Africanews RSS free and in real-time all news published by, by subscribing to our RSS feeds.Tue, 23 Apr 2019 12:10:00 +0000Sudan protest hub: African leaders want civilian govt in Sudan in 3 months protest updates: December 2018 – February 1, 2019 African leaders give Sudan three months to reform African leaders meeting in Cairo on Tuesday agreed to give Sudan’s ruling military council three months to implement democratic reforms, amid pressure for a quick handover of power to civilians. The decision extends a 15-day deadline set by the African Union last week for Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand over power to civilians or to be suspended from the grouping. The TMC took over after President Omar al-Bashir was ousted on April 11. Any suspension of Sudan’s AU membership could affect the TMC’s efforts to win international recognition as the country’s legitimate rulers during an interim period of up to two years, and thus delay any aid to the country that has been trying to cope with a dire economic crisis. The TMC has been under pressure from demonstrators to hand power rapidly to civilians since the military ousted Bashir following months of protests against his 30 years in office. Speaking at the end of a summit attended by several African heads of state, Sisi said that the meeting agreed on the need to deal with the situation in Sudan by working to “quickly restore the constitutional system through a political democratic process led and managed by the Sudanese themselves”. Sisi, who holds the rotating African Union presidency, said that the African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat had briefed the meeting on his recent talks in Khartoum. “We agreed on the need to give more time to Sudanese authorities and Sudanese parties to implement these measures,” Sisi told the meeting. A Sudanese and a Western diplomat head had earlier said that the TMC wanted a period of three to six months to continue its discussions with protesters and opposition groups to hammer out an agreement on how to run the transitional period. The TMC has resisted pressure to hand power to civilians, but has said it was ready to accept a civilian government of technocrats to run the country during an interim period of up to two years that would prepare for a presidential election. But protesters say the proposal would leave ultimate power in the hands of the military, demanding that the ruling council be staffed by civilians with military representation. REUTERS April 18, 2019: US backs calls for civilian-led transition The United States has reiterated its call for the military to handover power to a civilian-led transition body saying they supported what the Sudanese people wanted. Its latest statement on the post-Bashir crisis was issued by the Department of State on Thursday – the same day that a massive protest rocked the capital, Khartoum. In the course of this week, the African Union has given a stern warning to the Transitional Military Council over possible expulsion from the continental bloc. Ousted president Omar al-Bashir has been transferred to a maximum security prison in Khartoum. Two of his brothers have also been detained according to the military as part of efforts to “uproot symbols of the regime.” Full statement by the United States April 17, 2019: Bashir arrives in Khartoum prison Deposed president Omar al-Bashir has been transferred from detention into a maximum security jail, Kobar, located in the capital, Khartoum. Reuters reports that he is being kept in solitary confinement under heavy security. A family relation confirmed the development to the AFP News agency. It is the most significant news on the former leader since he was ousted last week by the military. The military on Monday dismissed reports that he could be handed over to the International Criminal Court, ICC. Meanwhile, the Transitional Military Council, TMC, continues to engage protest leaders on a way forward in post-Bashir Sudan. The pressure to transfer power to a civilian government meanwhile continues. The African Union after an April 15 expulsion threat by its Peace and Security Council reiterated its position when its head Moussa Faki Mahamat met with a TMC delegation yesterday, April 16. Leader of the TMC, Abdel Fattah Burhan on the same day met with special envoys from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia – the two Gulf nations have pledged support for the people of Sudan. “Chairman of the Transitional Military Council, praised the distinguished relations between the Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and the eternal ties that bind their peoples,” state-run SUNA agency said on Twitter. They added that a message of support had also come from Egypt, whose president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, currently chairman of the African Union, AU, has said he was ready to visit Sudan in the coming days. April 14, 2019: Military begs for international support Sudan’s Foreign Ministry is appealing for international support to back the military rulers who took power after ousting long-serving president Omar al-Bashir. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is looking forward to the international community to understand the situation and to support the transitional military council … in order to achieve the Sudanese goal of democratic transition,” its statement said. The military said last week that it was due to operate a two-year- transition after which it would hand over power to elected representatives. Bashir’s last Defense Minister was sworn in as leader of the military transition council but in less that 48-hours Awad ibn Auf resigned his position giving way to a new leader in Abdelfattah Burhan Abdelrahman, a former inspector general of the army. Protesters meanwhile continue to pile pressure for an immediate return to civilian rule. A former intelligence chief also announced his resignation yesterday in what is seen as part of protester demands. The leader of the Rapid Support Forces/Janjaweed, Mohamed Hamdan AKA Hemedti pictured with US Charge d’affaires for Sudan Steven Koutsis. Hemedti is now the Vice-Chair for the High Council for Armed Forces – number 2 in the country. There seems to be amnesia around Darfur…— Yousra Elbagir (@YousraElbagir) April 14, 2019 April 11, 2019: Bashir arrested, military moves to rein in protesters After three decades in charge, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir has been forced out of office after months of unrelenting protests. The move was orchestrated by the military. Reports indicate that the former president is currently detained and being held in a safe place. The military have announced a raft of measures to rein in protesters. The protesters despite celebrating the fall of Bashir which was the main plank of their movement which started in December 2019 have rejected what they say is a military takeover. Who took power? The Supreme Military Council. What is the status of Omar al-Bashir? Arrested, being kept in a safe place. The 2005 consitution has been suspended along will all its appointees – president, parliament, cabinet etc. Current law: A three-month state of emergency. Political transition period: Slated to last 2 years. Who made announcements? Defense Minister. Other measures: All border crossings closed and airspace closed for 24-hours. Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf (L), an ex-military intelligence chief is sworn in as first vice president in front of Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir during a swearing in ceremony of new officials after Bashir dissolved the central and state governments in Khartoum, Sudan February 24, 2019. Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf, an ex-military intelligence chief talks to the media after being sworn in as first vice president during a swearing in ceremony of new officials after Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir dissolved the central and state governments in Khartoum, Sudan February 24, 2019. Photos: Celebrating the end of an era April 10, 2019: Defiant crowds continue sit-in, Bashir meets National Dialogue body Sudan state TV on Wednesday (April 10) aired footage of President Omar al-Bashir chairing a meeting of the country’s Supreme Commission for National Dialogue as anti-government protests calling for his resignation continued. Sudanese TV reported the meeting took place on Tuesday (April 9). The commission thanked Bashir’s government and the national security services for their work in handling the protests in a statement released following the meeting, Sudanese TV reported. Sudan’s opposition party said on Tuesday around 20 people were killed and dozens wounded in dawn attacks on a sit-in outside Sudan’s defence ministry by protesters calling for Bashir to step down. Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service tried twice to disperse the protesters early on Tuesday, breaking into the area using pickup trucks, witnesses said. Since December 19, Sudan has been rocked by persistent protests sparked by the government’s attempt to raise the price of bread, and an economic crisis that has included fuel and cash shortages. Drone shot of sit-in outside o army headquarters, Khartoum, #Sudan, April 10, 2019— Isma’il Kushkush (@ikushkush) April 10, 2019 April 8, 2019: Pressure mounts on Al-Bashir Soldiers came to the rescue of protesters in Khartoum on Monday when a section of the security forces fired tear gas to break up a three-day rolling sit-in by protesters. Starting Saturday (April 6) thousands of protesters have camped outside an area in the capital housing the army headquarters and close to the presidential palace. They are demanding that the army joins their call to force embattled president Omar Al-Bashir out of office. After what was a failed attempt to disperse the crowd, they are currently surrounded at the premises, reports said on late Monday. The interior ministry confirmed that six people died in Khartoum, during protests over the weekend. Over 50 others were injured and almost 2,500 demonstrators were arrested. Thousands of protesters marching through the railway bridge in Khartoum today April 8th to join the massive sit-in around and in front of the Army’s HQ as called for by SPA three days ago#SudanUprising#HQ_sit_in— Sudanese Translators for Change STC (@SudaneseTc) April 8, 2019 April 2019: Protesters close-in on Bashir’s residence Thousands of protesters held a sit-in outside Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s residence in central Khartoum on Sunday, having camped there overnight following the biggest demonstration in months of protests against his 30-year rule, witnesses said. At least one person died on Saturday during “rioting” in Omdurman, Khartoum’s twin city, state news agency SUNA said, without giving details on the cause of death. Sudan has seen months of mostly small but sustained protests against Bashir’s rule in which dozens of demonstrators have been killed. Security forces have used tear gas, stun grenades and live ammunition to disperse protests, witnesses have said. Sudanese march towards army headquarters Bashir has refused to step down, saying that his opponents need to seek power through the ballot box. Since the sit-in began on Saturday, security forces tried several times to clear the protesters from the compound’s vicinity using tear gas, including on Sunday morning, but thousands remained. Apparently emboldened by the success of similar but much larger protests in Algeria which forced ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down last week, Sudanese activists called for Saturday’s protests to mark the anniversary of the 1985 military coup that overthrew autocratic president Jaafar Nimeiri following mass protests against his rule. The protesters urged the military to side with them once more in their bid to push Bashir out of power. Apart from Bashir’s residence, the compound, the most heavily-guarded in Sudan, also houses the Defence Ministry and the headquarters of the powerful National Intelligence and Security Service. REUTERS March 2019: Summary of Sudan protest issues – details follow March 25: Protesters jailed, journalists march March 21: Bashir bans hoarding of cash March 21: Bashir reduces jail term for violating state of emergency March 17: Activists outline list of media repression March 14: Bashir hints of dialogue? March 13: Civil disobedience observed, Activists outline diaspora rallies in U.S., Europe March 12: Whipping sentence dismissed, March 13 rally gathers steam March 11: State of emergency halved March 9: Activists cleanup, announce March 10 rallies March 8: Detained women on hunger strike – SPA March 7: Women march, court orders release of protesters March 6: SPA calls tribute rally for women March 6: Nationwide strike ‘resounding success’ – Organizers March 5: Nationwide strike called for today March 3: Main opposition chief urges Bashir to quit March 2: Opposition leader tells Bashir to leave March 1: EU tasks govt to arrest excesses under martial law March 25: Journalists march demanding press freedom Six protesters arrested in the city of Omdurman have been sentenced to six-months by a Sudanese court, the AFP news agency reports. The sentence was handed down by an emergency court on Monday. “The six were accused of causing disturbances,” Police Spokesman General Hashim Abdelrahim told AFP. The report added that each of the convicts were also fined 1,500 Sudanese pounds ($31). The country is under a state of emergency aimed at quelling anti-government protests that kicked off late last year. Meanwhile, dozens of journalists marched in Khartoum on Monday to demand an end to a crackdown on press freedom amidst the most sustained challenge to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir since he took power in a 1989 coup. Protesters have been taking to the streets frequently across Sudan since Dec. 19. The protests were initially triggered by price rises and cash shortages but evolved into demonstrations against Bashir and his National Congress Party. Monday’s protesters carried a large banner that read “Free press or no press” as they walked down a main street in the Sudanese capital. They chanted “journalism is the voice of the people” and “the revolution is the choice of the people”. Since the wave of demonstrations began, 90 journalists have been detained, according to the Sudanese Journalists’ Network, an anti-government group of journalists that organised Monday’s protest. Most have since been released, the group said. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says the number of arrests is unprecedented, but that it is impossible to give an exact figure because journalists have been arrested then freed, with this happening to some more than once. The CPJ has also said that Sudanese authorities have tried to censor news coverage of the protests and that they have blocked access to popular social media platforms. Othman Mirghani, editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper al-Tayar, and one of Sudan’s most prominent journalists, was arrested at his Khartoum office on Feb. 22, the same day Bashir declared a state of emergency, his family said. He was detained shortly after a televised interview in which he criticized Bashir’s declaration of a state of emergency, according to relatives. They said Mirghani remains in custody, but has still not been charged. The Sudanese information ministry told Reuters that the state of press freedom in Sudan is good. “Opposition party newspapers are issued in Khartoum and the freedom to demonstrate is guaranteed by the constitution,” said Information Minister Hassan Ismail. “There is no political crisis in Sudan, but there is an economic crisis.” He added that his ministry has requested information about the reasons behind Mirghani’s arrest and that he will be meeting the director of the National Security and Intelligence Service on Tuesday to discuss Mirghani and other issues. Bashir last month also dissolved the central government, replaced state governors with security officials, expanded police powers and banned unlicensed public gatherings. That has not deterred protesters from staging regular rallies. REUTERS March 21: Bashir reduces jail term for violating state of emergency Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir on Thursday reduced the maximum jail term for violating the country’s state of emergency from 10 years to six months even as protesters continued staging rallies against his rule. Bashir had initially announced that any violations to the state of emergency, especially participating in banned rallies, were punishable with a jail term of up to 10 years. But on Thursday he issued an order that the maximum jail term for such violation would now be up to six months. Even as Bashir’s new orders were announced, crowds of protesters staged rallies in the central town of Al-Obeid and in areas of Khartoum and Omdurman, the twin city of the capital across the Nile, witnesses said. March 21: Bashir bans hoarding of cash In a separate order he also appointed the acting chief of his ruling National Congress Party, Ahmed Harun, as a presidential aide. A statement from the presidency on Thursday also banned hoarding of the Sudanese pound and “speculation” on the currency. Under the new rules announced by Bashir’s office, individuals are not allowed to store more than 1 million Sudanese pounds ($21,000) outside the banking system. Entities are banned from storing more than 5 million Sudanese pounds and are not allowed to store amounts “that are not commensurate with the scale of (their) activity”, the statement said. Bashir’s order, made in an emergency decree, also banned the counterfeiting of any currencies, as well as the possession, transportation or storage of counterfeit currencies and any tools used to produce counterfeit currencies. It further banned all providers of goods and services from accepting payments via bank cards or cheques. Any violators of the decree, in addition to punishments in any other breached laws, would face a minimum of six months in prison and a maximum of 10 years, as well as a fine. March 17: Activists unfazed by media reprieve The main protester organizers in Sudan uprising, the Sudanese Professionals Association, SPA? said on Sunday that it had noted a reprieve in media operations after banned newspapers were allowed unto the stands. “In a poorly-directed play, the Sudanese security and intelligence service allowed some newspapers to be released after harsh prevention measures that deprived them from circulation for more than 70 days,” SPA said in a tweet. They listed some of the newspapers as: Al-Maidan, Akhbar al-Watan and Al-Baath. SPA said what was important was for government to release all detained journalists. They claimed that most of the detained journalists were being subjected to abuse by authorities. They slammed the government further for gagging media personnel – local and foreign. State actors banned the publications from circulation in January, most of them over their reportage of the uprising. It was around the same time that government banned foreign journalists who were also reporting on the protests. READ MORE: Bashir’s latest cabinet reshuffle March 14: Bashir hints of dialogue? Bashir, facing the most sustained challenge to his rule since he took power in a military coup three decades ago, promised during a swearing-in ceremony for a new cabinet that he would engage in dialogue with the opposition. “Securing peace and silencing the sound of the rifle is our most important priority for the country and we will communicate with the forces who reject dialogue for the sake of political stability,” these are the words of the president according to a presidency statement issued on March 14. In a cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, Bashir appointed at least 15 new ministers. Last month he declared a state of emergency, dissolved the central government, replaced state governors with security officials, expanded police powers and banned unlicensed public gatherings. That has not stopped the protesters, who have held several demonstrations since the new measures came into effect. As part of the emergency measures, courts have been trying protesters in evening sessions, sparking more rallies outside court buildings. REUTERS March 13: Anti-govt protests in diaspora Even as protests and acts of defiance continue at home, the pressure on government is set to be applied outside the shores of the country according to lead activists. The Sudanese Professionals Association, SPA, disclosed on social media that plans were afoot for protests in the diaspora. Among others across cities in the United States and Europe – Germany and the United Kingdom. The said protests are to kick off on March 14 till 17. Some of the targeted cities include: Thursday, March 14, 2019 Activities of Sudanese expatriates abroad in New York-USA at the United Nations Headquarters: A demonstration condemning the emergency laws and violations against Sudanese women. Saturday, March 16, 2019 Washington, USA: To celebrate International Women’s Day in faith in freedom, change and democracy. Alexandria VA, Philadelphia-USA at Sudanese Community House | Poetry evening, loyalty of the martyrs of freedom and prisoners of conscience. Dusseldorf-Germany, Protest in support of the Sudanese revolution London-England at the Trafalgar Square | Demonstration in support of the Sudanese revolution Sunday, March 17, 2019 Washington, USA in front of the White House | Demonstration in support of the Sudanese Revolution The National Assembly For Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, UK. March 13: Civil disobedience call massively heeded SPA, the organizers posted photos of social shutdown as called for Wednesday, March 13. They are yet to announce the next line of action. Some actions slated under the civil disobedience include the following: Refraining from working in government offices and institutions. Refraining from paying statutory dues such as taxes and utility bills. Working to achieve a shutdown of transport routes – road, port, railways. Refraining from dealing with governmental interests and non-cooperation government agents. Boycott goods and services produced or provided by productive or service enterprises wholly or partially owned by the state. March 12: Flogging sentence overturned, March 13 rally gathers steam Nine women arrested for protesting have been released by a court on Tuesday. The group were arrested last Thursday during protests before they staged a hunger strike on March 8, coinciding with International Women’s Day. The appeals court ordered their release despite being jailed one month and 20 lashes each. The SPA has announced that all is set for a March 13 civil disobedience as part of the wider protest plan demanding the resignation of president Omar al-Bashir. March 11: Parliament splits emergency rule in two Sudan’s parliament voted on Monday to shorten from one year to six months a state of emergency declared by President Omar al-Bashir last month in response to widespread protests. Parliament can, however, renew the measure. Bashir declared the nationwide state of emergency, the first since 1999, on Feb. 22 to try to quell demonstrations that have posed the most serious challenge to his three-decade rule. Parliament’s deputy speaker Ahmed Attijani said some lawmakers objected to the state of emergency because of its implications for freedoms, particularly given Sudan is due to hold a presidential election next year. REUTERS Boushra Cartoonist: The ‘amateur’ contributing to the uprising March 11: Activists announce civil disobedience The main protest organizer in Sudan, SPA, has called a civil disobedience slated for Wednesday March 13. It is the second time such a measure is being implemented. “SPA and allies have called for a one-day civil disobedience on the 13th of March as the #SudanUprising gathers momentum in its 12th week,” they wrote in a Twitter post. The first such was last week on March 5 when a nationwide strike was called and according to SPA, resoundingly adhered to across the country. These measures are still pushed through despite a state of emergency. Security forces continue to violently crackdown on the people amid arrests and jailing of protesters. Some actions slated under the civil disobedience include the following: Refraining from working in government offices and institutions. Refraining from paying statutory dues such as taxes and utility bills. Working to achieve a shutdown of transport routes – road, port, railways. Refraining from dealing with governmental interests and non-cooperation government agents. Boycott goods and services produced or provided by productive or service enterprises wholly or partially owned by the state. Protests meanwhile continue in parts of the country. SPA shared footage of students in a university voicing their support for calls on President Al-Bashir to quit. March 9: Activists execute succesful cleanup campaign Pressure group SPA called for a cleanup campaign today in most parts of the country. Reports indicate that the call was well received and executed. “#SudanUprising nonviolent resistance continues. Wide response to SPA and allies call for a clean-up campaign. People across #Sudan organized and participated in the campaign,” the group said in a Twitter post. It was accompanied by a collage of people engaging in the cleanup. SPA has more often called for protests since December 2018. Significantly this week, March 5, they called for a nationwide sit-down strike which they said was a resounding success. On the 7th, they called for protests in tribute to women. That was also heeded despite the heavy security crackdown that followed. Detained women went on hunger strike on Friday, March 8 which coincided with International Women’s Day. Meanwhile Sunday, March 10, has been officially declared as a protest day by the group in posts on its social media handles – Facebook and Twitter. March 8: Detained women protesters on hunger strike, rallies continue “Women detained during #SudanUprising go on hunger strike today, coinciding with #InternationalWomensDay, in defiance and protest against arbitrary detention,” this is a post on Twitter by the Sudanese Professional Association, SPA. March 7, 24-hours to 2019 International Women’s Day was a day called by the SPA as a protest day in tribute to women. People defied security to protest against the government. It turns out that some of the women were detained in the process. SPA says these women have been beaten and also denied health care. Videos shared by a main opposition party showed female student protesters who had been teargassed being assisted after they were dispersed by the security forces. Meanwhile, protests continued in parts of the capital, Khartoum, most of them started off after Friday prayers. Friday protests have been a sort of “tradition” since the protests broke out in December 2018. March 7: Court orders release of jailed activists An emergency court meanwhile ordered the release of eight persons who had been jailed earlier this week. The eight were asked to be released and to pay fines for breaching the law. Sudan is currently under a state of emergency with military personnel in charge of all provinces around the country. The measure was imposed to quell protests but have so far failed. March 7: March 7 women’s rally underway March 7 protests called by the Sudanese Professional Association, SPA, took place across the country according to reports from an online media group, Sudanese blogs. Sudanese blogs reported that a rally in the capital Khartoum took place amid chanting of anti -government slogans and calls for President Omar Al-Bashir to quit. The information was corroborated by social media content that showed university students protesting. The Sudanese Congress Party, SCP, has also been sharing videos and photos from the protests. Some of the material shows students who were teargassed by security forces whiles a number of students were also reportedly arrested in the capital, Khartoum. March 6: After March 5 strike, SPA calls March 7 women’s rally The Sudanese Professional Association, SPA, have announced the latest protest action it says is in honour of women for their participation in the ongoing ‘uprising.’ The March 7 rallies are a ‘tribute to the women movements’ and are billed to happen at a number of rallying points across the country. READ MORE: Sudan activists call March 7 rally March 6: Professionals Association says March 5 strike successful The Sudanese Professionals Association, SPA, which has spearheaded anti-government protests in the country says the March 5 nationwide strike had been a success. The group posted an update today from the Network of Journalists who participated in the strike stressing that the fight against the regime continued unabated. The strike saw a complete social shutdown across much of the country. Photos shared on social media showed that offices and markets had largely been abandoned in observance of the strike. Market stalls in the famous Sa’ad Gishra market in Bahri, Khartoum North (left) and Omdurman market (right) shut down for business as nationwide strike continues.— Yousra Elbagir (@YousraElbagir) March 5, 2019 March 5: Govt lowers customs exchange rate Sudan has lowered its customs exchange rate to 15 Sudanese pounds to the dollar, from a previous rate of 18, a document seen by Reuters on Tuesday showed. The cabinet also decided to discount 75 percent of storage fees for cargoes and containers stuck in Sudanese ports over the period of Feb. 1-25, according to the document which is dated Feb. 26. Sudanese businessmen had repeatedly called on the government to lower the rate to help them purchase dollars as the country faces its crippling shortage of foreign currency. March 5: SPA calls nationwide strike The Sudanese Professionals Association, SPA, the main group behind anti-government protests in the country has called for a general strike across the country today, March 5. The body announced the measure as the latest leg of activities meant to pile pressure on the embattled president Omar Al-Bashir and his government. SPA has since December 2018 used social media platforms – Twitter and Facebook – to rally thousands for protests that started with hike in bread prices and shortage of fuel. The protesters have since switched gear to making demands for the 30-year-reigning leader to quit and allow for a political transition. Bashir has stepped down as head of the ruling party but declared a state of emergency that dissolved government and put military generals in charge of all provinces in February. March 2: Opposition chief tasks Bashir to quit Sudan’s main opposition party leader Sadiq al-Mahdi on Saturday called on President Omar al-Bashir to step down and sit with the opposition to agree on details of a transitional process to end the nation’s crisis, a statement from his party said. “You can achieve a safe exit for the country which will be appreciated by the Sudanese people and history and will transform the deep polarization into national unity and international isolation into international cooperation,” the statement said. The call comes after a week of successive measures aimed at combating an unprecedented wave of protests threatening Bashir’s three-decade rule, including declaring a nationwide state of emergency and sacking the governors of Sudan’s 18 states and replacing them with military and security officials. The statement also called on Bashir to end the state of emergency, end torture and release all political prisoners. Protests in Sudan, initially over high bread prices, have taken place nearly every day since Dec. 19 and developed into the most sustained challenge that Bashir has faced. March 1: EU calls for truce in Sudan crisis The European Union has reacted to developments in Sudan calling for the regime to do all it takes to arrest excesses that are likely to spiral from the recently declared state of emergency. In a statement issued on February 28, the EU’s High Representative said they were monitoring the situation in Sudan. The statement called on government to release persons detained for political reasons. “The EU expects the Sudanese government to release all journalists, members of the opposition, human rights defenders and other protesters in detention. “Some of those with whom the dialogue is set to take place have been arbitrarily detained for over two months now,” the statement read in part. Bashir steps aside as head of Sudan ruling party The Sudanese Professionals Association, SPA, which is behind the protests wrote in an update on its Twitter page that five people had been killed on Thursday and one casualty as at today March 1. March is the fourth month of continuous protests in the country. Today marks a week since the state of emergency was declared and government dissolved and reconstituted. “Regime’ forces continue to directly fire teargas canisters at peaceful protesters from close proximity. “Five protesters were injured during #SudanUprising rallies, on 28 Feb, and another one today. Many were hospitalized suffering teargas suffocation,” SPA said. Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the situation in Sudan: The EU is closely following the situation in Sudan. Measures being adopted under the newly declared state of emergency, the increased role of the military in governing the country, further curtail fundamental freedoms and undermine the recent offer of a new political dialogue. They create a permissive climate for the security services to act with impunity against peaceful protesters. The latest attacks against unarmed students in the University of Medical Sciences and Technology and against peaceful protesters in Omdurman, are deeply disturbing. Genuine political dialogue requires an environment in which the Sudanese people can exercise their legitimate right to express their views. This will be essential to create the national consensus needed to find sustainable responses to Sudan’s deep political and economic crisis. The EU expects the Sudanese government to release all journalists, members of the opposition, human rights defenders and other protesters in detention. Some of those with whom the dialogue is set to take place have been arbitrarily detained for over two months now. An independent investigation into the deaths and abuses should be undertaken with those responsible held to account. The respect for these fundamental principles are at the core of the EU’s phased engagement with the government of Sudan. We will continue to monitor the situation and review the impact of the Government of Sudan’s actions on its relations with the European Union. Feb 28: Security forces struggling to contain defiant protesters In the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, other parts of the country, anti-government protests continue to roll on even as of today. The protests are in blanket defiance of a nationwide ban imposed by government. The country is currently under a state of emergency imposed specifically to quell the protests which are calling for an end to the three-decades rule of President Omar Al-Bashir. Sudanese Professionals Association, the main bloc behind the protests shared a footage of demonstrations on Zalat street in Khartoum via Facebook. Security deployed around the country are reported to have fired tear gas to disperse the protesters. Aside the association, opposition parties and other civil society groups have given backing to the mass action. Until days ago, social media was cut by the authorities who have routinely blamed it for helping gather protesters but also share gruesome crackdowns by the security forces. Feb 27: Bashir makes more personnel changes Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir on Tuesday reshuffled senior military staff on Tuesday, a day after announcing sweeping new emergency measures to deal with ongoing protests. Several members of Sudan’s eight-strong military staff council switched positions and General Essam al-Din Mubarak, the former deputy head of the council, was given a new position as minister of state in the defence ministry. “These are normal, routine changes that happen from time to time,” the military spokesman said. Last week, Bashir announced a nationwide state of emergency and dissolved government. He has since made the following changes; Appointed Mohamed Tahir Eila, ex- Jazeera governor, as the new prime minister. Sacked long time ally Bakri Hassan Saleh from position of vice president. Appointed defence Minister General Awad Ibnouf as the new first vice president. Appointed Mustafa Youssef as the new finance minister. Replaced all state governors with military officials. Protesters have staged almost daily demonstrations since December, demanding that Bashir, who came to power in a 1989 military coup, step down. The protests were initially inspired by high prices for bread but have turned into a sustained campaign against Bashir and his government. Western powers criticise Bashir Western powers including the United States, Britain and France condemned the latests measures by the government to clamp down on protesters. US Acting Ambassador to the United Nations, Jonathan Cohen urged Khartoum to “respect the rights of all individuals in Sudan” and “bring an immediate end to the violent repression of peaceful protests.” ALSO READ: Amnesty jabs Sudan over ‘break ins’ amid martial law crackdown Feb 25: Bashir bans rallies As Bashir desperately seeks to end protests that have rocked Sudan for over three months now, the embattled president on Monday banned unauthorised rallies. This follows the declaration of a state of emergency last week on Friday. Bashir also gave the country’s security forces sweeping powers to to raid buildings where “suspicious activities were being carried out” and also search people, the presidency said. Other measures include: Blocking roads and stopping traffic was banned Publishing news “that hurts the citizens or the constitutional system” on any platform, including social media, was also outlawed A new court and a special prosecutor were created to investigate violations of the measures, with offenders facing up to 10 years in prison Explainer: Managing the economic crisis Deadly protests began on December 19 after the government tripled the price of bread and quickly evolved into demonstrations against Bashir’s rule. In the face of public anger over Sudan’s economic woes, Bashir on Monday announced measures to tackle the foreign currency shortage. The presidency said no more than $3,000 would be allowed to be carried by any individual travelling outside the country. Bashir also ordered that buying and selling of foreign currency be done only through official channels. Over the past two years, the foreign exchange market has seen high volatility, forcing the country’s central bank to devalue the local pound twice last year. Feb 24: New premier sworn in Following the dissolution of government on Friday, in addition to declaration of state of emergency, president Nashir appointed Mohamed Tahir Eila as the new prime minister. Eila , who is the former governor of the agricultural state of Jazeera was sworn in on Sunday, at a ceremony, according to an AFP photographer. “Today, a new chapter begins in Sudan’s history,” Bashir, dressed in a military uniform, said at the ceremony. Defence Minister General Awad Ibnouf was sworn in as the first vice president after his predecessor Bakri Hassan Saleh was sacked by Bashir. Bashir also swore in 16 army officers and two officers from the National Intelligence and Security Service dressed in military uniforms as new governors for the country’s 18 provinces. “This chapter needs special people like you to lead… in order to guarantee security and stability in the country.” Bashir is expected to announce an entire new cabinet as he pushes on with sweeping top level changes in the face of nationwide protests that have rocked his rule. February 24, 2019: Protesters defy state of emergency Meanwhile, protesters continued to defy the state of emergency, holding demonstrations in Omdurman city, and the Khartoum districts of Burri and Shambat. “We want to give the president a message that the state of emergency will not deter us,” said Sawsan Bashir who participated in the Omdurman rally. “Our aim is to overthrow this regime and we will do it.” Riot police swiftly confronted protesters in Omdurman and Burri with tear gas, witnesses said. Protest organisers have vowed to continue with daily rallies, accusing Bashir and his officials of economic mismanagement that has led to soaring food prices and shortage of foreign currency. February 23, 2019: President names defense minister as first veep Sudan’s Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf was appointed first vice president and will remain the defence minister, the Sudanese presidency said on Saturday. President Omar al-Bashir declared a one-year nationwide state of emergency on Friday and set up a caretaker administration but retained his defence, foreign and justice ministers. The inside story of Bashir’s plan to quell anti-govt protests Protesters frustrated with economic hardship have demonstrated for more than two months calling for an end to Bashir’s 30-year-old rule. Bashir also replaced on Friday the governors of every Sudanese state with military officials. Ibn Auf, who previously served as the head of military intelligence, earlier this month became the second of several top officials to strike a conciliatory tone towards the protests, saying that young people caught up in the recent turmoil had “reasonable ambition”. 1989 – 2019: Highlights of Bashir’s three-decades in charge February 22, 2019: President declares 12-month state of emergency Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir has declared a 12-month state of emergency across the country. The declaration was made in an address to the nation at 8pm local time on Friday (February 22). The move is aimed at quelling spreading anti-government protests calling for him to leave office. Meanwhile, protesters continued their rallies in the capital Khartoum after the close of the Friday congregational prayers, Jum’ah. Bashir has stressed that he will only leave office if polls are held but the relentless protesters have also vowed to continue till he leaves. Security agencies have had a hard time controlling some of the protests. Routine reports of tear gas and discharge of live bullets have led to deaths and injuries amid widespread arrest of political opponents and journalists. #BREAKING Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir declares a year-long state of emergency after anti-government protests— AFP news agency (@AFP) February 22, 2019 February 21, 2019: Telecom giants undertake sit-ins Reports indicate that employees of MTN and Zain have staged sit-in protests at their offices in the country. The action is allied with ongoing protests that have rocked the government with calls for president Al-Bashir to quit after three decades in charge of the country. MTN is one of three telecom outfits operating in the country. Government has since December 2018 ordered a restriction on access to especially social media platforms. But it continues to be one of the main sources of information on the anti-government action. Facebook and Twitter have been crucial in spreading information about ongoings across the country. A peaceful sit-in today by employees at MTN – one of the big three telecom companies in Sudan that have restricted access to social media platforms since the 20th of December.— Yousra Elbagir (@YousraElbagir) February 21, 2019 February 19, 2019: Students Varsity students in Sudan were shown protesting against the continued stay in office of President Omar Al-Bashir. They join a growing public call for the three-decades old leader to go. Protests have led to the closure of a number of universities across the country as government security apparatus tries to get a grip on the nationwide action. Despite being called by a Sudanese Professional Association, the country’s main opposition and other rights groups locally have joined in encouraging citizens to keep up the protests. News Analysis: Bashir vs. Protesters – What next for Sudan? Students in Sudan protesting today. Many universities remain closed as protests calling for an end to the Al-Bashir regime continue across the Country.— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) February 19, 2019 Journalists – local and international, have been caught in the middle of the protests. Foreign reporters have been deported or ordered out over their coverage whiles local journalists have been arrested and allegedly tortured. Rolls of daily and weekly newspapers have also been confiscated. A number of varsity professors in the capital Khartoum were recently arrested for attempting to stage a protest. The government has routinely come out to report of deaths resulting from clashes. In the recent past, a fruit seller died of tear gas inhalation whiles a police was also stoned to death. Human rights groups have disputed official government figures of deaths, putting the figure at above 40 – twice as much as the government tally. February 17, 2019: Fruit seller dies over tear gas inhalation A Sudanese fruit seller died Sunday in a hospital in Khartoum after inhaling tear gas fired by riot police during protests, according to his relatives and a committee of doctors linked to the anti-government protest movement. “He was taken to the hospital but the doctors could not save him, he died from tear gas inhalation,” said a doctor who requested anonymity for security reasons. A crowd of protesters gathered in Khartoum in the Bahari district (north) chanting “Freedom, Peace and Justice”, the main slogan of the protest, but soon faced riot police who fired tear gas, witnesses have reported. February 15, 2019: Police pelted to death by protesters A Sudanese policeman has died from his wounds after protesters threw stones at a police vehicle passing close to demonstrations in the capital Khartoum, a police spokesman said on Friday. The vehicle was passing the area by chance late on Thursday, the spokesman said, adding that a number of suspects had been arrested. The case brings the official death toll during protests that have spread since Dec. 19 across Sudan to 32, including three security personnel. An opposition-linked doctors’ syndicate said last week that 57 people had been killed in the protests. “The vehicle was pelted with stones, and they were police returning from training and had no link to the dispersal of the unrest,” said police spokesman Hashem Ali. Security forces dispersed protests close to the presidential palace in Khartoum on Thursday, rounding up several dozen of them and driving them away in pick up trucks, witnesses said. On Friday police fired teargas to disperse hundreds of people who protested after leaving a mosque in Omdurman, across the Nile from central Khartoum, witnesses said. REUTERS February 14, 2019: Zero retreat till Bashir is history, arrests in Khartoum Organizers of anti-government demonstrations in Sudan have reiterated their determination to continue mobilizing people until they overthrow the regime, excluding any dialogue with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Driven by a deep economic crisis, Sudan has been shaken since December 19 by almost daily demonstrations triggered by the government’s decision to triple the price of bread and other essential commodities. “The opposition forces are united behind the demands of the people. They are working in harmony to overthrow the regime, and to continue demonstrations or sit-ins,” Sara Najdullah, Secretary General, Association of Sudanese Professionals said. ¨Read our story here: Protest organisers vow to oust president Omar al-Bashir Security forces fired teargas to disperse hundreds of protesters close to the Sudan’s presidential palace on Thursday, before plainclothes officers armed with plastic piping rounded up around 30 people, witnesses said. Police then chased activists through side streets as smaller rallies broke out across downtown Khartoum. Demonstrators chanted “Peaceful, peaceful against the thieves” and “Down, that’s it!” – their central demand for President Omar al-Bashir to step down. The detained protesters, most of them young men and women, were driven away in pickup trucks, witnesses said. A police spokesman could not be reached for comment. Union members, students, opposition activists and others, frustrated with economic hardships, have held near daily protests since Dec. 19, in the most sustained challenge to Bashir’s three decades in power. The president and his ruling National Congress Party have shown no sign of bowing to those demands and have blamed the unrest on unnamed foreign powers. He and senior officials have used more conciliatory language in recent weeks, promising to release detained demonstrators. But activists say hundreds remain in detention. An opposition-linked doctors’ syndicate said last week that 57 people have been killed in the protests. The government puts the death toll at 31, including two security personnel. Security forces have used teargas, stun grenades and live ammunition to break up demonstrations. The unrest has been fuelled by a deepening economic crisis marked by high inflation and shortages of bread, petrol and cash. The Sudanese pound fell to a record low on the black market on Thursday. REUTERS February 13, 2019: Sudan govt using hit-squad against protesters The BBC is reporting about how the Sudanese government is employing special hit-squads to crackdown on anti-government protests that continue to spread across the country. The BBC’s investigative wing, Africa Eye, pooled together videos shared by Sudanese caught in the protest whiles taking testimony of a victim of alleged state torture. The BBC says it analyzed over 200 videos over the past weeks which showed low-level thugs under orders from the feared intelligence outfit, the NISS. “Some of these protesters tell us about a secret and widely feared holding facility – The Fridge – where the cold is used as an instrument of torture,” the BBC report said. President Omar Al-Bashir remains adamant about calls to step down. According to him only polls not