Sudan Islamist party urges probe into killing of protesters

Idris Suleiman, Sudan's ex-minister of international cooperation and political secretary of the Popular Congress Party, speaks during a press conference at the party's headquarters in the capital Khartoum on December 26, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 26 December 2018

Sudan Islamist party urges probe into killing of protesters

  • Popular Congress Party senior official Idris Suleman said his party’s own reports indicated that 17 people
  • Angry crowds have taken to the streets in Khartoum and several other cities since December 19

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s top Islamist party, a member of President Omar Al-Bashir’s government, called Wednesday for a probe into the killings of protesters in demonstrations that have rocked the economically troubled country.
Angry crowds have taken to the streets in Khartoum and several other cities since December 19 when the government tripled the price of bread
Sudanese authorities say eight protesters have been killed in clashes, but Amnesty International has put the death toll at 37.
At a press conference in Khartoum, Popular Congress Party senior official Idris Suleman said his party’s own reports indicated that 17 people “were martyred” and 88 wounded in the demonstrations.
Condemning the killings, the party, founded by late Islamist leader Hassan Turabi, urged the authorities to find those responsible.
“We call on the government to launch an investigation into the killings,” Suleman said.
“Those who committed these killings must be held accountable.”
Popular Congress Party is part of Bashir’s government and has two ministers of state in the cabinet and seven lawmakers in parliament.
Turabi, who died in March 2016, was a leading force behind the 1989 coup that brought Bashir to power, ushering in an Islamist regime that hosted Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden from 1992 to 1996 in Sudan.
Turabi founded Popular Congress Party after he was dismissed from Bashir’s National Congress Party amid a power struggle a decade after the coup.
Police and security officers remained deployed in several parts of the Sudanese capital on Wednesday, but no new demonstration had been staged so far.
Bashir has sought to tamp down the discontent by vowing to “take real reforms” to solve Sudan’s economic woes.
But his statements appear to have done little to appease protesters angered by financial hardships.
Sudan is mired in economic difficulties including an acute foreign currency shortage and soaring inflation.
The crisis has worsened despite the lifting of an economic embargo by the United States in October 2017.
Inflation is running at close to 70 percent and the Sudanese pound has plunged in value, while shortages in bread and fuel have been reported across several cities including Khartoum.
Since the start of the protest movement, Sudanese authorities had arrested several anti-government figures with liberal and communist backgrounds.
ab-jds/del


Over 3 million virus cases reported in Mideast

Labourers, wearing protective face masks, disinfect the front of restaurant in Dubai's marina on March 16, 2020. (AFP)
Updated 31 October 2020

Over 3 million virus cases reported in Mideast

  • Labourers, wearing protective face masks, disinfect the front of restaurant in Dubai's marina on March 16, 2020

DUBAI: The number of reported coronavirus cases has gone over 3 million in the Middle East, an Associated Press count showed on Friday, with the true number likely even higher.
Across the Mideast, there have been over 75,000 deaths attributed to the virus by health authorities, the AP count relying on reported figures by individual countries shows.
There have been 2.5 million recoveries from the virus causing the COVID-19 illness.
In the Mideast, the hardest-hit nation remains Iran, which served as the initial epicenter of the virus in the region. In Iran alone, authorities say there have been over 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with some 477,000 recoveries and 34,000 deaths. Yet even those numbers are believed to be low, Iranian officials say.

NUMBER

Deaths have been reported in the Middle East region due to the coronavirus, according to health authorities.

In some war-torn nations, it remains difficult to know the scope of the pandemic as well. In Yemen for instance, it’s believed that the vast majority of the country’s cases have gone undiagnosed and untreated, and health workers have said only those who are near death are usually brought to hospitals.