Sudan minister appeals to youth as protests continue

Angry demonstrators light a fire during a protest calling for the ouster of President Omar Al-Bashir in Khartoum. (Reuters/File)
Updated 05 February 2019

Sudan minister appeals to youth as protests continue

  • Recent events “showed the need to reshape political entities, parties and armed movements,” said the defense minister

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s defense minister said on Monday that young people caught up in recent turmoil had “reasonable ambition,” the second apparently conciliatory gesture in three days from a senior government figure.

Students, activists and other protesters frustrated with economic hardships have held almost daily demonstrations across Sudan since Dec. 19, mounting the most sustained challenge to President Omar Al-Bashir’s three decades in power.

Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf did not directly address the protesters’ concerns, but said the situation in the country showed a schism between young and old.

That, he added, “requires intergenerational communication and fair solutions to youth problems and realizing their reasonable ambition.”

Recent events “showed the need to reshape political entities, parties and armed movements of the political scene with a different mindset than before,” he said during a briefing with military officers, according to a ministry statement.

The minister did not spell out what kind of reshaping should take place and there was no immediate response from opposition parties, which have backed the demonstrations.

Police dispersed dozens of protesters in the Shambat neighborhood of Khartoum on Monday and dozens more across the Nile in Omdurman, the capital’s twin city, witnesses said.

People have taken to the streets across Sudan, frustrated with price hikes and shortages in cash, bread, petrol and other essentials, calling for Al-Bashir to go. Many have echoed slogans used in the Muslim world’s “Arab Spring” uprisings.

Rights groups say at least 45 people have been killed during clashes with security services, while the government puts the death toll at 30, including two security personnel.

Al-Bashir has shown no sign of being prepared to concede any power and has blamed the protests on foreign agents, challenging his rivals to seek power through the ballot box.

But Prime Minister Moataz Moussa on Saturday appeared to soften the official stance on the protests, describing demonstrators’ calls for better living conditions as “legitimate.” 

Israeli tank, aircraft hit Gaza after cross-border shots: army

Updated 19 April 2019

Israeli tank, aircraft hit Gaza after cross-border shots: army

JERUSALEM: Israel on Friday struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip with tank and aircraft fire after shots were fired at troops on the Israeli side of the border, the army said.
“No injuries to soldiers were reported,” it said in a statement.
Palestinian security sources in Hamas-ruled Gaza told AFP that the Israeli fire hit Hamas military observation posts at three locations along the frontier.
They said there were no reports of Palestinian casualties.
Palestinians in Gaza have for more than a year gathered at least weekly along the border for often-violent protests, calling on Israel to end its blockade of the enclave.
The Israeli statement did not say if there were mass protests taking place at the time of Friday’s incident.
At least 264 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed by Israeli forces since the protests began.
The majority were killed during clashes, with others hit by tank fire or air strikes.
Two Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period.