protests will lead him out. Sudanese are expected to elect a president in 2020. February 12, 2019: Professors arrested for planned protest Security forces arrested 14 professors who were gathering to protest outside Khartoum University on Tuesday, witnesses said, as anti-government demonstrations neared the end of their eighth week. Doctors also rallied outside state and private hospitals in Sudan’s capital and other cities against the rule of President Omar al-Bashir, witnesses added. Union members, students, opposition activists and others, frustrated with economic hardships, have held near daily protests since Dec. 19, in the most sustained challenge to Bashir’s three decades in power. Photos posted online on Tuesday showed people holding banners marked with “Freedom, justice and peace”, “No to torturing and killing protesters” and other slogans. Rights groups say at least 45 people have been killed in the protests since they began on Dec. 19, while the government puts the death toll at 31. Bashir has blamed the unrest on unnamed foreign powers and showed no signs of bowing to demands to quit. But he and some senior officials have adopted a more conciliatory tone in recent weeks and promised to free detained protesters. REUTERSTue, 23 Apr 2019 12:10:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com of the day, April 22, 2019 samples the pictures of the day’s news.Tue, 23 Apr 2019 11:15:14 +0000editorial@africanews.com robo taxis coming in 2020- Elon Musk’s another bold move by Elon Musk. The tech entrepreneur says Tesla robo taxis with no human drivers will be available in some markets next year. Musk also said the robo taxis may eventually cost a fraction of hailing an Uber or Lyft. He predicts that within three years they’ll have no pedals or steering wheel. And all these could cost $25,000 or less. Musk made the surprise prediction after his tech executives gave a two hour long briefing to investors focusing on Tesla’s self driving tech microchip. But Musk has often missed his own deadlines. “ Elon Musk really needed to deliver something to Wall Street today that would get them excited about Tesla’s growth prospects. Obviously self-driving is the big topic. On the other hand it also opens up Tesla to criticism that it over promises it misses deadlines. Sometimes it over-exaggerate its vehicle’s capabilities. All of this was on display today. Classic Musk bold pronouncements about his car’s capabilities. Very aggressive timelines. But it can’t really detract from the fact that in two days Tesla is expected to announce a loss in its first quarter “, said Reuters Correspondent, Alexandria Sage. But if you believe in Musk’s vision, you could buy a Tesla, eventually use the phone app to connect to the Tesla network and have it drive around on its own picking up customers when you’re not using it. Tesla would take a cut of that revenue. This Musk says would be financially insane to buy anything other than a Tesla. He says ‘‘that would be like buying a horse’‘. ReutersTue, 23 Apr 2019 10:47:49 +0000editorial@africanews.com[SciTech] Rooting for African carmakers firms are hoping for a slice of the continent’s largely underdeveloped market for new cars, taking on global car giants like Japan’s Toyota and Germany’s Volkswagen. Africa’s 1 billion inhabitants account for only 1 percent of the world’s new passenger car sales according to industry data. And, South Africans bought over 85 percent of those vehicles. Africa’s homegrown automakers Kenya’s Mobius Motors, in operation since 2014, has produced around 50 test vehicles, with 400 confirmed orders. Mobius produces a boxy, no-frills SUV designed for both the challenges of Africa’s rugged driving conditions and the modest budgets of African consumers. The entry-level version is priced at 1.3 million shillings ($12,897), half the going rate for a second-hand SUV model imported from Japan. Nigeria’s Innoson is fairing a bit better, selling 10,000 vehicles in its first eight years of operations, according to its website. Uganda’s Kiira Motors Corporation, which is 96 percent state-owned, is building a $40-million assembly plant that will have the capacity to produce 5,000 cars per year. But the company has built just three prototype vehicles since 2011. Kiira Motors is aiming to produce Africa’s first electric car. Ambitious goals Kiira Motors’ business development manager, Rodney Muhumuza believes that the 500,000vehicles sold per year in the East African Community, that is, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and South Sudan, will double within the next year. He wants these cars to be new, locally built cars. But what will it take to achieve this ambitious goal? ‘‘If there can be fiscal and non-fiscal incentives within the region to really facilitate local value addition, that will be great.’‘ African carmakers want governments to favour domestic production by curbing cheap second-hand imports from countries like Japan and harmonise tax rates to keep down the prices of vehicles produced in neighbouring countries. @danmumbereTue, 23 Apr 2019 10:42:00 (Daniel Mumbere) crash hub: US tightens investigations into certification of Boeing MAX planes March 10 crash On March 10, the world was hit by the news that a passenger aircraft operated by Africa’s top national carrier had crashed. The reference point for the information was solely the office of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. This article focuses on a rolling coverage of the incident straddling the before, during and aftermath of what is one of the deadliest incidents Ethiopian has faced in recent years. Africanews’ extended coverage of ET302 crash You can read about the following areas in our continued coverage below: US names experts to review Boeing certification process Boeing makes final changes to 737 MAX model Kenyan family sues Boeing Branding experts assess damage at Boeing Donald Trump advises Boeing Ivanka Trump pays respects in Addis Ababa US regulator meets commercial operators What has Boeing done to fix MCAS? A month after crash, 10 key incidents DNA samples to be tested in UK Ethiopian reconsidering Boeing 737 MAX orders Indonesia, Singapore join ET302 probe Pilots followed Boeing’s instructions but lost control Report no-show, FAA warns Boeing Preliminary report out today (April 1) Last words of one of the pilots before crash Anti-stall feature active at time of crash Boeing sued in Chicago court by Rwandan kids Who are the reviewers? U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said last month the panel would be co-chaired by retired Air Force General Darren McDew, the former head of the U.S. Transportation Command, and Lee Moak, a former president of the Air Line Pilots Association. Chao on Monday said she was naming NASA’s former aviation safety program director Amy Pritchett and Gretchen Haskins, chief executive of HeliOffshore Ltd, an international expert in aviation safety and a former U.S. Air Force officer. She also named Kenneth Hylander, chief safety officer at Amtrak and a former senior safety executive at Delta and Northwest airlines, and J. David Grizzle, chairman of the board of Republic Airways and a former FAA chief counsel. Federal prosecutors, the Transportation Department’s inspector general and lawmakers are investigating the FAA’s certification of the 737 MAX 8 aircraft. A joint review by 10 governmental air regulators is also set to start April 29. US names experts to review Boeing certification process The United States Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Monday named four experts to a blue-ribbon committee to review the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) aircraft certification process after two deadly Boeing 737 MAX crashes killed nearly 350 people. The committee is “specifically tasked to review the 737 MAX 800 certification process from 2012 to 2017, and recommend improvements to the certification process.” U.S. lawmakers have criticized the FAA’s program that allows Boeing Co (BA.N) and other manufacturers to oversee the process that ensures air worthiness and other vital safety aspects of new aircraft. Boeing makes final changes to 737 MAX planes Boeing has conducted a final test flight of a 737 MAX model with an updated anti-stall system prior to its certification by aviation authorities, the aerospace manufacturer said Wednesday. CEO Dennis Muilenberg tweeted a video where he said the test flight was carried out on Tuesday, adding that test pilots have completed 120 flights totaling more than 203 hours of airtime with the software fix for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). ‘‘More than 85 percent of the 50-plus MAX operators around the globe also have had the opportunity to see the update in action during simulator sessions,” added Muilenberg. All 737 MAX aircraft have been banned from the world’s skies since days after the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10. The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday said a portion of the proposed modifications were “operationally suitable” but said it would not rush towards approval. Kenyan family sues Boeing A Kenyan family in Chicago is suing American aviation giant Boeing over the March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people, lawyers and family members said on Tuesday. Siblings of 29-year-old engineer George Kabau said they wanted to force the company to release documents and emails relating to its 737 MAX 8 model, which was grounded worldwide after two major plane crashed in Ethiopia and Indonesia. A preliminary report released earlier this month indicated Ethiopian Airlines pilots wrestled with a computer system that repeatedly ordered the nose down because of faulty sensor data. The same system was a focus of the preliminary report into the October Lion Air crash in Indonesia, which killed 189 people. Kabua’s sister, Esther Kabau-Wanyoike, choked up as she told a press conference that she wanted to use her brother’s death to improve aviation safety. “He didn’t leave a child. My mum is devastated,” she said. “We can use his demise to ensure safer travel for all.” Dozens of families are already suing Boeing over the Lion Air crash, and three lawsuits have already been lodged over the Ethiopian Airlines crash, by the families of two Americans, including consumer activist Ralph Nader’s great niece, and a Rwandan. U.S. lawyer Nomi Husain, who is also representing one of the American families, said the lawsuit was filed in Chicago late on Monday. The family was seeking to hold Boeing accountable, he said. “We want to let the litigation process play out,” he said. “When you put profits over safety, you will be held accountable and you will pay a price.” Kenya had the largest number of citizens on the flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi. At least 32 Kenyans were on board, the airline said at the time, although that number may be larger because some of the travellers were dual nationals and the full manifest has still not been released. Branding experts weigh in Brand Finance, a UK-based consultancy that tracks the value of global brands, rejected the idea that Boeing should abandon the MAX brand but said its corporate reputation was in the firing line. “This has without a doubt damaged Boeing’s reputation and we foresee a dent to the (Boeing) brand’s value at over $12 billion,” Chief Executive David Haigh said by email when asked about Trump’s comments. “This is a temporary blip in the long run for Boeing,” he said, adding Toyota and others had recovered from similar high-profile crises without a drastic rebranding exercise. Brand Finance had previously estimated the damage to the value of Boeing’s reputation at $7.5 billion immediately after the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner, the second fatal accident involving the 737 MAX in five months. Boeing has the world’s most valuable aerospace brand, having seen the value of its overall corporate image rise by 61 percent to $32 billion in 2018, according to the same branding firm. Donald Trump’s advice to Boeing U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday urged Boeing Co to fix and “rebrand” its 737 MAX jetliner following two fatal crashes, as regulators worldwide continue to work with the planemaker to review its grounded best-selling aircraft. “What do I know about branding, maybe nothing (but I did become President!), but if I were Boeing, I would FIX the Boeing 737 MAX, add some additional great features, & REBRAND the plane with a new name. No product has suffered like this one. But again, what the hell do I know?” Trump tweeted. The plane’s grounding has also threatened the U.S. summer travel season, with some airlines removing the 737 from their schedules through August. Trump issued the tweet as Boeing tries to restore trust in its fastest-selling jet, the main source of profits and cash at the Chicago-based planemaker which has won some 5,000 orders or around seven years of production for the aircraft. Ivanka Trump honours victims on trip to Ethiopia White House advisor and daughter of U.S. president Donald Trump on Monday visited the Holy Trinity Church in Addis Ababa to pay respects to victims of the March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash. Ivanka is on a two-day official visit to Ethiopia to promote women empowerment. She arrived on Sunday and is due to fly out later today to Ivory Coast. In all black attire with a veil, Ivanka lighted candles, laid a wreath at the place where the coffins were kept. Weeks after the incident, the church undertook a mass and burial which was effectively sand in coffins because bodies were not immediately identifiable. Ivanka Trump in Ethiopia for two-day visit Reports say body parts retrieved from the crash site will be sent to the United Kingdom for DNA tests. Donald Trump also spoke to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed weeks ago in connection with the accident which has adversely affected the U.S. plane maker Boeing. Today, USAIDMarkGreen</a>, <a href="">DBohigian, and I visited Holy Trinity Church in Addis Ababa to pay our respects and honor the memory of the lives lost in the tragic Ethiopian Airlines crash. My heartfelt sympathies to all the victims’ families and loved ones.— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) April 15, 2019 US regulator meets commercial airlines The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will on Friday meet with American commercial airlines that use the Boeing 737 MAX, which has been grounded worldwide since mid-March following two accidents that killed 346 people. “The purpose of this meeting is for the FAA to gather facts, information, and individual views to further understand their views as FAA decides what needs to be done before returning the aircraft to service,” the agency said in a statement. Security representatives from American Airlines, Southwest and United will be at the meeting, as well as representatives from their pilot unions. American and Southwest use the 737 MAX 8, while United has 737 MAX 9 aircraft in its fleet. The FAA recently formed an action committee with NASA and international civil aviation authorities to help certify the fix to the MCAS anti-stall system Boeing developed specifically for the 737 MAX. The MCAS is believed to have been a key factor in both the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people in October. What has Boeing done to fix MCAS? Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg said Thursday that the changes the aircraft manufacturer is working on will make the 737 MAX “even safer by preventing erroneous angle of attack sensor readings” from triggering the MCAS. Speaking in public for the first time since the Ethiopian Airlines crash, Muilenberg told a conference in Dallas, Texas that Boeing has conducted 96 test flights of the modified 737 MAX and the pilots have taken part in more than 159 hours of tests. He added that he had been on board one test flight in Seattle and that the software update “functioned as designed.” “In these challenging times, I am even more confident we will come through this even stronger,” he said in conclusion, adding he “(regrets) the impact the grounding has had on all of our airline customers and their passengers.” Muilenberg is expected to answer questions from the financial community on April 24 as part of the release of Boeing’s first quarter results. 10 key incidents since ET302 crash April 10, 2019 marks exactly a month since the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crashed in the town of Bishoftu in Ethiopia’s Oromia region. The flight was on its way to the Kenyan capital Nairobi but it made only six minutes out of the over two hours flight before crashing and killing all persons on board. This article looks back at 10 critical moments after the crash as part of our rolling coverage of the incident which was keenly followed by our audience in March. 1 – All 157 aboard killed 2 – Boeing 737 MAX 8s grounded worldwide 3 – Black boxes flown to Paris 4 – First burial ceremony held in Addis Ababa 5 – PM speaks with Trump over incident 6 – Airline, customers fights foreign media misreport on crash 7 – Ethiopian wins award in Kigali 8 – Preliminary report released 9 – Boeing admits errors vows robust response 10 – DNA samples of victims to be flown to UK for tests TECHNICAL ANALYSIS: THE BOEING CRISIS: ONE MONTH LATER. DNA test of victims to be undertaken in London In the wake of the accident, Ethiopian authorities reported that all victims had been burnt beyond recognition. Subsequently, grieving families were given earth for burial ceremonies that took place last month. The Bloomberg news portal is reporting that Ethiopia will send DNA samples from the Boeing 737 MAX 8 crash for identification tests in London. The accident killed all 157 people on board – 149 passengers and eight crew members. Authorities will transport human tissues gathered by a team led by Interpol and the U.K.’s Blake Emergency Services. Paris became a center of attraction after the crash when Ethiopia opted to send black boxes – flight recorders – for information on them to be downloaded. Germany was first mentioned as destination for the exercise but they turned down the request due to the complicated nature of the test. The information was downloaded by the multi-pronged team. It was the basis on which Ethiopian government released a preliminary crash report last week. Boeing via its CEO has admitted errors in a key software and pledged robust responses. The plane maker has suffered huge losses in aftermath of the incident. Ethiopian considers Boeing purchase orders The Bloomberg news portal is reporting that Ethiopian Airlines is reconsidering its orders for Boeing 737 MAX jets following the release of a preliminary report into the ET302 crash. “We may reach the decision: Look, we just had a very tragic accident a few weeks ago, and customers still have the accident in their mind. So it will be a hard sell for us to convince our customers,” Tewolde GebreMariam is quoted to have said. Ethiopian had earlier ordered 30 of the now controversial jets with five delivered at the time of the crash. The airline will not take delivery of the remaining 25 anytime soon – or perhaps at all, Tewolde said. According to him, the decision on the 737 Max purchases will come after Boeing offers a software fix to a system implicated in the crash – and an earlier Lion Air crash. They will also base their decision based on what regulators and other airlines do. “Our situation is quite different from the others, because we are the victim. You can imagine the stigma that will be attached with the airplane,’’ Tewolde added. Ethiopian, Africa’s biggest flier, will need to do a lot of work by way of trying to convince its staff and customers before they resume use of the jet which has been grounded worldwide in the wake of the March 10 crash. Bloomberg: Ethiopian Carrier Rethinks 737 Max Purchase, Citing ‘Stigma’ Indonesia, Singapore join investigations Indonesia will send two investigators to Ethiopia to assist in a probe and exchange data on two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 MAX jets since October, the head of the country’s air safety agency told Reuters on Friday. Indonesian investigators will travel to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on April 15, said Soerjanto Tjahjono, head of the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT). “They will help in assisting Ethiopia. We will study the data to assess whether there are similarities or whether there is any new information from the accident,” Tjahjono said by telephone. A preliminary report on the Ethiopian Airlines’ crash showed on Thursday that the doomed jet travelled at an excessive speed and was forced downwards by a wrongly-triggered automation system as pilots wrestled to regain control. Tjahjono said it was too early to draw any conclusions from the Ethiopian report or determine any links between the crashes because it contained factual data without analysis. “We have already observed some similarities…but we cannot determine them exactly until after our investigators go to Ethiopia when we will conduct a joint investigation,” he said. The two Indonesian investigators would sign an agreement on their role under an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) protocol, he said. A preliminary report into the crash of the Lion Air 737 MAX in Indonesia suggested pilots lost control after grappling with the MCAS software, a new automated anti-stall feature that repeatedly lowered the nose based on a faulty sensor data. Securing safety of MAX planes Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore on Friday said that it would participate in a technical review panel on the Boeing Co 737 MAX jet led by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA said on Wednesday that it is forming an international team to review the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX, which was grounded after two fatal crashes since October. Boeing boss speaks on accidents Following the release of a preliminary report on the ET302 crash, Boeing issued its response on Thursday in a statement that admitted technical errors whiles promising a robust series of steps going forward. The statement posted on its website was signed by its Chairman, president and CEO , Dennis Muilenburg. “The full details of what happened in the two accidents will be issued by the government authorities in the final reports, but, with the release of the preliminary report of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident investigation, it’s apparent that in both flights the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, known as MCAS, activated in response to erroneous angle of attack information. “The history of our industry shows most accidents are caused by a chain of events. This again is the case here, and we know we can break one of those chain links in these two accidents. “As pilots have told us, erroneous activation of the MCAS function can add to what is already a high workload environment. It’s our responsibility to eliminate this risk. We own it and we know how to do it,” he said in part. Watch video and full transcript of Boeing CEO’s address Details from preliminary report Four main findings: 1. Aircraft passed airworthiness test before takeoff. 2. Crew properly licensed to operate the flight 3. Takeoff was normal 4. Boeing procedures were used but the crew was unable to control the flight Twin safety recommendation to Boeing: 1. A review of flight control system 2. Review should be adequately vetted before planes allowed back in the skies. Main information sources for current report: Black box data a. Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and b. Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) Info gathered from crash site, civial aviation authorities, the airline etc. Parties involved in the probe: a. Ethiopia Civil Aviation Authority – lead b. US National Transport Safety Board c. US Federal Aviation Authority d. European air safety body e. French aviation investigators f. Boeing etc. Other details: Technocrat who led the probe says no missing/damaged sensor as reported The continuing probe could last a year or even more Minister says the overarching aim of the probe is to guarantee air travel safety Confirms Attorney General in charge of legal issues Preliminary report expected today, April 4 Investigators will release on Thursday a keenly awaited report on the deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet, Ethiopia’s Transport Ministry said, giving the first official clues to the second crash of a new Boeing 737 MAX in five months. “The 10:30 a.m. (0730 GMT) press conference is to present the preliminary report,” Ethiopian Transport Ministry spokesman Musie Yehyies said. The report may shed light on how a piece of cockpit software came back to life after pilots initially switched it off as they tried to save the doomed jet, people familiar with the matter said, placing both technology and crew in the spotlight. Some 35 nationalities were among the 157 passengers and crew who died when the nearly full plane crashed six minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, in clear conditions. The March 10 disaster prompted a worldwide grounding of Boeing’s best-selling plane and scrutiny of its certification process. Ethiopian Ministry of Transport is set to give a press conference tomorrow at 10 : 30 AM, tomorrow inside the Office of the Road Authority, near Mexico Square, in front of Wabi Shebele Hotel on flyethiopian</a> flight #302.