Saturday 27 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
Sudan expressed "deep regret and discontent" on Tuesday over US President Donald Trump's revised travel ban barring its citizens from travelling to the United States. "The ministry of foreign affairs expresses its deep regret and discontent over the executive order issued by the American president," a statement said. On Monday, Trump signed a revised ban on refugee admissions and new visas for travellers from six Muslim-majority nations, among them Sudan. It came after a first ban was frozen by US federal courts. The new executive order suspends refugee admissions for 120 days and halts new visas for travellers from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan. Iraqis who had been targeted by the original ban were not included. Sudan said...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
Amnesty International on Tuesday renewed its call for a UN investigation into suspected chemical weapons attacks by Sudanese government forces in Darfur, saying it would be "shameful" if they were not probed. Amnesty said in a September report it had credible evidence of government forces repeatedly using chemical weapons in a mountainous area of Darfur between January and August 2016 that killed between 200 and 250 people, including many children. The UN's Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said at the time that it needed more information and evidence to draw any conclusion based on Amnesty's report. Amnesty timed its fresh call for a full and independent investigation by OPCW to coincide with the start on Tuesday of...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/07/17)
A disaffected South Sudanese army general who quit his position last month announced on Monday that he had formed a new anti-government rebel group, underscoring mounting resistance to the rule of incumbent president Salva Kiir Lieutenant General Thomas Cirillo Swaka, formerly deputy head of logistics, resigned after he accused Kiir of turning the country's military into a "tribal army." The military, police and other security branches, he said, heavily recruited from among the Dinka, Kiir's tribe. Swaka was one of three top military officials who quit in February amid accusations of tribalism, nepotism, corruption and other abuses leveled against Kiir's government. In a statement on Monday, Swaka said his new rebel group, The National Salvation Front (NSF) "is convinced that...
(Xinhuanet 03/07/17)
Sudan on Tuesday expressed regret and dismay over decision by U.S. President Donald Trump restricting Sudanese nationals traveling to America. "Sudan's Foreign Ministry expresses its deep regret and dismay over the Executive Order, issued by U.S. President Donald Trump, renewing restriction on traveling of Sudanese citizens to the United State," Gariballah Al Khidir, Sudanese Foreign Ministry spokesman, told Xinhua. "The decision came at a time when the Sudanese government is combating terrorism," he noted, disclosing that diplomatic contacts by the Sudanese government are ongoing with the U.S. to remove Sudan's name from the U.S. list of countries sponsoring terrorism. He said Sudan has shown during the past months a high degree of seriousness and credibility via the deliberations of the...
(AFP (eng) 03/06/17)
Sudanese rebels on Sunday released at least 125 prisoners they had captured in fighting with government forces, most of them soldiers, an AFP journalist said. Their release was secured thanks to mediation from Uganda, while the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) played a facilitating role. The rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) had captured the prisoners in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, where the group has been fighting Sudanese government forces for years. The longest-held prisoners had been captured in June 2009 and the most recent about six
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(Xinhuanet 03/03/17)
Sudanese First Vice-President Bakri Hassan Saleh on Thursday took oath as Sudan's Prime Minister. Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Saleh said "the new government will be formed on bases of the outcomes of the national dialogue conference, particularly at this time when our country is making steps toward a political consensus based on the national dialogue results." He stressed that the new government's program would focus on achieving security and stability together with prosperity for the Sudanese people. On Wednesday, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir issued a decision appointing Saleh as Prime Minister. According to the decision, Saleh will hold both posts of First Vice-President and Prime Minister.
