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Sudan's rivals to resume talks on Sovereign Council soon: Ethiopian mediator

Sudan Tribune - Wed, 12/06/2019 - 06:31


June 11, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) have agreed to resume talks on the Sovereign Council and to cease escalation, said the Ethiopian mediator Mohamoud Dirir on Tuesday.

Opposition officials leaked that the TMC in its meetings with Dirir agreed to give the presidency of the collegial presidential body to the civilians together with the majority of seats, after refusing during the past weeks.

In a press conference held on Tuesday, the special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister said he held separate discussions with the TMC head Ahmed al-Burhan and the FFC leaders to facilitate the resumption of talks on the remaining sticking points.

In addition, he said the two sides agreed to "refrain from inflammatory statements" and create a conducive environment before the resumption of talks.

The TMC "agreed to take confidence-building measures including the release of Political Prisoners" and the FFC "agreed to call-off the Civil-Disobedience," he added.

Following the attack on the main site of protest on 3 June and the killing of over 100 people, the opposition suspended sine die the talks and declared open-ended general protest to force the army to leave power.

On Monday, the military council admitted that some military personnel have been involved in the bloody attack on the sit-in of pro-democracy protesters and pledged to release the finding of its investigation committee within 72 hours.

For its part, the FFC announced the temporary suspension of the general strike starting from Wednesday but called on its neighbourhood committees to continue the mobilisations for the resumption of the strike.

The three-day strike was largely followed by the Sudanese and allowed the opposition to show its strong popular support.

In their previous discussions, the two sides agreed that during the three-year transitional period the county will be ruled by a collegial presidency, and a government of technocrats to achieve democratic and economic reforms and an appointed parliament with a majority of 67% to the FFC.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

South Sudan court sentences rights activist to two years in prison

Sudan Tribune - Tue, 11/06/2019 - 22:51

June 11, 2019 (JUBA) - A South Sudanese court Tuesday sentenced for two years of imprisonment South Sudanese rights activist and vocal critic Peter Biar who is indicted of spying after giving interviews to a foreign media.

Peter Biar Ajak poses with Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban, on 7 April 2018 (ST Photo)

Biar who was arrested on 28 July 2018 was initially charged with national security-related offences after posting several tweets criticizing the peace process.

However in March 2019 he was accused with six others of orchestrating a riot at the National Security detention facility in Juba, the "Blue House" when armed inmates took two guards hostage on 7 October 2018.

The prosecution said Biar who at the time gave interview to Voice of America Radio from the prison disturbed peace and that his interviews amounted to espionage.

The court sided with prosecutors and sentenced Biar to two years in prison as the judge found him guilty of spying.

His lawyer, Ajak Mayol Bior, told reporters that his client was innocent and vowed to appeal the sentence. he further said the rule violates the constitutional right of freedom of expression.

During his interview from the Blue House with Voice of American Radio on 7 October 2018, the activist called on the government to negotiate with the detainees who organised the insurrection saying what they demand was to be tried or released.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

U.S. top diplomat for Africa visits Sudan to encourage power transfer

Sudan Tribune - Tue, 11/06/2019 - 21:34


June 11, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Tibor Nagy will hold talks with Sudanese stakeholders on Wednesday to encourage the resumption of talks over power transfer to a civilian government.

Nagy's visit to Khartoum comes within an African tour from 12 to 23 June to Sudan, Mozambique, and South Africa to discuss bilateral relations and to highlight the importance of democracy, human rights.

"In Sudan, he will meet with members of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and the Transitional Military Council," said a statement released by the State Department.

"He will call for a cessation of attacks against civilians and urge parties to work toward creating an enabling environment between the FFC and TMC for talks to resume," further said the statement.

The killing of over 100 peaceful protesters by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on 3 June triggered condemnation from the U.S. lawmakers and activists who increased pressures on Washington to take swift action to prevent further attacks by the notorious militiamen who committed atrocities and grave human right violations in Darfur.

President Trump who cancelled the post of US special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan has finally accepted to reappoint the former special envoy for Sudan Donald Booth as special adviser to the assistant secretary for African affairs.

Booth who worked closely with the former government of ousted Omer al-Bashir and Sudanese opposition will be in Nagy's delegation to Khartoum.

In Addis Ababa, he will meet with African Union representatives and Ethiopian government officials to discuss the situation in Sudan and efforts to support a political solution.