</p>&mdash; Samuel Getachew (GetachewSS) April 3, 2019 Pilots followed Boeing’s instructions to the latter The Wall Street Journal has reported what it says are crucial information from the flight recorder – black box – analysis of the ill-fated Ethiopian ET302 crash. The latest details said pilots in charge of the Boeing Co. 737 MAX initially followed emergency procedures laid out by the plane maker but still failed to recover control of the jet. Sources close to the probe said after turning off a flight-control system that was automatically pushing down the plane’s nose shortly after takeoff March 10, the crew couldn’t get the aircraft to maintain its balance till it crashed. The disclosure of initial findings have been the subject of a ping-pong with Airline officials denying comments on it last week. Government officials also announced an imminent report release on Monday only to backtrack. SEATTLE/PARIS, April 3 (Reuters</a>) - Boeing anti-stall software on a doomed Ethiopian Airlines jet re-engaged as many as four times after the crew initially turned it off due to suspect data from an airflow sensor, two people familiar with the matter said.</p>&mdash; Maggie Fick (MaggieFick) April 3, 2019 Preliminary report no-show, FAA to grill Boeing software Authorities in Ethiopia flip-flopped on an earlier report on Monday that it was due to release a preliminary report on the ET302 crash. “Not today, maybe this week,” the source said, when asked about the report. Incidentally this Reuters source was from the Transport Ministry which is leading the team probing the incident. A Foreign Affairs Ministry official was cited for the initial information that the report was due to be released Monday. Nebiat Getachew was widely quoted with Bloomberg adding that embattled plane maker Boeing said it was reviewing the report. Meanwhile the United States aviation regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA; says it was waiting to receive final package of Boeing’s software enhancement over the coming weeks. FAA said in a statement: “Time is needed for Boeing to as the result of an ongoing review of the 737 MAX flight control system to ensure that Boeing has identified and appropriately addressed all pertinent issues. Upon receipt, the FAA will subject Boeing’s completed submission to a rigorous safety review. The FAA not approve the software for installation until the agency is satisfied with the submission.” The plane maker last week announced a software upgrade and invited its clients to a meeting over the issue. The meeting was however poorly attended with Ethiopian opting out. #FAA statement on the Boeing</a> 737 MAX software update. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; The FAA (FAANews) April 1, 2019 Preliminary report expected today, April 1 Reports from Addis Ababa indicate that a preliminary report from the March 1 crash in Bishoftu is expected today, three weeks after the incident which claimed 157 people. The Bloomberg news portal quoted a Foreign Ministry official, Nebiat Getachew, as confirming the information. Embattled plane maker Boeing said it was reviewing the report. The airline had last week disputed a news item that said its CEO had hinted that a report of the ET302 flight was due last week or earliest this week. Ethiopian said at the time that in keeping with international standards, it was waiting for the result as all concerned parties and cautioned against irresponsible reportage. “We, at Ethiopian strongly refutes recent reports which state that Ethiopian GCEO expected the preliminary release of a report into the March 10 crash of its Boeing 737-8 MAX “maybe this week or next week”. Ethiopian GCEO did not say anything about the time the investigation report will be released,” the said in a statement. Boeing has been under pressure as results are being awaited. Its 737 Max 8 jets have been grounded globally with its shares plumetting on the stock market. Two key findings from the probe indicates that there were similarities between the March 10 crash and an October 2018 incident that involved Indonesian flier Lion Air. Late last week, the Wall Street Journal, WSJ, reported that the plane’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), a new anti-stall mechanism was activated at the time of the crash. The newspaper said the preliminary findings from the “black box” recorders were subject to revisions. The plane crashed on March 10 shortly after take off from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi, Kenya. Investigators into the Lion Air incident have also focused on the new anti-stall system. Boeing last Wednesday said a planned software fix would prevent repeated operation of the system that is at the centre of safety concerns. “Pitch up, pitch up” last words of worried pilot Three weeks after the March 10 crash that claimed the lives of all 157 people on board, leaked details have indicated the final words by one of the pilots on the aircraft. One pilot, according to the Wall Street Journal, said to the other “pitch up, pitch up!” before their radio died. It is believed that these words were contained on the flight recorder – black box. Amid an eagerly awaited preliminary report; an anti-stalling system on the Boeing 737 Max, has been blamed for the disaste. The plane had taken-off – and was only 450ft (137m) above the ground – when its nose began to pitch down. It crashed six minutes into the journey in the town of Bishoftu. Boeing’s anti-stall system activated before crash – WSJ Investigators into a Boeing 737 MAX crash in Ethiopia that killed 157 people have reached a preliminary conclusion that an anti-stall system was activated before the plane hit the ground, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people briefed on the matter. The newspaper said the preliminary findings from the “black box” recorders were subject to revisions, adding a preliminary report from Ethiopian investigators was expected within days. The plane crashed on March 10 shortly after take off from Addis Ababa. Investigators into a deadly 737 MAX crash in Indonesia in October have also focused on the new anti-stall system, called MCAS. Boeing on Wednesday said a planned software fix would prevent repeated operation of the system that is at the centre of safety concerns. Boeing’s fastest-selling 737 MAX jet, with orders worth more than $500 billion at list prices, has been grounded globally by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), although airlines are still allowed to fly them without passengers to move planes to other airports. Boeing sued in U.S. by Rwandan kids A lawsuit against Boeing Co was filed in U.S. federal court on Thursday in what appeared to be the first suit over a March 10 Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crash that killed 157 people. The lawsuit was filed in Chicago federal court by the family of Jackson Musoni, a citizen of Rwanda, and alleges that Boeing, which manufactures the 737 MAX, had defectively designed the automated flight control system. Wednesday’s complaint was filed by Musoni’s three minor children, who are Dutch citizens residing in Belgium. Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit. The 737 MAX planes were grounded worldwide following the Ethiopian Airlines disaster, which came five months after a Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people. Boeing said on Wednesday it had reprogrammed software on its 737 MAX to prevent erroneous data from triggering an anti-stall system that is facing mounting scrutiny in the wake of two deadly nose-down crashes in the past five months. The planemaker said the anti-stall system, which is believed to have repeatedly forced the nose lower in at least one of the accidents, in Indonesia last October, would only do so once per event after sensing a problem, giving pilots more control. The crash of Boeing’s passenger jet in Ethiopia raised the chances that families of the victims, even non-U.S. residents, will be able to sue in U.S. courts, where payouts are much larger than in other countries, some legal experts have said. The lawsuit says Boeing failed to warn the public, airlines and pilots of the airplane’s allegedly erroneous sensors, causing the aircraft to dive automatically and uncontrollably. Boeing unveils software fix to 737 MAX Embattled aviation giant Boeing pledged Wednesday to do all it can to prevent crashes like two that killed nearly 350 people in recent months, as it unveiled a fix to the flight software of its grounded 737 MAX aircraft. Boeing gathered hundreds of pilots and reporters to unveil the changes to the MCAS stall prevention system, which has been implicated in the crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia, as part of a charm offensive to restore the company’s reputation. “We are going to do everything to make sure that accidents like this don’t happen again,” Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s vice president of product strategy, told reporters at a factory in Washington state. Sinnett said were developed “after months of testing and hundreds of hours” — at the company’s massive factory in Renton, Washington. The MCAS, which lowers the aircraft’s nose if it detects a stall or loss of airspeed, was developed specifically for the 737 MAX, which has heavier engines than its predecessor. Among the changes, the MCAS will no longer repeatedly make corrections when the pilot tries to regain control, and will automatically disconnect in the event of disagreements between the two “angle of attack” (AOA) sensors, the company said. The initial investigation into the October Lion Air crash in Indonesia, which killed all 189 people on board, found that one of the AOA sensors failed but continued to transmit erroneous information to the MCAS. Boeing also will install a warning feature — at no cost —- called a “disagree light” to indicate to the pilot when the left and right AOA sensors are out of sync. The company also is revising pilot training, including for those already certified on the 737, to provide “enhanced understanding of the 737 MAX” flight system and crew procedures. AFPTue, 23 Apr 2019 09:30:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com receives two passenger planes in push to revive national carrier were treated to the sight of two Bombardier CRJ900 jets that touched down at the Entebbe International Airport on Tuesday morning, in the latest step taken towards the revival of the national airline. President Yoweri Museveni’s government believes that restarting the national carrier will help Uganda take a slice of the region’s growing aviation business and also invigorate the service sector of the economy. Kenya Airways, South Africa Airways and Ethiopian Airlines currently dominate the country’s air travel business. Journey to Entebbe Last year, Uganda ordered for four CRJ900 regional jets as part of the plan to revive Uganda Airlines. Two of the planes were flown out of Montreal on Friday and passed through northern Canada, to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, before making their way to Maastricht in the Southeastern Netherlands. They would then connect to Cairo, Egypt from where they headed straight to Entebbe. At Entebbe, the planes circled around the airport, and were water cannoned before being officially received by president Museveni. About the CRJ900 plane Uganda Airlines will become the first carrier to operate the new CRJ-series atmosphere cabin in Africa. Atmosphere cabin design allows passengers to carry and store an “oversized” roller bag within the aircraft cabin bins, which minimizes the need to check bags at the counter or the gate. According to the manufacturer, the new model atmosphere cabin sets new standards of passenger experience in the regional jet market segment. Key features of the new interior comprise of larger passenger living space, wheel-first roller bag capability, more spacious lavatory, increased cabin connectivity options, all integrated into a contemporary design and material choices. Uganda Airlines Uganda paid Shillings 280 billion ($74,885,202) for the first two planes, and will operate the CRJ900 in dual-class configuration with 76 economy seats and 12 first class seats. Founded by Uganda’s former dictator Idi Amin in 1976, Uganda Airlines was liquidated in the 1990s by Museveni’s government under a broader program to privatize troubled state firms and open up the economy to private enterprise. The country is keen to expand its aviation industry, especially as it prepares to start pumping crude oil from fields in its west, a development expected drive up business traveler arrivals. A new international airport, financed partly with UK credit, is being built near the fields, primarily to service the oil industry. Once completed it will be the country’s second international airport after Entebbe, south of the capital Kampala, which is also being expanded with a loan from China to handle more passengers and cargo. AgenciesTue, 23 Apr 2019 08:48:03 +0000editorial@africanews.com hosts African leaders discussing Sudan protests, Libya crisis leaders are meeting in Egypt on Tuesday where they will address developments in Sudan and Libya, in the first emergency summits since the two nations were rocked by popular protests and an invasion on the capital respectively. In Sudan, protests that started in December last year continue even after the military toppled president Omar al-Bashir. In Libya, commander Khalifa Haftar is leading an offensive on Tripoli, with an aim of overthrowing the United Nations backed government. Sisi, who is the current president of the African Union, will receive the Chadian president Idriss Deby, Rwanda’s head of state Paul Kagame, Congo’s Denis Sassou-Nguesso, Somalia’s Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa as well as Dijbouti’s leader Ismail Omar Guelleh. The planned summits are the first to be convened by African leaders on the current crises in Sudan and Libya. AU’s position on Sudan For Sudan, the objective “is to discuss … the most appropriate ways to address the evolution of the situation and to contribute to stability and peace”, Egypt’s presidency said. The AU on April 15 threatened to suspend Sudan if the military does not hand over power within 15 days of that date to a civilian authority. President of the African Union commission Moussa Faki is also expected to participate in the discussions, along with officials from Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria. Seeking a political solution in Libya Another summit on Libya, which will bring together the leaders of Rwanda, South Africa and the Congo with Sisi, will focus on “relaunching a political process… (and) the elimination of terrorism”, Egypt’s presidency said. Strongman Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army launched an offensive against Tripoli, the seat of the internationally recognised Government of National Accord, on April 4. Egypt is a strong ally of Haftar, who is also backed by the UAE and — according to the White House — was consulted by US President Donald Trump in a phone call last week. AFPTue, 23 Apr 2019 07:10:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com struggles with security issues in DRC Republic of Congo’s president Felix Tshisekedi is struggling to fulfil the pledge he made to crack down on rebel and militia groups in the troubled North Kivu province. Three months after taking power in a vote mired by fraud allegations, Tshisekedi has struggled to take decisive action. Hamstrung by a parliament and local officials in the sway of former president Joseph Kabila, Tshisekedi has largely failed to exert his authority and combat the vast country’s daunting problems. Last week, he issued a strong statement, saying: “I have warned all those actors who manipulate armed groups. The law will apply to them with full force.” “All those who are arrested, irrespective of whether they are national or provincial lawmakers, will be brought to justice. And will be sentenced for complicity in killings.” But so far it’s been mainly words and little action. Warning politicians North Kivu, bordering Lake Kivu and rich in minerals, is one of the regions worst afflicted by violent groups competing for its resources. “With peace everything will be fine, with peace there will be money. With peace, there will be work,” said Manasse Mutabesha, a demobilised soldier, as Tshisekedi arrived in the regional capital Goma last week as part of his first tour of the country. At a meeting of a security council including senior military and intelligence officials, the president was told about a recent outbreak of attacks in Goma. “Armed people enter Goma and kill peaceful citizens without being worried by the police or the army,” acting Interior Minister Basile Olongo said in the minutes of the meeting. Tshisekedi issued a warning that “crooked politicians” with links to armed groups would not be tolerated, the minister said. Stuck with Kabila Replacing Kabila, who wielded power for 18 turbulent years, at the helm of sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest country was always going to be a huge challenge. Tshisekedi, sworn in on January 24, has faced numerous complicating factors. Kabila’s Common Front for Congo (FCC) coalition has comfortable majorities in both houses of parliament as well as provincial assemblies. Kabila supporters recently swept gubernatorial elections. Tshisekedi is yet to form a government and is largely working with Kabila’s former ministers or intermediaries. Attempts to form a coalition are being closely watched by observers for signs Kabila will continue to maintain a grip on the nation’s politics. As the months’ pass, the lack of certainty has not helped the unstable security situation in parts of the country. In the city of Beni, the epicentre of a near nine-month-old Ebola outbreak and also in North Kivu province, a notorious militia continues to operate. The ADF, a shadowy Islamist-rooted group that rose in western Uganda in 1995, is active in the border area along with other armed militias. It has been blamed for recruiting and using child soldiers and killing hundreds of civilians since 2014, as well as 22 UN peacekeepers. The president must strengthen the supervision of “the army, the police, the national intelligence agency,” said a spokesman for Beni residents, Janvier Kasairyo. Solidarity with health workers Standing alongside officials and military personnel, last week Tshisekedi visited wounded soldiers at a military clinic at Beni General Hospital. It was a show of support for the army and medical staff, who in recent months have become targets themselves. Last week a World Health Organization doctor was shot dead by local armed militiamen in an attack on a hospital in the nearby city of Butembo — the latest in a string of assaults on hospital staff. For Tshisekedi, it was a reminder of the immense security challenges he must deal with. The UN last month urged him to act quickly. “The Congolese people’s expectations are huge and it is crucial that they not be left waiting for too long, or be disappointed,” UN envoy Leila Zerrougui told the Security Council. AFPTue, 23 Apr 2019 06:25:17 +0000editorial@africanews.com Moise Katumbi sentence overturned [The Morning Call] Congo’s opposition leader Moise Katumbi is now a free man and can return to the country anytime. This follows a decision by the country’s Court of Cassation, which annulled a three-year prison sentence against the exiled opposition figure. The former Governor of Katanga had been sentenced in absentia to three years in prison in June 2016, for alleged property fraud. This was shortly after defecting from former President Joseph Kabila’s ruling party and announced his intention to run for presidency later that year. He has been in exile in Belgium since May 2016 and barred from returning to the country. But what does this decision mean for him as well as his party, “Together for Change”?Tue, 23 Apr 2019 06:10:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Emergency summit on Sudan, Algeria [The Morning Call] emergency summits will be held in Egypt this Tuesday to discuss the political and security situations in Sudan and Libya. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi African Union chairperson will lead his counterparts Chad’s Idriss Deby, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Congo’s Denis Sassou-Nguesso, Somalia’s Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa as well as Djibouti’s Ismail Omar Guelleh to discuss the current events in these two countries. The meetings will seek to “stem the current crisis” in Libya where commander Khalifa Haftar is leading an offensive on Tripoli. They will also focus on “the evolution of the situation in Sudan” where the army has ordered protesters to end their sit-in.Tue, 23 Apr 2019 06:08:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Brazaville begins exporting Iron Ore grand arrival of the first train ferrying the first iron ore extracts in Congo Brazaville, mined in Mayoko district, 300 kilometres from the train central station in the economic capital, Pointe-Noire. One year later,and Congo has become one the iron exporting countries. About 23,000 tonnes of this material was loaded last week into a ship at the Pointe-Noire Port Authority destined for China. The mining company, the Sapro SA group plans to increase exports to 12 million tonnes per year from 2022. This major trade comes at a time when Congo Brazaville is dealing with an economic and financial crisis since the fall in oil prices in 2014. The country hopes that these iron exports will empower its plans to diversify its economy from being an oil dependent nation.Mon, 22 Apr 2019 16:30:42 +0000editorial@africanews.com to Juba: South Sudan's Kiir urges Machar Sudan’s president Salva Kiir has called upon the rebel leader Riek Machar to ‘urgently’ return to the country, and implement the peace deal signed last year. Kiir, who was delivering an Easter message, also recounted the ‘piercing experience’ during his recent Vatican visit, when the pope kissed his feet, along with Machar and other political leaders. ‘‘On the occasion of Easter as your leaders, we are working together to bring peace to our country. It is not too late, I am inviting Dr Riek Machar to urgently return to Juba so that we can work together to expedite the process of forming the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU),’‘ Kiir said. Machar last week proposed that the formation of a unity government should be postponed for at least six months, citing security concerns among others. READ MORE: Here’s why South Sudan’s rebels want to postpone formation of unity govtMon, 22 Apr 2019 14:35:19 +0000editorial@africanews.com Africa's cultural heritage people say the charity of African heads of state begins and ends abroad. Several of them have joined the some of world’s wealthiest families in a fundraiser to rebuild the iconic 850-year-old Notre Dame cathedral in Paris which was devastated by fire last Monday. But how do these African leaders react to similar projects geared towards preserving the continent’s cultural heritage? UNESCO has made calls for the continent to restore and preserve the 11 medieval monolithic cave churches of the 13th-century ‘New Jerusalem’, situated in the heart of Ethiopia. The historic dug-out churches have been have been spoiled by rain, erosion, repairs and modifications. Yet, UNESCO’s calls seem to have fallen on deaf ears. The historic Kasubi Tombs in Kampala were torched on March 16, 2010. Besides the Ugandan government and the Buganda Kingdom, UNESCO has received no support from other African leaders for the reconstruction of the 137-year-old Kasubi tombs. What accounts for the luck-warmness of African heads of state towards measures to preserve the continent’s heritage plagued with tragedies? Follow Claudia Nsono’s chat with UNESCO’s Regional Director for Central Africa, Salah Khaled. @claudiansonoMon, 22 Apr 2019 13:11:48 +0000editorial@africanews.com Afcon: Last four known nation Tanzania gave a very humiliating report card as the U-17 side finished as group A’s sick man with zero point, while all four semi finalist have paved their way to the Fifa U-17 world cup in Brazil later this year . A Tanzanian female referee on Sunday became the first woman to handle a game at the Afcon at all categories, find out who she is right ahead. Christiano Ronaldo becomes the first player ever to win the league in England, Spain and Italy as the Portugese guided Juventus to their 8th successive league title over the weekend .Mon, 22 Apr 2019 13:02:08 (Philemon Mbale NSONGAN)'s referendum on extending Presidential mandate ends today*Monday is the third and last day that Egyptians will be voting on constitutional amendments that