Protesters hit Sudan streets to demand reforms, justice

Riot police officers hold position against protesters near the Parliament buildings, as members of Sudanese pro-democracy protest on the anniversary of a major anti-military protest, while groups loyal to toppled leader Omar Al-Bashir plan rival demonstrations, in Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan June 30, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 01 July 2020

Protesters hit Sudan streets to demand reforms, justice

  • Many chanted the catchphrase of anti-Bashir protests: “Freedom, peace and justice”

KHARTOUM: Tens of thousands of Sudanese protesters took to the streets on Tuesday calling for reforms and demanding justice for those killed in anti-government demonstrations that ousted president Omar Bashir last year.

The protests in several cities and the capital Khartoum went ahead with security forces deployed in force and despite a tight curfew since April designed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

“Our demands are peace ... and justice. We call for economic reform and appointment of civilian governors to states,” said a protester in Burri, east of Khartoum.

“This march is to put the revolution back on course, not to overthrow the government.”

Many chanted the catchphrase of anti-Bashir protests: “Freedom, peace and justice.”

In Dongola, north of the capital, hundreds carried banners demanding “retribution” for demonstrators killed in clashes with security forces last year.

Similarly, in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, demonstrators draped in the Sudanese flag carried banners that read: “Retribution and peace.”

Protesters also gathered in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman and Zalingei, the capital of Central Darfur.

At least 246 were killed and hundreds others wounded during the 2018-19 anti-government protests, according to doctors linked to Sudan’s protest movement.

Tuesday’s rallies coincided with the 31st anniversary of the 1989 military coup that brought Bashir to power.

Bashir was ousted by the military in April 2019 following months-long mass protests against his 30-year rule, in an uprising triggered by economic hardship.

Sudan has since August been led by a civilian-majority administration presiding over a three-year transitional period.

The country is reeling from economic woes, largely blamed on Bashir-era policies. Since his ouster, the former strongman has been detained and he was handed a two-year prison sentence on corruption charges in December.

He faces separate charges over the deaths of protesters and the 1989 coup.

Bashir is also been wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur conflict.


Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn ‘helping everyone who stood by him’

Updated 39 min 34 sec ago

Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn ‘helping everyone who stood by him’

  • Ghosn made a dramatic escape from house arrest in Japan, where he was awaiting trial, and fled to Beirut, his childhood home
  • Ghosn has refused to discuss details of his escape from Japan, saying it would put in danger those who helped him

BEIRUT: Former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn is helping everyone who stood by him, he said in an interview broadcast on Saturday, though he declined to comment on cases of people accused of helping him flee to Lebanon from Japan.
Ghosn, the ex-chairman of an automaking alliance of Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. was arrested in Japan in late 2018 on charges of underreporting his salary and using company funds for personal purpose — charges he denies.
In late December, he made a dramatic escape from house arrest in Japan, where he was awaiting trial, and fled to Beirut, his childhood home.
Japan has asked the United States to extradite US Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son Peter Taylor, who are accused of helping Ghosn flee and were arrested in May.
Asked in an interview with Al Arabiya TV if he was trying to help the Taylors and others involved in his escape, Ghosn said: “You are talking about specific people, and I will not comment on those people who you are singling out.
“What I’m saying is that I am helping everyone who helped me; I’m helping them with my means, with my thinking, and in any way I can,” he said. “I am not talking about those people you mentioned specifically,” he said, adding that he was talking about people who helped him “in general.”
Ghosn has refused to discuss details of his escape from Japan, saying it would put in danger those who helped him.
A US judge said on Friday that Michael and Peter Taylor posed too great of a flight risk to be released on bail given the “spectacular” allegations against them.
Ghosn told Al Arabiya he made “the entire plan” for his escape but he had needed information and assistance from people whom he was not ready to endanger by talking about the matter.
Earlier this month, an executive from a Turkish private jet operator, four pilots and two flight attendants appeared in court on charges of helping to smuggle Ghosn via Istanbul.
Ghosn also said Japan had yet to send his case file to Lebanon as requested by the Lebanese government. “It has been six months and they haven’t sent the file. Why haven’t they sent the file?“