(Xinhuanet 03/03/17)
Despite the appointment of the Sudanese prime minister, it is viewed that great discrepancies endure between ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and political parties and forces regarding formation of the new government. Sudan has reinstated the post of prime minister for the first time in about 28 years, as First Vice-President Bakri Hassan Saleh took oath on Thursday, which earned full consensus of the political forces which participated in the national dialogue conference which concluded its sessions in October last year. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said that Saleh is in charge of the file of reformation of government institutions, as he spoke at a press conference the same day. However, al-Bashir acknowledged that there were difficulties ahead considering the formation...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday appointed a top aide as prime minister, reinstating a post he had abolished after coming to power in a 1989 coup, an official said. Bakri Hassan Saleh was named prime minister by the executive bureau of Bashir's National Congress Party (NCP). "He will take the oath as prime minister tomorrow," Ibrahim Mahmoud, the NCP's deputy chief, told reporters, adding that Saleh would also hold onto his current post of Sudan's first vice president. Sudanese lawmakers voted in December to reinstate the post of prime minister. Following the appointment of Saleh, a fellow officer involved in the Islamist-backed coup, Bashir is expected to announce a cabinet reshuffle on Thursday. The naming of a premier and...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A former army general and top aide to President Omar al-Bashir was sworn in Thursday as Sudan's first prime minister since the post was scrapped in a 1989 Islamist-backed coup. Bakri Hassan Saleh, a military officer involved in the bloodless coup that brought Bashir to power three decades ago, was named prime minister on Wednesday by the executive bureau of the president's National Congress Party (NCP). "Today, we took the major step of appointing Bakri Hassan Saleh as prime minister," Bashir announced at a press conference after the swearing-in ceremony. Saleh, 68, who will also retain his current post of Sudan's first vice president, was sworn in at a presidential palace in Khartoum. Bashir abolished the post of prime minister...
(Sudan Tribune 03/02/17)
U.S United States Congressmen including senators and representatives have called on President Donald Trump to appoint a special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan to back the regional efforts for peace in the two countries. With the end of President Barack Obama’s second term, the former U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth stepped down, leaving hot files on the crises in the two countries waiting for his successor who will be the sixth special envoy for Sudan. “We write to urge you to appoint a high-level special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan with the international stature to bring urgently needed diplomatic leadership to international efforts to achieve a sustainable peace in and between the two countries”, reads a letter signed...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...
(Xinhuanet 02/23/17)
A Sudanese official on Thursday announced that the number of South Sudanese refugees in Sudan so far has reached 495,000. "Presently we have 495,000 South Sudanese refugees in Sudan, where they are distributed in Khartoum, White Nile, East Darfur, West Kordofan and South Kordofan states, and in less figures in South and North Darfur States," Hamad Al-Jizouli, Sudanese Commissioner for Refugees, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua Thursday. He expected the number of South Sudanese refugees in Sudan to increase due to the security tension in the south together with the South Sudan government's declaration of famine in some parts of the country. "The influxes of refugees are still continuing as they are related to the current reality of...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment," said lead author Arnab Pain,...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Clashes between Sudan's government and rebels in South Kordofan province on Tuesday smashed a months-long lull in fighting, the two sides said. Ethnic minority rebels in the southern state who say they are politically and economically marginalised have been fighting the Arab-dominated government since 2011. Fighting there and in Darfur and Blue Nile states have left thousands dead and millions displaced. Khartoum announced a unilateral ceasefire in June, which it extended by six months in January. Army spokesman Brigadier Ahmed Khalifa al-Shami said Tuesday that rebels "today attacked one of our positions in the area of Mshayish, 38 kilometres (25 miles) west of Kadugli," the capital of South Kordofan. "We pushed them back and lost one of our men, while...
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Sudan's army announced on Tuesday that it repelled an attack by rebels against the Al-Mashayesh region, which killed a government soldier and injured 10 others. "A force belonging the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)/northern sector attacked one of our posts in Al-Mashayesh region, and our forces managed to repel them," Sudanese army spokesman Ahmed Khalifa Al-Shami told Xinhua. "One of our soldiers was martyred and 10 others were injured," Al-Shami said, adding " there is definitely a substantial loss of human lives among the perpetrators, but we have no exact figures yet." He deemed the attack a violation of the ceasefire declared by the Sudanese government, saying "rebels of the SPLM/northern sector are attempting to pressure the State to...

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