOP MIGHT HAVE SOME, we are doing oll kinds of Supplements, but my doughter, is not olways keen in taking them, and we olso have Certified Organic Food. In the past we have done HBOT Oxigan Therapey, and Therapey Learning. Music therapey as my doughter has Distonted Hearing. We look forward to hearing from you Mrs Rosetta Liset.

  • DJ on Sun, 22nd Jul 2012 6:50 pm 

    You’re such a good mom, Rosetta. Your daughter will be in my prayers.

  • Lisa Schwabe on Mon, 23rd Jul 2012 12:17 am 

    Your article is very interesting.
    I have heard about the value of colostrum before.
    But to tread it is a problem,because it is so difficult to get natural and certified organic products.

    Somebody asked already if goats milk is just as good ? ? ?

  • Helen on Mon, 23rd Jul 2012 9:21 am 

    Mrs.Rosetta Liset, have you heard of the science of Nutritional Immunology? Feel free to contact me for more info at – do not give me. Keep on researching for the natural ways of healing. We all have the best doctor in the world, our immune system.

  • cindy toler on Mon, 23rd Jul 2012 10:14 am 

    YES please address the question about using raw goat milk!
    Thanks, Cindy

  • sarum on Mon, 23rd Jul 2012 4:26 pm 

    Not vegan but really do not wish to take what belongs to the calf. There has to be another way.

  • Dr. Anthony Kleinsmith, Ph.D. on Wed, 25th Jul 2012 10:53 am 

    Make sure you are getting real colostrum, not transitional milk. Always ask for a 3rd Party validation and if they won’t or can’t give it to you, walk away. I am the owner of Immune Tree, we are the ONLY colostrum as validated independently by Cornell University and we just won the People’s Choice award over 5 other companies; With over 4000 votes, Immune-Tree colostrum has won the coveted Healthy Living People’s Choice Award with an astounding 89.33%. Source Naturals was a distant second at 4.55%, Jarrow scored 3.98%, Symbiotics 1.40% and TBR Labs had less than one percent of the vote.

    Always ask for validation!

    In health always,

    Dr. Anthony Kleinsmith

  • PerCoBa on Wed, 25th Jul 2012 4:50 pm 

    Great article–for those of you asking about goat colostrum-it is my understanding that it is even better than bovine (cow) colostrum, but, of course-much less of a supply and harder to procure, which is why most companies use bovine. Free colostrum samples available from PerCoBa Colostrum ( Another great book is “Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & other Acid Blockers” by Martie Whittekin, CCN. PerCoBa insists the calves get the colostrum they need first and then the extra is sold to us–only 0-6 hour colostrum! Hope I don’t sound like a salesman–I’ve used PerCoBa for 20+ years and my doctor comments “you’re never in here between physicals”…hmmmm. :-) for the new and improved –

  • Dann White on Thu, 26th Jul 2012 3:03 am 

    This is something special about Colostrum. I got many new things from your post. I have a link for Colostrum products and wish to share with you.
    Wide range of Colostrum products.

  • Michael Felix on Sat, 4th Aug 2012 7:49 am 

    The greatest benefits of organic agriculture will be to the consumers as organic produce means less pesticides and much less contaminants in our food. Even at lower levels these contaminants can enjoy havoc with the body and despite all of the assurances from government and industry they have little idea regarding the real consequences of the pesticide addicted agricultural industry.For more visit:




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Nelson Mandela still hospitalised

Posted by African Press International on April 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela’s wife has told the media that her husband, the 94-year-old icon is reponding well to treatment and that his health is improving after he was taken to hospital for treatment due to pneumonia more than a week ago.

She stateed, “He is in hospital simply because the doctors want to be absolutely sure that he is strong enough to go home and nothing is going to recur.”

This was the  third time to be hospitalised since December last year.




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Important lesson: Accepting situations and forging ahead in life

Posted by African Press International on April 5, 2013

By Benjamin Rutto, Kenya

When the Kenya National Examination Council released the results recently, candidates who sat their standard eight national exams were anxiously waiting to see the expected good results they will harvest.

I remember some years back, when I was in the same shoes. I was over-confident that I will score over 400 marks (that is among the best students in the country) and join a National school for the next education level. My close friend felt the opposite; he expected bad if not the worst. I encouraged him that all will be well.

On the day when the education minister released the results, I expected him to pronounce my name but it was all in vain. The next day, I was among the first to be in the shopping centre to buy the newspaper. After going through the entire top list on national and provincial schools, I still missed my name. The only remaining thing was to repeat.

Actually, I had scored 330 while my friend had 319. For me, it was a fall but he had done it. He proceeded to secondary education while I go back to find my 70 lost marks. In the race, I scored 371. I was to rewind again but was forced by my father to go to secondary school. By now, he was in form two but we both landed in provincial school.

After form four, we scored good grades with a slight margin I being a head. He went to a youth polytechnic and a year later I went to Campus. While I was in first year, he was in his final year and on my second year; he had already landed in a job. I am now in my final year whereas; he has made some development projects.

Just to encourage you, am propelled to give you this short experience. Don’t lose hope in life or education. God has good plans for you, don’t force things. There is a breakthrough in every barrier a head. Just accept the situation and forge a head.

All is well; learn from the experience of others, you have heard people terminating themselves just because of scoring low. Failing is not the end of life; you still have uncountable chances to make right your ways.




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Will the Kenyan Education Dream Come True?

Posted by African Press International on April 5, 2013

  • By Benjamin Rutto, Kenya

As the dust settle after the March 4th General Elections, Kenyans are busy doing post-mortem of what transpired during elections across the country. Some still celebrate their victory, others mourn while others still follow-up the petitions in court to challenge their competitors win.

