Hundreds march in Sudan capital seeking justice for those killed

Hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Khartoum to demand justice for those killed in demonstrations against Sudan’s now ousted autocrat Omar Al-Bashir. (File/AFP)
Updated 30 November 2019

Hundreds march in Sudan capital seeking justice for those killed

  • More than 250 people were killed and hundreds injured in the months-long protests
  • Crowds marched from a central Khartoum square to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s offices

KHARTOUM: Hundreds of protesters marched Saturday through downtown Khartoum to demand justice for those killed in demonstrations against Sudan’s now ousted autocrat Omar Al-Bashir.
More than 250 people were killed and hundreds injured in the months-long protests that erupted in December 2018, according to umbrella protest movement Forces of Freedom and Change.
Bashir, who ruled Sudan with an iron fist for 30 years, was deposed by the army in a palace coup on April 11 after the demonstrations triggered by an acute economic crisis.
Crowds marched from a central Khartoum square to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s offices, demanding authorities deliver justice for those killed and also find out about protesters who went missing.
“Blood for blood!” chanted protesters gathered in front of Hamdok’s offices in the capital, an AFP correspondent reported.
Dozens of policemen stood guard as protesters, many whistling, clapping and ululating, belted out revolutionary slogans.
“We want justice for martyrs. We are afraid that the criminals might not be judged,” said protester Nizar bin Sufian.
He said protesters welcomed Thursday’s decision by the new authorities to dismantle Bashir’s regime and former ruling party.
“But we have not seen any moves by the government to find those missing or to begin trials of those responsible for the killing of protesters,” bin Sufian told AFP.
Bashir and several senior members of his regime are in prison, while the veteran leader himself is on trial for alleged graft.
Since August, Sudan has been ruled by a joint civilian-military sovereign council headed by General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan.
A transitional cabinet led by Hamdok has been tasked with the day-to-day running of the country.
The sovereign council is tasked with overseeing an overall transition to civilian rule as demanded by the protest movement.


Iran nuclear deal parties meet as accord nears collapse

Updated 14 min 28 sec ago

Iran nuclear deal parties meet as accord nears collapse

  • Envoys from Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran will take part in the meeting
  • Iran insists that under the agreement it has the right to take measures in retaliation for the US’s withdrawal from the deal

VIENNA: The remaining signatories to the faltering 2015 Iran nuclear deal will meet in Vienna on Friday with the survival of the landmark agreement at stake after Tehran vowed to continue to breach the deal’s limits on its nuclear program.
Envoys from Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran will take part in the meeting, which is the first time the six parties will have gathered in this format since July.
Since May, Iran has taken a series of measures, including stepping up uranium enrichment, in breach of the 2015 deal, with another such move likely in early January.
Iran insists that under the agreement it has the right to take these measures in retaliation for the US’s withdrawal from the deal in 2018 and reimposition of crippling sanctions.
Since last month, European members have in turn begun raising the possibility of triggering the so-called “dispute resolution mechanism” foreseen in the accord, which could lead to the resumption of UN sanctions on Iran.
On the eve of what was already likely to be a strained meeting, Britain, France and Germany accused Iran of developing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, in a letter to the UN on Thursday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif dismissed the allegation as “desperate falsehood.”
However, despite the mounting tension observers say Britain, France and Germany are unlikely to trigger the dispute resolution mechanism on Friday when their diplomats attend the joint commission meeting chaired by senior EU official Helga-Maria Schmid.
Analysts say if UN sanctions are re-imposed and the deal falls apart, Iran could also withdraw from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
“It’s not clear whether that’s worth the benefit,” Ali Vaez from the International Crisis Group told AFP.
But he warned the risk of the deal collapsing was increasing as Iran was “running out of measures that are easy to reverse and non-controversial.”
“Both sides are locked into an escalatory cycle that is just very hard to imagine that they would step away from,” he said.
Francois Nicoullaud, former French ambassador to Iran, also says tensions were expected to continue to rise.
“Maybe it won’t be this time, but (the deal falling apart) will certainly be in the background of the discussions,” Nicoullaud told AFP.


Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani warned Sunday that if European partners triggered the dispute mechanism, Tehran may “seriously reconsider” its commitments to the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which monitors the deal’s implementation.
European efforts to shield Iran from the effects of US sanctions by creating a mechanism to carry on legitimate trade with the Islamic republic have borne little fruit, much to Tehran’s frustration.
The EU is growing increasingly concerned by Tehran rowing back from its commitments.
The dispute resolution mechanism in the deal has numerous stages, but it can eventually culminate in the UN Security Council voting on whether Iran should still have relief from sanctions lifted under the deal.
In such a scenario, says Vaez, “we will have a major non-proliferation crisis on our hands in the sense that the Russians and the Chinese have already declared they would not recognize the return of (sanctions).”
Vaez said in the end the path to a diplomatic solution would depend on Washington’s next moves and whether it would at least be willing to relax its attempts to prevent sales of Iranian oil, a vital source of income for the country.
“The remaining parties to the deal have proved incapable of providing Iran with any kind of breathing space,” Vaez said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Tehran is willing to return to the negotiating table if the United States first drops sanctions.