Sudan News & Discussions

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Sudan Opposition Official to Asharq Al-Awsat: Revolt Will Be Victorious
Wednesday, 12 June, 2019

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Deputy head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) group Yasir Arman. (Reuters)

London - Mustafa Serri

Deputy head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) group Yasir Arman vowed on Tuesday that his country’s revolution will be victorious and will achieve its goals.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, he added that the military council in Khartoum deported him on Monday because they feared that the SPLM-N would succeed in uniting the opposition.

Sudan is passing through a “very dangerous” phase, which demands the unity of all opposition forces to ensure that the revolt is a success and the people’s aspirations are met, he stated.

Arman was arrested soon after returning to Sudan and was released on Sunday. Soon after, he was deported to Juba along with fellow leading rebels Ismail Jalab and Mubarak Ardol.

Jalab revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the authorities did not clarify the reasons for their arrest and deportation.

They also did not meet any members of the ruling military council. They were were held in cells, but were not victim of any torture during their detention.

He revealed that Arman was beaten by members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) at their place of residence before their arrest.

Moreover, Jalab said that the detainees were released after pressure exerted by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, South Sudan President Silva Kiir and several international powers, including Britain and the United States.

He condemned their deportation, saying that they were Sudanese citizens and had the right to live in their country.

“It appears that the military council was bothered by our presence in Khartoum,” he remarked.

Arman had arrived in Khartoum in late May to take part in talks with a military council that in April toppled longtime President Omar al-Bashir, after months of protests against his 30-year-rule.

 

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US names special Sudan envoy to find 'peaceful' solution
Protest leaders demanded 'international guarantees' on any agreement
Published: June 13, 2019
AFP

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People walk past at the main bus station in Khartoum, linking the Sudanese capital with various parts of the country, on June 12, 2019.Image Credit: AP

Khartoum: The United States Wednesday named a special envoy to Sudan to find a “peaceful” solution between demonstrators and generals, as protest leaders demanded “international guarantees” for implementing any agremeent reached with the army rulers.

Shops and restaurants meanwhile began to reopen in Sudan’s capital Wednesday after demonstrators called off a nationwide civil disobedience campaign and agreed to new talks with generals, though many residents remained indoors after last week’s deadly crackdown on protesters that left dozens dead.

The apparent breakthrough in the standoff between the military rulers who toppled veteran leader Omar Al Bashir and protesters demanding civilian rule followed mediation led by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis — triggered by the June 3 crackdown on protesters — got a boost as Washington nominated experienced Africa hand Donald Booth as a special envoy to Sudan to help craft a “peaceful political solution” between the generals and protesters.

Booth, who previously has served as special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, was already in Khartoum along with Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Affairs Tibor Nagy to “engage with the parties,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said.

This came after an Ethiopian envoy sent by Abiy announced on Tuesday that the protest leaders and the ruling military council had agreed to resume talks and that a three-day civil disobedience campaign was ending. The generals are still to offer comment.

Late on Wednesday protest leader Madani Abbas Madani told reporters that “any agreement (reached with generals) must have regional and international guarantees” for implementing it. He did not elaborate.

Heavy security
The two US officials are expected to hold several meetings with the generals, including General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, chief of the ruling military council, and protest leaders during their stay in Khartoum.

They are later scheduled to visit Addis Ababa to discuss the Sudan crisis with Ethiopian leaders and the African Union.

The African Union suspended Sudan’s membership on Thursday.

Negotiations collapsed last month because the two sides disagreed about whether a civilian or soldier should head a new governing body.

On Wednesday morning as the civil disobedience campaign ended, an AFP correspondent who toured parts of the capital saw buses waiting for passengers at their stations, while shops in some districts re-opened.

Later in the day several restaurants reopened and street vendors came back to work.

But the main gold market in central Khartoum remained shut, and many residents stayed indoors.
“I’m still staying at my home because I’m worried about the presence of security forces carrying guns on the streets,” said Samar Al Bashir, an employee of a private company.

