Africanews RSS free and in real-time all news published by, by subscribing to our RSS feeds.Tue, 18 Jun 2019 04:00:00 +0000Malawi opposition chief takes MP seat despite disputing presidential vote media in Malawi reported on Monday that opposition chief, Lazarus Chakwera, has been sworn in as a member of parliament in the capital Lilongwe following the May 21 elections. The 64-year-old Chakwera who leads the Malawi Congress Party, MCP, was sworn in along with over 60 others at the Parliament Building. The swearing in for other lawmakers is set to continue today. The Nation newspaper said Chakwera “took his oath of allegiance and office … amid cheers from scores of party supporters who accompanied him.” He is official the leader of opposition in Malawi. The MCP is currently challenging the official outcome of the presidential vote which gave incumbent Peter Mutharika a second and final term in office whiles Chakwera came second. The Malawian electoral system allows persons contesting for presidency and vice presidency to simultaneously contest for parliamentary seats. The incumbent vice president for instance lost his parliamentary bid. We cannot continue to be aTipp Ex nation. Now it’s not just about who can become President, but setting our nation free & doing the right thing. Why can’t we run clean & fair elections in this country.— Dr. Lazarus Chakwera (@LAZARUSCHAKWERA) June 3, 2019Tue, 18 Jun 2019 04:00:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) Catholic Church slams lawless govt seizure of its health facilities Eritrean government has yet to respond to a stern critique from the Roman Catholic Church protesting the forced closure of its health facilities in the country. The BBC had late last week carried the report of the closure but the government has till Monday (June 17) not reacted to it. The Church’s position was contained in a letter in which among others it accused the government of being lawless in the manner in which the over twenty facilities were closed. The letter bemoaned the forced dismissal of patients and the intimidation of health workers by the soldiers who subsequently took positions at the centers. The Church stressed that its main concern was for the the many people who were likely to be adversely affected by the decision by government. The letter also stressed that the social services the church provided dismissed talk that its activities could be equated to opposition to government of Eritrea. “The government can say it doesn’t want the services of the church but asking for the property is not right,” the letter read in part.Tue, 18 Jun 2019 02:30:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com's tackle global temperature rise - UN Nations climate chief, Patricia Espinosa on Monday declared a climate emergency at a climate change conference in Bonn, Germany. She stressed the need to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, fearing ‘troubling times’ ahead. ‘’This is a climate emergency and we need action now, we cannot wait any longer and therefore these subsidiary meetings provides excellent opportunities to make progress,‘’ she said. The climate chief called on institutions and stakeholders to speed-up and scale-up action towards achieving the set global temperature limit of 1.5. ‘’We need to get to the 1.5 goal. We need to create the tools and instruments that will allow all countries around the world and not only governments, but all stakeholders have the capacity to do the deep transformations that is required,’’she added. At the meeting, she also applauded the efforts of some climate change groups; referencing ‘’Fridays for Future’’ movement and Active Youth against Climate Change. According to reports, global warming above the 1.5 degree line could lead to severe heat waves, the decline in the global fishery catch, and poverty.Mon, 17 Jun 2019 19:28:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com to sentence four over Garissa attack Kenyan court is due to sentence four people on Tuesday (June 18), charged with carrying out attack on Garissa University in which nearly 150 people were killed. Gunmen from the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab stormed the university in April 2015, killing 147 people. The siege ended nearly 15 hours after gunmen shot their way into the Garissa University College campus in a pre-dawn attack, sparing Muslim students and taking many Christians hostage.Mon, 17 Jun 2019 19:16:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi dies in court Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi has died in court, state television reported on Monday. It said Mursi had fainted after a court session and died afterwards. Mursi, a top figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, was toppled by the military in 2013 after mass protests against this rule. He had been serving a seven-year sentence for falsifying his candidacy application for the 2012 presidential race. In March 2018, a panel of British politicians and lawyers warned that Morsi’s prison conditions were poor and could lead to his early death. Morsi had also complained about being denied treatment for diabetes. An engineer by profession, Morsi’s short time in office marked Egypt’s brief experiment with democracy. As analysts began to tout his tenure as a success for the Arab spring, the army struck effectively snatching the country back from civilian REUTERSMon, 17 Jun 2019 16:09:09 +0000editorial@africanews.com case not Ebola-related, WHO chief visits DRC, Uganda 17: Kenya Ebola scare, WHO chief visits DRC, Uganda Kenyan doctors are testing a hospital patient in western Kenya who has Ebola-like symptoms, as eastern Congo is struggling to control the outbreak that has killed 1,400 and which has spread to neighboring Uganda where two deaths have been caused by the deadly hemorrhagic fever. If the Kenyan patient is confirmed as having Ebola, it would be the East African country’s first ever case of the virus and represent a worrying spread of the disease from eastern Congo. Kenya has never experienced an Ebola outbreak and some Kenyan doctors have expressed concern about the country’s preparedness to manage the deadly virus. The female patient in Kenya is in isolation at Kericho County Referral Hospital where staff took precautions to ensure minimal contact, county spokesman Timothy Kimei said in a statement. The patient had visited her spouse at the Uganda-Kenya border and three other family members are also under observation, according to Kenyan media. However, Kenya’s health minister downplayed the threat Monday. “I wish to reassure all Kenyans and our visitors that we do not have any cases of Ebola and indeed the ministry has undertaken and continues to implement the preparedness measures,” SicilyKariuki said during a tour of JKIA port of entry office PDUDelivery CapitalFMKenya— Ministry of Health (MOH_Kenya) June 17, 2019 “The rapid surveillance and response team, which has been sent to examine the patient who is in stable condition, has confirmed that she does not fit the case definition of Ebola. Allow me to repeat to Kenyans that the patient does not meet the case definition of Ebola,” said Sicily Kariuki, while touring the Nairobi international airport to see how arriving passengers are screened for symptoms of fever. “Precautionary measures have, however, been put in place including isolation of the patient and submission of blood samples … for testing,” she said. “The result of the same are expected by 4 p.m. this evening (Kenya time).” Uganda last week reported two deaths from Ebola that had spread from eastern Congo, where the current outbreak has caused more than 1,400 deaths since August. The two victims were part of a Congolese-Ugandan family who crossed over into Uganda, marking the first time that Ebola cases have appeared outside of Congo since the outbreak began. The family is believed to have contracted the disease at a funeral that was attended by dozens of people. An expert committee of the World Health Organization on Friday said Congo’s Ebola outbreak is an “extraordinary event” of deep concern but does not yet merit being declared a global emergency. Speaking in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that he accepted the decision. Very productive meeting with President of #Uganda KagutaMuseveni to discuss ??’s strong #Ebola preparedness and response, along with MinofHealthUG. We also spoke of the importance of strengthening #PrimaryHealthCare systems and community involvement.— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) June 17, 2019 “From our side, I would like to pledge that we will continue mobilizing global and regional support to control this outbreak as soon as possible. It is not clean until the outbreak in (Congo) is finished,” he said, according to a statement from Uganda’s health ministry. The spread of Ebola in eastern Congo has been “very unpredictable, with up and down trends,” he said. Health officials in eastern Congo have begun offering vaccinations to all residents in the hotspot of Mabalako whereas previous efforts had only targeted known contacts or those considered to be at high risk. AP What next for Uganda? Ugandan authorities have now drawn up a list of 98 contacts, or contacts of contacts, potentially exposed to the Ebola virus, of whom 10 are considered “high risk”, said Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s emergencies programme. Vaccination of those contacts and health workers with a Merck experimental vaccine is to start on Saturday, he said. Ryan told Reuters on Friday that there had been no sign of local transmission of Ebola virus in Uganda. “No evidence yet…But we’re not out of the woods yet,” he said, noting that the incubation period is up to 21 days. June 14: WHO’s position on Ebola The World Health Organization on Friday decided not to declare an international emergency over Congo’s Ebola outbreak despite its spread to Uganda this week, concluding such a declaration could cause too much economic harm. In a statement, the panel of 13 independent medical experts on the WHO’s Emergency Committee urged neighbouring “at risk” countries to improve their preparedness for detecting and managing imported cases, “as Uganda has done”. “This is not a global emergency, it is an emergency in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a severe emergency and it may affect neighbouring counties,” Dr. Preben Aavitsland, the panel’s acting chair told a news conference at the U.N. agency’s headquarters in Geneva. “It was the view of the Committee that there is really nothing to gain by declaring a PHEIC (Public Health Emergency of International Concern), but there is potentially a lot to lose.” Such a declaration would risk creating restrictions on travel or trade “that could severely harm the economy in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Aavitsland said. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking by telephone from Kampala, said: “The spread of Ebola to Uganda is a new development but the fundamental dynamics of the outbreak haven’t changed.” Some medical groups had urged the committee to declare an emergency which would have led to boosting public health measures, funding and resources. Lawrence Gostin, a global health law professor at Georgetown University Law School, voiced disappointment that the panel had failed to declare an emergency for the third time. “The @WHO was criticized for delay in declaring a PHEIC in W Africa. Will it’s failure in DRC affect legitimacy?” Gostin tweeted. He said he admired the panel members but disagreed with their conclusion. Only four emergencies have been declared in the past decade, including the worst ever Ebola outbreak, which hit West Africa in 2014-2016. The others were an influenza pandemic in 2009, polio in 2014 and the Zika virus in 2016. REUTERS June 13: Uganda repatriates Ebola suspects to Congo Authorities in Uganda on Thursday banned public gatherings in the Western district of Kasese, where two people have died of Ebola. Relatives of the two people who died of Ebola were also repatriated from Uganda to Democratic Republic of Congo, where they will receive experimental and therapeutic treatment. “Hand washing facilities have been put in place, with washing materials like JIK (bleach) and soap. There’s no shaking of hands, people just wave at each other,’‘ local journalist Ronald Kule told Reuters. While the repatriation means there’s no confirmed case of Ebola in Uganda as of Thursday, three other suspected Ebola cases not related to the family remain in isolation, the health ministry said. “Uganda remains in Ebola response mode to follow up the 27 contacts (of the family),” read part of a statement from the Uganda’s health ministry. Meanwhile, Red Cross teams have embarked on an Ebola awareness drive in the Uganda-DRC border area following confirmed cases of the disease. Managing a porous border Uganda’s Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said challenges remained at “unofficial entry points” between Congo and Uganda, which share a porous 875-kilometre (545-mile) border. These unauthorised border crossings, known as “panyas” in the local Lukonzo language, are often merely planks laid down across a point in the river, or through forests and mountains where there is no surveillance. The family that was repatriated on Thursday had crossed from Congo to Uganda earlier this week and sought treatment when a 5-year-old boy became unwell. He died of Ebola on Tuesday. His 50-year-old grandmother, who was accompanying them, died of the disease on Wednesday, the ministry said. June 11: WHO emergency meeting scheduled for June 14 The World Health Organization announced an emergency committee would meet Friday to determine whether to upgrade its assessment of the situation to “a public health emergency of international concern”. WHO, in October and again in April, held off declaring the DRC epidemic an emergency of international concern, because the outbreak was contained to one part of DRC. For the committee to make the emergency call, it must determine that the epidemic “carries implications for public health beyond the affected State’s national border and may require immediate international action”. If such a declaration is made Friday it will represent a major shift in mobilisation against the disease. Experts worried The current Ebola epidemic began in August last year in eastern Congo and has already infected at least 2,062 people, killing 1,390 of them. “This epidemic is in a truly frightening phase and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon,” said Jeremy Farrar, an infectious disease specialist and director of the Wellcome Trust global health charity which is involved in fighting Ebola. “We can expect and should plan for more cases in DRC and neighbouring countries,” he said, adding: “There are now more deaths than any other Ebola outbreak in history, bar the West Africa Epidemic of 2013-16, and there can be no doubt that the situation could escalate towards those terrible levels.” The Red Cross said it was scaling up efforts to contain the spread of the virus since it was detected in Uganda. “This is a worrying development, but we have been preparing for this day for months now,” Robert Kwesiga, Uganda Red Cross Secretary General, said in a statement Wednesday. Experts noted that Uganda, which has been on high alert for possible spread of Ebola and has already vaccinated many frontline healthworkers, is relatively well prepared and should be able to limit the virus’ spread. “The current cases in Uganda will be quickly contained but the failure to stop the current Ebola epidemic in DRC is simply tragic,” said Ian Jones, a professor virology at Britain’s Reading University. Agencies Brief: Uganda’s Ebola preparedness Since the epidemic began in August in eastern Congo, the Congo health ministry said on Monday that it had recorded 2,062 cases, including 1,390 deaths. Neighbouring Uganda has suffered regular outbreaks of Ebola and Marburg over the years, both high-fatality viral haemorrhagic fevers. Health facilities to treat the diseases are relatively robust. A donor-supported laboratory in Entebbe, a lakeside town south of the capital Kampala, means Uganda typically confirms outbreaks much faster than many of its neighbours. Preparing for possible cases of Ebola, Uganda has vaccinated nearly 4,700 health workers, disease monitoring has been intensified, special treatment units set up and health workers have been trained to recognize symptoms of the disease, WHO said. Uganda’s worst Ebola outbreak was in 2000 when 425 people were infected. More than half of them died. REUTERS June 11: Ebola deaths recorded At least two people have so far died of Ebola in Uganda, following Tuesday’s confirmation that the deadly virus had crossed into the country. The five-year-old Congolese child who was the first recorded case in Uganda and its grandmother have both succumbed to the virus, at Bwere General Hospital, where an isolation facility has been established. Authorities are now worried about the spread of the epidemic, after more cases were confirmed on Wednesday. “Two more samples … have tested positive,” the World Health Organization agency said on Twitter, citing the health minister and bringing the total tally of confirmed cases to three. Local news channel, Daily Monitor, said Ebola cases in the country have risen to 10, citing the country’s health minister Dr. Ruth Aceng who said there are seven more suspects, including two men, two women and a six-months-old baby, who came from the Democratic Republic of Congo. June 10: Ebola confirmed in Uganda A case of Ebola has been confirmed in Uganda, ten months after the deadly virus was confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The 5-year-old Congolese child, who entered Uganda on June 9 through Bwera Border post, is receiving care, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. “This is the first confirmed case in Uganda during the Ebola outbreak on-going in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo,” the WHO said in a statement. The child’s family sought medical care at Kagando hospital and the child was transferred to Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit for management, the WHO said. “The confirmation was made today by the Uganda Virus Institute (UVRI) ...contacts are being monitored,” WHO said. How the Ebola victim came to Uganda The boy was accompanied by his Ugandan father and Congolese mother, who had returned to Congo to nurse her father before he died of Ebola, Uganda’s Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng told a news conference. The family returned to Uganda with four other family members of Congolese origin, Aceng said. All the other Congolese family members are in isolation at Bwera Hospital. Two of them have already developed symptoms similar to those of Ebola and samples have been removed from them, Aceng said. Results of tests are expected Wednesday. Eight more contacts are being followed up, Aceng said. Aceng said the family entered Uganda on June 10, not 9. The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear and neither the WHO nor the government was reachable for clarification.Mon, 17 Jun 2019 14:15:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com suicide attack by Boko Haram kills at least 30 in Nigeria least 30 people were killed and dozens injured in a triple suicide attack in northeast Nigerian state of Borno, state emergency officials said on Monday, in the biggest mass killing this year by suicide bombers. “Yesterday around 8pm (1900 GMT) it was reported that there was a very loud explosion in (the village of) Konduga. On reaching the scene of the incident we found there was a lot of causalties. In fact the death toll was over 30 and the injured over 42,” an emergency service official told Reuters. Who did it? No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. The Boko Haram group and its Islamic State splinter group have often carried out attacks targeting civilians and the military in Borno state. Their attacks have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions of people. The military did not respond to a request for comment. How did it happen? Earlier the village head, Bulama Kalli, said three suicide bombers had taken part in the attack, targeting a place where villagers had gathered to watch a soccer match on a large screen. Most of those killed have now been buried while several survivors are still in hospital in Maiguduri, Kalli said. Boko Haram regards soccer, often watched by Nigerians while drinking beer – as un-Islamic and the ultimate demonstration of corrupting Western influence. Konduga is located some 25km (15 miles) from Maiduguri, the state capital of Borno state. The Nigerian government says the Boko Haram insurgency, and the rival Islamic State West Africa Province group, have been largely defeated, but they continue to launch attacks on civilian and military targets. The decade-long insurgency has killed more than 30,000 people and displaced millions of civilians in northeast Nigeria. REUTERSMon, 17 Jun 2019 09:01:30 +0000editorial@africanews.com weekend as bombs in Kenya, Somalia, Cameroon kill police officers in Cameroon, Kenya and Somalia over the weekend killed at least 12 police officers, and injured dozens as authorities struggle to contain the Anglophone security crisis and the Al Shabaab insurgency respectively. While authorities blamed the bombing in Cameroon on separatists from the English-speaking regions, the terrorist group Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the bombs in Kenya and Somalia. Cameroon’s separatists accused of detonating bomb Cameroon’s government said on Sunday that separatists in its restive English-speaking region had detonated an improvised explosive device that killed four police and wounded six. “The government condemns in the strongest terms this criminal act, perpetrated by armed bandits and terrorists with no faith or law,” the statement said. It also said the attack occurred along a road near the district of Eyumojock in the south west of the country late on Saturday. There was no immediate reaction or claim of responsibility from any separatist group. It is rare but not unheard of for the separatists to use bomb technology, but this would mark their first deadly strike using a bomb. What began as peaceful protests in Cameroon’s southwestern Anglophone region in 2017 have degenerated into near daily violence between the forces of Cameroon’s mostly French-speaking government and several separatist groups. The English-speaking Northwest and Southwest of the country complain of being marginalised by the French speaking majority. Cameroon’s linguistic divide has existed since the end of World War One, when the League of Nations divided the former German colony of Kamerun, in central Africa, between allied victors, leaving most of Cameroon French-administered but a small part run by Britain. READ MORE: Cameroon govt lacks will for true dialogue over Anglophone crisis Police officers killed in Kenya Somali militants killed eight Kenyan police with a roadside bomb near the border between the two countries on Saturday, officials said. The vehicle that was hit by the roadside bomb was carrying 11 policemen, police spokesman Charles Owino told Reuters. A local official said eight were killed. “Eight bodies were found and taken to Wajir. Two were rescued, but they are in critical condition,” said Muhumed Ali Gedi, a member of the local community security team from Wajir who witnessed the rescue mission. Saturday’s attack came hardly 24 hours after three Kenyan police reservists were kidnapped from the same area, in Wajir district in northeast Kenya. Kenyan military forces have occupied part of southern Somalia along the border since 2011. The Kenyans, along with allied Somali militia, wrested control of the territory from al Shabaab jihadists after a spate of kidnappings on Kenyan soil. ALSO READ: Kenya indefinitely closes border with Somalia, trade ban imposed 8 killed, dozens injured in Mogadishu Still on Saturday, al Shabaab detonated two bombs in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, killing at least eight people. Police said the first blast, at a busy junction known as K4, was a car bomb intercepted by security services that caused no casualties. The other blast killed eight people and injured 16, said Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Aamin ambulance service. Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s spokesman for military operations, said the group was responsible for the blast in Kenya and the two in Mogadishu. Al Shabaab is fighting the weak, U.N.-backed Somali government and its international allies in a quest to impose strict Islamic law.Mon, 17 Jun 2019 07:30:00 (Daniel Mumbere)'s Bashir appears before prosecutor’s deposed President Omar Al-Bashir has appeared in public for the first time on Sunday, when he was taken to the prosecutor’s office in charge of corruption cases in Khartoum. He was taken to the prosecutor’s office to have the charges against him officially presented to him, according to reports; a process which lasted shortly. “The principles of the prosecutor’s office were presented to the accused, former President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir, and a charge was laid under Articles 5 and 9 concerning the possession of foreign currency, as well as Article 6 concerning illegally acquired resources,” a representative from the prosecutor’s office said. On Saturday, the Attorney General specified that Bashir faces charges of “corruption and illegal possession of foreign currency”. Corruption cases have also been opened against 41 other former officials, the prosecutor, Alwaleed Sayed Ahmed, said at a news conference in Khartoum The former President, who came to power by a coup d‘état in 1989, was dismissed and arrested by the army on April 11 in Khartoum, following an unprecedented protest movement.Sun, 16 Jun 2019 23:03:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com defies slowdown in global investment contrast to the global downward trend of foreign direct investment (FDI), Africa has seen a sharp increase by 11% for the year 2018. From 2017 to 2018, global FDI fell from $1.5 trillion to $1.3 trillion, according to an analysis by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). This has positioned Africa as a strategic investment hub. “The rise in demand and prices of some commodities, as well as the growth of non-natural resource investments in other African economies propelled the increase,” the UNCTAD study points out. The 5 largest beneficiaries of FDI in Africa for the year 2018 begins with; - Egypt with $6.8 million – South Africa: $5.3 million – DRC: $4.3 million – Morocco: $3.6 million – Ethiopia: $3.3 million. Sub-Saharan Africa boasts of $32 billion in FDI, a 13% increase compared to that of 2017. Morocco and Egypt obtained $14 billion in FDI, an increase of 7%. Nigeria, on the other hand, dragged West Africa slightly down owing to its poor economic situation, with a 15% decrease.Sun, 16 Jun 2019 23:01:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com protest hub: 'Hanging' for perpetrators of crackdown - RSF commander of Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces, General Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, promised on Sunday; death by hanging for those who dispersed the sit-in of demonstrators that killed dozens. Despite the Generals clamp down talks on the perpetrators, he is widely seen by the protesters to be responsible for the bloody crackdown. Preliminary findings indicated that the “officers and soldiers entered the site of the sit-in without the order of their superiors”. “We are working hard to send those who did this to the gallows, anyone who has made a mistake or abused “ he said, in a speech broadcast on state television. For the first time on Thursday, the Transitional Military Council acknowledged that it had ordered the sit-in to be dispersed on 3 June, regretting “errors that had occurred”. Thousands of demonstrators thronged the army headquarters in Khartoum to demand a transfer of power to civilians following the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir. Reports say over 110 people have been killed in the crackdown since 3 June , most of them during the dispersal of the sit-in.The authorities reported 61 deathsSun, 16 Jun 2019 21:42:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com moves to restore calm in Libya - Fayez al-Sarraj’s leader of the Government of National Unity, Fayez al-Sarraj announced Sunday new moves to restore calm in a country with ever-rising tensions. The political move calls for the simultaneous holding of presidential and legislative elections before the end of 2019. In partnership with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, he also proposed the establishment of a “Libyan forum’‘. A forum that will assemble national forces with political and social influence, and will gravitate toward a peaceful and democratic solution. After over two months of offensives, the forces of “Libyan National Army”, led by Marshal Haftar, are still behind the gates of Tripoli and their positions are frozen. Both sides have so far refused to negotiate a ceasefire. Sarraj accuses Khalifa Haftar of seeking to “undermine the democratic process; demanding withdrawal of his forces to their initial positions in the south and east of the country. Over 653 people have been killed in the fighting and more than 3,500 injured since 4 April .Sun, 16 Jun 2019 21:17:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Benin's ex-president warns post-election unrest could plunge country into conflict for former President Thomas Boni Yayi have warned that unrest in Benin could plunge the country into a deeper crisis Yayi remains under house arrest since voicing support for a boycott of the controversial parliamentary elections in April. Activists have denounced President Patrice Talon’s authoritarian shift in a country that has long been considered a model of democracy in West Africa.  Watch our reportSun, 16 Jun 2019 13:53:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Sudan is stable- Hemedti’s deputy head of the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC), in an apparent justification for the deadly crackdown crackdown on protestors, said on Saturday that the country was safe and steadily moving towards stability. Mohammad Hamdan Daglo, also known as Hemedti was addressing a rally in a village north of Khartoum. His Rapid Support Forces are accused of violently dispersing a protest camp in Khartoum at the beginning of June. Watch our reportSun, 16 Jun 2019 13:11:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com "at risk" after Ebola outbreak in Uganda- Health minister Tanzanian Minister of Health issued an “alert” on Sunday following the outbreak of Ebola cases this week in Uganda, a country with which Tanzania shares a long border. “I would like to alert the public to the existence of a threat of an Ebola epidemic in our country following the outbreak of this disease in Uganda,” said Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu. She justified this warning by “the important interactions between the populations of the two countries via official borders or other unofficial channels”. “The regions of Kagera, Mwanza and Kigoma (northwest) are the most threatened, but since this disease is very easily and quickly transmitted from one person to another, almost the entire country is at risk,” the minister said. Ummy Mwalimu began a tour in these regions on Saturday to assess the measures put in place, particularly at ports and border crossings to deal with possible cases of Ebola. Tanzania has not had any cases of Ebola to date. The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday that the Ebola epidemic that has been raging since August 2018 in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and has spread to Uganda is not a global health “emergency”, with the WHO Emergency Committee considering that the risk of international spread remains “low”. However, the organization added that the current epidemic, which has killed more than 1,400 people, is an “emergency for the DRC and the region”. Two Ugandan relatives died during the week after attending the funeral of a deceased relative of Ebola in the DRC. A third infected family member, a three-year-old child, and four other relatives placed under observation have since been transferred to the DRC for treatment. At present, there are no official cases of Ebola in Uganda.Sun, 16 Jun 2019 09:23:12 +0000editorial@africanews.com officials intercept smuggled white tiger cubs officials uncovered four white tiger cubs being smuggled across the border to Libya, the customs department said Saturday. The cubs were found hidden in the car of a Libyan driver at the southern Ras Jedir border post, a statement by Tunisian customs said. According to Tunisian authorities, the Libyan said he “bought the tigers in a private zoo” in the eastern Enfidha region. The zoo where the Libyan claimed to have bought the cubs announced the birth of tigers around two months ago. “But he did not have documents with him proving the purchase and he did not have the necessary authorisations to leave Tunisian territory,” the customs department said. White tigers and lions are extremely rare, with only a few hundred worldwide, and owe their appearance to a recessive gene. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that the number of wild tigers has plunged from 100,000 in 1900 to around 3,900 today. Numbers have edged back up in recent years but the species is still vulnerable to extinction, the WWF says. The cubs seized in Tunisia were handed over to a department within the Ministry of Agriculture in the country’s southern Medenine province. A judicial investigation has been opened into the driver, Tunisian officials said, although he was not immediately arrested.Sun, 16 Jun 2019 07:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com jihadists 'neutralized' in French-Malian counter-terrorism operation joint operation by the Malian army and the French anti-jihadist force Barkhane, underway in northeastern Mali, has resulted in the “neutralization” of some 20 jihadists, the Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) announced Saturday evening. “About 20 terrorists neutralized in #Ménaka. The #FAMa and #Barkhane are conducting a joint operation in the locality of Akabar, in the Ménaka sector. This operation made it possible to neutralize about twenty terrorists,” the Malian army reported on Twitter, without further details. A jihadist group that calls itself the “Islamic State in the Great Sahara” (EIGS) is mainly active in this region of Ménaka and across the border with Niger. In particular, he claimed responsibility for the October 2017 attack on Tongo Tongo in Niger. This ambush cost the lives of four American and four Nigerian soldiers. Northern Mali had fallen in March-April 2012 under the control of jihadist groups, largely dispersed by a military intervention launched in January 2013 at the initiative of France. This intervention continues with Operation Barkhane, which mobilizes some 4,500 soldiers in the Sahel. But entire areas of Mali are beyond the control of Malian, French and UN forces, despite the signing in 2015 of a peace agreement intended to definitively isolate jihadists. Since 2015, violence has spread from the North to the centre, and sometimes even to the South. They are very often involved in inter-community conflicts, a phenomenon that also affects neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger. The Dogon village of Sobane Da, near Bandiagara (central Mali), was the scene of an attack on the evening of 9 June that killed 35 people, including 24 children. Violence in the centre of the country culminated in the massacre on 23 March, attributed to Dogon hunters of some 160 Fulani, in the village of Ogossagou, near the border with Burkina Faso.Sun, 16 Jun 2019 06:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com least 2 killed as security forces break up demonstration least two people were killed on Saturday morning in Savè, in central Benin, as security forces tried to dislodge opponents, who have barricaded and blocked the national road since Tuesday, an elected official from the city told AFP. “This morning (Saturday), a contingent of the Republican Police came to clear the roadblocks,” explained Timothée Biaou, the mayor of the commune. “There have been exchanges of fire between police officers and masked individuals. Seven civilians were received in the hospital and two people were killed. “The situation was very tense again this morning, but as I speak to you, the road has been unblocked,” added Mr. Biaou. “Since last night (Friday), traffic had been blocked. The hunters (armed demonstrators) had taken control of the road,” reported a witness to AFP. “There have been clashes between the military, police and hunters.” “Saturday morning, there were two deaths: the first one around 10:00 a. m. was a motorcycle taxi and the second one was a teenager who had gone shopping,” said the witness. “The road has been unblocked, but there is total panic. Many people have fled, the others remain at home,” added the witness, under cover of anonymity. In this average commune in central Benin, the streets were deserted, the market empty, shops and businesses closed, reported AFP journalists. A little further north, in Tchaourou, the commune of origin of former President Thomas Boni Yayi, the situation remains uncertain. The city was completely deserted after five days of clashes between opponents and the police. The Minister of the Interior, Sacca Lafia, announced on Friday evening that “about thirty police officers had been wounded” in Tchaourou, “where small groups used handmade rifles and knives”. The violence spread to Savè on Thursday when people tried to block the main national road to Chaourou to prevent access by a police contingent. On 1 and 2 May, the day after the parliamentary elections in which the opposition was unable to stand, Mr Boni Yayi’s supporters took to the streets of Cotonou. The army’s crackdown on demonstrations had already left at least four people shot dead according to Amnesty International and many wounded across the country. Human rights NGOs have denounced the authoritarian shift of President Patrice Talon, elected in April 2016, in a country that has long been considered a model of democracy in West Africa.Sun, 16 Jun 2019 05:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com charter on journalist working conditions adopted: IFJ new journalism ethical charter has been adopted on Friday during the 30th International Federation of Journalists congress in Tunis. The charter jointly adopted by the IFJ, 187 trade unions and over 600,000 journalists, is targeted at sharpening reporting skills on contemporary issues. According to the IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, accelerating the flow of information raises ‘‘ethical and content issues’‘ which must be addressed. The new document includes professional duties established in 1954, but it also includes rights, in a world where journalists’ rights are being abused. Article 3 emphasizes that “the journalist will only report facts of which he/she knows the origin” and “will be careful in the use of comments and documents published on social media”. An attempt to clamp down on the emerging fake news on social media. At the congress, which is the first to be held on the African continent, issues of good working conditions and encouraging journalists’ salaries were also raised. The General Secretary also encouraged healthy social dialogue in organizations’s as that promotes productive outcomes. The IFJ, is an organisation that today boasts of over 600,000 members from more than 180 affiliated unions in 140 countriesSat, 15 Jun 2019 18:51:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com President assured of winning majority seats in parliament President Andry Rajoelina is assured of winning the majority of seats in the next National Assembly, according to the full results published Saturday by the National Independent Electoral Commission (Céni). Projections made by political parties on the basis of these results attribute 84 of the 151 seats of deputies to the Rajoelina-led coalition, compared to only 16 to his unfortunate presidential opponent’s party, Marc Ravalomanana. The other 51 seats were won by candidates for the independent parties. Malagasy voters largely avoided the ballot box during the legislative elections on 28 May, with a turnout rate of less than a third of registered voters (31%). “The results proclaimed assure us not only an absolute majority but also a fairly stable majority,” Pierre Houlder Ramaholimasy, the head of the president’s political affairs department, told AFP. “This is such a disappointing result,” Fidèle Razara Pierre, one of the defeated candidates of Mr. Ravalomanana’s movement, conceded to AFP, “with 16 seats, we are even lower than the previous legislative elections where we obtained some” 21. Rajoelina’s successful bid Five months ago, Andry Rajoelina won the second round of the presidential election in front of Mr. Ravalomanana after a very tense campaign. The second had accused the first of fraud but had finally acknowledged his victory, which was denied by the courts. This absolute parliamentary majority gives the President the free rein to carry out the reforms promised in this very poor country in the Indian Ocean. “The most important thing is that the President of the Republic will be able to work in complete peace during his term of office,” Pierre Houlder Ramaholimasy was pleased to say. In the absence of a stable majority, the mandate of Rajoelina’s predecessor, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, had been shaken by numerous political crises that ended up being fatal to him. In 2018, his government had fallen after two months of street demonstrations. “The 51 independent deputies can still play a major role during their term of office,” noted Fidèle Razara Pierre, “not to mention a possible explosion of Andry Rajoelina’s platform. His coalition is made up of about ten parties that supported him during the 2018 presidential election. The results proclaimed on Saturday by the Céni must be validated by the High Constitutional Court within a few weeks, once any appeals have been examined.Sat, 15 Jun 2019 15:25:48 +0000editorial@africanews.com returns to Khartoum, despite ever-rising tensions Sudanese men have resolved to continue with their daily routine despite the ever-rising tensions in the country. After days of stress amidst military crackdown early this month, a sweet scented cafe, coupled with fine smokes of shisha is bringing nightlife back to the inhabitants of Khartoum’s Nile bank. Women and children have also refused to be left out of the fun, the swings of the merry-go-rounds and other fun games keeps them entertained. A crackdown early this month by Sudan’s military rulers, against protesters demanding civilian rule left dozens dead and prompted an international outcry. The Military Council acknowledged violent dispersion of a sit-in of thousands of demonstrators outside the army headquarters in the Sudanese capital on 3 June. The protest leaders and military leaders agreed to resume talks after mediation by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.Sat, 15 Jun 2019 15:08:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com in Somalia capital kills eight car bomb went off Saturday at a checkpoint near the Somali parliament, killing eight people and injuring 16, medical and police sources said. “We have confirmed eight people killed and 16 others wounded in the blast,” the private Aamin Ambulance service said. A second blast on a key road leading to the airport of the Somali capital Mogadishu did not cause any casualties. According to Reuters, Al Shabaab has already claimed responsibility for the two blasts. The militia also claimed a separate incident on Saturday. A roadside bomb hit a vehicle patrolling near Kenya’s border with Somalia, killing several of the 11 police officers onboard, a Kenyan police spokesman said. The attack was also claimed by Somali Islamist insurgents, who also kidnapped three Kenyan police reservists on Friday (June 14) from the same area in Wajir district in northeast Kenya near the Somali border.Sat, 15 Jun 2019 15:04:06 +0000editorial@africanews.com's Bashir to appear in court next week Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who was ejected from office by a widespread protest movement, will appear in court next week on charges of corruption and illegal possession of foreign currency, the Attorney General said on Saturday. “Omar al-Bashir will appear in court next week,” Al-Walid Sayyed Ahmed told reporters, without giving a precise date for the hearing.He was dismissed on April 11 and then arrested by the army, which has since been in power.Sat, 15 Jun 2019 14:11:28 +0000editorial@africanews.com militia executes nine civilians civilians were executed on Friday evening by a local militia in Galkayo, central-western part of Somalia by suspected Al Shabaab Islamists, in retaliation for the murder of a local security official , police sources and local officials reported on Saturday. According to these sources, the militiamen who executed the civilians suspect the inhabitants of the Rahanweyn clan living in the region of complicity with the Al Shabaab. Very angry after the shooting of a local intelligence official, militia members rounded up nine civilians and executed them on the outskirts of Galkayo. “What happened is horrible, the heinous murder of nine innocent civilians in the southern part of Galkayo. All the victims belong to the same clan and the militiamen shot them in the same place after alleged Al Shabaab killed a local security official,” Mohamed Abdirahman, a Galkayo police official, told AFP. “This is an unacceptable act and we will bring the perpetrators to justice,” reacted a local customary chief, Hussein Dini. “It seems that the militiamen acted in retaliation for the death of a security official they thought was the work of Al Shabaab belonging to the same clan as the (civilian) victims,” the traditional chief said. “Their murder is unjustifiable,” he added. Witnesses reported to local media that the victims were randomly arrested in the streets and some in their homes and executed on the outskirts of the city. Local officials have in the past accused members of the Rahanweyn clan of providing fighters to the Shebab and more generally of being responsible for insecurity in the region. The members of the local militia involved in the killing of civilians are Saad Habargidir, one of the Hawiye sub-clans, who are very active in the southern part of Galkayo. Galkayo, located some 600 km north of the capital Mogadishu, straddles the border between the self-proclaimed semi-autonomous regions of Puntland and Galmudug. The city has been the scene of deadly violence in recent years between troops from both regions and also between rival clans occupying the north and south of the city.Sat, 15 Jun 2019 10:50:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com police officers injured in Benin protests former president Boni Yayi’s home town of Tchaourou, “small groups used handmade rifles and knives to seriously wound about 30 officers,” said Interior Minister Sacca Lafia, adding that calm had returned. About 30 members of the security forces were wounded in northern Benin, where supporters of the former president set up barricades. The police fired live ammunition, the Interior Minister said Friday night on Saturday. According to a local witness, residents fled the city to take refuge in nearby villages. Denied reports since then had reported deaths among demonstrators on Thursday, and several people on the ground told AFP that the police had fired live ammunition. Boni Yayi’s supporters, who have been under house arrest in Cotonou since 1 May and post-election violence – which left at least 4 people dead according to Amnesty International, 7 dead according to the opposition – also set fire to the police station and blocked the main road, according to the Interior Minister. “To clear the way, agents were sent. At[the city of] Savè, they were taken away by other small groups who also erected barricades,” Sacca Lafia said. Violence has resumed since the beginning of the week in this northern region of the country, six weeks after the 28 April parliamentary elections, in which the opposition was unable to participate. The rivalry between Head of State Patrice Talon and Boni Yayi is longstanding, the former being in opposition when the latter was President from 2006 to 2016. A situation that has now been reversed. Summoned in early June by a judge to be heard in an undisclosed case, Boni Yayi could not be heard due to health problems, his lawyer said.Sat, 15 Jun 2019 10:23:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com meets with Nkurunziza President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Félix Tshisekedi met with Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza during his visit to the east African nation on Friday. During the working visit the two leaders of the neighbouring nations agreed to have a peaceful co-existence. According to Burundi Presidency, the two committed to strengthening the bonds of friendship that unite their two countries. “The two Presidents stressed the need to strengthen regional and sub-regional integration organizations in the promotion and consolidation of peace, security, stability and sustainable development,“said Ezechiel Nibigira, Burundi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Tshisekedi and Nkurunziza agreed to subdue militias in their nations as well. “The two presidents decided to resolutely activate the joint mechanisms to eradicate armed groups operating on Congolese territory and to monitor very closely all security issues of two neighbouring states;” said Ezechiel Nibigira, Burundi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Tshisekedi had just come from the neighbouring nation of Tanzania where he had successful discussions with President John Magufuli. The President’s visit is part of his efforts to boost the chances of his country joining the East African CommunitySat, 15 Jun 2019 09:07:53 +0000editorial@africanews.com opposition calls for international investigation into army crackdown opposition leader Sadek al-Mahdi called on Friday for an international investigation into the deadly of a sit-in of demonstrators in Khartoum in early June, after the ruling military refused such an investigation. The US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Tibor Nagy, also called for investigation. “The United States is convinced of the need for an independent and credible investigation” to establish the responsibilities for these “monstrous events,” Nagy said from Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa after a two-day visit to Khartoum. The Military Council leading the country since the dismissal of President Omar al-Bashir on 11 April, acknowledged on Thursday that it had ordered the violent dispersion of a sit-in of thousands of demonstrators outside army headquarters in the Sudanese capital on 3 June. According to a committee of doctors close to the protest, some 120 people have been killed in the crackdown since June 3, most of them in the dispersal of the sit-in. The authorities reported 61 deaths. The repression took place after the suspension of negotiations between military leaders and protest leaders. The Military Council expressed regret that “errors have occurred”. “An independent international inquiry should be launched” into the dispersal of the sit-in, Sadek al-Mahdi told AFP after conducting Friday prayers in a mosque in Omdurman, a nearby city in Khartoum. “It is important that the investigation be impartial and not show bias in favour of the authorities,” added Mahdi, former head of government, who was overthrown by Bashir in a coup d‘état in 1989. Mr. Mahdi’s al-Oumma party is part of the Alliance for Freedom and Change (ALC), a group of leading protest groups that are calling for a transfer of power to civilians. The military leaders themselves refused such an investigation. “We do not accept (the idea of) an international commission of inquiry. We are a sovereign state,” General Chamseddine Kabbachi, spokesman for the Military Council, told journalists on Thursday. While regretting the incidents of June 3, Mr. Kabbachi assured that the plan was only to clear an area near the sit-in but that “excesses” had occurred. He said the military is conducting its own investigation, the results of which are due to be released on Saturday. *Disappointment Faithful people present in the mosque visited by Mr. Mahdi on Friday expressed their frustration with the generals. “The way the sit-in was dispersed was brutal and unacceptable,” said Salim Gebril, a university professor and member of the al-Ummma party. The ruling generals “continue to say that they hope to reach an agreement (with the leaders of the protest) but their tone seems to indicate that they could take a different path,” he said. Abdelrahmane Amir al-Tom, another devotee, found the Military Council’s reaction “extremely disappointing”. The protest leaders and military leaders agreed to resume talks after mediation by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Mr. Mahdi believes that this mediation “can have a positive impact”. “In the long run, the Military Council cannot govern, it is clear, and civilian forces cannot speak of a future that excludes the participation of the Military Council,” he said.Sat, 15 Jun 2019 09:01:34 +0000editorial@africanews.com scientists attempt killing mosquitoes with spider venom scientists in one of the country’s village plagued by malarial mosquitoes, are conducting an experiment to test whether a fungus genetically-engineered to produce a toxin found in spider venom can provide a breakthrough in the worldwide fight against malaria, a deadly mosquito-borne disease that killed an estimated 435,000 people in 2017, according to the World Health Organization. “If we can find a solution against this disease which killed my child, other people we will thank god. They should do everything to eradicate this disease,” said Dramane Ouedraogo, a dedicated father that has visited his son’s grave every day since the two-year-old died of malaria, n the village of Soumousso. Brian Lovett, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Maryland leading the project said the idea is to target the mosquitoes using the natural characteristics of the fungus and spider venom. The scientists have engineered the DNA of the Metarhizium pingshaense fungus to deliver a toxin produced by Australian Blue Mountains funnel-web spiders. The toxin kills the malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquito when the fungus comes in contact with insect blood. “Out of the box, if they land anywhere on the outside of a mosquito, they’ll recognize that they’re on a mosquito and they’ll burrow their way into the mosquito,” Lovett,the lead author on the study said. Finding sustainable solutions Raymond St. Leger, the University of Maryland professor who co-authored the study, said the idea came after the World Health Organization issued a call for a scientific solution to the rapid evolution of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes that had adapted to survive conventional insecticides. “We took a gene from a spider and we put that spider gene which encodes an insect-selective toxin, we put that gene into the fungus, under the control of a promoter— and the promoter is the on-off switch of a gene— under the control of this promoter which only turns on in insect blood,” he said. After successful lab trials, the U.S.