Category Archives: World-News

Sudan’s al-Mahdi says al-Bashir should be handed over to ICC

(S tribune KHARTOUM) – The head of the National Umma Party Sadiq al-Mahdi voiced his support to the International Criminal Court and said favourable to hand over the Sudanese indicted for war crimes, genocide and crime against humanity.

In the past, al-Mahdi called on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to defer the ICC prosecution for one year to give a chance for peace in Sudan.

Speaking to the media in his first press conference after the removal of President Omer al-Bashir, the former prime minister recalled that he supported the war crimes court and demanded from the outset to join it, especially Sudan has signed the treaty establishing the Court on 17 July 1998.

“But when one of the wanted persons of the Court was head of state, we advocated the reconciliation of criminal justice and stability in Sudan. We discussed procedures with the trial lawyer in the court and with senior officials of the UN Security Council,” he said.

“But now we do not mind responding to its demands and we should immediately join if (the court),” he said before to add that there should be a coordination with the military council on this respect.

“This is what the families of the victims demand, and requires the normalization with the international community,” he emphasized.

The position of the military council is not clear on the issue. Several militaries said the issue should be decided by the government. But Hemetti the deputy head of the transitional military council spoke about an “elected government”.

The ICC issued two arrest warrants for al-Bashir on 10 counts of war crimes and genocide and crimes against humanity.

Sudan has signed but not ratified the treaty forming the ICC, which is the first permanent global war crimes court. But the situation in Darfur, Sudan, was referred to the Court by the UN Security Council in its resolution 1593 of 31 March 2005.

The ICC issued two arrest warrants against al-Bashir for five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes, and three counts of genocide allegedly committed against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups in Darfur, Sudan, from 2003 to 2008.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Darfur and more than 2 million forced to flee their homes during a revolt launched by mostly non-Arab rebels in early 2003, who say they are marginalised by the central government.

Sudan’s ousted despot Omar al-Bashir ‘had £100million cash including sacks stuffed with euros and dollars at his villa’

  • He allegedly had six million euros, five million Sudanese pounds and $351,000
  • It came moments before top members of the former ruling party were arrested
  • Former Vice President, parliamentary speaker and acting party head have reportedly been put behind bars
  • A presidential aide, Nafie Ali Nafie, is also said to be under house arrest
  • Omar al-Bashir, who ruled for 30 years, is now held at a high-security prison 

Sudan’s recently ousted president is being investigated for money laundering after security services claimed to have found £100 million in cash at his home.

Sacks stuffed with millions euros, Sudanese pounds and thousands of dollars were allegedly found at Omar al-Bashir’s villa, a source in the East African country’s judiciary said.

It came moments before Sudanese authorities are reported to have arrested several top military leaders from who served during the al-Bashir’s near 30 year presidency.

Sudan’s public prosecutor has begun investigating Bashir on charges of money laundering and possession of large sums of foreign currency without legal grounds, according to a judicial source.

As much as six million euros, five million Sudanese pounds and $351,000 is claimed to have been in the villa.

‘The chief public prosecutor … ordered the (former) president detained and quickly questioned in preparation to put him on trial,’ they said.

‘The public prosecution will question the former president in Kobar prison.’

Pictures published by Netherlands-based Radio Dabanga claim to show sacks of the cash seized from the presidential residence.

Footage has also circulated on social media claiming to show piles of cash that had been seized from the property.

Bashir has been arrested along with his two brothers on allegations of corruption it is claimed. Members of his former government have also been arrested.

The transitional military council (TMC) said earlier this evening that it will retire all eight of the officers ranked lieutenant general in the National Intelligence and Security Service.

Opposition groups had demanded that the security agencies be restructured.

A source in Bashir’s National Congress Party said authorities arrested the acting party head Ahmed Haroun, former first vice president Ali Osman Taha, former Bashir aide Awad al-Jaz, the secretary general of the Islamic movement Al-Zubair Ahmed Hassan and former parliament speaker Ahmed Ibrahim al-Taher.

The source also said parliament speaker Ibrahim Ahmed Omar and presidential aide Nafie Ali Nafie were under house arrest.

Mr Bashir, who ruled Sudan for nearly 30 years, was toppled on April 11 by the Sudanese military after months of public protest.

He is now held at a high-security prison and will be questioned about the cash, sources said. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged genocide crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region, but the military has said they intend to try the former ruler in Sudan.

