Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir calls state of emergency, names new PM

President Omar Al-Bashir dissolved the government and called a state of emergency in an address to the nation in Khartoum on Friday. (Reuters)
Updated 23 February 2019
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Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir calls state of emergency, names new PM

  • Bashir called on parliament to postpone constitutional amendments that would allow him to run for another term
  • Address to nation comes amid biggest protests against his 30-year rule

KHARTOUM: Sudan's President Omar Al-Bashir declared a state of emergency and dissolved central and regional governments on Friday.

Addressing the nation, Al-Bashir called on parliament to postpone constitutional amendments that would allow him to run for another term in a presidential election in 2020.

Al-Bashir appointed a new prime minister, but left the country's current defense, foreign and justice ministers in place.

The president also appointed new state governors who were all from the military, according to a presidency statement.

Bashir has been facing the biggest popular protests against his rule since he came to power 30 years ago.

Earlier Friday, security forces fired teargas to disperse hundreds of protesters who marched and chanted anti-government slogans following Friday prayers at a major mosque near the Sudanese capital.

The demonstration in the city of Omdurman outside Al-Sayed Abd Al-Rahman Al-Mahdi mosque, which has ties to the opposition Umma party, was the latest in what have become near-daily protests in Sudan since Dec. 19.

Protesters chanted “the revolution is the choice of the people” and “fall, that’s it,” to express that their only demand is the end of President Omar Al-Bashir’s rule.

The demonstrations were triggered by price increases and cash shortages but have developed into protests targeting Bashir himself.

Activists say nearly 60 people have been killed during two months of protests, while authorities put the death toll at 32, including three security personnel.

Security forces have used tear gas and live bullets to disperse protesters, and have arrested people including opposition party members, activists and journalists.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court over charges of masterminding genocide in the Darfur region, which he denies. He has been lobbying for Sudan to be removed from a list of countries Washington deems state sponsors of terrorism.

The listing has blocked the investment and financial aid that Sudan was hoping for when the United States lifted sanctions in 2017, economists say.

Sudan has been rapidly expanding its money supply in an attempt to finance its budget deficit, causing spiraling inflation and a steep decline in the value of its currency.


Russia says Syrian government forces has halted fire in Idlib

Updated 20 May 2019
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Russia says Syrian government forces has halted fire in Idlib

  • The last round of violence also displaced some 180,000 in opposition-held areas
DAMASCUS: Syrian government forces have unilaterally ceased fire in the northern Idlib province, the last major opposition stronghold, Russia said on Sunday, while opposition activists reported continued shelling and airstrikes.
Fighting erupted in Idlib late last month, effectively shattering a cease-fire negotiated by Russia and Turkey that had been in place since September. Russia has firmly backed Syria’s Bashar Assad regime in the eight-year civil war, while Turkey has supported the opposition.
In a brief statement on Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry’s Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Sides in Syria said regime forces had ceased fire as of midnight. It described the move as unilateral, but did not give details.
The pro-government Syrian Central Military Media said regime forces responded to shelling by militants on Sunday on the edge of Idlib. It gave no further details.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitoring group, reported an airstrike on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, saying it inflicted casualties.
The opposition’s Syrian Civil Defense also reported shelling near the town of Jisr Al-Shughour without reporting any casualties.
Syrian government forces intensified their attacks as of April 30 on Idlib. The area is home to some 3 million people, many of whom are internally displaced. The last round of violence also displaced some 180,000 in opposition-held areas.