Tuesday 23 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
Angry Sudanese queued outside bakeries in Khartoum on Friday as bread prices doubled overnight, with bakers blaming a government decision to stop importing wheat. Customers had to wait nearly an hour to buy a loaf, while several bakery operators said price hikes on flour meant they would be forced to stop production entirely. "All bakeries have decided to raise the price of bread after the price of flour was raised yesterday," Mohamed al-Saeed, a member of a bakery owners' union, told AFP. Flour manufacturers had raised the price of a 50 kilo (110 pound) sack of wheat flour from 167 to 450 Sudanese pounds ($65, 54 euros), he said. That sent bread prices soaring across Sudan, threatening to bring bakeries...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
Sudan on Thursday recalled its ambassador to Egypt for "consultations" after renewed tension between the two neighbours following last month's visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Khartoum. Ties between Khartoum and Cairo have deteriorated since Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir last year accused Egyptian intelligence services of supporting opposition figures fighting his troops in the country's conflict zones like Darfur. Officials from both countries have engaged in high-level diplomatic initiatives to improve their relations, but Erdogan's visit to Khartoum in December delivered a new blow to Cairo-Khartoum ties. "Sudan has called its ambassador to Cairo, Abdelmahmoud Abdelhalim...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/05/18)
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan has recalled its ambassador from neighboring Egypt for consultations, the foreign ministry said on Thursday, without giving details on why or how long he would stay. Egypt’s foreign ministry said it is evaluating the situation in order to take “appropriate action”. Relations have been soured by disputes over the ownership of the Halayeb  Triangle border area, and over the use of the water from the River Nile that passes through their territories. Sudan has accused Cairo of political meddling and banned imports of Egyptian agricultural products last year.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/05/18)
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan has extended a unilateral ceasefire with rebels until the end of March, state news agency SUNA reported on Thursday, citing a presidential decree. In October, the United States lifted 20-year-old sanctions tied to progress on progress on counter terrorism cooperation and on resolving internal conflicts. Fighting between the army and rebels in the Kordofan and Blue Nile regions broke out in 2011, when South Sudan declared independence. Conflict in Darfur began in 2003 when mainly non-Arab tribes took up arms against Sudan’s Arab-led government. The ceasefire was set to expire at the end of December.
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to do so. After the deadline, this amount will decrease and those who continue to refuse to go will face arrest. Holot, an open facility in Israel's desert south that can host 1,200 migrants who are allowed to leave to work...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
Sudanese Finance Minister Mohammed Osman al-Rikabi said on Tuesday that banks across the world are still wary of working with Khartoum despite the US ending a trade embargo. The United States ditched its 20-year trade embargo against Khartoum in October, citing improvement made by Sudan in its human rights record, but still includes it on a blacklist of "state sponsors of terrorism". "We did not benefit from the lifting of the embargo. World banks are still reticent about doing business with Sudanese banks," Rikabi told reporters. Under the terms of the US embargo Sudanese banks could not receive money transfers from abroad. Rikabi's comments come after parliament on Sunday approved an annual budget, aimed at reducing inflation from 34 percent...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
Sudan's president on Saturday announced a state of emergency in two states in the centre and east of the country, the official news agency said. President Omar al-Bashir issued a decree to install the state of emergency in North Kordofan and Kasala for six months, SUNA said, without providing any reason. Kasala is on the country's eastern border with Eritrea. A state of emergency is already in force in seven other conflict-ridden states. These include the five states that make up the region of Darfur, where government forces have been battling rebels since 2003. The state of emergency also applies to the two states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, where government forces have been fighting insurgents since 2011. According...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/17)
Russia has signed an agreement to build a nuclear power plant in Sudan, Russia's Rosatom nuclear agency announced on Friday, a month after a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir. Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide and war crimes, has been pushing for closer energy and military ties with Russia. The nuclear power plant deal was signed in Khartoum on Thursday by Rusatom Overseas, a branch of Rosatom, and Sudan's electricity ministry, the Russian nuclear company said in a statement.