My concern lies in the future of the coming generation. Since I started schooling, I thought change will just come like the rainfall season. I was wrong; I have realized it is a fight just the way our forefathers fought for our independence.

Taking a view on the background level of education, –primary education. I studied in a mad wall classroom with no enough desks and books. We use to sprinkle water daily before we sweep and on Fridays we use to smear the floor. I think that is where I learned to be responsible and to tackle issues the way they come. Till today, some school structures have only been improved to permanent walls with neither window panes nor door frames.

I think that is better, I know some people studied in a more unfriendly situation such as under the acacia tree of which some still do it. The class shift together with the shade. Imagine being in that scenario; the wind, the sun, the rain! I know what you feel but keep it to yourself.

Teachers are also a big problem behind the above. I remember at one point when I volunteer to teach my former primary school because of this enormous challenge. This has been taking place since independence, by this time, we are a step ahead. We have many teachers looking for job but the government is in dilemma, we have money pending for the few teachers that we have. I think this has resulted to more teachers loosing morale and engaging in business. I wonder if this will come to an end.

If you take a turn and see at our libraries for those schools which they have one, dust has occupied the empty shelves. In the school, we only have three copies of Mathematic text-book of which one is with the teacher and the other with the two pupils. This has made our teachers qualified lecturers. They just lecture then give the assignment of which goes unmarked.

Thanks to the Kibaki government for the free education. Indeed, our young generation is schooling but, what is the quality of this education? How can this “Lecturer” access the work of three times the number of the required forty pupils in a class room? Imagine a Standard Four kid is asked to go and research on a question yet there is no research material. Some just see the cover of the book when the teacher is in class but doesn’t know the content in it.

Currently, we have schools still closed in Tana Delta because of insecurity yet at the corner, we have national exam registration. They even don’t know where their teachers are, their school uniform and their school bags. What has the government done about this?

With this few mentioned stumbling blocks, we anticipate our children to perform well in school. A son of a peasant in King’wal Primary School in Uasin Gishu County is expected to compete with that of a refugee in Central Dagahaley School in Ifo refugee camp, Garissa County, that of pastoralist in a mobile shepherd schools (lchekuti) in Samburu County and that of a business man in Makini School Nairobi County. Is justice prevailing or derailed?

I would like to support the incoming government to put a lot of efforts to this sector. From the Manifestos of the presidential candidates, we see some good plans about the education programme. More weight on what is trending is the issue of Solar Laptops from the Jubilee coalition. I believe everything is possible but; consider the security of these Laptops. Where will it be stored if some of us don’t have Classrooms? How will it be maintained if the available Classrooms are that dusty? Finally, our schools lack enough teachers, who will teach them?

The common thing is the issue of free education, Kibaki made it possible and of course the next government will be possible. The questions are who will teach them? Where are the textbooks? Where will our children study from?

Kenyans, let us think outside the box, some of us have gone through this fight and came out successfully while some are in the verge of bitterness for not performing well. I don’t blame you; I blame the nature and the society that we are in. Come out and stand to save the future generation.




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Khartoum Orchestrates Violence in Northern Bahr el-Ghazal, South Sudan

Posted by African Press International on April 5, 2013

A number of very recent, highly credible, ground-based reports indicate that Khartoum‘s regular Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Arab militia proxies have attacked the Kiir Adem area of Northern Bahr el-Ghazal State, South Sudan. What makes these attacks—which have killed a number of Southern civilians and police officers—so alarming is that they have occurred in the immediate wake of the Government of South Sudan‘s complying with the agreement brokered in Addis Ababa to withdraw its military forces from this border area, even as Khartoum committed to a simultaneous withdrawal of its own forces. There have been several such attacks in recent days, and we should recall that the Kiir Adem area has been a dangerous flashpoint for conflict over the past two and a half years, going back to the bombing of the region on December 14, 2010. Khartoum of course denied the bombing, as it denies all bombing attacks on civilians, even when UN observes or international journalists are present. The Kiir Adem bombing, for example, was witnessed by an Associated Press reporter who was present at the time and reported in detail on what she saw. (For a full account of Khartoum’s record of bombing South Sudan since the signing of the CPA, see “They Bombed Everything that Moved.”)

The most recent attack on Kiir Adem could hardly be a more provocative—an armed assault on a region supposedly in the process of being demilitarized by both parties. And yet the UN seems unwilling to investigate or report what it has been told by those on the ground. Neither the UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan (UNMISS) nor the UN peacekeeping force in Abyei (UNISFA) has regarded the attacks as sufficiently threatening or urgent to confirm, this despite the fact that the Sudan Tribune first reported attacks on March 26, 2013 (see below).

Expedient myopia in the present instance is of a piece with the broader failure of the international community to see connections between the various intensifying crises throughout greater Sudan; this failure continues a pattern that extends back decades. Rapidly escalating violence and insecurity in Darfur, ongoing genocide by attrition in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile, and more than two years of provocative assaults along the North/South border are all related. And if there is no straight-line connection between them, the common denominator is the ruthless survivalism of the National Islamic Front/ National Congress Party (NIF/NCP) regime in Khartoum. The regime is more deeply threatened than at any time in recent history, and we may be sure that efforts at survival by these brutal men will entail using whatever means are necessary, certainly including prevarication, opacity of public declarations, contradiction between statements by various officials, outright mendacity—and of course reneging on signed agreements.

Thus with an almost formulaic predictability, the regime has succeeded in making just the right number of promises, apparent concessions, and public relations efforts to deflate international outrage at the collective assault on the people of Sudan, including also the long-suffering people of eastern Sudan and Nubia in the far north. The remoteness of Kiir Adem from the oil regions evidently ensures that it will not be central to international concerns about continuing North/South conflict.

