Donald Trump launches nonsensical explanation of why he removed Sudan from his travel ban

New travel ban has dropped Sudan from the list of banned countries but the White House has given no official reason why

Administration sources attributed the decision to drop Sudan from the ban to the country’s co-operation with the American government on national security and information-sharing AFP

 

 

 

 

 

Donald Trump has failed to explain why Sudan has been removed from the most recent version of his travel ban by launching into a nonsensical description of the decision.

The US President’s highly controversial travel ban, which was unveiled on Sunday evening, has been extended to eight countries. Citizens of North Korea, Venezuela and Chad joined the list of those restricted from entering the US.

The newly unveiled ban revealed Sudan had been dropped from the list and would no longer be subject to stringent visa controls but the White House gave no official reason as to why this was the case.

“First of all, can you explain to us why Sudan was removed?” a reporter asked President Trump during a press briefing.

“And second of all, how does the travel ban work in North Korea that doesn’t allow their people out of their country?”

Mr Trump brazenly dodged the question, saying:  “Well, the people – yeah, the people allowed – certain countries – but we can add countries very easily and we can take countries away”.

When pressed about what Sudan did “right” to be exempt, the world leader again sidestepped the line of questioning.

He said: “And as far as the travel ban is concerned, whatever it is, I want the toughest travel ban you can have. So I’ll see you in Indiana. We’re going to go over some more points that have not been talked about. Are you all going? Is everyone going?”

The president’s proclamation said the Department of Homeland Security’s vetting review led to some “improvements” and “positive results” in certain countries but failed to provide any specific detail of why Sudan had suddenly been made exempt.

The north-east African country was one of the six Muslim-majority nations, also including Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia – whose citizens were blocked from entering the US under the previous travel ban which expired on Sunday.

Administration sources attributed the decision to drop Sudan from the ban to the country’s co-operation with the American government on national security and information-sharing, the Washington Post reported.

Nevertheless, others have suggested the choice was in fact politically motivated. Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief at The Intercept, wrote on Twitter: “Sudan getting dropped from the travel ban comes as the UAE has been lobbying hard for them in DC in exchange for mercenary support in Yemen”.

Sudan has supplied thousands of troops to support the Saudi-led coalition, also including the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern countries, to help fight Houthi rebels in Yemen’s civil war. America also provided “logistical support” to the coalition.

Sudan continues to be one of three countries, including Iran and Syria, classed by the US government as a state which sponsors terrorism.

In contrast to the president’s original bans, which had time limits, the new one is open-ended. The new restrictions are set to start taking effect on 18 October and resulted from a review after President Trump’s original travel bans prompted chaos in airports, international fury and legal challenges.

Shortly after the proclamation was released, Mr Trump wrote on Twitter: “Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet”.

The decision to include North Korea and Venezuela in the list widens the stringent limits from the original, predominantly Muslim-majority list. Some have speculated whether this is an explicit attempt to make the ban appear less clearly targeted.

Amnesty International USA condemned the measures in a statement: “Just because the original ban was especially outrageous does not mean we should stand for yet another version of government-sanctioned discrimination.

“It is senseless and cruel to ban whole nationalities of people who are often fleeing the very same violence that the US government wishes to keep out. This must not be normalised.”

Officials said that instead of a total ban on entry to the United States, the proposed restrictions vary according to nation, based on cooperation with American security mandates, the threat the US believes each country presents and other variables at play.  For example, only certain government officials from Venezuela will be banned.

Experts said the new restrictions could be less susceptible to legal attack because the ban is the consequence of a month-long analysis of foreign vetting procedures by US officials and may be less straightforwardly linked to President Trump’s barbed attacks on Muslims during his presidential campaign.

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Sudan’s student sentenced to death over cop’s murder

September 25, 2017

KHARTOUM: A court in Sudan on Sunday sentenced a university student to death after convicting him of killing a policeman during protests in the capital last year, a defence lawyer said.

Asim Omer, who was studying at Khartoum University, was arrested in December last year and charged with killing the policeman after hundreds of students clashed with security forces at the campus on the banks of the Blue Nile in April 2016.

Last month the court found Omer guilty, and on Sunday sentenced him to be hanged.

