Sudan’s ousted president Omar Al Bashir has met with Public Prosecutors in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, to hear charges that will be brought against him in a trial scheduled to begin next week.
The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reports that the Prosecution for Combating Corruption has directed charges against the deposed president Omar Al Bashir for violations of foreign currency laws, illegal wealth, violation of the Emergency Order, and possession of Sudanese cash exceeding the maximum amount allowed.
The charges were directed in personal presence of the deposed president and representatives of the defence, including Ahmed Ibrahim Tahir, Mohamed Hassan Amin and Hashim Abubakr Jaali.
An official source at the Public Prosecution said in a statement to SUNA that the ousted president was informed about his right to appeal against the charges within one week to the supreme prosecutor. Pictures show Al Bashir, clothed in traditional Sudanese garb, being transferred by car from Kober prison – which his regime made notorious – in Khartoum North, to the offices of the Attorney General.
The Attorney-General announced on Saturday via SUNA that the trial of Al Bashir will be held next week.
He said in a press conference in the public prosecutor’s office in Khartoum that the investigation in the case had been completed, the charge has been prepared, and the suit would be brought before trial after the legal period of seven days.
On Thursday, the Public Prosecution announced completion of all the investigations in the criminal case filed against Al Bashir.
Al Bashir, who was deposed by a military coup on April 11 has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and genocide in Darfur, however the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) have opted to try him in Sudan.
Bags of cash found in a search of Al Bashir’s Khartoum residence
On April 18, Sudanese authorities seized a substantial amount of cash during a search of deposed Al Bashir’s residence in Khartoum, including $351 million, €6,7 million, £5.2 million, and SDG 5 billion ($105 million).
The warlord wrecking Sudan’s revolution – The Washington Post
For the first time since April, Sudan’s ousted strongman, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, made a public appearance. On Sunday, the former dictator emerged from prison clad in his trademark white robes and was taken by police to court, where he faced corruption-related charges, including embezzlement and the possession of foreign currency. But glaringly absent from the allegations were the far worse crimes associated with Bashir’s three-decade rule. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide charges related to his regime’s vicious counterinsurgency more than a decade ago in the Darfur region.
That veneer of accountability sums up the grim state of Sudan’s fragile political moment. Bashir was brought down in April after protesters took to the streets for months, clamoring for his exit and a transition to a civilian government in the country. Their pressure compelled Bashir’s former allies in Sudan’s security apparatus to remove him from power. But in the weeks since, the junta that replaced Bashir has cracked down on the protest movement and political opposition with brutality reminiscent of the horrors unleashed in Darfur, where government-backed militias carried out hideous slaughters of predominantly non-Arab communities between 2003 and 2008.
On June 3, soldiers from the Rapid Support Forces, or the RSF, a notorious paramilitary group, attacked protesters in Khartoum, ransacking a central site that the pro-democracy movement had occupied for months. At least 128 were killed, according to the main protest organization. Reports continue to surface of militia forces dumping bodies in the Nile, while subjecting protesters to rape, beatings and other acts of torture. A nationwide clampdown on the Internet followed, shutting off many of the avenues the opposition had to share information with each other and the outside world.
“Now that the sit-in site . . . is in ashes, there is an overwhelming feeling of isolation,” journalist Zeinab Mohammed Salih wrote in a BBC dispatch this week. “Not only are the demonstrators no longer able to gather, but they have found it difficult to communicate and share their disappointment, frustration and anger at the turn of events.”
The junta’s de facto leader is Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who’s also known as Hemeti. Hamdan is no would-be democrat — he’s the head of the RSF, which, before being rebranded, rampaged through Darfur as the infamous Janjaweed militia. Now, as Declan Walsh of the New York Times reported, Hamdan is trying to present himself as a savior. Over the weekend, he took an armed convoy to a rally 40 miles outside the capital, where supporters greeted him with chants celebrating army rule.
“If I did not come to this position, the country would be lost,” Hamdan told the Times, denying responsibility for the slaughter of protesters while also blaming the opposition for goading security forces. “People say Hemeti is too powerful and evil,” he added. “But it’s just scaremongering. My power comes from the Sudanese people.”
