Africanews RSShttp://www.africanews.com/feed/rssReceive free and in real-time all news published by africanews.com, by subscribing to our RSS feeds.Wed, 24 Apr 2019 16:15:00 +0000Uganda, Kenya, Morocco named among world's most beautiful placeshttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/uganda-kenya-and-morocco-named-among-world-s-most-beautiful-places/Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Kenya’s Samburu national reserve and Morocco’s Mount Toubkal have been named among the 25 most beautiful places in the world, according to a survey done by CNN Travel. The list of ‘breathtakingly beautiful’ places was complied by the American media channel, in commemoration of Earth Day, and shared to tip travellers on which places they could visit this year. ‘‘In celebration of Earth Day…from lush African forests to vast Latin American deserts, watery Balkan paradises to ancient Middle Eastern cities, here are our picks for the world’s top breathtaking, beautiful destinations,’‘ CNN Travel said. This is what was said about the African destinations on the list. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda Dense, lush and otherworldly, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the last redoubts of the mountain gorilla. Over 400 call this UNESCO-protected national park home, with the chance for visitors to trek to and meet habituated groups. Its biodiversity extends far beyond its most famous inhabitants, however; 348 bird species and 220 butterfly species can be found within its 331-square-kilometer expanse. Samburu, Kenya Thanks to its relative inaccessibility, Samburu, in the heart of Kenya, is a haven for some of Africa’s most beguiling wildlife. The grassland and acacia-dotted landscapes of its national reserve are home to the endangered reticulated giraffe and Grevy’s zebra, as well as the pioneering Elephant Watch Camp, run by conservationist Saba Douglas-Hamilton. Mount Toubkal, Morocco At 4,167 meters, Mount Toubkal lays claim to the title of “the roof of North Africa.” The path to its summit zigzags across empty valleys, past holy shrines and up steep snowfields before emerging onto a ridge that falls away to give climbers unrivaled views across the Atlas Mountains. It’s a peaceful world away from the buzz of nearby Marrakech. The other listed areas included the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China, Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, El Nido in Philippines and Rotorua, New Zealand. Kata Tjuta in Australia, The Maldives, Petra in Jordan and the Atacama Desert in Chile are also included on the list. The other destinations include; Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica Ciudad Perdida, Colombia Dominica Svalbard, Norway Lake Bled, Slovenia Cappadocia, Turkey Positano, Italy Lake District, UK Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia Vancouver Island, Canada Denali National Park, Alaska Horseshoe Bend, Arizona Badlands, South Dakota Monument Valley, UtahWed, 24 Apr 2019 16:15:00 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/uganda-kenya-and-morocco-named-among-world-s-most-beautiful-places/African leaders call for an immediate ceasefire in Libyahttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/egypt-hosts-african-leaders-discussing-sudan-protests-libya-crisis/Call for ceasefire in Libya African leaders meeting in Cairo on Tuesday called for an “immediate and unconditional halt” to fighting in Libya. Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who hosted the meeting, said leaders should develop a coherent regional response to the crisis in Libya, warning against ‘a slide into chaos’. The AU’s Libya “troika”, which includes Sisi and his Rwandan and South African counterparts, urged “all parties to act with restraint” and to facilitate “the delivery of humanitarian aid”. Before the launch of the Tripoli assault, AU commission chair Moussa Faki had said the organisation would host a “reconciliation” conference in July aimed at uniting Libya’s political rivals. A similar effort by the UN was postponed following the launch of Haftar’s offensive. Appeal for democratic reforms in Sudan The Egyptian presidency said the leaders urged Sudan’s new military rulers to implement “peaceful, organised and democratic transition measures” within three months. They also agreed on “the need for more time” for a transition, urging the African Union to extend its end of April deadline for the ruling military council to hand power to civilians or face suspension from the bloc. The AU suspended both Egypt and the Central African Republic in 2013 following coups in both countries. Both have since had their membership restored. An extension would ease international pressure on the council, which took power after the army’s toppling of longtime president Omar al-Bashir, to yield power. Bashir left office on April 11, but protesters have continued to hold mass rallies and world powers have backed their calls for a swift transition to a non-military government, demands the council has so far resisted. African solutions to African problems Addressing the Sudan meeting, Sisi called for “African solutions to African problems” and urged the country’s political actors to “safeguard the state’s institutions… in order to prevent a slide into chaos”. Last month, he warned against the dangers created by protests, without explicitly naming Sudan or Algeria, where demonstrations have toppled another long-time leader, president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The Egyptian president also called on the international community to “shoulder the pressing economic burden” facing Sudan. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday announced three billion dollars (2.7 billion euros) in financial aid for Khartoum. Emergency summits for Libya, Sudan African 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. AFPWed, 24 Apr 2019 15:33:00 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/egypt-hosts-african-leaders-discussing-sudan-protests-libya-crisis/Cyclone Kenneth to make landfall in Mozambique on Thursdayhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/tropical-storm-could-hit-mozambique-tanzania-madagascar-comoros-this-week/Cyclone to reach Mozambique on Thursday Weather forecasters say Cyclone Kenneth will make landfall on Mozambique’s coast on Thursday, bringing heavy rainfall, strong winds and waves of several metres to the southern African nation, which is still reeling from the effects of devastating Cyclone Idai. “It’s going to make landfall tomorrow afternoon at Cabo Delgado, on the northeastern coast of Mozambique, and it is going to be a cyclone with wind speeds which could be 140 km per hour (87 miles per hour),” said Jan Vermeulen, from the South African Weather Service. International energy companies such as Exxon Mobil have been developing huge natural gas fields off the coast of northern Mozambique. A cyclone report issued by a regional cyclone-monitoring centre on the French island of La Reunion said parts of southern Tanzania could also be affected by Cyclone Kenneth. “The (weather) system will generate a storm surge when landing on the coast of Mozambique, which can reach between 2 and 4 metres in some areas, to which must be added the breaking of waves and heavy rainfall, which can cause flooding in Mozambique,” the report said. April 24, 2019: Comoros closes airports, schools Comoran media are reporting that authorities have closed airports and schools for at least 24 hours as a precautionary measure ahead of the impending tropical storm that has been dubbed Cyclone Kenneth. The Comoros islands have been on a cyclone alert since Tuesday, along with Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania. The northern Grand Comore island is on the path of the severe tropical storm, which is expected to turn into a cyclone later today. April 23, 2019: Mozambique braces for yet another cyclone Mozambique is bracing itself for another tropical storm that could hit the country later this week, one month after the devastating Cyclone Idai. An alert posted on the Facebook page of the Hurricanes, Typhoons and Cyclones centre warns of a tropical cyclone, to be called ‘Kenneth’, which may have consequences for