“The judge sentenced Omer to be hanged to death after finding him guilty of killing a policeman,” defence lawyer Mohamed Arabi told AFP, adding he would appeal.

After the sentencing, crowds of students who had gathered outside the court began protesting and police fired teargas to disperse them, an AFP correspondent reported.

Students at Khartoum University several times last year demonstrated against what they said was a plan to sell off buildings belonging to the institution.

The government denied the charge, and police often resorted to firing teargas to disperse the protesters.

Demonstrations against local grievances occur frequently in Sudan but are often suppressed by police and state security agencies.

In late 2016, sporadic anti-government rallies were staged in Khartoum after the government raised fuel prices.

The demonstrations were swiftly broken up by security forces, and dozens of opposition leaders and activists were arrested. The biggest crackdown on protesters was in September 2013, when dozens of demonstrators were killed during anti-austerity rallies.

Agence France-Presse

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UK: Amnesty exposes illicit US$46m South Sudan arms deal brokered under government’s nose

25 September 2017, 09:30 UTC

Research released by Amnesty International today reveals how a shell company in the heart of London’s West End acted as an intermediary in huge prospective arms deals to war-torn South Sudan and other countries, thanks to regulatory gaps which are making the UK a hotspot for companies involved in illicit arms transfers.

Commercial documents name S-Profit Ltd, a tiny UK-registered company, as the ‘supplier’ in a 2014 deal to provide at least US$46m worth of small arms, light weapons and ammunition to the South Sudanese government. The report, From London to Juba: a UK-registered company’s role in one of the largest arms deals to South Sudan, also reveals that the UK government has been aware of similar practices taking place on British soil for more than eight years, without taking effective regulatory action.

“South Sudan is awash with weapons that have been used to kill and maim thousands of civilians, causing Africa’s biggest refugee crisis. The UK government has been a vocal proponent of a UN arms embargo on South Sudan, yet is turning a blind eye to illegal deals taking place right under its nose,” said James Lynch, Amnesty International’s Head of Arms Control and Human Rights.

“Glaring gaps in UK company regulation mean a dealer of illicit arms can go online and set up a UK company to front its activities with fewer checks than joining a gym or hiring a car. The UK must urgently review its company registration procedures – right now it provides the perfect conditions to become a hotspot for the kind of irresponsible arms transfers that have devastated South Sudan.”

Glaring gaps in UK company regulation mean a dealer of illicit arms can go online and set up a UK company to front its activities with fewer checks than joining a gym or hiring a car
James Lynch, Head of Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International

The weapons in question form part of a previously undisclosed 2014 contract between a Ukrainian state arms company and a UAE-based company to procure US$169m of weapons on behalf of South Sudan. These include thousands of machine guns, mortars, RPGs and millions of rounds of ammunition.

If fulfilled, the total deal would constitute one of the largest publicly disclosed arms transfers to South Sudan since the outbreak of fighting in December 2013.

Amnesty International has not been able to determine whether some or all of the weapons listed in these documents have yet been delivered to South Sudan. However, a UK company may violate UK export control laws even by being involved in the negotiation of an arms deal to South Sudan. The involvement of the Ukrainian state-owned arms company and a UAE private company in weapons supplies to South Sudan also potentially contravenes the Ukraine and UAE’s obligations as signatories to the Arms Trade Treaty.

S-Profit’s director –a Ukrainian national based outside the UK – denied to Amnesty International that the firm had supplied military products to South Sudan, but has not responded to further questions, including whether it played an intermediary role.

As well as the South Sudan deal, documents seen by Amnesty International show a sequence of commercial offers and contract negotiations involving S-Profit Ltd – some unfinished — for the prospective supply of armoured vehicles, weapons and aircraft to Egypt, Senegal, Mali, Rwanda, Ukraine and Peru, as well as to private companies in Serbia, Ukraine, Poland and Australia. Amnesty International has been unable to identify UK trade control licences for any of these negotiations or deals.