The scale of Khartoum’s dissimulation should be shocking—certainly if we look closely at the realities in Darfur. Zambian jurist and International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda recently declared “we must not forget victims of the Darfur genocide,” reminding us of what has produced arrest warrants for senior Khartoum regime officials on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Current realities—unfiltered by the anodyne and disingenuous reports of the UN/African Union (“hybrid”) Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)—reveal human security is in free-fall (see March 10, 2013 account). The consequences of this rapid increase in violence, over the past nine months and more, are a further deterioration of humanitarian capacity and access, and a corresponding deterioration in provision of food, clean water, and primary medical care (see overview of February 11, 2013). UNAMID is powerless to provide the civilian and humanitarian protection that is central to its mandate; indeed, it is repeatedly prevented by Khartoum from undertaking either the assessment or protection missions that are so urgently required. The epidemic of rape that continues to rage throughout the region is passed over with virtually no notice. The recent convening of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) in Darfur produced not a frank assessment, but a shamefully bland final statement that was emphatic chiefly in its thanks to Khartoum for permitting this highly controlled visit.

In the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan and in Blue Nile, Khartoum continues to bomb civilians and civilian targets—including agriculture—with merciless frequency and intensity. The regime also maintains its complete embargo on international humanitarian relief aid, sending more than 200,000 refugees into South Sudan and tens of thousands more into refugee camps in Ethiopia. The brutality of this campaign of extermination continues despite, indeed in large measure because of the inability of regular and militia ground forces to seize the military initiative, especially in the Nuba. Khartoum is quite simply prepared to starve the people of these regions as a means of subduing the insurgency.

The UN, African Union, and Arab League offered a plan for international access to the regions well over a year ago; it has so far yielded nothing, largely because none of these organizations is prepared to pressure Khartoum over the issue, and the broader international community has responded to this extraordinarily cruel human destruction with nothing more than tepid words of condemnation. Negotiations are continually urged, but Khartoum refuses to engage with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North (SPLM/A-N). There are no plans in place to create humanitarian corridors into either region, and the rainy season once again approaches. Once roads are flooded, there will be no opportunity to move food in large quantities to most parts of the two regions. Given the exceedingly poor sorghum harvest this year, starvation will soon accelerate rapidly; children in particular are already dying from malnutrition.

Khartoum has repeatedly assaulted South Sudan with air attacks, both before and after the self-determination referendum of January 2011. There were repeated, confirmed attacks in November and December 2010, and an attack within days of the referendum itself. In November 2011 Khartoum deliberately bombed the large refugee camp in Yida (Unity State, South Sudan), as well as camps in Upper Nile. Moreover, there have been continual cross-border assaults in the wake of the military seizure of Abyei (May 2011). Here we must remember that if the “residents of Abyei” had been allowed to vote in their own self-determination referendum—as guaranteed by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (2005)—they would have voted overwhelmingly to join the South. Despite Khartoum’s outrageous violation of the CPA, the international community’s response was muted, emboldening the regime to go forward with its assaults in South Kordofan (June 5, 2011) and Blue Nile (September 2011).

International outrage was stirred only a year ago when, after a series of provocative military actions by Khartoum’s SAF along the South Kordofan/Unity State border—including two assaults on the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) garrison at Tishwin—Juba struck back and seized the crucial Heglig oil station, in the area from which the SAF had launched its attacks (March/April 2012). Geographic ignorance, indeed outright error, about the nature of the border dispute in this region was accompanied by an intemperate international condemnation of Juba. In fact, Juba’s account of the chain of events was essentially confirmed by UN observers on the ground, part of the excessively constrained UNMISS. Although the SPLA withdrew, the asymmetric nature of the international response to Juba’s supposed “provocation” left a bitter taste in the mouth of Government of South Sudan (GOSS) officials. All this was made even more distasteful by the concurrent misrepresentation of what had, and had not, been determined by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (The Hague) in its July 2009 decision concerning Abyei’s boundaries.

So it is hardly surprising that we are hearing so little of the recent assaults on Kiir Adem in Northern Bahr el-Ghazal, from which the SPLA has withdrawn its forces in accord with the cease-fire agreement and provision for a demilitarized zone between the forces of Sudan and South Sudan; the SAF has not. UNMISS regards the area as “contested” and thus beyond its reporting mandate, at least in conducting first-hand investigations. And so far, the third UN peacekeeping force in greater Sudan—the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA)—has proved unable or unwilling to patrol and investigate this flash-point to the west of their mandated area of responsibility.

Amidst apparent agreement on the resumption of oil production and transport, the international community—the UN and AU in particular—seems willing to take whatever Khartoum offers as further signs that peace is about to break out. Thus the announcement that Khartoum’s President al-Bashir will visit Juba; the expediently timed announcement that the regime will release some political prisoners (who may of course easily be re-arrested); the vague suggestion that the regime might be willing to negotiate with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North (SPLM/A-N); the shift in rhetoric within the state-controlled media; and the African Union Peace and Security Council’s upbeat assessment of Darfur following its recent mission to the region—all this is hastily and unambiguously welcomed by various international actors, and no one is asking what is signified by the attack on Kiir Adem.

But if Khartoum truly wishes to make peace with Juba, it knows what it must do—and attacking an area from which the SPLA has recently withdrawn as part of a cease-fire agreement is profoundly counter-productive. Killing civilians and policemen no longer defended by the army of South Sudan sends all the wrong signals to Juba, as Khartoum well knows. The provocation is deliberate, and all evidence to date argues that this is no free-lance action, but an operation with senior army approval. Juba’s anger is not factitious but grows out of repeated failures by the international community to hold Khartoum accountable for its military provocations.

