Saturday 21 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
President Omar al-Bashir on Thursday said that Khartoum and Moscow have agreed on a programme to boost Sudan's military capabilities. In an address to army officers and soldiers in the Red Sea town of Port Sudan, Bashir said the plan aimed to enable the Sudanese military to counter any threat. He said "Sudan has a programme with Russia to develop the Sudanese armed forces in a way that will deter anybody who intends to harm the country", the official SUNA news agency reported. SUNA gave not details of the plan. Bashir's comments follow his visit to Russia in November, where according to Sudanese media he asked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to "protect" his country from the United States. The...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
Sudanese security agents seized the entire print-runs of three newspapers on Thursday after they covered food price protests in Khartoum and other towns, their editors said. Opposition groups have organised repeated demonstrations since bread prices jumped in early January when a government decision to leave wheat imports to the private sector triggered a sharp rise in the cost of flour. Several newspapers have criticised the government's decision, and on Thursday agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) confiscated the print-runs of Al-Tayar, Al-Midan and Al-Jadida newspapers. "The agents of NISS confiscated all copies of our newspaper today without giving any reason," Al-Jadida editor Ashraf Abdelaziz told AFP. Media in Sudan are frequently targeted for their reporting. The country...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the interest of China to spy," AU commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said during a visit to Beijing, where he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss deepening cooperation on a variety of issues, as well as opening a...
(AFP (eng) 02/06/18)
Hundreds of pro-government demonstrators marched in South Sudan's capital of Juba on Tuesday, protesting at US arms restrictions aimed at hastening the end to a bloody civil war. A female Canadian journalist reporting for the Associated Press (AP) news agency was beaten to the ground, apparently after being mistaken for an American citizen. "You whites are the ones messing us up," shouted an angry man in the crowd, heard by AFP. The journalist was treated at a nearby United Nations clinic and later released. The United States -- South Sudan's biggest aid provider -- announced restrictions on arms last Friday, impatient after more than four years of war that has killed tens of thousands, forced millions from their homes and...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Sudan's central bank Sunday announced it will devalue the local currency to 30 Sudanese pounds against the US dollar, the second such move in weeks amid soaring inflation. The new official exchange rate will go into effect on Monday, the central bank said on its website. The Sudanese pound has been trading at an official rate of 18 to the dollar but on the black market it has hit an all-time low and was selling for between 40 and 43 to the dollar on Sunday. The new devaluation would be the second within weeks and the weakening of the pound has contributed to surging inflation, which currently is at 34 percent. The central bank called on commercial banks for better...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Sudan came third for the second time in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) Saturday by defeating Libya 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 play-off draw in Marrakech. But while the bronze medals the Sudanese won in 2011 as hosts were expected, those they collected in the central Moroccan city came as a surprise. Few neutrals expected Sudan to go beyond the group stage of the competition restricted to home-based footballers with Morocco and Guinea favoured to advance from Group A. However, the east Africans came second behind the hosts on goal difference, upset Zambia in the quarter-finals and fell by a solitary goal in a tight semi-final duel with Nigeria. The fighting spirit of a squad coached by recently appointed...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP that officials began issuing migrants letters on Sunday advising them that they had 60 days in which to leave the country voluntarily. For now, the notices are being given only to men without families, officials said...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Sudanese security agents have arrested the deputy head of the country's main opposition Umma Party after it held anti-government rallies to protest rising food prices, the party said on Friday. Sporadic demonstrations have hit Khartoum and some other parts of Sudan since early January after prices of food, notably bread, more than doubled following a jump in the cost of flour. Agents of the country's powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) detained senior Umma official Fadlalla Burma Nasir at his home late on Thursday, the party said. Umma party is headed by former premier Sadiq al-Mahdi, whose civilian government was overthrown in the 1989 Islamist-backed coup that brought President Omar al-Bashir to power.
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way to go, and this is a fight we are never going to stop fighting, until every boy and every girl has access to education," she told the crowd. At ease with the African heads of state gathered onstage, Rihanna put...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ensure specific funding levels. In her tweet to Macron, Rihanna -- who met with him in Paris in July -- thanked the French leader for leading the conference...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/18)
European embassies in Sudan made a joint plea Wednesday for Khartoum to free dozens of people, including opposition leaders and human rights activists, detained while protesting against high food prices. "We condemn the violence used against peaceful protest, and continue to encourage those exercising their fundamental rights to do so peacefully," the embassies of European Union member states said in a statement. "The ambassadors of the resident EU embassies in Sudan are very concerned by the prolonged detention without charge or trial of a large number of political leaders, human rights activists and other citizens." .
(Reuters (Eng) 01/29/18)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The leaders of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on Monday set a one-month deadline for laying out the ways to break a deadlock in talks over a mega dam Addis Ababa is building along its share of the Nile, an official said. Egypt and Ethiopia are at loggerheads over the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam, a $4 billion-hydroelectric project that Cairo fears will reduce waters that run to its fields and reservoirs from Ethiopia’s highlands and via Sudan. Ethiopia, which is financing the project alone and hopes to become the continent’s biggest power generator and exporter, dismisses the claims.
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in Thursday's edition of the US journal Science. Until now, the earliest modern human fossils found outside of Africa were estimated to be between 90,000 to 120,000 years old. "Misliya is an exciting discovery," said co-author Rolf Quam, an anthropology professor...
(AFP (eng) 01/22/18)
Sudan on Monday freed Agence France-Presse's reporter in Khartoum, Abdelmoneim Abu Idris Ali, and a Reuters journalist who were arrested last week while covering protests. Idris Ali, a 51-year-old who has worked for AFP in Khartoum for nearly a decade, was covering the protests on Wednesday in the Sudanese capital's twin city of Omdurman, where riot police broke up a demonstration of about 200 protesters against rising food prices, notably bread. He had been arrested along with a journalist from international news agency Reuters and a third colleague.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through sport, organizers said. The countries represented included Nigeria, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. Some of the people taking part had come to Europe as asylum seekers while others were born on the continent. “We are all human, we have...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
Journalists working for Agence France-Presse and Reuters were among three reporters being held by Sudanese authorities on Thursday a day after they were arrested covering demonstrations against rising food prices that were dispersed by police. Abdelmoneim Abu Idris Ali, a 51-year-old who has worked for AFP in Khartoum for nearly a decade, was covering the protests on Wednesday in the Sudanese capital's twin city of Omdurman, where riot police fired tear gas on some 200 protesters. Idris Ali was unreachable after the protest and authorities informed AFP on Thursday that he had been arrested along with two other journalists, including one working for Reuters, and was being held at a detention centre run by Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador did not offer an apology during the closed-door meeting, but she did express regret. Haley told the meeting that "she was not there at the White House, she is not sure what was said, but she regretted all this situation...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
Sudanese security agents arrested the leader of the opposition Communist Party on Wednesday after it organised a protest in the capital Khartoum against rising bread prices, its spokesman told AFP. Sporadic protests have erupted in parts of Sudan, including Khartoum, after bread prices more than doubled earlier this month following a jump in the cost of flour. On Tuesday, hundreds of Sudanese demonstrated near the presidential palace in response to a call by the Communist Party. Anti-riot police fired tear gas and beat protesters with batons to disperse the crowd. Early on Wednesday, agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) arrested the Communist Party's leader, spokesman Ali Saeed said.

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