Connect with us

Politics

Sudan’s judges march for change, seek civilian rule

Judges in Sudan join protests marches calling for civilian rule and an independent judiciary

News Central

Published

on

Sudan Judges Protest: Sudanese judges, dressed in their robes, attend a demonstration in central Khartoum on April 25, 2019. Tens of thousands of protesters converged from all directions on Sudan's army headquarters Thursday after calls for a "million-strong" demonstration to demand the ruling military council cede power. AFP

Sudanese judges joined in protests calling for civilian rule for the first time on Thursday April 25th. The march was the first by judges in Sudan since before Bashir took power in an Islamist-backed military coup in 1989.

A group of 100 Sudanese judges wearing black robes and carrying signs reading “judges for change,” marched from the Supreme Court in Khartoum, towards a sit-in outside the defence ministry, Reuters have reported.

The judges were heard chanting, “Civilian, civilian, protected by the judiciary”, as they marched through central Khartoum.

“We are here to give a message that the judiciary should be independent without any political intervention,” a judge told journalists.

Judges rejected

But some protesters expressed anger at the judges when they arrived at the demonstration, an AFP photographer said.

“Leave, Leave!” protesters shouted, blaming the judges for pro-regime verdicts during Bashir’s rule.

Reiterating that they were on the same side as the protesters, Appeal Court Judge, Abu al-Fattah Mohamed Othman, told reporters, “We demand reform of the judiciary until justice prevails and corruption is prosecuted.”

“We demand the removal of symbols of the former regime from the judiciary and the dismissal of the head of the judiciary to achieve justice.”

AFP reported that crowds of protesters gathered on Thursday outside Egypt’s embassy and consulate, which were surrounded by riot police.

Several people held banners calling on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi not to “interfere in our affairs”, after Cairo hosted a summit of African leaders who said more time was needed for a transition to civilian rule in Sudan.

“Blood for blood!”

Hundreds of thousands have converged in Khartoum following calls by the opposition for a million for a million-strong march to “continue to protect our revolution and to ensure that all our demands are achieved”.

Protester Hayam Kamal said she had returned from the Gulf to take part in the protest.

“I have been living in Saudi Arabia all my life,” she told AFP. “I returned to call for our freedom and better living conditions so that I can come back and live here.”

Many of those rallying chanted “Blood for blood! We will not accept compensation!”, demanding punishment for officials responsible for killings during Bashir’s iron-fisted, three-decade rule.

“All those responsible for the conflicts in Sudan should be tried and brought to justice,” said protester Ismail Jadallah.

Demonstrators arrived at the army headquarters from the states of Jazeera, White Nile and also from Bashir’s hometown Shendi, boosting the ranks of those already camped at the site, many of them for the past several weeks.

The giant rally followed a late-night meeting between the military council and leaders of the protest movement’s umbrella group.

“We have an agreement on most demands presented in the document of the Alliance for Freedom and Change,” Lieutenant General Shamseddine Kabbashi, spokesman of the military council, told reporters afterwards.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which spearheaded months of protests against Bashir, described the meeting as a step towards “confidence-building”.

Writing on Twitter, the association said a “joint committee” was being set up to “discuss outstanding disputes” as part of efforts to reach a “comprehensive agreement”.

Siddiq Farouk, a protest leader, said demonstrators were preparing for a general strike if the military council continues to refuse to hand over power.

East Africa Politics News & Stories

Bashir to face corruption charges in court next week

The prosecutor general said that Bashir had been charged over the killings of protesters during those anti-regime demonstrations

News Central

Published

on

Ousted Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir will appear in court next week to face charges of corruption and possessing foreign currency, the country’s acting prosecutor general told reporters on Saturday.

The announcement came more than two months after the military overthrew Bashir on April 11 following months of nationwide protests against his 30-year iron-fisted rule.

Bashir “will appear in court next week following charges of corruption and possessing foreign currency,” Al-Waleed Sayyed Ahmed said, without specifying the day.

He added that the investigation launched against Bashir for the charges had been completed.

On Thursday, an unnamed Sudanese official was quoted by the official SUNA news agency as saying Bashir was facing charges including “possessing foreign funds, acquiring suspected and illegal wealth and ordering (the state of) emergency”.

In April, Sudan’s army ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said that more than $113 million worth of cash in three currencies had been seized from Bashir’s residence.

He said a team of police, army and security agents found seven million euros, $350,000 and five billion Sudanese pounds. 

Bashir swept to power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989. 

Sudan suffered high rates of corruption during his rule, ranking 172 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index.

Last month, Ahmed ordered Bashir questioned over money-laundering and “financing terrorism”.

In an effort to quell protests that erupted against his rule in December, Bashir imposed a nationwide state of emergency on February 22.

