Sudan cabinet scraps law abusing women’s rights: state media

Sudanese women march in Khartoum to mark International Day for Eliminating Violence against Women, in the first such rally held in the northeast African country in decades, on November 25, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 26 November 2019

Sudan cabinet scraps law abusing women’s rights: state media

  • Thousands of women were flogged, fined and even jailed during Bashir’s ironfisted rule
  • The cabinet’s decision is still to be ratified by the ruling sovereign council

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s cabinet Tuesday scrapped a controversial law that severely curtailed women’s rights during the 30-year tenure of deposed autocrat Omar Al-Bashir, state media reported.
Thousands of women were flogged, fined and even jailed during Bashir’s ironfisted rule under the archaic public order law for “indecent and immoral acts.”
“The council of ministers agreed in an extraordinary meeting today to cancel the public order law across all provinces,” the official SUNA news agency reported.
The cabinet’s decision is still to be ratified by the ruling sovereign council, which is an 11-member joint civilian-military body.
Bashir seized power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989, severely restricting the role of women in Sudan for decades.
During his rule, authorities implemented a strict moral code that activists said primarily targeted women, through harsh interpretations of Islamic sharia law.
Bashir was deposed by the army on April 11 after months of protests against his rule.
Women were at the forefront of demonstrations.
Activists say the public order law was used as a weapon, with security forces regularly arresting women even for attending private parties or for wearing trousers.
The law also punished those who consumed or brewed alcohol, which is banned in the northeast African country.
Sudan’s new government led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has assured citizens it will uphold women’s rights.
On Tuesday, the cabinet also decided to “restructure the country’s judicial system in order to prepare it for the new era,” SUNA reported without elaborating.


Yemeni president in US for annual medical checkup

Updated 13 August 2020

Yemeni president in US for annual medical checkup

AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi touched down in the US for his annual medical checkup on Thursday, the Yemeni Embassy in the US said.
Ambassador Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak received Hadi at the airport in Cleveland, Ohio, where the appointment is due to take place, and “reaffirmed his utmost best wishes to the president for continued good health,” the embassy said in a brief statement.
Hadi left for the US after appointing a new governor and a new security chief in Aden, and mandating new Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed to form a new government. Hadi has travelled regularly to Cleveland for medical treatment since becoming president in early 2012, reportedly suffering from heart problems.
Saeed asked the governor, Ahmed Hamid Lamlis, to focus his efforts on reviving public institutions in Aden, restoring peace and security and fixing basic services that have been hit hard by years of instability. The official Saba news agency reported that the prime minister pledged Lamlis his government’s full support.
Saeed also entered discussions with various political factions in Yemen with a view to forming his government. Abdul Malik Al-Mekhlafi, an adviser to President Hadi, said on Twitter that the administration would be announced within a month, as the internationally recognized government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) enacted security and military components of the Riyadh Agreement.
The STC recently rescinded a controversial declaration of self-rule under a new Saudi-brokered proposal to accelerate the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.
Signed by both sides in late 2019, the agreement was designed to end hostilities in Aden and other southern provinces. Under the deal, the government and the STC were agreed to withdraw their forces from contested areas in southern Yemen, move heavy weapons and military units from Aden and allow the new government to resume duties.
Meanwhile, a judiciary committee assigned by the country’s attorney general to investigate reports of thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate stored at Aden’s port found hat the material was in fact a different fertilizer, urea, which could also prove hazardous if mixed with other materials.
In a letter addressed to the Yemen Gulf of Aden Ports Corporation, Judge Anes Nasser Ali, a local prosecutor, ordered the port’s authorities to remove the urea from the city.
Shortly after the tragic explosion in the Lebanese capital Beirut last Tuesday, Fatehi Ben Lazerq, editor of the Aden Al-Ghad newspaper, ignited public uproar after suggesting 4,900 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in 130 containers had been gathering dust at the port for the last three years, which could cause an equally destructive explosion. The story prompted the country’s chief prosecutor, politicians and the public to call for an investigation.