To date, this is what has been reported in public sources (primarily the Sudan Tribune) and confidential sources on the ground and by the SPLA/M. The most recent and complete overview is provided by Sudan Tribune (April 1, 2013, Juba: “South accuses Sudan of launching attack ahead of Bashir’s visit”):

• “South Sudan on Monday accused neighbouring Sudan of ‘deliberately’ launching a new ground attack on its border state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, underlying the level of suspicion with which the two countries still view each other, despite a recent thawing of relations. Local authorities and security sources said in series of interviews with Sudan Tribune on Sunday that the attack took place in Kiir Adem, an area that falls within the Safe Demilitarised Border Zone (SDBZ) which the two sides agreed to establish under African Union mediation in September last year, but only implemented recently. One policeman was killed and seven others reportedly wounded during the attack….

“James Monday, the spokesperson of South Sudan Police, also confirmed the attack, but said the situation was brought ‘under control’ and that the police are ready to protect the lives and properties of the population in the area. The commissioner for Aweil North County, Kuol Athuai Hal, said the attack was jointly organised by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), armed Arab nomads and paramilitary forces.

“‘This attack did not come as a surprise to us and the people of the area. We knew it would happen especially after they were defeated on 26 of March when they launched a similar attack. We alsodo not think that this attack will be the last, Hal told Sudan Tribune by phone Sunday. He anticipates attacks could occur, given what he describes as a political scheme by the Sudan government ‘designed to execute in order to claim territory control and eventual annexation into territory.'”

• Voice of America reports from Juba (March 29, 2013):

“South Sudan said Friday that Khartoum is doing nothing to stop attacks by Arab nomads on communities near the border of the two countries, adding that it has filed a complaint with the United Nations security forces about the attacks. Earlier this week, members of the Rezigat tribe, which is from Sudan, killed three people, including two police officers, in a raid in Northern Bahr el Ghazal. Last month, the Sudanese Miseriya tribe raided a community in Unity State, killing three people and wounding five. The deadly attack by the Rezigat came days after South Sudan completed its withdrawal of troops from the border, in line with an agreement signed with Sudan.”

• Also on March 29, Radio Tamazuj reported (“Aguer: Armed group ‘linked to SAF’ killed 3 at Kiir Adem”):

“Philip Aguer, South Sudan’s army spokesman, said yesterday that an armed group on horseback, allegedly linked to the Sudanese military, killed three people in an attack on the disputed border area of Kiir Adem.Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, Aguer reported that the attack took place yesterday and a policeman was amongst the victims. The South Sudanese government considers Kiir Adem to be part of its Northern Bahr el-Ghazal state.Given that both Sudan and South Sudan have withdrawn their armies from the border area in order to create demilitarized zones, Aguer claimed that the attack must have been with the assistance of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF).‘They carried out attack on citizens while riding horses and killed two civilians and a policeman. According to us, any armed person from the republic of Sudan is linked and have a relations with Sudanese forces where the Mujahideen or popular defence forces or even militias of Baggara and Reizegat because they got the guns from SAF,’ Aguer claimed before adding that the attack constitutes a violation of the demilitarisation agreement.

“‘We have raised a complaint to UNISFA forces and African Union forces over what happened in Kiir Adem … The same violation also happened in the Renk area of Adham where elements of the Sudanese forces appeared with three vehicles loaded with heavy guns machines and opened fire in the space,’ added the spokesman.”

• Sudan Tribune had earlier reported (March 27, 2013, “Three dead in Reizigat attack on Mile 14, says official”):

“Members of Sudan’s nomadic Arab Reizigat tribe have launched a deadly attack on South Sudanese civilians in the disputed Mile 14 territory in North Bahr-el-Gazal on Tuesday. The incident, which took place at about 4pm (local time), led to the death of two policemen and one civilian….

“Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Juba, police spokesman Col. James Monday Enoka called on the African Union (AU) to take action, saying the deadly incident had occurred just two weeks after the SPLA’s withdrawal from Mile 14. ‘It is very unfortunate that the Reizigat took advantage of [the] withdrawal of the SPLA from the area and launch[ed] the attack,’ he said. ‘[The] South Sudan National Police Services strongly condemns this attack and appeals to the African Union monitoring and verification teams to take action,’ he added.”

• The Sudan Tribune had reported the previous day (March 26, 2013: “Sudan: South Accuses Sudan of Killing Three People in Northern Bahr El Ghazal”):

“South Sudan has accused the government of neigbouring Sudan of launching a heavy and coordinated attack on its Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, killing at least three innocent civilians and wounding several others in Rual Horic, east of the disputed Kiir Adem area, local people and county authorities said on TuesdayAweil North county commissioner, Kuol Athuai Hal said Sudan was using armed border tribes and auxiliary forces to launch provocative attacks in an attempt to derail efforts to peacefully implement a cooperation agreement signed in September 2012.

“After months of stalling the two sides agreed to implement the deal, which will create a demilitarised buffer zone 10 km either side of the tense and contested oil rich border, as well as allow South Sudan to resume exporting its oil through Sudan for the first time in over a year. ‘The Sudanese armed forces have been increasingly active in the area this week. The activity zone of the Sudanese armed forces has expanded considerably from last week, immediately realising that SPLA forces have completely pulled out of the area. Their activities in the area are becoming serious security concern not only to the civil population but also us in the government,’ Hal told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday from Gokmachar, the area’s administrative headquarters.

“The official said three people were killed when armed Arab tribes backed by the Sudan Armed Forces collaborating with their aligned militia carried out a raid on the area. ‘They killed three civilians who have gone to fish. They [the civilians] were found at the fishing site when they were killed. None of them had survived. This incident occurred today at around 11:30am. It was in Rual Horic, east of Kiir Adem. Another attack was carried out by the Sudanese armed forces themselves in Kiir Adem against civilians. They just opened fire on civilians. The civilians were unaware. They did not know. It was a surprised and well-organised attack. The intention is to chase civilians away from the area,’ Hal said….”