In public remarks, Hamdan has panned the protesters and appeared to renege on earlier deals made between the junta — known as the Transitional Military Council — and the main opposition groups. A central sticking point remains the composition of a transitional legislative body that would eventually pave the way for fresh elections. Activists fear Hamdan and Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the more senior face of the junta, may move to appoint a parallel body and further erode what hope there is for a civilian-led democracy. Ethiopian attempts to broker a way forward appear to have made little headway.
“There is a total impasse. The negotiations have been suspended, Internet services remain blocked, and the Ethiopian mediations apparently did not make progress,” Dura Gambo, an activist with the Sudanese Professionals Association, the lead protest group, told the Associated Press. Despite the violence, the opposition is planning on reviving its campaign with nighttime vigils and marches in the country’s cities.
International pressure is slowly mounting on the junta. Western governments are demanding it account for the killings this month. “We believe very strongly there has to be an independent, credible investigation to figure out what exactly happened, why it happened, who gave the orders, how many victims there were,” U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Tibor Nagy told journalists in Ethiopia last week.
“It is clear that the responsibility lies with the Transitional Military Council (TMC) as the authority in charge of protecting the population,” a group of European Union foreign ministers said in a statement on Monday, which hailed the “historic opportunity” posed by the protest movement and added to the calls for an independent investigation.
Hamdan and his allies have so far rebuffed those demands. In their camp are a conspicuous crop of Arab autocracies — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. The two Gulf monarchies, in particular, are invested in preserving the military regime; Hamdan recently visited Riyadh and met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are instead driven by their own fear that should a major Arab country transition to democracy, it would lead to upheavals at home,” Iyad El-Bagdhadi, an Arab pro-democracy activist, wrote earlier this month. He added that “as long as the military junta has political and financial support from the Saudis and the Emiratis, it will have little reason to back down.”
That’s all the more galling when set against the horrors associated with Hamdan’s career. Niemat Ahmadi, the founder of the Washington-based Darfur Women Action Group, described Hamdan to Today’s WorldView as a “bandit” who gained notoriety amid Bashir’s vicious response to the rebellion in Darfur. The lack of real justice for the government’s actions in Darfur, she argued, underlies what’s happening now.
“The reason Hemeti grew prominent was because of the people he killed, the number of villages he destroyed, the many women who were raped,” Ahmadi said. “Now, they repeated whatever they did in Darfur in Khartoum.”
She said that “the TMC was not as confident until Saudi [Arabia] and [the] UAE came into play,” referring to the assurances of support and billions in promised security aid that Hamdan and Burhan procured after removing Bashir.
The two gulf powers may be offering him some lessons in messaging too. In his interview with the Times, Hamdan was unapologetic, styling his forces as the guarantors of national stability — a mantra often preached in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. “The country needs the Rapid Support Forces more than the Rapid Support Forces need the country,” he said.
ADJUMANI, UGANDA – Uganda hosts Africa’s largest refugee population – one and a quarter million people, with two-thirds having fled conflict in South Sudan. Last year’s peace deal raised hopes for some South Sudanese that they could soon return home. But the fragile peace has discouraged many from leaving Uganda’s refugee camps, despite struggles for adequate aid.
James Gwemawer joined other South Sudanese elders for a board game at the Maaji Refugee Camp in Uganda.
It’s been six years since he arrived here after losing his cattle during fighting in South Sudan.
His family scattered to different refugee camps in Uganda, and he’s still wondering when they can all go home.
“I need to first witness peaceful resettlement of my people back home, with no war or tribal conflict, before I can return. But now, I can’t think of going back. Things are still bad, I can’t leave.”
Sixty-three-year-old Madelena Moria hopes to return to South Sudan – one way or another.
“My husband died and was buried in South Sudan. My other children are buried there. When I die, I want to be buried beside them.”
There are more than 800,000 South Sudanese refugees in camps just inside Uganda, more than four times the number in 2016.
Musa Ecweru, Uganda’s state minister for refugees, says Uganda’s ability to help is being challenged.
“We’d never known that at any given time we would host over 1 million people. We had always oscillated between 200,000 and 300,000. That was what we knew, even at the peak of displacements from DR Congo, from Rwanda and from Burundi. But when South Sudan collapsed, then we received refugees surpassing millions and that overwhelmed our system,” Ecweru said.
In May, Uganda and the United Nations refugee agency appealed for $927 million in funding to address refugee needs until 2020.
The appeal is complicated by the alleged misuse of aid and the exaggeration of refugee numbers, which prompted the dismissal of four Ugandan officials and launched several investigations.
