Sudan’s persecuted Christians eye long-sought freedom!

Some of the foreign charities assisting Sudan’s Christians were driven out, a movement that intensified after the country’s Christian-majority south seceded in 2011.

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/08/persecuted-christians-eye-long-sought-freedom-in-sudan

26 August, 2019

KHARTOUM – Sudan’s Christians suffered decades of persecution under the regime of Islamist general Omar al-Bashir. Now they hope his downfall will give the religious freedom they have long prayed for.

Deep within the maze of dusty alleys that honeycomb Omdurman, Khartoum’s sprawling twin city, Yousef Zamgila’s church is not visible from the street.

It is hidden in the courtyard of a friend’s home and consists of a few iron benches, a pulpit and crosses hastily painted on pillars holding a corrugated roof.

“The previous centre got destroyed because we didn’t have the right papers. They always refused… So we use the land of our neighbours,” says the Lutheran reverend.

Denying the Christian minority permits to build churches has been the main tool of oppression over the years.

Another was the all-Islamic culture imposed by the state in schools and in the workplace, despite the former constitution’s provisions on religious freedom.

“Our youths and children cannot learn about Christianity because their entire environment is made only for Muslims,” says Jacob Paulus, a 28-year-old teacher in Omdurman.

Government figures say Christians represent only three percent of Sudan’s 40-million inhabitants, although Christian leaders say the real figure is much higher.

Copts, Catholics, Anglicans and a number of other confessions are present in the country, yet Bashir’s Islamist regime drove many of them underground.

Some of the foreign charities assisting Sudan’s Christians were driven out, a movement that intensified after the country’s Christian-majority south seceded in 2011.

DARK DAYS OVER?

“The authorities felt that the churches and Christian charities supported the south’s independence,” says Ezekiel Kondo, the Anglican Bishop of Khartoum.

Sitting in his office across from his large church in central Khartoum, the prelate says “the state has consistently followed a strategy to weaken the Church”.

In its worldwide report on religious freedom, the Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) pontifical foundation ranked Sudan in the most critical category of countries.

Bashir, who enforced Islamic sharia laws afer coming to power in a 1989 coup, was brought down in April by a wave of protests that erupted over the country’s worsening economic crisis.

A new civilian-majority administration was sworn in last week, under a deal struck between the opposition and the generals who took charge after Bashir’s ouster.

The constitution adopted for the three-year transition notably omits Islam as one of the characteristics defining the state.

That and the wind of democratic change in Sudan have given Christians and other minorities hope that religious plurality would be better protected in the coming phase.

“We hope there will be change. Christians were also in the protests, they had good reason… I think the darkest days are over,” says Reverend Yusef.

Sitting next to him in the makeshift church, Reverend Mata Boutros Komi was equally upbeat.

“At least now, our rulers are acknowledging Christians as part of this country. Christians have prayed for this change for decades, we are happy because this change has come,” he says.

An encouraging sign was the inclusion of a Christian woman on the 11-member joint civilian-military Sovereign Council sworn in on 21 August.

A protest was held in Khartoum last week by Christians demanding equal rights, something hard to imagine in Bashir’s days, when arrests and fines were common.

‘CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC’

“We were concerned when the Transitional Military Council announced in May 2019 that sharia law would continue, as a hardline interpretation of sharia has often been used as a hammer to hit Christians with,” says John Newton from the UK branch of ACN.

“We are cautiously optimistic that the new ruling council might uphold religious freedom for minority groups – as indeed 2005’s interim constitution did – but ultimately we will have to wait and see how events unfold.”

While he hopes the new administration will ease the pressure on Christians, Bishop Ezekiel Kondo argues that the priority should be to bring peace to Sudan.

“A document alone does not alleviate people’s suffering. For this transition to work, peace has to happen. Then all the other important things will come more easily,” he says.

The country is torn by rebellions and conflicts in several regions populated by non-Arab or non-Muslim minorities.

The presence in the Sovereign Council of generals who rose up the ranks with Bashir’s blessing had raised widespread concern that Sudan’s democratic revolution could be short-lived.