“There is a United Nations mission in South Sudan with a strong chapter seven mandate to protect civilians but policing the Safe Demilitarised Border Zone (SDBZ) is due to be monitored by the UN peacekeeping force in Abyei—the main disputed border region—as part of a Joint Border Verification Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) with military officials from both nations. ‘There was another attack today. Three people have been killed in Rual Horic, East of Kiir Adem The Sudanese armed forces are taking advantage of the withdrawal of SPLA forces from the area. They have moved into the area in full capacity. Instead of withdrawing they are deploying and carrying out attacks and killing of innocent civilians. What is happening is a political strategy by the government of Sudan so that civilians can flee the area. This is clear a clear tactic,’ explained Achien.

“‘Why [do] the Sudanese Armed Forces continue to remain in the area which is supposed to be arms free? Why is the international community keeping quiet? Why is the African Union? We will hold [them] responsible for the loss of lives,’ Achein said.”

Questions that cannot be ignored

These last questions remain unanswered, even as the reports I have received from the ground confirm what Sudan Tribune and others have reported.

Is there a discernible strategy in these actions on the part of the regime’s regular Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and its Rizeigat militia allies? Certainly in assessing the consequences of its actions on the basis of international silence, the regime has concluded that it can be credited with a cease-fire and separation of forces agreement even while blatantly violating that agreement. Moreover, it is unlikely that the SAF will cease its various actions along a border that is much too long to be effectively monitored with present resources and mandates. UNISFA’s initial failure in Kiir Adem is a sign of what is to come, with grim parallels to UNAMID in Darfur.

There seem to be two most likely explanations for the attacks on Kiir Adem, neither of them encouraging for a broader peace:

[1] These are the actions of a regime determined to keep international attention focused on North/South issues, at the expense of South Kordofan, Blue Nile, Darfur, and other marginalized regions of eastern Sudan and Nubia in the far north. Khartoum is calculating that if the North/South border remains sufficiently “hot”—but not so hot as to convince Juba once again to suspend oil production and transit—then all real international efforts, diplomatic and political, will stay focused narrowly on avoiding war between Khartoum and Juba. A strategy very much like this was deployed by the regime during the final months of the CPA: all negotiating issues of substance were settled by May 2004, and only narrowly technical issues remained. But the genocidal counter-insurgency in Darfur was then at its height, and Khartoum was determined that international attention remain focused on the talks in Naivasha (Kenya); and there was in fact a disgraceful muting of criticism for many months before the CPA was finally signed in January 2005.

In 2010 the regime again saw that the U.S. was so focused on securing the January 2011 self-determination referendum for the South that it essentially abandoned Abyei—demanding that Juba “compromise” further over the final status of the region despite the explicit terms of the Abyei Protocol in the CPA and the July 2009 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Current Secretary of State John Kerry—then Senator Kerry but serving as an ad hoc Obama administration envoy—went so far as to declare that the CPA should not be held hostage to “a few hundred square miles” of disputed territory (Reuters [Khartoum], October 25, 2010). Not only was Kerry egregiously in error about the size of Abyei—it is only slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut, which neighbors Kerry’s own Massachusetts—but as subsequent events would dramatically prove, Abyei was at the very center of the viability of the CPA from the perspective of the South. The Obama administration’s willingness to trade it out on the basis of ignorance and expediency was not lost on Juba—or Khartoum.

Certainly Khartoum hopes that in any final delineation and demarcation of the North/South border, Kiir Adem and a number of other areas in Northern and Western Bahr el-Ghazal (e.g., the Kafia Kingi enclave) will be placed in the north. And as Abyei reveals, Khartoum is perfectly willing to seize militarily what it cannot win by diplomacy. But at the present time, a strong case can be made that the attacks on Kiir Adem and other areas along the border (Unity and Upper Nile states in particular) are meant to be provocative, meant to convince the international community that the agreements on oil and a demilitarized zone along the border are not guaranteed, and that further diplomatic resources and commitment are required. These will inevitably come at the expense of the Nuba, Blue Nile, Darfur, and other marginalized regions of Sudan.

[2] It is also distinctly possible that the attacks on Kiir Adem are further evidence of the depth of the split within the regime—between the security “hard-liners” and army generals on the one hand, and the political officials who have been ascendant for most of the NIF/NCP tyranny on the other. Here it is important to recall again the extraordinarily revealing dispatch by Julie Flint in summer 2011 after the assault on the Nuba had begun, making clear there would be very little room for civilians in the new configuration of power:

“[A] well-informed source close to the National Congress Party reports that Sudan’s two most powerful generals went to [Sudanese President Omar al-] Bashir on May 5 [2011], five days after 11 soldiers were killed in an SPLA ambush in Abyei, on South Kordofan’s southwestern border, and demanded powers to act as they sought fit, without reference to the political leadership.” [These generals are named below—ER]

“‘They got it,’ the source says. ‘It is the hour of the soldiers—a vengeful, bitter attitude of defending one’s interests no matter what; a punitive and emotional approach that goes beyond calculation of self-interest. The army was the first to accept that Sudan would be partitioned. But they also felt it as a humiliation, primarily because they were withdrawing from territory in which they had not been defeated. They were ready to go along with the politicians as long as the politicians were delivering—but they had come to the conclusion they weren’t. Ambushes in Abyei…interminable talks in Doha keeping Darfur as an open wound…. Lack of agreement on oil revenue….’ ‘It has gone beyond politics,’ says one of Bashir’s closest aides. ‘It is about dignity.'” (Daily Star [Lebanon], August 2, 2011)

The power of the army soon became clear when a “Framework Agreement” between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North (SPLM/A-N) and Khartoum—represented by the powerful presidential aide Nafi’e Ali Nafi’e—was abruptly abrogated. Committing the regime to negotiate a cease-fire and address political grievances in South Kordofan (Blue Nile was not yet caught up in the conflict), the June 28, 2011 agreement might have been the basis for ending what is now a conflict affecting more than 2 million people—perhaps 1 million of them refugees or internally displaced, and more than 1 million people facing increasingly stark food shortages. But despite Nafi’e’s putative authority, three days later—clearly under pressure from the same powerful army generals—President al-Bashir renounced the agreement (July 1, 2011), declaring that the “cleansing” operation in the Nuba would continue:

“[al-Bashir] directed the armed forces to continue their military operations in South Kordofan until a ‘cleansing of the region is over,’ SUNA quoted Bashir as telling worshippers during Friday prayers.”