Hassan Bashir, a professor of political science at the University of Neelain, said the measures against Bashir are intended as a message to other figures associated with his rule that they are not above the law.

‘The trial is a step that the military council wants to take to satisfy the protesters by presenting al-Bashir for trial,’ he said.

Bashir survived several armed rebellions, economic crises, and attempts by the West to turn him into a pariah during his 30-year rule before he was toppled in a military coup.

At a sit-in outside Sudan’s Ministry of Defence that began on April 6, protesters, who slept on the pavement, stood besides posters of Bashir that called on the ICC to put him on trial.

 

 

Developing Story: Army reportedly taking over power in Sudan

April 11, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan official and radio-television have interrupted their programmes and broadcast military announcing that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) will issue a communiqué soon.

Reports from Khartoum say the coup d’état has been carried out by the whole military institution including the defence minister and first vice-president Awad Ibn Ouf.

Also, armoured vehicles belonging to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been seen deployed in the strategic positions of the capital.

The Sudanese Professionals Association which oversees the over-4 month protests across the country has called on the protesters to continue the big set-in outside the army headquarters until the identification of who is behind the coup.

The whereabouts of President Omer al-Bashir is not known. However, reports say he is at his home under the protection of the army.

A military telegram seen by Sudan Tribune released his morning informed the military commands outside the capital and in the different states that the army has taken power and will form a military council to manage the country.

Reliable Sources say the decision was taken to cut short preparations for another coup that had been underway by Islamist officers together with the NISS and the militia of the National Congress Party known as the Popular Security.

Al-Jazeera TV reported the arrest of Ali Osman Taha, former first vice-president and Ahmed Haroun the acting chairman of the National Congress Party along with other leading Islamist leaders.

Hundreds of protesters have continued to arrive at the headquarters of the army in Khartoum.

Calls for Vigilance

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which coordinates the four-month protest movement, called for vigilance and urged the Sudanese people to remain mobilized and to continue the sit-in outside army headquarters.

“At this moment, the country is waiting for the statement of the Armed Forces in response to your heroic struggle over the past four months. We say that we are at a crossroads; either a complete victory f your great struggles or a desperate attempt to reproduce the old regime,”.

The SPA further recalled its demands: the stepping down of al-Bashir and his regime, handover of power to a transitional civilian government that reflects the components of the revolution and the full implementation of the declaration of freedom and change.

09.24

Sudanese are still waiting for the statement of the army leadership, while reports say some 150 politicians have been arrested from the NCP and its allied forces.

People continue to take to the street celebrating the fall of al-Bashir’s regime despite uncertainties about the nature of the military coup.

11.28

Sudanese army raided the headquarters of the Islamic Movement in Khartoum.

The Sudanese people are still awaiting the statement of the army leadership among reports about the release of the political detainees including Mohamed Nagi Alsam, the SPA spokesperson.

The SPA issued a statement calling to avoid attacks on government and private property in Khartoum. The call comes after a video showing protesters raiding the house of Awad al-Jaz a former minister and presidential adviser.

12.03

Sudanese continue to take to the street, as thousands head to the headquarters of the army where protesters have been there for five days.

sudantribune

Who is Omar al-Bashir?

Omar al-Bashir came to power in Sudan in 1989, when he lead a coup against then Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi. Bashir dissolved the government, political parties and trade unions, and declared himself chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council.

He survived a coup attempt the following year. He later ordered the execution of more than 30 army and police officers implicated in the failed takeover.

In 1993, Bashir dissolved the Revolutionary Command Council and restored Sudan to nominal civilian rule, with himself as president. At an election in 1996, he was returned with more than 75% of the vote. That margin would increase to 85% in 2000.

Violence broke out in the Darfur region of Sudan in 2003, and Bashir was criticized for not cracking down on the Janjaweed militia, a pro-government militia accused of murdering and raping people in Darfur.

In 2008, the International Criminal Court filed charges against Bashir for genocide and war crimes in Darfur. Repeated attempts to bring him to justice were unsuccessful, however.

At the country’s most recent election in 2015, officials said Bashir had been re-elected president with more than 94% of the vote. Many major opposition groups boycotted the election.

Late last year, anti-government protests broke out in many cities in Sudan, demanding Bashir’s removal. He declared a year-long state of emergency in February 2019, as his forces attempted to crack down on demonstrations.