the northern part of Cabo Delgado in Mozambique, as well as southern Tanzania from Tuesday to the end of the month. The National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) said it was monitoring the low pressure system situated over northern Madagascar, which could reach Northern Mozambique and Southern Tanzania between Wednesday and Thursday. How prepared is Mozambique? The INGC, together with the National Institute of Meteorology (INAM), the ministries of Health and Agriculture and Food Security and cooperation partners, met in Mozambique’s capital, Maputo on Tuesday to discuss the meteorological and hydrological situation of the country over the last seven days. “We will keep abreast of the evolution of this weather system. As you know, the INGC, INAM and the National Directorate of Water Resources work in an integrated manner,” INGC spokesman Paulo Tomás said after the meeting. The authorities however believe it is premature to take extreme measures preparing for landfall, since it was ‘yet only a prediction’. Nevertheless, INAM is gathering more concise information about the system in order to alert cooperation partners about possible responses to be initiated in the Northern part of Cabo Delgado. On March 14, Mozambique was hit by Tropical Cyclone Idai, which caused more than 600 deaths, left hundreds missing and displaced thousands. The cyclone also severely affected Zimbabwe and Malawi. READ MORE: Over 1,000 dead, $2 billion needed to recover from Cyclone Idai The International Monetary Fund said last week it will grant Mozambique a $118.2 million credit facility to help it rebuild infrastructure. Madagascar, Comoros and Mayotte at risk Before reaching the Eastern Africa coastline, the tropical storm is expected to pose life-threatening risks to people living in the Indian Ocean islands. It is expected to enhance rainfall across far northern Madagascar from Tuesday night into Wednesday, while Mayotte and Comoros are also listed as locations at risk. AgenciesWed, 24 Apr 2019 15:08:00 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/tropical-storm-could-hit-mozambique-tanzania-madagascar-comoros-this-week/DRC president Tshisekedi's unbuttoned suits: Style or sly? [Photos]http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/drc-president-tshisekedi-s-unbuttoned-suits-style-or-sly-photos/President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, has been busy trying to set the country on a new path since taking over as president earlier this year. He has been on a national tour that has seen him commissioning key infrastructure projects and meeting ordinary Congolese. Tshisekedi’s love for Chairman Mao like suits has been emphasized in the last few weeks but Africanews has keenly observed that his last button is usually opened. We have picked three instances in April that his last button has been left open. April 23 – Kisangani, Tshopo province #RDC Le Président de la République S.E. Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi communie avec la population de Kisangani, venue nombreuse à l’aéroport international de Bangboka, lui temoigner son attachement. pic.twitter.com/V0fmUqT0IF— Présidence RDC ?￰゚ヌᄅ (@Presidence_RDC) April 23, 2019 April 14 – Goma, North Kivu province #RDC Arrivée du Chef de l’Etat, Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi à Goma / Nord-Kivu, dimanche 14 avril 2019 dans la soirée. Sous une pluie fine, tout Goma s’est mobilisé pour accueillir le Président de la République. pic.twitter.com/7AhkcLXMJQ— Présidence RDC ?￰゚ヌᄅ (@Presidence_RDC) April 14, 2019 Lubumbashi, Katanga province #RDC Arrivée du Président de la République S.E. Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi à #Lubumbashi dans le Haut-Katanga. Aéroport international de la #Loano pic.twitter.com/fDjgSofGpy— Présidence RDC ?￰゚ヌᄅ (@Presidence_RDC) April 12, 2019Wed, 24 Apr 2019 14:41:01 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/drc-president-tshisekedi-s-unbuttoned-suits-style-or-sly-photos/Somali president meets Eritrean counterpart on trip to Asmarahttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/somali-president-meets-eritrean-counterpart-on-trip-to-asmara/Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo arrived in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, on Wednesday morning for a days’ visit. The visiting president was accompanied by his Minister of Education and other senior officials. The delegation was welcomed by Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki at the Asmara International Airport. “In their meeting at State House today, the two Presidents discussed status & progress of Eritrea-Somalia ties of cooperation and partnership as well as vital matters pertaining to Red Sea & Gulf of Aden,” Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Meskel said on Twitter. The Somali president subsequently left Asmara for Mogadishu. The two Horn of Africa nations restored all brotherly and diplomatic ties last year in what was an offshoot of the Ethiopia-Eritrea peace deal of July 2018. Farmaajo has been to Asmara a number of times since the restoration of ties. Aside the trip where ties were normalized, he also joined a tripartite summit which involved the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The trio met again in Ethiopia in continuing with the tripartite arrangement that was meant at greater regional and economic integration. The meetings were at the heart of a move by Somalia’s parliament to impeach the president with the reason that he had entered into international agreements without legislative approval. Somalia’s President Mohamed A. Mohamed arrived in Asmara for a working visit in early morning hours today. Pre. Mohamed, who was accompanied by the Minister of Education & other senior officials, was accorded warm welcome by Pre. Isaias on arrival at Asmara International Airport pic.twitter.com/zX8Vwulqh0— Yemane G. Meskel (@hawelti) April 24, 2019Wed, 24 Apr 2019 14:35:12 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/somali-president-meets-eritrean-counterpart-on-trip-to-asmara/S.Africa: Malema campaigns in Johannesburghttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/safrica-malema-campaigns-in-johannesburg/South African leftist opposition leader, Julius Malema, is confident of winning the May 8 general elections. While campaigning in Johannesburg, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters party said he hoped for a landslide win when South Africans go to the polls. “We expect 50% and more. We don’t go into a boxing ring to lose. We go there to win. We want to win the elections. And all the studies show that this party will surprise many people,” Julius Malema said. Malema will challenge incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa whose ruling African National Congress (ANC) is battling to to retain its majority status and secure Ramaphosa a full term in office as president. The May 8 polls will mark the sixth elections held since the end of apartheid in 1994Wed, 24 Apr 2019 13:56:14 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/safrica-malema-campaigns-in-johannesburg/Uganda Airlines gets first planeshttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/uganda-airlines-gets-first-planes/Uganda has received two aircrafts to revive Uganda Airlines, almost two decades after the national carrier collapsed. The two Bombardier CRJ900 jets were received at Entebbe airport on Tuesday, about 30 kilometres from Kampala. Over the next three months, Uganda Airlines is scheduled to undergo a series of tests before its first commercial flights. According to Ephraim Bagenda, CEO of Uganda Airlines, “commercial operations will be launched in early July 2019. And we’re going to start with some liaisons. In the long term, we want to cover 21 destinations. But we have to take it easy.” In July, the Ugandan company’s fleet will be supplemented by two more Bombardier aircrafts, while Airbus will deliver two others by 2021. Uganda Airlines is emerging from a long hibernation after the company was liquidated in 2001 due to management and corruption problems. Some local politicians have expressed fear that the same problems will resurface in the East African country.Wed, 24 Apr 2019 13:31:08 