Joel Boutroue of the U.N. refugee agency also says donors no longer see the situation as an emergency.
“We are falling short of what is really required in terms of access to basic services – such as education. Water is slightly better covered health slightly better covered. But, education needs, for environment energy, protection, we are falling short of really what refugees deserve and need,” Boutroue said.
For the time being, South Sudanese refugees in Uganda will get by on basic services and wait for the day when it is safe to return home
Sudan opposition leader Yasir Arman arrived in Juba, South Sudan on Monday after he was released together with two other rebel leaders by the military junta.
Mr. Arman is the deputy chairperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/ Army- North (SPLM/A/N), an armed faction based in the Blue Nile region.
He had been arrested on June 5 by the Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) for allegedly fuelling protests in the crisis-hit country.
He had earlier defied a military ultimatum that he leaves the country on accusations that he was positioning himself to become the President of Sudan with the help of foreign financiers.
The rebel leader was accused of enjoying foreign backing and positioning himself to become the President of the Sudan. The release of the trio – the others are Ismail Jalab and Mubarak Ardol – is believed to have been negotiated by Ethiopian premier Ahmed Abiy who was on a reconciliation mission in Khartoum last week.
Mr Abiy met TMC, Alliance for Freedom and Change and other political leaders with a message that Sudan reverts to democratic rule.
Jalab and Ardol were detained from their residences after meeting with Mr Abiy Ahmed in Khartoum on Friday for talks aimed at reviving negotiations between the generals and protest leaders.
Arman arrived in Khartoum on May 26 to take part in talks with Sudan’s ruling generals who took power after the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir in April following months of mass protests against his authoritarian rule and worsening economic conditions.
On June 3 military forces raided a sit-in outside the army headquarters in Khartoum, starting a week of violent crackdown that has officially left 61 dead, 49 of them from live ammunition.
The protesters put the toll at 118. The SPLM-N’s armed wing has battled Bashir’s forces in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states since 2011.
The rebel group is part of the Alliance for Freedom and Change. It had set Arman’s release as one of several conditions before any fresh negotiations with the generals could begin. The protest movement wants the ruling military council to hand over power to a civilian-led administration.
The protesters started a nationwide civil disobedience campaign on Sunday, paralysing transport and shutting down cities like Omdurman, al-Obeid and Port Sudan.
In the capital Khartoum, however, several shops and fuel stations opened and buses ran on Monday, the second day of disobedience. The health ministry says 61 people died nationwide in last week’s crackdown, 49 of them from “live ammunition” in Khartoum.
Sudan’s military leaders say they are scrapping all existing agreements with the main opposition coalition and will hold elections within nine months.
The announcement came as the military faced mounting international condemnation for their violent attack on protesters in the capital, Khartoum, which reportedly left at least 30 dead.
See video in the web article – link at bottom of this article.
The US said it was a “brutal attack”.
The crackdown came after the military and protesters agreed a three-year transition period to civilian rule.
Demonstrators argue that former regime of President Omar al-Bashir, who was overthrown by the military in April after months of protests, is so deeply entrenched that a transition of at least three years is needed to dismantle his political network and allow fair elections.
Sudan’s alliance of opposition and protest groups said on Monday that it would push ahead with a general two-day strike starting on Tuesday hours after the Transitional Military Council said it was ready to hand over power swiftly.
Deputy head of the TMC, Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commonly known as “Hemedti”, added however that the opposition was not being serious about sharing power and wanted to confine the military to a ceremonial role.
“By God, their slogans cheated us. I swear we were honest with them 100 percent,” Hemedti said at a dinner with police. “That’s why, by God Almighty, we will not hand this country except to safe hands.”
Talks between the TMC and the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) alliance are at a standstill after weeks of negotiations over who will have the upper hand after the ouster of long-time President Omar al-Bashir last month, civilians or the military.
Wagdy Saleh, a representative of a coalition within the DFCF, told a news conference called by the alliance that the TMC had demanded a two-thirds majority, of eight to three, on the sovereign council that will lead the country.
Hemedti said the military council respects many members of the opposition movement, including Sadiq al-Mahdi, who heads the Umma Party that is part of the alliance.
Mahdi rejected the strike on Sunday.