Those efforts appear to have been ultimately unsuccessful. On Thursday, the 75-year-old Bashir stepped down as president after 30 years in power.

CNN

Tanzania arrests 65 ‘witchdoctors’ over killings

BBC NEWS – Police in Tanzania have arrested 65 “witchdoctors”, or traditional healers, in connection with the ritual killing of at least 10 children.

The children were killed in January and many had body parts removed.

There is a belief among some people in Tanzania, and neighbouring countries, that using human body parts in rituals can bring wealth and good luck.

The inspector general of police, Simon Sirro, has ordered that every traditional healer obtain a licence.

“We have also requested other institutions like religious leaders and politicians to help us,” he added.

Ten children were murdered in the south-western Njombe region and an unknown number in the northern Simuyu region.

One of the children, Goodluck Mfugale, was just five years old when he was killed. His parents told the BBC their son had been robbed of his future.

Media caption –My son was murdered for ‘witchcraft’

There is a particular belief that the body parts of people with albinism are especially potent in the rituals, leading to many killings.

However it is not clear if any of the 10 children known to have been killed had albinism.

Albinism is particularly prevalent in Tanzania with one in 1,400 affected, according to a 2006 BMC Public Health report. This compares with one in 20,000 in Western countries.

Activists on the continent say poverty contributes to the suspicion surrounding albinos and the belief their body parts can be sold for large sums of money.

Algeria protests: The beginning of the end?

… uprising in Syria in 2011, which later descended into a brutal conflict, started with exchanges of roses …


Ahmed Rouaba BBC News

Tens of thousands of Algerians have been protesting against 81-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to run for a fifth term on 18 April.

It is a rare show of dissent in the North African country, where more than 30% of people aged under 30 are unemployed.

Are the demonstrations a surprise?

Yes, they are the biggest protests against President Bouteflika since he came to power 20 years ago in elections that followed the country’s bloody civil war.

People have taken to the streets in various cities 10 days after his candidacy for the presidential election was confirmed.

The demonstrations are being organised on social media – and while the trigger has been Mr Bouteflika’s re-election bid, anger is also being expressed about perceived deep-rooted corruption among the ruling elite.

Who is protesting?

In particular it is young people, who have not usually expressed an interest in Algeria’s party politics.

University students have joined in as well as lawyers.

Even journalists working at the public broadcaster took part in one protest. They denounced the censorship imposed by managers that has led to the protests not being covered on state TV and radio.

The protests have been growing in strength this week.

Only one opposition politician is so far taking advantage of the situation – Ali Benflis, a former prime minister and Mr Bouteflika’s fiercest rival, has been participating in the rallies.

Djamila Bouhired, a respected heroine of the independence war against former colonial power France, has also been seen with the protesters.

How have the authorities responded?

Tear gas has been fired during some protests, but Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia has praised the generally peaceful demonstrations, highlighting the moment when protesters offered roses to police officers.

But he warned that the uprising in Syria in 2011, which later descended into a brutal conflict, “started with exchanges of roses”.

The ruling coalition of the National Liberation Front (FLN) and the National Democratic Rally (RND) clearly did not expect such resistance to Mr Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth term.

They have until Sunday to review their choice of candidate and propose an alternative to the ailing Mr Bouteflika.

But this is not very likely to happen.

Why hasn’t there been unrest before?

For nearly two decades Mr Bouteflika’s government managed to maintain social stability thanks to soaring oil prices.

This enabled it to invest in huge infrastructure projects, like big housing estates with affordable homes and tram networks across the country.

Thousands of young people also benefited from a generous loan scheme, organised by ANSEJ, a national agency supporting small businesses, and were not expected to repay the grants.

But the economy has been floundering since oil prices started to dive a few years ago.

The government no longer has the means to fund generous schemes and unemployment has become a big problem.

Is the economy the only problem?

No, people are also upset by a drug-trafficking scandal that shook the establishment last year leading to the sackings of some top officials.

It involved the seizure from a container ship of more than 700kg (1,540lb) of cocaine reportedly destined for a prominent businessman.

There is also resentment about the power of a growing number of business magnates, who are close to the government.

An example of their influence came in 2017 when then-Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune tried to tackle Algeria’s trade deficit.

He banned the import of some products, which the businessmen did not like, and he was sacked within two months.

Where is the president?

He is rarely seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013 and is currently undergoing medical checks in Switzerland.

Mr Bouteflika first took office when Algeria was embroiled in a brutal civil war with Islamist insurgents, and is credited with curbing the conflict and restoring economic stability.