“If the transition’s principles are really implemented, then yes, we will have change,” the bishop says.

“But I am still quite pessimistic because the Islamist mentality is still here.”

https://ewn.co.za/2019/08/26/sudan-s-persecuted-christians-eye-long-sought-freedom

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Sudan’s sovereign council declares state of emergency in Port Sudan.

Port Sudan is Sudan’s main sea gateway, and is used by South Sudan to export oil.

Abdalla Hamdok speaks after being sworn in as Sudan’s interim prime minister in the capital Khartoum on 21 August 2019. Picture: AFP
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26 August, 2019 . KHARTOUM – Sudan’s newly-created sovereign council formally declared a state of emergency in the city of Port Sudan on Sunday, following tribal clashes that police say have killed at least 16 people.

The acting governor and the head of the national security service for the eastern Red Sea state, of which Port Sudan is the capital, were both dismissed, said Brigadier Altahir Abuhaja, spokesperson for the sovereign council.

This comes at a delicate time for Sudan, following the signing of a power-sharing agreement earlier this month.

The joint military-civilian sovereign council was sworn in last week, as was Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who is set to form a government later this week.

Clashes between members of the Beni Amer and Nuba tribes, which have flared up in the past, were re-ignited on Wednesday and continued into Saturday morning, a police statement said.

Eyewitnesses told Reuters they heard and saw gunfire in the Port Sudan neighbourhoods where both tribes live.

Port Sudan is Sudan’s main sea gateway, and is used by South Sudan to export oil.

“The relevant authorities have observed the use of firearms in the conflict for the first time, which reveals the existence of external and internal interference to fuel the conflict and spread it to other areas,” Abuhaja said.

Security services were placed on high readiness in order to quell any escalation, and an investigative committee has been formed, he added.

The police statement said reinforcements had been sent to the area.

“The transitional sovereign council emphasizes the neutrality of the military and security services … Anyone who is shown to be biased to either side because of affiliation or support will be dealt with decisively,” Abuhaja said.

Two members of the sovereign council had visited Port Sudan on Thursday and met with tribal leaders in an attempt to bring an end to the fighting.

According to the power-sharing agreement, the sovereign council declares a state of emergency following a request from the cabinet, which is not yet in existence. The state of emergency must then be approved by the legislature within 15 days, according to the agreement, although the legislature is yet to be formed.

https://ewn.co.za/2019/08/26/sudan-s-sovereign-council-declares-state-of-emergency-in-port-sudan

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The little-known general leading Sudan’s transition

Despite his high rank, Lt Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan enjoyed relative obscurity before the uprising

General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan after being sworn in as head of Sudan's newly formed sovereign council on August 21, 2019. EPA
General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan after being sworn in as head of Sudan’s newly formed sovereign council on August 21, 2019. EPA

Lt Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, the man who will oversee the initial phase of Sudan’s transition to a full-fledged democracy after decades of authoritarian rule under Omar Al Bashir, was largely unknown before the military toppled the former president in April.

A veteran of the Sudanese armed forces, Gen Al Burhan, 59, passed largely under the radar even when he was assigned a new senior role in February as Mr Al Bashir sought to shore up his power in the face of months-long protests against his rule and declared a year-long state of emergency.

Beside dissolving the national and state governments and replacing state governors with military officials, Mr Al Bashir also appointed Gen Al Burhan, an infantry officer who was then commander of Sudan’s land forces, as inspector general of the army.

When the armed forces removed Mr Al Bashir from office on April 11, Gen Al Burhan was just one of the faces on the transitional military council that assumed power. But he was catapulted into the spotlight a day later when he was chosen as council chairman after Gen Awad Ibn Auf stepped down from the post. Whereas his predecessor was rejected by Sudanese as being merely another face of the Al Bashir regime, Gen Al Burhan is seen as being free of any political ties.

“Burhan is a high ranking officer within the armed forces, but basically he’s a veteran soldier,” a Sudanese army officer, who did not want to be named, told The National at the time.

“He’s never been in the limelight like Ibn Auf or General Kamal Abdelmarouf,” the officer said, referring to the army’s former chief of staff.

