Sudan’s protesters take to streets against army rule

Sudanese protestors chant slogans demanding civilian rule on June 30, 2019 during a rally in Khartoum's southern al-Sahafa district. (AFP)
Updated 03 July 2019

Sudan’s protesters take to streets against army rule

  • Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets on Sunday in Sudan’s capital
  • The new protest comes at a time when Ethiopia and the African Union (AU) are jointly mediating between the protesters and generals

KHARTOUM, Sudan: Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets on Sunday in Sudan’s capital and elsewhere in the country calling for civilian rule, nearly three months after the army forced out the autocrat Omar Al-Bashir.
The demonstrations came amid a weeks-long standoff between the ruling military council and protest leaders. Talks between the two sides over a power-sharing agreement collapsed earlier this month when security forces violently broke up a protest camp in Khartoum. The ensuring clampdown killed at least 128 people cross the county, according to protest organizers. Authorities say the toll was 61, including three security forces.
The marches also mark the 30th anniversary of the Islamist-backed coup that brought Al-Bashir to power in 1989, toppling Sudan’s last elected government. The military removed Al-Bashir in April amid mass protests against his rule.
The crowds gathered at several points across the capital and its sister city of Omdurman, before marching toward the homes of those people killed since the uprising began. At first, the movement erupted in December over a failing economy and Al-Bashir’s 30-year rule, and then stayed in the streets to protest the generals who replaced him.
On Sunday, protesters chanted anti-military slogans like “Burhan’s council, just fall,” according to video clips circulated online.
Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan is head of the military council.
Mohammed Yousef Al-Mustafa, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, a leading protest organization, told The Associated Press that security forces used tear gas to disperse protesters in Omdurman and the district of Bahri in the capital.
He said protests also erupted in Atbara, a railway city north of the capital and the birthplace of the uprising that led to Al-Bashir’s ouster.
The previous day, the military council had warned protest leaders that they will be held responsible for any vandalism or violence during the marches.
The protests came as the African Union and Ethiopia have stepped up their efforts to mediate an end to the crisis, and reach a deal over setting up a new transitional government.


Iran dismisses US efforts at UN sanctions as currency drops

Updated 20 September 2020

Iran dismisses US efforts at UN sanctions as currency drops

  • Iran’s currency dropped to 272,500 to the US dollar at money exchange shops across Tehran

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran dismissed US efforts to restore all UN sanctions on the country as mounting economic pressure from Washington pushed the local currency down to its lowest level ever on Sunday.
Iran’s currency dropped to 272,500 to the US dollar at money exchange shops across Tehran.
The rial has lost more than 30 percent of its value to the dollar since June as sweeping US sanctions on Iran continue to crush its ability to sell oil globally. Iran’s currency was at 32,000 rials to the dollar at the time of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which was signed by the Obama administration but which the Trump administration pulled the US from.
As the currency plummeted, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh slammed the Trump administration’s declaration Saturday that all UN sanctions against Iran have been reimposed because Tehran is not complying with the nuclear deal.
The US move has been rejected as illegal by most of the rest of the world and sets the stage for an ugly showdown at the world body ahead of its annual General Assembly this week.
Even before the US declaration, other Security Council members had vowed to ignore it. They say the US lost legal standing to invoke snapback sanctions when President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and began reimposing US sanctions on Iran.
The Iranian government spokesman said the snapback sanctions have only happened in “the fantastical world” of the Trump administration. He said the US stands on the wrong side of history.
“They are attempting to make everyone believe it, but nobody is buying it except for themselves,” Khatibzadeh said during his weekly press briefing on Sunday.
“It is a television show whose sole presenter, viewers and those cheering it on are Mr. Pompeo himself and a handful of others,” the spokesman said, referring to the US secretary of state.
“Tehran’s message to Washington is clear: return to the international community, return to your commitments and stop bullying so the international community will accept you,” he added.
The White House plans to issue an executive order on Monday spelling out how the US will enforce the restored sanctions, and the State and Treasury departments are expected to outline how foreign individuals and businesses will be penalized for violations.
Tensions are running high between Iran and the US, particularly since a US strike in January killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, prompting Tehran to retaliate with a ballistic missile strike on Iraqi bases housing American troops.