Sudanese state news agency: Russia's Putin to visit Sudan

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted an invitation from his Sudanese counterpart Omar Al-Bashir to visit Sudan. (AP)
Updated 22 March 2018
0

Sudanese state news agency: Russia's Putin to visit Sudan

CAIRO: Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted an invitation from his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir to visit the North African country, Sudan's state news agency said on Thursday.
Putin, fresh from an election victory granting him his fourth term and extending his leadership of Russia by six years, called Bashir on Thursday to discuss bilateral relations, SUNA said.
Bashir congratulated Putin who affirmed his country's commitment to investing in Sudan's energy, oil, gas, and gold mining sectors.
"The president extended an invitation to the Russian president to visit Sudan and discuss developing relations and building a strategic partnership and Putin accepted the invitation," SUNA said. It provided no date for the visit.
Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague for genocide and crimes against humanity in Sudan's Darfur region, and is mostly shunned by Western leaders.
Sudan will sign a "roadmap" with Russia to build nuclear power stations during a visit to Moscow by Khartoum's electricity minister, SUNA reported earlier this month.


Macron fires bodyguard filmed beating protester; critics say too late

Updated 1 min 12 sec ago
0

Macron fires bodyguard filmed beating protester; critics say too late

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron fired the head of his personal security detail on Friday but faced criticism for failing to act sooner, after a video was released showing the man posing as a police officer and beating a protester while off duty in May.
Alexandre Benalla, who as Macron’s top bodyguard has long been a fixture by his side, was taken into custody for police questioning over the incident, which took place when Benalla appeared at May Day protests in a riot helmet and police tags.
He had initially been suspended for just 15 days and allowed to return to work. Just days ago he was seen in public helping to organize security for celebrations for the return of France’s World Cup champion soccer team.
Lawmakers have launched a parliamentary inquiry into the incident itself, the lenient initial punishment and the failure of the authorities to report Benalla promptly to the judiciary.
In the footage, which was released on Wednesday by Le Monde newspaper, Benalla can be seen dragging a woman away from a protest and later beating a male demonstrator. On Friday, French media released a second video which showed Benalla also manhandling the woman.
He had been given permission by the president’s office to attend the protests as an observer of the security operation, but had no authorization to take part in police work.
The president’s office brushed off accusations that it had responded only because the nearly three-month-old videos had become public. It said the decision had now been taken to fire Benalla because the bodyguard had improperly obtained a document while trying to make his case over the accusations.
“New facts that could constitute a misdemeanour by Alexandre Benalla were brought to the president’s attention,” an official at the presidential palace told Reuters. “As a result ... the presidency has decided to start Alexandre Benalla’s dismissal procedure.”
Critics of Macron called the president’s delayed response a characteristic sign that he is out of touch. It follows controversies over government spending on official crockery, a swimming pool at a presidential retreat and cutting remarks by the president about the costs of welfare.
After hours of debate in the lower house on Thursday, lawmakers agreed to launch a parliamentary inquiry.
“Why did he protect this person? Does he head up a parallel police force? Refusing to answer makes (Macron) complicit in these acts of violence,” Eric Ciotti, a senior member of the conservative Republicans party, said on Twitter.