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport with his wife and four children after spending four years at a camp in Chad, telling AFP: "Now we've no other family. Now you are our family." The new refugees -- also hailing from Sudan --...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
Seated in his Khartoum office overlooking the Blue Nile, Sudanese journalist Adil al-Baz no longer fears a crackdown by security agents over his articles since he launched an online newspaper. "We are free to publish what we want on our online newspaper," Baz, a former print newspaper editor, told AFP at the office of Al-Ahdath, the website he launched this year. In a country of increasing media censorship, Baz is among several independent journalists who have left newspaper jobs and launched online papers or websites. About a dozen internet papers have been launched in the past year alone as agents of the powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) continue to confiscate entire print-runs of newspapers over articles opposed to...
(AFP (eng) 12/12/17)
War crimes judges in The Hague delivered a slap to Jordan on Monday, referring the Arab country to the United Nations for failing to arrest the visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted on genocide charges. Despite two international warrants for his arrest on 10 charges arising from the conflict in Darfur, Bashir freely attended an Arab League summit in Amman in March. Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled that "Jordan failed to comply with its obligations... by not executing the court's request for the arrest of Omar al-Bashir and his surrender to the court while he was on Jordanian territory...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group in the Middle East," Chergui told a meeting in Algiers, according to the Algeria Press Service news agency. "The return of these elements to Africa poses a serious threat to our national security and stability and requires specific treatment and...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end of 2016. That number does not include those who have fled across borders to seek refuge, with UN figures showing there were more than 5.6 million refugees in Africa by end of last year. Internal displacement has soared in a...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our world should not threaten the sustainability of our great achievements in the AIDS response," he warned. "We cannot afford to lose our gains. If we want to end this epidemic, we must act now and act differently." About 36.7 million...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
By arresting Darfur's powerful militia chief Musa Hilal, Khartoum has tightened its control over Sudan's strife-torn region but analysts say it might open a new chapter of violence. Hilal, a former aide to President Omar al-Bashir, was arrested last week by Sudan's counter-insurgency forces near his hometown of Mustariaha in North Darfur state after fierce clashes that left several dead. "This is a dangerous moment actually," Magnus Taylor, Sudan analyst with the think-tank International Crisis Group, told AFP. "By taking out Musa Hilal, they have pitched two different Darfuri Arab clans against each other." Hilal, the top leader of the Mahamid clan of Darfur's biggest Arab tribe, the Rezeigat, was captured by a unit of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF)...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where all the residents, numbering several thousand, were "living in inhumane conditions" and were desperate to return home. "We have agreed, along with the EU and the UN, to set up a task force for repatriating at least 3,800 people," Moussa...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A Turkish Airlines jet carrying 107 passengers from Nairobi to Cairo made an emergency landing in Khartoum on Thursday after a passenger reported a bomb threat, a Sudanese aviation official said. "Turkish Airlines flight 606 made an emergency landing after a passenger on board said he received an email saying there was a bomb on board," civil aviation authority spokesman Abdelhafiz Abdelrahim told AFP. "All 107 passengers have been safely evacuated." He said that when the plane was in Sudanese airspace, the pilot informed Khartoum airport that he needed to make an emergency landing. The plane landed at about 7:30 am (0530 GMT). "The plane is now in an isolated area of the airport. Security officials searched the plane and...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/30/17)
ANKARA (Reuters) - A Turkish Airlines flight from Nairobi to Istanbul was diverted after the detection of a wi-fi network called “bomb on board” that alarmed the passengers, the airline said on Thursday. In a statement, Turkish Airlines said the flight made an emergency landing at the Khartoum airport in Sudan, but the flight was safely resumed after security inspections on all passengers and the aircraft. “Experts said the wi-fi network in question was created on board. No irregularities were seen after security procedures were carried out, and passengers were brought back on the plane once boarding restarted,” Turkish Airlines said. Individuals can create personal wi-fi networks on devises such as mobile phones and name them what they want. The...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
The United Nations said Wednesday that some armed groups fighting in Sudan still deploy child soldiers, but acknowledged Khartoum's efforts to prevent child recruitment into its forces. Olof Skoog, chairman of the UN Security Council's working group on children and armed conflict, said armed groups including rebel factions were not implementing international regulations on children in conflict. "We have made very strong appeals to the armed groups that they fully subscribe to international law when it comes to respecting children," Skoog told reporters in Khartoum during a trip by the working group to Sudan. He said getting information on children in Sudan's conflict zones of South Kordofan and Blue Nile...

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