Turning a blind eye

Amnesty International has provided UK authorities with the documents and information it has obtained. The report also reveals that the UK government has, for more than eight years, been aware of UK shell companies being used unlawfully as contract vehicles for weapons dealers to supply arms to human rights violators and embargoed destinations including Syria, Eritrea and South Sudan. The UK has made no regulatory changes to address these gaps.

The UK government has also failed to take any meaningful enforcement action against the companies involved, despite powers under UK company and insolvency law designed to allow the government to wind up companies acting unlawfully or fraudulently.

 A regulatory vacuum

S-Profit Ltd is emblematic of how companies that wish to operate in the shadows can benefit from regulatory gaps at Companies House, the government body responsible for registering companies. Anyone in the world can set up a UK company online without needing to provide any identity documents.

The day after its registration, the shareholding of S-Profit Ltd was transferred to a Ukrainian national who lists a non-existent UK office address and a commercial ‘virtual telephone switchboard’ service for official communications.

“This should be a wake-up call for the UK government to hold UK-registered companies accountable.” (James Lynch, Deputy Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International. James Lynch, Head of Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International)

“S-Profit Ltd’s company filings give no indication of its involvement in the arms trade – but then UK law does not require them to. This kind of weak regulation is seriously undermining the other robust domestic, EU and international controls which should make any UK involvement in arms transfers to a war zone like South Sudan unimaginable,” said James Lynch.

“This should be a wake-up call for the UK government to hold UK-registered companies accountable. Simple measures like checking the veracity of names and addresses and setting up a register of arms brokers would make it much harder for foreign arms dealers contributing to serious human rights abuses to set up shop in the UK.

“If they have not already reached South Sudan, these deliveries must be halted. In the meantime we continue to call for a comprehensive UN arms embargo on South Sudan that includes any brokering, financial or logistical activities that would facilitate these kinds of transfers. Without an embargo, weapons will continue to flow into South Sudan, and the consequences for civilians will continue to be catastrophic.”

Background

S-Profit is one of three companies named in the documents, alongside the UAE-based International Golden Group and the Ukrainian state-owned arms exporter, Ukrinmash.

Amnesty International has repeatedly documented the devastating abuses against civilians in South Sudan since the 2013 civil war began, most recently in the report, Do not remain silent”: Survivors of Sexual violence in South Sudan call for justice and reparations.

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S. Sudan’s Kiir says regrets war-caused suffering

September 24, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudan President Salva Kiir says he regrets the suffering nearly four years of civil war has inflicted on the people.

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South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (AFP)

“I am not happy. I am hurting inside. How can I be happy when I see my people suffering?” asked Kiir on Friday.

The South Sudanese leader, while appearing on the state-owned television (SSBC), did not, however, hint on how his administration intends to end the conflict, which has displaced millions of people.

Critics described Kiir’s remarks as “crocodile” feelings and compassion, saying the solution to end the conflict was in his hand.

Observers, however, say Kiir has been overwhelmed to the extent of not being able to know what to do to end the ongoing civil war.

At least 7.5 million of the estimated 12 million South Sudanese will need assistance in 2017, the United Nations humanitarian respond plan showed.

Conflict broke out in December 2013 following months of internal wrangling in the ruling party (SPLM) over leadership, vision of the party, reforms and democracy. The three-year-old war has killed thousands of people and displaced millions as refugees to neighboring countries. Also, an estimated 1.9 million others are internally displaced in the country, with about thousands sheltering at the U.N protection of civilians’ sites in parts of the country.

(ST)

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Africa: Trump Adds Chad to U.S. Travel Ban, Lifts Restrictions on Sudan

President Donald Trump with Africa leaders invited to the G20 summit – (from left) Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina. Nigeria’s then-acting President Yemi Osinbajo, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (file photo).
Cape Town — President Donald Trump has included Chad in a new list of countries whose citizens are prohibited from entering the United States. But the ban placed on Sudanese travellers earlier this year has been ended.

In a proclamation issued on Sunday, he also retained Libya and Somalia on the banned list. The other nations now affected by the ban are Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.

The presidential proclamation said that although Chad’s government is “an important and valuable counterterrorism partner of the United States”, it does not share enough information to enable the U.S. to judge whether its citizens pose a threat to public safety.