Reports from Khartoum say the FFC and TMC will ink an agreement on the formation of the transitional institutions. As the military council finally has accepted to give the opposition the presidency of the Sovereign Council and the majority of its membership.

Freeze assists of TMC's generals

In an op-ed published in Politico on Tuesday, George Clooney and John Prendergast called on the U.S. Congress and President Trump's Administration to freeze and seize assets of Sudan's military leaders responsible for brutal attacks on peaceful protesters.

The two activists urged strong actions including targeted sanctions against the members of the ruling junta and actions by the U.S Treasury, aimed at preventing an escalation of mass violence in Sudan.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

U.S. administration to appoint special adviser for Sudan

Sudan Tribune - Tue, 11/06/2019 - 11:55

June 11, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Former U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth will be appointed as Special Adviser on Sudan to Tibor Nagy the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, reported The Foreign Policy Magazine on Monday evening.

U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth, speaks at the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, on April 28, 2016 (ST Photo)

The move comes as over 70 U.S. lawmakers last May urged the State Department to put pressure on the military council to ensure rapid power transfer to a civilian-led government in Sudan.

Also, the US House of Representatives is set to endorse a resolution on Sudan urging “the United States Government to continue efforts to convene and work with the international community in support of a civilian-led government in Sudan”

However, US officials admitted that the lack of a clear policy towards the Sudanese crisis can explain the absence of strong action to bring the Sudanese junta to hand over power to the peaceful protesters in Sudan.

“There's no leadership on this issue in State (Department) or the White House,” said a U.S. official involved in deliberations, who spoke on condition of anonymity to Foreign Policy.

Recently, U.S. President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton had to tweet twice on Sudan to express his support for the power transfer to civilians.

Also, Nagy kept posting several tweets related to the situation in Sudan to show that the State Department has been following with concern the dramatic developments in the east African nation.

Further, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, David Hale had to speak with Saudi and Emirati officials to encourage them to put pressure on the military junta which has been suddenly under international focus after the bloody raid on the main protest site killing over hundred people.

U.S. top diplomat for Africa will visit Sudan in the coming days as part of a tour in the African continent from 12 to 23 June. He is expected to meet the military council and the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC).

The ruling junta, according to opposition sources, has finally admitted giving the chairmanship of the Sovereign Council and the majority of the 15-member presidential body to the opposition.

If implemented, this means that Booth will be tasked with the follow-up of the implementation of democratic reforms and the peace process which should take place during the transitional period.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Opposition FFC to lead Sudan's Sovereign Council

Sudan Tribune - Tue, 11/06/2019 - 06:48


June 11, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) are expected to announce the name of its candidates for the Sovereignty Council, the Prime Minister and judicial bodies in the transitional ruling authority, in line with a proposal made by the IGAD chair Abiy Ahmed.

Opposition sources close to the ongoing discussions talks between the two sides confirmed to Sudan Tribune that the FFC will hand over to the Transitional Military Council (TMC) the names of eight members of the collegial presidency as the latter will designate seven before to announce the formation of the 15-member Sovereign Council.

However, the sources said the public announcement may be delayed following leaked reports revealing the deal struck after a mediation brokered by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who is also the IGAD Chair.

The composition and the chairmanship of the Sovereign Council were the sources of contention between the TMC and FFC. Since last May, they have agreed that the transitional government will be appointed by the FFC from independent qualified Sudanese persons to carry out political and economic reforms before to hold elections within three years.

Last Friday, Abiy was in Khartoum upon the recommendation of the African's Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) to mediate between the Sudanese stakeholders.

Also, the PSC suspended Sudan's membership and threatened to sanction the TMC members in the event they continue to hand over power to a civilian-led government. In the same tread, the region and the international community increased pressures on the junta.

According to the sources, the opposition has picked Abdalla Hamdok former Executive Secretary, a.i. of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa(UNECA) for the position of the prime minister.

The coalition will further announce candidates for the post of Attorney General, the President of the judiciary.