However, his son, Al-Sadeeq Sadiq al-Mahdi, told Al Arabiya TV after Hemedti’s remarks: “Our stated position is not a rejection of the principle of strike, but our logic is that there is no need to escalate now.”
The TMC has suggested that if an agreement cannot be reached between the two sides, elections should be held.
“We are not saying we will not negotiate,” Hemedti said. “But we have to guarantee that all the Sudanese people are participating in the matter.”
“We do not cheat, nor do we want power,” Hemedti said, adding that elections could be held in as little as three months in order to “…choose a government from the Sudanese people.”
Mubarak Ardol, who represents the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, said at the news conference that it was essential to have an accurate and transparent census before elections can be held because millions of Sudanese remain displaced or refugees and would therefore be excluded.
“Elections cannot be held in the current situation,” Ardol said.
The DFCF said Tuesday’s strike would encompass public and private enterprise, including the civil aviation, railway, petroleum, banking, communications and health sectors.
If an agreement is not reached with the TMC, the DFCF will escalate by calling for an open strike and indefinite civil disobedience until power is handed to civilians, Saleh said.
The military ousted and detained Bashir on April 11, ending his 30-year rule after 16 weeks of street protests against him spearheaded by the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, part of the DFCF.
Hemedti said on Monday: “These people’s goal is for us to hand over to them and return to our barracks.”
May 21, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – Security guards of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) prevented the Sudanese police from entering the house of Salah Gosh, the former director-general of the agency, following an arrest warrant.
The Public Prosecutors Club said in a statement Tuesday that the incident took place on Monday 20 May 2019 following a warrant for Gosh’s arrest and search of his house issued by the prosecution after a criminal case before the anti-corruption agency.
The force charged with guarding Gosh house, belonging to the NISS, refused the enforcement of the order and claimed that it had not been received such instructions. Further they “resisted the execution of the warrant and threatened to use the firearm.”
Gosh’s arrest warrant was issued to interrogate him on a banking account of 46 billion Sudanese pounds ($ 1 billion) of which he was the only one to be empowered to issue payment orders.
Gosh was a member of the military council that ousted al-Bashir in April, but he resigned immediately after the takeover.
Recently the Council spokesperson said the former NISS director had been placed under house arrest in Khartoum.
But news reports published in Khartoum on Monday said he is currently outside the country. He reportedly was in Washington before to head to the United Arab Emirates.
Al-Youm Altali newspaper said that during his visit to Washington he met with officials of the U.S. intelligence agency brief them about the situation in Sudan.
The Prosecutors condemned the behaviour of the guards of Gosh’s house and described it as a blatant violation of “the law and the sovereignty of the state by the forces of the National Intelligence and Security Services.”
They further called to dismiss the current NISS head and to restructure the agency, as well as “investigating this incident that affects the independence of the public prosecution.”
By The Associated Press KHARTOUM, Sudan — May 23, 2019, 6:52 AM ET
Sudan’s protest leaders are calling for mass rallies across the country amid deadlocked negotiations with the ruling military over its handover of power.
The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which has spearheaded four months of protests that drove Omar al-Bashir from power in April, says it’s also calling for a “million man march” outside the military headquarters in Khartoum.
Thursday’s statement, posted on Facebook, says the protesters want to denounce the ruling generals’ resistance to relinquish power to a sovereign council that both side had already agreed should lead the country during the transitional period.
There are also indications that the SPA, a union umbrella, may call for a general strike.The two sides have held several rounds of talks since the military overthrew al-Bashir on April 11, ending his 30-year reign.
General Mohamed Hamdan Dagal. Picture: REUTERS/MOHAMED NURELDIN ABDALLAH
22 May 2019 – 17:50 Amina Ismail
Cairo — Sudan’s military wants to hand power to a democratically elected government as soon as possible in the tumultuous aftermath of former president Omar al-Bashir’s overthrow, a prominent general said in an interview published on Wednesday.
“We got tired. We want to hand over power today not tomorrow,” Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy leader of the ruling military council, told Egypt’s state newspaper Al-Ahram.
The council has been locked in talks with an alliance of protest and opposition groups demanding civilian leadership for a new sovereign body to oversee a three-year transition to democracy. Talks were adjourned in the early hours of Tuesday, with no new date set for their resumption.
But Dagalo, who is widely known as Hemedti and leads Sudan’s feared paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), said the military were impatient for a solution. “Members of the military council are not politicians and we are waiting for the government to be formed,” he said.