-based team headed to Burkina Faso, where scientists there produced and tested the toxin-infused fungus in a national research lab in Bobo Dioulasso and constructed a simulated village named “Mosquito-Sphere” in nearby Soumousso, complete with huts and muddy pools. Insecticide-resistant mosquitoes multiplied in a large enclosed breeding site and calves were used as bait to lure the mosquitoes into experimental houses where a black cloth saturated with the fungus was hung from the wall. “The mosquitoes fly around the room, looking for bait to feed, so they feed on the (calf). After feeding, mosquitoes look for a place to rest, they usually go on the wall. Given they are attracted to black, they will rest on the treated cloth which is black. That is when they make contact with the fungus spores and the fungus starts to germinate inside them and that is what kills them,” Abdoulaye Diabate, head of the research team at the Institut de Recherche en Science de la Santé in Burkina Faso, explained. Hopeful results Researchers reported dramatic results. “Within two generations, we’ve killed 99 percent of the mosquitoes. So it caused the mosquito population to collapse,” St. Leger said, adding that this type of mosquito produces two generations in about 45 days. Baladji Ouattara, village chief of Soumousso, said the research has given hope to a community where malaria has been a fact of life. “Malaria is the disease that affects villagers the most. We know that the mosquitoes that cause it will never be completely killed. But if this project being developed here is a good solution, I would ask the agents to extend their project to all the houses in the village.” By employing the fungus in tandem with conventional insecticides, the scientists believe they can prevent mosquitoes from developing resistance and the same technology could one day be used to combat other mosquito-borne illnesses, such as Zika and Dengue. REUTERSSat, 15 Jun 2019 08:35:38 +0000editorial@africanews.com number of dead in Sudan doubles Royal Care hospital in Khartoum was overflowing with injured people on Tuesday June 4th after Sudan security forces violently dispersed a sit in protest outside the country’s Defence Ministry on Monday The number of people killed in the operation has risen significantly to 60, according to The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD), a doctors group linked to the opposition. Death toll was initially estimated to be 35. The association said more people had been killed since then throughout Khartoum and its twin city of Omdruman. Talks between the Transitional Military Council, which has ruled since President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in April, and the opposition have ground to a halt amid deep differences over who would lead a three-year transition to democracy. Sudan’s military ruler on Wednesday (June 5) offered to resume a dialogue on a transition to democracy, one day after he scrapped all agreements with an opposition alliance.Sat, 15 Jun 2019 08:15:14 +0000editorial@africanews.com Kong extradition protests [International Edition] have been raging in Hong Kong against a controversial extradition bill, which, if approved, would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial. Meanwhile, would Boris Johnson be able to stitch Brexit coalition together? This week, Johnson secured the highest number of votes in the first ballot to select the Conservative party leader and next prime minister. Also, Moldova crisis deepens as two rival governments accuse each other of trying to usurp power. Stay tuned as we will have reports on this and other stories as we retrace the major current events covered by our various editorial teams presented by Elayne Wangalwa. elayneshaniSat, 15 Jun 2019 05:10:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com's 80-year-old PM accused of ceding power to his wife’s Prime Minister Thomas Thabane who has been accused of ceding power to his wife, is facing a motion of no confidence in a move that could break down the coalition government. The motion was filed in parliament this week by a member of Thabane’s own ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC), raising the possibility he will call snap elections in the tiny mountainous southern African kingdom. “We hereby move a motion that this honourable house has no confidence in a government of Lesotho led by the Prime Minister Thomas Motsoahe Thabane,” read a motion filed by ABC’s Motebang Koma and seconded by the main opposition Democratic Congress deputy leader, Motlalentoa Letsosa. Parliament was adjourned on Monday with no date fixed for it to sit again. Accusations against Thabane While the motion did not outline reasons for wanting Thabane out, some party members have turned to local media to voice claims that the 80-year-old premier was ceding political power to his young wife, Maesaiah Thabane. Even staunch supporters of Thabane, such as outspoken Thaba-Bosiu Principal Chief Khoabane Theko, have backed calls for his removal. “He allowed his wife to usurp control of the party and government,” Theko told the Lesotho Times. “What they must do is to call a special conference and resolve that Ntate Thabane should step down. He wants to play God with this government through his wife.” Ntate means sir in Lesotho. Thabane’s wife troubles The row comes two years after Thabane’s estranged wife Lipolelo, 58, was gunned down just two days before his inauguration. He and Lipolelo were embroiled in a bitter divorce dispute. She won a court case against Thabane during his first stint as prime minister affirming her position as Lesotho’s first lady instead of Thabane’s youngest wife. Polygamy is legal in Lesotho. Known as Africa’s Switzerland because of its mountainous scenery, Lesotho has a long history of political instability and suffered coups in 1986 and 1991. The ABC party has also been riven with internal conflict over the appointment of a new party vice president. A pro-Thabane faction has fiercely defended the leader. Defence minister Tefo Mapesela told parliament this week that Thabane intended to call fresh elections when parliament reconvenes. Thabane, whose coalition took office in 2017, was previously premier after 2012 elections but was forced to flee to South Africa, which entirely surrounds landlocked Lesotho, following an attempted coup two years later. AFPSat, 15 Jun 2019 03:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com police detain protesters amid outcry over gas deal riot police fired tear gas and detained more than 20 people on Friday, at an unsanctioned protest in Dakar over a BBC report of allegations the president’s brother was involved in fraud related to two offshore gas blocks developed by BP PLC. Prosecutors have said they will open an investigation following the publication of the BBC report earlier in June. The report has caused public outcry and cast a shadow over Senegal’s energy plans years before the first oil and gas starts flowing. Opposition groups had called for a peaceful protest for Friday, but the authorities did not give permission. An eye witness in central Dakar saw police firing tear gas canisters and detaining protesters, who chanted slogans such as ‘We are Senegalese! It’s too much!’ It was not possible to estimate the size of the protest as it was not localized in one part of the city. The situation was calm by the evening. The BBC report said that, in a previously unpublished arrangement, BP had agreed to pay Timis Corporation, a firm run by Romanian-Australian tycoon Frank Timis, about $10 billion in royalty payments for its stake in the two blocks. The BBC said that, based on documents it had reviewed, a secret payment of $250,000 was made by Timis to a company run by the president’s brother, Aliou Sall. He has denied receiving the payment and called the report “totally false.” Timis has not been reachable for comment, but told the BBC in a statement that there had been “no wrongdoing whatsoever.” The blocks are currently operated by BP, which has said it “rejects any implication that it acted improperly.” The blocks, called Cayar Offshore Profond and St. Louis Profond, have caused controversy since 2012, when a previously unknown company called Petro-Tim was unexpectedly awarded the license despite having no known track record in the industry. Soon after, the president’s brother was hired at the company. Protests against that deal erupted in Dakar in 2016, casting a shadow over President Macky Sall’s first term.Fri, 14 Jun 2019 21:35:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com in DRC, not a health emergency of international concern - WHO World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Committee declared on Friday in Geneva, Switzerland, that the current outbreak of ebola fever in the DRC is a health emergency. However, it does not meet the criteria of a Public Health Emergency of International concern under the International Health Regulations of 2005. The situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was reviewed, including the current epidemiological situation and response strategies, including changes instituted to improve community engagement. The organization made recommendations and encouraged strict border controls as Uganda has done, and preventive practices such as hand washing. It also suggested administration of preventive vaccines to front-line health personnel. The current Ebola epidemic, which began in August last year in eastern DRC, has already affected 2,062 people, killing an estimated 1,390. To be declared a global emergency of international concern, the epidemic must pose a risk to other countries and require a coordinated response. A declaration that generally triggers more funding and political attention.Fri, 14 Jun 2019 20:50:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com rejects Sudan's report on death toll of protesters, June 2019 official Sudanese announcement that 61 people have died in anti-Government protests in the capital, Khartoum, this month, is likely an underestimation, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, amid concerns that the insecurity is hampering humanitarian work in the country’s troubled Darfur region. “The death toll as reported by the Federal Ministry of Health, and I want to underline that it has not been verified by us, between 3 and 11 June is 61 deaths, and at least 859 wounded/injured,” said World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Christian Lindmeier. The WHO announcement follows reports of attacks and rape by security forces and paramilitaries against protesters and others holding a sit-in outside army headquarters in the capital. These incidents were condemned on Thursday by the United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, who noted the alleged involved of the Rapid Support Forces and militias. In a briefing to journalists in Geneva today (14 Jun) Lindmeier explained that as official victim numbers were sourced from Khartoum’s 12 main private and public hospitals – and not the many other clinics where injured protesters could also seek medical help – “underreporting is probable”. According to the World Food Programme, more than 70 per cent of planned prepositioned food has already been delivered to different states across Sudan. This will enable the UN agency to deliver lifesaving humanitarian aid to some 740,000 people in inaccessible locations during the rainy season, which is under way and usually ends around September. As a number of UN agencies respond to ongoing needs, OCHA’s Jens Laerke said funding for Sudan is well below where it’s expected to be. “Overall, the whole of Sudan and the humanitarian operation there is struggling with lack of funding,” he said. “We are asking for a total of $1.2 billion to the response across the country. Now halfway through the year, we are just a little more than 22 per cent funded.”Fri, 14 Jun 2019 20:28:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com partners with Korea on 'Feed Africa' Development Bank Group, AfDB, has initiated a partnership with the Korean government in the area of technology, to engage in food production in Africa. Speaking on the initiative in Malabo , Equitorial Guinea, AfDB’s Special Advisor to the president on Industrialization, Prof Oyebanji Oyelaran Oyeyinka said the ‘The feed Africa’ scheme is to transform Africa agriculture into a competitive and inclusive agribusiness sector that creates wealth. AfDB Special Advisor to the president on Industrialization, Prof Oyebanji Oyelaran Oyeyinka said that, “in Africa, Agriculture has not become a business we did not achieve what the call the green revolution for example what you saw with Korea as they actually transform their country literally from degradation and poverty by one simple crop, rice.” For her part, AfDB Representative for Egypt, Plalinne Blomberg, said, “it is a special time we are having now because we have the new Africa continental trade agreement. what this does is to open new market of more than 3 trillion dollars for African and International investors.” According to AfDB records, the global portal agro business is about 8 trillion dollars, an amount bigger than the information technology sector, even the automobile industry. The Korean government says it has been involved in helping Africa in the area of agriculture since 2009. “The government of Korea has agreed to start to help Africa. last year Africa foundation funded the project to help Africa. So this meeting also a representative from our country came here to present drone system for agriculture sector for Africa, “ said Hwangroh Lee, Korean Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea. According to the Bank, the initiative aims to contribute to the end of extreme poverty in the continent, eliminate hunger and malnutrition, make Africa a net exporter of agricultural commodities, as well as to move Africa to the top of key agricultural value chain.Fri, 14 Jun 2019 16:19:03 +0000editorial@africanews.com is Disney’s remake of Aladdin good news for the Middle East? film, which premiered worldwide in cinemas in May, was partly filmed in the kingdom’s Wadi Rum desert. The location has previously served as a backdrop for films like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), The Martian (2015), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) and the all-time classic, Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Aladdin, which was made in conjunction with Jordan’s Royal Film Commission, created 150 local jobs and took more than $150 million dollars in its first eight days at the North American box office. As of Friday, June 7th the 2019 US remake had made $214.9 million domestically and $508 million worldwide, according to Forbes. The hope of Jordan’s Film Commission is that the movie continues to work its magic and encourage other filmmakers to produce their next project in the region. Ahead of the film’s release, the cast made a public appearance in the Jordanian capital Amman to discuss the movie’s making. GUY RITCHIE: THE PERFECT SETTING FOR STORYTELLING Guy Ritchie during interview with Euronews (left); and on Aladdin’s film set in Jordan (right) Whilst the new Aladdin release could be considered something of a departure from Guy Ritchie’s trademark neo-noir productions like Sherlock Holmes (2009), and gangster movies like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), the movie bears its fair share of grit and fast-paced chases. For the parts filmed in Wadi Rum, the British director said the landscaped matched the cinematic aesthetic he had in mind. “It’s funny, because it (Wadi Rum) is almost built into the psyche of most film directors,” he told Euronews. Contributing to Jordan’s developing film industry story was a humbling experience for Ritchie, especially when charged with remaking the much-loved animated Aladdin film of 1992. According to the director, his key objective was to retain the film’s original essence whilst adding a contemporary touch, to please today’s young audience. “I suppose the biggest challenge was making sure that you fused the old and the new,” he said, “That you didn’t disturb the nostalgia of the first film, yet embellished it with applicable character evolution.” MENA MASSOUD: REJECTING CULTURAL STEREOTYPES Mena Massoud playing the role of Aladdin (left); and during interview with Euronews (right) The film’s protagonist Aladdin is played by Egyptian-born actor Mena Massoud, a relative newcomer to the Hollywood scene. For Massoud, the cultural diversity showcased in Aladdin sets a high bar for other international productions. “It sends the message that you can still cast people of colour, and people from this region and other regions, to carry films and have them succeed,” he told Euronews. The 27-year-old added that film productions should move away from stereotyping Arab actors. “I think there’s definitely a shift,” he said. “You know, when I first started my career, my first on-camera job was on a role called Nikita, as ‘Al Qaeda member 2’. So that shows how far we’ve come.” “I think there’s no better time than now,” he added. NAOMI SCOTT: FEMALE EMPOWERMENT & DIVERSITY Naomi Scott during interview with Euronews (left); and playing the role of princess Jasmine (right) Indian-British actress Naomi Scott plays Princess Jasmine, a character who is not the average royal on the rise. With plenty of sass, intelligence and determination, Jasmine is driven to rule her father’s kingdom. Her signature song in the film, ‘Speechless’, is a defiant declaration of independence which was composed by 8-times Oscar winner Alan Menken. Unusually, for a musical movie of this kind, the final version of the song to make the cut was recorded in one live take. Portraying a strong female character to a worldwide audience was a career highlight for Scott. “This character made me feel empowered growing up, but I do think there was room to modernise her so that it made sense for a 2019 audience,” she said. “I think it’s really important that our female heroines have a narrative – that they can push forward and they are well rounded – imperfect, of course, but they go through a journey.” Scott valued being part of the film’s varied ethnic line-up of on-screen talent, which included actors of Tunisian and Persian descent. “I’m so proud of how diverse our cast was, and how so many people can see this movie and connect, or relate in some way, and see themselves,” she said.Fri, 14 Jun 2019 14:25:33 +0000editorial@africanews.com protest hub: Junta leader in Eritrea for talks with Afwerki protest updates: December 2018 – February 1, 2019 June 14, 2019: Junta leader in Eritrea A Sudanese delegation on Friday arrived in neighbouring Eritrea for a working visit, the Eritrean Information Minister disclosed on Friday. The delegation is led by Chairman of the Transitional Military Council, TMC; Abdul Fattah Al-Burhan. They were received by President Isaias Afwerki at the Asmara International Airport. The two sides have since talks which are likely to center around bilateral relations and incidents back in post-Bashir Sudan. Eritrea has in recent weeks been a vocal neighbour calling on the African Union to stop externalizing the crisis and then Afwerki’s visit to Egypt to hold talks on Sudan with Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fatteh Al-Sisi. Eritrea was the only country in the region that the TMC leader had yet to visit in the last few months. Al-Burhan has alread been to Egypt, South Sudan and Ethiopia holding talks with the respective leaders. Back home, despite the resumption of talks between the junta and protest leaders; the call for a third party is the latest stumbling block to the talks. Protesters are also demanding a probe into deaths from a violent break up of a sit-in. The Chairman of Sudan's Transitional Military Council (TMC), Lt. Gen. Abdul-Fattah Al-Burhan, arrived in Asmara in mid-morning hours today for working visit to #Eritrea. Delegation was accorded warm welcome by President Isaias Afwerki on arrival at Asmara's International Airport.— Yemane G. Meskel (@hawelti) June 14, 2019 June 4, 2019: German envoy talks tough at special UNSC meeting on Sudan The United Nations Security Council called an emergency meeting to discuss events in Sudan after a deadly attack by security forces on protesters in Khartoum on Monday. One of the biggest pronouncements from the stakeout of the session was by the German envoy Ambassador Heusgen who warned against the use of force in a bid to achieve legitimacy. “Legitimacy cannot come from the barrel of a gun,” the German Mission to the UN quoted him in a tweet. Whiles expressing “deep concern over violence against protesters in #Sudan. He stresses the urgent need for a return to the negotiation table to bring about an inclusive, civilian-led transitional gov’t,” the tweet added. The June 3 attack led to the deaths of over 30 people whiles over 100 are reported to have sustained varied degrees of injuries. Protest leaders have vowed to escalate their push for civilian transition. Hours after the deadly removal of a sit-in by predominantly Rapid Special Forces, RSF, with the backing of other militia, the junta that deposed Omar Al-Bashir has scrapped previous agreements with protesters. The Abdul Fattah al-Burhan-led junta has also scheduled elections in nine months time, a time frame totally rejected by the protest leaders. The junta initially called for two-year transition. It later agreed a three-year period in what is now scrapped legislative deal with the protest leaders. Post-Bashir Sudan has proven to be a very difficult period as the country grapples with the aftershocks of a revolution that many believe is experiencing a counterrevolution engineered from outside the country by powerful players in the Gulf region – Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt. On the situation in #Sudan: We are deeply worried about developments in #Khartoum. Violence against protesters cannot be justified and has to stop immediately. We call on parties to avoid escalation and to return to the negotiating table.— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) June 3, 2019 June 3, 2019: Violent break up of Khartoum sit-in Security forces stormed a protest camp in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Monday and opposition-linked medics said more than 30 people were killed in the worst violence since the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir in April. Footage shared on social media and verified by Reuters showed chaotic scenes of people fleeing through streets as sustained bursts of gunfire crackled in the air during violence that drew rapid Western and African censure. Witnesses said a sit-in next to the Defence Ministry, the focal point of anti-government protests that started in December, had been cleared. Protesters poured onto streets elsewhere in Khartoum and beyond in response, setting up barricades and roadblocks with rocks and burning tyres. A group of doctors linked to the opposition said 30 people had been “martyred” in Monday’s violence, with the toll expected to rise because not all casualties had been accounted for. The group had earlier said at least 116 people were wounded. The main protest group accused the ruling military council of perpetrating “a massacre” as it broke up the camp. The Transitional Military Council (TMC) denied that, with a spokesman, Lieutenant General Shams El Din Kabbashi, telling Reuters security forces were pursuing “unruly elements” who had fled to the protest site and caused chaos. “The Transitional Military Council regrets the way the situation unfolded, reaffirming its full commitment to the … safety of the citizens and renews its call for negotiations as soon as possible,” the council later said in a statement. Monday’s violence is likely to deal a blow to hopes for a restart to stalled talks and a negotiated settlement over who should govern in a transitional period after Bashir’s overthrow. Sudan’s public prosecutor on Monday ordered an investigation into the violence, state news agency SUNA said. Early June 2019: Mass protest demanding transition Tens of thousands of Sudanese demonstrators converged on central Khartoum on Thursday night demanding civilian rule amid increasing tensions with the country’s military rulers who accused a protest encampment of threatening stability. The protest, which followed a two-day strike organised by demonstrators and opposition groups frustrated by a deadlock in talks on a transition to democracy, underscores the volatility of the situation in Sudan nearly two months after the military overthrew autocrat Omar al-Bashir. The head of the central Khartoum military region accused “unruly elements” of attacking a vehicle used by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and seizing it near the protest site. “The protest site has become unsafe and represents a danger to the revolution and the revolutionaries and threatens the coherence of the state and its national security,” General Bahar Ahmed al-Bahar, head of the central region in Khartoum said in a statement he read on television. REUTERS May 23, 2019: Hemedti in Saudi, stalemate back home persists The two leaders of the Transitional Military Council, TMC, were in the news for different reasons on Thursday. Deputy head of TMC Mohamed Hamdan known as Hemedti arrived in Saudi Arabia for an official visit. He was met on arrival in Jeddah by Prince Khalid Faisal. Saudi has been blamed as one of the interferers in ongoings back in Sudan. They have since Bashir’s overthrow made financial support available to Sudan. Back home an opposition concession in transition talks was said to have been rejected by the TMC. A journalist closely following the talks, Yousra Elbagir said the coalition had offered the TMC leader, Abdul Fattah al Burhan the role of leader of the sovereign body that was to lead the three-year transition. But the TMC’s rejection was on the grounds that the coalition wanted a civilian Burhan to be leader – in which case he was expected to retire from the Army in order to hold the post. Neither the coalition or TMC have confirmed the report. “On negotiations, inside source tells me: “[Opposition] Coalition made a major concession: they offered to agree to Burhan being President/Head of the Presidential Council – on the condition that he retire from the Army. It was flatly rejected [by Transitional Military Council]” she sad in a tweet. Vice Chair of the Transitional Military Council, Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” arrives to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia today and met by Prince Khalid Faisal.— Yousra Elbagir (@YousraElbagir) May 23, 2019 May 16, 2019: Roadblock removal starts, US lawmakers demand more pressure on junta The removal of roadblocks in parts of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, has started according to multiple reports. The many roadblocks that had crippled movement across Khartoum led to the suspension of civilian-led transition talks between the military junta and protest leaders. The military said it had suspended the talks for 72 hours effective Thursday morning. The protest leaders hit back at the move describing it as a surprise tactic by the military. Nile Street is now officially open, after protesters clear barricades. Fb live stream:.— Yousra Elbagir (@YousraElbagir) May 17, 2019 Meanwhile, a group of United States Senators have reiterated a call for America to stand with the Sudanese people in their fight to achieve a democratic country. In a May 16 letter to the U.S. Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury, the 92 bipartisan lawmakers said: “This is a critical moment for Sudan, one that came about because of the Sudanese people took to the streets to demand it. “It is also critical for the United States to support Sudanese citizen’s demands for real democratic change.” The protests that started since December 2018 has led to the ouster and arrest of long serving Omar al-Bashir. May 16, 2019: Roadblock removal blocks transition talks Days after the military and protest leaders agreed on a deal to lead Sudan out of a post-Bashir political flux, there is a new headache in the form of mounted roadblocks. The Transitional Military Council, TMC, is calling for all roadblocks particularly in a designated area in the capital to be removed. The measure had been one of the effective means that protesters have used in pressing for their demands. Vehicular movement has been largely restricted due to the roadblocks. Protesters have also camped around these roadblocks as part of a sit-in around the premises of the military headquarters. Attempts to forcibly remove the roadblocks have failed despite claiming lives of some protesters and a security official. The two parties have agreed for a three-year transition period to a civilian administration. The opposition alliance would have two-thirds of the seats on a legislative council. The sticking point is about who gets what number of seats on the sovereign council. May 15, 2019: South Sudan president comments on crisis The military junta that deposed Omar al-Bashir have agreed a deal transition deal with the opposition alliance. This follows weeks of back and forth over post-Bashir Sudan. How long: The two parties have agreed for a three-year transition period to a civilian administration. Legislative make up: The Transitional Military Council (TMC) disclosed that the alliance would have two-thirds of the seats on a legislative council. TMC & opposition joint presser now: They have agreed on a transitional period of three years & a legislative council comprising of 300 members, 67% will be signatories of the Declaration of Freedom & Change and 33% will not. No mention of composition of ruling council.— Yousra Elbagir (@YousraElbagir) May 14, 2019 Sticking point: the configuration of a sovereign council is what remains outstanding. The military and civilians have disagreed on who gets majority of seats on the council. The last time the military made concessions on the issue, they said the best they could do was to allow for equal representation. May 14, 2019: South Sudan president comments on crisis President Salva Kiir of South Sudan has asked that the sovereignty of Sudan be respected in this time of political uncertainty as the country works towards a transition. “It is important to remind international and regional actors not to interfere in Sudan. The people of Sudan are perfectly capable of managing their own affairs. Let us prove the world wrong. “We are not war mongers, we are peace loving people and we are a proud and dignified nation,” he said on Tuesday during the opening of the second session of the South Sudan parliament in Juba. Meanwhile, over in Sudan, post-Bashir flux continues. Transition deadlock between the junta that ousted Bashir and protest leaders is reportedly making headway. The Khartoum sit-ins that have crippled movement in key areas of the capital continues. Reports indicate that in the second city Omdurman, protesters have blocked roads after deadly clashes on Monday in Khartoum. May 13, 2019: Sudan’s military and opposition agree on power structure Sudan’s military council and opposition groups have agreed to a power structure for the country’s transition but have yet to decide how long it will last or the make-up of transitional bodies, the council’s spokesman said on Monday (May 13). Protesters are pushing for a civilian-led transition and have kept up demonstrations against the council since military officers removed Bashir, who is now facing multiple criminal investigations, from power. On Monday they blocked roads in central Khartoum in an escalation of tactics after security forces used tear gas to disperse dozens of protesters across the Nile in Khartoum North, Reuters witnesses said. On day two demonstrators blocked Nile Street, a major avenue running south of the Blue Nile, placing burning branches and stones across the road. The military-civilian balance of power and the length of the transition have been key sticking points in talks between the council and an alliance of protest and opposition groups since former President Omar al-Bashir was ousted on April 11. REUTERSFri, 14 Jun 2019 09:50:03 +0000editorial@africanews.com solving African problems [Morning Call] the advent of information technology into virtually all aspects of life, Africa has taken advantage of the promise and opportunity that a new age of information technology offers. Technologies have altered methods for communication, medicine, economics, employment, business, education, entertainment offering solutions to all these sectors and more. But how can African governments take advantage of these emerging technologies to deal with continental issues like growing insecurity and health?Fri, 14 Jun 2019 09:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Congo: Lamuka coalition boycotts parliament [Morning Call] Congo’s Lamuka coalition party says former President Joseph Kabila and current President Felix Tshisekedi “have assassinated the rule of law.” This follows a statement it issued on Thursday, after it suspended its participation in parliament until further notice. Their decision is as a result of the Constitutional Court’s ruling to invalidate the victories of 23 of its members. According to leader of the coalition, Martin Fayulu, political logic had taken precedence over the law. He also said: “We denounce the behaviour of the judges, clearly directed against our coalition and likely to undermine national cohesion that is already weak!” The Constitutional Court’s decision means, the political group has lost 20% of its representatives in the lower chamber of parliament.Fri, 14 Jun 2019 09:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com of the day, June 13, 2019 samples the best pictures of the day’s newsFri, 14 Jun 2019 08:05:54 +0000editorial@africanews.com opposition lose 23 seats to Kabila's coalition: Apex court rebuked, the Protestant Church of the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, has waded into a recent judicial ruling that led to the loss of over twenty parliamentary seats by the country’s main opposition party. The Church described the ruling, earlier this week, of the constitutional court as a “violation of the law,” and questioned its legitimacy and timing. “The ECC notes with regret the violation of the electoral law, especially since this law says that invalidations must be made within 60 days, that the constitutional court can invalidate the deputies in June, 5 months later, it is breaking the law,” said Pastor Moïse Bwema, chief of staff of the ECC president. The court sitting in the capital Kinshasa as part of the its work on electoral disputes arising from the December 2018 legislative vote, sacked 23 members of the National Assembly. The set included only lawmakers – parliamentarians and senators – of the opposition coalition Lamuka. Lamuka has since issued a statement rejecting the development and outlining plans to challenge them. #RDC: La Cour Constitutionnelle a invalidé 23 parlementaires de l’opposition Lamuka dont 21 députés nationaux (8 de MLC, 7 de MCR, 4 de AMK, 2 de Dynamique) et 2 sénateurs ( tous de Ensemble)! Cette situation est inacceptable!!!— Georges Kapiamba (@KapiambaGeorges) June 11, 2019 The coalition’s candidate in the December polls, Martin Fayulu, is largely believed to have won the polls according to independent observers. The controversy around the court’s decision is heightened by the fact that all 23 seats taken from Lamuka have been handed over to candidates of the Joseph Kabila – led coalition, Common Front for Congo, FCC. The FCC already hold a majority in both chambers of the National Assembly and have the majority of provincial governors. The dominance of Kabila allies in the legislature have long been seen as one of the main challenges that incumbent president Felix Tshisekedi faces in effectively running the state machinery. The current speaker of the National Assembly and Prime Minister are both Kabila allies. With the FCC backing the leadership of Jeanine Mabunda as parliament speaker and Kabila backing Ilunga Ilunkamba as Prime Minister.Fri, 14 Jun 2019 08:05:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban), AU, Arab leaders seek diplomatic solution to Sudan's political crisis from the United States and the African Union have intensified pressure on Sudan’s transitional military council that is currently working to resolve a standoff with protesters. The diplomatic push comes after protesters demanding civilian rule called off a nationwide civil disobedience campaign and agreed to resume talks with the generals who ousted veteran leader Omar al-Bashir in April. A semblance of normalcy Traffic jams returned to downtown Khartoum and some shops in the capital’s famous gold market began to reopen Thursday as more residents and office employees ventured out. Fewer troops and members of the feared paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, who protesters and rights groups accuse of leading the June 3 crackdown on protesters, were on the streets in downtown Khartoum, according to an AFP correspondent who toured parts of the capital. But they were deployed in force in the northern district of Bahari, a bastion of protests against the ruling military council. Several parts of the city suffered electricity cuts early on Thursday, while internet services remained erratic. “Today is my first day to work after the campaign ended but I’m not in the mood to work,” said Suheir Hassan, an employee at a government office. “Because, on my way I passed by the sit-in area and remembered that all those voices who used to chant revolutionary slogans have now disappeared.” Ethiopian mediation Protesters ended their disobedience campaign late on Tuesday and agreed to hold fresh talks with the ruling generals following mediation led by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Demonstrators launched the strike after men in military fatigues carried out a brutal assault on a sit-in of thousands of people outside the army headquarters last week, killing dozens. The protesters insist that they will only hold talks with the military, in the presence of a third party. READ MORE: Sudan protesters spurn direct talks with junta in demand to Ethiopia PM Washington and the AU, who have consistently pushed for civilian-led rule following Bashir’s ouster, stepped up efforts to find a solution Thursday. Washington’s newly appointed special envoy to Sudan Donald Booth, along with US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Affairs Tibor Nagy, met with General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of the ruling military council on Thursday. Following the meeting, Nagy said the US had asked the TMC to stop attacks on civilians, withdraw soldiers from the capital Khartoum and stop repression of freedom of speech and the internet. The same list of demands had been presented by the Alliance for Freedom and Change umbrella protest movement when it briefed the two US officials on Wednesday. ‘‘Amb Booth and I are now on our way to Addis Ababa to express support for the AU’s suspension of Sudan’s membership and its strong message on the need for a civilian-led government,’‘ Nagy tweeted. Washington said Booth had been named to help craft a “peaceful solution” to the crisis that has rocked the northeast African country. African Union’s commitment The AU, which suspended Sudan following the crackdown, said global efforts were on to resolve the crisis. “I can say without excess optimism that the discussions that we are holding with each side separately are moving forward to a great extent,” AU Special Envoy to Sudan Mohamed El Hacen Lebatt told reporters Thursday. An international team of diplomats was working to resolve the crisis, he added. The Arab nations The US diplomats were also expected to meet Thursday with top envoys of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt in Khartoum. Experts say the three regional Arab nations appear to back the generals. Days after Bashir’s overthrow, Saudi Arabia and the UAE offered a three-billion-dollar aid package to Khartoum, including a $500 million cash injection into the central bank to help support the Sudanese pound which has plunged since last year against the dollar. It was the country’s worsening economic crisis that first triggered the protests against Bashir’s iron-fisted rule. Managing the post-Bashir Sudan Talks between the protest leaders and generals broke down in mid-May over disagreements on who should lead a new governing body — a civilian or a soldier. Relations worsened following the crackdown, with protest leaders now insisting any agreement reached with the generals have “regional and international” guarantees for it to be implemented. Sudan has been led by a military council since the generals ousted Bashir on April 11 after months of nationwide protests against his three-decade rule. Protesters remained encamped outside the military headquarters in Khartoum for weeks afterwards demanding civilian rule, until the June 3 crackdown. Around 120 people have been killed since then, according to doctors close to the protesters. The health ministry has acknowledged 61 people died nationwide.Fri, 14 Jun 2019 03:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com's ex-president Bashir charged with corruption’s ex-president Omar al-Bashir was on Thursday formally charged with corruption, following the completion of an investigation by state prosecutors. Bashir was overthrown and arrested in a coup by the military on April 11 after months of mass protests against his autocratic 30-year rule. The charges were related to laws on “suspected illicit wealth and emergency orders”, the public prosecutor’s office said without giving more details. Bashir had already been charged in May with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters. Prosecutors had also ordered his interrogation on suspicion of money laundering and financing terrorism. It has not been possible to get a comment from Bashir since his ousting. Sudan was placed on a U.S. list of sponsors of terrorism under Bashir, an Islamist former general who is also under indictment by the International Court of Justice over war crimes in the country’s western Darfur region. On Wednesday, the top U.S. diplomat for Africa joined an international effort to press Sudan’s military rulers and the opposition toward a deal on a transition to democracy following the toppling of Bashir. Stability in Sudan is crucial for a volatile region struggling against Islamist insurgencies from the Horn of Africa to Egypt and Libya. Various powers, including Russia and the Gulf Arab states, are trying to influence its path. REUTERSThu, 13 Jun 2019 18:47:04 +0000editorial@africanews.com court jails former Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal has been jailed in an anti-corruption sweep — the second former head of government in two days to be sent to prison while his case is been investigated. A statement on Thursday by the prosecutor’s office said that Sellal was being investigated for “corruption and misappropriation of public funds” among other things. He served as prime minister from 2014-2017. His incarceration came a day after former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, a leading political figure forced out in March, was sent to the El Harrach prison — where Sellal was jailed. A former public works minister and campaign manager for ex-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was placed under judicial custody on Wednesday. The anti-corruption sweep comes amid popular demonstrations calling on allies of the former government to step down. Since Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s resignation, the Algerian judiciary has also launched several investigations and placed powerful businessmen in pre-trial detention, most of whom are suspected of having taken advantage of their ties with the deposed head of state or his entourage to obtain benefits or public contracts.Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:49:00 (Eric Oteng) launches digital financial inclusion facility African Development Bank and its partners on Wednesday launched the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI), designed to aid safety and expansion of digital financial transactions in Africa. The Fund, launched at the Bank’s Annual Meetings in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Government of Luxembourg, as initial contributors. The goal is to ensure that at least 320 million more Africans, of which nearly 60% are women, have access to digital financial services. The fund will deploy $100 million in grants and $300 million in the form of debt from the Bank’s ordinary capital resources by 2030, to scale up electronic financial services for low-income communities. “We believe that with the right investments in innovation and smart digital growth, the obstacles to achieving financial inclusion and greater economic opportunity for all will be overcome,” African Development Bank President Akinwunmi Adesina said. The interventions will be aligned to four pillars; infrastructure, including digital and interoperable payment systems; digital products and innovation; policy and regulatory reform and harmonisation; and capacity building. It will help to close the transaction gender gap between men and women. Africa saw double-digit growth in mobile phone ownership in the first half of this decade, triggering a surge in innovative digital tools and services across the continent. Yet, the benefits are not shared equally. It is estimated that only 43% of adults across Africa have a banking account. “Financial inclusion, achieved through digital financial service models, is simultaneously a powerful anti-poverty strategy and a catalyst of sustainable economic development for national and regional economies,” said Michael Wiegand, Director of the Financial Services for the Poor Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. ADFI’s opening project, which serves as a pilot for the facility, is a $11.3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the Bank and the Central Bank of West African States. The grant will create an interoperable digital payment system that will allow consumers to send and receive money between mobile wallets, and from these wallets to other digital and bank accounts. “With ADFI, we are convinced that our joint efforts can contribute efficiently to bring down the barriers that still undermine the full potential of digital finance in Africa. It will enhance the delivery of quality and responsible digital financial services to the underserved, a cornerstone to inclusive and sustainable financial systems. AFD welcomes the specific attention that will be given to women’s digital financial inclusion in the evaluation of the projects to be supported,” said Sébastien Minot, AFD’s Deputy Head for Africa. The ADFI will work with banks and non-bank financial institutions, mobile network operators, remittance and payment service providers, fintech companies, government ministries, regulatory bodies as well as regional economic organisations. “Luxembourg believes that poverty reduction and social cohesion go hand-in-hand with economic empowerment and financial inclusion. ADFI provides an excellent platform for Luxembourg to combine its focus on economic inclusion with its Fintech orientation for the benefit of Africa’s poor,” said Georges Heine, Alternate Governor for the African Development Bank from the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance. A three-member panel including Bank Vice President Pierre Guislain, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, discussed modalities, expected challenges and policy requirements that must be in place to enable the fund achieve its goals. Other members were Vanessa Moungar, Bank Director of Gender, Women and Civil Society, and Konstantin Peric, deputy Director, Financial Services for the Poor at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.Thu, 13 Jun 2019 16:45:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com illness affects a fifth of people living in war zones in five people in war zones has depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, with many suffering severe forms of these mental illnesses. The findings highlight the long-term impact of war-induced crises in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, the UN’s health agency said, and the numbers are significantly higher than in peacetime populations, where around one in 14 people has a mental illness. “Given the large numbers of people in need and the humanitarian imperative to reduce suffering, there is an urgent need to implement scalable mental health interventions to address this burden,” the research team said. Mark van Ommeren, a mental health specialist at the WHO who worked on the team, said the findings “add yet more weight to the argument for immediate and sustained investment, so that mental and psychosocial support is made available to all people in need living through conflict and its aftermath”. In 2016, the number of ongoing armed conflicts reached an all-time high of 53 in 37 countries and 12% of the world’s people are living in an active war zone, according to United Nations figures. Since World War Two, almost 69 million people globally have been forced to flee war and violence. The WHO’s conflict mental health study, published in The Lancet medical journal, was carried out by a team of researchers from the WHO, Australia’s Queensland University, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and Harvard University in the United States. It analyzed research from 129 studies and data from 39 countries published between 1980 and August 2017. Regions that have seen conflict in the last 10 years were included and mental illnesses were categorized as either mild, moderate or severe. Natural disasters and public health emergencies, such as Ebola, were not included. Overall in war zones, the average prevalence was highest for mild mental health conditions, at 13%. Around 4% of people living amid armed conflict had moderate mental health illness, and for severe conditions the prevalence was 5%. The study also found that rates of depression and anxiety in conflict settings appeared to increase with age, and depression was more common among women than men. The study was funded by the WHO, the Queensland Department of Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. ReutersThu, 13 Jun 2019 13:20:25 +0000editorial@africanews.com trafficking and child labour on the rise in Ghana west district has been identified as a major transit point for child trafficking and child labour. This became known during a study tour by the centre for human rights, conflict, and peace studies at the University of Education Winneba in the district. Peter Quao Adattor who was with the study group reports, seven child labourers were rescued within a spate of two hours on the lake. Human trafficking is a global problem affecting millions of people and many countries. In Ghana, the internal trafficking of children into hazardous labour is a major challenge. Many Ghanaian children are trafficked from their home villages to work in the fishing industry. Fishers desperate to sustain their income exploit these kids living in meager conditions and working long hours. However, statistics on the number of children in what many referred to as modern-day slavery remained scanty and often debatable. A recent an assessment conducted by the international justice mission, IJM, found that 57.6 percent of children working on southern lake Volta’s waters were trafficked into the forced labour. The report further identified the majority of the lake child labourers as too young to legally conduct the hazardous tasks inherent in many aspects of the fishing industry. At least one out of five of children identified in the lake fishing was six years old or younger according to the report. A recent documentary produced by CNN on the lake further corroborated this assertion. However, these reports were met with mixed reaction, especially from policymakers. The development prompted the centre for human rights, conflict, and peace, at the University of Education, Winneba, into a fact finding the mission at Kete-Krachi, where the practices is reportedly rife. The university study team encountered a number of children in hazardous labour within two hours of cruising on the lake. Some of the child labourers, aged between 8 and 12 years, were working without supervision whilst others appeared severely malnourished. This prompted the group, with support from PACODEP, a local NGO, to rescue seven of those encountered between 7.00am and 9.00am. But this was not without a struggle. All the children we encountered together with their masters put up fierce resistance. They claimed to be attending school but could not explain why they were found on the lake engaged in fishing activities on a Friday morning. This particular one went on his knees crying and begging the team not to remove him from the condition. The team proceeded to Ogetse, one of the island communities where three of the seven rescued children came from. There is a basic school with an acceptable number of teachers. However, most parents prioritize fishing ahead of their ward’s education. The statistics from the Krachi west district, social works is staggering requiring pragmatic action. Human right watchers say Ghana may not attain most of the sustainable development goals if pragmatic steps are not taken to address the wide spread of child trafficking and child labour. This exploitative act, unless checked and eliminated, attaining SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8, that seeks to ensure no poverty, no hunger, good health, quality education as well as good jobs and economic growth will continue to elude the country. The rescued children are currently at the village of life, a caregiving home and educational facility for rescued child labourers, beginning a new life journey with 98 other inmates.Thu, 13 Jun 2019 12:58:22 +0000editorial@africanews.com protesters spurn direct talks with junta in demand to Ethiopia PM umbrella body for Sudanese protest groups, the Forces for Freedom and Change, FCC; have said they will only restart talks with the ruling junta in the presence of a third party. The Arabic Al Hadath outlet quoted the FCC as saying in a Wednesday press briefing that despite agreeing on resumption of talks, ,direct talks were out of the question. “We have communicated to the Ethiopian Prime Minister our unwillingness to engage in direct talks with the TMC. “The TMC did not follow through on its promises to protect protesters and transfer power to civilians,” FCC added whiles rejecting the junta’s probe of the violent dispersal of a sit-in in the capital Khartoum on June 3. “We reject the one-sided investigation conducted by the TMC on the dispersal of the Khartoum sit-in.” The incident led to the suspension of talks by the military. Not even a U-turn hours later stopped a civil disobedience that lasted three-days till a successful negotiation by Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed’s Special Envoy. Key word: “direct”— Yousra Elbagir (@YousraElbagir) June 13, 2019 June 4: Junta “will fall no matter what” – Protest leader In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday (June 4), a leader of the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) Khalid Omar Yousef said the military “regime will fall no matter what”, and suggested the protest movement would escalate after the Eid holiday. Omar said the Transitional Military Council (TMC) Head Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan had not “learned from the lessons of history”, adding that the military rulers were perpetuating the old regime of ousted leader Omar al-Bashir. The DFCF leader also told Reuters he was optimistic about the success of the protest movement, saying strikes had led to Khartoum being a “ghost city” where “movement is completely hindered”. At least 35 people were killed on Monday (June 3) when security forces stormed a protest camp outside the Defence Ministry in central Khartoum, according to doctors linked to the opposition. Sudan’s opposition on Tuesday (June 4) rejected a plan by its military rulers to hold elections within nine months, a day after the worst bout of violence since Omar al-Bashir was ousted as president in April. June 2: Junta planning to forcibly disperse sit-ins The Sudanese Professionals Association, SPA, one of the main groups under the protest leadership in the country have alleged that there is an active plot by the Transitional Military Council, TMC, to break up sit-ins in parts of the country. “SPA has reason to believe that the military council is systematically planning and working towards dispersing the peaceful Sit-in using excessive force and violence,” the group said in a tweet posted on Saturday, June 1. Reports indicate that multiple protesters had been shot near the Khartoum sit-in with most analysts claiming that counter-revolutionaries were infiltrating the ranks of the protesters. Earlier this week, a junior military officer had warned that the continued sit-ins were a threat to the country’s stability. Removing the roadblocks around Khartoum and quitting the streets had been a point of contention at a point during transition talks that had been deadlocked since late last month. The military that ousted Omar Al-Bashir and protest groups have agreed a legislative framework for a three-year transition but they are yet to agree on the composition of a sovereign / governing council. After multiple protesters were shot today near the Khartoum sit-in, the SPA suggests that #Sudan’s military council plans to break up the #SudanProtests by force, with counterrevolutionaries infiltrating the protests to instigate a crackdown by security forces.— Lauren P Blanchard (@LaurenPinDC) June 1, 2019 May 31: UK ambassador condemns violence Irfan Siddiq the British ambassador in Sudan has condemned clashes that led to deaths around a protest site in the capital Khartoum. The clash that led to the deaths are blamed on the military who have since the fall of long-serving Omar Al-Bashir have failed to convince protesters to remove barricades mounted across the capital. The ambassador further called for transition talks towards a civilian government as per protesters demands to be urgently pursued “to avoid further instability.” His tweet on Friday morning (May 31) read: “Condemn killings and injuries as a result of live fire around the protest site in Khartoum over the last two days. Sudanese security forces must ensure no further violence. “Need for swift agreement on civilian led transition becoming ever more urgent to avoid further instability.” Transition talks between the junta that deposed Bashir and protest leaders has failed to produce an agreement at the level of the governing council of a three-year transition whose legislative component has been agreed upon. Condemn killings and injuries as a result of live fire around the protest site in Khartoum over the last two days. Sudanese security forces must ensure no further violence. Need for swift agreement on civilian led transition becoming ever more urgent to avoid further instability.— Irfan Siddiq (@FCOIrfan) May 31, 2019 May 24 – 26: Junta leaders visit regional powerhouses The weekend was a busy period for leaders of the Sudan Transitional Military Council, TMC, as they made trips to three countries in the region perceived by protesters as meddlers in the affairs of Sudan. The TMC’s second in command was late last week in Saudi Arabia on official visit during which occasion he met with the King of the Kingdom, King Salman. On Saturday, TMC head Abdul Fattah Burhan also made a trip to neighbouring Egypt where he held talks with the Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Egypt has held a conference on Sudan a month ago with Sisi presiding – in his position as sitting African Union president. From Egypt, Burhan flew to the United Arab Emirates where he was received by Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi. “During a meeting today with Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, head of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, Mohamed bin Zayed affirmed the UAE’s support in preserving Sudan’s security and stability,” the Crown Prince wrote on Twitter. Saudi and UAE have been supportive of efforts to alleviate Sudan’s economic crisis with deposits of monies into the central bank’s vault. Political watchers have however classed their actions as ways to exert more influence in a post-Bashir Sudan. Protesters have also serially been seen chanting anti-Saudi, UAE and Egypt meddling in the sovereign affairs of Sudan. Sudan’s Defacto Leader Abdelfatah Burhan meets with Egyptian President Abdelfatah el-Sisi in Cairo today— Yousra Elbagir (@YousraElbagir) May 25, 2019 During a meeting today with Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, head of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, Mohamed bin Zayed affirmed the UAE’s support in preserving Sudan’s security and stability.— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) May 26, 2019 May 24: TMC spokesman in Saudi with Hemedti At a time that transition talks are ongoing between the Sudan junta and civilian coalition, social media is buzzing about how the junta’s spokesperson is out of the country. The Transitional Military Council’s spokesman Lt. Gen. Shanseldin Kabbashi was part of the delegation of deputy TMC head Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” who is currently in Saudi Arabia. The deputy TMC head is in Saudi to attend a summit called by Saudi over Iran. Kabbashi who has been the main interface between the press and the TMC in relaying information from the talks was seen along with him which kept some people asking on social media if the talks were on hold till he returned. A photo worth a thousand words Himitti arrives in Saudi to attend the Arab-GCC urgent summit. Oh, kabbashi, TMC spokesperson is with him. Negotiations & transfer of power could wait.