Western nations call for Sudan ‘transition plan’

The US, UK and Norway said Tuesday that Sudanese authorities must now deliver a “credible plan for political transition.” (AFP)
Updated 11 April 2019

Western nations call for Sudan ‘transition plan’

  • The three countries also called on the authorities to release all political detainees and stop using violence
  • Sudan has been rocked by protests against Bashir’s rule since December

KHARTOUM: The US, UK and Norway said Tuesday that Sudanese authorities must now deliver a “credible plan for political transition” as anti-government protests rocked Khartoum.
“The time has come for the Sudanese authorities to respond to these popular demands in a serious and credible way,” the embassies of the three Western countries said in a joint statement in Khartoum.
“The Sudanese authorities must now respond and deliver a credible plan for this political transition,” it added as thousands of protesters massed outside the army headquarters in the capital demanding an end to President Omar Al-Bashir’s iron-fisted rule of three decades.
The three countries also called on the authorities to release all political detainees and stop using violence against “peaceful protesters.”
The protests “continue to grow and the demand for political change from the courageous and resilient people of Sudan is becoming ever clearer and more powerful,” the statement said.
“The Sudanese people are demanding a transition to a political system that is inclusive and has greater legitimacy.”
The three countries vowed to support such a political process to help resolve the economic challenges facing the country.
“This is a pivotal moment for the future of Sudan,” the statement said.
“The decisions the Sudanese authorities take now, in an inclusive dialogue, will have a dramatic impact on the lives of 40 million Sudanese people and the stability of the region.”
Sudan has been rocked by protests against Bashir’s rule since December, with angry crowds demanding the veteran leader step down.
They accuse his government of mismanaging the economy that has led to soaring food prices, and regular shortage of fuel and foreign currency.


Tunisians emerge from lockdown into mosques and cafes

Updated 28 sec ago

Tunisians emerge from lockdown into mosques and cafes

TUNIS: Tunisians returned to mosques and cafes on Thursday as the country ended most lockdown restrictions after largely containing the spread of the novel coronavirus for now.
Sitting with friends at the Brazil coffeeshop in the Ibn Khaldoun district of Tunis, schoolteacher Nizar Jamal said he was glad to resume his daily chats with friends.
“We are again breathing the air of life. We missed the smell of coffee a lot,” he said.
Tunisia in March closed its international borders, stopped all movement between towns and cities, shuttered mosques, shops, schools, cafes and restaurants, imposed a nightly curfew and stopped people leaving homes at day for most reasons.
It has recorded 1,048 cases of the coronavirus and 48 deaths, compared with nearly 10,000 cases in neighboring Algeria. The only recent cases came from people arriving into quarantine from abroad.
Schools will stay closed to most students until the start of the new academic year in September and the government still restricts social gatherings at homes and urges the wearing of masks. International borders will reopen fully in late June.
In another Tunis district, Menzah 9, a cafe owner who gave only his first name, Mahmoud, said he was relieved to have reopened.
“This cafe provides work for 20 families. We have suffered a lot from stopping work for three months and we hope to make up for it soon,” he said.
Tunisia’s government has announced compensation measures to help businesses and needy families with the economic effects of the lockdown and has agreed a package of financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund.