Sudanese Professionals Association, which has been enhancing protests, announced news conference at 1700 GMT on April 21 outside the army complex, inviting foreign diplomats. The Association promises to propose their own civilian council to facilitate transition of power from military.
In a statement the protest leaders declared their plans to form a civilian body to take over from Sudan’s ruling military council while crowds of demonstrators kept up the pressure outside army headquarters.
The military council has declined to respond to the protesters demands to ensure swift transition of power for a civilian administration, initially proposing two year period to pave the way to civilian rule.
Activists continue to mobilise demonstrators through social media to keep up the pressure for replacing the military council by civilians. General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan chairing the Council has not responded to the claims of the Sudanese, who continued to chant slogan “Power to civilians” through the night.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt need of peace and stability in Libya as “global priority“. Both top diplomats reaffirmed their commitment to continued diplomatic efforts in Libya aiming at return to political process.
Burundi will ban broadcasts from two international media organizations and expand restrictions on their operations, the government announced on March 29.
.”We are alarmed that reporters in Burundi are now forbidden to communicate with VOA and believe these continuing threats to our journalists undermine press freedom in the country,” VOA Director Amanda Bennett said. “We stand with the people of Burundi against those who are restricting their access to accurate and reliable news and information.”
The BBC condemned the decision, calling it “a serious blow against media freedom.”
At a meeting in Bujumbura, the president of the National Council of Communication, Nestor Bankumukunzi, said the British Broadcasting Corp (BBC). and the Voice of America (VoA) are banned with an immediate effect. The ban is indefinite and extends to journalists, both foreign and domestic, who provide information to either broadcaster
Mallam Nasir El-Rufai – a poweful ally of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari warned “people from overseas” who sought to intervene in the country’s election to be held in little over a week would go back in “body bags“.
“We are waiting for the persons who will come and intervene. They will go back in body bags because nobody will come to Nigeria and tell us how to run our country,” said El-Rufai.
The governor of the northern state of Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai made the comments during a discussion programme on the Nigerian Television Authority when the subject of the international community’s role in elections was raised. It followed after an international reaction in support of a suspended Nigeria’s top judge.
“We have got that independence and we are trying to run our country as decently as possible,” El-Rufai added.
The talk about the role of foreign countries in elections was raised on the programme in which reference was made to concerns expressed by the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom over the suspension of Walter Onnoghen over allegedly breaching asset-declaration rules.
US troops will assist US citizens, and personnel in Democratic Republic of Congo in case violent protests over recent elections threaten their security. The measure is taken by precaution.
“These deployed personnel will remain in the region until the security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo becomes such that their presence is no longer needed” President Trump wrote in a letter to the Congress.
Speaking at the start of the UN conference in Marrakesh where states gather to adopt the so-called Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the Secretary General Antonio Guterres promoted the initiative, insisting developed countries needed more migration due to their declining birth rates and aging populations.
In July all 193 UN members except the United States concluded the non-binding pact of a highly political nature. But since then, the text has come under scrutiny from right-wing European politicians who are convinced it could lead to an increase in migration flows, and the courts would lose the tool to extradite the illegal migrants as the difference between legal and illegal migration would disappear.
At least six European Union members – mostly in Eastern Europe – have shunned the accord. On Sunday, hours ahead of the conference, Chile was the latest country to pull out, while Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel faced collapse of the governing coalition, with resignation of his ministers.
Although depicted as an achievement, the Declaration continues to provoke criticism over its ambiguity not only from right-wing, but also from center right. The European Parliament did not adopt the Resolution of Global Compact in November plenary, the failure regarded as a blow to the image of the initiative. Subsequently the European Parliament delegation had a humble presence.
In spite of the ambivalence, and criticism the signature of Global Compact is a huge step forward to eliminate the concept of ‘illegal migrants’, and create a world without borders.
President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Friday he is putting a decision to allow imports of elephant trophies on hold after a torrent of criticism from conservation advocates and across social media.
Trump’s reversal came hours after his administration released a rule on Friday to allow hunters who kill elephants in Zimbabwe to bring their trophies back to the United States, which had been banned by the Obama administration.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement that he had spoken with Trump and “both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical.” He said the “issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed.”
Early word of the planned change had drawn protests from conservationists, who said it could deplete already at-risk elephant populations. It also caused a social media firestorm, with opponents posting photos of President Donald Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric, avid hunters, posing with dead wild animals.
The easing of US sanctions on Sudan is an important step in Sudan’s efforts at reintegration into the international community. The EU expects Sudan to make further progress in addressing the several challenges that still remain.
In this regard, the EU encourages the Government of Sudan to progress further towards peace and reconciliation in Sudan. This includes the strengthening of the democratization process and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as the commitment to genuine political and economic reforms, addressing the root causes of conflict in Darfur and the Two Areas. Further efforts at respecting international humanitarian law and providing safe, timely and unhindered humanitarian access to people in need remain also essential.
The EU is ready to accompany Sudan in this process, in particular towards free and credible elections and an inclusive constitutional review, in line with the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) roadmap led by President Mbeki, which the EU supports.
Continued cooperation in support of stability in the region remains critical.
“The members of the Troika (the UK, US and Norway) and the EU are deeply troubled by the ongoing conflict in South Sudan. We echo the concerns highlighted recently by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat and Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission President Festus Mogae on increased violence, and strongly endorse their call to end all military operations immediately” – says the statement by the Troika and EU on the security situation in South Sudan.
“Opposition attacks on civilians are disrupting lifesaving aid and commercial trade. Large government offensives in Yuai, Waat, Tonga and Kodok have resulted in even more tragic humanitarian consequences, displacing 50,000-100,000 individuals in recent weeks. Government forces continue to target civilians in violation of the law of armed conflict. These actions stand in direct conflict with the Government’s stated aim of a political solution to the conflict, and severely undermine the prospect of any credible national dialogue. The Troika and EU call on President Kiir to implement immediately his commitment to a unilateral ceasefire as conveyed to IGAD heads of state on 25 March.”
“We continue to underline that there is no military solution to the conflict. The Government of South Sudan must ensure that there is a meaningful ceasefire which shows a genuine commitment to peace and stability, and is not simply a reflection of the fact that fighting is made more difficult by the rainy season. Such a commitment must go beyond simply a cessation of hostilities, and include withdrawing troops; disbanding ethnic militias; helping, not hindering humanitarian assistance; and releasing political detainees.”