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/uganda-airlines-gets-first-planes/How much gold is smuggled out of Africa?http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/how-much-gold-is-smuggled-out-of-africa/Gold worth billions of dollars is being smuggled out of Africa every year through the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East – a gateway to markets in Europe, the United States and beyond – a Reuters analysis has found. Customs data shows that the UAE imported $15.1 billion worth of gold from Africa in 2016, up from $1.3 billion in 2006. The total weight was 446 tonnes, in varying degrees of purity – up from 67 tonnes in 2006. Much of the gold was not recorded in the exports of African states. Industrial mining firms in Africa denied sending their gold to the UAE – indicating that the Gulf country’s gold imports from Africa come from other informal sources. Experts say large amounts of gold are leaving Africa with no taxes being paid to the states that produce them. African governments such as Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia complain that gold is now being illegally produced and smuggled out of their countries on a vast scale, sometimes by criminal operations, and often at a high human and environmental cost.Wed, 24 Apr 2019 12:39:21 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/how-much-gold-is-smuggled-out-of-africa/Congo's road toll saga [Business segment]http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/congo-s-road-toll-saga/As a way to finance the construction of more roads and to help offset debt incurred in developing infrastructure, many African governments are introducing charges for road users. But toll fees are largely unpopular. In the Republic of Congo, the government is locked in a conflict with truckers over charges on the National Highway number one that runs from the port city of Pointe-Noire to the capital, Brazzaville. On this business segment, presenter Jean-David Mihamle explores how the row could hurt Congo’s haulers, if not addressed. @maembleWed, 24 Apr 2019 12:12:00 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/congo-s-road-toll-saga/Uganda opposition arrests [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/uganda-opposition-arrests-the-morning-call/Police in Uganda say they have placed opposition lawmaker Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine under “preventive arrest”. According to them, this works when someone is about to commit a crime, and officers stop him from committing that crime. The popstar-turned-politician was arrested on Monday and one of his concerts canceled for what authorities say was a failure to meet security regulations. Reacting to the arrest, the Kyadondo East Member of Parliament said on Tuesday his home was under siege as police and the military had been deployed since Monday after his violent arrest. He has called for peaceful demonstrations after the security forces refused to allow him to leave his home.Wed, 24 Apr 2019 10:27:00 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/uganda-opposition-arrests-the-morning-call/Malawi launches experimental malaria vaccine [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/malawi-launches-experimental-malaria-vaccine-the-morning-call/A landmark anti-malaria vaccination campaign is underway in Malawi. After more than three decades in development and almost $1 billion in investment to prevent the disease, which kills hundreds of thousands every year in Sub-saharan Africa, the most advanced vaccine yet has been rolled out in the capital Lilongwe. The pilot campaign which launched on Tuesday is set to expand to Ghana and Kenya next week, with each of the three countries gearing up to immunize 120,000 children by 2020, according to the World Health Organisation.Wed, 24 Apr 2019 10:24:00 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/malawi-launches-experimental-malaria-vaccine-the-morning-call/Interpol rescues 157 child slaves in Benin, Nigeriahttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/interpol-rescues-157-child-slaves-in-benin-nigeria/Up to 216 human trafficking victims have been rescued from forced labour and prostitution in a major operation in Benin and Nigeria, Interpol said on Wednesday. Operation Epervier II involved 100 police officers across the two countries who rescued 157 child slaves, said the global police organisation, which coordinated the raids in early April. Many of the children were working in markets peddling goods, carrying heavy loads or fetching water, while others worked as housemaids or were forced into prostitution, Interpol said. Of the minors rescued, 36 were boys and 121 were girls. “This is about organised crime groups who are motivated by money,” Stanfield told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “It is challenging (to stop them) in the region because of lack of resources,” he said, adding that countries are nonetheless becoming better equipped and more prepared. Child slaves The children rescued were between the ages of 11 and 16 and came from Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria and Togo. The youngest was a boy forced to smuggle heavy goods such as bags of rice across the Benin-Nigeria border, Interpol said. Most were subject to beatings and abuse, including death threats and warnings they would never see their parents again. They are now in the care of national agencies or charities, and in some cases returned to their parents. Dealing with perpetrators Investigations are underway to dismantle the crime networks active in Benin and Nigeria, which are source, transit and destination countries for human trafficking, said Paul Stanfield, Interpol’s director of organised and emerging crime. Police arrested 47 suspected traffickers and seized vehicles, cash, phones and computers in the operation, which targeted markets in the countries’ capitals as well as airports, seaports and border areas, said Interpol. About 1.4 million people, or 0.8 percent of the population, are estimated to live as slaves in Nigeria, according to the 2018 Global Slavery Index published by human rights group Walk Free Foundation. Benin has an estimated 58,000 slaves out of a population of 11 million. “These crimes can only be tackled collectively and through interagency cooperation,” said Dominic Asogwa, Comptroller of Nigeria’s Immigration Service in the Seme border region, in a statement. Interpol will continue working to identify hot spots for modern slavery in West Africa with a focus on mobilizing countries to address the issue themselves, Stanfield said. “I think we’ll be here for the long-term, but we don’t want to be in charge of leading it,” he said. REUTERSWed, 24 Apr 2019 10:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/interpol-rescues-157-child-slaves-in-benin-nigeria/Ramaphosa condoles as heavy rains kill more than 50 in South Africahttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/ramaphosa-condoles-as-heavy-rains-kill-more-than-50-in-south-africa/South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa has visited communities affected by flooding and mudslides that killed at least 51 people. Heavy rains have lashed South Africa in recent days, with the southern and eastern parts of the country badly hit since last weekend. “Our hearts go out particularly to families and communities who have been directly affected by death, injury and the loss of property,” Ramaphosa said in a statement after returning from crisis talks in Egypt on the situations in Libya and Sudan. “This situation calls on all of us to pull together as a country to reach out to affected communities.” Counting the cost The death toll jumped from 33 on Tuesday, as rescuers continued to comb debris for those who might be trapped underneath landslides. In addition to collapsed buildings and flooded roads, sewer lines were blocked and electricity pylons had toppled over. The KwaZulu-Natal region has been hit by heavy rains for days, but authorities did not anticipate the extent of the downpour late on Monday, said Lennox Mabaso, a spokesman for the provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs department. “As a result there was flooding and some structures were undermined and