The commitment to civilian destruction as a means of conducting counter-insurgency had once again been embraced by the NIF/NCP regime (see also my contemporaneous analysis at Dissent,A Creeping Coup in Khartoum,” August 10, 2011).

There has been considerable subsequent evidence of the ascendancy of the military, specifically a cabal of generals who have a record of extreme brutality and callousness, and who will surely end up in The Hague if the regime falls:

• Lt. General Ismat Abdel Rahman al-Zain: he is implicated in Darfur atrocity crimes because of his role as SAF director of operations (Khartoum); he is also identified in the “Confidential Annex” to the report by UN panel of Experts on Darfur (the Annex was leaked in February 2006); Ismat was one of the two generals who in May 2011 confronted al-Bashir, demanding that the military take over decisions about war and peace in Abyei and other border regions.

• Major-General Mahjoub Abdallah Sharfi: he is head of the brutally efficient Military Intelligence, and was the second of the two generals who in May 2011 confronted al-Bashir.

• Major General Bakri Salih: he is the former Defense Minister and now a very powerful senior minister for presidential affairs. The current political environment in Khartoum is one that suits him particularly well.

• General Awad Ibn Auf: he is the former head of Military Intelligence and gave the order for the SAF and Janjaweed “to destroy everything” in Darfur (2003).

• Major General Ahmad Khamis: he was commander of the 14th Sudan Armed Forces infantry division in Kadugli during the large-scale atrocity crimes committed in June–July 2011).

If these are the men making the decision about whether or not to pursue peace, about whether the agreement about border demilitarization will be honored, then the attack on Kiir Adem has even grimmer implications. Their commitment to a military solution to outstanding issues between Juba and Khartoum may well include the ambition to seize Southern oil fields, both in Unity State and Upper Nile. Any such military move would guarantee a return to full-scale, unfathomably destructive war.

What is notable is that the international community hasn’t a clue as to which of these two explanations for the Kiir Adem attacks—coming at such a crucial moment—is the right one. The solution seems to be simply to ignore the issues altogether, and continue to focus on negotiations which may be undermined by the very narrowness of focus that governs talks in Addis Ababa. We have seen this pattern too many times before.

APPENDIX: Economic circumstances govern in complex ways

The backdrop for any understanding of Khartoum’s military decision-making must remain an economy that continues in sharp decline. Even with the excessively optimistic predictions about the resumption of oil exports from Port Sudan, and the desperately needed foreign exchange currency which that oil will bring, there is no chance that growing economic hardships will fade away. These hardships will govern decision-making in any number of ways, but it is essential to understand their scale in making sense of regime decisions, especially in light of the circumstances of previous civil unrest and regime changes in Sudanese history.

Inflation increased to 46 percent in February 2013—and this is according to the figures released by the regime; real inflation, especially for food, is well in excess of 50 percent and continuing to rise. Indeed, even the official figures acknowledge an 86 percent year-over-year increase in the price of meat.

• Agence France-Presse reported at length last month (March 7) on the immensely costly “brain drain” from Sudan, which is accelerating, especially in important professional fields:

“The mounting exodus among medical workers is ‘a real brain drain from Sudan.’ said Al Shaikh Badr, a doctor with the health ministry. The outflow coincides with a worsening economy since South Sudan separated nearly two years ago, taking with it about 75 per cent of united Sudan’s oil production…. Estimates of unemployment range up to 40 per cent.”

• In an effort to stem worker unrest, the regime announced a doubling of the minimum wage at the end of 2012 (Agence France-Presse [Khartoum], December 30, 2012); however, this was not reflected in the budget that had been submitted, and can be paid only with the printing of more Sudanese currency, thus further increasing inflation. And with inflation already over 50 percent, that “doubling” of the minimum wage won’t last long before it is entirely overtaken by loss of purchasing power. Various budget machinations can fool the public over the short term, but cannot change basic economic and financial realities pushing toward much higher inflation.

• The loss of foreign exchange currency reserves means that many domestic industries and enterprises are cutting back on production. Again last month, Sudan Tribune reported:

“Sudan’s largest flour company has been forced to cut its production by 50% because of foreign currency shortage, Sudan Tribune has learned.Sayga Flour Mills, which is part of DAL Group, relies on Byblos Bank, Abu Dhabi National Bank and Saudi Sudanese Bank to provide Guarantee Letters for the purposes of importing wheat and other production items.” (March 10, 2013)

There are other consequences of the economic shambles and lack of forex:

Royal Dutch Airline KLM has announced that effective March 31 of this year they will halt flights between Amsterdam and Khartoum, citing unsatisfactory performance of the route. There has been speculation if Khartoum’s harsh economic environment, which saw allocation of foreign exchange to repatriate ticket sales suspended—in spite of existing international agreements which ordinarily exempt airlines from such measures—or if simply the increasing isolation of the regime has led to the decline now seen.” (March 25, 2013)

• The Gezira agricultural project—long a promising part of Sudan’s economy—has been run into the ground by successive regimes, including the present one for almost a quarter of a century. In the remarkably outspoken words of the Gezira state governor:

The governor of Sudan’s Gezira state al-Zubair Bashir Taha slammed a government law adopted in 2005, saying it has done nothing to improve productivity of the country’s largest agricultural scheme that contains one of the world’s biggest irrigation projects.” (Sudan Tribune, March 12, 2013)

• External debt now exceeds US$45 billion—a staggering amount vastly in excess of what Khartoum can service, let alone repay. The regime counts on debt relief, and yet violence, insecurity, humanitarian blockades, and diplomatic obduracy make this impossible for even the most soft-minded countries.