He amended the constitution in 2008 to remove the two-term limit on the presidency, effectively giving himself the option of remaining head of state for life.

Mr Bouteflika won presidential elections in 2014 despite doing no personal campaigning.

The credibility of that election was questioned but no opposition figure has so far won enough popular support to take him on.

This time round Mr Benflis may have a chance although he has not yet decided if he will run and has been defeated twice before.

Source – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-47414556

Sudan’s Bashir not to seek new term as president: Official

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir will not run for president in the polls slated for 2020, the intelligence chief of the country said on Friday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Speaking to reporters in the capital Khartoum, Salah Abdallah Gosh said al-Bashir will declare a state of emergency across the nation and dissolve the government.

Sudanese president will also step down as the chairman of the ruling National Congress Party, Gosh added.

Bashir is expected to deliver a speech to nation on Friday.

Sudan has been rocked by popular protests for the last two months, with demonstrators decrying al-Bashir’s failure to remedy the country’s longstanding economic woes.

Sudanese officials say around 31 people have been killed since the protests began in December, although the opposition puts the number at closer to 50.

A nation of 40 million people, Sudan has struggled to recover from the loss of three quarters of its oil output — its main source of foreign currency — when South Sudan seceded in 2011

Source – MEMO

Sudan’s Bashir declares year-long state of emergency

“I will not stop calling for all parties to sit at the dialogue table,” Bashir said, adding he would remain on the “side of the youth who represent the future of Sudan

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has declared a year-long state of emergency, dissolving his cabinet and local governments throughout the country.

In a televised address on Friday, Bashir also called on Sudan’s parliament to postpone constitutional amendments that would allow him to run for another term in a presidential election in 2020.

Acknowledging the popular protests that have rocked his administration in recent months, the 75-year-old said the “demands of our people for better living conditions are lawful”.

“I will not stop calling for all parties to sit at the dialogue table,” Bashir said, adding he would remain on the “side of the youth who represent the future of Sudan”.

Bashir’s announcement on Friday followed months of nearly daily protests against his rule, with thousands of people taking to the streets across the country since December 19 to call for him to stand down after nearly three decades in office.

While the protests were initially set off by the rising cost of bread and fuel in the north of Sudan, they quickly grew into a demand for more political freedoms and an end to Bashir’s rule.

The Sudanese leader’s term ends in 2020 and he has repeatedly promised over the years not to make new runs for the presidency. Without amending the country’s constitution, he can not run for a third term.

Months of protests

His announcement came days after a parliamentary committee tasked with amending the constitution to scrap Sudan’s presidential term limit canceled its meetings.

The demonstrations against Bashir continued on Friday.

Security forces fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who marched and chanted anti-government slogans following Friday prayers at a major mosque near the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, eyewitnesses said.

Activists say nearly 60 people have been killed since the protests began, while authorities put the death toll at 31.

Sudan: A crumbling regime puts the squeeze on the media

Hundreds of protesters, including opposition leaders, activists and journalists have also been jailed by the widely-feared National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, said it would likely become increasingly difficult for protesters to continue their demonstrations as the state of emergency kicks in.

“As per Sudan’s constitution, the state of emergency gives the police, the security forces and the military the right to search without warrant, to raid houses and arrest anybody they deem a threat to the country’s national security and economic development and stability,” Morgan said.

“Bashir also said that those protesting have been infiltrated by agents with foreign agendas and that they are people who want to destabilise the country. With that being said and with the state of emergency in place, it is likely that more force will be used against protesters,” she added.

Organisers of anti-government protests across Sudan vowed to press on with their demonstrations until Bashir steps down, however.

“We are calling on our people to continue with demonstrations until the main aim of this uprising, which is the stepping down of the regime chief, is achieved,” said the Sudanese Professionals Association, which is spearheading the campaign, just after Bashir announced a state of emergency across the country.

Spiralling inflation

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court over charges of masterminding genocide in the Darfur region, which he denies. He has been lobbying for Sudan to be removed from a list of countries Washington deems state sponsors of terrorism.

The listing has blocked the investment and financial aid that Sudan was hoping for when the United States lifted sanctions in 2017, economists say.