“Burhan doesn’t have any political leanings, he is a professional soldier,” the officer said.

Born in 1960 to a Sufi family in the village of Gandatu, north of Khartoum, Gen Al Burhan studied in a Sudanese army college and later in Egypt and Jordan. He is married and has three children.

Gen Al Burhan had a stint as Sudan’s defence attache to Beijing, but it was Sudan’s contribution to the Arab Coalition supporting Yemen’s government that helped to raise his profile in the region. As commander of Sudanese land forces, Gen Al Burhan liaised with senior officials from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the leading coalition members, in the deployment of Sudanese troops in Yemen.

The two Gulf countries have already pledged a combined $3 billion to help revive Sudan’s ailing economy and support the country through its transition, and Gen Al Burhan’s stewardship of the sovereign council, the de facto executive body, in the first 21 months of the 39-month transition period will be crucial to ensuring continued global support.

Maisoun Badawi, a Sudanese American economist whose relatives served in the military with Gen Burhan, said she believed he did not have ambitions to hold on to power.

“Burhan is a pure military guy and he has no political affiliations. I’m confident in him,” she told The National soon after he assumed leadership of the transitional military council. “Before he became a visible figure, he was walking over to soldiers that were protecting protesters and talking with them.

“His notions are good, and he is affirming to people that he is a nationalist who is concerned with the well-being of Sudan.”

Link to web article: https://www.thenational.ae/world/africa/the-little-known-general-leading-sudan-s-transition-1.901454

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Sudan’s new prime minister vows to work on economy and peace

Abdalla Hamdok was sworn in hours after the new sovereign council took office

Hours after the new 11-member sovereign council took office in Sudan, the country’s new prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, was sworn in and vowed to make achieving peace and solving the country’s economic crisis a priority.

The appointment of the renowned economist came as Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, the outgoing head of the military council, was sworn-in as leader of the new Sovereign Council that will run the country for three years until an election after decades of autocratic rule.

“The revolution’s deep-rooted slogan, ‘freedom, peace and justice,’ will form the programme of the transitional period,” Mr Hamdok told reporters at a news conference in Khartoum.

Gen Al Burhan and other military officers removed veteran leader Omar Al Bashir in April after months of growing protests at the dire economic situation and the years of dictatorship.

While Sudanese people celebrated Mr Al Bashir’s fall, they also pressed for a handover of power to civilians during a turbulent period of protests and violence, including a crackdown on a protest camp outside the Defence Ministry that opposition medics say killed more than 100 people in June.

The United States, Britain and Norway welcomed Mr Hamdok’s appointment, calling it a historic moment for Sudan.

“The appointment of a civilian-led government presents an opportunity to rebuild a stable economy and create a government that respects human rights and personal freedoms,” the Troika, as the three countries are known, said in a joint statement.

The composition of the 11-member Sovereign Council that will run the country for the transition period, replacing the military council that has is now disbanded, was completed on Tuesday, consisting of five civilian and five military figures plus one consensus civilian picked by both sides.

Nine members of the council were sworn in about two hours after Gen Al Burhan took the oath on Wednesday. The final member, Mohamed Al Hassan Al Taishi, will be sworn in at a later, unspecified date, state news agency SUNA said.

“With the start of the transition period, we have entered the most complex phase, the phase of building and reform,” said Al-Rashed Saeed, spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals Association, a key part of the Forces for Freedom and Change coalition that negotiated with the military council.

Among the military men sworn in were Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commonly known as Hemedti. The outgoing deputy head of the military council, Gen Dagalo has become a growing political force in Sudan.

He heads the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary group that has a heavy presence in Khartoum whose genesis is in a tribal militia that fought rebels in the western Darfur region in the 2000s’.

Civilian representatives on the council are mostly little-known figures, including Rajaa Nicola Abdel Maseeh, a Christian, who was the civilian member jointly chosen by the military and the opposition coalition.

Gen Al Burhan, dressed in military uniform, was sworn in before the head of the judiciary at the presidential palace in Khartoum. The other members were sworn in before the judiciary head and Gen Al Burhan in the afternoon.

The Sovereign Council, which held its first meeting shortly after the members’ swearing-in, is now the highest authority in the country but will largely delegate executive powers to a Cabinet of ministers led by the prime minister.

The nomination of Mr Hamdok to the role underlines the daunting task of repairing an economy battered by years of US sanctions and government mismanagement during Mr Al Bashir’s 30-year rule.

A shortage of foreign currency, resulting in a cash crunch and long lines for fuel and bread, triggered the protests that helped push Mr Al Bashir out.Updated: August 22, 2019 02:27 PM

Link to web article: https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/sudan-s-new-prime-minister-vows-to-work-on-economy-and-peace-1.901224

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Who’s who in Sudan’s new ruling council

Military-civilian body will guide country towards elections after 39 months

Members of Sudan's sovereign council at the swearing in on August 21, 2019. EPA
Members of Sudan’s sovereign council at the swearing in on August 21, 2019. EPA

General Mohamed Dagalo

General Mohamed Dagalo. AFP
General Mohamed Dagalo. AFP

Gen Dagalo is in his early 40s, a relatively young age for a general in the Sudanese army. Gen Dagalo left school early to take up cross-border cattle trading and has never attended military academy. He makes up for that with vast combat expertise commanding a tribal militia that fought rebels in the 2000s in the western Darfur region. Gen Dagalo served as deputy to the Transitional Military Council chairman, Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan.

Lt Gen Shamseldin Al Kabashi

Lieutenant General Shams El Deen Al Kabashi. AFP
Lt Gen Shamseldin Al Kabashi. AFP

Lt Gen Al Kabashi, was named Joint Chief of Staff in February and was the face of the TMC from April 11, the day former president Omar Al Bashir was removed, until this week when the council became defunct. He led the TMC’s political committee and was directly involved in months of often difficult negotiations that produced the power-sharing agreement with civilians.

Lt Gen Yasser Al Atta

Lt Gen Yasser Al Atta. AFP
Lt Gen Yasser Al Atta. AFP

Lt Gen Al Atta was one of the 10 officers who made up the original TMC immediately after the removal of Mr Al Bashir. The number of officers on the council was later reduced to six. From a military family, he is the great nephew of an officer executed in the 1970s for his part in a foiled communist-backed coup against the late dictator Jaafar Al Numeiri. He served as military attache in Djibouti.

Maj Gen Ibrahim Kareem

Maj Gen Kareem is a career navy officer who was the commander of Sudan’s naval forces. He also has an engineering degree. He led the TMC’s economic committee, a position that required him to keep country’s economy afloat at a time when most trade, industrial and government activity was at standstill.

Aisha Moussa

Aisha Al Saeed. AFP
Aisha Al Saeed. AFP

Born in the western Kordofan province, Ms Moussa has had a career in education, a field in which she earned a master’s degree from the University of Manchester and a diploma from Leeds University. She is a veteran activist in the field of women’s and girls’ education. She is the widow of Sudanese poet and comparative literature professor Mohammed Abdel Hay.

Hassan Idris

Mr Idris is a legal consultant who once worked for Sudan’s Justice Ministry and served as legislator and housing minister in the 1980s. He hails from eastern Sudan, which he represented in an opposition coalition called The Call of Sudan, which groups political parties and rebel groups in western and southern Sudan.

Sadeek Tawer

A native of the turbulent Nuba Mountains in western Sudan, Mr Tawer is an academic who taught physics at several Sudanese universities. A one-time member of the Baathist party, he has been active in rights issues and efforts to end the war in his native region.

Mohamed Alfaki

Mohammed Al Faqy Suleiman. AFP
Mohamed Alfaki. AFP

A journalist and a political activist, Mr Alfaki, 40, is the youngest member of the council. A political scientist by education, he has worked in several publications in the Gulf region, and written two novels and a political book titled Challenges of Building the State of Sudan.

Mohammed Al Taishi

A native of Darfur, Mr Al Taishi was a one-time youth leader in the Umma Party of former prime minister Sadeq Al Mahdi. He is a pharmacist by training who has lived in exile in Britain in recent years to escape persecution under Mr Al Bashir’s rule.

Raja Abdel Masseh

Raja Nicola Abdel-Maseeh. AFP
Raja Nicola Abdel-Maseeh. AFP

A Coptic Christian, Ms Abdel Masseh was jointly selected by the generals and the pro-democracy movement. She has had a career at the Sudanese Justice Ministry since the early 1980s and was until her appointment a senior legal adviser there.Updated: August 23, 2019 10:44 AM

Link to web article. https://www.thenational.ae/world/africa/who-s-who-in-sudan-s-new-ruling-council-1.901481

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Khartoum: Chairman, members of Sudan Sovereign Council sworn-in!

21August, 2019 – Khartoum

The first meeting of Sudan’s new Sovereign Council in Khartoum this afternoon (Picture: SUNA)

The Chairman of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, took the Oath of Office as Chairman of Sudan’s new Sovereign Council before Chief Justice, Abbas Babiker, in Khartoum this morning. The members of the new Sovereign Council were sworn-in this afternoon, and held their first meeting immediately afterwards.

El Burhan, who has led the TMC since the overthrow of the 30-year Al Bashir regime in April, and the other four military and six civilian members of the Sovereign Council assume their positions in terms of the power-sharing agreement signed on Saturday between the TMC) and Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC).

Besides El Burhan, Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, Shamseldin Kabashi, Yasser Abdulrahman El Atta, and Ibrahim Jaber will represent the military on the Council.

The five civilian nominees are Aisha Mousa of the National Gathering Initiative, Mohamed El Faki of the Unionist Rally, Siddig Tawir of the National Consensus Forces, Hasan Sheikh of Sudan Call, and Mohamed El Taayshi of the Sudanese Professionals Association, and chose Rajaa Abdel -Maseeh, a Coptic Christian woman. ( She is also a Judge )

Members of Sudan’s new Sovereign Council take their Oath of Office
witnessed by Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan (Picture: SUNA)

 

First meeting

After the swearing-in ceremony, the newly-obligated Sovereign Council then held its first official meeting under the chairmanship of El Burhan.

Transitional period

The final documents heralding the three-year transitional period for Sudan and galvanising the political agreement reached between the Transition Military Council (TMC) and Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and the Constitutional Declaration regarding the Transitional Authority, were signed amid much celebration on Saturday.

https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/khartoum-chairman-members-of-sudan-sovereign-council-sworn-in

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PROFILE – Sudan’s new Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok : First civilian to hold post since Bashir seized power brings wealth of expertise and experience to role .

Dr Abdullah Hamdok been sworn in as the new Prime Minister.

Mohammed Amin. 22 August, 2019

KHARTOUM

Sudan’s opposition alliance has chosen 61-year-old economist Abdullah Hamdok as prime minister, the first civilian to hold the post in 30 years.

He was sworn in late Wednesday in the first step towards implementing a power-sharing agreement between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and will serve for three years and three months, after which elections are scheduled to be held.

Hamdok, who also holds British citizenship, has a PhD and MA in Economics from the School of Economic Studies at the University of Manchester, U.K. and earlier graduated from the University of Khartoum.

He is Sudan’s first civilian prime minister since military officer Omar Al-Bashir seized power in a coup in 1989, toppling elected Prime Minister Alsadig Almahdi and ruling the country for 30 years. Hamdok, who was then working in the finance ministry, was sacked from his position because he was not affiliated with al-Bashir’s Islamic movement. He also turned down al-Bashir’s invitation to head the ministry in 2017.

Hamdok previously worked as principal policy economist for the African Development Bank and was chief economist for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). He also served as director for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), an economic development program of the African Union, and regional director for Africa and the Middle East at International IDEA, an intergovernmental organization that works to support and strengthen democratic institutions and processes around the world.

He also has more than 30 years of experience in the areas of public sector reforms, governance, regional integration and resource management in many African countries including Zimbabwe, South Africa and Ethiopia.