collapsed on people,” Mabaso said, adding some people were swept away by the water. Multiple dwellings and houses collapsed in the mudslides, said KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services spokesman Robert McKenzie. Some major roads in and around the port city of Durban were closed on Wednesday, local media reported. Rescue efforts South African military personnel have been dispatched to help rescue and evacuation efforts. The South African Weather Services warned that more heavy rain and gale force winds were expected, which could threaten low-lying bridges and roads. “Unfortunately the numbers have risen to 51. In previous years we have tried to remove people from low-lying areas,” a regional minister, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, told SA FM radio. “We will continue with negotiations in some of the areas where we believe the long-term solution is people moving out.” Last week, 13 people were killed during an Easter service in KwaZulu-Natal when a church wall collapsed after days of heavy rains and strong winds. AgenciesWed, 24 Apr 2019 09:17:00 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/ramaphosa-condoles-as-heavy-rains-kill-more-than-50-in-south-africa/Pics of the day, April 23, 2019http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/pics-of-the-day-april-23-2019/Africanews samples the pictures of the day’s news.Wed, 24 Apr 2019 08:40:06 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/pics-of-the-day-april-23-2019/Tanzania denies blocking IMF reporthttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/tanzania-denies-blocking-imf-report/Tanzania’s finance minister on Tuesday dismissed reports that his government had blocked the publication of a critical International Monetary Fund (IMF) report that accuses President John Magufuli’s government of undermining economic growth with “unpredictable and interventionist” policies. In the leaked report, seen by Reuters last week and which the IMF said was not made public after Tanzanian authorities did not consent to its publication, the Fund said a weak business environment and the implementation of projects that may not have high rates of return were likely to constrain annual GDP growth. “The government is still holding consultations with the IMF. We have not blocked the report in any way whatsoever,” Tanzania’s finance and planning minister, Philip Mpango, told parliament. “They should not rush this debate, we are still consulting with the IMF on this report.” The IMF in Washington said consultations with the government had been taking place, and that it was up to the government to consent to the publication of the report. The IMF does not comment on the contents of leaked reports, it added. In an previous statement, the IMF said its staff report was part of its “mandate to exercise surveillance over the economic, financial and exchange rate policies of its members …” ALSO READ: Magufuli’s govt risks undermining peace in Tanzania Mpango said its ongoing talks with the IMF were aimed at incorporating Tanzania’s views into the final report before its official publication. “Under the IMF’s own procedures, they submitted their draft report to us which I received on March 18, but our views are yet to be included (in the final report),” he said. Magufuli’s government has embarked on an ambitious programme of industrialisation, but foreign investment in the country has fallen after contentious government interventions in the mining and agriculture sectors. The IMF projected a rate of GDP growth of around 4-5 percent in the medium term, should current policies continue. That forecast differed from the government’s projection that the economy will grow by 7.3 percent in 2019 after an estimated 7.2 percent expansion last year. “Delays or little progress in implementing structural reforms, unpredictable and interventionist policies, and a rushed scaling-up of public investments that may not have a high rate of return will have a detrimental effect on growth and development,” the IMF report said. The IMF report also said that there were serious weaknesses in official data with other indicators pointing to a more subdued pace of economic activity. REUTERSWed, 24 Apr 2019 07:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/tanzania-denies-blocking-imf-report/Egyptian voters back pro-Sisi reforms, opposition cries foulhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/egyptian-voters-back-pro-sisi-reforms-opposition-cries-foul/Egyptian voters overwhelmingly approved constitutional amendments that could pave the way for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stay in power until 2030, the country’s electoral commission said on Tuesday. Voter turnout during the three-day referendum was 44.33 percent and 88.83 percent of those taking part approved the amendments while 11.17 percent voted no, the commission said. “These (changes) are effective from now as your constitution,” commission Chairman Lasheen Ibrahim said after he announced the result on state TV, adding that more than 23.4 million voters had endorsed the changes in the referendum. What has changed? The amendments will extend Sisi’s current term to six years from four and allow him to run again for a third six-year term in 2024 and to appoint one or more vice presidents. They will also grant the president control over appointing head judges and the public prosecutor from a pool of candidates, and give Egypt’s powerful military the role of protecting “the constitution and democracy”. The referendum also proposed other changes to the five-year-old constitution, among them the creation of a second parliamentary chamber and a quota ensuring at least 25 percent of lawmakers are women Credible vote? Rights groups have criticised the conditions surrounding the rushed vote, including the suppression of those opposing the sweeping changes that consolidate Sisi’s power. Parliament, stacked with Sisi loyalists, voted in favour of the constitutional amendments last week, while voters were given less than a week to digest the changes to 20 articles. Michele Dunne, senior fellow and director of the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, questioned the credibility of the turnout figure announced. “Rather than being a reflection of actual data, the announced 44 percent turnout is more likely an attempt to portray this as the most legitimate constitutional referendum, as it has the highest turnout ever reported,” she said. A group of opposition figures, who launched an online campaign opposing the amendments that was later blocked in Egypt, also cast doubt about the result. They said that the voting process was undemocratic and left no room for Egyptians to express opposing views. “Sisi’s machine of oppression has denied the Egyptian people’s right to express their opinions, thus obstructing all possible peaceful ways for the Egyptians to express their rejection,” the opposition members said in a statement. They added that the government had used public money to distribute electoral bribes. “We do not recognize this outcome, resulting from a sham referendum, and consider it completely null and void, both formally and substantively,” they said. Happy Sisi The electoral commission said on Monday afternoon it had not received any formal complaints about any irregularities. The commission says it has strict measures to ensure a fair and free vote, posting judges at each polling station and using special ink to prevent multiple voting. Sisi expressed his “appreciation and pride” on Twitter to the Egyptian people who he said had “dazzled the world with their awareness of the challenges” facing Egypt by participating in the referendum. Sisi’s supporters say he has stabilised Egypt and needs more time to reform and develop the economy. Critics fear the constitutional changes will shrink any remaining space for political competition and debate, paving the way for a long period of one-man rule. AgenciesWed, 24 Apr 2019 06:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/egyptian-voters-back-pro-sisi-reforms-opposition-cries-foul/Over 20 hippos killed in Ethiopian park: Anthrax, toxic algae suspectedhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/over-20-hippos-killed-in-ethiopian-park-anthrax-toxic-algae-suspected/Close