The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces — accused by protesters and rights groups of playing a leading role in last week’s crackdown — continued to patrol districts in their trademark pickup trucks fitted with heavy machine guns.

British envoy summoned
Other residents told AFP that they stayed at home because internet services — heavily cut in recent days — were still not fully restored, making office work difficult.
Street sweepers cleared piles of rubbish, while long queues at bank cash points returned across the capital and other towns.

“I went to the bank with a cheque and they said there’s no money. It seems all the money is just finished,” Faisal Suleiman told AFP as he stepped out of a bank in Khartoum.

Sudan has been led by a military council since the generals ousted Al Bashir on April 11 after months of nationwide protests against his three decade rule.

After Al Bashir’s fall, protesters remained encamped outside military headquarters in Khartoum for weeks to demand civilian rule, until men in military fatiges moved in to disperse them on June 3.

Around 120 people have been killed since the crackdown began, according to doctors close to the protesters. The health ministry has acknowledged 61 people died nationwide.

On Wednesday, the Sudanese foreign ministry summoned British ambassador to Khartoum, Irfan Siddiq, for expressing what it said were his “unbalanced positions” on Twitter regarding developments in Sudan, state media reported.

Global diplomatic efforts, however, received further boost after the UN Security Council on Tuesday urged all sides “to continue working together towards a consensual solution to the current crisis” and voiced support for African-led diplomatic efforts.

It also called for an immediate halt to attacks against civilians and stressed the importance of upholding human rights — a week after Russia and China blocked a similar draft statement on the crisis.

 

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Sudan's Military Says Security Forces Committed Violations In Sit-in Dispersal
14 June, 2019

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Protesters shout slogans and make victory signs after Friday prayers in front of the Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan, April 19, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Asharq Al-Awsat

Sudan's ruling military said security forces did commit violations when they tried to disperse a protest sit-in camp outside the military headquarters in Khartoum last week.

Gen. Shams Eddin Kabashi, spokesman of the ruling military council, said an investigation is underway and several military officers are already in custody over the violations.

Kabashi spoke to reporters at a news conference late Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

He didn't elaborate on the violations beyond saying they were "painful and outrageous."

Kabashi also rejected all calls for an international investigation into the incident.

Last week's violence, which protest organizers said left over 100 killed, marked an alarming turn in the standoff between the protesters and the Sudanese military.

 

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Sudan's Bashir charged on corruption in first public appearance since ouster
June 16, 2019


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Sudan's ex-president Omar al-Bashir leaves the office of the anti-corruption prosecutor in Khartoum, Sudan, June 16, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan’s ex-president Omar al-Bashir was charged with corruption-related offences on Sunday, as he appeared in public for the first time since he was overthrown in April.

Wearing traditional white robes and turban, he was driven to the prosecutor’s office in Khartoum, Reuters witnesses said.

Looking much the same as prior to his ouster, he walked briskly from the vehicle into the building, smiling and speaking with the guards escorting him. Minutes later he walked out scowling after prosecutors read out the charges he faces.

“The prosecution ... accused him of ...possession of foreign currency, accepting gifts in an unofficial manner,” prosecutor Alaa al-Din Abdallah told reporters.

He said Bashir was given a chance to respond to the charges. His lawyers declined to answer reporters’ questions.

The military overthrew and detained Bashir on April 11 after 16 weeks of street protests against his 30-year rule. He was being held in prison in Khartoum North, across the Blue Nile from the capital’s center.

Reporting by Eltayeb Siddig; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Andrew Heavens


 

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US diplomat wants ‘credible’ probe into Sudan crackdown
By HUSSEIN MALLAH and SAMY MAGDY
16 June 2019



Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of the military council that assumed power in Sudan after the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir, salutes during a rally, in Galawee town, north of Sudan, Saturday, June 15, 2019. The top U.S. diplomat to Africa said there must be an "independent and credible" investigation into the Sudanese military's violent dispersal of a protest camp in the capital earlier this month, as the ruling military council failed to announce the findings of its own investigation on Saturday as promised. (AP Photo)

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — The top U.S. diplomat to Africa said there must be an “independent and credible” investigation into the Sudanese military’s violent dispersal of a protest camp in the capital earlier this month, as the ruling military council failed to announce the findings of its own investigation on Saturday as promised.