The new Prime Minister, Dr Abdullah Hamdok.

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/profile-sudans-new-prime-minister-abdullah-hamdok/1561921
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Sudan swears in civilian-majority ruling council.

21 August, 2019

The swearing in of the civilian-based government is welcomed by residents of Khartoum. ( Reuters)

Sudan took further steps in its transition towards civilian rule Wednesday with the swearing in of a new sovereign council, to be followed by the appointment of a prime minister.

The body replaces the Transitional Military Council (TMC) that took charge after months of deadly street protests brought down longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in April.

As a result of Wednesday’s move, it was the first time that Sudan was not under full military rule since Bashir’s coup d’etat in 1989.

The first steps of the transition after the mass celebrations that marked the August 17 adoption of a transitional constitution proved difficult however.

The names of the joint civilian-military sovereign council’s 11 members were eventually announced late Tuesday after differences within the opposition camp held up the process for two days.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who already headed the TMC, was sworn in as the chairman of the new sovereign council in the morning.

Wearing his usual green beret and camouflage uniform, Burhan took the oath in a short ceremony, one hand on the Koran and the other holding a military baton under his arm.

He will be Sudan’s head of state for the first 21 months of the 39-month transition period, until a civilian takes over for the remainder.

The council’s 10 other members were sworn shortly afterwards and Abdalla Hamdok, who was chosen by the opposition last week to be prime minister, was to be formally appointed later Wednesday.

The sovereign council includes two women, including a member of Sudan’s Christian minority, and it will oversee the formation of a government and of a legislative body.

The inauguration of a civilian-dominated ruling council was welcomed by Khartoum residents but many warned the people would keep their new rulers in check.

End of isolation?

“If this council does not meet our aspirations and cannot serve our interests, we will never hesitate to have another revolution,” said Ramzi al-Taqi, a fruit pedlar.

“We would topple the council just like we did the former regime,” he said.

The transition’s key documents were signed on Saturday at a ceremony attended by a host of foreign dignitaries, signalling that Sudan could be on its way to shedding its pariah status.

Sudan’s new rulers are expected to push for the lifting of the suspension from the African Union that followed a deadly crackdown on a sit-in in June.

The ruling council will also seek to have the country removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for his role in massacres in the Darfur region, where a rebellion broke out in 2003.

He appeared in court on Monday — but only on charges of corruption for the opening of a trial in which an investigator said the deposed leader admitted to receiving millions in cash from Saudi Arabia.

Pictures of the 75-year-old autocrat sitting in a cage during the hearing instantly became a symbol of his Islamist military regime’s downfall.

The sight of their former tormentor in the dock was overwhelmingly welcomed by the Sudanese but many warned the graft trial should not distract from the more serious indictments he faces before the ICC.

“The evidence he committed genocide should come forward… Many civilians inside and outside Sudan have died because of him and he should face justice,” one resident, Alhaj Adam, told AFP.

It’s the economy… 

Sudan’s transitional authorities would need to ratify the ICC’s Rome Statute to allow for the transfer of the former military ruler to The Hague.

Amidst the euphoria celebrating the promise of civilian rule, unease was palpable within the protest camp that brought about one of the most significant moments in Sudan’s modern history.

One reason is the omnipresence in the transition of Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, a member of the sovereign council and a paramilitary commander whose forces are blamed for the deadly repression of the protests.

His Rapid Support Forces sprang out of the Janjaweed militia notorious for alleged crimes in Darfur.

Pacifying a country still plagued by deadly unrest in the regions of Darfur, Kordofan and Blue Nile will be one of the most urgent tasks of Sudan’s transitional institutions.

The other daunting challenge that awaits the fragile civilian-military alliance is the rescue of an economy that has all but collapsed in recent years.

It was the sudden tripling of bread prices in December 2018 that sparked the wave of protests fatal to Bashir’s regime.

© Agence France-Presse.

https://mg.co.za/article/2019-08-21-sudan-swears-in-civilian-majority-ruling-council

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Sudan to name ruling council after landmark signing !