to thirty hippopotamuses were killed in a park located in Ethiopia’s southwestern region, the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region, SNNPR. Behirwa Mega, head of the Gibe Sheleko National Park told the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate that the animals died in a space of one-week – between 14 April and 21 April, 2019. The cause of the deaths have been aligned to suspected anthrax outbreak or toxic algae, the director of the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority told the BBC Afaan Oromoo service on Monday. According to Kumera Wakjira, this was the worst wildlife disaster in Ethiopia. The Gibe Sheleko National Park is one of the conservation area located 178 km.from A.A. & 433 km South west of regional capital, Hawassa. The SNNPR tourism bureau noted that the area of the park covers: “grasslands with scattered trees, woodland, mountain & riverine forest.The park is also inhabited by an extraordinary composition of fauna. Recent records show that about 16 species of larger mammals inhabit the park . “The mammals include: Lesser kudu,Warthog, Common bushbuck, Lion, Leopard, and Black & White columbos & others.The Gibe River that flows across the park hosts various species of fishes, Water fowls, Hippopotamus & crocodile,” it added. In February this year, conservationists slammed the Zambian government when it announced the decision to slaughter over 2,000 hippos citing overpopulation. Two years ago, about 100 hippos died following an anthrax outbreak in Namibia’s Bwabwata National Park. Whiles an anthrax outbreak caused the deaths of a least 10 buffaloes about two weeks ago at Kenya’s Lake Nakuru National Park. Hippos, which are herbivorous, semi-aquatic mammals, are classified as “vulnerable” in the Red List compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). About 130,000 remain in the wild, in central and southern Africa.Wed, 24 Apr 2019 03:30:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/over-20-hippos-killed-in-ethiopian-park-anthrax-toxic-algae-suspected/Residents of Atbara, birthplace of Sudan protests, join Khartoum sit-inshttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/residents-of-atbara-birthplace-of-sudan-protests-join-khartoum-sit-ins/When economic protests broke out in December 2018 in Sudan, it was residents of Atbara in the River Nile state who started it. Months on, it became a nationwide movement that toppled long-serving Omar al-Bashir. Atbara residents on Tuesday left the city aboard a train with the view of joining the ongoing sit-ins in the heart of the capital, Khartoum, reports on social media noted. They have since arrived in Khartoum. The popular sit-ins in front of the army headquarters and in an area close to the presidency was the final nail in Bashir’s coffin. Protesters have blocked roads leading to the army headquarters. Inside a train that left the city of Atbara with protesters joining the sit-in in Khartoum, #Sudan outside army headquarters #SudanUprising pic.twitter.com/9QCU8ZxXto— Isma'il Kushkush (@ikushkush) April 23, 2019 Bashir’s ouster of April 11 has plunged the country into a political crisis with the military and protest leaders, Sudanese Professionals Association, SPA, failing to agree on a transition plan. The two parties had been in talks till last weekend when SPA called off all such engagements accusing the military of wanting to hold on to power and keep Bashir allies in power via the back door. There has been increasing diplomatic pressure on the Transitional Military Council, TMC; to hand over power to a civilian-led transition team. The TMC is currently headed by AbdelFattah Al-Burhan who has promised that the military will not use force to remove protesters who have for weeks mounted barricades around the military headquarters. Bashir is currently being held in solitary confinement in a maximum security jail. Two of his brothers have been arrested along with senior allies of the former ruling party. The military reported having found huge sums of monies in Bashir’s house and said a probe was underway over the said funds.Wed, 24 Apr 2019 03:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/residents-of-atbara-birthplace-of-sudan-protests-join-khartoum-sit-ins/World Press Freedom Day 2019: Ethiopia, Ethiopian in thick of affairshttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/world-press-freedom-day-2019-ethiopia-ethiopian-in-thick-of-affairs/The 2019 edition of the United Nation’s World Press Freedom Day will take place in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. A move that is allied to reform efforts by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration. The main celebration of the UNESCO-led day will take place in Ethiopia between 1st to 3rd of May. Many media rights watchers have said the decision was both a surprise but welcome. Until April 2018, Ethiopia was one of the biggest jailers of journalists. Months after Abiy, according to the press rights group, Reporters without Borders; there was no journalist who was being held in jail with relation to their work. Abiy released all political dissidents, activists and journalists who had been widely detained under vague legislation. Abiy is spearheading a gradual move to dismantling such laws. With about two weeks to the D-day, the national carrier – Ethiopian Airlines – announced that it had been selected as the official carrier for the World Press Freedom Day 2019 conference. Ethiopian Airlines is very much delighted to be selected as official carrier for #2019WorldPressFreedomDay Conference. #ethiopianairlines pic.twitter.com/rQUnONsUWC— Ethiopian Airlines (@flyethiopian) April 20, 2019 About the 2019 World Press Freedom Day Jointly organized by UNESCO, the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the African Union Commission the main event will be held at the Headquarters of the African Union. This year’s theme “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation” discusses current challenges faced by media in elections, along with the media’s potential in supporting peace and reconciliation processes. The Day will also examine concerns such as the safety of journalists and how we can better push back against a growing climate of disinformation.Wed, 24 Apr 2019 02:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/24/world-press-freedom-day-2019-ethiopia-ethiopian-in-thick-of-affairs/Ugandan MP Bobi Wine under 'preventive' house arrest - Policehttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/ugandan-mp-bobi-wine-under-preventive-house-arrest-police/Ugandan lawmaker and Afro pop artist, Robert Kyagulanyi – popularly referred to as Bobi Wine – is currently under house arrest barely 24-hours after he was detained by police. Bobi Wine disclosed on social media that his house had been surrounded by police and the military who have barred him from leaving the residence. Local media confirmed from police who said the measure was part of a preventive arrest. A police spokesman said the MP planned to disrupt public order, hence his movement will be restricted until further notice. At the time of the arrest he was due to present a petition against police brutality over the nature of his arrest. It is today when I attempted to move out of my home that the police told me that I am under house arrest. I was headed to Police headquarters in Naguru to deliver a notification about our planned peaceful demonstrations against police brutality, injustice and misuse of authority.— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) April 23, 2019 “When they blocked me, I asked my lawyers to deliver the letter, but they too have been blocked and stopped from accessing the police headquarters. A public office! They were ordered to leave the gate to the police headquarters immediately or face arrest!” he added in a follow-up tweet. Bobi Wine at the time of his latest arrest 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.Tue, 23 Apr 2019 16:58:17 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/ugandan-mp-bobi-wine-under-preventive-house-arrest-police/Angola elections; power decentralization could help revamp local communitieshttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/angola-elections-power-decentralization-could-help-revamp-local-communities/Angola’s local elections are scheduled to take place in 2021 for the first time, an important step towards democracy. Decentralization appears a plausible solution that could respond to some serious local problems, such as in the city of Luanda. In the neighborhood of Morro Bento for instance, there are many needs. Basic sanitation is one of such that bedevils the area. When it rains, here in Rua das Mangarinas, the children have a gorge to pass before they get to school. It is full of water and reaches the waist,” says a resident. The Administration of the Neighborhood knows the problems and has already signaled them to the government of the province of Luanda. Firmino José, the neighborhood administrator, believes that the creation of municipalities will make the management of public funds more transparent and efficient. “I think it’s a good thing to be welcomed, because the population first gets closer to the governenment and the management will also be more transparent “ he said. Another serious problem is the lack of drinking water. People are thirsty for solutions. Some residents shared their sentiments with Africanews. “On water, it’s very difficult, we have pipes but water does not run in some houses, there are some, but in others the water does not come out at all,” laments a resident. Responsibility and and better management of public funds is what many expect from the decentralization process. In a country in transition there are optimism and Skepticism. Besides sanitation,water does not run on numerous taps. This is also one of the several problems of Morro Bento, as Evandro Amaral, the neighborhood association president tells Africanews. “Public lighting, basic sanitation, the energy here is not the best, it is very, very weak, sometimes the air conditioner does not start’‘ he said. About garbage , we also have some degrading areas, and we believe that with the new governance, with local authorities things can definitely change,” he added. The local power structure has four stages. The reformulation of power will translate into more direct management.The Portuguese model is one of those considered with appropriate adaptations to the Angolan reality. However not all areas are like Morro Bento. The city of Kilamba is also under the control of the provincial government of Luanda, but the reality is different. Water exists, roads, gardens, transports. A different reality and with better quality of life. Luanda, a City of contrasts is a good example of the importance of decentralization of government power. Angola is playing its future right now.Tue, 23 Apr 2019 16:49:00 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/angola-elections-power-decentralization-could-help-revamp-local-communities/Malawi becomes first nation to vaccinate children against malariahttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/malawi-becomes-first-nation-to-vaccinate-children-against-malaria/Malawi has become the first nation to immunize children against malaria. Launched on Tuesday, the Malaria vaccine pilot programme will see at least 120,000 children in Malawi under the age of two injected with the RTS,S vaccine, for partial protection to malaria parasite. Malawi’s Ministry of Health, deputy director, Michael Kayange, said the new system of control and prevention will help Malawi hopefully avoid one million of the six million cases of malaria detected each year in the country, and prevent 4,000 deaths. Researchers and health authorities hope that, combined with other means of prevention, there will be a significant reduction in the number of victims. The other two pilot countries Ghana and Kenya will begin vaccination next week. The campaign aims to confirm the effectiveness of the vaccine on children under 2, who are the most vulnerable to malaria. During trials there was 39 percent reduction malaria infections. According to WHO statistics, Africa is by far the continent most affected by malaria, with 90% of the 435,000 people killed in the world in 2017 by this mosquito-borne disease.Tue, 23 Apr 2019 15:54:15 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/malawi-becomes-first-nation-to-vaccinate-children-against-malaria/Mali president appoints new Prime Minister, Boubou Cissehttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/mali-president-appoints-new-prime-minister-boubou-cisse/Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita appointed finance minister Boubou Cisse as prime minister on Monday, days after the government resigned following pressure to respond to the vigilante massacre of about 160 Fulani herders which shocked the nation. Mali’s former prime minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga and his government resigned last week after they came under fire for failing to disarm militias and beat back Islamist militants stoking the violence that led to the Fulani massacre. “The President of the Republic has decided to name Doctor Boubou Cisse to the function of prime minister,” Keita’s office said in a statement on Monday. Both Mali and neighboring Burkina Faso have been hit by the spike in hostilities fueled by Islamist militants seeking to extend their influence over the Sahel, an arid region between Africa’s northern Sahara desert and its southern savannas. The militants have built on long-standing rivalries between communities to side with Fulani herders and boost their ranks, spurring a wave of inter-ethnic clashes that culminated with the killing of 157 Fulani villagers in March – bloody even by the recent standards of Mali’s ever-worsening violence. The authorities have detained five people suspected of taking part in the massacre. But they have not yet succeeded in disarming the militia that many believe organized it, despite pledges by Maiga and Keita to do so. Mali has been in turmoil since a rebellion by Tuaregs and allied jihadists took over half the country in 2012, prompting the French to intervene to push them back the following year. The latest violence took place on Sunday, when unidentified gunmen raided an army base at dawn, killing 11 soldiers and burning the camp. REUTERSTue, 23 Apr 2019 15:15:00 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/mali-president-appoints-new-prime-minister-boubou-cisse/Egyptian store sells clothes by the kilo, easing financial woeshttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/egyptian-store-sells-clothes-by-the-kilo-easing-financial-woes/Brands such as Zara, Adidas, Nike and Marks & Spencer are out of reach for many Egyptians but a store in one of Cairo’s lower income districts is making these products more affordable. Some of the customers say ‘Kilo Stock’ sells clothes by the kilogram, trading garments at relatively inexpensive prices compared to what they would have cost at the brand shop itself. Customer, Heba, was so pleased with her experience, she described the prices and variety as unimaginable. When I first came here, I had heard about the ‘clothes per kilo’, and wanted to come see what it was and what prices were like. I came here and found that prices were really good, that there were brands with unimaginable prices,” she added. She recommends that people come and shop at the store because of its affordability. “(Buying) something used and comparing its price to something new is different from buying something new that carries a brand, with a price that is lower than that in the brand shop. For example, you can buy a piece by a brand for 80 Egyptian pounds ($4.61), it can be good quality and a fancy brand, “ said another customer, Ahmed. Egyptians are battered by years of IMF-backed austerity measures and rising food prices. Customers at the store browse through the clothing on display then take them to a scale at the cashier’s desk, where they weigh the clothes to know how much the pile would cost. Kilo Stock manager, Gaber Reda said the garments are all of great quality, with no flaws whatsoever. “(Here you can find) something that is unused, that has not been washed or worn. Something new, brand new. But of course, products from the Wekala (popular street market in Cairo) can be used, worn, or even stained. These, however, are