will see President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi remain in office until 2030. * According to Egyptian Media house Ahram, Egypt’s National Elections Authority (NEA) didn’t not mention specific numbers on the turnout in the referendum voting, however it said that the first day of voting [Saturday] saw “a higher turnout than any other first day of voting in previous polls in the country. “We are not saying how you should vote. I am saying vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, but at the end participate in the referendum. Every country has constitutional amendments, this is not happening only here. Every country changes it, once, twice and three times. People are confused because it’s our first time. If we do these constitutional amendments (more often) people will get used to it,” said Faten Mohamed, voter. “We all have to vote as Egyptians, whether we accept or refuse [the amendments]. It is our right. Every citizen has the right to say yes or no,” said Karim Donato, voter. The vote looks to extend the President’s mandate to six years and will make el sisi eligible to run for a third term.Mon, 22 Apr 2019 12:50:32 +0000editorial@africanews.com's Bobi Wine arrested in Uganda arrested the popular opposition legislator and musician, Robert Kyagulanyi, more commonly known as Bobi Wine. News of Bobi Wine’s arrest was confirmed by a handler of his Twitter account, who said the youthful legislator had been ‘violently arrested’. VIDEO: PoliceUg</a> breaking into Bobi Wine&#39;s car and arresting him<br><br>? <a href="">NinyeTabz— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) 22 avril 2019 Bobi Wine had been leading a procession of his supporters to a beach venue on the outskirts of the capital Kampala, which was to host one of his scheduled concerts. Authorities had earlier denied Bobi Wine permission to stage concerts in Kampala, Arua and Lira. Ugandan police then used teargas and water cannon to disperse a gathering of Bobi Wine’s supporters, who had gathered at the venue for the Kampala concert. “Police is empowered by the law to use reasonable force and that’s what we did to disperse his supporters and make him comply with our orders,” police spokesman Patric Onyango told Reuters. At a meeting with artists and music promoters last week, president Yoweri Museveni said music shows that are laced with politics will not be tolerated, the local Daily Monitor reported. “The President is concerned about harmful music shows that he told us to avoid. He also made it clear that politics in some shows will not be tolerated and warned that he will not compensate anyone in future whose show will be cancelled because of politics,” Tonny Ssempijja, the coordinator of Uganda Music Promoters and Venue Owners Network, said on Saturday. Artists and promoters who incurred losses beacuse of Bobi Wine’s cancelled shows were reportedly compensated.Mon, 22 Apr 2019 12:48:16 +0000editorial@africanews.com's military to address protesters demands within a week’s military ruler has pledged to address protesters’ demands of a civilian government within one week, re-echoing the army’s commitment to hand over power to the people. New army ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan who was addressing protesters on Sunday, also confirmed that cash worth over 113 million dollars had been seized from deposed president Omar al-Bashir’s residence. Protesters waved national flags and held their mobile phones aloft as night fell, the torches on their devices once more creating a sea of light outside the army headquarters, where they have been encamped since before Bashir’s April 11 downfall. Clapping and waving Sudanese flags, the crowd waited for their leaders to announce a civilian council that they want to take power from the military rulers as loudspeakers played nationalist and revolutionary songs. “High! High! Sudan is up high,” huge crowds of protesters chanted. “Our revolution is civilian and protected by the people,” they vowed. They also chanted “freedom” and “Whether it (the regime) falls or not, we are staying”, as they again pledged to keep up the pressure on the country’s new military council. Power to the people On Saturday, protest leaders and the military rulers held talks about a power handover and agreed to continue discussions. “We clarified our main demand, which is the transfer of power to civilian authorities,” Siddiq Yousef, a senior member of the Alliance for Freedom and Change, the umbrella group leading the protest movement, told state television after Saturday’s talks. “We agreed to continue negotiations to reach a solution that satisfies both the sides, so that the transfer of power will happen in a peaceful way.” After Bashir was ousted by the army, the military rulers resisted calls to transfer power to a civilian body. “What we want from them is a timetable to hand over power, so things don’t drag on,” said Ahmed al-Rabia, a leader of the umbrella group of unions for doctors, engineers and teachers. He said mounting pressure from the street and from the international community was expected to make the military council cede power in “two to three weeks”. End military rule Protest leaders say the civilian council would form a transitional government to rule Sudan for a four-year term, followed by elections. “All we hope for is to be ruled by civilians and get rid of the military rule,” said protester Ehsan Abdallah. They have since suspended talks with the military. “We have decided to opt for escalation with the military council, not to recognise its legitimacy and to continue the sit-in and escalate the protests on the streets,” Mohamed al-Amin Abdel-Aziz of the SPA told crowds outside the Defence Ministry on Sunday. On Sunday Riyadh and Abu Dhabi pledged to inject $500 million into the Sudanese central bank and $2.5 billion to help provide food, medicine and petroleum products, the official Saudi Press Agency said without specifying if the money is a gift or a loan. The Sudanese pound surged on the black market on Sunday, trading at 45 to the dollar against 72 last week. The military council has made some concessions to the protesters by agreeing to demands such as detaining Bashir and releasing many political prisoners and demonstrators. AFPMon, 22 Apr 2019 10:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com receives $3 billion from Saudi Arabia, UAE has received a critical financial boost from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who on Sunday granted three billion dollars in support for the country that is transitioning from the 30-year-rule of deposed leader Omar al-Bashir. The oil-rich Gulf states pledged to inject $500 million into the Sudanese central bank and $2.5 billion to help provide food, medicine and petroleum products, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said. It did not specify if the money is a gift or a loan. The deposit for the central bank is aimed at shoring up the Sudanese pound, the SPA said. In recent years Sudan has been hit by an acute lack of dollars, a key factor behind the nationwide protests that led to the toppling of Bashir by the army this month. Call for stability After weeks of silence on Sudan’s political turmoil, Saudi Arabia and the UAE called for “stability” and a “peaceful transition” in the days following Bashir’s ouster. Sudan plays a key role in the regional interests of Saudi Arabia and its allies, siding with Riyadh against Shiite Iran and providing troops in the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen’s war. Both Gulf nations have voiced backing for Sudan’s military rulers, who are facing calls from protesters to cede power to a civilian transitional government. Since Bashir’s ouster the Sudanese pound has steadily strengthened on the black market, and on Sunday it jumped to 45 per dollar, after trading at 72 at one stage last week. The official exchange rate is 47.5 pounds to the dollar. Earlier media reports that Saudi Arabia was expected to send aid to Sudan were seen as a factor boosting the pound. The Sudanese currency had plunged even after the United States lifted its 20-year-old trade embargo on the country in October 2017. Expectations that the end of US sanctions would bring an economic recovery failed to materialise, putting pressure on the pound. The country’s economic crisis has deepened since the secession of South Sudan in 2011 that took away the bulk of oil earnings. AFPMon, 22 Apr 2019 09:35:56 +0000editorial@africanews.com cultural exchange [The Morning Call] Chinese dramas into foreign languages to reach global audiences. It’s a challenging but rewarding job for a group of African voice actors and actresses living in Beijing.Mon, 22 Apr 2019 06:30:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Interim president calls for dialogue [The Morning Call]’s Interim President Abdelkader Bensalah has called for a dialogue this Monday with the country’s political class. It is not clear what this meeting will be about but some members of the country’s political class have already rejected the initiative. This comes even after Bensalah seems to be resolving the national political crisis. Two close associates of former leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika are currently under investigation, for money laundering issues. But the protest movement doesn’t seem to be moved by any of this. They continue to demand for the removal of the remaining Bouteflika allies popularly referred to as the Bs. Two Bs are out. Former leader Bouteflika and Tayeb Belaiz who recently resigned as constitutional council chief. The remaining Bs who are yet to resign are prime minister Noureddine Bedoui and interim president Abdelkader Bensalah.Mon, 22 Apr 2019 06:26:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com await new government [The Morning Call] are awaiting the formation of a new government. This follows the resignation of Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga last week on Thursday amid criticism over growing insecurity in the country. He stepped down four weeks after a massacre of more than 150 Fulani herdsmen in the central part of the country. The prime minister did not however give reasons behind his departure. But sources indicate, legislators had discussed earlier last week a possible motion of no confidence in the government primarily because of the recent massacre as well as failure to disarm militia groups in the country. Despite his resignation, the violence still continues.Mon, 22 Apr 2019 06:23:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com protest leaders, military to discuss transfer of power to civilian authority between military leaders and protest leaders in Sudan on a transfer of power to a civilian authority will continue, announced Saturday evening a leader of the Alliance for Freedom and Change (ALC). “We have clarified our main request, which is the transfer of power to civilian authorities,” Siddiq Youssef, an LAC official, told public television after a meeting with the ruling Transitional Military Council. “This is the main demand of the people’s movement (...) We have agreed to continue negotiations to reach a solution that satisfies both parties, so that the transfer of power can take place peacefully,” Youssef said. The LAC brings together several political parties and civil society groups that are leading the protest. The Saturday evening meeting took place on the eve of the movement’s announcement that it would form a “Civil Council for the Affairs of the Country” to replace the Transitional Military Council, which has been in power since the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir on 11 April last under street pressure. It brought together five representatives of the Alliance and members of the Military Council “to discuss the transfer of power to a civilian authority”, Ahmed al-Rabia, an official of the Association of Sudanese Professionals, a group at the forefront of the protest that has been taking place in Sudan since 19 December, told AFP. If the military leaders refuse to hand over power, the protest leaders will announce a “Sovereign Civil Council” on Sunday, he explained before Saturday’s meeting. “If they wish to negotiate, then the announcement scheduled for tomorrow could be postponed,” he added. Mr. Youssef did not specify whether the project to announce a “Civil Council” on Sunday was still on the agenda. Timetable for the transfer of power “We demand (from the Military Council) a timetable for the transfer of power, so that things do not drag on,” Rabia said. He further revealed that since the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir, the Military Council had held two rounds of discussions with the leaders of the protest. “During these talks, we felt that the Military Council did not want to return to power,” Ahmed al-Rabia said, adding that increasing pressure from the street and the international community should push the Military Council to return to power within “two to three weeks. On Friday, the SPA announced that “the names of the members of a Civil Council in charge of the country’s affairs will be announced at a press conference on Sunday at 19:00 local time (17:00 GMT)” in front of the army headquarters, where thousands of Sudanese have been gathering in the centre of the capital Khartoum for two weeks. According to officials, this Civil Council will be responsible for forming a transitional government with a four-year mandate followed by elections. “All we hope is that the country will be governed by civilians and rid of military power,” said a demonstrator Saturday evening outside army headquarters where many Sudanese camp, dancing and singing revolutionary tunes After coming to power by a coup d‘état supported by the Islamists on 30 June 1989, Omar al-Bashir iron-handedly led a country in rebellion in several regions and is accused of human rights violations. Overthrown on April 11 by the army, he was arrested and is currently being held in a Khartoum prison. Difficult task Galvanized by the concessions obtained with the departure of Mr. Bashir and other military leaders, the demonstrators appear more determined than ever and maintain pressure on the Transitional Military Council. But on the constitution of a Civil Council, the leaders of the protest are faced with a “difficult” task, stresses Sudanese journalist Khalid Tijani. “If they are not ready with names, it will send a negative signal, and will not be in the interest of the revolution,” explains the editor of the business weekly Elaff. On the judicial side, the new Sudanese Prosecutor General lifted on Saturday the immunity of several members of the security services suspected of being involved in the death of a detainee, arrested because of his links to the demonstrations that have been raging in the country for four months, according to the official agency Suna. The United States, which keeps Sudan on its blacklist of “States supporting terrorism”, has called on military leaders to make a transition in line with Sudanese wishes. The head of the State Department in charge of East Africa, Makila James, “will travel to Sudan this weekend,” a senior American official announced on Thursday.Sun, 21 Apr 2019 10:46:00 (Eric Oteng) in northern Malawi kills at least 3, injures dozens landslide washed away an entire village in the Rumphi district of northern Malawi, killing at least three people, leaving five missing and dozens wounded in hospital, police said Sunday. Rumphi police spokesman Tupeliwe Kabwilo told AFP that the incessant rains in the region had caused the disaster that devastated the village between the Mphompha hills and Lake Malawi in the early hours of Saturday morning. The dead are two boys aged 12 and 15 and a 35-year-old woman, according to police. Among the missing are a one-year-old boy, two others aged six and ten, and two women aged 35 and 46. A Rumphi District Council official at the disaster site told AFP that the affected area was inaccessible by road and that it was impossible to organize a rescue operation. “Huge boulders rolled off the mountain and caused the greatest damage and if missing victims are buried under these rocks, then we will need an excavator to move them,” said Wakisa Mtetetete, head of the city council. “But there is no road access to the region, so it is an impossible task. The rocks are so large that they cannot be moved by hand,” says Mr. Mtetetete. He added that it was also possible that some of the missing persons were taken into the lake. Alufeyo Mhango, a disaster management manager, told AFP that the authorities would have heavy excavation equipment transported through the lake as soon as the weather allowed. “We have been informed by government departments that we should prepare to transport the equipment. But we will have to have a big boat and the hailstorm must stop or there could be more landslides,” he said. According to Mr. Mhango, police, soldiers and emergency personnel are already on site.Sun, 21 Apr 2019 10:10:00 (Eric Oteng) jihadists kill 10 Malian soldiers least 10 Malian soldiers were killed on Sunday in an attack by alleged jihadists against an army camp in the town of Guiré (centre), near the border with Mauritania, a Malian security source said. “At least ten soldiers were killed, the terrorists came from the Wagadou forest”, a refuge for Malian Islamists for years, said this security source under cover of anonymity. “They were on motorcycles and pickup trucks. They attacked the camp, vehicles were burned, others taken away,” according to the same source. The Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) confirmed the attack on Twitter: “The #FAMa were attacked on Sunday, April 21, 2019 at around 5 a.m. in #Guiré, in the #Nara sector. Reinforcements were sent there. The evaluations are ongoing. “There are deaths and damage,” a Malian military source told AFP. “The shots were like rain. The military was surprised. The jihadists came from the east and south of the military camp. They burned vehicles and left with vehicles. I saw two terrorists put their motorcycles in the army vehicle and drive away with them,” said a local resident contacted by AFP. According to a Malian military source, reinforcements were dispatched from Nara, 370 km north of Bamako and 105 km from Guiré. Northern Mali had fallen in March-April 2012 under the control of jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda. These groups have been largely driven out by an international military intervention, launched in January 2013 at the initiative of France, which continues. But entire areas of the country are still beyond the control of Malian, French and UN forces, which are regularly targeted by attacks, despite the signing in May-June 2015 of a peace agreement, which is supposed to definitively isolate jihadists, whose implementation is running behind schedule. Since 2015, these attacks have spread to central and southern Mali and the phenomenon is spreading to neighbouring countries, particularly Burkina Faso and Niger, very often mixing with inter-community conflicts. An Egyptian peacekeeper was killed and four members of his unit injured on Saturday by a mine explosion as their convoy passed through the centre of the country, near the border with Burkina Faso, according to the UN.Sun, 21 Apr 2019 09:50:00 (Eric Oteng) court summons former prime minister over financial probe Algerian court has summoned former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and current Finance Minister Mohamed Loukal, two close associates of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in a probe into the wasting of public money, state TV said on Saturday. They are being investigated over “dissipation of public money” and “illegal privilege,” state TV said. No other details were immediately available. The move comes after army chief, Lieutenant General Gaid Salah, said last week he expected members of the ruling elite in the major oil and natural gas-producing country to be prosecuted for corruption. Bouteflika stepped down two weeks ago after 20 years in power, bowing to pressure from the army and weeks of demonstrations mainly by young people seeking change in the country. But the protests, which began on Feb. 22 and have been largely peaceful, have continued as many want the removal of an elite that has governed Algeria since independence from France in 1962 and the prosecution of people they see as corrupt. Ouyahia served several times as prime minister under Bouteflika and also heads the RND party, the coalition partner of Bouteflika’s ruling FLN party. Loukal was central bank governor under the former president. Bouteflika has been replaced by Abdelkader Bensalah, head of the upper house of parliament, as interim president for 90 days until a presidential election on July 4. Hundreds of thousands protested on Friday to demand the resignation of Bensalah and other top officials. Bensalah appointed Ammar Haiwani as acting central bank governor, state TV earlier said. The position had been vacant since Loukal was made finance minister by Bouteflika before he had resigned. The army has so far patiently monitored the mostly peaceful protests that at times have swelled to hundreds of thousands of people. It remains the most powerful institution in Algeria, having swayed politics from the shadows for decades. On Tuesday Salah said the military was considering all options to resolve the national political crisis and warned that “time is running out.” It was a hint that the military was losing patience with the popular upheaval shaking Algeria, a major oil and natural-gas exporter and an important security partner for the West against Islamist militants in north and west Africa. Salah did not specify measures the army could take but added, “We have no ambition but to protect our nation.”Sun, 21 Apr 2019 09:07:00 (Eric Oteng)'s former olympic 1500 metres champion Asbel Kiprop banned four years for doping’s former Olympic 1500 metres champion Asbel Kiprop has been handed a four-year ban for doping, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Saturday. The 29-year-old, who also won three world championship golds, tested positive for the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO) in November 2017. Kiprop had argued his urine sample, which was taken out of competition, could have been tampered with by his testers, who had tipped him off about their visit and taken a payment from him. But the AIU, an independent body managing all doping-related matters for athletics, said they were satisfied that there had been no interference and an IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal on Saturday suspended him for four years effective February 2018. He had been tentatively suspended by the AIU in May last year. “The (AIU) panel is aware that its order will interrupt, and may even terminate, the athlete’s sporting career and cast a shadow over his impressive competitive record,” it said in a statement. “But in its opinion the laboratory results viewed in the context of the evidential record and the regulatory framework unit admit of no other conclusion than the case against the athlete is convincingly made out.” Kiprop can appeal his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). He continues to maintain his innocence. “There is no justice in the world. Not every prisoner in jail is guilty,” he told Kenyan media on Saturday. “I will consult my lawyer to see if I will appeal at CAS but no matter the outcome I will be back stronger.” Kiprop was awarded the 1500m gold medal from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing after original winner Rashid Ramzi tested positive for doping. Kiprop won his three world titles in 2011, 2013 and 2015.Sun, 21 Apr 2019 08:03:00 (Eric Oteng) Jackson vs. Beyoncé: Nigerians defend King of Pop are flatly refusing to entertain any comparison between Michael Jackson and Beyonce with majority of Twitter users calling the move a misnomer. How did it come up in the first place? A Twitter user with the handle @MakiSpoke, posted how Beyonce is the greatest female entertainer of all time and that with her current strides would be the greatest ever by the time she is done. “I feel it isn’t a reach to say Beyoncé is the greatest female entertainer of all time, and by the time she’s done (because we know she isn’t done reinventing herself), she’ll be widely regarded as the greatest entertainer of all time,” she wrote. Another user agreed but added that Beyoncé might have to share the greatest ever accolade with Michael Jackson, MJ. @MakiSpoke responded that she even thought Beyonce was greater than MJ. Then the first hard rebuttal came. In responding, @MakiSpoke clearly spelled out her position that Beyonce was the better of the two. “Nobody compares!” she stressed. Let me make sure I say this loudly and clearly in case you’re still confused: Beyoncé Knowles is THE greatest entertainer of all time. She’s a GREATER entertainer than Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Elvis, Madonna, Prince, Whitney Houston, you name it! Nobody compares!