“Additionally,” President Trump added, “several terrorist groups are active within Chad or in the surrounding region, including elements of Boko Haram, ISIS-West Africa, and al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb.”

The proclamation did not mention Sudan, but the Washington Post reported senior Trump administration officials as saying that Sudan’s “cooperation on national security and information-sharing showed it was appropriate to remove it from the list”.

Trump also named Libya as a valuable counter-terrorism partner but said the country faced “significant challenges in sharing several types of information, including public-safety and terrorism-related information necessary for the protection of the national security and public safety of the United States”.

In Somalia’s case, he said although the government met the U.S.’s requirements for sharing information, it was unable to give consistent and effective cooperation to the U.S. In addition, the “terrorist threat that emanates from its territory” presents special circumstances justifying a ban on immigrant visas.

However, unlike citizens of Chad and Libya, Somalis will be able to apply for “non-immigrant” visas – allowing for short-term family, tourism and business travel, subject to heightened scrutiny of visa applications.

Excerpts from portions of the proclamation relating to Chad, Libya and Somalia follow:

Chad

The government of Chad is an important and valuable counterterrorism partner of the United States, and the United States Government looks forward to expanding that cooperation, including in the areas of immigration and border management. Chad has shown a clear willingness to improve in these areas.

Nonetheless, Chad does not adequately share public-safety and terrorism-related information and fails to satisfy at least one key risk criterion. Additionally, several terrorist groups are active within Chad or in the surrounding region, including elements of Boko Haram, ISIS-West Africa, and al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb.

At this time, additional information sharing to identify those foreign nationals applying for visas or seeking entry into the United States who represent national security and public-safety threats is necessary given the significant terrorism-related risk from this country… The entry into the United States of nationals of Chad, as immigrants, and as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas, is hereby suspended.

Libya

The government of Libya is an important and valuable counterterrorism partner of the United States, and the United States Government looks forward to expanding on that cooperation, including in the areas of immigration and border management.

Libya, nonetheless, faces significant challenges in sharing several types of information, including public-safety and terrorism-related information necessary for the protection of the national security and public safety of the United States. Libya also has significant inadequacies in its identity-management protocols.

Further, Libya fails to satisfy at least one key risk criterion and has been assessed to be not fully cooperative with respect to receiving its nationals subject to final orders of removal from the United States. The substantial terrorist presence within Libya’s territory amplifies the risks posed by the entry into the United States of its nationals.

The entry into the United States of nationals of Libya, as immigrants, and as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas, is hereby suspended.

Somalia

The Secretary of Homeland Security’s report… determined that Somalia satisfies… information-sharing requirements… But several other considerations support imposing entry restrictions and limitations on Somalia.

Somalia has significant identity-management deficiencies. For example, while Somalia issues an electronic passport, the United States and many other countries do not recognize it.

A persistent terrorist threat also emanates from Somalia’s territory. The United States Government has identified Somalia as a terrorist safe haven. Somalia stands apart from other countries in the degree to which its government lacks command and control of its territory, which greatly limits the effectiveness of its national capabilities in a variety of respects. Terrorists use under-governed areas in northern, central, and southern Somalia as safe havens from which to plan, facilitate, and conduct their operations.

Somalia also remains a destination for individuals attempting to join terrorist groups that threaten the national security of the United States. The State Department’s 2016 Country Reports on Terrorism observed that Somalia has not sufficiently degraded the ability of terrorist groups to plan and mount attacks from its territory.

Further, despite having made significant progress toward formally federating its member states, and its willingness to fight terrorism, Somalia continues to struggle to provide the governance needed to limit terrorists’ freedom of movement, access to resources, and capacity to operate. The government of Somalia’s lack of territorial control also compromises Somalia’s ability, already limited because of poor recordkeeping, to share information about its nationals who pose criminal or terrorist risks.

As a result of these and other factors, Somalia presents special concerns that distinguish it from other countries.

The entry into the United States of nationals of Somalia as immigrants is hereby suspended. Additionally, visa adjudications for nationals of Somalia and decisions regarding their entry as nonimmigrants should be subject to additional scrutiny to determine if applicants are connected to terrorist organizations or otherwise pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the United States.