— Azaz Elshami?عُزاز شامي (@3ozaz) May 23, 2019 لما صاحبك يسوقك معاه عرس ناس ما بتعرفهم ويتونس معاهم ويفتح ليك— Azaz Elshami?عُزاز شامي (@3ozaz) May 24, 2019 The Saudi’s back the TMC which Hemedti is part of, they don’t back Hemedti alone. Saudi’s won’t seek to undermine the Army Generals, because Army rule is exactly what they want. Still the TMC sent Kabbashi as a minder this means they dont fully trust either Hemedti or the Saudi’s— Mohanad Elbalal (@MohanadElbalal) May 24, 2019 May 20: Eritrea stands with Sudanese people – Afwerki Eritrea stands in solidarity with the Sudanese people was the crust of a message transmitted by a delegation that was sent on Sunday by President Isaias Afwerki to Khartoum. “President Isaias’ message further stressed Eritrea’s confidence in the ability of the Sudanese people to find solutions to their own issues. The President of the TMC, General Alburhan, welcomed Eritrea’s initiative and briefed the delegation on developments in the country. “Both sides affirmed their readiness to put Eritrean Sudanese relations back on track. Eritrea’s delegation is on a two-day visit to the Sudan,” the information Minister said in tweets on Sunday. Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Presidential Adviser Yemane Ghebreab met the leader of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, TMC, General Abdulfetah AlBurhan, for talks on Sunday. The same day talks resumed between the generals and the protest leaders – Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, FDFC. As at Monday, they also held a meeting with the second in command of the military junta and leader of the Rapid Support Forces, General Mohamed Hamdan Hamedti. Eritrea is the second neighbour to send a delegation to Khartoum since Bashir was deposed. Ethiopia PM days after Bashir’s ouster issued a statement stressing that Ethiopia stood with the resilient Sudanese protesters. Abiy’s deputy has visited Khartoum as has the Foreign Affairs chief earlier this month. South Sudan president Salva Kiir also recently expressed support for the protesters tasking meddlers to stay off the affairs of sovereign Sudan. Eritrea diplomacy hits top gear: Delegation visits Mogadishu, Cairo, Riyadh Eritrea’s delegation visiting the Sudan met with Deputy President of TMC, Mohamed Hamdan D. Hameidti. General Hameidti stated that current visit of the delegation signifies the end of a chapter and the beginning of a promising one in bilateral ties between Eritrea & the Sudan— Yemane G. Meskel (@hawelti) May 20, 2019 May 16: British ambassador urges resumption of talks Irfan Siddiq, the British ambassador in Sudan has asked the military junta to quickly resume talks with protest leaders. He said the parties risked losing progress made in the transition talks with the situation. He tweeted details of a meeting with the Abdul Fattah Burhan-led Transitional Military Council, TMC, that deposed Omar al-Bashir on April 11. His full statement is as follows: Met with TMC today for their explanation of the suspension of talks. TMC claim environment not conducive given escalation: expansion of roadblocks, blocking of railway line, worsening security and hostile statements from FFC. Urged TMC to resume talks asap. Progress made was significant and it seemed strange to suspend at this point and risk losing all gains made. Delay also creates a vacuum that could lead to further instability. Rollback of roadblocks had begun, should continue and was welcome. Also stressed absolute need to avoid further violence. No amount of provocation justifies shooting protestors. Pressed for results of investigation into recent killings and injuries ASAP. “Protesters caution military junta over suspension of talks”: May 13: Special forces disperse protesters in northern Khartoum Special forces believed to be from Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces have dispersed protesters in the capital on Monday, media reports have shown. The forces dispersed protests and removed road blocks in parts of the city’s north. Tear gas was used in the process, the reports further added. Incidentally, the action comes on the day talks resumed over transition. The military junta that deposed Omar al-Bashir remain deadlocked with protest leaders calling for a transfer of power to a civilian-led transition team. A sit-in outside the army headquarters in Khartoum, however, continues with roadblocks being regularly reinforced. Protesters are spending the Ramadan in the streets where they spend the entire day – observing the fast. May 7: UN, AU support civilian-led transition The African Union and the United Nations say they are supporting a civilian-led transitional government in Sudan following last month’s overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir. AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat told reporters after meeting Monday with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres there is no question of sustaining the military council that assumed power after al-Bashir’s ouster, saying “it is not acceptable.” But he said military members could be part of a civilian government. Protesters have called for a swift transition to civilian rule, and the AU initially gave the military 15 days to hand over power but extended the deadline to 60 days. Mahamat said talks are underway. The U.N.-AU communique welcomes and supports “AU-led efforts to facilitate a consensual and civilian-led transition, in close coordination with the U.N.” AP May 3: Military rejects civilian majority in joint council A protester was killed in Sudan’s Darfur region after security forces shot at a group of protesters on Saturday. Media reports said nine people were shot and injured at a sit-in with hospital authorities in the town of Nyala, confirming the casualty. Reports on Saturday said the military had tried to break the sit-in leading to the clashes and the subsequent incident. The sit-in is part of the nationwide action by protest leaders to push for a handover of power to civilians. Around 5,000 protesters marched peacefully from the Atash camp for the displaced to a military installation housing the 16th Infantry Division, SUNA said, citing South Darfur’s governor. Sudan has seen frequent protests near military buildings. The agency said protesters attacked military personnel and tried to seize military vehicles in the town, some 1,100 km southwest of Khartoum. However the Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA), which spearheaded protests that led to the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir last month, said the protesters were peaceful, and made no mention of casualties. South Darfur Governor Hashim Khalid Mahmoud said four military and Rapid Support Forces personnel were injured, SUNA reported. He said the joint forces fired live ammunition into the air and used tear gas, but said no demonstrators were hurt. The Transitional Military Council, TMC, is currently holding power having ousted long-serving Omar al-Bashir in April. Talks with civilians have failed to reach an agreement. The junta are however under pressure from the international community and the continuing sit-in that has crippled movement in key parts of the capital and other cities. The TMC is currently led by Abdel Fatteh Al-Burhaan who was sworn into office about two days after Bashir’s fall. His predecessor was one Ahmed Ibn Auf – Bashir’s last defense minister who resigned after a little over a day in charge. Bashir is currently being held in solitary confinement at Kobar, a maximum security jail in Khartoum. He is the subject of a judicial probe over possible money laundering and terrorism financing. Sad news from Nyala, South Darfur this morning. Of the 9 people shot and injured at yesterday’s sit-in, one man has passed away from a gunshot wound in the stomach – according to a source at Nyala hospital this morning.— Yousra Elbagir (@YousraElbagir) May 5, 2019 May 3: Military rejects civilian majority in joint council A member of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council has told the BBC that they were only willing to split representation on a proposed joint transition team with civilians. Lt-Gen Salah Abdelkhalek said they had rejected a civilian majority in the proposed council with the Alliance for Freedom and Change who led the protests that led to the ouster of ex-president Omar al-Bashir. Roadblocks are still mounted across the capital Khartoum where a massive protest was held on Thursday calling for a civilian administration. Protest leaders early this week said the junta was not serious about reaching a deal. “The red line will be not a majority of civilians, they will not accept this… maybe half and half, this is the last point. This is the top point.” Asked about a team of say seven civilians, seven soldiers he responded: “Maybe, maybe: I can satisfy my soldiers, my officers, we are not alone.” AU gives Sudan military third deadline of 60-days to handover power— africanews (@africanews) May 1, 2019 April 20: Sudan investigating Bashir after large sums of cash found at home- source Sudan’s public prosecutor has begun investigating ousted President Omar al-Bashir on charges of money laundering and possession of large sums of foreign currency without legal grounds, a judicial source said on Saturday. The source said that military intelligence had searched Bashir’s home and found suitcases loaded with more than $351,000 and six million euros, as well as five million Sudanese pounds. “The chief public prosecutor… ordered the (former) president detained and quickly questioned in preparation to put him on trial,” a judicial source told Reuters. “The public prosecution will question the former president in Kobar prison,” the source added. Relatives could not be immediately reached on Saturday for comment about the investigation. Bashir, who is also being sought by the International Criminal Court over allegations of genocide in the country’s western Darfur region, was ousted on April 11 by the military following months of protests against his rule and had been held at a presidential residence. April 18: Bashir’s brothers detained The Transitional Military Council in Sudan has arrested two brothers of ousted leader Omar al-Bashir. It is not know over exactly what charges they are being held. A military spokesperson said the move was part of efforts to uproot symbols of the former regime. HE added that militia and armed groups loyal to Bashir had been brought under police or military control. Bashir was arrested after his overthrow last week and transferred to prison custody earlier this week. The military is under pressure from protesters and the diplomatic community to handover power to a civilian transition team. Meanwhile, neighbouring South Sudan on Wednesday (April 17) offered to mediate in the crisis. The government has sent a delegation to Khartoum to meet interested parties. “The president has offered to mediate the ongoing negotiations among various groups in Sudan with the hope that the new transition will usher in a new day in Sudan…,” a statement by President Salva Kiir’s office said. Statement: AUC chair meets military delegation in Addis Ababa The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, today (April 16) received a Sudanese delegation led by Lieutenant-General Jalal Alsheikh Altayeb, member of the Military Transitional Council (MTC), who conveyed a written message to from Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Chairperson of the MTC. Recalling the communiqué adopted by the Peace and Security Council at its meeting held on 15 April and his own earlier communiqué, the Chairperson reiterated the African Union’s commitment to work with all the Sudanese stakeholders towards a consensual and inclusive transition that meets the aspirations of the people and ensures the stability of the country. As part of the continental solidarity and the search for African solutions to African problems, the Commission of the African Union will continue to closely monitor the situation and interact with all the Sudanese stakeholders, with the view to helping them overcome the challenges confronting their country. My statement following discussions earlier today with a Sudanese delegation led by Lieutenant-General Jalal Alsheikh Altayeb, member of the Military Transitional Council. #Sudan.— Moussa Faki Mahamat (@AUC_MoussaFaki) April 16, 2019 Standing with Sudan Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of the TMC, received phone calls from the Saudi king, UAE president, Qatari emir, Ethiopian prime minister and South Sudanese president, SUNA said on Monday. They expressed support for the TMC in “this delicate and historic stage” and their concern for the security and stability of the country, SUNA said. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for “a rapid transfer of power to a civilian transitional government,” in a phone call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. “This must be followed by a credible, inclusive political process that meets the expectations of the Sudanese people with regard to economic and political reforms,” her office said in a statement. Sisi meanwhile reiterated Egypt’s support for “the brotherly Sudanese people’s will” and said Cairo would “not interfere in its internal affairs”, according to a presidential statement. AU issues ultimatum to Sudan military In a communique on Monday, the African Union’s Peace and Security Council called for Sudan’s military to transfer power to a “transitional civilian-led political authority” within 15 days or face suspension from the AU. Lieutenant General Jalal al-Deen al-Sheikh, a member of the TMC, met Ethiopia’s prime minister in Addis Ababa, where the AU is based, and said, “We are already in the process of choosing a prime minister” for a civilian government, according to the Sudanese state news agency SUNA. “So we are initiating this even before having this session with the African Union. This is our conviction and this is also the way forward to peace, but also, we respect it and we are committed to the decision of the Peace and Security Council.” SPA makes demands The Sudanese group that led protests against deposed President Omar al-Bashir called on Monday for the transitional military council that has taken power to be disbanded and for a new interim civilian ruling council to be formed. Representatives of the Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA) piled pressure on the military commanders who have taken over, issuing a long list of demands for deeper and faster change to end repression and a ruinous economic crisis. If their demands were not met, the group would press on with protests and not join a future transitional government, Ahmed al-Rabie, an SPA member, told Reuters. The SPA held its first news conference since Bashir, who ruled with an autocratic hand since seizing power in a coup 30 years ago, was ousted by the military on Thursday following months of street demonstrations. A new interim civilian body should be given full executive powers, with the armed forces having representation, and the Transitional Military Council (TMC) that took over last week should be dissolved, the SPA said. “If our demand for the formation of a civilian transitional council with military representation is not met, we will not be part of the executive authority, the cabinet, and we will continue the mass escalation and the sit-ins to fulfil our demands,” Rabie told Reuters. SPA representatives also renewed calls for the head of the judiciary and his deputies and public prosecutor to be removed. They demanded the dissolution of Bashir’s National Congress Party and said they received affirmation from the TMC that the party will not participate in a transitional government. The SPA also called for the seizure of the party’s assets and the arrest of its prominent figures. It demanded the dissolution of paramilitary groups that were loyal to the old government, and of the National Intelligence and Security Service’s (NISS) operations authority, and called for an end to Sudan’s press law and the public order law, which the SPA has said restricts freedoms. April 15, 2019: Protesters assured of security, ex-govt members arrested Some members of the erstwhile government have been arrested by the transitional military council, reports from the country has suggested as at Monday morning. There has been no mention of the reasons why they were picked up and who exactly had been picked. Ousted Omar al-Bashir is currently in detention and is likely to face trial in Sudan. Protesters who are holding an adamant sit-in entering two-weeks have also been assured of security by the military. As of Monday morning, protesters have block efforts by soldiers to remove road blocks according to reports. The sit-in at the army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, was the last straw that forced the military to oust President Omar al-Bashir last week. Protesters have refused to leave until the military hands over power to a civilian-led transition team. The military high command has offered the protest leaders the opportunity to name a prime minister, Al Jazeera reported on Sunday. The border guard militia, along with some troops from the army, have asked people to help them with clearing the roads blocks, saying “let’s help each other.” People have chanted back to them, “must be us.”