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.


Lebanese block roads as protests enter fourth month

Updated 17 January 2020

Lebanese block roads as protests enter fourth month

  • The protest movement rocking Lebanon since October 17
  • The protest movement is in part fueled by the worst economic crisis

BEIRUT: Protesters blocked several main roads across Lebanon on Friday as unprecedented demonstrations against a political elite accused of corruption and incompetence entered their fourth month.
The protest movement rocking Lebanon since October 17 has resurged this week, over delays in forming a new cabinet to address the country’s growing economic crisis.
No progress seemed to have been made on a final lineup, which protesters demand be made up solely of independent experts and empty of traditional political parties.
In central Beirut, dozens of protesters Friday stood between parked cars blocking a key thoroughfare linking the city’s east and west.
“We blocked the road with cars because it’s something they can’t move,” Marwan Karam said.
The protester condemned what he regarded as efforts to form yet another government representing the usual carve-up of power between the traditional parties.
“We don’t want a government of masked political figures,” the 30-year-old told AFP. “Any such government will fall. We won’t give it any chance in the street.”
Forming a new cabinet is often a drawn-out process in Lebanon, where a complex system seeks to maintain balance between the various political parties and a multitude of religious confessions.
Nearby, Carlos Yammine, 32, said he did not want yet another “cake-sharing government.”
“What we have asked for from the start of the movement is a reduced, transitional, emergency government of independents,” he said, leaning against his car.


Elsewhere, demonstrators closed roads including in Lebanon’s second city of Tripoli, though some were later reopened, the National News Agency said.
The protest movement is in part fueled by the worst economic crisis that Lebanon has witnessed since its 1975-1990 civil war.
The protests this week saw angry demonstrators attack banks following the imposition of sharp curbs on cash withdrawals to stem a liquidity crisis.
On Thursday night, protesters vandalized three more banks in the capital’s Hamra district, smashing their glass fronts and graffitiing ATMs, an AFP photographer said.
Earlier, Lebanon’s security services released most of the 100-plus protesters detained over the previous 48 hours, lawyers said.
Human Rights Watch on Friday condemned the arrests and the response of security forces to protests outside a police station on Wednesday night demanding detainees be released.
“The unacceptable level of violence against overwhelmingly peaceful protesters on January 15 calls for a swift independent and transparent investigation,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at the rights watchdog.
Over the past few months, the Lebanese pound — long pegged to the US dollar at 1,507 — has fallen in value on the unofficial market to around 2,500.
The World Bank has warned that the poverty rate in Lebanon could rise from a third to a half if the political crisis is not remedied fast.