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Africa: President Donald J. Trump Strengthens Security Standards For Traveling to America

President Donald Trump with Africa leaders invited to the G20 summit – (from left) Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina. Nigeria’s then-acting President Yemi Osinbajo, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (file photo).

DOCUMENT

“Our government’s first duty is to its people, to our citizens — to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values.” – President Donald J. Trump

NEW PROTECTIONS:

President Donald J. Trump is taking key steps to protect the American people from those who would enter our country and do us harm.

Earlier this year, the President signed Executive Order 13780, which asked the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a new minimum baseline for how much information sharing with foreign nations is required to determine whether their nationals seeking entry into the United States present security threats to our Nation.

The new baseline furthers the aims of the Executive Order by ensuring our border and immigration security is adequate to protect the safety and security of the American people.

New requirements on issuing electronic passports, sharing criminal data, reporting lost and stolen passports, and sharing more information on travelers will help better verify the identities and national security risks of people trying to enter the United States.

Additionally, foreign governments will have to work with the United States to identify serious criminals and known or suspected terrorists, as well as share identity-related information and exemplars of documents such as IDs and passports. When foreign governments share information about individuals coming to the United States, the dedicated men and women of our homeland security and intelligence agencies can work to identify and block threats from reaching America’s shores.

PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS PUT OUR NATIONAL SECURITY FIRST: This action to protect our national security builds on Executive Order 13780, which President Trump signed in March.

Executive Order 13780, which President Trump signed on March 6, 2017, suspended entry into the United States for foreign nationals of six countries of concern, giving the Federal Government time to review our procedures for screening and vetting people seeking to come to our country. The President signed Executive Order 13780 pursuant to his constitutional and statutory authorities, including section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which provides that the President may “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens” whenever he “finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

Executive Order 13780 required the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a review of other nations’ information-sharing practices regarding their nationals traveling to the United States, and to recommend improvements in a report to the President. The Department of Homeland Security has worked closely with other Federal departments and agencies to review current vetting and information-sharing practices. The Secretary of Homeland Security submitted the required report to the President this month, and the President is now acting in response to the Secretary’s recommendations.

HIGHER STANDARDS FOR IMMIGRATION SECURITY: The Trump Administration worked in good faith with foreign governments to implement minimum security requirements.

Despite best efforts of the United States, several countries remain currently inadequate in their identity-management protocols and information-sharing practices or present sufficient risk factors that travel restrictions are required. As a result, certain travel limitations and restrictions will be placed on nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen, by President Trump’s September 24 proclamation, until we are sure that we can conduct proper screening and vetting of those countries’ nationals.

These travel limitations and restrictions are a vital tool for enforcing adequate information sharing requirements and necessary for the security and welfare of the United States. These limitations and restrictions are conditional, and these countries can, under this Executive action, improve their information-sharing practices and receive relief from the limitations and restrictions.

The President has also determined that while Iraq should be subject to great screening security, entry restrictions are not warranted under the September 24 proclamation. The Trump Administration shared these new requirements with foreign governments in July, and countries that did not have adequate information-sharing practices in place were given 50 days to make necessary improvements. A number of nations that were not in compliance worked quickly and diligently to improve, such as increasing their information sharing with the United States or improving their reporting of lost and stolen passports. Many of those countries are now in compliance.

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SUPPORT INCREASED VETTING: A majority of Americans support President Trump’s efforts to safeguard our Nation from those who would do us harm.

A July 2017 Politico/Morning Consult poll found that “a clear majority of voters”—60 percent–support President Trump’s Executive Order on travel restrictions.

AGREEMENT ON THE THREATS FACING AMERICA: Congress, the Obama Administration, and the courts have all recognized the need for enhanced security and vetting.

Following the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, bipartisan legislation restricting access to the visa waiver program for foreign nationals who had previously traveled to Iraq, Syria, Iran, or Sudan. The Obama Administration began implementing these policies in 2016, and later expanded these provisions to include certain individuals who had visited Libya, Somalia, or Yemen.

PROTECTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: Trump Administration officials have repeatedly spoken about the importance of the travel Executive Order for our Nation’s safety, and enforcing our Nation’s ability to ensure its own security.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly: “We cannot risk the prospect of malevolent actors using our immigration system to take American lives.”