— Max ‘Odogwu’ M. (@MakiSpoke) April 19, 2019 It turns out that 24-hours later her views gained so much traction that Nigeria’s social media space was all about the two artists – with Michael Jackson in a long lead as the greatest of all time – even in death. @MakiSpoke has stuck to her views in follow up tweets. Social media reactions 1. Beyonce is better than Michael Jackson. 2. Rochas’s statues are better than Michelangelo’s. 3. Odion Ighalo is better than Maradona. 4. Ikebe Super is better than Things Fall Apart 5. Mr Ibu can run faster than Usain Bolt. Add you own. Let’s all turn reality on it’s head.— Dr. Joe Abah (@DrJoeAbah) April 20, 2019 Beyoncé will walk in Okokomaiko or Hadejia and some people will recognize her as she walks along. Even today, Michael Jackson will be mobbed in every corner of every forgotten village of the world. Don’t make silly comparisons. Stan your love, but don’t be silly about it!— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) April 20, 2019 those comparing Beyonce to Michael Jackson are the reason why hell exist— Malik Ofori (@malikofori) April 20, 2019 Michael Jackson didn’t die for some ’94 kids to compare him with Beyonce.— Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) April 20, 2019 How can a sensible person compare Beyoncé to Michael Jackson ? What have you people been drinking lately ??‍? Michael Jackson that people are always fainting for left and right ? He was more popular without Spotify, SoundCloud and Instagram. Let us respect the dead please— Dr. PamPam | Omo Iya Ologi (@thepamilerin) April 20, 2019 Beyonce has sold 17.2 million albums [in internet age]. Michael Jackson sold over 750 million albums. MJ’s Thriller alone sold 66 million copies. No one is yet to dethrone King Michael, even in death.— Ediong (@Ediong) April 20, 2019 How dare you compare Beyonce to Michael Jackson? You’ll only do that when you have never known that the King of Pop sold millions of these across the globe without the help of YouTube and social media.— Jibril Salifu (@TheJSalifu) April 20, 2019 Michael Jackson reached the world without the power of the social media. Michael Jackson got people falling under the anointing of his stage performances. Michael Jackson’s videos were more than just videos. He did all that only for someone to compare him to Beyoncé No respect— Nkemjika❁ (@CAN_Divine) April 19, 2019 Cocaine is very dangerous for your health The World Health Organisation says the side effects of Cocaine are 1. Strokes 2. Heart Attack 3. Anxiety 4. Impotence 5. Lung Damage 6. Infertility 7. Comparing Beyonce to Michael Jackson— Fake Earpiece ? (@Mister_Judah) April 20, 2019 The only proof you will ever need to stop the baseless comparison between Michael Jackson and Beyonce. Watch and tell who is the greatest after this.— EEU. ?? (@royaltyuso) April 20, 2019 Beyoncé always loved and respected Michael Jackson. She always saw him as her hero and inspiration, saying she wouldn‘t be where she is if it wasn‘t for him. She would be disappointed seeing how some of her fans talk about him. Stop comparing them and respect both.— ????? ? (@whoisitbad) April 20, 2019Sat, 20 Apr 2019 16:10:36 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) probing over $7m cash found in Bashir's home - Source 20: Sudan investigating Bashir after large sums of cash found at home- source Sudan’s public prosecutor has begun investigating ousted President Omar al-Bashir on charges of money laundering and possession of large sums of foreign currency without legal grounds, a judicial source said on Saturday. The source said that military intelligence had searched Bashir’s home and found suitcases loaded with more than $351,000 and six million euros, as well as five million Sudanese pounds. “The chief public prosecutor… ordered the (former) president detained and quickly questioned in preparation to put him on trial,” a judicial source told Reuters. “The public prosecution will question the former president in Kobar prison,” the source added. Relatives could not be immediately reached on Saturday for comment about the investigation. Bashir, who is also being sought by the International Criminal Court over allegations of genocide in the country’s western Darfur region, was ousted on April 11 by the military following months of protests against his rule and had been held at a presidential residence. April 18: Bashir’s brothers detained The Transitional Military Council in Sudan has arrested two brothers of ousted leader Omar al-Bashir. It is not know over exactly what charges they are being held. A military spokesperson said the move was part of efforts to uproot symbols of the former regime. HE added that militia and armed groups loyal to Bashir had been brought under police or military control. Bashir was arrested after his overthrow last week and transferred to prison custody earlier this week. The military is under pressure from protesters and the diplomatic community to handover power to a civilian transition team. Meanwhile, neighbouring South Sudan on Wednesday (April 17) offered to mediate in the crisis. The government has sent a delegation to Khartoum to meet interested parties. “The president has offered to mediate the ongoing negotiations among various groups in Sudan with the hope that the new transition will usher in a new day in Sudan…,” a statement by President Salva Kiir’s office said. Statement: AUC chair meets military delegation in Addis Ababa The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, today (April 16) received a Sudanese delegation led by Lieutenant-General Jalal Alsheikh Altayeb, member of the Military Transitional Council (MTC), who conveyed a written message to from Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Chairperson of the MTC. Recalling the communiqué adopted by the Peace and Security Council at its meeting held on 15 April and his own earlier communiqué, the Chairperson reiterated the African Union’s commitment to work with all the Sudanese stakeholders towards a consensual and inclusive transition that meets the aspirations of the people and ensures the stability of the country. As part of the continental solidarity and the search for African solutions to African problems, the Commission of the African Union will continue to closely monitor the situation and interact with all the Sudanese stakeholders, with the view to helping them overcome the challenges confronting their country. My statement following discussions earlier today with a Sudanese delegation led by Lieutenant-General Jalal Alsheikh Altayeb, member of the Military Transitional Council. #Sudan.— Moussa Faki Mahamat (@AUC_MoussaFaki) April 16, 2019 Standing with Sudan Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of the TMC, received phone calls from the Saudi king, UAE president, Qatari emir, Ethiopian prime minister and South Sudanese president, SUNA said on Monday. They expressed support for the TMC in “this delicate and historic stage” and their concern for the security and stability of the country, SUNA said. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for “a rapid transfer of power to a civilian transitional government,” in a phone call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. “This must be followed by a credible, inclusive political process that meets the expectations of the Sudanese people with regard to economic and political reforms,” her office said in a statement. Sisi meanwhile reiterated Egypt’s support for “the brotherly Sudanese people’s will” and said Cairo would “not interfere in its internal affairs”, according to a presidential statement. AU issues ultimatum to Sudan military In a communique on Monday, the African Union’s Peace and Security Council called for Sudan’s military to transfer power to a “transitional civilian-led political authority” within 15 days or face suspension from the AU. Lieutenant General Jalal al-Deen al-Sheikh, a member of the TMC, met Ethiopia’s prime minister in Addis Ababa, where the AU is based, and said, “We are already in the process of choosing a prime minister” for a civilian government, according to the Sudanese state news agency SUNA. “So we are initiating this even before having this session with the African Union. This is our conviction and this is also the way forward to peace, but also, we respect it and we are committed to the decision of the Peace and Security Council.” SPA makes demands The Sudanese group that led protests against deposed President Omar al-Bashir called on Monday for the transitional military council that has taken power to be disbanded and for a new interim civilian ruling council to be formed. Representatives of the Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA) piled pressure on the military commanders who have taken over, issuing a long list of demands for deeper and faster change to end repression and a ruinous economic crisis. If their demands were not met, the group would press on with protests and not join a future transitional government, Ahmed al-Rabie, an SPA member, told Reuters. The SPA held its first news conference since Bashir, who ruled with an autocratic hand since seizing power in a coup 30 years ago, was ousted by the military on Thursday following months of street demonstrations. A new interim civilian body should be given full executive powers, with the armed forces having representation, and the Transitional Military Council (TMC) that took over last week should be dissolved, the SPA said. “If our demand for the formation of a civilian transitional council with military representation is not met, we will not be part of the executive authority, the cabinet, and we will continue the mass escalation and the sit-ins to fulfil our demands,” Rabie told Reuters. SPA representatives also renewed calls for the head of the judiciary and his deputies and public prosecutor to be removed. They demanded the dissolution of Bashir’s National Congress Party and said they received affirmation from the TMC that the party will not participate in a transitional government. The SPA also called for the seizure of the party’s assets and the arrest of its prominent figures. It demanded the dissolution of paramilitary groups that were loyal to the old government, and of the National Intelligence and Security Service’s (NISS) operations authority, and called for an end to Sudan’s press law and the public order law, which the SPA has said restricts freedoms. April 15, 2019: Protesters assured of security, ex-govt members arrested Some members of the erstwhile government have been arrested by the transitional military council, reports from the country has suggested as at Monday morning. There has been no mention of the reasons why they were picked up and who exactly had been picked. Ousted Omar al-Bashir is currently in detention and is likely to face trial in Sudan. Protesters who are holding an adamant sit-in entering two-weeks have also been assured of security by the military. As of Monday morning, protesters have block efforts by soldiers to remove road blocks according to reports. The sit-in at the army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, was the last straw that forced the military to oust President Omar al-Bashir last week. Protesters have refused to leave until the military hands over power to a civilian-led transition team. The military high command has offered the protest leaders the opportunity to name a prime minister, Al Jazeera reported on Sunday. The border guard militia, along with some troops from the army, have asked people to help them with clearing the roads blocks, saying “let’s help each other.” People have chanted back to them, “must be us.”— Yousra Elbagir (@YousraElbagir) April 15, 2019 April 14, 2019: Protesters to pick Prime Minister The military council in charge of Sudan has asked activists to nominate an independent candidate for the position of Prime Minister in the transitional government, Al Jazeera reports. The portal’s journalist covering the Sudan uprising confirmed that on day two of military – protester groups talks, the military said it was only interested in two security related portfolios. “He said the military council only wants two positions, the defence and interior ministries. That’s because, in his words, they want to maintain order and security in the country,” Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan reports from Khartoum. Morgan reported further that there were some disagreements among political parties in the duration and the shape that some of the measures expected to he undertaken. “Now the political parties themselves are divided. Some of them want a two year transitional period, others want four. There’s also disagreement over how to deal with the national intelligence and security services. Some want it completely abolished while others want reforms,” she added. Sudan’s new transition leader Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdelrahman is a military commander believed to be more ready to talk to the protesters. He was the third most senior general in the Sudanese armed forces and is little known in public life. As head of Sudan’s ground forces he oversaw Sudanese troops fighting in the Saudi-led Yemen war and has close ties to senior Gulf military officials. In his first televised address, Burhan said he was also canceling a night curfew ordered by his predecessor and ordered the release of all prisoners jailed under emergency laws put in place by ousted President Omar al-Bashir. A coalition of groups leading the protests said it had accepted an invitation by the armed forces to meet on Saturday to discuss a new civilian government. The main protest organiser had earlier on Saturday urged people to keep marching to demand a civilian government after the defence minister and the intelligence chief stepped down. Intelligence chief resigns Sudan’s security and intelligence chief quit on Saturday, state media reported, a day after the defence minister stepped down abruptly as interim leader following the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir and protesters kept up demands for change. Salah Abdallah Mohamed Saleh, known as Salah Gosh, who headed the National Intelligence and Security Service and was once the most influential person in the country after Bashir, was held responsible by protesters for the killing of demonstrators demanding an end to military rule. The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which has been leading protests to demand a civilian government, called for more demonstrations on Saturday. “Today, we continue the march to finish the victory for our victorious revolution,” the SPA said in a statement. “We assert that our revolution is continuing and will not retreat or deviate from its path until we achieve … our people’s legitimate demands of handing over power to a civilian government,” it said. Defence minister resigns Sudan’s defence minister stepped down abruptly on Friday as head of the country’s transitional ruling military council after only a day in the post, as protesters demanded quicker political change following President Omar al-Bashir’s ouster by the armed forces. Hours after the military council sought to calm public anger by promising a new civilian government, Defence Minister Awad Ibn Auf said in a televised speech he was quitting as head of the council. Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdelrahman will be the new head of the council, Ibn Auf said. He also said Chief of Staff Kamal Abdelmarouf al-Mahi was relieved of his position as deputy head of the transitional military council. “In order to ensure the cohesion of the security system, and the armed forces in particular, from cracks and strife, and relying on God, let us begin this path of change,” Ibn Auf said. News of the change sparked joyful celebrations by many thousands in the streets of Khartoum as people chanted, “The second has fallen!” in reference to Bashir, witnesses said. “What happened is a step in the right direction and is a bow to the will of the masses, and we have become closer to victory,” Rashid Saeed, a spokesman for the main protest group, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), told Reuters. “We are committed to our demands that we submitted to the army,” he said. “We call on the masses to stay on the streets until all the demands are met.” 16 killed during protests against military council At least 16 people were killed and 20 injured by stray bullets at protests and sit-ins on Thursday and Friday, a police spokesman said. Government buildings and private property were also attacked, spokesman Hashem Ali added. Worshipers packed the streets around the Defence Ministry for Friday prayers, heeding a call by the SPA to challenge the military council. The numbers swelled in the afternoon and a Reuters witness estimated hundreds of thousands of protesters thronged areas around the ministry, which was guarded by soldiers. Hashem Ali asked citizens to help ensure safety and public order. Military council pledges civilian government Sudan’s ruling military council on Friday promised the country would have a new civilian government, a day after the armed forces overthrew President Omar al-Bashir after 30 years in power. The council, which is now running Sudan under Defence Minister Mohammed Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, said it expects a pre-election transition period it announced on Thursday to last two years at most or much less if chaos can be avoided. The council also announced that it would not extradite Bashir to face allegations of genocide at the international war crimes court. Instead he would go on trial in Sudan. Friday’s announcement of a civilian government by the head of the military council’s political committee, General Omar Zain al-Abideen, appeared aimed at reassuring demonstrators who took to the streets to warn against imposing army rule after Bashir’s overthrow. ‘Protesters, not army have solutions’ Abideen pledged that the military council would not interfere with the civilian government. However he said the defence and interior ministries would be under the council’s control. He said the military council had no solutions to Sudan’s crisis and these would come from the protesters. “We are the protectors of the demands of the people,” he said. “We are not greedy for power.” Earlier on Friday, thousands of Sudanese demonstrators camped outside the defence ministry to push for a civilian government, defying a curfew and calling for mass prayers. Demonstrators who have been holding almost daily anti-Bashir protests have rejected the decision to set up a transitional military council and vowed to continue protests until a civilian government is established. Activists called for mass Friday prayers outside the defence ministry compound, a focal point for protests. At the compound, large tents were put up and people brought in food and handed out water as the crowd swelled, a Reuters witness said. Ahmed al-Sadek, a 39-year-old trader, said he had not slept at his home since the sit-in began on Saturday. Activists wearing yellow vests controlled traffic around the compound on Friday morning and managed foot traffic to and from the sit-in, a Reuters witness said. They also blocked a major bridge in central Khartoum. Bashir, 75, had faced 16 weeks of demonstrations against him. What next for protesters? Thousands of people flocked to an anti-government protest outside the defence ministry on Thursday, while huge crowds took to the streets in central Khartoum, dancing and shouting anti-Bashir slogans. Protesters chanted: “It has fallen, we won.” Demonstrators called for a civilian government and said they would not accept an administration led by military and security figures, or by Bashir’s aides. Omar Saleh Sennar, a senior member of the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, one of the main protest groups, said it expected to negotiate with the military over a transfer of power. “We will only accept a transitional civilian government,” Sennar told Reuters. Names of Bashir’s possible successors that have been circulating include the defence Minister, an ex-military intelligence chief, also an Islamist, and former army chief of staff Emad al-Din Adawi. Adawi is said to be favoured by regional neighbours at odds with Bashir over his Islamist leanings. Bashir detained, military council takes over Sudan’s defense minister said on Thursday that President Omar al-Bashir had been detained “in a safe place” and that a military council would run the country for a two-year transitional period, confirming a long anticipated coup by the armed forces. In a statement broadcast on state TV Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf said there would be elections at the end of the transitional period. Seated on a gold-upholstered armchair, Auf announced a three-month state of emergency, a nationwide ceasefire and the suspension of the constitution. He also said Sudan’s air space would be closed for 24 hours and border crossings shut until further notice. Sudanese sources told Reuters that Bashir was at the presidential residence under “heavy guard”. A son of Sadiq al-Mahdi, the head of the country’s main opposition Umma Party, told al-Hadath TV that Bashir was being held with “a number of leaders of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group”. The defence minister made an appeal to the citizens, asking them to tolerate security measures that will be put in place. He also pledged that human rights will be observed throughout the transition period. Photos: Celebrating the end of an era Political prisoners released Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service has announced the release of all political prisoners across the country, state news agency SUNA reported on Thursday. The announcement came after Sudanese sources said President Omar al-Bashir had been forced to step down after three decades in power. Shortly after the announcement, Twitter users circulated photos showing former detainees being welcomed by protesters as they joined demonstrations against Omar al-Bashir. One of those released was Mohammed Naji Elasam, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), the main organiser of protests being held across Sudan since December, witnesses said. Elasam had been detained for more than three months. Protesters vow to protect revolution from Bashir’s allies The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which has been leading protests that have lasted over three months, has urged the armed forces to ‘handover power to the people’, according to what they described as ‘the declaration of freedom and change’. ‘‘We assert that the people of Sudan will not accept anything less than a civil transitional authority composed of a patriotic group of experts who were not involved with the tyrannical regime,’‘ read part of a statement issued on their website on Thursday. Omar Saleh Sennar, a senior member of the SPA said the group was waiting for a statement by the army and expected to negotiate with the military over a transfer of power away from Bashir. Soldiers raid Bashir’s party headquarters A Reuters witness says soldiers raided the headquarters of the Islamic movement led by Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir in the capital Khartoum on Thursday. The Islamic movement is the main component of Sudan’s ruling party. Government sources said Bashir had stepped down and consultations were underway to form a transitional council. Minister says Bashir has stepped down Embattled Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has stepped down and consultations are under way to form a transitional council to run the country, government sources and a provincial minister said on Thursday. The minister of production and economic resources in North Darfur, Adel Mahjoub Hussein, told the Dubai-based al-Hadath TV that “there are consultations to form a military council to take over power after President Bashir stepped down”. Sudanese sources confirmed the report and told Reuters Bashir was at the presidential residence under “heavy guard”. Military to make announcement soon: state media The military will make an announcement soon, state television said as troops were deployed in Khartoum. “The armed forces will present an important statement shortly. Be ready for it,” the announcement on state television read, without giving further details. The army and security services deployed troops around the defence ministry and on major roads and bridges in the capital as thousands of people flocked to an anti-government protest outside the ministry, a Reuters witness said. Tens of thousands of Sudanese took to the streets in the centre of Khartoum in jubilation, dancing and chanting anti-Bashir slogans. Protesters outside the defence ministry chanted: “It has fallen, we won.” State television and radio played patriotic music, reminding older Sudanese of how military takeovers unfolded during previous episodes of civil unrest. REUTERSSat, 20 Apr 2019 14:33:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com's Sadio Mane shortlisted for PFA Player of the Year award Professional Footballers Association, PFA, on Saturday revealed the shortlist for the season’s PFA Player’s Player of the Year with Senegal and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane being the only African listed. Mane is one of two Liverpool players on the list along with defender Virgil van Dijk. Manchester City, Liverpool’s main challengers for the Premier League title had three nominees. Argentine attacker Sergio Aguero, England’s Raheem Sterling and Portuguese Bernado Silva were listed. The last nominee was Belgian international and Chelsea forward Eden Hazard. The award is voted for by PFA members from the 92 Premier League and Football League teams in England. The current holder is Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah. Mane’s exploits have been crucial for Liverpool in their quest for a historic Premier League title and also challenge for the UEFA Champions League, a campaign they came second in last season. The PFA awards also recognizes Young Player of the Year with two of those listed on the Player’s Player also listed in that category – Sterling and Silva. The complete list is as follows: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool David Brooks, AFC Bournemouth Marcus Rashford, Manchester United Declan Rice, West Ham United Bernardo Silva, Manchester City Raheem Sterling, Manchester CitySat, 20 Apr 2019 14:22:19 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) activists to announce civilian-led transition team activists in Sudan, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) on Saturday postponed a planned announcement of a civilian-led transitional team. SPA alerted on Friday that it was due to announce a team that will be taking over from the transitional military council, TMC, that seized power from president Omar al-Bashir. Their tweet on Friday stated: SPA and allies invite the people of #Sudan, national, regional and international media channels and diplomatic missions to attend a press conference on the 21st of April (7.00 p.m.) at the Army HQ sit-in to announce the civil transitional government. The TMC currently led by Abdulfattah Burhan has been under increasing pressure from the protesters and diplomatic community to hand over power to a civilian-led transitional team. After ousting Bashir on April 11, the military announced the suspension of the constitution and slated a 24-month transition period. The leader of the junta Ahmad Ibn Auf, the last defense minister of Bashir was forced to resign as leader of the TMC barely two days after Bashir was ousted. Bashir was detained and transferred to a maximum security prison located in the capital Khartoum earlier this week. Two of his brothers have also been detained in what the military said were efforts to uproot symbols of the regime. Friday marked four months since the first protest was triggered in response to a government decision to triple the price of bread. The December 19, 2018 protests defied a state of emergency and repressive security measures.Sat, 20 Apr 2019 13:32:29 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) accuse France of backing Tripoli assault of “yellow vest” protesters demonstrated in the Libyan capital,Tripoli against an offensive by military strongman Khalifa Haftar accusing France of backing him. Wearing the trademark yellow vests of French anti government demonstrators, they flooded the Libyans central Tripoli square to rally in support of the internationally recognised government of National Accord. Friday’s rally came days after a smaller protest brought out dozens of “yellow jacket” demonstrators “Today on the Martyrs Square, we support the heroes of our armed forces taking part in the military operations against the invasion of gangs led by the terrorist Khalifa Haftar’s. We say no to the military rule and no to an individual rule but yes to a civil state,” said Ali Abboud, Libyan protester. “At Martyrs Square we reject the crime committed by the war criminal Haftar, against the militarisation of the state and against the targeting of civilians with bombs, and blind missiles. We call for a civil state, God willing,” said Abdullah, Libyan protester. However, the French embassy in Libya on Friday tweeted in Arabic that Paris was “opposed to the attack” on Tripoli and urged all parties to abide by a ceasefire and engage in peace negotiations. More than 200 people have been killed and more than 900 wounded since the violence erupted, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.Sat, 20 Apr 2019 11:34:45 +0000editorial@africanews.com begins in Egypt's pro-Sisi constitutional referendum holds a three-day referendum from Saturday on constitutional amendments that could allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stay in office until 2030. The Egyptian parliament this week overwhelmingly approved the proposals. What are the key changes An amendment to Article 140 of the constitution extends the presidential term to six years from four. An outright bar on any president serving more than two terms will change to a bar on serving more than two consecutive terms. An additional clause extends Sisi’s current term to six years from four currently since his election victory in 2018, and allows him to run for a third term in 2024. The amendments provide for the creation of a second parliamentary chamber known as the Council of Senators. It would have 180 members, two-thirds elected by the public and the rest appointed by the president. Article 200 of the constitution on the role of the military is expanded, giving the military a duty to protect “the constitution and democracy and the fundamental make-up of the country and its civil nature, the gains of the people and the rights and freedoms of individuals.” The amendments also create the post of vice president, allowing the president to appoint one or more deputies. They task the president with choosing head judges and the public prosecutor from a pool of senior candidates pre-selected by the judiciary. They further create a quota setting women’s representation in parliament at a minimum of 25 percent. Sponsors of the amendments The amendments were initiated by the pro-government parliamentary bloc known as Support Egypt, and according to the parliament’s legislative committee report, 155 members submitted the initial proposal. On Tuesday, 531 out of 596 members of Egypt’s overwhelmingly pro-Sisi parliament voted in favor of the changes. Parliament speaker Ali Abdelaal has said that the amendments were a parliamentary initiative and that Sisi may not even choose to run again. “This suggestion came from the representatives of the people in gratitude for the historic role played by the president,” the legislative committee report said. The legislative committee report said religious, academic, political and civil society representatives expressed strong overall support for the changes during a consultation period ahead of the parliament’s final vote. Opposition to the amendments The legislative committee acknowledged some opposition to the amendments from members of the judiciary and two non-governmental organizations. Just 22 members of parliament voted against the amendments. Egyptians abroad start voting on Friday, while the vote inside Egypt begins on Saturday, meaning Egyptians have less than four days to read and discuss the changes following their approval by parliament. Election commissioner Lasheen Ibrahim, who announced the dates of the referendum on Wednesday, did not say when the votes will be counted or the results announced. More than a week before parliament’s final vote, posters and banners sprung up across the capital Cairo urging people to “do the right thing” and participate, some calling directly for a “yes” vote.Sat, 20 Apr 2019 07:00:00 (Eric Oteng) to grant $118.2 million credit facility to Mozambique to rebuild after Cyclone Idai International Monetary Fund will grant Mozambique a $118.2 million credit facility to help it rebuild infrastructure after a devastating cyclone that killed hundreds of people and flattened whole villages, the lender said on Friday. More than 1,000 people have been reported killed by the storm in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi after the worst cyclone in decades lashed the eastern Indian Ocean coast in March with devastating winds of up to 170 km per hour (105 miles per hour). The heavy flooding caused by torrential rain and winds that pounded villages and cities, especially in the Mozambique port town of Beira, has left the improvised southern African nation desperate for cash to kick-start its recovery plan. The World Bank estimates the affected countries will need over $2 billion to recover. Mozambique’s $337 million humanitarian response plan, largely made up of an appeal for $281 million after the cyclone hit, covers only 23 percent of the funds needed. “The financial assistance is intended to address large budgetary and external financing gaps arising from reconstruction needs after Cyclone Idai, which caused significant loss of life and infrastructure damage,” it said. Mozambique also faces a cholera epidemic after the cyclone wiped out water facilities. Cholera is endemic to Mozambique, which has had regular outbreaks over the past five years. About 2,000 people were infected in the last outbreak, which ended in February 2018, according to the World Health Organisation.Sat, 20 Apr 2019 06:00:00 (Eric Oteng) Africa brings forward Eskom bailout to avert default Africa’s government has had to bring forward the bailout of state power firm Eskom, after it rushed 5 billion rand ($355 million) to the struggling utility earlier this month to avert a default and said more cash could be needed soon. Eskom supplies more than 90 percent of electricity in Africa’s most advanced economy but is grappling with cashflow problems and a debt mountain which it is struggling to service. The government in February promised Eskom a 23 billion rand a year bailout over the next three years, but it only expected to start giving the cash-strapped utility the first tranche of funds between August and October this year. But by the end of March, Eskom was experiencing difficulties raising funding, according to a finance ministry report to parliament seen by Reuters, prompting Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to authorise the cash transfer on April 2. The fact that the first tranche of the bailout had to be brought forward highlights the precariousness of Eskom’s financial position, which has been exacerbated by spiralling diesel and maintenance costs. “In order to avert a default by Eskom on its obligations, on 2 April 2019, the Minister of Finance … authorised the payment of 5 billion rand,” the report to parliament said, adding Eskom could need another government cash injection before April 30. A finance ministry spokesman confirmed Mboweni had authorised the transfer of money to Eskom. Early this month, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said the highest levels of government were considering a variety of additional financial support measures for Eskom, beyond the bailout announced in February. Energy experts say the bailout is insufficient to make Eskom financially sustainable in the long term. “Eskom does not anticipate generating sufficient internal cash to pay all of its maturing obligations at any point in time over the next five years,” the finance ministry report to parliament dated April 16 said. The country’s largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), called for parliament’s finance committee to reconvene to discuss the crisis at Eskom, which has taken centre stage before the country’s national elections in May. Parliament has been dissolved ahead of the elections. “There is clearly an urgent need for complete transparency about the real financial status of Eskom and about the inevitability of further massive cash bailouts after the elections on the 8th of May,” the DA said in a statement.Sat, 20 Apr 2019 06:00:00 (Eric Oteng) fire unites France [International Edition] in France are still trying to piece together exactly what happened before Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire. The scale of the damage has been revealed by dramatic images. Meanwhile, North Korea has issued a stinging rebuke of United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, hours after the country claimed to have tested a new tactical weapon. Also, the first shipment of humanitarian aid is finally being distributed in Venezuela. The government reached a deal some weeks ago with the Red Cross to import the aid. Stay tuned as we will have reports on this and other stories as we retrace the major current events covered by our various editorial teams. elayneshaniSat, 20 Apr 2019 05:10:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Bs must go: Algerians demand more concessions of thousands of Algerians took to the street on Friday, marking the ninth week of protests that led to the resignation of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Algerians first hit the streets in huge numbers on February 22 after Bouteflika’s announcement that he would stand for a fifth term in presidential elections that had been scheduled for Thursday. Parliament named an interim president and a July 4 election date was set in a transition endorsed by the country’s powerful military. But Bouteflika’s April 2 exit failed to placate many Algerians who want to topple the entire, largely elderly elite that have dominated the country since independence from France in 1962. Thousands of protesters gathered anew in city centres around Algeria demanding root-and-branch reforms – including political pluralism and crackdowns on corruption and cronyism, witnesses said, and more were expected after Friday prayers. “We will not give up our demands,” said Mourad Hamini, standing outside his coffee shop, where thousands of protesters were waving Algerian flags. Protesters also demanded Abdelkader Bensalah, head of the upper house of parliament, quit as interim president as well as interim Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui. “They must go. The Bs must go,” one banner read, referring to Bensalah, Bedoui, and Moad Bouchareb, head of the ruling party. Who are the Bs? Bouteflika’s departure early this month spurred demonstrators to seek further changes, notably the resignation of three senior Bouteflika allies. Activists chalked up a second victory Tuesday as one of the three, constitutional council chief Tayeb Belaiz, followed Bouteflika to the exit. But student Lyes Adimi, 24, said more change was needed. “Just because Belaiz has resigned that doesn’t mean it’s over,” she said. “What has the constitutional council ever done apart from validating the fraud of the system it belongs to?” Protesters are demanding the resignation of the two remaining members of a group dubbed the “3B”, interim leader Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, saying regime stalwarts should be entirely excluded from any political transition. Bouteflika Abdelaziz: resigned from position as president of the country Belaiz Tayeb: resigned as constitutional council chief Bensalah Abdelkader: yet to resign, currently interim president Bedoui Noureddine: yet to resign from role as prime minister On Friday, hundreds rallied outside the capital’s iconic main Post Office building, chanting: “The people want them all to leave!” and “Barakat (Enough of) this system!” Belaiz’s replacement, little-known senior judge and former prosecutor Kamel Feniche, is also seen as a regime loyalist. Protesters want a clean break with “le pouvoir”, or the secretive establishment – veterans of the war of independence against France, the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) party and associated oligarchs – and sweeping reforms. “The ninth Friday is a vote against the gang,” read a banner held up by protesters. “The system will go sooner or later,” said Mohamed Dali, who was selling sweets to protesters. Another banner read: “The country is ours and the army is ours.” What is the army saying? On Tuesday, army chief Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaed Salah said the military was considering all options to resolve the national political crisis and warned “time is running out”. It was a hint the military was losing patience with the popular upheaval shaking Algeria, a major oil and natural-gas exporter and a key security partner for the West against Islamist militants in north and west Africa. Salah did not specify what measures the army could take but added: “We have no ambition but to protect our nation.” The army has so far patiently monitored the mostly peaceful protests that at times swelled to hundreds of thousands of people. It remains the most powerful institution in Algeria, having swayed politics from the shadows for decades. The army “is convinced that the crisis can be managed through appeasement”, said Geneva-based political scientist Hasni Abidi. Police forces, accused in past weeks of trying to quell the protest movement amid teargas-soaked clashes with demonstrators, were keeping a low profile Friday. AgenciesSat, 20 Apr 2019 05:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Sudan's protest leaders and their demands Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) have emerged as the leaders of the protest movement that ultimately led to the toppling of president Omar al-Bashir, in addition to forcing his successor, General Awad Ibn Ouf, to step down. The protesters have not relented, and are demanding that the military council which announced that it would manage a two-year transition, hands over to a civilian government immediately. In this article, we highlight the protest leaders and the demands they have so far made. The SPA, protest leaders The group that initially launched the protests against Bashir’s three-decade rule is the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) made up of unions of engineers, doctors and teachers. The anti-Bashir campaign swiftly spread across the country through cities, towns and villages, with members of all sections of the Sudanese society joining it. The main leaders of SPA are Mohamed Yousef Ahmed Mustafa, a professor at Khartoum University, and Mohamed Naji, a doctor who had been detained soon after the protests erupted. Teacher Ahmed al-Rabia is also a key member of SPA and so is Omar Salah, a doctor. Alliance for Freedom and Change Weeks into the campaign, several political parties and civil society groups joined the SPA to form an umbrella group called the Alliance for Freedom and Change. This umbrella group includes Sudan’s main opposition party, the National Umma Party, and include other parties such as the Sudanese Congress Party and the Sudanese Communist Party. Rebel groups from Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, who for years have fought government forces in the three regions are also part of the umbrella group. What are they demanding? The protest leaders have announced plans to unveil on Sunday a civilian body to take over from the ruling military council that took power after Bashir was ousted on April 11. In addition to dissolving the military council, they have other demands: A civilian council should form a transitional civilian government to govern for a four-year term, followed by elections. The dissolution of Bashir’s National Congress Party, with its top leaders brought to justice — including the ousted president. The confiscation of NCP properties. The re-instatement of the country’s 2005 constitution, which the military council suspended shortly after ousting Bashir. The liberation of all civilians detained in connection with the protest movement, as well as army and police personnel held for refusing to open fire at protesters. An end to the state of emergency Bashir imposed on February 22. What the military rulers have done so far? Lifted night time curfew Detained Bashir and some other regime leaders, although the whereabouts of many senior regime figures are unknown. Sacked the prosecutor general as demanded by protesters. Accepted the resignation of Salah Ghosh, head of the country’s feared National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) who oversaw a crackdown on protesters that killed dozens, wounded hundreds and jailed thousands. Sacked Khartoum’e envoy to Washington, Mohamed Atta, who previously headed NISS. Sacked provincial governors and replaced them with local army commanders. Integrated into the army a paramilitary group called the Popular Defence Force. Released many political detainees, including protesters who were jailed under the emergency rule. The question of a civilian government The protest leaders on Friday announced plans to unveil a civilian body to take over from the ruling military council as huge crowds demonstrated outside army headquarters. The SPA said in a statement that it would name members of the council at a news conference at 1700 GMT on Sunday outside the army complex, to which foreign diplomats are also invited. “We are demanding that this civilian council, which will have representatives of the army, replace the military council,” Ahmed al-Rabia, a leader of the umbrella group of unions for doctors, engineers and teachers, told AFP. Friday marked four months to the day when first protest was triggered in response to a government decision to triple the price of bread. AgenciesSat, 20 Apr 2019 04:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com African First Ladies: Gabon's Sylvia Bongo Ondimba described as mothers to the nations their husbands lead, Africa’s first ladies are often expected to be unifying figures, serving the president of the nation and the voters who entrusted him the mandate to lead. A first lady by definition is the wife of the head of state, and it therefore follows that most African nations led by a male president, has a first lady. As of March 2019, all African countries have male heads of state. The last female head of state who led an African nation was Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, whose tenure expired in January 2018. Across the continent, several first ladies have been recognised, applauded and sometimes vilified for the roles they play to support the politics of their husbands. As we celebrate women in the month of March and beyond, Africanews shall publish the profiles and work of different African first ladies, highlighting their politics and activism among other issues. In this article, you will find the details of the following First Ladies; Gabon’s Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Egypt’s Entissar Amer Uganda’s Janet Museveni Ethiopia’s Zinash Tayachew Kenya’s Margaret Kenyatta Cameroon’s Chantal Biya Gabon’s Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Full name / age: Sylvia Bongo Ondimba/ 56 years old Mandate: First Lady since 16 October 2009 Profession: Entrepreneur Politics: plays a symbolic supporting role to her husband’s political career Advocacy: runs the Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Foundation which is dedicated to ‘improving plight of vulnerable and disadvantaged people around the world’. Family: Wife to president Ali Bongo Ondimba since 1989, the couple have four biological children together. They also adopted a child in 2002. Born in Paris on March 11, 1963 to French parents, Slyvia spent most of her childhood in Cameroon and Tunisia before moving to Gabon in 1974. Sylvia’s mother, Evelyne Valentin, was President Bongo Ondimba’s secretary. READ MORE: The Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Foundation Egypt’s Entissar Amer Full name / age: Entissar Mohameed Amer/ 62 years old Mandate: First Lady since 8 June, 2014 Profession: Ain-Shams University graduate (Bachelor of Commerce-Accounting) Politics: plays a symbolic supporting role to her husband’s political career Advocacy: is dedicated to raising her family, and has reportedly turned down opportunities to work and build a career or personal legacy. Family: Wife to president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi since 1977, the couple have four children together. Al Arabiya reported that Amer is Sisi’s maternal cousin, who the president fell in love with while the two were still in high school. They got married after Sisi graduated from the military academy in 1977. Uganda’s Janet Museveni Full name / age: Janet Kataaha Museveni/ 70 years old Mandate: First Lady since 29 January 1986 Profession: Teacher by profession, politician by practice Politics: Has served as an MP,and is currently a cabinet minister in charge of education and sports Advocacy: Founded an NGO dedicated to supporting children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, and also champions causes for the youth, women and children. Family: Wife to president Yoweri Museveni since August 1973, the couple have four children together. Janet has consistently supported her husband’s political ambitions, and lived in exile from 1971 until 1979, and again from 1981 until Museveni’s resistance movement captured power in 1986. In 2005, Janet expressed her ambition to join active politics and won a parliamentary seat in the 2006 general elections. She was re-elected in 2011, but did not seek re-election in 2016. READ MORE: Uganda’s First Lady Ethiopia’s Zinash Tayachew Full name / age: Zinash Tayachew Bere/ 41 years old Mandate: First Lady since 2 April, 2018 