Sudan reopens airspace after revolt quelled

1 / 3
Members of Sudan’s intelligence services shoot at the headquarters of the Directorate of General Intelligence Service in Khartoum on January 14, 2020. (AFP)
2 / 3
People wait outside Khartoum International Airport, in Khartoum, Sudan, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. (AP)
3 / 3
the headquarters of Sudan's Directorate of General Intelligence Service. (AP)
Short Url
Updated 15 January 2020

Sudan reopens airspace after revolt quelled

  • Violence biggest confrontation yet between the old guard and supporters of the new administration
  • ‘What happened on Tuesday is a revolt’

CAIRO: Sudan has reopened its airspace, the head of the sovereign council said on Wednesday, while the army said two soldiers were killed and four injured in quelling a revolt by former security agents linked to toppled ruler Omar Al-Bashir.

The violence was the biggest confrontation yet between the old guard and supporters of the new administration, which helped topple Bashir in April after 30 years in power.

In a speech early on Wednesday, the sovereign council head, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, vowed never to allow any coup to take place and added that the army was in control of all intelligence buildings.

“All headquarters are under the army’s control, and the airspace is now open,” Al-Burhan said.

 

The former security agents fought soldiers in the capital, Khartoum, for hours until government forces quelled the revolt late on Tuesday, residents and a military source said.

“What happened on Tuesday is a revolt,” Mohamed Othman Al-Hussein, the army chief of staff, said on Wednesday.

The two officers killed and four injured in putting down the revolt showed the military had been able to end it with minimal casualties, he added in a speech.

In a protest over severance packages, the former employees of the National Intelligence and Security Service also shut two small oilfields in Darfur, a government source told Reuters. The fields had an output of around 5,000 barrels a day.

Restructuring the once feared security apparatus blamed for suppressing dissent under Bashir was among the key demands of the uprising that had forced his removal.

However, once dismissed by the new transitional government, many of the security agents returned to their barracks without being disarmed, after leaving the ministries and streets they once controlled.


Iran says US talks ‘futile’, denounces black American’s death

Iranian parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf chairing a parliament session in the capital Tehran on Sunday. (AFP)
Updated 10 min 4 sec ago

Iran says US talks ‘futile’, denounces black American’s death

  • Ghalibaf called for ties to be improved with neighbors and with “great powers who were friends with us in hard times and share significant strategic relations,” without naming them

TEHRAN: Iran’s new parliament speaker said on Sunday any negotiations with Washington would be “futile” as he denounced the death of a black American that has led to violent protests across the US.
Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ air force, was elected speaker on Thursday of a chamber dominated by ultra-conservatives following February elections.
The newly formed parliament “considers negotiations with and appeasement of America, as the axis of global arrogance, to be futile and harmful,” he said in his first major speech to the chamber.
Ghalibaf also vowed revenge for the US drone attack in January that killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Guards’ foreign operations arm.
“Our strategy in confronting the terrorist America is to finish the revenge for martyr Soleimani’s blood,” he told lawmakers, pledging “the total expulsion of America’s terrorist army from the region.”
Ghalibaf has also slammed the US over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, during an arrest in Minneapolis which has led to widespread protests across the country.
Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets from New York to Seattle demanding tougher, first-degree murder charges and more arrests over the death of Floyd, who stopped breathing after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Decades-old tensions between Tehran and Washington have soared in the past year, with the sworn arch enemies twice appearing to come to the brink of a direct confrontation.
The tensions have been rising since 2018, when President Donald Trump withdrew the US from a landmark nuclear accord and began reimposing crippling sanctions on Iran’s economy.
That was followed by the US drone strike near Baghdad airport in January that killed Soleimani, a hugely popular figure in the Islamic republic.

FASTFACT

Iran’s parliament speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf vowed revenge for the US drone attack in January that killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Guards’ foreign operations arm.

Days later, Iran fired a barrage of missiles at US troops stationed in Iraq in retaliation, but Trump opted against taking any military action in response.
Ghalibaf called for ties to be improved with neighbors and with “great powers who were friends with us in hard times and share significant strategic relations,” without naming them.
The 58-year-old Ghalibaf is a three-time presidential candidate who lost out to the incumbent Hassan Rouhani at the last election in 2017.
The newly elected speaker had also served as Tehran mayor and the Islamic republic’s police chief before taking up his latest post.
In a tweet on Saturday, he slammed what he called the US’ “unjust political, judicial, and economic structure.”
This had been “pumping war, coups, poverty, indiscrimination, torture, fratricide and moral corruption to the world, and racism, hunger, humiliation, and ‘choking by knee’ in its own country for hundreds of years,” Ghalibaf said.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif echoed his remarks on Twitter.
“Some don’t think #BlackLivesMatter. To those of us who do: It is long overdue for the entire world to wage war against racism. Time for a #WorldAgainstRacism,” he said. The post was accompanied by an image of a 2018 statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which the text was changed to be critical of the US States instead of Iran.
The altered text read: “The US government is squandering its citizens’ resources.
“The people of America are tired of the racism, corruption, injustice, and incompetence from their leaders. The world hears their voice.” Pompeo responded to Zarif by tweeting that “you hang homosexuals, stone women and exterminate Jews,” without elaborating further.