The opposition has launched a successful general strike that was followed by the Sudanese who showed their support to the FFC.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

15 Communities Benefits MP Water Project In Garu

ModernGhana News - Tue, 11/06/2019 - 04:38
Residents together with domestic animals of 15 communities within the Garu Constituency in the Upper East Region, competing for water over years have been given reliefs after the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, drilled boreholes for them. The communities include Biantesi, Farfar-Saab Kwan, Kokbulg, Kukorin Tingbanbuung Daboog, Kpati ...
Categories: Africa

PHOTOS: SoccaBet Presents Brand New Car To Winner Of Massive Promo 3rd Edition

ModernGhana News - Tue, 11/06/2019 - 04:12
Leading online sports betting company, SoccaBet Ghana on Monday, June 10, 2019, presented a brand new car - a Renault KWID ndash; to Mr. Kpiasi Sulley Batong for emerging as the winner of the 3rd edition of the Massive Promo Series. The promo which started in April has been introduced to award customers of the betting company ...
Categories: Africa

MTN Staff To Build Dormitory For WAG Vocational Training Center

ModernGhana News - Tue, 11/06/2019 - 03:35
As part of MTN rsquo;s 21 Days of Y rsquo;ello Care program, the staff of the telecommunications giant engaged in work towards the construction of dormitory block to house students of the Women 39;s Action Group (WAG) Vocational Training Centre, Pantang. The MTN 21 Days of Y rsquo;ello Care is an annual staff volunteering program t ...
Categories: Africa

Black Bombers Cry For Help

ModernGhana News - Tue, 11/06/2019 - 00:45
The Ghana National Boxing team, the Black Bombers are crying for help as they do not know their fate towards the next Olympic Games in Tokyo. Reports reaching Yours Truly indicate that they are scheduled to go to Cape Verde for qualifiers to the Olympic Games, but the sports authorities have not shown any sign of offering the Black Bomber ...
Categories: Africa

Launch Of 2020 GUSA Games To Take Place On June 12

ModernGhana News - Tue, 11/06/2019 - 00:43
On the 12th of June, 2019 at the University of Ghana SRC Union Building, the launching the Ghana Universities Sports Association Games 2020 will take place. The Ghana University Sports Association (GUSA) is an Association of the public universities in Ghana namely: University of Ghana (UG); Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technolo ...
Categories: Africa

Rebel leader says deported as web 'blackout' sweeps protest-hit Sudan

ModernGhana News - Tue, 11/06/2019 - 00:41
Sudanese rebel leader Yasir Arman said Monday he and two comrades had been forcibly deported from Khartoum to Juba, on the second day of a nationwide civil disobedience campaign by protesters. The alleged deportations came as digital rights group Netblocks reported a near-total blackout of internet coverage in Sudan, while vehicles manned by h ...
Categories: Africa

Senegal orders probe into BBC allegations over gas contract

ModernGhana News - Tue, 11/06/2019 - 00:41
Senegal's justice ministry ordered a probe Monday into a BBC report alleging that the president's brother richly benefited from a deal awarding British energy giant BP contracts in the gas sector. The statement by the ministry calling for a complete inquiry was issued a week after the BBC investigation aired June 3 and caused an outcry in the ...
Categories: Africa

France wants stronger Renault-Nissan alliance

ModernGhana News - Tue, 11/06/2019 - 00:41
The idea of a merger between Renault SA and Fiat Chrysler (FCA) remains a good opportunity, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday, but insisted Renault's alliance with Nissan should be reinforced first.Their two-decade-old partnership is on the rocks after the French carmaker demanded a greater say in Nissan's governance overhaul. ...
Categories: Africa

Spain, France already back China extradition principles

ModernGhana News - Tue, 11/06/2019 - 00:41
China on Monday strongly backed the Hong Kong government on a controversial proposed law that would allow extraditions to the mainland, and voiced opposition to outside interference following a massive protest against the legislation. But a mass extradition of Taiwanese suspected fraudsters from Spain to Beijing shows an increase of China's judic ...
Categories: Africa

Sudan rebel chief Arman, in Juba, says deported by Khartoum

ModernGhana News - Tue, 11/06/2019 - 00:41
A Sudanese rebel chief said Monday he was deported from Khartoum to South Sudan with two comrades hours after authorities claimed to have released the three men from detention. I was deported against my will... I have not been released; I have been deported from my country, Yasir Arman, deputy chief of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-No ...
Categories: Africa

Sudan's junta expels SPLM-N leading members to Juba: Agar

Sudan Tribune - Mon, 10/06/2019 - 17:38

June 10, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan's Transitional Military Council has expelled to Juba Yasir Arman the deputy head of the SPL0M-N Agar, the Movement's Secretary Ismail Jalab and its Spokesperson Mubarak Ardol.

The official Sudan News Agency issued a short statement on Monday morning saying the three have been released from jail without further details. Also, the authorities did not explain the reason for their arbitrary detention.