the surplus of European shops. They arrive with their own tags, they are original,” he explained. Egypt is committed to the reforms under a $12 billion IMF loan deal agreed in 2016 and aimed at attracting foreign investment. Under the programme, the government devalued the currency and has been gradually cutting fuel subsidies, putting tens of millions of Egyptians under strain as costs of living rises.Tue, 23 Apr 2019 15:13:13 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/egyptian-store-sells-clothes-by-the-kilo-easing-financial-woes/Madagascar's opposition leader breaks silence on referendumhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/madagascar-s-opposition-leader-breaks-silence-on-referendum/Voters in Madagascar will head to the polls on May 27 to elect law makers. On this very day, they will also vote on a bill to amend certain provisions of the country’s constitution which was adopted in 2010. The text provides for the abolition of the senate and the granting of more power to local authorities. The opposition leader Marc Ravalomanana has accused President Andry Rajoelina of wanting to change the country’s supreme law against the will of the people. “ There should be a dialogue between all the forces of the nation and not forcing like this,” Ravalomanana said at a press conference held in his home at the weekend. Ravalomanana said there should be one or two months wait after the installation of the National Assembly before such a referendum. Madagascar’s current constitution was adopted in 2010, under the transition chaired by Andry Rajoelina, after the overthrow by the army of former President Marc Ravalomanana. A statement from the government said ‘’ holding all the parliamentary elections and this constitutional referendum avoids exorbitant expenses ‘’. AFPTue, 23 Apr 2019 15:06:54 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/madagascar-s-opposition-leader-breaks-silence-on-referendum/Eritrea shuts all borders with Ethiopia – unilaterallyhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/eritrea-shuts-all-borders-with-ethiopia-unilaterally/In less than a year since the two countries made peace, Eritrea has shut all border crossings with neighbouring Ethiopia, according to reports. The final route to be blocked according to the DW Amharic service was the Bure – Assab crossing which was opened only last December. The Afar region communication bureau confirmed the report adding that the closure was only on the Eritrean side. “After closing Serha-Zalambesa border crossing in December and Om Hajer-Humera last week, Ethiopia officials saying Eritrea shut Assab-Bure this morning – meaning all border points are now closed,” a Reuters journalist, Aaron Maasho said in a tweet of April 22. The last time a border closure was reported was in December 2018 with the particular crossing point located in the Tigray regional state. A regional spokesperson said at the time, “The restrictions have only been imposed on the Eritrean side. We did not receive any prior notice.” The Serha-Zalambesa crossing was opened in September 2018, coinciding with the Ethiopian New Year, after the countries agreed to remove their troops as part of a reconciliation process. Thousands of people have crossed since. Trade has flourished and families separated since war broke out between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1998 have reunited. A spokesman for Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry at the time told reporters that he had no information about any border restrictions. Eritrea government has routinely not responded to reports.Tue, 23 Apr 2019 15:05:54 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/eritrea-shuts-all-borders-with-ethiopia-unilaterally/Video: Protestors defy orders to end sit-in at Sudan army headquartershttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/video-protestors-defy-orders-to-end-sit-in-at-sudan-army-headquarters/Sudanese demonstrators snubbed calls by the country’s military rulers to end their sit-in protest at the defence ministry headquarters. They instead stepped up demands for a civilian transition. Talks between the protestors and the military on returning Sudan to civilian rule collapsed on Sunday without a deal. On Tuesday more people traveled to Khartoum to join the protests. Watch our reportTue, 23 Apr 2019 14:30:00 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/video-protestors-defy-orders-to-end-sit-in-at-sudan-army-headquarters/Video: Poaching, deforestation wiping out Madagascar's forestshttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/video-poaching-deforestation-wiping-out-madagascar-s-forests/Madagascar is often referred to as a biodiversity jewel by conservationists owing to its unique plant and animal species. But poaching and deforestation are driving the island nation’s rare trees and lemurs to extinction. Watch our reportTue, 23 Apr 2019 13:39:00 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/video-poaching-deforestation-wiping-out-madagascar-s-forests/Sudan protest hub: African leaders want civilian govt in Sudan in 3 monthshttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/sudan-protest-hub-africanews-updates/Sudan protest updates: December 2018 – February 1, 2019 April 23, 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… pic.twitter.com/lqdnjyDcFw— 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 pic.twitter.com/tOydBxtESz— 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 pic.twitter.com/MHK4y1dN0y— 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. pic.twitter.com/g73KoKsYLx— 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 pic.twitter.com/Qazr8GHuku— 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. pic.twitter.com/HOPTYHwQWG— 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. pic.twitter.com/sMIVCj70WF— 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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/sudan-protest-hub-africanews-updates/Pics of the day, April 22, 2019http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/pics-of-the-day-april-22-2019/Africanews samples the pictures of the day’s news.Tue, 23 Apr 2019 11:15:14 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/pics-of-the-day-april-22-2019/Tesla robo taxis coming in 2020- Elon Muskhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/tesla-robo-taxis-coming-in-2020-elon-musk/It’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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/tesla-robo-taxis-coming-in-2020-elon-musk/[SciTech] Rooting for African carmakershttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/scitech-rooting-for-african-carmakers/African 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 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Daniel Mumbere)http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/scitech-rooting-for-african-carmakers/Egypt: vote counting underwayhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/egypt-vote-counting-underway/Vote counting in Egypt’s referendum on draft constitutional amendments began on Monday, after three days of voting. If adopted, the revision could allow President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to stay in power until 2030. The draft increases the second term of office from four to six years. The president could then run for a third term in 2024, which would bring him back to power until 2030, whereas the current constitution limits the presidency to two consecutive four-year terms. Elected in 2014 with 96.9% of the vote, one year after overthrowing Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, Al Sissi was re-elected in 2018 with 97.08%. The amendments would also bolster the role of the military and expand the president’s power over judicial appointments. The constitutional changes were approved by parliament last week. Results of the vote are expected on April 27.Tue, 23 Apr 2019 09:45:05 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/egypt-vote-counting-underway/Ethiopian crash hub: Boeing's Q1 profits fall by 20% over groundinghttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/ethiopian-boeing-crash-hub-rolling-africanews-coverage/The 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: Boeing Q1 profits fall by 20% 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 Boeing’s first quarter profits fall by 20% Boeing says its profits for the first quarter of 2019 had fallen by 20% because of lower deliveries of its now controversial and grounded 737-Max jets. The US plane manufacturer also withdrew profit projections for the year saying it will publish new figures soon as it resolves issues around the now grounded fast-selling product. The March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash in Bishoftu was the second deadly crash of the 737 Max in five months. The first was a Lion Air crash in October 2018. The model was grounded about two weeks after the Ethiopian incident and US federal authorities are currently undertaking a rigorous certification process as Boeing tries to correct the automated flight control system blamed for the crashes. All 157 people aboard the ET302 crash died when the jet crashed minutes into a flight bound for the Kenyan capital Nairobi. It had set off from Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport. 