In May, the prosecutor general said that Bashir had been charged over the killings of protesters during those anti-regime demonstrations, which eventually led to his ouster.

Ahmed also said on Saturday that 41 other charges against “symbols of the ousted regime” were under investigation. 

He did not name the others accused but said most of the charges were related to the “possession of land”.

Continue Reading

North Africa Politics

Opposition leader in Sudan calls for investigation into crackdown

The protest movement has also called for an international probe, something rejected by the military council

News Central

Published

on

Opposition leader in Sudan calls for investigation into crackdown

Sudan’s veteran opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi called on Friday for an “objective” international investigation into last week’s deadly crackdown on protesters, after the ruling military council rejected such a probe.

Mahdi’s call was backed by top US envoy Tibor Nagy, who urged an “independent and credible” investigation into the June 3 killings.

Thousands of protesters who had camped outside the army headquarters in central Khartoum for weeks were dispersed in an operation which left dozens dead.

The crackdown followed the collapse of talks between protest leaders and generals, following the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir.

The generals had repeatedly pledged they would not disperse the sit-in, but on Thursday admitted that “mistakes” had been made.

Mahdi, speaking after attending Friday prayers at a mosque in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman, condemned the operation.

“The protest’s dispersal was wrong. There should be an independent international investigation into it,” he told AFP. 

“It’s important that the probe is objective and not biased in favour of the authorities.”

Mahdi’s elected government was toppled in a 1989 coup led by Bashir, who then ruled for three decades before being ousted in April following mass protests.

‘Independent and credible’

Nagy, the US assistant secretary of state for Africa, also called for an investigation.

“The USA believe very strongly there has to be an investigation which is independent and credible which will hold accountable those committing the egregious events,” he said in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, after a two-day visit to Khartoum.

Along with the newly-appointed US special envoy to Sudan, Donald Booth, Nagy met with military council chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on Thursday.

The June 3 crackdown left about 120 people dead and hundreds wounded, according to doctors linked to protesters, while the health ministry put the death toll at 61.

The protest movement has also called for an international probe, something rejected by the military council.

“We do not accept an international investigating committee. We are a sovereign state,” council spokesman Shamseddine Kabbashi told reporters late Thursday.

Expressing “regret” over the crackdown, Kabbashi said the plan had been to clear an area close to the sit-in — but “excesses happened”.

He said the military is carrying out its own inquiry, whose findings are to be released on Saturday.

‘Harsh and unacceptable’

On Friday, worshippers at the mosque linked to Mahdi’s National Umma Party appeared frustrated with the generals’ version of the crackdown.

“The way the sit-in was dispersed was harsh and unacceptable,” said Salim Gebril, a university professor and member of the National Umma Party. 

“They (the military rulers) keep saying they are looking forward to reaching an agreement (with the protest leaders) but their tone sounded as if they may take another route.”

Another worshipper, Abdelrahman Amir al-Tom, found the military council’s statement to be “extremely disappointing”. 

Protest leaders and generals have now agreed to resume talks after mediation led by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Mahdi believes the mediation “may have a positive impact,” and may help both sides overcome the differences.

“In the end, the military council cannot rule, that is clear, and civilian forces cannot talk about a future without the participation of the military council,” the former premier said.

Continue Reading

Africa News & Updates

Egypt will always support Haftar’s army forces -Sisi

According to Sisi, Egypt is supporting “the legitimacy of Libya represented in the country’s House of Representatives.”

Published

on

Egypt will always support Haftar’s army forces -Sisi | News Central TV
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said yesterday, that Egypt will always support the Libyan troops loyal to the General Khalifa Haftar.

Following his meeting with the Libyan parliament speaker Aqilah Saleh in Cairo the Egyptian capital, Sisi said, “Egypt’s position on supporting the Libyan National Army in its campaign to eliminate terrorist groups across Libya will never change.”

Saleh is currently on an indefinite visit to Cairo where he is holding meetings with Egyptian officials.

Sisi noted that his country was supporting what he described as “the legitimacy of Libya represented in the country’s House of Representatives,” stressing that the will of Libyans “must be respected.”

During a meeting in Tunisia on Wednesday, the foreign ministers of Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia called for “an immediate ceasefire,” adding that there was “no military solution to the crisis in Libya.”

In April, Haftar forces launched a military campaign to capture Tripoli from the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).

Haftar’s campaign has, thus far, failed to achieve its primary objective, even after several weeks of fighting on the outskirts of Tripoli. Nevertheless, Haftar’s forces remain deployed in several areas around the capital.

Libya has witnessed serious political unrest since 2011 when long-time leader, Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.

Two rival seats of power have since emerged in the country, the Tripoli-based GNA, which enjoys UN recognition, and the other one on the eastern part of the country, which is affiliated to Haftar.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Newsletter

Trending