— Yousra Elbagir (@YousraElbagir) April 15, 2019 April 14, 2019: Protesters to pick Prime Minister The military council in charge of Sudan has asked activists to nominate an independent candidate for the position of Prime Minister in the transitional government, Al Jazeera reports. The portal’s journalist covering the Sudan uprising confirmed that on day two of military – protester groups talks, the military said it was only interested in two security related portfolios. “He said the military council only wants two positions, the defence and interior ministries. That’s because, in his words, they want to maintain order and security in the country,” Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan reports from Khartoum. Morgan reported further that there were some disagreements among political parties in the duration and the shape that some of the measures expected to he undertaken. “Now the political parties themselves are divided. Some of them want a two year transitional period, others want four. There’s also disagreement over how to deal with the national intelligence and security services. Some want it completely abolished while others want reforms,” she added. Sudan’s new transition leader Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdelrahman is a military commander believed to be more ready to talk to the protesters. He was the third most senior general in the Sudanese armed forces and is little known in public life. As head of Sudan’s ground forces he oversaw Sudanese troops fighting in the Saudi-led Yemen war and has close ties to senior Gulf military officials. In his first televised address, Burhan said he was also canceling a night curfew ordered by his predecessor and ordered the release of all prisoners jailed under emergency laws put in place by ousted President Omar al-Bashir. A coalition of groups leading the protests said it had accepted an invitation by the armed forces to meet on Saturday to discuss a new civilian government. The main protest organiser had earlier on Saturday urged people to keep marching to demand a civilian government after the defence minister and the intelligence chief stepped down. Intelligence chief resigns Sudan’s security and intelligence chief quit on Saturday, state media reported, a day after the defence minister stepped down abruptly as interim leader following the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir and protesters kept up demands for change. Salah Abdallah Mohamed Saleh, known as Salah Gosh, who headed the National Intelligence and Security Service and was once the most influential person in the country after Bashir, was held responsible by protesters for the killing of demonstrators demanding an end to military rule. The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which has been leading protests to demand a civilian government, called for more demonstrations on Saturday. “Today, we continue the march to finish the victory for our victorious revolution,” the SPA said in a statement. “We assert that our revolution is continuing and will not retreat or deviate from its path until we achieve … our people’s legitimate demands of handing over power to a civilian government,” it said. Defence minister resigns Sudan’s defence minister stepped down abruptly on Friday as head of the country’s transitional ruling military council after only a day in the post, as protesters demanded quicker political change following President Omar al-Bashir’s ouster by the armed forces. Hours after the military council sought to calm public anger by promising a new civilian government, Defence Minister Awad Ibn Auf said in a televised speech he was quitting as head of the council. Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdelrahman will be the new head of the council, Ibn Auf said. He also said Chief of Staff Kamal Abdelmarouf al-Mahi was relieved of his position as deputy head of the transitional military council. “In order to ensure the cohesion of the security system, and the armed forces in particular, from cracks and strife, and relying on God, let us begin this path of change,” Ibn Auf said. News of the change sparked joyful celebrations by many thousands in the streets of Khartoum as people chanted, “The second has fallen!” in reference to Bashir, witnesses said. “What happened is a step in the right direction and is a bow to the will of the masses, and we have become closer to victory,” Rashid Saeed, a spokesman for the main protest group, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), told Reuters. “We are committed to our demands that we submitted to the army,” he said. “We call on the masses to stay on the streets until all the demands are met.” 16 killed during protests against military council At least 16 people were killed and 20 injured by stray bullets at protests and sit-ins on Thursday and Friday, a police spokesman said. Government buildings and private property were also attacked, spokesman Hashem Ali added. Worshipers packed the streets around the Defence Ministry for Friday prayers, heeding a call by the SPA to challenge the military council. The numbers swelled in the afternoon and a Reuters witness estimated hundreds of thousands of protesters thronged areas around the ministry, which was guarded by soldiers. Hashem Ali asked citizens to help ensure safety and public order. Military council pledges civilian government Sudan’s ruling military council on Friday promised the country would have a new civilian government, a day after the armed forces overthrew President Omar al-Bashir after 30 years in power. The council, which is now running Sudan under Defence Minister Mohammed Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, said it expects a pre-election transition period it announced on Thursday to last two years at most or much less if chaos can be avoided. The council also announced that it would not extradite Bashir to face allegations of genocide at the international war crimes court. Instead he would go on trial in Sudan. Friday’s announcement of a civilian government by the head of the military council’s political committee, General Omar Zain al-Abideen, appeared aimed at reassuring demonstrators who took to the streets to warn against imposing army rule after Bashir’s overthrow. ‘Protesters, not army have solutions’ Abideen pledged that the military council would not interfere with the civilian government. However he said the defence and interior ministries would be under the council’s control. He said the military council had no solutions to Sudan’s crisis and these would come from the protesters. “We are the protectors of the demands of the people,” he said. “We are not greedy for power.” Earlier on Friday, thousands of Sudanese demonstrators camped outside the defence ministry to push for a civilian government, defying a curfew and calling for mass prayers. Demonstrators who have been holding almost daily anti-Bashir protests have rejected the decision to set up a transitional military council and vowed to continue protests until a civilian government is established. Activists called for mass Friday prayers outside the defence ministry compound, a focal point for protests. At the compound, large tents were put up and people brought in food and handed out water as the crowd swelled, a Reuters witness said. Ahmed al-Sadek, a 39-year-old trader, said he had not slept at his home since the sit-in began on Saturday. Activists wearing yellow vests controlled traffic around the compound on Friday morning and managed foot traffic to and from the sit-in, a Reuters witness said. They also blocked a major bridge in central Khartoum. Bashir, 75, had faced 16 weeks of demonstrations against him. What next for protesters? Thousands of people flocked to an anti-government protest outside the defence ministry on Thursday, while huge crowds took to the streets in central Khartoum, dancing and shouting anti-Bashir slogans. Protesters chanted: “It has fallen, we won.” Demonstrators called for a civilian government and said they would not accept an administration led by military and security figures, or by Bashir’s aides. Omar Saleh Sennar, a senior member of the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, one of the main protest groups, said it expected to negotiate with the military over a transfer of power. “We will only accept a transitional civilian government,” Sennar told Reuters. Names of Bashir’s possible successors that have been circulating include the defence Minister, an ex-military intelligence chief, also an Islamist, and former army chief of staff Emad al-Din Adawi. Adawi is said to be favoured by regional neighbours at odds with Bashir over his Islamist leanings. Bashir detained, military council takes over Sudan’s defense minister said on Thursday that President Omar al-Bashir had been detained “in a safe place” and that a military council would run the country for a two-year transitional period, confirming a long anticipated coup by the armed forces. In a statement broadcast on state TV Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf said there would be elections at the end of the transitional period. Seated on a gold-upholstered armchair, Auf announced a three-month state of emergency, a nationwide ceasefire and the suspension of the constitution. He also said Sudan’s air space would be closed for 24 hours and border crossings shut until further notice. Sudanese sources told Reuters that Bashir was at the presidential residence under “heavy guard”. A son of Sadiq al-Mahdi, the head of the country’s main opposition Umma Party, told al-Hadath TV that Bashir was being held with “a number of leaders of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group”. The defence minister made an appeal to the citizens, asking them to tolerate security measures that will be put in place. He also pledged that human rights will be observed throughout the transition period. Photos: Celebrating the end of an era Political prisoners released Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service has announced the release of all political prisoners across the country, state news agency SUNA reported on Thursday. The announcement came after Sudanese sources said President Omar al-Bashir had been forced to step down after three decades in power. Shortly after the announcement, Twitter users circulated photos showing former detainees being welcomed by protesters as they joined demonstrations against Omar al-Bashir. One of those released was Mohammed Naji Elasam, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), the main organiser of protests being held across Sudan since December, witnesses said. Elasam had been detained for more than three months. Protesters vow to protect revolution from Bashir’s allies The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which has been leading protests that have lasted over three months, has urged the armed forces to ‘handover power to the people’, according to what they described as ‘the declaration of freedom and change’. ‘‘We assert that the people of Sudan will not accept anything less than a civil transitional authority composed of a patriotic group of experts who were not involved with the tyrannical regime,’‘ read part of a statement issued on their website on Thursday. Omar Saleh Sennar, a senior member of the SPA said the group was waiting for a statement by the army and expected to negotiate with the military over a transfer of power away from Bashir. Soldiers raid Bashir’s party headquarters A Reuters witness says soldiers raided the headquarters of the Islamic movement led by Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir in the capital Khartoum on Thursday. The Islamic movement is the main component of Sudan’s ruling party. Government sources said Bashir had stepped down and consultations were underway to form a transitional council. Minister says Bashir has stepped down Embattled Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has stepped down and consultations are under way to form a transitional council to run the country, government sources and a provincial minister said on Thursday. The minister of production and economic resources in North Darfur, Adel Mahjoub Hussein, told the Dubai-based al-Hadath TV that “there are consultations to form a military council to take over power after President Bashir stepped down”. Sudanese sources confirmed the report and told Reuters Bashir was at the presidential residence under “heavy guard”. Military to make announcement soon: state media The military will make an announcement soon, state television said as troops were deployed in Khartoum. “The armed forces will present an important statement shortly. Be ready for it,” the announcement on state television read, without giving further details. The army and security services deployed troops around the defence ministry and on major roads and bridges in the capital as thousands of people flocked to an anti-government protest outside the ministry, a Reuters witness said. Tens of thousands of Sudanese took to the streets in the centre of Khartoum in jubilation, dancing and chanting anti-Bashir slogans. Protesters outside the defence ministry chanted: “It has fallen, we won.” State television and radio played patriotic music, reminding older Sudanese of how military takeovers unfolded during previous episodes of civil unrest. REUTERSThu, 13 Jun 2019 11:45:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com crucial incidents in Sudan: Two months after Bashir ouster is currently in a state of political uncertainty and uneasiness two months after the fall of a three decades regime. With Bashir’s ouster by the military, protesters under the banner of the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change, FDFC, claimed their first victory. An anti-government protest against rising cost of living in late 2018 snowballed into a call for regime change. That phase of the push which at times turned deadly ended April 11, when Bashir was ousted. In his place, the junta called the Transitional Military Council, TMC. In their two-months in charge, there has been transition negotiation, diplomatic movements, continental suspension, talks deadlock and violent crackdown. This article looks back at 10 major incidents since the fall of Bashir. Touching on the now incarcerated ex-leader, the TMC, protesters and the African Union. 1 – Bashir falls, Ibn Auf falls immediately (April 12) Protesters jubilated the fall of Bashir but kept watchful over the next moves of the TMC. Bashir’s last defense minister was announced TMC leader at the time. But Awad Mohammed Ibn Auf gave protesters more to cheer about when he resigned his position in less than two days. The masses mocked it as two overthrows in two days. Enter Lt. Gen. Abdul Fattah Al Burhan as new leader with a controversial deputy, Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo alias Hemedti, leader of Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces, ex-Janjaweed forces. Sudan coup leader resigns, protesters celebrate ‘second’ triumph 2 – AU Council’s first salvo – 15 day ultimatum (April 15) The AU Peace and Security Council were quick off the mark with a threat of sanctions if civilian transition was not achieved in 15 days. This was to be the first of three deadlines. Uganda offers asylum to Sudan’s Bashir 3 – Bashir arrested, detained; monies seized In the midst of the flux as TMC tried to set things in place and as protest leader organized their next steps, Bashir was detained and sent to Kobir maximum security jail in Khartoum. Reports later emerged that a raid at his home had uncovered huge sums of monies in local Sudanese pound and in different foreign currencies. A source said that military intelligence had searched Bashir’s home and found suitcases loaded with more than $351,000 and six million euros, as well as five million Sudanese pounds. “The chief public prosecutor… ordered the (former) president detained and quickly questioned in preparation to put him on trial,” a judicial source told Reuters. “The public prosecution will question the former president in Kobar prison,” the source added. 4 – AU meets in Egypt, offers new time line (April 23) The second AU linked meeting over Sudan was in Cairo, where the AU president and Egyptian leader Al-Sisi invited others to discuss the situation in Khartoum. They eventually declared a three-month period for power to be handed over to civilian transition team. The AU Commission chair was in the meeting. Sisi, who is the current president of the African Union, received 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. African summit gives Sudan junta three-months for reforms 5 – Legislative composition reached Talks between the two factions progressed till a legislative arrangement was announced. The TMC’s two-year transition had also been extended by a year. The sticking point was failure to reach a deal on the composition of a sovereign council for the transition. TMC disclosed that the alliance would have two-thirds of the seats on a legislative council. Sudan | President Omar al-Bashir’s rule ending after 30 years, mass protests and more. Here’s a timeline of all the events that have unfolded.— euronews (@euronews) June 10, 2019 6 – AU Council fires third warning (May 1) Then came the AU’s third warning via the PSC which gave the junta two-months to hand over power to civilians or risk suspension. Parts of its communiqué read: “5. Decides to extend the deadline set in paragraph 5 © of the communique of its 840th meeting for an additional period of up to sixty (60) days for the military in The Sudan to hand over power to a civilian-led Transitional Authority. AU gives Sudan military third deadline of 60-days to hand over power 7 – TMC leaders make round trip in Gulf, to neighbours At the height of the failure to resolve the sovereign council arrangement, TMC leader flew to Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, South Sudan and Ethiopia – in that order. His deputy was also in Saudi Arabia. 8 – Khartoum sit-in violently dispersed, talks suspended Protesters had spent the entire Ramadan in the streets especially at the sit-in in front of the Defense Ministry. The TMC had serially called the measure a security threat. On June 3, forces of RSF were specially deployed to the area. The operation that forcefully broke the sit-in claimed over 100 lives whiles hundreds were injured. FDFC cancelled all talks as did the military which even scrapped the earlier agreement announcing a nine-month period for the next elections. 9 – TMC U-turn, AU suspension, UNSC condemnation In less that 24-hours, TMC said it was ready to deal but the protesters said they were no longer interested till a set of conditions had been met, key among them a probe of atrocities and disbandment of militia. The the AU announced and suspension of Sudan with a United Nations Security Council meeting convened specially for the purpose. An outright condemnation vetoed by Russia and China. AU suspends Sudan demands civilian transition ? UN Security Council press statement on #Sudan#UNSC have called for the immediate cessation of violence against civilians and emphasised the importance of human rights, protection of civilians, accountability and justice. ?Read the full statement⬇️— UK at the UN ?? (@UKUN_NewYork) June 12, 2019 10 – Ethiopia mediation achieves reactivation of talks Ethiopia had kept a keen eye on Sudan with the TMC visiting Addis twice and a delegation from Addis led by Foreign Affairs chief Gedu Andargechew going the other way. But the trip by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was what made the major headlines. He met both factions while in Khartoum and promised to stay in touch with them even as he flew back to Addis. Then the civil disobedience called by the FDFC kicked in on Sunday leaving most of the country paralysed. On the third day of the measure, a mediator sent by Abiy managed to reach a resumption of talks and suspension of civil disobedience. The terms of the agreement reached by Abiy’s envoy, Ambassador Mahamoud Dirir were as follows: 1. The two sides have agreed to uphold what they have agreed upon before the suspension of the negotiation, regarding the Structures, Powers and Responsibilities of the Transitional Government etc. 2. Talks will resume soon in good-faith to iron-out the remaining outstanding points, including the Sovereign Council and other relevant matters. 3. The two sides have agreed to refrain from inflammatory statements and de-escalate tensions; 4. The Transitional Military Council has agreed to take confidence-building measures including the release of Political Prisoners. 5. The Forces for Freedom and Change, on its part, has agreed to call-off the Civil-Disobedience. Shaban Abdur Rahman Alfa Africanews, Digital journalist @AlfaAfricanThu, 13 Jun 2019 11:03:44 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) denounces US pressure [Morning Call] authorities are denouncing pressure from the United States to hold credible parliamentary elections. In a statement issued last week, the US embassy in Ndjamena welcomed the government’s commitment to hold the elections this year but emphasized on the importance of a credible electoral process. The MPS ruling party has strongly criticised the statement saying, the US should not interfere in the country’s internal affairs.Thu, 13 Jun 2019 11:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com