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="https://twitter.com/DBohigian?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">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. pic.twitter.com/dbz6kjlza2— 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="https://t.co/L66M4LcJEJ">pic.twitter.com/L66M4LcJEJ</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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/ethiopian-boeing-crash-hub-rolling-africanews-coverage/Uganda receives two passenger planes in push to revive national carrierhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/uganda-receives-two-passenger-planes-in-push-to-revive-national-carrier/Ugandans 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 planes from Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, 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. Initial plans are to eventually acquire six planes. Uganda Airlines is expected to commence commercial flights in July, Works and Transport Minister Monica Azuba Ntege said at the function. It will start with flights to regional capitals but eventually plans to launch direct long-haul routes to China and other Asian countries, whose tourists Uganda is keen to attract. 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. Good for Ugandan travelers Museveni said the domestic airline would also soak up a chunk of the estimated $400 million he said Ugandans spend on international travel annually, keeping it in the economy. “By starting an airline we are going to reduce on the foreign exchange expenditure. Ugandans will be spending money but spending it on our airline,” he said. Ugandan travellers have long complained about high ticket costs they say stem from limited competition. Ramathan Ggoobi, an economics lecturer at a university in Kampala told Reuters the revival of the airline will boost competition and likely lower costs for Ugandan travellers. “Even if they are returning zero profit the economic benefits will be quite high,” he said, referring to the re-launched carrier. AgenciesTue, 23 Apr 2019 08:48:03 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/uganda-receives-two-passenger-planes-in-push-to-revive-national-carrier/Tshisekedi struggles with security issues in DRChttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/tshisekedi-struggles-with-security-issues-in-drc/Democratic 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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/tshisekedi-struggles-with-security-issues-in-drc/DRC: Moise Katumbi sentence overturned [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/drc-moise-katumbi-sentence-overturned-the-morning-call/DR 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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/drc-moise-katumbi-sentence-overturned-the-morning-call/Egypt: Emergency summit on Sudan, Algeria [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/egypt-emergency-summit-on-sudan-algeria-the-morning-call/Two 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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/23/egypt-emergency-summit-on-sudan-algeria-the-morning-call/Congo Brazaville begins exporting Iron Orehttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/congo-brazaville-begins-exporting-iron-ore/The 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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/congo-brazaville-begins-exporting-iron-ore/Return to Juba: South Sudan's Kiir urges Macharhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/return-to-juba-south-sudan-s-kiir-urges-machar/South 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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/return-to-juba-south-sudan-s-kiir-urges-machar/Preserving Africa's cultural heritagehttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/preserving-africa-s-cultural-heritage/Many 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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/preserving-africa-s-cultural-heritage/U-17 Afcon: Last four knownhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/u-17-afcon-last-four-known/Host 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 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Philemon Mbale NSONGAN)http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/u-17-afcon-last-four-known/Egypt's referendum on extending Presidential mandate ends todayhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/egypt-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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/egypt-s-referendum-on-extending-presidential-mandate-ends-today/Uganda's Bobi Wine arrestedhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/uganda-s-bobi-wine-arrested/Police 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="https://twitter.com/NinyeTabz?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">NinyeTabz pic.twitter.com/mMOoTGQmC8— 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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/uganda-s-bobi-wine-arrested/Sudan's military to address protesters demands within a weekhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/sudan-army-to-respond-to-protesters-demand-for-a-civilian-authority-within-a/Sudan’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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/sudan-army-to-respond-to-protesters-demand-for-a-civilian-authority-within-a/Sudan receives $3 billion from Saudi Arabia, UAEhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/sudan-receives-3-billion-from-saudi-arabia-uae/Sudan 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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/sudan-receives-3-billion-from-saudi-arabia-uae/China-Africa cultural exchange [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/china-africa-cultural-exchange-the-morning-call/Dubbing 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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/china-africa-cultural-exchange-the-morning-call/Algeria: Interim president calls for dialogue [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/algeria-interim-president-calls-for-dialogue-the-morning-call/Algeria’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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/algeria-interim-president-calls-for-dialogue-the-morning-call/Malians await new government [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/malians-await-new-government-the-morning-call/Malians 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.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/22/malians-await-new-government-the-morning-call/Sudan protest leaders, military to discuss transfer of power to civilian authorityhttp://www.africanews.com/2019/04/21/sudan-protest-leaders-military-to-discuss-transfer-of-power-to-civilian/Discussions 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 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Eric Oteng)http://www.africanews.com/2019/04/21/sudan-protest-leaders-military-to-discuss-transfer-of-power-to-civilian/