Sudan has been rapidly expanding its money supply in an attempt to finance its budget deficit, causing spiralling inflation and a steep decline in the value of its currency.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

Sudanese forces fire tear gas at Khartoum mosque: witnesses

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudanese security forces fired tear gas at a landmark mosque in the capital Khartoum on Friday after the Muslim noon prayers, witnesses and the main opposition Umma party said, and several worshippers were injured or overcome by fumes.

The attack came as hundreds of worshippers tried to march from the Al-Sayed Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi mosque, one of the capital’s main mosques, as part of near daily protests against President Omar al-Bashir’s 30 years in office.

Sudan has been rocked by the protests which began on Dec. 19 after the government tried to raise bread prices. Rights groups say at least 45 people have been killed in the protests, while the government puts the death toll at 31, including two members of security forces.

The Umma party of former Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi said in a statement that security forces attacked worshippers soon after noon prayers, firing tear gas “extensively” into the mosque courtyard.

“Firing at the mosque and the vehicle of Imam Sadiq al-Mahdi, beating worshippers, pointing guns in their faces and besieging the mosque… resulted in the wounding of several worshippers, while others suffered suffocation,” the statement said.

It accused Bashir’s government of no longer abiding by the Sudanese people’s values as it sought to cling to power.

A police spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment despite repeated attempts to do so.

Bashir has blamed the protests on foreign “agents” and challenged his rivals to seek power through the ballot box. He has shown no sign that he is prepared to concede any power.

Protests also broke out in other parts of Khartoum, where demonstrators blocked roads with burning tires and tree branches. Security forces dispersed the protests with tear gas but there were no reports of injuries.

In eastern Sudan, hundreds marched in Khashm al-Qirba, the hometown of a school teacher who died in detention last week after he was arrested for participating in protests.

Demonstrators chanted: “With our souls, with our blood, we redeem you, teacher.” Security forces did not intervene.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court over charges, which he denies, of masterminding genocide in the Darfur region. He has been lobbying to have Sudan removed from a list of countries, along with Syria, Iran and North Korea, that Washington considers state sponsors of terrorism.

poto – file

Ex-spy accuses Uganda of working to further destabilize South Sudan political system

Kampala, February 8, 2019 (SSNA) — The South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni are prepared to implement the peace then dismantle any formidable opposition to Kiir, a former Ugandan spy James Moises told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) in Kampala on Friday.

James, who worked for Uganda’s External Security Organisation (ESO), claims that the Ugandan and South Sudanese leaders have directed hand-picked intelligence operatives to design a way to eliminate any South Sudanese opposition figure Kiir deemed as a threat to his rule, labeling the project as “evil.” The ex-intelligence officer explains that a plan to silence only influential South Sudanese political figures has already been designed and that detainment and killing were the best options chosen by a 30-member secret program.

“That evil team consists of 30 Ugandans and South Sudanese. There are 15 South Sudanese national security officers and 15 Uganda’s ESO officers. These people are operating here in Kampala. They are actually given an office located in the eastern part of the Uganda State House,” James explains.

“Kiir and Museveni want all South Sudan’s opposition leaders to agree to this peace, come to Juba, and then create issues that will cause some of them to clash with Kiir. When this happens, Kiir and Museveni will then direct South Sudan national security’s interior department to impose a house arrest on the individuals targeted,” he continues, adding, “From there Kiir and Museveni will then assess public reaction and see if the person or people arrested pose a threat.”

The former Ugandan spy also claims that Salva Kiir’s leadership, which he described as a “Ugandan-borrowed dictatorship,” will never be reformed.

“The deal that was signed to end South Sudan war was orchestrated here in Kampala but was signed in Khartoum. Uganda already has troops in the Equatoria region and IGAD and other international peace partners are saying nothing. This peace is just a way to give jobs to those who oppose to Kiir’s rule, there will not be political reform,” James asserts.

James Moises, the self-described enemy of Yoweri Museveni, further states that all South Sudanese opposition leaders who are parties to the September 2018 agreement “need to open their minds and eyes.” James also accuses Museveni of preferring economic interests over the death of innocent South Sudanese.

The former spy has been credited for exposing secret deals between Uganda and South Sudan’s government. He was the first foreign national who in July 2013 to leaked out a plan between Kiir and Museveni to stage a fake coup so that Kiir could run the country without strong opposition. James also leaked numerous secrets between Kampala and Juba including training of South Sudan snippers in Uganda, claiming that the snippers were trained to wage a war against any rebel group in Juba in case the July 2016 fight repeats itself.

Source – South Sudan News agency