Advocacy: Committed to supporting children’s needs in education. Has initiatives to enhance nutrition, mental health, women’s economic empowerment and protection of the most vulnerable. Family: Has three daughters with prime minister Abiy Ahmed, and in August 2018, the couple adopted a son. ALSO READ: Ethiopia PM cheered for publicly showing affection to first lady Zinash told her fellow first ladies at a meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa in February that she was planning to build 20 high schools, 15 of which are under construction. ‘‘I have planned to construct boarding schools for the blind and the disabled. I also support institutions for the elderly and work on similar issues,’‘ Zinash said. The Office of the First Lady says through her charity work that includes providing support to the ‘disabled and special needs communities’, Zinash has become ‘a hope for so many’. Prior to taking up her role as First Lady, Zinash lived with her three daughters, in the United States. READ MORE: Office of the First Lady of Ethiopia Kenya’s Margaret Kenyatta Full name / age: Margaret Gakuo Kenyatta/ 54 years old Mandate: First Lady since 9 April, 2013 Politics: Frequently campaigns with president Uhuru Kenyatta, meeting women’s groups to advance his political agenda. Advocacy: Runs ‘Beyond Zero’ initiative that focuses on maternal and child health issues. Family: Wife to president Uhuru Kenyatta since 1991, have three children together. Margaret is liked by many Kenyans for her simplicity in regard to her dressing, nature and manner. “She is my friend, partner and strong supporter. Strong and successful women make a strong and successful Kenya,’‘ president Kenyatta said of the first lady in 2018. READ MORE: Office of the Kenyan First Lady Cameroon’s Chantal Biya Full name / age: Chantal Biya (born Chantal Pulchérie Vigouroux)/ 48 years old Mandate: First Lady since 23 April, 1994 Politics: Leads women in Biya’s ruling party as honorary president of OFRDPC. Advocacy: Founder, Chantal Biya Foundation, committed to humanitarian work Family: Wife to president Paul Biya since 1994, has two children with Biya. Chantal is nicknamed Lioness of Cameroon, thanks to her extravagant hairstyles. READ MORE: The office of the First Lady in Cameroon First Lady of the week: Nigeria’s Aisha Buhari Full name / age: Aisha Muhammadu Buhari / 48 years old Profession: Beautician, entrepreneur and publisher Politics: Vocal critic of the former government, of Buhari and some of his appointees Advocacy: Women and Children’s Rights activist, head of “Future Assured Foundation.” Family: Wife to president Muhammadu Buhari since 1989, has five children with Buhari. Aisha Buhari in photos The office of First Lady While the position of first lady is not legally or constitutionally provided for in many countries, many presidencies cater for the Office of the First Lady, through which the holder is facilitated to implement projects towards social causes, and often influence policy. The Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD), created in 2002, brings together First Ladies of Africa ‘to advocate for policies that make health services accessible and laws that boost women and youth empowerment’. ‘‘First Ladies of Africa reinforce favorable policies and programs through advocacy, resource mobilization and development of partnerships with all stakeholders at all levels,’‘ reads part of the statement on the OAFLAD website. OAFLAD is currently led by First Lady of Burkina Faso, Adjoavi Sika Kabore, who is deputised by her Kenyan counterpart Margaret Kenyatta.Sat, 20 Apr 2019 02:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com calls Haftar to discuss 'shared vision for Libya' week, the president of the United States, Donald Trump spoke to the Libyan military commander, Khalifa Haftar, who is trying to overthrow the United Nations backed government, the White House said on Friday. The statement said Trump “recognized Field Marshal Haftar’s significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic political system.” The White House said they also discussed “ongoing counterterrorism efforts and the need to achieve peace and stability in Libya.” It was unclear why the White House waited several days to announce the phone call. On Thursday, both the United States and Russia said they could not support a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Libya at this time. Also on Thursday, mortar bombs crashed down on a suburb of Tripoli, almost hitting a clinic, after two weeks of an offensive by Haftar’s eastern troops on the Libyan capital, which is held by an internationally recognized government. Trump arrived on Thursday at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, for the Easter weekend. Haftar’s powerful allies Haftar, seen by his allies Egypt and the United Arab Emirates as a bulwark against Islamists, backs a rival administration based in eastern Libya that is refusing to recognise the authority of the Tripoli government. Russia objects to the British-drafted resolution blaming Haftar for the latest flare-up in violence when his Libyan National Army (LNA) advanced to the outskirts of Tripoli earlier this month, diplomats said. The United States did not give a reason for its decision not to support the draft resolution, which would also call on countries with influence over the warring parties to ensure compliance and for unconditional humanitarian aid access in Libya. The country has been gripped by anarchy since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011. White House national security adviser John Bolton also spoke recently to Haftar. Jalel Harchaoui, research fellow at the Clingendael Institute international relations think tank in The Hague, said the Trump phone call was tantamount to supporting Haftar’s operation and thus is “creating an environment where a military intervention by foreign states, like Egypt, is likelier.” “One reason behind Trump’s phone call is that Haftar’s army has revealed itself less powerful than the Libyan strongman had claimed,” Harchaoui said. Haftar was among officers who helped Colonel Muammar Gaddafi rise to power in 1969 but fell out with him during Libya’s war with Chad in the 1980s. Haftar was taken prisoner by the Chadians and had to be rescued by the CIA after having worked from Chad to overthrow Gaddafi. He lived for around 20 years in the U.S. state of Virginia before returning home in 2011 to join other rebels in the uprising that ousted Gaddafi. AgenciesSat, 20 Apr 2019 02:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Katumbi's conviction has been annulled (lawyer) conviction of Moise Katumbi, an opposition politician in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who is currently living in exile has been annulled, his lawyer said on Friday. “By its ruling on Wednesday, the Court of Cassation overturned the Lubumbashi Peace Court’s decision to sentence Moïse Katumbi to three years in prison with immediate arrest, paving the way for his return,” Joseph Mukendi told AFP. The exiled politician can now return to the country a free man, Mukendi added. ALSO READ: DRC main opposition jabs Kabila, tasks Tshisekedi with Katumbi’s return One of the DRC’s political heavyweights, Katumbi, 54, left the country in 2016 after falling out with the then president, Joseph Kabila. Kabila stood down in January after 18 years in power in which he stayed two years beyond his constitutional maximum term in office. He handed over to opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi in the country’s first peaceful political transition since independence from Belgium in 1960. Katumbi, a wealthy businessman born to a Greek businessman father and a Congolese mother, tried to return last August to file his bid for the December presidential elections. But he was prevented at the Zambian border from crossing into the DRC. Candidates have to be physically in DR Congo to submit their election application. Katumbi and fellow opposition heavyweight Jean-Pierre Bemba, who was also barred from running, backed opposition candidate Martin Fayulu. Fayulu came in a close second to Tshisekedi, according to results that Fayulu lashed as a stitch-up. Katumbi has his power base in the mining province of Katanga, in the southeast of the vast country, where he was previously governor. In June 2016, a court in Katanga’s provincial capital, Lubumbashi, handed him a three-year jail term in absentia for alleged property fraud, with the instruction that he be arrested immediately if he set foot in the country. He was also accused of hiring several foreign mercenaries to act as his private guards. He has denied both charges. In the months before the presidential elections, the authorities also accused him of “usurping” Congolese nationality. They said Katumbi had acquired an Italian passport and thus had forfeited his right to Congolese citizenship. Dual citizenship is illegal under DR Congo law.Fri, 19 Apr 2019 16:30:39 +0000editorial@africanews.com Ivanka's incredible Ethiopia, wonderful Ivory Coast trips total of four days, two days in each country she visited; the images from Ivanka Trump’s visit to Ethiopia and then Ivory Coast shows she enjoyed her time visiting. The presidential advisor described her packed itinerary in Ethiopia as “incredible” and her engagements in Ivory Coast as “wonderful and productive.” Our collage below shows a pictorial brief of her time in Addis Ababa signing deals, engaging in high-level diplomacy, paying tribute to victims of the March 10 Ethiopian crash etc. Photos from engagements in Ethiopia and Ivory Coast Wonderful and productive visit to Côte d’Ivoire! #WGDP! ?:— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) April 19, 2019 Thank you for an incredible trip Ethiopia! ????— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) April 16, 2019 Au revoir, Côte d’Ivoire! Jacquelyn_M— Ivanka Trump (IvankaTrump) 17 avril 2019Fri, 19 Apr 2019 16:00:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) snakes force Liberia president to abandon office of Liberia, George Weah, is working from his official residence after two black snakes were found in the building where his offices are located in the capital Monrovia. The Associated Press reported quoted deputy press secretary Smith Toby as saying the president was acting on advice to stay away from the building till it had been fumigated. The deputy press secretary says the fumigation has begun to take care of “crawling and creeping things.” The president is, however, expected back in the office on Monday, Toby added. The said snakes were seen this week briefly emerging from a hole in a wall of the building’s reception area. Liberia is home to poisonous snakes and officials are not taking chances. Weah was sworn in as Liberian president in January 2018 having won a vote run-off against former vice president Joseph Boakai. It was his second attempt at the seat having first lost to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2006. He became the 25th president of Liberia which is described as Africa’s oldest republic. Since coming into office he has doubled down on the fight against corruption and announced free tertiary education. His critics accuse him of targeting journalists and seeking to muzzle the press. A missing cash scandal also rocked the administration with a number of former government officials standing trial on corruption charges.Fri, 19 Apr 2019 15:25:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com can tech help the arts? Abu Dhabi Culture Summit debates the issue third annual Culture Summit was held from 7 to 11 April in Abu Dhabi, gathering industry experts from 90 different counties. The main theme of this year’s event was the discussion of how technology could be a commanding force for the arts. A cultural heavyweight and respected art historian at the summit, Tim Marlow of the Royal Academy of Arts in London, pointed to how the popularity of museums and galleries wasn’t waning in this digital world. “It’s a massively important arena, through which more people can be driven to institutions and museums, and it’s a means to which artists can explore what it is to be human and post-human,” he said. [IME S02E15 WEB 1 – SECONDARY IMAGE 1] Tim Marlow speaks to Euronews at the Culture Summit Marlow also highlighted the importance of technology when it comes to preserving heritage. “It’s a way of documenting the past, archiving the past and our future understanding of the past.” he said, “Its deterioration, and what we might want to preserve, will also be mediated through technology,” he added. Amongst the key players on the ground, the UAE’s Culture Minister Noura Al Kaabi emphasized that culture should to be inclusive and transcend all levels of society. She added that technology would shape the future of the domestic arts scene and invited companies like Google to propose advancements that would help drive – but not control – the sector’s creativity. [IME S02E15 WEB 1 – SECONDARY IMAGE 2] Noura Al Kaabi speaks to Euronews at the Culture Summit VIRTUAL REALITY TECH AIDS MOSUL MOSQUE REBUILD Looking to the wider region, Al Kaabi mentioned that the UAE’s $50 million contribution towards the reconstruction of the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul was being helped with the use of VR technology. The site, which is one of the northern Iraqi city’s holiest monuments, was destroyed in 2017 following its capture by militants three years prior. “We visited the mosque, but in Paris, thanks to Virtual Reality technology,” said the minister. “That is helping us look at the virtual sphere that will help us in the future with reality.” READ MORE: The latest on Guggenheim Abu Dhabi: An interview with Richard Armstrong SEEN ON SOCIAL: PERFORMANCES AT THE SUMMIT Talented Egyptian teen Nejma performed at Abu Dhabi’s Culture Summit, saying her singing is inspired by music from all over the world. View this post on Instagram I wish I was special ? #NejmaAlKoor #culturesummit2019 #نجمة_الكور A post shared by نجمة الكور Nejma AlKoor (@nejma_alkoor) on Apr 7, 2019 at 2:12pm PDTFri, 19 Apr 2019 14:09:11 +0000editorial@africanews.com mourns Lake Kivu boat accident victims, flags at half-mast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, declared Friday a day of mourning across the territory in honour of the scores of people dead and missing after a boat incident. All flags are also flying at half mast for the victims of the accident which happened on the Lake Kivu earlier this week. “In memory of the victims of the sinking #Kalehe, flags set at half-mast throughout the territory to observe the national mourning of 24 hours, decreed by the President of the Republic, Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi, this Friday 19 April 2019,” the presidency announced. The president had on Tuesday tweeted his condolence to the affected families and stressed that he was committed to ensuring that erring officials were brought to justice. “We are going to do everything to make sure that this type of tragedy doesn’t happen again,” President Felix Tshisekedi said. “It’s because of certain economic operators who use rundown boats because of their greed.” As at Thursday, authorities confirmed the death of 13 people, adding that over 140 people remained unaccounted for. Local fishermen were searching for the missing. The boat, a smaller type known as a pirogue, had set out from neighbouring North Kivu province on Monday and foundered on the lake near South Kivu’s Kalehe territory. #RDC En mémoire des victimes du naufrage de #Kalehe, drapeaux mis en berne sur toute l’étendue du territoire pour observer le deuil national de 24 heures, décrété par le Président de la République, Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi, ce vendredi 19 avril 2019.— Présidence RDC ?? (@Presidence_RDC) April 19, 2019 South Kivu province’s Minister of Transport, Jacqueline Ngengele told reporters: “On Monday the boat was launched out, but we are not sure exactly how many people were on board. “It was in the evening that we received news that there was a boat wreck via phone, we understand the boat was in a deplorable state, and as part of the collaboration, we ask our colleague, Minister of Transport in North Kivu, to instruct all their technical services to ensure that no boat leaves without proper checks and permissions.” Deadly boat accidents are frequent in the vast mineral nation, where boats are frequently overloaded beyond capacity. In 2011, former President Joseph Kabila fired the country’s transport minister after a series of boat accidents.Fri, 19 Apr 2019 14:00:37 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban), the safest country for journalists in the Maghreb has been ranked the safest country for journalists in north Africa and the middle east by the 2019 World Press Freedom Index report. “Tunisia is the exception and continues its democratic transition process. It has admittedly made a remarkable improvement of 25 places, but still faces innumerable challenges especially in relation to the legislative framework,” said Souhaieb Khayati, RSF head of North Africa office. Tunisia not only ranked first in its region it moved by 15 slots to rank 72 in the world. Meanwhile Syria (174th) continues to be extremely dangerous for media personnel. “Journalists are under tremendous pressure in every Maghreb countries, with the exception of Tunisia. But in Algeria, Morocco and Libya, journalists are the victims of continuous pressure from the authorities,” said Souhaieb Khayati, RSF head of North Africa office. Gambia had the greatest press freedom growth in Africa rising 30 places higher than it was last year. Tanzania fell to 118th place due to unprecedented attacks on the media by President John Magufuli’s oppressive leadership. Norway, Finland and Sweden earned the top three spot in the global report from Reporters Without Borders released on Thursday.Fri, 19 Apr 2019 13:28:57 +0000editorial@africanews.com Sudan records higher disease related morbidity than war casualties is two years old. Just two hours ago, he was having a seizure due to malaria. His parents arrived just in time at this clinic in Udier, a landlocked village in northeastern South Sudan. The little boy has been sick for several days. Buk Gader, the mother of Nyachoat recounts her story “When I came to the clinic this morning, there was no one here. I went home. When I got home, he was unconscious. He was shivering and convulsing at the same time.” Nyachoat could be saved. But others have not been so lucky. Horrible accounts of war, rape and displacement have become commonplace in Southern Sudan, but for many, the greatest danger is often the danger of diseases that are not easy to treat. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which runs the clinic, 70% of deaths are due to diseases that could easily be prevented. This region of Upper Nile is one of the most affected. Irene Onyenya, is a nurse and health official for ICRC “Most of the children who die here die mainly from three common diseases: malaria, acute watery diarrhoea and a respiratory tract infection that progresses to long-term pneumonia.” The Upper Nile region, bordering Sudan and Ethiopia, was ravaged by war in 2017. The infant and maternal mortality rate in Southern Sudan is one of the highest in the world. Overburdened with household chores, women are not always able to get their children to the clinic on time. “It started with a stomach pain. All my children sleep together under the same mosquito net. Therefore, if one of them gets sick, they all get sick.” says Buk Gader. The clinic cannot treat more complicated cases such as operations or blood transfusions. The nearest hospital is in Maban, three days’ walk or five hours’ drive away. But in Udier, there is only one car in the entire village.Fri, 19 Apr 2019 09:30:43 (Philemon Mbale NSONGAN) of the day, April 18, 2019 samples the pictures of the day’s news.Fri, 19 Apr 2019 08:45:09 +0000editorial@africanews.com Africa church collapses during Passover: 13 killed, 16 injured people were confirmed dead with sixteen others sustaining varying degrees of injury when a church collapsed in South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal province. The incident which occured late Thursday took place at the Pentecost Church located at the Dlangubo area of eMpangeni in the province. This incident happened after their church building collapsed on them during a Passover service, the state-run South African Broadcasting Corporation, SABC, said in its report. Health officials say the building collapsed due to heavy rainfall in northern parts of the province. A team of government officials are set to visit the scene on Friday, the SABC report added. The KwaZulu Natal provincial government has sent words of commiserations to the affected families with the promise of a full scale probe into the incident. Ahead of a long Easter holiday, authorities are also tasking motorists to be responsible whiles using the roads. The season has often recorded accidents due to speeding and drunk driving hence the awareness creation efforts. #SABCNews #sabckzn Disaster management team has been dispatched to the Dlangubo area of eMpangeni on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal where 13 congregants of the Pentecostal church were killed last night. Pic credit: supplied— Nonkululeko Hlophe (@Leko3) April 19, 2019 Photo Credit: @_Arrive Alive on TwitterFri, 19 Apr 2019 08:43:01 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) in Ethiopia's 'Roof of Africa' forest successfully doused weeks of burning, a coordinated firefight by Ethiopian and Israeli experts helped doused a raging fire in a forest reserve located in northern Ethiopia, inside the Semien National Park. The Amhara regional government sought federal intervention over the fires. Kenya, South Africa, France and Israel were among the countries that offered varied expertise to assist in the fire fight. An Israeli embassy official who joined the contingent that arrived in Addis Ababa to help in the effort tweeted their success on Wednesday. “Mission accomplished! The application of advanced methods and the joint efforts made by the #Ethiopian authorities and the #Israeli firefighters mission resulted in the extinguishing of the wildfires in the #SimienMountains!” he posted on Twitter. 3rd day of the Israeli firefighting mission in #Ethiopia – combating the #Simien Mountain National Park wildfires. We’re working hand in hand with our Ethiopian counterparts, in order to implement the most efficient firefighting methods to to put down the fire ????— Israel Foreign Ministry (@IsraelMFA) April 16, 2019 About the Semien National Park It is a 220 sq-km (84 sq-miles) park, in Ethiopia’s highlands, sometimes referred to as the “Roof of Africa” given that it forms the largest continuous area of elevation on the continent. The park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is home to some rare animals such as “the Gelada baboon, the Simien fox and the Walia ibex, a goat found nowhere else in the world.” Its summit, Ras Dashen (4,550 m), is the highest peak in Ethiopia. Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, also lies in the northwestern portion of the Ethiopian Highlands.Fri, 19 Apr 2019 08:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com for Sadio Mane? a humiliating 4-1 score at the Dragao stadium, the two most in form Africans each scored a goal to propel Liverpool into the semi finals of the Uefa champions league. Salah provide for Mane 26 minutes on before the Egyptian made it 2 at the 65 th minute. The 6-1 aggregate scoreline leaves Liverpool in fine form as they take on fc Barcelona in the semi finals. With 4 goals in the champions league and 18 in the premiere league Sadio Mane is the club’s most rated ahead of Salah but is this his year to win the African Best Footballer award . That was the question I put to Ghanaian sports journalist Zacharia Ali. A big test for Mane as he looks forward to winning the English league this season as well as the champions league but he his side has to go through one of the favorites. Liverpool boss says he is not very focused yet on that big game. In other news Mo salah featured on Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, along side celebrity actor Dwain “the rock “ Johnson and musician Taylor Swift. Salah came to prominence when he finished as last season’s best premier league player as well as top scorer. He went further to win the accolade of African best footballer. Qualified Egypt to the world cup in Russia in 2018 and gained the title of The king back in Egypt. His remarkable quote “I think we need to change the way we treat women in our culture. It’s not optional.” is revolutionizing thinking towards women in Egypt and the entire Arab world. Another African on the list is Caster Semenya the South African athlete who is raising concerns as to gender bias in the discipline especially in a court case with the IAAF to set aside impending regulations that will force female athletes with high testosterone levels to take medication to lower it before competing in events ranging from the 400m.Fri, 19 Apr 2019 07:54:04 (Philemon Mbale NSONGAN)