Sudan’s security forces violently swept away a camp in Khartoum on June 3 where demonstrators had been holding a sit-in. More than 100 people have been killed and hundreds wounded since then, according to protest organizers. Authorities say only 61 have died, including three security forces.

The violent break-up marked a turn in the standoff between the protesters and the military, which removed autocratic President Omar al-Bashir from power in April after a months-long popular uprising against his 30-year rule.

Tibor Nagy, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Africa, said the deadly break-up of the sit-in outside the military’s headquarters “constituted a 180 degree turn in the way events were going with murder, rape, pillaging, by members of the Security Forces.” He said events were moving forward favorably until then.

The U.S. diplomat spoke late Friday upon his arrival in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa after a two-day visit to Sudan where he met with the ruling generals, protesters and victims of the crackdown, whose accounts were “harrowing and very persuasive.”

Sudan’s chief prosecutor Saturday rejected the idea of any outside probe, saying the military was doing its own investigation.

However, Sudan’s military council failed to release any findings of its investigation Saturday as it had announced, saying only that some troops were implicated in the violent dispersal against the council’s will. It said those troops were not part of security forces assigned to clear a problematic area near the sit-in, known as the Colombia area, and that they would be held accountable in a public trial. The council did not say when the findings would be released.

Protest organizers have called for an internationally backed probe into the crackdown. But the ruling military council, which acknowledged that security forces committed violations, have strongly rejected the idea.

Nagy said the head of the military council, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, “was adamant that there will be accountability” and that “we certainly hope that there will be such an investigation.”

Nagy said the U.S. has been supporting mediation efforts by the African Union and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to resume negotiations between the military council and protesters.

The U.S. diplomat declined to outline possible measures Washington might take if the situation worsens. But he warned of negative scenarios as both the military council and protest leaders “absolutely distrust each other.”

“We could end up with the type of chaos that exists in Libya or Somalia,” he said.

In the wake of the sit-in dispersal, negotiations between the military and protesters were called off and the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, which represents the protesters, held a three-day general strike and a campaign of civil disobedience. They also announced a package of conditions to be met before resuming talks, which included the formation of an international commission to investigate the killings of protesters, restored internet services, adherence to previous deals struck before the breakdown in talks and the return of paramilitary troops to their barracks.

The protesters ended their strike amid mediation efforts by the Ethiopian leader, who declared earlier this week that talks would be resumed “soon.”

On Saturday, deputy head of the military council Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo called for an interim government to run the country until elections are held and said the military council was ready to resume negotiations.

“We have a mandate from the Sudanese people to form a government from technocrats,” he told a press conference in Khartoum. Dagalo is the commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, which the protesters accused of spearheading the crackdown. He alleges that foreign envoys are plotting against Sudan.

Ahmed Rabie, a protest leader and spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, told The Associated Press that an international probe on the deadly crackdown should be established before resuming the talks.

“We firmly hold on to our demands: An international probe, resuming internet services and removing all military and militias from the Sudanese cities,” he said.

Also on Saturday, Sudan’s chief prosecutor rejected the idea of an international investigation into the crackdown but sought to distance his office from the deadly break-up of the sit-in. Al-Waleed Mahmoud’s comments came two days after military council spokesman Gen. Shams Eddin Kabashi said the council had discussed dispersing protesters with top judicial officials.

Mahmoud said he did not discuss dispersing the protesters in the meeting.

“We did not discuss the sit-in break-up. We just discussed restoring order in the Colombia area,” he said in a press conference in Khartoum.
___
Magdy reported from Cairo.

 

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