Sudan’s army ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said Tuesday the country’s military rulers had decided to cancel what they had previously agreed with protesters about the country’s transition and called for elections within nine months.
It came a day after Sudan’s military forcefully broke up a weeks-long sit-in outside Khartoum’s army headquarters calling on the country’s ruling generals to hand over to civilian rule, leaving more than 30 dead.
“The Military council decides on the following: cancelling what was agreed on and stopping negotiating with the Alliance for Freedom and Change, and to call for general elections within a period not exceeding nine months,” Burhan said in a statement broadcast on state television early on Tuesday.
Burhan added the election would take place under “regional and international supervision”.
The Transitional Military Council ousted president Omar al-Bashir in April after months of protests against his authoritarian rule.
It had agreed a three-year transition period for transferring power to a civilian administration and that parliament be composed of 300 members for the transition, with around two-thirds from the protest alliance and the rest drawn from other political groups before talks broke down on May 20.
Thousands of people remained camped outside the military headquarters calling for the generals to cede power before security forces used force to break up the sit-in, leaving some 30 people dead and hundreds wounded, according to doctors close to the protesters.
It drew sharp international criticism, with both the US and the UN condemning the breaking up of the sit-in.
The UN Security Council will meet behind closed doors on Tuesday to discuss Sudan, after Britain and Germany requested the talks, diplomats said.
The Alliance for Freedom and Change had announced “the end of all political contact and negotiations with the putschist Council” following the deaths.
Burhan said that the military council would order an investigation into it.
“The military council promises an investigation into today’s events and invites the general prosecutor to take that over,” he said in the address.
Egypt’s renovation of Baron Palace sparks online outcry
Mnay have faulted repair works as being misrepresentative of the building’s history and materials to be of poor quality
Egyptian authorities have defended renovation works at a historic Cairo palace after the site’s new look sparked mockery on social media.
The site, dubbed the Baron Palace, was built between 1907 and 1911 by wealthy Belgian industrialist Edouard Empain.
The baron also spearheaded the development of the surrounding upmarket neighbourhood of Heliopolis.
Built in a style reminiscent of the Cambodian Hindu temple of Angkor Wat, the striking building set amid lush gardens has long since fallen into disrepair.
But work to restore the building has sparked outcry.
Many have taken issue with white marble additions to the building’s rosy pink stone exterior, saying the materials are of poor quality and not in keeping with the original style.
One Twitter user asked:
“Who is the fool behind the restoration of Egypt’s palaces? Our heritage is being systematically destroyed.”
A Facebook page called Egyptian Historians chided officials for the “warped” restoration.
“Be honest with yourselves and admit that you ruined it… you are literally demolishing our monument”, a post on the group’s page said.
Antiquities Minister, Khaled El-Enany dismissed online criticisms as “fake news”.
“I didn’t hear one word of truth in all these social media comments,” he said in a statement.
His ministry said the colours of the palace had faded from weather damage over many years.
“The restoration is a real dream and we will breathe life into this abandoned landmark,” Enany added.
General Hisham Samir, who heads up the ministry’s engineering branch, said the colours were “correct and are backed up by historical sources.”
The works began in July 2017 in co-operation with the Belgian government and will cost 100 million Egyptian pounds (over $6 million), the statement added.
Samir told reporters that the work is expected to be completed by year’s end with plans to open the building to the public by early 2020.
Egypt’s multitude of historical monuments and buildings are a major draw for tourists, though the country has often faced accusations of neglecting these sites.
The government has recently launched various restoration projects to stimulate tourism, a key sector that has suffered in recent years due to political insecurity and sporadic jihadist attacks.
Two UN personnel killed in Benghazi by car bomb
Two members of the UN mission were killed and at least eight others wounded including a child, by a car bomb.
A car bombing in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi killed two United Nations staff on Saturday, a security official said.
“Two members of the UN mission were killed and at least eight others wounded including a child, by a car bomb” in a shopping area of the Al-Hawari district, the official said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which happened as a UN convoy was passing through the area.
Benghazi, Libya’s second city and the cradle of the 2011 uprising that overthrew dictator Muammar Gaddafi, was hit by years of violence targeting diplomatic offices and security forces after his fall.
An attack on the US consulate on September 11, 2012, killed US ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
In 2017, military strongman Khalifa Haftar drove hardline Islamists and jihadists out of Benghazi after a three-year battle.
Haftar, who backs an eastern-based administration that opposes the Tripoli-based unity government, went on to seize Derna, the last city in eastern Libya outside his control.
But bombings and kidnappings have continued.
A May 2018 attack left seven people dead and last month, a car bombing at the funeral of an ex-army commander killed at least four people and wounded more than 30 others.
A Libyan lawmaker is also feared to have been abducted by an armed group in the eastern city, the UN and lawmakers said in July.
Haftar controls most of eastern Libya, and early this year he ordered his self-styled Libyan National Army to purge the south of what he called “terrorist groups and criminals”.
On the heels of that campaign, his LNA launched in April an offensive to take the Libyan capital from the UN-recognised Government of National Accord.
The LNA on Saturday announced a truce around Tripoli for the three-day Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha, after the unity government conditionally accepted a ceasefire called for by the UN.
Tutankhamun gilded coffin receives restoration in Egypt
The golden coffin of the boy king will be displayed along with other Tutankhamun artefacts towards the end of next year
Egypt displayed on Sunday the gilded coffin of Tutankhamun, under restoration for the first time since the boy king’s tomb was discovered in 1922. The restoration process began in mid-July after the three-tiered coffin was transferred to the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo from the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, southern Egypt.
“We are showing you a unique historical artefact, not just for Egypt but for the world,” Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany told a press conference at the new museum, which overlooks the famed Giza Pyramids.
The golden coffin of the boy king will be displayed along with other Tutankhamun artefacts towards the end of next year when Egypt’s new mega-museum is opened to the public. The restoration is expected to take around eight months.
The outer gilded wood coffin stands at 2.23 metres (7.3 feet) and is decorated with a depiction of the boy king holding the pharaonic symbols the flail and crook, according to the ministry. In the last century, the coffin has “developed cracks in its gilded layers of plaster, especially those of the lid and base”.
Famed British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of the 18th dynasty king in Luxor in 1922. Sunday’s announcement comes after the controversy the Pharoah courted in early July when a 3,000-year-old Tutankhamun artefact was sold in London for $6 million.
Furious Egyptian officials condemned the sale and asked the international police agency Interpol to trace the artefact which it deems looted.
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