Sudan’s new leader to visit South Sudan

Abdalla Hamdok will travel to Juba on Thursday and return the next day. (AFP)
Updated 11 September 2019

Sudan’s new leader to visit South Sudan

  • The two countries have yet to resolve some pending border disputes

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s new prime minister will travel to Juba this week, his first official overseas trip since becoming premier after the ouster of long time leader Omar Al-Bashir, officials said Tuesday.

Abdalla Hamdok, who heads an 18-member Cabinet as Sudan transitions to civilian rule, will travel to Juba on Thursday and return the next day.

“He will be accompanied by a delegation including the ministers of interior, foreign affairs, energy and mining, and commerce and industry,” Information Minister Faisal Mohamed Saleh told reporters after the Cabinet’s first meeting on Tuesday.

South Sudan split from the north in 2011, but a devastating war in the world’s youngest country has sent tens of thousands of refugees fleeing into Sudan over the years.

The two countries have yet to resolve some pending border disputes and trade concerns after the bulk of oil earnings of erstwhile Sudan went to South Sudan following the split.

Cholera fears Separately, Sudan reported four confirmed cases of cholera in Blue Nile Tuesday and said three people had also died of acute diarrhea in the war-torn state.

Health Minister Akram Al-Toum has asked the World Health Organization to send supplies of cholera vaccine immediately, the ministry said.

Ministry and WHO officials have been sent to the affected area.

“There have been three deaths,” the ministry said in a statement.

Dozens of people died from acute diarrhea in Sudan in 2016 after thousands of cases were reported nationwide.

Blue Nile state, which has a large ethnic minority population, has been the focus of a rebellion by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North since 2011.

The army declared a cease-fire after the overthrow of Bashir earlier this year.


Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

Updated 16 September 2019

Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

  • Joint operations planned to prevent attacks ahead of polls

KABUL: Afghan forces backed by US forces killed two senior Taliban leaders and at least 38 fighters of the hard-line insurgent group in joint airstrikes conducted in northern and western regions of Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

The operations, launched on Saturday night, were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official in capital Kabul, adding that clashes have escalated following the collapse of diplomatic talks between the US and the Taliban.

The Defense Ministry in a statement said that the Taliban’s designate governor for northern Samangan province, Mawlavi Nooruddin, was killed along with four fighters in an airstrike in Dara-e-Soof Payeen district.

But the Taliban denied the governor had been killed.

“He (Nooruddin) is alive,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement.

HIGHLIGHT

Taliban deny the governor of Samangan province had been killed.

Last week, insurgents killed four Afghan special force members in a car bomb blast.

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day.

In a separate incident, Mullah Sayed Azim, a Taliban designate governor for Anar Dara district in western Farah was killed in a joint Afghan and foreign force raid.

“Sayed Azim was killed along with 34 other insurgents in Anar Dara,” said Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for Farah provincial police.

Senior security officials in Kabul said several joint operations will be launched against Taliban and Daesh fighters to prevent attacks on Afghan forces and civilians ahead of the presidential polls on Sept. 28.

Fighting picked up in several parts of Afghanistan last week after US President Donald Trump’s abrupt cancelation of talks with the Taliban aimed at withdrawing US troops and opening the way to end to 18 year-long war in Afghanistan. 

 

Troops for polling day

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day. Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Sunday that 72,000 security personnel will be on duty around the 4,942 polling centers across Afghanistan while nearly 30,000 additional troops will serve as reserve units.

Defense Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said security forces have recently taken back eight districts from the Taliban and that operations are underway to secure around 20 others.