SPLM-N AgarDeputy Chairman Yasir Arman

However, the group's leader Malik Agar issued a statement in the afternoon saying the three have been deported to Juba and thanked the South Sudanese president for "the good reception and hospitality".

"They were denied access to their accommodation, on the contrary, the TMC deported them against their will using a military aeroplane to Juba. This happened despite their rejection of the forceful deportation," Agar said.

Agar further condemned "the uncouth behaviour" of the military council stressing it "is a manifestation of the intentions of the TMC not to hand power to the civilians and not to reach peace".

Arman had been arrested on 5 June while Jalab and Ardol were arrested on 8 June after a meeting the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who convinced the opposition to accept resuming talks with the government under some conditions.

The three SPLM-N Agar leading members arrived in Khartoum as a goodwill delegation to promote peace and reconciliation after the fall of al-Bashir's regime.

For his part, in a tweet posted after his in Juba, Arman said he was deported by a military helicopter to Juba.

"I was not aware of where they were taking me. I asked them many times. They tied me up in the helicopter together with Comrade Ismail Khamis Jalab and Mubarak Ardol," he added.

The arrest of the three SPLM-N Agar leading member was condemned by the Sudanese opposition, the region and the international community.

The military junta had pledged to release Aram soon, Abiy told the opposition groups during his meeting with them.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

SPLM-N Arman and his comrades have been released: Sudan's official agency

Sudan Tribune - Mon, 10/06/2019 - 12:20

June 10, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese security service Monday released Yasir Arman the deputy head of the SPL0M-N Agar, the Movement's Secretary Ismail Jalab and its Spokesperson Mubarak Ardol.

Arman waves the V for victory during a visit to the site protest on Monday evening 27 May 2019 (ST Photo)

The official Sudan News Agency issued a short statement confirming that the three have been released without further details.

The authorities did not explain the reason for their arbitrary detention.

Arman had been arrested on 5 June while Jalab and Ardol were arrested on 8 June after a meeting the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who convinced the opposition to accept resuming talks with the government under some conditions.

The three SPLM-N Agar leading members arrived in Khartoum as a goodwill delegation to promote peace and reconciliation after the fall of al-Bashir's regime.

Their arrest was condemned by the Sudanese opposition, the region and the international community.

The military junta had pledged to release Aram soon, Abiy told the opposition groups during his meeting with them.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Sudan's opposition takes advantage of criminal gangs to stage successful strike: TMC

Sudan Tribune - Mon, 10/06/2019 - 11:19


June 9, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan's Transitional Military Council (TMC) on Sunday said the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) take advantage of attacks by criminal gangs to ensure the success of the general strike.

The claim was made by the head of the TMC security committee, Maj-Gen Gamal Omer who issued a statement at the end of the first day of the open-ended general strike on Sunday evening.

"The method of closing roads and building barricades practised by the FFC is contrary to law, customs and religion and violates the limits of the exercise of political action," Gamal said.

The FFC used the events of June 3 as a pretext to escalate against the military council and against the citizens" when the suspended the negotiations and declared the general strike, he further said.

"Also, they took advantage of (attacks by) the Naikkers gangs and outlaws to force the citizens to stay in their homes to make the civil disobedience successful," the military official stressed.

The statement was considered as the first tacit acknowledgement by the military junta of the success of the first day of the strike which paralyzed the capital and different part of the country. Activists say that over 90% of the capital population followed the protest in support of power handover to civilians.

He added that the roadblocks prevent the security forces from patrolling the streets and encourage organised gangs to attack the police departments in order to capture weapons for looting.

The TMC security official went further to say this organised groups "are now seeking to obtain weapons and transfer their battles against the armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces into the capital and major cities".

He was referring to the rebel groups which all declared its support to the Sudanese revolution.
The government of former President Omer al-Bashir used this argument to dissuade people from protesting against the regime.

Gamal said that despite negotiations the FFC continued in a "deliberate and exclusionary way" to raise the ceiling of its demands and exert pressures like closing the roads and bridges, in a way that led to the deterioration in the security situation.

He said that the FFC officials were informed of the security operation in Colombia area which is not far from the sit-in.

However, the military official did not speak about the attack on the main site of protest that took place two days later and where over a hundred people killed.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Four killed during the first day of Sudan's general strike

Sudan Tribune - Mon, 10/06/2019 - 08:30


June 9, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Four people were shot dead in the capital on Sunday during the first day of the general strike which was largely followed in Khartoum and other Sudanese cities.

Sudanese deserted the streets and of Khartoum, as shops and markets were closed. Also, most of the public facilities in Khartoum were disrupted and air traffic at Khartoum airport stopped.

Official media continued to claim that public corporation and institutions continue to work normally activity assertions, but activists released images of empty streets without traffic and shops completely shut down. Also, banks were closed because their staff refused to work.

Reliable sources confirmed the disruption of the work of the courts and public prosecution offices after the strike of the judiciary staff.

In the same way, daily newspapers and magazines were not published due to the large participation of journalists and newspaper workers in the civilian disobedience.

The opposition Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) the spearhead of the pro-democracy protests in Sudan said the general strike will end with the fall of the military junta and the establishment of transitional civilian rule.

Sunday was the first working day after the end of the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

The SPA had called for the general strike after the killing of over a hundred peaceful protesters by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militiamen in the first hours of Monday 3 June.

Talks between the ruling military council and the opposition over power transfer stalled after the junta's refusal to accept give the opposition coalition Forces for Freedom and Change to control of the collegial presidency saying they want to oversee the transition process.

The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD), a pro-democracy group, said four people were killed Sunday, some of them by gunshot wounds to the neck and chest in different parts of the capital.

The four victims were at the roadblocks and barricades in the neighbourhoods of the capital.

The CCSD said the killing of the four protesters bringing the death toll of civilians killed after 3 June attack on the sit-in to 118 people.

The RSF militiamen attempted to remove the roadblocks and barricades from the streets but they were shortly reestablished by the protesters.

In addition, the security forces fired tear gas at a group of protesters in Khartoum.

The cities of Wad Madani of Aljazira state, Port Sudan on the Red Sea, and Karima in Northern state, as well as other towns, took part in the nationwide protests.

Also, the SPLM-N Agar released pictures showing its Chairman Malik Agar participating with thousands of civilians in a sit-in in the rebel-held area of the Blue Nile state.

Malik Agar leader of a SPLM-N faction take part in a sit-in organized in a rebel-held area in the Blue Nile on 9 June 2019 (Photo SPLM-N Agar)

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Resignation Confirms Fears of Delay in Guinea Stadium Massacre Trial

HRW / Africa - Sat, 01/06/2019 - 18:18
Expand

In Guinea’s capital, Conakry, family members cry after identifying the body of a relative killed on September 28, 2009, when security forces fired on opposition supporters as they marched to and later held a rally in the September 28 Stadium. The body of their relative was one of 57 dead displayed at the Grand Fayçal Mosque on October 2, 2009.

© 2009 Reuters

The resignation of Guinea’s Justice Minister Cheick Sako – who oversaw significant progress in the investigation in Guinea’s devastating 2009 stadium massacre – should not end hope of bringing those responsible to justice.

On September 28, 2009, several hundred members of Guinea’s security forces opened fire on tens of thousands of opposition supporters in a stadium in the capital, Conakry. At least 150 people died and dozens of women were raped.

Efforts to deliver justice for one of Guinea’s worst episodes of political violence is a litmus test of President Alpha Conde’s willingness to end impunity for the security forces, demonstrate the independence of the judiciary, and improve the rule of law. 

The years after Sako’s appointment in 2014 saw several steps forward in the case. In July 2015, a panel of Guinean judges charged Moussa Dadis Camara, the former leader of the junta ruling Guinea at the time of the massacre and commander-in-chief of the security forces responsible for the killings. In November 2017, the judges closed their investigation, having charged more than 14 suspects, including several high-ranking security officials in President Condé’s current administration

In April 2018, Sako appointed a steering committee to organize the trial. But the steering committee, initially supposed to meet once a week, has met only sporadically and has not yet set a trial date.

In a May 20 resignation letter made public earlier this week, Sako stated his opposition to a potential revision to Guinea’s constitution, which many believe Condé will announce to remove barriers to a third term in office. Guinean human rights groups worry that with Sako gone, any remaining momentum for the trial will be lost.

Guinea’s justice system should operate independently of politics, however complicated they become. Asking the steering committee to set a date for the trial would be a way for Sako’s successor, currently interim minister Mohammed Lamine Fofana, to show he is committed to a credible, independent judicial system and that he stands ready to advance Guinea’s crucial fight against impunity.

Categories: Africa

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