Top of the Morning: Syria Accepts Kofi Annan’s 6 Point Plan; Sudan Bombs South Sudan; BRICS Stepping Up Foreign Aid

Top stories from DAWNS Digest.

Sudan Launches Large Assault on the South

The region is drifting ever closer to a full-blown war between Sudan and the new Republic of South Sudan. “Sudanese aircraft and ground troops attacked multiple positions in South Sudan’s oil rich border regions Monday, sparking fierce battles and prompting Southern President Salva Kiir to warn of war. ‘This morning the (Sudanese) airforce came and bombed… areas in Unity state,’ Kiir said at the opening of a ruling party meeting in the southern capital Juba. ‘After this intensive bombardment our forces…. were attacked by SAF (Sudan Armed Forces) and militia,’ he added, noting his troops had since fought back and crossed into a key northern oil field. ‘It is a war that has been imposed on us again, but it is they (Khartoum) who are looking for it,’ said Kiir, adding that he did not want conflict to resume. However Sudanese army spokesman, Sawarmi Khaled Saad, said only ‘limited clashes’ had occurred between his forces and those of South Sudan along the disputed border between the two countries.” (AFP

Kofi Annan Says Syria Accepts His 6 Point Plan

Kofi Annan says that the Syrian government has accepted his 6 point plan, which was endorsed by the Security Council just last week last week. Now comes the hard part: implementation and follow through. For that to happen Russia and China need to put some pressure on the regime to live up to its word. Accordingly, Annan spent the past day in Russia and is heading to China today. Here is the Six Point Plan

– “An inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syria people.”
— A commitment “to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians and stabilize the country.”
— Ensuring the “timely provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting …”
— Intensifying “the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons,” including people who have been “involved in peaceful political activities.”
— Ensuring “freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists and a nondiscriminatory visa policy for them.”
— Respecting “freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.”


BRICS To the (Foreign Aid) Rescue!

With foreign aid on the decline in traditional donor countries, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are stepping up. Big Time: China and Brazil are leading the pack, increasing aid spending by more than 20 percent from 2005 to 2010, the GHS Initiatives global health charity said in a report. India, Russia and South Africa’s aid budget increased by 11, 36 and 8 percent respectively over the same period. “The BRICS are contributing significant new resources to global health and development efforts,” said David Gold, co-founder of GHS Initiatives. “Just as importantly, they are establishing new models for cooperation that challenge the way we think about foreign assistance,” Gold said. For example, Brazil’s 1996 commitment to provide universal access to effective HIV treatment influenced global policies on access to medicine. China has been a leader on malaria treatment in Africa, while South Africa is pioneering the introduction of molecular diagnostics for tuberculosis. But experts say that while the BRICS are spending more on foreign aid than ever before, it still amounts to a drop in the ocean compared with what Western donors are giving. (Reuters