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster: “If you can’t screen people effectively to know who’s coming into your country, then you shouldn’t allow people from that country to travel.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: “It is the President’s solemn duty to protect the American people and with this order, President Trump is exercising his authority to keep our people safe.”

CHALLENGES FOR CUSTOMS AND CONSULAR OFFICERS: The United States welcomes millions of visitors each year, putting enormous investigatory burdens on our Homeland Security and State Department officers and caseworkers.

More than one million immigrants from more than 150 countries are provided with permanent residency in the United States every year with a path to citizenship. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has an asylum backlog of more than 270,000. Many of those immigrating and traveling to the United States come from areas with serious terrorism concerns, significant instability, substantial stresses on public systems, and other security and safety threats.

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Over 140,000 S. Sudan refugees in Sudan’s White Nile state

September 24, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – The number of South Sudanese refugees currently living in Sudan’s White Nile state has reached 143,800, the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) announced on Sunday.

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South Sudanese refugees seen at Khor Omar camp for the displaced in El Daein, East Darfur on March 20, 2016 (UNAMID Photo)

“The number of South Sudanese refugees in the camps of White Nile State reached 143,800,” said Abdul-Qawi Hamid, the Humanitarian Aid Commissioner in the state.

“The national organizations and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are distributing food shares in a regular manner at all waiting stations,” he added.

Over 2 million South Sudanese refugees have been displaced as a result of the conflict that hit the world’s youngest nation in mid-December 2013.

According to the official, more South Sudanese refugees are expected in the coming months due to continued security issues in South Sudan.

The White Nile state has reportedly been witnessing continuous influxes of refugees fleeing war and famine in war-torn South Sudan.

With the continued security issues in South Sudan and the famine which has hit many part of the young nation, new influxes of South Sudanese refugees are expected to arrive in Sudan, the UN humanitarian agency (OCHA) said.

South Sudanese refugees in Sudan have reportedly been distributed in four states including the White Nile, South Kordofan, East Darfur and Khartoum states, amid concerns the current numbers will sour.

In August last year, Sudan officially declared that South Sudanese fleeing war in their country will be treated as refugees, which opens the door for the UN to provide them with aid and fund aid programs.

(ST)

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U.S. Trump lifts travel ban on Sudan

September 24, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – U.S. President Donald Trump Sunday removed Sudan from a renewed travel ban imposed last March originally on six Muslim-majority countries.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives the thumbs up (AFP Photo)

The lift takes places two weeks before a decision on the permanent revocation of economic sanctions on Sudan that many expect on 12 October.

No official statement on Sudan removal of the new restrictions but the Washington Post reported that officials in Washington pointed to Khartoum cooperation on counterterrorism.

“Sudan fell off the travel ban list issued at the beginning of the year. Senior administration officials said a review of Sudan’s cooperation with the U.S. government on national security and information-sharing showed it was appropriate to remove them from the list,” reads the Washington Post.

In January 2017, President Trump banned the refugee admissions and new visas for citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations. But in a revised version in March 2017, he reduced their number to six countries after removing Iraq imposed the travel restrictions for travellers from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan.

The lift of travel ban on Sudan does not change its status on the U.S. terror list.

The renewed travel ban was expanded to include new three countries: Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. However, the full travel bans are placed on North Korea and Chad nationals. For Venezuela, the restrictions are limited to officials from government agencies and their families.

Chad’s inclusion in the list was a surprise to many as the Central African country plays a significant role in the fight against terror groups in the region like Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram.

In his presidential proclamation, Trump called Chad as “an important and valuable counterterrorism partner.”

Nonetheless, the decision pointed to the presence in Chad of several terrorist groups adding that “Chad does not adequately share public- safety and terrorism-related information”.

(ST)

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‘Significant rise in inflation’: Sudan economist

September 21 – 2017 KHARTOUM
File photo

File photo

The inflation rate in Sudan rose sharply during the month of August to 34.67 per cent. This is 1.11 per cent higher than in July.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, Sudanese economic expert Dr Sidgi Kabello predicts a steady escalation in inflation rates as a result of the rise in prices of goods, and questioned the figures announced by the government in this regard.

Bread shortage

People of Khartoum Bahri are suffering of severe bread crisis. A resident of Teibat El Ahamda told Radio Dabanga that all the bakeries in the districts have been experiencing unprecedented overcrowding since last Monday.

He said people are unable to get the required quantities of bread.

The bakery owners attributed the crisis to the authorities’ reduction of flour quota by 75 per cent.

Hundreds of shop owners at El Soug El Shaabi refused to pay taxes to the government.

The merchants told Radio Dabanga that they closed their shops in protest against the payment of SDG 500 ($75) a month instead of SDG 1,200 ($180) a year.

The merchants renewed their categorical rejection of the government’s move to impose new taxes on them. They pointed out that they are required to pay annual taxes estimated at more than SDG 5,000 ($750), as well as payment of Zakat [Islamic alms], waste, electricity and locality fees.

People of Sawakin in the Red Sea state have complained of a rise in the price of water joz from carts to SDG 7 ($1.05).

Water price hike

Journalist Mohamed El Amin Osheik reported in an interview with Radio Dabanga the rise of water prices and attributed that to lack of government control.

He said Sawakin desalination station has returned to work after more than a week of disruptions.

He expressed surprise at the rise in prices despite the abundance of water.

He explained that water prices have become burdensome to the residents and called on locality and state authorities to intervene to control water prices.

In Central Sudan, El Gezira and El Managil Scheme farmers have warned of the failure of summer crops because of drought.

Yesterday a farmer from El Gezira told Radio Dabanga that the genetically modified cotton, corn, groundnut and vegetables are threatened with failure for problems related to irrigation.

He held the irrigation engineers responsible for the lack of water flow in the canals because of the imposition of complex administrative procedures on the farmers.

He pointed out that the irrigation engineers asked the farmers to bring the irrigation order from the Scheme management accompanied by the identification of the required water cubes, the project and the area of the project and the type of planted crops.

He said that farmers were unable to provide the required information because of time constraints.

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WAR ROBS SOUTH SUDAN YOUTHS OF CHILDHOOD, SAYS BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE HEAD

22 September 2017 | by Catholic News Service

In South Sudan and Sudan, it is ‘necessary for us to stop awhile’ and ‘invite peace into our hearts, because we have lost everything to wars’

War in South Sudan has robbed young people of their childhood and given them challenges unknown to their peers in most other countries, said the head of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

“My heart breaks at the thought that your childhoods are being taken away from you daily, but I know that you have not lost your vision or your hope for a better future,” Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala of Tombura-Yambio, South Sudan, said in a 21 September statement to mark International Day for Peace.

The bishops’ conference includes all dioceses in Sudan and South Sudan, which split in 2011, when South Sudan became the world’s newest country. Barely three years after its independence from Sudan, a power struggle pitting President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, plunged South Sudan into civil war. The war has killed thousands, displaced nearly one million people, ignited a man-made famine and destroyed the country’s economy.

In South Sudan and Sudan, it is “necessary for us to stop awhile” and “invite peace into our hearts, because we have lost everything to wars,” Bishop Kussala said.

Addressing young people, the bishop said that in the past few years, he has had “the bittersweet privilege to witness how quickly you grew, and how quickly you matured.”

The killings and incessant fighting that have plagued South Sudan “have changed you,” he said, noting that he feels young people’s frustrations, which are evident on their faces, in their voices, in what they sing and in what they write on social media.

“It takes a lot of courage to take the first step, where our parents and elders have, sadly, failed,” Bishop Kussala said.

“Unlike you, we are entrenched in our old habits, prejudices, hate, injustices, and even pettiness, and it is not easy to let go of our selfishness, for it is how we have been able to survive and preserve ourselves in these dark times,” he said.

“But now it is time to look forward and we, living in a small country, can do that together,” he said. South Sudan has a population of 12 million people.

A preparatory process is currently underway for the 2018 Synod of Bishops on “young people, faith and vocational discernment.”

PICTURE: A South Sudanese boy pictured in 2011 as he holds his sibling at a camp for displaced people in Juba .

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