• In a desperate effort to garner foreign exchange currency, the regime has lurched in various directions, including a rashly precipitous effort to boost gold production, with exclusive regime control of sales and exports. One consequence of this rashness is violence in Darfur: Sudan Vision, a regime propaganda organ, announced at the end of 2012 (December 30):

“Minister of Minerals has revealed the existence of 4,000 gold mines in Jebel Amir Area in North Darfur State which produce 15 tons per year at the rate of 70 kg a day. Kamal Abdul Latif told reporters after the meeting of the consultative council of the ministry of minerals that the meeting reviewed the plan for 2013, saying his ministry will continue to develop minerals to boost national economy.”

There has been no independent confirmation of this spectacular claim, or clarification of what exactly constitutes a “mine.” But the Jebel Amir area is in the Beni Hussein Locality of North Darfur, and what has transpired in the past three months has been shocking new violence, this time between two Arab tribal groups, the Beni Hussein and the Northern Rizeigat (which provided a disproportionate number of militia recruits to Khartoum in the early years of the war). More than 100,000 people of various ethnicities have been displaced in the Jebel Amir region, and many hundreds have been killed. Without the ability or inclination to respond seriously to escalating violence throughout Darfur, Khartoum doesn’t really care how the gold of Jebel Amir is mined—so long as it is sold to the regime for export. Additional victims include migrant artisanal workers drawn to Jebel Amir by regime declarations.

The regime has become desperate, and that desperation certainly makes it more difficult to assess the motives behind any course of action. We catch a glimpse of the extremity of response in a recent dispatch from Sudan Tribune. The issue is not unimportant, but the paranoia—along with entomological and meteorological ignorance—tells us too much about the men in Khartoum in the death throes of their tyranny:

“The Sudanese government launched a fierce attack on the Food and Agricultural organization of the United Nations (FAO) accusing it of conspiring against the country.The Secretary General of the General Administration for Protection of Plantation Khidir Gibreel said at a meeting in Sudan’s North State that FAO is plagued with politics.He singled out FAO’s Executive Secretary of the Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Central Region Mamoon Alalawi whom he said is leading the conspiracy. Gibreel said that Sudan will seek to have Alalawi removed from his post over his hostile stance against Sudan. He said that his position is backed by the federal agricultural minister and the president.

“He claimed that Alalawi blocked a $25 million grant from Saudi Arabia in the form of vehicles and other equipments. Furthermore, the FAO official sent a spying device to Sudan that is disguised as one used for locust control.

“The head of the pro-government Sudanese Journalists Union Moyideen Titawi suggested in an op-ed last month that Israel is behind the locusts which attacked the country. ‘I don’t rule out much that the first and last enemy of our country and our people and our products Israel and its agents [a hand] in the launch of this scourge on our country in order to impoverish us and strike our production of food, especially wheat, beans, pulses and dates’ Titawi wrote in the right-wing al-Intibaha newspaper.”

Anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel run deep in this Sudanese regime, and we may expect that as the economy inflicts greater hardship on the citizenry, we will see much more in this vein. But beyond the preposterous claims and accusations, we should feel the desperation to which this dying regime has been driven, and worry about the consequences.




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An Open letter to President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and Outgoing Prime Minister Raila Odinga

Posted by African Press International on April 5, 2013

First ,I would like to Congratulate the President-elect Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta for being democratically elected as the fourth Kenyan President. That, I would like also to complement both of you for the job well done,for the well-organized campaign teams and more so for the peaceful election period.

I also take this glad opportunity to thank the peaceful citizens of our beloved motherland, especially the youth for showing tolerance and ignoring to be used by politicians to cause chaos and hooliganism. Also ,my special thanks to all Kenya media houses for preaching peace messages through out the campaign period. hence ,cheers to all wakenya wazalendo.

The Honorable son of Jomo a.k.a “ Kamwana” and when I call you these names ,I call you with due respect as our beloved fourth President –elect whom I campaigned for, voted for and now happily celebrating your esteemed victory after the court verdict. Let me take this time to compliment you for being a charismatic energetic presidential candidate contender and for beating all other presidential candidates to remain a democratically elected president of The republic of Kenya.

The UhuRuto campaign was based on pillars of country transformation .Though, It is through the different presidential campaign trails we heard of analogue team, digital team , ICC criminals ,land grabbers ,reformers and non-reformers all said in the name of wooing the voters but not because they meant any good.I truly appreciate the sacrifices some have made to see Kenya where it is as of today under new constitution dispensation. It is now the time to keep no grudges but rather focus on matters of national building based on Jubilee manifestos that promised to see a complete transformation of a country to a strong economic prosperous nation.
Also, I wish to applaud you for your engagement with the country young leadership bearing in mind more than 70% of the Kenyan youth are unemployed, I remain hoping you will have a lean government that involves the youthful cabinet secretaries and in other government corporations. It is my believe a young talented cabinet with young digital fresh ideas from the young able men and women of Kenya will steer Kenya to the right direction towards achieving country blue print of vision 2030 and beyond.

