Grief and anger fill families of slain Sudanese schoolchildren

Four high school pupils and two other protesters were shot dead during a rally in the central city against growing bread and fuel shortages. (AFP)
Updated 03 August 2019

Grief and anger fill families of slain Sudanese schoolchildren

  • The deaths have sparked outrage across the country and brought international condemnation

AL-OBEID: Sudanese school pupil Abdallah Adam’s family hit out in anger when a delegation from the ruling military council came to offer condolences after he was shot dead by security forces.
“We told them we would not accept any government official,” said 23-year-old relative Bushri Adam after Monday’s tragedy in Al-Obeid.
Four high school pupils and two other protesters were shot dead during a rally in the central city against growing bread and fuel shortages.
Another four demonstrators were shot dead on Thursday in the city of Omdurman, twin city of the capital Khartoum, in a protest over the Al-Obeid killings, medics said.
The latest killings came as protest leaders and the generals who took power after longtime President Omar Al-Bashir’s ouster in April resumed talks on a transition to civilian rule.
In the narrow dirt lane outside Adam’s home, mourners packed a small tent filled with rows of white plastic chairs splattered with mud from heavy rains.
“Death is a right, but the painful thing is humiliation,” said Adam’s father Ismail, hiding his tear-stained face with a handkerchief.
The deaths have sparked outrage across the country and brought international condemnation.
On Wednesday, after having been rebuffed from the boy’s home, a top general accused members of the feared paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of opening fire on the student rally.
The rally was initially stopped with batons by a group of RSF forces guarding a nearby bank, said Jamal Omar, who heads the ruling military council’s security committee.
But when some students threw stones, members of the RSF acted in their “individual capacity” and opened fire on the crowd.
“We have identified those who fired live ammunition that led to the killing of the six,” he said.

SPEEDREAD

Four high school pupils and two other protesters were shot dead during a rally in the central city against growing bread and fuel shortages.

On Friday, the military council said nine RSF paramilitaries had been arrested for the killings in Al-Obeid.
Medic Mohammed Idris, a friend of Adam’s, told AFP that a bullet had hit the boy “under his right eye and exited out of his shattered skull.”
“We did not get a full report after his autopsy, only a death certificate for his burial,” he said.
On the walls around Al-Obeid’s modest hospital, a portrait has been sprayed of 17-year-old Ahmed Abdelwahab along with his nickname “Kaka,” in tribute to his favorite Brazilian footballer.
“Kaka was active in the neighborhood and the school,” relative Rashid Bakhit told AFP, adding that the boy “participated in the protests even though his family had no political leanings.”
The bullet that killed him pierced the right side of his abdomen and exited through the left, he said.
“Kaka’s family and colleagues are devastated,” he said.
Doctor Amer Al-Tayeb received the bodies of the four pupils, along with 35 others wounded during the march.

 


Lebanese lawmakers to defy naming of new PM

Updated 07 December 2019

Lebanese lawmakers to defy naming of new PM

  • Saad Hariri submitted the resignation of his government on Oct. 29 as a result of ongoing mass protests against corruption

BEIRUT: Three lawmakers and members of Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s parliamentary bloc will not abide by its decision to name a new prime minister on Monday. 

Meanwhile, activists in the civil movement are holding meetings to announce a general strike and the blocking of roads on Monday in protest over reports that the new government will not include technocrats.

Samir Al-Khatib is considered the most favored candidate after preliminary consultations conducted by Aoun with his allies prior to setting the date for binding parliamentary consultations to nominate a Sunni prime minister, as required by the Lebanese constitution.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri submitted the resignation of his government on Oct. 29 as a result of ongoing mass protests against corruption. He later said he would not agree to head a new government unless it consisted of technocrats.

Lawmaker Neemat Frem urged citizens to provide him with the name of their favorite candidate to head the new government, “for you are the primary source of authority, and it is my duty to convey your voice in the binding parliamentary consultations.”

Lawmaker Chamel Roukoz said he will not nominate anyone for the position of prime minister.

Lawmaker Michel Daher declared his intention to boycott the parliamentary consultations if Al-Khatib is the only candidate.

Aoun assured a delegation of British financial and investment institutions, and US bank Morgan Stanley, that binding parliamentary consultations will take place on Monday to form a new government, which will help Lebanon’s friends launch agreed-to development projects.

“The new government’s priority will be to address the economic and financial conditions as soon as it is formed,” he said.

HIGHLIGHT

Samir Al-Khatib is considered the most favored candidate after preliminary consultations conducted by Aoun with his allies prior to setting the date for binding parliamentary consultations to nominate a Sunni prime minister, as required by the Lebanese constitution.

On Friday, Hariri sent letters to the leaders of a number of countries with good relations with Lebanon. 

He asked them to help Lebanon secure credit to import goods from these countries, in order to ensure food security and availability of raw materials for production in various sectors.

His media office said the move “is part of his efforts to address the shortage of financial liquidity, and to secure procuring the basic import requirements for citizens.”

Among the leaders Hariri wrote to are Saudi Arabia’s King Salman; the presidents of France, Russia, Egypt and Turkey; the prime ministers of China and Italy; and the US secretary of state.

On Dec. 11, Paris is due to host a meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon. Reuters quoted a European source as saying: “France has already sent invitations to attend the group meeting.”

Protesters continued their sit-ins in front of government institutions in Nabatieh, Zahle and Saida.

In Tripoli, protesters blocked the city’s main roads, which were eventually reopened by the army.

In Akkar, protesters raided public institutions and called for an “independent government that fights corruption, restores looted funds, and rescues the economic situation and living conditions from total collapse.”

Lebanese designer Robert Abi Nader canceled a fashion show that was due to be organized in Downtown Beirut, where protesters are gathering. 

Abi Nader said he intended through his show to express support for the protests by designing a special outfit called “the bride of the revolution,” and revenues were to be dedicated to families in need.