By Afp Published: 13:30 BST, 18 August 2019 | Updated: 13:30 BST, 18 August 2019

The signing of a transitional constitution in Sudan has opened the way for civilian rule in the once-pariah country

Sudan was expected to form its sovereign council Sunday, the first step after the signing of a transitional constitution triggered unprecedented celebration in Khartoum.

Rare scenes of jubilation filled the streets of the capital on Saturday after generals and opposition leaders signed the documents that will govern Sudan’s three-year transition to civilian rule.

The ceremony in a hall by the Nile river was attended by several high-ranking foreign officials, the biggest such event in years to be held in the once-pariah state.

Worldwide congratulations poured in after the signing, which revellers and officials alike hailed as the beginning of a “new Sudan” after 30 years of rule by the now-detained Islamist general Omar al-Bashir.

“I welcome this historic moment for Sudan. This agreement responds to the demands of the Sudanese people who have tirelessly called for change and a better future,” said Britain’s Minister for Africa Andrew Stephenson.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed his country would support the establishment of “a government that protects the rights of all Sudanese citizens and leads to free and fair elections”.

According to the green book of documents signed on Saturday, several key steps will be taken before embarking on the long and obstacle-ridden road to 2022 polls.

– New institutions –

The first is to come on Sunday with the planned announcement of the composition of a ruling sovereign council comprised of six civilians and five members of the military.

Sudanese children take part in celebrations after protest leaders and generals signed a landmark agreement that will govern Sudan’s three-year transition to civilian rule

Abdalla Hamdok, a former UN economist who was picked by the protest camp last week to be prime minister, will be formally appointed on Tuesday.

A cabinet is then to be formed before Sudan’s new institutions can tackle the main challenges that lie ahead, first among them measures to rescue a moribund economy.

Making the most of a new freedom acquired during eight months of protests that left at least 250 people dead, Sudanese families took to the streets for wild celebrations Saturday night.

Youths spilling out of honking cars drag-raced down the main Nile-side road deep into the night, while groups sang and danced — the same two words echoing across the entire city: “Madaniya, Madaniya”.

It loosely translates as “civilian rule” and one would be hard-pressed to find somebody on the streets of Khartoum publicly opposing that goal.

Some members of the opposition alliance that organised the protests however fear that the euphoria could be short-lived and deep distrust remains between the incoming sovereign council’s main players.

– Short-lived euphoria? –

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Sudan – Floods Leave Over 40 Dead and 10,000 Homes Damaged.

16 August , 2019. FLOODLIST NEWS IN AFRICA.

Sudan news agency SUNA reported on 15 August 2019 that floods across the country have now left at least 46 people dead and damaged almost 10,000 homes.

Flooding first hit parts of the country in early August and has since affected 25 localities in 16 of the country’s 18 states, according to government statements.

Across the country as a whole, 9,260 homes have been damaged, of which 595 are completely destroyed and 3,317 severely damaged. Over 120 public buildings have also been damaged, including mosques, schools and health centres.

Earlier this week SUNA said that flooding had left at least 6 people dead in the state of Gezira (also spelt Al Jazirah).

Flooding has also affected areas around the capital, Khartoum, where 155mm of rain fell on 09 August according to Sudan Met. Three people in Khartoum state died as a result and at least 436 houses collapsed, leaving hundreds of families homeless, according to Sudan media organisation Radio Dabanga.

The organisation reported on 10 August that heavy rain and flooding affected the state of Sennar and parts of North and Central Darfur.

Flooding in the Red Sea state has left thousands stranded. Radio Dabanga said “heavy rains in Khor Baraka flooded parts of the Tokar – Port Sudan road, and there are fears it will be washed away, while more than 600 families are still stranded in villages south of Tokar Delta without the authorities being able to access them or asses their condition.”

http://Image of flooded areas (blue) of the White Nile in Sudan, 11 August 2019. Image is from the Sentinel-2 satellite from the EU Copernicus Programme

Image of flooded areas (blue) of the White Nile in Sudan, 11 August 2019. Image is from the Sentinel-2 satellite from the EU Copernicus Programme

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