  • Prime Minister Raila Amollo Odinga:

Bwana Raila, you are the true champion and have shown to be a true statesman in Kenya’s Democracy. For you have truly invested your time,energy and have sacrificed a lot for the democratic growth in our country.It is my hope and expectation that most of the fellow Kenyans will agree with me ,your acceptance for Supreme court of Kenya verdict was the most honorable act you did for the country.With all my due respect as I write this complimentary, I can’t imagine where Kenya would have been if you ignored the Supreme Court verdict. All the Kenyan institution you have fought for years to see them function could have gone in dismay. Thank you ,Bwana. Prime Minister for you will be remembered for such an honor of putting country first before your personal interest. As the late Prof.Saitoti said “There come a times when country interest are greater than our individual interests” I still share the same sentiments and thank you.

Mr. President Uhuru, I must applaud you for the patriotisms’ and pan –africanism. In the past few months to the election,on electioneering period till date the west countries namely U.S.A,U.K,EU and some other countries mostly from G8 having been making all kind of threats compromises and after the court verdict they were the first to send congratulatory messages that are too late – too little than needed.The best thing is ,we have known who is our real friend at the time of need. That,all the threats and consequences communicated through the media ,I am of the idea as you work from state house you now know who are the true Kenyan friends that means good for our country,especially after trying to impose a presidential candidate that they could turn to be a puppet of their own but mac yu we were more smarter than they thought and thankyou to my fellow Kenyans.
My kind and humble submission to the US,UK,EU leadership and all other countries at large is to realize Kenya is a sovereign Country,With a very mature democracy ,and if I may say with one of the best democracy in African continent.
That,Kenya has a democratically elected president and by so saying as-is on 4th march 2013, Kenya people have spoken and the Kenya people’s voice ought to be listened and respected. That, we need no lectures on maters of governance of our Country.Please note,If need be we will use the right diplomatic channels as it has always been.

May God bless our newly elected 4th government and their leaders.That even the ICC cases facing three innocent Kenyans will be inducted and May the Lord God give you wisdom and tenacity to serve our beloved motherland.


Murithi Benjamin Ikirima-B. Env Sc.
UNO -2005 awardee and 2011 Dr.Frist Humanatarian Awardee Florida .U.S.A




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Recently released: Relief after release of kidnapped Norwegian

Posted by African Press International on April 5, 2013

“I am pleased and relieved that the Norwegian woman who was kidnapped in the Sinai peninsula has been released and is safe,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

On her arrival in Cairo after her release, she will receive assistance from the Norwegian Embassy.

The Egyptian authorities spearheaded the efforts to secure the release of the Norwegian woman and an Israeli man who was kidnapped with her.

“We have cooperated closely with the Egyptian authorities, and we are very grateful to them for the successful outcome,” said Mr Eide.




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Dental dilemma: Not enough dentists

Posted by African Press International on April 5, 2013

Not enough dentists

MBABANE,  – Having a toothache in Swaziland can be a lot more painful than it is in many other places. Most Swazis have never visited a dentist, because in a country where 70 percent of the population lives in absolute poverty, oral hygiene is considered a luxury.

Swaziland’s 1.2 million people are served by only nine private dentists: five are in the capital, Mbabane, four are doing business in the central commercial hub, Manzini, and one is located in the up-scale Mbabane suburb of Ezulwini.

A further 15 dental practitioners are employed by the Ministry of Health, including nurses and dental hygienists, but none are specialists who can perform such procedures as root canal work or the fitting of false teeth.

Even getting a filling for a tooth is almost impossible at either of the two government hospitals in Mbabane, or at the facility in Siteki, the eastern provincial capital. The public hospital in Manzini does not currently have any dental practitioners assigned to it.

“In the morning you find a queue of thirty to forty people, and it is the same in the afternoon. For that number a dentist can extract thirty for forty teeth, but he has no time for fillings or anything else more sophisticated than tooth pulling,” a private dentist told IRIN.

“People think you go to the dentist to get a nice smile, and nobody ever dies of a toothache,” said Pauline Dube, a mother of three who says she cannot afford to give her children regular dental checkups. While she works in Manzini, her children stay in a rural part of the southern Shiselweni Province, a region with no dental practitioners at all. Rural areas are not provided with any sort of dental service.

As diets change and Swazis consume more processed foods, the need for dental care has become even more pressing.

“Our teeth have not adapted yet to soft sugary foods. What we now find are Swazi teeth with cavities like in the developed world. For Swazi young people, no tooth fillings are available except from expensive dentists, who are less than ten in the whole country and they work far from most people,” the dentist told IRIN. “So, the tooth is extracted. Most Swazis go to traditional doctors, but these healers can only offer pain suppressants for tooth pain.”

Having a toothache can be a lot more serious in Swaziland. The commonly held belief that dental problems may be painful but are not fatal has changed due to HIV/AIDS. Gum disease can lead to infections that can lead to the death of a person whose immune system has been decimated by HIV, the dentist noted. However, knowledge about gum infections is virtually nonexistent amongst Swazis, who have the world’s highest rate of HIV infection.

“I tell all my patients to test for HIV. The danger at government hospitals where they extract teeth is when a person with AIDS cannot produce the white blood cells to cause the blood to coagulate, and the bleeding cannot be stopped. If a patient with AIDS develops oral shingles, this can be a precursor to a more serious life-threatening disease. But the doctors don’t know enough about what goes on inside the mouth to detect this,” the dentist said.

Despite the need, no public awareness campaigns promoting dental knowledge and oral hygiene have so far been run. Yet tooth decay and gum disease can be prevented with a simple daily regimen of tooth brushing and flossing.

Swaziland is not the only country on the continent with tooth troubles. “The state of dental research in Africa is lamentable when compared to the other continents,” the African Journal of Oral Health (AJOH) noted in an editorial. “While this situation is unacceptable, it is not surprising because oral health personnel on the continent are not yet strategically placed to be able to influence health policy and decisions on funding.”

jh/kn/he source


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