The general, who has emerged as the most prominent member of the military council that ousted and arrested Bashir following months of protests, added that judicial proceedings against the detained former president and some allies were proceeding.
“Up to now, we have arrested 25 member of the regime figures and we are preparing the files for their charges,” he said.
On Tuesday, Sudan’s main protest group — the Sudanese Professionals Association — called for a general strike, saying the military was still insisting on directing the transition and keeping a military majority on the council.
Late on Tuesday, a clip of Dagalo suggesting that those who go on strike could lose their jobs was widely circulated on social media. In response, protesters posted photos posing and carrying signs saying “Hemedti, come and fire me!”
Some protesters accused Dagalo’s RSF of shooting at demonstrations last week, when several protesters were killed and dozens more wounded. The military has denied it. Reuters
Sudanese protesters are gathered during a sit-in outside military headquarters after clashing with security forces in Khartoum on 15 May 2019. Picture: AFP
20 May, 2019 . Sudan army rulers, protesters plan more talks after no agreement.
KHARTOUM – Sudan’s army rulers and protest leaders said more talks were planned for Monday on finalising the makeup of a new ruling body, after hours of negotiations through the night ended without agreement.
Both sides have been at loggerheads over the new governing body that would rule Sudan for a three-year transitional period after the ouster last month of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir.
The latest discussions were launched Sunday evening following pressure from world powers to install a civilian-led governing body – a key demand of demonstrators.
After continuing into the early hours of Monday, the ruling military council announced the talks would resume at 9:00 pm (1900 GMT).
“The structure of the sovereign authority has been discussed,” Lieutenant General Shamseddine Kabbashi, spokesperson of the military council, told reporters.
“It’s agreed to resume negotiations today (Monday) evening… hoping to reach a final deal.”
The Sudanese Professional Association – the group that initially launched the protest campaign against Bashir in December, said Monday that it was in no rush to finalise the deal.
“We are not in a hurry for the crucial victory… whatever be the outcome, it will be a step forward,” it wrote on Twitter without elaborating.
The agreement had been expected on Wednesday, but the military council suspended the negotiations for 72 hours.
Ahead of Sunday’s talks, the umbrella protest movement – the Alliance for Freedom and Change – raised the ante by insisting that the country’s ruling body be “led by a civilian as its chairman and with a limited military representation”.
The existing military council is headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the generals insist that the overall new body be military-led.
On the eve of the talks, hundreds of supporters of Islamist movements rallied outside the presidential palace in Khartoum warning they would reject any deal that would exclude sharia – Islamic law – from the country’s political roadmap.
“The main reason for the mobilisation is that the alliance is ignoring the application of sharia in its deal,” said Al-Tayieb Mustafa, who heads a coalition of about 20 Islamic groups.
“This is irresponsible and if that deal is done, it is going to open the door of hell for Sudan,” he told AFP.
Bashir came to power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989 and Sudanese legislation has since been underpinned by Islamic law.
The protest leaders have so far remained silent on whether sharia has a place in Sudan’s future, arguing that their main concern is installing a civilian administration.
Saudi Arabia meanwhile on Sunday deposited $250 million in Sudan’s central bank as part of an aid package it announced following Bashir’s ouster.
The UAE said on 28 April it would also deposit $250 million in Sudan’s central bank.
The oil-rich Gulf states have pledged a further $2.5 billion in aid to help provide food, medicine and petroleum products.
It was Sudan’s worsening economic crisis that triggered nationwide protests against Bashir.
Before talks were suspended earlier this week, the generals and protest leaders had agreed on several key issues, including a three-year transition period and the creation of a 300-member parliament, with two-thirds of lawmakers to come from the protesters’ umbrella group.
But those talks were marred by violence after five protesters and an army major were shot dead near the ongoing sit-in outside the military headquarters in central Khartoum, where thousands have camped out for weeks.
Initially, the protesters gathered to demand Bashir resign – but they have stayed put, to pressure the generals into stepping aside.
The protesters had also erected roadblocks on some avenues in Khartoum to put further pressure on the generals during negotiations, but the military rulers demanded that they be removed.
Protesters duly took the roadblocks down in recent days – but they said they will put them back up if the army fails to transfer power to a civilian administration.
The generals have allowed protesters to maintain their sit-in outside army headquarters.