Sudan deploys heavy security on anniversary of mass march

Members of Sudan’s security forces patrol in Khartoum. (File photo: AFP)
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Updated 06 April 2020

Sudan deploys heavy security on anniversary of mass march

  • Security deployment comes as Sudan marks a year since protesters gathered outside the military building in Khartoum
  • The street pressure prompted the country’s military command to remove Bashir on April 11

KHARTOUM: Sudanese security forces blocked roads leading to the army headquarters in the capital, an AFP correspondent said Monday, the scene of mass protests against deposed leader Omar Al-Bashir last year.
The heavy security deployment comes as Sudan marks a year since tens of thousands of protesters gathered in a sprawling sit-in outside the military building in Khartoum to demand Bashir’s ouster.
The street pressure prompted the country’s military command to remove the veteran leader on April 11 last year, ending his 30-year rule.
On Sunday, local media reported rumors of a “coup” plot against the transitional government which came to power months after Bashir’s removal.
Sudan’s military denied the claims.
“There is no indications or suspicions of a coup among the armed forces,” said army spokesman Amer Mohamed Al-Hassan.
Soldiers and armored vehicles were stationed around the military headquarters, while surrounding streets were closed with concrete blocks and barbed wire, an AFP correspondent reported.
Government spokesman Faisal Salih said on state television that the cabinet held an emergency meeting over reports of “movements” by members of Bashir’s defunct National Congress Party.
The protest camp calling for Bashir’s resignation remained for weeks after his ouster, demanding a transition to civilian rule.
It was dispersed on June 3 by armed men in military fatigues, with scores killed and wounded in the ensuing days-long crackdown.
Doctors linked to the protest movement have said at least 128 people died in the violence. Authorities gave a lower death toll of at least 87 and denied ordering the sit-in dispersal.
In August, military generals and protest leaders signed a deal putting a civilian-majority ruling body in charge of steering the country through a three-year transitional period.


Dubai government employees to start returning to work on Sunday

Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road deserted during the coronavirus curfew imposed by authorities. (AFP)
Updated 52 min 31 sec ago

Dubai government employees to start returning to work on Sunday

  • Emirate is ‘heading in the right direction’ as it gradually reopens following success in handling pandemic

DUBAI: Half of Dubai’s government employees can return to their offices on Sunday, and the rest will be able to go back on June 14, the emirate’s government announced Wednesday.

The return to work will, however, be made with “intensified precautionary measures,” to protect workers, Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said. 

“Our investments in the future paid off sooner than expected,” he also said on Twitter. “It is reassuring to know we’re heading in the right direction.”

Many businesses across retail, entertainment, sports and fitness industries have already been allowed to reopen. On Monday, Dubai announced it would be easing restrictions on movement, allowing people to move freely between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. from Wednesday. 

Sheikh Hamdan also hailed the Dubai government’s handling of the crisis, saying no “vital services were affected despite the precautionary measures and movement restrictions imposed.”

The UAE reported 31,086 coronavirus cases as of Tuesday; with more than half of those infected having recovered. The country’s death toll currently stands at 253.