Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

Finnish minister Sudan mission

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland Pekka Haavisto will visit Sudan and several countries of the Red Sea and broader region over the course of the next weeks to discuss the situation in Sudan. He has received a mandate from the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini to reach out, on behalf of the European Union, on both the situation in the country and on how the international community can accompany Sudan on its transition path.

During his visits, Minister Haavisto will convey the European Union’s position on Sudan as agreed by the Foreign Affairs Council of 17 June to the different authorities and stakeholders and will then report to the 28 Member States in the Foreign Affairs Council upon his return.

The Minister’s visit to Sudan as well as Ethiopia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates follows the recent announcement of an agreement between the Transitional Military Council and the Forces for Freedom and Change on a civilian-led transition in Sudan.

The European Union remains fully engaged on the situation in Sudan, standing by the Sudanese parties who reached an agreement as well as calling on regional and international actors to play a constructive role in this context. Thanks to his experience in the region, in particular in Sudan with both the EU and the UN, Minister Haavisto will explore how the EU can best support Sudan in its path towards democracy, respect for human rights and stability,” said Federica Mogherini.

“This visit comes at an important juncture; an agreement has been reached between the Transitional Military Council and the Forces for Freedom and Change in Sudan. I wish to sincerely thank the African Union/Ethiopian mediation for their efforts. I will convey EU’s strong messages of support and encourage both sides to continue negotiations in order to solve the still outstanding issues and allow for a swift transfer of power to a civilian government. It is crucial to quickly restore peace, guarantee prosperity, economic recovery, security, democracy and respect of human rights,” said Pekka Haavisto.

On July, 10 Minister Haavisto will be in Addis Abeba meeting Ethiopian authorities as well as the key figures of the African Union. On 11 July, the Minister will meet both the Transitional Military Council and the Forces for Freedom and Change as well as other Sudanese interlocutors. On 16-18 July, Minister Haavisto will visit Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Minister Haavisto has extensive knowledge on Sudan having been the EU Special Representative for Sudan and Darfur in 2005-2007 as well as the Special Advisor for the UN Assistant Secretary-General in Darfur Peace Process in 2007.

Gabon conceals details of coup d’état

Gabon concealed the details of  an attempted military coup d’état, killing two suspected plotters and capturing seven others just hours after they took over state radio in a bid to end 50 years of rule by President Ali Bongo’s family.

Government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou announced the deaths and arrests after the military briefly seized the radio station to broadcast an address to the nation, saying Bongo was no longer able to lead after suffering a stroke in Saudi Arabia in October during a conference.

The failure an attempted military coup, caused by lack of widespread support suggest further efforts to overthrow Bongo are unlikely, experts said. However the attempt shows a growing frustration with a government weakened by the President’s secretive protracted absence, and lack of information on his rehabilitation prospects.

On December 31, in one of his first television appearances since the stroke, Bongo (59) slurred his speech and has paralysis of his right arm. It is unclear if he has recovered his capacity to walk. He has been in treatment in one of Morocco clinics since November 2018.

In a radio message at 4:30 a.m. (0330 GMT) Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, who described himself as an officer in the Republican Guard, said Bongo’s New Year’s Eve address “reinforced doubts about the president’s ability to continue to carry out of the responsibilities of his office”.

Outside the radio station, loyalist soldiers fired teargas to disperse hundreds of people who had come out into the streets to support the coup attempt. Strong military and police presence on the streets, including helicopters, who paroled the area swiftly managed to restore order.

After the episode of unrest, Libreville was quiet, and a government spokesman said the situation was under control after the arrests. Residents complained Internet access was cut, shortly after the coup.

The government is in place. The institutions are in place,Mapangou told France 24 TV Channel.

The Bongo family has ruled rich oil-producing country since 1967, and Ali (Alain) Bongo has been president since succeeding his father, Omar (Albert-Bernard), who died in 2009. Ali Bongo re-election in 2016 was marred by claims of fraud and violent protest.

Since its independence from France in 1960, the sovereign state of Gabon has had only three presidents in almost 60 years.